2020-01-31 The Play By Play +

I spent 6+ hours yesterday breaking up and shoveling chunks of ice down the driveway. I spent 6+ hours doing that instead of all the other stuff on my to-do list because, well, it just needed doing. In some places the ice was 2+ inches thick and we’ve been buying ice melt like it’s the new black.

The trick, EH tells me, is to put down little piles of it so when it melts through the water and chemicals will get under the ice and start working to detach it from the cement. A very helpful life hack, by the way. It would help if we had a nice easy sloped driveway so that gravity was also on our side, which it is at the end of the driveway but for the Most part it’s flat, so there is no place for the water to go.

That’s what I spent those hours on… ushering the wannabe water down the driveway into the street before it all melts and just sits there waiting for another freeze so it can be ice again. What’s up with THAT identity crisis?! That’s Nebraska.

In related news, it’s going to be in the 50’s and sunny on Sunday. Wowza!! A girl could not ask for better weather for her winter wedding in Nebraska! I could not in a million years have predicted that. But, it’s just icing you know. I’m already getting to marry the man of my dreams. Everything else is small stuff.

Anyway, there are 2+ consequences for my actions for yesterday. First, I’m sore as hell. Everything hurts. Ugh! Second is the fact that I was still cleaning and doing special house chores at like 9pm. Nothing like cleaning toilets at 9pm. Ugh! After that, we ran through the script together to put our collective finishing comments in, for which I was already too brain dead to care. An hour of talking later and I got the bed.

The “plus” in the two plus would be the shitty nights sleep. Despite getting 7.5 hours and FitBit giving it the score of 80 (which is supposed to be good) it was rotten. I had strange wired dreams all night long.

In one, I was in a mall and ran into my ex and we started walking and talking, there’s nothing particularly nightmarish about that but the vibe was no bueno. I also had the eerie sense I was going to be stuck wandering that mall for the rest of my life. Ewwww.

In another dream I was back in residency but had elected to skip about half of the sessions and was in a tight spot, knowing I was going to fail. What’s worse is that I missed the required session, a new bit where we were trained on how to master some random carnival game that involved shooting. Yes, because that’s essential to get a masters in creative writing. 😂

I almost don’t want to say what happened next, but remember, it’s just a dream. I went into a room that was set up for practicing this new skill, but it looked more like a tiny doctors office with an exam table. I was so tired, I left the lights off and decided it would be a good place to take a nap, so I climbed on the exam table.

A couple of folks came in and flipped on the light, and the only thing I remember after that is reading a sign on the wall saying that no masturbation was allowed in the room. Omg. Thinking about that now it seems super funny, but In the dream I was mortified. 😱🤣

I woke up after each dream needing to use the bathroom and then trying to go back to sleep. The last one was similar to the second dream in that it was related to my MFA. It had something to do with having a conversation with one of the mentors. She was giving me advice, or maybe reading tarot cards for me. I don’t remember. Again not a bad dream, per se, but a negative vibe.

At 4am my brain started to race about all the stuff that still needs to get done today. I took a half a Xanax and went back to sleep. I slept until 7. And now your all caught up on the play by play from yesterday to right efffing now.

Right now (2 days to go yo!! 💃), I’m getting what will likely be my last treadmill session before all the things with all the stuff start happening. Literally. Just about every minute is accounted for and I’m already exhausted. Jim is off today so the first order of business is grocery shopping for food for the party tomorrow. After that we divide and conquer our respective tasks.

By about 1, we should be wrapping that up and I need to scoot my booty out west for getting my nails done with my friend Sam. Let me tell you, they really need it. Right now though, I would trade that in a heartbeat for a full body massage. Oh my aching body.

That’s probably enough wandering the streets of the a SugarCookie brain for one morning. It’s Go Time!

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-10-18 Friday One-Track-Mind, the Coffee Edition ☕️

I’m like inches from caving on the whole abstaining from caffeine thing. I’m sure I’m wasting so much mental energy trying to resist excuses my body keeps throwing at me why I should cave in. It’s pulling ALL kinds of reasons why

.. it’s a silly experiment, not helping my sleep situation, not harmful for me, not a big deal, needed for a quick boost to get something done, needed to aid digestion…. you name it and I’ve thought of it.

I really won’t be able to tell if it helps my sleep/exhaustion situation unless I really stick to it for multiple weeks AND have no other variables in the mix messing with my stats. Quite honestly, that’s probably impossible. Take last night for example.

I stayed up later than I should because it’s the only time I was going to get quality time with Jim. Then I was up at 4 am taking care of my daughter who got sick in the middle of the night. This resulted in a 5 hour sleep. No bueno!

Now it’s about 8:30am and I’m super tired. It won’t matter if I have caffeine or not if I can’t somehow fix the behavior patterns. To be fair, the 4am wake-up is rare now that my kids are older, but if it’s not the kids, it’s the cats or my bladder or my brain.

I can say that quitting drinking anything after 7pm has made a positive impact on my situation and so has kicking the cats out of the bedroom. Those changes are easy and also easy to keep doing. I even had a few nights when my Fitbit gave my sleep a “good” score.

The Fitbit app used to just report the length you were asleep and in different sleep stages. Now they have this algorithm that spits out a score. I have consistently fallen into the “fair” category, with a “good” score (anything above 80 I think) being quite elusive.

I haven’t had an 80+ night since I stopped the caffeine and my brain is even using THAT against me. It’s saying “see, it’s not helping”. And “caffeine in the morning won’t hurt your sleep at night”. And “you had a rough night and it would be a nice warm treat to help wake you up”.

Man, I could really go for a coffee right now. Ugh!!

My plan this morning is to try and distract myself with activities until it gets to lunchtime which is when the craving starts to go away.

Really… this caffeine thing is small potato’s. I mean, life is good. But the sleep and exhaustion are real problems I need to figure out. I feel like I’m living with a chronic problem that I’m going to have for the rest of my life. Then I think that it’s probably just my age. And then I think that fucking sucks. AND THEN I THINK (wait for it)….

Just have a coffee and you’ll feel better. 😂

There you have it folks. My Friday one-track-mind brain dump. Good grief!

Time to Jam.

~Miss SugarCookie

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

2018-11-25 Spin that Sunday Status DJ

It’s been such a strange long holiday weekend that today hardly feels like a Sunday. Alas it is yet, it will continue to not feel like Sunday since I have to work on multiple projects including preparing for another release of software tomorrow. I also have the house decorating party with the kids today and if I’m feeling ambitious I will work on my final summaries for school. We’ll see.

Last night I fell asleep at around 8 and woke up after 9. Since I’m low on sleep right now it would have been great to just sleep right through to this morning but that didn’t happen. I ended up going back to sleep around midnight with a little help from my little blue friend, Doxylamine succinate (Unisom SleepTabs). It’s an OTC antihistamine like Benadryl. It knocked my ass out and I slept until nearly 9, which was glorious. That kind of stuff leaves me feeling groggy and I don’t like that so I try not to do it too often. Like I said, it felt necessary which is the perfect lead in for today’s status…

Sleep.. 6 hours and 23 minutes per night on average for the week. Well under goal caused by a few seriously short nights. What’s up with that Mr. DJ??!! That made my monthly and yearly averages go down and I’m now just below my overall goal of 7 hours. 🤔

Exercise.. 14.3K steps per day. At the moment I’m only getting exercise from gym time and not taking classes at all so that’s all coming from the elliptical and treadmill and yard work. I haven’t lifted for months and I’m afraid my arms have turned to flab. I’m thinking about starting Jazzercise again which would help with that. 😊 I’m sort of holding off on that until the semester is over so I don’t start using that as an excuse to procrastinate.

Healthy Eating… Nearing the end of the month and at the beginning of November I had such high hopes with my goals. I’m sad to report most of that went to shit. There was too much drinking and indulging and the only thing I would count as a success is my abstaining from coffee and sweet drinks like that. It’s probably the wrong way to look at things but.. there’s always next month. 🤷‍♀️

Work.. My hours are low due to the holiday and I haven’t yet added them up for the week. I’m going to give this one a double – 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️

School.. Wrapping up the semester this next week. I spent a ton of time in the last week working on my 4th packet and finally pulled the trigger on sending that off yesterday (only 4 days late). Great success! ✅👍🏻✅. I also had a conversation with the coordinator of my MFA program letting her know I’m not enrolling this next term and will be returning in the fall. She understood and was overjoyed to hear about my engagement. Which leads right to my relationship status..

Happily Engaged! 💍 1 month out from celebrating our first Christmas together , 🎄, 2 months out from moving 🏰. These are crazy times. There’s nothing like getting everything you own out for decorating and packing at the same time. My house is likely to be a disaster for the next two months. Strangely, I’m ok with that. 😜

It feels like I’m forgetting something DJ?! What, oh what could that possibly be because I feel like I’ve already said too much.

Without further ado, It’s time now for me to switch gears and get back to enjoying my Sunday that’s not really a Sunday. 🎄✅😜👍🏻💍🤔🏰🤷‍♀️😊

12K and Climbing,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-11-24 Twenty Minutes to Midnight

I can’t believe I used to only write in the evenings. I can’t believe that I used to sit in my bed and write on my laptop. Nowadays, it is second nature for me to wake up and hit the gym and start thinking and writing right away. In fact, I started/wrote over half of my last two essays for school from the elliptical machine. Now as I sit here, twenty minutes to midnight, my brain is so dang tired I can’t even focus to write a few coherent sentences (so far so good though). This last few weeks has been a touch on the stressful side and that is part of the reason I am taking a break from school for a semester. Today I finished my 4th and final packet of this term and while that helps a little, I don’t feel as much of a weight being lifted as I expected. That must mean that the stress is being caused by something else.

It could be work or something about the upcoming move or the holidays (probably some combination of all three), but it is resulting in a lack of sleep. I think I mentioned very recently that I am no longer keep as close a watch on my stats as I used to, but believe me, since I have been feeling it, I’ve picked back up on monitoring things again. This week alone has been terrible, with my average so far being below 6.5 hours and it is only that hight because I’ve been taking naps during the day to try and compensate. Last night I got less than 5 hours of sleep and man, did I feel the pain of that today. It’s so true that if you don’t get good sleep everything is affected.

Interestingly enough, I’ve taken some form of sleep aid a few times, but that does not seem to be working. The problem is back to the same old think I used to face which is waking up early and not being able to fall back asleep. I’m actually out of Xanax or I would totally have used that a couple of times now.

I supposed the cause is, as always, not being able to shut off my stupid brain. Why must it be trying to solve problems at 5AM AND need to be awake for that? Why can’t it just solve all of those issues while I am asleep and dreaming like everyone else? I don’t know, but it is now 9 minutes to midnight and I’m needing to call it a night. I’m sure all of this will still be “just so” in the morning and I’ll be in a better spot to continue on – back in my happy place on my elliptical machine.

Until Tomorrow,
~Miss SugarCookie

2018-10-21 The How-Is-It-Sunday-Again-Already Status

Remember a few short months ago when I was all like “I love Monday’s, Monday’s are great! Monday is one of my favorite days of the week!”?! Yeah, I hope you didn’t believe those lies. I guess the more you come to treasure your weekends, the more it seems to go too fast, the more you are totally bummed to spend your Sunday’s thinking about the fact that you’re not ready for Monday. That’s real life I guess. It was nice while it lasted though.

That’s the trick, to enjoy the current moment while it’s here and not think too much about how things will change or dwell needlessly on tomorrow.

My week and weekend is almost over and I’ve only crossed off like two things from my list and have about 10 more to try and tackle today. The procrastination is REAL and I honestly wonder what I’ve actually done. Perhaps today’s status report will reveal the truth? Let’s find out…

Sleep.. 7 hours and 35 minutes average sleep per night. Ok so I slept more. That explains a little. It’s sort of misleading though since I was sick for most of the week. Being heavily medicated will do that to a person, plus I had a few serious naps which is factored in on the FitBit calculation. Last Sunday I collectively slept for 10 hours. Wow.

Exercise/Steps.. 16K steps per day and that’s more than it has been in a while. I spent considerable time in the gym on the treadmill and doing yard work. When I don’t feel well and my brain can’t focus, I can still move my body. It’s really one of the only things I can do to not feel terrible about not accomplishing much else.

Food/Healthy Eating.. Forget about it.

School.. I met with my mentor on Tuesday despite having the longest day in the history of the world and she extended my next deadline to next Wednesday. I’m therefore deep in the weeds of trying to get that done. Seriously contemplating taking a semester off. I’m in it to win it, I just want to take my time. I want to learn.

Work.. I only worked about 25 hours this past week. Whatever. The good news is that I was mostly doing things that I enjoy. This week coming up will also be a short one too. I’ve got two PTO days planned for different reasons and will not be working the weekend at all.

Relationship Status.. Engaged and loving life. Looking forward to an amazing life together.

What else? Oh, a few months ago I included a new status about what show I’m watching. I’ve really not kept up with reporting on that. Jim and I finished watching the Colony series and I highly recommend that for any fellow sci-fi, dystopian fiction nerds. It was awesome.

We’ve just started a new show called “Maniac”. We’re just two episodes in and it’s too early to make a judgement call on it. So far very interesting and weird. Really weird.

I would also share what books I’m reading but it’s all poetry and “ain’t nobody got time for that”.. including me apparently. /sigh

That’s it for this week. Peace, ☮️

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-08-07 A Revealing Retrospective

Back to the normal routine.. Getting to bed by 10, waking up around 6 or 7, doing a quick check on production, taking my morning “meds”, getting to the gym for some cardio, giving some love to myself by writing out what is on my mind. But the time 9:30 rolls around, I typically feel pretty great about my day.

I adopted this routine last year when I quit my job and it’s been great. Fortunately I’ve been able to retain this schedule with the job I took on in January. Having most of the team on the west coast (and beyond) is great!

Not only am I a serious creature of habit, but I’ve also figured out what works for me, which is more than half the battle in life. I think everyone has a different formula and it takes a lot of messing around and experimentation to nail it down. Of course there are other variables besides sleep and exercise and ingesting the right things (like having financial security and a supportive relationship), but even before I met Jim I had transformed from an exhausted stress ball to a happier, less stressed, more fulfilled human being.

It’s important to reflect on the changes and recognize what the major players on. Here’s the breakdown:

Sleep (still priority #1).. Prior to 2017, my average sleep was typically between 5 and 6.5 hours per night which often included some 4 hour nights sprinkled in. Ouch. Now I’m getting between 7 and 8 hours a night. That’s more in line with what science says a human being needs to have healthy recovery.

“Meds” .. This one I’m still always tweaking and thinking about, but things are so much better now. I used to take pain meds for headaches almost daily. I would wake with a headache and pop some pills. If I had any ache, I’d immediately take ibuprofen too. I also experimented with a lot of sleep aids to try and fix my insomnia. I also often took a daily allergy pill and other vitamins/supplements randomly. My medicine cabinet was full.

Now I rarely take pain meds and don’t get headaches anymore. I take one circumun in the morning which is a natural anti anti-inflammatory. I sometimes take the lortadine which is an otc allergy medicine that does not make me drowsy. I’m trying to ween myself off caffeine and am cutting a pill in half each day which turns out to be about 100 mg. That’s equivalent to about a cup of coffee or energy drink. I’m therefore getting that dose without the extra sugar. That’s important to me. And, as a byproduct of my sleeping better, I rarely take any sleep aid.

Now is the Circumun better than tylenol better for me. The answer is a resounding yes. Even if they have the same anti-inflammatory properties, one is reactive and one is pro-active. On Tylenol still had a headache almost every day, I’d take it and it would go away. With this new regimine I don’t even get the headache. I actually take the circumin 2 and 3 times a day if I remember to but even if I forget, I’m still good.

I’ve stopped taking any vitamins and just trying to eat healthy instead. The trouble with vitamins is that I can’t really tell any difference when I take or don’t take them. Take biotin for example. It’s supposed to promote healthy hair and nails, but I’ve never detected any difference.

In the last week I’ve started taking a new supplement, DIM, which is supposed to help the hormones in the body. I was instructed to from a healthcare provider which I went to see for a minor procedure last week. Like I said, the experimentation is ongoing. I don’t expect to feel anything specific from this supplement, but I will most certainly feel differently from the accompanying treatment, namely hormone replacement therapy.

Last Thursday I went into my OBGYN to have an insertion of testosterone pellets. Wait.. what? Isn’t testosterone a male hormone. Well, yes, but it’s not an exclusive club. Women have a certain level of testosterone too and the levels being correct are just as important as estrogen and progesterone. As it turns out, I have low testosterone. The resulting symptoms are fatigue, lack of focus, poor memory, dry skin, and more. The fatigue is my number one.

Despite the great sleep and caffeine, I still get so tired in the afternoons, by the time 9 or 10pm hits, I’m literally falling asleep where I sit. I discussed this concern with my doc and she suggested testosterone supplements. They did labs as a part of my regular check up and included a testosterone level.

The good news is that my labs look great. Cholesterol, thyroid, and even iron (wow), look great. I’m a healthy person. The testosterone was still in the normal range but on the low side and might explain my fatigue. She therefore recommended this course of treatment.

Unfortunately it’s not a pill I can just take every day. It’s a pellet that they insert under your skin (ouch). The give a shot of a local anesthetic to numb the area and then make a small incision where the insert the pellets up under the skin. This was basically done on the side of my booty, which is why I’ve been sore for 3 or 4 days and have not been able to do the elliptical.

Today is the first day I’m back to a full set. According to the doc I won’t feel any different for a few weeks. I’m hopeful it’s going to have a positive affect with minimal side effects. I’m hoping that this is also a proactive solution, as opposed to the caffeine being more reactive. We’ll see.

As for a retrospective on other aspects of my health, that’s worth a deeper dive too, but I’ve run out of time. That will have to wait for some future day.

Until Tomorrow,

~Miss SugarCookie