Tag Archives: reward yourself

…And Not, When I Came to Die, Discover That I Had Not Lived

Good afternoon, hooligans! Today’s post is going to be another Audience Participation one, and I’m going to need you to grab a few supplies so you can play along. So I’m going to go refill my coffee cup, and while I’m gone, please gather the following:

1. A notepad and pen/pencil/marker/crayon/fancy quill/etc

2. A spray bottle with plain water inside

/pours coffee, adds cream

/stirs

/sips

…Are we all back now? Yes? Good.

At the top of your piece of paper, let’s start by copying down the following quote:

Come Alive

Now beneath that, we’re going to make a list. Here’s what goes in it:

  • Your favorite hobbies, activities, etc. The things you do “just for fun”
  • Those moments in your life when you were having so much fun you felt like you were getting away with something–the moments people describe in books as “So-and-so thought she must surely be dreaming, and pinched herself”
  • Things you could get paid to do, but which you would be just as happy doing for free (think “dream job”, think “volunteer efforts”, think “if they stopped paying me, I’d still keep showing up anyway”)
  • Things you enjoy so much you’re totally willing to pay other people so you can do them (for instance, Moon Man is taking flying lessons. These are not cheap, but he enjoys them so much I’m pretty sure he’d sell his organs on the black market if he had to, to keep going with ’em)

Once that’s done, sit with the list for a minute. Just…sit with it. Look at it, smile wistfully, think things like “ahh, if only I had all the time and money in the world”; shake your fist a little bit at the rude disruption that is your normal life; idly consider buying a lottery ticket; let your thoughts drift to whether you remembered to set up the DVR for that show you want, or whether you’ve got time to mow the grass when you get home before running the kids to Scouts. Think about the reasons you’re not able to do all the things on your list: finances, time, other commitments, social expectations (“that’s not a very grown-up thing to want to do”), etc.

And as soon as you’ve got the Reasons Why Not fixed firmly in your brain, I want you to pick up the spray bottle, say “NO” in a firm voice, and spritz yourself directly in the face. Y’know, like you’d do with a cat who’s trying to eat your begonia.

Look back at the list, think about your excuses again, and repeat: NO (spritz).

Here’s the thing, y’all. I get it, I really truly get it, that part of Being a Responsible Grownup(TM) means that you have to make choices, you have to prioritize things, you have to make decisions based not just on your short-term happiness but also on your long-term solvency. It’s ok; we’ve got a mortgage too, so I’m certainly not saying you should just ditch everything and go try being a professional snowboarder full-time (though if you want to and are able to, I’m also not saying not to do that).

But what I am saying is that we get in this habit somewhere along the lines, where we have these things that we love–lovelovelove–to do, but we train ourselves out of wanting them by doing a sort of call-and-response kneejerk listing of all the reasons why we can’t do them anytime we start to think about them. We tell ourselves that we don’t have the time, or the money, or the freedom; we tell ourselves that other people will be disappointed in us; we tell ourselves that there are much more productive/important/useful things we could be doing instead.

In other words, we teach ourselves to associate our passions with Things We Cannot Do Because of Reasons…and when you think about it that way, doesn’t it seem just a little bit backwards?

Rather than listing the Things We Have to Do instead of pursuing the things we love, perhaps we can think about the things we can release that are standing between us and our bliss. Perhaps we can look at our budgets not as roadblocks, but as opportunities to practice conscious spending so that we can clear space for the things that make our soul sing (look at it this way: if your kid was a natural dancer, utterly passionate about it, and the only way to pay for his lessons was to kill cable, would you seriously still be watching Friends reruns? Or would you call the cable company right the heck now and tell them to come take the box away?).

Perhaps we can reevaluate how we spend the hours of our lives, and choose to put our bliss ahead of, say, the dusting.

Now look, I’m not saying everyone should run out and quit their jobs tomorrow and go become surfers or macrame artists or whatever. Some of you adore your jobs, and if you’re getting paid for your bliss, then good on you; and for those who aren’t so much desperately in love with their job but who, like me, are pretty strongly attached to the safety of knowing the lights are going to stay on, then by all means, carry on.

But stop letting yourself be the thing that’s standing between you and coming alive. Stop drafting a narrative in which you are prevented from your bliss because you’re following some made-up rules about How Grownups Are Supposed to Make Choices. Break the “I want to but I can’t” thought process–use a spray bottle, if that’s what it takes. Instead, start figuring out ways to clear time, clear funds, build opportunities for yourself. You are the only one who can give yourself permission to be wildly, blissfully, “I’m having so much fun I’m pretty sure I’m going to get in trouble for this” alive–so spritz yourself in the face until you’ve killed the habit of killing your own desires.

Try this: pick up that list you’ve made, and number the entries. Guess what? You’ve just made yourself a to-do list. And as a Responsible Grownup, you’re supposed to do the things on to-do lists. So come alive, get out there, and start crossing things off.

The world needs people like you.

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The Red Purse

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine came to me with a crisis: she’d won a Coach handbag.

More accurately, her husband won the handbag for her; his company held a raffle, and for $10 you could get 15 tickets. The proceeds from the tickets were divided among three charities including the Humane Society and a local domestic violence shelter, so even if you didn’t win you got the satisfaction of knowing you’d done a Good Thing. And–hooray!–he won, and she got a $300 gift card to purchase the handbag of her choice. (Ok, technically he got a gift card and could’ve bought himself a nice handbag, but he’s not really a handbag sort of fellow.)

Now, here’s where the crisis comes in: my friend is a Very Nice Person(TM). And $300 is a lot of money to spend on a handbag. So her first impulse? Her first impulse was to pick out a nice, neutral sort of bag that lots of people would like, then turn around and sell it on eBay so she could get herself a much less expensive purse (say, from Target) and give the remaining money to charity. As she put it, “I can feed a lot of people with $300!”.

But her husband had won her that handbag fair and square (by making a charitable donation of his own accord, no less), so she didn’t want to say “thanks but no thanks”…but there are needy people in the world and how could she possibly justify carrying a $300 purse when people are hungry…but she’d found a really nice purse that she really did love…but seriously, though, how do you justify keeping all that money to yourself…

We could run around that track that for a long time. The bottom line is that she’d won a super-expensive purse, and was trying to convince herself that she should keep it, despite all (well, ok, most) of her inner urges telling her to flip the thing.

By now I reckon you’ve started developing an opinion about what she should do in this situation, so let me go ahead and toss in a couple more tidbits (y’know, either to bolster or make you rethink your argument):

1. This friend works as a patient advocate. Basically, this means that she helps folks–mostly folks with some sort of mental or psychological challenges–navigate the complex maze of government paperwork to get them access to things like health care, housing, and food assistance. Her caseload is roughly 300 people per week. Lest you think that’s a typo, I’ll say it again: she helps three hundred people per week.

2. This friend took this job partly because it would enable her to help people professionally, but also partly because it came with a giant pay boost over her previous job–which meant that now she could make ends meet and have some money leftover for splurges and charitable donations. That’s right, kids, she donates regularly to local food banks, participates in the annual holiday Adopt-a-Family drive, etc, etc, etc–in addition to the folks she helps during the day.

In other words, chickadee is pretty much superwoman, saving as much of the world as she can before I’ve even figured out what to have for lunch on a given day.

I reckon you can guess how I felt about the purse situation, then. But in the interest of clarity, let me spell it out: if anyone on the face of god’s green earth deserves a spontaneous prezzie just because she’s awesome, it is this gal. I mean, c’mon. Seriously, now.

So you know what she did?

Drumroll, please….

She accepted the handbag. She decided that it was a lovely gift from her husband, and her husband declared it to be a lovely gift from the Cosmos for being nice people, and now she has a shiny new purse.

This shiny new purse.

This shiny new purse.

And here’s why I’m telling you this story: I can’t speak for the rest of y’all, but I for one profoundly empathize, to the core of my very soul, with her crisis. When something nice comes my way, or when someone tries to do something generous to/for me, it freaks me all the way out. I will go to great lengths to try to help someone else, will be more than happy to help folks on moving day, will blow half our Christmas budget on total strangers, will insist that people bring me food bank donations instead of presents on my birthday; but if a person says to me “I would like to do this thing for you”, it just shuts my brain all the way down.

Another friend said a few months ago that I’m the sort of person who, if I found $20 in my coat pocket, I’d turn around immediately and give it to someone else. And that’s not entirely untrue, particularly if I happened to be sitting with someone who needed it.

But when she said that–and again, when the Great Coach Crisis of 2014 arose–I made myself sit and really think about what that says and what that means. It’s great to be a cheerful giver; it’s actually really important to me to be a cheerful giver.

But don’t we also have a responsibility to be gracious receivers? There are folks out there who are reliant upon assistance from other people; but if all we ever model is this sort of excessively humble sheepishness that prohibits us from taking anything from anyone, ever, how are these folks supposed to feel like they’re not transgressing against social norms by accepting help when it’s offered? Shouldn’t we at least consider the possibility that by having the courage to accept blessings when they arise, we’re demonstrating to others that this is really, truly ok, and that they are also permitted to receive blessings without feeling an obligation to turn around and immediately pass them off to someone else?

brave

And do we really want to tell people–or the Universe–that their spontaneous expressions of loving generosity are somehow not welcome here? That seems like an awfully dangerous precedent to set, if you ask me.

So frankly, I’m glad she took the purse–not just because she deserves it, or because she will rock the heck outta that shiny new red handbag, but because it gives her the chance to show people that if someone does something nice for you, you are allowed to accept it. You are allowed to say “thank you” and mean it from the bottom of your heart, and you can keep the gift and still be a good person.

You can cash in your karma points from time to time, is what I’m saying. You’ve earned ’em, and you can spend ’em.

And besides, if you’re anything like her, you’ll build 1,000 more points before you go home tonight. You’ve got points to spare. Rock that purse, honey.

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Filed under General Musings and Meanderings, Play Nicely

Better Than Ice Cream

Occasionally I indulge my penchant for hyperbole.

I know that may come as a shock to you, but trust me, it’s true. I might, every once in a while, stretch things just a touch; I might overstate things just a wee bit; I might, for the sake of humor or to drive a point home, get just the tiniest bit carried away with comparisons. Just a little bit. A tiny bit, really. A shred. A crumb. A molecule.

For instance, I might say things like “I would crawl a million miles over broken glass for a helping of Moddy’s cheesy potato casserole”. Clearly this is not true: I would not crawl a million miles for that, because if I asked Moddy very nicely to make a cheesy potato casserole, I could simply get in the car and drive 30 miles to her house and have one by dinnertime. She’s a good sport like that.

However, sometimes the things I say are actually totally true, and should be taken at face value. Case in point: a while back, I said that if I had to choose between chocolate and my nieces’n’nephews, I’d choose the kiddos without having to think about it. (I also said I’d punch an alligator in the face for them, which, while true, is not a point on which I’d particularly like to be tested.)

And I was thinking about that yesterday–the chocolate trade, not the alligator–while I was making our New Year’s Prosperity Feast. We had shrimp cocktail and hors d’oeuvres and fancy wine for breakfast (we’d had the champagne the night before), and stuffed mushrooms and black-eyed peas and steak for dinner and a nice circular cake for dessert, all because it’s supposed to be good luck to eat certain foods on New Year’s Day. Y’know, for prosperity and things. Someone had said that the peas, for instance, were supposed to bring coins into your life and collard greens were supposed to bring cash; it was a little late to go hunt down some collard greens, but I reckon the peas and the cake and the prosperous thoughts should suffice.

And that’s what made me think about the kiddos: if we eat certain foods on New Year’s Day for prosperity, maybe I can apply that approach throughout the year, and eat certain foods because they represent the life I want to live with the people I love the most.

I know I’m supposed to eat vegetables, and I do enjoy a good broccoli crown–mmm, broccoli–but I wonder if I might eat more of it if I declare that broccoli florets, which look like trees, should be eaten frequently so that I’ll be granted the gift of lots of woodsy adventures. And maybe I’ll eat broccoli crowns when I want to bring extra princess time into my life. Cauliflower looks kinda like brains, so I can eat cauliflower for extra smarts in my brain parts–the better to whup Moon Man at trivia games (that will never happen. He can’t remember a birthday to save his life, but he’s got ridiculous amounts of trivia rattling around in his head). I’ll eat red coronary-lookin’ beets when I want to expand the love in my world. I’ll eat more black-eyed peas for more money, and because they’re delicious with a little bacon. Mmm, bacon.

And it works in the opposite direction, too. I declared, in that blog post last year, that I would choose the kiddos over chocolate without even having to think about it, and that’s true–if a wizard came to me right now and ordered me to choose, I’d have my answer before he finished his sentence. I have the good fortune of not having to make that choice; but maybe I can live like I’ve been given a scale with all the chocolate on one side and all the time with loved ones on the other, and every time I eat some chocolate I have to move some time off the family side so the scale stays balanced. The chocolate isn’t off the table entirely; I just need to choose it consciously, knowing that every candy bar is a bit of time I’m taking away…but veggies, I dunno, add time or something. I haven’t thought this all the way out yet, and the metaphor is a little tortured anyway.

But you see what I’m getting at. Maybe this year can be the year when I make food decisions consciously, with an eye toward symbolism and meaning and intent, instead of just eating the things I’ve historically eaten, which, for the record, have not historically led to my being the healthiest human being alive. (What’s that they say about doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? Yeah….)

And if I get right to the punchline–and this is all Sarah McLachlan’s fault–the love of my family and friends really is better than ice cream. Plus it doesn’t melt.

So that’s the plan for this year: more little trees, fewer ice cream cones. Because I will take a romantic walk through the woods with my hubby over a drippy, melty cone any day.

Well, most days.

Isn't this just about the cutest cross-stitch piece you ever saw? I may have to order one.

Isn’t this just about the cutest cross-stitch piece you ever saw? I may have to order one.

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Filed under General Musings and Meanderings, Play Nicely

Happy 2013: Bonus Round

tumblr_m0hrhlCNIn1rr3l61o1_500

I don’t know if you noticed, but December 21 came and went.

The world didn’t end.

At least, if it did, I didn’t get the memo. I’m still here. Moon Man is still here. The dogs and cats are still here, and the dust and laundry are all still here.

It’s all still here.

And I could try to build some big philosophical point about how the world really did end that day, in that we stopped living in a world where the End of the World (TM) was right around the corner and so something significant can be said about how we always have the ability to end our current world and pick a new one that works better, but instead I’m going to focus on a different angle in the same movie:

If the world was supposed to end 10 days ago and we’re all still here, then perhaps we can agree to approach our lives as though we’re living in some sort of cosmic bonus round.

Y’know, like in a game show, where the main competition has ended and now everyone is just in a big race to see how many goodies they can sweep up before the clock runs out for realsies.

Except that, because we are awesome and amazing, instead of grabbing all the goodies we can grab, we’re going to build all the karma we can. We are going to be unbelievably gracious. We are going to be ludicrously kind. We are going to be generous with ourselves and others; we are going to forgive ourselves and others; we are going to be grateful to ourselves and others; and we are going to lovingly, gently, firmly but tenderly push ourselves and others every single day to be the greatest Selves we can possibly be, because we have been given this bonus round during which we can grab up as much karma as we can build.

The old world has ended. The new age is here. And just to put a great big exclamation point on things, it’s also New Year’s Day (well, it is here in the middle of nowhere. Y’all on the West Coast can just pretend you’ve time-traveled into the future to read this. …Gawds, what a waste of time-traveling. Tell ya what, if you’re time-traveling and reading this, go ahead and do something really awesome while you’re in the future. This blog will still be here when you get back).

So this is a perfect time, what with the New World and the New Year and all that, for us to hit the bonus round runnin’. We’ve made it through all the crap the Doomsayers could predict (always in dire tones, have you noticed?), and now we’re bound for glory.

So let’s make it count, shall we? This year we are going to dazzle.

And I, for one, can’t wait to see what we’ll achieve.

Happy New Year, all. I love you each, I love you all.

–Mama BW

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Busy Bee

Today’s ‘Tract starts with a short exercise. Do be a good sport and complete all the steps, if you would. I’ll wait.

First, consider these lilies:

They toil not, neither do they spin….

Next, watch this video. Feel free to sing along:

Then check out this artwork:

This is art….You should now feel mentally reinvigorated.

And last, please watch this elephant enjoy her birthday. BTW, Tricia is a fantastic name for an elephant. Or a buffalo. But this video is about an elephant.

Now, if you’ve played along at home, you’ve just spent about five minutes doing absolutely nothing of measurable value. There wasn’t a secret metaphor I was building in there; there wasn’t any big message I was hoping you’d pick up. If you found a cosmic sign in there, that’s all you; I just picked some things I liked, and put them on the page, and now you’ve spent five minutes doing nothing whatsoever. And–

hang on a sec, lemme check something–

/peeks out window

…nope, the world didn’t end.

Here’s the thing: the holiday season is upon us. In theory, we’re all going about our days filled with love and joy and concern for our fellow man. According to all the songs, we’re drinking warm beverages and thinking idly about nice things we can do for each other, while enjoying fireplaces and sweaters and suprisingly glittery cards. We’ve just come off Thanksgiving, when we theoretically all gathered around big tables full of food, and ate together and gave thanks for our blessings, and then spent quality time with our loved ones; and now we’re heading toward Christmas (or whatever wintertime holiday your family celebrates) with bellies full of last week’s turkey and hearts full of beautiful and unique snowflake spirits.

At least, that’s what the songs all say.

But then there’s this:

Black Friday at Kmart in Indiana.

And a quick Google search turns up roughly eleventy zillion articles about how to reduce your stress during the holidays, most of which come down to “breathe, accept that perfection is an unrealistic goal, and try to remember that what matters most is enjoying your time with your loved ones”.

/blink blink

/blink

Y’know what I think? I think the issue is bigger than Martha Stewart’s unreasonable template for what a “good thing” looks like. I think the issue is bigger than rampant commercialism. I think the issue is bigger than the holiday in question.

I think the issue is that somewhere along the way, we decided as a society that Being Busy for Its Own Sake was somehow a great thing to do. I get it that there are some things that are difficult to avoid–kids, for instance, come with a great deal of verbs, and even if your youngster isn’t involved in any activities, there are always dentist appointments, doctor appointments, school plays, and messes to tackle. But there seems to be this bizarre idea floating around out there that if your calendar isn’t jam-packed at all times, then you are a failure as a person; and if you’re not perpetually zipping from place to place for work, social events, errands, and god-knows-what-else, then you’re just not doing it right.

Don’t believe me? Think about it this way: you can go to a drive-thru window nowadays and get french fries in a container that fits in your cupholder so you can eat ’em on the go. I’m just sayin’.

So here’s the takeaway for today: We proved at the beginning of this post that stopping and doing nothing meaningful for five minutes does not, in fact, cause the world to end. You have the right to not verb the heck outta your day. You are allowed to declare that tomorrow, or the day after that, or some random date in the future (I know, going cold-turkey can be hard. Feel free to schedule your Schedule-Free Day, if you need to) will be a day when you do absolutely nothing significant. You can spend the day in your pajamas. You can watch brainless television or movies, or read a book, or just sit at look out the window. Our older cat, for instance, has spent this entire morning chasing a sunbeam around the house and napping in it, and he has seemed quite happy with himself. You too are allowed to take naps. Epic naps. Naps that involve all the pillows, all the blankets, and an eye mask at 2:00 in the afternoon.

It is ok to opt out of being aggressively busy, is all I’m saying. Even if it’s only for a little while. Because whether you like to admit it or not, you’re just a person. Just an average, everyday person. If you were critical to the functioning of this planet, you would have an armed security detail around you at all times. So since you’re not, in fact, mission-critical to all things on the face of god’s green earth, you can take a day off.

Trust me: it’s good for the soul.

Let this be your mantra.

 

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Filed under Don't Make Me Come Down There, General Musings and Meanderings, Play Nicely

WWCH: Braggin’

I’ve got to brag on Moon Man a little bit today.

The first story starts with a recipe for chocolate mousse made from avocados, which I found on Pinterest the other day and test-drove yesterday. As it turns out, it’s startlingly delicious (though very, very rich), and is that fun sort of recipe that totally baffles your brain because it tastes like candy but is made of vegetables. How delightful is that? So I made some yesterday, and was feeling all cute because it’s avocado-based, and avocados are Caveman Food, and so hooray! I’d found a dessert recipe that Moon Man could eat. …Except for the slight problem that it’s got, like, a billion pounds of agave nectar in it, and agave nectar is not Caveman Chow. Booooo.

The braggin’ part? Moon Man came in, tried a taste, read the recipe, and walked away from it. He said it was tasty and he’d be glad to have a bite anytime I had some, but since it wasn’t Caveman-Friendly, he just didn’t eat it. The man was confronted with a rich chocolatey dessert, and he didn’t eat it. Maybe that’s more impressive to me than it should be, but man, that’s willpower I can’t even fathom. Mad kudos to him for that.

The second brag-worthy moment happened this morning: we were chatting about what the day would hold, and he said that he was looking forward to working out with his trainer. This is a man who has historically struggled with motivation, particularly when it comes to exercise–it’s one of those things that we both knew we should do, but we didn’t wannnnnnna. So to see him come to a point where he gets excited about workout days, and plots ways to incorporate exercise into his business trips, and gets all hoppy-bunny about the idea of getting me a bike so we can go riding together? This is a version of Moon Man I hadn’t foreseen when we got married, and to be totally honest, I think I like this guy a little bit better. He’s taking charge of his life and his health, and I have all the time in the world for that.

So, y’know, a pretty brag-worthy 24 hours here at the Buffalo Moon Ranch.

And that leads us to your Weekend World-Changer Homework, ‘Tracters: Brag on your people! Maybe you post about ’em on Facebook (or your social media venue of choice); maybe you take out a full-page ad in your local paper; maybe you blog about ’em; maybe you make up t-shirts with their name and achievements and that goofy picture you snapped at that party a few years ago when they had balloons tied to their head.

 

How you do it isn’t as important as the fact that you do it at all. We all need a cheering section sometimes, and really, who better than our loved ones to lead the cheers?

 

So go! Brag on someone you love! People have the ability to amaze us at a moment’s notice (a dear friend of ours wrote about his family’s recent experience with that in his beautiful and moving post, “She Dances“), and the least we can do is sit up and take notice when they do.

 

Have a spectacular weekend, ‘Tracters…and remember: get your brag on!

 

Noooo! Don't jump! Look, I'll brag about you on my blog! 😀
Photo by the brilliant Mircea Sauciuc at West Birch Photography in Lawrence, KS. (www.westbirch.com)

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Braggin’

I know, I know, pride goeth before a fall and Ego will keep you from true Enlightenment. I do, in fact, believe in humility and having a servant’s heart; I believe in knowing that you will never know all the answers and that there will always be someone who is doing the exact same thing you’re doing but with more success; I believe in accepting that we are all part of a big cosmic web, where no one part is inherently more or less important than any other part, so we should all play nicely and share the toys.

I also believe in celebrating your own victories, because a) you can’t always guarantee that someone else will celebrate ’em for you, and b) sometimes hearing about someone else’s triumphs will provide that little boost that one needs to get him/her out of a slump–kind of an “If she can do that, so can I!” sort of thing.

So today I’m totally braggin’.

Approximately two months ago–on January 12, according to the little tracker thingie–I joined Fitocracy. You may have heard me mention it before; basically, it’s a site that makes exercise kinda-sorta game-like: you exercise, then you come tell the site what you did and it awards you points, which combine to let you Level Up. You can get bonus points by completing quests–usually sets of pre-selected exercises–which help you level up faster as well as giving you nifty online badges to show off to your friends. And as we all know, I’ll do just about anything for the promise of points and leveling up and getting completely real-world-valueless prizes (stickers, anyone?), so Fitocracy has been a fantastic tool for me.

Now here’s where the bragging comes in.

Today I went scrolling back through my activity on Fitocracy, because it stores the workouts you’ve entered and I wanted to see if I could remember the name of that one exercise I did that one time (for the curious, it was “Bodyweight Close Squats”). And suddenly I had an urge to play Pin the Sticker on the Awesome Lady–so I went back and looked at my first workout. I wanted to see how far I’d come, y’know, because I knew I’d made progress, but wanted to see the numbers fo’ realz.

Frankly, it was a little more dramatic and impressive than I’d anticipated. Here’s what the record shows:

Workout 1, January 12, 2012:

  1. Dumbbell Bicep Curls: 8-lb weights, 3 sets of 8 reps
  2. Bodyweight Squats: 2 sets of 8 reps
  3. Seated Bent-Over 2-Arm Dumbbell Triceps Extensions: 8-lb weights, 2 sets of 8 reps
  4. Standing 1-Arm Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 8-lb weights, 3 sets of 8 reps

That workout earned me 53 points (remember that number–it’ll be important in a minute), and I remember feelin’ pretty cute at the end of it, because by gosh, I’d exercised for realsies. I’d gotten up and done something, and while I was fairly pooped by the end, I felt very accomplished, because I had in fact accomplished something.

And I am not here to mock that workout. It was real, and it counted, and I’m still proud of myself for doing it. It marked a day of very real change for me–the jogwalking had been fun while it lasted, but it didn’t have any real staying power; this whole “working out in my living room” thing, on the other hand, has been happening 4-5 times per week for the last two months, so we seem to be on to something here. January 12 was a big day for me, and I earned every one of those 53 points.

But the bragging part is coming up … now.

Here’s the workout I logged yesterday:

Yesterday’s Workout:

  1. Dumbbell Bicep Curls: 15 lbs, 5 sets of 10
  2. Dumbbell Shrugs: 15 lbs, 5 sets of 10
  3. Tricep Kickbacks: 15 lbs, 5 sets of 10
  4. Dumbbell Step-Ups: 15 lbs, 5 sets of 10
  5. Weighted Calf Raises: 30 lbs (2 15-lb dumbbells), 5 sets of 10
  6. Stiff-Legged Dumbbell Deadlifts: 15 lbs, 4 sets of 10 (something in my hip went “spang”, so I ended up switching to some gentle stretches and calling it a day. Hence fewer sets of everything from here on out).
  7. Supermans: 30-second holds, 4 sets; total of 2 minutes
  8. Leg Lifts: 4 sets of 10 (I need to get some ankle weights)
  9. Weighted Crunches: 10-lb medicine ball, 4 sets of 10
  10. Side Crunches: 4 sets of 10
  11. Short Bridges: 4 sets of 10
  12. Stretching (for cooldown): 10 minutes

That workout earned me–wait for it–1,355 points. I got nearly as many points (49) in one set of weighted crunches–remember, that’s one set out of four–as I did in my entire first workout.

The moral of this story is twofold:

1. I rock the casbah, and am slowly but surely excavating an inner bad@$$ who’s significantly stronger, bendy-er, and more hardcore than I would’ve realized, and

2. If I can do this, You can really very a lot truly totally 100% absolutely do this. 

My scale and I are still having trouble relating to each other. I tell it that I did a 1355-point workout yesterday, and it tells me that I’ve lost a total of 8 pounds over the last two months, and have lost exactly zero since last week. I tell it to shove off, because lookit how much better my clothes are fitting and please observe that I can wear this jacket that I couldn’t zip two months ago, and it tells me to go away and stop pestering it.

So according to the scale, I am still at almost 350 pounds…but by god, those 350 pounds can do some pretty impressive things. No, I can’t outsprint a zombie yet, but I can pick up a cinder block and bash it into his head 50 times or so (and if that doesn’t do the trick, then I can serve as a great warning for the rest of the survivors). I don’t have the stamina yet to hike 5 miles to the nearest water source in the Zombiepocalypse, but I can haul the water, 30 pounds at a time, up into the fortress once you come back with it. And I don’t have six-pack abs (well, maybe I do, but you can’t see them under the insulation yet), but I can … y’know, actually, never mind. This is a family show, so we’re just not going to talk about things I can do on my back.

 

So you’re darned right I’m bragging about myself today. I’ve earned it; I’ve sweated and cussed and worn myself out again and again, and I’m coming to love the feel of achy, well-worked muscles and the endorphin rush that goes with ’em. I can do this, and you can do this, and as I’m learning fresh every day, we are all more bad@$$ than we think.

 

So go! Have your 53-point day today, and I’ll be ready and waiting to celebrate with you when you have your 1350-point day. You can do this. Trust me.

 

High-fives all 'round!

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Filed under General Musings and Meanderings, Play Nicely