Musing Moment 135: LFTIO – Time vs Energy

Standard
DSS Leadership – Assignment 12
Book – “Leadership from the Inside Out”



How can you move from Time Management to Energy Leadership more often?
I don’t think Time Management is necessarily a bad thing. At least not in the way the book makes it sound. As a dialysis technician, managing time effectively is extremely important. It’s also important to understand that some things are outside of my control and to adapt to those changes. I cannot stop time from moving forward, but I can adjust my focus so tasks are still completed in a way to compensate or mitigate those delays which I cannot prevent or alter.

In that regard, I don’t think it’s so much being clock-focused as clock-aware.

In the same vein, I don’t think being organized is a bad thing either, and it bothers an extremely large part of my brain for “organized” to be listed on the Time Management side of the equation with it’s opposite being “original”. I think being organized is extremely beneficial to any situation or project. The “original” aspect comes into play in regards to changing or altering the game plan as situations and new information presents itself. Being organized makes adaptability easier, at least for me. If I know how something “should” go down or where things are at or what people “should” be doing, then I can adjust as needed, which allows the process to become original or unique for the given circumstance.

Looking at the chart listed for this reflection section, I feel I lead with energy a fair amount of the time. I am effective just as much as I am efficient. I give energy to my teammates and patients by remaining positive and focusing on the “good” in a situation, versus dwelling on everything that went or is going “wrong”. I am contribution focused by being aware of what everyone is doing to progress to our goals at the time and I am purpose driven by keeping in mind my greater goal.

As far as how I can lead this way more often, during times of stress I can be aware of how my focus trends towards the legitimate time management areas. I begin to think about how someone is underperforming as highlighted by one of my previous posts where I ranted about how it took one of my teammates 30 minutes to initiate one treatment. That’s focusing on performance, a time management area, rather than contribution. At least she initiated a treatment. She could have done nothing.

I feel like awareness is the key for me. I need to be aware of my own mental state and stress levels. I need to be aware of when I am trending towards my own coping behaviors. If I focus on how we’re behind or how someone isn’t doing something within the time frame of what I feel it should take I multiply my own stress which adds to the negativity of the situation. I should take the few seconds it requires to refocus and adjust my own thoughts to mitigate my stress levels which would help the team as a whole continue to be effective and purpose driven.

What will you need to do more of, less of, or differently to practice Energy Leadership more often?
I guess I already answered that in my previous response. One of the downsides to being an INFJ and writing through my feelings I guess…

I will need to practice awareness of myself more consciously during stressful times. I will need to ask myself, “Are my thoughts and behaviors helping or hindering this situation,” and adjust accordingly. Taking the few seconds or minutes it may take to refocus myself could help everyone in the long run.

Lack of Resilience vs Resilience Mastery
I feel that for the most part, I tend to operate with the qualities of resilience mastery. I am able to focus deeply with internally driven motivation. I lean towards optimism, I have fulfilling, intimate relationships. I am able to be creative and innovative. There is genuine vitality and enthusiasm in most things I do. When I work I am able to reach levels of optimal productivity and I tend to feel “on top of” situations.

When I am tired from lack of sleep, working too much with not enough down time, or when several projects seem to be stagnating, I begin to sway towards a lack of resilience. I can be unfocused because I don’t know where it would be best to begin something. I can be externally driven by deadlines or outside pressures. I can harbor negativity within myself which bleeds into all areas of my life and causes strain on my relationships. I can become apathetic and have a lack of inspiration along with legitimate depression and fatigue. I perform less efficiently which affects productivity and the feeling of being overwhelmed can become a pervasive thought in my mind.

It would be beneficial to become more conscious of the warning signs my body and mind display in regards to my resilience, aka. balance. It would be easier to prevent a tip in my balance rather than trying to recover from it later.

Advertisements

Daily Post 133: Finally Back Home

Standard

I’ve been back from Dever for a few days now. I got back Wednesday evening around 8:45. I drove home and saw Ox. We went to sleep only to wake back up at 3 in the morning. He headed to work and I drove to Fremont to cover a shift at the clinic there, then came back to Lincoln. Ox and I met up for lunch before going back home. We had Chinese at a place we’ve seen before. I really liked it and hope to continue to be able to go there on those special occasions where we go out.

Thursday evening I should have gone into the class for my last chance to participate in clinical, but I didn’t. Instead, I stayed home that evening, going to bed early to wake back up and cover a shift at my own clinic Friday morning.

I was dead. Not one of those “I’m sort of tired but it will burn off as the day goes on” sort of deads. No. This was a physical barrier of, “I’m your body and you’re asking too much of me so I’m going to make you feel like crap for the whole day because fuck you for not taking better care of me,” sort of deads.

I was ridiculously slow at everything I did on Friday and the only reason we stayed on schedule was because it was me, the float RN, and my FA on the floor and both of them were running circles around me. I’m grateful for them pulling my slack because I wouldn’t have been able to make it through the day without them.

It was good to see all of my patients after an entire week’s absence. I got to share my adventure with all of them and that most likely contributed to me being “behind”. All of the time I spent talking and catching up with people was time that I wasn’t working or making sure all of the tasks on my PCT checklist got done.

It was a pretty good day overall, just one where I knew right from waking up that surviving my day would be my main goal. Mission accomplished, if just barely.

The trip itself wasn’t as awful as I thought it would be. I ended up getting into Dever close to 4 pm. I messaged Chrys since I had time to kill that evening. I booked an Uber out to Aurora and spent the evening with her and her son. We had homemade spaghetti for dinner and EJ got to read me a few bedtime stories. Once her son was in bed we were able to chat for a bit before I had to get back to the hotel since I had an early morning to prepare for.

Overall, it was a fantastic way to decompress from the trip out there and a very nice last minute addition to the trip. Having some social time with someone I care about was definitely restorative and a pleasant break from my normal routine. I made it back to my hotel room around 9ish. I met my roommate for the event and was pleased that she seemed pretty nice. Her name was also Jen. Go figure. XD

The first day of the event was decent but long. I didn’t sleep well the night before and had to fight off a headache for most of the day. We got into things like the MBTI and communication skills and conflict resolution. All sorts of psychology things, so I was fairly engaged through most of it.

We created our own personal credos and then graded ourselves on how well we were living up to it currently. Balance was one of the things on mine and the area where I graded myself the lowest.

I’ve picked up a lot of overtime for the coming two weeks. This week is going to be my only “normal” week work wise and that’s still with having to take the final tests for my CNA class, so even it isn’t going to be all that restful.

I need to remember to maintain balance and to not burn myself out. I need the things that make me feel fulfilled and which recharge me. I need time to grocery shop and do laundry and meal prep. I need time to go to the dojo and the gym. I need time to sleep enough at night so I don’t limp through my days depending on coffee to survive. I need time with Ox to feel connected with him. I need time to have phone calls with Jon and the other people in my life that I love. I need time to cross-stitch and write.

I need “me time” and I can’t have that if all I do is work seven days a week.

So while I can’t really back out of the obligations I’ve already given myself, I can be more mindful going forward and that’s what I intend to do. The new year should see things being a bit smoother. The new tech will be with me for a few weeks to train on our machines. We just hired a new RN since the other one wasn’t working out. She has to give 30 days at her current job, but it should only take her about eight weeks to go through the training process. I’ve already talked to my FA about taking time off of work in February to visit Florida. I could see Jon. I could run the Warrior Dash that’s held there. Big Bad said he would be interested in running it with me. I guess that means I have to work on that whole running thing again so I don’t suck. I could see my old teammates and patients. I could see a handful of other people from my inner circle. I could have lunch at my sports bar.

There’s all sorts of things I could do that I’ve wanted to do. It gives me something to think about and look forward to.

Chrys ended up having Wednesday off since it was a federal holiday so she drove me to the airport. That was also a nice change of plans. Both the fight out and back were non-stop flights on fairly small planes so I got to have a window seat by myself rather than being stuck between two people the whole time.

When I got to work Friday I had an email saying I had made it to phase two of the leadership application process. I haven’t worked on it any more than the rough post I wrote the other day, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot.

As far as this weekend goes… I’ve paid bills. I’ve gone through my email inbox. I’ve gone through the pile of papers that was next to my computer desk. I’ve unpacked fully. I’ve done laundry. I’ve meal prepped and am back to doing low carb meals. I’ve sent a message through Facebook to my sensei explaining my extended absence. I’ve bought Christmas cards to give to my patients. I’ve cleaned and dusted my computer desk with plans to open up my computer tower to clean it out later in the week with Ox. Ox has also been extremely helpful. He’s washed the sheets for the bed which we made together. He’s helped me fold the laundry and put it away. He’s cleaned his own areas of the room so it’s not as cluttered or icky feeling anymore.

He went grocery shopping with me yesterday where we had lunch together, just us. We got a new shower curtain and bath mat set this morning while we were out getting aluminum foil which he set up for me while I put bacon on the cooking sheets for breakfast. Go, team!

Spotify sent out their end of year stuff. I’ve listened to something like 4500 new songs this year. That’s almost 12 songs a day. And here I thought I slacking on expanding my music selection.

I finished the fairy cross-stitch pattern I’ve been working on, so I’ll most likely make a post with all of those progress images. I’ve started a new project, but since it’s for Ox and he’s not allowed to see it under penalty of death, I won’t be posting progress images of that one either. I’ll save posting a completed image of it until after Christmas once he’s had a chance to open it.

My class is almost over. This coming Tuesday I have the final test for the class and I sign up for state testing. Thursday is the state written test and for those signed up, the state skills test. Everyone else will have to wait until the following Tuesday to complete their skills test. Part of me wants to go on Thursday and be done with it. The other part of me wants to wait until Tuesday so I have more time to freak out and/or study. Mostly freaking out though since I know that’s what I’ll do.

I really do have other things my time would be better invested in other than freaking out but there you go.

I’m sure there are other things I could write about in regards to my trip or the events leading up to my departure as well as the events since my return home, but I feel this post covers a lot of it.

Ox and I have been doing well. He was supportive of me while I was gone, including taking a phone call where I asked if I could be honest. He said yes and I admitted to wanting to come home while tears rolled down my cheeks. It wasn’t a bad trip, but when you’re an introvert surrounded by 650 other people, forced to participate in team trivia where they ask which Super Bowl did the Broncos most recently win… you kind of just want to curl up in bed under the blankets and hide. Only you can’t because then your roommate is going to want to know what’s wrong or think you’re weird and can’t handle human interaction.

Ox promised that I could come home and hearing those words, as silly as they may seem, made me feel more ok.

We’ve had a lot of sexy time since I’ve been back. Totally ok with all of it. Just yes. All of the yes.

Anywho, aside from feeling like I’m caught back up for the most part with life, I think that’s about it. For now, I’m going to go cross-stitch before working on some discussion posts for my class later in the day. The rest of today should be fairly calm and relaxing. No working on the addition. No trips into town. Just hanging out and resting before what should be a fairly normal day at work tomorrow.

This coming week is the calm before the storm, but I’m already planning for that. I have a container of chili in the freezer. I want to make a batch of chicken taco soup which freezes nicely as well. I want to prep well in advance since I’m going to have so little time in the next two weeks to truly meal prep. I’m doing a keto BLT salad this week which seems to be doing well. I tried it yesterday. I might add more bacon to it the next time I make it, but overall I think it turned out well which is good because it was cheap and simple to toss together. Another meal I can add to my arsenal for the coming battle.

It was a good trip, but I’m glad to be home. And with that, I’m off to continue with my decompressing.

Musing Moments 117: Waking Up Late

Standard

So I thought I had training at 10 am this morning. Turns out it was set for 8:30 and there’s no possible way for me to make it on time. That sort of sucks. I’ve had a good morning so far and now I feel like I’ve dropped the ball. I’ve already messaged my trainer to see if we can reschedule for later today or possibly tomorrow. I’m waiting to hear back from him.

Aside from that, the morning has been going smoothly. I can’t say I’m heartbroken over the mishap. It means I get to write without feeling rushed. I can still enjoy my coffee as I sit and type everything out. I can potentially to go the gym here, which I didn’t do yesterday. I can get the laundry started, which needs to get done, and I can spend a majority of the day gaming, which is something I want to do.

It can be a lazy day for the most part; slowly productive.

Yesterday wasn’t bad. The more I work the more I realize that no matter what I do, it’s most likely always going to suck and leave me tired. 16 hour days were brutal. 12 hours still kick your ass, though. I’m done, mentally, by the time change over gets settled and then I still have to stick around for another four hours after that until all of the patients finish their treatment. And then I have to close down the clinic and drive about 30 minutes home.

By the time everything is said and done I really don’t want to do anything. I have the energy to chill and relax, but going places, doing actual things, being around more people… I really don’t want any of that. I want to change into comfy clothes. I want to be off my feet. I want to be home and know that I’m done being in charge and making things happen.

I feel like I’ve been writing about the same things lately, over and over again. I whine about work. I whine about the gym. I whine about my eating. I don’t like feeling like I’m whining without taking active steps to fix the things I’m whining about. I don’t want to be “that person”. They’re annoying as fuck. Either fix your problems or stop complaining. >.<;

Well, my job isn’t going to change. That’s a fact. I don’t have the option to work an eight-hour shift. So working different hours isn’t a choice.

I could look elsewhere for employment, leaving my patients, my boss, and my pay which while it might make for pretty wonderings inside my head, comes with its own set of hardships and problems and stress to figure out. It’s not an option I really want to entertain. At least, not at the moment with having no other active certifications to ease the transition into a new line of work outside of dialysis.

Ox suggested doubling up my workouts instead of trying to go to the gym after work. He suggested doing my personal training and then a second workout on the same day.

Blarg. It was easier to do things when I was unemployed. There are certain things I miss about that year of my life. It was easier to focus on improving myself.

At the moment, I like the idea of finishing my writing, showering, then going to the gym to row and do yoga. There’s a peacefulness, a sense of smoothness and unrushed completion. I don’t have to drive far which is an added bonus and something that makes everything here in Nebraska a bit harder to do. Everything is at least a 20-minute drive one way.

Maybe it would be better to move training to after work since I would already in the Beatrice. It wouldn’t be extra driving on my days off. More efficient gas wise.

Arg. I don’t know. I do know that even though I’m back from my trip and doing “better” in most areas then I was before I left, I still haven’t done anything extra in regards to working out like I had hoped and I still can’t fight through the burnout I feel after work to really do much of anything.

Today there’s an SCA combat practice scheduled, but the thought of seeing people I haven’t seen in months and explaining my absence makes me not want to go. I don’t know if that’s anxiety and something I should work through or if I should be patient with myself and go when it feels “right”.

I guess part of it is I don’t feel like fighting. I don’t want to put my armor on. I don’t want to go to the dojo and spar. And at the moment I don’t know what those feelings mean.

I’m worried when I weigh in on Thursday that there still won’t be much progress and that thought is demotivating. Maybe that’s a factor to the “not wanting to do anything” feelings. I feel… defeated in a way. I know I’m going to lose so why fight a battle I can’t win?

That’s not a very healthy mentality. If I would get up and do the things I know I should do, I would be making progress. I would see more changes. I would know it’s not a pointless, unachievable task. Hell. I already know it’s not because I’m sitting here in a pair of my new shorts since I had to go buy new clothes because my old stuff wasn’t fitting well anymore.

I can still see the changes in my arms and legs. I still have way more muscle definition than I’ve ever had in my life. I KNOW my body composition has changed because of what I was doing before my vacation, so why is there so much aversion now and the feeling that it’s pointless?

As much as I dislike this thought, part of it might be my feelings for Ox. I want to come home and see him when I’m done with work. We don’t get much time together. The thought of spending another hour or more away doing my own thing isn’t all that appealing anymore. When I felt more like a roommate I think it was easier. It didn’t feel like it mattered if I was home or not. Who cares if I come home right after work or spend a few hours at the dojo, pulling into the driveway an hour before bedtime?

Well… I care. I want my time with my companion. I want my me time, too, but not as much as I want my hug and comfy clothes I guess.

My trainer just responded. I can meet with him at 3:30 today which means I can still have my lazy morning. I can still go row and warm up, loosen up, and then do some yoga. I can still do the laundry and defrost the chicken. I can still stop by Walmart on the way home and pick up the veggies I want.

The day can still work out nicely even with my unintentional mess up this morning.

I wish there was an easy solution to everything. Or at least a solution I wanted to implement. The whole “push through it and do it anyway” mentality isn’t working for me. Honest answer, I don’t want to go to the gym on my work days. So I guess that leaves finding a different course of action.

I don’t want to wake up at 2 am to go to the gym either, so the option to workout before work gets scratched off the list, too. That leaves working out on my off days or not doing it at all, which I don’t want that option to be on the list either.

So… I guess that leaves trying to pull double duty. That still gives me four days a week to do stuff, theoretically. That’s more than half… so why is there this feeling of not good enough?

Most likely because I WAS unemployed for a year and got the chance to do six days a week, three hours each day. I know what I’m capable of and so I know how much less I’m doing now than I was before.

I also know how much I was doing before I left Orlando, which was only an hour a week. It feels like I’m back there in a way. I do personal training and that’s about it. But I have a personal life in addition to my training, which I didn’t have in Orlando. I sleep fuller nights here, too, since I have more than five hours before I have to turn around and be back to work.

I know that I’m spending $60 a month on a membership I’m not really using, which sucks. It’s wasted money and since it’s a contract there’s no way out of it. I need to start using it to justify not putting that money towards my car or credit card. I know the gym is important to me and I do want to continue on my path to be a healthier me.

Maybe that’s really the whole crux to this area of my life. How do I know when I’m healthier? How do I know when I’ve achieved something I was working towards when I have nothing defined to and for myself or a quantifiable thing to measure?

I’m not consciously, actively working towards something, so all of my actions feel pointless, directionless, and useless.

In addition to the LPN program paperwork, maybe that’s something else I can try to work through today. I need a goal so I know why I’m doing the things I’m doing.

Maybe I should try doing the 30-day challenge again.

I have about six hours before I need to be to training. I guess we’ll see what I can get done and figured out during that time.

Daily Post 051: Finishing My Recap

Standard

I want to finish recapping last week before getting too far into this one since I feel there are a lot of events which have led to the conversation I had with my FA yesterday, which, spoiler, I already talked to my supervisor.

So Thursday was the “fuck it” day. Lacking electricity I opted to take the day for myself rather than trying to organize the chaos of my life. And it was a fantastic day. I biked four miles to the dojo, sparred for an hour, biked another five miles and had lunch at Moe’s before biking the remaining mile back home. Later in the afternoon / early evening I went to the gym and trained with L where I once again increased the weight I’m lifting. I also ended up doing 50 lunges with a 30-pound barbell.

L is sneaky like that.

L: Go ahead and do lunges down to that line. *does lunges* Awesome. Now turn it around and bring it back.

My Legs: Mother F-*beeeeeeeeeeep*.

And of course, me and my INFJ “anything you can do I can do better” non-competitive competitive mentality did it because biking 10 miles and sparring with black belts for an hour is no excuse to not be able to do a billion lunges… I’ve never hated having an upstairs bedroom more in my life than I did that night. ;-;

Even with being ridiculously tired after it was all said and done, Thursday was awesome. Thursday was the type of day that I want to have. One where I feel alive and full and warm and like I’m worth being alive.

Which sucks because it makes it sound like my job is soul-crushing and the bane of my existence, when it isn’t. It’s extremely fulfilling in its own way.

I guess the issue is work is an obligation. I wouldn’t be doing dialysis if it weren’t for the fact that I NEED a job. I wouldn’t have gotten certifications in EKG reading or phlebotomy or completed the whole CNA training. I wouldn’t have done a lot of things if it weren’t for the fact that I need income to support myself.

So while, yeah, I love my patients and my heart melts everytime they say thank you or wish me a good day, work is an obligation, not a choice, and I think that’s the biggest issue with it interfering with what I WANT to do, which is train.

It’s my choice to stay with the job I have, but it’s not my choice on if I work or not. I HAVE to work. It’s more of a question of what work do I do?

As long as it’s meaningful, something I can believe in, and contributes to the overall wellbeing of society / humanity, then I’m pretty ok with doing whatever.

Saving people and helping them live life as fully as they can works for me. It’s a good, solid purpose that I can get behind. If I have to give my time to something at least it’s going to a good cause that does make me swell a little bit with pride when people ask me what I do.

Them: Wow. That’s pretty awesome. It’s got to be crazy intense.
Me: Yeah. It is. *thinks about all the crazy shit that makes it stressful* But it’s fulfilling. *thinks about how Mr. S smiled said his day was better now that he got to see me*

I love my job. I do. For as much as I bitch, I do like like.

What I don’t like is the imbalance, which is something that, theoretically, can be corrected. I need to have days like Thursday where I can devote time to me. I need time where all I have to worry about is myself. I don’t have to save lives on days like Thursday. I don’t have to worry about obligations aside from the ones I make. I get to check in with myself. I get to heal my soul in ways I can’t while I’m working or interacting with people; while I’m caring for others.

I need time to care for me.

Having Thursday made me realize how much I’ve been neglecting that aspect of my life. Being tired or busy with work is a valid reason, but it’s also an excuse. I’m allowing work to take that away from me. I’m giving it that power.

Thursday is where my resolve for change really solidified. I can’t deny myself the downtime I need to function properly.

I could feel a difference in myself at work on Friday. Even though it was a long day it was a fairly good day. I didn’t have all of the stress from previous days on my shoulders still. I was ready to come back to work and to actually work. I was ready to be there, fully present, for my patients rather than looking at the clock and counting down the hours until I would be able to leave.

Friday was a good day and I was actually glad to be there. I had reserves of “care” to give so it didn’t feel like something was being taken from me. I got to have my Thursday so I could give my Friday.

I had planned to run after work that evening but that didn’t happen. I think a large part of that has to do with the drive home itself. It takes me about 20 to 30 minutes to get back to my side of town. By the time I get close to the gym my body has already changed gears. I’ve been off my feet. I’ve had time to start processing through my day. I’ve had time to slow down and so the thought of having to speed back up sucks and is harder than to do than it would be if it were still earlier in the day.

Convincing yourself to run a mile after you’ve already worked 16 hours and walked 8 miles isn’t an easy task, and Friday night I didn’t put much effort into trying. I went home, ate, showered, and slept since I had to be into work on Saturday.

I think something which will help combat the “slow down” is to go to the gym closer to work, rather than the one near my apartment on the days I plan to do something after my shift. That gym is only a mile away, so what, like a 5-minute drive if that? I think it’s worth trying out and seeing if it helps me out any. I haven’t tried it yet. That will be tomorrow, so we’ll see how it goes. Until then there’s not much else to say other than Friday I was a slacker and didn’t care because I was tired.

Saturday I was still a little tired but it was a short day, only 12 hours. I could tough it out and maybe I would wake up enough through the day to do something afterward.

Well, that’s exactly what happened. Saturday was a pretty smooth day. I actually had time to… wait for it…. SIT DOWN! No joke. The only times I ever sit are when I’m on my breaks. But Saturday, for whatever reason, there was a lot of “down time”. Machines weren’t beeping, people came at their scheduled time, most of everything was stocked, needle packs were already made. It was nice. I actually got to doodle on Post-It notes. XD

After work, I came home. It was still a really nice outside, warm with that tinge of coolness because it’s autumn already. I didn’t want to waste the rest of the day, one of the dying days of summer, doing nothing inside, so I decided to go for a bike ride. I would bike up to Arby’s, get a sandwich, then come back.

I showered, changed into workout gear, then headed out. I stopped by CVS first for sunscreen, SPF 100, so I wouldn’t die a horribly burn-tastic death during my ride along with Gatorade so I could keep hydrated.

I noticed as I got further into the bike ride that the bike felt kind of “draggy”. It seemed to take a bit more effort than it should have to get it / keep it going. I was biking against the wind, and for parts of it I was on an incline, but it just didn’t feel “right”.

Once I got to Arby’s, I chained my bike up and ordered my reward sandwich. As I sat pondering on the bike, which wasn’t making any sort of noise, I pulled out my phone and looked up the hours for the bike shop I go to. I wasn’t too far from it. Maybe I had enough time to bike over there and have them check it out for me, just to make sure nothing mechanically was wrong.

I called the store. I explained my situation to the guy who answered and asked if he thought I would be able to bike the distance before the store closed since that would be happening soon-ish. The guy said I should be able to make it before they closed, but if the front door happened to be locked to knock on the side door because he would still be inside.

With that set in place, I hopped back on the bike and got moving. I’m pleased to report I made it to the store before they closed. Woohoo. : D

The guy who answered the phone checked out my tires. My back tire had 20 psi out of 30-60, so yeah, it was no wonder my bike didn’t want to go. The front tire had about 40 psi in it, so the tires aren’t losing air at the same rate. He said there might be a small leak in the tube of the back tire. If it keeps losing air faster than the front it might be worth it to replace the tube.

They filled up my tires and that was that. Mission accomplished. I thanked them profusely for their time and assistance. They’ve always treated me well and I’m proud that I was able to bike all the way there, which left me to bike all the way back home. XD

The bike store is literally across the street from Big Bad’s house so before I had left Arby’s I messaged him saying that I would be at the bike shop and that if he saw me I wasn’t practicing my ninja stalking skills, the bike had an issue I was getting looked at.

Once I was done with the store Big Bad came out and walked the bike trail with me for a little bit before heading back home. I didn’t want to bike the main road in the dark without my bike light. We weren’t together for very long but it was nice to see him for the short time I did. A quick, sweaty hug before getting back on the bike and heading all the way back home.

It ended up being just under a 15-mile ride and it was glorious.

Once I was home I showered, ate, drank a crap ton of water and didn’t do much else for the rest of the night. My body was ok with that.

Saturday showed me that even on days I work I can still do a lot for myself. It’s mainly the 16 hour days that make things so obnoxiously hard.

Sunday was a day off. Sundays are supposed to be my “Me” day, but with the hurricane and work and all of the craziness of the past week, I decided that what would make me feel best is getting my life back on track. So Sunday I did a ton of chores and that too was glorious.

I did laundry. I tossed out all of the stuff in the fridge and freezer because it had spoiled when the power went out. I meal planned and made my shopping list for the store. I vacuumed. I cleaned my bathroom. I went to my sports bar for lunch, which was packed because I guess it’s football season again.

I didn’t mind. I put my spiffy headphones in and began working on the homework L had assigned me.

One of the things we talked about while I was training, in addition to me possibly taking classes, is how I’m unsure about a few terms people apply to me.

Every guy I have sparred against at the dojo has made some comment afterward about me being strong. I told L that I don’t know what they mean. Is it that I’m stronger than they thought I would be? Or that I’m strong for a girl? Or are they using a different measure for “strength” that I don’t know about or understand since words mean different things to different people?

I don’t feel like I’m strong. I still lose a lot of my rounds. I still can’t do a pull-up, though to be fair I also haven’t tried so we’ll assume I can’t and keep going with this train of thought. I still can’t run a solid mile, though that’s more cardio endurance than strength and again, I haven’t tried to do a solid mile, but I digress.

I’ve spent so much of my life feeling “not strong” that being told I am strong is awkward. Just like being told I’m attractive is awkward.

My Brain: What about all those years I was “fat” or “ugly”? That’s all I’ve ever known. This whole “attractive” thing is wrong. It’s not normal. It’s not “right”. Please stop saying it.

This whole “strong” thing is an aspect of myself that I’m unsure about and it was something L and I were discussing.

She said by her standards she thinks I’m strong. She can tell I’m getting stronger because I’m lifting more weight. I’m doing different motions easier. I’m improving. She also said her opinion doesn’t really matter. It’s my opinion and what I tell myself that matters. And she’s most certainly right about that.

It’s like self-acceptance and confidence. It doesn’t matter what other people say if you constantly tear yourself down. You have to believe in you.

I also mentioned how I don’t think that I’m fit or healthy. To which, again, she said she thought I was, but that was her opinion and not mine.

She asked me what strength and fitness meant to me. What did I lack by my definition to not fit those terms?

I told her that I honestly didn’t know. I had meditated on the word success and so I knew, by my standards, what that word meant and how I did or did not fit within it, but I had never meditated on strength or fitness.

She said maybe that’s something I could do before our next session along with figuring out three things I wanted to improve on.

So while I was at my sports bar, listening to techno music while everyone else cheered or booed respectively for their teams, I wrote about strength.

I have that writing and I will be posting it as a Musing Moment later, but in short, I realized that yes, I am strong and I’m not conceded or arrogant for writing that. I’m not unfeminine for being strong. I can be strong and still seek improvement. Wanting to improve doesn’t mean I’m “not” something.

I also wrote about fitness, which will be part of my Musing Moment post, and again, just because I want to improve something doesn’t mean I’m not already that thing.

I am fit. I am healthy, and just like with strength, typing that, accepting that aspect of myself, does not make me a bad person. It makes me more connected with my reality.

I guess I’m still getting used to myself. I’ve never been as fit or healthy or strong as I am in this moment, sitting in an Einstein’s with my coffee beside me because fuck you Starbucks. I’ve never been this “small”. I can fit into mediums now. It’s a weird feeling, one I’m still adjusting to, and I think accepting these terms, strong and fit, as part of myself is a step in the direction towards actual self-acceptance.

I am myself, and in this moment in my life, I am physically fit and healthy. In my past, I wasn’t. In my present, I am.

Once I finished writing, I paid my bill, packed up, then went to the store to do my grocery shopping. I spent over $100, but that was with replacing all of the things that I had to throw out, so overall I didn’t do too bad. I try to keep my weekly spending on food at $70.

When I got home I started putting stuff away and making my meals. One of my former classmates and I agreed to chat at 3:30 on Sunday, so while my chili was simmering her and I got to catch up. She told me how things were going at her clinic, how things went with the hurricane, and in general what she’s been up to with life, and I did the same.

It was good to talk to someone about work who legitimately understands because she has the same job. My brother can understand because he’s done medical, and a lot of the people in my life can sympathize, even empathize, but Mrs. G knows exactly what it’s like to feel overwhelmed and behind and stressed because she’s fighting on the same battlefield.

Talking to someone and having them share their own stories helped me feel better and more connected with reality. It’s not just me. I’m not alone in my feelings. Mrs. G is going through it, too.

It was a pretty long conversation, but I enjoyed it. We’re going to try to meet up again at some point. Not this weekend since she has a bunch of stuff going on, but hopefully soon.

I spent the rest of the evening finishing up the cooking and remaining chores I had. I’m most likely going to get rid of my vacuum cleaner since it doesn’t seem to be working properly anymore. I’ve cleaned the filter and everything but it’s still leaving little fuzzies everywhere. Warren’s vacuum picked up everything that mine left behind so yeah, I’m most likely going to take it to Goodwill or something. It’s not broken, and it still works, just not as good as something we already have so why have two?

I had thought about cross stitching Sunday night but opted to write instead. I’m glad I wrote. It kept me up later than I most likely should have been, but it felt good. Really good.

And so here we are.

I still have Monday to write through, and then all of what will end up being today, but I feel mostly caught up and written out. I have training with L I need to get to in the next 40 minutes so I’m going to go. I’m not sure when I’ll write again, but hopefully, it will be soon. I like feeling like I’m in the present rather than lingering days in the past or floating, swimming, drowning in a sea of “what the f is going on with my life?”.

Yesterday I talked to my boss. Today I train and find out about classes. Those are the key points and I’ll meditate on them further once I’m able to.

For now, it’s time to go be a badass and flip some tires.

Oh, and here’s some cuteness because I actually really did get a chance to doodle at work. :3