Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Productivity Tools…

You know how kids like to show off their new tricks/skills like a million times? If they’ve learned to flip in the pool you’ll hear, “Watch this!” exactly 19 million times over the course of the summer. Or if they’ve learned a new game you have to play it 12,000 times. Or if they know a new joke you will hear it so many times you will wake up in the mornings thinking about that DAMN JOKE.

Speaking of mornings! My body has learned a new trick it wants to show off every day! My body has learned to wake up at 3am ON THE DOT and it is demonstrating that skill every day just like a little kid demonstrates when they can learn how to do spell their own name! ISN’T THIS FUN?

I’m masking my pain in humor. AM I BEING FUNNY? ISN’T THIS FUNNY?

But seriously. I’ve been waking up at 3 off and on since we put the house on the market. It started when I was trying to clean some mornings AND workout before work. It was INTENTIONAL. I wanted to wake up at 3am so I told myself to wake up and I did. That’s always been a skill. As long as am not extraordinarily tired, I can pretty much set a mental alarm. This has always been an impressive skill that makes my life much easier.

Unfortunately, it seems that I’ve gotten so good at it, that my body still wants to do it even on the days I don’t need to. LIKE TODAY.

I’ve been trying to go to bed later at night, staying up and watching TV with Nikki to try to make myself SO TIRED that I’ll sleep it and yet my brain wakes up and I look at the clock and BAM! 3am. Like clockwork.

No pun intended.

But the point of this entry is not my misery related. The point is productivity related! Because when I’m tired I have a really hard time focusing on anything non-urgent. I have a hard time because physically I’m tired so I don’t want to move and mentally I’m just barely functioning so I found myself staring at Twitter last night for TWO HOURS. How in the hell did I lose two hours to Twitter? I mean…TUMBLR I could understand…but Twitter? How did two hours disappear to that? I mean, my Twitter feed is basically a news feed and I was trying to keep up with the Sandra Bland news…so it wasn’t like I was watching someone livetweet a Taylor Swift concert…BUT STILL. Two hours to Twitter?

And then this morning I woke up at 3am, and I KNEW that I should just get out of bed and be productive, but instead spent 30 minutes on Instagram. I complain a lot about being SO BUSY, but when I’m sleep deprived? I can NOT motivate myself to do ANYTHING. So! What are your productivity tools? Do you have anything you do? Do you reward yourself for certain accomplishments? Do you use internet monitoring tools? Do you log your time? If I can’t physically force myself to sleep more and thereby focusing better, I need some tools and tips and tricks to keep myself from watching YouTube videos about makeup (WHY AM I WATCHING THESE? I DON’T EVEN WEAR MAKEUP!) and maybe vacuum. My body is like I am tired. Let’s just veg out in front of episodes of The Fosters. We don’t need to fold clothes.

Give me your wisdom! I know my body will reset eventually. It always does, but until then? Fix me, Internet!

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Miss Zoot’s Opus

My Dad was not big on gift giving or birthdays or Christmas. We celebrated them, of course, but he didn’t really enjoy any part of the shopping/gift buying part. As an adult I see this for what it was – him just not getting into it and considering it more of a tedious chore than anything. But as a kid? I took it super-personally. I was upset when I asked for a Cabbage Patch doll and got a generic equivalent. He didn’t really think about the difference, one was just cheaper. End of story.

He didn’t really see the importance of details in gift buying. He would try to get us what we asked for (he gave us the budget so we knew how many things we could ask for and still fit in the budget) but he didn’t necessarily care about details. I wanted a very specific Vuarnet shirt one year, but he got me the “girl” version which wasn’t like the ones the other kids had. He had good intentions but he just didn’t sweat the details because he honestly kinda hated shopping.

One year I really wanted this Opus Sweatshirt from the mall. Opus was a penguin from the Bloom County comic which I read every morning over my breakfast. I remember where the shirt hung in the corner of the store by the food court. I asked for it very specifically and very enthusiastically and I was excited because I had red AND black turtlenecks so I could alternate which one to wear under the sweatshirt – getting essentially TWO outfits out of the item. I remember dreaming about wearing it to an out-of-uniform day at school, or maybe a basketball game! To say I was excited about the sweatshirt was an understatement.

Except I didn’t get it. Because Dad waited too late to buy it and it was gone.

I think about that sweatshirt quite often, honestly, because it’s my reminder of how some requests are VERY IMPORTANT and I need to maybe consider that at birthday/Christmas time. But then I found out that Bloom County returned and now I WANT A DAMN SWEATSHIRT.

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It’s like 30 years of longing has built up inside of me and I found myself searching for the EXACT sweatshirt at 4am this morning. It doesn’t seem like anyone makes the EXACT one but now that the comic is back? I TRUST SOMEONE WILL.

And I’ll break out the red and black turtlenecks and rock that sweatshirt twice a week through eternity.

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Hello To The Next Decade Of Awesome.

I’m 40 today. I’ve been looking forward to 40 since, about 37 probably. My 30s were 1 million times better than my 20s so I’m banking on the same trend for my next decade in this body, on this earth. This body and this earth better not disappoint me in that regard.

There are a lot of things with me that are exactly the same was me in my 30s, but a lot of things are dramatically different as well. I still drink too much Diet Coke but I’m mostly an herbivore in my diet. I still love Harry Potter and reading Young Adult Fiction, but I also read adult fiction and even non-fiction which I hated when I turned 30. I still sleep with a stuffed animal my Dad gave me for my 10th birthday, but I finally stopped wearing his watch. I still have my favorite TV shows that I won’t miss but we no longer have cable. I still don’t really care about makeup or manicures or hairstyles, but I have started dressing up for work every day…and liking it. I still am terrified of large social gatherings with strangers, but I very much look forward to small gatherings of friends. I’m still married to the love of my life, but we have two more kids now. I’m a Mom to three now, instead of one, but one of those children is now a legal adult. I’m still a Daddy’s girl, even after he’s been gone for 6 years. I still am a lover of animals, but we’re down two from when I turned 30 and I still miss them terribly. I’m still blogging here, although less about infertility and pregnancy and more about running and bullet journals.

The one area that is drastically different is the area of fitness. When I turned 30 I hadn’t even run my first 5K. When I eventually did run a few, I had one that took me 39 minutes and I now have a sub 25-minute PR. I am currently signed up for my first 100K while I didn’t even know such a thing existed at 30. I didn’t swim or ride bikes and now I’m a triathlete. I had never uttered the word “burpee” or “plank” and no I got to boot camps for fun where burpees and planks are usually on the menu. My level of fitness at 40 is a million times higher than my level of fitness was at 30 and because of that, I can’t wait to see where I’m at when I turn 50.

The most fascinating thing to me about aging is looking back – not only on achievements I’ve made – but on how many of those I wasn’t even dreaming about a decade ago. I didn’t know about triathlons or ultra marathons when I turned 30. But I had also never heard the words “bullet journal” or “zendoodle” – two words I use daily now. I’m definitely looking forward to pursuing the challenges currently in my scope, but I also hope to discover new challenges that I don’t know to set my sights on yet.

I’m going to spend some time this morning with my new bullet journal (I’m switching to Leuchtturm1917 because their dotted notebooks come in HARDCOVER, I’ll report back after I’ve been using it a bit.) and then I’m going to go for a ride and a run before drifting into work a little later than usual. Then I’m going to eat dinner at my favorite restaurant and be sad my oldest child can’t celebrate with me.

But mostly today I’ll just be happy to be 40. I surround myself with people who prove age is no boundary for adventure, so another year is just another opportunity to be awesome. Another day to set fire to the world with my enthusiasm and spread joy in my community with my endless love for my friends and family. I’ve been beyond blessed these 40 years and I look forward to next decade of achievements.

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Buggy 2.0

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It all started with me sharing the above photo on instagram with the hashtage #HopeIDontTurnTheWrongStoveEyeOn.

You know, because I didn’t want to burn my ass.

And do you know what I learned?

NOT EVERYONE CALLS IT A STOVE EYE.

And we are reliving the buggy incident from early in my blogging career where I found out other people in the country don’t call shopping carts buggies. Now I’m finding out some of you don’t say “stove eye” and my world is shaken again.

So! How many of you have NEVER heard it called a stove eye? Do you just call it a burner? (BORING!) I’m really hoping for something else bizarre that some other geographic region uses, “Oh! We don’t say stove eye, but we say Hot Swizzle!” or something like that because that would make my day.

The next time I’ll hashtag it #TeamHotSwizzle.

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The Weekend Of Woos

Does anyone remember this episode of Friends when Phoebe and Rachel go running?

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I think about Phoebe a lot when I’m running because I tend to be the one who randomly goes, “WOOOOO!” Sometimes it’s because I’m excited, like we’re finally at Death Trail! Or Waterline! Sometimes it’s because I’m getting depressed because there’s SO MUCH MUD and I just need to pull myself out of it. Sometimes it’s because I trip and almost fall and I’m celebrating my save. Other times I trip and fall and am celebrating being injury-free in spite of the fall. Sometimes? I just see someone I know and I like to “WOOO!” when I see my friends.

So, seeing this picture that Gregg Gelmis took from Day 1 of the Stage Race? Brought me so much joy.

That’s me trying to be jumping and enthusiastic for the picture but, in reality, I’m basically doing a Phoebe.

I spent all three days Woo!-ing because I really did have so much fun. Even in the morning when we’re getting ready to start I tried to randomly “Woo!” to show my excitement for the day. Granted, the “Woo!”s got less spirited as the days ticked by, but I got a bit more delusional so they were still there, just with a hint of insanity added to them.

I also “Woo!”ed a lot the Indigo Girls show. I’m the one that, when there’s a good riff (and there were several, this is Amy Ray we’re talking about) I can’t help but scream, “WOOOOOOO!” to celebrate it. Also? They had this violinist who I guess has been recording with them – Lyris Hung and every time she was free to play I had to give her a solid “WOOOOO!” to celebrate.

The race and the concert combined really showcased what I’m now calling Woo Tourettes. I don’t always have control over it, but it’s always a “WOO!” and it’s always released when I’m feeling some sort of extreme excitement or relief. I’m guessing there were no less than 100 “Woo!”s distributed this weekend between three days of racing and one killer concert. If you ever do a race in the woods with me and hear a random “WOO!” – answer back. That’s my favorite! If I can see people on the trail ahead (like we did on Powerline on Sunday) then I’ll “Wooo!” as a greeting…and when they “WOOO!” back? It’s the best.