In which Catherine attempts to get her life in order. Settle in; this will be a long one.
I’ve been off track for a long time now. I can’t quite explain how it happened, but somewhere over the last couple of years I’ve fallen away from a lot of things I used to do: knitting, walking, yoga, getting a decent amount of sleep, etc. There is no single cause I can point to, it just sort of happened.
But I’m suddenly feeling “old” and I don’t like it. I want to slow down this aging crap and look and feel my best. I have all the tools, I know precisely what I’m doing wrong and what I need to fix, and yet, here I am.
So for the last couple of weeks I’ve been contemplating a 90 day lifestyle improvement plan. It’s not fancy and it’s free – as a matter of fact, if I stick to it, I will probably have an extra $500 in the bank by the time I’m done.
The rules are simple:
Starting September 15th, I will clean up my act as follows:
I will walk 5x a week. We are in storm season here so this one may have to be a bit flexible if another hurricane or tropical storm comes this way, but unless there is active lightning/torrential rain, I will get my tired grandma ass back out there. Yes, it’s still hot, yes it’s really sweaty, and that’s just how it is, do it anyway. I have a shower and laundry facilities and sweating is not an excuse. I know I feel better when I exercise often, and there’s no real excuse for my slacker behavior over the last several months. Besides, I’ve signed up for the Star Wars 5K next April, and it would be kind of cool to actually RUN the course at nearly 62, instead of walking the races as I usually do (and haven’t in a while). Walking regularly now will get me ready to do a Couch to 5k program in say, December.
Yoga, 5x a week. I have zero excuses here; my yoga practice of choice is Yoga with Adriene, it’s free on YouTube, and she has tons of options for time, intensity, specific health concerns, I love her to pieces, and yet, somehow I make lame excuses to not get on the mat. I will make the time, I will do it.
(I’m building in 2 days of wiggle room for these two commitments, because weather and oversleeping and whatever, because 5 times a week is a helluva lot better than the once or fewer times I’m walking and yoga-ing right now.)
Meditation – daily. I do meditate semi-daily, but I need to make it part of every day. You don’t have to sit for an hour (unless you want to, of course, and more power to you), it’s amazing how even 10 minutes makes a difference for me. I’ve used various apps in the past; Insight Timer is very very good and FREE and I used it for a long time until I fell in love with Calm. All of the content is not free, but the amazing sleep stories alone are worth the annual fee. It has everything; music, guided meditations of various lengths, and the sleep stories are truly magical and effective for me.
I’ve always been a truly awful sleeper, I was an insomniac since childhood. As an adult I’ve tried various things from herbal teas to OTC medications to alcohol, and everything has its side effects/didn’t really do much for me. The Calm sleep stories, sometimes with herbal tea or an evening glass of wine (more on that) have helped a lot.
Limit Alcohol. I know wine is a productivity killer for me. It wasn’t always the case, once upon a time wine and blogging and knitting and all the things I loved went together in harmony, but I know my consumption has ticked up as my productivity slipped down.
My creative life was important to me and has been badly neglected. I have unfinished knitting and crocheting projects glaring at me from every corner as I pour an extra glass and surf YouTube Disney vloggers. (I’d love to be a Disney Vlogger!) Last night I actually picked up a hook and worked on an unfinished granny square afghan that has been sitting in a corner for countless months. I crocheted a couple of squares, and whaddaya know, I forgot to pour more wine and then it was bedtime! So simple, so obvious, so how did it take me months to figure it out? Busy hands don’t pour chardonnay!
And while I spent too much money on wine in the last year, I also spent too much money on creative tools I haven’t used. I have yarn, I have beads, I have paper crafts – I discovered bullet journal printables on Etsy and OMG, you can print the coolest stuff, and it’s only $1.99, or $2.99, or whatever! Mere pennies!! And at the end of the month, somehow I’d spent $82.99 on digital images. (Just kidding. I’m not sure how much I spent because I’m afraid to do that math.) And then there’s the brush pens and the fancy notebooks the cool kids on Instagram all use – oddly enough, owning these tools did NOT improve my artistic ability in the slightest. So for 90 days (and beyond) I’m going cold turkey on buying craft supplies and focusing on using them.
And that brings me to Eating Right. I was doing WW for months and I did lose about 15 lbs., but I cracked the code: it’s just a low carb diet, with an emphasis on fresh food, lean protein, and lots of veggies. And yes, I do know how to do that and combined with exercise, I don’t really need an app and can save the money. That’s not a slam on WW, I wholeheartedly endorse their program, but I’m looking to save money wherever I can, so I will WW without WW. I’d like to lose another 10 lbs, and I don’t see why I can’t get it done in 90 days with the plan outlined above.
And that leads me to: Blogging. It has taken me a while to get this blog just laid out in a simple format I liked and figure out how to do links and such. Now that I have the basics in place again, I do solemnly swear that I will update at least 3x a week about my progress on this 90 day project and other things, too. The first update needs to be a review/inventory of my unfinished creative projects, because I’ve lost track myself.
So that’s it; that’s my 90 day plan to get my life back on course. Food, sleep, exercise, creativity all need attention.
And later today I’m off to the Magic Kingdom, because I desperately need fireworks and a churro – consider it the kickoff to this program.