Strong candidate for the most over-used word in Blogworld, if you ask me.
It gets tossed around so much that its meaning has been diluted. I tend to avoid it unless I am being snarky. (Like….well, here.)
But sometimes, it’s the only term that genuinely applies. Like when you come across someone who consistently does something ten times better than anyone you’ve ever met, and who shares it in a helpful, encouraging and totally non-boasty way.
When I found Sarah’s blog a few months ago, I was initially a bit tongue-tied about how to describe her gorgeous to-do lists, her pretty paper planners, her unreal ability to multitask and prioritize and get more done in a single day than I do in a month.
As I continued to get to know her (online, and also in person, as she’s down the road in Durham!) I eventually conceded and attributed that maligned I-word. Inspirational.
But I meant in the most literal – and therefore most meaningful – way. Here is someone who is really good at something and I can learn from her. She is a doctor and has a massive amount of information and action to synthesize in to a daily plan. She rocks it. Meanwhile, me? I am a somewhat lazy freelancer and halfhearted job-seeker who could really be doing so much more with my life if I put a shred of effort in to actually organizing my time.
So I watched. And attempted to learn. And then I bought a planner.
(A beautiful $28 planner with luscious thick paper and a pretty textured teal cover. Because, as with any new activity, overspending on equipment = motivation! Right?)
I’ve tried things like Google Calendar and Outlook in the past – they’ve never really worked for me. I think I need the tactile sensation of writing something down and then crossing it off when it’s completed. And Sarah’s blog has reinforced the appeal of this idea.
As a pretty laid-back person who tends to fly by the seat of her (wrinkled and cat-hair-covered yoga) pants, committing to this level of scheduling is a pretty big deal for me. Over the last year, as I’ve been working odd jobs and attempting to make it outside the corporate world, of course I’ve become accustomed to writing lists and notes for myself. But to have it all in one place – and have a single place to sketch out each day’s framework – is definitely new to me.
I’ll let ya know how it works out!
Until then, I’ll be – let me consult my schedule – oh yes, 10 PM is wine and blogging time. With a side of Twitter and a heaping dose of Unproductive Facebook Stalking.
Check that one off the list!
Today’s EAT: This muffin pan in my drawer. I have owned it for almost four years and I think I’ve made cupcakes…twice? And muffins…never?
However, I’m always recruiting it as a vessel for strange savory concoctions that turn out to be pretty consistently delicious.
Tonight, I was working with a small hunk of leftover steak the the hubs brought back for me in a doggy bag from a Fancy Business Dinner.
Add: a quarter of an onion (sliced and caramelized), an egg (beaten with a bit of milk) and a handful of grated Manchego cheese (that needed to be used up anyway). I just sliced the steak in to thin, bite-sized strips and then divided the steak and onion pieces between two muffin-pan cups. Poured the egg over, topped with cheese, baked for 15 minutes at 375* and had an instant fancy meal!
Okay, so maybe steak and eggs isn’t fancy, but it’s better than cold leftover steak. And I’m always amazed my muffin pan’s ability to turn random ingredients in to cute little dinner packages.
(And if you’re not a steak eater, I could also see a dish like this being excellent with earthy mushrooms!)
Today’s DRINK: The folks who work at my local Total Wine & More are ridiculously friendly and helpful people. I always make a point to swing by and pick up a bottle or two when I’m in the area, and I usually just let them tell me what to purchase, lest I be overwhelmed by the extensive selection (and thus spend all afternoon in there – no room for that on the daily schedule!)
When I stopped by a couple of days ago and expressed a desire for a $10-or-under red, the salesguy pointed me to this Gumdale Shiraz:
Total Wine buys much of their stock stuff direct from wineries, and that is how they tend to describe their wares.
When he said that this Shiraz was from “the same people who make Yellowtail,” I was ready to storm out the door in an insulted huff.
But I am glad he convinced me to give it a chance in spite of its seemingly dubious origins. Like the Yellowcrap, it’s an extremely mild-mannered and drinkable wine. But the Gumdale definitely swaps the fake-sweet taste of that other stuff for a fairly interesting sip: in this Shiraz, you’ll get a little dried cherry, a little nutmeg, and a fairly strong licorice flavor (but in a good way). For a $7 bottle, I’m pretty impressed. It’s complex enough to serve to people who like wine and mellow enough to please those who really don’t. Nice work, Yellowtail people.
Today’s RUN: Tuesday is speed day, but today wasn’t particularly speedy. I set out to do 800 repeats, only to find the track closed. I attempted to improvise with six 3-4 minute pickups. Overall I managed seven miles, and although I got some turnover going during the pickups, it didn’t really wear me out like a track workout would have. Meh.
(I also went to Pilates class this morning. Look at me and my core work go! Soon enough I’ll be able to sit up unassisted at my desk while plugging away at the multitude of items on my daily agenda!)
Today’s QUESTION: How do you organize your life – on paper, electronically, in your head, not at all? And also: has another blogger ever inspired you – truly inspired you – to change something meaningful about your life? Shout out here!