Wining Wife®

Because housework goes better with Malbec...

Month: November 2011

Run For Food!

 

So, on Thanksgiving, I participated in the Run For Food fundraiser to help the local shelter – The Jesus Center. It was my second 5K, and overall, I’m pleased with my results. I came in under 40 minutes at 39.11.3. Not bad for someone who was coughing up a lung last week. Here are the statistics from that race:

  • I came in 25th out of 36 people in my age group. The fastest run time was 19.22.6 and the slowest run time was 1.16.17.5. The mean time was 36.31 minutes, the median was 34.12, and there was no mode.
  • My average mileage was 12.61 minutes per mile. I ran the first and third miles in their entirety, though I did walk most of the second mile.
  • Out of all the women who participated, I placed 325th out of 399 runners. The mean time was 33.20, the median was 30:51, and the mode was 26:45.
  • Overall, I placed 664th out of  791 timed racers. The mean overall time was 31.20, the median overall time was 29.04, and the mode was 23.52.

This is pretty good – I’m pleased with the fact that I met my goal of coming in under 4o and running at least one mile without slowing to a walk. I think I did a decent job of pacing myself. My next goal will be to bring my time down to 35 minutes.

 

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Things to be Thankful For

 

Gratitude

Gratitude (Photo credit: elycefeliz)

 

Theme Song: “The Middle” Jimmy Eat World

 

Projects of the Day: Articles, articles, and more articles followed by a fundraiser

 

I originally was going to do this post as something around Thanksgiving, but you know how things go…you get busy and those plans go by the wayside. It’s kind of funny, because the way things go sometimes, you wind up realizing that you should really count those things you’re thankful for. Having gratitude is not an easy endeavor, by any means. It requires that you’re able to see things as being able to be another way.

 

I have had quite a crazy 18 months. Very few things have gone through as planned, and my life at the end of 2011 is nothing like what I’d thought my life at the beginning of 2010 would look like. If you go back further, I would have had no clue, back when I left grad school in 2008 that I would wind up where I am now. I’m actually really thankful for that. I’ve always been a planner. If you’d asked me in 2007 what my life plan looked like, it would have been something like this (taken from a journal entry):

 

3 Most Pressing goals:

 

Get a Ph.D.

 

Turn out a decent, good kid

 

Get a good, tenure-track job

 

I’d wanted, 5 years from when I wrote that entry to have finished my Ph.D. (I was well on my way to doing so), have a tenure-track job in philosophy lined up, published a book and journal articles, and be well on my way to “happily ever after” in every sense of the phrase.

 

That didn’t happen. It turns out that leaving my Ph.D. program was on the horizon a little less than a year after I’d written out my goals. I left for a multitude of reasons, the most pressing at the time being emotional pressure from back home combined with a strong desire NOT to accrue debt greater than many homes in the city I was attending grad school in cost.

 

So I set out home, with a new five-year plan. I’d get a good job, working for a good company – maybe even teaching at the junior college level, even though the prospect of adjuncting was scary.

 

That didn’t happen. I sent out my resume to over 200 prospective employers over a two month period. You know how many interviews I got? Zilch. Not a single one. The most common response when I followed up with employers? “You’re overqualified.”

 

So, I had to adjust yet again. I decided if I couldn’t find a job, what I had to do was make my own job. What sort of niche could I fill? What kind of skills did I possess? In college and grad school, my friends always wanted my feedback on their papers. Even papers I wrote that didn’t quite make the arguments I wanted, received compliments on my writing style. Ever since I was a kid, I had been writing – so, that’s what I decided to do. Armed with a copy of Bob Bly’s Secrets of a Freelance Writer and enormous amounts of dedication, motivation, and resolve to make it work, I started my business. Within a couple weeks, I had my first clients.

 

Since then, my business has grown.  I didn’t publish a philosophy book, yet, but I did publish a book. I’ve written and published more than 1,000 articles – mostly on business management, finance, and technology. My son has aged and is coming into his own. I’ve moved around a bit. I became a runner. I became a better friend.  I found love in a close friend. For all this, I’m thankful, and while none of it was planned, it’s all certainly good stuff. While it’s great to have a game plan, it’s also important to be sure that you are open to what life might throw in your way!

 

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On Learning to Scale Back

 

Relax

Relax (Photo credit: Orethorn)

 

Historically, I’ve been a busy woman. As an undergraduate, I would work 40 hours a week at one job, 20 at a second job, and take 20 units each semester. That’s 80 hours right there. Couple that with the fact that I’m a single mom, was very active in my honors society, and still managed to somehow have a social life, and you’ll quickly see how it was that I thought four hours of sleep was equal to a good night’s sleep.

 

In graduate school, I was quick to take up committee work, volunteer work, and even work as a research assistant to earn extra money while serving as a teaching assistant. I submitted to professional conferences, readied my work for publication, and spent a lot of time with my kid and with friends.

 

Once I left graduate school, I started my own business. In the past year, I became extremely involved in volunteer work and my community on top of running my own business and homeschooling my son. Recently, my son became involved in the theater community, I started up a new business with two friends (while still running my own business), and a close friendship developed into a relationship. I had to take a moment and assess what my priorities were all of a sudden, because too often, I found I was running on empty.

 

It’s so not easy to scale back. It’s not easy to say “no” to another committee, to step back from a volunteer project, or to scale back on activities like choir – but it’s necessary. In order to live a balanced life, we all have to step back sometimes and re-evaluate where we’re going in life, how we’re getting there, and whether that’s the best route.  So for now, while I’m running two businesses, I’ve had to scale back on the volunteer work and really choose the cause I felt was most important. Part of the key to being happy and to long-term success is learning the art of  saying “no.”

 

(And while I’m on it, I’m still training for running 5Ks – I just signed up for the Run For Food race on Thanksgiving morning that helps a local homeless shelter).

 

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