Category Archives: ambition

Come Home to Love and Cuddles, Commitment-Free!

Imagine driving home from a crazy day of whatever.  Your tired legs make their way up to your front door and you slowly squeak it open. Your eyes glued to the floor as to not miss a furry blur bolt past your feet!  Those were the quickly learned habits of my DSCF1763roommates, friends, and myself as I decided to take on a litter of 9 kittens to foster.  It was crazy, furry, and fantastic. No matter what kind of terrible day overcame you, walking into a room full of kittens was the best remedy anyone could hope for.

Every spring, most of the animal kingdom booms with tiny offspring running or flying around. In the world of cats and dogs, new furry families may be finding their new homes the great indoors of people’s homes, barns, or garages…

These problems arise when animal lovers don’t take the initiative to spay or neuter their pets. The lack of motivation to make the vet appointment may spur from the lack of immediate personal repercussions.  It seems it is more convenient to drop-off unwanted litters to the nearby shelter, even though the cost of fixing their pet in the first place can be as low as 25$. The ones who suffer the consequences are not the people, it’s the 4 legged furbabies…

In good nature, or maybe not, people drop off liters of newborns or give up pregnant females to shelters continuously this time of year. This post is not meant to be the inevitable rain cloud in regards to the reality of the overpopulations of shelters… but… knowledge is power and the more people know, the more animals can be helped!

DSCF1523So what is one entertaining and meaningful way to help? Foster and provide a loving home for a litter of kittens, puppies, or baby bunnies! Your choice to lend a helping hand opens up the opportunity for these youngsters to able to see something else besides the bars of a crate their first few months!

Fostering is that ideal balance of having a pet without the 10-20 year commitment. Kittens are surprisingly amazing at litter training themselves in my experience, so I was able to continue most of my responsibilities and not worry too much about them being left alone.  The story is different with puppies or bunnies, but if you work from home or have the time, that experience is also extremely rewarding.

Not everyone is a fan of young animals, or maybe they are but are not interested in the high DSCF1685amount of attention needed. I have fostered adult animals that just needed a break from the shelter and feel like they had a home.  Just a few weeks of normality helps these animals psychologically, physically, and emotionally.

Looking for a shelter? Type “animal shelter near me” in a Google search engine and your future opportunities will pop up.

Let this post spark your ambition to help your nearby shelter. So have fun and feel like you’re making a difference…because you are!  Who knows, you may meet a new “furever” friend in the process :).

Like this post? Another article from The Huffington Post promotes fostering as well if you’re looking for more information! Click Here For The Article

 

What To Do When It’s -13 Degrees Outside

With this crazy cold weather, even though people in Alaska are probably laughing at us, it is hard to get up and do something!  Too cold to walk the dog, or go outside for yourself for more than 15 minutes, or maybe your car is parked outside and won’t start, so your stranded at your house…

Here are some ideas if your car will start…

My dog after doggie day camp...
My dog after doggie day camp…

Have a dog? PetsMart has doggie day camp ($15 for half day, $21 for full day) where you can drop your dog off (with the updated Vet paperwork) and your dog can play with others in a room while you can go off and amuse yourself with errands.

I do this with my dog when he has cabin fever and we haven’t been able to take him for longer walks or runs, he comes home absolutely exhausted, which is awesome!

With or without pets, go visit somewhere unique, like an aquarium! There is a new one in southeast Michigan called Sea Life, I haven’t been there yet, but I plan to very soon as this cold weather continues throughout the week!

Go rock climbing.  Even if you are brand spankin’ new to it, it would be a great thing to do with this weather.  You can pay rock climbingfor a class and day of climbing, which also pays for another trip to the gym (and you never have to pay for the starter class again, they will re-teach you for free every time if you want). Not sure about your state, but Michigan has one Planet Rock gym in Ann Arbor, and a brand new one in Madison Heights. Go do something different! You might be like me and get addicted to a new great hobby!

I’ll mention the usual mall visit and raiding Costco’s sampler stations, but those aren’t very creative.

If your car won’t start…

Get caught up on work: I know… doesn’t sound very exciting, but getting stuff done that you didn’t really have time to do before will actually bring you a lot of happiness!

Be Artsy:  You likely have some kind of art supplies in your house, if you don’t, you’re missing out.

Inspired in the fall :)
Inspired in the fall 🙂

Simple as using pencil and paper to do a cool shading piece of artwork, or get complicated with fun acrylic paintings. Anything you feel inspired to do can be found on YouTube to make the complete amateurs look like they knew what they were doing, so why not?

If you can get out to Micheal’s, I suggest investing in a wood burning pen.  Wood burning designs is actually very calming and amusing.  I’ll make a separate post that goes into detail on how I’ve done that, but it is one of my favorite indoor activities, and the smell is like a subtle bonfire. 🙂

Best Fat-Burning Winter Workout

With the recent snow storm chaos, I am personally ecstatic to finally cross country ski right out my back door, and then I also thought, how many people who love to exercise, like the snow, or made a new years resolution to loose weight have never cross country skied?

As the definition from Wikipedia cracked me up, so I’ve decided to use it. Cross country skiing is is travel on skis over snow-covered terrain, whereby skiers rely on their own locomotion rather than on ski lifts or other forms of assistance.

XC Skiing Northern Michigan
XC Skiing Northern Michigan

So with your own locomotion propelling you forward, it’s a workout that works out your legs, abs and arms, giving you a thorough full body workout.  What most people don’t realize when they hit the gym in the winter, is that it takes a good 20-30 minutes before you even get to the point where your are burning fat.  Your body burns it’s “ready to use” sugar first which could be from what you just ate, to the Gatorade you may be drinking. Once it has burned through that, then it starts going to its reserves, but, ONLY if you are not exerting yourself too much.  Doing a workout where you’re able to hold a conversation and work out for a longer time (over an hour) is where your body will burn fat the most efficiently.

Cross Country skiing does JUST THAT.  It is a “medium” workout, not too hard, not too easy, just right for burning that winter fat that seems to add up so easily.  So how do you do it? It’s pretty self explanatory, you use the poles to keep your place while you move one foot after another, but where to do it all depends on the resources around you.  You could cross country ski around your subdivision if you wanted, you don’t need much snow to move, but the most enjoyable experience is getting out with some trees.  Renting is suggested, since it is cheap and you can see if you’d like it.  County parks (at least in Michigan) have them for rent. Doing a little research in your community and calling places that sell skis may help as well in finding rentals.

Hopefully you’ve been inspired to try XC skiing if you’ve never thought to, or get out and do it if you have!  I have my own equipment now and have found it extremely worth it, if you hunt the outdoor stores online for a while, you’re bound to find a good deal. I was able to get great skis, boots, and poles (all new) for under $200.  Patience is a virtue :).

Life: Picture it NOW

In my brain-fried state of mind after a long day of work and whatever else life throws my way, I find myself  “facebooking”, a verb I predict will be added to the dictionary in the near future BTW.

After flipping through my news feed, I was still mind-numb and didn’t feel like sleeping, so I flipped through my own pictures to reminisce on old times. Something i’m sure, and hope, everyone does once in a while.

I want you to take a minute and section out your day with what you do with your time.

For me, an average 24 hour work day goes like this..

7 hours sleep, 2  hours getting ready and driving, 8 hours work,  3 hours errands/pets/house/dinner maintenance, 3 hours homework/grading/planning,  1 hour of relaxing/getting ready to fall asleep… and repeat.  That’s only if I don’t have other things I need to do, like coach after school, or get the car fixed, etc.

Random weekend canoe and off-road adventure trip in Gladwin, Michigan
Random weekend canoe and off-road adventure trip in Gladwin, Michigan

When looking at the pictures, click after click,  I had a mini epiphany realizing that WOW, I’ve had a crazy, adventurous, fun life with awesome people… but how could that be?

 

 

 

When I take a snapshot of what my average day looks like, I realize that I’ve barely set aside any time at all to even have a life, but somewhere in chaos, I made a choice.

 

Ended up running the Detroit Half Marathon by myself, the view was worth it :)
Ended up running the Detroit Half Marathon by myself, the view was worth it 🙂

When I seemed too busy to even fathom doing anything besides what I need to do, I chose to do what I want to do instead.

I’ve made choices to live instead of exist.

Life is not your job, house, or stuff. Life comes in the moments in-between what normally fills our day and mind. So even though you have endless responsibilities, set time to actually do what you want and enjoy life, because if you’re not… then what’s the point of all work you put into it?

Everyone needs to make a living, but most people forget to actually live in the life they work so hard to make.

So I post a challenge to everyone reading this,  I want you to make a choice to do something that makes you happy instead of something productive… and take a picture of it. 

Better yet… reminisce with your own pictures tag any pictures of you making the choice to live instead of exist, it will help stir up the ambition that’s in all of us!

If you have Instagram, tag the picture with #time2beAmbitious.  If you don’t have Instagram, tag the Facebook page Time2beAmbitious in your picture.

Happy tagging 🙂 I look forward to seeing everyone live!

 

Do not let the fear of FAILING keep you from SUCCEEDING

As I hang up the phone from talking to the representatives of Kaplan University, I was pretty much taken back at the fact that just a week and a half earlier, I decided to get my masters and was registered and ready to start in just two days.  I decided to go for a masters in educational technology with emphasis on web design, the classes would be entirely online, but they were five credit courses that finished every six weeks. For those who don’t know, that’s a lot of work in a little bit of time.  The good news was, I’d be done in 14 months.

My timing could have been better, being that I decided all this just a few weeks before my school year started (i’m a teacher), but I figured it would be a year full of support from coworkers, and I wouldn’t be coaching in the fall either….well all that changed very quickly.

My team: a 2:65 ratio!
My team: a 2: to 65 ratio!

The week before school started, professional development was getting started, so I was checking emails and unpacking boxes in my new classroom when I noticed one of our coworkers sent out an email notification that they found a new job in a different district, but it was good for him and the family.  I didn’t think much of it, until two days later when I received multiple phone calls about becoming the schools new cross country coach, the job that became vacant at the loss of that employee.

I felt honored, but at the same time, I was starting a teaching year of two subjects I haven’t taught before, and just started my masters,

could I really succeed at all of them at the same time?

Quick answer… Yes, but it didn’t happen without stress induced medical symptoms.

Managing Cross Country Meets
Managing Cross Country Meets

In reflecting on how my life has been from this past September to November, I thought it would be appropriate to blog about how to handle the stress and time commitments of a very busy life, which I know for a fact, I’m not the only one enduring. Everyone has crazy times in their lives at some point, whether it is what I’m going through, or moving, or getting a house, married, child, new job, the list goes on forever!  I’m not trying to get sympathy or condolences, just attempting to give some tips and reassurance to those who are in a similar situation or want to pick up the pace of their lives.

So on top of teaching a teaching job from 6:30-2:30, coaching from 2:45-4, house/animal care-taking from 5-6, dinner making from 6-7, I had to dedicate the evening to something more relaxing.  I would constantly bring work home to do, but realistically…never got to it, and that’s OKAY.

The busier you are, the better you get at managing your time.

Created my own science curriculum and still made it fun and hands-on :)
Created my own science curriculum and still made it fun and hands-on 🙂

My prep time at work was jam packed with planning for the week ahead, my lunches consisted of either grading or responding to discussion posts for my masters classes, and I would call in the help of parents to come in and do my copying for me.  You learn to make-do, and that’s exactly what I did for those months of chaos.  The beginnings are always rough and exhausting because you haven’t learned to manage time. There was a time where I had to call a sub to go to urgent care at the end of the school day because I had to be ready to go to a cross country meet to coach after-school.  I was suffering symptoms of an ulcer, which, the main cause? Stress.  After changing some diet choices and reaching out to others to help lighten the load, the symptoms went away and I know now better ways to handle the coaching season.

Happy ending to the story?  I aced all my masters classes since I’ve started, my students have learned what they needed to

Enjoying time outside of work
Enjoying time outside of work

learn in the classroom, and cross country was the best coaching experience I’ve had so far and I can’t wait till next season. On top of all this, I’ve kept up with my fitness, enjoyed dinners and movies with my husband, and went on many adventures with my pup and friends.  Time management is the key to success, but it was definitely a learning experience to get to where I am today.

After truly dedicating myself to a break for the holidays, I face the second half of the year consisting of masters classes, teaching full time, soccer and cross country conditioning, followed by another very time committing season of coaching high school soccer (plus hosing a cross country race in the spring to fundraise). I know it’s going to be tough, but I’m ready and willing :).

Dedicating time for family and fun, GO GREEN ;)
Dedicating time for family and fun, GO GREEN 😉

The moral of the story, you live and learn, and sometimes life can be so crazy that you don’t know how to do it all, but you always get by.  If you want to further your education, do it! If you want to change careers, do it!

Don’t let intimidation of failure block the pathway of success; you’re stronger than you think!