The work behind work ethic

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I came across this article today entitled, “Can Work Ethic Be Learned?” While the article teeters about that yes, it can be learned among young adults, it is harder to instill in children.

I’d like to politely disagree with this claim.  As a child, I grew up in rural Ohio in a working class family and community.  I had chores, such as cleaning my room, doing the dishes, taking the dog outside, etc.  When I was a little tyke (like, elementary school age), I vaguely remember earning a small allowance for such tasks; however, as I became older, the household chores and responsibilities became expected of me – if I wanted money, then it was clear I would have to earn it myself.

Now, I was far from the “golden child” and my mother would probably argue that I was the devil in disguise.  Sure, I complained about my chores and maybe even threw a few tantrums, but I completed them (sometimes reluctantly) and if I did not do so, then I didn’t earn any allowance or was banned from something I loved, such as talking on the phone for hours on end to friends I’d seen for 8 hours that very day.

Back in the ’80′s and ’90′s, my parents were just as busy as the parents of today, so I scoff when people use that excuse as to why kids today have minimal work ethic.  Day in and day out, I watched as my parents ran a household, got us to school, helped us with homework, made our meals and held down full-time jobs.  Perhaps I was more observant since I didn’t have an iPhone or computer in front of my face, so should we blame technology for children’s poor work ethic?

As an observer, I was able to understand the importance of hard work.  If I wanted to achieve something or just wanted money to purchase a materialistic item (which was usually the case in my teen years), then I had to work for it.  So I did.  I scooped fries at a fast-food restaurant after school until 10pm; I got up with the sun to walk through the blazing hot cornfields for $250 for a month of work; I baby-sat, cleaned offices, and served copious amounts of beer to golfers as they left me a twenty-five cent tip.

None of these jobs were glamorous, but they certainly made me appreciate the jobs I have now.  Even still, I constantly find myself working toward something better.  Because of my work ethic, I always think I can strive a bit farther in my career.  While I can certainly feel satisfied with my job(s), there is always room for improvement.

Can work ethic be learned? It can certainly be taught to children in the form of parents and other adults modeling what work ethic looks like, as well as giving responsibility to children.  Minimize the hand-holding that many of today’s children are used to and give them something to do other than stare at their iPads all day. They might surprise you.

My hips lied to me

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Abby Gets AroundLithe Method

Instructor: Lauren Boggi

Class: Waspie

It had been about 2 years since my last Lithe Method class and last night I realized that my hips have been lying to me for a long time since because I literally cannot move in the ways that Lauren does.

Having been a past Lither years ago, I knew what I was getting into – a sweaty, gut-clenching workout.  I purposely signed up for a class I had never taken before and one that included the use of the blue stretchy bands, which I remember making my arms shake like Jell-O.

The class began with a CCS (cardio cheer sequence) and within minutes, I was glistening with sweat.  Most lithers were wearing gloves, which helps ease stress from the bands, but I didn’t have mine with me, so I went “naked.”  If you’re not used to the bands, your hands will hurt a bit, but I’ve heard that the more band classes you take, the easier it is on your phalanges.

Mid-class, we got into some serious hip pivots as well as some mid-section twists.  Lauren was very helpful, coming around to each student with modifications and corrections.  Not only did she model each move, but she also modeled using students in the class.  This was super helpful and gave me insight as to how the move should feel.

Overall, I’d recommend Lithe, especially if you’re trying to get back on the working out religiously bandwagon.  The only downside is the cost – $22 a class is not something I can always afford.  There is a monthly one-a-day deal for $210, which comes out to $7/class if you go every day of the month.  That seems like the best bang for your buck, but there are also 5 and 10 pack options too.  Check out more pricing options here.

Abby Gets Around

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Freedom is knocking at my door – school is over this Friday and for teachers, this means everything.

For me, it means finally having time to work out like I want to instead of squeezing in workouts whenever I can.  And not signing up for any more races until I get myself in check and in shape.

As someone who is very “Type A,” I need variation.  And a challenge.  So I thought to myself, “How can I make myself want to workout this summer instead of sitting on my couch drinking wine and watching “Orange is the New Black?” (which I will also be doing, btw).

How I feel when I think of working out these days...BORING.

How I feel when I think of working out these days…BORING.

Well, during the super crazy last few days of school, I was browsing the Internet and came across this article about a woman who tried 30 different yoga studios in 30 days.  I must say, I was am inspired.  But I am not rich and yoga is expensive. And I like doing various types of workouts.  So this is my compromise:

Abby Gets Around

No, not that type of “getting around,” I am a married woman, after all.  In this challenge, I’m not setting a specified timeline, I’m just going to try different workouts in the city.  This could be anything from a yoga studio that I’ve never been to, a different type of yoga, Pilates, spinning, dance, etc.

I’ll post reviews of my workouts on my blog and give Philadelphians my honest opinion.

I’m hoping not only to reset my workout mojo, but also to find something new that I can enjoy.  Got somewhere you think I should try?  Let me know!

I kinda want a shore house

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I grew up in rural Ohio, which meant I didn’t visit a real beach until my senior class trip, where we somehow managed to raise money to go to Hawaii.  There, I sluffed sand into a Bud Light bottle and secretly hid it in my suitcase.  It was my one reminder that beaches do exist.

shore

Living in Philadelphia, I feel so lucky to be a mere 45 minute drive from the Jersey Shore.  Sure, it isn’t Waikiki Beach by any stretch, but there’s sand and an murky-colored ocean, so it’s close enough.

So here I am, biding my time at work on the Friday before the biggest weekend ever in Philadelphia.  The weekend where everyone heads “down the shore” to kick-off shore season in their shore house.  At 33 years old, I’m well past the days of sleeping in a house with 8 other co-eds and getting drunk every night on jello shots and cheap beer.  But I still kinda want a shore house.

Sure, it would be a “grown-up” shore house where we would drink wine and eat cheese and crackers and sit around with other couples and friends and discuss things like travel, our boring jobs and if we will ever bear children.  We would most likely be in bed by 10pm and rise with the sun to work-out or drink a cup of coffee while reading the NY Times online.  Basically, we’d do everything we do at home, but we’d be at the shore.

So yeah, I kinda want a shore house.  Sans the Bug Light and jello shots, I think it would be rather awesome.

Coffee shop junkie

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I didn’t grow up in a coffee-drinking family.  In fact, I never drank coffee until college, when the thought of a 9am class was painstakingly tiring.

Now, I live for mornings and getting up with the sun.  And for coffee.  Not only do I love the taste, I enjoy the sound of the drip-drip coming from Mr. Coffee.  The smell of coffee makes me happy and sipping that delicious first cup is how I prefer to begin my day.  There’s nothing better than a quiet space and a peaceful cup o’ Joe.

coffee

One thing I love about Philly is the amount of coffee houses.  I’m the type of person who will hike across town just to try out a new coffee shop.  Give me a good book and a few hours and I’m set.  While I’m always scouting for new coffee houses, I do have some faves:

ChapterhouseThis place is just so chill.

La Va:  Find me on the little couches…and their food is pretty awesome if you get hungry.

Good Karma(the 22nd St. location) I love sitting out back when it’s nice.  The bathroom is probably the nicest bathroom that ever existed in a coffee house.

OCF: (Point Breeze location) Great outdoor space, but I also love sitting inside and watching people stroll by. The coffee cake is spot on.

While home is of course, the “free” option when it comes to caffeinating myself, I oftentimes crave the feel of a coffee house.  What are some of your favs?

Mom’s Day

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I’ve never been what some might call a “Mama’s Girl.”  If anything, my mother and I butted heads quite a bit during my childhood and especially during my tumultuous teenage years. However, while growing older has wreaked havoc on my joints, it’s also made me wiser – and made me realize what a jack-ass I was as a teen.

You see, I’m a lot like my mother, whether I’d like to admit it or not.  I won’t go into details, but I think this is something that children learn when they’re well into adulthood, for fear of admitting that they’ve turned into their parent(s).

So while I won’t be spending this special day with my mom because she lives in Ohio, if my mom were in Philly, here’s what we might do:

  • Go to Reading Terminal Market and get some apple dumplings (but not on Sunday – Amish day of rest!)
  • Browse the Italian Market and pick mom’s brain for recipes, then buy lots of fresh veggies and fruit and possibly some meat
  • Brunch it at Cafe Lutecia because it won’t be overcrowded and they have excellent tomato bisque.
  • Go for a walk along the Schuykill Banks and hope that it doesn’t smell like garbage.
  • Cook mom a nice dinner, but encourage her to make her my favorite dessert.  Because really, she does it best.

Let’s get personal…

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WARNING: This post contains what some people may consider, information that is TMI.  And it involves discussing lady parts.  Any men reading may want to open a new tab or get a notepad and take notes.

I’ve never been the type of gal to get UTI’s.  Like, not even in high school (although I did have some pretty maj cramps, which involved me leaving school early and my father ignoring the fact that I was lying on my bed in the fetal position when he got home from work).

My first experience with the UTI came when Felix and I were living in Berkeley, and over Thanksgiving, might I add.  Despite the urgency to “go” and some painful burning, I still guzzled wine because it was a holiday, of course!

After 3 days of the antibiotic, CIPRO, and a lot of coaxing from Felix to take said antibiotic, my lady pee-parts felt better. *Side note – I pretty much grew up taking antibiotics and HATE taking them as an adult, now that I know better.*

Fast-forward 2 or so years and I’ve had many more UTI’s than I’ve had periods (slight hyperbole here, but you get the point).  The past 2 times I’ve went to the GYN, my urine analysis has been negative, despite taking a course of antibiotics for nothing (UGH!)

So, my GYN (who is super cool and lives in my neighborhood, which is not related at all, but I wanted to mention it), thought that I should get an ultrasound of my lady parts just to make sure they were working properly and there weren’t aliens growing inside me and stuff.

I go to Penn Hospital for my pelvic ultrasound and am ushered around the facility by brusk nurses into dimly-lit rooms, the kind where the ceiling has watermarks on it that are the color of ginger-ale.  I immediately have a mini-freak-out, but hide it by reading an Entertainment Weekly from about 2 months ago.

Did I mention that I had to drink 32 oz. of water one hour prior to the test and was instructed to hold my pee until afterwards? Also, I ate mexican for lunch (note: do not eat mexican before any female exam ever).

Finally, it’s my turn and a really nice, but non-conversational frumpy lady takes me into an exam room.  I take off my running capris and lie on the table as she waves her lubricated sword over my pelvic region.  She presses lots of buttons on her computer and I hear several clicking noises. I stare at the ceiling and notice that the lightbulbs are made in the U.S.A.  How about that?!

After a few minutes, she says I can release my bladder and then come back for the vaginal ultrasound…YAY!

A pelvic ultrasound is really just a stranger browsing at your lady parts

A pelvic ultrasound is really just a stranger browsing at your lady parts

She hands me a wand from under the paper blanket and tells me to “insert.”  This is awkward because shouldn’t she be doing the inserting? Whatever, I’m happy to help and I do.  She then takes over, moving the probe around and around, clicking on her computer while I visualize cancerous tumors appearing on her screen.

Once the procedure is over, I high-tail it out of there and bike to the nearest Whole Foods, where I consider purchasing a lot of desserts to binge on while I await my cancer diagnosis.  When I arrive home, I WebMD my symptoms, convinced I have ovarian cancer, IBS, peptic ulcers, kidney stones and tight hips (I do have tight hips, btw).

The next day rolls around and I’m still alive, but the GYN has not called with my results, which were supposed to be ready the morning after my procedure.  I convince myself that she has seen the results and is mulling over how to tell me that my ovaries are corrupt.  I wait until the next afternoon to call her only to have the nurse basically infer that they have the results, but the doctor has not seen them yet…she’ll call me right back.

Right back in doctor terms is over an hour later, but my GYN definitely called me from her cell, so I’ll give her that.  She probably sensed my OCD/control freak/Type A personality.  The results? Fibroids on my uterus, which apparently, are common. Basically, everything is normal, some women, such as myself, are prone to ‘roids, which makes sense, since I had one removed from another lady part 11 years ago.

The GYN suggests that when I start thinking about having kids to get another pelvic ultrasound (so like, years from now), but otherwise, keep on keepin’ on.

Naturally, I looked up the closest Wine and Spirits store in my new ‘hood (there is one, although it’s scary, which is why I bring my husband and dog when going).  Nothing says, “My lady parts are okay!” like some vino and champagne.

Moral of the story: Perhaps I need to figure out how to cool my stress levels so my IBS (a real condition I’ve struggled with since college) is not producing symptoms which I interpret to be other conditions (UTI’s, cancer, kidney infections, cancer).  Things I’m considering for the near future: A juice cleanse, eliminating sugar and other “culprits” from my diet, and yoga every day.

This entire experience made me realize that I don’t take as good of care of my body as I should, even though in my head, I know what I should be doing (I always do the opposite).

Sound familiar?!