New Year: 2015 Look Back

For a while now, I’ve been doing a version of Chris Gullibeau’s Annual Review. And I really like doing this because it makes me appreciate everything I’ve gone through in the past 365 days. I highly encourage everyone to take some time to do it. It boils down to: what went well, what went poorly and what do you want to accomplish next year? I keep a pretty detailed version that covers everything personally and professionally, but here’s a little bit of it:

2015 Summary
Not as good as 2014, but a good year generally. Felt like there were several hurdles this year—not accepted into pre-med post-bacc programs, not accepted into meditation retreat, not accepted to volunteer at hospital, some minor health issues, etc. But to feel like it was a good year generally when faced with all those hurdles that is actually pretty incredible for me. I am more resilient than I realize.

2015 Highlights
• Cancun with DK, B, and DB
• Shadowing Dr. D
• Changed my legal name!
• Spring dating with J
• May visit to Greenpoint/NYC for GCEF meeting
• Time with M (her in Ithaca, me in NYC, phone calls, check-ins)
• Baltimore visit to see J in July
• Weekly tennis (with L, C, H)
• Months 1 and 2 of marathon training
• FaceTime calls with the kiddos
• NYC Marathon! 04:32:49
• Time with B — in Cancun, Boston, Ithaca
• Great time with M around New Years Eve
• Ended the year at 630 miles of run/biking/walking
• Ended the year at 115 volunteer hours (83 at HospiCare!)
• Ended the year at 36 books!

Goals for 2016
• PR in a run race (any distance)
• More cycling
• Do really well in school and enjoy it: remember, I am choosing this.
• Do one more thing to help my med school application (research/shadowing/volunteering)
• Be more social
• Get a tattoo

Theme for 2016: Self-Advocacy. Be my own champion.

New Year: 2015 Look Back

Personality // What Do You Spend Your Money On?

Recently on Quora, someone asked “What is the most effective way to see a person’s true personality?”

And someone responded:

The most effective ways to see a person’s true personality is in 2 ways:

1. observe them in times of adversity (or high stress)

2. watch what they spend their money on.

And I thought that was a pretty good strategy–not perfect, but a good place to start. As far as recalling my reactions to times of stress, well that’s a post in and of itself, really you can say this whole blog is dedicated to that!

I did opt to look at my finances to see where I had spent my money this past year (at least my credit card interactions from Feb – Nov.)

Health & Fitness (32%). Chiropractor, psychiatry, race fees. Plus general check-ups, etc. I feel OK with this given that my goal for this year was to take care of myself—mind, body and soul.

Food & Dining (13%). Mostly groceries. Then restaurants and bars. Practical.

Travel (11%). Mostly trips to NYC to see friends, or otherwise work- or health-related.

What does this say about my personality? I think it’s fair to sum up that I live a healthy, simple lifestyle. No real extravagances.

Of course, what doesn’t it say? Certainly, how a person spends their time should also be a large consideration when defining their personality. I have more time than money to give at the moment. So far this year, I’ve given over 100 hours of volunteer time! I’ve never thought about the cumulative total of hours before, so I’m feeling pretty awesome about that. Definitely a good reflection/assessment of who I am right now and what my priorities are.

Personality // What Do You Spend Your Money On?

Feeling Sad

I feel sad right now. More sad than I get lately. Meaning, I can’t really get devastatingly sad anymore. The medicine stops the hurricane, so to speak. But I’m sad now, and am tempted to sit on my bed, hug my knees and let that hurricane arrive. I’ve done it so many times before–and old habits are hard to break, even with medication.

What caused it? Pining away for a guy who’s not interested in me. Big surprise there, right? She remarks sarcastically.

But that’s just the trigger. What’s really eating away at me?

  • I feel like I’m existing, not living.
  • I feel like I’m not good enough–never have been, never will be.
  • I feel like I live in a world where I constantly have to defend my way of thinking.
  • I feel directionless.
  • And I feel like I’m the only one.

And yes, I feel like no one will ever love me. But I have been loved, and isn’t that good enough, can’t that console me in my present long enough to last me into the future where anything else possible?

I recognize that I’m just feeling a lot of negative things right now. And that I have the capability to feel positive things–I have to at least attempt to. And that right now is constantly changing. It’s hard for me to believe, but I can beat back a hurricane.

Feeling Sad

Feminine Life Force

From Women Who run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, page 309:

The Hindus say that without Shakti, the personified feminine life force, Shiva, who encompasses the ability to act, becomes a corpse. She is the life energy that animates the male principle, and the male principle in turn animates action in the world.

I’ve always had a mind/body disconnect. I think and imagine but have extreme difficulty acting–there’s no lack of wanting to act–just a deficit in making my body perform so to speak.

It seems obvious that I’m out of balance. Recent blood work shows my hormones are one-sided, a lot of testosterone, less estrogen. But most interestingly is that my androstenedione hormone was off the charts. My understanding is that androstenedione is basically a stepping stone in the creation of testosterone/estrogen. For whatever reason, it’s as though there’s a dam in my system and my androstenedione isn’t flowing to become what it’s meant to become–whatever that may be.

I think I there’s a block on my feminine energy. I googled how to improve my feminine energy, my female life force, and I got a lot of results regarding attracting male attention. Not exactly what I meant. I found some better results when I searched how to improve yin energy. Here are some tips/thoughts that do make sense to me:

  • Move – movement of any kind will typically always increase feminine energy. Dance freely without being conscious of who is watching you, make it seductive.. feminine energy gets activated by movement. (Source)
  • Eat the right foods – drink spearmint tea instead of your regular tea. Spearmint is known to control and lower testosterone levels. A Turkish study showed that PCOS women who drank 2 cups of spearmint tea every day for a month showed a significant reduction in the level of excess androgen. (Source)
  • Rest up: You may not feel “allowed” to rest but be aware that the more you wear yourself out the less productive you will be. An exhausted body or mind cannot render good results either at home or at work. (Source)
  • Self-love: Pointing out at least one thing in the mirror that you actually like about yourself, and that you’re excited to see. (Source)
Feminine Life Force