challenges

My OLW for 2022

It’s a new year. I haven’t felt especially inspired to write down goals and priorities this year, except one. This priority has become my OLW (One Little Word) for 2022: Rest. (You can read about some of my previous OLW choices here and here.)

I’ve been thinking about rest (and my issues with it) for months now. I have midlife sleeplessness that I need to work on to improve my wellness. I’ve been bookmarking strategies to work on that for a while. But there are less obvious ways I have noticed I need rest. For example, I scroll mindlessly through social media too often. This usually just fills up space or extra time or just keeps me occupied. A half hour can easily slip by and I feel like I wasted time. Sometimes I even feel tired afterwards even though it’s a sedentary activity. On the flip side, if I go outside and take a walk for a half hour, I feel so much better. I feel refreshed, renewed, and like I did something for myself. Nature has that effect on me. The same thing happens when I take time to do something creative.

Here’s what it boils down to: I’m not just physically tired, I’m often mentally / emotionally / spiritually tired. So this year’s rest isn’t just a focus on more or better sleep. It isn’t just napping or zoning out. It’s more about taking intentional and purposeful breaks. And not just distracting myself during those breaks, but trying to savor those pauses as a part of my health and life balance.

I made a list of all the things rest can look like this year. I may add more. For now, I’m just trying to incorporate more into each day and notice when I am doing it (or not).

Here’s just a few from my list of what rest can look like:

-stretching

-reading / writing / reflection / daydreaming

-meditation

-pulling back

-nature

-saying no to commitments that are too much

-play

-focusing on my breath

We will see how I do in my quest for rest!

Did you choose a word, a goal, or something else to guide your new year?

mental health, nature, Teddie Bear Adventures

Lazy Rainy

Today I woke to be lazy. I hit snooze on the alarm. I didn’t wake until a friend texted. I was too late to catch up with my morning crew so I opted for a lazy day.

It was a cold dark morning. The chill in the fall air. A stronger breeze than normal. The rain was here as well. I needed a heavy jacket to go outside. My sweats seemed like the perfect attire for the day.
Each trip to walk outside with the dogs was a little different. A little colder each time. The rain picked up. The cooler air meeting the rain created an icier effect on your hands and face. The crisp cold air set the tone for my lazy day with every trip outside.

To be truthful I did work the day, just in my sweats. I seemed more productive but I may have taken a few extra breaks in the day to observe the chilly weather. This gave me extra time to snuggle my pups and they enjoyed it because they felt the change in temperature. They were happy to be towel dried when they came in from their potty breaks and found the blankets on the couch for their snuggle time too.
I took a rain check on my evening plans to snuggle up with a blanket and just relax. 

As you can see I had a good buddy to snuggle with. Of course my other buddy was wanting to have a snuggle spot too.

These two pups keep me in check. They are there when it’s time to be lazy. They are there for snuggles. Lots of unconditional love going both was with these fur babies.

I didn’t think I had a favorite time of year but I am enjoying the crisp and cooler air combined with the comforts of home and time with my pups.

Teddie Bear Adventures

Sunday Silence

It’s rest day! Well it’s the one day that I allow the most rest and the least scheduling for most parts of the year. I’ve missed my rest day the past being gone so for many reasons and time was catching up with others me.

Generally speaking it’s a day off of gym training. If I missed a day I may add it in but generally I’m not at the gym before 6am. For that reason alone it’s a rest day. A hike in the fall. Some farm chores. A walk. A bike ride may all fill in rest day but nothing too strenuous.

I generally like to have breakfast on Sunday. Some fresh eggs or whatever is available. Today was a hot tea kind of morning. A little peach tranquility and jade mint topped with honey for a fall morning. A little lounging. Some cleaning. Usually some laundry. But it seems everyone rests on Sunday too. The dogs. The family. Thus the Sunday silence. I’m awake usually as my body clock knows the time. However i purposely rest and relax.

Today I’m drifting in/out of sleepiness listening to pup one breathe. A restful breathing pattern with an occasional lip smacking. Oh how I wonder what she is dreaming about. Nestled at the foot of the bed. On guard of her baby sister sleeping in her crate at the foot of the bed. An anchored view of sorts. The puppy breathes a little heavier. The puppy tosses and turns some where, you hear her nails touching the bottom of the crate. These sounds are soothing to me. Like a mom listening to her human baby sleep. It’s a peaceful state.

The pups got a little morning treat today. Some cold milk and a sampling of bacon. This is just to hold them over before I run to the store to get them some treats for the week. Yes they are spoiled.

Motherhood is motherhood. Whether a pet mom or human mom. A mom’s worry or wonder is never far. For this morning I cheer silently for all the moms out there doing the best they can with what they have under the circumstances around them. It’s never easy.

challenges, perspective

Sleepless Shit List

Do you ever have a sleepless night? I do. Sometimes I’m worrying about a kid. Sometimes I’m thinking about a deadline. Sometimes I’m mad. I could even be excited for an upcoming trip. Anxious for a doctor appointment. Any number of reasons.

Today’s reason was just the normal bullshit that built up over the week. Anger would be the feeling or distraction. Wrestling with my kids to find solutions. Planing ahead.

Thinking about rainy day scenarios. Covid blah. Sort of like playing a game of chess with yourself inside your brain. Sounds fun right? Not exactly.

If I don’t sleep good my workout sucks in the morning. If my workout doesn’t flow my morning usually blows. From there the day goes down hill. Add in the crazy of a normal day and everything magnifies.

I am sure there are people in worse situations and that’s why I hit the reset rainbow button in the morning. Training my mind to see the rainbows and sunshine in the day vs focusing on life’s blunders.

Some days this works better than others. Today I decided to make a shit list in my head. Hopefully to tire myself out. Ironically I fueled it. Like gasoline on a fire. Poof. The shit list went from in my head to paper to the white board.

Who is on it? What did they do? How does one get off it? Is it even possible to get off the shit list? So many questions. The point is I have a shit list currently. Funny how my sleepless night turned into a shit list.

I tried to soothe my mind as the weekend approached. I put the AirPods in for a cardio session at the gym. I eased the anger a bit it not enough. I spent time with a loved one. It took the edge off but not enough. I mowed acres of grass. The fresh cut smell of grass was soothing. I found an escape even if temporary.

I circled back to my environment and the shit list was still there. Each of the top three independently made selfish decisions yet again confirming their status on the shit list. How funny to be awake and realizing what I dreamed in my sleep was factual.

So crazy. The shit list remains. Those on it know. Now it’s up to them to get off it. But will they?

fitness and nutrition, health

Aches

Oh my quads. 

Oh no my pec muscles.

Geez my triceps hurt too.

Oh my traps.

Oh my hip flexors are undeniably tight.

Oh my hammies. Yes, my hamstrings hurt too.

Oh my ass and all those fibers in the gluteus maximus. They all hurt. A slight bend or shift and I feel them all.

The hinge. The doorway stretch. They help but they show tightness that one can’t see. What would my body look like under my skin?

No joke. Everything seems to be achy this Tuesday morning. Was I hit by a car? No. It’s the after effects of the Murph Hero WOD I did on Monday. I’ve been doing this workout for the past five years and I never remember being this sore.

Is it old age?

Did I lack preparation?

Did I not warm up properly?

Was I sleep deprived?

I am sure there was a combination of all of the above. I also probably didn’t fuel my body as well as I could have the weekend prior either. Now I’m suffering.

I had a nap late Tuesday. My body said it was a requirement. I didn’t fight the urge. It helped my recovery. I slept in Wednesday. Something I hardly ever do. My body said thank you. I’m getting less sore by the minute.

Why suffer? Why would I even think about doing this workout again? The irony is I will probably do this again for many more years to come. Maybe not for the aches afterwards but for the tribute to those who are no longer able to do the workout. 

Soldiers lost in the line of duty. Soldiers suffering with a lifelong injury. Soldiers suffering in silence. Veteran near and far whom I honor.

My pain is temporary. I’m able to write about it and get on with my life even if I move slower. I’m still moving.

This years pain and suffering was an honor. A badge of courage. Another tribute year in the books. As I end this post I will most likely head to bed early again today for yet another round of rest!