Thoughts on finality.

It’s true: when you’re young everything feels like the end of the world. Nothing rings truer than on vacation. This year’s trip to Cape May may be the first vacation I’ve ever taken where I don’t feel sad upon leaving. I know this isn’t the final say in all future vacations, and I know this won’t be the last time I go to the beach, so I can honestly say I don’t feel upset leaving.

I had a blast, but I think everything has more of a feeling of finality when you have less experience to back it up. Finishing high school, each individual year of college, and even the first few semesters of graduate school (at my school, there were graduates every semester, including the summer) were very sentimental for me. Finishing graduate school and the first year in my big girl SLP shoes? Not as much.

I did feel a pang of completion, but it wasn’t such like in years past. I guess it’s kind of like this:

1995, when you finish kindergarten, you have no idea.

2004, when you finish eighth grade, you still are just nervous to be the bottom of the totem pole next year, and don’t truly realize you’re over halfway there.

2008, when you get that high school diploma, life is starting for you. For about 10% of those people walking across that stage, this will be the last time you see them. You’ll hear their names again when their untimely deaths are announced.

2012, when you graduate college, you’ll only know about 10% of the names called. It won’t be as tearful as the high school graduation, because you’ll assume you’ll see your close friends again. Also, you’re going to graduate school in another three months, so you’re not even finished.

2013 (December), you finish graduate school. You’re done with the comps. You passed. You busted your tailbone day and night, barely slept, and lived off of espresso. You don’t even attend your graduation. You only want to get the eff out.

2014, you have completed 4 months of your Clinical Fellowship year. The past year, you’ve finished your last graduate school class, completed your crazy on-campus practicums while working a full-time 40 hour Graduate Assistantship, completed externships while working two jobs/studying for your comprehensive exam/applying for every job imaginable/prepping to move cross-country, and then got a job and moved cross-country and were officially a temporarily licensed SLP.

 

I used to get postpartum-vacation-depression, but after all that 2014 has already brought, I needed a getaway. But “parting is such sweet sorrow”? Not quite. I am ready to get back to the busy life. Hashtag can’t stop won’t stop. 😉

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My thoughts on the auto train

Have you ever thought, “man the commute from Jacksonville, FL to Pittsburgh, PA is just too darn long for a single driver”! No? Maybe that’s because unlike me, you don’t live in Jacksonville! 😉 I have been wanting to escape the Florida heat for some time now (read: since May), but didn’t want to make the hike drive. 14 hours in the car alone? No, thank you!

Some genius I know (I apologize if you’re the one, but I simply can’t remember who) suggested I travel via the auto train. Yes, that’s a thing!

Basically, I drove 2 hours south to Orlando through the hurricane rains, and waited in line for about 2 hours, then waited in the train station for about another hour and a half all so I could sit on a train for 18 hours with my car. (No, I was not sitting IN my car for those 18 hours…) It’s a pretty sweet deal if you have to trek between DC and Orlando, though! The train was a pretty nice set-up, with ample leg room and reclining seats. Hoo-ah! Sounds like I’m a seasoned traveler, right? Ha.

The auto train serves dinner and a continental breakfast, which undoubtedly busted the whole/natural foods approach I’ve been eating as of late, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers. The only real struggle was sleeping, but not for the reasons you’d think. Things I’d do differently next time:

1. Bring a neck pillow & blanket.

2. Bring a change of shoes (not flats).

3. Be prepared to jolt awake at any subtle stopping of the train. Nice to know my vestibular system is 100% functional, though. Helloooo, 1:30am.

Oh, and all the free coffee you can dream of!!! Luckily, this gal was seated right next to the lounge car where the machine was. Pretty sure I had 6 cups over those 18 hours? And only 1 decaf. 😉

 

All in all, it’s worth the money. Getting off the train to a carful of luggage and driving right off the lot? So worth it when you’re an impatient traveler such as myself. And the views? Gorgeous. ❤

10 Reasons Why I Like the Enumerated List

1. Lists are finite. They make me feel that by reading each singular tip, I can somehow improve myself in X number of steps.

2. Lists can be brief (3 slimming secrets to that beach bod!) and lists can be lengthy (1,000 books you should read before you die).

3. Lists are [usually] short. ((See #2)) That being said, the lists of the blogosphere these days are relatively readable in under-5 minutes. So, I like them.

4. Lists make me feel like I have a quick-fix to solve whatever “problem” is stated in the enumerated title of aforementioned blog post.

5. Lists make me feel like I’m learning X number of facts that will somehow affect me and my daily living. (i.e. 10 Movie Stars Who Regret Their Iconic Roles of which I read earlier this eve. Because how could I go on living if I didn’t know this?)

6. Lists are exactly what I generate on a daily basis, being Type A, and all. I won’t bore you by posting tomorrow’s lengthy addition.

7. Lists can be taken with a grain of salt. I don’t like #8? No worries, there are 24 other reasons why I’m supposed to be selfishly living out my 20’s right here.

8. Lists give me a sense of fulfillment when completed and carefully crossed out line by line.

9. Lists bridge the gap between simplicity and my obsessive need for organization of every piece of information in my life. Short, yet meticulously crafted.

10. Lists end. They aren’t some on-going journey that is life. They are done, and when you’ve completed them, you should feel accomplished and whole, right? News flash: life is ongoing until you bite it.

 

So, my compulsively organized list-loving self is going to keep loving and generating lists until death do us part. Granted, my daily to-do’s aren’t numbered. 😉

au naturale

If you “follow” me on any of my 1,000,000,000 social media platforms, you know I’ve been trying to transition into a simpler, less cluttered, healthier lifestyle.

First, I joined Tone It Up. Best decision ever. I love Karena & Katrina and the community of strong, supportive motivated females they helped unite. The subscription comes with hundreds of recipes, fitness tips, lifestyle tips, and a lifetime of future updates/recipes. These awesome ladies post a weekly fitness schedule, too. If you’re just starting, I highly recommend trying out the weekly routines first. And feel free to ask me any questions!

I’ve also made it a point to be more natural in my cleaning, hygiene, and bug extermination 😉 I learned the old diluted vinegar and water concoction years ago from my mama dearest, but when I moved out of the house, I didn’t realize the sheer financial ease of using vinegar! I also use baking soda for scrubbing tougher messes, and mix about a teaspoon of BS with vinegar and the effervescence does the trick for me! I’ve heard also with the cleaner, if you can’t stand the smell, using essential oils is helpful. I’ve never personally done it, because I’m used to the acrid scent of clean from vinegar.

Let’s do a cost analysis, based on what is easiest to search online. I chose Walmart.com.

White vinegar, 64oz…………………………………………………………………$1.82

I use a 1:1 mixture when cleaning, so 128oz of cleaner for me…….………..………$1.82

Formula 409 All Purpose Cleaner Spray Bottle, Lemon, 32oz…….…………$2.89

Ah, look, there. We’ve already gone up a dollar, for half of the amount of product. But wait, I double my solution! Let’s see, here:

4 bottles of 409=128oz……………………………………………………………..$11.56

If you don’t agree with me, I can’t help your shrinking wallet 😉

Oh, and then apple cider vinegar!!! I use this stuff for a morning energy boost (one of the TIU recipes has you mix some natural juice with a few other ingredients and ACV. Tastes nasty, but I’ve noticed an improvement in my skin and energy levels.)

I also use the potent stuff as a skin toner! 1 part ACV with 3 parts distilled water, and it stinks, but it’s effective. I like to do it either first thing after working out to get rid of the dirt stuck to my sweat (sexy!) or right before I go to bed at night. Can’t stand the smell? Try adding some essential oils! I hear lavender is excellent to add for its skin-beneficial calming qualities.