Monday, February 29, 2016

Forward or Month-End Review, February

My body felt much better when I consistently exercised for six days out of the week. It is so temperamental now but whenever it's cranky, I just think more yoga is in order.

Saw a post on Instagram that I didn't "like" when I saw it but all I had to do was type "forward forward" and the image appeared. I'm not moving as often or as intensely as I would like but I'm moving and I'm grateful. This time in my life also makes me think of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois who said Practice, practice, and all is coming.

10 Minute Solution: Fitness Ball Workout
*Upper Body, 1 x

10 Minute Solution: Knockout Body!
*Knockout Body Blast, 2 x's

Climbing, 1 x

Country Line Dance Party!
*Scoot Them Boots, 2 x's

Just Walk: mix + match walk blasters
*Light Walk, 1 x
*Short & Sweaty, 1 x

Swimming, 4 x's

Walk, 6 x's

Yoga, 11 x's

Zumba, 7 x's

Saturday, February 27, 2016

What I Don't Need

Just A Fourth of the Zumba Folks
Slept in and slept hard as I didn't get home until around 1:00 a.m. since the 'Fugee and I watched disc two of season two of Downton Abbey.

As I walked out the door, had a moment of indecision about whether I should go to Zumba or go bicycling but, in the end, didn't feel like hoisting my bicycle out of the basement or putting the bike rack on.

The regular Zumba teacher is on a cruise and she'd already told us that Shannon would be subbing. Many Shannonites showed up and it was a packed class. Kept thinking that a sub is not a sub when it's Shannon. Some of her moves are a bit too technical for me but her energy is awesome and infectious. Glad that I went.

Ate lunch then headed to Illinois to replace the damaged frames of my glasses. Luckily, it only set me back $16 bucks. Thank you eyewear outlet.

Went back home and picked up my bike which I took to the shop for a tune-up because it really will be biking season soon. I can still hear the laughter of a Somali acquaintance when I told him that I was going to get a tune-up for my bike. When I returned home had an email from Alison inquiring about Sunday bicycling, ha...

Siphoned water out of the fish tank, mopped the bathroom floor and washed a couple of loads of clothes then headed to the mall to pick up a birthday gift. Almost got hoodwinked into buying Winterberry tea from a very charismatic Vietnamese/Indian/Malaysian clerk. Thought about buying the tea for one of my aunts who likes fruit teas but they had a minimum amount requirement. I was amazed by the up sell spiel. I do not need a Teavana Starter Kit.

Went to Trader Joe's after the mall and as I packed my TJ's haul, realized that I was low on yogurt and headed across the parking lot to Target. By that time, my fitness tracker had recorded 12,000 steps and I started to feel it in my ankle. Foot (self) massage forthcoming.

The weekend -- just another phrase for trying to get stuff done that was not done during the week.

Steps so far: 12,908. Saturday miles on odometer -- 65, approximately.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Locked It In

When I emerged from the locker room last night, I heard the youth swim team coach say I want you to lock it in and I thought Yeah, I'm going to lock it in. I don't know if I locked it in but I did get in 22 laps.

Saw this article on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' (UNHCR) Twitter feed and it made me go to the YMCA's website to see what intermediate classes they have available. The one closest to me only has a Saturday class but I will keep looking as I'd like to advance my swimming skills.

Took the day off from work as it is Alison's birthday and she wanted me to spend time with her. The request reminded me of what Gloria said recently -- If you don't ask, the answer is always no.

We planned to hit one yoga class but because of the weather, Alison's kid was out of school and we had to switch plans and go to the gym that has childcare.

There was plenty of room in the studio but this woman put her mat right in front of mine. Seriously? Alas, it didn't matter because the teacher didn't show up so we went to one of our favorite restaurants and chilled there.

Plenty of Space
After my time with Alison, I regrouped then ran errands including going to the library. I've had to abandon two books and I'm hoping that I will be able to relate to The House of Tomorrow.

Monday, February 22, 2016

All The Air

Realized yesterday how my body kind of shuts down on Sunday. I don't really want to do anything but not doing anything doesn't\didn't feel quite right so I went to yoga, walked, cooked and I also went to visit two of my aunts.

Had an interesting conversation with my aunt Girt about "the village." I won't go into a lot of detail but if it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a village to take care of elders...

We did the usual "How was your weekend?" at work and the intern in our department said that she'd been able to go home using airline miles. My colleague said something like I'm sure that your mom and dad were glad to see you.

Actually, she said, My mom died a year ago. She battled breast cancer for three years. It felt like  someone sucked all the air out of the room. The intern is 22 -- too young to be without her mother. I know, people much younger have lost parents but still.

I remember either listening to or reading an interview that someone conducted with Sapphire and she talked about how, by ten, a parent is able to infuse a lot of love into a child. But still...

When I heard our intern say that her mother had died, it was just confirmation, again, to do what you want and seize the moment.

Friday, February 19, 2016

What I Do Not Want

As I listened to one of my colleagues complain, thought about bath bombs and how they fizz and dissolve and spread their essential and other oils and color all over the place and I realized that my colleague is a stress bomb and I know that everyone vents but I'm talking about the ultramarathon of complaining.

Supposedly, you learn the most from people who frequently get under your skin and I kept wondering if I was so unaware that I needed to learn the same thing repeatedly.

I did have an epiphany as I thought about the bath bomb. I do not want to devote much energy to wailing and I do not want to be the kind of person who dispenses stress, dissatisfaction and unhappiness to other people on a regular basis.

So two lessons seem to be:

1). Fill the well a.k.a work on happiness.

2). Often dedicate time to self-care.

3). Be respectful of other people -- don't dump on them.

4). Silence is golden.

The fourth one reminds me of something Joy said about that sacred moment or space where you pause and say or react differently than you normally do or, possibly, not say anything at all for a change.

*More lessons appeared as I started writing.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Square One

Went swimming last night and as I headed down the lane to finish lap two, saw that I had an escort (the female coach for the youth team) on the platform -- patiently walking and observing me. Thought that she was going to give me a tip but she smiled at me and said You can be on my team anytime. Her comment was unexpected and sweet.

Went climbing tonight and I am pretty much starting from square one. I felt more confident on my feet this time but could barely ascend most routes. Part of it is that there are a bunch of new route setters and not a lot of route variety and the other part is that I am out of shape and out of practice but I'm going to keep plugging away until climbing makes sense again.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Just Saying

Met Alison at 9:30 a.m. for yoga. Normally, I sleep in when I don't have to work but sometimes you just have to meet your friend where she wants to be met.

Wondered about going to my regular 7:30 p.m. class and when Joy asked me if I would be in attendance, I thought Why not? I probably won't be able to attend yoga for the rest of the week so doubling up seemed like a good idea.

Took care of chores including cooking then exercised for about 40 minutes. Thought about how I feel older because of the two months that I didn't exercise but the next few seconds brought feelings of gratitude when swimming popped into my mind.

I love that I'm water competent but I also love that I can have swimming as a go-to exercise when my feet need a break and don't get me started about swimming as a form of moving meditation.

So, I complained about a woman in yoga class who often asks questions and sometimes immediately after Namaste. Well, there's another newbie and she asks more questions than the first newbie and in a tone that's so caustic that it's startling. It would be nice if there was a yoga orientation class or brief tour (with brief orientation) or something. Just saying...

This article about Rachel Brathen made me chuckle. Have to say that the goat is super cute.

Saturday, February 13, 2016


Zumba was the most exciting part of my day and everything else has been pretty chill so no complaints.

Went to test drive an Impreza yesterday and was imprezzed, ta-da...

Specifically picked this one dealership because they had an older model but what I've learned is that dealers are not interested in selling a used vehicle. One told me that the older model was fully loaded and, therefore, the same price as the 2016.

So much has changed at dealerships. Last night, the 'Fugee went with me and we both got Trader Joe's chocolate as we headed out the door. They also had hot chocolate, tea etc. and there was a sizable monitor where I could imagine the car in jasmine green and quartz blue pearl. Want some color on that car? It'll set you back an additional $3,000 dollars.

Booty from Subaru
I have to keep reminding myself that I need a new car. In fact, I made a list so that I don't forget. My current one is a 2001. The catalytic converter needs to be replaced. The brakes make a god-awful noise when it rains or snows so when I hear that rain is in the forecast, I dread driving my car and, no, the brakes don't need to be replaced. There's something amiss, but not dangerous, with the brake mechanism in the Protege's latter years.

Did you hear about the gas without the station? Wish that I could tell someone what I want in a car and get them to negotiate a price for me. The salesman, of course, tried to get me to sign on the dotted line last night but I've never that impulsive and, sure enough, the discounted offer that I got was the same price, minus discount, at another dealership.

Part of me wants to buy an Enterprise car but they have way too many miles on them, duh, but at least you don't have to haggle over a price.

One "trivial" thing that I like about the Impreza is the sound system which is awesome. Listening to music on my iPod in that car reminded me of Sharon who was an art therapist. I told her about taking my then new Mazda to the dealer to get the CD fixed because I like to listen to music in the morning and she said What dedication to self-care. I will forever be grateful to Sharon for firmly planting that seed in my head.

Thursday, February 11, 2016


Ah yes, adult coloring is all the rage. Don't think they've quite gotten around to publishing an edition with the page that Issa Rae posted though.

I seldom go to FTS mode these days but... It's been a long week and it's not the only week that's been long and tiresome weeks like this one make me think about my grandmother who once responded with  I'm sure it's not anything that you can't handle when I told her about a work conundrum. Overall, conundrums get solved -- not always in an ideal fashion but things usually turn out much better than you think they will turn out and there's no need to resort to five alarm drama.

FTS mode is not my solution most days and I'm more likely to try a good breathing session but sometimes, I know, different releases are required. I know that I'm tired because even my words are going in circles...

Monday, February 8, 2016


Me On Friday
On Thursday went to Zumba and wore a foot brace but, for Saturday's class, I took the brace off and I haven't put it back on since then. The brace is off but I'm still treating my ankle with kid gloves.

It's hard to get back into the swing of things but I did thirty minutes of exercise after work -- light walking and line dancing then I went to yoga. I've been doing pigeon on my back but decided to give it a try the "regular" way. When I went to scooch my left foot over, my ankle protested a bit -- just enough to let me know that it is not totally healed and, on the other side, my knee was not happy so I switched positions and did reclining pigeon. I am at the point where I'm much wiser about listening to my body.

I'm still thinking about what Joy said during Sunday's class about Imbolc -- about being halfway between winter and spring and how now is the time to plant seeds or to get back in alignment with whatever New Year's resolutions that may have fallen by the wayside. It's the seed planting that I'm mulling over. Indeed, what kind of seeds do I want to plant? What do I want to see come into fruition?

Went to watch the third and fourth quarters of the Super Bowl with my aunt Alice and she was surprised that I had my hair in braids since I had sent Chiquita a picture of my afro on Friday. I explained to my aunt that I tend to wear braids up until Tuesday and then I give my head a break.

Told my aunt, who was surprised that I swim in the winter, that it's much easier to swim with braids. I also told her that the building is usually nice and toasty. But what about when you get out of the water...? Um, you walk as fast as possible and hope that the shower water is warm.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

A Good Question

Checked in with Patti to see if she wanted to climb yesterday but she needed to help a friend out. I still could have gone climbing but wanted the extra time to chill out.

Patti and I got into an email conversation which started with her talking about a TED podcast, Rethinking Death, that she'd listened to.

She straight up wanted me to finish a starter phrase that she'd heard during the podcast -- Before I die, I want to...

Me: What kind of question is this for a Wednesday?
Patti: It's a good question for EVERY day...
Of course I had to download the podcast and a lot of it made me think about Caitlyn Doughty's book Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory and my tour of Bellefontaine Cemetery.

A few of my answers to Patti:

1). More stamps on the passport

2). More yoga retreats

3). Diving competence

4). More dedication to self-care...

How would you finish that phrase?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Set It Free

Took a short walk yesterday and tuned into my first podcast in months. It was The Moth episode with Lynnee Breedlove and Jama Jack. Didn't make it all the way through but I enjoyed the pre-show banter about resolutions. This woman said that she was going to let go of hope so that she could embrace it more or something like that and the host said "If you love hope then set it free..." LOL

Of course, now I have that song by Sting in my head.

Went to yoga last night and there were about 20 of us in class but we all had space to stretch out. Jill moved her mat to my area and said I hope you don't think that I'm weird but I was in the other class and wanted to move my mat. We had a nice conversation about weirdness.

Several of us also discussed  how many classes we'd taken during January. I assumed that Jill had gotten in 30 because she did it last year but she has a new cat and bonding with the cat was her priority.

I asked another woman and she said that nothing had changed about her schedule because she took her normal classes and she regularly gets in about four to five classes a week.

So, yeah, I'm used to getting my yoga buzz on and I'll try to get in about three classes a week.

Went swimming tonight and got in 20 laps. Love my Tuesday night p.m. swim session even if the water is cold.