Saturday, January 25, 2014

On my way home

I haven't written in a while and it only seems appropriate to write an entry from the air, as I've done so often.   Something about being on a plane with my headphones on that almost forget I'm surrounded by strangers....almost.

It's been a busy and stressful week in Portland, OR.   When I come to Portland I'm lucky if I see day light while here.  It's all days inside at headquarters- typically 8am- 5pm at the office, but add in travel time before and after plus the team dinners every night and we are looking at a work day from 7am- 9pm every day.  Some nights we are done dinner earlier and I might be back in my room by 8pm.  Those are early nights- but late nights can get to be 10pm when I'm returning to my room.  Yeah.  I'm lucky I like my coworkers and that these type of weeks are rare and typically only happen a few times a year.  I actually calculated my total work time, including travel to and from Portland for this week.... and my week was roughly 82 hours....I think.  Good thing I like my job and this is not a regular week ;)

However sometimes these outings just plain suck....To understand the full suck-o-tude of Monday, you have to understand my day... Monday was a very long and very stressful day of teach backs using advanced facilitation skills.  In a nut shell, what I had to prepare for was a new rally that is typically 2-3 hours (that I have never facilitated before, only heard presented on a webinar, which is totally different) and I had to be ready to facilitate any 30 minute section of it- because I didn't find out my assignment until immediately before I facilitated.  And the advanced facilitation skills part?  Imagine as you are facilitating, you have a coach in the back with huge charts with things like "paraphrase, probe for more detail, empathy statement, reflective listening" written on them that she would point to.  So while I am facilitating, I have to keep her in the corner of my eye and then I had to make sure I worked in whatever she pointed to immediately or I would be stopped and I would redo.  Sound like the most terrifying thing in the world?  Kinda.  It was intense, and it is every time we do that- but I am proud to say that I KILLED IT.  Yeah!!

So on to Monday night...after this long day of 200% brain power we all go to this bar to unwind and have a social night- planned by the boss so the whole team is there.  I played some darts, which was fun....and then the reality of the situation came crashing down around me.  Not only were we in a bar- so just bar food- but they gave us a limited menu and they refused my ask of having a large salad with plain grilled chicken.  Their reason? Because it wasn't on the menu so they didn't have grilled chicken.  Who doesn't have grilled chicken?! I wasn't asking for a fresh caught lobster or a gourmet 5 course meal....just plain grilled chicken.  I almost throttled the waitress and then manager and then chose a turkey sandwhich instead with everything off it except veggies. It was literally the only thing on the menu that wasn't deep fried, a burger, or pizza.  I was certainly not the only one frustrated.

So you can probably guess what happened next...or maybe took an hour for my sandwich to come out.  You think I'm exaggerating?  Afraid not.  I'm talking a turkey deli meat sandwich on a roll.  With a side salad.   Took 1 hour to be made.  So after a long day of eating well but not nearly enough, what happened? I started eating the only thing available and in front of me on the table- battered and deep fried portobello mushrooms.  Yeah.  Bad choice, I know.  It was either that or buffalo sauce drenched wings, nachos covered in cheese, or french fries.  So I went with the battered mushrooms and thoroughly enjoyed every terrible bite.

And then while I was waiting for my sandwich out came a pizza that looked amazing with artichokes, spinach, and mushrooms- so duh, I had a slice. or two...I'm honestly not even sure if I had 2 or 3 slices which means I was totally and completely out of control and in binge mode.  I think at that point I even had more battered mushrooms.  When my sandwich finally came out I should have been full enough to not eat it, right?  If you think I pushed it aside because I was already full, you don't quite understand what it is like to be a binger.  O yeah, I devoured that sandwich even though by the time I got back to my hotel room my stomach hurt so badly I was considering forcing myself to throw up.

You will be happy to know that I did not throw up- instead I put on my big girl pants- aka my gym clothes - and did 30 minutes on the recumbent bike.  Impressed? Looking back, me too! So for that day I did 1 hr total on the bike.  Every day this week I woke up  between 5-5:30 and did 35 minutes on the bike!  Some days I even did a little abs- I know, shocking!

And then on Friday I met up with an old Alpha Zeta friend that I met on a volunteer relief trip- and we went on a 2.5 mile walk/hike!  It was awesome to catch up with her, and I hope we can make this a regular occurrence each time I'm in Portland! It was a great way to end a really stressful week.

Unfortunately at this moment in time my feet hurt.   Sometimes life just isn't fair. I plan on taking the next 2 days off exercise, which shouldn't be hard because I have 0 time that isn't already committed.  I land in Baltimore around 4:15pm so should be home by 5:30 if I'm lucky.  I can't wait to see Adrian and Ding!! :D   Originally I had a Silpada party- but I just got word that she is bailing.  Not cool.  The day of- but it means I get to celebrate a friend's engagement!  Then some much needed time with my little family before collapsing in exhaustion and then Sunday is going to be INSANE.  I'm helping a friend with a party at 11:00, then have my own party at 1:00pm- both in Wilmington so a little over an hour from home.  And then...I board a flight to Indianapolis at 6:00pm out of BWI.  Yeah...I'm in MD for about 24 hours.  I will then be working outside of Indianapolis until I catch a flight home Wednesday night at 7:45pm.  Yeah..... during all that "free time" I have, I need to print out several presentations for next week that I will be going through to adjust content and pack a new bag for Indiana. For the record, the two parties were planned before my trip to Indiana....

What busy schedule are you looking at this week? Or just suffered through?  How did you handle it?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Goodbye 2013!

Wow, I'm a bad blogger...

I would love to say that one of my new years resolutions is to write on this more....but I honestly don't know if I can commit to that.  I would like to write more, but I don't know what "more" will look like.

2013 has been a very busy, exciting, and overall great year!  Adrian and I played the what great things happened in 2013 game on the way to our New Years Eve party last are the top 10 major things we came up with that happened this year.  Pretty much in order...

1. I had tennis elbow surgery #1- January 8th- way to start the year off with a bang! Ding is so little in this picture! O, how he's grown!

2. I declared my WW goal weight!!  and reached LIFETIME with Weight Watchers!!

3. We had an awesome time in Disney!  This was made possible because I was there for a work conference and Adrian joined me for some fun together! I love my job!

4. We bought a house!!

5. I was on TV!  Yeah....pretty amazing, check it out if you haven't yet!

6.  I had my second tennis elbow surgery- August 27th.  Ding has grown so much since my first surgery!

7.   I had some awesome moments in my career, including the opportunity to spend at week at the US Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, NY for a work summit. It was incredible and I got to some awesome things like: bobsledding, skeleton, and curling. Just to name a few!

8.  I was an outrider at Fair Hill International on Dancer! It was incredible, made even better because my mom and I rode together. The picture below is from Dressage day- first time I've been able to attend and it was great!

9. Adrian and I saw Pearl Jam live for the first time, and hopefully not last time, when they played in Baltimore!  It was great to experience with our friends as well- Tanya and Jen A.

10. I became a Silpada Designs Rep! I've loved their jewelry since I first got a piece at a fundraiser and decided to help support our home repair efforts further by making it a fun second job!  Check out my website!

What a great, and challenging year as well.  I was plagued with lots of injury recovery, from surgery recovery to recovery from foot pain- which I'm still working on.  I've also struggled with my over eating addiction, especially around the holidays.  My goals for next year are centered around losing the 10 lbs I've gained since getting my foot injury and feeling more in control of my food addiction.  I am strong, hear me roar!

What awesome thing happened to you in 2013? Share!