A comment on stress and life in general

I was thinking this evening that I really should have written the Grand Lake blog posts earlier. But work has been so busy and stressful the past two weeks that I was too tired or not mentally up to writing. Thankfully, with the help of my parents, Gene, and my own will, I am trying to learn to manage and control my stress. Life is way too short for me to be this nervous and anxious all the time. It’s just not fun. It’s not fun to be in a dark mood when I’m at home, when I should be enjoying my time away from work. My time away from work is my life. I should not be allowing work to dictate how I feel when I’m not there.

My job is not that important that I should be as stressed as I have been. Throughout this week I’ve been trying different methods of relieving and riding myself of stress. Each day is better, but I’m not completely there yet. My problem, is that I have two sides to me. I have my logical, reasonable side that looks at why I’m stressed, analyzes the reasons, and comes up with reasons why I shouldn’t be stressed. Then I have my emotional side, which knows no logic or reason. It wants to squash my logical side, it wants to take over and just run. My problem, is that I let that emotional side rule my life when I was younger and so I’ve had to work at controlling it. I’ve gotten a lot better with my anger issues and sadness, but I still have work to do, clearly.

My logical side knows that stress is pointless. That worrying doesn’t lead to anything. But emotional side disagrees. It’s a battle, and although I know my logical side will win, I just wish it would hurry up a bit.

Writing, right now, is helping though. And the fact that I feel like writing is a good sign. I was going to post this tomorrow but I feel like I might as well post this tonight.

If anyone else is going through a period of stress or anxiety or depression right now, I want them to know there are solutions. There are steps to take to feel better. At the moment, for me, it’s not medication. But it may be medication in the future. And I want people to know that medication is an option. Not everyone needs it, and maybe you should try to overcome your problems without it first. But I know there are people who do need it, and no one should deny them access to something that will make them happy and able to live a good life.

My advice? Deep breathing. Figure out what you are scared of and how you can overcome that fear. Remember that life is too short for stress. If it’s job-related, know that no job is worth that much stress. You can always get a new one. And most likely, there will be people to support you if and when you need it. And Gene’s comment, stress is self-inflicted, so stop inflicting it on yourself (easier said than done perhaps, but still good to think about).

So that’s my ramblings. I’m not sure if it’ll make sense, but I felt the need to let my feelings out this time. Something I will always remember Gene telling me, “writing down your negative feelings and writing about them will actually physically help you feel better.” Seems to be working. ;)


Grand Lake Part 3

The last time we were in Grand Lake, Gene, Kevin, and I had hiked to Mount Ida. Gene and I wanted to do it again this year so we came up with a plan. We got up at 5:15 AM and had my dad, who was nice enough to get up that early too, drive us to the trail head. We started hiking at 6:20 AM. That is the earliest hike I have ever been on, but it was worth it.

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Sadly, I came unprepared and ended up wearing shorts and only had a light sweatshirt for protection. It was VERY cold up there. I have to be honest, the majority of the hike I was not comfortable. The wind was blowing at us almost the entire time, the sun was hidden most of the way up, and it was just plain old cold. The fact that I wasn’t comfortable makes me sad, because I would have enjoyed the hike way more if I was.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret going up, but I didn’t look around as much as I would have liked to. The times I did look around were breathtaking though, making the cold a little more bearable.

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Along the hike we saw elk, marmots, pika, and for the first time, ptarmigan.I always know I’m going to see animals on that hike. Heck, I’m going to see animals any time I enter the National Park.

We got near the top around 9:45 AM I believe, and that’s when I decided to stop. I was just too cold to make it to the top. I hunkered down behind a rock and tried to escape from the wind for a moment. The picture above is the first time I hunkered between some rocks. Gene went off exploring while I stayed and warmed up. That’s also the moment, however, when I saw a goat. I heard a noise and thought it was Gene so I called out to him and realized when I looked around that, hope, it wasn’t Gene, but a goat. He started getting closer to me and I wanted Gene to see so I yelled his name, which only cause the goat to run off and Gene to miss it. I’ll know better for next time.

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You can see the ptarmigan in the picture above. This one had three or four babies with it, but the babies moved too quickly for me to snap a picture of them. My hands were pretty cold so it was hard to take pictures.

So yeah, I stayed by a rock for thirty minutes while Gene made the final climb to the top. I’m super proud of him and hope to be there with him next time. The hike back took almost as long as going up but we made it down without any storms. My parents met us at the bottom and took us to a nearby lake where Kaitlin and Kevin had set up a picnic. I don’t even remember what we did the rest of the day but I’m pretty sure it was relaxing.

Go to my google + album here to see more pictures from this hike.

Gene’s new computer

A while back, Gene decided he needed a new computer (and he desperately did), so he researched options and decided to build his own. Yesterday we finally got all of the parts and so we built it! It took us about two hours because we were extra careful and read and reread instructions. Gene has had issues in the past with building computers (aka they’ve never really worked out) so I took over the majority of it, just in case. He finished up in the end with the graphics card and attaching all the power cables.

And so far…it works!

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Look at that beast, isn’t is beautiful?! I’m so thrilled, I’m hoping this computer will last him years. He still needs to test out some items, like playing games and hosting servers, but my guess is that all is right.

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I told Gene to smile. He was touching the light switch to make sure there was no electricity in his hands.

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Gene reading instructions to make sure we were doing everything right.

Farmer’s Market

This past Sunday I met up with one of my old co-workers at a farmers market near downtown. It was so nice of her to invite me because my week had been pretty stressful and this was exactly what I needed.

This was the first farmer’s market I had been to this year too. I had a great time. It wasn’t very crowded so we got to take our time and walk around a couple of times. I ended up buying some squash, peaches, and a pastry to munch on. We sat at a table for a bit, ate our snacks, and people watched. It was quite pleasant. My friend goes to the market every Sunday to buy her produce for the week. Although I think that’s a fantastic idea, I just don’t have the money or desire to drive 20 minutes every week. I may have to go again sometime though, it was really enjoyable.

I would post a picture but I’ve eaten all but one peach and have eaten half of the squash. Maybe next time! :D

Grand Lake Part 2

2014-08-05 09.48.38One day while at Grand Lake, Kaitlin, Kevin, Gene, and I hiked to Cascade Falls. It’s about a three mile hike to the falls and there are some lovely views along the way.

Not too far into our hike we ran into two moose. There were a few other people with us who decided it was a good idea to get closer to the creatures. One of the moose ended up charging at us but thankfully no one got hurt. It was quite the experience though, I didn’t really know what was going on so I just ran a ways and stopped. Next time I’ll run until I’m behind a tree, to be on the safe side.

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We continued on the hike after a while and made it to the falls. It was fun to go exploring and climb out on the rocks. Kevin went the furthest I think. Gene tried to put our water bottles in the water but they would start to float away so he had to give up.

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There were two areas you could explore by the falls, the upper section and the lower section. The upper section (seen above) had much better views but it was quite loud. We ended up having some snacks in the lower area before heading back to try to avoid the normal afternoon rainstorms.

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I really like moss on rocks and on the ground. I didn’t take nearly enough moss pictures on this trip so I’m glad I at least got one.

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Lovely aspen trees right off the trail. It was a pretty nice day that day, great day for hiking. We made it out without really getting rained on. Towards the end of the hike we saw a deer. I tried taking pictures of Gene “holding” it and “squeezing” it, you can see my results below. Yet again my camera caused issues with me not knowing how to focus on the whole area and not just one specific section. Oh well, it was fun to try!

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You can kind of see the deer in both pictures. It was also difficult because the deer was moving the whole time and I was trying to stay quiet, so there were a lot of distractions. I’ll need practice with an inanimate object next time!

Pippin proofing the balcony

Today Gene and I went to Lowe’s and bought some “chicken” wire (it isn’t called chicken wire but it’s pretty similar) to put around our balcony. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while now, since I talked to my friend Katie, in hopes that it will keep Pippin on the balcony and off the roof (and neighbors’ balconies). I bought my own staple gun to attach the wire to the ledge and after about 20 minutes or so it’s done! Pippin is out there right now and has been for about 10 minutes. I’ve seen him try to get onto the roof once and he failed, so I take that as a good sign.

I want this to work so that I can let Pippin outside and not worry about him. He loves being outside so much but I don’t want to spend an hour walking around and watching him, so this would be a great solution. I will have to keep you all updated in case Pippin finds a way around it.

Cool thing is, now I have a staple gun that I can use for crafts! I think stapling old t-shirts to boards is in the near future!

Grand Lake Vacation Part 1

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Gene and I went into the Rocky Mountain National Park the first full day we were on vacation. As I was taking a panorama, Gene decided to try to make it more interesting. Sadly, my camera was too fast for him and it just turned out a bit odd. Good try though, Gene!

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I like taking pictures of tall grass. It’s cool, right? I can’t be the only one that thinks that!

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While driving back from the park, we stopped to watch a herd of elk. Gene saw this elk licking its butt and asked me to take a picture of it. I didn’t really see the need but he stated again that I should take a picture, so I did. I just now noticed that there’s another elk licking its butt in the top left corner. Did not do that on purpose.

2014-08-04 09.22.34The next day, Gene and I went on a hike to Lone Pine Lake. It was about 5 miles one way I believe so we left in the morning and ended up having lunch at the lake. Neither one of us had been there before so it was nice. Well, it was nice once we got out of the mile or two stretch of mosquito land. We were walking near a meadow, that also had a river, and boy were the mosquitoes everywhere. They bit Gene way more than me, though. Sorry, Gene, your blood must be sweet.

We saw a deer within 10 minutes of our hike, which was neat. I always like seeing wildlife when I go up there. In the picture on the right you can see a chipmunk on the rock. He was enjoying the view with us.


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During the hike we found a great place to look out over Grand Lake. Couldn’t figure out how to get my camera to focus on everything so ended up just focusing on Gene’s face. That is the best part of this picture anyway so it worked out. Granted, the view of the trees and the lake and the surrounding mountains was pretty spectacular too. I do recommend hiking up there one day to see for yourself. If we hadn’t been so motivated we definitely could have stopped there and had lunch and then hiked back down. Glad we kept going though!

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Lone Pine Lake! Years and years ago my dad hiked this trail with my grandpa and my uncle. I wish I could have seen how the lake looked when they went to see if it had changed at all. It was quite gorgeous and completely surrounded by mountains.¬†Gene and I were the only ones at the lake so it was quite peaceful. We had some lunch and ended up spending an hour there when our goal was 30 to 45 minutes. Because we were there for so long the sky ended up raining on us. We had brought ponchos and for the majority of the rain, it wasn’t horrible. Right towards the end though, the last quarter mile or so, it was just a complete downpour. Thankfully the ponchos and the amazing hats we had bought at Costco, kept me generally dry. Well, the bottom of my pants got soaked but my core and my head were just fine!

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2014-08-04 11.28.39Tiny tiny little mushrooms we found. I have a thing for mushrooms in the wild. I just love taking pictures of them. Look how adorable those things are? I may not like the taste, but I can’t deny that they are cool to look at. That is Gene’s finger for scale.