Rachel Discovers Happiness

my life and road to happiness

Archive for the tag “healthy”

Happiness Project: Status Update: January

Wow, I have been epically failing on my schedule to post on at least one of my blogs every day. So, that means that I haven’t been doing well on at least one of my resolutions.

It doesn’t get better from there.

In January I was supposed to focus on my finances – making sure I didn’t spend frivolously, save money, etc. Welp, that didn’t quite happen.

Sorry Mr. Hamilton (image via: DreamsTime.com)

I did manage to save some money, but not as much as I’d hoped. Since I am entering into the work-world, I have had to drastically improve my business-professional clothing collection. It doesn’t help that I loooooove business-professional clothing and that every time I see a cute blazer, pencil skirt or pair of heels my wallet just jumps out of my purse, my credit card swipes itself on the little machine, and I can’t control my hand as it picks up the pen to sign my name on the receipt. It is completely out of my control!

Okay, so I might have a problem. But at least it’s a fun one!

In any case, as you can probably tell, January did not go the way it was supposed to.

That doesn’t mean, however, that I haven’t done well on some of my other goals. If you are a regular reader of my blog (as you should be, hehe) you know that I have taken a picture every single day of January and plan to continue that for the rest of the year. (You should value my dedication to this. It is an even bigger commitment than it would have been last year. Not only do you get to see 365 photos as you would any other year, you actually get 366 photos because it’s a leap year. Lucky you!)

Other things that I have succeeded in are as follows:

  • Eating healthier and spending less money at restaurants than I did before – this is made easier by living at home with my parents who do most to all of my grocery shopping, cooking, paying when we are out, etc.
  • Applying for a job/internship and setting up informational interviews with people who are in positions that I would like to be in some day
  • Spending more time with my parents and attempting to talk to my sisters as often as possible (I could probably do better on the sisters part)
  • Focusing on my friendships with my girl friends rather than getting wrapped up in boy drama (the year started out a little bit rocky, some minor frustrations, but that’s about it thus far)
  • Apartment searching
  • Not biting my nails – I am doing soooooo well on this. It has been something that I have had a problem with for my entire life – you wouldn’t have wanted to see how short my nails were. It was one of my nervous habits, and since I get stressed/anxious really easily, I was always biting my nails. It wasn’t just biting either, I would pick at them as well. Not a good habit. I have not bitten my nails in so long, I keep them painted, I have nail growth stuff, etc.
  • I have started taking vitamins on a regular basis (a multi-vitamin, biotin – for nails and hair, vitamin D and calcium)
  • I have put together a schedule for myself which has helped me manage stress, anxiety, and worry

Even though I haven’t made as much progress as I would have liked thus far, I am really looking forward to the rest of 2012. Normally I start a new year with low expectations – it is just part of my nature. In my attempt to be more optimistic and think more positively, I came into 2012 forcing myself to believe that this year would be better than the rest. So far, I’ve been right. Although it is difficult to change who I am and how I feel about certain things, I am trying my hardest and I think I will be a better person for it.

How ’bout you? What progress have you made with your resolutions and goals? Has your 2012 started out well? What are you looking to improve on this year?

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An Apology to Leftovers

Dear Leftovers,

I am so sorry that I complained about you in the years past. I’m sorry that every time I asked my mom what we were having for dinner and she said “leftovers” I argued and said I wanted her to make something else – pasta, chicken, soup – anything that I hadn’t been served within the last 72 hours. I was young and naive and didn’t fully comprehend the amazingness that is you.

You see, back then I didn’t prepare my own food. My parents made my lunches and dinner for me. They were delicious, but because I was such a brat, I became demanding about the delicious food they prepared for me.

It wasn’t until I left for college that I really began to grasp how exhausting it is to prepare a new meal every night. Not only do you work/go to class all day, but then you also have to go home and cook dinner every single night? Did I mention the dishes that then had to be done after all the preparation and eating?! No thank you. Not gonna happen. On the bright side, when you are only cooking for one or two (such as myself and a roommate), it was almost impossible to make the exact right amount… that meant there was, heaven forbid, leftovers.

That is when my life changed.

My fridge - look at all those leftovers! (taken January 19, 2012)

I began to appreciate the leftover pizza that was in the fridge for two days. The Americanized Chinese food* in its white little boxes. The chicken bits that Christine and I like to call “nibs.” And the spaghetti, oh the spaghetti! So delicious. And the best part? That none of those things have to be heated up in order to be delicious the next day! (Of course you could heat them in the microwave if you wanted to, but it wasn’t a necessary step.)

By senior year of college – after only having cooked for myself for three years – I was done making a new dish every night. No more coming home exhausted and then slaving over a hot stove! No more trying to figure out whether or not I have the right ingredients for a specific recipe! No more cooking, eating, and then cleaning everything! I was done!

It was liberating.

Christine and I started making entire boxes of spaghetti for the two of us – that would last us for three days (lunch and dinner) before we finally ran out. We started grabbing sandwiches from our favorite deli just so we would have leftovers, eating half of them at lunch and then saving the rest for dinner. When I graduated from college and had my entire family over for dinner after the ceremony we had a ridiculous amount of Mexican food that was leftover. It wasn’t a problem though. That food sustained us and we loved it.

Oh, and the monetary impact that eating leftovers has had on my life! Instead of leaving the leftover pasta on my plate at the restaurant, I take it home with me. Mashed potatoes and broccoli that I didn’t eat? Pack it up! It’s like getting two meals for the price of one. What a concept!

As I sit here and eat my reheated shrimp fried rice, chicken chow fun, and General Tso’s chicken, I can’t help but think back on the darker times in my life. The times when I refused to eat the leftover pasta. Wouldn’t touch the takeout box sitting in the fridge the next morning. Those were sad, sad times.

So you see leftovers, people can change. I have changed.

I thank you for sustaining me throughout my four years of college and now, as I enter the “real world” and start my career, I will depend on you often after a long day at work. My co-workers might hate me for having my Tupperware in the communal fridge for a few days, but I won’t care! I won’t care because I will have my leftovers and they will save me time and money.

So thank you. I honestly don’t know what I would do without you. You are a wonderful part of my life and I’m sorry it took me so many years to realize it.

Sincerely,

Rachel

*I’ve been to China and real Chinese food is very different than what we call Chinese food.

Now that I’m starting…

I just finished The Happiness Project (literally 2 minutes ago) and am so excited to get started on my own project. I still have a lot of research to do about how I want to set mine up, what my resolutions are going to be, and much more. I need to decide if I’m going to do a major resolution a month, or if I am going to try to improve things at a steady pace throughout the year.

No matter which path I choose, I have a few things that can’t wait for upcoming months. Those things include:

  • Continue to refrain from biting my nails (I’m doing so well right now and I’m very proud of myself)
  • Eat healthier
  • Exercise on a regular basis
  • Take one photo a day (so far so good)
  • Start year 1 in the Q & A a day: 5 Year Journal I got as Christmas presents for myself and my three sisters

Even if I don’t do a resolution a month, I still want to start focusing on my finances more. That is where I am starting this year. I think it makes a lot of sense to start taking better control of my finances starting in January, but then again, I can rationalize starting any of the resolutions I have floating around y head in January.

Just to clarify – this blog is not just a “Happiness Project Blog.” It is not just focused on my path to happiness, but it will definitely include many posts about that journey. In addition, it will include my thoughts on life, different experiences I have, etc. One thing that I am going to try my very best to do, however, is not complain in this blog. I want to keep it upbeat and positive, thus fulfilling one of my resolutions to be more optimistic about the things in my life.

Sorry this post was kind of lame, I have so many thoughts running through my head about what to write about. I wish I had a filing/organizational system up there to help me rearrange and remember my thoughts. I can’t type fast enough to write down everything I think is important to say, but I will do my best.

On that note, how was your New Year’s? What are your resolutions/goals for 2012? How will you be accomplishing them?

Happy New Year!

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