18 2 / 2012

This is the fourth week that I am using the Put First Things First worksheet by Covey. All you do is on a Sunday night, during 60 minutes, I review my personal mission statement (which I will probably share with you later), then identify my roles in life (fiance, friend, teacher, student, daughter, world traveller, self-help nut, cat lover, gym-goer, bride, etc.) and number 3 step is to set one or two goals for each role, for that week. Say, for daughter role I put “call Mom” and I actually schedule it. Our relationship with Mom, as many of you know, is a difficult one. And you probably also know that I am notorious for not keeping in touch. For months at a time. This year I promised myself that even if I don’t feel like calling Mom, I will. She lives far and deserves a phone call from me at least once a week. Even if it’s just for 20 minutes.

I also have been consciously allocating time on things that make me happy: reading, catching up with friends, quality time with A., photography, and, my new favorite, reflecting. I would love to try to incorporate being in nature into my week as well. Maybe when it gets warmer.

It has been truly amazing. Talking about what’s important in life! When something goes wrong at work (and it almost always does ;), I turn around and remind myself that I am not just a teacher. I play so many more roles in life that I am VERY successful at. Of course I want things to always be smooth and calm in the classroom but, with teaching, it’s tough.

At the end of the week, when you look at your worksheet and see all the IMPORTANT things that you’ve accomplished, you feel so fulfilled! You really see that you are living your best life - spending time with family, friends, working, studying and doing activities you are passionate about. This worksheet gives your life the necessary balance. I made more than enough copies and I plan on sticking with it for as long as it takes.

04 2 / 2012

Sick on Saturday… I am so glad I don’t have to be at work today - nose running, head and body aching, eyes tearing up. Lying in bed, surrounded by magazines, books, calendar, wedding binder, and cats… They keep me company.

This is  the second week I am trying out “First Things First” worksheet. And I have to say, it’s been amazing. I feel that by filling out my life roles, I have become a better girlfriend, friend, teacher, daughter, student, explorer. The professor was right - it’s all about balance. The only thing that I have skipped on is the “healthy self” - only went to the gym once. But the coming week is another week, so I’ll have to try again.

I have such a hard time quieting my mind. My thoughts are racing from teaching to a wedding, from travelling to feeding the cats, from calling friends to washing dishes. Only when I reflect on past weeks, I gain some kind of introspective.

Here is to self-reflection!

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01 2 / 2012

That’s just too cute

That’s just too cute

(Source: shopruche)

29 1 / 2012

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Spring semester at Seton Hall has started yet again - two classes, one online, one on campus… One boring (curriculum - duh…), and one fabulous - the spirituality of leadership. I love the second one. The thing is I want to be a leader, not a manager. I want to inspire, lead, promote change, get teachers to reflect, and support my faculty.

We also did an amazing activity: writing a personal mission statement. Great activity to try! Then we had to determine what are our roles in life. I am not just a teacher. I a also a daughter, a friend, a traveller etc… Plus I am including my goals for each and everyone… So, here they are:

1. Fiancée (love him, trust him, cherish him, support him)

2. Friend (make time, provide support, keep in touch)

3. Teacher (lesson plans, effectiveness, fun, trust)

4. Graduate student (inquisitiveness, resourcefulness, networking, dedication)

5. Bride (take it easy, brainstorming, reach out for support, make ideas collage)

6. Inner-peace self (relax, choose my response, be proactive, be still, appreciate the things that I have)

7. Animal lover (make time for my animals, and shelter animals)

8. World traveller (research, daydream, destinations list, plan a trip)

9. Socialite (plan events, make time to attend events, network, reach out to colleagues, and friends)

10. Daughter (keep in touch every week, listen, reflect, say thank you, support my parents and brother)

You were only supposed to pick seven but I chose ten cause I like to do so many things… I love how once you determine your roles, it gives your life balance. I am trying to be the best person I can be and taking care of the loved ones around me (friends, family, self, animals, community) will give me the balance that I need…

29 12 / 2011

As I am going in three months of being engaged to A, I also feel tired and confused about the upcoming wedding. First we wanted to do it in Florida Keyes, then in NYC, now we are looking atthe cozy small venues in New Jersey. Just today I have found quite a few inns that hosts small, intimate weddings… Flemington, New Hope, Lambertville…

22 12 / 2011

Today I am splurging on a new hair do- full head if highlights plus a haircut. With bangs. Nicole Richie style. It amazes me how rarely I spend money on my hair… You would think it would be more often, as your hair is the first thing people see when they meet you… It feels great… Me time ahhhhh :)

17 12 / 2011

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Today, December 17th, 2011, I am having a relaxed Saturday. i haven’t made any posts for a while now. It feels good to be reflecting again…

I have been feeling very stressed out lately. Between planning the wedding, writing papers for SHU, and having a full time job, I had no time for anything else… This week has been busy too. Bonni’s party, Jo’s party, wrapping presents, trying to squeeze some quality time with friends… *sigh* Tired…

17 12 / 2011

photojojo:

It’s a little mind blowing that you can photograph a snowflake this close!
Snowflake by Yanping Wang
via ohscience

photojojo:

It’s a little mind blowing that you can photograph a snowflake this close!

Snowflake by Yanping Wang

via ohscience

02 12 / 2011

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So far I been trying to write about what I like about every month… The month of December brings so many things to enjoy! First of all, the cold weather… I love it. I miss Russian winters… Snowy, cold, beautiful frost patterns on the windows, dark nights, huge snowflakes, the smell of oranges, transport fumes, and chocolate… Cheap tinsel in the windows, people shopping in downtown Chelyabinsk, buying candy, Christmas trees, champagne, presents… People saving their best food for the New Year’s eve - zephir, oranges, chocolate, olivier salad, pirozhki, among other tasty things… I miss home.

02 12 / 2011

Cat lovers unite!!

Cat lovers unite!!

20 11 / 2011

thingsorganizedneatly:

“Coffee Roasting Phases” • William LeGoullon

Oh how I love coffee…

thingsorganizedneatly:

“Coffee Roasting Phases” • William LeGoullon

Oh how I love coffee…

15 11 / 2011

Fall. November. New Hope. Freshness.

13 11 / 2011

Beautiful November sky. East Brunswick, NJ

Beautiful November sky. East Brunswick, NJ

12 11 / 2011

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Saturday… Morning… Fresh breeze… Extreme sun pouring through windows… Oatmeal… Distant traffic noise from Route 22… Neighbours shuffling behind the wall… The smell of coffee… Flavoured creamer… Mind engaged with many many things… Mom, family, wedding locations, a tad bit of anxiety, A., should be productive, I am not being productive, should go grocery shopping, mom doesn’t share my point of view on weddings, anxiety again, reflection, my ring is gorgeous, I am living the life, graduate classwork, don’t feel like going to work on Monday…

Here is the problem - I am having a four day weekend, but can’t help but to get depressed… Today is Saturday, but I am already dreading Monday. I need to regroup, get over myself, and move on. Teachers work only 180 days a year and we whine all the time. This needs to stop.

On a brighter note, I am just so excited to start planing our wedding… It has to be an NYC wedding! No Jersey corniness for us.

Here are some keys words:

~rooftop, NYC view, outside, end of May, beginning of June, quirky, eccentric, on a budget, great location

~dress: sweet, quirky, unusual, pastel colors, sash, low-do, classy/romantic…

But the main thing is that I want to be with A., surrounded by people closest to us. I cannot wait.

12 11 / 2011

kateoplis:

Desiree Dolron, Self-portrait, Sudan, 1991

kateoplis:

Desiree DolronSelf-portrait, Sudan, 1991