Adult Snow Day

As adults, we don’t get a lot of snow days. We’re obligated to go into work no matter what the weather, and usually, we’re not alone. When we head off to work after a winter storm, a plow has been by to clear the way, a truck has come through to salt the streets, or a path has been made through the snow by commuters who have come before us, making the morning drive slightly less dangerous.

This is not the case when you own a bakery. When you have to get up at 2:30 in the morning, either the winter weather has not yet quit, or it’s too early for plows, salt, or commuters, so you’re the one paving the way through the tricky streets. No one wants to be the only person driving on a slippery street in the middle of the night. True, you’ll be less likely to hit another car, but if you wreck yours, there’s not a lot of people out there to help you. Plus, you’ll have wrecked your car. Most of us can’t afford to lose our only source of transportation, and we sure as hell can’t afford to replace it.

An ‘ice storm’ came through last night. Or at least, that’s what all the forecasters wouldn’t shut up about. All I’ve seen around here was a dusting of snow, but man, would they have you believe to watch out for downed tree limbs, power outages, and ice build up on the streets making them impossible to drive on without sliding off the road. I should know better by now, but not wanting to risk my employees or myself on the roads in the morning, I called it and told everyone we’d be closed. I was then up half the night, peering through the windows, trying to see if the weather justified my decision, costing my employees a day’s worth of pay, and the bakery a day’s worth of profit.

That was a day lost. Bitterly cold, but sunny, and the roads were cleared in no time. I don’t know, maybe having to drive through it at three in the morning would have been pushing the boundaries of safety, or maybe everyone would have been fine. It’s too late to take it back now.

So, we got an adult snow day.

I spent mine doing chores, making kick-ass breakfast burritos, trying to shower attention on my dog, who seems to be pulling away lately, and basically practicing poor time management. This is a problem. Whenever I have a day off, I somehow manage to lose half of my day, and then my list of things I need to accomplish goes unfinished. I’m starting to think I need to set myself up with a daily schedule so that nothing is left undone. I’m better with lists and I like checking things off when I’ve completed them. I don’t know if it’s age, or that I let myself become easily distracted, or a combination of both, but I really believe a daily planner is the way to go. I’ve missed classes I truly intended to go to this week because I just ran out of time. I had to squeeze in a treadmill run before work yesterday, leaving only twenty-five minutes to shower and eat breakfast before I had to leave. I really need to get my life better organized and take training seriously because it’s only week three and I’m already behind.

As for Tony, I think the fact that every other walk has become the shortest walk ever is really starting to effect him. I know he can handle ten below freezing–he’ll be over in the lawn, rolling in the snow while my fingers are going numb–but I can only handle the cold for so long. When it’s daylight, I do my best to try and last outside as long as I can, but when it’s dark, it’s just so much colder. He seems unhappy, but maybe it’s simply a manifestation of my guilt that I don’t spend enough time with him. Like with everything else in my life, I tell myself, I will try harder tomorrow.

Curled Toes

I missed my run yesterday due to having to get up early, a long day of work, lack of sleep, grumpiness, whatever extraneous excuses I could think up not to go. Made myself go today. One of the benefits of being off by a day was that the polar vortex had time to recede and warm weather has briefly fought it’s way in, so it was just a beautiful day for a run. Unfortunately, that also meant a lot of melting snow and ice, so poor Tony got to go straight into the bathtub when we got home. He is not a fan. I don’t care. He was a muddy mess, and now, hours later, he’s still a slightly-damp fluffball (he’s not a fluffy dog by nature, he just has a lot of fur).

Due to irregular work hours, I’m also missing tomorrow’s run, so I’ll have to make it up on Sunday. Other than a class or two at the gym, I didn’t have anything planned anyway. (Yeah, my team didn’t make the big game, and I really don’t give a damn about either the Cheating Bastards or that team that used to be in St. Louis, so I won’t be watching.) It’s not a problem right now–I usually have to work every other Saturday, and once it gets light out again, it’ll be easier to go running in the morning, but I’m a little worried about training for Dopey when I’ll have runs scheduled Thursday through Sunday. I know it’s months away, but these runs occur during the two busiest seasons at the bakery, and I’m going to miss some key runs. It’s something that makes me reluctant to sign up, because if I can’t complete the training, will I be in a good enough position to complete the challenge? Again, months away, no need to stress about it now. Right.

After not running for so long, am I the only person who feels like their feet don’t know how to work anymore? I find my toes curling in odd ways, like they don’t understand they’re supposed to lie flat. My toes right now are a little sore because they keep trying to scrunch up. It might be the shoes. I had shoes that I loved, that I bought again and again, and then the company ‘improved’ them to the point that I’ve had to find new shoes. I hate that. Why fix a shoe that’s already perfect? I don’t know how often I’ve scoured reviews that start, “I used to wear….” but they can’t anymore because the new version sucks. Just leave our shoes alone. If I wanted something different, I’d find a different shoe.

And to all the chocoholics out there, go out and try the new Lava Cake Hershey’s Kiss. It is a rich, delicious bite of chocolate that tastes just like lava cake. I’ve started keeping my emergency chocolate up the stairs at the other end of the house so that I really have to want it in order to go up the stairs to get it, and thank goodness, or the bag would be gone. Highly recommend.

The Guilt Cycle

Today, I did nothing. Well, not nothing. I went to work, and then after that, I just sort of fizzled. Oh, I can come up with excuses–I did my training run on the treadmill yesterday followed by nine hours on my feet at work, getting home with just enough time to grab something to eat, unwind a little, and then go to bed before having to get up early for work. This, plus a broken night’s sleep, left me feeling pretty drained. But the sun was shining, the temperature was actually above freezing, I could have handled taking the dog for a long walk, or even doing some upper body exercises. Instead, I opted for none of that, and with doing nothing has come a lot of guilt.

First, there’s the guilt for not being a better dog mom. Let me tell you about my awesome dog. Tony is a rescue–some asshole abandoned him and I was lucky enough to adopt him from the Humane Society. He’s affectionate, playful, only barks as a warning (he’s not one of those yippy dogs), smart when he wants to be, pretty well behaved–someone put a lot of work into training him (all the more reason they’re an asshole for dumping him in the streets), thinks he’s a sixty pound lap puppy when it’s actually more like your lap and both armrests of the recliner, is currently hogging half the bed but is also keeping my feet warm. Really, I have no idea how I was the one fortunate enough to adopt him.

He also came with heartworms.

If you’ve never had a dog with heartworms, then you’re doing it right–keep it up. I learned on his first vet appointment that these horrible, long, nasty things were entwined around his heart and in his bloodstream, which meant my poor dog was on doggy bedrest for the next eight months while we attempted to kill the parasites. We started with the basic heartworm medicine I give him on a monthly basis. This was used to kill the young worms in his bloodstream and to start weakening the walls of the larger worms in his heart. After six months of meds, he got a series of shots designed to kill the large worms, which would take a couple of months to do the trick. Throughout this whole time, his physical activity had to be limited to regular, brief walks. Anything that caused his heartbeat to pick up could dislodge the bits of dying worms before they’d properly dissolved and clog up an artery, causing his heart to stop. So running was definitely out of the question. Even a lunge after a rabbit had me worrying he was going to hurt himself. Fortunately, Tony made it through with flying colors and he is in perfect health, as happy as a pup could be.

So, yeah, I feel like shit every time I skip an opportunity to take him outside and let him stretch his legs and play.

Along with dog mom guilt comes personal accountability guilt, the feeling that I am letting myself down, that I am throwing all my hard work away, that even missing one day is a failure. I know (hope) I’ll get some sleep tonight, that tomorrow’s weather is going to be gorgeous (compared to earlier this week), so Tony and I will have a good time working on my three mile run, but it doesn’t stop me from thinking what a waste of a day. I can be damn good about beating myself up over every little thing, but this doesn’t feel like a little thing. Yes, I’ve got eleven and a half months to nail this, but at the same time, I know those months can go flying by if I let them. I can’t let myself get caught up in thinking I have plenty of time, because I don’t. I have a lot of work to do, a lot I want to achieve, and I’m just hoping a year is enough time to get it all done. I can’t let myself fall behind. I know I need to stay on top of each day to make being healthy a habit.

There’s some unhealthy thinking wrapped up in there along with the potential for a positive outlook. I know this. Just like I know that some days I’m not going to want to feel like doing anything, and it’s okay, but if I give in without even trying, that’s where I’m going wrong. Like today. Part of me wanted to try. Lazy me won out.

Whatever. Score one for you, lazy me. Healthy me will kick your butt tomorrow.

Slippery Slope

The weekend storm, and the lack of city initiative, has left the side streets around town a crisscross of random ice rinks. There’s a patch in front of my house that is utterly terrifying. I live at the bottom of a hill, so I’m just waiting for the day someone slides right into the house. Walking the dog takes twice as long as I try to carefully step across the ice to reach a dry spot where, for the next two feet or so, I can once again walk with confidence and not have to worry about falling on my ass. Tony, on the other hand, I will lose track of only to turn around to see him rolling on the ice, or in the snow, or attempting to pry up a piece to chew on. It amazes me how he can slide down the sidewalk and it doesn’t even faze him. He just carries on as if nothing happened, while I’m just trying to make sure I don’t break anything.

There’s another couple rounds of winter arriving throughout the week, so that means I’m going to be limiting my extracurricular activities to things I can do indoors. Like giving myself an ulcer worrying about the drive to and from work. I will also be seeking out classes to take at the gym. I belong to two gyms–that’s right, two. One is the usual fitness gym, one is a crossfit box. (Is that right? I’ve been a member half a year and haven’t been enough to understand the terminology.) Like many sad people with gym memberships they don’t use, I hold onto mine with the belief that one day, I will return and take advantage of what I’ve lost so much money on already.

This week’s potential motivation is brought on by the beginning of a weight loss challenge being held by the regular gym. Having attended the opening class tonight, I now realize that it is actually a six week long advertisement for the group classes and personal training the gym has to offer. I feel a little duped, like I was promised a vacation and ended up with a presentation on owning a timeshare. Whatever. I guess it worked. I’m now actually going to seek out some of the classes and give them a shot. There were about sixty people who showed up tonight for the gym timeshare lecture. Maybe seeing some of my fellow competitors in the classes will make them seem a little less intimidating.

The sucky thing is, I can’t actually complete the challenge–I’ll be on vacation for the final week, so I automatically fail. I knew this going in, but it still kind of sucks all the same.

While waiting in line for our first day measurements, one of women standing next to me started a conversation, asked what makes me happy. First of all, who asks that of a perfect stranger? Isn’t that kind of personal? Second, fuck if I know. That definitely requires some thought on my part, more than I want to spend while waiting in line. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t offended or anything, just a little taken aback. Such an odd question, but maybe that’s just the kind of person she is. She seemed entertaining, and definitely entertained. Maybe she just likes seeing the reaction she can get.

So, how about it? What makes you happy? Can you answer in thirty seconds or less without having to think about it first? Or do we all need to take a moment, define what happiness means to us, and then decide whether or not we have achieved happiness?

Give me a month. Maybe I’ll have an answer.