Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Last Minute Resolutions

Now that January is almost over, hopefully everyone has their resolutions in order. Thanks to a friendly co-worker who sent this to me in an email- I think these are some great jumping off points for how to always live, but even better to start the year off right by doing them. Try to pick at least 2 from each category and make it a point to do those things all the time. I'd love to make some of them mandatory for my office...but since I can't I'll just share with as many people as possible. I'm bolding the things I need to work on or already somewhat do and italics are my thoughts.

  1. Drink plenty of water I've been trying to do this one all school year actually and it's going pretty good. Rarely does a day go by where I don't drink at least one bottle of water and several glasses with meals
  2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar Doubtful that I'll ever be able to do this one, Lunch and Dinner are usually my best meals
  3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants. I'm trying to do this one this semester- right now I'm in the just adding phase, I'm just adding these types of foods to what I already eat
  4. Live with the 3 E’s – Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy. I think I've always kind of done this one and I try to pay special attention to this when I'm at the office
  5. Make time to pray.
  6. Play more games. I got a Wii :)
  7. Read more books than you did in 2009. I would love to!
  8. Sit in silence for at 10 minutes each day.
  9. Sleep for 7 hours I try to get 8 hours at least 4 nights a week and 6-7 hours the other 3 nights...but usually there's one night that I get like only 5
  10. Take a 10-30 minute walk daily. And while you walk, smile. I'm trying to get Bruce to do this with me too sometimes- I suggested it like two weekends ago and we still haven't gotten to it...maybe this weekend...but I walk at least 30 minutes a day and probably usually more- plus I live on the 3rd floor of my apartment building so I move

  1. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is about. Will try...will try
  2. Don’t have negative thoughts on things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment. I suck at this! I get totally wrapped up in things I can't control so I'm totally gonna try to do this.
  3. Don’t over do it. Keep/Know your limits.
  4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  5. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip. This is one of my actual New Year's resolutions but I specified it to family gossip because my family is horrible about!
  6. Dream more while you are awake.
  7. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need. Enough said.
  8. Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner with His/Her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness. I'm on it.
  9. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don’t hate others. I did realize this last semester and I've been doing much better with this one.
  10. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present. I'm trying!
  11. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  12. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime. I feel really lucky that I have some really great teachers too. I have tons of people trying to help me out with this one.
  13. Smile and laugh more.
  14. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree. Bruce and I take turns winning and losing, but we haven't really had real arguments...
For me the Personality Ones are gonna be the hardest- I'm kinda judge-y, I do get envious and I argue a lot. But I do a lot of the positive stuff too, I just need to balance it out better with more positive happy stuff and a lot less of the judge-y stuff.

  1. Call your family often.
  2. Each day give something good to others.
  3. Forgive everyone for everything. I'm pretty good at this one already.
  4. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
  5. Try to make at least three people smile each day. DONE
  6. What other people think of you is none of your business. Oh-goodness. Yes it is.
  7. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

  1. Do the right thing!
  2. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or loyal.
  3. GOD heals everything.
  4. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  5. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up. This is important because chances are once you do you'll feel better after you're there.
  6. The best is yet to come.
  7. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
  8. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Healthier Me

The way people eat often reflects the type of person they are or are trying to become. I think food can be a spiritual thing for some people but also a healing thing for others. I greatly believe that what you put into your body is reflected in your physical appearance and energy. I'm really working on what I eat. I'm not trying to do anything drastic all at once like I've tried and failed at before, but I'm just trying to change the way I use food. I am definitely a stress eater, an angry eater, an emotional eater, and a social eater. I can eat all the time. If I'm upset the first thing I'll look for is all the chocolate that is hidden around my apartment for those such emergencies. I crave carbs and can stand in my kitchen eating tortillas with butter on them for 1/2 an hour before realizing what I've done.

I started last semester trying to take my lunch to work and try to have balanced meals and snacks. I was able to keep that up for about a month. Then when I started dating Bruce I started cooking a little more often, but also started eating Whataburger close to 3 times a week. When I cook I always try to have a salad and veggies but that is the extent of what was healthy in my meals. As the needle on the scale quickly started racing towards 140 I decided that none of the measures I'd taken to lose weight worked and if they did, they were not working for me. Last summer I tried several crazy diets- the 3 day diet which is basically starving yourself and eating less than 700 calories a day. I made it half a day. Then I was suggested Diet Pills (I should have known better I know). I took 3 or 4 Venom (The name alone should have scared me) a day and while yes I had great energy I also was incredibly dehydrated and had to force myself to eat the little these pills allowed me to keep down. Needless to say these were both horrible ideas.

So this semester I will try again. So I've gone to HEB twice since the new year and each time I've tried to get lots of veggies and healthier food. I hate wheat but I've been eating wheat toast, wheat sandwiches, wheat pasta, wheat cereal and more I'm sure. And I try to have at least one piece of fruit today. I drink low-fat milk and try to drink a ton of water throughout the day. I snack on whole grain wheat thins with a low-fat laughing cow cheese wedge. After only another month of this I haven't noticed that much of a difference. I've lost some weight but the clothes aren't fitting. One thing I have noticed is I'm not craving salty things anymore like chips. And if I eat something really fried it hurts my stomach. Which is sad cause I miss my Egg Rolls from Jack-in-the-Box, but hey I don't need fried food. I'm actually not craving any fast food. Now its only been a few weeks and I'm already really bored with my lunches. I do still allow myself to eat out but I try to only have fast food once a week (usually Sunday's when I take lunch to my mom up at the hospital). When I go out to eat I order something healthier and tend to eat only half of it and save the rest for lunch the next day. This seems to be working cause magically I've lost 8 pounds already.

Now enter the Wii Fit. I have been waiting for my Wii fit for about a year. I've been wanting it and after 3 days with it, I'm loving it. When you first get your Wii it puts you through all these tests to find out you Wii Fit age (it tests balance, coordination and center of gravity- it's cool). Based on the tests I'm about 8 years older than I should be. My BMI is right below the level for being Overweight at 24.4 and my Wii trainer suggests I lose about 16 more pounds to reach an optimal weight. So far I really enjoy the yoga on the wii. It's kinda like having your own yoga instructor- there are all types for more advanced and less. I also enjoy all the step-aerobics type activities too. The Hula Hoop training is fun but right now my personal fave is probably rhythm Kung-Fu. So I'm doing about 30-45 minutes a day on it and we'll see how long that lasts. Again I'm not looking for drastic changes, just a little at a time and just trying to be a little healthier overall.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Please don't call me Pookie

For as long as I can remember my nickname has been T-bird. All my family calls me T-bird and I think once my brother-in-law has but we both agreed it was awkward and he hasn't done it since. When I was a baby, or so I have been told, my paternal grandfather used to call me Smyler cause I was a very happy smile-y baby. Smyler never caught on but I still get T-bird all the time, mostly from my dad (he also class me just Bird sometimes for short).

When I went to High School I wanted to "reinvent" myself so instead of going by Tyler I decided to make the big, bad choice and go with just "Ty". My family made fun of me for months, friends would call and ask for Ty and my parents would jokingly start saying "Oh Ty, you have a phone call" and such. Eventually someone in my Musical Theatre class started calling me My-Ty (Mauy-Thai yah like the drink) and then that caught on with all my close friends. Throughout High School though I stopped introducing myself as Ty and just went back to Tyler, but with most of my friend Ty and My-Ty stuck. By the time I got to college I had completely dropped Ty and most of my college friends just called me Tyler, once I got closer with people though they'd take it upon themselves to nickname me Ty. Today I always get a little giddy or excited when someone calls me Ty cause it reminds me of high school. The secretaries in the office sometime make fun of me and call me Ty-Ty but Ty still makes me feel safe and at home. My brother-in-law and his best friend call me Ty a lot they don't usually call me Tyler, I guess they think Ty is more informal so they chose that. I don't really have a preference I've always really liked my name but Ty will always have a fun, sweet emotional reaction.

I call everyone "hun" or "honey" or "darlin" or "pretty girl" or "sweets". Those are just my general nicknames. I call my sister Hail (not spelled like her name mind you) and I am very possessive about this nickname. You have to earn Haley's nickname to be able to use it and I am totally the judge. I even call guys hun it's just kinda second nature. Every time I accidentally call one of the secretaries hun and then I remember that I probably shouldn't.

Now nicknames with guys are completely different. Not even with guys I'm dating but people like my brother-in-law and guys I've known forever I'm always "sweetie" or "love". If my brother-in-law isn't calling me Ty then it's sweetie. My birth-stepfather always calls me sweetie and one of my best guy friend's from high school calls me love. Strangers, bartenders, waiters all tend to call me sweetie (but that's probably just a female thing that they always do as the go-to nickname).

Boyfriend nicknames are still another issue. Babe. Baby. Love. My love. My darling. Simple straight and to the point. Nothing cutesy about it. I don't like pet names that are too overdone, that aren't just simple and to the point. I can understand sometimes when they're person specific or they hold certain memories, but maybe i've just never been in a relationship where those organically come about...which is actually fine with me.

What I find the most interesting is how few people actually call me Tyler. The students and my coworkers yes call me Tyler, but my friends, family and loved one rarely just say "hey Tyler". I tend to notice when people close to me call me Tyler, because it totally throws me for a loop. I'm like oh-wait that's me. Because I'm just not used to people using my name.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Art in Education

When I was in Elementary School I remember always seeing the ads on TV for “Save the Music”. Musicians and artists would come on TV for PSAs talking about schools cutting music programs due to costs and such. I never really knew what they were talking about because my elementary and middle schools all had very strong music programs that I was very much involved in. When I went to High School it was another story. I went to the North East School of the Arts (NESA) at Robert E. Lee (I also went to ISA but that’s another story). At NESA I was a musical theatre major in a class of 17. From the start of the program we were trained by amazing teachers. Mrs. Bianco, our voice teacher, was an amazing performer and great teacher, she helped all of us find things in our voices that weren’t there before NESA. Ms. Starnes our dance teacher and later Ms. Mabry pushed lots of us to our dancing breaking point leaving all of us sore in places were weren’t being sore in “My body doesn’t bend that Ms. Starnes”. Mr. Connelly our acting teacher put us through the most amazing acting exercises that made us an extremely close knit class. All throughout NESA these 17 classmates were my best friend and all of that is because of Mr. Connelly, he made us best friends, people we relied on and needed to be with. I’ve never experienced anything like it before then or since then. We were able to work on our craft everyday for HOURS and it never felt like work because it was what we all loved and enjoyed. When we did shows, sometimes we were at school from 7 AM till 11 PM. We’d be exhausted but we’d always show up the next day. This of course instilled in us a great work ethic. Musical Theatre was everything but we still had to do well in our academic classes to stay in the program. Musical Theatre was almost like the reward for going to High School. Well as I’m sure some of y’all have heard, yesterday there was an announcement that NESA may be a casualty of the NEISD budget crisis. Dr. Middleton (NEISD Superintendent) is considering either laying off some of the teachers or cutting the entire program. The average High School student costs the district $6,500 a year while a NESA student costs about $8,000. But look what you get out of it. Dr. York notes that 99% of NESA student go to college and last year alone NESA students received over $10 million in college scholarships. NESA students do better academically and on standardized tests too. The idea that NESA may not be around next year is heartbreaking. I know that NESA made up such a huge part of who I am and has influenced and effected my entire life. If it wasn’t for NESA I wouldn’t have learned about ISA (my other magnet school) and I wouldn’t have graduated in the top 5% of my class, allowing me to get amazing scholarships, that allowed me to go to an amazing private university. I owe so much to NESA. I had some amazing life experiences there too. I just am so sad. My little sister Grace is there now and I just can’t imagine making all those students in their first few years of High School go back to their districts and their own high schools. If you want more information or want to join a Facebook group about it please see the following links:


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