Monday, September 30, 2013

Getting in Shape

I've gained 5 pounds since the wedding. Had this occurred say, 6 years ago, my reaction would have been that of "OH MY GOD I'M SO FAT AND I NEED TO STOP EATING NOW!". However, my older and wiser self is actually quite pleased that it was only 5 pounds. I can't even believe that I used the word "only" in that sentence given my lifelong battle with my weight.

I'm being practical though. I was working out before the wedding and not overindulging. Since the wedding, I have learned just how much Ped likes to have snacks in the house and I have suffered from some severe couch potato syndrome since I still haven't found the right fit for part-time employment. So 5 pounds? That's sweet.

However, it's time to get back on the wagon. I am feeling myself slowly slipping into a funk and I will not let that happen. I realized as I was getting dressed this morning that my dimensions have the potential to give me a very hot body. Curvy hips, big butt, small waist, petite upper frame - it's all there for me to work on.

I know what you're thinking - Bethany is going to start training for another run or join Crossfit like everyone else in the world is doing or we're going to have to hear her complain for the next few weeks about how much she hates working out. But don't worry my friends!

While I truly believe everyone should live up to their potential, I have no plans to live up to mine. At least in the tight body category. I am enjoying spending free time with my husband cuddling on the couch and trying out new recipes that may or may not include butter. We don't want to slip into too bad of a habit though so we're going to start doing our videos together - JNL Fusion. I did it before and the workouts are between 20 and 45 minutes each day. We're hopeless if we can't fit that in a couple times a week.

My plan is to feel like I am strong and healthy. I'm pretty sure the world couldn't handle it if I became a work out freak and got really hot.

(If you know me, I hope you can interpret the underlying sarcasm in that last statement.)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Small Things

I'm having a hard time finding my identity right now. However, I am learning to appreciate the small things in life.

You know when you find a pen that works great, you don't want to put it down because it becomes "the" pen. Being a math student, I am using pencils pretty much exclusively now. Today's pencil was the BEST. The tip was at just the right angle, and it just wrote so fluidly. Writing proofs for an hour was actually enjoyable because my penmanship looked amazing.

Sooooo, there's that.

What's On Tonight?

Ped brought me something a couple weeks ago that confirmed that we are officially a happily married old couple. It was a list of season premieres for the TV shows we have come to watch, mostly together. Not a list of vineyards to visit, or bars that we have to try. Nope. TV shows that would require us to be home every evening by 8.

While I feel this is the time in our life that we should be out and doing things (Ped and I have actually discussed this feeling), I am just as excited about the idea of spending each evening with my husband and starting new seasons together. We have watched so many baseball games, tv shows, and news events together through phone calls that it's nice to be on the couch with him instead.

Done with the sap. Here's my synopsis so far:

I love this show. Everything about it. This season seems like it will be good. The premiere picked up in a seamless flow from last season which is great. When a season ends with a cliff hanger, please address it in the premiere and give me a conclusion. 'Preciate it. The writing is really good with keeping the relationships of the main characters in the forefront while keeping the audience focused on the crime and solving it. Hodgens is my favorite. Apparently I like dorky scientists. Who knew?

Sleepy Hollow
I find this show to be crappy. I've learned to enjoy fantasy and sci-fi shows but this one is a stretch. However, it's on Monday at 9 right between Bones and Castle. This is when I do my homework.

Very disappointed with this one. Castle is on for a few hours every afternoon and we have become a little intrigued with it when we're home. It's often in the background. Nathan Fillion is hilarious and totally owns the role. This premiere focused mostly on Beckett's new job, added a bunch of new characters and didn't have the same feeling as previous years. Plus her new partner is this lady who played a character on House who was one of the main reasons I did NOT watch that show. She just irks me and now she's Beckett's partner. New characters, new story line, and Beckett and Castle interact differently now that they're engaged. Eh.

It's on right now. I have no idea what's going to happen but it's same old characters, same old stories, same old funny one-liners. Man I love this show too!

Coming up this week:    Big Bang Theory, Glee, and Hawaii Five-O.
Next week:   Arrow and Tomorrow People

Don't think we're too boring or lazy. We only plan on watching the premieres then DVRing the series that we actually decide on watching. I can assure you that will be Bones, Big Bang Theory and Arrow.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ask for Forgiveness, Not Permission

Monday was our one month anniversary. Quick synopsis of where things stand:

Ped is a rockstar at his job.
I still don't have a job.
The house is still perfect.
The garden was taken over by a large buck who ate all of our tomatoes.
     (Per my MA 120 class: If a large buck eats all of your tomatoes, Bethany will stop caring about the garden.
      The conclusion is true which makes the whole statement true.)
Calculus class is starting to click.
We get along fairly well with each other; disagreements are lasting much shorter. 
Our house gets really cold when the temperature outside drops below 80.
Neither of us has lost our rings yet.

That's the high end overview. I love Ped more every day and love being his wife. Housewife? Not so much, but definitely his wife.

Now here is something new I have learned about us:

I am a logical thinker. To make something happen, I quickly organize all of the parts in my head in the order they need to be completed. Then I analyze if there's a cheaper option. Yada yada yada.

Ped knocks a wall down during a commercial break because he felt like it was time. At noon. On a Sunday. When he had a very busy week coming up.

Because he is doing 99% of the work, this was my first lesson in "shut the heck up and let him do it his way". I could list all of the issues with this random act of demolition but I won't*. I have learned that if Ped wants something done, he does it and then figures out if it's going to work. Sort of like "ask for forgiveness, not permission". I was told my entire career that I should be more like this but just didn't have it in me.

This is not to say my way is right and his way is wrong. In fact, if we were to have approached the wall from my way, it would be completed in May after we used the fireplace all winter. I would still be making lists and combing Home Depot ads to see when things were on sale. Because we approached it from Ped's way, our living room will be complete by the time we are able to start hosting guests next month and I will have a mantel to hang Christmas stockings on this year. My way would have been acceptable, but Ped's way is much better.

Soooo how excited am I for Christmas now?!?!?!?!?!?

Note to Ped: I know you are reading this post. I appreciate that you think differently than me. This is not my way of saying you are always right.

*Ok I have to but only to satisfy my writer's need to explain myself: the tiles we just put up the night before had to be taken down, we don't have a mantel yet to put on the wall, we can't use the fireplace now though it's the perfect weather for it this week. Phew, now I feel better.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

An “Outsiders” Perspective of 9/11

I wrote this on September 10, 2011. While my personal situation has changed, it still gives resonance to the forever effect 9/11 will have on me emotionally. I promise to write happy things soon, but this is in honor of the 12th anniversary of the day that changed our country forever.


Two things that I did not do in college: wake up early unless I had somewhere to be and watch the news – except on September 11, 2001. That morning I was up, walking around my room, and had turned on a news show for background noise. I don’t remember what my agenda had been for that day, or why I was awake at 8:30am, but in that time before the planes hit the towers, I was given a few minutes of innocence and calm before the world ended – for some metaphorically, for some literally.

As I watched the smoke rise from the first tower, I was mesmerized. So much smoke and dust, how are those people dealing with it? Thank God I’m not there. Wait, is that Washington, D.C.? Why are they showing some fire at the Pentagon when NYC is obviously more important right now? Stupid politics. Go back to showing pictures of NY…oh my God, oh MY GOD, NOOOOO!!! THAT WAS A PLANE. Nooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Somewhere in the midst of what was happening, I called my father with nervous energy and actually joked with him that the world was on fire and he should turn the TV on. It still wasn’t confirmed that the Pentagon fire was connected to the attack on the World Trade Centers, or the plane crash in Pennsylvania, but everyone knew. What we didn’t know at the point was that the United States’ impermeable shield of freedom had been shattered.

My memory is not strong. I can remember numbers and functions and equations, but I can’t always remember faces or names or emotions. However, my memories of that day are not purely mental. I feel it in my heart.  As I sit here on the evening of the tenth anniversary of 9/11, I am thankful for the life I have been given. I am blessed that the pictures I have in my head of that day are from the television and not from images I saw in person.

So what’s an outsider’s perspective of 9/11?  There were no outsiders on 9/11. I’m a single, 29-year old banker living in Delaware because I was scared to move to New York to pursue a fashion career. I’m a woman who prays even harder every time I get on a plane because maybe my plane will be the next one chosen. I’m an American who hears unidentified booms and automatically thinks “bomb” instead of “fireworks”. I’m someone who did not lose anyone, or know anyone living there, and feels guilty that I grieve for my innocence when so many others lost so much more.

Failure in Adulthood

I realized that I am really good at orchestrating my life into "do well" or "not do well" but there were virtually no areas where I could actually fail. Are you similar? Do you avoid situations where you can fail?

What do I mean "do well" or "not do well"? Some random examples:

- I suck in the batting cages. It's just something I'm not able to do well but I enjoy being there and trying new things. Any time I put some bat on a ball, it's a bonus. I'm bad at it but it's not a failure.

- Any job allows for mistakes. But mistakes aren't failures - they're just mistakes. My most recent position gave me a lot of leverage to create and find solutions to problems. They were flexible with me and allowed me to take the lead on many projects. When I made a mistake, I had to fix it on my own and make things right. I didn't get fired or demoted. I just had to fix it. (Enter snarky comment here: Even the complete screw ups didn't get fired. They just got bounced around from area to area because companies now are too afraid to get sued for wrongful termination.) There was no failure, just trial and error.

This week taught me a lesson in failure. Two weeks into school, I had my first homework assignment and first quiz. I knew I got the homework question correct but still received a 3/5 because I didn't explain my answer. The quiz was an absolute nightmare. Though I did the practice problems and studied the material, my mind went blank and I know I bombed 2 of the 4 questions.

This isn't a presumed failure. This isn't a "I feel like I'm failing". This is a "here's your paper, you failed". Slap to the face reality check here! Ped told me this is going to make me a better teacher because I will be able to relate to the students as they struggle to grasp concepts. He also told me that it's just one quiz and there's a lot of semester left.

Of course he's right. But I'm still struggling with a new sense of self - my old orchestrated life was full of choosing to only do things of which I did well.  This new life includes a currently unsuccessful job search and failing my first review as a student. As I cried in Ped's office after the quiz because of complete and utter disappointment in myself, my own thoughts of quitting were louder than his words of encouragement.

Today is a new day though. Pursuing something you want always comes with failure. Always. For the first time in a long time, maybe ever, I am actually pursuing something versus taking the easy route. Two more applications out, a trip to the Board of Education to request more information on substituting, legally changing my name, and studying at the local library are today's to-dos. I will not quit. I have to keep telling myself that an F on a quiz does not equal an F in life.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


My nickname has become somewhat of a conversation piece with my friends over the past few months. For about five years, many of my friends and colleagues have called me BT. I never really liked nicknames and often call my friends by their actual names even if everyone else does not. However, being called BT turned into a comfort for me; knowing someone is comfortable enough with you to call you by something other than your given name has this stupid cathartic, calming effect on me.

The discussions of late have been that I will now have to be called BD instead of BT due to my new last name. I think that sounds like a disease and would prefer not be called BD.

My proclamation is that my nickname will remain BT and everyone must still use it. Nicknames don't have to make sense and often stick around even when the story behind the nickname has long passed by.  So there it is - just call me BT. Or Bethany. Or Mrs. Daneshgar. But don't call me BD>

I'll be documenting the honeymoon and starting school at some point, but you know...priorities.