30 August 2014


Last night I sat here and did some prepping for the classes I'm taking. I have three classes, two of which will require significant amounts of time. Up until this point I have been skating by with minimum effort. I could do that because I am fairly intelligent and can follow directions. These classes however, and the dissertation I have looming in my future, will take a lot more work. This will require a lot more discipline. I need to figure out some routine that will work for me. That is what this post is about. I need to figure out what my priorities are, what needs to be done to allow those priorities to be first and foremost, and how to live my life around that. I do have to leave for Crossfit in a little bit, so this post will be an ongoing one.

Let's start with my priorities. They are, in no particular order:

  • Crossfit
  • Schoolwork
  • Teaching
  • Walking the dogs
  • Relaxing
  • Eating right
  • Sleep

That is all I can think of at the moment. So let's examine these one by one and see if I can make them work.

Crossfit. The only real time that works for me is the 5 am class. If I do that class I need to get to bed by 8:30 pm, I also need to keep my diet on track. I need to eat right and eat regularly. That will not only keep my energy up, but help me feel better. So Crossfit requires food and sleep. Okay.

Schoolwork. Up until this point, I have been ignoring it and cramming it all in on weekends. That has worked okay until recently. The real problem with that is that my entire weekend is spent either working on schoolwork or thinking about it. That is no fun at all. To make it more manageable, I would like to work on it one hour a night. If I do one hour a night, this will accomplish many things. First, I will be able to prep for assignments so that I will be ready to write them on the weekends. Second, by knowing what needs to be done, I can be thinking about it even when I'm not thinking about it. This is how I work best. Figure out what needs to be done, then stew on it for a bit. This will also allow me to keep on top of discussions and not post everything on one day. I'm pretty sure that looks bad. In order to devote one hour a night to this, I will need to stop lying on the couch playing games on my phone at night. I do that almost every night after dinner. It's fine if there is nothing to do, but if I plan on getting this one hour in, that has to go. I can still watch TV, in fact having the TV on while I work tends to help me work better. So games will be relegated to late evenings when all work is done. So far, so good.

Okay, back from Crossfit and ready to tackle this problem. One thing I thought of while killing myself at Crossfit, is that I need to not let lazy get me. I usually come home from Crossfit, shower, eat, and then laze around for an hour or so. I need to not do that or I need to plan for that. I'm not really relaxing when all I can think about is the things I have to do. So if I'm going to be lazy for a bit, just plan for it and then really relax. Also, I need to set limits. If I have a small project that needs to be done, tell myself I can take a break when it's done. Or if I have a large project, tell myself I will work for an hour on it and set a timer. That does a couple of things. I know there is an end in sight, that I will not be sitting there all day. I know that I only have X amount of time and therefore it can not be wasted. This should also reduce distractions. If I think of something that needs to be done, write it down, and do it when the time/project is over.

Teaching. This is finally starting to fall into place. I'm adjusting to being back in school, to the schedule and to the classes. First, I need to utilize my free time in school productively. I don't have a lot of free time, but I do have some and I need to maximize that time. I generally have some time before and after school and I usually have one period a day free. Those must be productively utilized. Also, I should devote some time during the weekend to either grading or lesson plans. Ultimately I would like to have the entire week planned out for all classes so that I can just move on autopilot during the week. Nothing I hate worse than having 20 minutes and trying to come up with something to do. I don't have to devote a whole day, just a couple of hours to get organized and have a weeks plan in place.

Walking the dogs. That is just going to be an appointment I have every day. At 4:30 - 6:00 pm I walk the dogs. End of story. No questions asked. No matter how tired I am, or how much I have to do. Starting today, that will be a standing appointment. I have to remind myself how much I love walking the dogs, and I really do. It is generally quiet and peaceful and a nice way to transition from the fast pace of work to the relaxing evening. I can not look at it as a chore, because it's not. I do it because I love my dogs. So that will just be a standing thing.

Relaxing. I don't do that enough, because I constantly am thinking about what I need to be doing. So that stops this weekend. I will plan when I'm doing things and I will plan some relaxing time. Relaxing is just as important as getting things done.

Eating Right. This is so incredibly important. If I eat right, all the other things will fall into place fairly easily. If I don't eat right, I will struggle with every other aspect of my life. So I need to make this a priority. I need to spend some time on the weekends prepping and planning for the week of food. It is critical and needs to be planned into my schedule.

Sleep. This is even more important than eating right. If I don't get enough sleep, absolutely nothing else will work as it's supposed to. Sleep is key and I think it is an area where I have been falling down. Lately, I stay up to 9:30 - 10:00 on weeknights. I never stay up that late. Never. So starting this week, I'm going to bed at 8:30. That means starting to get ready at 8 pm. If I can get the Crossfit, schoolwork, teaching, walking the dogs, relaxing, and eating right in order, I may be able to ease up on this. But for now I need more sleep and I've just got to do it.

None of this is hard, it is just a matter of giving it thought and planning. While I need to make a plan and stick to it, I also need to remember to be flexible. Things change and I need to roll with the punches. Okay, I've given myself a whole lot to work on but, since I've been here for an hour, I'm going to take a break and relax for a while.

29 August 2014

Time to catch up

My classes ended last week and new classes start on Tuesday. Since all the information is online, I try to organize information in files so that I don't have to go online every time I want to check something. I have tried printing things out and keeping a binder. That doesn't work. I have created notebooks in OneNote. That doesn't work. I have created folders on OneDrive. That kind of worked. That probably worked better than anything else. I guess I'll go back to that. I also need to keep track of the dates, so I'll mark them all on my desk calendar now. Decisions, decisions, decisions......

This week has been okay. Not great, but better. Food has been so-so. I'm working on eating regularly and that definitely helps things. I'm also not completely exhausted when I get home. I'm still tired, but able to stay awake until bed time. There was no exercise this week, but I'm okay with that. I have to get back into the routine of working out. I'm thinking I'll go to bed earlier for a little bit until I adjust to the 5 am workouts.

That's about it. We are 4 weeks into school and things are finally starting to settle down and develop a routine. Yea!! That's all I feel like writing for now. Hopefully I'll write more over this weekend.

23 August 2014

It is a new day

That is one really good thing about this life. There is always a chance to start over. Today is that day for me. It all starts anew today. My plan for today is as follows:

Banana with almond butter before Crossfit
Paper writing
Vacuum house
Walk dogs
Party this evening

Tomorrow, wash, rinse, repeat.

I have a few things that need to get done this weekend, so I will work on them today. Tonight is a surprise party for a friend, so that should be fun. Oh yeah, need to buy a present. That's about it. Hopefully it will be warm so I can spend some time in the pool. Also, need to do a little cleaning around here, this desk is a disaster. Other than that, just taking it easy.

So one step at a time.

22 August 2014

Time to rein all things in

The nightmare that was my last job is now officially over. I got my first paycheck at my new job. This is my first paycheck in 3 months. It felt good to be able to sit and pay my bills. I have gotten behind on one and I need to catch up. What I have decided to do though is put myself on a money diet. For the next few months I am not spending anything except what I absolutely have to. We have plenty of money, we make plenty of money, we just spend too freely. Once before I completely turned it around. I turned it around enough to buy this house. I can do it again and I am going to. The financial goals are to get the three credit cards paid off - that should not take long - get my car paid off, and start putting an extra payment towards the mortgage. It is all possible, I just need to stop the indiscriminate spending. I see something and I buy it. Enough. The only money I'm allowed to spend is for Crossfit every month. That is it.

In other news. I have got to get control of myself. My eating, though not horrible except at night, is just too sporadic. I don't eat breakfast. I eat at 10am. I don't eat until 3 pm. This has got to stop. I have got to get a routine around eating and I have got to stick to it. I need to figure out when I am going to eat, and that switches everyday, and then just stick to it whether I am hungry or not. I don't eat at lunch, then by 2:30 I am so hungry I can't see straight so I eat. Then I'm not hungry for dinner. It's a terrible, terrible cycle. I have got to break it and I have got to do it this week. That will be my goal this weekend, to come up with a plan.

I also have to get my butt back to Crossfit. I was just plain old lazy this week. I did not go to Crossfit and I did not walk the dogs. All. Week. Tomorrow that changes. Tomorrow morning will be Crossfit and the dogs in the afternoon. Same for Sunday. And Monday for that matter. I remember when I started at the lab, my feet hurt for weeks. Going from basically sedentary to on your feet all day takes a couple of weeks to adjust to. I have had 3 weeks to adjust to school and I'm over the feeling. Time to just suck it up and move on.

I know that I have said this for the last few weeks, but those weeks were brutal. I would come home exhausted with feet that hurt so bad I could hardly walk. That was part of the reason I took it easy on myself this week. I wanted to get over that feeling and I knew this was week number 3 and it should be passing now. So this weekend I am going to really look things over. When can I eat? What can I eat, because many times I am grabbing food as I run. I need to keep it simple, but tasty so that I will eat it. Planning, planning, planning....that's what it's all about this weekend.....

18 August 2014

Another new start

Last week was not that bad. I have to let it go and move on. That started today with a new week. I did pretty good today. In spite of being really tired last night, I made myself breakfast and lunch. I went to Crossfit this morning. When I got to school at 7 am, I wasn't hungry. I ate a banana and moved on. At my break at 10 am I was definitely hungry. I did not want to eat my breakfast though, so I ate my lunch - cheese sticks wrapped in ham delish!!! Came home and jumped in the pool. Had some poke and potato chips. Waiting for dinner of pot roast and veggies. Yum. Hope to have some for lunch tomorrow too.

The good news is that I have stopped the upward progression of the scale. For the last 3 weeks it has been at exactly the same weight. That is a good thing. I need to get in moving in the downward direction, but not going up is good.

That's all I have to say. I'm tired and want to eat dinner.

14 August 2014

Everything is a learning process

I started this week with the intention of it being perfect. I would eat right. I would Crossfit. I would be drink water like it was my job. I even said to myself, I plan on dropping about 10lbs of water weight this week. Well, if only I was perfect and that had worked out for me. But it didn't. I did well on breakfast. Most days. Lunch was mostly good, though some days I either didn't eat it or I ate it really late. Dinner was pretty good. But i had dessert almost every night. I ended most work days hungry and ate some crap. One day I ate 1/2 a bag of peppermint patties. Sigh...I need to get a handle on my schedule and a grip on my prep work so that these things don't happen. I need to be able to take the time and eat lunch at lunch time. Not spend the day running all over so that by 3pm I'm wiped and starved. I have also discovered that I don't like some of my old favorites. I used to love pork butt but I made one last week and bleh.... I need to come up with some decent recipes to make ahead for lunch. I also need to some planning for the entire week on the weekends so that I am not planning on the fly.

So, I'm not perfect, but then I've never claimed to be. So I've tried and it didn't quite work out the way I wanted it to, but I'll keep trying. Next week is another chance to try.

10 August 2014

One little thing

Since getting the pool, I spend a lot of time in a bathing suit. All of my bathing suits were old, faded, and the elastic was losing it's elastic. While out today we stopped at Kmart and I found this suit. It's a two-piece, tankini kind of thing. I absolutely love it. The bottom is generous to cover my butt and the top fits perfectly. It is amazing how one small thing can just change your attitude all around. I feel so good in this suit. I am so comfortable. I can wear it all day. And I will wear it all day as I jump in and out of the pool - it's hot here today. But this one small thing has just turned my attitude right around.

Before going to Kmart, we went to Costco. There were a few things we needed. Somewhere over the course of this weekend, I made the decision to clean up my eating. I'm not sure when, where, or why that happened. I do know there was not talking, debating, compromising, or anything else. My brain at some point just said enough. While in Costco I bought salad stuff, so I could have big salads all week. I have some cooking planned for today to prep me for next week and apparently that is that. Weird, but good. I like when my brain decides things without consulting me. Between the decision to clean up my eating and the new bathing suit, I should have my act together in no time at all.