Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Winter sanity check

Is it spring yet? We've been living in Pittsburgh for 13 years, still... winter can kiss the plumpest part of my bottom. My guess is growing up in Ventura, CA and spending summers in Yuma, AZ has made me cringe at winter every time the season comes around. The hubby and I have tried over the years to "get into" winter activities but it always ends with two rather unhappy and whiny individuals.

cold sweater life
Too cold for me.

Yes, yes, yes I work for a bicycle publishing company and I should suck it up and go ride. And sometimes I do, I will muster the ride to the store or a quick ride on the local trails if things are not muddy. But its rare I can talk myself into it (much easier to talk myself out of it) and its not nearly at the capacity I ride from Spring-Fall.

I definitely get the winter blues and with everything going on in the news it seems likes its tripled this year. So, whats my remedy for winter-stuck-inside-dreary-day-blues?... The answer is... wait for it... any kind of physical activity on a daily basis. Luckily, we have had a cold and rainy, but non-snowy winter. So I've been running with the dog in the mornings 4-days a week and have recently attempted to get back into rock climbing via our local indoor climbing gym. I can say that doing both of these has helped my energy levels, and my overall sense of mental health.

rock climbing shoes xray
My 12+ year old climbing shoes still sort of fit.

I do have our affordable bike trainer setup but have yet to get on it. Its loud and my only times to exercise while juggling work and parenting is early morning or late evening... I might invest in a Smart Trainer next year, looking at Wahoo Fitness Kicker that syncs with the Zwift app. Looks very cool and lines up with my video game love. But it is a serious chunk of change for this Mom with 2 kids and too many expensive hobbies.

But seriously people, any type of activity; jumping jacks everyday, play Just Dance, Yoga at home or in a studio, go to gym, etc. It will really help ease stress levels that most of us are having right now.
Keep on keepin' on!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Snail mail & phone calls

Quick post this morning, busy week ahead!

Don't forget that the confirmation votes for Betsy Devos and Jeff Sessions are tomorrow. If you are against these nominations call your senators and call:
Call: Senate HELP Committee Chair, Lamar Alexander (R-TN) 202-224-4944
Call: HELP Committee Ranking Member, Patty Murray (D-WA) 202-224-2621

"Hi. I am calling to oppose Betsy Davos for secretary of education." 

 For Jeff Sessions:
Call: Senate Judiciary Committee Chair, Chuck Grassley (R-IA) 202-224-3744
Call: SJJC Ranking Member, Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) 202-224-3841

"Hi. I'm calling to oppose Jeff Sessions for Attorney General"

This weekend I went out and stocked up on blank cards to mail my state representative and senators. I will simply be writing on my opposition of my top 3 most important issues. "Hello I am resident of xxx. I am writing to oppose..." Short and sweet.

I found 8 packs of cards in the dollar section at my local Target. You can also make your own postcards. I hope to do a few of these in the future, when I am not trying to finish  really good book in my spare time.

Target dollar cards
Hoping to send Thank You cards at some point...
I also made a quick pdf of my State representatives address's and my senators address. I can print this out and cut and tape the address down to minimize my time on these. I was able to list the address twice. If you would like a copy of the pdf for; Tim Murphy, Robert Casey, Patrick Toomey email me and I will gladly send it to you.

You can find your local representatives, state here, senators here.

Power of the pen!!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Nagging tasks, politics and opinion

I did it! I scrubbed the kitchen, its sparkles like a bucket of glitter.  One January task done. Yet I am still antsy and unable to sit still. I do not usually talk politics or religion on my social media outlets or my blog. It's not my area of expertise but I do have an opinion and a voice and I need to say a few things. (steps onto soapbox.)

When I get stressed, worried or anxious I clean. There is something therapeutic in it for me. Maybe it has to do with some of my family being pack-rats, or cleaning my Grams house and it resulting in excitement when I found the floor. I spent my summer picking up Grams and my Dads house, hiding from the 101+ heat of southern AZ.  Or watching soap operas and watering the garden at 6am with my Grams. My Dad had "bunny ears" on his TV at the property with aluminum foil to get PBS, so Bob Ross was pretty amazing. My last excursion to Yuma was in 2012, need to get back, but I digress. Lately I have been wanting to clean a lot.

Maybe part of that is work and an increase in responsibilities and the desire to succeed. But I think its a combination of worry for my children, all children, for women, for minorities, for the environment, and more.

With everything going on in the United States it is obvious I have been to complacent during the Obama years. I wasn't happy with everything the President did. But I do not deny it is a tough job to try and find a middle ground to make all citizens content. Not happy, just content. Not everyone was sitting and watching though, people were fighting as deportation numbers rose under the Obama Administration. And being part Mexican-Indian I cannot deny my anger with this or with the lack of change to the "no child left behind" until 2015.

But here we are. With a a President who openly has disrespected basically anyone who questions  or disagrees with him.

So what do we do.
I know I will be doing the following:
Call and snail mail my State Representatives consistently (once  week)
Donate money to causes I believe in (monthly small donations that I can afford, every penny helps)
Educate my children to the best of ability

Don't forget to live! Take time to myself.
This is important for everyone. Go ride a bike, hike, read, yoga, meditate, whatever floats your boat. But in order to be active and not let anger and frustration take all your energy you must have time for you.

Let's hope that these 4yrs will result in bringing a community together who believes in; equal rights, women's rights, belief in science and facts, affordable education for youth, free speech and will reject corruption. (bow to crowd and steps off soapbox)

Props to my husband who shared this great document with me by Jennifer Hoffman. Follow her blog for a weekly action checklist for positive change.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

January - resolution, nagging tasks

January is already almost over... Ugh!
This month I have been trying to tackle a couple nagging tasks in the hopes that it would boost my energy a little. And it would encourage me to continue tackling theses types of things over the year. Things rarely go as planned.

I was going to scrub my kitchen from top to bottom because its overdue, but my busted ears got the best of me and I ended up with vertigo symptoms in bed... I wanted to scrape and paint my dining room because the paint is pealing so bad that it might just be a crack in time (where is Dr. Who when you need him!) but doing that involves a complete overhaul of the room. And removing your backdoor in winter isn't a good plan

Crack in time! Just like my dining room. - Dr. Who season 5.

I did accomplish a few things. I manage to help my Ma clean and rearrange her bedroom. With my neurotic cleaning it meant vacuuming 5 times under everything, dusting, taking loads of trash down 3 flights of stairs, trying to force her to to throw things away that seem meaningless to me but not to her and yelling at her whenever she tried to move something she shouldn't.  In the end she got a nice clean room and she is happy. That makes me happy.

I also have made it to my ear Doctor for an overdue check-up. And am off to see my lady doctor for an over-due physical. Get my haircut this week as well. So a few nagging tasks almost done that were not on the checklist. I'll take it. 

But January is not over! I am still convinced I will thoroughly clean my kitchen. My b-day is next weekend somehow I see cleaning my kitchen to be a gift to myself.

clean it like you mean it
Clean it like you mean it!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2017 New Year Resolutions

I try and make resolution every year. I may or may not keep them but trying is the point.
This year I resolve to be happier. I enjoy making people happy, making people laugh. This year I feel like people might need it even more than they have before.
In order to continue to obtain happiness and increase my own joy I plan to:
  1. Boost my energy.
  2. Take care of myself.
  3. Love more.
  4. Make time for friends.
  5. Get outside more.
  6. Pursue a passion.
  7. Read & self-educate more. 
  8. Aim higher.
Being happy is exhausting and often happiness is drained by surrounding negativity. So wish me luck!

What is your resolution? Big or small its worth trying.

Sometimes I pretend to be an astronaut.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Find your escape place

Wow. What a heck of year we have had. Although I'm glad this year is almost over I'm fearful of the year ahead like so many other people. A couple weeks ago I finally came out of my mental hiding place. Hurray! Ready to fight the fights I need to.

One thing is for certain we will all need to find our mental escape. A place or an activity that can relax our minds and remind us that life is enjoyable. Outside is that place for me. Fresh air, hiking, biking, geocaching, sitting and enjoying a book (or comic book!). Find your mental escape place. Step away from your social media, websites and cell phone even for a few hours. Enjoy life then step back in and keep fighting for the future and the now.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Enjoy today

I was gifted the book "Hardcore Zen" from the hubby on our 17-year anniversary. Taking on a new role at work and already being a bit of a workaholic and stress-ball, this book is exactly what I needed. I've always enjoyed the idea of Buddhism, but have never wanted to latch on to a "religion". If you find yourself in a similar situation, pick it up. It's worth reading. But, I'm not here to talk about that.

There are many things I really connected to and enjoyed about this book. One, among many, that stood out to me is the need to not always have to make everything so grand. Put so much pressure on the future. Yes, I want to see as many national parks and beautiful places as I can in this life, but I can also appreciate my daily walk with the dog. Enjoy the the little mushrooms growing in the fall, the leaves changing colors and my dog happy as can be. Yes, I want to help people on a grand scale, but I can also take my Mom to the grocery store or doctor. Or I can be an ear and give support to friends and family when needed. Yes, I want my children to grow into adulthood as confident and good human beings able to attend college if they want. But I can stop worrying about that and enjoy the dinner conversation about their school day or admire my 14yo's growing adult-like sarcasm and the 9yo's need to debate everything.

I will accomplish many adventures, help people and support my kids as I go along in life.
But I can enjoy today and not stress about the future or dwell on the past.