Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Changing Philosophies

I've been thinking a lot about this sort of amorphous "I'd like to" form of goal-setting that I'm doing this year, and I think that part of the reason that I need it to be that way is I need successes.  I need to be proud of myself and my accomplishments, and I need to be present and happy in my life.

So I think it is about focusing on successes.  Yesterday I counted my calories, I exercised, and I created the syllabus for the Spring course I'm teaching.  That is one good on the eating, one good on the moving, and one good on things that stress me out.  That is a good day.  Period.

This morning I exercised, I made a doctor's appointment, and I so far have counted my calories.  I took a moment when I got to work to appreciate the work I did last week.  I've done good things so far today.  That is good.

I'm going to take this and try to keep it up.  I think this is a good way to be in my head.

It's about the journey, right?  When I lay dying I'm not going to be so proud that I accomplished every workout session or never over ate.  I'm going to be happy that I felt good so that I could enjoy my life.  Journey before destination.  Onward!

Monday, January 1, 2018

2017 -> 2018

2017 in review - here were my goals:

1. Life: lose weight.  (Weight on 12/31 was 150.2.)  Fail.  Heavier.
2. Life: work out regularly.  Fail.
3. Life: eat "better".  Fail.
4. Work: make a presentation.  Done.
5. Work: write an article.  No.
6. Adulting: focus on conscientious spending.  (I don't think every month can be green, but how about 9 out of 12?  And the year green, definitely.)  I'm feeling meh about this but we did actually pull this off.  Barely, but 9 out of 12 were in the green and we did end the year up.  Baaaaaaarely up.  Which is why I'm meh.  But up.
7. Adulting: file things every weekend so it doesn't get out of control.  Fail.
8. Fun: improve the garden again!  Fail.
9. Fun: go on vacation to... somewhere.  Total mega epic fail.  (F you, Hurricane Harvey.)
10. Fun: take photos!  Meh, a little.
11. Fun: stained glass (damnit).  Nope.
12: Fun: camping weekends.  At least 2.  Yes, actually!
13. Fun: read stuff. ;-)  Epic yes.  Lots and lots of the reading.
14. Fun: complete Texas 6-Pack brew run series.  No... I think I did 3 of them?

Here's the thing about 2017: it sucked.  It totally sucked.  It epically sucked.  Sucked big time.  There was a ton of work stuff.  There was some life stuff.  There was Hurricane asshole Harvey.  There was depression, weight gain, general malaise.  It was just a really bad year all the way around.

There were some good things.  I took some pretty pictures.  I had some good days.  I have a wonderful kid.  We did some fun little mini-trips.  I am trying to find those lights in the darkness, but the truth is I'll probably remember this year as a year I'd rather not remember.

So, moving on, what do I want out of 2018?

Is difficult for me to even bend my thoughts into something that looks like goals... so how about just what I want to do.  These aren't goals.  These are just things I want to do.
I want to start exercising again.
I want to start eating more cleanly.
I have had some health issues... I want to get those under control.
I have had some mental health issues... I want to get those out of crisis mode.
I have two really nice vacations planned and I want to go and enjoy myself and take beautiful pictures and feel filled up with peace and joy.
I want to continue working on the money thing.  Last year was good - we need to build on that and get a little savings cushion so I quit feeling like the next hurricane might blow us out of the water.

Essentially, I want 2018 to be the year in which I become healthier and happier - mentally and physically.  Things aren't ever going to be perfect, but I'd like to get back to a place where I'm a little more capable of rolling with the punches.  I am ready.  I am willing to put in the work.  I know it will be hard, but I'm tired of this place that I'm in.  So I'm bringing it in 2018.  Let's do this thing.

Friday, January 13, 2017

And so it goes

So far so good, maybe?

I have done a great job with controlling my eating so far this month.  There was only one day where I wasn't being super strict, and on that day I had a baby shower, and even there I ate fruit and veggies first and tried to control my intake.  A cupcake was my only true slip, and I keep reminding myself that I never said I'd be perfect and I have to allow myself little indulgences so I don't fall off the wagon and go full binge.

My strategy is a controlled breakfast (300)/snack (100)/lunch (400) at work, and then I went through all of our favorite Blue Apron meals looking for ones under 600 calories that we could do for dinner.  I preferred the ones that are also low-ish in carbs.  Dessert after dinner has been fruit - clementines and strawberries.

I have done a decent job of working out every day... until I got sick two days ago I had only missed one day (not surprisingly, the baby shower day, and that was really because it was 18 degrees outside that morning which made me reneg on my walk) this whole month.  I was all the way down for the count yesterday and today though - really truly about to go to the doctor sick.  So... a B on that so far?

I am pretty solidly down 2 pounds, I think.  I am actually lower than that right now, but it may be due to sickness so I don't want to count it as a real loss yet.  I am really worried about my upcoming work trip.  I've been able to secure invites to lots of free food, but that reeks of lack of control to me, yeesh.  It would be a shame to blow it all up so quickly.  (But if I do, I'll get back on the freaking wagon when I get home and we will do this all again.  Dangit.)  My hope right now is that my lack of eating during this sickness will result in an inability to super overeat while I'm at conference, thus mitigating the damage.  Or something.  I did also buy little to go packs of peanut butter thinking that maybe I can snag bread and jelly at my hotel's breakfast so I can make a lunch, again, mitigating the damage primarily to dinner.

I signed up for this mama site that has 15 minute workouts daily, hoping that that will be short enough that I'll even do it on my trip.  I haven't tried it yet because of all the sickness.  Hopefully this weekend I'll start feeling better and be able to give it a true try.  If I like it I'll post the link.

So yeah, on the wagon and feeling pretty good about my progress til I got sick.  I have a doc apt in about an hour, so hopefully I'll be good as new and following up shortly!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 Goals

I'm not feeling as... regimented this year.  BUT I am wanting to make some changes (as per usual), so here's what I've got.

1. Life: lose weight.  (Weight on 12/31 was 150.2.)
2. Life: work out regularly.
3. Life: eat "better".
4. Work: make a presentation.
5. Work: write an article.
6. Adulting: focus on conscientious spending.  (I don't think every month can be green, but how about 9 out of 12?  And the year green, definitely.)
7. Adulting: file things every weekend so it doesn't get out of control.
8. Fun: improve the garden again!
9. Fun: go on vacation to... somewhere.
10. Fun: take photos!
11. Fun: stained glass (damnit).
12: Fun: camping weekends.  At least 2.
13. Fun: read stuff. ;-)
14. Fun: complete Texas 6-Pack brew run series.

Despite the fact that I'm not feeling regimented, I am planning a hard hit on my bad habits in January as per usual.  Goal is to count the calories, drink lots of water, and exercise daily.  I am already planning a known exception when I attend conference, but other than that, no quarter to the laziness or cravings!  I've also made an agreement with the hubs to curb the spending drastically (even though January is always a red month because of property taxes).

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Well, how'd I do?

Goals for this year were:

1. Work: make at least one presentation. DONE.
2. Work: write an article.  DONE.
3. Work: get involved in "the community".  Nope.
4. Workout: Train for something in a focused way. 
5. Workout: Get at least one not-in-Texas race. Nope.
6. Workout: Do a triathlon. Yes!
7. Workout: Get my butt back in the pool regularly. Yes for a while, then no again.
8. Workout: Go climbing.  Fail.
9.  Life: Lose 20 pounds.  Net loss was 2 lbs.  To my credit, for much of the year I was about 10 down.  It just never sticks over the holidays.  Net loss is net loss.  I should take that and run.
10. Life: Focus on conscientious spending.  I'm going to define it better this year.  What I mean is that I want to finish each month in the green.  HOWEVER, I already know that that won't be possible every month, for example June when I already know P is going to miss several weeks of work, so the ultimate goal is to end the YEAR in the green.  No.  Actually super no on the year in the green.  But, BUT, 6 months were green and we've been almost entirely green since I changed jobs.  So it is looking up, most definitely!
11. Life: Improve the garden.  Yes!
12. Life: Go camping in Brazos Bend State Park.  No.
13. Life: Go camping in Huntsville State Park.  No here too, but we did do Stephen F. Austin SP and Choke Canyon SP.  So I'm calling these two a win.
14. Life: Have an epic Disney vacation.  YES!
15. Life: Make stained glass things.  No, but it is still on my list.
16. Life: Take fabulous pictures with the awesome new camera.  Super yes!  Got some shots I was truly pleased with and stuck with it all year.

Goodreads has me down for 34 books this year, but I've read waaaaaaay more than that.  Not sure how much since I don't track my "fluff" reading there, but a lot more.

9 out of 16.  I'll take it. ;-)

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Happy Birthday, Kid

Sometimes I feel like the mom should get something for the kid's birthday.  Today is the day 6 years ago when my body got destroyed, my life got busy, and my heart changed forever.  Shouldn't I get a present for that? ;-)

Aside from all of that, happy birthday to the Z!  6 years old, wow.  She had her doctor's appointment (and flu shot, yeesh) last week and she was officially 48 3/4" tall, which was 95th percentile (only 55th for weight, string bean off the old vine).  I was actually shocked that it wasn't 100th percentile.  Shows what I know.  Strangers continue to believe that she is at least 8 based on her height.  Being very verbal only cements their shock when they find out how old she really is.

She wants to be a fashion designer when she grows up.  Or an Olympic gymnast because of "all the money".  She is a fabulous reader, and we've seen another breakthrough in that realm in the past few weeks.  It isn't exactly that she can do it better, more like she is less reluctant to do it... instead of asking us to do it for her (which always met with a do it yourself response anyways, nicely though), she just does it herself.  It is awesome!

To me, in the last little bit, too, she seems a bit more flexible.  Hard to describe why - just that she is more willing to sit somewhere with a doll and use her imagination.  I guess it takes a bit less work to be with her, and you can see her continuing to grow into her own person in that way.

She loves Kindergarten.  She has adjusted completely seamlessly.  No tears, making friends, no struggle with the work (although none was expected).  She goes to swim class once a week and loves that too.

She wakes up happy every morning, and goes to bed grumpy, ha!  She loves her kitty brother with an obsessive air.  She is a level 18 Mystic, with only a bit of assistance from her parentals.  She is fascinated by the world around her and asks a million questions, though she can't always be bothered to listen to the answers.

She had a birthday party at the rock climbing gym last Saturday, with friends from her old school and her new, and it was a great time for all.

She is the freshness that reminds me to take life less seriously.  Here's to age 6!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

On Accelerating a Child

My kid just barely missed the cut-off to start kindergarten last year.  She has been attending a Montessori daycare and by all accounts, she is rather advanced, academically.

Knowing all that, I struggled with the idea of pursing advancing her a grade.  I read, I researched, I tried hard to take my motherly "my child is special" out of the equation.  More than anything I want what is right for her, whatever that is.

So when we went to Kindergarten round-up at her school for next year, I spoke with the councilor, attending 2 follow-up meetings in which we decided to test Z and see.

The first test was yesterday.  They give you like ZERO information.  So we didn't know how to prepare the kid.  Not academically, but just what to expect.  Worksheets?  Scantron?  Verbal?  At the kindergarten level, what can you possibly imagine?  It was so frustrating.  Then we go to drop her off and there isn't even a waiting room.  They wanted us to leave and they'd call us when it is over.  Again, that is the kind of thing it is nice to know ahead of time to mentally prepare the kid for.  INFORMATION, PEOPLE.

If she passed this test (language) with an 80, then she'd go back for a math test and do it all again.  If she passed that test with an 80, she'd go to 1st grade.  Otherwise, kindergarten.  With all the lack of knowing, I really beat myself up yesterday wondering if I was traumitizing her just by testing her.  Hoping I hadn't made a mistake.  Am I pushing too hard?

After all that, she came out and said it was totally easy, no big deal (except for how long it was - it took her 2.5 hours and she keeps saying it was FIFTY PAGES), etc.  I was in awe of how simple it was to her, and wishing I could get some of that back!

Then yesterday afternoon I get an email that she got a 66.  My stomach fell and I was just so disappointed.  And I reallytrying to examine why I felt this.  Do I have something attached to her skipping?  Because she won't care.  But I had that feeling in my gut like I did back when I was in school and got a bad grade.  But I am not disappointed in her.  I just want whatever is best.  But I am surprised.  I really thought... I mean that is why we went through all this.  I don't know what to think or feel.

Then, THEN they RECALLED THE EMAIL.  Wtf, y'all!!!????  Did they recall it because of a scoring error?  Or just some other procedural bullshit?  ARG.

It is ok either way.  I know it is ok either way.  There are challenges and benefits either way.  Ultimately we have very little control over this process or its outcome and I need to let it go.  It is ok.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Late Goal Update

This is late because I was only just getting back from vacation on the 1st!

1. Work: make at least one presentation. DONE.

2. Work: write an article.  Working on it.
3. Work: leave the old job as best as I can and rock the new one.  Old job departure is this week!
4. Workout: Train for something in a focused way.  No, I'm even farther from the wagon with all the traveling I've been doing.
5. Workout: Get at least one not-in-Texas race.  Florida totally didn't happen.  This may not happen this year.
6. Workout: Do a triathlon. I am still scheduled for the Tri Aggieland next weekend BUT I got very very (very very) sick on July 4th.  I lost 11 pounds in just a few days and I am still feeling very weak and run down.  I will see how I improve this week but there is a possibility that I will DNS this.  If it were a 5K it would be one thing, but a full sprint tri in Texas heat on almost no training and a week after a serious illness.... it may not be the greatest idea.
7. Workout: Get my butt back in the pool regularly.  Not this month, and given that I think I'll lose my pool membership when I leave the job, probably not this year.
8. Workout: Go climbing. Not yet.  Maybe this is something I could look at after the new job starts.
9.  Life: Lose 20 pounds.  Weight on January 2 it was 152.6.  Weight on June 1 was 147.2.  Full disclosure: weight on the first day back from vacation was 152.6.  I was upset but not surprised.  However I hit 142 during the sickness and weight this morning was 145.  It may be possible that I can try to come back from this illness at a lower weight.  I will try.
10. Life: Focus on conscientious spending.  Red.  But this was a known issue with the trip.  This month will be red too, given that I will not be working for half of it.  But August everything should change for the better.
11. Life: Improve the garden. Not this month, being gone.  We have been getting a TON of peppers, though, including bell peppers which I'm really excited about!  The lettuce and spinach have unfortunately burned up, but I'll look at a fall planting.  It looks like the carrots and beets are about ready - need to do another planting of that too.
12. Life: Go camping.  YES!  Stephen F Austin SP in March, Martin Dies Jr SP in April, Choke Canyon SP in May.  We didn't camp on our vacation but we did do several hikes including Bluebonnet Nature Center in Baton Rouge, and Orlando Wetlands Park and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Florida.
13. Life: Read or listen to at least 2 books per month.  Only one official due to travel.  Lots of dirty secrets.
14. Life: Have an epic Disney vacation.  YES!!  EPIC!!!
15. Life: Make stained glass things. Not yet.
16. Life: Take fabulous pictures with the awesome new camera.  Yes!  Got more great shots on vacation ranging from (lots of) birds to alligators to sunsets to beach landscapes.  I am really pleased with a good number of the shots I got and I continue to feel like I'm growing!