Back To Union Working (Elections, Contracts, and More)

I had missed the last Union Working meeting and I honestly missed being able to go. I had something else I had to attend that evening that had to take priority so I knew that I was missing it for a good reason. But that didn’t change the fact that I missed the meeting, the people, and education. I have really come to love the group and value the time I spend at the meetings. I have gone so long without having a group of like-minded people and I don’t want to skip out on seeing them.

So when I knew there was a meeting this week, I made sure I marked it in my calendar right away. I didn’t want to miss it or accidentally schedule something else that evening. The meeting was held at a new location for me and I didn’t know how long it would take me to get there in LA traffic. I ended up giving myself more than enough time and was there over 30 minutes early. But a few of the leaders of the group who are my friends were there that early as well so we took advantage of that time to do our usual friend catch up.

The focus of the Union Working meetings for a long time was the commercial contract negotiation. Now that is done, we have moved on to the next contract negotiation which is the tv and theatrical contract. I’m starting over with my education about the contract just like I had to start with the commercial one. But I know that it’s just a matter of time before I understand it as well as I understand the commercial contract. I just have to be patient with myself and make sure that I take advantage of all the educational opportunities about this contract that I have.

A big chunk of this meeting was about the contract negotiation and explaining why it is so important to be an active participant in the union. We are currently having our wages and working conditions meetings for this contract, but right now all those meetings are during the time that I work. I want to try to make it to one, and I just have to hope that there will be more meetings in the future that are in the evening. But even if I can’t attend any of those meetings, I have other ways to stay educated and involved and I am making sure I focus on that.

Another big topic discussed was the upcoming election. Because Union Working is a non-partisan group, no specific slate or candidates are endorsed. Instead, they encourage people to consider all candidates and to choose who they think would be best. They don’t encourage voting an entire slate because you like one or two people. I do tend to vote my entire slate because I agree with what we stand for, but I don’t expect others to necessarily do the same. And I make sure that when I am at Union Working that I try to stay as neutral as possible.

With this upcoming election, Union Working is trying to organize a town hall with all the candidates for National President. I think that is an amazing idea and I really hope that it can happen. I know that some of the candidates are currently working on either a tv show or film, so it is not easy to schedule one time that everyone can be available. But hopefully, there will be a date that works for everyone so the entire group can hear what everyone says. The idea of the town hall would be that every candidate would be asked the same questions so we could compare their answers to each other. I think that is a great way to do it so that it doesn’t become a debate or that one candidate has the opportunity to answer and others don’t.

There were a few other things discussed in this meeting that need to be kept confidential for certain reasons, but a majority of the meeting was information that can be heard by everyone. So I was running the Facebook Live video like I usually do and made sure that I paid attention to any comments the video was getting so I could ask questions for anyone watching online (this time there weren’t any questions, but I never know when there will be so I stay alert).

The meeting ended exactly on time and I had to rush out of there to get home. I was dealing with some really horrible nausea during the meeting and I just wanted to be home and in my bed. I know I looked sick because a few people asked me if I was ok, but looking sick was the only thing that was really obvious. I didn’t have to leave the room when my nausea hit because the waves were somewhat mild (even though they didn’t stop which made it feel worse). But I did make it through the entire meeting and didn’t miss any of the information which I was grateful for.

The next meeting should be the town hall event and I’m really excited to see that happen. And hopefully it will be a great election season event that helps many people feel excited to vote and it will be a way for them to really understand what the candidates believe in and want to accomplish.

Wrong Turns Lead To Good Things (or A Random Run-In)

It’s probably good and bad that I have so many things that are routine in my life. Sometimes that means I’m on auto-pilot and that can lead to repeating a mistake or not being aware when I should. But it also helps to be efficient when you know the routine and what to do in what order. I’m in a routine with grocery shopping which is something I’m trying to stop. This isn’t necessarily referring to foods I eat when I have binges, but my day to day normal food. I know which aisles in which grocery stores the things I want are.

Breaking this routine is a hard thing to do because I’m not super inspired by food or cooking right now. So it’s easy to get the few things I know that will work for my meals and just get out. When I have the time to be a bit more methodical in the grocery store, I take advantage of that and try to break out of my rut and find new things. And that’s something I was able to do earlier this week.

I was at the store looking for a few things that I normally don’t get. It wasn’t anything fancy or weird, just some condiments that I wanted to add to some of my regular food to give me some variety. I had no clue where to find those things in the store so I was wandering up and down every aisle. And while I was lost and looking for the last few things on my list, I heard a familiar voice saying my name.

It was one of the women in my mentoring group! We’ve actually run into each other at the grocery store before. Our group has been lucky and most of us live very close to each other. But there’s only been one member of the group that I seem to run into at the store. I think we live closest to each other so that does explain it. But it’s always still a surprise and so fun when we run into each other like that. We usually get to do some catching up and it always makes my day better.

This time, I was even happier to see her randomly because her husband recently went through a major health incident. He needed surgery and was in the hosptial for a while. I knew about this because she emailed our group, but I had been hesitating to email her back because I didn’t know if her husband was still improving or if things had taken a turn. I was hopeful he was continuing to heal, but I was scared to email something if it was going to upset her. And then I felt guilty for not emailing. It was an unnecessary thought cycle and I didn’t know how to get out of it. But seeing her at the grocery store allowed me to apologize as well as know that she and her husband are ok.

And that’s exactly what happened. It obviously was a very stressful time for her, but she has been handling it so well. And her husband has been making strides in his recovery that even surprises his medical team. The situation was not something I would hope anyone would go through, but they are having the best case scenario of a bad situation.

I also got to hear some of the little updates about other things in her life. But I joked that she should wait to tell me some of those until we have our next brunch as a group. But the little things I did hear are all amazing things and I love that she is continuing to progress with her project and that things are working out so well for her. She has been working on this project for years and I love that it is all coming together. It gives me hope that all the hard work that I’m doing will pay off in a similar way.

I would have loved to spend all afternoon catching up, but I did have to finish my grocery shopping. I had frozen things in my basket and I was still on the hunt for the things I needed. Turned out those things were only 1 aisle away. But I’m so glad I didn’t find it sooner because I probably wouldn’t have run into my friend and had that awesome and unexpected moment in my day.

Sometimes, I think even if you don’t realize it at the moment, you end up going exactly where you are supposed to be. And this random grocery run-in was the perfect example of that.

Another Online Class (or I Just Have To Keep Trying)

For a very long time, I have tried to find a way to recover from my eating disorder. I’ve tried lots of different things and nothing has been the fix I have been looking for. But as I have tried more and more, I’ve also realized that there is a chance that nothing will be the perfect solution and I have to probably use multiple tools and skills to get into recovery.

Most things I have tried have benefitted me at least a little. Or even if I found no benefit, I have learned that they aren’t the right thing for me and I don’t have to worry to keep trying it. Sometimes, thinking something might work can be stressful and it’s nice to know that it won’t so I don’t have to waste any brain space on it. And some of the things that I didn’t find super beneficial at first have connected with me at another time and they are helping.

Right now, I’ve got a few things that have been helping me. Those include the medications that I’m taking, the therapy that I do, and some of the books and research that I have continued to read. With my medication, it’s been an interesting journey with having to change things up to figure out the right dosage. I think what I’m taking now is a good dose and I do feel it helps. And there is a chance that I will be adding another medication soon which should help more. But that decision will come in the next month or so. Therapy was much more helpful in the beginning when I was still trying to figure things out. Now that I have a lot of the answers I have been looking for, therapy is a good check-in, but it’s not as mind-blowing as it was before. I don’t have a lot of huge realizations in therapy, but I do hope that I might have some from time to time as I continue to grow.

And the books I have read about recovery have been one of the more helpful things because it has made me feel less alone in this entire thing. Eating disorders can be isolating and I feel like binge eating was even more isolating because it wasn’t understood to be an eating disorder until recently. I have found some online communities that have helped, but I think the books and research I do have made me feel less alone than those communities.

One of the first books I read that connected to me was “Brain Over Binge”. Many people raved about the book and said it helped them recover when nothing else did. I went into reading the book hoping it would do the same for me. While it didn’t, it did bring a lot of insight into my eating disorder and helped me think very differently about it. I read the book a while ago and knew I wanted to read it again, but then I heard about the online course that the author of the book was doing.

I knew she had done other online courses before, but I never really looked too much into it. I knew it was out of my budget at the time so I didn’t focus on what it offered or what it was about. But for some reason, this time I really wanted to see what the course was about and really put some thought into if I could find a way to afford it since I know that finding a way to recover is priceless (as cheesy as that sounds).

Because of some of the changes that were made to the course, it was much cheaper this time than it was before. Its still something that I had to budget for and find where I could not spend money so I could pay for it, but I knew I had to go for it. This is worth it for me to try and I didn’t want to skip an opportunity just because of money.

The course is 8 weeks long and it just started this week. The entire thing is online and there are assignments Monday-Friday. Some of the assignments are worksheets or journal prompts and some are listening to different types of audio coaching. Everything can be downloaded so I can keep the resources forever. I am making sure I download everything because I want to have access to them whenever I need them. I don’t know if this course will connect with me right now, so I want to have the ability to try again later if I need to.

I’ve only done a few lessons so far, but I am enjoying them. Even though a lot of the information is the same I got from reading the book, they are presented in a different way and it feels different. I’m trying to not have too much pressure with myself to make this course be the thing that gets me to a place of recovery, but I do have a lot of optimism that it will help at least a little and maybe more than anything else I have tried before.

Like I said, I have realized that recovery is going to require multiple tools and skills and every time I add another one it can only be a good thing. Of course I want this to work perfectly and be everything I need, but I am looking at it as another option and tool I can use when it feels right. And if I can have a tool or skill to use for anything that may come my way, that’s going to help me win this battle no matter what.

Time Flies (or I Didn’t Realize I Would Be Here So Soon)

I’ve written about time moving quickly multiple times. I know that’s part of getting older. Someone once said that it happens because each year you get old a single year represents a smaller portion of your overall life. That makes so much sense to me even though it doesn’t help with making time go by slower. I try to be mindful every day so time doesn’t slip away, but it seems like that still doesn’t help all the time.

Sometimes it’s almost embarrassing when I realize how long it’s been since I’ve seen a friend or talked to them in person or on the phone. Texting and social media do help me stay in touch with people, but I know I need more than that to maintain my relationships. I recently texted a friend to say happy birthday and mentioned how we were very overdue for a catchup phone call. Then I realized that it might have been almost a year since we talked on the phone! We’ve texted and messaged in the past year, but I should be better about having more regular phone call routines.

Another place where time has just flown by has been with the temporary job I have been doing for my old boss. This has flown by in a few ways. First, I can’t believe that I’m in my last 2 weeks with the job. I have been working very hard since it started because there was so much work that I had to do. I think being that busy has made things fly by and I didn’t really focus on more than just getting the work done that day. I didn’t think about how it’s been a few weeks or a month. I knew that it was going to go quickly because it was a temporary job, but I guess I didn’t think it would feel this quickly.

And because the time flew by, I made a mistake that I said I wasn’t going to do again. I stopped focusing as hard as I should have on my job hunting. Fortunately, I am in a better spot than I was before because the money I made with the temporary job will hold me over for a little bit. But it won’t last forever. And I told myself I wouldn’t wait until the job ended to work on job hunting. But that’s exactly what happened. And now I’ve got only a few more days of work without a clear plan on what to do next.

I am grateful that I have a lot of job hunting sites that I was using before so I don’t have to worry about finding where to look for work. That doesn’t make finding a new job easier, but at least the prep time won’t be needed again. I just have to find the time to really focus on job hunting so I can find something soon.

But the other problem with time flying by with this job is going to affect my ability to job hunt. I knew how many hours my contract was when I started it. I obviously want to do every hour in my contract so I earn all the money I can. And I thought I had a good plan with how to split up the hours each week so that I would be able to finish them all. I know there were a few days where I couldn’t work due to how I was feeling, but I honestly thought I had made up for what I had missed. But when I looked at the hours I have to do for this final paycheck, it’s significantly more than I expected. I will be able to get them all done, but I need to work more hours than I have ever done for this job and I may also need to work on the weekend. It’s not what I expected to have to do, but it’s what I would do.

Because of all the hours I need to work, I know that I won’t be doing the job searching like I should be doing (and should have been doing this entire time). I guess I can’t be too upset since I haven’t really been doing what I said I’d do. So missing another week or so it’s going to ruin too much. But I am upset that I didn’t do it this entire time and now I know I’ll be worried about work again. I’m putting my feelers out again and I also hope that maybe there will be another temporary job I can do. I’m trying to stay optimistic that I won’t have a huge gap in work, but I also know I can’t depend on my optimism and that I have to put in the work.

With time going so quickly, I just have to hope that it won’t be a long time before I do find that new job. I don’t want months to fly by and I realize I’m out of money. I don’t have as much control in this situation as I would like, but I know that I have more control than what I have been doing so far.

Working Hard (or Some Normal But Tough Workouts)

This past week of workouts was a really good week for me. They were good workouts, I was not dealing with any nausea, and I had lots of opportunities to work hard. These weeks are the weeks that really help me feel amazing about the hard work I’ve been doing and I love them!

Monday’s workout was a strength day and it was a pretty standard strength workout. Lots of incline/high resistance work and lots of opportunities to work on weight work. Even though I loved all the themed workouts the week before, I was equally as happy to see one of the more standard workouts that I also love.

On cardio, we had 2 blocks. The first one was base work with no hill work and base work with hill work with an all out at the end. Even the all out had hill work which is not too common. I was playing around with the resistance levels on the bike to see which ones felt like the right levels for me. It was a bit tough to figure it out because the hill work was so quick, but it gave me a bit of an idea of what I want to use next time. And the second block was a 5 minute hill with the incline/resistance level going down every minute. I was able to plan it out so that the last minute was going to be at the resistance level between my push and all out levels. I needed to make that last minute a bit easier because my legs were so tired by the end of the 5 minutes.

On the rower, we had 2 blocks but they were very similar. The first block started with a 1 minute row and then we had lunges with medicine ball rotations. After that, we repeated the distance we did with the first row and had more lunges between each round. And the second block was the same idea but we started with a 30 second row. And on the floor, we had one long block. We had deadlifts, side lunges, regular lunges, crunches on the Bosu and Spiderman planks on the Bosu. I wasn’t using my heaviest weights for the deadlifts, but they were only one weight down from my heaviest. And I did go heavier for the weight on my side lunges.

Wednesday’s workout was a mix of endurance, strength, and power. I feel like each section of the room was a good mix of those 3 things and it made for a really tough class!

For cardio, we started with a 90 second push pace to a 60 second base pace. Then we repeated that and the goal was to maintain what we were able to do the first time. Then we had our hill work. We had all outs with hills (again, not something we normally do) and each round the hill went down. I was trying to keep my resistance levels on the bike above my normal all out level for all the inclines, but by the last one, I had to drop down to the level between my push and all out. The high resistance levels are really tough, but I’m getting more motivated to work on them.

On the rower, we started with an 800 meter row and then we had squats to shoulder presses with a medicine ball. Each row went down 200 meters and we had the same squats to shoulder presses each time between the rows. I was struggling more than I expected with the rowing. I don’t know what I didn’t have the same endurance that I’m used to, but I had to take a lot of breaks with each row. It was really weird and I just had to be ok with it and keep going.

And on the floor, we had 2 blocks. The first block was shorter and was using the bench. We started with being in a plank position on the bench and then we had single arm reverse fly using weights. And then we had sit-ups on the bench to squats. I really can’t do the sit-ups to squats in a single movement because when I’m on the bench my feet don’t really touch the ground. So I split up the movements and did all my sit-ups and then stood up and did all my squats. And the second block was all mini-band work but the mini-bands were around our arms so that was much better for me. We kept the mini-bands in the same spot the entire block and we had hammer curls using weights, scissor kick crunches with our arms up, and plank in and outs. My arms were really sore in the best way at the end of the workout because of all the mini-band work.

Friday’s workout was another strength day. I think being on the bike has made strength days a bit easier for me since I struggled with the inclines on the treadmill so much. I do struggle with the higher resistance levels on the bike, but not as much as I did with inclines. We had 3 blocks for all 3 sections of the room. The blocks were 2 1/2 minutes, 3 1/2 minutes, and 5 minutes. And each block within a section of the room was pretty similar.

For cardio, we started with a 1 minute hill, 1 minute base pace, and 30 second all out. We had the same pattern for the second and third blocks but the second block had a 2 minute hill and the third block had a 3 minute hill. My 1 minute and 2 minute hills were above my normal resistance levels and I did the 3 minute hill at my normal all out level. It was very tough to do 3 minutes with that high of a resistance level, but I felt so amazing when it was done and I realized I was able to do it!

On the rower, we had the same assignment for each block. We had rounds of 150 meter rows and then we were supposed to do lunges with tricep work using a medicine ball. I don’t mine doing lunges between rows if I don’t have to do that too often. But when we have to do lunges more often I really can’t do them because it’s hard for me to step in and out of the rower. So instead of the lunges, I did squats which worked out fine for me.

And on the floor we sit-ups, toe reach crunches, low rows using weights, shoulder presses with weights, and sumo squats. For the second block, we added torso rotations and all the weighted work was 2 rounds instead of 1. And for the last block, we added double crunches and had 3 rounds of the weighted work. I was able to go heavy with my sumo squat weight but not as heavy as I would have liked to for the other work. But I also know my arms were tired by the time I was on the floor because of all the tricep work on the rower.

Saturday’s workout was an endurance day. It was nice to have a break from all the strength work I had earlier in the week, but that didn’t mean the workout was any easy. It was still really hard and challenging and I got to test myself.

For cardio, we had 3 blocks. The first and last block were both 4 minute distance challenges. The second block was to do half the distance from the 4 minute challenge and then do squats until time was callled. For the second block, I cheated a bit and just did another challenge for time because I didn’t want to get off the bike. But for all of the blocks, I did the entire thing at my push pace resistance level. It was so hard to do that for 4 minutes at a time, but it was a great boost to my self-esteem when I found out I could do it.

The rower also had 3 blocks. The first and last block had a 90 second row, squats, a 45 second row, squats, and then to row until time was called. The middle block was a 3 minute row for distance. I was worried that I would struggle with the 3 minute row, but I did it without needing to take a break which was another boost to how I feel like I’ve been doing.

And on the floor, we had one long block. We had weighted chest presses, push-ups, triceps on the straps, plank work, single leg bicep curls with weights, and hip bridges with weights. It was a lot of work and my muscles were getting so sore after completing each round. I did take breaks when I needed to and I was still able to get almost 3 rounds done before the workout was done.

I really felt so accomplished after this past week of workouts. It’s so nice to just have a great week with lots of awesome work. I need these to make me feel better when I’m having a bad week. And I’m so glad I have this one in my recent memory since this week may be when my nausea kicks back in.

I Love When Something Becomes A Non-Issue (or An Update On The Scar On My Face)

I have had no regrets at all since doing the surgery to remove what turned out to be a benign tumor on my chin. I was a bit worried going into it based on what other doctors had said to me, but I quickly realized that my fears were not going to be realized. I was not going to have a massive scar or look disfigured from having this removed. Maybe the doctor who told me that before really believed that and surgical techniques have improved a lot since then or maybe he was warning me and didn’t think it was guaranteed to be that bad. Either way, I’m so glad that the original doctor was wrong and I found a new doctor who was confident that he could do it and didn’t think it would be a bad decision for me.

Before I had the surgery, I was so self-conscious and aware of the mark on my face. Not only did it feel like everyone was looking at it and it was the most noticeable thing on my face (although I know that wasn’t true), it was painful too. The skin on it would sometimes break and it would start bleeding. I know that’s gross, but it’s the truth. I hated how it would hurt and I was so embarrassed when I realized that it started to bleed. The skin around it was so irritated from both the past treatments I had done and all the trauma to the skin that the breaks would cause. While my main motivation for the surgery was for appearance, the physical issues were a reason too.

I did whatever I could to make the mark blend in with the rest of my skin. I had so many concealers I would use and I wouldn’t leave the house without using at least one. Even when I was going to my workout, I would put concealer on that spot and it would make me feel better about myself. It’s crazy how much one little thing (that most people didn’t even notice) affected my life and had me working around it.

Since the surgery, I’ve been doing treatments to keep the scar soft and as minimal as possible. It’s not that much work and it’s been easy to have as a part of my normal skincare routine. I’ve only had one follow up with my doctor and he was very happy with how the scar looked. I’ll be seeing him again at the end of the summer when I do my normal skin/mole check, but I’m guessing he will be looking at the scar too. I think he will tell me that I have been doing a great job with the aftercare and that I should probably continue with the same plan as long as I can. I want the scar to look as close as possible to the skin around it, so I will do anything I have to do to accomplish that.

But I realized this week that I don’t really need the acknowledgment from my doctor that I am doing the right thing. I haven’t been putting concealer on my face like I was doing before. I still put some on when I wear makeup or am going out because the skin is a bit more red on the scar than on the surrounding skin. But I don’t feel the need to wear it when I’m going to work out or when I’m just going to run a quick errand. Considering how important my concealer was to me before surgery, it’s amazing to think that it’s not even something I think about anymore.

I have been skipping the concealer for my workouts or quick errands since my surgery. But it was only like that right after surgery because I wasn’t allowed to put makeup over the scar. At my follow up I was given a timeline as to when I could start using it. But I actually don’t remember how long I was supposed to wait because I never thought about it again. I think it was another week or two after the stitches came out, but by the time I was able to do so I wasn’t worried about it.

I know that there is no requirement to wear makeup or to conceal any blemishes or marks, but for me, I was covering it up for me and not for what others thought.  If I forgot concealer and had to see a bunch of people, I couldn’t focus because I was so worried about if anyone would notice it. It was really a big time suck in my life and I love that it’s not anymore. And to know that I didn’t even realize that I’m not worried about it anymore makes it even better and more proof that it’s a non-issue for me now.

Having Health Paranoia (or I’m Sure I Am Just Fine)

I’ve probably earned the right to be a bit paranoid about my health. I’ve had ongoing health issues most of my life. I’ve had some very random things that have come up as an adult that are now ongoing and cause problems a majority of the time. And I’ve discovered new health problems when I thought I was being checked out for a more routine one. I’ve also written on here about my body disconnect I’ve felt and I think that has made me wonder what is happening with me more often. I think that disconnect has been one of the main reasons I have a bit of paranoia now.

When I had my first gallbladder attack in a long time, I was terrified it would last forever or that it was the start of the attacks happening as often as they did before. I’m still worried that I will have another attack and any time I have even the smallest symptom that could be related to my gallbladder I brace myself for more. Fortunately, I haven’t had another attack yet, but I am still on edge and waiting to see when the next one will happen. I’m aware that I could just get my gallbladder removed and I wouldn’t have to worry anymore. But that’s not a super easy surgery and there are issues I could have once my gallbladder is gone.

I try not to be too paranoid about things, but I know it’s just something that unfortunately seems to be my default setting. I’m like that with my dentist appointments. I’m always sure that I will be told that something horrible is happening with my teeth and I need to do a lot of major work. No matter how many times I am proved wrong, I still think that way.

So this week, when I started having random symptoms, my paranoia kicked in. I still don’t know what is wrong, but things have been getting better. I’ve been very tired and having some moments of being light-headed. I know that those can be because of the heat and weather changes so those symptoms alone didn’t concern me. But then I started having some odd abdominal pain. It wasn’t sharp and painful but it wasn’t as severe as the dull pain I get with my gallbladder. It was more like an annoying dull pain that would come and go.

I have learned not to try to find out what’s wrong with me by looking things up. Usually, as a woman, it will either say that I could have cancer or could be pregnant. Or it will be some very dangerous issues that can happen with your reproductive system. I guess technically there could be something wrong with my uterus, but I really doubt it (and I know I’m not pregnant and I doubt I have cancer). Nothing good can come from trying to figure out what’s wrong online so I don’t even attempt it.

If I was in extreme pain or this was lasting several days, of course I would go to the doctor to get checked out. I don’t mess around with health issues because I do know how serious they could be. And maybe if I had the same health insurance I had when I was growing up (where everything was free), I might try to get an appointment sooner. But now, I know I need to at least wait it out a few days to see if there is still something to be worried about. If I still have the same symptoms after a few days, then it is something to double check. But more often than not, these issues go away on their own and I never find out what’s wrong. I’m sure there are some aches and pains that are nothing to worry about even if they technically aren’t normal. I don’t have to worry that every little thing is going to lead to something huge. But I can’t help but worry about it ending up like that.

As far as my current health situation goes, it has been getting better each day. I still have most of the symptoms, but they aren’t as severe or as frequent. So I guess this will be just another one that goes away on its own.

Super Productive and Super Lazy (or A Balance Over 2 Days)

I write on here so often about being super busy or super productive and then the opposite and being very lazy and unmotivated to do things. I usually talk about how I know there is a swing back and forth with these two things and eventually, it balances out. I just have to remember that it will balance out and not focus on one time and worry that I won’t have the opposite.

But I had those two types of day back to back recently and it was pretty funny. I’m not used to them happening so quickly and it was only after those two days were done that I was able to see how crazy it was.

Sunday was an exceptionally productive day for me. I had an appointment just before noon and my plan was to enjoy my morning and take my time before that. I knew I could do things after I was done so I planned to do all my usual Sunday chores later. I went to bed on Saturday night later than I would have liked to, but I knew I could sleep in a little bit. It’s a rare treat for me to sleep in and it’s not easy for me to do it because I’m in a very consistent sleep schedule, but even if I can’t keep sleeping past 7am I usually will spend my morning being lazy in bed reading or something if I don’t have to rush around in the morning.

But for some reason, even though I didn’t get that much sleep I was wide awake at 7am. I couldn’t just stay in bed and relax. I was ready to start my day. I was able to get most of the things I needed to do that morning before 11am. I was shocked how much I did and when I got home after my appointment I continued working hard and got a lot of things checked off my list that I was planning on doing throughout the week. I wasn’t exhausted or anything doing all these things. It just felt like I matched my energy level with what I was able to do.

The next day was my day off work. I still have a workout in the morning so I don’t sleep in. But I still have time in the morning before my workout so I usually do a few things around my house before heading out. I did manage to do that, but after my workout I had no motivation to do anything. I did shower and get clean after I got home from Orangetheory and put on some normal clothes, but that’s pretty much all I did.

I did think at first that this might have been a reaction to doing so much the day before. I also was wondering if I might be getting sick because I know a lot of people I know have colds. It could have been either of those, but what I think is more likely is that the weather had a drastic change. It has been very mild and even foggy lately. And on Monday things felt like it became summer overnight. It’s not nearly as hot as I know summer will be, but it was a huge jump up.

I was used to my house being in the 70s during the day and at night without needing to use any fans, heaters, or air conditioning. It’s been really nice and I have been enjoying keeping my door open during the day and in the evening before I go to bed. Having the door open seems to always make my house seem cleaner and fresher.

But on Monday, it got very hot inside. I didn’t realize it right away but when I finally thought about how it was so warm inside it was already over 90 degrees inside. It was significantly cooler outside so I tried to cool my house down by opening my doors and windows. But it wasn’t working as well as I would have liked. And I think the heat made me very lazy. Fortunately, I had the ability to be lazy and I didn’t worry about it too much.

But yesterday, I had a lot of work to do. I had to find a balance between being productive and lazy. It’s still pretty hot out so I started running my air conditioner. I love having it and it makes my life so much better, but I also have to close up my house to run it which is a little sad. But at least I won’t have the heat making me tired and lazy.

For all the times I complain or remark about how I need to find the middle between being lazy and productive, I don’t think I’ve ever had the switch so quickly. But at least I found some humor in the situation and it seems to have balanced out a bit for now.

Yet Another Book Rewrite (or Letting My Blog Posts Inspire Me)

I’ve written several times about the book I’ve been working on about online dating. I’ve also written about how I’ve worked on different versions because I wasn’t sure if what I had previously done was right.  I started with the book in 3 sections: guys I’ve gone out with that were decent people, guys that were horrible people whether or not I met them in real life, and the cheaters I caught. Then I decided I wanted to change that up and write the book chronologically because some of the stories only made sense when it was put into the proper timeline. I’ve been going back and forth on those two versions for a while and I never was 100% sure it was right.

I was so conflicted on which version I wanted that I had to stop working on it for a bit. Then I was inspired to work on a novel inspired by online dating (but it would be a work of fiction). I haven’t done much with the novel except doing a brief outline of what the plot points would be along with a few style ideas which are needed because of the idea I have with that book. I’m not feeling a huge push to work on it and I think I’ll probably use it for NaNoWriMo this year. I think working on a piece of fiction would be easier than something that is about my real life because I don’t have to wait to figure out what will happen next. I can make it up and I don’t have to depend on having more dates.

And I think waiting is one of the reasons I’ve been struggling with my original online dating book. I have said since I started it that I didn’t know how it would end. I would love it to end with the story of the guy I end up with, but I have no idea when that will happen and I don’t love the idea that the story needs to end like that. Not everything has to end with a happy ending and I want it to accurately represent where I am in life. Maybe when I finally finish it I will be with my forever person, but if I’m not I don’t want to feel like things are incomplete.

I stopped working on that book a little while ago although I have been adding notes about stories I wanted to include. But I haven’t felt the motivation to work because of the fear that until I know the ending that I can’t work on it. But I have inspired a little bit ago about yet another version of what this book could be and it finally doesn’t seem to require a real ending. And the inspiration kind of came from the blog posts I write about online dating.

Sometimes I do write general online dating posts on here and funny stories. But I also write about lessons that I’ve learned from the various dates and experiences I’ve had. And while I feel like the crazy stories are fun and entertaining, the lessons I’ve learned are probably so much more important. I’ve discovered so much about myself through these dating experiences. I’ve learned what I want, what I’m willing to tolerate, what I deserve, and what I believe. I know that dating isn’t always like this for people, but for me it really has been a journey in self-discovery. Even in the moments of pain and when someone breaks my heart, I am able to learn something from that experience and I want to believe that I am a better person because of those lessons.

Not every guy I was writing about in previous versions of my book are life lessons, but many of them are. Some of the guys can be grouped into one lesson and some guys have multiple lessons. But I feel like there is a great way to organize these lessons where it doesn’t require a specific pattern or even a conclusion. They can just be a collection of stories and what I learned about myself and it doesn’t need me to have a story that is about how I fell in love, got married, and had my happily ever after. It would be great to have that story, but that’s not what I feel this book needs to be about. It’s not about how I met my perfect guy, it’s about my experience dating. And having it about the lessons allows me to focus on that instead of the overall journey.

I’ve only started working on this new version, so I don’t have much done. But just getting the lessons down and connecting which guys represent which story has given me a lot of clarity about what this book could be. And I have shared the idea with a few friends and I think they agree that this is a better idea if I want to possibly publish the book. The funny and crazy stories might only connect with people who know me in real life. But life lessons should be able to connect with those outside my social circle and might be something that others would be interested in reading.

I know I have written before how I feel like I finally found what this book should be and I keep changing it. But I do feel like this is a bit different. I almost have a sense of relief and peace with the idea and feel less pressure that I don’t have to rely on what dates may happen in the future to figure out if the book is done. And even if I change things up again and decide that this is not the right version, I think this will actually benefit me quite a bit. There are still some situations I’ve been in where I haven’t figured out the lesson just yet. This will force me to look at what happened and try to see what I can learn. And those new lessons will just keep helping me become the best version of myself.

Hopefully one day this book is done and I can share it with the world. I know my dating experience isn’t necessarily the most unique, but there are people who haven’t gone through what I have gone through and I’d love to be able to share what I have learned and what I know with them.

Doing Some Theme Workouts (or Unique Challenges At Orangetheory)

This past week of workouts at Orangetheory were really fun for me. First of all, I was having a week where I was feeling good. I wasn’t feeling as great as I know I can, but it was a significant difference from the week before. And also, most of my workouts this past week were fun themed workouts! It wasn’t like Hell Week or Mayhem Week where they are all super hard. These were different themes and they all were really enjoyable while being tough.

Monday’s workout was an endurance day, but it was also a switch day so I was able to push myself a bit harder than I normally could for endurance workouts. This was the one workout that wasn’t really a theme, but it was still a great class. We had a bit of a run/row element which helped to split things up even more. Even though I was finally doing better and not feeling nauseous, I always feel like it takes me a workout or two before I feel like myself again. And this class seemed to be a great way to ease back in.

I started on the bike and cardio had a 1 minute all out pace. I did my new all out resistance level since I knew we’d be going to the rower when we were done. Once we switched to the rower, we had distance rows with pulsing half squats between. That was the end of that block and then my group stayed on the rower so we started there. We had a 1 minute all out row before going back up to cardio. And on cardio we had a push pace, base pace, and push to all out pace to end the block. Because we were on cardio a bit longer, I used my lower push and all out resistance level. After that then my group was on the floor but we did the cardio and rowing rotations one more time just after the halfway mark of the workout.

On the floor the first block had chest presses with weights, tricep extensions with weights, and knee tucks. I was able to use my normal weights for the chest presses, but when I got to the tricep extensions I struggled. I think I slept funny because my neck was just feeling off. So I had to switch to lower weights. And the second block had shoulder presses with weights, lateral raises with weights, and scissor kick static crunches. Again, I went a bit lower with the weights than I would have liked to have been. But I also knew it was a random reason why and not something I should have to struggle with the rest of the week.

Wednesday’s workout was Catch Me If You Can. I didn’t do this workout the first time they had it so I was excited to try it out. The idea was that we had distance goals for cardio. If you didn’t make it to that goal when you were supposed to, you were caught. People on treadmills had to walk at a high incline for the rest of the block if they were caught.

But it was a bit different for me on the bike because there wasn’t really a punishment if we didn’t make it to the distance and were caught. And when I saw the list of the distance goals we were supposed to hit, I knew I would only make it for the first half of them. But what I did was while I was still chasing the goals I had my resistance level between my base and push paces. And when I was caught, I put it between my push and all out so it made it very tough on me. While I knew before we started when I would probably be caught, that didn’t lessen the fun I had with the challenge.

On the rower, we had rowing and squats. We started with a 600 meter row and 20 squats. The rows and squats decreased each round. I didn’t make it as far down the plan as I would have liked to, but I was very happy about the rowing I did and how consistent I was able to keep my pace. And on the floor, we had one long block. We had skier swings with weights, rollouts on the ab dolly, bicep curls with weights, side planks, and hip bridges with weights. I went very heavy for my hip bridge weights, but I didn’t go too heavy for the rest because they were all high rep exercises. But it was still a strong way to end my workout.

Friday’s workout was a new and interesting one for me. We had a very unique rowing challenge where we were supposed to work together as a group and try to row at the same pace and pattern. It was supposed to be like we were a real rowing crew. That was totally a challenge to stay with the others, but it was fun to try! I found out later it was supposed to be a themed class for the Dragon Boat Festival which explained the team rowing.

For cardio, we had our own distance challenge for the entire block. The treadmills had rounds of .25 miles (the bike had rounds of 1 mile) followed by a minute of walking recovery. The goal was to do as many rounds as possible and to keep your speed either the same or increasing each round. I started with doing the distance challenge at my push pace resistance level, but after 3 rounds I had to decrease it to be at the level between my base and push for the rest of the workout. I was feeling a bit off due to lack of sleep the night before, but I just tried to focus on pushing myself when I could. I was actually very glad to have a repeating challenge for cardio because it helped me take my mind off of it.

For rowing, we alternated between the group challenge of rowing together and having rowing on our own. The group challenges were 2 minutes, 90 seconds, and 1 minute. While I’m not the slowest rower, I do row slower than most. I struggled a bit to keep up with everyone else, but I discovered if I did short rowing strokes that it was much easier. When we had the rowing on our own, we had a distance challenge within a certain time. The time was always long enough to allow for some rest time and I did take advantage of that break. I needed it to be ready for the next group row.

And on the floor we had 1 long block. We had step up with weights, hip swings with weights, tricep extensions with weights, plank jacks, and sit-ups. I have been modifying the step ups so I could do them, but I can’t do them with weight because I have to hold onto the straps. So I decided to do lunges with weights instead so I could still have weight work. We started with lower reps but they increased by a lot each round so I did have to switch up my weights in order to still have good form when we had a lot of reps.

And Saturday’s class was themed for Best Friend’s Day. The entire workout was a partner workout, but we were always at the same section of the room as our partner. We did tag each other to switch things up, but we weren’t moving around the room within a block. Instead, we were constantly switching as a class. We had 4 blocks at each section of the room. 3 of the blocks were 3 minutes and 1 block was 1 minute, but the 1 minute block was done solo and without workout with our partner.

For cardio, it was the only time we weren’t really working with our partners. For the 3 minute blocks we had a 3 minute distance challenge and the 1 minute block was a 1 minute all out. I wanted to keep my resistance level either between my base and push level or at my push pace level, but I could only do that for the first 2 blocks. For the last 2 I had it at my base pace level but I made an extra effort to try to pedal faster to make up for the lower resistance.

On the rower, we were rowing next to our partner. We worked as a team and one of us was doing a 100 meter row and the other was doing a recovery row. As soon as the person doing the 100 meter row was done, the other switched from the recovery row to doing the 100 meter. We switched back and forth the entire time for the 3 minute blocks. This seemed easy when I heard that’s what we were doing, but it was so much harder than expected. The recovery rows were so quick so I never felt like I was catching my breath. And for the 1 minute block, we had a 1 minute all out row.

And on the floor, we worked with our partners again. We switched back and forth doing either an exercise or a static move for the 3 minute blocks. We had shoulder presses with weights (the static move was a static hold of the weights), front squats with weights (the static move was holding a squat), high rows on the straps (the static move was holding the high row position on the straps), and superman (the static move was holding a plank). We alternated between the moves quickly so the static moves didn’t feel like a rest. The reps started low and increased and it was tough to keep going with the higher reps. But I knew my partner was counting on me so that was extra motivation. And for the 1 minute block, we had 1 minute of burpees. I used the bench to modify them, but I tried to go quickly and was able to do 10 in a minute.

I really loved this past week of workouts. I don’t always need themed workouts, but it’s so fun when we have them and I find that they seem to be challenging but in unexpected ways. I know we have some other great workouts coming up and I’m really feeling motivated to find how I can push myself before I have to worry about feeling awful again.