My Reading List: September 1 – 5

Look-- we're so weird that we even come with a manual! Phot Courtesy:
Look– we’re so weird that we even come with a manual! Photo Courtesy:
Oh no, someone to talk to and I haven't had my coffee yet....
Oh no, someone to talk to and I haven’t had my coffee yet!

1) I have been an introvert for my entire life. When I am in a huge group, I am happiest when I listen and observe— but people have asked if I’m mad or even why I look like I’m judging when I don’t speak up. Nope, I just like to listen. If I don’t get  at least 45-60 minutes alone to myself after work every day, I go a little nuts— but I don’t like to be lonely. I just need my thinking time, please, and I can’t do that when all my emotional energy is being taken up by talking to you. Making the initial gesture to introduce myself to strangers is both draining and terrifying— but I know who I am, even if I say something stupid. I’d rather be genuine than polite. All of these qualities that define an introvert are also the qualities that Business Insider believes are excellent leadership qualities: the ability to listen, staying focused through solitude, and the ability to maintain self-confidence under pressure. Any introvert would tell you that we feel misjudged all the time– I love making people laugh with a funny story or joke, too much alone time also makes me crazy, and I would rather get to know people. Don’t overlook us quiet ones.

Basil and artichoke pizza: $9.32. Not being the shady colleague who never wants to be social at work: Priceless.
Basil and artichoke pizza: $9.32. Not being the shady colleague who never wants to be social at work: Priceless.

2) I’ve been trying to detox a little this week. Last Thursday, I had a burger that is everything that makes America awesome: a buttery toasted bun that held together a medium-rare bison burger patty topped with roast beef and sautéed onions and mushrooms blanketed with gruyere cheese and creamy horseradish. The memory of it makes me want to get one for dinner. Friday, I had a Caesar salad with a personal deep dish pizza topped with cheese and tomatoes. My friend and I have a tradition of getting Godiva truffles when we eat lunch at Union Station, so we each got four truffles each. Mine were Tiramisu, birthday cake, salted caramel, and cookie dough. I ate them all. Saturday, I spent the day at the beach where I ate a cinnamon roll for breakfast and later had fried clam strips with fries and white chocolate mousse frozen yogurt. Not to mention 3 beers, 2 PBJ sandwiches, and caramel-crab seasoned popcorn, and coconut almonds. Monday and Tuesday were fine– I had my green smoothie, a walnut-feta cheese salad, a roast beef sandwich with tzatziki, and apple slices at work. Wednesday, one of my co-workers asked if I wanted to grab pizza with her and, since I’m still at my new job and getting acquainted with everyone, I succumbed to a basil and artichoke pizza with white sauce on whole wheat crust. Whoops. Detoxing is not as simple as making healthy choices back-to-back. Sometimes the chemical reactions in our brains make us slide backwards. Case in point, last night after my run, I was craving salt and protein so I stopped at Rite Aid and grabbed a chocolate milk and snack bag of Sharp Cheddar and Parmesan Cheez-Its. I usually give myself a “cheat day” but sometimes I’d almost rather not try. Fortunately, this article in Women’s Health reaches beyond the “just say no” approach to killing cravings for junk food to give actual strategies for training your mind to crave what’s good for you. My first take-away? Eat healthy snacks so you’re not trying to kill hunger with a craving.

3) It’s New York Fashion Week and I could give less than a rat’s ass. Give me something real to wrap my mind and wallet around; not a bunch of spindly models who need a hug and a Lindor truffle. Enter Modcloth. If you’ve never gone onto their website to shop, you are missing out. Not only do I love their vintage twist on modern styles that also bring the fun back to dressing like a woman, but they are now leaders in an industry of photo-shopping, photo-filtering, and any other photo altering that make women feel like we will never “win” any of the battles for perfection that society expects us to dominate. With their new #FashionTruth campaign and anti-photoshop pledge, ModCloth is really looking to encourage the industry to be more thought-conscious about the realness of a woman’s body. Sorry, but I have no explanation for the random lumps that appear on my frame and why all my exercise hasn’t minimized them. I can’t do anything about why the things I want to be bigger are small and why the things I want smaller are too big. Hell, I’m a size 4 and even I feel jaded by the fashion industry. But if there are fashion retailers out there who “get” that women need clothing that actually fits them in a real way, I’m already a loyal customer.

Photo Courtesy:
Photo Courtesy:

4) This book has been on my Kindle Fire HDX for months. I’ve mentioned twice how much I love The Skimm, and now they have recommended it. Why did I download it? I heard Old Hollywood, romance, and the aqua waters off an Italian coast. Guess it’s not too late to start a summer read!

5) There is no place like Nebraska if you have Ebola. Dr. Rick  Sacra, the U.S. aid worker who came down with Ebola while working in Liberia, landed this week at Offutt Air Force Base (about a mile from my parent’s house) for transportation to the Nebraska Medical Center (NMC) for treatment. Why was he brought to Omaha? Well, NMC has one of the nation’s only 4 biocontainment units that is specifically designed to treat diseases such as this. It makes me proud that my home state has that kind of advanced technology and the skill to help Dr. Sacra through what was called “a marathon, not a sprint” of a treatment plan. He’s in good hands in the good life.

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