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Random Thoughts

I skipped my cup of coffee this morning.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy my morning cup. I absolutely do! I just woke up this morning, not wanting to take the time to walk into the kitchen to weigh out the 20 grams of beans before grinding them and brewing my cup.

So, I didn’t have coffee today.

I fell asleep in the same clothes I wore all day yesterday, and I have absolutely no regrets. Walmart has some amazing tie-dye pants that are honestly softer than some of the pajama pants I own. I’m still wearing them. Instead of putting on a cute workout outfit and doing a Leslie Sansone walk, I bundled up in my purple sherpa hoodie, last year’s grey winter coat, and a pink and grey hat I knitted for myself and went outside for a 3-mile walk.

Unfortunately, I feel like there’s never a good time to go for a walk. In the late afternoon and evening, families are out on strolls with their kids and dogs. Children are riding bikes or playing in their front yards. In the morning, the same dog walkers are out while children are walking to school or standing in front of their houses waiting for the bus.

I just wanted to put on some worship music on Spotify and walk without seeing any other humans. I wanted solitude.

I will, intentionally, go out of my way to avoid crossing the street with a crossing guard. I know. It’s a strange thing, I know. It just makes me uncomfortable. I’m not sure why that is. Perhaps it’s this feeling that I’m a little kid again. Maybe it’s simply that I don’t want to have to stop and wait for someone else to tell me I can proceed when I can clearly see it’s safe to cross myself.

I suspect a lot of it has to do with the crossing guard who was stationed by my high school. I absolutely dreaded crossing when she was there, but I also didn’t have much choice. There was an option for avoiding her, but it really wasn’t allowed since it meant avoiding the sidewalk on the opposite side of the busy road. Not every street around here has a sidewalk, but, as a general rule, we were supposed to use one whenever possible.

So, after school, I’d cross the street with this crossing guard. She’d get us right to the halfway point across the street and immediately send the traffic heading northeast on their way. She didn’t wait until students approached the opposite curb or were safely on the sidewalk. I felt the breeze of cars and trucks on my back too many times to count in the two-and-a-half years I was in high school.

It was a weird morning. It still is one. I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that. Everything just feels heavy today, and I’m struggling to keep from letting the tension and emotions of the world weigh me down. I had a tense conversation with a friend last night. I’m generally the kind of person to avoid those kinds of conversations because I hate the tension that comes from disagreeing. I’d rather just go with the flow.

However, I also have pretty strong opinions of my own. I won’t compromise my own beliefs; I simply don’t want to publicly disagree with yours. I’d rather do what I think is right and be done with it- even if sometimes, my thoughts and opinions are controversial.

I know most of my friends will have to agree to disagree when it comes to some of my choices. I also trust that, despite not completely agreeing on everything, we can still be friends.

I’m not completely sure what I have planned for today. I may take a trip to Aldi to see if I can snag one of those coveted cheese advent calendars. Aldi around here doesn’t sell alcohol, not that it matters; I don’t drink. I also need to spend some time looking for work, update my Powersheets, and finish the Fab4 Smoothie I’ve been slowly sipping my way through.

I suppose I should get going.

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Morning Routines and Priorities

When I started #90DivineDays nearly three weeks ago, I set my alarm for 5 am.

Unfortunately, I don’t always go to bed by 9 pm. I rarely go to bed that early. I was getting a lot done in the morning, but it came at a cost. I was not getting nearly enough sleep.

Now, I could argue that I got by just fine, not sleeping enough last year. After all, I didn’t even make an exception for a rest day on weekends. (Now, I’ll at least give myself an extra hour to sleep in on Sundays). However, that’s not entirely true. In fact, I think my refusal to rest more probably contributed to the fact that I got the flu twice during the last two months of 2019. 

I needed to make a change. I have some occasional evening commitments that prevent me from getting to bed before 9 pm. Therefore, I decided the first approach would be to wake up an hour later every morning. So, I set my alarm for 6 with plans to get in bed by 10 pm most nights. I also started making an effort to eat dinner closer to 6 pm instead of 7. (I’ve been getting to bed before 9 most nights this week). 

That meant switching things up with my morning routine. I loved how I structured my mornings with my workout sandwiched between my morning coffee/journaling time and time reading. I also really loved finishing my workout around 7 am.

Unfortunately, I can’t do it all. I can’t set a later alarm, follow the same routine I want to follow, and do my workout when I want. It’s just not possible.

On Sunday, I woke up and discovered that the single-serve coffee machine (a Clio) I had been using for the last two weeks decided to stop working. I decided to use this to my advantage and try something different. Last year, when I started working out, I did my workout immediately after waking up. So, I decided to give that a try. After all, as much as I loved the structure of my morning routine, I wanted to finish my workout earlier. 

My workouts this week have been pretty terrible. Last week, I killed it. For some devices, Fitbit now measures active time in terms of “Active Zone Minutes.” Activity that gets your heart rate into Fat Burn Zone gives you one Active Zone Minute per minute of activity. Cardio and Peak zone give you two Zone minutes per minute of activity. Last week, I had several workouts where my Active Zone Minutes met or exceeded the time spent working out.

This week? Not even close. Yesterday, I even picked a workout I know I love because the HIIT component drives up my heart rate. For some reason, that didn’t happen. I could not get my heart rate up. Despite my best efforts to focus on why I was working out, I was too unfocused. 

Something needed to change. Yesterday, I spent a good 40 minutes scrubbing an old Mr. Coffee coffeemaker. I purchased an inexpensive bag of whole bean coffee at Aldi. 

This morning, I woke up, got dressed, and started my morning with a cup of coffee. I did my journaling and devotionals while drinking my coffee. Then, I started my workout just before 7 am.

It was the best workout all week. I decided to skip my scheduled Tone Every Zone workout and do the sample workout from LIIFT4, followed by a two-mile Miracle Miles walk. I was focused and energized. For the first time all week, I finished my workout feeling good.

Now, the morning wasn’t without some setbacks. The coffeemaker I scrubbed yesterday decided it didn’t want to work this morning, so I had to spend time cleaning our second machine. I’m new to making coffee, so I took a few minutes to figure out how the coffee grinder works. Still, I’m convinced that my morning will go more smoothly in time. 

Most importantly, I had a good morning. 

Was it everything I wanted from my morning? No, of course not. However, I need to accept that I need to decide what’s most important to me. I thought it was finishing my workout early. While I still love the idea, I think I would rather exercise an hour later in the morning if it means I get that hour to wake up, caffeinate, and set myself up for a workout that feels good. 

This is what progress looks like at times. It’s always not about sticking to rigid goals. Right now, it’s about experimenting with routines until I find something that works for me. It’s about learning to prioritize- even if it means making some difficult decisions. 

Am I going to stick to this routine of having coffee before my workout? I can’t say for sure. I am going to do it for a few days before I make any final decisions. However, I’m pretty sure that I will continue for a while.