Monthly Archives: October 2009

Onward and Forward

Thank you so much for all your support in my last post! I’ve been wanting to leave my job for a while, but felt like there was just no end in sight. So my mommy told me to pick an end date, instead of just spiralling downward for this undetermined amount of time. Even though I have six weeks left, I feel much better knowing there is an end in sight. I already have little bounce back to my step today :)

I do however want to address that my decision to leave my job is not as courageous as it may seem. When I accepted the job, I knew the salary was extremely low, but it wasn’t until I started getting the bi-weekly pay checks that I realized just how low it really was. I think I may have miscalculated just how expensive it is to live on my own. Technically, I’m only paying $60 more in rent a month, but my TV, internet, heat and lights are twice than they were before. Add that to unexpected expenses like snow tires and new glasses, and suddenly, that job no longer provided me the means I needed to live. Additionally, I was given close to no vacation or sick days. Not even enough to go home for Christmas.

So, in the end it was get a part-time job on top of this low-paying job I don’t like to begin with (and with difficult hours to work around). Or, just give it up altogether and start from scratch. Trust me, staying in the old job would have been a lot scarier than embarking on a new one.

Leaving a swanky, high-paying job to pursue your passions is brave. Leaving a low-paying job where you’re overworked and can’t survive is just common sense.

Perhaps if I had big aspirations to be a hard-hitting journalist, it would be worth it to stick it through. But I made up my mind long before I even accepted this position that I did not want to be a reporter. I love to write, tell stories, and meet interesting people. But I do not like the daily grind of a newsroom. The running through hallways, chasing after people, and doing whatever it takes just to get that 10-second clip. Tis not me.

In retrospect, I should have told my boss I would think about it before accepting the job immediately. Even an hour of extra thought would have been all I needed to realize it was wrong for me. At the very least, I will be able to take what I’ve learned over these past six months and apply it in my future work. I didn’t meet a co-worker I didn’t like. I appreciate the opportunities I was given. And I leave there knowing I at least put some good work in, and wrote a few decent stories ;)

Onward and Forward!!

 

I woke up feeling emotionally exhausted. Thankfully, it’s Waffle Wednesday which means I filled my tummy with some comfort food :)

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I was slightly indecisive though. One side has laughing cow cheese, raspberry jam and deli chicken. I had this combo for this first time yesterday and it’s awesome!! Jam + poultry = veryvery good. Other side is egg n’ cheddar.

I had just enough time for this to digest before heading up to the gym to try out a new class! BodyAttack. According to the Les Mills website:

BODYATTACK™ is the sports-inspired cardio workout for building strength and stamina. This high-energy interval training class combines athletic aerobic movements with strength and stabilization exercises. Dynamic instructors and powerful music motivate everyone towards their fitness goals – from the weekend athlete to the hard-core competitor!

My description? Jumping up and down for 55 minutes :P It was almost like step, but without the steps. A lot of hopping and running around. With a few squats, lunges, push-ups and abs thrown in for good measure. It was actually quite hard. We were running in place the whole time. There were no recovery songs. Funny, I can run on a trail for an hour no problem, but make me do it in one spot and it gets so hard! I think I may need to practice doing more jumping jacks in my living room before I go back to that class, I almost didn’t make it through…

 

Now, please don’t judge, but lunch was more waffles!

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I used my protein pancake recipe, so in my mind they’re really more like an oatmeal and cottage cheese dish just shaped like waffles ;)

With some homemade applesauce and fake syrup.

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Me and homemade applesauce are still madly in love. 

I’d actually planned on making Chris and I a special dinner tonight, but it turned out to be a celebratory one of sorts :)

I decided it was time to finally man up and roast a whole chicken. I’ve been eating poultry again for a year now (after a decade without). So far, I’ve mastered chicken breasts on the George Foreman, aaaand that’s about it :P

I used Jenna’s directions and stuffed the bird with, garlic, lemon slices, thyme and some Earth Balance. I also threw some new potatoes and carrots in there. Roasted at 425 F for 90 minutes and voila!

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I was floored by how easy this was! And how delicious it turned out!!

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The meat was sooooo tender and juicy. Cooked to absolute perfection. George Foreman has got some serious competition!!!

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My only complaint is the veggies were greasy from the fat that came off the chicken. I forgot that would happen. My mom even told me to cut the fat off the chicken, and it escaped my mind as soon as I started handling the dead bird. Lesson learned!

But what’s a celebratory meal without an indulgent dessert? Chris and I have been saving a chocolate caramel pecan cheesecake from M&M Meat Shop (Canadian chain that specializes in freezer goods).

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Omgsoooogooooood. I haven’t had real cheesecake in a very long time. Worth every bite. We’ll just forget the craaazy calorie content (like, I’m talkin’ crazy) and sketchy ingredient list, mmkay? Good.

Chris chased his cheescake down with some Kronenbourg.  

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I’m sure he’ll want you to know this is THE French beer to drink during the Tour de France. It’s what all the hardcore cyclists do ;)

Happy bellies!

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Don’t worry, Chris is taking the rest of the cheesecake home. But the chicken is all mine!

Lots of food today to fuel what I hope will be a 10 mile run tomorrow. The weather conditions so far look good, and it’s one of my October goals to hit the double digits by the end of the month. Wish me luck – I may need it!!

 

Question of the day: What’s one dish you really want to try making but haven’t yet? You can cross a whole chicken off my list! Next, I want to try making a pie :)

There Are No Losers

It seems there are TWO winners today! First, the winner of my first ever giveaway.

Suspenseful hush….

…..

#35 – K!!!!!

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Congrats K!! Send your info to thegreatbalancingact@gmail.com and I’ll send you a free jar of hazelnut almond butter :D Thanks to everyone who entered too! It was a lot of fun to see new names come out of the woodwork. I’ve already got the wheels turning for my next giveaway :)

 

So, who’s the other winner?

ME.

Yup.

I quit my job today.

If you’ve been reading this blog recently, it shouldn’t really come as much of a surprise.

I’ve been working as a reporter at a local radio station. I report the news, covering events and writing stories on said events. Then, every Saturday and Sunday, I’m up at 4am to read the morning newscasts on air. I’ve been doing this job full-time since May 1st, but I did it part-time for two years prior while I was in journalism school.

Most people would be ecstatic to have a job in their field straight out of university, especially in this economic climate. However, during my last year in school, I realized my heart just wasn’t in the business anymore. It was wonderful to study, but I’m just not cut out to be a daily reporter.

I was actually offered my current job and it was an offer I couldn’t refuse. The pay was crappy, but it was easier than having to go out into the real world and finally figure out what I want to do with my life.

But somewhere along the way, life escaped me. My friends disappeared, my boyfriend and family are in different cities, and it became just me and this job. Instead of opening doors, it started closing them. I don’t make enough money to live. I don’t work any sort of regular hours that would allow me to have a social life. I’m 23-years-old and I’m in bed at 9pm every Friday and Saturday night.

You may recall I made the decision to change that. A “five year plan” I called it. But as each day passed, it became more and more unbearable. The thought of getting out of bed, leaving the house, all seemed like too much for me. The person I thought I was began to dissolve, and even the smallest things no longer seemed like enough.

So instead of waiting for that perfect job to appear out of thin air, I’ve decided to just put an end to it already. Today was my breaking point. I was driving home from a lacklustre workout at the gym and realized my feelings over these past several months are more than just part of my natural emotions. I was spiralling out of control. Or as my mother put it, “unravelling.”

I completely broke down on the phone with my mom. I told her I just wanted to quit it all and move home. I moved to this city five years ago to be with a boyfriend, and the only thing that’s keeping me here is Chris. It seems I came here for all the wrong reasons and am now staying for the wrong reasons. At some point, Fredericton stopped feeling like my “home” and more like an ocean I was drowning in.

I have no idea what the future holds. I have 39 days left of my job, my last day being December 6. I want to stay on good terms with my boss and thought it wise to give plenty of notice. I may look for a part-time job until then to make ends meets, as that’s something that’s not happening right now. I’ll be looking for full-time jobs. In what city or field, I have no idea. I do know that I’m terrified to not have a plan. I’m scared to break my lease, move again, be broke, and feel like a failed person.

But I can tell you that the second I hit “send” on my letter of resignation, I felt an old piece of me come back. No matter where I am or where I end up, I promise to not let another minute pass me by. I will live life instead of “waiting it out.” I will not put the happiness of others before my own.

Most of all, I just want my mojo back.

Till’ next time…

-Susan
xo

Baconator

Hey friends! Well, today was less apple-filled, but “Apple Watch ‘09” continues. Ellie’s concerns of my turning into an apple may in fact be legitimate! :P

Before getting to my lovely breakfast, I was up at 5:30am to make it to a spin class before work. As always, it was awesome! Chugging a glass of iced coffee beforehand makes all the difference for me. Today we had a different instructor. An older guy who wasn’t quite as intense as the younger girls we usually have, but you could tell he was suuuuper nice. I pushed myself really hard just because he was so polite about it! :P

Okay, then I came home and re-heated the steel-cut oats I made before bed last night.

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For a two serving batch I cooked:

  • 1/2 cup steel cut oats
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • lots and lots of cinnamon
  • 1 chopped macoun apple

The directions said to let simmer for 30 minutes, but it didn’t feel like that long at all. I measured out half of it this morning (can’t trust my post-spin judgement! :P ) and topped it with almond butter and Fluff watered down a little for optimal drizzling.

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This bowl was epic. I actually meant to put applesauce on top too, but I got too excited and forgot! Good thing I still have another bowl’s worth in the fridge ;)

I had a cah-raaazy busy day at work today. Covered a trial all day long, and spent what should have been my lunch break chasing after protesters in the woods. Pita was eaten in the news car.

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Deli chicken and cottage cheese with all the veggies I could find in my fridge.

Carrots to round it out…

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Yeah, haven’t been taking pictures of my week-day work eats because it’s still always the same thing – pitas with veggies or fruit. This isn’t a rut either, I just love it!

Ended up working super late and got started on a tofu quesadilla the second I walked through the door.

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I crumbled the tofu up in a frying pan with some onion, red pepper and mushroom, dousing it in every spicy seasoning I have. Topped it with some quality jarred salsa (or, as quality as it gets anyways).

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Because people like to say saaal-sah.

Now, you’re probably wondering why this post is called “Baconator” when I had tofu for supper. Well, the fabulous and adventurous Emily the Experimentarian sent me some bacon-flavoured goods she sampled on one of her Freaky Food Fridays. I love bacon. I love mints. Why not bacon mints!?

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I like candy too!

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It almost had the texture of raw bacon.

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Thankfully, it was strawberry flavoured. I actually really liked this stuff! It’s no secret I have a soft spot for candy and corn syrup. Even when it’s shaped like raw meat :P

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I especially appreciated this warning…

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The mints however, were much more interesting. They were actually smoky smelling like bacon. I had to call in back-up for this one.

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Chris was scared, but he wouldn’t admit it :P

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He said “Ew. Minty ew. I already had bacon once today.”

I said, “Tastes like rubber tires.”

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NO to bacon mints. YES to bacon-shaped strawberry flavoured gummy strips :P Thanks for the Monday night entertainment Emily!!!

Don’t forget! Tuesday is your last day to enter my giveaway! You’ve got till 5pm Eastern time (I figured most of you haven’t heard of Atlantic time, which by the way, is 6pm my time :) )

Question of the day: What’s your favourite candy? If we’re excluding chocolate here, my favourite is just plain ole’ suckers or Twizzlers.

Chris’ question of the day: Am I bacon you hungry?

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