Monday, April 14, 2014
Apparently some folks are concerned that seeing a "blood moon"means the earth is going to end or something like that.While I have complete respect to anyone and everyone's religious beliefs, this time science can come to the rescue.
There is a full lunar eclipse tonight. This means that the moon, the Earth and the Sun are all lined up with the Earth in the middle - the moon is in the Earth's umbra, or shadow. The moon isn't completely invisible though - because of the angle at which the light from the sun passes through the Earth's atmosphere, the moon appears reddish. This is where the name "blood moon"comes from. There will be another total lunar eclipse sometime this autumn - I forget exactly when. There are between two and five lunar eclipses each year, although not all of them are full eclipses.
Sometimes the full moon in October is called the Blood Moon. This, like another traditional name, the Hunters Moon, is referring to the fact that October is when animals were slain to prepare for the long winter ahead.
Tuesday, April 01, 2014
- Well, the first one is to walk 10,000 steps per day, although I recognize that the way my life goes I'm more likely to have 20,000 step days mixed in with 2,000 step days. If I get 50K or 60K in a week, I'll be happy.
- The second is to track the food, no matter what. I can do that for a month.
- The third, and final, is to do the Exercise of the Day, or some variation thereof.
I thought about making a big workout schedule, but I really can't - we all know I'm not going to lift on the same day that I split wood (and wood is weather dependent) or do other heavy-duty farm or landscaping jobs. I'd like to swear that I'll do yoga four times a week, but I may or I may not achieve that, and I refuse to promise things I doubt I'll fulfill.
I thought about resolving to eat clean, but again, we all know that one day I'll be on my way home from a really long day and I'll limp into a Subway for a Veggie Delight, which we also know I'll probably wash down with beer.
And there are a bunch more monthly goals that I haven't even mentioned because they have nothing to do, really, with eating and exercising. Goals that have to do with artistic aspirations and personal improvement of a more subtle variety.
I'd love to be all righteous and make loads of promises, but somewhere along the line I've gotten a little more realistic. Maybe this is setting myself up to fail, giving myself excuses - we'll just have to see how it works out.
Monthly goals seem a lot like New Year's Resolutions - all full of bright promise and all out the window in a week or so. I decided to only set as goals the absolute minimum - really, just to do my best every day - and then, in 30 days, see where I stand. And if that doesn't work, I'll try something else.
So far today I've done the Exercise of the Day and gotten a little better than half the steps. Hey, it's a start.
Sunday, March 30, 2014
I'm another year older (59, God help us all), and probably no wiser, but still in there swinging.
I'd lost a few pounds with the Winter 5% Challenge, but choked towards the end for reasons not entirely clear to me. Honestly, I think I was (and am) just so sick of being cold. I know it sounds like an excuse, but I think it might actually be a reason - it was simply too cold to stand in my kitchen (where no refrigeration is necessary, thank you) and cook healthy meals, so I opted for grabbing whatever was at hand and making do with it. Often these things were fine in and of themselves, but were never meant to be a "complete diet" - like innocent pizzas made on na'an with healthy ingredients.
Okay, washing them down with dirty martinis is my fault. 'Nuff said.
I did discover something that put a bit of the fear of God into me - I did a sort of deep-knee bend (lower shelf at the library) and couldn't immediately stand back up. I don't remember this happening before, and it kind of shook me up. My weight isn't different, but apparently my fitness has been going somewhere in a handbasket since the last time I paid attention.
Still, I haven't given up on this quest for renewed health. All it really means to me is that I have to get serious if I want success. I've hit that same place in other fronts of late, too. I sold my beloved pick-up truck, because I needed the money, yes, but more because I want to move on from that spot in my life. I've given up my post office box (in favor of home delivery) for the same reason - too much of my energy is stuck in the past. If I want to be a successful writer - whatever that means - I've got to write more. If I'm going to farm, I ought to be greasing the tractor and mentally laying out plots of land.
I don't really know how to deal with inertia. Tragedy, drama, sure - all those things I've got down to a science, but this treading water thing is new. I'm not drowning, but I'm not going anywhere either. I have to get unstuck somehow. I suspect that the way to do that is the same way you do anything else difficult - you just do it. (And, we hope, without so many mixed metaphors. Forgive me - I've been up late watching basketball.)
Spring is a time of renewal, and I'm going to focus on listening to Spirit for whatever guidance I can get from that source, but at the same time, I'm going to move my feet - specifically, 10,000 steps per day. I got a new FitBit (a Flex this time, having lost 3 or 4 Ones) and I'm ready to use it. If that has me walking in place in my living room for half the night, then so be it.
So, the plows are still going up and down the road, and it's very windy up here on the hill. But Spring is also a state of mind, a turn of The Wheel more than the turn of a calendar page, and I/m ready to renew my efforts.
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
(I may have stolen that title from someone...possibly Alexander McCall Smith.)
Sometimes, I think, we need to set aside all the striving for self-improvement, just for a moment. I realized the other day that it had been ages since I read something that wasn't trying to fix me in one way or another, weeks since I watched something on Netflix that wasn't a TED talk, and months since I hadn't guilted myself into eating a balanced diet or exercising properly. Even as I write this, my inbox is receiving mail from Martha Beck. And it gets wearying.
So today, despite all my shiny plans to attend to important tasks, eat only fresh and preferably raw meals and finish the latest book promising to cure me of some character flaw, I decided that -10ºF - in March, no less - was a good enough reason for a Day Off.
I haven't gone off the rails entirely. My lunch of na'an (a whole one, not a half) with a basket of fresh grape tomatoes sliced on top and covered with three (three!) slices of provolone - then baked for 10 minutes at 375º - still fits into my meal plan if I skip the potato with dinner. And I acknowledged my eBay sales, even though I won't get them mailed until tomorrow.
But instead of berating myself for not working on this or that, cleaning up the other thing, I decided to spend the afternoon on the sofa with my four-legged friends (I have a kitten purring in the crook of my elbow as I write this) and read a cozy mystery - no graphic violence for me, thanks - and *gasp* maybe even indulge in a nap later. Possibly a cocktail before dinner (which remains a healthy portion of chicken breast and a whole lot of carrots), because I'm just so tired of being Good all the time.
The hard part isn't the doing - I've gotten bad behavior down to a science over the years - the hard part is allowing myself to enjoy this afternoon, guilt-free. Like a lot of us, I think I tend to "misbehave" while la-la-laing loudly enough to prevent me noticing what I'm doing.
But if we can be mindful and in-the-moment while doing all the positive things for ourselves, surely we can be mindful of the other times as well, those times when we just want to indulge in a teeny bit of, well, self-indulgence: fiction, for example, or a carb-heavy lunch.
Tomorrow is soon enough for all the righteous activities - the two hour exercising, the filling out of forms, the visiting of government offices, the eating of green vegetables. Just for today, I want to simply "be" and "enjoy." Maybe some day I'll be evolved enough to combine those two states; I'm sure I have a book here somewhere that will explain the process to me. But just for this one cold, snowy afternoon - early spring, really, rather than the winter it so looks like - I'm going to lay that all down.
(Yes, those are my other constant companions in the photo - the Mac and the ever-present stack of newspapers. I could have Photoshopped them out, but you may as well know me for who I really am.)
Monday, March 03, 2014
Nothing puts you in your place like a good Oprah quiz.
The link to 20 Things Everyone Should Be Able to Handle by Age 40 (or something along those lines) was in my inbox, and having just spent two hours filling out employment stuff online, I figured what the heck. I'm pretty evolved, reasonably capable - this ought to boost the battered ego a little.
Not so fast, my over-estimating little friend.
I'm actually only accomplished at THREE of Oprah's twenty things (and one of those is how to select a decent wine to go with dinner.)
Back to Life's drawing board, I guess.
If you're brave enough to see how you do, here's the link:
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