Tag Archives: writing

NaNoWriMo ’13

How can it already be November 3rd? Although I’m not sure I will be able to reach the 50,000 word minimum to write an entire novel in one month, I have decided that I am going to try. I have tried with very little success to write a “novel” for National Novel Writing Month every single year since my senior year of high school. I figure that the year before turning 24 will put me on track to my ideal self, so I’m going to finally take a crack at it. 

And I know exactly what my topic will be. I’m not going to give up much about it here until I have actually gotten some writing done, but I’m sure I’ll have an update post or two about my progress. I have taken three creative non-fiction writing classes and I will be drawing from what I learned along the way in my latest writing venture, which will be non-fiction.

Good luck to everyone participating! Feel free to follow me. We can support each other!

How I Self-Care

In my line of work, people talk a lot about self-care to ensure that you do not forget to take care of yourself while being so wrapped up in taking care of others. Now that I have worked at my job for over a month, I have started to notice changes in my self-care routine. My nightly journal entries are often rushed. Sometimes there are long lazy lines my pen made as I started to doze off mid-sentence. If I exercise twice in one week, then it’s considered a good week. I eat unhealthy food late at night. My body struggles to recover from staying up all night for work. I find that I spend most of my days off inside, behind a computer screen. It has been weeks since I have done something for fun with friends. My job is going great, but my self-care is not. 

All of the self-improvement goals I thought were firmly implemented into my life have been thrown off balance by my new employment. There are a little more than three months until I turn 24 and, by then, I want to be on the right track in terms of my mental and physical health, my social life, and my rate of creative output. Hence, I think it is fitting that I update my goals to reflect my self-care goals. I want to be able to work full-time and also really focus on my own well-being.

The following are preliminary ideas I have for a quality self-care routine:

1. Pack healthy food to bring for work. With my current schedule, there are five meals I have to eat at work per week (one lunch, three dinners, and one breakfast). The breakfast is pretty easy to skip or to get away with just eating a piece of fruit, so it’s really those three dinners and one lunch about which I’m concerned.
a. Bring a healthy entree, but also bring healthy snacks in case there isn’t time for a full-            blown meal.
b. Make a salad from the salad bar and eat a vegetable side dish to satisfy your appetite               long enough before you get a break.
c. If the dessert looks like it’ll be really worth it, then eat a few bites or half of it.

2. Make plans with people for your days off. Find the people in your social network who may be free at any time during your free days and make a plan. See a movie. Get coffee. Get lunch. Go bowling. See a play. Something.
a. If no one is free, plan out your day doing something that is productive. Clean your                    room. Go to the bank. Go to the doctor. Complete a task that has been looming over                your head.
b. Additionally, make plans to do something that just makes you feel good. This can be              watching a TV show or lying outside or going for a bike ride. You name it. There are                  ways to be absolutely happy and content that are not dependent upon others.

3. Exercise as often as you can. Something I have discovered about myself is that I feel so good after a workout. It gives my whole day a brand new, shiny outlook. Based on my current schedule, my exercise schedule should be Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday before lunch, and then Saturday during my break at work.
a. Sign up for a fitness class on your day off or before 1:30 on weekdays to meet new                   people and peer pressure yourself into the workout.

4. Leave work at work. In other words, be completely present in work while at work, but leave it behind during my days off. Beyond a few sentences on how my day at work was, it should be out of my mind so I can relax.
a. Check work email once a day, but not before bed! This should reduce the frequency                of work-related dreams.

5. Use overnights for creative output. I’ve already started a few experimental writing projects during my two overnights so far. I would love to continue this, as the overnight is a time when I’m not supposed to be doing anything else. I can’t exercise or go outside. It’s the perfect time to sit behind a screen and write something!

6. Use those 66 hours well. Sometimes, it feels like I’m working ALL the time, but it’s not true. I did some quick math and discovered that I have 66 awake hours per week that I can use in whatever way I want!

What’s in My Purse?

This post is for fun (not that any of my others aren’t for fun, of course). I don’t have very many purses, but I do switch purses from time to time. Sometimes, when men see me with a big purse, they ask, “What on earth could you possibly have in there?” or “What are you lugging around with you? I’m sure that’s filled with stuff you don’t need.” For anyone who is curious about what you might find in a women’s purse, then fear not.  Without fail, you will always find the following in each of my purses:

IMG_9794A pen. Specifically, you will probably find my favorite pen, which is currently a purple Pilot G-2 Limited .7 mm pen. Take a look at that beauty. My boyfriend gave one to me as a gift and I was hooked (he has a bunch of them in different colors, too). I gave one to him for his 26th birthday, which was the first birthday we spent together. He likes to tease me about it because it sounds really lame that I gave a pen as a birthday gift. But really, this pen is that amazing! I have two (I picked up the other at a Longs Drugs in Honolulu): one for my journal and one for everything else during the day.

My wallet wristlet (and all its contents). I’m not sure if that’s the proper term, but it’s made by Vera Bradley and has space for all my ID card, credit cards, library card, Starbucks card, Bell card, and all those other cards I use. Sometimes (gasp) I even carry cash in there! It also has a spot for my cell phone, which is always tucked in there.

Chapstick. This one is pretty self explanatory. I have all different kinds of chapstick and I always have at least one to keep my lips looking healthy and shiny.

Lipstick. If I happened to have put on lipstick that day (which is maybe four days out of each week, on average), then I always put whatever lipstick I originally put on in my purse in case I need to re-apply. The funny thing is that I rarely actually reapply my lipstick anyway. I just like having the option if I felt so inclined.

A book. Whatever I happen to be reading at that moment will always find itself in my purse. As a result, I make sure that every purse I buy is big enough to accommodate the average-sized book. If I’m somehow not reading a book at the moment (the horror!), then I select one from my shelf and that book becomes the book I’m currently reading. I absolutely hate the idea of having downtime and not having a book to occupy me, which is why I always have one.

Water. Whether it’s in one of my reusable water bottles or a plastic water bottle (I know, I know; it’s bad for the environment and I need to stop buying 24 packs), I always bring water with me.

A healthy snack. I don’t like the feeling of being really hungry when I’m out and about. If it’s not a meal time and I’m hungry, then I take comfort in knowing that I’m not going to have to make a bad decision (both financial and health) on some peanut M&Ms or something.

Sunblock (summer) or lotion (winter). The sunblock is a newer addition to my purse, but I always have a high SPF sunblock with me in case I spend a lot of time outside and I can feel the sun on my face. Sometimes, I’ll put the sunblock on while I’m on the train to save time. My hands get EXTREMELY dry during the winter months, so I always carry a small container of lotion.

Hand sanitizer. This one is pretty self-explanatory. You never know when there isn’t soap in the bathroom you use (it happened to me yesterday) or when you might be forced into using a portapotty and there’s no hand sanitizer available. In an effort to be as healthy and clean as possible, I always carry a little Bath & Body Works hand sanitizer with me (they smell so good).

A notebook or journal. I’m not talking some big hefty five-subject notebook here. I’m talking about a simple 70-page college ruled notebook or the small notebook I bought at the Louvre in Paris. Sometimes, a thought comes to me and I don’t want it to get away from me, so I write it down. I write anything in my little journals from ways to answer questions on job applications to to-do lists to short poems to reflections on certain aspects of my life. I started carrying a notebook with me since the few times that I had to resort to writing my thoughts into the book I was currently reading (luckily, it wasn’t a library book).

Camera. I will not leave the house without a camera in my purse, whether it’s my Sony point and shoot or my dSLR camera with any of its lenses. I hate the idea of missing a photo opportunity, so I always make sure my purse is well-stocked with this essential electronic.

(Optional) Laptop. This is the only thing on this list that isn’t *always* in my purse, but I do always bring it with me when I plan on doing longer, more formal writing or working on job applications. My biggest purse is fashionable but still big enough to comfortably strap in a laptop.

What’s in your purse? Let me know if you make a post about this and I’ll stop by!