November 20, 2013

A Day of Reflection

One of the great benefits that my company offers is a paid day of reflection - that's right, once a year we get to take a day off and reflect on our career, personal lives and just relax away from the office.  It's an awesome idea and I used my day of reflection to the fullest.  Prior to taking the day we are required to submit a short essay explaining what we will be doing throughout the day and what we plan to reflect on.  Originally I was scheduled to take mine in mid-August, around the day of my 4 year anniversary of moving to Albany, but at the time my work load was just too heavy and I wasn't able to take it so instread I decided to take my day last Friday.  My original plan had included hot yoga, a small hike and lunch at one of my favorite lunch spots; however given that it's the middle of November I opted to forego the hike and spend approximately two hours painting my own pottery at The Pottery Place in Stuyvesant Plaza.  Actually, the majority of my day of reelection took place in Stuyvesant Plaza!
First thing I did the morning of my day of reflection was sleep in!  That may have been one of the best parts!  The past couple weeks have been really challenging and stressful - between travel, work assignments, follow-up and some person things I needed a day to just sleep in and enjoy a pot of coffee in the living room while watching some trashy reality TV.  After a relaxing morning I headed off to a hot yoga class at The Hot Yoga Spot.  I love hot yoga and use to take classes multiple times a week, but ever since I joined F.I.T. Strength & Conditioning and began taking boot camp classes, hot yoga has more or less fallen by the wayside.  I really should do it more often - I have noticed my flexibility has decreased and it really does relax and calm me; not to mention it's challenging!  Anyway, I took an hour and fifteen minute class and sweated my stress away - it was great!
Hot yoga!
The class ended around 11:30 AM and I headed around to the other side of Stuyvesant Plaza to walk around a little bit and do some 'window' shopping.  I really enjoy walking Stuyvesant Plaza and going into all the little shops.  Stuyvesant also happens to be home to one of my favorite places to eat - Bountiful Bread!  I go to Bountiful probably at least one time a week and it has become the regular meet up place for myself and many of my friends.  I love Bountiful's create your own salads and 90% of the time I go there that is what I get, so that afternoon was no exception.

Awesome 'create your own' and a breadstick.  Also notice the HUGE pumpkin whoopie pie in the back of the shot.  Bountiful has awesome whoopie pies so I bought one to split with Adam later that night.

After lunch I walked around a little more and then headed over to The Pottery Place to paint some pottery!  Awhile back I bought a groupon for 4 free hours of studio time; I used two of those hours back in June when my friend Barb came into town and even though it was fun I didn't really like the mug I made.  This time I decided to paint a salad plate and after careful consideration (it took me forever to pick out my colors and stencil) I decided to go with a blue base with black and yellow flower designs.  One of the ladies who worked there actually gave me a great tip that helped me ensure my design looked decent!

Getting ready to paint!

The end result turned out awesome!  I will get it back this Friday and I can't wait to see how it turned out.  One of the guys who works at the Pottery Place said my plate looked 'wicked awesome,' I was excited!  I have never been a real creative person so they fact that I was able to paint something like that (even with the aid of a stencil) really made me happy!

Can't wait to see how it looks once it's fired!
While painting was a ton of fun it was great to just sit by myself for about two hours and work on something that wasn't work, house or life related - it was really relaxing!  Overall I had a GREAT day and I am very appreciate that my company offers a day of reflection - it was much needed and a great way to reflect, relax and refocus! 

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