Monday, August 31, 2015

August Review

I got a big assist in August from Juanna's Power 30 challenge, in which I mostly re-established my self-care routine and that's certainly not nothing. Though it's not quite ...something, you know? I would actually like to start doing something with my life, when does that start?

August's picks:

HOME

1. Clean kitchen? Please?

Kitchen cleaning HAS BEGUN. In no way did I think I would get it all done in a day, so far I sorted through and mostly threw out the stack of things I was saving by the refrigerator, including two really cool styrofoam coolers that the Omaha steaks I get from my BIL for Christmas came in. Regret! But, no regrets. And then I sorted through and threw out a lot from the stack of gear crates by the sink, and actually swept under and behind them for the first time in years, and washed the floor in that general area.

That said, the sweetie man simultaneously closed out his storage unit and the kitchen and the front room are looking like the warehouse at the end of Indiana Jones. Sigh.

PLAY

I didn't pick anything for this, but somehow picked up two new clients and also hired an accountant?

PASTIME

Write

Blog posts seem to have been the by- or possibly waste products of doing Power 30. It's not really where I want to be with the blog, but the gears are turning again at least.

Watch

The beginning of the month was terrible with CSI, which doing Power 30 right away helped to control.

See

We didn't see any movies this month, but it's been a pretty social month, starting with Biggie's bachelorette pary, rehearsal dinner, and wedding and reception. I had brunches with Ernest and Killjoy and also with meine frau, a red lipstick date with Biggie, and last but not least Fury weekend.

September Picks

HOME
1. Clean kitchen to finish? Depends on how the sweetie man's project shapes up...

PLAY
2. Draft budget/business plan, how about that. Or maybe write up where I am with sun salutations, that's been a real bright spot for me.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Set Up For Sleep SuMTuWThFSa

Last but most definitely not least, I'm tackling sleep for the last week of Power 30. "Tackling" doesn't seem quite respectful enough, it's more like I'm making a little bower and dancing a little mating dance for sleep. Nothing new here, I've written about sleep before; actually, I can update how I'm doing on those sleep habits:

how i'm doing on those sleep habits

As you can see, the other four ur-habits all support sleep. And, vice versa. I keep meaning to write a series where we look at each ur-habit as the top point of the star, and how the other four support it. Maybe soon. Right now we can look at sleep as the top point, why not. In all this depression the worst is when I haven't been able to sleep. Sleep is the alpha and the omega for me right now, everything I've been doing for Power 30 has been to support sleep, so that sleep can support everything right back.

Hydration

Hydration is really on point for me right now, I'm going by this newish rule to drink half your body weight in fluid ounces of water daily. I start with the 12 oz when I first wake up, then I just take it from there: 16 oz with breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and lately I've been downing another 16 oz in the afternoon. So that's what, 76 fl oz, and I weigh 136 lbs divided by two is 68 fl oz I'm supposedly supposed to be drinking, done and done.

Nutrition

Nutrition has also been on point, I have a good food plan in that it works for me: protein and vegetable required for breakfast (subbing fruit for summer), lunch, and dinner, starchy vegetable or whole grains allowed for dinner, nuts allowed for afternoon or evening snack, and alcohol, sugar, and starch allowed 3-4x/week. I'm not drinking at all anymore and it's to the point that I don't even really enjoy too much starch, my poison is ice cream for the most part. Oh and, potstickers from Mon Lung, love those. I'm allowed my indulgences but the better I eat, the more I want to eat better—boring, but true.

Movement

For movement I finally settled on walk 3x/week, yoga 2x/week, and bike 2x/week before 9:00 AM, getting up at least 4x morning, afternoon, and evening, and stretch every night after 9:00 PM. I'd like to do more, but this is where I am right now and I'm getting surprisingly a lot from sun salutations. I'm still not doing full sun salutations, mine are modded down until I get stronger at chatarunga and also until my ankle heals and I can jump my feet between my hands.

Meditation

Meditation is happening every day now, I look forward to it.

Apart from the above, the major change in my life is: no more derby. So first of all, bedtime is not midnight, lol. Bedtime now is more like 9:30 PM, asleep by 10:30 PM. So that means stop caffeinating by 4:30 PM—I'm so highly motivated to sleep, I generally don't have caffeine after noon; stop eating by 7:00 PM, sure, I'm a lot less hungry at this activity level, I pretty much eat dinner and I'm done; stop exercising by 7:00 PM, well, I train until 8:30 PM sometimes, but I'm going to interpret "exercising" as moderate- or high-intensity movement, which I am currently doing none of, so, check.

That leaves the actual sleep habits, which I'm focusing on this week:

Actually be in bed eight hours before you have to be up, right?

Really my problem right now is not getting into bed right after dinner. Or who am I kidding, for dinner, on nights that I don't train. So for now how about not eating dinner in bed, and do something with yourself in the evening to earn your sleep.

Straighten sheets

Easy enough, I sleep so much better if the sheets are straight and smooth.

Turn down temp

Windows open if it's a cool night, AC on if it's hot.

Turn down lights

I.e., my computer. When I did that sleep study, the doctor said dimming the screen to two clicks was low enough, so that's good enough for me. I also put blue tape over the power light, which helps a lot. I know, how about not having my laptop in the bedroom... I'm not ready for that...

Turn down brain

...there's the rub. My worst habit is that I fall asleep watching TV on my laptop. I mean, I watch procedurals on the theory that they're formulaic and not super engaging, and sometimes this works like a charm and sometimes it really, really doesn't and I'm up all night, either half-awake or fully awake, it doesn't matter which, it's just awful.

I've been bargaining about having my laptop in the bedroom for years, I've slept with my laptop in the bedroom for years and years. In fact before the sweetie man moved in, I used to sleep with my laptop in the bed. It's my security blanket. I'm not giving it up if I can watch one episode of whatever to wind down and then go the fuck to sleep. Which I could do when I was playing derby, because exhausted. The issue then was not wanting to wake up. That part is good now, I like waking up at 6:30 and drinking my water and doing my words. I just need to be able to fall asleep and stay asleep. I don't feel like my actual sleep is under my control, though. I only control my sleep habits; once I'm adhering to those habits, I can assess the results I'm getting from them. If the results aren't good, then I have to change my habits. So pretty much I'm trying to get all my other ducks nicely in a row and hopefully, result! So I can still watch TV before bed.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Rescuing Sympathy

I love the meaning of this video, but I have a little bone to pick with its definitions:

I'm in complete agreement that it's disconnecting to respond to somebody's pain with problem-solving ("You want a sandwich?") or silver-lining ("At least...") and that what makes something better is connection. I mean, I think that's really deeply true and worth spreading the word about. I'm just not sure why sympathy has to be defined as the former, why can't that be called, you know, sucking, which is more what it is.

Sympathy's too good a word to be ruined like that, if you ask me. For what it's worth, sympathy to me is with + feeling. So to me, sympathy has a kind of side-by-sideness, which doesn't seem like a bad thing to me. You feel something the same as somebody else feels, that's lovely and not lonely at all. Like when you're on a good sports team, you have that side-by-side feeling; it's really one of the great feelings and one of the top reasons to play derby. There was that scrimmage where it was just me, Mah, Beaux, and Kate, so we played with the Manics and went in every third as a Fury squad and killed it, we all just knew what we all were doing at any given moment; honestly I think that night was the high point in my derby career, and I've had a bunch of them.

Empathy, on the other hand, is in + feeling: there's an I'm-going-in-ness to empathy. So I guess I can see why she assigned these terms as she did. Sympathy is often a happy coincidence, but maybe more often than not doesn't happen like that. Enter empathy, you don't feel something the same as somebody else so you enter what they feel or you take what they feel into yourself. I do think that's a higher order thing than coincidentally already feeling what that person feels, I'll give you that. Maybe you access something in yourself that did feel the same at a different point, but maybe you never felt that at any point and access it anyway.

Big ups for empathy, for sure. Big ups for Brene Brown, I love Brene Brown. But a hand up for sympathy, too. We can use all the good feeling that we can get.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Forty Eight!

red lipstick date

Red lipstick date! Actually 8/25/15.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Meditate SaSu

I put "try to fit in meditation" for Saturday and Sunday on the Power 30 spreadsheet, where I was going to get my little check mark if I even gave a little thought at some point to maybe mediating now?

Which Saturday, I did think that. And then I thought, nah. I was laying in bed watching TV and the sweetie man was next to me taking a nap, and that seemed like a fine way to spend the rest of the afternoon. Which I'm not saying it wasn't or that I regretted it, just that I spend kind of a lot of time in bed lately and I sort of imagined I'd have a little more to show for my life than a really better than average track record at guessing who the killer is on CSI.

So then Sunday was already enough, I mean in the way that you're supposed to think of yourself as enough. Sunday I drank my water, did my 750 words, got out of bed and washed up and got on my bike at 11 to have brunch with TS. My birthday is tomorrow so this was my birthday brunch. TS had said that her Sunday was pretty full, so I had it in my head that we'd have brunch and then I'd head back home to do Sunday things. But after brunch she said that she still had a bit of time and we could hang out, so we walked our bikes to the park and sat on a bench to talk. Where we remained until, like, five. This is what is so great about TS, I don't hang out with her a ton and maybe because this is what always happens. It was great to talk to her and great to be in the sun, really just what I needed. Though by the end what I really needed was to pee. So we walked our bikes out of the park and I dropped her off at her corner and then I rode home. That was enough. It didn't need to be made better.

Still when I got home, well, first I peed, and then I thought, maybe meditate now? (Check!) And then I thought something like

NNNNNNNOOOOOOO I DONN WANNAAA
sdjkghsugwptorkhrpotkhueghworghesviushdvs

The resistance was really incredible. I told you that resistance is a little bit of a red flag for me, right? I'm really not in the business of forcing myself to do things that I don't want to do, but I think resistance is sometimes undermind's way of saying I NEED THIS. So I thought I'd give it a try, and then I could watch TV. Though the thought of putting my legs up the headboard made me feel like kicking and screaming, so I said, fine, we can do it in corpse pose. So I started my timer and had a little savasana... is that what savasana means? Corpse?? What did you think it meant, naptime?

The first thought that popped into my mind was, remember how you wrote to yourself in your 750 words this morning not to forget to email Nora about her appointment Tuesday?

Damnit.

And also don't forget to bring your tax returns to work tomorrow so you can scan them and send them to your NEW! accountant.

Which is how meditation goes, until the timer goes off.

Now TV?

I can at least manage to boil some eggs for lunches. Boy the day that you can't manage to make seven-minute eggs, you need to give Wellbutrin a chance, that's all I'm saying, seriously, it's seven minutes.

Okay but, I'm making a smoothie for dinner.

That's fine. You need half an avocado for your salad kit, though. If you make a rice bowl right now, you can have half an avocado for that and the other half for your kit. I assume you want salad. I mean, you're already making the eggs.

Salad kit is a quart-size takealong container that has a handful of cherry tomatoes, half an avocado, and lately I've been doing half a zucchini, plus two hardboiled eggs, which I take to work and make into a salad for lunch, sprinkled with lemon juice and salt. Rice bowl is what I eat for dinner, the most bare bones version is rice with a bit of meat, half an avocado, and kimchee. Actually there's an even more bare bones version, just rice, tofu, and kimchee, but though nutritionally sound that's edging towards tasting like sadness so I try not to go there too much. Avocado and kimchee as a combo is the bomb. When I was better, I was making more veggies and those bowls were soo many flavors.

I'm sure you can manage to cook up this broccoli, right?

Okay but, just the broccoli. Not the kale.

My super easy recipe for broccoli is: trim, cut up, and wash broccoli, heat a tablespoon of coconut oil in a large skillet over high heat, throw in the broccoli, cover, and cook for five minutes, then uncover and cook for five more minutes. I'm in super sad shape, but even I can manage this. And it's super good, the broccoli gets charred a bit and smells great. Sometimes I add a little bit of crushed red pepper.

So easy and so good, you know, if you just wash the kale and massage it a bit, you can cook it right in that same pan and all your veggies are done, awesome rice bowls all week.

Okay but, it's just going to be plain kale, can you live with that?

Sure, sounds good.

Really though it wouldn't be any trouble to crush a clove of garlic in the garlic press. Right?

So I had rice, a little bit of leftover orange chicken pieces, broccoli, garlicky kale, kimchee and avocado in my bowl tonight.

It doesn't always work like this, but sometimes this is how meditation works.

It would be easy enough to write all this up in a blog post, wouldn't it?

Then can I watch TV??

Then you can watch TV.

Don't forget to brush your teeth, though.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Meditate MTuWThF

What's my next Power 30 goal going to be? I was going in order: sleep (save for last), hydration, hygiene, nutrition (skip for now), movement, and that brings me to meditation. Okay.

I've been practicing meditation for maybe fifteen years, I was going to say "practicing meditation on and off" but decided not to say "on and off" because that's redundant. But then decided to say "decided not to say 'on and off' because that's redundant" because that seemed necessary. It's necessary to show how the sausage is made, I think. I don't want to give an impression of myself as a delicious sausage springing from the forehead of Zeus (but I may have just given you an image of a delicious sausage springing from the forehead of Zeus that you may not have wanted, I apologize for that.) Honestly I think that's what we're working against, we're bombarded with images of delicious sausages and it's considered distasteful to show how they're made. I'm not even saying so much that we're lacking in instructions for how to make sausage, I'm just saying that it would feel less lonely if there were more images of people up to their armpits in sausage fixins. Possibly I would feel like less of a freak, not that writing this paragraph is helping me out with that. Whatever, I'm a freak, so what.

Meditation. Is by nature an on and off thing. Meditation is for mediating our on and off natures. So when I say that I've been practicing meditation for maybe fifteen years, I'm telling you that I ain't no Buddha. But I am fifteen years past where I started, which ain't nothing. I like to remind folks now and again that this blog isn't for me telling you what to do, it's just me telling you how I do. Though I acknowledge the potential for interpretation that the me telling you what to do is silent, so every now and again I like to say no to that. I also acknowledge that perhaps you might take my how I do into your how you do, so every now and again I like to say go you and you do you and in this case, keep in mind the fifteen years.

I think the last time I wrote about how I meditate, I was hiding in the stairwell at work. I don't do that anymore, instead I've been doing it after I get home from work MWF. So my week three Power 30 goal is add it back into the other days of the week, starting with Tuesday and Thursday.

This is how I've been doing MWF:

Really all I have to do to get this into TuThu is to set my intention to meditate before I go to the gym for clients, and do everything else the same all the way through getting my dinner and then go to the gym. And if I want to get this into SatSun, figure out how to set my intention for that.

Last but not at all least, I said before:

the crazy thing is how it turns into so much more than just fifteen minutes counting your breaths. I guess it's because basically you're practicing calmly bringing yourself back to the task at hand, over and over just in the fifteen minutes, then day in and day out, then week by week and so forth. That is a lot of practice, a ton of repetitions. You know what it is, it's WAX ON WAX OFF. You wax on, wax off for fifteen minutes every day, and then somebody tries to sweep your leg and WAX ON comes out of nowhere! Except not nowhere, it came out of those fifteen minutes.
Except Ska told me that if I actually tried wax on against sweep the leg, I would find myself flat on my back. You know what I mean though, right? Because I'm telling you that if you ever find yourself being loaded into a CT scan with the left side of your body disabled, which I truly hope you never do, you'll be glad that you have a bunch of nice, calming breath counting under your belt.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Do Sun Salutations SuTuSa

Or walk to the train MWF, or bike to therapy Thursday. Just a little bit of movement to start every day. So my morning stack so far is:

# drink water
/ do 750 words
// do sun salutations or walk or bike

Then breakfast, if you're curious; in summer it's nut butter fruit smoothies like I'm on almond butter cherry right now.

So tomorrow starts week two of this Power 30 challenge, and I've been thinking about this. My backstated goal is to re-establish my self-care routine: sleep, hydration, hygiene, nutrition, movement, and meditation. I started with hydration because it's easy, remember EMILY's list? Early Money Is Like Yeast, it makes the bread rise? So, hydration: early in the challenge and early in the day, get two birds started with one stone. Now what? Sleep, hydration, hygiene, nutrition, movement, and meditation is written roughly in the order that I encounter them in the day, obviously circularly. I didn't start this challenge with sleep, sleep to me is the hardest and most important. I'm working on it all the time. I'm working on it now. I mean, not right this minute. Though I sort of am—everything that you do all day contributes to how you sleep at night. Anyway, I've written about it before. I guess I'm counting words as mental hygiene, and otherwise I'm all right with hygiene. I'm depressed, but I do still shower. So next would be nutrition? I hestitate to say this, because every time I say something like I'm falling apart but dagnabbit I've got [fill in the blank] together, that's fill in the blank's cue to burst into flames. But ::throws salt over shoulder:: nutrition is actually on point, has been for months. So next would be movement, which might be where all this trouble started.

I was super great about joyfully resting and healing after I got out of the hospital, and I thought I was starting small, very small, with putting movement back in. Not small enough, apparently. Or maybe small enough, aggrieving my undermind at how small like when I first realized the tiny cube that 1 oz of cheese is. It'll get better, I don't even really like cheese anymore! Or maybe not social enough, after all my physical self has been my social self for eight years. Whatever it was, I was getting sick hand over fist for like a month straight and then I got depressed.

Now when I say "social" I mean a tiny drop of social like those butterflies that drink the tears of turtles. I don't have social anxiety. I like being social, just in microscopic amounts. Pretty much the way I used to drink, which I don't at all anymore because being drunk is too much like having a stroke, not that I have PTSD about that, just that I don't want to be having a stroke and be like, nah it's just that thimble of wine I drank at dinner. So Saturday was Biggie's wedding and it wiped me out. The only reason I didn't stay in bed all day Sunday was to get brunch with Shanna who was in town from Atlanta. We had brunch at Stax Cafe and then we walked a bit on the Bloomingdale Trail until it was time for her to go to the airport, before which she did me a solid and confirmed that she also has no signal in my apartment on her T-Mobile phone--that might be a future goal, tackle this business of switching my cell service and upgrading to a smartphone. I'm mostly excited about Instagram! So then I got back in bed and stayed there for the rest of Sunday, watching CSI. Monday was horrible, but I knew to expect that and then it's not as bad, then after work I get to lay on the bed and meditate, and then I'm supposed to tidy the kitchen but the sweetie man came home and said he was going to do the kitchen so who was I to stop him. I ice bucketed my ankle instead, while doodling in my notebook what my next Power 30 goal could be.

Finally I figured out that I'm certainly not going to solve my whole movement problem this week. I just need a little thing that I can do, a little thing that represents movement the way drinking 12 oz of water represents hydration (and I suppose 750 words represent mental health, lol). I do hydrate like a champ for the rest of the day. Or actually, I guess I've been blogging again since I started the 750 words. So I decided that after the water and the words, every day should start with just a little bit of movement. On work days, that's actually already covered with walking to the train to work—so that's like the free square you get in Bingo, well three free squares. Though I haven't been running the stairs like I always do, obviously. For the past, what, five years I've had this commute, I'm often tired and often think to myself on the platform, is today an escalator day? And my inner mom says, Are you injured? And finally last Friday I answered back, I sure as shit am! And I rode that escalator like the Queen of England, waving at people and shit (in my mind). I mean, that only takes out one of flight of stairs, there's still three others. Boy that Friday I was crutching down the stairs and somebody bumped me from behind and I twisted around with my face full of rage, but it was a blind woman with a dog. So it was okay, she didn't see my rage face. So MWF walk and eventually get back to myself on those stairs, Thursdays bike, and NEW! SuTuSa is going to be a little bit of yoga, a little sun salutation:

  1. Google "sun salutation"
  2. Pick a sun salutation. Yoga Journal was near the top, I like Yoga Journal.
  3. Actually Yoga Journal had like six sun salutations to choose from, I picked Sun Salutation A
  4. Which weirdly is by Kelly McGonigal, the identical twin sister of Jane McGonigal who does the SuperBetter site that I was talking about earlier.

yoga is like sausage, it looks good but nobody hardly shows you how it's made. but i do.

Yoga is beautiful, yoginis are beautiful, so much love and light and all that. If you were looking for a yoga video that's all dark and I have to keep checking WTF I'm supposed to be doing next because you have to start somewhere, look no further because I'm your gal.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Drink Water, Do 750 Words

Is my Power 30 goal for this week, just that, every day this week. I am the queen of baby steps. I am also the queen of process-oriented goals, which is a little different than the prevailing wisdom of results-oriented SMART goals. I wish I could think of a metric that starts with H, because then I could get famous for being the person who came up with STAHP goals. Specific, timely, achievable, H, process-oriented. What. STAHP seems negative, right? STAHP and smell the roses? Ah well. Anyway, I rarely have a specific result in mind. Always a specific process and see what happens, the result flowers from the process. If I like the result, I keep the process. Important: IF I like the process! Wait, I feel a table coming on:

 like processdislike process
like resultkeep processtweak process
dislike resulttweak resultdump process

Like I'm never going to subsist on chicken breast and do cardio seven times a week so that I can get ripped abs, I hate chicken breast. So dry. I have the abs that you get from eating chicken thighs. So I'm going to gently interrogate myself about how I feel about abs, maybe adjust that? Yes? No? Maybe gently interrogate myself about how I feel about chicken breast, maybe try them again? Back and forth like that. I mean, not in regards to chicken breast. I'm pretty decided about that.

ANYWAY. Overall I'm trying to snap all the pieces of my self-care routine back into place: sleep, hydration, hygiene, nutrition, movement, and meditation. Hydration is as good a place to start as any: drink a glass of water when I wake up every day, I will write about that later. Right now I'm going to write about doing 750 words, which is sort of hors the above list. I suppose it's sort of mental hygiene, or it's meditation of a sort. Whatever. Words is words. Words is pretty much the same as morning pages, and what I use for them is 750 Words.

Which has a lot of bells and whistles that are just for funsies, he even says that they're just for fun. I find them distracting and just ignore them. I further ignore some of the parts that might be considered fundamental to the practice--e.g., writing every single day, and keeping a streak going. In the past I've done just Sunday/Tuesday/Thursday because how much sleep I needed because of derby, and that was fine. I've also done long streaks when words were really helping me, punctuated by long breaks when they really weren't. I may not be sure about captaining a big ship with a lot of souls, but I'm darn sure that I'm the captain of my own little boat with my one little soul. I sail how I want! I use 750 Words for its very basics: a white page, a keyboard (agree, typing is my most free-flowing writing), and a counter and a little green flag that pops up when I've hit my 750 words.

750 words

As for what I use it for, it depends what I need it for. I'm not writing a novel or anything. Probably 80% of the time I'm narrating my life to myself, talking myself through getting through the day. First you drink the water and then you do the words and then you tidy the bedroom because they say that making the bed every morning gives you a little brain cookie to get you started and then you tidy the kitchen and then you fix your breakfast... it's horrifying, really, day in and day out. But that is pretty much why I picked this as my first Power 30 goal: if I want to rebuild my self-care routine, then I'll need to talk myself through it and it's better than buttonholing somebody on the bus.

But also there was an idea like what A-Bomb posted:

The moment after you wake up is one of the most vulnerable times in your whole day. Start it off by thinking about yourself. You can’t make a difference in anyone else’s world unless you take care of you. So focus on you for a moment, not what other people are doing on social media (because we know it’s all a lie anyway). And don’t think about what other people are thinking about you. YOU think about YOU.
I'm not so down on social media, though; that might be a blessing of not having a smartphone. I don't think it's all a lie, either. Anyway I haven't been starting my day thinking about what other people are thinking about me, I've been starting my day solving murders (CSI), Claire wrote this thing a while back about watching TV at bedtime just because you can't stand your own thoughts, that, only lately like every waking moment, so like twelve hours of CSI a day. I could start that job today. Except, stomach contents. But I haven't been watching CSI since I started doing my words again! Good thing, because I seriously am about to run out of police procedurals. Do you know how many of those there are? Law and Order, CSI, Criminal Minds, NCIS? I have watched. Almost. All of Them. So, words. Starting the day by looking at myself: I feel like crap I slept terrible I dreamed that horrible dream, sure, I do that too. And then also sometimes I'll just write what needs to be written that day, which I could launch Blogger and write my post, it's the same white screen, it's the same activity. But Blogger doesn't count my words for me. So I write it all in here, cut and paste to Blogger, and hey, I have a blog post for the first time in six months. And hey now, TWO blog posts.

(See? Do 750 words is the process, two blog posts is the result. Also now I only watch CSI when I'm ice bucketing my ankle.)

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Friends With Lifeboats

So I'm told that depression is a pretty common stroke --or major illness in general-- aftereffect, I accept this. However, this only started I'd say three months after? If anything for the first three months after the stroke, I was euphoric. So I've been thinking, why was I happy then and why am I not happy now? (Actually I'm feeling better, you can tell because I'm moving my lips—or what serves as lips on the internet, fingers.)

By the way I figured out how I can cobble the SuperBetter site into my self-help cobbler, one of the things that was stressing me out about SuperBetter was the thought of having to keep up with three power ups, three quests, and one battle every day. But, it's not like that. I think it's more like you do one set of those at a time; so basically whenever you log in, it shows you wherever you are with the current set and it doesn't scold you. I like the quests. Not all of them, I throw out the ones I don't like. Though in my experience the ones that I instantly think aren't applicable to me or that I instantly take a dislike to are the ones that I need to work on the most, so I give everything a little try. If I'm still not feeling it, I trust my judgment and toss. So I think what I'll do is dip into SuperBetter for quests now and again.

One of the first things that SuperBetter encourages you to do is find allies, I'm down with that. I want my own friends as allies though, and in our own space. You know how I work for a Chicago office and a Boston office? I finally figured out what the Boston office does, they consult on platforms. Facebook is a platform. A big thing for platforms is ignition, when the platform takes off. Like how Ello isn't taking off, womp womp. Ignition is tricky. I wouldn't say that the platform itself is not important, because the damn thing has to work the way you want. But really platforms are about the people on the platform, or the platform and the people together.

Which brings us to lifeboats. I have a couple friends who are absolutely brilliant at lifeboats. Problem's pushup challenge that I did in May and June: brilliant lifeboat. Her pushup challenge was essentially a mini-platform that achieved ignition. First of all, she built it on an existing platform, Facebook, which was a) very serviceable from a technical standpoint, and b) already populated, but most importantly c) with Problem and her friends. Problem is, in tipping point terms, a connector, which not everybody is. I am not a connector. I am a maven. Then also the "platform" of the challenge itself was perfectly designed. The task: five pushups a day, not too hard and not too easy, and who cares if it's too easy, an easy five pushups a day never hurt anybody. If you did the task, you got an instant reward: you could see your video, visual evidence that you did the task that could be seen by you and by others. I actually learned how to shoot and post video for this challenge, so that was an extra achievement unlocked for me, and let me tell you, as a trainer, video is the achievement that keeps on giving.

If you're interested, here was my progress with the pushups. I really started with pushups way back in the day of this blog, when Busty and I were doing the tiny tricep pushups. Then Travis and I did a pushup competition, in which I did some stupid number of not very good pushups and actually hurt myself. I wasn't hopeless at pushups when Problem's challenge started, but I'd been doing them pretty half-assed up to that point:

go home pushups, you're drunk

Go home pushups, you're drunk.

What's going on here is I have no sense of solid plank form, which pushups depend on. What it feels like to me is that I don't have sufficient arm strength, but no amount of crappy repetitions is going to solve this problem. Well, I take that back a little bit—no exercise is wasted, I very well may gain arm strength. But if I keep practicing crappy pushups, I will always do crappy pushups.

genius!

Genius!

This is actually a pretty bright idea, even though it's coming from the wrong place (still thinking the problem is arm strength). My only issue with bodyweight exercises is people tend to think their bodyweight is their minimum starting point. There's no moral imperative to start at your body weight! It's okay to ask for help, in this case from a rubberbanditz band. The band takes up a little of your weight so that you can work up to it, which you totally would do with any other weights.

eta: oic

OIC...

Then the sweetie man helps me out with my plank form by holding a PVC pipe to my back and I finally get like Helen Keller what a proper plank feels like. This video is not the Helen Kelen moment, this is Teacher patiently pumping water over my hand.

even better

Even better.

Here's an alternate way to do assisted pushups that I adapted from Kelly Starret's Supple Leopard. I like them both ways, but this way you don't need a pullup bar. Also the way the band is, you have no choice but to keep your elbows in.

i got no strings

I got no strings!

And finally, unassisted. There's still a little curl to my plank, but I fixed that by the end.

Then even more rewards, I don't think Problem ever failed to like a video that was uploaded. So you got a thumbs up from Problem, minimum, and then more thumbs up and words of encouragement from other people in the challenge and even other friends who were not in the challenge. So much validation from one little task! So much connection. So much dopamine or serotonin or whatever. All of which breeds the ability to do more tasks--more pushups, and more tasks that are not pushups. Hinc illa euphoria--plus doing my ProSource quizzes, another excellent setup.

This blog post is in fact edited from an email that I wrote to Problem, who suggested that perhaps I could captain my own lifeboat. Which I'm trying to balance between being confident in how well I know myself and being open-minded about how that's working out for me and maybe thinking a little different. My experience, though, is that it doesn't tend to work out when I'm at the helm of such endeavors. Ugh, remember 60 Small Ways? Or recently, the indie film club? I don't want to analyze right now why those flopped. Because it's okay that they flopped. It's okay if that's not my thing, I'm not unaware that I'm awesome at other things. And because I have friends who are really awesome at this, which is really awesome for me. It's kind of awesome of me to have friends like I do.

Which brings us to Juanna, the mother of lifeboats. Like you know that really giant lifeboat, the SS Windy City Rollers. Juanna has just launched a Power 30 lifeboat that I'm going to help row for now. Maybe I'll see how I feel about launching my own boat 30 days from now.

Friday, July 31, 2015

July Review

Frig, I am getting my ass kicked. I am officially depressed, apparently not uncommon after a major life event. Is it a physical aftereffect of the stroke or the psychological aftermath of stroke + retiring from roller derby, nobody seems to think it matters which and everybody says a little of both.

Weirdly July started off pretty good, the beginning of July is when I cleaned the bathroom and hung out with TS and Sparty and finished taking my ProSource quizzes (see below), and pretty much for the rest of July I've been in the dumps. I am able to: 1) work, 2) train clients, and pretty much the rest of the time I'm in bed or on the couch.

And in the continuing saga of my life titled Good News, Bad News: Who Knows, I fell off the sidewalk leaving my therapist on Thursday, oh my god who does that, and rolled my ankle right smart—but hey, right outside the primary care practice that I'd been eyeing as a substitute for the primary care doctor who was recommended to me out of the hospital. So I hobbled in and saw a doctor and it's a Rush practice, so she was able to pull up all of my Rush records—my mammogram, my hemology tests, my ultrasound—and she asked if I was fully recovered from the stroke and I said I was totally physically recovered but I thought I might be depressed. So she started asking me depression stuff and of course I started to cry, thereby answering that.

So that's pretty much where I am now, plus a sprained ankle. It's seriously like the bar keeps getting lowered, like the one thing I used to still be able to do was walk!

I've had some inspiration too, though. This came up in my feedly: Jane McGonigal on Getting More Done with Less Stress and The Health Benefits of Gaming, which I got superexcited about and immediately signed up for her SuperBetter website. But, I think it needs some work. Like you have to check off these quests and in allaPoppyspeak you get a little brain cookie whenever you check off a little task... only it only checks off your quests if you access them in a specific way, so I did like ten quests and my counter was stuck at 1/3 and I'm like, WELL YES, THIS IS EXACTLY HOW LIFE FEELS NOW. I still love Jane McGonigal! It's not you, it's me! It's just that nobody has invented the readymade system that could satisfy me, I even stopped using Wunderlist. Please remind me of this before I plunk down anything cold and hard for a FitBit! It will always be the blank paper notebook and the blank electronic spreadsheet for me. I'm super down with "gameifying" (I think McGonigal herself does not like that term) my life, and in fact that's really what's behind my timetracker and charts, which is why I was so excited by SuperBetter in the first place, kindred spirits, but ultimately what makes it redundant for me. ANYWAY tl;dr, I am going to cobble together my own game out of Post-Its, Google Sheets, and Facebook.

July's picks:

HOME

1. Clean kitchen for the love of god, if I feel up to it.

First of all, I did clean the bathroom! Which needed it again after I cleaned it in, uh, April. And I feel like I'm getting close to being able to clean the kitchen...

PLAY

2. Take ProSource quizzes to finish.

Done!

Really the only problem here is how much doing this was functioning to keep my mood up, this was the exact right kind of task crossed with the exact right kind of reward. I haven't found anything that works quite like that to replace it.

PASTIME

Write

I think a big thing that's going on with me is that I'm eager to just get back to my life... but I think undermind doesn't want me to just go back to what I was doing before. Undermind doesn't want to rehash the same old food charts and recipes all over again, undermind thinks—or possibly knows— that I should be doing something new and different. Undermind wants me to grow as a person. And undermind can't talk to me about it, undermind can't talk. Undermind can only pull the plug on my motivation and not let me get out of bed until I give up heading in the wrong direction.

Watch

File this under be careful what you wish for, Netflix picked up NCIS and that ate my life. Then I poked around and it turns out that Hulu has CSI, so I signed up for my free one-month trial. Netflix >>>>> Hulu, I'll tell you that. Hulu has ads! If you pay, you shouldn't have ads. Not that I've paid yet. I'm going to cancel as soon as I'm done with CSI, which I don't even like as much as I think I would have without the ads. Which maybe is for the better.

The only other thing we watched this month was Tracers, which is some parkour movie starring Jacob from Team Jacob, lolz. And tonight I think we're going to watch something with The Rock, I forget what— oh right right, Hercules. Ha ha, I love The Rock.

See

Like I said, it started out as an okay month for seeing people: TS and I got jibaritos and hung out in the park, and Sparty and I got biscuits and pie at Bang Bang Pie Shop. Also Biggie had her shower and Annie organized a boat trip for Fury, that was really great.

As for seeing movies, the sweetie man and I (and Odie and Kevin) saw Minions!

at the movies

August Picks

HOME
1. Clean kitchen? Please?

PLAY
How about we focus all our energy on the kitchen?

PASTIME
Yeah, how about that.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Catalogue of a Friendship


chapter 245 - matchy matchy
chapter 244 - serious buttons
chapter 243 - cupcakes and shit
chapter 242 - emoticon exploration
chapter 241 - less angry and more compassionate
chapter 240 - stupid quiz
chapter 239 - rest, rest, rest
Green mod podge vases
Chapter 237- omg its june
chapter 236 - derby kills
chapter 235 - now it is fine
chapter 234 - money!
chapter 233 - bananas!
chapter 232 - dang
chapter 231 - flipping my lid
chapter 230 - woo sparkles everywhere!!
Chapter 229: Bridal virgin
Chapter 228: Spring has sprung!
chapter 227 - discriminate THIS <>
chapter 226 - frustrating habits
chapter 225 - this is what a monster looks like
chapter 224 - snip snip
chapter 223 - a very pleasant female
chapter 222 - dad joke alert
Chapter 222 - relax, don't do it
chapter 221 - chili on potato!
chapter 220 - aughghghgh
chapter 219 - PHOTOS!
chapter 218 - going on an adventure!
chapter 216 - GAPOCALYPSE!!!
chapter 216 - oy my god
chapter 215 - the chapter of the dodo
chapter 214 - assemble some shit!
chapter 213 - not a manatee!
chapter 212 - go rope!
chapter 211 - freedom everywhere
chapter 210 - busy fridays
chapter 209 - those troublesome domos
chapter 208 - what?!
chapter 207: Angry Wave
Chapter 206: pajama party
Chapter 205: what have i done!!!
chapter 204 - balmy
chapter 203 - happy new thread!
chapter 202 - a little horrified
chapter 201 - a new dawn
Chapter 200 - the gap has SADS
omg chapter 200 - SAD gifts
chapter 199 - dammit
chapter 198 - fast girl is fast
chapter 197 - the masses are too much work
Chapter 196 kitties that pray together bathe together
Chapter 195: gotta make it until thursday, or the next sunny day
chapter 194 - stitches
chapter 193 - yippieeeee!!!
chapter 192 - disappointing humidifier
chapter 191 - pant pant
Chapter 190: I will sell this house today
chapter 189 - friday friday!
chapter 188 - wednesday wednesday
chapter 187 - monday monday
chapter 186 - feelin fresh
chapter 185 - grannies
chapter 184 - hot and ready!
Chapter 183 - it's a good day to die
Chapter 182- FOOT RUBBSSS
chapter 181 - montreal in the gap
chapter 180 - little stoner slug fell in the gap
chapter 179 - and the winner for minding the gap for all time is...
chapter 178 - criminal minds
chapter 177 - when people in cars are nice
chapter 176 - clam renunion is only a motion awayyy
chapter 175 - the awesome thread!
chapter 174 - the happy weekend thread
chapter 173 - yucky job yucky job (:]
chapter 172 - not the greatest skirt in the world
chapter 172 - the heisenberg thread
chapter 171 - because i'm happyyyyyyy
chapter 170 - HAPPY HAPPY DAY
chapter 169 - spinning straw into gold
chapter 168 - the gap won again
chapter 167 - the post independence period
chapter 166 - skeleton is love
Chapter 165: Penny tiles!
Chapter 164: new threads
chapter 163 - manifest destiny
chapter 162 - minding the gap
chapter 161 - breakthrough!
chapter 160 - the silence of the clams
chapter 159 - hottubbing
chapter 158 shot in the dark
chapter 157 - the sake tuyas
chapter 156 - accomplishments
chapter 155 - floor washing fantasies
chapter 154 - :D
chapter 153 - D:
chapter 152 - hungry hippo wants all the marbles
chapter 151 - whoa
chapter 150 - summeeertiiiiime
Chapter 149 spoiler alert!
chapter 148 - morning in atlanta!
chapter 147 - knee high socks
chapter 146 - requiem for devil rays
chapter 145 - hair question
chapter 144 - off the florida keyyys... there's a place called mexico
chapter 143 - no wait! i have 1 and 2!
chapter 142 - o.O mind the gap O.o
chapter 141 - kick the mountain yay
chapter 140 - you wear overalls and big old brogan shoes and you need a haircut, tramp
Chapter 139: Work that ASS-ertive
chapter 138 - thump the babies
chapter 137 - the chamber of secretions
chapter 136 - hot lesbian sex!
chapter 135 - nachos
chapter 134 - dry wombat
chapter 133 - american gladiators!
chapter 132 - pizza and shakes
chapter 131 - drunk and falling off your donkey
chapter 130 - hey-o!
Chapter 129 - bald odie
chapter 128 - fingermind
chapter 127 - glaciers!
chapter 126 - hackers!
chapter 125 - rescued by neighbor
chapter 124 - stars and happiness!
Chapter 123: a christmas miracle
chapter 122 - christmas episode
Chapter 121 - sex face
chapter 121 - send your wife sex face
chapter 120 - beat up the mailman
chapter 119 - pumpkin bread is in the house
chapter 118 - to do orgy!
chapter 117 - preemptive strike
Chapter 116 - Don't cross the streams!
Chapter115: Mantra!
chapter 114: MIND THE GAP
chapter 113 - wordy and not so wordy bots
chapter 112 - post-champs
chapter 111 - let's be awkward together!
chapter 110 - waiting for buzzfeed
chapter 109 - the fix-it thread
chapter 108 - the great fish robbery!
chapter 107 - funfetti!
chapter 106 - cute round things
chapter 105 - i can't control the kittens!
chapter 104 - reservations
chapter 103 - what has happened before will happen again
chapter 102 - the barbaric yawps
chapter 101 - welcome to the hotel california!!!!!
chapter 100! where is my mind?
chapter 98 - woahhhh
chapter 97 - how do we sleep while our threads are burning
chapter 96 - well that escalated quickly
chapter 95 - the ART of EMOJI
chapter 94 NOT WEARING ANY UNDERWEAR
chapter 93
chapter 92 - dreamweavers!
chapter 91 don't cross the stream
chapter 90 YOU OTTER CELEBRATE
chapter 89 dump me already!
chapter 88 hole in the bucket
chapter 87 dodging bullets
chapter 86! never break the chain!
chapter 85 fucking emoji that would be nice
chapter 84 BRING ME SOME OTTERS, STAT
chapter 83 barfing stars
chapter 82 your professional opinion
chapter 81 footage
chapter 80 playing it by ear
chapter 79 a cartoon of two tables
Chapter 78 HIIIII
chapter 77 sonder
chapter 76 i blue myself
chapter 75 - after the storm
chapter 74 - happy to be stuck with you
Chapter 73: Polite as Fuck
chapter 73 googliness
chapter 72 brewhaha
chapter 71 BLOWN
chapter 70 - damn you guys we broke another thread
chapter 69 - this is gonna be good
Chapter 68. Everything will be ok.
chapter 67: calming manatee is calming
Chapter 66: roll with them punches
chapter 65 operapalooza wooooo
chapter 64 - zombea apocalypse
Chapter 63 atheist fatties
chapter 62 what what wednesday
chapter 61 maalox monday
chapter 60 - graham crackers!
chapter 59 - otters!
chapter 58 - yummy fat
chapter 57 - sleepy tuesday
chapter 56! i have no title!!!
Chapter: Unstoppable
chapter 55 - fish fry friday
chapter 54 - derby domination
chapter 53 feeeeesh
chapter 52 - fluuuuuuuuuuuuuu
chapter 51 - worriers and warriors
chapter 50 ....
chapter 49 - no more inbox zero
chapter 48. dust off that book!!!
chapter 47 the slowest healing tattoo
chapter 46 - still jet lagged
Chapter 45 - A Shoalmates New Year
Chapter 44. life goes on
chapter 43 - ninjas do foot salutes
chapter 42 a snip!
chapter 41 a dip
chapter 40 - in which one should not prophylactically use ibuprofen
chapter 39 - penny table
chapter 38 - 1 day til tai-yi wins
Chapter 37, 31 days until Shanna goes down under!!!
chapter 36 - 35 days
chapter 36 - yummers, so how did you cook the fish?
chapter 35 - possible redemption
chapter 34 - in which i am good at taking naps
Chapter 33. where we all vote
chapter 32 in which i hork three stars
Chapter 31: Squeaky wheel
chapter 30 - date night
hi. hello! chapter 29
chapter 28 afterthought
chapter 27 time nerd
Chapter 26 testing out
Chapter 25 fit snip!
Chapter 24 - proud of my memory
chapter twenty-bajillion - I don't know what we are on
chapter 21 victorian helicopter squid
chapter 20 blue monday
chapter 19 - yawn
chapter 18 - misfortune cookies
chapter 17 holy moly
chapter 16 bonnie thunders is my bff
chapter 15 snippy snip
chapter 14 - a new leaf
chapter 13 - birthday shenanigans
chapter 13: snip!
chapter 12: projectile vomiting stars
Chapter 10 - Harry Potter learns Quidditch
chapter 9 (ooh, bankruptcy)
chapter 8.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Jegging Surgery
 bikini boyshorts

bikini top and cut-off jeggings. and slingback crocs, haha.

I decided that I was done messing with my bikini line. Bikini top + cut-off cuffed jeggings. And slingback crocs, haha.

Hey oh, a "fashion" post.

Do you need instructions? These are Xhilaration jeggings from Target. I basically laid my 6" quilting ruler right under the back pocket (yes! these have pockets!) and marked it straight across with a white pencil, and cut with my (very sharp) quilting scissors. I was thinking I would mark conservatively and trim cautiously until they were as cheeky as I wanted, but when I tried them on, they cuffed a lot more nicely than I imagined—and hey, less work. Was not really looking forward to hemming stretch fabric, now I don't have to bother, yay.

I guess we'll see how well this fabric does in water. Not that I really ever go in the water, maybe twice a summer. Maybe this summer not at all, it's so cool and the beach is so faaar.

It's not that I was itching to DIY, I actually had in mind the cutest nautical boyshorts, in the exact shade of blue that's on my bikini top (I don't always ever envision realistically), maybe with the four buttons in the front, you know what I mean? I did quite a bit of online trolling for this, trolling in the actual fishing sense and not the online sense, though not actually fishing, fishing figuratively online, and came up empty-handed, hinc illa Plan B.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

I Get Up Again

Hokily dokily, I am finally not sick and not critically depressed, so a new schedule is taking shape:

SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP
HOME
Cooking
WORK
 
HOME
 
WORK
 
HOME
 
WORK
 
HOME
 
PLAY
appts
WORK
 
PLAY
appts
WORK
 
SYSTEMS
bills
WORK
 
SYSTEMS
appts
PASTIME
 
PLAY
CECs
PLAY
Train
PLAY
CECs
PLAY
Train
PASTIME
 
PASTIME
 
SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP

What's really taking shape are Monday and Wednesday evenings, I take the train home from work, stop by the grocery to pick up a vegetable, go home and change into comfy clothes, tidy the bedroom, and lay on the bed to meditate, get up and cook the vegetable, fix a dinner bowl and eat it, and it turns out that the perfect thing to do with the little bit of evening I have left is do a bit of studying. Which since I'm studying movement, more often than not involves moving my body at least a little bit. A little bit is just right for me right now, just the one night with Box was wiping me out for the rest of the week, sad to say, but just laying on the couch watching television night after night wasn't feeling like enough to live for. Or worse, lurking on Facebook. It occurred to me that taking my ProSource quizzes was functionally pretty much the same as reading my feedly, so I couldn't tell myself that I didn't have the energy for that. And it's stuff that I'm actively interested in and it's stuff that I actually have to do, as in cross off my to do list, which I've been doing and it's been satisfying. So it's enjoyable and satisfying, pretty good combo. Low energy, enjoyable, and satisfying, even better combo. And like I said, more often than not I'll jump up to try something that I'm reading about, and that gets me moving, which is helping my mood.

A lucky thing is that it's summer and there's hardly any cooking, I'm onto smoothies for breakfast and salads for lunch so really it's just dinner that I actually cook. That can generally happen on Sunday; but if it doesn't, Monday or Wednesday can pretty easily pick up the slack. My dinner bowls are the bomb! I thought I wouldn't eat bowls if I didn't have to rush off to practice, I thought I'd get sick of them. With all the extra vegetables getting cooked Monday and Wednesday nights, plus throwing kimchee into the mix, they're always changing, so many flavors. Tonight I had Korean ground beef (actually turkey), pan-roasted broccoli, kimchee, and avocado, so good! My food in general is on point, I'll write it up when my energy level gets up past reading to actually writing. Or really, it's organizing all the pictures that seems like an ordeal.

Actually another lucky thing about this summer is that it's cold, which sucks for summer but rules for sleeping, which is also helping my mood, when I really lost it was that short stretch when it was too warm to sleep.

Energy is not quite up to cleaning levels, hopefully soon. Maybe this weekend.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June Review

Crap.

This whole recovery is a process of ridiculously lowering my expectations, feeling ridiculously euphoric for meeting them, and then not even spectacularly crashing and burning—just like, getting wiped out by a pathetic little cold. So I had that sinus infection, right? I'm not a person who uses the word literally lightly but literally the day after I pressed my sinuses and declared that hallelujah the pressure was gone, I was like ::tbhhft:: SORE THROAT, and then patiently powered down for that to pass, celebrated that little moment when you definitely feel yourself pass from sick to well again, except it still felt like there was something stuck in my throat. And it's still like that, I've been to the doctor again and had an ultrasound, which like all my other tests was NORMAL. I would say that I'm so sick of that word, but some shred of sanity holds me back and paints a picture of the dramatic irony that would ensue should the result be CANCER complete with a sardonic devil poking me with a pitchfork and needling me about how I feel about normal now. Which isn't the kind of gratitude that comes from the best place, but goddammit it still counts.

Anyway, I reworked my framework for getting things done and reduced it to three of the four major areas in my work/play taxonomy: HOME, PLAY, which includes training, and PASTIME, which includes writing up anything that might come out of any of these areas. The fourth area is WORK, which I don't write about. The idea is to have a little bit to do in each of these areas, though actually doing anything doesn't presently seem to be emphasized in this plan.

To wit, June's picks:

HOME

1. Clean kitchen for the love of god.

Is how that went.


PLAY

2. Take ProSource quizzes.

This, actually, is the one light in my life. Idk why it said take six ProSource quizzes on my wunderlist, I have to take ten to renew my certification next year. But, that's fine. This has worked out because I felt comfortable buying a quiz package, which is cheaper than individual quizzes, and also easy to redeem. Way to go, ACE. The quizzes aren't taxing at all, but I get interesting, usable information out of them.

I'm also finally reading my Gray Cook functional movement system book that I've had for ::cough:: four years.

PASTIME

Write

No, again. I mean, there's this. I really only intend to write if the spirit moves me, I really don't think there's a particular need for me to write otherwise.

Watch

Not as TV-heavy as last month, I can get out of bed without a television drip. On the passive side, Agatha Christie Poirot has provided friendly and Inspector Morse not-so-friendly background noise. Inspector Morse shouts too much to be a good bedtime companion.

In the slightly more active viewing column, I stumbled into another inadvertent film festival of self-help narratives: Hector and the Search for Happiness, and The Cobbler. We're mostly not watching TV series anymore, except of course we chowed down the new season of Orange Is The New Black. Moviewise, we've watched Bronson, which was by the same director as Valhalla Rising and which I actually enjoyed, then we had a little Jason Statham festival of Home Front and Wild Card, and a Jean-Claude-Van-Damme-in-a-tiny-supporting-role festival of Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning and Dragon Eyes. I really feel full up on turgid ultraviolence. Oh and, there was one Saturday that I stayed in bed all day and watched animated kids movies.

See

I have pretty much not seen any people this month, except for at the Crosstown Classic and Biggie had a craft party to make stuff for her wedding, I went to that. I'm not even training with Box anymore, I'm dialing it way down until I can get a grip. Though I am seeing a therapist now ::boom tish::

As for seeing movies, the aforementioned therapist gently suggested that I could, not as an assignment, only if I wanted, go see Inside Out.

July Picks

HOME
1. Clean kitchen for the love of god, if I feel up to it.

PLAY
2. Take ProSource quizzes.

PASTIME
3. Draft shower routine.
4. Draft spring and summer food charts.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

May Review

A new thing about my life is that I have no deadlines. What I have is lots of lovely free time to do things in, so I just pick one thing from a few different categories off my wunderlist and do them whenever I have time, and it takes however long it takes to get them done. Whereas before the model was, this or that Has To Be Done by whenever it had to be done and it was done as it got by then. That's a pretty significant difference to be able to sit with something until you're done with it, and you decide when that is. What done is.

Hygiene

1. Draft simple beauty routine.

Boy, there's nothing like writing up a process to blow your mind how many steps are in the simplest of processes. Also for a girl who doesn't use a lot of products, I still use a lot of products. I ended up splitting this up into shower, skincare, makeup, and hair. Anyway for what it's worth, skincare is done.

Cleaning

2. Clean bedroom.

Just under the wire, done! Holy crap, that was a big job; I had to divide it into like five parts, where the first four parts were cleaning out my clothes and the last but not least part was cleaning the dust bunnies out from under the bed. So like hygiene lives in the bathroom and cleaning the bathroom yielded Draft beauty routine, clothing lives in the bedroom and cleaning the bedroom yields Draft clothing chart. I have a demented idea about that, but I doubt that I will even get that started before this cycle starts all over again. But anyway, I have purged a bag's worth of clothes from my shelves and finally bought actual casual bras in place of my cut-up cami bras and, really sadly, seem to have lost a pair of workout shorts, oh well.

Train

3. Renew CPR certification.

Man, this was one of those tasks that you look at a hundred times like yeah I gotta get on that until finally you're like GET ON THAT MEANS WHAT, SPECIFICALLY. Well, it means:

  1. Googling "cpr certification chicago," and ah, you find that Red Cross, as well as some others, have certification classes but you pick Red Cross because you like Red Cross, they seem nice.
  2. Searching their site for a certification class near you, which turns out to be at the Rauner Center near Rush, easy enough.
  3. But wait there's more, actually pulling the trigger on registering for a class at the end of May, what are you dithering for. It's a little more expensive than you imagined, you used to get your CPR training through the league for free. But nothing free lasts forever and this class includes first aid, that's probably a good thing for you to know.
  4. What, there's more? The online portion of the class that has to be done before the in-person class—and hello, the end of May is coming up right quick— you actually have to launch that and see what that's all about, geez, it's three levels each of CPR and first aid.
  5. Get crackin' on the online portion, it's actually pretty fun and you learn stuff like did you know in a diabetic emergency, when in doubt, give sugar, even if you don't know whether they're hyper- or hypoglycemic. I would not have guessed that.
  6. Finally finish the online portion, all in all it takes about a week.
  7. Realize that the in-person class is at 9:00AM on a Saturday, and weep a little bit. Figure out how to get there, blue line should do.
  8. Take the in-person class!
Done!! I am now certified in CPR and first aid for another two years.

Watch

This has been a very TV-heavy month, I've been depressed on and off and that's when I shuffle around the house with Netflix on an IV. Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, Death in Paradise, Foyle's War, and Murdoch Mysteries have been getting me through the day and putting me to sleep at night. Police procedurals are best for this, comfortingly predictable. I've long been done with the Law and Order, CSI, and Criminal Minds available on Netflix, and now I'm digging into British and period police procedurals. Now that the original CSI is cancelled, I'm psychically willing Netflix to pick up those fifteen seasons. And NCIS, get that too.

ETA: AHHHHH!

One weekend we watched John Wick and The Equalizer, for an inadvertent film festival of insanely competent assassins coming out of retirement. We also started season two of Vikings, which I don't hate. My attention span is shrinking for long storylines, though, movies actually are better for me than TV series, apart from the aforementioned police procedurals, which are the best.

Sparty and I watched The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, which made us give up on our indie film club. I think I'm just not an indie film gal, oh well, know thyself.

ETA: Also, Valhalla Rising. WTF.

See

This is supposed to be see people but it also means see movies, which to my mind is more active than watch TV or even watch movies at home. We only go out for movies that we really want to see in theaters, and then we go the whole nine yards and get a jumbo popcorn and two cokes. This month we saw Avengers: Age of Ultron, which I loved (but I pretty uncritically love all superhero movies) and Mad Max: Fury Road, which I liked.

People I saw: Biggie for a haircut and lunch at Upton's Breakroom, my niece in her spring concert, Fury at Fury brunch, not counting people I train, people I train with (Problem, Brawla, Minerva, Painbows), and people who train me (Box).

ETA: Also, Outfit bout. And also, meine frau in her beautiful new apartment.

June Picks

Hygiene
1. Draft shower routine.

Cooking
2. Draft spring and summer food charts.

Cleaning
3. Clean kitchen for the love of god.

Train
4. Take ProSource quizzes.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Happy Birthday Odie!!!

happy birthday odie

Friday, May 22, 2015

A Game of Inches

So basically I had three different headaches all at once, good times. Antibiotics for the sinus infection, neck stretches for the muscle tension, and upgraded contact lens prescription for the eye strain, all taken care of. The last of my tests came back and it's been like Steve Martin in LA Story throwing the suns on the weather map: normal! normal! normal! normal! normal! It's nice to be normal, but I think it would have been nice to have had an explanation instead of having had a stroke for, oh, no particular reason. Or I guess that leaves roller derby freak accident as the leading suspect, not that there really was evidence of that, either.

week ofWORKTrainNutrition
3/6-3/10--hospital
3/11-3/14--post-surgery
March 15on chair-post-surgery
March 22on chair60%post-surgery
March 29on ball80%transition
April 5on ball100%recovery
April 12on ball100%recovery
April 19on chair*80%BRAT
April 26on ball100%transition
May 3on ball100%post-recovery
May 10on ball100%transition
May 17on ball100%post-recovery

Now in post-recovery nutrition, which is to say back to my normal food chart that I plan to publish on my new blog, Nomnomnomicon, stay tuned.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

My Skincare Routine


So like I said, I'm putting my life back together again, piece by piece, and I seem to have decided that writing it up in a blog post signifies that piece being in place for now. And if you must know, these are all the pieces and presumably my blog fodder for the upcoming months.

Also like I said I'm cleaning all the rooms in my house, and certain pieces live in certain rooms. So like I cleaned the bathroom, which meant throwing out a ton of expired—I mean like waaay past their sell-by date—products, so I could actually see the skincare and makeup and hair products that I use and actually get myself to use them. Which I'm frankly not that good about if I'm stressed. I know, gross. Well, what is to be done, anything that you want to do like clockwork, you should set like clockwork, so I've been putting a little thought into this and here it is.

So this is my skincare routine after I shower or wash up in the morning, and before I go bed in the evening.

Maybe later I'll write up my shower routine, but in the meantime here's The Week's insanely detailed How to take a perfect shower, which I mention mainly because she mentions the Salux cloth, which I didn't even know was called that. That's the scrubby I've been using my whole showering life, you get them from the Korean store a.k.a. Joong Boo Market.

skincare products

Dental and vision products not pictured.

1. Floss and brush teeth.

Not skincare per se, but I floss and brush my teeth before I wash my face so I can wash off any toothpaste that gets my face. Makes sense, right?

2. Wash face.

I wash with Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser, which I've used for years and years, and for exfoliant I keep a mug of baking soda by the sink and just dig up a little bit to give my chin and the sides of my nose little extra rub. I do actually prefer Arm & Hammer, I like its texture better than generic baking soda.

3. Put in/take out contacts.

Because I have the cleanest possible hands after washing my face, also makes sense? I clean my contacts overnight in Clear Care Solution, which is supposed to neutralize overnight after which you can take them out of the case and pop them right in your eyes, but I have trust issues, so I rinse them in a generic no-rub solution, and actually I rub them, because I have trust issues.

4. Swipe with toner.

I just added toner to my skincare routine and after doing some internet research where I concluded somebody has a bad reaction to everything and I can't really afford to break the bank on everything expensive for my face, I decided just to stick with witch hazel and generic at that. I soak a cotton ball with that, first swipe my chin and the sides of my nose and then lightly swipe all over my face, then quick pat my face with cold tap water, then pat my face dry with a towel.

5. Apply serum.

Origins Plantscription Anti-aging Power Serum is my one expensive thing, I got a sample in a gift pack from my boss for Christmas and it really seemed to make my skin look better. That said, it took some talking myself into spending so much on a single product. My skin does look pretty good at the moment, but I think that might be the 17 days of antibiotics o.O. Anyway. Three pumps into the cup of my palm, then I sort of preferentially dot it into all the places where I don't really look old yet but where I could start to look old someday, and from there distribute it all over my face with light upwards strokes like all the French ladies on the Youtube videos. I was putting an extra pump on my neck with the light upward strokes, but it seemed to be irritating my scar so I stopped that.

Any extra gets rubbed on the backs of my hands, but vigorously scrubbed off the palms of my hands with a towel. I can't stand having product on the palms of my hands. When I get old, the backs of my hands are going to look like Dorian Gray and the palms of my hands are going to look like the portrait of Dorian Gray.

5b. Apply benzoyl peroxide.

I haven't needed it lately but if I have blemishes, I dot them now with 2.5% benzoyl peroxide. I use Neutrogena On-the-Spot Acne Treatment.

6. Go put on lotion.

Here I want the serum to have a minute to absorb into my skin, so I go to the bedroom and put lotion on my legs and arms. I use Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 15, ah good, I completely forgot that this comes with sunscreen.

7. Go back and apply moisturizer.

Still nekkid, by the way. I want the lotion to have a minute to absorb before I put on clothes, so I go back to the bathroom and put moisturizer on my face. I use Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 15 all over my face, and most days that's the end and now I go put on clothes.

Some days, though, there is makeup! And also, there is hair. I might write those up later, too.

 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Whole Day Fitness
 post recovery

I am officially declaring myself in my post-recovery training period, nutrition will follow as soon as I'm done with these antibiotics. I'm recovered but I'm not as I was, I'm less focused on discrete, high-intensity workouts spaced through the week, and much more on whole day fitness focusing on continuous low-level activity throughout the day. Which I was moving toward anyway, but it's more front and center now that it's pretty much all I do. I've started working out again, but just; we will see how that goes. I've been getting my whole day fitness act together through my recovery period, and it is solid:

1. I walk before breakfast.

Nothing major, just by default: on work days, how I get to work is walk to the train and take the train, thirty minutes door to door, some walking, some stairs, some train surfing, some sitting, some more stairs. On home days, I'm up and about tidying the bedroom and the kitchen, also about thirty minutes.

2. I get up 2x/hour mornings and afternoons.

On work days, I have this down like Leroy Brown. I don't track this with jelly bracelets anymore, I have a new system that I will tell you about later. On home days, I tend more toward being on my feet for at least an hour, sometimes two, cooking or cleaning in the morning, and then off my feet doing desk work in the afternoon. Ideally I'd like to be getting up 2x/hour here too, but it depends how I feel; if I feel like I need to rest, I rest. It's more important to be rested for clients in the evening, which is also on my feet for an hour or two—not to mention mentally and emotionally present.

3. I meditate before dinner.

I also have a new meditation routine, I don't meditate in the afternoon anymore. I still do breath counting versus the parade, but now I do it at home to start my evening. On work days I leave work at five, get home, tidy the bedroom and change out of my work clothes into my home clothes, and sit on my bed and actually I have some PT to do for my neck that I set to breath counting, two birds, one stone, wot. I know, multitasking makes it seem like I'm unclear on the concept of meditation. But it's very focused and single-minded, just because it's productive and time-saving doesn't mean it doesn't count. On home days, it's similar but sort of in reverse: I change into my play clothes at five, sit on the couch and meditate, and then leave the house for the gym. So I always have this nice transition into evening, wherever I'm coming from or going to.

4a. I work out 3x/week evenings.

My workouts are 60 minutes of kettlebells with Box on Monday, and whatever 30 minute program I'm on for Tuesday and Thursday. At the moment and probably through May, I'm doing some PT for my knee, building myself from the ground up!

4b. I rest 4x/week evenings.

What on earth am I doing with all these nights off, well I'll tell you, on Wednesday I am resting like woah. I leave Box's workouts thinking ah, I could have done more, and then I am sooo sore for the next two days. The other three nights I am leaving open to be ...social. I know, concept. I mean, Box has also classes on Wednesday and Saturdays that I could pick up. Or I was also thinking about Pure Barre, or Orange Theory. But I decided that I didn't want to just fill my schedule right back up with workouts, I need some breathing room. I don't always go out, in fact I mostly don't, for now I just want to be able to. If I don't, I just chill and watch TV or do something off my to do list.

5. I stretch before bed.

Boy I could not get down to stretching when I was still derbying, but now it's as easy as eating. Which just goes to show, your resources are exhaustible. Saving on workouts means that I have some to spend on stretching, simple as that. I have a flow for this, hopefully it'll be second nature by the time I ramp up on my workouts and I'll be able to maintain both. (I don't think I undercut what I just said, setting up a new habit takes more energy than keeping up an old habit.) Now that I don't have late practices, I start going to bed at nine. Nine!! I drink a glass of tart cherry juice, then tidy whatever needs tidying in the front room (the evening counterpart to tidying the bedroom and kitchen in the morning), then brush my teeth, then stretch, and then go to bed. I don't have to make myself or talk myself into stretching, all I have to do is drink that glass of tart cherry juice and it all just flows after that. Including brushing my teeth and washing my face before bed, which I also didn't used to be good about. Life is so much more civilized without late practices.

Anyway, this here stretching: I was doing ballet stretches for a bit, but now I'm doing the second half of my neck stretches before bed—there were so many of them, I divided them into two parts. AREA WOMAN ACTUALLY DOING HER PT EXERCISES, call CNN. Actually I found a connection between the neck and the ballet stretches and brought them together, so still get to do a little ballet, and will get back to when I'm done with my neck.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Getting My Act Together

Oh well, let's get this show on the road, one may as well begin with a chart, when have I ever not. I've been spending quite a lot of my time rehearsing—in my head, and in action—the flow of my life, post stroke and post derby. More the latter than the former, in all seriousness, I had zero effects from the stroke itself, I really did just bounce back from whatever that was in like thirty minutes. Surgery, though, surgery knocked me on my ass, and then stomach flu knocked me on my ass again (that was mean). But I more feel like I'm recovering from derby, from having given over eight years of my life to derby, and now getting it all back, a little like a Fifties housewife whose husband finally retires and now he's underfoot all the time. It's crazy, people: so. much. time. It's not even as crazy as it could be, what with doctor appointments sucking up quite a lot of the excess. I'm telling you, recovering from this stroke or surgery or whatever is getting me through recovering from derby. I think I'd be a lot more at a loss if this all wasn't happening at the same time. It makes me really get the phrase "a whole new lease on life," and like this time you have an IN-UNIT washer-dryer—not literally, life is good but not that good. But like, I can get home from work and make dinner like a normal person so I don't need cooking practices like I did. I keep thinking that I should replace derby with some other physical or hey social activity, and keep being really, really loth to give up my time to anything right now. Can I just say how busy I got starting back in August, that was bananas, how did I not know how bananas until now, geez no wonder I had a stroke.

Anyway whoomp here it is:

SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP
HOME
Cleaning
WORK
 
HOME
Cleaning
WORK
 
HOME
Cleaning
WORK
 
HOME
Cooking
PLAY
 
WORK
 
SYSTEMS
bills
WORK
 
PLAY
 
WORK
 
SYSTEMS
appts
PASTIME
 
PLAY
MILF
PLAY
Train
PLAY
 
PLAY
Train
PASTIME
 
PASTIME
 
SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP

OMG LOOK how much time for cleaning. I'm actually doing it, too. The Sunday before stomach flu, I spent four hours cleaning my bathroom literally from top to bottom, I mean I washed the CEILING. And the floor. And everything in between. And it felt like the most gorgeous, luxurious waste of time, a gorgeous luxurious waste of time where you get a sparkling clean bathroom at the end. All the rooms in the apartment are going to get the Big Clean treatment, I wonder how long it will take for all of that. After it's all done, hopefully I can transition into maintenance mode and do something else besides clean.

Oh and, MILF is, I think, the Mihaljevich Institute of Learning Fitness a.k.a. Box's garage where she teaches kettlebells and other evil strength, I thought I'd actually work out for a whole hour at least once a week, and hey, with ladies I already know that I like. Left to my own devices I'm more of a 5-minute workout gal, more on that and also whole day fitness in a minute. Anyway I've always regarded Box as il miglior fabbro and am happy to put myself in her hands again.

I still have two nights per week working with clients, and that leaves one evening and also two afternoons for desk PLAY—e.g., studying, which I haven't had time to do in forever, writing workouts, and maybe back to writing this blog—and still lots of wiggle room for seeing people. Wiggle!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Blast >:(

This sinus infection is hanging on, so I have another course of antibiotics to get through. The annoying thing is I have to take the antibiotics with breakfast and dinner, and I can't take them with calcium, so that interferes with my having yogurt for breakfast, which is my new thing, or would be my new thing if I could get on with my life already!

week ofWORKTrainNutrition
3/6-3/10--hospital
3/11-3/14--post-surgery
March 15on chair-post-surgery
March 22on chair60%post-surgery
March 29on ball80%transition
April 5on ball100%recovery
April 12on ball100%recovery
April 19on chair*80%BRAT
April 26on ball100%transition
May 3on ball100%recovery
May 10on ball100%transition

Oh but, my LDL is back to 68, HDL also 68. BOOM.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

April Review


This is just a backdated kayfabe post for April, since I started tracking this stuff in May.

Cleaning

1. Clean bathroom.

This was hung up for a while because I decided that I needed a light little mop to get the floor around the toilet, and my first two shopping trips to Jewel and Kmart came up empty. Finally though I found this Libman Wonder Mop at Home Depot, this little mop is everything! Plus I cleaned out a ton of expired products and cleared my head for what my simple beauty routine could be, TBD.

bills

2. File taxes.

Actually getting halfway decent at doing this, actually filed these on April 3 and not on the last possible day. Maybe next year I will have these finished in March. Which was sort of my goal this year, but stroke.

May Picks

Hygiene
1. Draft simple beauty routine.

Cleaning
2. Clean bedroom.

Train
3. Renew CPR certification.

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