Saturday, January 28, 2006

One Year Later

So, things have been changing for me. My job is much busier (as was predicted, although with the timing of the holidays, much later than I'd been promised - er, warned.) I'm successfully sticking to my gym commitment of at least 4 visits a week. I'm taking another online writing course, so when I do have free time, I always have homework - reading and offering comments on another writer's work, or reading the weekly lecture and assigned short story in order to join the online discussion, etc. And some good TV is back! So instead of two hours of my personal "Must See TV" a week, I have four. (Yes, this season sucks. But it gives me time for all the other stuff. Or to get caught up on the DVDs I've bought.)

So far I've lost 18 pounds, after 8 weeks of exercising more and eating less. That's just over 2 pounds a week, which is pretty slow and steady. The goal, of course, is to develop better habits which will become my lifestyle, not to do anything radical for six months, look great, and retreat back to my old routine. I'm fitting into clothes I had in the back of my closet, and some of my current clothes (like the four pairs of dressy pants I rotate throughout the cold winter months) are really loose. I feel really good about it, but I have more to go.

The online course is somewhat of a disappointment. The class is far less interactive than last time; the instructor posed a question on the message board last week designed to spark a discussion, and about half the class popped in, posted a response, and disappeared. There were no postings all weekend, and I commented on that on Sunday night, expressing my disappointment, and a few more people jumped in on Monday. Monday night we had our first scheduled class chat, and there were two of us. Out of 16. This week, the lecture and reading assignment are duplicates from the last course I took - my understanding was that different instructors did their own thing. (I've emailed him, and am waiting to hear if this is how the whole curriculum will go - I think it's too late to get a refund, though.) This is my week to get feedback on a short story, and so far it's been pretty good: some decent suggestions for improvement, but also some good kudos. (Of course only 3 have commented so far, but they have 4 more days.)

That's better than my live writing group - they discussed another story of mine this week, and every one hated it. I've never had such a blatant and consistent reaction. It wasn't the writing, which everyone said was good, but what I chose to happen to my character. I'd given them the first half of the story in various forms twice, but the revelation is in the last part, so I think they felt manipulated or cheated or something. I took it in good spirit, I think, but I'm pretty sure that story will just go into the filing cabinet, rather than try to find another angle. I have many more in my head.

And, I'm sleeping badly again. Falling asleep insanely early (9:30), waking up at 2 or 2:30 or 4 and not being able to fall back asleep again. It makes for long, tiring days. I thought exercise was supposed to help your sleep, but I guess not.

Thursday was the one year anniversary of spraining my ankle. I went to the gym before work, just as I had done that morning, and walked along the same route to the subway that took me to my Brooklyn office last year. I always think of it when I get to the corner where it happened, and this time, realizing the date, stepped defiantly off the curb and stood there for a minute, marking the occasion.

So much changed that week - while I was out the first few days, the head of our company "retired" suddenly and was replaced by a corporate favorite. Over the weekend, my boss had a major family emergency that kept her out of work for 6 weeks and led her to put up no fight when the new regime decided to replace her. The new regime, the new manager, the constant change, all drove me to find another job, and now, here I am.

Happier? Definitely.


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