Monday, December 5, 2011

Nothing Wrong, but Not Quite Right

You know how sometimes you can just feel in a funk?  Probably not severe enough to be considered a depression, and nothing in particular that’s causing it, but it’s there all the same?  Well, that’s kind of where I am now.  Honestly, I’m not sure why.  Things are going mostly okay.  I mean, life isn’t picture perfect or anything, but it’s also not like I’m living something out of Dickens.

In the past, I think this sort of feeling would’ve simply been called “blue”, and you’d either be left to let it run its course, or basically told to cowboy up and get over it.  I don’t really consider either of those options particularly helpful, but, the truth is, I don’t really know how to combat it reasonably, because I have no idea what’s causing it.  General dissatisfaction with work, maybe, though you’d think I’d be used to that by now.  Holiday melancholy? Maybe, though I really sort of love Christmas.  Granted, it’s not been quite as magical the past few years, with lots of family drama and such putting a bit of a damper on the joy of it all, but I don’t think I’ve reached the point where the season actually makes me sad.  At least, I hope I haven’t.

So, I don’t know what it is, but I know that I need to find a way to break through it.  Nothing is really fun for me right now; I’ve kind of moved away from some of the hobbies I used to enjoy; I have to literally force myself to go to work every day; I can’t find the energy or inspiration to exercise . . . the list goes on and on.  The cause may not be readily apparent, but the effects are certainly clear, and it’s not a pretty picture. 

But even if something isn’t quite right, how do you fix it if it also isn’t really wrong?

Bad habit

I’m not entirely sure how I got into such a bad habit of being up half the night, but, here it is, just after 3:30am, and I’m only just now considering going to bed.  And I’m sure it’s clear that even though I’m considering bed, what I’m actually doing is writing this post.

Of course, my current work shift is largely to blame, as I typically don’t get home until at least 1:30 or 2:00, and after taking time to either exercise or veg out a little bit (or both), it’s almost always after three before I hit the hay.  So, of course, on my days off (like today), I tend to stick to that same pattern, when what I should do is take the opportunity to get a bit of extra sleep.  Really, if left to my own devices, I’m one of those folks who needs about nine hours of sleep to really feel rested, and I usually get only about seven, so I’m always behind the eight ball in that regard.  A day or two of getting caught up would probably help in all sorts of ways.

I’m pretty sure that being just on the edge of tired every day doesn’t do much for my weight loss plans, and I know it doesn’t really help my mood.  I really need to find a way to break this habit.  I’ve given up (or drastically cut down) a lot of bad habits already this year, maybe I’ve got the stamina to get rid of just one more.  Maybe.  Or maybe I can’t decide that when I’m already tired and in need of sleep.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Welcome to Troutville

troutville, va

It’s been almost two months since I started my TransAmerica Trail walk, so I thought I’d check in with how far along I’ve gotten.

I’m just over 320 miles down the road (an average of 5.8 miles per day, so I’m ever so slightly ahead of schedule), and passing through a little town called Troutville, Va. 

One of the fun things about this stroll is that every once in a while I take time to see what the places are all about, and it lets me explore areas in my own country that I’d otherwise never know existed, including this tiny spot of less than 500 people.  For instance, one of the first things that struck me was the fact that the town has five hotels, which seemed a little out of proportion for such a small place.  But then I discovered that not only does the TA trail pass through, but so, too, does the Appalachian Trail.  It’s like a hiking mecca.  And, if you wanted to spend a day or two in small town America, they’ve got parks, and golf, and—my personal favorite—an alpaca farm.

It strikes me that my personal fitness quest will likely never get to the point where I can literally walk these trails, but some day—when I’m retired and rich—I might be persuaded to drive them (and do some daytime walks to see the beauty, natch), and I think Troutville would be on my to-do list.  Who wants to come along?


                little catawba creek farm

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Moment of Thanks

It's Thanksgiving today, and I always like to take a few minutes to give conscious thought to the things that I am thankful for.  Sometimes I write it down, sometimes I don't, but I thought this year could be a time that I do.  So, without further ado, here are some of the things that I think make my life worthwhile, though the list is by no means all inclusive.

  • My family.  It's true that many of the trials and tribulations in my life--and all of my true heartbreak-- are caused by relatives, but so too is the vast majority of my true joy.  I always think it's a worthwhile trade.
  • Friends.  These people are the family I've chosen, and I can't imagine life without them.
  • Health.  It's not like I'm an athletically fit physical specimen or anything, but I do have basic health and well-being, and I know that there are many who do not have even that.
  • A job.  On a day to day basis, my job makes me crazy and causes an unrealistic amount of stress.  But, it also pays my bills and allows me to live my life.  I'm grateful that I'm one of the lucky ones who get to have that kind of stress and craziness.
  • My fitbit.  What, you say, is a fitbit?  My new best friend.  It's a little gadget that's helping me stay focused on my weight loss goals this year.  The simple answer is that it's a pedometer, but it's so much more. I love it, and I really appreciate the friends I've found on their website.
  • Vacation this year.  It had been a long time since Brian and I really took a vacation, but we had a doozy this summer.  The Alaskan cruisetour was the trip of a lifetime, and I cherish the memories.
  • The BC Clarke jingle.  I've been hearing it my whole life, and it's how I know the holiday season has officially begun.  It most always makes me smile and sing along, and the first time of the year--like this morning--always gives me just a little rush of excitement.
  • Computers.  Those little wonders can do a lot of things, from surfing the web to writing a book or calculating a budget.  Cool.
  • The future.  Of course, none of us ever know what the future holds, or even how much of it we'll be granted, but I do appreciate knowing it's out there for now, and I'm grateful for the simple gift of wondering what it will be like and hoping for all good things.
I hope everyone takes at least a few minutes today away from the bustle of things to do and all the yummy food, and really thinks about the things they cherish in life.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Passing Thoughts

It's 1:00am, and I should go to bed, but I'm sitting here at the computer instead.  So, just a few random thoughts that are in my head at the moment:

  • I'm kind of hungry; thinking maybe PB&J will do the trick.
  • Getting caught up on all the shows piling up on the DVR, I think A Gifted Man is turning out to be even better than I thought it would.
  • It's almost Thanksgiving, and I've got a lot of house cleaning to do.
  • As a rule, older episodes of Gray's Anatomy are better than the newer ones.
  • There are some cute tiger cubs on display at this live cam site.
  • I hit the 50 pound mark in my weight loss a couple weeks ago, but it's been really slow going since then.
  • I need to start reading the new Stephen King book I bought over a week ago.
  • I should write more.
  • I like watching TV sitting on my exercise bouncy ball.
Pretty random, but that's what's in my head tonight.  You really never know what's rolling around in there, but I'd guess I'm not the only one with the stray passing thoughts in the middle of the night.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Walking Across America

TransAmerica Beginning

Yep, I’m still here.  And I’m still working on the weight loss.  It now seems clear that I won’t make my goal by the end of the year, but I’m not as bothered by that as I would’ve expected.  I’m still moving along, slowly but surely, and I’m down 48 pounds from January.

So, in keeping with the slow but sure approach, I’m going to give a TransAmerica hike a go.  Of course, I’m still horribly out of shape, and I haven’t won the lottery to allow me to quit my job and sightsee non-stop, so this is going to be a virtual undertaking.  I’ve been turned on to a website that allows you to use the distance you accumulate throughout your normal daily steps to “walk” from Virginia to Oregon.  It’s a total of 4361 miles, and right now, my daily movement is about 5 miles, so this little jaunt is going to take me over two years, but I’m not bothered by that, either.  It’ll be interesting to me to see how long it really does take (as my plan is to increase my daily activity over time), and it will be interesting to see what I see. (The website shows you a picture of where you are each time you enter your mileage.)  Today I started in York, VA, and moved about 7 miles down a tree-lined road, so I should reach Williamsburg tomorrow.  How fun is that?  I’ll be sure to keep you posted on anything interesting along the way.

Oh, and I should mention that I track my distance with a handy little device called a fitbit.  I love this tiny gadget, and could go on about it for quite a while, but that’s for another day.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Part of Me

I need to write something.  I’m not sure what (and I’m guessing this post won’t cut it), but something. 

In this year of trying to reclaim control of my life, I still haven’t made time for one of the most essential parts of me.  I’m continuing on my weight loss journey (down 34 pounds and over 15 inches), but that’s not the only important part of me.

I’m also trying to get myself back on the right track at work—staying motivated and putting my heart into things again—but that’s not all of me, either.

So, maybe I need to re-commit to updating this blog more frequently. Or the other that I sometimes play with, which is about my other passion, television.  Maybe that will be a start.

But I know I have to do something, because in a year that’s supposed to be about me, I still feel like I’m missing one of the most important parts.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Making Progress

I’m still working on a better (or at least thinner) me.  Yesterday I hit the 25 pound mark.  It’s taken me just over 11 weeks to lose that much, but I’m mostly pleased with my progress.  Of course I could wish it would go faster, or that there was an easier way of reaching my goal—one that didn’t include giving up my beloved Sonic Coke, for instance—but the truth is, faster is not always better, and the easy way is rarely the right way.  So I’ll keep chugging along, counting calories, eating more fruit and less donuts, and saving an ice cold Coke for really special occasions.