June 29, 2014

Sunday Currently : 59

Well, folks, this is it. In two days, I will be defending my doctoral dissertation, and my graduate school career will be essentially complete. I'm nervous, but at this point, I feel ready. Although this is definitely one of the most important milestones I have reached, it also seems like there has been so much else going on (World Cup, projects at work, friend and family festivities like weddings and bridal showers) that it's hard to believe this moment is here already. How did that happen?

It's fitting that today fits that pattern. I will be running through my defense presentation a few more times today to get my timing down, but I'll also be running errands with the hubs, watching the World Cup, cleaning the house.... the rest of the world doesn't stop, and I've enjoyed having multiple activities to fill my days. Just two more days until the big one!

reading : The Old Man and the Sea. I finished my Allende book on Friday (it was so good!!!) and decided to give this Hemingway classic another try. My plan is to zip through it later this week before we head off for a beautiful week of vacation!

writing :  E-mails trying to confirm plans for next weekend. The hubs and I will be passing through NYC, and though I make an effort to see my friends when I'm there, it's hard when people have fled the city for the holiday. The good news is that I think I will get some quality beach time with my darling hometown friends. :)

listening :  To the hubs rustling around the kitchen and the birds chirping outside. It feels like we haven't had a lazy Sunday morning together in a while, and this one feels pretty nice. 

thinking :  About Tuesday and how I would like it to go. Rather than entertain worst-case-scenarios, it's so much more helpful to envision myself rocking my defense!

smelling :   The lingering scent of scrambled eggs. Weekend breakfasts tend to involve a break from our weekday routine, which used to be cereal but lately has been protein shakes or oatmeal. 

wishing :   That yesterday's Chile v. Brazil game had not come down to penalty kicks... and that Chile had walked away victorious. Truthfully, I'm still a bit heartbroken over it (part of my family is Chilean), and I felt absolutely devastated yesterday, but I'm trying to refocus on the next potential victory: USA v. Belgium on Tuesday!

hoping :   That my dissertation defense doesn't feel too grueling and that I actually enjoy it!

wearing :  A pair of soccer shorts that are on permanent loan from the hubs and my blue yoga tank top-- this is quickly becoming my weekend morning uniform.

loving :  My family. :)

wanting :  My marigolds to be revived. I think that the heat has been too much for them, and I should probably be more consistent with watering them. 

needing :   To run through my defense presentation a couple more times with a captive audience today: the hubs and the cats.

feeling :  Eager for Tuesday! Ahhh!!!

clicking :  On a Washington Post article about xenophobic soccer-haters. I embrace U.S.American soccer culture, especially during the World Cup!! In addition to the sport just being crazy fun, it feels special to have an opportunity to cheer on our country for something other than the Olympics. Go USA!


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June 15, 2014

Sunday Currently : 58

Could it be? Another appearance from Hiatus Land? It is! :D

I'm feeling good. My dissertation defense is scheduled for just over two weeks from today, Chile won their World Cup match on Friday, and I set a new personal best during my 2.5-mile run this morning. I'm in a good flow state right now, where I'm feeling challenged yet also feeling successful-- a great combination. To make things even better, it's a beautiful June day, one of those magical times when the DC humidity has drifted off and been replaced by the most wonderful warm breeze, and the sun is more friend than foe. I feel so good!!

reading : My Invented Country by Isabel Allende. I've been on a reading kick lately, which feels great after months of reading nothing other than magazines and articles for my dissertation. This book is funny and sentimental, and it's a very enjoyable read.

writing :  Slides for my dissertation defense! It's happening, you guys. It's happening.

listening :  To a very energizing playlist, courtesy of FitSugar. I usually can't concentrate on work with music playing, but I find that with PowerPoints, I like having something in the background to keep me motivated. I'll have to try this playlist when I'm out for a run!

thinking :  About what a great ride graduate school has been. I am so blessed to have spent the past six years with an amazing and supportive cohort, and one by one, we are defending our dissertations. It's amazing to think how far we have come!

smelling :   Perfect, warm summer air drifting in through the kitchen windows. And, if I'm being honest, I'm also picking up the scent of BBQ potato chips because we have an open bag on the counter, and I can't seem to stay away...

wishing :   For more beautiful moments. Life is so so good. I'm also wishing my dad a very Happy Father's Day!! I wish that I could be with the rest of my family today, and I'll be thinking of them.

hoping :   For continued, sustained motivation and determination over the next two weeks.

wearing :  Mesh gym shorts and a pretty new blue yoga tank top-- perfect for lounging and working at home.

loving :  World Cup festivities with friends. The hubs and I on the hunt for the perfect World Cup bar (I think that we will be heading to H Street in the very near future), though I have to admit that BBQing with friends and watching the matches from home is sometimes the best option.

wanting :  USA and Chile to make it out of the group stage!! ¡¡Vamos!!

needing :   To make more slides for my defense, but I feel good about what I have so far.

feeling :  Cautiously confident and a bit excited!!

clicking : Back and forth between my dissertation document and PowerPoint. Life is all about dissertation these days! But not for long. :)


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June 1, 2014

Sunday Currently : 57

Changes are hanging in the air. I don't quite know what all of them are yet, but they're coming. I'm excited and scared about that uncertainty, but mostly I am just trying to be patient and accept that life happens at its own pace. Tension and anxiety come from wanting to things to be other than they are, and I find more and more that acceptance is really the only way to achieve that sense of calm.

My hiatus has been wonderfully productive, and after hitting a big milestone today, I decided that I could peek back into this space. I will probably burrow back into Dissertation Land for at least a few more weeks, but until then, it feels good to toy around with rejoining this happy little space. 

reading : Hijas Americanas, a great book about body image, culture, and growing up Latina. It's made me think about the challenges of balancing two cultures, and so many of the interviews with young Latina women resonate with me. It feels so good to read again!

writing :  My dissertation, of course! :) I am so thrilled to report that I submitted a complete draft to my committee chair just a few moments ago, and while that makes me want to throw up a little (sorry), it's also great to know that even if I have a ton of revisions to make, the structure of my dissertation is finally all there. And, wow, does that feel amazing. 

listening :  To the typical springtime sounds of my neighborhood.... The cheery birds, of course, the occasional car horn, and lawn mowers. I know that I've written this here before, but as much as I love the hustle and bustle of the city, I love the relative quiet and peace of this little suburban corner. I may have a DC address, but this quiet block exudes suburban springtime all the way. 

thinking :  About the future. I'm still afraid to fully throw myself into planning my post-August life, but each day brings me a bit closer to that reality. Good things await, I tell you...

smelling :   The almond lotion that I put on my hands.

wishing :   For peace for the people who need it.

hoping :   For good news this week. :)

wearing :  Mesh gym shorts and a college t-shirt. Dissertation writing is strictly a low-fashion zone, people. Comfort is key. 

loving :  How great it feels to encourage others. One of my very dear friends was diagnosed with cancer last summer, and her plan of running the Virginia Wine Country Marathon with her family had to be put on hold. I am so grateful and thrilled to report that she is now cancer-free, and in honor of her awesome recovery, she ran in the Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon yesterday, just as she was supposed to do last summer. For such a meaningful milestone, the hubs and I simply had to drive out to cheer her on. I had attended her races in college, as well as the Cherry Blossom Ten-Miler a couple of years ago, but I hadn't been to a race this long of a distance before. It was fun to travel around to different points and cheer on the runners as they made their way through the course, and it made me so happy when runners waved and thanked the spectators for being there. It was just so nice! Here they were, doing the hard work of actually running 13.1 miles, thanking us for applauding them. I would have loved it even without their thanks (seriously, it's fun to cheer people on!), but their comments were so touching to me. It was a nice reminder for me that mutual respect and gratitude go a long way.

wanting :  My family's July beach vacation to be here!! We are all getting so excited, and I am getting so giddy to be back on Long Island, sprawling out on my beloved beaches, making s'mores and getting pizza from that great place in Montauk. Seriously, the beach is good for the soul

needing :   To do some continued house-cleaning. Laundry is underway, but I think that some vacuuming is in order. 

feeling :  A cool breeze from the open kitchen windows. Spring passes by too quickly here in DC, so I'd like to hold on to these warm-but-not-too-hot moments before they are replaced with the oppressively hot and swampy days.  

clicking :  On little bits here and there. I'm starting to select my World Cup bracket, which will probably end up being laughably inaccurate, but it's fun! Naturally, I've also been reading about the evolving scandal about the 2022 World Cup selection and another scandal about fixing matches prior to the last World Cup. Such drama! Such intrigue!


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