2018 Aspirations: November

(December 3rd) Here is a summary of November.  I am sure I should go back and edit but I am not going to.  I am too tired and Christmas is coming and there is so much to do.  How do you even have time to read this blog?  Aren’t you busy, busy, busy too?  Anyway, without further ado…

November 9th:  So remember my spontaneous trip to Mesa to buy a typewriter?  That was triggered by a severe bout of insomnia.  After several short sleep nights I was feeling pretty miserable and I found myself awake at 1:00a feeling a frantic need for sleep. Not very helpful and I started crying.  I felt like I was at the end of my rope.  I did get back to sleep eventually but in the morning I decided I needed to do something different.  Something a little crazy and something just for me.  So I went to Mesa and bought a typewriter.  And what do you know, I felt better and I slept great that night.

November 14th:  I am so happy with this cool weather.  I am sleeping better again but still feel tired.  And I am weepy at random times about odd things.  The clutter in the house is driving me a bit nuts and the lack of energy is killing me.  I badly want to give the house the good cleaning it needs but just don’t have the oomph needed.  Instead I try and do small tasks here and there.  Today I cleared out and rearranged the glass/mug cupboard.  A small thing that took 10 minutes but brings me a lot of joy seeing how I open that cupboard multiple times a day!

November 19th:  Insomnia is back.  I can’t get to sleep and hot flashes wake me up early.  Also getting leg/foot cramps again.  I was caught off guard with how bad I feel.  Seems the key to my goals of “Be Happier” and “Be Healthier” is sleep.  And right now there is not much I can do to improve that.

November 21st:  Well my period started without much fanfare and then got crazy heavy for 24 hours.  So heavy it kind of scared me.  Luckily I spent most of the day at home doing food prep for Thanksgiving and some ibuprofen relieved my backache and cramps.  Happy to go to bed early though.

November 27th:  I can’t believe it is almost the end of the month.  I survived my period and now am oscillating between euphoria and exhaustion.  Yikes!  

I realized I haven’t mention my “frozen shoulder” in awhile.  I am still doing my home physical therapy and I am not having any pain.  I still don’t have the full range of motion back but it is increasing.  I am hoping I only need to do the exercises another month or two. (Ha!  I can hope all I want but truly I have no idea how much longer it will take.)

November 29th:  It is almost the end of the month!  How did that happen? Since things are going to get crazy busy I thought maybe I should just finish the log today.  I am feeling uber tired but not quite sure why.  I am sleeping okay, not great, but good enough.  But I have a backache and my breasts are ballooning which makes no sense as I just had my period!  Part of me thinks it would be great to get another period soon and then probably be done for the year.  All this uncertainty about how I am going to feel and what I am going to be coping with on any given day is maddening.

On a postive note despite just eating and not thinking about it my weight is holding steady between 144 and 145.  What does this signify for the future? No idea, if you know, can you tell me?

So how to sum up November?  I haven’t gone completely off the deep end but I suspect I am close!

My Healthy Life Manifesto

Manifesto – a public declaration of intentions

I decided I needed to write down some healthy eating guidelines for myself.  That led me to thinking about how big a role stress and lack of sleep play in my eating habits and I decided what I really wanted was a healthy life. So I expanded my manifesto just a bit.

The last few months I have been reading a lot of books about diet, nutrition and eating habits.  Many of them left me feeling like I needed to have an MD (or play a doctor on tv or sleep in a Holiday Inn Express at least) to know how valid the logic/research/argument was. I was left to rely on my own common sense. And Michael Pollan’s “Food Rules”.  I love this beautifully illustrated little book of 82 rules.  I understand them, they make sense to me and they are easily followed.  By that I mean anyone can do them with a little time and effort.  No special pills or equipment needed. I plan on glancing through this book daily to give myself reminders of how I want to eat.

What I like about this manifesto is that it is set up for me.  Yes, you can borrow it as a starting point for your own but you really need to devise a manifesto that will fit your own life. Every person is unique with an individual set of circumstances that make up your own needs.

My Healthy Life Manifesto

  • Manage Stress
    • Recognize symptoms and alleviate
    • Schedule appropriately
  • Exercise
    • Change with the seasons/weather as needed
    • Swimming
    • Qigong or Tai Chi
    • Yoga
    • 10k steps and hand weights
  • Sleep
    • Nap if needed
  • Cultivate Better Eating Habits
    • Learn to eat only when hungry
      • Stop snacking
    • Change the way you shop
      • Farmer’s market
      • Less stocking up
      • Keep meals simple
    • Replace processed foods with fruits and veggies
    • Rx Bars for hormonal emergencies and travel
  • Intermittent fasting
    • Make sure you have broth on hand
  • Make everything from scratch
  • Eat at local restaurants
  • No guilt over being an introvert

An example of managing stress, I felt very peaceful when I worked on it. And I finished it!

So there it is, my Healthy Life Manifesto. I am not sure about the fasting.  It seems better suited to people who are obese and trying to lose weight but I have decided to keep it in my hip pocket as a back up plan if I am not doing well with controlling my snacking or the middle age weight gain continues.

My Healthy Life Manifesto.

I printed out two copies, made them all pretty and put one in the kitchen and one in my office.  I’ll be reading them everyday for now.  I am ready to feel not just better but good, really good!

 

Muddling through Menopause

I have been feeling anti-computer these days.  Not sure why but in reflection I don’t think that is a bad thing.

My dream life right now? Solitude in a mountain cabin. I would take long walks along a stream or around a lake. I would sit on the porch with a mug of tea and listen to the rain. I would end the day in front of the fireplace with a warm bowl of soup and some homemade bread with butter. For a project I would take a picture of the same thing once a  day, at different times and in all sorts of weather. Maybe a tree or a spot on the lake or a flowering shrub. Whatever took my fancy.

The last six weeks have been tough physically and mentally. I have had no energy and no focus. Allergy season is at it’s peak. I have been sleeping poorly.  I had a twenty-one day period. I appear to be on the same rollercoaster as the weather! Last week we had our first 100° day, actually two of them and I took my first swim of the season. It was quite lovely until a gusty wind began and a few drops of rain fell.  Then the pool was a mess of pollen and debris.  The beginning of this week we were in the 70’s with some rain so I am back on the treadmill.  Hopefully the solar cover will keep enough heat in the pool so when the temperature boomerangs back to the upper 90’s at the end of the week we’ll be able to start swimming in earnest.

I took this picture this morning, how cool is it to have a bird of prey on your pool cover? I am thinking maybe a Hawk?

I have retreated into what I think of as survival mode. I have ditched the habit tracker and the routine. I am taking each day as it comes. You would think I would be a big slug right now but a surprising thing happened. I started doing random tasks. I have cleaned out one whole drawer of the file cabinet. I tackled the memory box project that was one of my cleaning goals for the year.  (One and two are done with a good start on six.) My son and I spent 10 minutes each night after dinner picking up his room. I am so happy to be able to walk in there again without twisting an ankle!

The missed sunset.

Sunday night we took a family walk over to Sabino Canyon hoping to get up high enough to see the sunset. Turned out it was too cloudy and we left a few minutes too late to get a really good view but it was a very pleasant walk anyway and nice to do something out of our ordinary routine.  Ditching my habit tracker and to do list has been good.

Rain to the East during our walk.

Yesterday I took a four mile hike, something I promised myself I would do at least once when the school year started. The hike merits it’s own post so stay tuned.

Today I am feeling better. I have slept well the last two nights. The hot flashes and night sweats are on vacation. I don’t know if it is hormones or the cooler weather but I will take it.  My allergies are not as bad.  I like to think the wind blew the pollen to New Mexico and the rain washed what was left out of the air.

I find I am actually looking forward to today. I will wash my car and paint my toenails lilac while watching one of the many movies I have on my DVR. And popcorn, I deserve popcorn!

I hope you have a wonderful day too!