Unplugged: But Not On Purpose or In An Artful Kind of Way

I was digital-less for about two hours yesterday and I was pretty sure the world was going to end. Actually…it wasn’t that bad. Before I headed out to meet my friend for lunch, I wanted to update my phone to get some new music on there for a run later in the afternoon. I’ve had some trouble with my phone syncing to iTunes for awhile now, but with some persistence, it usually works. Not so much this time.

The phone was three-quarters of the way through the update when it decided the phone was no longer plugged in and demanded that I do plug it in. Well, I hadn’t touched a thing. I tried to re-plug it in and it told me to restore it, then proceeded to say that it needed to be plugged in to be restored. Um. My phone was gone. There was probably a way to fix it at some point, but I was running short on time and was planning on getting a new phone the next day anyways.

Phoneless, I met my friend Molly for lunch. Everything was fine and I was barely thinking about it until I realized I couldn’t snap a picture of my lunch when I tried for you fine people. Hmph. It was a tasty meal with chicken curry, green beans, carrots, baby corn, and a side of pad thai. I don’t eat Thai food frequently, but I do enjoy it a lot. There’s always a ton of veggies involved, so it makes the other indulgences not seem so bad.

After lunch, Molly was kind enough to trudge over with me to the mall. Let me tell you, getting a new phone is a hassle. It’s fine. I’m okay with it. I just didn’t expect my current phone to go down as it did. Whatever. First selfie on the new phone.

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Once again equipped with my lifeline, it was time to walk. Rain was threatening, so I put my phone into a plastic baggie into another bag and prayed for the best. We did bring an umbrella solely to cover our electronics for extra precaution. How have we fallen so far down?

Our walk took us in the way of ice cream, which I will never complain about. I chose a flavor that had a vanilla base, fudge swirls, and peanut butter cups. Uh huh. It was divine. More walking entailed after with a little drizzling, but nothing extreme. It wasn’t necessarily hot out so much as humid, so by the time I arrived home, I was sweaty. I still had a run on my mind, especially after I pulled out an old iPod and threw a new playlist together- no, I’m not running with my new bad boy, I think it’s too hard on it’s joints, er, systems.

My legs were a little sore from the past few days of workouts and from walking, but I took off strong from the start. I ran three miles straight, walked up a gigantic hill, then ran another mile or so. Overall, it was a five mile trek that left me hot, sweaty, and feeling strong. My mom did not want me sitting on the couch once I got home because I was covered in and dripping sweat.

IMG_3343 For whatever reason, I most always feel strong during my run, but I feel terrible after. It’s a stomach thing. I chugged a few glasses of water and tried to eat something to recover, but my appetite was null and my stomach was having none of it. I didn’t even feel hungry later. It was a good-looking meal though.

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I need to get back into a more realistic routine, but last night, I got into the writing flow and I couldn’t very well stop it. I’ve started writing a book based on my experience with my weight and weight loss with lots of encouragement from my parents and my Grandma and it’s coming together pretty well. I’m excited about it. By means of an outline of sorts, I actually developed chapter titles that sum up what I want to cover throughout. I don’t lead a scandalous life by any means, but I do think it will be fairly interesting. Who knows?

I woke up a little later than usual this morning and had eggs on the brain. I fried up two with a chicken sausage and a whole grain english muffin. Strawberries and blueberries made an excellent accompaniment.

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Before a swim and a body strength workout later this afternoon, I picked up where I left off last night and started to write some more. You can blame that for the delay in my post this morning. Exciting things are happening today, so I will be back tomorrow morning to check in with you all.

It’s almost Friday! Yay!

Two Books, One Theme, A Hundred Thoughts and What-Ifs

This week, I’ve read two books, a memoir about hiking and a novel about happenstance. Wild by Cheryl Strayed is one of those books that leaves you feeling inspired and in awe of the human condition. I love hiking, surrounded by trees and water, the peace of silence, and the feeling that your body and mind are truly connected. At the end of the day, I also very much like going home, eating a hot meal, using the facilities, and sleeping in my warm bed in my warm house. Camping can be fun for a couple of days, but I’m not sure I would love doing what Strayed did for that long.

Wild is a memoir Strayed wrote about her travels on the Pacific Crest Trail. Though she set out alone, she met people on the way, learned a lot about herself and her strength, and walked a whole lot. In theory, it sounds romantic. When it comes down to it, if I needed to or felt inspired to, my body could handle the physical requirements of such a journey, but emotionally, I’m not certain I would be up for it. To be fair, Strayed went through a lot of emotional obstacles that led her towards the trip, but I am certain there are people who hike for long periods of time because they like to. I am not one of those people, but I do like reading about them.

Unlike the book I mentioned that I stopped reading, I felt connected to the protagonist and her story. It was as much about her personal life and emotions as it was her hiking adventures and there was a nice balance. In memoirs, there’s never the true anxiety of wondering what will happen next because you know the protagonist is well enough in the end to have written the story (in most cases). Yes, there’s still the anticipation of things that you don’t know, but it’s not quite the same as in novels. However, memoirs portray a range of different perspectives and life experiences that can only be shared through media. At times, I felt as though I was on the trail, my legs burning, feet torn up, lugging a huge backpack that contained all of my life’s possessions. When Strayed expressed relief, I felt relieved. When she was scared, I was trembling with her. That is a mark of an excellent memoir, an author who shows not just what happened, but how he/she felt in those moments.

I was sad when the book came to an end and I also had a hankering to go hiking. No worries because Reese Witherspoon hopped onto this book before it even came out and has already filmed the movie version.

When I started The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty, I was excited because I’ve had it on hold from the library since August. I was immediately pulled into the story and anxious about first, what the secret was, then how all of the stories and characters would interact. I cannot give this away, but I will say that the novel is satisfying in that it feels frustrating as hell. I liked the book in the way that I didn’t necessarily love what happened, but it left an impact.

I believe I mentioned a book I once threw across the room because I hated how it ended. This was a different circumstance and not only because I was not about to throw my electronic reader. In that book, it ended without an actual ending, but a copout. In The Husband’s Secret there are great tie-ins and an interesting plot throughout and I loved learning how they all connected. It was very hard to put this book down and I can see why I had to wait so long for it. I finished the book very quickly and felt satisfied with the ending, which again, is not easy for me!

One theme in the book that stands out to me is how the author lingers over the what-ifs in the world. She defines these possibilities, which leaves a larger impact on the way things actually play out. Though it’s important to live in the present in real life, it can sometimes be fun to imagine how things may have played out if you made a different choice, whether it’s big events or small occurrences. In real life, you’ll never know, but Moriarty uses this technique in an intriguing way which only adds to the story.

When reading, I often reflected after wondering what I would do in some of these awful situations the characters have to endure and there is no easy answer. I suppose that what the story and Moriarty wants to convey is that when faced with something, you just do it, which is prevalent in Strayed’s story as well. There’s no anticipating how you might react to something, just as there is no knowing what might happen next. Sometimes, you just have to trust yourself and your instincts to go with the flow. That’s a scary concept.

Though these books were very different, in themes and styles, they both show how important reading is. It makes you think, learn, and view things in a different light.