A day of rest

My weighted vest arrived yesterday. I went to bed last night, considering that I actually might not be going to the workout this morning, but still leaning more towards going. When I awoke this morning, around two hours before my alarm, I was almost certain I would not be going to the workout. I felt terrible, utterly exhausted. When my alarm later sounded, it was confirmed: I was going back to bed, because I needed some serious rest. I slept an extra three and a half hours before waking for real. I didn’t actually get up until another half hour later, listening to an audiobook as I lay curled on my side under the comforter, eyes closed.

I eventually got up and made breakfast, though. After eating, I went and unpacked the vest with delight. I was super excited. As soon as I unpacked it, I put it on and wore it around the house for a while. It was certainly heavy, and would take some major adjusting, if ever I were intending to run two miles with this thing. I’m still not sure that I’ll ever do it, but I’m not giving up the idea so easily. Slow and steady, were my thoughts. We still have time.

By 10:00, I was barely staying awake, however, and so I lay down comfortably on the floor… and passed out… hard. I woke only once, and fell right back asleep, adding yet another additional three hours to my sleep tank for the day. I really was wiped, I thought. I had needed this day of rest, for more than just resting my muscles – so much of me was tired. Last week and the weekend and start of this week had been, well, a lot. And being behind on sleep with all of that only made things harder, both then and now.

And so I truly rested today, swapping between a new book on the kindle – got the notification this morning that it was now available from the library! – and the audiobook on my phone (also from the library, of course), and even spent close to an hour just stretching while reading, and half an hour swinging on the front porch, despite the heat and humidity (once the mosquitos arrived, however, I was done sitting out there).

Around 5:00pm, I was unsure as to what to do. I had rested much today, but didn’t want to rest too much. I also didn’t want to exert myself when I actually just needed rest. But I could feel it within myself that I needed to move. Not intensely or hard, but truly to move. So, I donned the weighted vest, though only with 10lbs now, instead fo 20, and went on a long walk. Two and a half miles in the heat, I walked at a mostly brisk pace, experiencing moving with the vest on me. It was simultaneously rough and easy.

Now, it is 9:00pm, and I can hardly stand up, I am so sleepy and tired. Therefore, I bid you all a wonderful night. 😉

P.S. Tomorrow is my anniversary of first beginning as a member at the gym. I had reached 55 workouts so far this calendar year yesterday, and so was comfortable not going today. Last year, at this point, I had done only 51 workouts. I still considered going at noon or in the afternoon today, just to round out the year’s total, but my body went into sleep mode for the noon class, and was too exhausted to fathom doing such work by late afternoon.

Post-a-day 2021

Gym

Remember how I mentioned that Katy Perry song last night, “Teenage Dream”? Well, guess what song played at the gym this morning! It was so fun to have that happen, especially considering how that song does not usually play at the gym – nothing of its genre, even. So, that was a delightful start to the day for me.

However, speaking of the gym, I totally cried during the workout today. We were doing these deltoid press-downs with stretchy bands looped over the pull-up bars. I had attempted my left arm first. I always ask which muscles are managing movements (if I am not already sure), so that I can do the movement correctly and at all. (I’ve definitely been unable to do something simply because I was using, say, my arm muscles, when it should have been shoulder and back muscles, and then it totally worked when I got the right muscle group going.)

But something just didn’t click for me this morning – I couldn’t make the band go down. As soon as I hit the point of the band’s genuine resistance, I just could not make it go any farther. And yet, that was hardly half the distance to my body. I looked around, and saw everyone else doing it with somewhat ease. I took a step closer to the bar, to lessen the tension on the band. And then another. And I still couldn’t get my arm all the way down to my body, as we were supposed to be doing – as everyone else was doing. I was bordering on tears… from embarrassment, perhaps? I was also quite low on my sleep from the past couple nights – nightmares had plagued Sunday night, giving me minimal rest then, and last night hadn’t been much more restful, though the nightmares had mostly all gone.

The coach saw me and told me to move away from the bar. I moved a bit, and he said with more emphasis and volume for me to move, suggesting that I needed to take a huge step away. And I did, but I was beginning to panic. It is not a comfortable feeling when the body does not do as we wish it to do for something that it, by all means, ought to be able to do. Nor is it comfortable to feel oneself beginning to cry over such a simple little movement in a gym workout.

But I reminded myself that I was behind on sleep, which always seems to affect my ability to remain calm and not crying in situations. And so, I struggled and mostly failed, and then switched to the right arm, just to see if it would be any different. The band went right down. It was easy like how I had seen everyone else doing it… So something is wrong with my left side, I thought. Even more stress.

I moved on to the other activity for that round, and aimed to take a mental breather from the fact that I was supposed to do that four more rounds, and yet I hadn’t even been able to do it one time out of the 20 repetitions with my left side.

When I returned for the start of my second round, I tried again, aiming truly to figure out if there were a way that I could do it, despite my body’s not being able to do it fully as intended. A modification would be fine, if I could find one. The coach saw me again, standing too close to the bar as I attempting the modification. The earlier process had repeated, and the taunting tears from before no longer taunted, but fell forth. He was immediately in front of me, standing very close, talking calmly and gently to me, asking me what was going on, what was happening in that moment. I told him that – after a solid ten seconds of being unable to speak, for my tears – I was frustrated because I couldn’t do it. He evaluated, looking to the bar where I was, and the bar I had used the first round. This one was higher, which increased the tension, he pointed out. And I said I hadn’t been able to do it before either. The bands, too, were new, and so were harder to use than the ones we had had until recently. I told him that it was just my left side that I just couldn’t seem to make do the movement. He aligned everything for me, adjusting exactly the angle of my arm and elbow, and altering my handhold to decrease resistance.

And then I did it. I was still crying and, even, shaking, somewhat, but now there was relief in my tears, not merely stress and embarrassment. And I did it again. And I kept going. I nodded, making it clear that I was okay to continue on my own now. Before he walked away, he said to me, “You don’t need to be frustrated. You’re doing f***ing pull-ups,” and it made me laugh through my tears. He was right, after all. I was crying from stress at a tiny movement that I hadn’t been able to do, thinking I was too weak – I could do it, now that he had helped me figure it out, so it hadn’t been that I was too weak at all. And yet, after the workout today, I did three pull-ups, and attempted a fourth five or so times (making it about 90-95% of the way up each time on that fourth), wanting to get in one more than I had done after yesterday’s workout. I most certainly was not too weak.

I took one deep breathe, let it go, and I was breathing fully and easily again. I’m sure my face and eyes were still rather cry-looking for a while after that, but everyone was busy working, so I doubt anyone else even noticed. By the time I started the next round, which I was able to do with ease – relative ease, that it, as it was still hard work, but I could do that hard work now – I was fully calm and focused. While doing my left side, the coach caught my eye from across the room and gave me a visual clapping with his hands (because it was meant to be seen and not heard – there was loud music playing, after all).

I smiled sheepishly, but with immense gratitude. He is always there to encourage us to push ourselves beyond mental barriers (But he is extremely careful to keep us always safe, especially regarding physical abilities. Once, he told me, after I had cried at some back squats, never to do something that actually scared me or made me uncomfortable, where I didn’t feel safe doing it. He wants us safe, but not lazy cowards. That’s why he pushes us.), but, if ever his push of encouragement does not land as intended, he is at our side to help us how specifically we need in that moment. There was no hesitation when I started crying this morning – he saw that something was not okay for me, and his full focus was on helping me clear up whatever it was. And he did exactly that. And today was just one of the many reasons that I love this gym and its owner (today’s coach). Both because of the ridiculous song choices for the morning and for his clear love and care for me when I hit a roadblock.

Post-a-day 2021

Incense – *cough *cough

Here’s the deal: I made this new year’s incense with my mom. It smells lovely in the jar. I burned some at the start of the month, using only a small piece of charcoal (as I was about to go to bed, and didn’t want to use a whole charcoal for only one little bit of incense).  It worked beautifully, and smelled amazing. All went well.

Then, a few days later, I wanted to burn some more of the incense. I used a half of a charcoal this time, instead of just a tiny piece, because I was going to be up for a while, and so could add incense as it burned down. Almost immediately, the whole room started filling with smoke. And I know incense smokes. But this was different.  It was like fire smoke.  So, for fear of 1) smoking myself out and 2) setting off the fire alarm, I doused the whole thing with water.

I then left it a while – meaning days – before I returned to burn some again. Two attempts later, I had a very similar result. No, it was not quite as smoky as that second time.  It was still rather smoky, though.  And, get this: it didn’t even burn down all the incense.  So, I’m not even sure what was burning to be all smoky.  I need to defer to my mom on this one, as I genuinely am unsure as to what is going on here.  (To be fair, though, I could just be exhausted and not thinking straight. Genuine possibility. 😛 )

Post-a-day 2021

^ Remembered as I was writing it, so got it technically on the first effort!

Steps, my a…

Why, oh, why did I have to be resting in bed all day today? I know I was sick with a cold, and my body needed the rest and recuperation. I know that. But why did it have to be an all day thing?

Because now I have to compensate 7,000+ steps that were intended to be spread throughout the day. As I prepared for bed just now, I found an unfortunate approximate 2500 steps achieved for the day. Which, I suppose, is a lot for a day of being sick in bed almost the whole day, never leaving the house, and not officially being up and about until after 1pm.

Nonetheless, I genuinely forgot about it today. My rest was necessary, I know, but I very easily could have done some extra walking around the house later in the afternoon and evening, as I was feeling progressively better. Instead, totally sleepy and ready for bed, I’m having to get the remaining approximate 7500 steps required for me to go to bed.

Man, does it sometimes suck sticking to one’s own word…

And I want to go to bed so badly, because I’m getting up at 4:20 in the morning to go do a super intense workout, which will burn loads more calories than these 7500 steps right now will burn. So, that just adds to the annoyance of this all.

But I set this goal and requirement for myself, fully knowing myself. I gave my word. And I always am grateful afterward that I stuck to my word, even when it is under ridiculous circumstances.

So, yeah… ::face palm

Post-a-day 2021

^Whew!

Meditation

I started on this 28-day meditation thing through work. I specifically selected the five minutes a day version (versus the 15 minutes a day one), because I knew I could maintain five minutes going forward, at least for the 28 days, if not 40 or semi-indefinitely going forward.

The first day’s recording, which involves some prompting at the beginning and end, and casual flowy sounds for the duration, was just over five minutes in total. Okay, no big deal. It’s an approximate five-minute meditation. Totally okay.

The next day was roughly the same for the same timing. Each subsequent day or two, however, seemed to be longer and longer, to the point that, by day 18, I was listening to a more-than-15-minute recording for the meditation. It was still the same sort of prompting at the very beginning and end, with just the flowy sounds in the middle, but it was almost sixteen minutes long now. On the 21st day, I was so utterly wiped and aching for rest and sleep, I could not fathom staying upright and awake for an additional sixteen plus minutes. I left out the official meditation with ease and no regret that night.

I have yet to return to it. I agreed to a five-minute meditation, and that was not what I was given. Frankly put, it had no integrity in its design, based on how it was advertised. And a lack of integrity is a real turn-off for meditation.

Yes, I still want to do a meditation for the 28 days. No, I do not think I will do that one. I do the meditations during my process of getting ready for bed – they are a conclusion to my day. I can give five minutes reasonably and responsibly. Any more than that would be out of integrity for me and for what I need to do in order to take care of myself. The meditations had become a stressful endeavour for me the last several days of it, because it was too much time for me when I was already so tired. So, I’d spend the whole first part of the meditation letting go of my annoyance at the meditation itself. On the last few nights, I even got annoyed again near the end, because it was taking so long, and my body was done with sitting in its position. Not exactly the most productive use of time.

So, yeah, that wasn’t the best experience in giving it a go with a new approach to meditation and meditation styles. I wanted to test it out and see how it went, and that is just what I did. I have it space to grow on me, and it did. And then it overgrew on me and I let it go. Now, it is time to move forward with my learnings from it, and create something that can bring effective value to me and my life as a whole (effecting thereby those around me in life, too, in a positive way).

Post-a-day 2020

Brain waves: zero

Do you ever find yourself sitting down to do something, possibly late in the day or close to when planning to go to bed, and having no idea what on Earth you are supposed to be doing sitting there? Not because you don’t understand the process of the task, but because your brain has checked out and either is napping or has gone to bed for the night… without even fully forming the mental question of, ‘Why am I here?’, you have the sense of the question, the uncertainty and slight sense of being lost that go with it… and, rather than having various thoughts about why you might be here, your mind brainstorming the millions of possibilities as to why you have just set yourself here, your thoughts are just kind of off. The gasoline has run out, the power switch has been flipped – whatever the case, you find yourself sitting in front of something, with no idea as to why you are there, no thoughts to brainstorm your way through it, and no real understanding of what to do about the lack of knowing.

Well, whether you experience it or not, I most certainly do.

Post-a-day 2020

The time is now

There’s no time like the present, right?

Which, I guess, means that there’s no time like one in the morning! 😛

I had just completed a few hours of meditative work both for myself and for a friend – making a mala, and being very intentional about the whole thing and its entire process, thus taking hours to do it all, to meditate first on what to do, and then meditating by doing it – and, as I was packing up things, I acknowledged that the pull I had felt the past hour or so to play my second song (with the hopes of getting it recorded to share) was worth it… bed could wait a little longer – it wasn’t like I had to be anywhere early tomorrow, nor that I couldn’t nap as needed throughout the day (though I do have to start work at 9am, it is from home, and I don’t exactly have to talk to anyone first thing, possibly at all, so I’m okay to be a bit short on sleep…, even though I struggled with sleep last night…, but I’ll get back to that in a sec…).

Plus, this pull was more than just one to record a video or audio recording… there was something emotional pulling at me through it…

All these emotions that had gone into the song, they were ready to release, to be expressed, and to start to move onward… I had sat in them consciously for long enough – it was time.

Just to be sure, I played once just for myself, just to see how it went.

It was practically flawless.

So, then, yes, it was time.

I pulled up my computer, tested the sound and video and all, and then recorded…

And it was perfect.

And it was 1:12 in the morning, and that was perfect, somehow, too.

And now, without sharing the video, I will go get ready for bed and go to sleep, with hopes that, with these emotions out of me like this, I will find rest tonight, and can wake up refreshed tomorrow… unlike today.

And yet, even with these thoughts and feelings waking me while it was still dark outside, and not allowing but another short bit of respite – although, can we call it respite when we just end up inside stressy dreams with all the same thoughts and feelings that kept us up in the first place? – I still seem to be functioning at, now, almost two in the morning… I trust that I will be okay tomorrow, especially after resting for real… yes… I will sleep well tonight.

Thank you, God, for the music and the words… they are invaluable to me right now, and I am immensely grateful.

And I am ready for whatever is next : )

Post-a-day 2020

Get your a** off the floor ;P

The biggest mistake was sitting down.

If I hadn’t sat down in the first place, I wouldn’t be stuck here right now, battling mentally with what it will take to get me to get up, go put on some clothes, and finish my post-shower, pre-bed activities so that I can go to bed and sleep.

However, here I still sit, leaning against my bed, instead of in it, and just a towel wrapped around my hair… eyes drooping closed and slowly rising again to determine if I have made it into bed yet, only to be disappointed to the point of closing them once more… the cycle repeats.

Okay, fine, I’ll get up and finish things up… I just don’t have anything for tomorrow, though I have more than one thing I would love to do tomorrow (if only it weren’t all dependent upon another), so it is harder for me to want to go to sleep.:.

Well, perhaps I can develop something wonderful simply by waking earlier than needed, and taking the time to explore what I might like to do, and then do it…

We’ll see about that…, but it is enough to get me up, so, here I go…

P.S. I Really want to go somewhere next week – no school, no work, no events… let’s either get a cheap plane fair somewhere or drive somewhere, a state or national park, perhaps(!)… ye-he-hess (Mr. Burns style, fingers and all).

Bedtime, and yet

It is bedtime (and has been for hours), and yet here I sit on the floor, being silly with my phone.

To be fair, I am not wasting away myself or my mental capacity – quite the opposite.

I have been practicing and studying Italian.

I’m one of the people on this planet who genuinely aim to use the genius cell phone technology to improve myself, and not simply to send a million bad photos to semi-close friends all day (and night) long.

So, rather than go to bed, I first sat listening to my latest audiobook (with the excuse that I was waiting for photos to load to my computer from my camera, but I sat long after the computer was already put away), then finally showered when my phone died; returned to my phone for some Italian practice and a jumpstart back into the game for my Duolingo learning league of the week; and then finally hit the point of declaring a need to go to bed, and so am placing my last few open-eyes moments here, writing this.

Op!… looks like we’ve lost one: only the right eye is fully open anymore… and the left is sagging below halfway…

Oop!… the right one just did a temporary slip, and they both closed briefly.

Now it is really time to get to bed, and not just to sit on the floor at the end of it, wearing my jumbo-knit (hand-made by yours truly) green blanket like a heavy Mardi Gras parade cape, considering whether I want to put on a sweater…

Oh, the silliness of sleepiness… 😛

Goodnight!

(Or, better yet: Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!) ❤

Post-a-day 2020

Too early to rise

It’s 8:22pm, I feel like throwing up, I’m 3000+ steps short on my daily requirement, I haven’t finished my bedtime activities, I am utterly exhausted, and we have to be at the pick-up, ready to go at 3:15am.

And there is live music going on outside, various Christmas songs blasting across the property of this resort – my first resort, and probably one of the worst versions of resorts for me in particular (I don’t like dirty or muggy indoors) – like everyone is in a party mood.

Supposedly, Christmas is an all-over party mood for the islands here…, but it seems weird to have such a celebration happening at a resort that is filled mostly with Japanese people…

Anyway… 3:15am is too close for comfort right now, especially without our car/pickup booking details…

Ouch.

Goodnight, I hope.

Post-a-day 2019