These are the stairs that I have mastered, twice a day. There is a matching set at the other end of the parking lot that we circle three times to make up one mile. It has not been easy and I huff and puff, but I have achieved some success. Around 20 pounds since Thanksgiving, 40 pounds in the last year. That’s three dress sizes! The last one is a little slower to come off.
It’s easy to do something for someone else, not so easy to be your own best friend. Fitness is one of my goals for this year. My weight was starting to signal early signs of medical problems ahead. When your feet scream at you in pain by the end of the day, check your weight first. My loving daughter let me know that one pound of fat can exert 7 pounds of pressure on just your knees. No wonder my poor feet protested!
Seriously, diabetes and other medical problems run in my family and I am doing my best to beat the odds and avoid it all by eating right and exercising. That means getting my weight down another 40 pounds.
While I’m at it, I’m working on my financial fitness as well. Selling some stock, why was I keeping it anyway, some of it was a negative rate of return and some down in the 2% range. I’ve kept the good performers and dumped the bad. I have a new financial guy and he wants to manage all of it, but I’m a little on the cautious side. I decided to compromise and keep my star performers, liquidate the bad actors and send the cash to him to invest. He has one year to convince me he can handle my retirement money. I can do about 5-7% on my own. He was a little surprised when I told him that. The money in my 401k was doing 3-4%, time to make some changes. So I rolled the account out for him to handle it.
We all know that God has just two rules for us to live by, Love God, Love others. That little rule that goes like this: Love others as yourself. Somehow we are able to lie to ourselves that we are doing good by giving away all our time. Giving all your time to a cause, even to your family, is not a good thing. Balance is a good thing. If you do not spend the appropriate time taking care of yourself first, the quality of the remaining time degrades. It is not giving your best to others. Spending an hour on fitness at least 3 times a week keeps you healthy. You are able to give to others a rested healthy persons time as opposed to a tired, run down and possibly sick persons time.
I’m sleeping through the night for the first time in my life. No more sleepwalking, RLS and insomnia. They finally figured it out; after a lifetime of extremely low REM sleep waking up felt like I was swimming through mud. I am so grateful that they did since I have much more energy and as a result, I can exercise more and get in shape!
I’ve always had what my mom called the wearies. Even as a child I would shake my legs to fall asleep. I remember my cousin shaking her whole body to get to sleep. This was more normal than not in my family, so why would I question it?
I’m getting ready to retire in a few years so a round of medical appointments and routine screening. My generalist was not happy with the non specific pain in my legs and my chronic exhaustion. He sent me to a neurologist. What seems like a million questions later and his diagnosis, broken brain. Actually, low dopamine levels. Just talking about my history of sleep walking, sleeping a few hours a night, waking up and trying to fall back to sleep resulted in almost no sleep night before last. I’ve started on a very low dose of a drug given to RLS and Parkinson’s sufferers. It’s so low that I didn’t expect to really notice any difference. I managed to sleep approximately six hours straight through and was able to get out of bed before the third alarm went off.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still exhausted. Just much less exhausted. I’m hopeful that I will someday soon wake up rested and wonder at the experience. Just think how much Mrs. Winchester could get done if the hammer didn’t feel like it weighed a ton and I could keep my eyes open!
I survived my duel with mono and strep as well as the National Novel Writing Month. Yes, I hit the 50K word count goal but, no, my energy level is not back up to par. I’m o.k. with it taking a little longer to rebound since I am sleeping well and it is still the rainy season. My son-in-law has been very generous with his time and has kept my fire box stocked with wood from the outside.
I have about forty projects on my list. I have banned any additions to the list as well as a prohibition on any new starts. I managed to actually complete a project even with my lagging energy. There is a beam over my fireplace in my den that is about 10” x 12” big and runs the length of the den. It had been painted several colors through the year and the finish was nasty looking with bumps of plaster in places.
I used an orange oil based paint stripper because of the allergies my daughter suffers from. It did not work as fast as the toxic ones do and I had to re-apply it a few times. It did work well and I didn’t have to worry about the fumes so I was happy with the product. My patient son-in-law busted out the big sander and went to town after the stripping phase was complete. Have you ever held a heavy belt sander upside down, over your head for an extended period? I tried for about 20 seconds and then called in the cavalry! It is now stained and sealed and I love the look!
I will write a separate post about how to deal with a midnight visit from an Opossum and sew up a chicken butt. No, we did not eat the chicken, it was an option though.
My project list for my little urban homestead was over 75 items long three years ago. Baby Steps, just press on. There have been many times that I was tempted to feel sorry for myself. It doesn’t accomplish anything but one more small step in the right direction, day after day, will accomplish much. Now it’s on to my next project, tiling the master shower, and planning for the start of the growing season.