Winter flotsam (with emoji)

It was never cold enough in my old place to need warm pajamas. Year round it could be mostly tanks, tees and shorts. 👚

My warm pjs all lived at my folks’ place, until they moved. 🏡

Now I regularly reach for sweatpants, invariably too long for me, but that works too since the elastic at the ankles is most comfortable around my feet vs my calves.. and on one ridiculously cold morning, I woke up to pull my entire foot up inside my sweats, the elastic closing up beneath my feet, still shivering and aching with cold under covers and afghans. ❄️

Winter is for the birds! 🐧

That said, with this latest warm snap, the birds seem to be returning back (too early, when winter surely isn’t over yet).  Valentine’s Day was just last week, after all! ❤ 

The grocery store has leftover flowers for cheap now. I almost caved and bought myself some, but I know they won’t last now. (Apparently my folks considered bringing me some on The Day,which was sweet if silly, but the absolute highway robbery was prohibitive.) 🌺 

I also managed to forego buying myself leftover Valentines chocolate. It was a narrow escape, actually, but it’s not worth undoing all the efforts to get myself back to a healthy place. 🏃🏻‍♀️

So say I! 😉

Stay warm and take good care out there! 👍🏻

Fitness Flotsam (@Fitbit)

Some random observations…

  • I really like the Fitbit adventures and challenges. They definitely encourage me to move. Getting notices that light up my phone at midnight to tell me the Challenge is starting (etc), however, is discouraging good sleep. #tradeoffs
  • Setting an alarm to make sure I get my hourly activity in, is working well for me. The other thing that is working well, at least during the day, is that my house is so flipping cold. Moving around warms me up. It’s kind of sad though that in between I’m wearing gloves in the house. But there you have it, being cold all the time is not all bad. Apparently
  • I know I’ve become a little bit crazy about this hourly activity goal thing, because yesterday I had a meeting that ran through the entire 11 AM hour, and I was irked because it made me miss my steps for that hour (which was the only hour I missed, after making 14/14 hours for the prior 7 days). And now I’m looking at the itinerary for a Retreat I’m attending (and looking forward to) this weekend, and noticing that the sessions start on the hour and end into the next hour. There is clearly something wrong with me, when I want to tell them that if they started sessions on the half hours, the sessions could take the same amount of time and leave people a window on each side to get in their hourly Fitbit steps. Which, I’m pretty sure, is not where one’s attention should be, as one goes into a Retreat.

I managed to do this 7/7 days in a row. I doubt I will ever be able to do it again

    Too tired

    I wonder if I’m fighting something off; yesterday I felt like if I had taken an extra long blink in the afternoon, I’d have fallen asleep and awakened next week. By 7:15pm I felt like it was midnight already and only made myself stay up long enough that my body would let me sleep through the night. (Because I was afraid if I went to bed at 7:30 I’d wake up at 10:30 from a refreshing nap, and mess myself up for the 4:55am Wilmington alarm.)

    Not. Enough. Coffee

    The early to bed served; I woke ahead of the alarm today, thankful and hopeful and…. headachy and tired. 

    Ugh. Up. Go. Move. 

    It turns out my outside light has burned out, but fortunately 2 of my neighbors have left theirs on, and I can see my way to my car.  

    Technically the commute is easier today than some; it’s not pouring rain or dangerous crosswinds, but it feels harder today. I know tired driving is a hazard, and the headache isn’t helping. 

    I make it to the office without incident (thanks be to God) and grab some more coffee and more aspirin… it’s going to be a rough one!

    A day in the (workout) life

    An eclectic musical journey

    Before I went to bed last night, I ran down to the laundry room for a fresh pair of workout clothes. If today were an Office day, I would have left them in the main floor bathroom, so they’d be easy to change into on arrival from the office (on Wilmington days I’m already getting up before 5 to get on the road; there is simply no way I can get up earlier to fit in an early workout too). But today is a Work From Home (WFH) day, so I put them in the upstairs bathroom – wishing that my 2 year old Fitbit Flex had an altimeter to track my stairs – so they’d be in easy reach for me first thing.

    (If I am already changed for working out, I am much more likely to actually do it. Not sure why “I’ll need to change” is such a big barrier, but it seems to be nonetheless.)

    So, here it is morning, and the WFH Day alarms start going off at 6:30. I got enough sleep, on paper, but I still find myself fighting it for 10 minutes. Then I drag myself into the bathroom for all the early morning ritual ablutions, and change into my waiting (@1SturdyGirl) workout clothes.

    I’m moving slowly still, just 10 minutes to 7AM at this point, and only have a handful of my hourly steps in so far. I am going to miss the first hourly goal if I don’t get going. It isn’t always possible to get all the hours in – meetings and such intervene – but I’ve really been trying lately!

    I go downstairs, start the coffee, and turn on my iPod, flipping for something upbeat – Christian music will lift my spirits but it rarely lifts my feet, and dear God how much of my life have I spent pining or heartbroken when there’s all these dismal ballads and laments to wade through? I switch from shuffling All Songs to a playlist with some attitude, and boom, I’ve got my morning beat:

    One song and 250+ steps later I have my 6AM hourly steps in with a few minutes to spare, and I am feeling awake.

    Time for my workout. I realize I forgot my socks; trek upstairs (stairs!) to get them and then it’s time to get going!

    Down in the basement, I have my workout area waiting for me. I log into my @WiiFit account, and pull up something to watch on the DVR while the system checks me in with a basic body test. (Apparently today I’m leaning slightly right.) I already know I don’t have any in-person morning or lunch appointments or scheduled deliveries, so I can go straight from workout to office if I need to. With that little extra time, I scroll over to one of my predefined workouts, about 45 minutes’ worth, and get started…

    Sun Salutation to stretch, Ski Slalom to ease me into moving, then Jazz Dance, Advanced Step, and a 30-minute Run (short strides of necessity in the basement), then a few others to cool down.  It’s not the hardest workout in the world; I don’t really even feel like I worked up a sweat…

    Still, when I’m all done, WiiFit tells me I’m halfway to today’s calorie-burning goal, and my Fitbit tells me that I’m more than 5000 steps (or half my steps goal) into my day.

    I’m also on day 5 of my pretend #FitbitAdventures NYC marathon, and coming down the home stretch. Honestly, the marathon bores me; the NYC marathon photos don’t do much for me in general; I’ll be back doing virtual Yosemite hikes (or hopefully some other new adventure they introduce in future) but this was the last Adventure I hadn’t done yet and it will be good to put this one in the “complete” column.

    If it was a weekend, I might keep going, but it’s not. Now it’s quarter to 8, I have a work day ahead of me, and I want my coffee… badly. I go up to the kitchen (stairs!) pour myself a cup and go up  (stairs!) to throw on a tanktop and head to the office to start my day. Usually my team won’t be online until 9 (unless my boss is also working from home), but I like to get started early.

    At 8:15 I’m already deep into sending and responding to emails, but I suddenly remember that it’s a new hour, and I need my steps… my iPhone has my playlist handy so today I shuffle to I Can’t Wait by Nu Shooz and have a quick dance party for one (which I repeat again just after 9AM because it’s what’s handy and I have to get the steps in quick before I have to get on a call.)

    If this was an Office day, I would just circle my half of the floor to hit the hourly goals, a quick walk every hour – but at home it’s a little harder to make a defined 250-step circuit – it’s not that big a place, after all – so I try to work in a 1-song dance party every hour, if meeting schedules permit.

    I set a timer/alarm on my phone for an hour away. I have an older model Fitbit, so not only doesn’t it track stairs (alas when I do so many stairs!), it also doesn’t remind me to move; I have to remind myself. And I do need the reminders, because otherwise I get so deep into whatever I’m working on that I could easily forget to move at all for hours at a time.

    During the course of the morning I will need to go grab another layer of clothes (once I’m all cooled down, the tank I put on over my workout clothes isn’t sufficiently warm for all the just-sitting of the day), and of course there will be at least a couple of trips up and down (stairs!) for caffeine, while I work on this report.

    For the 10 o’clock hour, I get my jam on, and my 250+ steps, to Kate Voegele’s No Good:

    About mid-morning I check my schedule and my energy levels; to determine how I’ll be spending my lunch: eating, showering, working out again, or just working through. Today, I am thinking it will be the 11AM steps (at more like 11:30), a shower, a quick bite, and maybe the start of a load of laundry (stairs!) In the mean time, the howling of the neighbor’s dogs tells me that my mail carrier is making her rounds. (Stairs!)

    Then I wrap the report for review, send a few more emails, delete the piles of junk mail that have come in over the last few hours, and dig into something else on my desk…

    At 11:30, it’s time to break for lunch and my steps… I’m skipping through the shuffle for something that feels right: P!nk, Taylor Swift, INXS, Bruno Mars, not that one, no, maybe later, nah… oh, here we go, The Vogues:

    That doesn’t quite get me to the 250 steps, but before I can hit repeat, ABBA comes up, and that feels like a good fit for the mood too… in no time I have Dancing Queened my way well past my hourly goal (and within 350 steps of the end of the marathon Adventure)!

    Then it’s time to grab a shower, figure out a lunch plan, and get myself back to my desk!

    45 minutes later, I’ve had my shower, hauled a bucket of water outside (stairs!), started a load of whites and workout clothes (stairs!), and while my Lean Cuisine heats (dang, I’m getting hungry now), danced my way to the end of the Marathon and my 12 o’clock hourly activity goal (to Maroon 5’s Wake Up Call – wouldn’t this have been perfect at 6:30AM?)

    That’s a lot accomplished in a short break, and I’m up over 8K steps for the day  but it’s time to get back to the workday grind…(Stairs!)

    1PM hour… I look up from the document I’m reviewing for my hourly steps… I skip past the GoGos, Mariah Carey, and Rixton, and decide on Poker Face by Lady Gaga.

    For 2PM, I’ve made good headway on the day’s projects. I run down for water (stairs!) and then I am ready for some Taylor Swift, to Shake It Off

    By now, I am really closing in on my 10,000 steps for the day.  Less than 500 to go!

    I also remember mid-hour that I left laundry in the washer that I should go rotate into the dryer. (Stairs! You know, I do believe I’ve gone up 14 flights today, all in all. And the day isn’t over yet!)

    Then for my 3PM steps, the afternoon is starting to feel a little punchy, and I think I’d much rather hear Word Crimes (by Weird Al) than deal with Blurred Lines

    I enjoy that one so much I would do it twice, just for the joy of it. But work awaits, so I have to get back to it. Well, maybe just one more time…

    (Buzz Buzz Buzz … there goes my step alarm; I’ve hit 10,000 for the day!)

    By 4pm, I’ve passed my daily steps goal, but I still have a few hours in the day to try to hit 250 steps. I flip though my list, but I’m just not in the mood for Katy Perry or Train at the moment… oh, but Blow Me (One Last Kiss) from P!nk gets me moving (sorry I can’t find the version without all the language in a video format).

    And then… ah, 5PM hour. Let the weekend begin!

    I still have hourly steps to take though, and I already played 5 O’Clock World earlier. But you know you’ve been working too hard… to Take Your Time for a little SOS Band seems like the thing to close out the day…

    And that, my friends, is how I hit all my Fitbit goals for the day. Not to mention, wrapped up the actual WORK work. Win!

    Who to believe

    The liberal media (which is most of the media) paints the ban (his original word for it) as a violation of rights, a ban on Muslims (which is a slippery slope to religious persecution to any/all faiths), all kinds of bad things. The conservative media (you have to go looking for them) says it’s just a return to pre-Obama’s 2nd term immigration levels plus extreme vetting (with some poor execution and bad decisions on green card holders mixed in)

    And in these days of fake news and unreliable sources and assorted informational mayhem, I don’t know what to believe. Is the liberal media creating a false frenzy, or is the conservative media being used as a mouthpiece for the Oval Office?

    Neither of those would be a good thing. 

    So how am I to interpret the travel ban? Is it all just keeping campaign promises and cutting red tape? Or is it using yet more executive orders (sigh, again, really, like there wasn’t enough of that before?) to politically questionable ends? Was the inclusion of green card holders in the ban the not-unexpected sort of early-days execution mistake that ultimately gets quickly corrected, or a deliberate calculation, a negotiation tactic to overstep what is reasonable and give a place to backstep to?  Is it all really a Muslim ban (which will likely further radicalize some) or will the media’s characterization of it as such be all that requires anyway?  Is the fact that countries with Trump properties aren’t included a sign of nefarious self-serving motives or simply a natural outcome that a reasonably well-run business tries not to put expensive resources into locations where the risk is unduly high?

    I don’t know. Maybe all of the above; good and bad outcomes playing out together, because only God is truly good and because really thinking of anything else (everything else) as being so clear cut is part of the problem that causes divisiveness today. 

    I do believe that there is objective Truth, but when it comes to opinion, you being right doesn’t necessarily mean I’m wrong, especially if the issue is complex and multifaceted. 

    And with all that, the travel ban isn’t the top concern I have, and is probably not the most important issue we should be talking about. But it’s got the headlines, and it’s a bit easier for me to parse through my confusion. 

    Conclusions? None. Other than the only man I can trust to get it all right is Jesus. And that I should probably get in a workout; one thing that I know will do me good and is at least somewhat in my control. 

    Afraid of my shadow

    That’s not me trying to be clever. I actually just jumped back from movement in the dark, and it was my shadow that had scared me. 

    Yup. Sometimes I’m that silly. 

    Heart rate almost back down to normal… ha. 

    ###

    I just reached Taft Point with 25,100 steps on the Pohono Trail #FitbitAdventure @Fitbit

    Random observations

    • Everyone’s rush same-day requests come on Fridays. And everyone who wants a meeting needs it to be on Mondays. What is with that? (How about we just switch the weekends up, and take Tuesdays thru Thursdays off, in that case?)
    • If companies would broadcast some kind of dance music over the loudspeakers for the last 5 minutes of every hour, no one need ever miss their 250-step activity goal for that hour. Read more of this post

    Apparently I am crushing it @Fitbit

    So this happened for the first time ever yesterday. Hourly activity win!


    I can’t guarantee that I’ll ever be able to repeat this, since work schedules do with they will. But it was kind of fun to make it once.

    Mild misophonia

    The vent overhead in the office makes an uneven rattle and high pitched metallic grinding/squeak sound.

    It makes my teeth ache and my eyes twitch and it’s distracting as all get out at times.

    But it’s not something one of my colleagues is doing, so there’s no one to direct irrational misophonic rage at over it.

    Which is good, as these things go.

    And it’s not incessant sniffling, so that’s a win. For everyone. 

    I wonder if’n that could get fixed somehow….

    Progress, not perfection

    #FitbitAdventure @Fitbit

    The picture above, courtesy of the good people of Fitbit and shot by Chris Burkard, greatly reminds me of a picture that lives on my walls – not a professional shot in that case, but a fantastic shot of the same valley and one of the few photos on my walls that I didn’t take, since I didn’t own a camera then.

    It turns out I like  the Yosemite virtual hikes vastly more than the NYC virtual walks/runs. Read more of this post