Scheduling Time for Exercise | How I’m Doing it

When I told you I didn’t have time for exercise, I truly meant it. For me to exercise, work, have a hobby or two, and be involved in care giving, get at least 7.5 hours of sleep – it’s usually the first thing to get booted out. But what if it is scheduled first thing in the morning? Well, that means something else gets booted out right? Yeah.

I’ve been doing the “rob Peter to pay Paul” with time in a circle for some time now. And even with this schedule, I’m sure that will continue some as I “rotate” pockets of time that I find around a plate that is way too full. But when I am determined to do something, I will be resilient until it is done.

So I have sketched out my “model week”. Oh, don’t be fooled by the word “model”. It’s nothing to model. It’s very tiring. But it’s the only way I try to do what I’m trying to do, so “model” is relative, lol.

Sorry, I just noticed that the times are cut off to the left, but really it’s unimportant here for you to see that but you can see the items. And that is what is important on your end.

Must Haves in the Schedule

  • Enough Sleep. I kicked the 8 hours out the window. Most of us sleep in 1.5 hour cycles. I do. And 8 only makes me grumpy waking up in the middle of a REM stage in my sleep. So it has to be either 7.5 or 9 and I’ll do 7.5 during the week and 9 on the weekends as a treat.
  • Work must have 40+ hours each week, of course. I added the plus because I’m salary and we all know how that goes. One has to do her dues. There is no overtime and even though vacation is allotted of an extra week – we all know that we end up working over on other days to cover it. And we get our disability insurance for free. Least a company can do to cover you for all the stress illnesses, lol. Note: I’m being my humorous and sarcastic self here. But it seems others have thought this through. At some point I expect to see laws protecting salaried individuals from being worked to death. In my opinion there is a bell curve of salaried hours. The new ones who are learning and new on the front end and those climbing the ladder giving their life to the cause in the middle and those like me who are nearing retirement and needing to step back a bit.
  • Quality Time for Family/Family needs
  • Self-Care/Time for Self – Hobbies
  • Adequate commute time of course

Where do You Pull the Extra Time From

Yes it is true we only have 24 hours a day and can’t add anymore to it. The clock goes round and round in a hurry. But in MY SCHEDULE, nearly everything is having to cough up some time for me to be able to exercise, self-care, and have some time to myself each day so that I can continue to live and even possibly thrive, and to be ABLE to continue to work and care-give and do all the things we need and are called to do. So where does the time come from really:

  • Sleep – I’m quitting the 8 hour thing. I started this week going with 7.5 and it suits me well. The groggy feeling is over with me trying to wake up during a REM cycle. So the alarm goes off so that I get to sleep in 1.5 hour cycles.
  • Work – I’m going to leave on time instead of giving more to the cause. It’s just that simple. This schedule won’t work during quarter end months. So four months of the year – maybe even five b/c Feb is pretty busy too, I will be living there while I check off quarter end boxes. So if I need to have a doc appt that gives me a shorter week during the other months, it’ll all work itself out in a QE month, so I’m going to QUIT trying to work it out in the week itself! I’m the only one that worries about it and I’m driving myself crazy worrying that someone doesn’t think I’m pulling my weight, but I will write my time to come and go on my planner in case anyone ever asks and I’m going to quit worrying about it.
  • Afterwork – I will be more focused in the afterwork mode. I normally come in, get a glass of wine, read any mail, open any packages, check to see what I’ve missed as far as news, alerts, or messages, check on Mom, do housework leftover from the weekends, and sometimes watch a personal show, or work on video. So those other things will have to scoot out the window or to some other time slot. Often I already don’t open packages til the weekend. Might have to talk to Mom on the ride home, avoid the news until Alexa the next morning and so forth. I should have about an hour in the afternoon.
  • Being more focused and efficient with my time. In other words when I get home get straight to the blog, video, or reading. Not being a feather in the wind.

Why Make These Changes?

  • I currently weigh more than I have ever weighed in my life.
  • I feel horrible.
  • I am miserable and angry most of the time.
  • I need to get some stress and weight off of my psyche and my body
  • I want to live to see my Grandson grow up
  • There’s a lot left I want to do with my life
  • I’m driving me and everyone else crazy
  • This is the BiGGEST gift I can give myself and it will help others too
  • Having it scheduled leaves out the guesswork and makes it more real

The Downside to Maintaining a Schedule

  • Life happens. It won’t be followed perfectly as things will come up to get in the way.
  • There are doc appointments, nights where I do the cooking, grocery stops, someone screws up your payroll day schedule and you have to work over, hair cuts, nail days, dinner with friends, and Mom’s needs.
  • Something will still go out the window each week. And that’ll have to be ok.
  • Scheduling it is half the battle.

Bottom Line: The Impact

  • The exercise is coming at the beginning of the day and won’t be put off. It will include some days of cardio, yoga, and stretching, and even dancing on the weekend.
  • Apps and YouTube and my own den area will be available at that time.
  • George may hear it before his alarm goes off but I’ve decided that is ok. I endure his loud TV at night when I go to bed. He can turn his noisemaker on more loudly like I do.
  • Blogging/videoing/reading/puzzling (Hobby Time) will take its seat either in the early a.m. or afternoon and will be done at whatever tugs at my heart the most, and whatever time slot fits in the most.
  • Blogging during the week could be shorter. Or there is this possibility of getting some of my blog entries done ahead so that you always have a regular post. This will help. No worries I’ll still have my “regular updates on life” content. (I thank you for being interested in reading about our lives here and sharing ideas on how to best live it).
  • I should lose weight
  • I should be happier
  • I should be more focused
  • Maybe I’ll quit fussing about time
  • Everything “gets a spot” (ideally – but understood many spots will be replaced as real life happens).

I just chose not to include Mom time on there, or our doc appts, time with friends – these pop up at random times, other than church on Sunday and is hard to schedule. It’s been really tempting to pull back on going to church on Sundays and it’s not to say that I won’t sometimes when I’m at the bottom of a pit and need time to myself, but I’m trying not to let that impact a Sunday and push through for the most part.

Push through…we have DONE! We have gone almost 30 days I think without a full day at home. It’s back to the days of having a kid. Gone every day, and lately….gone all weekend. And my psyche needs down time to recharge and rejuvenate if I’m going to continue to be a person that is effective. So I’ve had to take tomorrow off as a PTO day. In looking at the days ahead with Colonoscopy on Friday and a trip out of town going to a graduation on Saturday, church on Sunday (we may actually choose this Sunday to do online church to be home so I can be ready for the work week and get strength back from colonoscopy and running for 30 days straight).

The liquids start tomorrow and I didn’t think I could deal with working all day and the prep starts at some point tomorrow anyway. I have not yet heard from the doc office but suppose they will call today to let me know what time prep starts (elimination pills). So I was going to have to leave work early anyway to be near the bathroom. I just took the day off tomorrow as I needed a day anyway. I feel like I’m at the end of a whiplash. Remember skating and how the person on the end of a whiplash is just battered and scattered and rushed around knocking into everyone and everything? That is me!

So tomorrow I have scheduled myself to do a lot of things that involve sitting and or light duty chores or fun: pet website, getting set up on Hulu Live, dropping Comcast cable, reading, puzzling, videoing, blogging. It will be a good day even though much of it will be liquid dieting and near the toilet by day’s end.

I’ll likely blog tomorrow since I’ll be here. But I think I’m making the right decision by doing the exercise first and then everything else will shake out by day’s end. It may end up that I work on videos each morning and blog in the afternoon. It’s easier to stop videoing than to stop blogging as I’m determined to get my ideas across in the mornings and then have to rush to get ready. So I’m thinking if I blog in the mornings, I have to get ready first. It’ll all shake out. Next week will be the trial run. Didn’t want to start til this colonoscopy is done. I am guessing I can do physical activity by next week. If not I’ll move it to stretches or something or just start the week after. We’ll see.

I’m curious what you think about my new plans/new schedule?

Setting a Wellness Challenge for Yourself and a Personal Update

I’ve been talking about creating my own challenge and here it is, my challenge. I think it’s important to challenge ourselves to do better and to be the best we can be. The good thing about challenging yourself is that you can make it what you want and need it to be. Several of us have joined others challenges and that is a good thing too if you find one that fits your needs and goals.

How do you set a challenge for self?

Determine what your needs, desires, and goals are and what steps it will take to move toward them. I started by making a list of what it was I needed to improve myself and then put it all under categories. For me it was those items listed in the picture above: more water intake, better nutrition, more movement, spiritual alignment, and reaching toward personal goals. Some call these “pillars” of improvement. They are the basics or foundation of your challenge. And of course you will need to break down and bullet point for yourself what each of those pillars will entail. And then for fun – give it a name. I chose to call mine “The Nudge”. I’m starting it March 1. I’ll explain below.

I wrote a goal statement for my challenge that says: “I want to be the best me I can be, with focus on wellness, well-being, stride improvement toward goals, and last but certainly not least, spiritual alignment.

Defining the challenge.

As mentioned above, you really need to define your challenge by asking yourself if you could change yourself, what would you change? Go across your whole self. Mind, body, goals, dreams, spirituality, happiness. Set your pillars for your challenge in what you want of those things. And do things every day toward them.

Here’s how I defined my Nudge Challenge:

Water – Drinking 75 oz per day (I’m including coffee and tea and any non-sugar drinks as a part of this, but not alcohol)

Nutrition – Less sugar*, Increase protein, decrease starch, increase greens, increase veggies, maintain fruits and grains per day.

Movement – 100 movement exercises per day, 10 min of walking or heart rate exercise** per day, 20 minute of exercise on weekend days.

Personal – Requirement to do something every day toward a personal goal or hobby or toward “my happy”. For this it is: Learning Final Cut Pro, learning my camera, learning to vlog better, video creation improvement, watching videos for inspiration and ideas. For me this is on top of the regular blogging and vlogging. I have decided that there are two levels to this Personal category. I will also include reading, resting, shopping, watching a show, or doing just about anything to up the Happy Level. ;-). So a win-win category.

Spiritual – I already do a Prayer Journal and Bible Reading every day. I don’t have a lot of time to add in extra Bible study, but I’ve decided for a period of time, that I will do a trade-off or a mix up and will do a Bible study during my prayer/journal time and I will do prayer time on the way to work. My goal is to realign my goals with God’s goals for me, and to accept his guidance on the issues I struggle with the most.

*Still working and researching the sugar part. I won’t be able to cut all of it out but need to determine a gram level per day that works for me. For now, it will be a conscious effort to reduce the intake until determined.

**I have trouble fitting exercise in my day – I’d rather be geeky and do other things. So for me to get 10 min in a day is a big deal. I will never get 20 in, if I can’t get 10 in first.

Choosing the name of the challenge.

I chose to call mine “The Nudge Challenge”. I am having a tough time right now and trying to figure out a few things with my time, schedule, and routine. This is not a new problem with me. I had to go through similar adjustments when I became married, became a mother and was working full time, and I have had recent big changes that really has taken most of my spare time. I’m adjusting slowly. But the reason for naming this challenge “The Nudge” is because I don’t have time for a full blown challenge where I’m tracking, detailing, and analyzing every move. It would send me over the edge right now to go to that degree. There is a time and place for that. It’s not now for me. I just need a nudge in the right direction. I need positive motion toward goals. So “The Nudge” it is.

Tracking the challenge.

Yes, measurable are important in most cases and in most challenges. If you can do this, by all means define your measurables. For me, my measure this time is very simple. Did you do it? Yes or No. I want to be better. I’ll never be perfect. I’m trying to create ongoing lifestyle habits in which I’m not going to be measuring every single day from now on. I’m not going to punish myself nor reward myself for this challenge. I just need to be a better self, move forward, and be physically, mentally, and spiritually better as I go along in the rest of my life. At the end of the day The Nudge Challenge simply will ask, Did you do better today? Yes or No.

Length of the challenge.

So, it takes, supposedly 14 days to develop a habit. And so my mind is thinking 21 days for my personal Nudge Challenge. Fourteen days of VERY strong alignment of a daily push toward the things, with an extra seven days of what I’ll call a “transition week”. Do I really know what that means? All I can say is that I want the habits to stick but I’m not going to be hyping over these things every day like I will the first two weeks. I guess that third week will be a transition week to being able to figure out how to maintain these things without having to put a lot of focus and effort to it – how will I maintain these habits for the long haul. So yeah, my challenge will be 21 days with the first 14 being focused and the last 7 being a transition focus on how to maintain these things ongoing.

Over all setting your own challenge can be exciting and purposeful and fulfilling. Even if you are not perfect, you are making strides to goals that you have for your life. I challenge you to set your own challenge, with your own pillars.

If you were to do one, what would your goals be?

Personal Updates: Riding the Waves

Photo by Ben Mack on

So I’m doing better today. I woke up this morning with my thoughts going alive, and God said, “let’s get this challenge going Sonya”. He didn’t really, but I speak often with God and he often sends me little ideas and thoughts and He sent his spiritual buddy “the spirit, the comforter, the nudger” to be with me and He is. So I began thinking of things again instead of just “trying to get through the day”. It’s just been a tough week. Work has been – well, let’s just say – “not so good” with so many things outside my own control having been a factor. Personal life has been dull. Rain and rain and rain and horrible grey days with no sun have greatly impacted the mood. Lack of eating nutritiously have obviously played a huge role in how I have felt. I haven’t wanted to do anything. Even the joys that I normally get from video creation and blogging have been downers. Final Cut Pro, as I start this next video, is not doing what I wanted – at every turn (everything I do) it won’t do what I want and requires another video. I thought I had learned a lot but can’t even get started on the next video without having to watch other videos to get me started. I’m discouraged about so many things at once so life has really taken me down a dumpy road across most portions of my life. This challenge should help and I feel better already. I still am having moments of heading toward depression though – like I don’t want to do anything or think about anything. I don’t want to make decisions, I don’t want to clean. I don’t want to organize, analyze. I just want to sit, stare, drink coffee and let the thoughts come and go. But today is better as I woke up with this challenge worked out in my head. It had been plaguing me for days. I haven’t been able to make lists or think much about anything until today. So that is a good sign. This post is a good sign.

I appreciate your comments recently and worries over my well being. I’ve been a little worried too. I have days where I have down days like everyone else but this one has been going strong for probably a couple of weeks. I’m sure if I go back to other years of blogs I will see similar happening in the last couple of weeks of February. I’ll have to see. Maybe not to this extent. I said before that I think it’s been the perfect storm of so many things catching up to me at once across many portions of my life. But I think we are on the mend. One can only hope.

I talked with God for a long while about my schedule and routine and time. We didn’t really come up with many answers. I can’t quit my job right now. I can’t really lose any more sleep. I don’t want to give up my hobbies as they are what brings me joy. The only answers I can come up with are doing my hobbies less often, not giving work anything over a certain amount of hours, coming up with a more set routine with Mom. I’ve even asked myself if I needed to have a different job where I could work from home or have less hours and less of an issue at year end. And I’m posting that here for all to read, simply because I decided it’s easier at my age to stick with something you love and enjoy with a commute (it’s not really all that bad but it does take up to 45 min extra from door to door) than to have to learn something new just to be able to work from home. I have always had the power to stick through with most jobs even when they frustrated the hell out of me. Overall though, this job is perfect for me. And God keeps saying “you are the one I’ve chosen to do this job – it’s you that can keep track of this and do these things in the order they should be done and in how you do them”. So I don’t want to let Him down.

The other thing we (God and I) looked at was to change my view or acceptance of what is. There will never be more than 24 hours a day. But to do that, I have to accept that I have very little free time to self care and I’m not sure I’m ok with that. I need to have some built in down time – not just blog time but time to decompress, work toward goals, get our own housework done and so forth, to see progress, to see a reason for living, to see that my life is worth something and has value to God, to others and myself.

I think the problems lie usually in that I’m a planner and there are so many things that are throwing me off unexpectedly. I never like elements of surprises on my time. I mean basically we have adopted another member of the family into our own with special needs if you want to think of it that way, and so I’m just trying to figure out how to balance my time on top of being in an apparent state of depression.

I’m a piece of work right now. There are so many things at so many levels I’m working through but God is there and I’m just having to work through it all with Him by my side. When a couple of things go awry, it makes you want to look at everything that is awry, too. It’s all good. I’m fine. It’ll be ok. Feeling much much more like myself today. Well not spot on, but getting there. Yes, We’ll get there. Just Lord, send some sunshine. Puhhhhleaase! Oh and while you are at it, send me to the beach and give me a dog.

Photo by Pixabay on
Photo by Christian Domingues on

Have a good weekend ya’ll.

Vietnamese and Thai Food, Appliances Purchase, and Challenge Update

Surprise! I’m here this morning! I just wanted to pop in with a few updates. We are very excited that we were able to get Mom to Lowe’s and she ordered her fridge and washer and dryer. The fridge arrives Saturday the 13th and the Washer and Dryer on Dec 1. Not bad in today’s world. She was able to get the ones she wanted for the most part. She bought a fridge like ours that has the little see through door that opens up within the big fridge door. She was happy! I will have to do her laundry for a couple of weeks.

We were going to come home and have hot dogs but George suggested we go out for Pho as we’d not taken Mom out to try Vietnamese food. In Mom’s head, I know she was thinking “Good Grief” and she admitted she wasn’t sure when she saw the place. But I suggested the Orange Chicken and it was perfect for her. She loved it.

So the place had nice relaxing music and a nice little vibe. The decor seemed to say “Happy Everything” as it was decorated with Halloween, Fall, and Christmas, and they admittedly said they had decor left over from Valentine’s Day sitting around. lol. The food was excellent. George and I got a Singha Beer from Bangkok.

We had several appetizers including the egg roll or spring rolls and chicken satay. This place had both Vietnamese and Thai food.

It was all delicious. And they do an amazing amount of take out. There was a constant stream of people picking up to go orders. I ordered a ginger salad, because I love them so. Their lettuce was the freshest I’ve seen anywhere in a long time. I also selfishly had ordered hot green tea also. I drank both my beer and the tea and loved it! ;-). Better than getting a 2nd beer right?

Can’t you just see the freshness of this lettuce? That was really good to see. I’m so tired of bad lettuce. Things are taking longer to ship and the store’s goods are just horrible these days. So I’m not sure what their secret is, but I loved it. I could eat there every night. I would have Ginger Salad and Pho or Chicken Satay or Orange Chicken, lol. Every night! I had a bite of Mom’s and it was awesome! We must go back soon!

Here was my Pho. It has rice noodles, chicken, scallions, red onion, probably basil and bok choy. I couldn’t eat it all. The broth was an amazingly good flavor. The waitress said we got the last of the Pho last night.

It was a happy place.

We needed happy.

Back home, with our first freeze of the season at 30 degrees F, George put Little Bit’s box on the front porch. He was in it when we got home, lol. It’s not the most pleasant looking thing on a front porch but he will be warm there. Don’t worry, when it gets much below freezing he comes inside and stays in our basement which is probably 50 ish to 60’s as it gets heat from the house. The box is a little dusty it seems. Or maybe it’s the shadows/light. I didn’t notice that being that way last night. Anyway, it has a warm blanket inside. I need to put another one over that one though b/c I think he will get his claws stuck in the threads of this one. I need a thin little baby blanket or something to put over this one. We’ll get him fixed up.

Mid-Week Update

Traffic was horrible yesterday. I’m not sure why. I was running behind and hopped on the interstate. I got to work by 8 – barely – but it was very slow. I really enjoy the back roads but if in a hurry I have to go the interstate as it shaves off about 10 to 15. Sometimes the back ways can be slower than normal but I just enjoy the more pleasant pace of the back streets. I don’t have to worry about as much.

So today is my Friday. I’m off tomorrow for the closing. We have a full day lined up. We have to go sign up for the water – that was the only thing Mom has to do in person. And I need to go get my police report from where someone stole my identity. They are only open during the hours I’m at work so I have to go do that. And Mom will have a few errands. We need to get our plan on tonight so we don’t have any problems tomorrow about what the plan is – if you know what I mean.

We also brought the grout sealer for her backsplash and also for the granite. And we got the shelving paper. So I’m sure we will start on those things first. Snoksred suggested the chair – not to forget it til the furniture arrives. Thank you! Yes, we will need to go put that in my trunk tonight. TWO chairs, and maybe a little cooler with water. We also have to program our own house keys and we have to figure that out. I’ve never in my life seen such a thing. There is a tool you use and put the key in the door and program it to the lock. So how do we know someone has not already done this and has a set? Weird. And where are those garage door openers that were missing? Can someone get in now? Or will they be reprogramming the new set? I have no idea how that works! But what if some construction worker our there still has the openers and can get in?

Also anxious to see the place with the grass added. I’ll be sure to take pics in the upcoming days with our progress.

Garnishments Process at Work

Work is coming together with me getting month end done. I only have two or three more states to do. And I need to work on garnishments today that have come in. I never get garnishments unless it is a busy time for me. Then it’s like someone turned on the magnet – “hey Sonya’s busy, lets send all the garnishments now”. lol. They take a while to set up as there are a lot of components since we do our own payroll. The employee gets a copy, you usually have to respond to the company or agency, you set up some of them in excel if it’s a true garnishment and you do a percentage. If it’s child support, it’s good b/c usually you can set it up as a deduction to come out every week, but a lot of ours have to be figured as a percentage with EACH payroll. So I have garnishment tabs on each person. Also you have to keep up with their balances so you know when to stop the garnishment. So I have a tab for that too. Then I have tabs for the actual “cover sheet” that goes with the check showing what the garnishment is covering so the agency knows who the check is for. I also have a little half sheet cover sheet with the A/P code that I use when I run the actual garnishment checks. I have to enter it in the A/P system every Thursday to create the checks. So I have to set up the garn agency as a vendor in the system before I can even do the check run. And I have to put work sheet reminders in the plant payroll folder so I actually remember to figure the deduction and enter it in the system for the employee’s with percentages. After payroll I go in and zero it out so I can start over the next week. There is a lot to it but I have the system down. Then of course after payroll I have to do a reconciliation spreadsheet to make sure what comes out of payroll is matching what I’m sending on the checks and for TN I actually have some that I pay online. If it’s one child I pay on line. If they have three to five different child support payments to varying custodial parents I usually have to do during payroll because it’s certain percentages of the total that go to each parent, up to a certain amount. Anyway it’s all very detailed. I think I have two or three new garnishments to set up today.

Growing To Do List.

So I have quite a to do list of itty bitty things that need to be done. Last week was carefree at home as I working on Quarter End but this week it’s all built up and now I don’t have time to do any of it LOL:

  • Order Christmas things on line that Katy wanted
  • Change George’s sheets
  • Work on Christmas Planning (what the heck to get everyone?)
  • Update my Apple Watch. It won’t do the last update for some reason and it says it should when I look online. But I’ve not had time to reboot the watch. So maybe I will try that.
  • I think Mom has some internet orders she wants me to do.
  • Finish the next video before I do the upgrade the Mac to Monterey. I don’t think it’s any big deal.
  • I kinda want to go to good will and look for more jeans. I don’t want to spend a fortune on new ones!
  • Audible credit is out – need to download another book
  • Need to update my wellness company order with some changes
  • Want to make whole grain bread. Just something I want to try. 😉 I bought the flour and we have the yeast. But ain’t nobody got time for that these days.

Challenge Update

I had to give up making check marks on my sheet for my challenge. It’s all pretty much engrained into my head what I need to do. It’s just been too busy to keep up with the check lists. I’d get two or three days behind. I quit actually tabulating my ounces of water. I would try but by afternoon just had to quit trying to keep up with it. Too much else in life. But I did it long enough to engrain it in my head. I think the goals will stick strong. I won’t be perfect at it but at least I’m significantly better and more disciplined at water, movement, helping others, not eating dessert every night but stretching it out to 5 to 7 days at least. The hard part has been embracing Whole Foods. And that is mainly b/c I live with other people, who don’t or I allow stress and time to blur what is important. But I try to make as good of a decision as I can. It’s been a wonderful challenge despite those that have joked by saying I’m a cheater or tried to sabotage the efforts in some way. Most of those folks who have done that, do not seem to have any desire to improve their own situation in such manner so it makes it easy for them to jab at me who does want to improve and quite frankly, has improved! I’m proud of myself for taking it on and for improving 50 to 75% in many areas! Yay me! lol I will celebrate my efforts. The challenge is NOT over yet. Quite frankly – it’s a challenge to develop good habits so it’s kind of a funny thing – it just sort of morphs itself into reality. I mean why would I want to go backward and stop doing these things? But I can see where some challenges especially if you are doing some specific things like “no sugar” or “studying a certain subject for a period of time” would not go on forever. So anyway, I’m calling the challenge a success and kicking the checklist to the curb. I like the rules I created for myself and I’ll stick with them. But I am going to do another improvement challenge in 2022. It will be little more specific and targeted. And that will truly be a 55 day challenge from beginning to end.

And so now I’ll probably be back Saturday morning since I blogged today. I’ll let you know how closing went and what all we are up to in getting her ready to move in.