Random thoughts of an upbeat mind

September Recap

I had every intention of writing this post 2 3 weeks ago, but you know what they say about good intentions. I think my reluctance to recap September is nothing really excited happened.

There were 12 days of exercise. Not great. I will give the excuse that there was lots of time spend in the office as we had visiting staff. I also increased my availability at the night job and picked up a few shifts as I knew there were 2 weeks in October I would not be working. This all contributed to my lack of movement. I know I keep saying it but I really need to figure out how to be a morning person. If I could move my workouts back to before work, life might be easier.

There was no reading done. Well that isn’t exactly true. There were no books finished in September. I started “The Other Black Girl” and well it is still unfinished. It will be going with me to the West Coast tomorrow so I have no excuse.

The only big win for me in September was that I went the whole month WITHOUT paying to eat out. There were a couple of coffees bought by friends but other than that I ate out of my kitchen ALL month. This is huge for me. But again I thought it was something I should attempt as there are 2 weeks of travelling and eating out in October and I was trying to balance things out.

Sadly my freezer is still not empty enough to defrost yet but it is getting much closer. After my next trip, I will be focusing on using up what’s in it and throwing out what is past its prime.

That’s all that’s going on in my world.

Hope all is well with you and yours.

August recap

Another month down. I swear it will be New Year’s Eve before I blink again. Time is flying.

There was not a lot of walking done in August as the hot days were too much for me and I find that if my friend is not available I am less likely to go out. 😦 I have been doing the Callenetics 17 minute workout 3 times a week. Having said that there were only 12 workout days in August. Not ideal but better than nothing.

It was not a busy reading month. I took longer than I thought I would to get into False Witness. Not because it was a terrible book but because it was the only book by Karin Slaughter book that I hadn’t read and I didn’t want it to end too quickly. The Secret Lives of Church Ladies is a great collection of short stories. Not what I was expecting but enjoyable none the less.

I didn’t get the PT job at my old company. They wanted a lot more availability that I was willing to commit to at this time. A little disappointing but for the best. I had an interview for a new FT job. It went well but the salary expectations were way too low for me at this stage in my life. I have slowed down on the search temporarily as I have 2 trips scheduled for next month.

I will be visiting the East Coast at the beginning of October. I am joining a friend and her family on a road trip. It will be my first time on the East Coast and I am very excited. It has been on my list for at least 5 years. So happy that this is becoming a reality and crossing my fingers that there are no lockdowns between now and then.

At the end of the month, I am going to the West Coast, cheap plane tickets will get your friends inspired and make you think why not? A friend of a friend recently came back from Vancouver and said she was ready to return. My friend in turn reached out to a few of her friends to see if there were any takers. I along with another mutual friend said sure. Then the original friend dropped out so it is now just the three of us. I have extended my trip by 2 nights to spend some time with a cousin I have who has been asking me to visit for way too long. It has been way too long since I was in BC and I want to see and do everything as I am not sure when I will return.

Tonight I committed and finally picked up a new cell phone that I have been lusting after for quite some time. It is not a good financial decision as I am sure I could have got one for cheaper but hey I “need” a better camera to capture all my adventures, right? LOL

That’s all that’s going on in my world.

Hope all is well with you and yours.

July recap

This month was not as productive on the walking front. I only walked on 7 days. The extreme heat and rain did not inspire me to go outside. I did go back to doing Callanetics and managed to do it 13 times in July. I also did 1 The Firm workout which left me in pain. I lost another 5.5 lbs, which is rather surprising as I gained 4 pounds last weekend. This brings my total weight lost to almost 20 pounds since the beginning of the year. I lost another 9 inches which brings the total inches lost to over 23! 🙂 I think the inches are a result of Callanetics, which I will continue to do 3 times a week in August.

I read 5 books in July. I actually thought it would have been 6 as I got the new Karin Slaughter book from the library and I usually read them in 2 days. But I decided to be a good friend and help the friend I usually go fishing with pack up his house as he needed to be out by today. I enjoyed all the books I read last month, although the book on Fred Hampton left my blood boiling. I wanted to read it before watching Judas and the Messiah.

My cousin got engaged last Saturday and her fiancé planned a surprise congratulations party so I went to help set up. There were lots of adult beverages and I was happy to partake. This along with the 4 scoops of ice cream and slice of carrot cake consumed the day before, it was not a surprise that I gained 4 pounds in 2 days. What did surprise me is that I thought it would take at least 2 weeks to lose the weight. Reaffirming that so called cheat days can be recovered from in a timely manner and do not derail progress.

On the work front, a team lead from my former PT job contacted me regarding working for head office. This would be an hourly position that would require 20+ hours a week. I decided to throw my hat in the ring and have had 1 phone interview, 2 zoom interviews and a request for references. I should know by the end of this week if I am in or not. I do not plan to keep my current PT job if this new one pans out. My only concern is that I was trying to give myself Saturdays off and that does not seem to be possible right now with this new gig.

I booked the rest of my summer half days and will have most Friday afternoons off this month. Hopefully I can wrap up the 2 projects I am on before too long so I can leave with a clear conscience. I have no plans yet for my early leave days, except to maybe nap or read.

That’s all that is going on in my world.

Hope all is well with you and yours.

The Real June Recap

Confession time – I only realized on Friday, as in 2 days ago Friday, that the May recap was titled June recap… Yup took me all this time and I am not going to change it.

There were 21 walking days in June. and 2 workouts. I lost another 5 pounds which makes me think it is time to kick it up a notch. Since I go into the office 2 days a week now, I have committed to doing some sort of workout on the days that I am home. I figure that I can commit to 3 days a week to start. This will be in addition to my walking. I also started tracking my calories. This is not fun. I eat a lot of fruit which is a ton of sugar so I need to get that under control. I am going to say it is a summer problem. I am still eating relatively clean otherwise. Minimal gluten, processed sugar and gluten.

I read 4 books in June. I had high hopes for The Wrong Family but it didn’t thrill me. The other 3 were great. I attempted to finish 2 books that I had previously started. That did not go so well. I don’t seem to be in the right frame of mind for those books.

There were 14 no spend days in June. Still spending too much on food. I might have to ban myself from going to the stores. I might have overstated my grocery purchases recently as I don’t separate out my Costco bills and up until recently just groceries or cleaning supplies were available for purchase. Will keep an eye on this in July.

I had another massage and the poor RMT fought with good effort but I think my knots won. So I have been trying to more foam rolling in my life. I think it is helping. My left shoulder is very problematic. I might have to try to put a few yoga workouts in my life.

Towards the end of last summer, the AC in my car died and I decided it could wait. Well these hot days reminded me that I need AC. I took my car to the mechanic and it seemed like they fixed it. I was supposed to go back within a few days to see if everything was ok. I forgot until it was another hot day. In my defense I only leave the house a few times a week, so I wasn’t really focused on it. Anyhow, the condenser was leaking in multiple places so I spent a fortune to be cool in a vehicle I am not in often because I am foolish and like to be comfortable.

One of my neighbours passed away a couple of weeks ago. I usually only ran into her when I was on time to work so rarely, but other neighbours noticed her absence. They were reaching out to her sister to get her help but I don’t think that worked out like it should have. The police came one Saturday for a wellness check. I thought they got in contact with her. I was wrong. Two days later, they returned and had to get the fire department break open her door. She was dead, apparently had been for 10+ days. Very sad really. Even sadder is her apartment was cleared out and is now for sale. I hope she rests in peace.

This month, I have a day trip planned to get ice cream from this little town 2 hours away. I am really looking forward to this outing. Ontario is slowly opening back up and I am no rush to get out. The lockdown has been good to my wallet. 🙂 We have summer hours at work which means there are 5 Fridays of my choice during July and August that I get to leave at noon.

That’s all that is going on in my world.

Hope all is well with you and yours.

June Recap

Well, I am not getting better at getting these up in a timely manner.

Another month in the books. I swear every week feels the same. Get up, go to work, walk, read, rinse, repeat. Other than my building starting work on the balcony, which now has me looking at a space I never use with fresh eyes, life has been the same as the month before.

I walked 21 days last month and did 4 workouts. This seems to be my routine. I have lost 5 lbs since last month. Not a ton but I’ll take it. Plus my weight is going in the right direction. 🙂 Towards the end of the month, I did the Wild Rose D-Tox Cleanse. I haven’t done it in years, but it came back to me. 12 days of no dairy, gluten, sugar, vinegar or soy. I am continuing to follow this “diet” loosely for the rest of the month to see how it goes for me. Summer is a great time to go more plant based. Hopefully I can keep it up. I have gotten it down to meat once a day if at all. I ate the last steak in my freezer and did not replace it. I have mainly been eating chicken and fish as my meat options. A big change from my usual pork and beef.

I read 5 books in May. Just As I Am and The African Lookbook were both books I started before May began. There are 20 books in my Goodreads account that I have started but not finished. I am trying to half that by then end of the year.

There were 12 no spend days in May. Food still remains a bigger chunk of the budget than I’d like. More was spent on groceries than eating out last month, but still. Produce remains a constant line item on my list. And now that it is cherry season … all bets are off.

I had my first massage almost a year and was reminded that I really need to put self care higher up the list of things to do. I scheduled my next massage for later this month and will try to keep a monthly massage on the agenda. If I was less of a procrastinator I would figure out how to consistently put 15 minutes of stretching in every day. I think it would make a big difference.

That’s all that’s going on in my world.

Hope all is well with you and yours.

April Recap

Hmmmm … well this recap is a bit overdue. I think that is because not much happened to me in April that was outstanding. I have been racking my brain and April was a mundane month for me. Other than getting confirmation via a baby shower invite that one of my cousins is pregnant, no big happy news happened. I think with my friend experiencing so much loss that my focus, as much as it can be, has been on her.

Exercise is now mainly walks as I am still trying to get 10,000 steps done 5 days a week. My new shoes were hurting my feet but my Mom told me how to tie them and it has made all the difference. There were 21 days of walking in April. I also managed to work out 4 times which is a surprise to me. I would like to get back to lifting weights but haven’t managed to motivate myself to do it. Interestingly enough my weight has remained steady, no real loss but no gain either!

I only read 3 books last month. I started Cecily Tyson’s autobiography late in the month and was not able to finish it before the month changed over. I vaguely recalled some controversy when Matthew’s book came out. I can’t remember what it was and after reading the book whatever it was did not register on me.

There were 9 no spend days last month. There was way too much spent on food considering my freezer is still not empty. But sometimes a girl just wants someone else to cook. Plus I am addicted to bubble tea and dragon fruit. I also find that if it is not in my house, that’s the meal I want . 😦 Time to get myself under control. With the stay at home order extended, there should be more no spend days this month.

My decluttering has been paused. No reason other than laziness. I was hoping my cousin would say she is coming for the shelving unit that I offered sooner rather than later and that would be the kick in the pants I need. But so far she is trying to get settled into her new place before figuring out how to get this large shelf to their space. Right now I am using the shelf as an excuse not to do any more as I will be moving the furniture around as soon as it is gone.

The microwave that I took from my Dad stopped working a few weeks ago. I am hesitant to buy another one and have been finding creative ways to reheat my food. Steaming is working really well for me. The lack of a microwave is also influencing what I cook and eat. More plant based food and salads for the win!

That was April in a nutshell.

Hope all is well in your world.

I was on track last week working out and walking until Thursday when I got a call from a friend who lives in the States asking me to pray for her son who was involved in a hit and run accident. I heard ICU and brain bleed but held out hope. What shook me what just how small and broken my friend sounded. This lady who just last month buried her husband of 36 years after a short and swift battle with leukemia. During her husband’s treatment and even after his death she still sounded like herself if that makes any sense.

Thursday night I prayed and wept for my friend. I even reached out to one of my pray warrior friends. Figured more people praying couldn’t hurt. Thursday night’s sleep was restless. I got up Friday and sent a quick text asking if there were any updates. She called me as I was on my way to work to tell me he passed away. I don’t know anything other than that. And if it wasn’t for this stupid pandemic I would be on a plane or driving to be by her side.

I have not felt like myself since. The pain I imagine she is in is unbearable to me. I don’t know if it is magnified because I am a parent or because this just goes against the natural order of things but I can’t think of anything worse than burying your child.

Logically I know there are people who have experienced these types of events and much more and survived, even came back stronger … I am not yet sure about my friend. Just last week we were talking about how much she has been through in the past 6 months without any real time off. Between both of her parents declining health, helping her sister who is their full time caregiver, starting a new job and having her hubby pass away it is a lot to deal with. We were discussing her figuring out how to take some time off or possibly changing jobs as she is not enjoying this new one and then one more trauma gets added to the pile.

This one cuts deep and I have no idea how to be useful from so far away. So for now I pray and hope that when I next speak to her I will have words of comfort and value.

Hope all is well in your world.

Exercise break is over

Starting tomorrow…

I need to get back on the exercise bandwagon. 3 weeks is way too long. Now that we are back on a stay at home order it should be easier to fit this in my day. And I will continue to walk 10K steps at least Monday to Friday. Time to get back into a routine that includes weights.

My shoulder is feeling better and my chiropractor gave me some exercises that have been helping. I need a massage or 6 but now is not the right time. I think I need to start a proper stretching routine. The tension in my shoulders and upper back needs to go away.

The other thing I need to get under control is my late night snacking. I have an alarm that tells me to stop eating at 8:30 every night and I always ignore it. Whether it is boredom or dehydration I really need to get serious about not eating late into the night. It gets harder on the days I work until 8 but it is not impossible.

Wait there is one more thing … sleep. I really need to get to bed at a decent hour more nights and not. Sunday nights are the worst. The procrastination is strong. I do have a bedtime alarm and yes I ignore it too. 😦

On that note, I need to find my bed.

Hope all is well in your world.

March Recap

I can’t believe that I haven’t posted anything since the last monthly recap… Not much has happened since last month. Life is just chugging along.

Last year I bought a dresser from Ikea and thought a friend of mine would put it together. Well he politely declined. I held out hope but gave up at the end of last year. I took the third week of March off and put assembling this on my list of things to do. I can say this is now done. I started it on the first day of my vacation and found that I was missing a part. I had to make an appointment at Ikea to discuss the missing part. I was told by security that I may not get the part if I don’t have a receipt. 🤬Since I don’t have the receipt and am outside of the 365 days I did not have high hopes. In the end a second customer service rep suggested a manager override and I left with the part.

I lost the motivation to finish putting the dresser together and tackled it yesterday. I hurt. Making 8 drawers with a screwdriver and a hammer is not for the weak. To make matters worse I think I have injured my shoulder. Superwoman over here, decided today was a good day to clean my entire place and move furniture. 🤦‍♀️ At one point today I couldn’t lift my arm without pain. I am going to rest it. Tomorrow I was to start a boot camp, that will be put on hold.

I have not exercised in the past two weeks. I am still keeping up my 10K steps per day. I bought proper shoes and it makes all the difference. My weight has not changed but my measurements are no longer going in the right direction so as soon as my shoulder feels better I will be back to working out.

I read 4 books in March. I started Obama’s latest book and could not get into it. The paper used to print it is very nice but I was not in the right head space for this novel. It went back to library with only 7 chapters finished. I actually read Royal Holiday and Gone in about 2 days each. Both are part of series that I enjoyed. I am trying to get all of Lisa Gardner’s books read as I have yet to read one I didn’t enjoy. Until my beloved Karin Slaughter writes another book I will slowly work my way through Lisa Gardner’s work. I read Karin’s series out of order so I am trying to do better with Lisa’s books.

There were 13 no spend days last month. But the days I did spend were VERY spendy! Going to try to stay focused this month. I went on a couple of outings and my credit card sure shows that. I really don’t have any needs so I will try to keep that in mind this month.

I survived my no meat challenge. I will try to remain more plant based but there is a lot of meat in my freezer that needs to be eaten. I tried to convince my kids we should have Sunday dinner but no one was on board. Looks like I will have to eat it all by myself. 😦

That’s all I have for now.

Hope all is well in your world.

February Recap

Very little progress has been made in the freezer clean out. I have been eating a lot of fresh food lately. I bought shrimp since I gave up meat, then ate mainly salads. 🤨😒🤪 I am debating skipping grocery shopping again this week as I still have so much food. I don’t have any fresh vegetables but have lots of frozen or canned. Sounds like I have an answer to this debate.

I worked out every day except 3 and still managed to get almost 5 hours more exercise than January. Those 10K steps for at least 5 days a week are making a difference. Not sure how I will manage now that we are supposed to be in the office 3 days a week. I have lost 10 inches over all so far but the pounds are not really moving. Thank goodness I took measurements or else this would be very disheartening. I do feel stronger so that helps.

I read 6 books last month, thanks to the library’s best bets feature. Which allows you to take out popular best sellers for 7 days. I apparently can get it done once there is a deadline. Hench was an unexpected addition. My cousin’s book club was reading it so I put it on hold and when it became a best bet I jumped on it so we could discuss it sooner rather than later. It was not even on my radar. I quite liked it, very different from my usual reads. The rest of the books definitely needed a deadline for me to finish them. 😦

There were 9 no spend days last month. I will try for 15 this month. A challenge considering I am returning to work 3 days a week. Time to return to meal prepping. I bought these curried lentil and chickpeas pouches so I really just need to make some rice. I have a lot of quick to make meals that just require rice or pasta.

Now pardon me as I think there are some shrimp calling me.

Hope all is well in your world.