2021-09-02 New Month, Same Ole Miss SugarCookie 🍑

We’ve officially turned over the month are on the fast track to pumpkin spice latte season and sweater weather. 

I’m doing pretty good this week and trying to stay focused on my to-do list while balancing managing the household and nurturing my interpersonal relationships. 

If I haven’t written about the resurgence of the lunch/happy hour meetups, it’s because up till recently I was still snug in my pandemic hidey-hole. On one hand it was good for me to disconnect for a while and not put too much pressure on my introverted, anxiety plagued self to get out there and be social. 

On the other hand… people need people. I know this to be true so I sometimes have to force myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love my meetups with friends but I have a history of over committing my time and then feeling like a failure when I can’t get it “all” done. 

If you read my last post you know that the one thing that hasn’t suffered is my commitment to exercise. In fact, I probably spend too much time on the treadmill and if all things seem to set aside that first hour of my morning (after house chores) to that. The rest of the world be damned, I’m going to get my steps. 

My sacrifice is consequently everything else.. my writing, revising, researching, submitting, working on the lit mag, and yes… my meetups with friends. But like I said, I seem to be finding time to do that this week. 

So far this week I’ve met up with Margret, Sam, and Michelle and have a lunch meet up today plus visiting both my parents tomorrow. In the grand scheme, visiting my parents doesn’t really count because that is an obligation more than a benefit to my mental health like the others. 

***

I paused just then to think about the fact that last week was my birthday and my mom made a point to meet me and my sister for lunch last weekend but my dad didn’t even text me on my birthday. 

On his birthday this year we took him out to dinner. And on mine he didn’t even text to wish me well. He texted the day after and said “sorry, I forgot.” Whatever. 

Yesterday was his wife’s birthday. His wife who passed away last November. And since then I’ve been trying to visit regularly to make sure he’s ok, but each time I do I get little reminders of how his step children and grand children are much closer. Last night when we spoke on the phone he made a point to tell me he went out to dinner with them for her birthday. To one of her favorite restaurants. And he had two glasses of pinot Grigio. He had just opened another bottle at home and was clearly tipsy when we talked. 

I don’t blame him. It’s got to be so tough to lose your spouse of 30 years and have your whole life change so quickly. But damn if he just doesn’t seem to show me the same love he shows those girls. What am I gonna do? The answer is nothing. 

Suck it up, keep visiting, and enduring the comments and realities I’m faced with. What else can I do? 

Anyway, that’s apparently what’s on my mind today. Well that and the fact that we had a plumber over two days ago and I came home last night to water in the basement again from that overflowing drain. I effffing hate this house. I really do. I don’t care how great people think living in this castle must be. When every single damn day brings a new broken down thing, it gets really old after a while. 

That’s it for today lest I launch into yet another rant. Ain’t nobody got time for that! 

Peace and love, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-08-30 Confession Time… (dun-dun-dunnnn)

Confessions? There are confessions to be made? 

Well. Yes.  I think so. 

Several things have happened this month and I’ve not been writing about this and that like I usually do. One might even say Miss SugarCookie has been AWOL in August. It’s true. 

I’ve previously lamented about not feeling like writing or not having much to write about but in all honesty that’s never stopped me before. So many days and weeks of my life have gone by and I’ve always figured out what’s most on my mind to muse about. Lots of spins around familiar broken records, lots of days when the biggest news was the weather. So how has the last month been different? 

First I’m going to blame TV. More specifically several shows that piqued my interest. Which has also happened in the past so that can’t be the full story. 

Next, I blame cardio. Well, not exactly cardio because that’s not a thing or a person, but it is a goal. It started with my desire to add a certain amount of cardio to my exercise each day. You know.. for my heart health. My original goal was 20 minutes of cardio at least 6 days a week. 

But I HATE running and jogging and have only ever been able to get my heart rate really up there with exercise classes, like Jazzercise. Which I really enjoyed and actually did for several years. But when the pandemic hit, I quit Jazzercise. Then when things started to return to normal, I was on the fence about it and tried some other classes. Nothing stuck. 

Then one morning I thought I would jog on the treadmill and distract myself by watching an episode of the bachelor. Actually, I think it was the bachelorette. KT’s season. Oh yeah.. that stuck. 

Before I knew it, I was getting not 20 but 30, 40, and 50 minutes of cardio every day. Straight up jogging like I’ve never been able to do before. I was actually looking forward to it and would binge several episodes at a time. I was burning calories while being entertained! It was a total win-win!! 💃💃

The loser? This blog. Sadly I can’t jog and type at the same time or that would totally be a thing. I know it would be a thing because when I first started blogging from the gym, I used to type while I was on the elliptical machine. My machine. Same time, same machine every morning. Those were some days for sure.

 I digress. 

I abandoned that gym and machine when I moved to a different part of town and got hitched. Now my gym is in the basement of my castle and the treadmill is my machine of choice so I took up walking and writing instead. 

That is, until this cardio thing happened. I really thought it would be short lived. I mean there are only so many episodes of bachelor and bachelorette on Hulu. Eventually I would run out (no, they do not have every season available or I would probably be able to watch for a really long time). Sure enough, Katie T. picked her man and that was the end of that. 

Except, it wasn’t. I found another show, shortly before Z and I went to California called Master Chef and apparently it is kind of a big deal. Now THAT show has some power over me I don’t quite understand. It is the same thing every episode and I still get so sucked in that I can’t stop watching. But I’m still jogging so it’s good for me right??! 😉

Fast forward through the entire month of August and I just finished season three while I was jogging on the treadmill this morning. I literally promised myself that when this season was over, I would quit watching and get back to writing every day. I said, “September is a new month and a new opportunity to refresh my daily landscape and either get back to writing or at the very least, begin getting my thoughts down each day. That promise was made just a few short days ago as my birthday week was winding down. 

Today, I broke down (already) while eating dinner alone and watched episode 1 of season 4. But I can quit anytime, I swear. 😜

I suppose there are worse things to be addicted to. 

So that’s it. That’s my big confession. I’ve been slacking on my writing because I’ve been using the morning hours I have to myself to binge watch a cooking show. Oh yeah, and Bachelor in Paradise just started a few weeks ago so now I’m totally watching TWO shows at once. At least that one is only out once a week so I can’t binge watch it for 3 episodes at a time. 

As I always say, though, the key to life is balance. So instead of swearing off TV (or cardio) I am going to commit to doing a better job of balancing my time so that I can write and walk and watch and jog. ⚖️

On that note, it is about 7:30 PM and I had to exit the gym because my husband’s son wants to work out and probably wants to be alone. I know if I was him, I would not want my step mom milling about while I listened to my music and did my own thing. 

Maybe tomorrow will be more balanced and I’ll actually write two days in a row. Only time will tell. 

Cheers,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-06-27 Super Solo Sunday Status

Today I’m getting a half day all to myself. My man has gone “picking” with his bro at a farm in Seward Nebraska. I hadn’t heard of picking until he Introduced me to the concept and cited the show American pickers as an example.

Jim is big into finding “treasure” at antique stores and estate sales and more specifically that which has some local significance to Omaha and Nebraska (and Iowa). 

This year we went to an event called “Junk Stock” in search of old road signs to adorn our game room walls. He found some but also met a woman who lives out in Seward Nebraska whose husband is a scrap metal worker and brings home all kinds of discarded signs, old farm equipment, and other various machines. 

So today they are taking a trip out to their farm to see what they can find. Which leaves me with about a half day to do whatever I want. 

Sure, there are 4 teenagers here but they are either going to work or sleeping in because it’s Sunday. My first order of business?…

Treating myself to an extra long session on the treadmill. Hell, I might even go for a solo bike ride too. Get ALL the exercise I want and probably still have time enough to enjoy lounging on the couch with my cats. 

Speaking of cats… we have a 5th cat this week because we’re cat sitting for my friend M, who is on vacation this week. Our new fluffy friend is Stormy and he’s a very lovey, fluffy friend. His breed is Norwegian Forrest Cat and he is big with super long fur including the most gorgeous mane which makes him look like a lion, except his fur is dark grey with a little white on his paws.

Stormy loves people but he’s a very sensitive soul who doesn’t like change. He spent most of the day yesterday under the bed in his “all inclusive” bedroom. The door is closed and we’re not introducing the other cats so he doesn’t have too much “new” to deal with. He finally came out from under the bed at about 10pm (I think to use the litter box) and this morning he came out right away to greet me and get some love. 

He’s so pretty and all the kids think he’s great. You know we are a household of crazy cat people.. it’s not just me and Jim. All 4 kids love all the cats so much. I’m pretty sure we all like the cats more than we like each other.. ha! So Stormy has a great home away from home here. 🐱💕🏰

In other news, I’m excited to report I’ve got three new poems forthcoming with three different publications. Two were originally drafted during the advanced poetry studio class I took at UNO and the third is one of my newer “response” poems. 

When I first had the epiphany of writing a series of poems that were responses to other poems, I knew I would have to write a lot of poems in order to amass a collection that works as a unified body of work. The Universe knows there are a million poems out in the wild that are available both in print and online, the trick is finding ones that really speak to me enough to spark a response. 

Thus far I think I’ve only written six and my focus lately has been revising and submitting and I haven’t been inspired to write anything new. I’ve actually gone bananas submitting these six and the one being published in July is the first to get picked up. Coincidentally, the title of that poem is “Bananas”. 😜

Two of the others I believed to be really strong but have lost a little of that confidence with the myriad of rejections I’ve received. Two others are prose poems that I feel are not as good but keep working on them and sending out. The final one is also relatively new and frankly the only viable poem I’ve written so far this year (I think) and I’m in love with it and submitted it to like 25 places. If it gets picked up, my work will be cut out for me in the way of withdrawing all those subs. 

It would be nice to write a few new things that have some merit, but what can I say.. if I’m not feeling it.. I can’t force it. Maybe today will be the day for that too. 

On that note, I suppose it’s time to read my three daily poems and see what the Universe thinks I need to think about today with my copious amounts of free time. 💚💛🧡❤️

With Peace and Love and Peanut Butter Toast, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-05-06 When You Find What Works, Don’t Fight It 🌳

Thirsty Thursday again and date night tonight. A 1-2 combo that aims to satisfy. 

As it often is, I think I’ve figured some things out this week and feel pretty good about my newest declarations. 

  1. No more volunteering to do interviews or lead workshops or make any public appearances where I have to speak. I’m officially releasing myself from all that noise. 
  2. I’m gonna put more focus on exercising, at home, and also let go of the classes I’ve been attending which don’t seem to mesh with my schedule. 
  3. I’m committing to an hour or two of GLR each day and am going to try to make that a regular part of my workday. This means not procrastinating until there’s a mountain of stuff to do. 
  4. I’m going to work on my diet… and try fasting and eating more Whole Foods again. Less processed stuff. (Within reason 😉). 

That’s enough right?! As this week has gone on, I’ve felt better and better and I think it has something to do with distancing myself from obligations that involve doing things that make my anxiety flair. It also has to do with regulating my sleep and productivity. I’ve gotten a lot done this week and have had decent sleep. 

Today I’m going to CB again and will see both of my parents. My husband works in CB on Thursdays so I may try to pop by his office for a visit…. You know, really make the trip across the Missouri River worth it. 

Otherwise it’s the typical line-up. Exercise, chores, GLR, errands, and then as I said it’s date night so I’ll need to finish everything on my to-do list by like 5ish. Our dinner reservations are at 6. We’re going to a new place we’ve never been before and you know what that means??.. It’s cheeseburger time! 

It’s a win-win-win as I also need to up my iron intake in order to donate blood next week. 

So that’s the plan for today.. let’s see how good I am at sticking to it (and my new declarations). 

But first… Cardio, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-04-02 What is it they say again about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?….

It’s going to be a beautiful day today and I have every intention of getting out there and enjoying it. I am going to CB and will see my mom but my aim is to spend a little time catching up with my sister. 

But first I’m gonna treat myself to an exercise class called “turbo kick.” The primarily focus of that is cardio but also has elements of core strength and balance. 

April has to be my month. It’s got to be the month I get my act together physically as I keep slipping farther and farther away from my ideal. I try not to get too bent when I gain weight but when my clothes don’t fit, something has to give. 

Jim says I should just buy new. To that I say, no. Nope. No way man. 

Yes, it’s true I could use some new clothes but I do not, not, not want to go up in size. My image of self-worth is damaged enough. I don’t need to add insult to injury by letting my physical self go. 

The reason for the weight gain?.. I’m no idiot and know that it’s not exercise that’s the problem. I think I get enough exercise and have pretty good heart health. All signs point to diet as the source of my problem.

My eating habits are currently very poor and, I may have mentioned a time or two before, but I’m doing my fair share of drinking lately which I believe is a major contributing factor to my weight gain. And I feel like my willpower is non-existent lately. 

I really, really, really have to change something. I really need to work out this healthy eating puzzle or at least find some level of moderation. And it needs to start today. I mean, I was going to start yesterday because it was the start of a new month but I failed miserably last night. 

Evenings are the toughest time. In the mornings I have zero problem sticking to the plan. I don’t even get hungry until 11 or noon and am able to cut out coffee with little more than a shrug. I get my caffeine through a pill and only miss the coffee for the sweet creamy flavor it has. 

It only tastes that way because of the amount of coffee creamer I add. I may as well not include coffee at all and drink the coffee mate right from the bottle! 😜

If I want something hot to drink, I can have an apple cinnamon tea as that doesn’t have caffeine or sugar. But I don’t crave that so I may as well have nothing.

Then I get to 3 or 4 or 5pm and all my resolve goes out the window. I get super hungry and start eating and snack and snack and have dinner and snack some more. And.. if I have a drink with dinner it almost always leads to more drinking.

I dunno. I’ve struggled with this aspect of trying to be healthy for so many years (not the drinking, just the eating healthy), I don’t know if I have it in me to change anything.

So there it is. The rock and the hard place. The place between where I don’t do anything or change anything because it’s just easier to stay the same. But now I’ve gained enough that it’s the heaviest I’ve been in my life (except for when I was pregnant). Something HAS to change.

I don’t have an answer right now. I really wish I did. I suppose like a lot of tough things I just need to take it one day at a time. Today I’m starting again. This time will be different. 

Fingers Crossed, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-03-21 Questions of Life and Death

I guess it’s been a few days. I guess that’s what happens when life gets busy. I feel like I complain a lot about not ever having enough time but then something happens and I have even less time. I guess that’s the nature of life. Experiences that are constantly teaching you that you don’t really know Jack about life.

As of today my mom has been in the hospital for 10 days and she’s probably got 3 or 4 to go. I’m the designated visitor (at the Med Center you can only have one) and I’ve been to see her everyday. It’s fine, but I’m kinda tired of my new routine and am really looking forward to her discharge. 

She is making good progress improving but still needs so much help from the staff I can see that after discharge is when the real work will begin for those of us who will be her home care team. At least once she gets home she can have as many visitors as she wants. And I’m sure I’ll be able to get a break when my youngest sister comes home to help. 

My brother has made no mention of trying to come home for anything. I might be harboring some resentment towards him for that. But whatever. 

In embracing my new routine I’ve had no problem letting go of a few of the household tasks I typically have high standards for. I’m letting the kitchen go a little and litter boxes don’t need scooping daily. The cats will live. And if the other humans don’t like it, they can do something about it their damn selves. 

It’s Sunday and I spent some time checking my stats though I suppose that’s another thing I have let go thinking about most of the week. I didn’t write anything in my planner and there have been no to-do lists so the only stats I can collect are those from my FitBit and phone. 

My exercise is solid and sleep has been average thanks to the Trazidone. My new screen time goals feel unachievable and it’s not the social media interaction that’s the problem.. it’s text messaging. And that’s kind of unavoidable. However, I might do a full court press on that after my mom gets discharged. 

She “sat me down” yesterday to tell me that she’s decided to fight the cancer and wants to see her life extend beyond this next year. This might seem like a no-brainer but for her it’s counter to what she’s always thought about decisions like this.

For years she’s said that if she got this old she wouldn’t put herself through any extensive life saving measures. That she would just let go and let whatever it is take her naturally. I know this because she’s told all of us that several times, especially after watching her own mom pass away. 

This issue, though, came on so suddenly and she was in so much pain that she just went along with what the doctors and hospitals were doing and telling her she needed. She said she was caught between a rock and hard place and didn’t really have a choice. Now that her primary pain causing issue is on the mend, she’s facing a different predicament and 6 months of chemo and more surgery.

The way she sees it is that she does have more of a choice now. She can just go home and let the cancer spread and take her or she can fight it. So the conversation yesterday with her decision to fight is a big deal to her. 

I told her years ago I would support any decisions she would make. I still do. I haven’t verbally said that lately because I didn’t want that to influence her in any way. I mean, I can’t imagine saying to her now “if you want to die, I’m ok with that.” It’s got to be her decision alone. 

Instead of verbalizing my support of her decision I’ve just been trying to remind her of all the things she loves about life. And when she started talking about traveling and putting her toes in sand and doing things like walking out in the rain, I’ve been encouraging her. 

I might have even promised to take her to New York City. The Universe only knows if that will ever come to pass, but if it kept her thinking about living instead of dying, that’s ok. 

If I’m being honest, I don’t know if there’s anything that can repair how I feel about our relationship or her. I’ve lived my entire life feeling like my parents did a crappy job at being parents. I’ve held a lot of resentment towards both of them about how alone and invisible I was as a kid. I feel like my moms part in that was because she’s so selfish and made so many selfish choices. Some of which had a direct hand in the trajectory of my adult life.

I suppose that’s what makes her current “demanding” behavior harder to take. She’s particular and begun taking really well to the attention and immediate reactions to her “calls.” Those poor nurses probably can’t wait until she gets discharged either.

Most of what I’m doing I’m definitely doing out of obligation and my desire to “do the right things.” Of course I can’t tell her how I really feel. Not while she’s contemplating living or dying. 

I’m not sure how this will play out or if the extra time I spend with her can heal my old wounds. I really doubt it. I just keep thinking it will all get easier when my sister comes home. We’ll see. 

I’ve been walking about an hour and have to get going with all the Sunday things. 

With peace and love, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-03-07 Checking It and (Mostly) Not Wrecking It ❤️💤☯️ ✔️✔️✔️

It’s Sunday again and I’m up early and checking my stats. I changed things up for the month of March so this is my first week evaluating new measures. 

For exercise I’m still keeping tabs on my step count but also trying to improve my heart function by making sure I get some good cardio in. I had no idea what to expect for my heart rate with certain activities so I set my goal for this first week at 15 minutes a day in the “cardio” zone. 

Cardio zone for a woman my age starts at 121 beats per minute and apparently that’s not as easy to achieve with my normal routine. I can’t seem to walk fast enough on the treadmill to get there (no surprising I suppose) and I’d have to kick it up to a jog. Gross! 

I went to a few weight training classes this week and that doesn’t do it either. Again, not surprising as that’s not a cardio activity, Then on Friday I went to a “Turbo Kick” class and it literally kicked my ass. Yes, I got 44 minutes of cardio that day but I also almost died. Good gravy! 

I also achieved 1 minute in the “peak” zone during that class which is anything above 147. There’s got to be a happy medium. I just need to find an activity that gets me right to 125 and doesn’t make me feel like I’m going to puke or pass out. 

Another discovery this with addition of cardio this week is that all the sports bras I used to use for Jazzercise no longer fit my body. They are all too tight and I think that between being less active during the pandemic and stress eating and also just enjoying life as a married woman, I’ve gained some pounds. Sadly it’s not my cup size that has gone up but my circumference. I mean.. you don’t put weight on in your boobs. It’s underarms and back fat I’m talking about. And one might say it could be muscle but I’m 100% certain it’s not. The conclusion of that little tangent is that I’ve got to shop for a few new articles of clothing. 

Anyway so that’s the cardio story this week and now I’m determine what I need to do or adjust to improve. I did hit my target 3 of 7 days so I think just sticking with 15 minutes and aiming for like 5 of 7 would be good. I think it will be easier now that I know what activities work. 

This week I also changed my sleep measurement to include going to bed (sleep) before 10:00. The FitBit records when I fall asleep. So I’m banking on the fact that when I go to bed I’ll fall asleep right away which is almost always true for me. I achieved that goal 4 nights out of 7 but for overall sleep goal only 3 of 7. The check and balance is seeing if going to bed earlier actually improves my overall sleep score. 

I’d like to adjust the goals a little differently for the weekends because I’d actually like to get to a place I can stay up late and sleep in more, so figuring out a way I can factor in later bed times for Friday and Saturday and still hit a certain goal. As it is with most things I’m like.. it’s a work in progress. 

I still haven’t been meditating like I’d like. I even set a timer to remind me every day to stop what I’m doing and meditate. That was an absolute fail as I just dismissed the alarm EVERY SINGLE TIME. I’d say.. “I just have to finish this task and then I’ll meditate.” Then I finish and forget and rush off to do something else. I’m gonna try to do better this week. I really am. 🤞 

The other thing I added this week was screen time including duration on “social networking.” I set the goal at less than 2.5 hours of screen time and less than 30 minutes of social. For screen time I achieved my goal 5 of 7 days and for social 3 of 7. 

“Social networking” is in quotes because Apple includes text messaging in this stat. I don’t necessarily agree with this because texting is mostly just communication with my loved ones. Last Sunday for example, I didn’t meet my goal because I logged 1 hour of social time yet 56 minutes of that was texting and 4 was Facebook. So to really set a true measure I’d have to look at each day and set a different goal for messaging versus everything else. 

Frankly that’s too much work and I’m going to just try to stretch my goal this week to under 25 minutes and then just not text as much. I’m also stretching my overall daily screen time goal to less than 2 hours and 15 minutes. We’ll see. 

Today is going to be tough because I’ve already been looking at stats and typing for almost 2 hours. I’m going to wrap soon and then hopefully put my phone away for most of the day. Again, we’ll see.

I think that really is it for today. That’s enough right?! 

Cheers to the Change Up,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-03-02 In Like a Lamb?!… 🐑🔜🦁

March.. I think the saying is supposed to be “In like a lion and out like a lamb.” 

***

According to the Farmers’ Almanac, the weather folklore stems from ancestral beliefs in balance, meaning if the weather at the start of the month was bad (like a roaring lion), the month should end with good weather (gentle, like a lamb).

***

But what happens when March marches onto the scene like a gentle lamb? It’s Nebraska round here people and let me just tell you, when there’s not a lot going on (and there is often not) we get giddy talking about the weather. The buzz around town right now is about the potential for the temperature to break into the 60s and I’m just as excited as the next person. The 10 day extended forecast looks balls-out amazing and it fills me with joy thinking about the opportunities to get outside. 

But Again I ask, what happens after that? If the old farmers almanac saying is about balance, does that mean we’re in for trouble toward the end of the month? And should we forget so quickly that our beloved (and sometimes hated) furry friend Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on February 2nd securing the prediction of six more weeks of winter? 

Incidentally when I decided to get married on February 2nd. And mark my words… I am the one who decided and didn’t entertain much discussion about it. When I came up with that date, the fact that it was Groundhog Day (or the Super Bowl) didn’t even enter my mind. Now it’s a pretty good joke. I’m still happy with my decision even if that means I have to share my special day with a woodchuck with an over-inflated ego. I digress.

The change in the weather has the distinct ability to change people’s moods. I know I’m not alone in this. The drone of life through winter in the Midwest is long and boring. Endless strings of cold and overcast days can cause even the most positive and energetic human to feel as though hibernation is a good option. Though this might be good for Netflix and Hulu and Sling (Disney Plus, Apple TV, and Amazon.. good grief!).. it is NOT good for the human psyche and soul. 

The bright sunshine and it’s warmth are essential for fulfillment. I mean, obvi a person can survive without it, but it becomes tough to get to a place of positive energy and enlightenment. Seasonal depression is a real thing and there’s a reason Seattle, as hip as it is, is also kind of a depressing. 

I’ve visited Seattle twice and both times felt very “meh” about the town. And that’s after going to some really cool places! It just feels so monotone. Perhaps I was just there on grey days, but I think they have a lot of those.

***

I’m looking forward to today despite another 4:30am wake up. I said to Jim at the breakfast table this morning, “i don’t know what’s different between yesterday and today, but today just feels like it’s going to be good.” Can it really be the weather? 

As of right now everyone else is either at school or work and I have the house to myself. I’m finally catching up with myself in regards to the to-do list and don’t feel too pressed about deadlines. I received more feedback late yesterday from the publisher who will be publishing my debut chapbook. It wasn’t from my assigned editor so I think I must have submitted with the option to request feedback. 

Strange to get feedback after they’ve already accepted it. It was written as if the person wasn’t aware it had been accepted. Maybe this is just a larger publishing company and my manuscript is just being pushed around different channels based on how I submitted it. Who knows what happens behind the scenes?? 🤷‍♀️

I now also have the official contract in my hot little inbox just waiting for me to have the time to really read it thoroughly. I would like to give myself an hour where I will be completely free of distraction. Today would probably be the perfect day for that. It will also help me keep the positive mood going as thinking about this book is starting to really sink in and I’m over my anxiety and getting excited about it.

I still haven’t told too many folks about it. A handful really but I think after the contract goes through and it’s “official” I’ll begin being more public about it. Not that the money matters beans to me but the presale numbers dictate the percentage I’ll collect on the deal. I mean to say, money matters, but I never expected to make anything from “selling” poems or books. 

Thus far in my poetry career I’ve collected exactly $110 and that’s a fraction of what I’ve spent on submissions. If this poetry game we’re offered at a casino, the odds are so bad nobody would play. 😜

When I quit my job I had a few friends comment “now I could give my life to poetry.” How true.

I’m giving poetry my time, money, and effort (measured in brain cycles). Not to mention my heart and soul through the words on the page. When I said “take all of me poetry” it seems as though poetry was listening and decided to take me up on the offer. 

Ok. That’s enough of that. One more comment and then I have to git. 

I’m working with a new set of metrics this week to measure how I’m doing with certain health goals. Sunday I busted my ass to get 30 minutes of cardio in on the bike and apparently my heart rate never reached the “cardio” threshold. I clocked a ton of time in the “fat burn” zone according to FitBit. What the hell??!! Thanks FitBit. 

So now I’m spending cycles figuring out what activities get me into that cardio zone (above 121 bpm). Yesterday it was walking really fast on the treadmill, which is slightly less like hell than jogging. I think Jazzercise would do it, but I’m not doing that yet. I’ve thought about classes at the gym. That would essentially be something I could do without shelling out loads of cash because classes are free with my membership, 

Anyhow. We’ll see how this week goes. 

Cheers to the anti-taco Tuesday,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-02-28 Looking Back to Improve the Future… 🗓 ✅🚫⏰

It’s the last day of the month and the last day of the week AND the last day of my little experiment to untether myself from my phone. You know what that means? It’s time for the ultimate Sunday status. 

First off.. I’ve already been analyzing “stats” for about 50 minutes of today’s walk so either I’m gonna keep walking and get a huge boost on my steps today or this post is going to be super short. 

My update is also going to be a little skewed this week cuz I did try to disconnect from my phone and normal routine to see what affect that would have on my mood and outlook on life. 

This means I did not check my steps or sleep or anything else all week and did not keep track of meditation or eating habits. I just let it all go for a week. I didn’t have a FitBit in 2006 so I treated this past week as if I still didn’t. However, I still wore the FitBit so it could collect the stats anyhow. Why? Just cuz. 😜

Syncing this morning it appears that there are no surprises. Aside from the addition of exercise classes this week, my steps remained about the same and my sleep did not deviate from the norm. 

Those are the only two categories I have definitive results on. As I said the others weren’t tracked and are largely subjective anyhow. 

Moving on to the the results of my little experiment to bring 2006 back…. all things considered I would say it was kind of an epic fail. I suppose I did a fine job leaving my phone alone for the most part and embraced limiting my checking of email like a champ. I’m already a minimalist when it comes to Facebook and twitter and insta so it was easy to not open those apps all week.

In short, all things that are naturally easy were easy. The more challenging areas are responding to text messages and I came to conclude that I wasn’t going to be able to give up this daily blog. It’s the main activity that boosts my screen time each day. And that didn’t change this past week. 

My daily average screen time last week was 2 hours and 27 minutes (down 32% from the previous week). The previous week was about an hour longer. The devil, of course, is in the details. I can look at the apps and categories (productivity, social networking, and creativity) and see where my time is being spent. Very useful.

It looks like the reporting of data collected only goes back 4 weeks so I don’t have long term analytics like I do with FitBit, but it’s enough to analyze my week last week and perhaps set new goals. I’m not inclined to try and limit my productivity (this) but can definitely set a goal around “social networking.” 

I find it interesting that the messaging app is categorized as social networking along with Facebook and Twitter. I dig digging into this data and am already developing a new set of metrics and goals. I just can’t help myself. 🤣

***

Tomorrow is the start of a new month and new week which means an opportunity to start fresh and redefine the goals. Considering my attempts in February (and January too for that matter) fell short, I’m going to try and take a look at things from the new perspectives gained these past few weeks. I’m no longer going to be measuring “success” according to the same scale. Here are the new-new targets:

For sleep, instead of going according to the sleep score or duration, I’m going to be hyper-focused on whe time I go to bed. The goal will be to be in bed by 10pm with about half an hour of wind-down time beforehand. If I’m able to do that, the other stats should validate that it is working. 

I’m removing food and healthy eating from the set list of goals. Instead I’m going to try not to think about it as much. I’m putting the scale away and not imposing any restrictions or trying any fad behaviors. The ultimate objective is to put the focus elsewhere. I spend too much time struggling with the healthy eating puzzle and always seem to fail. Maybe if I let that shit go, I will have more time to work on other mental puzzles. We’ll see.

I’m keeping mood and meditation for now, but added an daily alarm on my phone to stop what I’m doing immediately and meditate. We’ll see how that goes too. 

As for the screen time and dependency on technology.. my new goals are to keep daily screen time down under 2.5 hours a day AND not more than 30 minutes on social stuff (remember that includes messaging). To support this I’m going to continue to keep my phone at a distance, both overnight and during the day. At least that part of what I did last week seems as though it would be easy to adopt more permanently. 

I’m not really changing my expectations for steps but adding 20 minutes of cardio as another check. The classes will help and I’m going to look into what cardio classes my gym offers. The strength training I started this week is great, but I’m really missing Jazzercise or some other form of cardio. If all else fails, I could always just bike here at home. 

I’ve actually switched to the bike now. I’ve perfected walking and typing at the same time and so this is a test of biking and typing. 

I think that’s the end of the changes for this week. Am I ready for a new week? Am I ready for March? Yes and no. 

Ready or not though.. time waits for no one.

Cheers to Healthy Living (and Analytics),

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-02-25 Trials By Fire 🔥

It’s early and I don’t want to be up. I also don’t want to lay in bed for one more damn minute thinking about all the things and stuff. 

My desire to keep the schedule I’ve set myself for today ends at about 11:30am. I’m not particularly excited about going to CB today. I’m actually not really jazzed about going to the exercise class I have on the books for 8:15 this morning. Which is a good segue for what’s aching this week. 

I’ve met a number of really great people through the MFA program that I graduated from this past January and 2020 was not ideal for cultivating new relationships. 

It was also a serious bummer that I had to give up my addiction to Jazzercise. Now that things have relaxed a bit with the “restrictions” I’ve been given the green light to attend classes again. Just as I was getting ready to look into signing up for classes, a few women from the MFA program approached me about taking classes with them at a “classes only” gym. 

These two women I would consider acquaintances at this point but with the potential for more of a friendship, which is exciting. I mean, I don’t meet new people easily and am often socially awkward and quiet in group settings so the opportunity to chat outside the big MFA groups is great. So I accepted the invitation for attending a week of free classes with them. 

Monday was weight training which was working all the major muscle groups using a bar and free weights. The sets are set to music which of course is great. The classes are quite small compared to Jazzercise (5-8 people) or any class I ever took at my other gym. Monday’s class was good but there wasn’t a lot of intro or consideration given because I was new.

The instructor didn’t provide recommendations for weights or even explain along the way how one might go up in weight for legs or down for biceps and triceps. I was sort of left to watch everyone else and self conscious so I stayed with the same weight the entire time. Probably not smart.

The class was hard and made me super sore. It wasn’t just “next day sore”.. it was “legs and arms of jelly for about 2 hours after” sore and hard to move the day after. But in a way it felt great just to feel that feeling again after so long. For the past year I’ve just been walking every day and not really getting any weight training in.

These women go everyday so Tuesday was not a rest day.. it was cardio instead. We did a step class and I’ve never done step before. If I thought the instruction on Monday was poor, Tuesday was horrific! Zero intro and so fast paced that unless you’ve been doing it for years, you would be completely lost. 

It also made me feel like a fool, to be hopping around the riser trying to keep up and constantly facing the wrong direction, or being on the wrong side of the step. It was close to an hour of fast paced music with the instructor calling out moves and “left-this,” “right-that, “straddle,” “corner,” “indecision.”… 

Indecision?? No indecision on this one.. it was terrible. 

At least with Jazzercise they work slow into the routines and you can catch on. With this, there were so many hops and turns, half the time you aren’t even facing the instructor. I pride myself on being coordinated and also being able to pick up on stuff pretty quickly but this was horrible from the first song to the last. 

Anyway, if you’re paying attention, you’ll recognize that Tuesday was also the angry day from hell and let me tell you this cardio workout only made that worse. 

I dare say I won’t do that again unless they offer a beginners instructional class to teach the moves and practice at half pace or something. Then there was Wednesday.. yesterday, the anti-Tuesday. 

It was another weight training class (mind you I was still really hurting from Monday). This one was called “body pump” and it was a little less intense with more reps. I was actually kind of dreading it given the way my body felt and the two previous experiences, so the bar was really low. 

Turns out the class was fantastic. Everything about it was great. The instructor actually took T and I aside and explained the class and helped us to know what we needed for eq and also why we would want different weights to switch out during the class and what we should start with since this was our first session and was kind of a test of what we could handle. 

She was also really personable during the class and encouraging. It was a huge 180 from the previous two days and I don’t know why it hadn’t dawned on me, but it was the instructor. Makes a big difference. I would definitely go back and do that one again.. if I decide to sign up for realz. 

That was yesterday and today is barre. Another new experience for me. And T has already told me it was the hardest one from the classes she did last week. Good golly. I’m already feeling so, so sore. Can’t imagine it being worse than Monday and Tuesday so I can’t say I’m particularly looking forward to it. Still.. gotta try at least once. 

In the back of my head I’m comparing everything to Jazzercise. I love J so it’s gonna be a hard sell to get me to put my money into this place instead. Doing both would be big $$$ and also a big time commitment. 

Of course one thing going for this class are my two new acquaintances. T invited me over to her house after barre today for tea and that sounds lovely. It will be nice to sit and chat instead of standing around a gym floor. 

After that, as I said, I’m supposed to go to CB for lunch with my dad. Not particularly excited about that. I mean, it’s ok, but I could definitely use that time for something else. I know it’s bad but my brain is working overtime on excuses to get out of it. Does that make me a bad person? Probably. 

Anyway.. my time is almost up and I’ve got to get ready for the morning. 

Peace and love, 

~Miss SugarCookie