Saturday, April 30, 2016

GREAT report card for April

Here’s how my resolutions for April went:
  • Goal: Keep flowers on the table. This was an easy one, and it worked out just as I hoped. A month of increased loveliness, total cost less than $15. A 
  • Rule: Do some yard work for 15 minutes every day. I skipped this when the weather was dreadful, but I did 25 minutes most other days, and the yard is awesome and virtually weedless. (Except for the mint, which is pretty much unstoppable.) A
  • Exercise: Walking/cleaning/yoga. Yoga rules, and I wish the weather had been better so there could have been more walking, because cleaning isn’t nearly as enjoyable. A
  • Affirmation: I take great care of myself and my family. I took a normal amount of care myself and of my family, but mostly I forgot this affirmation existed at all. I need something catchier. D
  • Task: Get the ring appraised. I texted my sister the results of this yesterday, and she texted back “Just under the wire.” Yep! A
GPA: 3.4

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

In praise of YouTube yoga

I thought I was making a moderately large sacrifice when I switched from amazing-human-instructor yoga to YouTube-in-the-dining-room yoga, but I’m not so sure. Now that I have the benefit of several years of amazing-human-instructor yoga experience under my belt and know what to do, there is almost no downside to YouTube-in-the-dining-room yoga. In fact, here’s the complete list of the advantages of each:

YouTube-in-the-dining-room advantages:
  • Free
  • Get to choose my class every day
  • Can be done on any schedule
  • Can be done for any length of time
  • Can be paused at will
  • Can be done wearing anything I want
  • Impossible to forget my ponytail holder
  • No peer pressure to do or not do anything
  • No driving
  • Always get my “spot”
  • Can meditate immediately afterward for as long as I want
  • Can make tea right before starting so it’s ready as soon as I’m done
  • Natural light and proximity of pretty flowers
Amazing-human-instructor advantages:
  • Get to chat with amazing human instructor
  • Opportunity to ask questions about poses if needed
  • Don’t have to watch a 15-second ad
  • Don’t have to worry about UPS coming to the door
  • Other very nice people to talk to
I was kind of afraid that the awesome yoga high I got after class was from chatting with all the very nice people, but I see now that that’s mostly just the yoga itself. I may still go back to class one day to visit, but DANG this other thing is working out well.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The urge to purge

I got the sequel to Marie Kondo’s book from the library and am having a delightful time reading it—though just a bit at a time, because I am still very, very busy and have a child to put through college in four minutes. If you haven’t read one of her books, I recommend them, for three reasons:
  • Her view of tidying as her sacred calling is sweet and unintentionally hilarious.
  • Her personification of inanimate objects is sweet and unintentionally hilarious.
  • Her method works really well.
It’s not that I actually believe that my possessions enjoy being used and treasured or that my kids’ old toys are sad because they’ve not been played with for a while or whatever. It’s that choosing to act as if you believe those things makes a real difference.

I kind of equate it to some of the sillier things that are said in yoga. If I’m in Warrior II and someone tells me to shoot energy out my fingertips, well, it turns out I can get more out of the pose if I shoot energy out of my darned fingertips. I don’t think there’s actual energy shooting out my fingertips. It’s just that it’s a sort of beneficial shorthand to pretend there is.

Anyway, I expect a renewed energy to purge the aforementioned toys is on its way to my house.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Worth it

Just another post because I’m procrastinating from the horrible work I’ve been doing for a week and a half. I know I should be reminding myself that I really do love working from home—and oh by the way I have a child to put through college starting in about five minutes—but instead let’s admire my dining room table:

Lovely, right? This is a $5 bouquet from the grocery store, still going strong after 11 days.

Just behind the closest chair there is my new yoga studio—in other words the spot in the house I’ve chosen to do my YouTube class every day. It’s in full view of anyone who comes up to the front door, so I am always hoping no one chooses that moment to drop by unexpectedly. (Of course, every other minute of the day I would be fine with unexpected visitors, just because I want them to be impressed by my purty flowers.)

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Podcasting weather

Our weather has been pretty nice, so I’ve been diligently getting outside to work in the yard—which is also starting to look pretty nice, if I do say so myself. It helps that I usually do more than the mandated 15 minutes, but I have a couple of podcasts I like that last around 20 to 25 minutes, so I usually stay out until the audio is finished.

I don’t know if you’ve picked up on the fact that I’ve become a podcast… uh, maniac? in the past few months. The ones I like tend to mention other ones I will like, and the must-listen roster keeps growing (I just checked, and it’s at 13 podcasts, even after a recent pruning of the list). It’s gotten so that if I utter the word “podcast” in front of my family, their eyes glaze over immediately—as if they weren’t just about to have their lives enriched. Weirdos.

It kind of reminds me of the early days of my triathlon obsession, when I started a blog literally just to have an outlet to talk about the sport so I wouldn’t have to drive everyone around me insane. This is different, though, because it’s not like it’s the form of podcasting I’m obsessed with. It’s more that the constant stream of information and ideas keep me in New Life Plan mode constantly, which is my idea of fun.

Friday, April 1, 2016

GREAT resolutions for April

It’s April, and the 10-day weather forecast is delightful, which means it is a great time of year to be without a gym membership—why, what a coincidence! It’s also a great time for some enthusiastic, spring-y resolutions, which are as follows:
  • Goal: Keep flowers on the table. Dex gave his girlfriend a bouquet of flowers last month before prom, and since she needed to put them in water and was not going home anytime soon, they ended up living on our dining room table. It was lovely. And I realized there’s no reason I couldn’t spend a few bucks a week to feel like the dining room is lovely all the time. 
  • Rule: Do some yard work for 15 minutes every day. Every spring I put forth the theory that the yard and tiny garden could be well-maintained in just a few minutes a day if one were diligent about it. Time to test it out. Free sunshine is a bonus.
  • Exercise: Walking/cleaning/yoga. I’m trying to keep up most of my old resolutions even as I add new ones, but the fact is you can’t do everything every day. So what I want to do this month is try for two out of the three of the above every day. No time limits on anything—just deliberately set aside some time to walk and do yoga. Or to clean house and do yoga. Or to walk and clean house. You get it.
  • Affirmation: I take great care of myself and my family. It’s not that I can’t think of any other affirmations, just that this one is so important that it’s worth another month of focus.
  • Task: Get the ring appraised. My sister and I have been trying to figure out what to do with a diamond ring our grandmother gave to us, and the first step is getting it appraised. Which we’ve been putting off for, I don’t know, three or four years now? I have it in my possession, and this is the month it finally happens.