Saturday, February 13, 2010

Snow Days

It has been a snowy February in the DC area. We had a storm on Saturday, February 6th that gave us about 24 inches. We had another storm on Tuesday, February 9th that gave us another 11 inches. We were buried all week and almost everything was closed. We were able to make it into work for a few hours before it started snowing on Tuesday, and again on Friday. I did not know cabin fever until I spent almost an entire week in the house!

You would think that I would have seen it as an opportunity to get things done. I cleaned the house a few times, ran on my neighbor's treadmill once, and did an iota of homework. Besides that, it was the laziest week that I have ever had. When the roads were clear and we were allowed to go out into the world, I was still scrambling to get homework done before the due date. The Snow Week also would have been a good time for me to get sick. No, I even put that off until it was good weather.

One day the electricity went out in our neighborhood for twelve hours. It wasn't so bad during the daylight hours. I could still cook on our gas stove. By nightfall it was starting to get cold in the house so we joined our neighbors around a firepit in the Brown's backyard. We had a little wind-up radio set on a classic rock station, and we sat around and talked for hours.

Another day we walked to our favorite Peruvian chicken restaurant for lunch because the roads were too bad to drive. Everyone was walking in the road since the sidewalks were covered with snow and ice. It was a sunny, cold day, and everyone in the neighborhood needed to get out of the house. There were families walking down the middle of the street pulling kids on sleds to the grocery store and walking their dogs in the knee-deep snow.

During the snow days Levi and I played board games together and with our neighbors. We cooked and baked and watched movies and took naps. It was a forced vacation in our house. As happy as I am to be free again, we really had a lot of fun trying to think of things to do.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Always on the Defensive

It's no secret that I tend to get defensive when I am criticized. I don't accept constructive criticism from loved ones very well. I can take it from coworkers and supervisors, only because I will wait until I am at home to get defensive about it.

In my defense (ha ha), after I step back and think about things I am a perfectly pleasant person again. I just need a chance to see the big picture, understand that I am blowing things out of proportion and that criticism does not mean that the criticizer thinks I am always wrong/terrible at my job/ugly/stupid/mean.

I think that, to an extent, this is fairly normal human behavior. Mine just seems to go a little farther because I happen to work with my husband. I love almost every aspect of this arrangement. Seriously, it is fantastic 97% of the time.

The 1% that I do not always love is when I want to leave work and Levi doesn't, or when he wants to leave but I want to finish something, but we have to drive together because we carpool. That is not a big deal and is very rare. Plus he is really accommodating in situations like that. (I am a little more impatient.) Other couples say that they would not be able to spend that much time with each other, but that is not a problem for us.

The 2% that is sometimes an issue is this defensiveness issue. When I complete a project at work and a coworker makes a suggestion, I have no problem taking that suggestion and either implementing it or "taking it into consideration," which means mentally telling them to go to hell and deleting their email.

However, when Levi makes a suggestion about my work I get defensive and want to rip his head off. Let me be perfectly clear that he is a smart man and makes very valid comments and suggestions. This is my own weird personality flaw showing itself to the world. I mean, I don't even understand it myself. What do I want him to do? Only give me praise? If he really thinks that something can be done in a more efficient manner, he should definitely tell me, just like he would tell anyone else in the office.

I know that I can't simply stop being defensive overnight. So the first step of my stop-being-an-idiot process is to keep it under wraps. When Levi says, "that looks great, but you should probably include blah blah blah in paragraph five," I need to keep my lips firmly closed, nod my head, and walk away. I can be defensive in my head for the next two hours if I want to, but he will not know it.

If I can accomplish that for a week or so, my next step will be to verbally acknowledge his suggestion. No agreeing or disagreeing, just repeating it back to him without using a bratty tone. Um... let's see if I can get through step one first.

Check out my Team in Training Fundraising Website!

Like I said in my previous post, I registered for the San Diego 1/2 marathon yesterday through Team in Training. Last night they sent me a link to my fundraising website!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Commitment Officially Made

This morning I faxed in my paperwork to join Team in Training (TNT) for the San Diego Rock 'n Roll 1/2 marathon on June 6th. The kickoff party is this Saturday, so pretty soon I'll have a training team and an honored teammate and a training schedule. I am so excited to really get into this. I am even more excited for it to warm up outside so I can run on something other than a treadmill without wanting to die.

Speaking of running, I hit 5 1/2 miles on Saturday, which is another record for me. I enjoy building up mileage a little each weekend. The 3 mile runs during the week are nice, but I don't walk away feeling like I am Superwoman. Doing better at each distance run, however, definitely gives me that feeling. Let's see how long it takes me to Superwoman it all the way up to 13.

Now that my registration paperwork is turned in, TNT will create a fundraising website for me within the next few days. My fundraising (aka badgering, begging, guilting, etc.) will be starting very soon. I plan to hit up family, friends, Facebook friends, coworkers, my neighbors, people in the neighborhood I grew up in, my mom's coworkers, my friends' parents, and everyone else I can possibly think of. Get ready with your checkbook. :)