2019-02-04 Monday Routine Musings

Welcome to the new morning routine. It’s just hit 8AM and I’ve already been up since about 6:15. So far I’ve finished laundry, gotten my kids to school (new commute is about 25 minutes), and hit the gym.

That’s where I am at now on my favorite elliptical machine. If I hit a descent pace, I can get 10k steps in about an hour and be good with that for the day. I was doing a little time accounting in the car and thinking about how I can arrange my schedule to get the most out of my day.

The new bookends to my “productive” alone time each day are now the tribe to and from the high-school. That’s 8 to about 3. So if I can get my cardio in from 8 to 9, I can be home by 9:30 and working by 10. That will give me 4 to 5 hours to get some work-work done. Then, I can break and drive back for the kids and then spend some QT with them after school before Jim gets home from work.

Of course when the kids are at their dads I’ll have much more flexibility because that cuts out 2 hours of driving each day. Dare I say I may even be able to sleep in once and a while?? Perhaps. Though I’m a very routine oriented type person so I doubt I’ll be able to do that. We’ll see.

In any case, I’m looking forward to this next chapter in my life and we figure out how well a household can be run with two engaged adults at the helm. That’s something neither one of us is used to. Yes, we have four teenagers to manage, but they are mostly independent and need their own “alone” time so I’m hoping we can strike a good balance.

I figure by the end of February I’ll have all the details figured out. That needs to include dedicated time for reading and writing and Jazzercise. That also needs to include making sure I get enough sleep. I’ll be waking up half an hour earlier and I doubt I can manage going to sleep half an hour earlier. This past weekend things were still not back to normal but I was so, so tired both days.

On Saturday I was so wiped out that I fell asleep at 2 and slept for an hour and a half. I felt the same on Sunday but pushed through it. I haven’t been reporting my stats but they are still being collected. Checking on sleep last week, I was right at 7 hours average and then that nap pushed me over the top. Anyway, that’s just going to be another challenge in this new routine.

It’s kind of like an interesting Tetris puzzle where I’m just wanting all the pieces to fit snug. I’m probably being too rigid where flexibility will end up being the ultimate key to success. I’m just overthinking things as usual. Again, we’ll see. 🤷‍♀️

On that note 🎵.. my hour is almost up so I I’ll quit hashing over this routine topic.

Later gaters 🐊,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-10-17 Rinse and Repeat

I might thrive on routine but I’m sort of sick of the current 45 I’m going round and round on.

I woke up twice last night, the first time was because I was so congested I could not breathe and the second time I hacked up my second lung. That’s right, I don’t have lungs anymore and the fact that I’m writing this without the ability to supply my body with oxygen is a goddamned miracle. Call the Pope, he needs to get his ass over here and verify this shit. 😜

Anyway, yeah, the second time I woke up it was about 6am and I literally coughed for half an hour. I never went back to sleep. I just got up and got dressed and got in my car and drove to wal-Mart. Better to go at 6:30AM when almost nobody is there and get a few things that have been accumulating on my list. I was home by 7:15, just in time to get the kids up for school.

The rest of the story is already written – morning routine, gym, work, chores, more work, kids come home from school, dinner, evening routine (which now thankfully includes talking to my love), and then to bed and sleep. That’s it. Rinse and repeat.

If I’m lucky I’ll still have energy in the afternoon and evening to work on school stuff. I now have a new deadline for my next packet and it’s a short 7 days away. I need to get my ass in gear and finish (cough-cough, start) writing some essays. If there’s anything that really needs to change, this is it. Me typing that feels like a broken record too. The big questions are how and when? Ugh.

If I’m struggling this much now, just think how it will be next year when I’m selling my house and moving?! 😱 I don’t want to think about that.

What I think I really need is a day off and to just go back to bed. I think I said that a couple of days ago. Nothing has changed. Well today it’s out of the question because I’ve got too much work to do. Again I’m all like “how and when”? Friday needs to get here. I may try and dedicate my whole weekend to sleep and school and sleep and school. Let’s try that 45 on for size? It would also be nice if I grew a new pair of lungs between now and then. Throw in some sinuses in good working order and two teenagers that magically decide to get along again. Now THAT would be the real miracle!! 😂

Time to move on to the next track in the rotation.

Pieces of Eight, Nine, and Ten,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-04-19 The Time Puzzle

One of the hardest things to do, especially for someone like me who thrives on routine, is recognize when something is not working as it could or should and make a change. It’s even tougher when that “thing” is something that was previously optimized for maximum potential.

My routine. Goals. Meeting Expectation. And Time.. The timing of everything. The self-imposed expectation. For all of my cold, calculated precision I can’t seem to figure out the puzzle of time. I’m going to thoughtfully guess that it’s because the puzzle is a moving target. Something is always changing around me and therefore, there is no static solve that ever going to be the perfect fit. Or, even if it is, it won’t remain that way for too long.

Despite getting my taxes done, and signing up for residency, submitting my poems to the schools spring contest, and getting the trash out to the curb on time, I’m feeling behind. In the past week I’ve sacrificed some of my exercise regimen in order to make progress on a few things. I’ve sacrificed writing for other writing and one set of relationships for another. The short story is that there is just too much to do and not enough time. And now I’m awake at 3AM and feeling like I’m going to fail doing something, or that I’ll manage to do everything, but it will all be well below average. The rest of this week and the week to follow are already crushing me.

Tomorrow (today) is Thursday and I’m severely behind on work. My focus has been other things and now it’s time to buckle down and get something done. I haven’t even worked 6 hours so far this week and THAT isn’t going to pay my house payment. There’s a writing workshop in the evening but I already have plans with JS and doing either one of those things puts my parenting on the back burner. Tripple booked and I have to choose.

Friday I’m meeting with the IT director of a local hospital about a potential job opening. I probably would not even consider it except for a friend who works there and has been singing the praises of the organization for years. Frankly though, I can’t see myself working another 40 hour a week job while trying to do school too. What I am doing now is already testing my limits.

Friday I’m also planning to go visit Leah at Westwood. I used to go every week and and now I am down to every other week. I know I’ve recently written about how wonderful Jazzercise is, but I’m definitely back on the fence again about it because of the time and monthly expense. It’s tough to justify when my gym is 80 bucks a year and I can do classes there for free.

Saturday things get even worse. I’m potentially tripple booked again and have to somehow make 5 things fit into one morning/afternoon. That’s Jazzercise (again), donating at the Red Cross, the poetry workshop, meeting with Denise (who I cancelled on last Saturday due to illness), and also, yeah, spending time with my kids. I just can’t do it all. Jazzercise is the first to get cut, especially if I managed to go Friday.

If I donate between 9 and 10am, then I should be good to go by 11 downtown to the poetry workshop. That runs until 1:30. If I scoot from there to CB I can meet Denise at 2, but she’s got other plans at 3 so that probably won’t work. Since I am missing the first half of the Poetry session on Thursday evening so I can visit JS, I don’t really want to miss again Saturday. They only do these like 4 times a year.

If I don’t meet with Denise, I’ll reschedule on her AGAIN, which is probably not leaving the best impression. I also only see her about 4 times a year. I really wish something could be on Sunday. On Sunday everything starts over again for the week and to add insult to injury, I’m also now officially a week away from another big assignment for my MFA coming up due.

So, not only do I have to find 24 hours worth of work in the next three days, I also have to read like a hundred pages and write three critical essays. My brain hurts just thinking about trying to fit it all in. I’m going to have to be agile with my days and nights. I’m going to have to continue to mix things up and shift things around in order to fit it all in.

If there is one thing I now for certain though, it’s that sacrificing sleep is NOT the answer. Ironic that it doesn’t stop my brain from trying. It’s now almost 5AM and I have to see if I can get a few more hours. Try and forget it all and find some peace in dreams.

Until Tomorrow (later today),
Miss SugarCookie

2018-04-02 Back to Reality

Back home. Back to work. Getting the kids today and it will be back to our normal routine for the week. I did sacrifice some things last week (time) in order to enjoy my QT out of town and my homecoming so I’m hitting today feeling a little pressure to catch up.

First, however, is finding my center of gravity by getting back to my own personal routine. As they say.. secure your own oxygen mask first before assisting the kids. This means I’m back at my gym this morning trying to get some steps. It’s still going to be a short set as I had to do a few necessary/timely work things and I have an appointment soon to have my stitches out.

I’m still taking the antibiotics and realizing now the internal swelling/scarring of the wound may take a while to heal. There’s still an obvious lump inside my lip, and as I understand it, it may not completely disappear for another month or so. At least I can eat and drink out of a straw again. It’s interesting how quickly one adapts to chewing on one side of their mouth.

The stupid part of all of it is that I truly thought I was being smart by going in last Monday before my trip. That I could wash my hands of it all and be in the clear to enjoy all the delicious things Austin has to offer. Instead, I struggled all weekend to do that. When we had our sushi lunch on Thursday I could hardly open my mouth enough to eat a roll. For crying out loud!! 😭

It is true that I did alleviate some anxiety with a positive confirmation of what it was however that was replaced with anxiety that I had some infection and that it was going to quickly spread and I was going to be hospitalized in a different city. Perhaps I should look into getting insurance because something like that would wipe me out completely.

I’ve been looking at my current situation from the perspective of a really healthy person and it’s hard to justify the cost. If I think instead about the fact that life is full of surprises, and that bad shit happens, perhaps I’d have already pulled the trigger on insurance.

I really have been meaning to look into it, but wanted to get my work hours and income stable before adding anothe expense. That’s probably also stupid, because life doesn’t wait for the opportune moment to hit you with something.

Anyway.. maybe I’ll do my taxes and use my refund to fund that effort. (That’s right, I still need to file taxes). Self proclaimed master procrastinator! 😜

Time to head to the dentist.

Peace (and stitches) Out,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-01-12 Another Departure from the Norm

It’s the second day in a row my morning routine is really off. Today it is not because of the weather or school being closed. Today it’s because I am too nice and previously made a commitment to someone to help out with a new business venture he is trying to start and this week that call came in. I’m basically meeting him and a prospective client at her business for a meeting. His vision is a good one, and this initial meeting will be very eye-opening as to whether or not he’s really on to something.

I’m not going to go into any details, because it’s really not my place to say more about it. In short, though, I’m sitting in an office now, waiting for the other folks to show up. This means I am not working out, not working, not reading, writing, cooking, or running errands. Those are all things I need to be doing and instead I’m doing this. I’m a little irritated about that, but I’m the one who offered (over a month ago), so I have no-one to blame but myself.

I probably will not be back home until 11:30, and if I decide to go grab some groceries quick while I am out, then I will be even later. I appreciate my schedule being this flexible, but I’m not going to make a habit of this. I need my routine. I also feel fairly uncomfortable being put in this position. Meeting new people is not my thing and I’ve only got a vague idea what I am doing here. I asked again yesterday what value he thinks I will add to this meeting, and the answer was “I don’t know, but plenty I’m sure”.

It’s now almost 9:40 and I’m still sitting in the lobby. The gal at the front desk gave me a tour of the place and it’s very nice. I feel like it would be a great place to work. The longer I sit here, the more it is wearing on my patience. I need to think about something else to distract myself from the whole thing.

***

With the strange nature of my day yesterday, I was not able to get my steps and I didn’t do jazzercise and I ended up being up quite late and then was not able to fall asleep. I had this new song stuck in my head and it was driving me nuts. “Havana” is the name of the song, and I really dig it, but when it’s going around and around in your head at half past midnight, it’s just rotten.

I ended up taking a half a Xanax. Well, I tried to cut one in half, but it split unevenly and so I took the smaller half. After that I tried to read little from one of the new books that arrived in my mailbox today. I’ve received 5 out of the 6 books I ordered but one of them was was the wrong book, so I had to “return it” and order the right one.

***

Here I am several hours later (4 to be exact), and just got home and finished lunch. That consumed over half of my day and it’s just total BS. Valuable for my friend, definitely, but eeeek I feel way behind now.

I might just chalk this one up to a total loss work wise and go read some more of my new books. I definitely don’t feel like I am in the frame of mind at all to look at the same documents I have been staring at for a week now and also don’t feel like learning something new on AWS. To be honest, now that I am home and have FINALLY eaten something today, I kind of want to crawl in bed and take a nap.

I haven’t seen my friend Leah since before Christmas and so I should really try to get to her Jazzercise class today.

OK… so all this nonsense today feels like me just typing out a big long rant as my day progresses so I’m just going to give up.

We’ll try again Tomorrow,
~Miss SugarCookie

2018-01-06 MFA Residency Day 6 – A Song Stuck On Repeat

After a while, all the days here seem to run together and there’s no difference from one to the next. It’s a steady rotation that cycles through eating and workshop and lecture and readings and then more eating. There’s lots of eating. I’ve never eaten this regularly since before I left home at 18.

I typically like that kind of routine but without all the comforts of home it starts to feel like Work trips I’ve been on where I have to be “on”, and it’s getting downright exhausting. Last night I tried to break up the monotony by having a couple glasses of wine at and after dinner. It was a little temporary relief from my anxiety, but not much.

I slept like garbage again last night so that’s not helping.

Something else a little different from yesterday was the dynamic in workshop. It was my day to be “workshopped”.

We all had to submit a small sampling of our work before residency and this was collected into packets and distributed to everyone. Then each day in workshop someone’s work comes under scrutiny by a small group (seven people, two faculty and five students). Yesterday it was my “turn”.

I’ve never had anyone ever give me feedback on anything I’ve written before, outside of teachers in school which was over 20 years ago now. It was interesting.

Interesting is a word you use when something is different but you’re not sure how you feel about it yet. Or, in my case, you have mixed emotions you haven’t figured out how to express yet. Let me see if I can give it a shot…

Some of the feedback was obvious, and conclusions I had already come to in doing a deeper dive into my own work this past month. Having someone validate that was good though, because it means I’m on the right track. That felt great.

(I need to include less abstraction and more concrete details and imagery. Too much rhyme that’s not necessary).

Other comments were more generalizations about me as a writer and they were very intuitive and I had to hold back tears. Literally. It wasn’t bad, but just hit so close to the heart of my life and that was surprising. Perhaps those comments were somewhat colored from previous interactions at Residency, but I’d like to think it comes through in my writing, which is what I want.

Those tears I was holding back were fueled with emotion (as I often am under the surface), but it wasn’t a bad thing.

After our time was up I had to go straight downstairs for the next lecture and so I had to push those emotions down. It wasn’t until after that that I was able to go back to the sanctuary of my room and let it out. I think I had more than just workshop bottled inside.

It was probably the last two or three days of emotional moments. It felt good to let it out.

It was like that break in the middle of the song where the singer makes a departure from the established patterns of melody and verse. It was refreshing.

And then we had to eat again.

I write of this like they are forcing us to eat, shoving the food in our general direction. That’s not the case, but if you don’t go to the dining room during meal hours, you don’t get to eat. That creates the feeling of being forced to eat. One could also leave for a meal, but that would of course involve leaving and coming back, and the schedule is pretty tight for that during the day. If I left to go somewhere at night I’d probably get in my car to drive and end up at my house and in that case, I’m not taking advantage of things I’ve paid for.

This whole thing is quite expensive and why would I pay for a night in a hotel or a meal at some shitty Mexican restaurant if I’ve already paid for filet? That’s just crazy talk.

In any case, these days and nights that are like a song stuck on repeat are nearing their end, so I just want to make the most of the time I have left. At the moment that means getting off this treadmill and going back to my room to get ready for breakfast.

Until Next Time,

~Miss SugarCookie

2017-12-18 On Routine and Some Things that Never Change

I’m now pretty set in my morning routine. I’m a serious creature of habit. One of the things I’ve gotten really used to at this point is going to the gym right after dropping the kids off at school. I was previously not looking forward to starting a new job and having to give that up. And now.. I don’t have to! Huzzah!!

The team I joined operates on west coast time. So it’s quite likely that at 8AM when I’m at the gym most of those folks are still in dreamland or just waking up. By the time I’m home and ready to roll, they are just getting online too.

The other side of that, of course, is potential commitments on the flip side.

For example, I’m already on a weekly project call every Monday at 8PM. Yowza!

I’ve actually got three meetings today and am feeling a bit nervous about everything. My brain knows it’s just because it’s all new and unfamiliar, but logic and reason are sometimes no match for feelings. It comes from a place deep inside that is irrational and can’t be explained.

It’s the same thing every time I’m doing something new with People I don’t really know. That mild social anxiety is just a part of who I am. I had it yesterday with the Hogwarts show and I’ll have it when I show up for my MFA residency on the 28th. It’s unavoidable.

The good news is that I’ve learned to conceal my feelings and most people probably don’t even realize that there’s this tight ball of turmoil in my gut. The other good news is that most of the time , once I’m finally in the moment, the feeling fades away. Most of the time.. not always.

I’m hoping that’s the case today. My first meeting is not until 3pm so I’ll just have to endure until then. For now, I’m just going to try and enjoy my QT at the gym and be grateful that that’s one thing that doesn’t have to change.

Ready or Not,

~Miss SugarCookie