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Time to Reflect

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My Knees Wednesday challenge is to write a blog. So I'm writing a blog.

The questions to answer for the blog were:
How has your year been so far?
Have you made progress in the areas you wanted to address?

To answer those questions, my year has been all right. I've really enjoyed the 5% challenges, I'm having fun, and though I'm not seeing much progress in my weight, I'm learning some things. I mean, this weight isn't a weight I haven't seen frequently over the last several years. I'd be sooo jazzed if I saw 134, which is only 3 pounds away. God, it takes so much to lose a pound at 4'10".

Have I made progress? Not really, from the weight perspective. But I've got a better workout routine that I like doing, and I'm doing cool things for me, like my voice lessons. So that's all good.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEATLETOT 4/20/2011 7:02PM

    TWO sisters! My other sister is joining for this challenge! But sorry, folks, I don't have any more sisters to recruit! I'm fresh out!

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RUTHXG 4/20/2011 6:52PM

    Having a new workout routine that you LIKE is pretty huge. That's going to really help you get those three pounds off.

And you know how I feel about your voice lessons! emoticon emoticon

And another achievement you forgot to list: getting your sister active on SP & the 5% team!

I am very glad you're here & working on your life. emoticon

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 4/20/2011 6:50PM

    emoticon Glad you can see progress in other realms of your life :)

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BUGSMOM211 4/20/2011 6:39PM

    Keep on Keeping On...

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Happiness Is Closure

Saturday, April 09, 2011

I think a recurring theme in my blogs has been how depressed I get on weekends. It happened again today. I have such a routine on weekends that it seems to me that feeling depressed is part of that routine! So I read the paper and clipped some coupons. I got up during commercials for "It's Me or the Dog!" and washed some dishes. I eyed the pile of mail on the kitchen table and the hall table and fantasized about picking up the coffee table, too. When there was nothing left on TV, I had the feeling that I should do something productive, but didn't have it in me to pick something and execute it. So I took a shower and lied down with the little dog, who, light and fancy-free, fell asleep immediately, while I looked on jealously.

I tried to figure out what makes me so DOWN on weekends. I mean, they are WEEKENDS! Like billions of other people, I spend the whole week waiting for them. Then, when they come, I can't wait for Monday. How dissatisfying, to want to be at work when I'm at home, and at home when I'm at work.

Then, I started thinking about closure. I'm reading this book, "Watercooler Wisdom," and it talks about getting closure on tasks. The argument is that a lot of the stress in our lives is caused by things that would take very little to complete, but we just don't. So, for example, you should make sure that your voicemail is checked before you go home on Friday, or it will gnaw at you over the weekend. Make sense?

And I SUCK at getting closure.

I kind of do it on purpose. I make rules for things, because I feel that the less control I have over what I do, the better. Which seems kind of silly, but let me explain. Say I am going to go to the gym. I might make a rule that says how long I have to stay...if there are two slow songs on my iPod in a row, I can go home, for example. Or until I finish my book. Or until I burn x number of calories. This keeps me at the gym longer than if I DECIDE, "10 minutes" or whatever. It's better for me to not have control, to not have to decide.

But I do it in other realms, too. Like, I get up to do the dishes just on commercials. I read the paper in the order it falls out of the newspaper bag. I clip coupons only as long as there's something on TV. And this habit has the capacity to leave a lot of things undone.

By then, Sammy was snoring, so I couldn't wake him up, but I promised myself when we got out of bed, I was going to get closure on the things I was working on when I lied down. I fell asleep and had two dreams, both of which involved getting closure and Sammy. I don't remember the shorter one, but the first one was that I had a calendar of all his health problems, and we went through them one-by-one and fixed them. When the calendar had been completely flipped-through, we were done. It felt good.

Then, I woke up and washed the dishes, and finished the coupons. That felt good, too. I read the mail. I didn't clean up like I should, but that's okay. In the book, it doesn't say you have to get everything done, but to finish what you started.

To get closure.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KJNLDE 4/12/2011 12:19PM

    This is SO true! I'm the same way. Weekends are great... but there is so much to do, that I feel I shouldn't do it and just take a break. But then I feel guilty about not getting anything done. The garden needs weeding, the deck needs a new coat, multiple things need to get fixed... but who wants to do work on the weekends? I hear you girl!

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JMCADE 4/11/2011 7:21PM

    I like the way you talked yourself through your issue. The question is now that you have confirmed the issue and know that you can get 'closure' will you continue to do it. Why not set a goal to get closure on what you start on Saturday and then reset that same goal for Sunday. maybe it will help you get moving on the weekend.

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JOHNTJ1 4/11/2011 1:52PM

    You are an amazingly insightful writer and I was sorta spell bound as I read your blog. Very good and BTW I often have the same feelings on weekends. It's as if I am marking time until Monday which arrives and then I find myself anticpating the weekend again.

There is a great line in a movie where a character sticks his head in an waiting room door and asks the people waiting for the doctor, "What if this is as good as it gets?'

I wonder

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 4/11/2011 12:33PM

    Hmmm... this blog is very interesting to me. I find myself being depressed on Sundays at times - mostly because I'm dreading the upcoming week and feeling like I should have gotten more accomplished during the weekend. The closure on tasks is really something I struggle with, too.

Thanks!

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MEL_UNRAU 4/10/2011 7:58AM

    Good for you. Its great when we figure out what we need, and the DO IT!!!!

AWESOME!!!

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SBATES63 4/10/2011 7:08AM

    Good for you for making a start. I used to be depressed on weekends too, but I forced myself to get back into life. Bit by bit I did. And found out that a Sunday afternoon nap is a good thing.

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RUTHXG 4/10/2011 1:05AM

    Good self-analysis here! Way to figure out your pattern & when it's not working for you.

I remember how I used to get depressed on weekends too. For me it was because of loneliness mostly. I think my longings had more space to emerge then, when I wasn't obligatorily busy.

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Red Dots, Blue Dots

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Yesterday, while I was sitting with the little dog, I went through the nutrition reports from December 2008 on. Then, I thought that I could create the grocery lists from weeks that were particularly good, but it turned out I couldn't. Oh, well. Instead, I just printed out my food log from days where I was in my calorie range and had a good balance between carbs, protein, and fat.

But I was shocked at how many red dots my reports had! And how few blue! That is, when you ate within your calorie range on a given day, it was in this colored strip on the chart, and the dot was blue. But if you were over or under, then it was a red dot. And my reports looked like it had measles, the chicken pox and poison ivy all at once!

I don't know if I would consider myself a visual person, or a visually-motivated person, but in my mind, I began to imagine all my dots as blue dots lined up neatly on that little colored strip, and I saw that as very desirable. So yesterday and today, I have a streak going of earning blue dots for the day. Maybe if I stop getting red dots, I will finally have some weight loss success.

Because, I mean, really? Nutrition reports from December 2008, and I've lost very little, if anything at all, if I haven't gained in that time? Doing SparkPeople? And by doing SparkPeople, I mean, "doing" SparkPeople. Obviously, my commitment hasn't been that strong. About as strong as my commitment to...I don't know...get a pilot's license. Seriously!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CONTESSA63 4/4/2011 5:22AM

  blue dots? now i need to go and have a look.

i hope that you have been having some success these past few days. emoticon

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PJBOKC 4/2/2011 6:11PM

    I've never noticed the dots - will have to check that out. Sounds like a good plan. Let us know how it's going.

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HOPESINGH 4/1/2011 3:53PM

    good luck with the blue dots
does this look enough like a blue dot? emoticon


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SEATTLESIMS 4/1/2011 12:43PM

    visual inspiration, in whatever form, can really help!!
Hope you find it easier and easier to earn those little blue dots!!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 4/1/2011 12:36PM

    I HATE the red dots! I try not to obsess over my reports, but I do check them semi-regularly to check on my blue dot status. emoticon here's another blue dot for you in anticipation of you rocking today!

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SEAWAVE 4/1/2011 5:17AM

    I've never looked at the nutritional analysis over time - I just look at the daily ones. I'll have to check that out. What a great visual tool!

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RUTHXG 3/31/2011 11:32PM

    Sounds like the report makes it really vivid, & that does help! So go for the blue, & see what happens . . . methinks it can't help but be good! emoticon

(P.S. Thanks for helping to clue me in about the source of drama--sheesh! May I say I'm very glad YOU & my other Starfish friends are not into any kind of hormone stuff, not even the "trace & energy" of said hormones!)

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JMCADE 3/31/2011 11:06PM

    More power to the blue dots! Maybe this visual is what you need to get you on track. Good luck with this approach.

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Home with Little Sammy

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I picked Little Sammy up from the hospital this morning. I cried when they brought him to me. I didn't know you could love a dog so much. He did really well during the surgery, and he's surprisingly alert this morning. He keeps wobbling around only slightly more wobbly than usual. He IS an old man! I'm trying to feed him, but he doesn't want to eat, and I need him to eat for his medicine.

If I can get him to go sleep, I will go to the gym. I actually think he's asleep right now, but I've got him on the couch with me, and I can't leave him up there alone. I guess if that doesn't work, I'll go tonight when my husband is back.

Poor Sammy! He can't catch a break. I hope he stops growing things he's not supposed to. We'll get the biopsy results early next week.

I'm off the rest of the week for Little Sammy. I'm going to use this time well, but I don't quite know how.

I'm kind of back to where I was before when I was home alone that weekend. What should I do with myself? How can I best use my time? Besides snuggling with the Little Dog. Organize some closets? Freecycle a bunch of junk? Rosetta Stone? Learn how best to plan meals for a week? Any other ideas?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4LEEFCLOVER 4/1/2011 9:48AM

    I hope Sammy is back to his old cute self soon!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KJNLDE 3/30/2011 12:48PM

    Feel better soon, Sammy! Dogs are totally like children... you just love them so much! Enjoy your time off... take some "me" time and relax!

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BEATLETOT 3/30/2011 12:24PM

    Thanks, y'all! Aimz, you know darn well that dog is deaf, and the phone is NOT going to wake him up! I'll be waiting for the call. Right now I'm watching "The First 48" while playing with my nutrition reports--makes me think of you and Orlando! =) LOVE!!!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 3/30/2011 12:19PM

    All of the above! Sounds like you could get a lot done that weekend but maybe just pick one or two of those things to focus on -- whatever you're feeling at the moment. I agree with MEL that you should do something fun for yourself, too!

Hope Sammy is feeling better soon :)

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AMYLONGHORN 3/30/2011 12:12PM

    Thanks for the update...I need to call you! Am working from home today, so will give you a BUZZZZZZZZ here in a bit...hope the phone doesn't wake up Sammy!!!

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RUTHXG 3/30/2011 11:44AM

    I'm glad you can take the time to be home with Sammy! May he get better soon & be blissfully free of nasty multiplying cells.

You have lots of good options for things to do while he's resting. So I suggest picking the ones that call out to you the most. Look at this time as Brenda & Sammy Time for activities that nurture each of you!

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MEL_UNRAU 3/30/2011 11:36AM

    Oh! Rosetta Stone!!! Totally. What language are you learning. I loved my Rosetta Stone! Unfortunately, it has been very misplaced (I refuse to believe lost) when we moved (so when we move again, it will be found!!! I know it!)

While home with the little guy, do some Rosetta Stone... jog in place for a few more minutes periodically... and spring clean.

And do something fun... like paint your toenails...

That's my humble advice. Have a great rest of your week!

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I'm Quitting My Voice Lessons

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Today was the day that I would pay for my next four sessions. I won't be doing that. I'm a little nervous to tell her.

It's not that I'm not getting anything out of it or that I hate it. I really enjoy my voice lessons. But...

The results of an articulation or whatever it's called that was done on a spot on Sammy's abdomen came back as a mast cell tumor, and it needs, needs, needs to be removed. They said that they could do it in their office, and he could go home the same day, but I asked if it wouldn't be better to have a board-certified surgeon do it, instead. She said that she would be honest with me, and yes, it would be better, because Sammy is old and has a heart murmur and SHOULDN'T BE UNDER ANESTHESIA at all. But it has to be done.

So I called the center that did his splenectomy, and they said they could do it, for 2.75 times what the regular vet's office's estimate was. But he stays overnight, and they are experts, which is so important to me. So I'm paying it.

Thus, it would be irresponsible to pay for more voice lessons. Honestly, it was probably not that responsible in the first place without having a full 8-month emergency fund (which is a work in progress). If I had asked Suze Orman if I could afford it, she would have said, "Denied!"

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KJNLDE 3/24/2011 11:45AM

    That's fantastic that you're getting a discount! I hope Sammy gets better soon and the surgery goes well!! Maybe afterwards you can sing him songs to help him recoup!!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 3/23/2011 6:47PM

    love the Suze reference... sometimes she says APPROVED at the oddest times, and this might have been one of them since she would say you need to have an outlet and a way to let your creativity grow. Though i do agree she would probably say your puppy's health is more important right now. I hope you can revisit it in the future :)

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MONAKIN314 3/23/2011 8:45AM

    Good to hear that you were able to work it out with your voice instructor. I hope Sammy is okay. My Tucker has a heart murmur and they cause such a fuss over it when ever he needs something done. The first time he broke a tooth and need the rest pulled before it got infected, I had to take him to the canine cardiologist before they would do it. Who knew they had heart doctors for dogs? Anyway let us know how Sammy's mast removal goes.

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HICIM705 3/23/2011 5:43AM

    Well - it seems like Sammy will get surgery and you will continue with the voice lessons. . .that's good, right? Hope Sammy does well during surgery.

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RUTHXG 3/23/2011 12:12AM

    50% discount--that's wonderful! It's so encouraging that your teacher is so eager to keep you as a student!

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JAVALOVERTOO 3/22/2011 11:29PM

    Glad things are working out in the $$ department, take that as a blessing and then be a blessing when you can. Praying for Sammy.

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BEATLETOT 3/22/2011 8:21PM

    So....just kidding.

When I went to the lesson, I told her about my situation, and she said she would give me a 50% discount for now. And I do want to continue, so I agreed. She said she didn't want to lose me as a student and she thinks I'm cool and she doesn't want me to lose what I learn.

I mean, to be real, I could afford both of them. Like, it's not like I'm going to be on beans and rice if I do both. Probably I shouldn't have agreed, but I do want to continue.

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AMYLONGHORN 3/22/2011 8:15PM

    So sad for Sammy...he is one lucky dog to have you as a mom! And plus, you don't need voice lessons because you sing AWESOME already, IMHO! Keep me posted on how the Samster does...we love him and we love YOU!!

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PJBOKC 3/22/2011 6:52PM

    You did a great job of setting your priorities. I'm sure the voice instructor will understand when you tell her about Sammy. I pray Sammy will do well in the procedure, and have a speedy recovery. Sounds like you enjoy the voice lessons, and you can sure continue to enjoy practicing what you've learned, and resume the lessons sometime in the future. Again, best to Sammy and you!

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RUTHXG 3/22/2011 6:00PM

    Oh, I'm sorry about the needed surgery for Sammy, & I'm sorry that you can't continue your voice lessons right now. But I know you feel really good about getting the expert help for your sweet companion. Best wishes for the surgery--I hope he comes through it in very good shape.

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KNH771 3/22/2011 5:59PM

    I had to give up my voice lessons to work on paying down debt and establishing an emergency fund. It was painful, but I know it was a good decision! I know that when I'm on better footing, I can restart the lessons.

Hope your dog is OK!

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