Five Things I Did Last Night Instead of Blogging

Okay, as many of you know, I blogged for 366 days straight.  Actually, I blogged for 379 straight days; I did not know how to live life without blogging.  I had developed a small cult following, and I did not want to let my readers down.

Before I reached day 366, people asked, “Is that it?  You’re just going to quit?”

To be frankly honest, the idea never occurred to me.  I developed such a love for the art of  composing my short tales and satirical stories, I could not imagine life without this outlet.  “Of course not,” I told them.  “Writing is a part of who I am, but I want to be freed from its chains.  I want to write when the spirit moves me, and I want to accomplish other goals, too.”

This month, I have consistently written three to four days a week.  Last night, I had every intention of writing, but as you would have it, life got in the way.

Here are the Five Things I Did Last Night Instead of Blogging:

5. Target.  Of course I went to Target.  I go to Target as many times a week as a blog anymore.  I was thinking about not going, but then I could not NOT go– earlier in the day, my deodorant had run dry.  Now, we all know that adults perspire, and sometimes, perspiration brings an acrid odor that makes it difficult to be around that person.  I did not want to be the “smelly kid.”  I deal with enough B.O. when my afternoon tenth grade classes come to English after gym class.  I could not live with myself if I smelled.

4. Elliptical.  Yes, I got on the elliptical and did a thirty minute workout.  I need to get my fat ass  into shape again, so I am trying to workout four or five days a week.  I used to love to exercise, and I am trying to remember what that felt like.  I am going to push myself to enjoy it once again, one workout at a time.

3. The Dentist.  I had to take Lizzie to get her cute little eight-year-old teeth cleaned.  You all know how important hygiene and dental care are.  I could not even live with  myself if I thought that my children’s teeth were rotting in their heads.  We are diligent about making and keeping our six month appointments.

2. Keno.  Keno? How does that work into the mix?  Well, let me explain.  Tom is in a NASCAR league at a little local bar (Right now, my brother is saying, “Of course he is.”).  Once a week, he has to go up to the bar, pay five dollars, and draw a random number which determines the driver he has for the week, based on position.  It is better to go earlier in the week so that you have a better chance of getting a higher starting position.  We both agreed, somewhere around seven, that a 16 ounce Miller Lite and a few games of Keno would compliment his weekly pick quite nicely.

We played 11-14-23-42, and we hit for $72.00!  I was so elated when 11 hit on the last possible number that I screamed.  I screamed so loud and so energetically, I startled a man who had just sat down at the bar.  Out of the corner of my eye, I literally saw him jump.  Tom saw it, too.

“Hey man,” Tom said.  “My wife is so excited about the drink you ordered, she is cheering for you.”

He laughed.  “Thanks.  I think I made a pretty good choice.”

My mind was reeling.  My adrenaline was pumping.  I looked at the man and said, “Sorry.  We just won $72.00!”

Tom and I decided to order a celebratory beer.  As I settled down, I could not help but think that the man I startled looked familiar.  Who is he? I thought to myself.  By this time, he had been joined by a friend, and as I always do, I eavesdropped, trying to see if I could figure it out.

“I didn’t understand his comment,” his friend said.  “We explained how beneficial this is going to be for the residents as well as the city.”

“I know.  It is going to be cost saving, and the bins are so big, no one generates that much garbage.”

Hmmmm, I thought.  Comment.  Residents.  City.  Bins. 

I got it!   Which leads me to….

1. Hangout with the Mayor

“Excuse me,” I said when there was a lull in the conversation.  Aren’t you my mayor?”

As quickly as I said it, he was out of his seat.  He put out his hand.  “I thought you looked familiar to me.  How do I know you?”

I explained that when he was running for mayor, he stopped at our house when he was on one of his door-to-door meet the residents campaigns.  After the initial discussion that day, we spent about a half hour discussing unions and teachers.  At the time, I had an SB5 sign in my yard because the state of Ohio was trying to pass a law that would hurt teachers, police, and firemen unions.  He informed me that his dad was in an elevator repairmen’s union, and he supported me through and through.

“I remember that!” He said to me.

We spent the next thirty minutes talking about everything under the sun: schools, the city, trash pick-up, our own kids.  It was like talking to an old friend.  At the end of our conversation, he handed me his card.

“Can you do me a favor?” he asked.  “Can you email me tomorrow?”

I was a bit confused.  “Okay, why?”

“I need to get you on a committee.  I need to get you involved.  You are exactly what we need in local government.”

All I heard is “what we need in local government.”

This morning, I woke with a new energy.  I think I have found my new calling:  politics!




Day 377: Motivating Myself

I had the mysteriously odd, peculiar moment this afternoon where no one was home.  Everyone was at a sport or activity, and I was all alone.  By myself.  To do whatever I wanted.

I went through the list of options:

  1. Catch up on blogs?  Na.  I wasn’t in the mood to sit at the computer.
  2. Fold clothes? Na. I would do that later in the evening while watching Grey’s Anatomy.
  3. Take a nap? Na. I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep at a decent hour then.
  4. Catch up on DVR’d shows?  Na.  It seemed too lazy.
  5. Exercise?  Hey!  What a novel idea!  All of the girls are off doing physical activity, why shouldn’t I?  I have been talking about getting back into shape, lowering my cholesterol number, and relieving some stress for a very long time.  Shouldn’t I actually try?  Why not!

I went up to my room, put on my exercise attire, and pumped myself up for a workout:  Yeah!  I’m gonna do this!  I’m gonna sweat and move and burn those calories!  I got this!  I can do this!

I came back down to the basement, and instead of going on the elliptical, I decided to give good old Tony Horton a try.  You see, about eight years ago I bought the original Horton 90-day workout.  It is a two disc compilation.  It is not as grandiose as P90X, but I am sure if I committed to 90 straight days, my body would improve.

Hey, maybe today is the first day!  I think I should commit to 90 days and see what happens.

I started with the nice easy stretch,  My muscles pulled and yanked in ways they have not pulled and yanked in a very long time.  If I were the Tin Man, I would have needed an oil can.  As it were, I didn’t seem to get into stretches as deeply as I used to do.

First day; I’ll get it back.

Next came Yoga.  Plank into push up (as if I have the upper body strength for that!)  into downward dog into some kind of moon worship into Ouch!  My thighs are screaming and I have only been doing this for ninety seconds!  Didn’t this used to be easier?

Well, when it got to the meat of the workout, I listened to Tony and I listened to my body.  It was screaming at me!  From my calves to my obliques, no one seemed too jazzed that they were working so hard, and twice, I had to pause the video to give them a rest.  You’ll pay for this tomorrow.  Just wait, Sista!  You do this to us now– just wait to see what we do to you tomorrow.  (Cue sinister laugh: heeheeheehoohoohoo)

Well, I am pleased to announce 45 minutes later, I finished the video. Now, can I say I will do it again tomorrow?  No.  Can I say I will be able to do it again tomorrow?  Definitely no.  I am already feeling the after effects of being out of shape.  However, I am going to try to do the elliptical tomorrow to try to warm everyone up back up– these muscles just forgot how much they enjoy activity.  A few more tries, and they will remember that this used to be fun!

Day 260: Thank You, I Think

Compliments are complicated.  Compliments are always given with the best of intentions. 
“Nice job on that!”
“You look great today!”
“You have really been working hard, I can tell!” 

However, sometimes a compliment is given when the receiver does not expect it.  Sometimes, the compliment catches the receiver off guard, and makes the receiver feel a little uneasy, as if what they used to be was not good, and the admiration actually feels slightly insulting.

Case in point, yesterday two different people at two different times during the day asked me if I lost weight.  One was a seventeen-year old boy at school who caught me so off guard, I blushed.  I know I need to lose some weight.  After my third baby, I never got back into my skinny jeans.  I didn’t seem to care I was buying two sizes bigger than I used to wear.  Eh, it’s just a number, oh, and I wear it so well.  Wink. Wink.

The compliment was two-fold for me:  it made me elated and it made me feel inadequate all at the same time.   I do want to someday get into a bit of a smaller size, but I just do not try.  Having someone ask me if I have lost weight when I haven’t been trying makes me feel inadequate.  I should be working toward a better body.  If I was working on losing weight, the compliment would have been validation of my hard work.  Instead, it just made me feel like a lazy slob.

1. Why I felt elated: I look thinner!  Woo-Hoo!  Good for me!  I have a pretty good self-image, and I do not base whether people like me on how I look.  I would even say, I am one of those types of people who gets prettier once you get to know me.  I do put effort into my appearance, and as much as I do not have as much time as I would like to exercise, I do want to look good.  If I have done something to drop a few pounds without trying, than good for me!

(On a side note, I went for a check up in July.  My cholesterol was through the roof.  My doctor wanted to put me on meds, but I am anti-medication.  If I think a lifestyle change can fix the problem than I want to try to change before I capitulate and give in to modern medicine.  I convinced her to give me three months to change my diet and try to naturally bring down the number.  I have given up cheese, and I have pretty much cut all fried foods from my diet.  Likewise, I have started a strict regiment of Metamucil and oatmeal every morning.  I have not been on a scale, but I may have lost a few pounds from just changing the choices I have been making.)

2. Why I felt Inadequate:  So, you think I’m fat?   Having someone ask me if I have lost weight when I haven’t been trying makes me feel incompetent.  I should be working toward a better body.  If I was working on losing weight, the acknowledgement would have been validation of hard work.  Instead, because I am not endeavouring, I feel like the fabric of my soul is being scrutinized and judged.

How to fix this problem?  Jump on the elliptical!  If I workout four or five times this week, I will have a clearer sense of self.  I will want people to notice my efforts (I know four or five times is not really effort, but it will be for me.)

Nonetheless, when all is said and done, I do feel good that I may look a little thinner.  I am happy to think that I am becoming a better version of myself.  Now, if I just put a little bit of effort into it, I will feel the adulation is warranted.