Time to Change – Bit of A Down Week

weight-loss-3

 

So the question is, did I survive The Big Feast?

Certainly on the family/fun/no politics allowed here scale I did very well.  Only the real scale is yet to tell the tale.

This has been an underperforming week.  Just couldn’t get my head wrapped around much of anything.  Several small things refused to behave.  Can’t explain it.  My eating was pretty good, and I nailed the 150 minute goal by Wednesday.  So that was good.

 

On the diabetes front, the numbers have all been fine, but slightly higher than they were in the weeks before Thanksgiving.  Probably not surprising.  Haven’t really laid down a baseline yet.  That’s something I need to be a little more intentional about.  At the moment, I only test once a day.  For that to work I need to vary the time of day (and relationship to eating).  Not getting quite the proper spread so I will look at that.  But again, the numbers are fine.

Went to my second “Diabetes 101” class.  That’s my name for it, not theirs.  Sigh.  It’s not bad.  Nice instructor, clear lessons.  But I could absorb the information in ninety minutes.  The class is three hours.  Plus some of the stuff just isn’t presented in (in my humble opinion) the most effective form.  I was probably the second youngest person in the room.  Couple folks around my age and several maybe five years older.  When it came to the part about exercise, it was defining what didn’t “qualify” as exercise (meaning you weren’t working hard enough), and how much.  150 is fine but you really want to be shooting for 300 if you’re trying to lose weight.

And I could feel the air go out of the room.

If your lifestyle is basic couch potato, then ANY regular activity is a step in the right direction.  Walk slowly for fifteen minutes a day.  As many days as possible.  Next week, shoot for sixteen.  Keep working up from there.  Instead, folks were given an easy excuse on why they don’t exercise.  Too much, too hard, can’t do it.  Basic leadership 101 is setting people up to succeed.  But I’m not the expert, nor am I the leader and I need to respect the people who are and STFU.

Sigh.  Not my natural state.

Meanwhile, the scale that counts says it was a good week.

Onward.

My resolution remains:

This guy – 2009

I want to am going to be The Guy again.  The Guy weighed 175 pounds and looked good and felt good.  And his blood pressure was good and his blood tests were good. (New photo of The Guy)

Watch my activity at my Fitbit page

The next milestone is getting back below 190.  I will get there and go on.

Official Weigh In Weight

194.2 pounds

Weight Change this week:  -1.6 pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date: – 9.9 pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/25

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The Creativity Project – Calendar?

creativity-illo-2Staying creative is a challenge under any circumstances.  Staying creative when large portions of your life are in disarray is even harder.  I am looking for creative outlets (always) right now.  Having budgetary restrictions means I have to find ways to mostly use what I already have.  That still leaves plenty of options.

This one has rather taken me by surprise.

It’s called bullet journaling, or “bujo”.  Actually, just calling it a calendar is selling the concept short.  This is an organizational tool.  I’ve tried some of these before, and never had particularly good results.  I would like some parts of it but find the rest completely out of synch with what I do.  So they would fall by the wayside.  I need more than just a calendar.  I need something to help me keep my various blogs up to date.  I need a way to track future project ideas.  I need a place where I can make a quick note.  Most important of all, I need all of that in one place.

Being the gadget fan I am, I kind of assumed that my smartphone would serve all those purposes for me.  It just doesn’t fly for me.  “Typing” notes on the tiny keyboard, the process of firing up the needed app, or not being able to make contact because of not WiFi or service, just made it not what I wanted.  In the end, I always seem to circle back to a notebook type device.

So when The Kid showed off her bujo, I was intrigued.  This is completely customizable.  It offers organization in exactly the forms I want with the added bonus of giving me places to be a little creative.

I am quite literally at the very beginning of my bujo experiment.  I started out just a week ago.  Here’s where I have begun:

bujo1

(Yes, I had a little fun with the image too.  Hey, it’s about being creative)

Down the left side is my daily calendar, showing a full week.  That’s my preferred time period.  Months worth of stuff just becomes too overwhelming.  You’ll note I put Sunday at the bottom, starting the week on Monday.  This was a mistake that I didn’t think about till I’d done through the end of the year.  This is what I get for jumping ahead apparently, but creating the pages helped me to think them out.  I’ll live with this till January 1, then move Sunday to the top of the page.

Which I can do, cause it’s like MY bujo.

Not sure how well you’ll be able to see, but the little, colored strips next to each day’s box are banners with the day of the week written there.  The little red drop is a place for me to record my daily blood glucose.  Plus I can do little illustrations for birthdays (can you see the tiny little birthday cake and candles?) and holidays.  Each one makes it more mine and keeps it creative.

The right side is organizational.  At the top are habits I’m working on (before anyone yells, this is a “future” week as I write this, so, no, nothing has been filled in).  When I accomplish something it get’s filled in in green.  Miss it that week?  Red.  Not called for in that specific week?  Black.  Yes, some of my weeklies don’t actually happen EVERY week.  Again, my bujo, my organization.

(Quick digression.  Why include the non-weeklies as a weekly?  So that I can glance at that week and know whether or not I need to do that.  While still maintaining a standard base form.  That’s important for ME.  And in the world of bujo, yes, it really is all about me.)

Notes are for journaling, or whatever.

The dividing line down the middle shouldn’t go the whole way to the bottom, that space is for whatever whatever.

Further back (and not shown) is a list of the dates for posts on my media blog.  It allows me to track which posts are done, and which still need to be done.  A couple pages after that is my “Future Project” ideas page.

I’ve done all these things in the past, usually each in its own medium.  Which means I had three notebooks, and a dozen pieces of paper floating around.  I would always end up needing the one I didn’t have, and periodically things would get lost.

With this, EVERYTHING can be kept in a single medium.  Which makes my life

A: Simpler,

B: More Organized,

C: More Creative.

Maybe it will wash out too.  Maybe I’ll get bored.  But the early indications are very, very positive.

If you’re interested in more about bujo, just search the term or “bullet journal”.  The definitive source for the is bulletjournal.com

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Life Among the Unemployed – Job Search

This is where the real work begins.

need-a-job

Updated the resume.  Had an offer for a free resume review.  Did that.  Got a bunch of, IMO, idiotic recommendations and a couple good ones.

What qualifies as an “idiotic” recommendation in my opinion?  Turning my resume into a hype machine.  It stopped just short of creating a POW!!! infomercial out of it.  I will look again to make sure that I’m showing the best vision of what I have done, but there are limits.  I will make the sensable changes (like contact info on all pages).

The upside of job hunting in the modern age is a greater number of resources out there to use.  The downside is the overwhelming number of resources you have to comb through.  Plus you get the places where you submit your resume and are then asked to manually enter all the same material over again.  Asinine.  My new favorite is the site that has you upload your resume, and then skims the info out for you.  Cool!  Except it mixes information from multiple entries and then inserts multiples versions of these incorrect entries.  So I have to go through and edit it all.

Sigh.

I’m also pretty sure this is an awful time to be looking for a job.  My very first job in radio was a December hire, so it’s not out of the question.  Thank God for my severance.

I have sent out about six resumes so far.  I could do a lot more except I spend all that time either manually entering info or editting incorrect info.

Meanwhile I’m looking into other ways to fill my time and maybe put a few dollars in my pocket.  I’ll let you know how that goes.

 

So I will keep my head up, my eyes open, my heart strong.

Waiting to see the next chapter in my life.

Whatever it turns out to be.

And I’ll keep you up to date on how that goes.

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Time to Change – The Holidays Begin!

weight-loss-3

Sometimes life just isn’t fair.

Like trying to keep your weight under control at the holidays.  Even worse is when you are at the very start of the process, so it’s not ingrained behavior yet.

Sigh.

I will be fine.  I just have to remember that while I can relax a little, I can’t go berserk.  I do not NEED to stuff my face.  A little of everything, and maybe, if I’m good, a little extra of the good stuff.  One of the things I can control is exercise.  We will be travelling a little, but I know there is space for some workouts.  I HAVE to get those minutes in.

On exercise, the weather doesn’t help.  My favorite workouts are aerobic, walking and bicycling.  The bike is in the shed for the winter.  I walk when I can.  Sadly, the unemployment makes joining a gym tough.  Like, somewhere between not likely and forget it.  So I’ll walk when the weather is decent outside, and spend more time at the mall.

As for the diabetes, just heard back from my health insurance.  The “covered” meter is the one with the expensive strips.  In the end it is cheaper to use the other one and pay for it myself.  Like a third the cost.

 

I’ve decided to give myself a break, and do the weigh in BEFORE the big feast.  Don’t worry, I’ll get the bad news in time.  My second “Diabetes 101” class is this coming Wednesday.  When they will test our A1C again.  So unfair, lol.

Onward.

My resolution remains:

This guy – 2009

I want to am going to be The Guy again.  The Guy weighed 175 pounds and looked good and felt good.  And his blood pressure was good and his blood tests were good. (New photo of The Guy)

Watch my activity at my Fitbit page

The next milestone is getting back below 200.  I will get there and go on.

Official Weigh In Weight

195.8 pounds

Weight Change this week:  -1.2 pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date: – 8.3 pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/25

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Life Among the Unemployed – Survival Strategy

Time to get down to it.

need-a-job

 

I got my first, full-time, adult job when I was 22 years old.  So I’ve been working for 36 years.  This is my fourth time on the unemployment line.  Once upon a time that would have been an awful track record.  Today, not so much.

Still wasn’t what I dreamed of back in the day.

Sometimes having some experience helps.   When I was let go from my previous position I wrote a little bit about what I knew I had to do.  I said this:

The only advantage of having this kind of background is that I have learned a few things on how to survive it.  My plan for this period include:

  1. Find a routine – It is so easy to just go limp.  You don’t HAVE to go anywhere or be there at specific times.  You are without a schedule.  That freedom is so seductive.  That freedom is a siren’s song, designed to lure you onto the rocks.  Find a routine, create a routine, stick to that routine.
  2. Be Productive –  Part of your routine should be expectations that you will do something productive every day.  Even better?  Several things.  Keep the house clean.  Keep yourself clean.  Actively look for the next job.  Try something you’ve always wanted to do but never “had the time”.
  3. Have a Little Fun – Yes, money is tight right now.  Yes, cut back and be careful.  At the same time you need to keep some joy in your life.  Every once in a while treat yourself to something.  Doesn’t have to be expensive, it just needs to be fun.  Your mental attitude will be much better.

So that’s the core of my plan.  My routine is to get up at 7 AM, workout, keep the house clean, write, practice my guitar.  Take care of whatever chores are on the list for that day.  Plan meals.  Routine and productive.

All of that is important for keeping my head in the right place.  There are the functional things that need to be done as well.  Make sure I have a current, clean resume.  Start looking at places to find jobs.  Look for people who can help me.  Think outside the box.  Remember to look inside the box.  Go back over what worked last time, go over what didn’t work.  Do a serious self-evaluation.

This was my second full week of unemployment, and, as always, it was the worst.  The first week is shell-shock.  You’re just numb.  Week two is when it really hits.  This usually just makes me go slack.  I can’t focus, I can’t think.  I have to force myself to move forward.  Resume updated, profiles updated, start looking at options.  I survived.  Again.

So I will keep my head up, my eyes open, my heart strong.

Waiting to see the next chapter in my life.

Whatever it turns out to be.

And I’ll keep you up to date on how that goes.

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Time to Change – Discovering Things

weight-loss-3

 

Well, isn’t that interesting?

This past week was one where I struggled a little with my feelings about unemployment.  Between the weather and my schedule, my workout routine fell short (this is the first week in a while that will definitely fall short of 150 minutes).  I’m trying my hand at NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) again, and the book has me flummoxed.  So I was once again in the mode of just hoping to avoid catastrophe.

Lost all of last week’s gain and then some.  Nice.

Also coming to grips with some of the reality of adding T2 Diabetes to the mix.  I’m pretty sure I know how it’s going to kill me.  Not heart disease or organ failure.

Sticker shock.

I was given a free glucose meter (free! yay!) and ten test strips.  So I started looking at what that is going to cost me moving forward.  The test strips for the meter I was given (free! yay?) seem to be running just shy of two dollars each!  Still waiting to hear back from the insurance company about preferences and coverage, but that’s ridiculous.  For at least the interim I’ve found an inexpensive meter where the strips will cost me about $10/60.  My advantage is, at the moment, I’m only testing once a day.  All the numbers have been good to great so far.  Then you get into the question of different readings from different meters.  The two have varied slightly so far, once running slightly higher than the other.  The insurance company has said that my “Diabetes 101” class costs are covered.  Such fun.

It’s interesting “watching” myself choosing foods differently.  “Do I want to use those calories/carbs on this?  Do I want to eat them now?”

The number below would indicate it’s working, so….

 

Onward.

My resolution remains:

This guy – 2009

I want to am going to be The Guy again.  The Guy weighed 175 pounds and looked good and felt good.  And his blood pressure was good and his blood tests were good. (New photo of The Guy)

Watch my activity at my Fitbit page

The next milestone is getting back below 200.  I will get there and go on.

Official Weigh In Weight

197.0 pounds

Weight Change this week:  -3.4 pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date: – 7.1 pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/25

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Life Among the Unemployed – Again

Sigh.

need-a-job

 

The official announcement has been made, so I can talk about it finally.

As of a week ago, I am no longer the Director of Youth Formation at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer.

Lots of reasons behind the decision, some in my control, some not.  In the end, I think we were a mismatch from the beginning.  Wonderful young people, lots of wonderful adults.  My prayers are with the congregation as they face ongoing tough decisions.

All things considered, it was handled as well as it might be handled.  I’ve been fired worse.  As is my custom, I’m not interested in pointing fingers and laying blame.  There is no profit in it for anyone.

For the record, I was not let go because I did anything wrong.  They felt like they needed a different kind of leadership.  I think they might be right.  Like I said, a mismatch.

This time is especially hard.  I not only lost a job, but we lost our home parish too.  It’s the first time in 30 years that I haven’t had a faith home.  We are a long way away from the friends and networks we built.  So this is particularly scary.

Some folks may say that we are still welcome at our most recent parish.  By and large, that is probably true.  But it would be a very bad idea to go back.  Some people wanted me gone.  I will admit to having a little upset in my own heart.  Far more importantly than that, however, is the fact that it would be terrible for the congregation as they move forward.  Whoever steps in the leadership role doesn’t need me sitting there.  There’s a reason why clergy are usually told to find a new place of worship when they retire.  The same goes for anyone who leads a ministry.

I am part of their past, as they are part of mine.  It’s time to move on.

It’s not easy, but it’s right.

So, here we go again.  Looking for a new job.  Looking for a new parish.  Trying to figure out what the next chapter of my life is going to be.

Whatever it turns out to be.

And I’ll keep you up to date on how that goes.

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