Thursday, March 13, 2014
My husband was in the States last month, so I finally broke down and got the activity tracker. I wanted another way to keep track of what I'm doing, and see what I might do to boost my activity without needing to devote extra hours to the treadmill.
After almost two weeks, I basically confirmed what I already suspected.... but still had some surprises.
I suspected that when I'm at work, I don't move much. Probably a lot less than I should. But I was a bit surprised to look at the tracker Tuesday and see three whole hours with no steps....
Goal: Get up once an hour, even if I just walk around the hall. Actually, we have a lovely skylight on one hall. It's not the same as going outside, but it really does make me smile to see the sky.
I suspected that walking the dogs really doesn't count as exercise. I almost never count it, unless I only go out with the younger dog. He behaves better off leash, so I don't have to stop every time he does.
What?? I get in *that* many steps on the medium loop?
One of our standard walks really doesn't count for a lot of steps. But there's another place I often go that really ended up boosting my step count. On the other hand, it never registers as exercise--confirming my suspicion that we stop a LOT.
Goal: Stick with one of the longer loops. I can do this without totally ruining my morning schedule, and I'm getting a lot more out of it than I realized. (The dogs prefer it, too...)
I suspected that on the days I work from home, I get in a lot more steps. The first week, this was a bit hard to measure since I was sick and spent a day or two in bed, but the second week mostly backed this up. I do still have a tendency to get totally immersed in work and not move for a couple hours, though. Probably not good all around. Yeah, I like being in the "zone" where I lose track of time--but sometimes it's just because I feel like I have too much to do and shouldn't stop. It's actually supposed to improve productivity to take regular breaks--never mind the fact that it's not healthy to sit that long.
Goal: take those hourly breaks at home, too...
I learned a few other interesting things, too--like how many steps I get in when I take the bus to work. It's a good 15 minutes--fast--to get to the bus stop on the main road. Then another 7-10 from the other end to the office. The bus stop for the way home is closer, but still a lot more steps than I would have considered. It's almost enough to make me want to take the bus more often.
I also get a lot more steps than I thought just going to various places in my neighborhood. I rarely consider it as exercise--but maybe I should plan to get out more often.
Went to folk club last week. There was only one group I could dance to--but of course, I couldn't sit still. The steps there didn't surprise me--what surprised me was the number of steps from setting up tables and chairs ahead of time! Who knew??
I haven't been on the treadmill much in the last two weeks--I've been trying to get in more strength training instead. One time, the steps tracked seemed reasonable--but one time they seemed way low. I don't like the idea of "double dipping"--tracking the mileage separately--but I think I'll have to. And in the meantime I'll play with placement of the tracker when I run.
Since I've been focused on baseline, I haven't really worried much about whether I hit the goal or not. And I just stuck with the default goal, instead of worrying about where I really want it. Next week, I will focus on the goal.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
I really have been over thinking things lately. Developing elaborate stories in my mind of how things might play out, and how I'll feel, and how that one will react, and and and….
My temporary freak-out at finally being tracked down by the reunion team is a pretty good example.
It's not that the feelings weren't real, or that the stories were fiction.
It's just that they really weren't that important, at the end of the day.
I got a message, I got back in touch with a few people I had actually wondered about over the years, and… That was it. Most of the people I didn't care about, also don't care that much about me…. And I mean that in a good way! LOL!
It helped me so much to just dump the whole story line out here. Partly because the writing process helps me get it all out where I can really look at it instead of just letting it go on simmering inside. But mostly because of the responses. Each response was exactly what I needed to hear. How I needed to hear it.
Thank you so much!
Sunday, February 16, 2014
There are days when the Soundtrack to My Life is basically one song that I keep playing over and over. Today:
Indigo Girls, I Don't Wanna Know
It's always kind of reminded me of the town I lived in while I was in high school. I was in touch with a few people for a few years…. and then basically cut all contact.
This morning I woke up to the dreaded Facebook friend request.
Strange days we live in. There were sirens down south yesterday, and at least one rocket fell. I shrug it off, check the supplies in my bomb shelter, and go about my day. But if someone from my past tries to contact me, I'm filled with dread, and feel like curling up in a little ball and hiding.
I so want to ignore the requests. We've all done quite well these 30 years, ignoring each other. Why stop now?
It seems like such little thing. But it's feeling huge to me. Like this hiding, ignoring, is a blow to my own integrity. Interesting that yesterday, Ellen Page came out. “I am tired of hiding and I am tired of lying by omission,” Page said.
Can't say that I was tired of hiding--it was so easy just not to contact people. NOW it will become difficult. I will have to either actively ignore people (and so far, the ones who have contacted me are people I actually like), or directly reject people, or… stop lying by omission.
Start actually owning up to some of the reasons I want to hide.
Like, let's just start with not wanting to deal with the whole issue of growing up as a midwestern preacher's kid, and ending up a Conservative Jew in Israel…. Yes, it's not quite the same as coming out, but when the town I left behind was rather in favor of cross burnings back then--and hasn't changed much as far as I know--I just don't want to deal with it.
It was not a place I belonged. And I don't belong there now. Frankly, my stomach is in knots just contemplating a visit.
But I think there's one even bigger issue holding me back. Especially from the idea of a reunion.
It's that "most likely to succeed" vote.
How can I go back, when I spent so much of my life convincing myself I had failed? And if I had any success, it was because I was a fraud???
But what is success? What is failure? Back then, I wrote that my vision for myself was the white picket fence, husband, 2.5 kids, a dog, and a Nobel prize in medicine. Where am I now? I have a great house in the country, overlooking the Mediterranean. The fence is chicken wire… so all the flowering vines can grow on it. Twins, foster child (guess she's the .5), husband, two dogs even. And a cat. And I work in a medical device company, often reporting directly to a director.
What is success? Last week, we decided to replace our mattress. The price was the last thing we looked at, not the first. Not saying that's a good way to buy things, but after all the years of struggling, it hit me that being able to just go buy a mattress without losing sleep over the budget is a measure of success. (Yeah, I aim high! LOL!)
Why do I care if someone else's measure of success is not mine? Why does it matter? Because I still feel like such a fraud???
Yeah, but that doesn't matter any more, right? Because it's already been declared that I'm a fraud (see recent blog!):
Maybe it's time to just let the barriers down. To just be me, whenever, wherever.
And yes, I like Shakira. And the Indigo Girls. And the Bangles. And Renascence music. And bluegrass. And jazz festivals. And Led Zeppelin with a middle eastern twist….
Monday, February 10, 2014
From the "Music as Metaphor" files….
Last weekend, we went to the Red Sea Jazz Festival. Just the four of us--foster daughter (who has NOT yet developed an appreciation for jazz, though she can be caught humming Autumn Leaves at times) had a youth group event, so she didn't come.
It's quite a drive--around 6 hours from our house--more when you throw in stopping to pick the girls up on the way. But it meant we got to spend time with each other. One girl has the beginnings of a new romance brewing. The other has some struggles with her current job, so we tried to help her some. Though you know how these things are--we can say all the right things, but they might not realize it for another 10 years…. Sigh.
The first evening, we saw Samuel Yirga--a young Ethiopian pianist who was just amazing. (I, of course, was obsessed by the bass player.) When it was over, we found a place for a quick bite to eat, and proceeded to analyze the performance.
My husband, who's usually Mr. Positive, said "you see that, and think what's the point?"
You see, he's hit a bit of a plateau with his own music lessons, where he feels like he's putting in more and more, and not seeing results. He *knows* it's a natural phase of learning anything. And he really has no intention of quitting. But at the same time, when you see someone who can play like that, miles and miles beyond where you are, or even hope to be, it's natural to feel like it's just not worth it.
Like it's February.
The resolve behind the resolutions fades. The crowds at the gym start to thin. In the way crowds do--not the way properly nourished and challenged human bodies do.
You start to wonder what's the point….
The next day, we went to a master class led by guitarist Larry Coryell. Someone else who's… in a class by himself. And yet, he didn't want to be in a class by himself. He wanted to share his knowledge, his experience, his wisdom. And… he did. He was able to break things down into small, accessible chunks.
Scales? He plays scales every day? Before every concert? Hey, I can play scales. It's practically the only thing I can do at this point. But he gave some simple, practical suggestions for enhancing the scales, to help with both technique and understanding.
I took notes. I recorded some. I listened. I thought….
When we got home, it was still early enough that the first thing I did was run to my bass. Had to feel it in my hands again, after two whole days of not playing. (And since I still count the time I've had it in days, that's a big chunk of time!!) Had to play those scales. And attempt the variations.
And you know what?
After that short break, my hand (which I could tell I had been overworking) felt better. My movements were smoother. My fingers went where I wanted them to go--as long as I played at my pace.
Not someone else's.
No, I wasn't miles beyond where I was before. But there was progress. Measurable progress. Progress I wouldn't have heard if I had just thrown in the towel and said "what's the point?"
PS: DH is practicing as I write….
Thursday, February 06, 2014
Well, it's finally happened. After all those years of feeling like a fraud, wondering when people would find out I'm really not good enough, not smart enough, not nice enough, not strong enough…. I can stop wondering. Today's the day!! LOL!
Thanks to The Onion for letting me know.
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