Random thoughts of an upbeat mind

Glutton for punishment

Last weekend my friend was posting her steps for the day and she was hitting 12K+ for multiple days so on Monday I commented with my awe and support. And like a true friend she challenged me to join in the “fun”. I “included” another friend of ours as misery loves company. We decided to do a 10K steps per day challenge for 5 days a week.

Firstly I want to state the obvious. 10,000 steps is a lot of steps … way too many steps. It is like a second job. Takes quite some time to get it all in and even then I still had to do laps around my place in order to get all the steps in. Our cut off time was 10 pm.

I started on Tuesday and went for walks outside at lunch on both Tuesday and Wednesday. 40 minutes is not enough to get all those steps in. Thursdays I had to go into the office so I got up early to do a 30 minute Leslie walking workout. I don’t know if it is because I am walking in place but I don’t think my watch captures my steps correctly when I do Leslie workouts. Friday it was colder than I thought was reasonable to be outside, so I did for the very first time an hour long Leslie 4 mile workout. I thought I was going to fall down. And I still didn’t hit 10k steps. 😦

On top of all of this I was still doing my 20 minute weight/walking workouts. AND I STILL HAD TO DO LAPS!?! I went from 20-30 minutes of exercise per day to 75+. By Friday, I was done. My legs were on fire. I decided to take the weekend to rest. Tomorrow we start again. When I step on the scale I am expecting to see big results or else I’m going to be so mad.

Hope all is well in your world.

Life is mundane

This past week was uneventful. I went into the office and had the pod to myself. The building is a ghost town. I wonder if it will stay that way. Rumour has it that the lockdown will be extended even though the Covid numbers are dropping. I’m on board with this. I love just walking down the hall to “go to work”. I am supposed to go in again this week. I hope the chef has something good on the menu.

The exercise is chugging along. This past Friday I woke up with a pain in my right hip. I tried rolling it last night on my foam roller and was pleasantly surprised that there was some relief. Will have to get more serious about stretching and rolling. What I really need is a good massage.

I have been watching way too many home renovations shows. By-product of being home in the day. I am gathering inspiration but still not feeling ready to pull the lever on my own renos. Too often there are issues with older homes so my apartment in a 40+ year old building is bound to have problems. I know I shouldn’t let fear stop me but it is for the moment.

Other than that this week has been quiet.

Hope all is well in your world.

January Recap

I realized I did not take a picture of my freezer when I started Operation Empty Freezer. There are a few less things in it since I began. I ate a couple and gave away more. You see all that ice build up that needs to go. Yeah, that is the master plan. This weekend I wanted bacon so I asked the young one to look and see if we had any before I added it to the grocery list. Diva pulled out a package that was buried at the bottom that expired 5 years ago… 😲 I’m not sure how this will all work as this is a lot of food for one person to eat. Since we are in a pandemic, it’s not like I can have dinner parties. But I will keep going.

I managed to work out every day except 2 in January. Not bad for a former couch potato. And since I remembered to take my measurements and step on the scale I can say I am down 3 inches and 3 pounds overall. Not amazing progress but moving in the right direction. Fasting last week was not successful. I was doing well until around 7pm when I just got a chill that I could not shake so I had one of those packages of Lipton chicken noodle soup. It helped. I will try again tomorrow.

I read 5 books in January. The Wedding Date was the easiest read I have read in a long time. Took me about 3 hours from start to finish. It then prompted me to read the next 2 books in the series before I needed something a bit more meatier. Alone, I started on Saturday and finished on Sunday I could not put it down. I am currently curling up with Lenny Kravitz’s Let Love Rule.

There were 12 no-spend days in January. Apparently when I don’t leave the house it lessens the likeliness that I will spend money. At this rate when the world reopens in 2024 I’ll be rich!! LOL I hope I am still not trying to finish the contents of my freezer. 😂 Last year was surprisingly a record year at the FT job so we are getting a year end bonus. This will be given out by the end of this month so I will just slide it into my retirement fund.

This month will be more of the same as if it ain’t broke…

Hope all is well in your world.

Stay safe.

Use it up

2021 is going to be the year I finally defrost my freezer. The ice is building up in the chest freezer and it is way overdue. I think I bought this freezer 8-10 years ago and I have never defrosted it. I usually fill it back up before it gets too empty. Thereby delaying the defrost.

This year is my year to “use it up”. I don’t know about you but I have a tendency to repurchase the food I really like and left the other items until … sadly it’s past its best before date and into the garbage it goes. I am making a conscious decision to not go to the store until the freezer has been defrosted. Which means I have to eat everything that is in it.

Meal 1 – Chicken feta spinach sausage with green peppers and onions and chickpea pasta sprinkled with old cheddar cheese and parmesan, loosely based on this recipe. It was going to be with frozen broccoli but I found 2 peppers that had seen better days.

Less food waste. I did find some moldy cheese in the fridge that was thrown into the compost. There is still more cheese in the fridge so cheesy recipes are coming to my belly.

I was going to buy eggs but then I realized I have a box of mini quiches in the freezer that should be eaten or given away. So that will be breakfast this week. I am working from home all this week so plenty of time to make meals. Set it in the toaster oven and go for the win.

I fasted again this past Tuesday and find it harder to do from home as I snack more at home than at work. Speaking of working from home, I also don’t seem to leave the house when working from home. So one of my friends has decided that we will have a walking lunch date via the phone a couple of times this week so that I may get some fresh air.

I am looking forward to working from home this week. Elastic waisted pants for the win!! That plus the PVR could use some attention. Hopefully there will be less meetings this week and I can knock out a few hours. Other than watching TV, I plan to work out in the morning. I also want to start stretching daily. My back, particularly my shoulders, has been feeling tight.

That’s all I have this week. Hope all is well in your world.

We’re on lockdown

Since Thursday, the province of Ontario has been on state of emergency lockdown. For the next 24 days, we are only supposed to leave the house for “essential” activities. No one can accurately describe what constitutes an “essential” activity as non-essential stores are open. “They” say the police are not supposed to be pulling drivers over unless there is a traffic violation and at that point they can ask why you are on the road. By-law officers can’t randomly enter someone’s home unless the neighbours have called. Not sure what changed other than reduced occupancy in stores and businesses.

This new lockdown did bring about a big change for me. I am now going to be working from home more than at the office. Over the next 4 weeks I will only have to be in the office 3 times. Once in weeks 1, 3 and 4. This is so I don’t “forget” what it’s like to go into the office. 😒 This WFH situation has made me think about where I will be working. My usual 1 or 2 WFH days are spent working from my recliner. Not ideal for the long term. I didn’t want to spend any money on a new desk so I reached out to my Dad who had not 1 but 4 options in his house. Old desks and tables from years gone by. I picked one and went to pick it up today. I also had the great idea to ask about a microwave… Two for two! Dad’s basement and garage for the win!!

I wanted a desk because the PVR is overflowing. I could easily work from my dining room table but I can’t see the TV from there and it seemed easier to get a desk than you move the TV and everything else. I also “borrowed” a desk chair from work. I think my back with thank me for it. I am all set for tomorrow morning when I will hook up the monitor and laptop and get started on watching some of these seasons from 2019.

I forgot to put in my availability for next week so I was not put on the night job’s schedule. I will pick up a few shifts but I am not motivated to do this anymore. I do have a info session with the old call center manager this week to give her my feedback on this experience. I know most of the old staff is not happy with the pay structure, especially since it hardly seems busy and yet they are always on you to make sure you do your hours. I work half as many hours and my pay is about a third of what it used to be. Since this is PT for me it is not as detrimental as it has been for others.

Still on the exercise bandwagon. In the week I do 20-ish minutes per day and on the weekends I am going for long walks with my Mom and friends. This is working out well for me so far. When the weather gets colder I might stop the outdoor weekend walks. I fasted on Tuesday from the moment I woke up to when I went to bed. Only drank coffee, tea and water. It was hard but not as hard as I thought it would be. I did step on the scale Wednesday morning to see weight loss. I’m sure it was just water but it was nice to see lower numbers. I will step on the scale tomorrow morning and see if it made any difference.

My reading has slowed down significantly. I am trying to read Sacred Woman and don’t seem to be in the right frame of mind for it. So I have set it aside to read The Wedding Date. This seems like a quick, light read.

Well that’s all for now. Hope all is well in your corner of the world.

2021 Goals

The beginning of the year brings renewed energy to make changes and this year is no exception.

I decided to get back on the exercise bandwagon and vow to workout for at least 20 minutes every day. This past Monday I stepped on the scale and was beyond alarmed. I knew I put on weight but didn’t think it was so much. This explains why all my pants are tight. Operation Get Back To Healthy is now back in swing. Every Monday morning I will continue to weigh myself. I also managed to remember to measure my self to have a starting point. I will measure myself monthly. I have some lots of work to do. I have been challenged by a co-worker to fast on Tuesday so we shall see if I am able to do it.

Next thing to tackle on the health plan is controlling what goes down my piehole. I am going back to meal planning and eating salad for dinner. Last weekend I finally used my instant pot for the first time. I made spaghetti and meat sauce. It was very saucy but the texture of the spaghetti was not a favourite for my kids.

Since everything is on lockdown, my bank accounts are getting fatter. I still have to nail down this year’s budget but I feel like it will be a quick task. The building I live in is now offering internet as part of our amenities, so no more internet bill for me. 🙂 With the lowering interest rates, I have renegotiated my mortgage. I am going to keep the payments the same to pay it down faster. No or reduced eating out means more money goes into savings.

Once I settle into my new exercise/lifestyle routine, I will move finding a new job higher up my to do list. I appreciate having employment during this pandemic but the job duties are no longer challenging. I don’t see a place for me to grow in this company. I love the people I work with, but the time to move on is coming.

I have rekindled my love of reading. Not being being able to go anywhere certainly helped with that. I challenged myself to read 40 last year. I read 42 books. This year I am upping the anti and challenging myself to read 45 books. I have recently finished “The Meaning of Mariah Carey“. It was interesting to learn about Mariah according to Mariah.

Decluttering is always on my list of things to do. I am slowly getting rid of things I no longer need. Last Sunday, our microwave started sparking, so out it went. I am going to see how long I can live without getting a new one. My kids give me 1.5 weeks. Out of spite I am refusing to buy another one. Stubbornness is my middle name! Plus I think if a microwave comes in this place, it should not be on my dime.

I think that is enough for now. I will revisit every quarter to make sure I am staying on track.

Hope all is well in your world.

Happy New Year

Goodness it has been far too long since I have been in this space. I actually contemplated deleting this blog but I have a renewed sense of possibility so I am going to see if I can post once a week here for the foreseeable future.

So much has happened since July. I did work both jobs like a mad lady for August and most of September. “Luckily” for me the call center closed on towards the end of September so my 70+ hour work weeks came to a screeching halt. 🙂 The work is now being done by a third party work from home call center. It took some convincing from the call center staff to get me to sign up for this new “opportunity” as the pay is now on a per order/call basis instead of hourly. Since I was burnt out from working both jobs, I have cut my hours at the new PT job in half and refuse to do more than the 15 mandatory hours. Unfortunately the bulk of the hours (10!!!) need to be done on Friday through Sunday. Since it makes no sense to work late on Friday as the calls seem to drop significantly after 8pm I am left trying to figure out when to work on the weekends. I like having my evenings free so early morning quiet times for me. Read that as volunteer hours as no calls = no pay.

The day job is chugging along. Sadly not much has changed given that we are in a pandemic other than we are back to 100% pay. YIPPEE!! We still go into the office every day and I swear we are hiring more and more people. The business is booming.

On the fitness front, I have fallen off and on the exercise bandwagon. Good to know not much has changed for me huh? LOL. With the new year I have recommitted to moving at least 20 minutes a day, every day until the end of March. Today I overexerted myself and went for an almost 5 mile walk. My feet and legs are not happy with me. Tomorrow I have a walk scheduled with my Mom and she likes to be out for at least an hour … at least she walks slow.

Financially, I am doing ok. I still have to firm up my budget for this year and really get serious about finding a new FT job. I have been at my current spot for 3.5 years and the time to move on is coming. Not sure what job searching will really be like in this second wave lockdown but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

My girls are still employed. Most who were offered the option of being laid off took it, so both of them are working at least 30+ hours now doing curbside pick. Not sure how long this will last but the store is on barebones staff so no further cuts can be made without closing the store on certain days or drastically reducing the hours they are open.

Overall 2020 was a year to remember. Not all bad happened. I am not sure what 2021 will bring. I am not holding out hope in the vaccine being the magic cure. Hopefully we as a planet can get our collective selves together and start focusing on what is good for all instead of what is good for self.

Same old, same old

These last few weeks have flown by in a blur. Every day is pretty much the same. Get up, work out, go to work #1, come home, go to work #2, go to bed. Rinse, repeat.

Last week there was a power outage which delayed going to work #1 but I can live with that. Other than that life has been fairly mundane.

Work #2 has a lot more quiet times which allows me to get some reading done. Most of what I have read has been alright. The one book that stands out is “A Woman is No Man” by Etaf Rum. Great book, I quite enjoyed it and highly recommend it.

Our libraries are now open for curbside pickup by appointment only so my holds tend to pile up and then I have 10+ movies to watch in 6 days 🤔 Most have been blockbusters that were meh. But I did watch “The Grizzlies” and it got me all in my feelings.

The Grizzlies

This movie made me laugh and cry. Based on a true story that really opened my eyes to the plight of my neighbours way up North.

It has been announced that as of August 1st we go back to full pay. YIPPEE!! Since I have a second job, I am not eligible for workshare, a government top up for a little over half of the missing 25%. I have decided to continue to work my current shifts for both jobs. 5 days at the full time and 6 days at the part time for August and September. Towards the end of September I will reassess as I don’t have anything else going on and figure I should make money while I can.

Recently a one-bedroom plus den went on the market for a ridiculous sum and it got me thinking that I might want to move. While I don’t know that I want the responsibility of snow removal and lawn care, I feel like the building I am in is due for some major repairs. And those expenses I would like to avoid. Also it is very frustrating to not be able to do what you would like as the latest property management company is treating us like a big business instead of a small building. Everything seems to need approval and a form to be filled out.

I am weighing my options as I would like to not have to work until my death in order to pay for my lifestyle. The thing is with working from home I have forced my kids to spend time in their rooms. I do not think this is great for them. So having more space would be ideal. Especially since my kids don’t seem to be moving out any time soon.

I also have an elderly aunt who currently lives alone in a seniors building. Her memory is not the best and if the time should come that she needs care, she would live with me and I don’t have space for her in this apartment.

I have looked at the real estate sites and the prices are extreme. Even with a huge profit on my current place, I still will need a sizable mortgage to be able to buy another property. This has put a big pause in my thought process. I don’t want to have a mortgage for another 25 years. I think if I had a better paying job, a partner or one of my kids chipping in then I would be out house shopping but to do it on my own … seems a bit daunting right now. My mother has reminded me that my old room is still available. LOL

I am going to let it marinate and run the numbers some more. There is a part of me that thinks wait until the new year as the folks who deferred their mortgages might be looking to unload their homes. There is another part of me that thinks I should stay where I am as it is very affordable and allows me to travel and eat out which bring me joy. Oh first world problems … how I love having them. 🙂

 

Chugging along

Not much is going on in my corner of the world. Which is crazy considering the state of the world at large. The large number of people all over the world who are protesting during a pandemic for racial justice make me proud and sad that this is so very necessary.

Week 1 of back at work was doable. I was lucky and the night job was quiet so I was able to leave early. This getting up early to work out and then working 2 jobs every day is not for the weak. But I think I’m getting the hang of it.

Week 2 was more intense with the night job. I worked 2 complete shifts and most of the other ones as well. Thursday I woke up feeling like I hit a brick wall, so I rested and moved my workout to Saturday. I also changed it up and did a Leslie Sansone walking workout on Friday as I needed to go easier on myself. I have a drawer full of exercise videos and I have only been doing 2 … Time to mix it up.

I am starting to see a difference in my body, so the working out will continue. I have not stepped on the scale since I started or taken any measurements as I find it is best if I just do it and judge by my clothes. I am also trying to increase my water intake. I do really well during the week. The weekend needs improvement.

Our local library is back in business with curbside pick up. So I picked up way too many books. Why do all my holds come in at the same time? My plan this week is to work my full shifts as it is usually quiet after 8 pm and use the time to read. I took a office chair from my mother and hope it will help as I am slouching very badly while working from home. When it gets quiet, I have been moving my work laptop to my computer stand and planting my butt in my comfy recliner.

My plan for this week is to make an appointment with my chiropractor. Hopefully undo some of these hours spent slumping. Other than that, it will be a boring week over here.

Hope all is well with you and yours.

 

“Vacation” is over

Tomorrow I go back to the day job. I am on reduced pay (75%) but the expectation is 100% time… Since I was never at 100% time when I was at 100% pay, we’ll see how this goes.

I was called back in to work. And by called in I mean, mandated to go into the office 3 days a week. This irks me even though I prefer to work at work. I hate that I am not given a choice. Especially since I can do my job from home. Even more so as my mayor is still asking all who can stay home and work to continue to do so. Even more so as I know there are those in my company who don’t think it’s safe and still have to show up. But this is not my hill to die on right now as I have financial goals to meet and this is the means to an end.

I am actively job searching. Seems like a herculean task but I am up for it.

I shot myself in the foot by changing my availability at the night job and my manager signed me up for all the shifts. So not only do I have to go to my day job but I will be working my night job EVERY night until 11 pm. Pray for me. It is going to be a long and caffeinated week. As long as I go to bed before midnight I should be able to make it work.

The exercising is still going well. My plan is to continue the 6 days a week and work out before starting my day. I have set multiple alarms and asked a couple of friends to call me at 7 am. Hopefully I am able to keep this up.

I read a book in 2 days. I am as surprised as you are. “The Perfect Wife” was an interesting read. I stayed up way too late last night devouring it, finishing it off this morning. I am 3 books behind to meet my yearly goal according to Goodreads. I need to find more books like this that capture my attention.

Alright, time for bed.

Hope all is well with you and yours.