Daily Schedule

As a part of my efforts to improve work / life balance, a schedule is essential. I jotted down a list of some the things that I need in my daily schedule in order to be successful at work and in life. Currently, the daily schedule looks like a summer camp for of mindfulness and self-improvement. I have decided not to restrict myself to allotted times, rather granting some wiggle room (this freedom allows my creativity and productivity to thrive).

Running / Fitness 

Days are better for me when I run. It jumpstarts my day, gets my blood flowing; it challenges me yet calms me. Beginning the day with the run, I have accomplished something the the rest of the day cannot take away from. During runs, I am able to process thoughts, experience the outdoors, and stay in strong physical shape. The fitness is listed as some days will fall under a recovery day, those days will include yoga, core strengthening, swimming or cycling.

Writing

My self-awareness is higher, mindfulness more abundant when I write. With the practice of writing, I include a few moments of meditation. I reflect and plan, note expectations and experiences, challenges and successes; as well as potential places for improvement. Sometimes is a reflective journal entry, other times it becomes more of an essay on life or a testimony about certain elements within my life.

Coffee

Over the past several years, coffee has become a staple. It is more than just a shot of caffeine for me; I truly enjoy the flavors that different coffee’s provide. Though Cuvee Coffee is my absolute favorite, I like finding new coffee’s – especially when I travel.

Community

We all need people. Funny enough, I was recently reminded of this through the Lego Batman movie. Granted I watched it at a time when there was a great shift in what I thought I knew regarding my future. The themes that rang true were family, friends, and Not-going-it -alone. Even though each of us may be strong as individuals we are stronger together. Often times. experiencing places, things or events with others adds a significant amount of value to that moment.

Sports

With a career in youth soccer development, sports are a piece of my everyday life. I enjoy watching most sports and keep up with the sport world. Of course, it is most enjoyable when I get to play as well.

Learning

Currently, learning some things about myself, as individual (outside of a relationship). I look to learn something new daily – whether it pertain to the world, nutrition, the Spanish language, or the driver’s education course which I am enrolled.

Outdoors 

Nature. It does so many good things for the soul. Beyond breathing fresh (for the most part) air, sunshine, water, greenery and touching the actually earth  – each of these appeal to the senses and enhance life.

Relaxation

Any or all of these activities or items can be combined. After two weeks with this schedule, only the writing portion has be solitary (or just coupled with coffee). This was necessary at the time; now that I share some of that with you, it falls under community.

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on reading

If I am to have children, one of the things I would wish for them, is that they would read abundantly. I may even throw in the fact that I was not fond of reading until later in life. I chose instead, to get outside and create the same sort of adventures that one my only read about. Of course, I now know that there is no reason I couldn’t have both read and explored.

Recently I read an article on The Millions, which is a website you should follow, that talked about required school reading. Below I have quoted a segment regarding a strategy that I am very intrigued by and will decidedly implement into any eventual education. I appreciate the author, , sharing his ideas with the rest of us.

In her Paris Review interview, novelist Andrea Barrett talks about her difficulties in high school, how she used to skip class and was a “horrible student.” Yet there was one person who stood out, a 10th-grade English teacher named Mrs. Williams. Mrs. Williams gave students “an extensive list of really good books to read” and then asked them to journal about their reading experiences. Soon, Barrett was reading more than she ever had before. “Mrs. Williams,” Barrett says, looking back, “was important to me in ways I didn’t understand for years.”

The student choosing to read what they want and reporting such in a journal is brilliant. I also agree that intermediate education is more heavily concerned with test scores than the students actually learning or enthusiasm to become educated. Note: this is not to say, by any standard, that America’s teachers are not doing their jobs. I feel that many teachers are doing excellent work despite some administrative or political influences.

With the blog this year, since I often cannot talk about what I am writing (per ghostwriting non-disclosures), I want to share more about what I am reading. I hope to hear from other readers as well, including what they liked and disliked. Goodreads is a great way of sharing this information socially. Though I will blog from time to time about my reading, follow me on goodreads or twitter for my latest.

a heart filled weekend

Heart Ball_4Last weekend, I took a quick trip to Little Rock, Arkansas for the American Heart Association Heart Ball. As you have probably presumed, this is a fundraising, black-tie, gala of an affair. My connection with this particular heart association is my mother, Roxana Whitner. She served on the committee for years organizing the sweethearts (teenage girls that volunteer hundreds of service hours). This year, the association honored her with the Worthen-Cornett Award. As a family, we attended to celebrate and recognize her. The ball raised money for the association through tickets, donations and an auction. My mother even made a beautiful heart-themed quilt which brought in over $3,000 for the AHA. Visit the AHA website to donate and even specify a particular branch, maybe local to you, where you wish the money to help.  Local heart balls can also be found on the website or possibly just googling heart ball in your area.

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Lindsey and I had an amazing evening and enjoyed our time with family but I should point out that the ball means so much more to me. The American Heart Association is important to me in a deeper way, more personal even than its relation to my mother. I was born with a congenial heart defect – Pectus Excavatum, which also affects the respiratory system. I had successful corrective surgery and now run marathons. My story seems so familiar that I feel it pales in comparison to that of my younger brother. This past weekend was spent with my mother’s side (or three sisters’ side) of my family but on my dad’s side I have four brothers. My brother Robert was born with a heart condition Tricuspid Atresia. He underwent many surgeries as an infant and was prescribed a daily medicine. He couldn’t play contact sports in a town that bled football but maintained a sport’s identity by excelling in tennis and baseball. Now a college graduate, he is entering into his second year as a landscape architect in Houston. Though his condition still affects some areas of his life, the research, operations, and medications, often products of organizations like the AHA, have allowed him to live. Combined with his personal strength and strong personality, they have helped him to become an active, vibrant young man.

have you seen johnny on the spot?

Last night, before going to a great ACL Live taping of Portugal. The Man, some of us happy hour’d at La Condesa. Brilliant place to go from 5-7 on a weekday, by the way. Our conversation drifted from the last flood and potential new flood (which did happen, more news here) to Halloween plans to my phoning a friend to find an answer to a million dollar question.

My friend Eric is a native Austinite. He knows the most up-to-date information regarding Austin and, among other sports trivia, Longhorn Athletics.  On my drive downtown, I passed three police SUV’s pulled over to the side. No big deal, right? But when I see another threesome and another and multiple roads closed and police barricades – I begin to wonder. Driving is no time to text or research online and a bit ashamed that I was naive to the situation, I phoned a friend. “What’s going on in Austin that would merit multiple police entourages and barricades?” and maybe I was a little more long-winded than that. He simply replied, “Joe Biden is in town.”

I told the others at the table that this story and by taking the train or working downtown, they had missed the traffic. None of us knew why he was in town, so naturally we googled it. More on why he was here can be found here.

Someone at the table brought up a hotline that Auburn University hosted back in 2007. Call  (334) 844-4244 and ask them any question that you need. The number service is still active. We joked about the phone a friend option from Who want’s to be a millionaire? 

To paraphrase something I once heard from a comedian: [Remember when we just didn’t know things? You and your friends hear a song on the radio and don’t know who sang it and it would bother you and bother you and even still today don’t know who sang that one song.] If you know of the comedian, please remind me of his name.

So dated, all these things. The guy that would know the thing, have the answer for whomever may ask and be ready at any beck and call, was named Johnny-on-the-Spot. Until, Eric’s help last night, I thought we had lost him somewhere along the way. I supposed he had died of unnatural, technological advancement. We used to ask our friends, then our computers, then our phones and now our watches.

Call me old fashioned but I will strive to keep Johnny-on-the-Spot alive, even if only in spirit; I will call Eric. Additionally, while many Americans, specifically today’s youth, find the quick answer on-line, I will challenge myself to read and study in order to know. It is becoming easier to get away with knowing less, but I say there is no good excuse.

Live – Laugh – Love – LEARN