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Mistr

Mistr sets up the new Normal

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Setting up the new Normal

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The groundwork has been laid but there are lots of things to be done to get my life looking as I imagine it.

 

There is always a lot of talk in January about setting your goals and steps to reach them. Dumbledore and I talked about this and agreed that for the most part we have a good life. We both want to rush less and have more time for creative projects.

 

Foundations to maintain:

  • Exercise routine of lifting Tues/Fri, aikido study Mon/Wed, Thursday open for yoga or make-up lifting, core yoga on weekend days when I don't do aikido.
  • Aikido 2-3 days a week
  • Drink tea instead of coffee or hot chocolate. I stocked up on Peppermint Bark tea when it was in the stores for a week this past December.
  • Batch cook protein and veggies. My family is on board with this now.
  • Prep clothes and food early in the evening so I can get to bed earlier.

 

Life improvements:

  • Do fiber arts instead of playing games on my phone. Ten minutes of spinning is enough to make me feel like I've accomplished something.
  • Sit zen in the morning. My track record for actually making time later in the day is dismal. Mornings work well.
  • Cycle through different kinds of tasks to feel progress and manage stress. Some things are really urgent, other just bug me. Rotate recurring cooking/cleaning chores with things that stay done and actual creative project and reading.
  • Minimize white sugar and white flour. Part of me wants to cut these out until I'm back to my target weight range. Another part of me rebels and wants to eat all the sweets. Remember that I can't snack when my hands are full of yarn.
  • Add 5 minutes a day of silk reeling to my routine. Right before bed might be a good time.

 

Task list:

- Take my summer clothes to the attic. I know I will need them in March. It is still worth it to put the bins away for a month.

- Organize my sweaters in the closet

- Drop off the dry cleaning

- Finish filing the 2018 HSA reimbursements

- Put together a file of tax info

- Find missing tax info

- Do the damn budget analysis

- Take the ice cream maker to the attic

- Clean the corners of the floor in the bathroom (technically Elf's job, but I want it done so I can put down a clean rug and have warm feet in the morning)

- Scrub the bathtub (Elf and I traded for this one)

- Mend exercise leggings

- Finish turning the heel on my sock

- Pack up my nylons and repurpose that drawer

- Deal with the stacks of stuff by my desk. Points for each stack removed.

- Find a drop spindle I can use for spinning silk. I can buy a new one if I get five tasks on this list done.

- Finish spinning fine wool singles for my friend.

- Send her samples of 2-ply and 3-ply to see how she wants it finished.

 

I can add more if other things come up that need to be done or are really bugging me. Anything new has to be more pressing than the stuff listed above.

 

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That peppermint tea is pretty darned good.

 

I find it's sometimes harder to reduce than to eliminate, though it can also work the other way, depending on the headology of the individual. Can be worth doing some experimentation.

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On 2/9/2019 at 4:15 PM, RisenPhoenix said:

Peppermint bark tea.  I need to try this.  Must find now.

 

Look in the clearance section of your local grocery. It seems to be a holiday season only kind of thing.

 

If you can't find it, Tazo makes a cocoa mint mate blend that is an adequate substitute.

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I made a decent start on my challenge over the weekend. Having Friday afternoon off made a big difference.

 

I was able to do my full lifting/cardio routine. Squats are still a problem. No word yet from the trainer. I'm sticking to just the bar until I get my form sorted out. I was pleased to be able do more inverted rows without a break than a week earlier. I did stuff at home in the afternoon and had plenty of time to go to aikido in the evening.

 

Regular chores:
- put away clean dishes

- laundry. The new washer is great. It holds half again more clothes than the old one. I achieved Victory over Laundry by Sunday afternoon.

- scrubbed kitchen sink

- washed dishes

- cooked a ham with help from Dumbledore and Elf.

- Did zen Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

 

Project list:

- Mended exercise leggings

- Found a drop spindle I can use for spinning silk. It had soy silk on it that I finished spinning last year. Wound that off into a ball.

- Scrubbed bathtub

- Downloaded the manual for the new washer. Still need to print out the interesting parts.

 

Creative projects:

- Spinning (did twice)

 

Fun stuff:

- Went out for brunch with Dumbledore

- Made shortbread

- Re-read two novels that I've had long enough that I had forgotten the plot and some of the characters.

 

I wanted to get more of the project list done, as usual. I feel a little better because I did get a few things checked off. I feel especially pleased about freeing up a spindle for spinning silk. I should add "post fiber photos" to my list.

 

I had a good check-in with Elf. They volunteered to help me take tubs to the attic. Access is by a folding ladder/stair so help is appreciated. Elf had forgotten about doing the bathroom floor. If it is not done when I get home from practice tonight, I'll do it. I want the rug in the bathroom tomorrow morning. :P  We talked about organizing chores again. Elf wants a weekly spreadsheet of chores where each of us checks off what we have done. I asked Dumbledore to put that together. We already have a list of all the chores from a previous discussion. Dumbledore is more likely to try this plan with Elf asking than if I asked.

 

Right now there are some clean sections in the kitchen, bathroom and entry. It's my turn to do vacuuming. I'll do sweeping at the same time in an effort to have clean floors in the whole upstairs. Probably on Saturday. Between now and then will be minor cooking and spot cleaning. Elf made pot roast last week that disappeared in record time. I will make more veggies to go with the ham. I got the ingredients to make spinach lasagna but I'm not sure I want to invest the time. I'll see if the spinach has gone slimy by tomorrow night. If it has, I may use the ricotta and mozzarella to make a potato-ham casserole.

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Monday night started well then took a bad turn.

 

Aikido went well. Sensei was away but one of the fifth dans was there and happy to teach. We had four beginners and lots of experienced people. I did not stay for the intermediate class because I wanted to get stuff done at home. Plus it was starting to snow.

 

I found Dumbledore in a bad mood because a friend in another state had an accident and a mutual friend gave the communication task to Dumbledore. I think he was frustrated because he felt helpless. Plus the internet grabbed all his time and attention for the afternoon, so he got nothing done. He also had to deal with a student acting out in one of his classes. I listened to him vent while I put potatoes, sweet potatoes and onions in the oven to roast. He calmed down enough to go work in his office and I decided to scrub the bathroom floor. Elf had come home and clearly did not want to do any cleaning. I did not have the emotional energy to negotiate, and I wanted it done, so I did it.

 

The cleaning took longer than I planned which put me a little late to bed. Only by 30 minutes. That would have been fine if nothing else happened. I was really pleased to have a clean tub and a rug on a clean bathroom floor when I went to take a shower in the morning.

 

The bad part was that Dumbledore woke me at midnight to tell me that Elf had spun out in the snow and was stuck in the median of a busy road. Luckily the road is not busy in the middle of the night. Plus Elf forgot their wallet at home, so Dumbledore had to be there to meet the AAA truck. Why Dumbledore felt I needed to be awake for all this drama is an open question. Yes, there were several points where things could have gone very badly. Like when a creepy guy stopped and suggested that Elf go back to his house because the tow truck couldn't possibly get there for hours. Elf said "no, thank you" and locked the doors of the car. In fact the AAA truck got there within an hour and had Elf's car out of the ditch in a few minutes after that.

 

I took advantage of the time to put away clean dishes, prep yogurt and fruit for breakfast, do my silk reeling exercises and do some spinning. I wanted to stick to things that were easily put down and did not take much brain. Dumbledore was a stress bunny when he got home. Elf was only a little better. I'm going to talk with Elf about calling me next time, even if I'm asleep and Dumbledore is still awake. I don't have the same brain weasels that plague Dumbledore. I was in bed again before 2am but it took me a while to fall back asleep. Dumbledore was up playing games on the computer until 4am. That was when I woke up and used the remote doorbell to tell him to come to bed. Yay for technology! That part worked well.

 

I made it to work on time in spite of the snow. I guessed that I would have to leave the house an hour early to shovel out and drive very slowly. I was right. Work was calmer than usual, possibly because several regions of the country are snowed in. By mid-morning it was obvious that I was only at work in body. I broke my rule and had a cup of coffee. It was just the thing. Hopefully I won't pay for it tonight.

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Good Lord. I'm just glad to hear that everyone turned out to be okay. All these people in your life need to get on your level, kthx.

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21 hours ago, Kishi said:

Good Lord. I'm just glad to hear that everyone turned out to be okay. All these people in your life need to get on your level, kthx.

 

Everyone is fine. I did have that talk with Elf about calling me when things go banana-shaped in the middle of the night. I might be grouchy about being woken up but I am much less likely to freak out. Dumbledore is usually calm in a crisis but his brain weasels have been bad lately. He even skipped gaming on Tuesday to take more down time. When I got home from work he was still struggling. We talked some and later in the evening he was sorting stuff and feeling much better.

 

I sometimes despair of hoping that Dumbledore or Elf will get where I hope they could be. Both of them have made progress but it is soooooo slow. I had the advantage of a good home life as a kid and a bunch of practical skills. No social skills and poor self esteem, but I worked on those over time.

 

So you may recall that we got another 8 inches of snow on Tuesday. I got home expecting that I would need to help with the shoveling. Dumbledore did the last two stints all by himself. I was happy to see Hermes extracting the snowblower from the garage when I got home. He had to go get some two-cycle oil and fill the gas can. A little later I heard the happy roar of the snow blower. That helped me persuade Dumbledore that he could relax and work on his own pet projects.

 

Only 15 minutes later Hermes came into the house to tell us that the snowblower was not up to the job. It is a little one and couldn't manage to throw snow high enough or handle this depth. I said I would put on boots and go help, but he turned me down. He said he'd had an awful day at work and did not want to have to coordinate with anyone. It took him over two hours to shovel out our large driveway and long front sidewalk. Go Hermes!

 

My hopes of having a functional snowblower have been dashed. Not only is it small and underpowered, it has some electrical issues. The electric start does not work and there is something wrong with the controls. Hermes said that the only way to turn it off is to disconnect the spark plug wire. Um, no thanks. I will use my nice reliable shovel.

 

Another gripe - I cooked a bunch of food over the last few weeks. I've been eating home-cooked lunches every day. Apparently other people mostly haven't because several things have languished in the fridge too long. I hate throwing out food that was perfectly good. This supports my resolution to cook less. I can do just fine for the next week or so on the food we have now plus the curry I'm going to make for gaming tomorrow.

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On 2/14/2019 at 9:51 PM, Teirin said:

I'm not sure I've ever known someone who needed to cook less before.  Good work!

I know I've never had this issue and there's only two of us!

Glad everyone is okay in your home

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On 2/14/2019 at 8:51 PM, Teirin said:

I'm not sure I've ever known someone who needed to cook less before.  Good work!

 

I think the problem is that Dumbledore has been going out for lunch instead of taking food from home. He packs the lunches so he knows they are there. He is trying to work through his mental blocks about bringing food from home.

 

I've seen Elf put together lunches to take to work. Elf's typical problem is not getting enough sleep and not feeling hungry in the morning. By mid-afternoon they want food. They just don't think of it when they are leaving.

 

I packed two lunches this morning. I am curious to see if the second one is still there when I get home. The fridge is starting to look empty. We have chicken curry, pot roast and ham that I cooked recently. Elf made chicken tenders on Thursday and those are gone. I'm tempted to just make stuff for myself and see how long it takes before someone else steps up.

 

Week one review

 

So-so overall. I missed days on exercise and zen. I was short on sleep and drank coffee. I ate a lot of chocolate and valentine's day theme treats. Aside from that, I did okay on not stressing out about stuff. Aikido went well. I'm happy with the progress of the beginners. I went to advanced class on Saturday to work at a faster pace. Sensei complimented me on my shinai randori. I'm not sure why - I didn't feel like I did that well. Apparently it was better than last time. I was good about not trying to block the shinai and moving in relationship to my ukes. I also did not freak out when I got hit. Who knows, maybe the zen is helping. I wasn't scared of doing it like I used to be.

 

Having a to-do list here helped me make good decisions this weekend. Sunday morning I wanted to just sit and watch it snow. So I sat at my spinning wheel by the windows in the family room and spun while relaxing and waking up. I finished prepping my friend's wool at gaming on Friday. I've made a visible dent in the pile to be spun. I feel good about progress on that project. Other things got done too:

 

Regular chores:
- put away clean dishes

- cooked pot roast that I prepped on Thursday. Made mashed potatos to go with it.

- laundry. It was Dumbledore's turn, but I offered to do it because he had a rough week. There wasn't that much to do.

- cleaned stove top

- washed dishes

- chemical warfare on the toilet. We have had problems with black growth in the toilet for years. I finally cleaned the tank and ran toilet bowl cleaner through the whole system. I turned off the water so I could really soak it with cleaner. It looks much better than it did, but still not pristine. I'll see what happens if I keep at it for the next several weeks. I showed Elf and they were impressed. They said they had put cleanser in the toilet one evening last week, but then forgot to scrub it.

- shoveling snow with Elf

 

Task list:

- Take my summer clothes to the attic. 

- Organize my sweaters in the closet

- Put together a file of tax info

- Take the ice cream maker to the attic

- Clean the corners of the floor in the bathroom (technically Elf's job, but I want it done so I can put down a clean rug and have warm feet in the morning)

- Finish turning the heel on my sock

- Deal with the stacks of stuff by my desk. Points for each stack removed.

 

Clothes are dealt with. I also bagged up the pile to take to the charity shop and gave that task to Elf. They work near the charity shop. Elf helped me haul the boxes to the attic.

 

The files are no longer stacked by my desk, now they are spread all over the family room floor. One of them is full of tax information. Another has medical papers. Baby steps. I also did a round of filing and updating financial records.

 

I made good progress on my sock. I realized that I was stuck on turning the heel because I wasn't sure how I wanted to deal with continuation of the pattern from the leg. I read the instructions for a different sock on doing intarsia and applied it to my pattern. It would have come out better if I planned ahead more, but it will be fine. Now the sock is something I can pick up and knit a couple rows when I have 10 minutes. I might eventually get it done.

 

This week I want to keep up that momentum and get back on track with healthy eating.

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17 hours ago, Mistr said:

I packed two lunches this morning. I am curious to see if the second one is still there when I get home. The fridge is starting to look empty. We have chicken curry, pot roast and ham that I cooked recently. Elf made chicken tenders on Thursday and those are gone. I'm tempted to just make stuff for myself and see how long it takes before someone else steps up.

 

Do iiiiiit. Worst case, it shows everyone how much they've been leaning on you and foments a discussion about the division of labor in your household.

 

17 hours ago, Mistr said:

Sunday morning I wanted to just sit and watch it snow. So I sat at my spinning wheel by the windows in the family room and spun while relaxing and waking up.

 

God that sounds nice. We get so few opportunities to do that down here, so I always like to do that when I can.

 

Glad to hear that the to-do list is helping and that you're getting done what you want to! And yeah, don't stress about training. You'll find your way back to it. Try to get some more sleep and see if the extra energy doesn't make training happen.

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4 hours ago, Kishi said:

Do iiiiiit. Worst case, it shows everyone how much they've been leaning on you and foments a discussion about the division of labor in your household.

 

:D  I'm taking steps in that direction. This morning I pulled out a container of chili from the freezer. I made it a year ago. That problem about my family not keeping track of what's in the fridge - the same thing is doubly true for the freezer in the basement. Dumbledore and I even made an inventory list on a whiteboard and stuck it to the side of the fridge. I look at the list when I'm cooking. No one else seems to notice it exists.

 

Elf did the grocery shopping yesterday. They said they like to do it. I put down specific things we need and some more generic things like "green veggies <$2.00/lb" and "fruit?". Our standard grocery store is a high volume place with variable quality produce. You never know what will be in stock, on sale and look good. Elf brought home brussel sprouts, broccoli and a cauliflower for veggies and red grapes and clementines for fruit. Good job! I'm feeling better about handing off the grocery shopping to Elf as a regular thing.

 

The next step is to see what happens with the food Elf brought home. Will they take initiative to cook? Will they consult with me or Dumbledore about it? Elf and I do pretty well on consulting. Elf has been doing more cooking without prompting too. Stay tuned for the next episode.

 

4 hours ago, Kishi said:

God that sounds nice. We get so few opportunities to do that down here, so I always like to do that when I can.

 

I understand. I still love to watch it snow even though we get a lot more than you do. We are supposed to get more snow tomorrow, Sunday and next Tuesday. And horrible freezing rain on Saturday. I much prefer snow. It can be piled up and you can walk on it without risking your limbs with every step. Getting rid of snow is sooooooo much less work than getting rid of ice. Plus snow is sparkly white and you can ski on it. Unlike grey slush.

 

4 hours ago, Kishi said:

Glad to hear that the to-do list is helping and that you're getting done what you want to! And yeah, don't stress about training. You'll find your way back to it. Try to get some more sleep and see if the extra energy doesn't make training happen.

 

Oh, training is happening. I just missed one lifting session because of work being busy. I cut my Friday lifting session short because I was dizzy. That was strange. I hardly ever get dizzy. I felt it a little when I did the 10 minute warm-up on the elliptical, then more as I did lifts. I took it as a sign to stop. Today I went through the same routine with no problems, at least not with being dizzy. Squats are still a problem. Last week I had two 1:1 sessions with my training partner and two regular aikido classes.

 

Getting more sleep is always a good idea. Last night I got to bed on time then stayed up another hour reading. My track record for putting down books and going to sleep is dismal. Luckily I was reading a short story. I'm going to stick with other things to wind down.

 

I did more knitting on my sock and got to a fun part. I'm almost done with the two-color part. Plain knitting is so fast in comparison to two color or double knitting! I'm having a lot of fun with this project now.

 

Plans for this evening:

  • Make cornbread to go with the chili
  • Make chocolate idiot cake so I have a really good dessert and can leave the junk chocolate alone
  • Put away the last load of laundry
  • Put away the dishes if no one else has done it yet
  • Sort the medical papers and tax papers
  • Do some spinning or knitting

That will be plenty to keep me out of trouble.

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I did okay on Tuesday.

  • Make cornbread to go with the chili
  • Make chocolate idiot cake so I have a really good dessert and can leave the junk chocolate alone
  • Put away the last load of laundry
  • Put away the dishes if no one else has done it yet
  • Sort the medical papers and tax papers
  • Do some spinning or knitting

I also washed dishes because between the cooking I did that evening and cooking on the weekend, more than half the accumulated pots and pans were mine. I achieved Victor Over Dishes for the first time in a couple weeks.

 

The lunch I made on Monday was still in the fridge this morning. I took it with me to work. Today there were leftovers from a taco bar, so I had a generous taco salad for lunch. I'll eat the food I packed tomorrow. I had some of the chocolate idiot cake for supper last night. It turned out beautifully. Hermes and I had a conversation about our happy chemicals of choice. We agreed that mine are much cheaper but more fattening.

 

Today is Elf's day off. I'm waiting to see if any cooking occurs. Elf has been having a bad time with their various brain weasels, poor kiddo. My plan is to cook all the veggies on Saturday if they are still waiting. I also came up with a plan for supper for gaming tomorrow. One of the players has severe food allergies, so meal prep requires some creativity. Paleo food is generally fine, so it's not too hard.

 

I went to another group yoga class at the studio near work. I enjoyed doing a different routine than my usual NF Yoga videos. There were only a couple moves that I haven't done before. My main issue was with hearing the instructor. I know he was keeping his voice soft to encourage a contemplative practice. Some of the time I was not sure what he was saying. It didn't help that I don't know the Sanskrit names for the poses. I was able to look at the other people and follow along well enough. It was nice to see people doing different variations on the moves. I could stick to the variation I can do and didn't feel weird about it. As I expected, some people are scary flexible. The poses were held for longer than I'm used to. That gave me time to relax and really work the stretches.  Worth doing every now and then.

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Week two review

 

I had a really good weekend for a change. I did a lot of spinning and knitting. I also played games on my phone on Saturday. Overall it felt like a better balance of chores, projects and fun stuff.

 

The weekend started early because I took Friday afternoon off. Both the time off and gaming were rescheduled and they luckily fell on the same day. That gave me time to do my full strength and mobility routine and cook food for my friends. Lifting is still going fine except squats. I was pleased that I could do three full sets of 10 inverted rows. Time to move the bar lower.

 

Gaming was fun and intense. We were all surprised to see how late it was when we reached a good stopping point. I was wide awake and it took me a while to relax enough to go to sleep. As a bonus, I've been doing wool prep at gaming. It is one of those tedious tasks that keeps my hands busy. I'm halfway done with the wool I bought for myself at The Little Grey Sheep. I still think it is some of the nicest wool I've ever worked with.

 

Saturday I did not leave the house. I did core yoga and bunches of stuff. Sunday I went to zen and did grocery shopping.

 

Regular chores:
- put away clean dishes

- cooked hamburger stroganoff (using up hamburger that Elf bought almost a week ago)

- put away the last load of laundry

- washed dishes

- cooked veggies: roast brussel sprouts with bacon, roast broccoli & cauliflower, cabbage with onions, apples and craisins, roast asparagus

- cooked protein: pork shoulder roast

- chemical warfare on the toilet part II. Used a different cleanser in hopes of killing more mold. It may have helped.

- grocery shopping

 

Task list:

- Finish filing the 2018 HSA reimbursements

- Put together a file of tax info

- Finish turning the heel on my sock - Again

- Finish spinning fine wool singles for my friend.

 

I sorted the medical paperwork and submitted one pile of receipts for prescriptions. The insurance website was not letting me download the documents I needed to submit for office visits. Grrrrr. I downloaded those at work yesterday. Nearly done. I also put a bunch of financial information into GnuCash. My checking account balances. The joint account doesn't. I need to get that figured out tonight. Frustrating, but better than avoiding it.

 

I tried on my sock and discovered that I made the heel flap too long. So I unraveled it on Saturday and turned the heel at a better length on Sunday. Progress!

Usually I hate having to redo projects but this time it didn't feel so frustrating. Maybe the zen is helping?

 

I also did a lot of spinning. I can see the end in sight on this batch of yarn. Good thing because I have several other things I want to spin next.

 

My right knee went wonky in a new and painful way on Sunday. I swear I didn't do anything to screw it up. I didn't even leave the house on Saturday. Maybe the cat slept on it funny. Whatever it was, it felt like a tendon running over a bone spur and it hurt to walk. I was a little concerned about sitting zen, but that didn't hurt at all. Not even the usual legs-falling-asleep pains. I stayed wide awake and mostly focused through both 30 minute sessions of zazen. Getting up for walking meditation was another story. My left foot was sound asleep and my right knee had a bunch of muscles cramping. I limped through several laps around the dojo before everything started working again. One of the things I enjoy about walking meditation is having the feeling return to my legs. This was more intense than usual. :D

 

My knee was still not right on Monday when I met with the trainer to look at my squats. She had a bunch of good pointers.

She said that it is more important to get my glutes to engage than to go really deep. She recommended keeping my feet at shoulder width with only a little turn out. Focus on keeping my chest up and notice when my tailbone starts to tuck down - that is too far. Apparently I am having a common problem of my glutes being lazy and getting my other muscles to do the work. The PT exercises I was doing with a resistance band above my knees for squats were intended to activate my glutes. So are the side-steps with a resistance band.

 

So I'm going back to those PT exercises, with some added weight. Also bridges. I may split out some of the glute work to Thursdays and Sundays to keep the total time reasonable.

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My knee is considerably better today. Yesterday the swelling was going down and the focus shifted. I could tell that some of my calf muscles were tight and cramping.

 

I did the resistance band squats and side-steps, along with a set of 10 bridges. Normally I don't think bridges are any work at all. By the end of the set I could feel them. Maybe I just need to do more reps. I could add weight too. The squats felt fine. So did deadlifts. The cramping was mostly when I was going up or down stairs.

 

Another clue was that I had foot cramps at night for the first time in months. That suggests a dietary imbalance. I stopped taking magnesium in November or December because I didn't think it was doing anything. For the last several months I've just been taking vitamins C and D. Plus B-complex on days when I'm short on sleep. I added the magnesium back in this morning. I'll keep taking it for a couple weeks. My meals have been the usual fairly healthy plus unreasonable amounts of chocolate. No smoking guns there.

 

On a different note, I just read a really interesting blog about discipline and focus: https://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/2018/02/09/rethinking-discipline/

I'm going to put this in the meditation thread too because he talks about a 10-day silent meditation retreat. Let me know what you think if you read it.

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19 hours ago, Mistr said:

I did the resistance band squats and side-steps, along with a set of 10 bridges. Normally I don't think bridges are any work at all. By the end of the set I could feel them. Maybe I just need to do more reps. I could add weight too. The squats felt fine. So did deadlifts. The cramping was mostly when I was going up or down stairs.

 

Another option might be to go looking for harder variations on the bridge. There's nothing wrong with repping out, but that gets boring after a while and there are other ways to spice this up.

 

20 hours ago, Mistr said:

On a different note, I just read a really interesting blog about discipline and focus: https://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/2018/02/09/rethinking-discipline/

 

I think it dovetails rather nicely with more recent research on the topic.

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On 2/28/2019 at 12:39 PM, Kishi said:

Another option might be to go looking for harder variations on the bridge. There's nothing wrong with repping out, but that gets boring after a while and there are other ways to spice this up.

 

I like this option a lot. Suggestions?

 

On 2/28/2019 at 12:39 PM, Kishi said:

 

Very interesting. Thank you for sharing the link.

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Week 3 review

 

I had convinced myself that last week was week 4 and I had not done a bunch of things on my list. I'm relieved that I have one more week to make progress. :P 

 

I've been maintaining my previous good habits but not making much headway on implementing the Life Improvements. I have been eating ALL THE CHOCOLATE. I did a couple sessions of silk reeling. I don't know why I'm just not feeling motivated to do it. On the positive side, I have been doing a better job of choosing tasks and taking time to do fiber arts. That has made me a happier camper overall.

 

My exercise routine is changing because my training partner has a meniscus tear in his knee. He will be off the mat for weeks. I am moving strength training to three days a week (MWF) with shorter lists of exercises each day. I would like to keep and even increase cardio time. My aerobic endurance needs work too. I plan to do more regular aikido classes since I'm not getting that extra hour of practice each week.

 

Task list:  what can I realistically do this week?

- Drop off the dry cleaning

- Finish filing the 2018 HSA reimbursements

- Put together a file of tax info

- Find missing tax info

- Do the damn budget analysis

- Pack up my nylons and repurpose that drawer

- Deal with the stacks of stuff by my desk. Points for each stack removed.

- Finish spinning fine wool singles for my friend.  I will do more spinning. At the rate I'm going it will take more than a week to get it done.

- Send her samples of 2-ply and 3-ply to see how she wants it finished.

The rest of these things can wait until next challenge.

 

Family update and whining

Spoiler

Over the last few weeks I have had conversations with each member of my household about how they are doing.

 

Hermes - He is taking actual steps to make his life better. He started an exercise program with a mutual friend, is on real ADHD meds, and started talking with a therapist. He is still working 50 hours a week to try to get out of debt and save enough money to get an apartment with his primary girlfriend. He talked about cooking more food at home to eat healthier and save money. At this point he is not participating in our batch cooking of lunches scheme. He is also not participating in any of the chores other than shoveling. He does sometimes do the dishes. When he and his exercise partner cook at our place, Hermes makes a point of cleaning up the cooking stuff.

I can rely on Hermes for very occasional emotional support. He is good about fixing broken stuff that I can't handle. I don't have to worry about him but I also cannot plan on him helping with chores.

 

Dumbledore - Mix of good and very frustrating. Dumbledore is still a stress bunny about many things in his life. He is actually taking steps to make things better. He has been using the treadmill and keeping up with grading. He is feeling like he has let things slide for months and is behind on projects he wanted to get done earlier. It has not occurred to him to update his internal timeline to start from now instead of some date in the past. He is allergic to being asked to do most chores. For example, on Sunday we were comparing schedules and I said that I wanted to take a few minutes in the evening when all three of us were home to go through the mystery containers in the top of the fridge. He said "NO. If I agree to do just one thing, however reasonable, I will get sucked into doing more things and not get my stuff done".

 

To be clear, Dumbledore is still doing the things that he previously agreed to do. He is taking out the trash, doing laundry (eventually), making lunches, and putting away clean dishes. I just can't ask him to do anything else. Elf asked him to print a chore list a week ago and that has not happened. I suspect there may be a long delay in seeing that list in print because it would make Dumbledore face the fact that he is not doing his share.

 

On the plus side, Dumbledore is tremendously sweet and supportive of me. We get along great when we aren't stressed. I just wish he would make better choices so that he would feel better about his life.

 

Elf - This week has been a big improvement over last month. Elf is saying all the right things about wanting to improve their life. The actual follow-through still leaves something to be desired. Overall things are indeed better. Elf has two jobs and a steady relationship with a nice trans man. Their sweetie is just starting his transition. Elf has been on hormones for a year and a half now and that has made them much happier. Elf's boyfriend also has a steady full-time day job at a big company. It appears he is a good influence on the not partying so hard side.

 

Elf will probably always struggle with managing their mental health. They have an appointment next week to see their GP about their physical health. I strongly suspect they have cough-variant asthma that has never been treated. Getting that under control would help Elf sleep better and be able to exercise consistently. Keeping my fingers crossed. Even when Elf is having a decent day, they tend to forget things and postpone things they promised to do. The tasks will eventually get done, usually. Last week Elf was supposed to take the Honda to the shop to get the wipers fixed and something else that the mechanic said needed doing. I was there when they made the appointment and saw them put a reminder to drop off the car in their phone. They forgot. That made Dumbledore cranky because he was planning on using the Honda for a road trip on Saturday. Dumbledore ended up taking my car instead. It worked out fine this time. It would not have been fine if the weather had been bad.

 

Elf and I cleaned all the floors in the upstairs on Saturday. I swept, dusted and vacuumed and Elf mopped. That worked because I talked to Elf about it that day. They would not have remembered or made time if I had asked beforehand. A couple weeks ago Elf said they wanted to cook a turkey. It just so happened that turkey was on sale last week for $0.49/lb so I got one. I told Elf that it was thawing in the mud room. On Saturday morning I put it in brine so that Elf could cook it Sunday. Elf didn't feel like getting up and cooking on Sunday, so they arranged to bake it overnight. I pulled it out of the oven in the morning. That was where the plan broke down. Elf was still asleep when Dumbledore left for work. Dumbledore thought it was a bad plan to leave a defenseless turkey sitting out at room temperature for hours. Between the cats and the microbes, bad things were likely to happen. So Dumbledore did the responsible thing and covered the turkey and put it back in the mudroom to chill. He also put the drippings in a container and put them in the fridge. Elf just didn't think ahead. Too typical.

 

I can see that Elf wants to make improvements in their life. I also see that they are easily distracted by friends who want to go drinking and do drugs. Elf has a lot of positive qualities. Common sense is not one of them. I wish I could count on Elf to follow through with their commitments and make better decisions.

 

My overall feeling is that I have to make decisions on what needs to get done on my own. I need to consult with my family and often coordinate with them. Anything that is essential, I had better plan on doing myself. At least I have gotten much better at ignoring other people's messes. I want to be careful about that. Ignoring mess is how garbage houses happen.

 

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On ‎3‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 5:05 PM, Mistr said:

I like this option a lot. Suggestions?

 

Try this one out. Take your time and if anything hurts, back off. You only have to do this once per week; since this is assistance work, I'd probably program it after your main strength work.

 

Glad to hear that you're sorting out what needs to happen when and where and how!

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