Planned Inertia…

Holidailies 2012I planned today as a day of very little.  It’s almost too easy to do, but I sort of knew that I wasn’t going to be productive today before I went to bed last night.  The good news is, I don’t seem to have had a return of the deep dark depression that followed my Thanksgiving sojourn.

I caught up on some DVRed and on demand TV (those Real Housewives are not very nice to each other and the food on Top Chef still looks delicious), read some more of Dark Places (I foresee Gillian Flynn becoming a must read author for the duration), ate a lovely sushi lunch from Amber (thanks to a credit from, and basically was a lazy sod.  Like I said, almost too easy to do.

The tendency is to roll myself back up in my hermit cocoon and become a ball of couch potato until life intervenes and forces me again to interact with it.  So, instead I’m going to fight against that and make sure I do stuff.  Tomorrow, whining or no (and I’m certain there will be some), I intend to exercise.  I also need to do grocery shopping, before the weekend.  And the living room explosion needs to be contained.  Also, apply for a few jobs.  It’s not exciting, but it’s necessary to make a list and keep myself accountable.  One foot in front of the other and all that shit.

I definitely count it as a plus that I’m not feeling depressed or anxious.  I am feeling like I could lean back into the inertia and do nothing for a lot longer, so I’m pushing against it, fully aware of how difficult that sometimes becomes for me.  But I’ve built some inertia into my plans for New Years (a low key, Downton Abbey marathon watching affair), just so I don’t feel too deprived.  I know, my life is just party party party.  Never a dull moment.

In the meantime, trying to get the workout argument over with in my head tonight (or at latest tomorrow morning), so I don’t waste too much time before I get off of my ass and just walk…


A White Christmas (sort of)…

Holidailies 2012I opened my eyes at about 7am and the first thing I did was look out the window.  Yep, it was snowing.  There was a dusting on the ground and steady flurries, making my Christmas in New Hampshire idyllic notion complete.  A White Christmas.  I read for a while and at about 8am, my sister and brother-in-law came in to get the (really nice) keyboard they bought for my nephew, to set it up in the living room.

At about 9am, I wandered out into the living room and the Christmas tree was lit up and all the other lights were lit up as well.  Shortly after my nephew woke up and the gift opening commenced.  First off — stockings.  My first ever Christmas stocking and Santa brought me a clementine, lots of chocolate, an Honest Tea half and half (useful for my return bus trip to NYC), a box of Angry Birds gummies, and a bottle of deep purple sparkly nail polish!  YAY!

The haul was pretty impressive all around.  I got lots of chocolate (Lindor Truffles), more gummies (Haribo!), a pair of beautiful handmade earrings (by my sister), wonderful pajama pants, a mix CD (Sir Mix A Lot — so named by my nephew), and lots more little goodies.  We followed opening gifts with a traditional breakfast of bagels, lox, and cream cheese (that’s a traditional Christmas breakfast, right?) and then there was more lounging, reading, and music listening to take up the rest of the morning.

Early afternoon included another long walk with my sister and Ket, a little colder, a little more damp, but the snow had stopped during the morning and mostly just left a melting dusting behind.  I whined a little about the walk, but again was glad I’d made the effort.  Back at the house, more reading and relaxing followed by a ridiculously delicious dinner of roasted lamb with chimichurri sauce and homemade apple pie for dessert.

We’ve just finished watching an episode of Man vs. Wild and my sister and nephew are both sacked out on the couch, trying in vain to fight sleep, while my brother in law putters around the house.  I’ve rallied enough to write this short synopsis of another lovely day on my Christmas Adventure in New England.  An early night seems inevitable (with a good book awaiting me once I get into bed).

Tomorrow some more relaxing and then heading back home…

Uphill Battles and Small Victories…

The conversation begins in my head before I’m barely aware I’m awake.

What am I going to do today?  Can I just sleep a little longer?  What if nothing at all happens?  I have to get x, y, and z done.  I don’t feel like it.  I’d rather sleep.  I’d rather surf the web.  I’d rather post on Facebook.  I’d rather do almost anything other than wake up and face the day.

I promised myself that today I would start exercising regularly again.  My friend Yalitza agreed to walk with me in the park, and I figured that having someone to walk with would be the outside pressure I needed to keep myself honest.  Of course my first instinct was to find a way out of going.  I’m nothing if not resourceful when it comes to making excuses and letting myself off of the hook.  I’m tired. My back hurts. The weather’s crappy.  I have nothing to wear.  I don’t feel like it.  Instead, though, before I lost my nerve I called and left a message to see if we were still going and what time.

When I got a text message back, asking if we could start on Wednesday, I was happy to be let off of the hook. But maybe because I’d eaten a sensible breakfast, and had gotten it in my head that today was the day, I thought maybe I’d still go.  And then I spent the next several hours changing my mind.  Back and forth.  I should go.  I’ll go tomorrow.  I really should go.  I don’t feel like going.  What path am I going to take if I go?  It would be better if I had some company.  No, I’ll go.  Nah, I’ll do something else now, and then go tomorrow.

I started to beat myself up for not following through.  And then I got a text message from my friend Julie in Florida that made me happy and sad all in a matter of minutes.  Happy to hear from her and sad because I won’t get to see her this month.  And I started to spiral, feeling sorry for myself, and I thought, nope, not going.  But, I realized that I had to put a couple of letters in the mail today.  It had to be today.  And if I had to go out anyway, I might as well go for a walk while I was out.  I knew it would make me feel better and stop the spiral or at least distract me for a little while.  And so I put on my workout clothes and my running shoes.  And while I was at it, I put some quinoa in the rice cooker, so I’d have something healthy to eat when I got back.  I grabbed my iPod and my keys and started heading for the door.  And then I heard the tink, tink, tink of the drizzle hitting my air conditioner and I knew the rain was coming.  But, I still had to get to the mailbox and I was still dressed for a workout.  So, I grabbed a bottle of water and my membership card, and I went to the YMCA after dropping off the mail.

I walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes.  The first time I’d done that in many, many months.  The first five minutes were great.  The middle 15 minutes or so sucked (as they almost always do), since the conversation in my head continues unabated, even with some of my favorite music blasting (Barenaked Ladies).  I can stop now.  At least I did a little.  It hurts. I’m sweaty.  It’s hot.  I should just stop now.  But I didn’t.  I kept going, and the last five minutes (plus the cool down) were pretty great.

Afterward, I came home and felt really tired but in the best possible way.  And I felt proud of myself because despite the worst possible opposition (me), I did it.  I spent 30 minutes doing something that without fail makes me feel better, even as I fight against it tooth and nail.  And I didn’t need someone else to go with me or to keep me honest.  And I didn’t need for the situation to be perfect.  I just needed to go and do it and shut the hell up about it.

And so, on the other side of today’s war inside my head I’m thinking about how exhausting it is to have that ongoing conflict happening.  To let a thousand little things derail me at any moment and to give up and let myself spiral and wallow simply because I can.  It uses an extraordinary amount of mental energy to fight myself and my worst instincts.  It’s a ludicrous exercise that could simply be circumvented by waking up, getting dressed and going for a walk or going to the gym.  Or at least waking up, getting dressed and knowing that I’m going for a walk at a specific point in the day and not letting the argument even begin.  Because, fuck you negativity.

I consider it a minor miracle that I got out of my own way today and I’ll take it as a win.  And I need to continue reminding myself that arguing with someone irrational (especially when it’s me), is a surefire way to lose every single time.


An object at rest…

…tends to become one giant muscle spasm.  Isn’t that how that goes?  No?  Well, someone needs to tell that to my back.

About seven years ago I worked very hard to reform my sedentary lifestyle and in the process I lost a lot of weight.  I felt better, I looked better, I slept better, win win win.  Keeping active has been a struggle, keeping the weight off has been a struggle, eating well has been a struggle, and there have been lots of ups and downs.  However, living in the city and commuting to work has always provided a minimum baseline of activity that meant there was at least a little bit of movement built into my day.

Now, though, in my hermetic existence, without required comings and goings, I’ve become the couch potato I always knew I could be. Yay me (boo hiss).  Nine months of inactivity has caught up with me in a lot of ways.  I’ve long since left cardiovascular fitness behind.  But that’s really only the beginning of the problem.  I had a back injury a few years ago and while it generally hasn’t been an issue, one of the things that’s helped keep it in check is keeping loose and in relatively good shape.  So, that went down the crapper.  Plus, carrying extra weight is the enemy of a weak back.  And if you’ve ever met me, you understand that the way in which I carry my weight (think boobage) means war on my lower back.

As if I needed a reminder, I just returned from picking up my stuff from the pottery sale (I did pretty well, especially for such small effort), and just packing up my table at the sale sent my back into a wave of spasms.  So, I whimpered my way back across the street and now I’m on my back again.  Which is exactly where I shouldn’t be.  Vicious cycle.

Latest theory?  Movement creates lack of pain.  New exercise regimen begins on Monday.   Until then, handfuls of pain reliever and lots of whining…