The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Friday, December 29, 2006

I Have a Plan

After thinking about the year past and where I am now, I have put together a "Health and Fitness" plan for 2007. I won't bore you with the details, but it does involve specific objectives that can be measured. I also tried to write my Top Ten Reasons for Making Health and Fitness a Priority. Here they are, in no particular order:
  1. More energy
  2. Opportunity to listen to more music while working out
  3. Riding C on club rides
  4. Awesome arms and shoulders and tank tops
  5. Appreciating the seasons by spending more time outdoors
  6. Spending money on workout clothes and gear instead of medical bills
  7. Better sex
  8. Not looking my age
  9. I know it's good for me
  10. Endorphins-- being in the zone

Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Small Miracle

I got a haircut today and for the first time in I don't know how long (but a very long time), the hairstylist actually gave me the haircut I asked for! It came out the way I envisioned it and I like it. Ladies, is this not a miracle?!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Five Pounds

I bought a new bike. Specialized Dolce Comp. Dolce means sweet. I think I will have to name her Sugar Magnolia. She won’t get here for a few weeks, at which point I’m sure we will have a monstrous blizzard. But she is on herway! And she’s so pretty!

I weighed myself, finally got brave enough to get on the scale. 113. I have gained 5 pounds over the last 5 months. I know what some of you are thinking—113 pounds! She can’t be complaining about her weight! And I’m not complaining about my weight or the need to lose weight. Now, I am a tiny person, so it is enough to make my clothes feel tight. But more important, the number is a warning. It has to stop NOW. It means I am not doing what I need to do. I know that if I do what I should be doing, the 5 pounds will come off. And I will feel better, from the inside out. When I’m where I should be, the music sounds better, the days are sunnier, and my feet don’t get cold at night! Oh, and let’s not forget, the sex is better. I also know there will always be bumps in the road, you can’t stay with the program 100% of the time. But the key is consistency, getting it right most of the time. Over the past 7 weeks (the winter preseason) I have made a good start on the road to good habits. I’m still working on a plan for 2007, with realistic goals. The realistic part is the hard part. I know that I want to be healthy and fit, but how do I measure that? How do I balance the concept of fitness with goals such as riding a century? And always, fitting it into the bigger plan, an ordinary life with family, work, and the world out there.

Now, a totally different topic. I watched a few football games this weekend and I observed that the running backs and wide receivers, in general, have the best butts. There aren't too many people who look good in spandex, but those wide receivers got it right!



Monday, December 18, 2006

Rock n Roll Memories

Things seem to be falling into place. Over the weekend, I spent some time at the gym, I spent some time in the kitchen, I watched some football, and I did mountains of laundry. A fairly typical weekend. Yesterday DH, and sons #1 and #2 went to the Giants game. We had 4 tickets for the game, and I could have gone, but it’s really an all day affair. They left the house at 1:00 for a 4:00 game, and they didn’t return until almost 9:00. I got so much done around the house and I was content to watch the game from the comfort of my living room (especially since the Giants lost!).

On Saturday I met a couple of friends in Beacon and we went to see an exhibit at the Howland Arts Center that connected with the rock n roll girl inside me-- The Fillmore, the Avalon and the Grateful Dead. The exhibit was centered on the posters of various shows at the Fillmore that featured many artists including the Grateful Dead. There were many classic posters from San Francisco in the 60’s but also posters and memorabilia from more recent years. There were some really fabulous photos of various artists, including several of Janis Joplin. They really captured her spirit as a blues singer and her “bad girl” image. It was a great way to spend an hour or so, and made me long for some classic rock. That is a craving easily indulged, and it has zero calories. I hit the treadmill listening to the Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers, the Who, the Doors, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Crosby Stills and Nash, the Beatles, Derek and the Dominoes, the Band, and Santana. The miles went down easy, and faded into the past with all my rock n roll memories (well, whatever memories have remained after the fog lifted!).

Friday, December 15, 2006

Overcoming Slothdom

December is a tough month for me. The big annual meeting found me embracing slothdom-- sitting on my butt listening to lectures for hour after hour. Eating whatever magically appeared before me. It's a good thing I am not a drinker. A glass of wine and a martini were the only alcoholic beverages I consumed, despite a multitude of opportunites to get drunk as a skunk on somebody else's dime (or dollar or larger denomination of US currency) . I brought the proper gym apparel but never got to the hotel fitness center. When I returned to NYC, I drove from the airport to a holiday party! There are chocolates and cookies everywhere. The TV pumps out messages to eat! buy! consume! Love somebody by spending huge amounts of money. The pervasiveness of that attitude during the month eats at my core.

It has taken several additional days to get to the gym. There was working late on Monday, car swapping on Tuesday which resulted in my gym bag being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the need to buy food on Wednesday. So off I went on Thursday morning (my day off) to get beaten up by my trainer. Today the soreness that made putting my gym bag in the car an arduous task serves as a reminder of the price of slothdom.

After the gym and a trip to the library, I gritted my teeth, headed to the mall, and exercised my American Express card. In 2 hours, I managed to purchase gifts for everyone on my list (I must admit, I had a short list) and a new pair of running shoes for myself. There were a few more errands but when I arrived home, I decided it was time to reaquaint myself with the contents of my refrigerator and pantry and the use of some other major appliances. I became a goddess of all things domestic, and engaged in a mother's triathlon-- cooking, laundry, and general tidying up. I made a big pot of chicken soup and then I went on to cook the ............ brussel sprouts! I love them, but just the smell of them cooking will cause the rest of my family to flee from the kitchen (and occasionally from the house). Ah well, their loss, I get to eat a whole skillet of them simmered with apples and onions. You're jealous aren't you?

So, my reward for overcoming slothdom is a extreme soreness in my upper body and a tub of leftover brussel sprouts for lunch. Well, I'm sure there are some cookies and chocolates around here somewhere.

After work, I intend to try my new running shoes with my not quite new orthotics. The weekend will be unseasonably warm, so time outdoors is in the plan. My winter preseason ends next Wednesday. I will get on the scale (which I have been avoiding). I will spend the final 11 days of the year thinking about and planning for 2007.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Time Part II

DH started his own law practice 10 years ago. He had been with a firm for 17 years, had become a partner, but he wasn't happy there. Today he has 1 partner and 3 employees. It has taken a while to get the right mix, but he and his partner are very happy with the way the practicing is running on a daily basis and with its growth and direction. Life is good in their little part of the gigantic attorney universe. To celebrate, he and partner planned a lovely dinner for everyone and their spouses. We went to a restaurant in NYC and since 2 of the employees live in the same suburban town as us, and the third lives between us and NYC, we took a limo. What a blast! The traffic was horrendous getting into the city, but at least we were drinking champagne while complaining about it. DH and I were seated at the head of the table as the firm's parental units. Time was quickly becoming compressed-- had it really been 10+ years since we talked about him leaving a parternship behind to start his own practice? Of course hindsight is 20/20 and it was the right decision. I tried to think about what it was like when we made that decision, what did we see in the future, and I don't think we really thought about what the future would be like if he left. What we did see very clearly was what the future would be like if he didn't leave. There continue to be forks in the road, and so far we have not hit any deadends. I hope the way continues to be well marked into the future.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Time Part I

I have been thinking about time, and all its clich├ęs, but mostly about how time sometimes seems to expand and contract; move in straight lines or in loops that seem to bring you back to somewhere you’ve been before. Several events over the past few weeks have all had me thinking about times past and how they might resonate in the future. Eh, it’s not nearly as profound as it sounds, just the events of an ordinary life.

I went to see an exhibit, Ehon, at the New York Public Library. Ehon is the Japanese tradition of creating picture books. The illustrations are not merely a mirror of the text. Rather the pictures are images that are central to the story and interact with the text to create something bigger. These beautiful works of art were often commissioned or created to celebrate a person’s life. Many of them are anthologies of poetry or chronicle long journeys. Some of the books on display are from the 8th century!! The tradition continues with more modern interpretations, but it was often difficult to tell when a book was published. The exhibit was thematic and not chronological, which enhanced the feeling of time being compressed.

Shortening the time continuum, I was at a big meeting in Denver and had dinner with my cousin and his wife. Cousin is 5 years older than me, and when we were kids, it was a big difference. His family moved to Ohio when I was nine, and until a family wedding last month, I don’t think I have seen him for at least 30 years. I am so glad I called him and we were able to spend that time together, because we hit a groove right away. In a way it was like having dinner with 2 strangers but we started with common ground, family and growing up and then the roads we’ve each taken. The 5 years age difference vanished, and time seemed to be running in concentric circles, or looping back on itself. I don’t know when we will see each other again, but I was grateful for this opportunity to reconnect.

Then there was the John Fogerty concert. Seeing old rock and rollers perform can be sad. Some of them look so……. OLD. And some can’t sing very well. Well, time seems to have stood still for John Fogerty. He looks like a much younger man. He showed pictures of his young daughter on the video screen. He sounds great and has more energy onstage than any performer (its not an act like Mick Jagger). The whole experience brought back my memories as a “Rock and Roll Girl.” It was long ago, time was expanding, and all these memories connected to my rock and roll roots rushed in. Dorm rooms, posters, friends, summers as distinct entities, boyfriends, concerts, life seemed so simple as a rock and roll girl, as Sugar Magnolia. Sigh.