2018-07-25 Look Who’s Back, Back Again

I’m at the gym on my elliptical machine. It’s the first time I’m about two weeks and just getting started all I can think about is the start of that Eminem song “Without Me”. Now there’s a master poet! That guy is brilliant. Perhaps troubled, but I think a lot of genius artists are. I was never a huge “fan” but enough of one to have made some music purchases and have that deliciousness in the shuffle rotation of my master playlist.

Hell, I even made Eminem the target subject of one of my critical essays last semester. A perfect example of an artist who made a name (and persona) literally, with his work. At this point, as I get rolling with this term and my first deadline less than a month away, I’m wondering how the heck I’m going to top those essays. The good news is that it’s not a requirement and having a different mentor who doesn’t have access to those essays. She might have the final, not sure, but that’s it. I have a feeling she’s also going to be a very different as a mentor than the person I had last semester and that will be good. Because diversity is good. At any rate, I’m looking forward to it despite the deadlines and all that.

I think that’s why my transition back to “normal” life has been such a challenge. I want to dive right in and get started but I missed 10 days of work which equates to about 50 hours and I have to, need to, do work to cover my bills. Monday was tough and yesterday was even tougher. All of a sudden I’m now on 4 projects instead of 1 and at least one of those I’ve been tasked with doing something I’m going to have to completely learn before I can do it. There are deadlines and my work mentor is busier than I am. Getting half an hour of time is a serious challenge. That’s a problem. Yesterday I was freaking out about it. Today I have to get my shit together and just focus.

Talking to Jim last night was a huge help. I unloaded and he listened and then offered good advice. It was advice I would give myself if I had my head screwed on straight. He’s the best.

Right now I’m 37 minutes into my cardio set and Jason MRAZ just came up in the shuffle with one of my favorites, “No Doubling Back”. If I was in my car, I would be singing out loud.. loud! I don’t think my fellow gym goers would appreciate my singing, so I’ll just keep on typing.

When I got home from Residency, I made a to-do list for personal things which need to be taken care of and looking at that yesterday and seeing all I have done so far this week also made me feel better. I keep adding things to it, so it has grown more than it has shrunk, but seeing checks in the boxes is satisfying.

Tonight, after what I’m sure will be a super successful day “at the office”, I’m going to feed the creative side a little more by going to a reading downtown. Two People I know will be there so that’s a plus going in. Perhaps I will even get inspiration for my first critical essay. That would be amazing.

And just now my morning meeting was cancelled so I can just keep rolling. I’ve really missed my morning cardio and I can’t ever really catch up on steps but I can take this opportunity to hit it harder today. I’m going to be upping the resistance and letting the tunes in my ear carry me away.

What would I do Without This?

~Miss SugarCookie

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2018-06-03 A Sunday with Significance

But first.. weekly stats! The top areas of focus this week were sleep and work so I’ll start there.

Sleep.. 7 hours and 12 mites average sleep per night. Score! That’s 12 minutes above goal and I only missed hitting that two of 7 nights. Next stop – 7 and a half. It’s all about baby steps though, and not being too unrealistic. This week I’ll be with My sweetheart and that means I’m liable to get less sleep. I should set an overall long term goal to be to average out to 7 hours a night. My Fitbit supports calculating averages for a week, month, three months, and for the year. Interesting that I’m already really close to the 7 hour mark for this year (6 hours and 57 minutes) so maybe I should shoot for 7.5 instead. 🤔

Work.. The last two weeks have been great. This past week I clocked my new minimum of 30 hours. It’s my new minimum because now I have to foot the bill for the kids’ health insurance which got dropped when my ex quit his job in April. It’s an extra 600 bucks a month. Gross! Interesting side note, he’s just this week quit yet another job. Supposedly he has another lined up AND is saying he’s putting the kids on the new company plan. I’ll believe it when I see it cuz i just can’t trust anything really unless there’s proof. I. Short.. I’ve got to maintain at least 30 hours to stay qualified for my company plan. And those extra hours will not yield a higher paycheck because the cost of the insurance will be more than the extra I’m making. 🙄

Now for the best of the rest..

Exercise. Average 11k steps and zero Jazzercise classes. That’s right, a big fat goose egg for the exercise classes. I also happened to do my monthly pulse check on finances yesterday and those classes cost me 60 bucks a month. As a consequence, and figuring the low class participation is a trend that’s going to continue all summer, I went ahead and cancelled my membership. WHAT??! 😮 Words I never dreamed I would write, but I’m realistic and if I’m not getting out of it what I put in 💲💲💲, it’s not worth it. The dollar rules a lot of life decisions, this is no exception. 🤑

I’m going to take a break for at least as long as I need to in order to take advantage of the bonus plan. Which are deals they offer former customers to return like 1 whole year for 399. That would basically cut my cost in half. That’s a sweet deal. In the mean time, I’ll be doing more outside and can pick up some classes at the gym to compensate, when I have time.

In other news, my diet/eating still needs to be reined in. I weigh more now than I have for like 10 years. I know exercise is not my problem… I know it’s food and potentials changes in my metabolism. Getting old sucks. The most ducked up part of all of it is this trend started when I did that insane Whole 30 diet with my sister in January. I didn’t loose any weight those 30 days and have been steady climbing ever since. I’ve gained about 10 lbs, which doesn’t sound like a lot but for me it is.

It’s bothered me so much I’ve considered going back on the Whole Foods diet just to see if it has any affect doing a second round. I’ve also considered going gluten free again. If I do either of these two things, it will be a good test of how JS handles me having food restrictions. Matt never took that well and was not supportive. It always bugged me the way he would roll his eyes about that stuff. Whatever.

Actually part of my weight gain could be a result of being in a new relationship and happy and just enjoying indulging in all the wonderful things in life together. Yeah, we work out together but we also eat together and having someone else cooking and serving me means I haven’t been choosing my own portion size. That’s gonna change this week.

Which brings me to why today is significant. Today is our 3 month Anniversary AND later today we are having a Meetup at his house where our kids will meet for the first time. Yowza! I’m trying not to think about it too much. I mean, they are all teenagers and I’m sure it will be fine. But I can’t help but have some anxiety thinking about it.

It’s going to be a fantastic Sunday! It’s beautiful out, the birds are singing, and everything is going my way. I’m so fortunate and I know it. This June is going to be busy and just balls-out amazing with the trips planned. Cheers to a great start to it all.

Rolling Into Sunday Sumner Fun,

~Miss SugarCookie

PS. If you tuned in to see how last nights cliffhanger turned out, all I have to say about it is that Sleep took over and after I posted I never even got back out of bed. (So lame! 😜)

2018-05-31 Working Out and Working It

It’s going to be a quick set today. Get the HR up and sweat a little, just enough to wet a girl’s appetite for more, and then cut and run.

I was up at 6AM watching the grass grow on dashboards I developed in AWS Cloudwatch. An upgrade to the software I support went in overnight and since that client is East Coast, I was on point for the first shift. Not a ton of activity, but good enough (no errors). I did some task switching for about 3 hours and made progress on multiple fronts. Feeling great about the work stuff and it’s nice to have a queue of tasks for me to pick and choose from.

I like documentation but let’s be honest.. it’s flipping boring and since nobody else seems to care about it but me, I get no love for the awesomeness I produce. Building stuff people can see and care about gets way more attention, despite the fact that it often takes way less time.

I have learned so much about AWS in the last 5 months. Some of the infrastructure stuff is yet to come, but taking log files, building filters and metrics, and the pretty dashboards is my new jam. I knew I didn’t want to just work on interfacing data the rest of my life so having something new and different to chew on is great.

Next level shit will be sucking all that data into parquet files and defining a database for persistence. AWS has some pretty fancy services and tools and I do do love the GUI tools. It’s probably the #1 reason why I’m not a developer. I can look at code and back-end stuff for troubleshooting but I don’t want to live there. I want to work I’m an environment where the user experience has already been solved and I can learn it and then amaze those who are not in the know with my mad skillz. 😜

The real value added prop though is the ability to communicate info to all levels. I get geek speak (for the most part), and can translate so that the top dog gets it. Communication is the real skill and that’s what I’m passionate about. Personally and professionally. The thing I still need to learn or master is knowing when to keep my damn mouth shut. I have a history of having strong opinions on things and not shy about sharing (ironic right?!).

Oh hey.. I just got a message across the Work wire that our virtual morning meeting is ultra-mega virtual. Meaning we don’t have a call… just communication over slack. Translation: I can type my status from right where I am (my beloved elliptical machine) and keep right on trucking. So I don’t need to cut this short.

I may anyway though because i know my work life and goals aren’t the most exciting topic in the Universe.

Speaking of work.. I volunteered to do a local interview of an acquaintance of mine who is very knowledgeable in the space my company is growing into. That was last night and the best part is that his wife is one of my good friends and she came by after work so we were all able to drink and catch up.

I had no less than 4 “Time Lord” cocktails and 2 delish birdhouse sliders. I haven’t had that much to drink in a while, yet I woke feeling great! 🤔 It was probably good quality stuff (better be for 10 bucks a drink). I’m a lightweight drinker but these people are seasoned. The rounds kept coming. It was a great evening and best part is.. I’m getting paid for it (and the very healthy tab is not on me). Not that I would ever ever EVER want to be in sales but the schmoozing is pretty top shelf.

Anyway.. that’s probably enough work stuff for now. Time to get back .. to actual work. 😉

Eight Pieces of Eight and I’m Out,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-04-09 Sunday Sneaking into My Monday

I missed my Sunday Status yesterday. I skipped over that in favor of my little rant about my ex. Sometimes you just gotta get that out, you know, to get over it. The other very therapeutic thing I did was compose an email (not ashamed to admit that’s something that also makes me feel better). The email was to my ex and in it I included very specific dates and detIls regarding the history of our employment and the health insurance.

I included exact dates of coverage begin and end and who paid for what. See I keep maticulous records of that stuff that serve me well in situations like this. I also let him know I have the supporting records, notes, and cancelled checks.

I called him out on some of the other sketch shit too. I don’t expect a reply but he’s never acknowledged my emails. He claims to not check his email, but I know he used that same address with communications with the school and has replied to them. (I know because they tell me.. he doesn’t typically include me in his replies).

Anyway between yesterday’s post, the email, and this nice, pretty bow right here.. I’m washing my hands of this one for now. Time then to catch up on status… which, for the most part is completely average.

Exercise.. 14K steps a day average last week. That’s actually below average. And I only did 3 Jazzercise classes which I think is my new norm.

Sleep.. 7 hours 11 minutes average per night. Slightly above average for the current target, but I’d like to hit 7.5 hours.

Healthy eating… Always a struggle. I can’t seem to kick my sugar habit. The easter candy doesn’t help. I also can’t seem to get a handle on my nighttime binge eating. I’m making fairly good choices, but can’t seem to get my weight back down to my normal baseline. I’ll probably always struggle with this. Ugh.

Work.. Busy week. I was over my target number of hours by about 7. Money in the bank baby. As a side note, I’m going to have to start putting in more hours to qualify for health insurance. It’s gonna be tough with school, but you do what you gotta, right?

School.. Full time still and back to reality this week. With the delay on turning in my last assignment, the next one is in about 2 weeks. I have a lot to do to catch up. I honestly don’t know how I’m gonna do what I need to. I’m kind of relieved the end of the semester is coming. I really need the summer break.

Relationship.. Happily dating. 😊❤️

Things I’m looking forward to this week..

1. A Meetup with my sister on Wednesday.

2. Date night on Tuesday with JS.

3. Girls gaming on Saturday afternoon at a board game cafe.

4. Monthly wine night with LA on Saturday night.

5. A mini road trip with JS on Sunday. The first road trip test. 😜 So far, the fact that he suggested it and is planning everything is so refreshing. Score!! ✅

That’s it for today’s rant wrap up and delayed Sunday Status.

Time to Jam,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-04-05 That’s How You Know

How do you know if something is as great as you think it is? We’ll try abstaining from it for a while, see if you miss It. Then go back to it.. do you rediscover how awesome it is? Yes? That’s how you know.

I had to forego Jazzercise for over a week because of travel and school and work. Last night I went back to it and it was great! It reminded me how valuable both the exercise and comradery are. I missed it and was so happy to return.

As usual, my diet suffered when I was out of town and I’ve somewhat continued that self indulgence this week. The numbers on the scale are creeping up again. That kind of stuff starts to take over my thoughts if I dont keep it in check.

The last thing I need right now is to lose sleep over some stupid numbers. Goodness knows I think about it enough already. The steps and Jazzercise and imposing some control on my choices for meals and snacks is the path to success. Without Jazzercise (especially in the cold months) it’s all just elliptical. One trick pony’s aren’t good for results.

It’s true I have a whole gym at my disposal, but for some reason I’ve never really gotten into lifting or other classes. I keep trying every once and a while, but it never lasts. Jazzercise lasts.

It’s dance and freeweights and cardio and new music and routines all the time. Plus, it’s so valuable for an introvert/social frady-cat like me to be in a familiar environment with familiar faces. They know me and are super friendly. Priceless.

When I was doing a deep dive into my finances, I considered cutting it because it’s like 60 bucks a month. Obviously I didn’t but i have thought about it again recently. Doing the math, if I do an average of 3 classes a week, it comes to about 5 bucks a class. After last night, I realize the value all over again.

That’s how I know.

I suppose it’s also true for people. There are people I meet up with that always remind me how much I enjoy talking with them. Those are the people I want in my life.

I’m also missing JS. It’s a busy week for me and I have the kids and there’s going to be very little opportunity for a date. I’ve remained optimistic about us and so far there has been zero disappointment or red flags. I’m trying to remain realistic and logical, but he’s pretty great and there’s a part of me that wants to daydream about the future.

Every time I see or talk to him I’m thinking about how wonderful things are. And… That’s how I know. 😉

Reading the Signs,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-03-19 Delayed Sunday Status – The “Big News” Edition

What day is it again? I’ve been traveling on a new track and apparently left my sense of time a few stops back.

Oh yeah.. Monday. It’s been a few days since I’ve done anything resembling my normal routine, and my balance was definitely off this past weekend. I’m going to try and rediscover my center of gravity today and since I completely breezed by Sunday, I’m going to start by checking-in in my stats from last week.

Steps and Exercise.. 16K average per day. Not quite on par with where it has been (20k), but still above goal which is 15K per day. I had a few 25K days and that helped balance out the two days I fell way short of the 15. One contributing factor of the decline was the fact I only did 2 Jazzercise classes all week. There are reasons for that, of course, but I’ll get to that.

Food was pretty variable too. I didn’t do a stellar job of rejecting all the birthday goodies, but in hind site I did ok. If there is one thing I can see in the horizon for this is yet another attempt to minimize gluten. I’ve had a reoccurrence of a past irritation which was alienated before by eliminating gluten for over 6 months. Not solid on my level of commitment there, but it would be easier than ever given the, now, wide spread social and economic support of this lifestyle choice.

Sleep.. 7 hours and 9 minutes average per night and I’ll take it! This is arguably my most important stat and the most neglected area. If there’s something that always sufferes from my poor choices, this is it. I’m going to try very hard this week to get to bed at a good hour.

Work is really taking off now I think and I hit my goal for hours last week with more left undone. I don’t see there being any trend back the other way either. I now have my fingeres in more pies and I can feel my team members trusting me more. And at long last, my checking account is safely back in the black. Still not good enough to start looking at my wish list, but getting there.

My schoolwork has been severely neglected for a couple weeks now and I’m detecting a very bad trend. The panic monster is snoring hard and I’m content just to dance around and ignore it. That’s not good. I need to get back to my reading and writing. I need to set aside dedicated time and make this a priority. It’s going to get even tougher I think given my other status change. Which once again brings me to everyone’s favorite train wreck topic. This time, however, I feel like I’m riding the Eurostar.

At the present moment I’m thoroughly enjoying the smooth, elegant ride. The easy, effortless way I’m being propelled forward on this track makes the speed seem virtually unnoticeable. I’ve only known Bachelor #15 for two weeks, but It feels like much longer and I’m quite pleased with how things are going. This definitely deserves more words, and I have more, but out of time now. I’ll just end by officially stating that my relationship status is now happily being changed to “dating”!!! ☮️💕😊

If this train wrecks, I probably won’t survive because I’ll likely drown somewhere between London and Paris.

Time to Monday,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-03-11 Sunday Funday Status Update

Today my atypical weekend continued. I started my Sunday with the usual 8:30 Jazzercise class, but skipped any gym time and went for tea with a friend instead. I fit a little bit of work in, went shopping with Z for sweet 16 party supplies, and then to my Dad’s with the kids so we could celebrate (yet again) for her bday. I guess when your parents are divorced and your grandparents are also divorced you end up celebrating like 6 times.

So I didn’t hit my step goal today, but overall last week I was once again above average getting 20,775 average steps per day. I’m doing less Jazzercise and only did like 3 classes again this week.

My sleep improved slightly and I almost hit goal. 7 hours and 23 minutes average per night.

My eating habits remain in poor condition and I have gained a few more pounds and this madness has to stop. I don’t think I can do more exercise, but perhaps changing what I am doing will help. However, I know my main problem is the junk food and lack of willpower. I keep saying “tomorrow will be the day I’m cracking down on this”, and then it isn’t and I don’t. Something has to give.

The work week was really, really close to spot on!! A few more hours and that would have been dead on target. I’m getting more responsibilities now so I’m feeling pretty positive about this trend continuing.

The schoolwork is in a lull again and I really have to snap out of it before I get bit in the ass again with that procrastination thing. I need to put in some serious reading this week and catch up. My writing new material has kind of subsided too so I may need to break out some of those idea factory exercises my mentor sent.

My relationship status is still single. However, I did have date #3 with Bachelor #15 today (that was my tea meet up). I’m pretty hopeful about this, but cautiously optimistic. The ghosting thing has me paranoid but it just feels different somehow. If I may say, it feels “normal”. The right conversations, the right decisions on where to go and what to do, no red flags. He’s very responsive in text and really easy to talk to. He’s intelligent and handsome and fit and has a great job. There’s just a little twitch in the back of my brain going “ok, then, what’s the catch?”.

We already have a plan for date #4 so that’s also positive. I just have to get through the rest of these birthday shenanigans first. One more major thing Tuesday evening through Wednesday morning and then that will be over for this year.

Tomorrow I’m going to eat healthy and work and catch up on reading. Cross my heart!

Sweet Dreams,
~Miss SugarCookie