Upside, Downside

I’m in the middle of a slight see-saw effect right now, in a couple areas of my life.

On the writing front, I’m very pleased to announce that I’ve completed (FINALLY) my rewrite. I’m taking a week or so here now to let things simmer and settle, and then I’m going to begin the Massive Oral Reading of the manuscript. That’s the upside. The downside is that, if I was smart, I’d actually wait three more weeks when I’m off for February break, and can read the whole thing in one shot (or over two days) with nobody home during the day to distract me. But since I’d much rather spend my time over February break actually working on the physical editing/revising piece, I need to get the read-aloud-to-myself part done. There’s another small upside, or at least a convenience factor, to the fact that my new Kindle Fire can host my manuscript in RTF format, and I can make notes on the Kindle just like I would on a regular computer. So that means I can take my manuscript anywhere I want to do my read-aloud. It also forces me to just read, not to make changes as I read.

On the health and fitness wagon, things have been going very well. I’m loving Turbo Fire. Since January 1st, I’ve lost a total of almost 4 pounds, I can feel my abs getting defined (though there’s still a layer of flab covering them up), and I’ve been working out at least 5 days a week. My original goal was to be working out at least 4 days, so I’m ahead of my curve. I still can’t fathom dragging myself out of bed to workout at 5:30 in the morning. And part of the reason for that is I work out in our finished basement, which, nice as it is, is heated by a space heater and it takes a good half hour for it to warm up to a comfortable temperature. It’s hard enough dragging yourself out of a warm, cozy bed when it’s mid-January, let alone doing so and then dragging yourself down two flights of stairs to a 55 degree basement and start jumping around and round-housing an imaginary target. So I’m hauling myself to work a little earlier, which allows me to leave before 4, gets me home by 4:15, and gets me down to my workout by 5. The downside is that I usually can’t get dinner going on the weekdays until close to 6 (though I’m trying to keep weekday meals to a 40 minute prep+cook time whenever possible). And then by the time we eat and the kitchen is cleaned up (because I can’t relax if I know there’s a mess in the kitchen), it’s close to 8. And I like trying to get upstairs to shower and hit the sack by 10. So you see how short my evenings have gotten.

But I’m also making progress on the healthy eating front. I’m stocking up on healthy food choices, and am happy to say the only real junk food we still have in the house is in the form of about eight mini Reese’s PB cups, a dark chocolate/peppermint bark “snowflake” that was part of a Christmas gift from a student, and some gourmet chocolates my sis-in-law and bro-in-law got for us in Seattle. I’ve been taking just one peanut butter cup in my lunch, a little sweet treat to get me through the afternoon. I’ve gotten myself now down to just that one bit of chocolate, maybe a handful of Swedish Fish to go along with my mid-morning fruit (I have a weakness for those suckers and keep a bag at school to give my students a little treat after a particularly good reading group – amazing what 2nd graders will do for a couple Swedish Fish). Sometimes I slip. I admit. But overall I’m eating a lot more fruits and veggies and whole grains. But may I just say, it’s expensive to eat healthy! I’ve also cut down my sugary beverages. It’s almost exclusively water. I had a glass of iced tea on Monday, and I thought it was an amazing treat. That’s a good thing, right?

Of course, I know that there are going to be donuts for breakfast in the teacher’s room tomorrow. The upside is that I know I can combat them by eating a good breakfast at home (like I did today) and just stay out of the teacher’s room. The downside is… I really like donuts! I can eat just one, right? I’ll bring a salad for lunch, promise!

Also, I seem to be coming down with a little cold. It’s the first cold I’ve had since November. That’s good. But the last cold I had ended up turning into viral bronchitis. And I felt awful, couldn’t work out for over a month, and pulled an intercostal rib muscle – which had been feeling great until I sneezed last night and thought I’d been stabbed in the chest it hurt so bad. So I’m a little frantic about a relapse. My lungs have felt pretty good – the first week of January when I was getting back into my workouts, I was having some coughing fits after exercising. But no more. That bought of bronchitis was the first time I’d ever had it, and I’m freaking out that my lungs aren’t as strong as I’d like and this cold could bring on another attack. What can I do?

Orange juice for me, I guess!

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