04 February 2023

Maybe not the why, but the how

 Last post I was struggling to find the why. Why am I working out? Why do I want to be healthy? Why do I need to take care of myself? Yes, those seem like obvious questions until you have to tag an activity to them. Then you find that the obvious just doesn't cut it. You need the truth for you. Anyway, I came up with a why - sort of. My why is to have a healthy mind & body. Working out and eating right keeps your mind sharp well into old age. And I did kind of determine that my mind and my mental capacities were the most important to me. So I just put my foot down and said, okay, this is it. I'm going to figure this out if it freaking kills me. Spoiler alert - it didn't. So I got up Monday morning and got ready for work. I was ready almost 30 minutes before I had to leave. Hmmmm....  I came home Monday, walked Mavy, worked out, and ate dinner all in rapid succession. Hmmmm..... I got up Tuesday and got ready for work and I was again almost 30 minutes early. I like getting to school before I need to be there, but there is not reason I need to be there that early. Hmmm..... Came home from work, walked Mavy, worked out, and ate dinner all in rapid succession. Wait a minute!! Something can be done here. With all the time I have left over in the morning, I could fit a short workout in. I sit on my phone for 20-30 minutes killing time. Why not spend that time working out?  Well, Wednesday was the big test. I don't have a first period on Wednesdays so if I'm a little late it won't matter at all. Got up Wednesday, meditated, and jumped in the headset for a short 15 minute workout. Got done, showered, got ready for work, and was still ready at my regular time. Now mind you I was not rushing in any way. So that was good. Thursday I got up, meditated, and jumped into the headset for a 20 minute workout. Still was ready in plenty of time. The best part about this was that my energy was through the roof all day. I had as much energy for my 6th chemistry class as I did for my first. It was awesome. Both days I came home from work, walked Mavy and was good. Yesterday, Friday, we had a meeting in Queen Creek, so I got up, meditated, worked out, showered, walked Mavy, and then headed out. It's fabulous. I really enjoy working out in the mornings. It gets me fired up and really sets the tone for the day. I guess all those years of morning workouts have just made me a morning workout person. So yesterday was my 5th day in a row in the headset. That has not happened in months and months and months. I know that I need rest days. And I know that today will be very active, we are getting the new patio set up, so I am thinking of not working out this morning. I will again tomorrow though. I'm thinking 5-6 days a week should be good. I know myself and I know that once I get into the routine I will want to do more. So at this moment I'm just focusing on 15 - 20 minutes in the headset every morning. When I want more I will figure it out. I also know that in a short time I will want to start lifting weights. I'm good to wait for that to come, when it does I will figure it out. 

One of the things that is a side benefit of morning workouts, at least for me, is the feeling that I get of being a rock start all day long. I don't want to eat junk because I got up and worked out in the morning. That feeling follows me all day long, right up to dinner and bedtime. It's like starting the day with a win that big, sets me up to want wins all day long. 

And again, the energy levels. They are literally through the roof. And I've just started. What's going to happen after a few weeks or a few months of this? 

So bottom line, I don't know if I really and truly found my why. Yes, the health of my mind is super important to me and whenever I feel it starting to slip I get a little concerned. So that is really important to me. But finding a way to fit working out into my life without a lot of changes has really helped. I know that I can do something even if I'm not 100% committed to it if I can make it part of my routine. Making it part of the routine in many ways helps me to commit to it. So I feel like I've found an answer and will continue to workout in the mornings until I determine something else might be better. 

29 January 2023

Finding my Why

 I believe that this is my biggest hurdle to mastering self-care. I don't have a huge, overriding why. I don't. I have a number of things I'm running from. But running from something has never really worked for me. I need to be working towards something. It was easy when I was racing. Easy. I had a race in X days so I needed to run X miles to be ready. Or swim X times. Or bike X times. It was easy then. I never realized how easy it was to have races as goals. If you have kids it's sort of easy too. You want to not only be around for them but to be able to do things with them. That means taking care of yourself. But what are the goals when you are looking retirement in the eye and racing or kids are not on your plate? What is the why then? 

I say things like I want to travel. Well, that requires decent health but not optimal health. I can travel just the way I am just fine. 

I say I want to do things like hike the Grand Canyon. But do I really believe that? Am I going to do that by myself? Would I like to do that? Absolutely!! But is it realistic. 

Okay, that made me think some. Is it realistic? It absolutely could be. There is no reason on God's green earth why I couldn't hike the Grand Canyon. No reason at all. Except my physical condition. I get ads for walking tours of Ireland and Egypt and all these amazing places and I think I would like to do that. But in my condition - at the moment - I couldn't do that. I couldn't hike for days on end. And I want to. I want to see the world. I want to experience the world. 

I look at people, people I know, and see that they hardly leave their house. Their entire world is encapsulated in this small, small area. I definitely don't want to live like that. But running away from something has never worked well for me. 

But, is wanting to travel and walk and hike good enough? I'm not sure. I know that I don't want to be dependent on anyone. I want to be independent for as long as is possible. So maybe that's it. 

Brutal honesty here. In many ways, I feel like so much of this is a pipe dream because of Hubby. Hubby does nothing to take care of himself. He doesn't seem to care that he is grossly overweight and struggles to do the simplest things. So I know that he will never go with me on one of these vacations and I'm not sure I could really relax leaving him alone for any length of time. His memory is not that great and it can be dangerous. So I want to do these things but will he be able to? I know that he won't hike the Grand Canyon but I know he will go with me and support me in the effort. But what about hiking Ireland? Is there a riding option? Or do I just have to do it alone? Go off and leave him home alone for 10 days or so, that is absolutely scary. 

So what is my why? I still don't know. Is my why to live as long as possible so I can experience all the things? Maybe. Is it to be healthy enjoy to do what I want and not need help? Maybe. Is it to be healthy enough to be able to experience all the things? Maybe. I think it's a bit of all of those but still nothing resonates with me. Until I find this why, I'm not going to be able to attack self-care as I should. But, I don't know how to go about finding my why. 

Let's do a little wool-gathering. I plan to retire in about 5 years. At that time I will be 68. When I retire I want to have my craft business up and running and making a little money but more importantly keeping me busy. I want to do craft shows - that will provide me something to work towards in my business. So I will do craft shows once in a while. I want it to keep me busy but not overwhelm me. I don't want to retire from one full time job to do another full time job. So what do I want to do with my time? Well, I will have time to work out regularly so I'll become a bit of a gym rat. I will want to travel and hike - not necessarily together. So I will need to stay active and healthy to do those things. I'm going to drill down on a day in the life or retired me: 

  • Get up when I want - no alarm
  • Coffee, meditation, journaling
  • Shower, walk the dog/morning walk/go to gym
  • Craft for a while
  • Lunch
  • Craft for a while more
  • Walk the dog again
  • Supernatural
  • Dinner
  • TV
  • Bed
So that would be a typical day in the life. It involves a lot of movement. It involves a lot of creativity. It involves a lot of mind work. Keeping my mind sharp and functioning at full capacity is important to me and will be important if I'm running a small business. Hmmm, I may have just stumbled on something here. 

Mental health. Something that I have not considered until now is my mental health. I want to be mentally sharp and focused as I age. In order to keep my mental health up, I need to keep my physical health up. Yes, I want to do all these physical things, but I want to be able to mentally enjoy them. To be able to plan them. To be creative in what I do and how I do it. Now this is beginning to resonate with me. Of course, it may hark back to my family valuing intelligence but if it motivates me, I don't care. 

I just looked it up and according to the CDC: 

 Physical activity can improve your cognitive health—helping you think, learn, problem-solve, and enjoy an emotional balance.

That needs to be my why, or at least play a part in it. See that really resonates with me. I think I'm not so afraid of getting weak or feeble, but I do not want to lose my cognitive abilities.

Okay, I feel like I'm coming closer to a solid why. I'm going to try out this and see if it works for me. 

So my why is:  To keep a healthy body and mind.  I think I like that, but let me test drive it this week and see how it goes. I'll check back in at the end of the week. 

27 January 2023

Time for some deep introspection

 I've lived the vast majority of my life just kind of going with the flow. I worked where I got jobs and if I like it I stayed. If I didn't like it, I left and found another. I had no real 'career' for the early part of my adulthood. I lived where I could afford it and quite honestly did not really plan for the future. I jokingly say that being raised during the cold war caused me to believe I wouldn't live to see retirement, but that's honestly not so much a joke. Also, while my parents did the best they could, they were not a role model for saving and retirement. They barely got by. My dad worked two jobs sometimes. Yeah, they did not model the life that included savings and retirement. My dad died when he was 52. My mom went to work after that and worked for years until she eventually retired. I don't know how old she was when she retired but I know that she survived solely on social security. Not sure I could do that now. I know Hubby gets about $2200 every month and I would get something similar but is that really enough? We bring home over $5000 from work and then his SS on top of that, so about $7200 a month. Cutting it down to about $5000 would be difficult. In any case, now that I am nearing the age of retirement, I'm thinking about it. I don't want to work forever. I want to be able to enjoy my final years doing things I want to do and not be tied to a job.

Having said all that, I still have student loans that I need to take care of before I retire. I will not retire with that hanging over my head. I am currently, 51 payments into it with 69 left to go. I have 17 months I can submit forms for, so that will put me at 68 payments and 52 left to go. That amounts to a little over 4 years of payments. I can do that. I am currently 63 years old. I am looking to retire when I'm 70 because the benefits kick up a lot at that age. So my student loans will be paid off when I'm around 68 and then I work for two more years and retire. That works for me. Then between my retirement, social security, Hubby's social security and his nominal retirement, we should be fine. 

BUT, and that is a big but. We won't be rolling in dough and I want something to keep my busy. I had thought of subbing, but yeah, nah. Once I'm done, I'm done. While I greatly enjoy teaching, I don't want to do it as a part time gig. The best part of teaching is the relationships and I just don't think that would happen as much in a part time setting. So that's out. That's why I started my little craft business. I hope to grow that over time and have it so it keeps me busy when I retire. I don't want to make a ton of money. I don't want it to become a full time job. I want to do it because I enjoy it and hopefully I will make some spending money on the side. 

Having laid all the above out, now I need to really consider what I want my life to look like. What do I want to do. How to I want to live. What will my life look like? Let's fantasize a bit......

I want to: 

  • Wake when I want to and not when I have to
  • Time to go to the gym 
  • Time to walk Mavy whenever I want
  • Freedom to work or not work on any given day
  • Enough money to survive and maybe travel once in a while
  • To be healthy enough to do all of the above
  • To be strong mentally and physically 
  • To have the energy to hike and bike and travel
  • To live life on my terms and not someone else's

Okay, time to go make that happen. That means I need to do the following now: 
  • Perfect my craft skills on the things I want to sell
  • Figure out all the little details of my craft business
  • Eat to support my health and not my emotions
  • Move my body as much as possible
  • Lift heavy things occasionally
  • Self-care 
  • Not let my emotions get involved in anything
That's it, it is that simple. The things I need to work on are the eating and the moving. I know I eat either too much junk or not enough food. I also know that I don't move enough. I have been working on my pacing and that is getting better, but I need to lift weights. 

Wait, wait, wait. I am using the fact that I don't lift weights regularly to beat myself up. I am self deprecating and using perfectionism to beat myself senseless over something stupid. Why? What purpose does the self deprecating or perfectionism serve? How is this helping me to achieve my goals? It's not. It serves absolutely no constructive purpose at all so it's time to stop it. What is that old saying? I'm doing the best I can with what I have at the moment. That's all I can do is the absolute best I can. Is it going to be someone else's best? No!! It may not even be close to someone else's best. I don't have 3-4 hours a day to spend on Spanish - that goes back to DMSC.  Which makes me think.... I'm going to analyze my schedule and see where there is free time. I'm going to log everything I do for this weekend and see if what I believe to be true actually is. I like that idea. I'm going to put my money where my mouth is as far as my time goes. Sweet. I'll report back later today on today. 

21 January 2023

Better

 So while I haven't stayed off Facebook completely, I have taken a huge step back from it and it has most definitely helped. I spend my time doing the things I want to do and learning how to do new things. I've mastered my air brush - which was much harder than it sounds. I've played around with resin for some of my laser designs. I've made things that I wanted to make and am in the process of painting and putting them together. I've also made a number of tumblers and mugs. So yeah, not letting Facebook derail me has really helped a lot. 

In other news, school was remote for 2 days. The teachers had to go in but the students were online. I actually enjoyed it. I got to get my lab cleaned up and I got to hang out and with the other science teachers which is something we never get to do. But, I hate online so with any luck at all we will be back on Monday. 

I really got nothing much to say. I'm trying to kill time because it is freezing cold outside and I don't want to walk Mavy yet. So I'll find something constructive to do. 

17 January 2023

Time to step back

 I feel like I have 13,000 things going at the same time and nothing is doing well. I also feel like I don't have time for things I want to have time for. So it's time to take a step back and regroup. I'm going to stay off Facebook today and just work on the things that I want to work on in my real life - not my online life. I need to master my airbrush - something that I thought would be so easy is not. I need to paint and glue some stuff. I want to cut some more stuff. I need to find a good place to get wood that is reasonable. So many business things to do. 

For my real job, I need to figure out what I'm going to post on the Google classroom since we will be remote for 2 days. I do have a project they can do which is what I will probably use. 

So many, many things. 

I've discovered though that I like being busy during the day - duh!! I knew that, but I didn't really know that. I work around here during the day and by bedtime I'm exhausted. That leads to good sleep and it being relatively easy to get up in the mornings. So yay!!! Yay for hard work either mental or physical. 

That's all I got today. Going to make another cup of coffee and then paint some things before Hubby gets up. 

16 January 2023

Analysis paralysis

 First I want to comment on yesterday's post. That was part of an exercise and it was an eye-opener. I had no idea that I thought those things. None. When walking Mavy I dug in a little deeper and honestly think that goes back to my childhood. My parents valued intelligence and smarts over looks and sports ability, so that's what I grew up thinking is important - and it is. But, if I didn't know something I would try to avoid doing it. I never thought this was perfectionism because I have no problem getting up in front of people and making a fool of myself. I also have no problem learning new things and failing at them. What I apparently have a problem with is not knowing something and not knowing where to go to learn. I tried a personal trainer for 6 months and that really didn't help much. It was an interesting thing to learn about myself when I thought I knew most things. What I did do yesterday is go to the gym, workout on things I've never used before. And guess what? I survived. I don't think anyone in the  gym paid attention to what I was doing unless they wanted the piece of equipment I was on. Amazing. So I'm going to do a little more research and put together alternate programs so I don't get bored. Switch things up to work different muscles or angles of the muscles. 

When starting a small business, there are so, so many things to consider. I am trying to figure out how to separate my business finances from my personal finances. The simple thing seems to be get a business credit card and open a business checking account. So I started researching that stuff. And that is where the analysis paralysis comes in. Which to choose? There are so many. Then I will need a way to accept payments. I currently have PayPal set up for my business but that is an expensive one. Also, what about a checking account. I need an account to put my money into and pay my bills out of. UGH!!!!There is so much to figure out. And that is where the analysis paralysis comes in. I get overwhelmed with information and I just shut down. I think, at least for now, I will just have to pick something and run with it. I can always change things up later. 

But for right, right now, I'm stepping away from all this. 

15 January 2023

Examining Self Worth

 I'm not valuable because: 

  • I have a tendency to start and not finish things
  • I can be extremely judgmental of other people
  • I feel like people don't take me seriously
  • I have a tendency to not speak up for myself
  • I will sometimes take the easy out of a situation
  • I don't follow through on things
  • I have a bunch of unfinished projects in my closet
  • I have some great ideas but no drive behind getting them done
  • I feel like an imposter at my job

This is ridiculous. How many people, some that I know personally, have started things and never finished them? Lots and lots. For lots and lots of reasons. If this is why I consider myself not valuable, that is completely insane. 

As for people not taking me seriously, that's because I don't push myself or my knowledge. I know things. I really and truly know things. But I tend to sit back and let others take the lead in things I'm knowledgeable in. So that's on me not them. I feel like they don't take me seriously but I don't show them what I know so yeah. Which is also the tendency to not speak up for myself or to take the easy way. I may know the right thing, but I don't speak up and I just go with the flow and take the easy way. Yeah, those are all tied in together and those are all on me. Not anyone else. 

Yeah, this is rather eye-opening. I do have a tendency to feel I'm not valuable but it's not for my body or the way I look. It's for my perceived intelligence and seriousness. Interesting. Very interesting. 

I also tend to be judgmental of other people based on perceived intelligence of them. While I'm feeling that I'm not valued for my intelligence, I also judge others based on my perceived superior intelligence. That is confusing even to me and I know what I'm saying. So I feel judged for my intelligence and in turn I judge others for theirs. Huh. 

I also have a habit of downplaying my intelligence because I know that I don't know everything. So when I see someone being so sure and so positive in what they think they know, I judge them. Wow!! This is truly eye-opening. Maybe that's why I enjoy teaching so much. I know that I know more than my students and I don't judge them for not knowing things because they are learning. Every adult though is fair game for my judgement. 

So I am valuable and I need to start expressing my intelligence. I remember how good I feel when someone acknowledges my intelligence or knowledge or thinking skills. I feel on top of the world when that happens. 

So how do I get past this? I don't want to judge people because what I see is not their true intelligence, it's only a momentary thing. And god knows I do a lot of things that could be perceived as unintelligent. 

I also feel very inferior when I think people are smarter than me. So in my crafting, I look at things people are doing and wonder why I can't do that. Have I tried to learn? Not really! Am I smart enough to learn? Absolutely. I know I can do it, I just need to learn it.

I'm kind of flummoxed here. I don't know where to go with this info. I'm not completely sure how to handle it. I know for me awareness is 99% of the issue. Once I am aware, I will remain aware and can work to change it. So I will see how that goes for now. Awareness is the start. 

Maybe not the why, but the how

 Last post I was struggling to find the why. Why am I working out? Why do I want to be healthy? Why do I need to take care of myself? Yes, t...