Thursday, March 31, 2011

Quality Time

Nick, Erin, & Me
The one thing that my last days has been all about is quality time. Quality time with my family and friends, be it via phone, skype, or in person. I know I have not had a lot of free time, but I am thankful for the time I have gotten to get away from the stress of my trip and just enjoy life and the people around me.
Stones & Water (Bradenton Beach)
I got to spend some time with my best friends Nick and Kristen. We all went to High School together. It was very nice to be able to get together and catch up with them. They both look fantastic and seem to be doing beautifully with their lives.  Nick has a new girlfriend. She is a real doll. I went out for St. Patty's day with them in Bradenton. It was a really nice time. We went to their downtown area and they had the main street blocked off and it was like a huge block party! Totally awesome, without being overly crazy. The next day Nick and I spent driving around and wandering the beaches together.  I have not done that since High School. I forgot how peaceful the beach was. I absolutely love the water. There is something about it that just have a calming effect over me.
Bradenton Beach
Mom and Me on the Boat
My Gorgeous Mother
I especially have enjoyed the time I have gotten to spend with my mother. I am going to miss her so much. Its funny, I thought with me living in Tennessee for so long, and her back in Florida, I was Miss Independent. This past month I have gotten to remember how nice it is to have her in my life all of the time. To have her hug me when I am feeling really down, or even just to annoy her until she lets out a load screech while she yells at me. haha.  Mom and I got to take a couple of weekend trips together. We went to orlando one Saturday for a Mother Daughter shopping trip. It was a nice time and we literally shopped until we dropped. We were absolutely sore and exhausted by the time we got home. Who would have thought that shopping could take that much out of you.  We were also able to go out of town for a whole weekend and spend time with our friend Maryanne.  Maryanne is Nick's mom. She is my second mother. I love her to death. Both she and my mother used to be friends and work together. So it was very nice for all of us to get together again. It has been a very long time. Maryanne and her husband Steve (Scuba Nick and I used to call him!!) took us out for an afternoon on the boat. It was gorgeous. It was so wonderful to see how much my mom really enjoyed her. She has a glow and a smile I have not seen in her in a long time.  We also went to this Gelato shop. It was HEAVEN! My goodness... I swear I have never tasted anything so sinfully wonderful in my life. If I had more time I would totally go back.
Meme & Grandpa infront of Dali Museum
Inside the Dali Museum
My grandparents also took me out. We went into St. Pete Florida so I could see the new Dali museum. It was awesome inside and out. I was really bummed because we were not allowed to take any pictures  inside of the galleries, but it was still a good visit. I loved it. Dali was a crazy man, but there are so many different elements to him paintings. I love that you can look at his paintings 1000 times and still discover something you didn't notice before. It was amazing.

I couldn't have asked for better quality time with the people I love.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Stressed to the Max...

So I have been completely stressed out over everything happening right now. I really thought that by coming home to spend time with my family I would be relaxed and collected.  That is so not the case. I am stressing out over my lack of studying thus far. I really need to get the Indonesian Language under way. So far all I can say is  Selamat Datang (Welcome) Selamat Malam (Good Night) and a few other things.  That is not enough to even attempt at survival in Indonesia. I really have to get moving.

I have to get clothes too for my trip. I have no slacks or button down shirts... having worked in a nonconventional setting for so long has left me with no business casual clothing. So I will need to get that taken care of. Shopping in general just stresses me out.  I also need shoes. I can't wear flip flops to work. lol. So I will remedy that. I am hoping that I will get all of that taken care of next week.

I really just need to learn how to relax and go with the flow of things!
Vibram Five Fingers Bikilas

This weekend my mother and I are going to get a pedicure and get me the pair of Vibram Five Fingers that I have been wanting.  Unfortunately those have been another point of stress since I have gotten home. I wanted a pair really bad. I have heard nothing but good things about them and what wearing them can do for your overall posture, lower back pains, and knee pains. I figured it was worth a go.  My family apparently is not as open to the idea of my having "weird looking" feet.  I keep hearing comments like "yuck" and "eeewww".  But as I have pointed out to them.... those are not valid reasons for me not to get them.  I told them if they can show me any evidence that these shoes would not be good for everything I want them for then I would reconsider getting them.  No one has yet to find a negative side effect of wearing these shoes... besides the fact that they are "ugly" by their standards. I know they are strange looking but I am really looking forward to giving them a shot and seeing for myself how they work out. I have friends and family who own them and say that I wont regret it. There is a website that has stories and reviews on the different styles of Five Fingers. I have done a lot of research on barefoot running and trekking and have found it very helpful. If you are curious at all I suggest checking it out. What can it hurt?

So I think that as with any major decision or change that someone makes, there is always the lingering question, "Am I making the right decision?" or something along those lines.  I have been feeling this way and worrying myself to sickness about what people are going to think about my joining the peace corps and leaving my family for 27 months.  I am worried about leaving my mother giving her fight with cancer. I am worried about not seeing my sister and nieces for so long.  I talked to my mother about my fears and she honestly gave me some of the best words of encouragement I have ever gotten. She told me that life doesn't stop. It wont stop for her illness and it wont stop because I am afraid to move on. I have been stagnant ever since I graduated and have not found any direction. She says that she feels like I have chosen the right direction for me. My family will be here when I get back and no matter what they all support me in my decision and are proud of me for having the courage to do this.  So needless to say, I cried and hugged my mom. I am so excited to go! I really wouldn't want to refuse my assignment, but I would for my mother if she needed me.  She told me to stay motivated to go where I felt I needed to go.  So In light of my mother and my sister's awesome Pintrest motivational board, I have grabbed my favorite motivational posters.... To remind me to keep my eye on the ball when times get tough.