Random thoughts of an upbeat mind

Posts tagged ‘reading’

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. πŸ€¨πŸ˜’πŸ€ͺ 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.

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. πŸ˜‚ 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.

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. πŸ˜’ 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. πŸ™‚ 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.

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 πŸ€” 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.Β 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. πŸ™‚

 

“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.

 

 

Feeling blessed

I really thought I would have posted more by now. Especially since I have more free time than usual as my day job laid me off 2 weeks ago. However in that time I opened up my schedule to the night job and they took full advantage. I have worked the past 29 days straight at one or both of my jobs. The last 2 weeks schedule at the night job had me on for 50 hours each week. Ordinarily I would complain but since it is my only source of income I am going to just smile and say thanks.

I have applied for unemployment benefits just in case these long hours do not continue. I have a bit of a break this week and am only working 33 hours and I have Friday AND Saturday off. Too bad I have no where to go. If I was a more productive person I would used those days to knock some chores off my list. We shall see.

I am still checking my day job emails daily to handle any easy fires. I am not obligated to but I am nosy and still a team player. Hurts to know that there are 3 people working reduced hours to try to accomplish what 9 people did full time. I will help out where I can.

In addition to this, I have tweaked my resume and have been applying to jobs. I have been feeling for a long while that it is time to start a new adventure but got complacent. Ideal this is probably not the best time but I have the time so I should make use of it.

With all my spare time, I have started exercising again. Leslie Sansone for the win!! I am hot, sweaty mess at the end of my 20 minute sessions and am starting to feel like I am getting back in shape.

Easter brought the end of Lent, so meat is back on my plate. It hasn’t happened yet as I think my body works better without meat. I am going to slowly introduce meat back into my diet and see what happens. Or maybe just eat meat twice a week as my new lifestyle choice.

Last week we needed groceries and braved the lineup at Costco. It took 30 minutes to get into the store and I stocked up on everything as the thought of lining up again just was not appealing. I am still out of some items I usually buy at a regular grocery store and will learn to get by without them for a bit longer. We have lots of meat, rice, bread and frozen veggies so we should be good for a few weeks.

The only thing that has suffered in this time is my reading. So this week, I am going to try to get up earlier and use that time to read. I am 4 books behind on my Goodreads yearly challenge.

I am trying to get current with my emails. I am a little embarrassed to say there are over 10,000 unread emails in my inboxes. πŸ™„ I am slowly catching up. There may or may not be emails from 2018 that I am still working on. So if I am commenting on old posts of yours please don’t judge me. LOL

Other than that, life is pretty relaxed over here. I’m avoiding the news a little as it is wearing on me. It is heartbreaking to hear all the tragedy. These are unprecedented times and it sucks feeling helpless. Despite all of this I still feel blessed. I have income in a time of such uncertainty. I have savings. My family is all safe and accounted for. We are all healthy for now. I really can’t ask for anything else.

Hope all is well with you and yours.

No Spend is Over

Last week was a success. I got up Monday through Thursday mornings and did a workout. I am feeling good. Sundays are becoming harder to get a workout in but I am going to file it under the importance of rest days. πŸ˜‰

The no spend challenge was a success. I only ate out twice last month. Once when I went ice fishing and the other was treating Diva because she had a bad week. It was not as bad as I thought it would be. Cooking on Sundays definitely made the difference. It seems like my no spending rubbed off and some of my coworkers started bringing their lunches as well.

Wednesday is the start of my “no meat” challenge. I will continue to eat seafood but will try to eat a more plant based diet. I will be looking into sources of protein that aren’t legumes and cheese. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

At the end of the month, I am going to replace the battery in my scale and see if my lifestyle changes are making a difference in my weight. Then I am going to try my hardest not to let the number affect me mentally. I am seeing muscles starting to make their appearance and that is motivating me to continue. Taking jeans straight out of the dryer and putting them on with ease is also helping. I have a set of jeans a size down that I grew out of and never got rid of. These are my next goal. Once they are easy to put on out of the dryer I think I will have to figure out what to do with myself next.

Sadly not much else is going on. My life right now is just wash, rinse, repeat. Outside of the books I read not much seems to change. I am telling myself that this is just a season and this work, work, work, work only schedule is not going to be my life forever. It’s a hard sell some days, but I realize that sacrifices must be made.

Speaking of books, I am currently reading “Becoming” by Michelle Obama and I highly recommend it.

Alright, that’s all I got for now.

I want the hour back

I am not ready for it to be 7pm already. Even though it is still bright outside and I will appreciate it tomorrow when I am coming home from work.

Today was a productive day. It’s amazing how much you can get done when you don’t turn on the TV.

I went to Costco, Walmart and the grocery store after dropping one of my kids off to work this morning. Since I am not eating meat, I am also not cooking much. And since I have been buying lunch, I have not really done a proper grocery shop. So I stocked up on veggies and bought a Costco size piece of salmon.

I roasted carrots, broccoli and made sweet potato toast and baked the salmon. I am ready for the week. Although salmon does not last long in this house, so I might have to cook again.

Before I go to bed, I will make some chia pudding to have for breakfast.

My goal this week is to go back to not buying lunch. Even though it is only $7 and the portions are generous, it does add up rather quickly.

The part time job is not keeping me as busy as I would like it. Last week, I only had 2 shifts, Friday and Saturday evening. The schedule is the same again this week. I am lightly looking for another job, both full time and part time. Gotta keep my options open.

Last week at the full time job was trying. The sales rep I work with is very panicky and scattered and it increases greatly when there is lots going on. I spent the whole week willing it to end. Not the way I want to live my life at all.

This week should calm down a bit so I should also be able to return to the gym with more consistency. Last week, I went twice. Which considering I only went to the PT job on Friday makes me a little disappointed.Β This week I am aiming to get at least 3 workouts in, preferably 4.

Life is still pretty quiet. I keep toying with learning to use my DSLR properly, but have not picked it up to do anything with it. 😦 I been reading a bit. Currently tackling “The Woman in the Window“. It reminds me a lot of “The Girl on the Train” and I did not enjoy that book much. But I will struggle through it as I want to see how it ends.

You have been neglected

There I said it.

I am really starting to debate what to do with this space. I feel like I’ve been writing too many been a bad blogger posts.

Week before last was a particularly trying one at work with way too much overtime.

This week was much better, work wise but I fell off the exercise wagon. 😦 I was doing so well for so long.  Oh well no use dwelling on the past. I will just jump back on today.

I have managed to read a few books.

Image result for the nestΒ (Source)

Image result for truly madly guiltyΒ (Source)

Image result for pretty girls bookΒ (Source)

I enjoyed every one and highly recommend them.

There was also numerous movies … now you’re beginning to understand why I have not found myself in this space.

Add in a new TV schedule and there are just not enough hours in the day.

Yeah …

That’s my story. πŸ˜‰