Tuesday, January 18, 2011

hira: dwindling days on the mountain

current location: last days on the mountain

i'm just going to say it--i really hate snow. sometimes it looks magical and the beautiful white snowflakes land gracefully onto my hair and coat. but then all i can imagine is the ugly, grey slush it will soon become. ok so appearances really isn't the root of this; in fact, its the inconvenience. while snow in torino meant a weekend spent in the montagna (mountain) with skiing and lots of cozying in the cabin, snow in Maryland and DC just means icy roads and missed brunch dates (my apologies, diana). so here's to hoping for some clear skies and warmer temperatures stat.
while the cooler weather has tempted me to stay indoors and be lazy, i had made some goals last week and have been sticking to them: more tea and water, daily activity, applications. i'm happy to report that my application-all 125 pages-has been sent in to DC, i've been loving a daily practice of sun salutations and vinyasa flow, and have been downing the green and white peony teas. eating kale, mushrooms, and spelt pasta. loving on my family. i even got a job offer this week :)

at home, in my living room...

or at the studio downtown (www.anandashala.com)

nael, my adorable nephew.

moving back to uni this thursday, i am slightly nervous, but mostly exciting for the coming adventures. i'll be moving into CHUM (Co-op Housing at University of Maryland); the community based living style, not-for-profit byline and cooperative, shared space speaks mountains of what is possible in terms of student housing. things to look forward to: being surrounded by intelligent individuals and fellow activists with like-interests, not having to leave my house for various meetings and event-planning and being around healthy (mostly vegetarian/vegan) food. mmm.

perhaps a DC-area blogger meet-up is necessary soon?

Monday, January 10, 2011

hira: a new year

a new year brings hopeful lists, extensive planning (in a brand spankin new planner), exciting classes and scary milestones---2011 looks to bring in all of these things. 2010 was a monumental year for me: 1/3 spent at the University of Maryland/DC, 1/3 spent at home on the mountain with my best friend, and 1/3 spent living in torino, italia. 12 months of adventure and newly formed friendships has left me happy.

with the approaching semester being my last at UMD, i'm determined to leave this school feeling the healthiest. not settling for satisfied. not settling. exploring ideas and entertaining thoughts that have previously frightened me or had been deemed impossible. i'm getting selfish in the best way possible.

new years resolutions have always been pending letdowns, a looming shortcoming if you will. i simply cannot imagine lofty, general goals to be achievable because i haven't outlined a precise method---my infamous love of all things lists has revealed the broader realization that i need shorter, frequent goals and commitments. these can be steps to a larger goal (one that we won't think about for sake of mental sanity). ergo, my goals for january:

1. successfully complete an application for a year of intensive language study and cultural immersion in Alexandria, Egypt (due friday)

2. move into a new house. new roommates, new experiences. a co-op house. details to come.

3. drink more green tea. all teas. in the aftermath of my semester abroad in italy, american coffee doesn't do it for me. while i can find quality caffe in certain places, i want to embrace my (forgotten) love for tea. simple.

4. reintroduce fitness into my life. for the last 6 months, my life had taken a completely new direction and forced me to reorganize my priorities in a new location. doing something everyday--whether it be my beloved yoga, a sweaty session at the gym, or a walk around DC--every day is a new chance to recommit myself to healthy living. taking the mountain with me.

5. invest more time into this blog. this speaks for itself.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

elyssa: recommitting

location: snowy toronto

christmas and new years have come and gone. i'm back at school for my last semester of law school. it's time to reset goals. reaffirm. recommit.

2010 was a year of great pride for me. since the month of may, ive maintained a regular fitness schedule. 8 months marks the longest period of continuous progress in my 5 year on/off love affair with fitness. i've discovered that exercising 6 days out of 7 keeps me feeling my best. what's important is not what i do - but the fact that i do something to get the blood flowing. yoga on easy days. cardio circuits on hard days. after 8 months of commitment, i feel the healthiest i've ever been. hardly succumbing to colds. and benefitting from much needed endorphins. i've become convinced that keeping active is the key to a happy life.

home for the holidays brought christmas trees. festivities. cakes. biscotti. and of course the inevitable 5 pounds.

5 pounds, however, that we're gained happily in the company of loved ones. and intermixed with daily exercise - either by doing a workout dvd at home with the boy or taking a yoga class in a downtown studio. sometimes a quick 30 minutes of elliptical in front of the tv. or just a walk through the forest.

in the past, a cookie and mug of hot cocoa would have been my signal to spend the rest of the day on the couch. this year, i took my cookie and cocoa to the couch like any other year - but at the end of the day, i kept moving - and as i return to regular exercise in the new year, my body is thanking me for never giving up.

my goals for the following year are as follows:

- to continue to practice the art of exercising for health, not for weight
- to resume regular yoga (december was by and large a yogaless month - and my aching body knows the difference)
- to try new things (run a race perhaps?)
- to pay attention in school and relish the dwindling days of my academic life
- to plan for the future in a way that minimizes stress and maximizes the endless possibilities that lie ahead
- to cultivate a constant awareness that in every step i take i am never alone