Friday, September 30, 2016

End-of-the-month dilemma and a wrap-up

Last day of the month and I’m STILL debating whether I will actually dare to give up Facebook and Twitter in October. I feel like, with my current level of addiction, and all the crap going on in the world, it will be really tough—maybe the emotional equivalent of training for an Ironman.

On the other hand, if I’m not on social media at all, there’s a good chance I won’t even hear about most of the crap and will emerge into November happy, cleansed, and not having strangled anyone. That is the dream.

Anyway, here’s the wrap-up of September’s excellent resolutions:

  • Goal: Sit down for a family dinner every weekday. Mik has a ridiculous schedule that makes this a rushed affair on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and there was one day when I really had to work through dinner, but other than that, this went well. I’ve taken to telling certain employers I’m not available between 5 and 7, which gives me plenty of time to help with cooking, eat, and clean up. That doesn’t actually stop anyone from emailing me during those hours to request things, but at least I don’t feel guilty for ignoring them.
  • Rule: Take a full day off every week. I did this faithfully, too, and it gave us a couple of free days where it seemed like the only logical thing to do was to go to the mountains. 
  • Exercise: Stick to the schedule. LOVE this schedule. It’s not that hard and doesn’t take much time, but I feel stronger and more energetic.
  • Affirmation: “I welcome the changing of the seasons.” Honestly, I think this affirmation has helped my attitude about a lot of things, including literal seasons.
  • Task: Clean Dex’s room. Done and then some, since the purging and rearranging frenzy spilled over into a couple of other rooms.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A plan to de-stress October

I’ve re-warmed to the idea of doing monthly resolutions—probably because September’s are going so well. Other than missing a couple of family dinners when I absolutely had to work, I’m at 100% compliance. Even more telling is that I’m already pondering some resolutions for October.

In fact, I’m thinking of going big for October—like giving up Facebook and Twitter for the whole month big. That sounds drastic to me, and I think it would be really hard, given my current usage. On the other hand, news about police brutality, racism, and the election—and the idiotic opinions I keep running across—are driving me bonkers and stressing me out. And, frankly, even when I agree with what’s being said, I’m sick of the implosion of our whole stupid country being turned into “outragetainment.” 

If anyone has hit upon a strategy to consume social media in a limited and sane way, I would really like your advice. Otherwise, I think 31 days of abstaining could be a useful experiment that would be good for me.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Hike to Broadway Lake

I scheduled my day off last week for Saturday, and since it happened to be a gorgeous day, we decided to spend it hiking in the mountains for what I suspect is the last time this year. This hike was off of Lake Fork Road, south of Red Lodge, and it was a nice, easy trail—a four-lane highway by Montana trail standards, really. It was also really crowded, but that could have just been the fact that it was probably one of the last good hiking weekends.

My favorite thing to do while hiking is to take pictures, so here they are:

Hillside dotted with aspens


Color along the trail
Nice day
The lake itself is no big deal, actually!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Morning routines

Work has been so slow that it’s pretty easy to take one full day off each week. But I have to remind myself to still plan the day off—there’s actually a pretty big difference between taking a day off and simply having no work to do.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading and cooking, and also putting the finishing touches on the Center for Yoga Excellence. In fact, I had put some candles in there and so did my morning yoga by candlelight (and glowing computer screen)—it was still really dark outside, even though I am now by far the last one to get out of bed. In fact, by the time I get up, M.H. has typically made two breakfasts for Mik and gone on a 90-minute walk—and Mik has had 90 minutes of swim practice.

Beasts, these two.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Welcome to the…

After hearing me muse about whether I should call my new space the “yoga corner” or the “yoga nook,” M.H. suggested “The Julie Van Keuren Center for Yoga Excellence,” and it made me chuckle for so long that that’s definitely what I’m calling it.

I tried some yoga there first thing this morning; I might need to work out exactly how to fit all my moving parts into the relatively small area, but I think overall it’s going to be great. I feel much less exposed than my previous location, which was in full view of anyone who came to the front door. The fact that there is carpet all around, and some empty walls, means that it will be easier to start practicing handstands and headstands again. When it gets cold and dark in the mornings, I can flip the switch for the gas fireplace that’s right there and do warm yoga by firelight. AND it’s going to be nice to just leave the mat and blocks and stuff out all the time.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Labor Day projects

Today seemed like a good day to take on the task of cleaning out Dex’s room. I caught M.H. in a mood to help, and we cleaned and rearranged everything so that it’s still Dex’s room, but it’ll also be a pretty nice place for guests to stay. It wasn’t as depressing as I imagined—the reports from college are good so far, we’re happy that he’s happy, and so we are all adjusting.

I told Mik (to tease him about his own room) that it looked like we had two sons, but one of them was just very neat. Mik said it looked like I had two sons and one of them doesn’t live here at all, which—OK, FINE, BE A REALIST.

We have a little more house rearranging going on, because I’m building myself a new yoga area (yoga nook? yoga alcove?) and moving the board-game shelf and game table that were in that space into the play room. Then the play room needs some sort of overhaul. Most of the toys are purged, but I’m hoping I can somehow turn it into a place more appropriate for teenagers to play.

Here’s the basis of the yoga…corner—it’s made with some leftover laminate flooring and duct tape: