Sunday, April 28, 2013
Last Sunday I swam. Today I did again, more crawl this time, and in fact, targeted as the first workout of a beginner triathlon training plan. Yesterday was the first bike ride of the season. I find myself starting to toy with the idea of repeating my "baby sprint" triathlon outing in July.
Not that I suddenly have a ton of time to train... but it makes me smile to train. It makes me smile to move. Having a "race" in mind helps me remember to actually go do it. So, with the CSG triathlon (July 28th) in mind, not signed up yet (and maybe won't, but while there's training going on there is hope I might)... time to start rotating sports.
A week 'til the half marathon, folks... my cross-training is a form of tapering for that outing, too. Is it just me? Or is there the hope of Spring busting out around Spark?
Life is good, people. You are worth living it for. Spark on!
Saturday, April 27, 2013
I got an invitation earlier in the week to go bike riding this morning with KALIGIRL and her collection of (offline) friends who also bike. It was my first outing of the year on my trusty Brenda Starr Trek!
Weather was in the 40's (F), and misty, but the roads/trails were dry... and what a great time we had. There were only three of us in our group this morning and we were ALL out for the first ride of the season. My legs sure told me it was the first ride, coming up that last hill. I observed I was about three gears down from last year's max going up that hill.
At our stop downtown for breakfast, it was hilarious... we all three had our Smart Phones out swapping tips on various tracking apps, but the really fun part was remembering that we are ALL of "such an age" that mostly we remember exercise/biking/having fun as kids without all this technology! Nowadays to get SOME kids out the door or off the couch, you have to START them with technology!
But we looked like those clumps of 20 somethings who go out to eat together and then rather than be breakfasting with our newspapers... we were navigating web sites and pointing at stories on the web! We may not be TOTALLY up with the kids, but for a bunch of over 50's (60's in my case), we're not doing so bad.
After our break, we stopped also at a relatively new local landmark, the Jayne Snyder Trails Center, which supports the hiking/biking trails. They were having an open house, and we stopped in before heading home.
In short... good time had by all, and the needs of mind, body and spirit fed! We shall see how much fitter we feel by the end of the biking season next fall!
Friday, April 26, 2013
I signed up for the happiness survey that KALIGIRL blogged about, and am now 58% complete, with 29 samples. I don't have screen prints for y'all, having some technology issues here at home, but the partial results have been instructive.
One thing I have observed that they don't ask about is "How irritated are you that I interrupted to ask just now?" I found THAT happening particularly when I was truly in the middle of stuff. I also found that even the act of making me THINK about whether I was happy could affect my happiness, either as a positive or a negative!
That said, some interesting bits: the most unhappy I got was about 50% (i.e. neutral), and that was on a hurried break, getting coffee before a work meeting I was feeling anxious about. Apparently when I feel anxious I don't consider myself happy.
As for happiness and "what are you doing?" That showed that I reported less than 100% during mostly working activities, reporting specific ones that it irritated me I was being asked right now, but some were genuine I wasn't feeling wonderful doing what I was doing. "In a meeting" was one of my lower ones... but even my lower ones were more than 75% towards extremely happy.
Interesting observation on the samples: I dipped to my least happy (about 75%) on Wednesdays, Thursday (82%) and Friday (80%)... showing I was getting worn down as a work week progressed. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday were 100% days!
The times they asked whether I have to, want to, or both have to and want to do whatever it is I'm doing? Interestingly, I'm happiest when I both have to and want to... can we say "responsible adult"?
Level of focus or where I was (home, work, in a car, somewhere else)... didn't seem to have an impact. I was pretty happy focussed or not, and the two lower ratings of happiness, I was 100% focused.
I was 100% happy outside... every time! Alone or with people, didn't seem to matter, came out about the same. Size of number of people interacting with... slightly happier with just one, but pretty happy both. As for WHO talking with... my lowest ones (about 90%) were work folks (boss or coworkers).
Productivity was VERY interesting: my lowest ratings of happiness were when I was NEUTRAL level of productivity, neither completely unproductive (I was 100% happy then, nor highly productive (I was much happier then).
I told Becky last weekend I didn't think I'd find any surprises in this survey... but now, I'm not so sure.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Tomorrow is a holiday that is often the butt of jokes in the wider world. Well, it is what passes for it since the State of Nebraska decided to move it off its traditional April 22nd (J. Sterling Morton's birthday), to make it a "4th Friday of April" deal. I speak of Arbor Day, the celebration of planting trees.
The weather this year doesn't seem to coincide with the way it normally is this time of year, but I get a day off work anyway. Rather than trees this year, I shall have seed put down on my lawn, since I managed to kill it rather thoroughly through not watering during last year's drought. At all. Almost seems an exercise in futility, doesn't it?
Still, it will make the neighbors a little happier and me feel a little less guilty about my yard being a "blight" on the suburban landscape.
And now, for today's little pep talk:
1. You can declare victory for surviving your high-anxiety day of meetings keeping you away from finishing your NUTs (Nagging Unfinished Task, for someone who trips over the blog without having read yesterday's). Feel good and reward yourself in a healthy way.
2. Drink your water.
3. Eat what's in the bag, it's why you packed it.
4. Remember to take those breaks. Even if not at the normal time. Walk.
5. And, as always, remember that the cookie at the coffee stand and the candy bar in the machine... will not make it better in the long run! Maybe not even in the short run.
Spark a healthy day, my friends, because LIFE is good. Live it well!
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
I read an article once that talked about the things that leads to the most stress in life. It used the acronym NUTs. What drives one crazy, it said, are the Nagging Unfinished Tasks. So it is no wonder that I'm waking up this morning feeling anxious and stressed and wanting to go back to sleep.
At work I have hanging several such things. I will start in on a "thing" (multi-part) that needs to be completed, just a part of the big project I've mentioned. Or maybe it's something independent of the project, just something else among my responsibilities. And I'll get interrupted in the process, by something else that requires "urgent" attention, or is given to me as a higher priority, or sometimes just to help someone out.
Normally, I consider myself an "interrupt driven" processor (IT folks will understand that term). I grab the highest priority task, give it the attention it needs, and move on to the next. However, if I get to the end of my work day, and I never got back to the first thing I was doing to complete it? It remains a Nagging Unfinished Task. I can handle SOME of this, force myself to leave, live my life, saying I'll get back to it tomorrow.
But tomorrow is TODAY now, and I have meetings all over my calendar. The NUTs will remain NUTs... and this is how big holes can end up in work product.
The plan to deal: remember that the PROCESSOR (me) needs to be given priorities. One of those priorities is self-maintenance. So...
1) Drink that water
2) Remember that the cookie at the coffee kiosk and the candy bar in the vending machine won't help in the long run
3) TAKE THOSE BREAK WALKS EVEN IF IT MEANS LEAVING THE NUTS AS NUTS FOR A WHILE.
4) Remember that your value as a producer is worthless if you kill yourself doing the producing!
YOU are worth it. Once in a while close your eyes and remember to breathe!
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