Thursday, March 8, 2012

Can't Get Enough!

Since I've been feeling so good lately, I've been finding extra joy in just about everything!  And to quote Mark Twain, "To acquire the true value of happiness you must have someone to share that happiness."  So since I don't have a special "someone" at the moment, I'll share them with you!

The first thing I can't get enough of is looking at pictures of my new niece!  My best friend, Lorajean, and her husband had baby #4 early morning March 1.  She's precious, just like my first niece and two nephews who preceded her!  Mom and baby are healthy and the family is adjusting well to the new arrival and her schedule.  I love them all and miss them terribly, as they live in Utah and I live in Colorado.  I've considered going to visit over spring break (which, for me, is next week!) but don't trust my car for the 8-hour drive each way.  Also, I could only afford the gas for said 8-hour drive if I didn't pay my bills.  No good.  Sadly, I'll have to wait to meet this precious new addition to the world, but when I do she'll know she's loved by her Aunt Liberty!

The next thing I can't get enough of is Jason Mraz's latest single, "I Won't Give Up."  It's hauntingly beautiful and sweet.  I've played this video countless times (seriously, I've lost count) and downloaded the song which has also been played repeatedly; and now it's getting some air play on my favorite local radio station.  Whenever it comes on the radio I crank up the volume as high as I can handle without going deaf.  Absolutely love Jason Mraz and everything he's ever done.  He's brilliant!

The latest thing I can't get enough of, though, is The Hunger Games!  I resisted, especially when I learned they were making a movie of it.  But really, I didn't know much about it except it was the latest book craze.  I (incorrectly) thought it was going to be another Twilight fiasco.  I should explain...My best friend -- yup, Lorajean again! -- and her family have been recommending books to me for years!  I always resist at first, I think it's just a fad or that it couldn't possibly live up to the hype.  Silly Liberty!  First she recommended Harry Potter, long before the movies were out and just at the beginning of Potter Fever so I only had the vaguest idea of what the books were.  Mostly I just knew that they were kids' books.  Cut to 12 years later when I'm still a fervent Potterhead, after all the books have been released (so far! -- I'll never give up hope for more stories of the wizarding world) and the movies have been released.  The stories and characters are a part of me in a way I never could have foreseen.  Then we started reading Eragon, which was okay.  I read the first two books of what was, at the time, to be the Inheritence Trilogy but by the time it was announced that there would be a fourth book, I'd lost momentum.  I may read the rest of the series someday, but it's not high on my reading priority list just now.  Next the entire family became engrossed in the Twilight series.  I tried to read it after it was recommended very highly by both Lorajean and her sisters, but couldn't finish even the first chapter of the first book.  Oh well, can't win them all.  This past New Year I spent time playing games and having generally too much fun with Lorajean's family (sadly Lorajean wasn't in town for the festivities) and her youngest sister was buried in a book pretty much the whole time!  I'm not sure now whether it was the first one or another in the series, but it was a Hunger Games book.  When I asked about it, another sister filled me in while the youngest continued to read.  It was interesting, but I wasn't convinced.  But slowly I've been exposed to more and more about the story and characters over the past couple months and recently acquired a digital copy to read on my iPhone -- only because there are a billion holds on both the printed and audiobook versions from the local library.  I started two days ago and am already about halfway through.  I can't put it down!  Even when I'm exhausted and my eyes don't want to stay open, I can't stop reading.  I can hardly wait to see the movie now and read the other two books -- not necessarily in that order.

I hope that this brings a smile to your face and if this is your first exposure to Jason Mraz or his latest single, The Hunger Games, or babies (just kidding!) I hope that you're not disappointed.  Let me know what you think!

How you doin'?

I had intended to post more quickly after my last post, but got swept up in things that didn't involve sitting in front of my computer.  Shocking, I know.  But here I am, back in front of my computer like the good nerd girl I sometimes pretend to be.

I've been feeling pretty good lately!  On Monday I got to work and had a student tell me I looked "springy," to which I quickly replied "I feel springy" with a big smile.  I have been a little bit tired when I stay up too late reading, yes.  A little sneezy now that my allergies are kicking in again, yes.  But overall, I've been feeling more capable, more accomplished, and more upbeat than I remember feeling so constantly in a very, very long time.  Yes, it could be partly attributed to the lovely spring weather Northern Colorado has enjoyed over the past week, but I think it's more due to my continued efforts to be healthier.

I've been walking for at least 20 minutes on the treadmill nearly every day.  I've started stretching and doing a small amount of yoga and meditation in the mornings, right after getting up. And I've been keeping track of my food intake more carefully using the MyFitnessPal app on my iPhone (that's not to say that I always stay below my target caloric intake) and keeping well hydrated.  And, about two weeks ago I hit a new (recent) low for my weight.  Since then I've bounced up a bit but I'm getting back into the groove of healthy habits and the scale is reflecting that.  Since I've gotten better about recording and tracking everything over the past 6 weeks, I've lost about 6 pounds.  Over the past year, since I started paying attention and recording, I've lost 20 pounds.  Probably closer to 25, though, from my all-time high weight.  I didn't have the heart to step on a scale till after I noticed that my clothes were getting -- not loose, exactly, but less tight.

I've started feeling not only healthier and more vibrant, but actually proud of myself and my hard work and my accomplishments.  This is something new for me -- I'm rarely proud of myself outside of the classroom.  But it's true!  I've gotten so confident that I've started to venture out of my well-worn rut by actually applying to the University of Northern Colorado to begin in the fall.  I've even nearly finished my taxes and FAFSA!  And, to top it all off, I've even been flirting a little bit with a couple of the attractive men I see at work on a regular basis.  So unlike me!

This has all gotten me wondering about everybody else -- about you!  Wondering what your New Year resolutions were and whether you're still working toward them or not.  Most of us in the Western world resolve to lose weight or work out or just get healthier.  However, according to this infographic (I have no idea how accurate it is, really) by this time of year nearly half have given up!  Usually, I'm one of them,  but last year was sort of the end of my road.  I could see the health effects already beginning and didn't have any confidence to go out and meet people -- dooming myself to the depressing cycle of loneliness and emotional eating.  No more of that for me, at least not in the long term!  Sure, I know that I'll have weak times because, frankly, sometimes life sucks and gets the better of you.  But I know that I can do better and that's always good motivation.

So let me know how you're doing!  I want to know about your resolutions and whether you're still working toward them.  Be honest, too -- I'm not here to judge you, I'm just curious.  Consider this an informal poll to  verify or debunk the statistics suggested by the creator of this infographic.  Please feel free to share your experiences, advice, and stories of success and/or failure.  It's all valuable!