2020-07-01 Change is Sometimes Neither Fast Nor Easy

About 16 days ago I decided I had enough of feeling shitty every freaking day and set out on a mission to figure it out and turn things around. i decided the first step was to do a substance cleanse and get my body free of chemicals that alter my mood, help me sleep or calm my anxiety. I was all-in and knew it was what needed to happen.

I vowed that I would cut that shit out for 15 days and then re-evaluate to see how I was feeling and add other mods into my routine. Give myself an uptick in good behaviors like hydration and eating more fruits and veg. But I found out pretty quickly that i couldn’t just make a declaration and it would magically come to pass.

Day 2 I felt like garbage and by day 3 I was throwing my hands up in the air in despair. I honestly didn’t know I was suffering withdrawal until I saw a physician and heard his assessment. That day was one of the worst I’ve ever had. And the relief I felt when I gave in and took a Xanax and went back to bed was all the proof I needed that he was right.

So instead of cold turkey, I’m taking it slow and reducing my dose in small increments. The prescribed plan is like 12 weeks but I’ve been working the numbers and charting my dose and symptoms and think I can do it it 8. That’s still a lot longer than the 2 weeks I was originally hoping for.

I’ve also not been able to cut out caffeine. But I’ve been charting my headaches too and have minimized my daily intake quite a bit. Like I said, it’s been about 16 days since I stomped my foot and declared these changes, and I have successfully reduced the caffeine to about 1 cup of coffee a day. It feels like a win to me.

Of course the third part of my substance trifecta was alcohol. I haven’t had a sip since June 13. It’s been the easiest part of my plan by far. I think the first time I really missed it was when I returned from Colorado and Jim suggested we have a few drinks while I fill him in on the details of my trip. I declined (but still spent a fair bit of talking about everything Z and I saw and did).

Despite the change-up In the master plan and slowing some things down considerably, I can still feel an improvement in my health. I feel better waking up in the morning and am not dreading the day like I was. I’m starting to be excited again about the things going on in my life instead of feeling so burdened by responsibility.

And I am actually sleeping better even though I’m not taking as much of the Lorazepam as I was. That’s freaking incredible. I’m just now rolling into week 3 of my 8 week plan but already looking forward to the day when I’m done-done with that shit!

All of this validates that change is sometimes neither fast or easy. But it’s always good to have goals and measures so you can keep track of how it’s going.

Also not to be dismissed is the need for a llama in the story. Something interesting, something to look forward to, something that’s providing internal satisfaction.. feeding the soul.

The llama in my “Take Back the City Tour” was the road trip I took with my daughter. It was very restorative to disconnect from work and get a change in scenery for a few days. The mental health variable in the grand equation of overall health is so important. Everything is connected!

Today is the first day of the second half of 2020. We are half a year into what will probably go down in history as one of the most trying years of the century. No human can escape the impact of the pandemic. No person in America is isolated from events that are changing the climate of our country.. politically, socially, economically.

There too, change is painful and a struggle. It’s a large scale example of what neither fast nor easy looks like. But as I have hope that I can find peace and health for myself, so too do I have hope that we as a society can take steps toward positive change.

I don’t have any answers but I know that “cold turkey” is not the Way.

I digress. I’m officially calling today the end of my “Tour” and will return now, somewhat, to my regularly scheduled programming. I’ll still be on the lookout for the next Llama or Ostrich. Everyone should make time for that!

Peace and Love,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-07-01 Change is Sometimes Neither Fast Nor Easy

About 16 days ago I decided I had enough of feeling shitty every freaking day and set out on a mission to figure it out and turn things around. i decided the first step was to do a substance cleanse and get my body free of chemicals that alter my mood, help me sleep or calm my anxiety. I was all-in and knew it was what needed to happen.

I vowed that I would cut that shit out for 15 days and then re-evaluate to see how I was feeling and add other mods into my routine. Give myself an uptick in good behaviors like hydration and eating more fruits and veg. But I found out pretty quickly that i couldn’t just make a declaration and it would magically come to pass.

Day 2 I felt like garbage and by day 3 I was throwing my hands up in the air in despair. I honestly didn’t know I was suffering withdrawal until I saw a physician and heard his assessment. That day was one of the worst I’ve ever had. And the relief I felt when I gave in and took a Xanax and went back to bed was all the proof I needed that he was right.

So instead of cold turkey, I’m taking it slow and reducing my dose in small increments. The prescribed plan is like 12 weeks but I’ve been working the numbers and charting my dose and symptoms and think I can do it it 8. That’s still a lot longer than the 2 weeks I was originally hoping for.

I’ve also not been able to cut out caffeine. But I’ve been charting my headaches too and have minimized my daily intake quite a bit. Like I said, it’s been about 16 days since I stomped my foot and declared these changes, and I have successfully reduced the caffeine to about 1 cup of coffee a day. It feels like a win to me.

Of course the third part of my substance trifecta was alcohol. I haven’t had a sip since June 13. It’s been the easiest part of my plan by far. I think the first time I really missed it was when I returned from Colorado and Jim suggested we have a few drinks while I fill him in on the details of my trip. I declined (but still spent a fair bit of talking about everything Z and I saw and did).

Despite the change-up In the master plan and slowing some things down considerably, I can still feel an improvement in my health. I feel better waking up in the morning and am not dreading the day like I was. I’m starting to be excited again about the things going on in my life instead of feeling so burdened by responsibility.

And I am actually sleeping better even though I’m not taking as much of the Lorazepam as I was. That’s freaking incredible. I’m just now rolling into week 3 of my 8 week plan but already looking forward to the day when I’m done-done with that shit!

All of this validates that change is sometimes neither fast or easy. But it’s always good to have goals and measures so you can keep track of how it’s going.

Also not to be dismissed is the need for a llama in the story. Something interesting, something to look forward to, something that’s providing internal satisfaction.. feeding the soul.

The llama in my “Take Back the City Tour” was the road trip I took with my daughter. It was very restorative to disconnect from work and get a change in scenery for a few days. The mental health variable in the grand equation of overall health is so important. Everything is connected!

Today is the first day of the second half of 2020. We are half a year into what will probably go down in history as one of the most trying years of the century. No human can escape the impact of the pandemic. No person in America is isolated from events that are changing the climate of our country.. politically, socially, economically.

There too, change is painful and a struggle. It’s a large scale example of what neither fast nor easy looks like. But as I have hope that I can find peace and health for myself, so too do I have hope that we as a society can take steps toward positive change.

I don’t have any answers but I know that “cold turkey” is not the Way.

I digress. I’m officially calling today the end of my “Tour” and will return now, somewhat, to my regularly scheduled programming. I’ll still be on the lookout for the next Llama or Ostrich. Everyone should make time for that!

Peace and Love,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-06-26 Take Back the City Tour: Day 12 – The Quest for Ben and Jerry’s

My daughter and I have different styles for vacations and road trips. Or perhaps years of experience has shaped my style into being more rigid and regimented. At this juncture, I think it’s important to note that sometimes life is better when you let go of what you have learned and just accept the day as it comes. It’s better to be free of expectation. It’s better to not care that time is short and even though you want to get the most out of life that you can, it’s not great to try and do too much. It is, in a way, freedom, to be on a road trip and sleep until 1PM and give your body the restoration it is craving.

It is my way to try and pack a day full of activities and sites. To worry about how long it takes to get from here to there and to always be on-time. It is my way to get frustrated if there is not a solid plan and what I am learning from my daughter is that sometimes the best memories happen when there is no plan and you just go with the flow of the moment.

Yes, I researched all kinds of things to do in Colorado Springs. We had a nice visit with my sister yesterday and took a brunch out to a park and sat on blankets in the shade. She gave me all kinds of suggestions on where to go from there and when we had to pack up and get going (because she had to go to work), we went back to her apartment and I started preparing to leave.

Z, on the other hand, laid back down in the bed and proceeded to fall asleep. 10AM and she crashed out in the spare bed in my sisters spare bedroom and there I was, rushing to get on with the day. I let her sleep. She was so grumpy the day before on our drive and I kind of knew it was what she needed. I probably should have followed suit and climbed back into the bed too but I knew I would just lay there thinking about stuff.

Instead, I did a bit of this and that on my laptop. Responded to emails. Had a work call. Accepted another call directly from my PM and did just enough to feel good about where things were at. I’m behind schedule on a task and, in prioritizing this trip, knew it was not going to get done by the time they wanted it to be done. It is atypical for me, and I struggle with the balance on a daily basis, but it is necessary.

Anyway, once she did wake up, we really had no plan for the day other than to make our way south to Colorado Springs. We had booked a room at a castle (of all places) and only had a little list in our heads of where else we could go. It was really hot out, and hiking seemed very unappealing. Hiking, in general is unappealing for my pudding pie. She’d rather just drive and watch the scenery from the car and maybe every once and a while get out and take a snap.

One of the things she’s been craving is Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. We had stopped at two gas stations thus far looking for those little single serving containers (which generally contain 2.5 servings). One was a Circle K and the Other was a Loves. We did not meet with success on those tries.

Once we got to Colorado Springs it was time to check into our Castle and so we did that after which we wandered around the grounds with a little map looking for the points of interest: the rose garden, the eagles nest, and the trust course. The scenery here at Glen Erie Castle is pretty cool, but those points of interest were quite underwhelming. With the Garden of the Gods a short car ride away, it felt like folly to spend any more time at all here. So we jumped in the car to head out again.

But she did not want to go to the garden of the gods. She said she wanted to do that tomorrow. We decided to go to Cheyenne Canyon instead. But the quest for Icre Cream took priority. No, Haagendaz was not an option, and nether was whatever generic brand each gas station was sporting. We googled “Ben and Jerry’s” and found one on the map that was 20 minutes north. So we headed that way.

When we arrived at the sprawling plaza of eateries, dentist offices, liquor stores and movie theaters there was no Ben and Jerries to be found. Google maps wanted us to go down a parking lot road that was completely closed off and the giant building before us turned out to be a Great Wolf Lodge (closed due to the pandemic). The whole lot was vacant. Near as we could guess, the Ben and Jerries was inside the GWL and so we were foiled again.

We stopped at a nearby Kum and Go and had no luck there either. Then across the way we spotted a Sinclair gas station and as we crossed the main thoroughfare, the 7-eleven came into focus. We stopped in and much to my surprise – Waaalaaa – there it was. The freezer with a great selection of Ben and Jerry’s. I was doing a little happy dance inside because this would make her so satisfied. She grabbed her “Brownie Chunk” (and a set of plastic spoons), and we made away like bandits with our treasure.

Now, now we could finally, at 6PM hit some scenery that Colorado Springs is known for. We drove to and up Cheyenne Canyon. We stopped at one of the more popular stops with a waterfall and watched for a bit as other human beings passed by and frolicked around the water. She does not like crowds and either do I. We would have walked up and around the falls but there were too many people and there was very little social distancing going on (let alone masks). It felt very inconsiderate.

We drove to the top of the canyon and parked at another lot there and walked a wide gravel and dirt trail for about 30 minutes. It was nice just to walk and talk and I would say that was more important than the scenery. I took a few pics but the best ones were of her. I discovered in telling to her that these scenic adventures don’t do much for her unless there are animals involved.

She was excited to tell me about a time she saw a bear in Yellowstone with her dad and once when there was an Elk right outside her tent and even a Giant horse fly they thought had a huge stinger and a couple of silk worms that hitched a ride from A to B on one of their trips.

Yesterday we saw a female deer in town, and a wild turkey, and several species of birds we had not seem before. We saw a pretty good sized lizard in the rose garden at the castle and she named him “Joe”.

I said “oh, Joe. That’s my new internal medicine doctor. What a coincidence!”. We both laughed.

Right now as I type this, she is still sleeping. I could not sleep much past 6 and now it is almost 8. I wandered out of the room and got ice water from the machine down the hall. I wandered into an area labeled as private because the sign said “Great Hall” and I kind of wanted to know what a “Great Hall” looked like. It was big, and kind of ornate, but maybe like the rest of this castle, a little over promised and under-delivered.

I’m going to wrap now and check to see if breakfast is open yet. It’s included with our stay but a “grab and go” kind of a situation”. I’d really like to have a coffee. I know part of my substance cleanse includes minimizing caffeine but I’m going to give myself a little wiggle room on that for a few days.

First it was 2 out of 3 aint bad and now it’s 1 out of 3 is good enough. I’m in the final 3rd of this “Take Back the City tour” as of today and will be looking to finish out this month feeling better mentally and physically than when I started.

I am doing the very best that I can and that is all I can ask of myself at this point.

Cheers to Another Day of Unplanned Adventure,
~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

2020-06-15 Take Back the City For Yourself Tonight…

Or I’ll take back the city for me.

Why is this Snow Patrol lyric in my head?

It was a miserable day today. One of those days you realize, something has got to change. There are so many things in my life right now that are going right that it feels sort of ridiculous to be experiencing this need for change so deeply.

Jim and I have had a few good conversations about my health issues. I might have swept some of those things under the rug for too long. I’m generally healthy and active and have a desire to work on my fitness. I haven’t been to a doctor other than my OB in ages (except for the tennis elbow thing) and can’t even remember how long it’s been since I’ve had general labs done.

A year ago I lost my heath insurance. But I just shrugged. I figured I could just coast until I got married. No, I didn’t get married to get health insurance, but I won’t deny it is a nice benefit!

While I waited I put off seeing the dentist, getting a mammogram, and scheduling any sort of well check-up. I told myself that February was just around the corner and then I could get back to doing those things.

Then February came and went and I procrastinated. Then March arrived and along with it, a global pandemic. Everything for everybody was put on hold. Not only that, but it meant I was not getting my Jazzercise classes either and without that, I lost my motivation for cardio and doing free weights.

I took on more work this spring too which meantmore stress. I took on a big side project AND had my last semester of grad school AND was trying to navigate the newlywed life supporting my husband and his business through the worst of the first wave of the virus.

I actually started drinking more in the evenings and, if you read my last post, I started having sleep issues again for which I turned to meds. Now here we are in June and I feel just wrecked.

It took my all day today to recover from not sleeping last night and fighting whatever it was that had a hold of me. I was light headed, and achy and nauseated. It was terrible. It’s nearing 9PM now and I’m finally starting to bounce back.

As a consequence of the way I felt, I took the day off. I called in sick to work, cancelled a date with a friend, and basically babied myself for most of the day. I sat around, and laid around, and drove my car to get the kids and I take out for lunch. I thought a lot about how things have been going and, as I stated already, had good conversation with Jim about it.

Here’s the plan.. I’m quitting the sleeping pills and I’m abstaining from drinking alcohol for at least the rest of this month. I’m going to try to eat right and not worry so much about my sleep habits or my stats. Jim wants me to put my Fitbit on the shelf for a while too, but I am not sure I can do that. I also need to quit ignoring my health issues: tiredness, brain-fog, sensitive/sore teeth, insomnia.

I made an appointment with my dentist to get my teeth checked and talk to them about my constant tooth sensitivity. That’s next Monday. I made an appointment for my a mammogram. That’s next Tuesday. I did not yet make an appointment to see my OB, but that’s next on my list.

Plus, I did make an appointment to have a general physical check up with some labs with an internal med doctor. Jim suggested since it has been a while that I go see someone new and since I now have insurance again, I can do that. That appointment is a ways out but if push comes to shove, I can always go see another doc in the interim.

In any case, I’m taking some measures to put myself right. I’m going to ease up on work too and try not to put so much pressure on myself about everything. I need to try to relax and enjoy life. I see folks doing things like swimming and hiking and bike rides and I just want to do that too. It’s summer and I should be! It will be good for me.

In just a few minutes. Jim and I are going to go for a cruise in the Jeep. We’ll get some fresh air and finish out the day on a good note. I’m not sure how tonight will go in the sleep department, but if it goes poorly like last night, I know what NOT to do!!

I’m gonna take back this city for myself tonight and let the anthem of those words repeat as often as I need in order to make some real changes in my life. And those changes have to start right now.

Ready, Set, Sleep! 😴
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-06-15 Whaaaaaat is WRONG With Me??!!

It’s after midnight so it’s officially the 15th of June. It’s almost 1AM so I’m officially exhausted, frustrated, and dreading tomorrow. It’s no secret that I have a history of having issues with sleep. It’s right there in my list of categories. It’s one of the first things I check on my fitbit when I wake up every day. It’s one of those variables that I feel is super important in the grand equation of living a happy and healthy life. And just like a fair number of other variables, I’m pretty much failing at it.

Is that even possible? To fail at sleeping? Well I am here to tell you it is possible to fail at sleeping because I am doing it right now. I’m in a vicious cycle about it in my head right now. I think I can’t fall asleep because I’m too anxious about not being able to fall asleep. If that sounds fucked up, it is because it is. To make matters worse, Jim is in a deep sleep, and his breathing is so heavy and loud, it’s like a big gust of wind every three seconds like right in my ear. How can just breathing be so loud?

Well, literally, it’s not right in my ear anymore because I’ve abandoned my bed and bedroom for a different room in the house. So now I’m in the spare bed room and have obviously given up trying to sleep because I’m sitting in the bed with my laptop. I’m waiting for some sleep aid medication to kick in. I gave myself a good two hours of tossing and turning and feeling sick before giving in to the urge to take something.

That “something” is also a part of the story. I’ve given in a LOT lately to the crutch of something to help me sleep. I fear I’ve become dependent on the Xanxax. I say I’m not going to take it anymore and then I just shrug and cave and take the easy road. Well tonight I declared would be the night I would just cut it out. Cold turkey, as they say. Jim and I had talked about it. My Xanax usage is one of the suspects for some of my other daytime problems. I have to quit taking it to rule it out. So tonight was going to be the night.

We went to bed early. Like 9:30 and I was so, so sleepy. I thought, “no problem.” He and I chatted for a bit in bed and then rolled over to go to sleep. Obviously he did. Obviously I didn’t. I was feeling pressure in my head and had an upset stomach. I immediately started to think about all the things I am worried about in life and just could not get my mind to settle. I maybe fell into a half sleep for a bit, but whatever that was didn’t last long and I was tossing again.

That’s when the breathing became to much and I left. I tried to sleep in the spare bed, but no dice there either. I’m bothered by the pressure in my head and also feeling nauseous. I think about the Xanax and how I need to break myself from needing it and round and round I go. I decide that it will be ok to take some other sleep aid instead of Xanax, just for tonight, just because I need it. If I can’t get some sleep I’m gonna be wrecked tomorrow. Now the past has caught up with the present and it is tomorrow.

I’ve decided there’s too many fucking lights all over this house and I wonder why it has to be such a creepy castle. Seriously. The candelabra flicker lights in the hallway have to go. All the string lights in the backyard are cool for parties and such, but we’re not having a party right now damnit. We’re trying to sleep.

I used to take these little blue pills to sleep, years ago, and still had a few in a bottle in my old medicine tote. I had to sneak back to the bathroom to get one. I’m sure by now I should feel it start to kick in but I’m not. I have no idea what is in that little blue pill. I suppose I should know that, right?

I can hear one of the two of my kids is also still up and it sounds like they just went to the kitchen to get a snack. It must be nice to just do that and know you can sleep in until noon if you want. It sucks to be an adult and worry about stupid stuff like not being able to sleep at night. Adulting is so dumb.

I’m gonna put the laptop away now. I’m gonna let whatever it is I ingested work its magic. Hoping for 5 hours.


Apparently lack of sleep leads to bad ideas. The little blue pill was a big mistake. It was a horrible night. It’s going to be a terrible day. My stomach hurts, my head hurts, my body is confused about whether or not it should have a period.

My teeth hurt. I’m nauseated and dizzy. I took some more meds for my head and tried to eat. I just threw up. And now I’m sitting here feeling like I might have a fever. Could this be chills? Could I have Covid? Oh my, please somebody tell me what is WRONG with me.

Whaaaaaaahhhh. I want some relief.

2020-05-24 Sushi Sunday Anyone? 🍣

We had a glorious thunderstorm last night (apparently) and I woke at the end of that, happy to hear the rain as I’ve done some planting of annuals in pots the last week or so and every day it rains is a day I don’t have to. Thanks Universe!

I also went back to sleep after both my 3am and 5am wake ups.. with no meds. That’s pretty glorious too. I was able to get a collective 8 hours which is rare and also really necessary to get that restoration I was talking about yesterday.

It’s apparently going to be a pretty rainy day out today too. Perfect for getting stuff done inside. This includes work work, work on the lit mag website (which is supposed to go live today), and probably getting in another episode of Picard before our one month trial of whatever the streaming service that show is on runs out. I think that ends on the 26th so if watch 1 episode a day, we’ll get to the end (we don’t watch a lot of TV).

Truth is, I have a hard time watching TV anymore because I always start to feel like I’m wasting time. It has to be a really good show. Picard has been good, but not quite great, even for Trek fans, so we’ll see.

I woke up this AM and one of the first thoughts in my head was that Sushi sounds good. Sunday’s used to be my day to treat myself to that. It also used to be my day to check on my stats. I haven’t had/done either in a while. The stats thing is just kind of depressing and I gave myself a big ole pass on it because of the pandemic but that’s just a sorry excuse.

There is, however, no excuse for skipping out on the Sushi Sunday experience. I might just have to right that wrong today.

Of course, we had been on serious lockdown because of the pandemic for a while and that included take out. Those restrictions have eased up a bit lately and we’ve treated ourselves. (I’ve probably treated myself a little more than we agreed upon, bending that “minimalistic” approach we agreed upon). 🤷‍♀️

After yesterday I think my veg garden is all in. I finally found that Anaheim pepper plant I’ve been looking for and the pumpkin seeds are in, which is probably too late to have actual pumpkins ready in October. Some varieties take 120 days. I’ll have to look at the seed packets.

My grape iris are in full bloom now which is late for them because they typically pop in early May and are amazing by Mother’s Day. I would cut some and put them in a vase in the kitchen but Doug, the resident plant destroyer, would probably just munch them. Maybe I’ll do that anyway.

We’ll see.

Peace and love and sushi, 🍱
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-04-17 Restless Sleep and Unsettling Dreams

Everyday I wake up and check my FitBit. What kind of sleep did I get? What’s my sleep score and how many hours and minutes did the Bit think I was asleep?

Everyday there is an advertisement (of course) to try the “premium” version that promises more insights. These are troubled times, reports the app, so they are graciously offering a 90 day free trial. Maybe it was 60 or 30. I don’t remember. I typically dismiss that shit cuz I’m not interested in paying for “insights”. But yesterday I took the bait.

Friends, if I could only remind myself to cancel the subscription before the free trial runs out, it will be a miracle indeed. So what does one get for 9.99 a month? In short, a breakdown of the sleep score calculation. It’s based on movement, heart rate, and what I can only guess is some science stuff that shows how much REM sleep I’m getting.

More specifically, the three categories are: Time asleep, deep and REM, and restoration. Last night my score was 82 (which is good).

50% of the score is based on time asleep. I scored 43 out of 50. I wonder how many hours you have to sleep to get all 50 points? (I was 2 minutes shy of 7 full hours).

25% of the score comes from how much deep and REM sleep you get. Last night I scored 19 out of 25 and had 1 hour and 11 minutes in these stages of sleep. Deep and REM are different stages and they must add them up.

The last 25% is restoration which sounds nebulous but it’s actually the most interesting to me. You wear the FitBit all the time so it’s always collecting your heart rate. Walking, workouts, couch time, sexy time, and during sleep. It uses this to calculate your resting heart rate. This is a good indicator of heart health by the way.

When you sleep, your heart rate is also being measured and the calculation for restlessness is based on the percentage of time asleep when your heart rate was above and below that resting heart rate.

My resting heart rate used last night was 62 bpm (beats per minute). I spent 79% of my sleep time below that threshold and the other 21% above. Somehow that equates to 9% restless and a score of 20 out of 25. I’m not quite sure what the math is behind that but it’s cool right?!

It IS cool. But is it 10 bucks a month cool? I don’t think so. I mean, unless I can actually have some insight on how to improve my score (besides sleep aid drugs), it’s just numbers. Still, worth getting the free trial to learn these little details. Thanks FitBit!

Now to the second half of this blog post which answers the question… Why so restless?

The answer is dreams man.

The dreams I had were not nightmares. Just slightly disturbing. I can recall three distinct scenarios.

Dream One: Princess KK took over my job leading the team and I did some unsavory things that I felt guilty about. Not sure if I tried to sabotage her efforts in some way as that was not revealed in the dream. All I know is that I felt bad about what I had done and tried to confess to her.

This one is so spot on with my current work sitch. Not the sabotage part but KK has taken her place leading the team and I feel a bit minimized and unimportant. Perhaps I was dreaming of ways to usurp her authority and that’s what made me feel guilty. I’m only human right?!

Dream number two: My ex friend Erika’s husband was in some room with me and I was trying to explain to him how his dog (they always have big dogs) was also owned by my friend Kevin. Kevin named the dog Husker and the dog had become racist. I was apologizing for that too, as if it was my fault the dog had undergone these changes. Why in the world would I feel guilty about that and need to apologize??!! Stupid dream!

Dream number three was pretty basic. A girl from my past, let’s call her “the wild card”, cuz she was bat-shit crazy contacted me out of the blue. Maybe it was a message that popped up on my phone. She was like “hey, what’s up?” And I was immediately in a fix. Do I respond? What could she want? Why now after all these years? Didn’t she put me through enough? Why was she still in my contacts? My curiosity wanted to respond but I was afraid that would lead to a rekindling of our friendship and that’s a big fucking Pandora’s box. That’s all I remember.

That one makes sense too because I have an app on my phone called “GroupMe” that some of the MFAers in my class use to message each other. The only other thread I have in that app is one with the Wild Card. I was super surprised to find that when I downloaded the app and logged in last December during Residency that my history had been retained. My last message from said girl was April 1, 2011. The group thread was called “People Who Like Dancing”.

Yeah, we had some good times but I’m the end, I could not handle the responsibility of her. Gawd, that sounds terrible. I swear I’m not a bad person. Despite my dreams trying to convince you otherwise. Ha!

Yesterday I was looking closer at this thread and showing my daughter Z and asking her if she remembered the girl and her son (who was my kids’ age). Z was only 9 at the time and remembered enough to agree with my decision to cut ties. She said “yeah mom, good call.”

But those dreams!!! No wonder I was restless. Still, a sleep score of 82 is not bad. Whatever. 🤷‍♀️

It’s Friday and I’m teetering on the edge of the number of hours I’m supposed to work this week so imma use that as an excuse to get out of a late afternoon torture session thats all about estimating story points. It’s a dev thing. I’m not a developer so I don’t have much to contribute anyway. Though I could dial in and try and sabotage Princess KK. If my dream came true, I could call myself clairvoyant.

Ok. That’s enough nonsense for one day. If you got this far, I commend you and your attention span!

Happy Friday Ya’ll
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-04-13 Accepting a New Way

For the first time ever I got a sleep score above 90. According to my FitBit the score for my sleep last night was 91 which equates to excellent. Wowza!

Last night I didn’t have much to think about in the way of what “has” to get done this week. My work hours have been reduced AND my thesis is essentially done and handed off to other folks for review. I’ve also been given the option to wait for the next in-person residency which is in December (instead of remotely in July) so that greatly reduces the stress of getting my lecture put together. If I put something together soon-ish, I can have my mentor help on it, which would be the only reason to want to do it before May gets here. Otherwise, I can just coast, you know, and put my focus elsewhere for now.

Today it’s back to work for Jim and the kids will not be home until this evening. So I have all day to work on anything I want. I told Jim at breakfast that it’s gonna be party time today. Just the cats and I free-wheeling. Of course I’ll get my steps and do the laundry and dishes but beyond that, all bets are off.

I might even hunt through some resources looking for lit mags to submit to. I had big goals in this area defined a few months back and all that just fell flat as work and school and Covid took over. Now, as I said yesterday, I have no excuses.

I’ve also made slow and steady progress with regard to the lit-mag Start-Up. With each conversation more needs to be done and if we’re gonna publish the site by May1st, those things need to get done sooner rather than later. What I’d like to do is put together a list of questions to survey folks for their opinions.

On one hand I’m in control of what content is there at the start and on the other hand, I want people to feel like their opinion matters and I don’t just want to be the “one” to decide things. If it were me doing this on my own, I’d certainly include more of my own weird ideas, but this is supposed to be collaborative. I also have a little friction with the person whose supposed to be my partner I’m this. He’s all talk, you know, and wants to be the top-cheese.

Our styles are very different and I’m like “well we need to have a mission statement because it’s in the membership form for CLMP and will be displayed on their site” and he’s all like “this is something we don’t need right away and it will evolve organically over time”.

I’m all for it developing organically over time, which it will. But to start a website you have to say something about what you are trying to do. Your about page has to say what you are about and if you want people to submit, you have to have a page that has specific guidelines and, ummmmm, a platform for them to submit.

I think this we’ll be the week for me to get those ducks in a row. I hope. I’m probably overthinking it cuz that’s my Way.

If this whole thing goes off the rails, I’m thinking I’ll just start my own thing. In some ways, that’s a comforting thought. I guess my angst comes from wanting to be at the forefront of the effort and at the same time having no clue what I’m doing. We want to appear legit, but it all just feels nebulous.

That’s enough of that. I think it will all work out and I just need to go with the flow. Do what I can and at the end of the day focus on me and what I need. Sounds selfish, but I have to stop worrying over stuff that out of my control.

If there’s a lesson to be learned from Covid, it’s that Mother Nature IS a force to be reckoned with and none of us have as much control as we’d like. It’s perhaps a little nudge toward a life where a person learns to just exist and be ok with whatever happens. And be grateful for what they have instead of always wanting more. You know?

Anyway, it’s time to get on with the day.
Thanks for reading.
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-04-06 New Day, New Week, Same Ole Set-List

Monday again and for the first time in many, many days the alarm clock woke me up today. I’ve been waking up at 4 or 5 or 6am without reason or prompting for a while so to have slept all the way to Jim’s 6:15 subtle jungle emanating from the bathroom where he keeps his phone overnight was glorious!

We’ve done the breakfast thing and I’m even ahead of the curve with lunch done and In the refrigerator already. I’m currently getting steps on my favorite treadmill and thinking about everything going on this week. I’m going to have to remind myself to go with the flow and maintain balance.

That means not overdoing it on the work stuff and putting more focus on the other passions in my life. I’ve got some goals this week to help me out. Meetings for the new lit mag startup, poems due for a contest at UNO, and by the way it’s going to be in the 70s tomorrow so, yeah, taking advantage of that!!

Part of me wants to carve out like 2.5 hours to just go walk Walnut Creek which is my old stomping grounds. I’ve been wanting to for a while now but it’s now like a 25 minute drive to get there and somehow each time I plan to, it just falls through.

I’ve also really wanted to visit my friend Michelle who just moved to town (like a hot minute before the pandemic took over our social lives). That hasn’t happened either and I’m hopeful this week it might. It depends on both of our schedules and also the level of lockdown. Rumor on the street is that Nebraska is about to issue more of an official stay at home order than it has in place right now.

As of Saturday Nebraska was one of only Nine states left to not have a statewide “shelter in place” order from its governor. Nine hold out states where people are still gathering in small groups, getting take-out, and in some cases physically going to work. Iowa is another, which includes my parents and one of my siblings.

Even if that happens here, Jim will still be going to work because he works in a medical office. The “word on the street” news I get is from him reporting back from the office and conversations and information from that circle of people. They say that the virus will peak at different times in different states because of the population distribution and the social-distance orders that have been in place. The current model has nebraska peaking about 2 weeks from now.

The definition of “peak” means the expected maximization of hospital resources and beds for people affected. New York is expected to peak on April 9. They will likely run out of resources. I’m sheltering myself from the news a little bit because I can’t handle it. I’m safe in my Nebraska bubble. My kids are safe. I have to try and focus on that.

The kids are acting as if there already off for summer and in a way they are. The assignments they are working on are not being recorded in the grade-book online. I know. I checked this morning. I received an email yesterday that prom has officially been cancelled and will not be rescheduled. Wonder if I can still get my money back for that dress.

The same email had info about a virtual graduation ceremony that will take place on the original date and another that is being tentatively planned for July 10. That makes me think they are hopeful that by July it will be ok to gather in public in mass again. We’ll see.

On the agenda today is about 4 hours of work and some other lit mag stuff. I also received more feedback from my mentor on my poems and should probably look at that, but I’m not excited about it (re: yesterday’s rant).

The big question will be if I’m able to stay on track or if it will all get derailed.

Time to Roll,
~Miss SugarCookie