2020-10-26 Goals and Accountability

Making progress is sometimes tough. But what IS progress anyway and who decides what success looks like? Like most things it’s not one size fits all. Each person has to decide for themselves what success means to them. Regardless, there has to be some measure and to measure something there has to be a value associated. Some way to set one instance next to another and say “that’s an improvement”, closer to a goal or farther away.

After talking with my friend Tre yesterday, I’m thinking more about not just my goals but the measurements I use to determine if I’m doing good (or slacking). I used to do accounting of my “stats” on a weekly basis. Comparing my sleep, steps, healthy eating (via weight—as flawed as that is) to what I had recorded in previous weeks, months, and yes, even years.

Then my life changed and I stopped doing that. I’d still look daily at the things recorded in my Fitbit app but wasn’t really paying that much attention or comparing one week to the next with some goal in mind.

Perhaps I felt it was futile or maybe that I had achieved what I wanted and was in a maintenance mode where goals were no longer necessary. Either way.. it seems as though I’m no longer hitting those original targets and in need of a reboot.

For sure there’s no better time to start again than today. Because .. why wait?! 

The first step is to look at my measures and redefine what realistic goals are. I struggle figuring out which things are the most important for helping me feel better (and I’ve felt like crap long enough now that it’s become the new normal).

I always think getting better sleep will have the biggest impact in how I feel each day. Not sure why that is. And my goal in Fitbit, has been 7.5 hours a night. How often do I hit that? Almost never. Vacations, weekends sometimes. I think I dismissed this stat / goal when I got my Alta HR which provided the ability for the device to collect heart rate and calculate my sleep score. The sleep score became the new measure, but what’s the goal?

When I talked to Tre I told her that anything below 70 is no good, 70-80 is fair, And anything above 80 is good. I didn’t say anything about above 90 cuz that feels like an unachievable target. One I’ve only had a few times and never without some sleep aid.

So if I’m going to start paying attention again and be accountable for reporting out my “stats” do I revert to duration? Reevaluate the goal? Or do I use the sleep score. Say anything above 75 is a star for the day.  That feels reasonable.

I also have to recognize that I’m never gonna hit my goal without actually making a change. I need to get to bed at good time. 10pm?? I need to try to do that. Which does not really mesh with Jim’s schedule. But I gotta try.

The other things under consideration are exercise, healthy eating, and general productivity/wellness.

I think I have ways to determine how I’m doing with exercise but how about productivity and general wellness? What’s the measure and the goal?

I told Tre that I feel very motivated in the mornings but the more the day drags on, the more I start to waiver. Make excuses why I can’t get stuff done and then just flat out give up. So what if I set myself like 2 or 3 tasks each day and if I do them, I get a star that day? This might require some planning.

Tre talked about meal planning on Sundays and then all you have to do is grocery shop for that and roughly follow the plan. Maybe I can do the same with my tasks? Write them out on Sunday and then just make sure that week, 2 get done each day. That could work.

Not sure about meal planning but I might start tracking my macronutrients again. After a conversation with Jim’s sister this weekend, I think I might not be getting enough protein in my diet. But you know I have no idea how much I should be getting. Time to do some research!

So that’s it. 4 measures, 4 goals and evaluating/reporting it out weekly. I can do this.

The accountability to another person will help I think. I’ve never had that before. Sort of an accountability partner. Someone to check in with who also has goals and cares. We all need more people in our lives that care like that. I’m excited to get started actually.

Today’s “tasks” aren’t well defined but I’m gonna try to get my GLR subs distributed AND hopefully make some progress on getting our Org established as a real entity in the eyes of the state so we can finally have that non-profit status. I’ve been procrastinating that and ain’t nobody gonna do it but me.

Of course there’s also my house chores and ain’t nobody got time for hearing more about that.

I think that’s enough for today. I still need more steps but I’m gonna do a bit of reading to pass the time.

Cheers to Rebooting my Health And Wellness!
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-10-10 Winter Park Getaway Day 1: It Can Be Whatever You Want

I’m waking up on my second day here in Winter Park Colorado— before the sun and with a fairly healthy headache. It might be a hangover, you know, because at this altitude it only takes a few cocktails to affect a person. Despite reminding each other numerous times last night, we still did not alter our intake of perfect margaritas. But wait, there’s a lot more to the story of our day than just that. Rewind.

After a lovely breakfast yesterday I took my sweet time showering and getting ready for a day out exploring while Jim did research on good hiking trails nearby. That was our first objective of the day, to get the body moving and get lost a little bit in the wilderness. He picked a great little spot that was at a turn-off on mile marker 241 on highway 40, about 10 miles back the way we came in.

It was perfect for several reasons. First, there was a larger turn-off on mile marker 240, just one mile before the one we wanted which had a ton of cars. The perfect carrot for all the wanna-be hikers in the area. So I think most people stopped there. But we went the extra mile to the other turn-off that only had two other cars. The description of the hike in the book that Jim found on the ottoman in the living room of our air-b-n-b (Hiking Grand County Colorado), describes the hike as moderate. The name of it is “Current Creek Loop.”

There’s a description in the book too, on which way to go and where on the trail, but good luck with that. We followed the creek up the hill, on the right side as instructed but with no markings, and no discernible trail, completely lost it near the first junction where we were to “take a right at the ’t’.” We were not sure we were at a T but went right anyhow. It sort of felt like just traipsing off into the wilderness with no clue where to go. But that was OK. We were not really there to follow directions, we just wanted to get the heart pumping and enjoy the sights and sounds.

Lemme tell you, after less than 24 hours, the lung of the Nebraska traveler is no where near ready for the lack of oxygen that hiking causes. That was OK too, though, as we were in no hurry to get anywhere. I mean, the hike promised an aqueduct and a pond at various points, but we had all day and nowhere else to be. That’s the best part of being out here. Freedom.

So we kept going right up the side of the mountain— due north, past a boulder field and through the trees (where the supposed pond would be), but all we found was more slope, boulders, and trees. Each time we went further up, it looked as though we were on the right track but then we would get to the top to find more of the same. We climbed pretty high and I daresay we turned the moderate hike into a more difficult one, but we’re pretty inexperienced so we don’t even know the difference. At a few points it was pretty steep, but for the most part, not really that treacherous.

Finally we declared a final time, “get to the top of this ridge and then that’s it. If there’s no pond, it will be time to turn back.” Surprise, surprise, there was no pond, but the view was pretty badass. And somehow it felt as though we were in the right spot because the top of that ridge line had a trail that looked as though it had been blazed by human beings. We had traveled almost due north to get to that spot so I was sure all we had to do was go due south to get back. But Jim had other ideas. He wanted to walk the ridgline for a bit.

We did that for a while, until I started getting antsy about having gone too far in the “wrong” direction. At that point we began gradually to descent on a path of least resistance. The way we descended was completely different and there were large clearings with only grasses. That looked like a nice flat area to walk across, but the ground was mush. My guess is that perhaps that was the pond at one point and it had grown over with grass since that book was printed. In any case, there was no crossing that so we went around it.

Down and down, meeting up again with the stream and following that back to the trailhead. I’m not sure how long we were out there, but we never saw another person the entire time, which was glorious. The same two other cars were there at the turnout when we arrived back. I took a ton of snaps and coaxed Jim into taking a few couples selfies along the way. It was a good hike.

It was also good to get back in the car and head back toward Winter Park. By then, I had worked up quite an appetite. Neither of us were in the mood to cook so we hunted for takeout instead. I wanted a cheeseburger and Jim wanted tacos. There’s lots of options here which is nice. The place we got take out from was in Fraser and it was called “Azteca” (you can guess who got their way on that one). Doesn’t matter, food cooked by someone else is always delicious.

It was actually the perfect compliment to the margaritas we were planning to have. That has kind of been our thing lately. The margs. We’ve perfected our recipe and brought all the necessary supplies with us— glasses, marg salt, limes, a jigger, simply lime, and of course, the tequila (Patron Silver).

So we nommed on our Mexican food and sipped our drinks and chatted about what else might be in store for our day. With the goal being R and R, we had no plans to leave anywhere else that afternoon/evening. And the less we were exposed to other people and potential virus, the better. Our options were hot tub or Netflix. I brought a deck of cards hoping to entice Jim into playing something with me. I miss playing cards, but I don’t know too many two person games.

We ended up watching one show, which was terrible. And so sipped some more. Then we tried warming the hot tub up, but were unsuccessful, so we sipped some more. I showed Jim a game of solitaire I played when I was a kid and he said it looked like I was making the rules up as I went along. Then we sipped some more until we sauntered up to the bedroom to crash hard.

Which brings me back to the beginning and the lovely hangover I’ve tried very hard to type my way out of this morning. I did pause briefly to take a picture of the sunrise. I imagine with all the fires in the area, the smoke has made for some neat sunrises. Sometimes I think that the main problem with fires isn’t the fires themselves, but the human beings that feel inclined to stop them. Yes, lives are at stake, so they have to try, but forest fires are natures way of cleansing the land. Right? I dunno, perhaps I just heard that somewhere and want to use that to profess that we should just leave it alone and let nature takes its course.

I digress.

Not sure what today has in store for us. We’re for sure going to fiddle with the hot tub some more to see if we can get that working. Soaking in 99 degree water sounds very relaxing. Maybe we’ll go for another hike. Maybe I’ll try reading one of the many books I brought with me. Maybe we’ll just lay around all day doing nothing but chat. For sure I’ll insist on finding a place that serves cheeseburgers.

It’s nice— the fact that it can be whatever we want. We just need to decide what that is.

Cheers to All That (and a bag of chips),
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-10-07 What Will It Become When Too Much Thought is Involved?

I’m dipping my toe into figuring out what my days look like now that I’m not working. I’m excited to have more time and my first order of business has been to increase my step goal. I changed the goal on my Fitbit from 12K steps a day to 15K. And I’m not limited walking in the AM anymore so it should be a snap.

I’m missing Jazzercise more already, which is a great cardio workout and also motivates me to do strength training. I haven’t been to a class since February because of the pandemic. I asked Jim yesterday about the possibility of going to a class or two. The answer was a resounding “hell no.”

He said that by the time the class is over you’ve basically breathed air from every other person there, no matter how small the class is, and it’s too risky. He’s right, but .. how different is that from my son going to public school five days a week? I know, it’s the masks. If I tried to do a workout with a mask on, I’d probably die. 😷

So no Jazzercise for me.. yet.

I’m also holding my breath about winter residency for my MFA. Which is to say that I’m hoping that they have figured out how to host an in person / part virtual experience. Live in person at the Lied lodge in Nebraska City for those who can make it, and virtual for those who can’t travel.

I mean, schools across the globe have had about 6 months now to figure this out. Get some good WiFi, put some computers and screens in the rooms, coordinate some zooms. It’s possible.

Though technology is not a strong suit of the Lodge. Seems like there’s always some difficulties. Even with something like a microphone setup. And I suppose all the extra hardware costs money and the university probably does not have the funds in the budget despite an MFA costing like 45 grand. 🤷‍♀️

So I guess we’ll see. It doesn’t really matter though. Yesterday’s inquiry about my lecture topic leads me to believe that I’ll not get another offer to defer like the last semester. I’d decided that even if they did, I’d still suck it up and just finish out virtually. It’s disappointing, for sure. But that’s life. Even without a pandemic, things often don’t meet our expectations. Or perhaps my expectations are always too high. 😉

In any case, one thing on my set list today is to revisit the notes I took with JP about my lecture topic to see if I can get over my fear of commitment and pick something to talk about.

One of the people whose lecture from summer just knocked it out of the park was Erin. She sent a group of us notes about the formula for a successful lecture (summarized from her convo with the program coordinator). I’m planning to revisit this today too.

One thing I recall is to be the expert and present as such.. so the trouble with that is that I don’t feel like an expert and might not ever. But.. despite the fact I’m already overthinking this.. I’ve technically already graduated so I need to use that to my advantage. Which is to say.. not worry about it so much. Still, how can I not?! Good grief! 🙄

I’m going to cut it there today cuz I need a shower and to get on with my day. Yeah, regular showers are another change I’m looking forward to now that I have more time. How sad is that??!!

Peace and love until next time,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-10-05 A Day at Waubonsie

What must it be like to have your day defined by the hunt for firewood.. or searching for viable acorns? I had a lot of stray thoughts yesterday as my mind tried to walk away from the conversations in play. Someone would say something and I would think about that for a second and then I would follow that thread away and stop paying attention. It’s not that the conversation wasn’t interesting. On the contrary. I was very interested in these other people’s musings and talk that was at the front of their mind.

It’s just that I haven’t opened my mind in a while for new thoughts. The classic broken record on repeat (those who visit frequently to read what I am thinking know all too well). So having a whole day with new thoughts and ideas from other folks was a lot to process in the moment. A thing I’m not great at anyway. I even had to pop my phone out a few times to make a note of something I wanted to research more on or think about later so as to not lose track of it as one topic was quickly stacked onto another.

There was a lot of talk about academia. A subject I’m pretty ignorant about so I don’t have a lot to contribute. Things like what systematic problems exist and why someone might choose to stay in the field versus leaving to find something else. And my mind wanders away.

Talk about career. These are things I’ve beat like a dead horse and my opinions are clear. Working for your life for someone else or some organization. I’m on the side of it not mattering as long as you find yourself doing something you get satisfaction and value out of. Something that makes you feel fulfilled and like you have a good purpose.

There will always, always, ALWAYS be issues and things you don’t like about it. Frustrations, or people, or company politics that suck. That’s life. But does it pay the bills? Can you live the way you want with the moneys provided? Is there enough time at the end of the day to breathe? Time to do something else you enjoy? Time enough to give yourself to other people you love?

If so. That’s better than a lot of folks. Which is another good point. That it’s more important to have a measuring stick built on your own ideals than to fashion one that’s a replica of someone else’s. Or worse.. what the world at large has decided it should look like. Yeah, that standard issue stick is definitely not right for most.

I can’t directly give people advise. I just can’t. But if I could, I would say all of this. My fear is that people would look at my life (now) and say, “easy for you to say.” Which might lead to me getting defensive about the path of my life. And I’d have to start at the beginning and explain everything and nobody has time for that.

As Jack and Robert talked about their hunt for firewood, I could not help but think about the fact that I’m so conservative about everything. Something buried in me from my upbringing compels me to save things. I try to eat every bit of leftovers in the fridge (and am strict about not throwing food away). I save dryer sheets cuz I can’t bring myself to throw away something that has so much purpose left in it after one or two runs in the dryer. I wash out plastic bags because I don’t want to contribute to the piles of plastic that won’t decompose in the world. Is there nothing we can do with these super soft plastics? I need to look into that.

As of late I find myself slipping a bit, changing ever so slightly and letting something go into to trash that I previously would not. And am ashamed of myself. I don’t want to change that part of me.

Robert talked about sleeping out in the cold in his tent and how with one quilt, tucked just right, he got better sleep than he’s had in a great while. It made me want to try it. No space heater, no fire, just a blanket and my own body heat.


The primary goal of the “Shack Simple” day is to be restorative and just get back to a simpler way. Perhaps spend more than a day, cleanse the body of toxins, cleanse the mind of toxins, and just exist. Rediscover what it feels like to just be a creature that is a part of a grand ecosystem without all the fuss that comes with being human.

Of course it’s tough not to talk about current events. Politics, the president, and the coronavirus. Those were the topics I had the toughest time staying with the conversation. I want to cleanse my mind of toxins and not pump more in. Also I’m just tired of it all and have built up a wall to protect myself from it. Yes, of course I’ll vote, but it does me no good to get riled up about it. So I just sat there and tried to listen. I like to just listen (most of the time).


Today is the first Monday I don’t have to work. Yesterday it was decided that what I am is retired. Retired and ready to give my life to Poetry. Yes, Poetry, I’m open and ready to receive.

I don’t yet have words to describe how I feel. But I’ll keep working on that.

Thanks Michelle, Gina, Robert, and Jack for a lovely day yesterday. And cheers to having another soon.

Until next time,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-09-27 It’s All Just So Rhetorical

It’s overcast and there’s a soft rain falling on the patio. I can hear low rumbles in the distance letting me know the sky is threatening somewhere, out there. But not here. Here there is a calm that only Sunday morning can bring.

The demons of Saturday Night have all stumbled to their beds and will not be seen or heard from for a while. It’s a welcome quiet. Still, I can’t just lay in my bed and listen to the rain. I still can’t close my eyes and let the overcast lull me back to sleep. How many times have I dreamed a life where that was possible? And of all the wishes I’ve been granted, why is that one so elusive?

That’s rhetorical. Because the answer is inconsequential. Like a lot of things, come to think of it.

Yesterday I had a lovely day. From start to finish. In the morning we loaded up our bikes and drove the short distance to Flannigan Lake for a ride on the paved path that circles it. 30 glorious minutes peddling and feeling the cool breeze against my face. I could have done a second lap but it was not in the cards for us.

We saw loads of geese and some ducks and a blue heron. At one point we got off our bikes and walked down close to the lake to spy on the roads and split open milkweed pods to set the seeds free.

There were not too many other humans, but enough. As I was speeding by I saw a guy pull a big fish that was hooked on the end of his fishing line out of the lake. I saw a family with scooters posing for pictures with the lake in the background. I saw a woman running with her dog that was tethered to her by a leash. That made me wonder who was running who since the dog was in the lead.

I saw a few women with double strollers. I had one of those for my babies once. I rarely used it. I truly regret all the time I wasted when they were that age on things that I thought were important. But spending a life lamenting regret is also a waste, so I’ve got to let that go.

I may look back years from now and regret all these hours on the treadmill when I could have been laying in bed listening to the rain with my love sleeping next to me. But can I ever change?

Again, rhetorical.

The rest of the day yesterday brought errands and planning a bit of a getaway for Jim and I and then a photo shoot out in the yard. I see you days ago I told Jim I really need some new pictures because the ones I’ve used in the past are either too old or not right for what I want them for. I mean, hopefully I will never need that professional business headshot I had done at JC Penny Portrait Studio in 2017 for my job hunt.

He got a ton of pictures and was very sweet trying to get a lot of diverse snaps at various places in our backyard. The fall colors are really starting to come in and it’s a perfect time for it. With a little cropping there are a few that could definitely work. I need to look again today with a fresh eye. And without my margarita colored glasses. Ha!

Today it would be good if it’s overcast and rainy all day as I’ve got a full set of stuff I need to get done. We’re finally ready to start creating the posts for the first issue of The Good Life Review” and that will keep me busy for much of the day. I’ve also got to write a letter from the Editor. The first of what I hope is many.

We’re also going to be rearranging the plants in our solarium as we brought inside all the ones we want to save from harsh Nebraska weather. The temps are about to take a dip and October can be so unpredictable. We could have a day like yesterday that feels like summer followed by a day that threatens frost. And the random October snowstorm is not out of the question. And although those hibiscus are beautiful.. they won’t save themselves.

I’d also love to dig up the gladiolus and dahlias and keep them safe over winter. Plant them again in spring. Yeah.. lots to do. That’s why I can’t stay in bed on a quiet Sunday morning. Too much to do. Isn’t that just ridiculous?

Don’t answer. It’s rhetorical. 😜

With Love and Hot Coffee with Too Much Sugar,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-09-21 What’s the Truth Behind All the Drama

Last night I had a dream I could not shake. I mean.. I dreamt the dream and woke up multiple times and then fell back to sleep into the same scenario twice.

I’ve got a big assignment due for school. Something that’s going to take months of work and I’ve shown up to the scene empty-handed. I’ve procrastinated past the point of no return and have to ask for an extension. I ask for a day, when what I have to do can still not ever be done in a day.

I get a finger wag and stern talking to from my advisor. Her ass is on the line with this too somehow. I lie to her.

I tell her it’s almost done. That it just needs some polish. That I want it to be awesome and don’t want to wing it.

That last bit is true. I want the outcome to be a success. I really don’t want to wing it. It’s just not who I am. Or at least not who I want to be. Maybe that’s the issue my brain is struggling with. That I feel like I’m faking everything I’m at right now and not doing anything well. Ugh!

Anyway, then my advisor and I part ways and what do I do? I head straight to where the social action is instead of getting to work on my project. Why did I do that??! I was so anxious and nervous and still opted to procrastinate further.

Then I wake up and fall back asleep and it’s a day later and the stakes are higher. I’ve already asked for an extension and I can’t do that again. I’m so terrified of meeting with my advisor again who is basically one of the sweetest women I know. I’m banking on her using that sweetness to hold it together when I tell her I’m still not ready. It’s progressed past my having any control and I’m at the mercy of the Universe.

I’m crossing fingers that I’ve stacked up enough karma points to get me through this moment. My reputation is at stake and I’m positive I’m about to be called out as a fake.

After all, if you fake it till you make it, that’s what you are right??!! Just a fake?

Waking up to real life brought me some relief. I was released from any obligation to continue playing out that scene. Still, it left me laying there haunted. Why brain??… WTH??!!!


Today is my second to last Monday at my job. 8 days to go.

This morning as I was driving my son to school, which is about 50 minutes round trip. I was thinking about leaving my job and team and started to tear up. What is wrong with me? I should be happy, yet was overcome by sadness and fear of regret. This is what I want right?

I look over at my son, asleep in the passenger seat. Is he the project I’m failing at? Have I been Faking parenting him for 16 years and coming up hot at the end of his days at home and not ready.

Isn’t he the reason I’m quitting my job? And Jim and Z and our family life. Or is it so I can selfishly spend my days working on my fitness and my art. What will I choose to do with those extra hours in my day?

Will I check the Gradebook for Coop and be on his case when he starts to slip? We’re a month into school and I’ve only checked once. Epic fail.

Will I get down to work cleaning the toilets and scrubbing floors like a good Cinderella or will I just binge on Jazzercise and Electric Literature?

Time will tell.

As he got out of the car to go into the school, I felt another wave of sadness wash over me. He felt so distant as he said goodbye. I felt like I’d neglected him this weekend because we barely spoke and I was focused on work and prepping for a social gathering.

I pulled out of the parking lot and started to tear up again. Again, WTH?

Then I looked at my phone .. and tapped on my Fitbit app, swiped my finger down to refresh. Swiped my thumb up to scroll down. And there was the answer. It’s exactly 7 days till I get my period. That means prime time for the emotional swells. Mystery solved.

I continued my drive home thinking about poetry. How people won’t want my words because who wants to hear anything about spoiled white Cinderella in her broken castle? Made me think about my ex-husband, oddly enough. And the fact that he inadvertently gifted me books of material during our life together. If only I had a desire to visit that time in my life again.

But no. Like bronchitis.. ain’t nobody got time for that!

As my time today on the treadmill nears it’s end.. I toggle to my work app and see people wishing someone a happy birthday and I start to tear up again.

Yeah.. this ones gonna be a doozie!

On that note… my time is up.
Happy PMS Monday Ya’ll,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-06-16 Take Back the City Tour: Day 1

Day 1 and I’m feeling good about my decision yesterday to make some changes. No sleep meds last night and it was a rough start to the night, but eventually sleep came to me. I slept until just past 5 and that was quite nice.

I’m also going to ween myself off caffeine. This I’m fairly certain I can’t do “cold turkey” like cutting out the Xanax and Lorazepam. I’m gonna start by not taking any caffeine as a supplement in the AM. I might still sip a coffee. I might need to do that to avoid a withdrawal headache. Or at least that’s what I’m sure I will tell myself when I start jonesing for a cup. Sometimes it takes baby steps though, you know?

The trifecta for this tour is the abstaining from alcohol. Historically that’s been easier than the caffeine. I think with the lack of Meetups and happy hours, it will likely be the case this time too. We’ll see.

So the goal here in the next couple of weeks is to sort of cleanse my body and rid myself of substances that might be contributing to my feeling so unwell all the time. And knowing that everything is connected, I’m hoping it also improves my mental health and mood. I’ve been down too much and I’m getting so tired of that. Literally.

This goal by itself is kinda boring though. Don’t you think? I mean a cleanse all by itself is just so basic bitch. What this story needs is a camel, or a llama, or an Ostrich. So what’s that look like?

One of Jim’s suggestions yesterday was to get some good cardio during the day. I did 2.4 miles on the exercise bike at a rigorous pace. Felt like crap but I gotta not give up too easy. I suppose I’ll give that another go sometime today. Get the heart pumping a little. But does that cardio infusion qualify as an Ostrich? I don’t think so. What I need is something really interesting. Like a poem-a-day or a bonafide road-trip or, at the very least, some daily change up in the normal routine.

I’ll have to think on that and see what materializes. 🤔

That’s it then. Time to cut and run.
I sure hope the good motivational vibes I’m feeling this morning last.

Cheers to Change,
~Miss SugarCookie

2019-10-20 Sunday Lazy Sunday Status

Perhaps I’ve been avoiding accounting because I think I’m not going to like the results. I feel like my sleep has not gotten better despite the measures I’ve taken to try and improve the situation. I also think my exercise and steps have not been up to par. I know the healthy eating thing is a constant struggle which I often feel is a losing battle. I’m about to check my stats to see how far off I am from how I am feeling…

Sleep.. Average hours so far this month (keep in mind I’m finding this out as I type and research the results in the FitBit app) – 7 Hours so far in October versus 6 Hours and 48 Minutes in September versus 6 hours and 46 minutes in August versus 6 hours and 1 Minute in July. So I guess my sleep is improving with the changes I have made. I still don’t feel any improvement of my situation during the day, but then again, the difference is only minutes so maybe to get some real benefit during the day I need like 8 hours of sleep a night. Fat chance.

Steps.. Average steps a day so far in October – 9692. This is compared to 9747 in September and 10,549 in August. So pretty much on par with last month but a decrease compared to the rest of the months so far this year. Still, not as bad as I thought. So that is surprising. I thought I have been really slacking but I guess it’s not that bad. As far as other exercise, I have been doing Jazzercise a few times a week but would like that to increase to 3 or 4.

Healthy Eating.. Not much to say about this except that nothing much has changed. I suppose if I tracked my calories or micronutrients, I might have more to report. All I really have to go on though is how I *think* I am doing, which is, day to day, fairly poorly. But you see how I thought I was doing poorly on sleep and exercise. I keep saying I’m going to start abstaining from certain other things (besides caffeine) like alcohol and sweet treats, but it never happens.

Other health updates.. The tennis elbow feels like it is definitely on the mend and I think my arm mobility is back at about 90%. That’s huge good news. I still have pain extending my arm all the way straight or bending it as far as it will go, but most things in between are much better. I’m hoping I can get back to 100% good with this and I plan to be way more mindful of it in the future because I never want to go through that again. A whole year in pain!! Yikes.

The only other health update would be the fact that I ordered my first pair of glasses yesterday. Not only did I have to finally break down and get glasses, but the recommendation was for bifocals, for reading. I’m like – ugh really?? The optometrist was so leery of offending me and kept saying something about my age and it being common but that in itself is offending. I mean, I am only 26 after all so a person at my age should be years away from needing reading glasses right? 😜

I ended up getting no-line bifocals so it shouldn’t be too obvious but I’m still very much “ugh really??” about the whole thing. I probably should have considered just going with the first prescription first because I guess there’s an adjustment period, but if I gotta do it, I just wanted to get the pair that would be best right from the start and not have to get a second pair later.

Work Status.. Currently working 2-5 hours a week which should increase this last week of October into November to 5-10 a week. We’ll see. Sometimes waiting for healthcare contracts to come to full fruition it takes longer than expected.

Student Status.. Still taking the equivalent of 19 credit hours this term 😱, and that is keeping me pretty busy. I just turned in a huge packet of stuff AND it is fall break at UNO so I’m going to take the next week off and not worry about any of the reading or writing that I have to do to finish out the term. As it stands now, I think I am in pretty good shape, except for the fact that my writing has definitely decreased in the past 2 months and I have had issues coming up with new things. I guess the class assignments are what is carrying my along at this point, which is OK for now.

Relationship Status.. Still engaged. Still wedding planning. Still planning on getting married February 2nd next year. Still procrastinating a lot on all of that. 😉 Perhaps tomorrow will be the “all things wedding planning” update and if I do that enough, it might even keep me honest as far as accountability is concerned.

I think that’s it for this lazy Sunday. I was planning on doing some yard work, but now it’s raining out which gives me a good excuse as to why I might just put that off another day too. Maybe I will go read a book or watch a show or something, just for fun. Wonder what that’s like. Ha!

Keeping it Real,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-09-18 Words.. The Lost and Found Edition

When I was at residency I had a flood of words to work with. It’s always an interesting experiment in immersion and the impulse of spontaneous thought lingers for a while after I return home. This time around I was given an extra push and had some strong emotion to propel me forward and keep the words coming.

Now, miles away from that and approaching the halfway point in the term (yes already), the impulse is gone, the topic seems to have exhausted itself and though I know I have a few more in me, they just won’t come. It’s been blurred with all the assignments with the other class I’m taking which is moving way too fast for my taste.

Yesterday I did some reading and some critical writing, but it was all starts and stops and so slow going. I also tried to free write but got nada. One line. Ok, I got one damn line. (Btw I don’t think one line is a poem.. perhaps a title.)

I tried to build on that one line and it just never materialized. I mean, you have to have a message or what’s the point? What’s my message? What’s so urgent? Problem is, there’s not a lot that feels urgent right now. Urgent in the sense that I get sometimes when something in me wants out. The post on Monday was a giant shrug and that seems to be the theme for my week.

I guess I’ll just press on, with Mario at the wheel, reading and critical thinking and attempting these assignments. What else is a girl to do?

In other related news, we did an exercise in class where we were put in groups and told to behave like we were editors of a new literary publication. We had to choose our genre/theme and the title of our mag and then review poems anonymously submitted by our classmates. We had to choose the one that was a good fit for our genre, the one we would accept. It was an interesting exercise that consumed a lot of class time.

One of the groups came up with the name “Pumpkin Spice Confessions” which was advertised as “basic bitch” poetry appealing to the masses. They chose my poem. Ha!! I mean, an acceptance is still an acceptance no matter what the pub is right?! And believe me, I know my poetry is pretty basic.

I’ll never be like any of these great writers I’m reading. Just now I wrote “I don’t have a traumatic childhood”, then erased it because, well, yes I do. I would say I’ve never been in an abusive relationship, but I have. I might confess that I’m just a layer of motz cheese on top of a pizza with nothing underneath, but yo! I got spicy pepperoni and artichoke hearts and red onions and some savory tomato sauce. Yeah. That.

Or maybe I’m just hungry because I’m starving myself to fit into a heavy white dress. It’s not white though.. it’s ivory because you really only get one shot at white and that was wasted, because I was already wasted at 19.

I was already rehearsing lines of white pages, a script handed to me before I could read. I toddling tot with my baton in a purple sequin leotard, with matching skirt.

My mom pierced my ears before I could talk. It was a botched job by a family friend that left me with puss filled ears my entire childhood. And you know that line in the script, “if at first you don’t succeed”, when I was finally healed we tried again.

On my wedding day I wore pearl white earrings that belonged to my paternal great-grandmother. Something old.

I followed all the instructions in the brigade handbook, a recipe book with clear descriptions of ingredients and exact measurements. Recommended Process and procedure for best results.

36-24-36

I checked again this morning, my numbers haven’t changed.

***

Ok.. that went somewhere weird. But, that’s just Luigi stretching and flexing.

I really need to do Jazzercise today.. I haven’t gotten to it at all yet this week. And for clarification, it’s not needed for the aforementioned numbers, but is needed to get my heart pumping, and because dance, and also… the current theory is that the free-weights and activity are helping with my tennis elbow situation.

More on that soon I hope. Until then..

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-06-30 Super-Sized Sunday Status

It’s official.. Half the year is done. There’s no time like late on a Sunday where the digits outside are soaring to get some steps in my cool basement and reflect upon the status of things.

I used to take some time most Sundays and look at how my sleep, and exercise, and healthy eating were trending. Now it’s about once a month. I mean, I technically “look” everyday at my sleep for the previous day and am constantly mindful of my step count and if I’ve hit my goal for the day, but lately it’s all just blending together. I’ve got good routines and don’t worry too much if I’m off for a few days. And I might say “healthy eating” is one of my goals but I’m not even sure if I’ve ever found a good definition for that.

Is it moderation? Is it a perfect balance of protein, fat, and carbs? Is it veggies and micronutrients? Is it limiting things like sugar and gluten and caffeine? It certainly shouldn’t have anything to do with weight or BMI Or dress size. I person who is a size 4 can have terrible eating habits and with the healthy metabolism maintain that size.

I digress. Let’s see what The almighty Fitbit has to say about my stats for the last week, month, and half year…

Sleep.. 7 hours and 14 minutes average for the past week. 7 hours and 18 minutes for the month of June and 7, 14 for the year so far. I think that’s pretty much right on target. I’m not sure getting more sleep at night will ever help my all too common afternoon brain fog and evening exhaustion. I hate to say I think it might just be related to my age. Even when I get 8 hours of sleep it does not seem to have a positive impact on my issues. I’d like to see if napping might help but I cant seem to hit enough consistency of routine to really say for sure. 🤔🤷‍♀️ I’m still going to maintain that good quality sleep is key in overall heath, which is just me flexing my “captain obvious” superpower but I always say, what may seem obvious to some isn’t necessarily obvious to all.

Steps/Exercise.. Last week I got about 10K steps each day which is another stat that has not had much variation in the last month and half year. Both come in at just above 10K, 10.1 and 10.6 respectively. My goal there is 12K so I’m still not there yet. But it’s days like yesterday that are the biggest challenge. I hit my goal almost everyday this week and then yesterday I was just a lump (plus we were in the car a good part of the day), so I only got like 3K. That kills my weekly average. In order to have days like that I would need to boost my daily goal to like 15 or 18. That would be tough.

With sleep, both quality and quantity are important measures. With exercise it’s tougher to measure the other key factors, such as diversity and strength or balance work. I’ve recently started doing Jazzercise again regularly and I can already tell a difference. It’s tough to put into words but my body just feels better. I’m only doing 5 pound free weights as I’m still unsure what affect doing arm weights will have on my tennis elbow. When I stopped doing Jazzercise last year I was using 8 pound weights. Eventually my goal will be bank to that.

I guess one measure I could be paying more attention to is resting heart rate. According to several web sites I visited, adults normally range from 60-100 and lower scores indicate better, more efficient cardiovascular function. Mine was 66 this past week and 63 the past week and this year so far. I’m going to say that’s a good thing.

I guess not much has changed in my relationship or school status either. Still happily engaged and on a break from School. Although one of those is going to take a dramatic turn in July. There will be at least one post coming soon dedicated to my 3rd term in the MFA program at UNO.

The biggest change in the last month has been my switch from full-time wage earner to “stay-at-home-Mom”/“household engineer”. That transition was mostly positive. Life is never free of doubts, but all things considered, it’s been great. The jury is still out on the question of whether I will go back to work. If I do, it will be when I am done with school and hopefully it will be something more in the sphere of writing and less on IT.

All in all my stats are petty stable and that doesn’t leave much to write about. Still, ive still managed a healthy sized post for this last day of June.

July is looking like one crazy rollercoaster. I’ve got about 1 more full week until that ride starts. It’s also a holiday week so we’ve got a few fun things planned. I should have plenty of time to get everything I want done, including sleep and exercise!!

Well that’s it for today.. this month.. and the first half of 2019. If you only get two bites, make sure they are good ones!

Cheers, 🍻

~Miss SugarCookie