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

2021-03-10 News Too New to Process…

Yesterday’s brief topic was about no news being good news. So of course the Universe responded right away. It was quite literally 10 minutes after I posted (and was ramping up for my cardio) that I answered a phone call from my mom asking if I could take her to the ER. 

I will say I wasn’t surprised as she’s been suffering with some issues for several weeks now. Our visit yesterday was actually the third to the ER in a week. The first time she drove herself. The second time, she drove but my sister had to pick her up because they gave her morphine for the pain and she could not drive herself. Yesterday I took her and sat with her the entire visit. 

Three visits in one week seems excessive, I know, but two of the three she was following instructions from her primary care physician. This last time the concern was nausea and dehydration as she hadn’t been able to eat or drink anything for 2 days. It was concluded that the morphine was responsible for that. So no more narcs. 

On of her previous visits to the ER they had done a cat scan and told her she had cancer. 

I’m not being dismissive of this, but at this point it feels like one piece of info among a myriad of other diagnostic pieces and symptoms. It’s also hard to put it all together when the info is coming from my mom who is lucid, but not the best at remembering/relaying details. The story also seems to change slightly based on her immediate problem. 

One minute it’s her bowel movements and she diagnosed herself with colon cancer before ever seeing a doctor. Then it’s her upper-GI, because she’s nauseous and can’t eat. And now the tissue that can be seen on her abdomen has been labeled as cancer. 

From what I know about cancer, is that the actual diagnosis is dependent on pathology. They have to get a sample of the tissue and do a biopsy to know anything for certain. I feel like I’m maybe keeping myself a little disconnected from all the possible outcomes until I know for sure. 

There’s no reason to spend cycles on the “what if’s” and the focus should be on helping her with next steps and making sure she’s getting the best care as quickly as possible. 

I’m not personally bothered by 3 ER visits in 1 week because it’s Medicare you know and she’s paid into that her whole life and so have I. That’s what it’s there for. Yesterday she had an IV with meds to get her hydrated and relieve her nausea so she could eat and drink. 

Today she has a visit with an oncologist and I wish I was going to that to hear first hand what the doctor has to say but my sister is taking her and they only allow one other adult in the visit because of Covid. They are supposed to call me though, so I can be on speakerphone, we’ll see how that works out. 

That visit was actually scheduled to start 5 minutes ago and so I’m just waiting now. 

I’m a little anxious but not bad. I think that’s going to be it today. 

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

2021-02-28 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

2021-02-21 Sunday Status Funny Money 🐹

It’s Sunday and I’m checking my stats. How did I do meeting my goals? 

For sleep I achieved my goal 6 of 7 nights. 

Healthy eating.. 4 of 7. 

Mood.. 4 of 7.

Meditation.. 2 of 7. 

Exercise.. 6 of 7. 

Most of this looks good but feels a bit like funny money. Like you know how you get paid every two weeks for doing a job and the money is electronically deposited in your bank account and then some other company comes along and takes that coin back out for things like rent, electricity, insurance. It’s like a magic trick. One minute the numbers are there and the next.. Poof.. gone.. It happens automagically. You never actually see the cash, hold it, count it. That’s funny money.

Kinda makes a person feel like a hamster in a wheel. You know, in that metaphor what gives the hamster quality of life? Stopping to eat. Stopping to wee (or woo). And getting pulled out of the cage by the giant 6 year old who lets her run around the bedroom floor for a while. Perhaps getting a lettuce or carrot on these tiny adventures and of course weeing and wooing on the purple rug is the BEST! 

What does this metaphor teach us about life? That we need to maximize our time off the wheel. Cuz pretty soon now, that tiny little pumping heart can’t take anymore and the hamster dies. Poof!.. Just like that. 

I check my stats regularly. I set goals for my self. I’m constantly evaluating myself and my health. I gave up my old hamster wheel last year but I’m still on this one.

My New Years résolution this year was to do less instead of more. To be kind to myself and more forgiving. To meet that end, I backed off on my daily goals. But here we are nearing the end of February and I’m questioning the validity of all this. Like money in the bank, it all becomes numbers and checkmarks on a page. I add them up but they don’t amount to much.

So I backed off on my sleep goal and the result this week is a 6 of 7 instead of 4 of 7. So what? I still feel the same. I still have the same energy issues each day. I don’t get more restful sleep just because I back off on my goal. It just makes me feel better about how I’m doing. But it’s a magic trick. An illusion. 

It’s the same with the other stats. I have my daily step goal, which I reduced from 12k to 10k as a part of my resolution. So today’s calculated 6 of 7 would have been 4 of 7 instead. So what. It doesn’t change anything. And the other measurements are just as suspect. 

I took away “productivity” and replaced it with “mood” and I added one for meditation. Mood is subjective as there are no numbers and this feels more legit. Of all the stats I’m tracking, it feels the most genuine and important. I think that’s because that’s the real goal. To FEEL better. To FEEL healthier. To FEEL like I’m getting the most out of every day. 

Tangentially related is the brain child idea I had this week about inviting 2006 to 2021 and living life for a week the same way I was back then.

No smart phone. No social media. No googling everything or relying on the internet so much. It crossed my mind that 2006 was pre-FitBit too and before I tracked my stats so vigorously. 

It also predates any regular daily writing so my mind is really foggy with how life really was. It might be an interesting exercise to try and mentally recreate a day in the life of Miss SugarCookie in 2006. The first step of course is removing all those things I just mentioned. 

This means (if I go through with it) that I’ll not be keeping stats for as long as the experiment persists. And won’t be mentally tethered to my phone.

Tangentialy related is also the argument I had with my darling daughter last night because I did not have my phone with me when she texted the specifics of what she wanted to eat. I cooked the wrong thing and she refused to eat it and it was so ridiculous. I got so so so angry that she was acting spoiled and ungrateful and she just didn’t get it. Jim said I just needed to make the other thing and remember that she’s sick (one day post vaccine shot and running a fever and in bed all day). So I did. And she didn’t even thank me. Whatever. 

My point is that the people that will be the most affected by this little experiment of mine are those who “expect” things from me or are used to communicating via text. Nobody on FB will miss me because I’m not really on FB anyway. Same for twitter. And since I don’t have a 9 to 5 anymore, there’s nobody who is going to miss me not getting back to them ASAP there.

So today is my day of preparation. Thinking about what it is really going to look like when I pull the trigger on this test. Rolling back to 2006.

Why 2006?

I had to draw a line somewhere, you know, and thinking about what things add value to my life, like that hamster with their brief breaks from the wheel. Eating adds value and so does sleep. It is not a basic need in the pure sense of the word but music is pretty much essential for my daily existence.

If I’m giving up my phone for a week, then I need some other way to get my tunes. I don’t have a working CD player so my original iPod will have to do. I actually looked up the model number and it’s circa 2006. So that’s why. 

No Bluetooth of course so I’ll have to find a wired set of headphones or earbuds. I know I have some somewhere, just have to find them. That part will be easy compared to making my people understand that if they want something from me, they need to ask me in person. How novel. People living in the same house sitting down face to face. 

I think my treadmill time today is past being up. I’m secretly hoping people stay asleep a while longer so I can get more time to myself. We’ll see. 

Next stop.. 2006 and scrapping the stats!

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-02-18 A Serious Need to Not Take Anything Too Seriously

Having another one of those days. You know.. where I just want to tell the world to efffff off. Not you darlings though. Nope. 

This mood has been a fairly regular thing these weeks, I’m finding. I was soooooo tired this morning and tired of being tired. Caffeine helps but then I feel bad about being addicted to caffeine. Then I tell myself there are much worse things to be addicted to and that I’m being to hard on myself and then I pop another pill. 🤷‍♀️

Often I go round and round about this, and the result is always the same so why do I keep doing this to myself when there are bigger fish to fry? 

All of everything that I am concerned with is small. I have to remind myself that it’s tiny, tiny potato’s. Not enough to make one single helping of mashed taters…. AND that I have to not take anything too seriously. If I can just go about my day, with this in mind, it would be better. 

So much has changed in my life yet it’s bizarre, like super strange, how much never changes. A few days ago I remembered a blog I started on Tumblr in like 2010. A little bit of writing I had missed as I was organizing and backing up all my files for a rainy-fucking day that will never come. 

I logged in and pulled all those posts to my laptop, next stop is the external hard drive. I digress. 

Last night I began to reread these posts for something to do before bed. Super unproductive but whatevs. Mind you all that was written 10 years ago, so finding some of the same “issues” I’m still dealing with is … well….. comical. I mean, how else can I look at it? 

Yeah, I’m still struggling with body image issues and obsessive about my weight. Yeah, I’m still trying to eat healthy and failing. I still hate social media. I still worry I’m a bad parent. I still get irritated by my ex and lament about wasting time. I still have trouble sleeping because I can’t shut my brain off. I am still too concerned about what other people think. And I’m still listening to the same music.!! 🤣

Right now? 

  • Listening to ‘Beercan’ by BECK. 
  • Messaging with darling daughter about how she can get her second vaccine shot because she missed her appointment last Saturday. 
  • Drinking strawberry ginseng fizz in water for more caffeine. 
  • Tried to donate blood today and failed cuz my iron was too low. 
  • Thinking about refusing to do any social media shit for GLR. Just flat out saying “I don’t care, someone else can do it.” 
  • Rescheduled 2 meetups this week cuz I didn’t wanna, including my dad today. Selfish, but I don’t care. 
  • Bought discount cut flowers at the grocery like a hypocritical BOSS.
  • Procrastinating calling a tow truck. 
  • Procrastinating cleaning toilets. 
  • Procrastinating <insert everything here>.
  • Put periods at the end of all my bullet points cuz that’s the way I am. Not sorry. 

I already had a website/blog when I created that Tumblr 10 years ago. The purpose was so that I could let loose all the random thoughts I had that were not exactly “blog” worthy. Or rather, all the shit I was thinking that I really didn’t want on my primary and publicly promoted site. Anything a little angry, or seedy, or jealous, or needy. 

It’s actually some funny stuff. Reading it I forget how much I enjoy my own sense of humor. And again, a good reminder not to take anything too seriously. 

The last post there was late 2016, when I hit rock bottom. Or like right before I hit rock bottom. Like a hot 10 seconds before I drank myself down a drain and hit my head on the concrete at the bottom of the sewer. 

Not sure how long I was out, but the day I woke up wet and covered in shit was the same day I decided to start this blog.

I haven’t needed that alternate blog because I have this! And I have you!! My oh my. What a day of epiphanies!!! Seriously!!!! 🤣

Why taking caffeine and saying “I don’t care” out loud makes me feel better, I don’t know. But I love it.  

Yours truly,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-02-15 Trying to be Positive Amidst So Much Negativity

As predicted my step streak was broken yesterday. Missed it by a whopping 4K as I sat around all day lamenting my fever and aching muscles. 

Let’s cut to the chase. It’s negative 13 degrees outside right now. The high will be negative 2 which won’t last long before the dip back down to a bone chilling negative 18. That’s a whole lot of negativity people. Why would I fight it? 

My fever and headache yesterday persisted all day and started to dissipate as the evening approached. Still my body felt like it had been through some iron man trial and was sore all over. I even had a nap and was able to sleep in the afternoon. Not sure what time I went to bed, but Jim didn’t wake me this morning (and neither did his alarm) and it was lovely not to have to wake up before the sun for a change. Just wish I didn’t have to also feel like I was on my deathbed so I could actually enjoy it. 

The other reality check this morning is that it’s been like 3 days since I’ve had a shower. As I look at my Monday to-do list, I feel like adding it just so I can cross it off. Sad but true. 

Jim was so sweet taking care of me, which mostly consisted of letting me lay around like a lump while he did his own stuff. He did take me on a Valentine’s Day mini-road trip to pony creek recreation area and all I had to do was sit in the car and enjoy the scenery. 

The lake there had a big hole in it that appeared as though it had steam coming off and several hundred geese huddled in and on the ice surrounding the hole. It was a sight to see and it makes me think of all the poor animals out there huddled together in this desperate cold trying to survive. 

I set our thermostats to 68 and 70 before going to bed. This cold spell is gonna cost a fortune. This is the disadvantage of living in a large house. There’s so much unused space. I wish I could declare a winter weather emergency and make everyone camp out in just a few rooms until it passes to conserve energy. Oh well. 

In other news we are now over halfway through February and I feel so far that I’ve failed with the challenges I’ve issued for myself both for the year and this month. I’m starting over today. More healthy eating habits and more meditation. Feeling like garbage the last couple of days has really made me think about getting back on the heathy bandwagon. 

I’m not sure I’m quite up to adding more cardio yet, as I’m not quite recovered from being sick, but there should not be anything that stops me from meditation (or eating healthier). 

In other news we have a car stranded at Jim’s office that will not start and that means I get to play taxi a little bit today if I want to hit the grocery store and start getting my act together for the week. It’s Presidents’ Day and apparently that’s a “no school” holiday, but I still have to pick my son up from his dads house. I think with this cold they would have called school off anyhow. They can’t run busses and have kids standing outside in this frozen tundra!

None of this is news. None of this is noteworthy. I want to try and be positive but there’s not a lot more on my brain today besides getting that shower and staying warm. Guess that means it’s time to switch to reading.

Until next time, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-01-18 Happy Blog-A-Versary!! 💃💃🎉

2017-01-15 –> Now. Four years (+ a few days).. Yo!.. That’s a good freaking run!! 

(Spoiler Alert, this recap could get long. If stats are your thing and you want to skip the drunk trainwreck intro, scroll to the end, but don’t forget to click “like” before you leave. 😉)

In January 2017 I decided to start posting my personal journey online. I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t put a ton of thought into aesthetics, format, or the best way to approach doing what I wanted to do. Honestly, I didn’t even know what I wanted, or expected outside of wanted to find a way to live a happier, healthier life. 

If a person had asked me then what I thought would become of Miss SugarCookie in 4 years, I would not have had an answer. I wouldn’t have a clue. And there’s no possible way I could predict most of what has come to pass. 

Most of the time when I write, I’m writing in the moment. I’m writing for today. I’m writing for an audience of one. I’m trying to sort through what I’m thinking about and how I feel. I try to steer clear of hashing through old news that doesn’t concern me anymore. Most of the time, I try to do that. But sometimes, like now, it’s good to reflect. And it’s really good to see how far I’ve come. 

In January 2017 I was still very fresh off the end of my “big love” relationship. I was broken and closed and unhealthy, both mentally and physically. I was killing myself for a job that was never going to give me what I needed from life besides a paycheck. I was lost and confused and, after returning from my sister’s destination wedding in Mexico, I knew something had to change. 

I spent every other night in Mexico drinking until I couldn’t walk straight. I spent mornings after with blinds drawn, unable to eat any of the “all-inclusive” food that was available 24-7. One night I ended up stumbling drunk, laying on the grass next to the cart path that led to my single-occupancy room, sobbing. I begged the Universe for someone, anyone, to find me and want to help. I just wanted another human being, even if it was a complete stranger to care about my well being. 

I felt so alone. 

Other nights on that trip I wrote and tried to be social with the other 50 people who made the trip for my sister. I’m fairly certain there wasn’t another single person among them, besides my first cousin who I’ve never been close to and who (apparently) didn’t have trouble finding companionship on that trip. I wasn’t interested in a hookup though. I just wanted someone to talk to. 

I drunk texted people on FB messenger or iMessage from my room where there was WiFi. I don’t remember who, probably Josh and HL. I probably made confessions. I probably fell asleep mid-text. I had to write a maid-of-honor speech and sobered up to do that. 

I did a lot of wandering around the resort. I did an incredible amount of thinking. It’s probably then when the idea for posting my thoughts online came to me. I really don’t remember but it seems highly likely. 

Back in Nebraska a few short weeks later I was re-booting Miss SugarCookie who made her original debut in 2014 on Tumblr. But I’d become a solid WordPress fan and recognized the appeal of a versatile platform that was, at the time, the front runner for personal blogs (IMHO). 

I still remember one of my first posts, “The Riddle of the Middle” where I thought through the problem of starting something new, like I was, in the middle of the story. So much history, where does one begin to make it all make sense? The answer is.. to just begin. 

Eventually all the backstory would be  revealed organically. I know that now, but didn’t then. So many things I know now that I didn’t know then. 

And, as I said, could never have predicted what would change in the 4 years to follow. 

I learned along the way my “big love” had started seeing someone new a hot minute after our 3rd and final breakup. That helped me put a nail in the coffin of my hope for a reconciliation. 

I entertained a friends with benefits relationship with a good friend. It was both helpful and hurtful I’m a way. 

I quit my fucking job of course, by the following summer and elected to use my savings to take a six month sabbatical. One of the best decisions of my life! 

In those 6 months I began eating healthier and working out more. I traveled with and without my kids and had some amazing adventures. It was during our trip to the Pacific Northwest that I decided to get more education for my passion, writing poetry. 

By then, I was already well on my way to writing from a treadmill or elliptical machine each day. Wait… did I really write from an elliptical machine? I could not possibly have done that as I’m not that coordinated. I must be remembering that wrong. 

In any case, I do remember clear as the clearest day being in an exercise room at the holiday inn express by the Portland airport when I decided to apply for an MFA program. 

The beauty of this is.. I don’t have to remember because it’s verifiably in the archives of this blog. That’s some bonafide bonus-plan shit! 

I also started dating again during that sabbatical. Hello Bumble! There was a string of posts about my dating experiences (the good, the bad, and the seriously ugly) and navigating new territory. I’m probably going to struggle here. 

-Blog Intermission- I was going to go into a ramble calling out every made up name for every noteworthy person I went out with. Then I checked it and decided not to wreck it. So NOT going to go off on that major tangent. -End Blog Intermission-

Fast forward 5 or 6 or 8 months to March 2018. That’s when I said “Buh-bye” to Bumble. And good riddance. Dating sucks unless you’re dating someone you know you have a future with (at least that’s how I feel about it). 

Of course I’m talking about dating Jim and falling in love with Jim and being proposed to on my birthday in August of 2018. If you’re dating THAT person, dating is amazing! 

We went on dates, road trips, full-fledged vacations, and planned to “merge” our two households in early 2019. Of all the things.. this turn of events in my life was the least expected. And it happened so, so fast (based on the pace of my last long term). 

In 2018 I came off my sabbatical and took a job with a company learning a bunch of new stuff, which was great but fairly unpredictable as far as number of hours per week goes and, like most places, they would take all they could get. 

In 2019 the kids and I moved in with Jim and his boys and life just would not slow down for anything. I had work, the kids, Jim, the house, and school to take care of. Not to mention all my other relationships with family and friends. I was overcommitted for sure and by summer I was throwing my hands up and requesting to leave the work project I was on. 

I think my employer knew I was right on with my assessments about the project and let me bow out gracefully to bring a more skilled SQL person to work on the ETL. That fall was fantastic as I had time to work on my writing, MFA, and take care of my home and family (and also plan a wedding). 

By the time 2020 arrived, the wedding became the top priority and it’s the kind of thing that takes over your life for a while. Thank goodness we married as early in the year as we did (02/02/2020) because chaos in the world was about to take over. And so it did. 

I still finished my last semester, had a honeymoon, and began working again. Two of those three were fantastic. Can you guess which one wasn’t? 

By late August I put in my notice at work. This time I was going to be done-done with no option for accepting future contracts. Another great decision. 

I would be remiss if I didn’t nod to 2020 as a train wreck of a year for many other reasons. Still, despite that, I finished my MFA, had a few road trips, managed to get my darling daughter off to an OK start for her freshman year, and oh, by the way, set my sights on starting a new online literary publication. Which I did. Obvi with lots of help from some great peeps. 

Yeah. That’s another thing that I could not have imagined 4 years ago. Little Miss SugarCookie Starting and managing a lit mag. Wild!! 

So today’s the day!! 4 years (and counting). AND.. This post would not be complete if I did not end it in classic Miss SugarCookie style.. with the rest of the stats:

1460 Days
1143 Posts
8336 Visitors
13,513 Views
6296 Likes and
599 Followers

That’s fantastic! This quick look back has been refreshing for me. Quite rejuvenating actually. Were there bumps in the road? Yes, but I feel like I am on the right track now and look forward to the future. Only time will tell what can happen in the next four years. On that note, I’m just going to keep riding this wave as long as I’m able. 

Cheers to Four Years..
Love Ya’ll Bunches and Bunches! 
~Miss SugarCookie

2021-01-10 Sunday Status New Year Style

Yesterday was another well balanced day that began with a lovely walk and several hours spent playing catch-up on all the GLR stuff that’s overdue to be completed. There’s still more to do but I can sail through the rest of the weekend feeling satisfied with my progress. 

The day rolled along and I spent some good QT with Z and with Jim. Z is actively selling some of the extra furniture from our craft room and so I’m helping her with that. Any funds she collects will go toward her latest project which just happens to be starting a new business on Etcy. She’s got big plans, motivation, and time. I mean. At the moment she has all these. We’ll see once she goes back to school. 

In any case, the gutting and reorg of the craft room is for that endeavor too. She needs a well ventilated space to work on her latest passion.. resin. At Christmas we all got gifts that were made out of resin and she’s learning a lot about how to produce good quality items that don’t have flaws like bubbles and unfinished edges. One thing is true.. when she decides to do something she’s thorough and determined. 

All of the furniture we are parting with is mine from my old house and life. When we first moved in we decided to keep the furniture so that when the kids move out to their own places they would have some things that they would not need to buy. But honestly, that seems to be quite a bit into the future and it will be better just to get rid of it now.

She’s using Facebook marketplace to sell and these items are priced to move so as soon as she posted, she immediately had to field dozens of inquiries about availability, dimensions, etc. I suspect a large part of our day today will be more of the same. That’s ok. 

Last night I powered through almost falling asleep at 8PM and demanded we do something else besides sit and talk. Talking, while lovely, is sometimes not very stimulating. I basically said, let’s watch an action movie. So we did. 

Jim selected ‘Bourne Ultamatum’ which he had seen and I didn’t remember ever watching before and it was good. Some parts felt familiar but that could be because I’ve seen other Bourne movies. It’s a pretty good movie. I’d recommend it. We’ll I’d recommend it if it wasn’t for the fact that everyone has probably already seen it. That’s how it is with me. I haven’t seen much. 

Anyway.. we watched the entire thing and I stayed awake for all of it. Hooray! After that I was like, peace out, and went straight to bed. FitBit recorded 11pm as the time my body went inactive. I guess one thing I can be grateful for is the fact that I don’t have trouble falling asleep at bedtime. I can’t recall ever having that problem in the last 10 years. It’s just all the waking in the middle of the night nonsense that’s my peoblem. 

Today / this week, I’m introducing meditation into my regular routine. Normally when starting something new like this would involve research but in this case the heavy lifting has basically already been done for me. I’ve got a few good starter apps that were recommended to me by my friend Vis who I didn’t even know did meditation until we were texting about it this week. 

I previously mentioned backing off some other goals/measures and making that official today. My step goal has been reduced to 10K steps a day. My sleep goal is now 7 hours a night -or- a sleep score > 75. I’m changing the productivity measure to “mood” and backing off the requirement for meeting that each day (which is kind of nebulous), and adding meditation to the list. Starting small.. 15 minutes a day learning and experimenting. 

What about food and healthy eating? Well I’m going to try backing off paying too much attention to that actually. Which is tough. I wanted to declare that I was going to stop weighing myself but I can’t right now. Believe it or not, it’s counter to my new approach. It really would be taking on too much and causing my brain to think about it too much and that’s not my objective. So I’m truth, it’s better to maintain the status quo than try and make a change. 

I want to spend less time thinking about it and not more. Checking this box each day becomes somewhat nebulous too since there is no measure. I’ve always hated the idea of using weight as the measure, but it’s just easy. 

Yes.. I just tried to make a case for why I’m going to continue to weigh myself everyday in support of not thinking about healthy eating. Kind of ridiculous. But whatever. 

I also resolved to be a better accountability buddy. This means reporting to T each week and seeing how she’s doing too. It’s first up on my list today when I finish my walk. 

Then we’ll do that Sunday thing we do. 

So without further ado, 

I bid thee farewell. 

Later gaters, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-01-08 Vivre la Résolution! 🗓

I’m satisfactorily rested and caffeinated. I’m in good spirits and so far feeling on top of the “sitch” today. It’s certainly still a very volatile status, kinda like that cliche about weather in Nebraska. Wait a day…. 

Case in point is that yesterday felt dire. I mean like “holy-hell-will-I-ever-get-my-act-together?” dire. Exhausted by a few chores and the “UN-Christmasing” of the house, I basically felt like a limp lump by 3 in the afternoon.

At some point I reached out to my friend M to see what her thoughts were and then later initiated a conversation with Jim about it. “Something has to change” I said. 

I’m now several months past getting over withdrawal from cutting the Benzos out of my life. My body should be back to normal, or at least baseline. A place ready to start fresh to try a new approach. Of ALL the things I want to resolve for 2021, this issue is at the tippy-top of my list. 

Sleep, daytime fatigue, and having more energy in the evenings when it matters most to my peeps. Last night I basically started falling asleep on the couch at 8:30 and was useless to anyone or for anything. Enough is enough. 

It’s January 2021.. It’s time! Let’s go!!

As I often do at the start of a new year, I’ve got big plans. Big ideas and dreams about what I’m going to accomplish or how I’ll finally figure out the balance equation of life. I’m working actively to resist this line of thinking now. Like meditation, my mind wanders away so easily and I have to refocus. I always feel like I fail at meditation because I can’t get my mind to behave. 

Yesterday my friend M offered some sage advice. About meditation. She said that it’s impossible to keep the mind from wandering and the trick is to let it play but be an “inactive” participant. Don’t feel like you have to take action on every thought. Just watch it play out like a movie. I think this is fantastic! I’m excited to try meditation again.

I’m letting that thought simmer as I determine the best course of action to take on my prime directive. The fatigue conundrum. 

I’m actively letting go of other potential objectives: eating healthy, exercise, productivity, cultivating relationships. But when I say I’m letting go, I’m not saying I don’t want to do those things. I’m saying I’m taking pressure off myself to have such high standards. I believe that if I can fix this one BIG problem in my life, the others will improve naturally. 

In support of this concept, instead of upping my goals, which is my typical New Year move, I’m actually backing off. I’m giving myself more room to breathe. Call it the anti-resolution, but a resolution none the less. 

It starts like this: 

  1. Backing down to 10k steps a day as an exercise goal (as opposed to 15k). And not adding any other requirements to check that box each day. 
  2. Back the sleep goal to 7 hours or 75 as a sleep score. 
  3. Not weighing myself every morning. This one is BIG. 
  4. Easing up on the self imposed daily productivity goals. Checking that box more based on mood and feeling than actual tasks accomplished. Trusting my instincts instead of relying on concrete proof. 

These are the real, measurable goals I use to gauge how I’m doing. It’s also what I use to report to my accountability buddy, T. I’ve mentioned this falling off the radar and we both agree we need to pick it back up again. In short, I’m still measuring but giving myself more ability to feel like a success. It also means I’ll have more time to focus on the prime directive. 

Again, talking about daytime fatigue, not prohibiting interference with the internal and natural development of alien civilizations (clarification for all you Trekkies our there). 

It involves meditation, getting quality sleep at night, and potentially naps during the day. And so far doesn’t include taking any sleep aid but it’s not out of the realm of possibility. I gave up on CBD oil, but Jim said I may look to a different manufacturer or type. Possibly. I also have Trazadone but the one and only time I took that I felt like crap most of the day after. Not looking to get hooked on another prescription drug either. 

What else? I suppose just thinking more not just about what but how. How to approach making steps toward this goal. It’s one thing to say you are going to try meditation but another entirely on how to start, and what measure indicates success? As with a lot of things, it begins with education. I’m going to spend some time with this and maybe include as a part of my “mood” goal each day.

You see how this anti-resolution can be a tricky-pickle? It really is. How do you stop thinking about something you are so conditioned to think about all the time. I think the answer is to do as my friend M says and let the thoughts happen but not necessarily act on them. 

An interesting experiment indeed. 

That’s it for today. Finally feeling that 2021 thing that’s happening.

Ready or not….

~Miss SugarCookie