Saturday, July 15, 2017

When Multitasking Doesn't Work

As a freelance writer, I have to fit in my writing any time and any where I can. Late at night is the most common writing time. With a close second being while my girls are dancing.

Most of the time that works out pretty well.

Except for when it doesn't.

I am currently sitting in the back of a conference room as about 75 teenagers participate in a tap dance workshop with some well-known tap teacher I've never heard of but the girls were quite excited about. I am currently supposed to be working on current science-backed research to promote yoga as an optimal alternative health practice for low back pain.

Yeah, this isn't working too well.

The music is loud

The tap is loud.

The girls are thirsty.

And hungry.

And tired.

This is day five of their National Dance Competition and these girls are wore out. These workshops are supposed to be their reward for a week of intense dance competition. Except my girls, and our dance school, have done so well we have been invited back to dance again tomorrow in the big showcase where all the first place winners compete against each other.

It's actually quite an honor for our little dance school.

But, we are tired.

Ironically, I volunteered for parent duty for this, as well as the next two workshops spanning over six hours. My theory was I would look like the good mom volunteering to sit with the girls for six straight hours of booming music while at the same time have six hours to do nothing but write.

I am reading current scientific research, but in my head I hear step ball change, step ball change,  shuffle shuffle out. Good now do it faster!

And of course when I hear, now put it together go!, I have to look up and watch as they dance to the choreography they just learned a minute ago.

I'm not sure how much scientific writing I'll get accomplished today. I may need to let the girls know I'll be just outside under a shady tree somewhere if they need me.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Rule #1 Of Writing

July 5 Question: What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing?

The writing doesn't actually happen unless you sit down and write.

Just sit your ass down in the chair, the bed, a comfy couch - it doesn't even matter where. You just have to sit down and starting putting words to paper / blank screen.

You can think about writing. You can plan to write. You can make time to write.

But you have to actually do the writing.

I spend A LOT of time thinking about writing. I normally have posts written in my head while exercising, driving or even mowing the grass.

Yet lately I haven't taken the next step to actually write them down.

In fact, I've done more writing about not writing these past few months than I've actually done any real writing.

A few years ago I wrote an Elephant Journal post titled Being A Writer Is Easy. Re-reading it has inspired me to once again be a more disciplined writer.

This post is a part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, a monthly meeting of writers who over think, under write and just want people to like them.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

YouTube Tutorials are #FakeDIYNews

My kitchen counters look terrible.

Really, they're bad.  The original counters were installed in 1994 the year the house was built. A couple years ago I decided to believe a Pinterest lie and I painted my counter tops as a cheaper alternative to replacing them.

There actually is no alternative possibility of replacing them. It's just way too out of my nonexistent budget.

I really liked the way the counters looked painted and I was so proud of myself!

For about a week.
Peeling paint over old counter tops

And then the places on the counter tops that got the most use started peeling and flaking. And it got
worse as time went on. And then more worse.

I am honestly embarrassed by the looks of my kitchen counters.

A realtor friend told me about the new trend of self adhesive granite film. It's like old fashioned shelf paper, but more durable and for the counter tops.

At just $10 per roll I figured if it didn't work I wasn't out anything major.

But, of course, I did my due diligence first.

I read the product reviews, watched a couple YouTube tutorials, and followed the pre-cleaning instructions.

And then I opened the first roll. Here is what I learned:

  • A 17.71" x 78" roll is not as much as you think it is and does not cover as large an area as you think it will.
  • Using a DVD case to push out any air bubbles (as recommended by the YouTube tutorials) actually makes small scratches in the brand new granite-looking paper.
  • Which leads me to believe it is, in fact, not more durable than shelf paper.
  • I am unable to cut in a straight line.
  • Air bubbles are not easy to see when looking down, but are really visible when looking from the side. 
  • I think the YouTube lady lied about how easy this would be.

After all that, I'm undecided whether I like the new look or not. Obviously it's better than the old wore out look.  And I will probably like it more once it is complete.

I ran out of paper so there are some patches not covered. I'm going to wait a couple weeks though before buying more just to see how durable it is.

What happens after it gets wet? After someone puts a hot pot on it? Or doesn't use a cutting board? How well is the self adhesive stick? Will the edges start to peel up?

If any of the above isn't good, I'm not sure what to try next.

I think it looks good. I'm a little concerned about the corners
peeling up though.

I'm going to leave it looking messed up for a
couple weeks to see how durable it is before
I finish the project.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Very Loud Very Crowded Week


I've said that more than once this week. Kid 2 is home on leave from his new Navy duty station so all six kids are together for the first time since Christmas.

It's been a week of picking on each other, instigating trouble, inappropriate jokes, extremely loud video game playing, moving back and forth between bedrooms, all ganging up on me for fun and other obnoxious behavior.

I absolutely love it and have been smiling all week.

It's really interesting to watch them interact with each other knowing their time is limited. To see how although they are all mostly young adults now, they still revert to child-like sibling rivalry. They really are growing up yet they are strongly bonded together.

My hope is that someday they will all be grown and independent, yet still gather together at my house to make a mess and make me crazy.

That will be my definition of a parenting success.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Quit Writing? Never

June’s IWSG Day Question: Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

I've taken many breaks in my writing.

Short breaks. Long breaks. Intentional breaks. Life got in the way breaks. And lots of just plain lazy breaks.

But I really don't recall ever thinking I quit.

Have I ever been discouraged in my writing? Sure. Do I go through periods of wild creativity followed by absolute nothingness. Yep.

But quit writing? How would I even do that?

Writing is just a part of who I am. Even if no one else reads it, I need to get the words out. This blog has saved me more than once.

I've said it many times before -- writing is how I get the crazy out.

I will always write in some way. I will never quit writing.

This post is a part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, a monthly meeting of writers who over think, under write and just want people to like them.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

What Have I Done? It's A Half Marathon

Friend: Hey we should run the St Jude Half Marathon this year!
Me: Yeah that would be fun!
Friend: OK I signed us up. We need to make a training plan.
Me: What? You were serious? Shit

So, yes, it's official. I am committed to the famous St Jude Half Marathon happening December 2, 2017.

My current training plan consists of:

  1. Ignoring the fact I've never run/walked more than a 5K
  2. Ignoring the fact that in the past 4 years I've had knee surgery and within the past 6 months a broken foot and multiple torn tendons and ligaments in that foot
  3. Repeatedly checking the calendar to count the number of available training weeks between now and December 2 (25 weeks that also include one week I will be out of town)
  4. Completed no extra walking except to sustain life and work obligations. For real. I haven't even met my FitBit step goal one time this week
  5. Intentionally not advertised my commitment all over social media the way the rest of my half marathon friends have done
  6. Adamantly remind everyone that does know I have registered, paid for and committed to the half marathon that I will in fact be walking the vast majority of the race

My hope is I will look like this:

And finish like this:

My fear is it will end up more like this:

As of now my goals are simple:
  1. Complete adequate and appropriate training 
  2. Stay injury free
  3. Stay motivated
  4. Finish the race without being last or having the trolley pick me up to get me to the finish line
It's only 13.1 miles. No big deal. Right?

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Step Count Too Low & Calorie Count Too High

I'm in another hotel room tonight, this time somewhere in Georgia. The kids aren't sleeping,  they are downstairs in the hotel pool.

I am sitting on the bed with a whole apple pie and a slice of french silk pie. I'll save the apple pie for the kids but that french silk is all mine.

Fields family vacations are usually active vacations with lots of hiking, swimming, etc. We did do a lot of walking this trip and we spent the day yesterday on the beach playing in the waves. But we have also spent A LOT of time in the car.

We have eaten every meal out this trip. Aside from being very costly financially, I'm sure it is costing me calorie wise.

But you know what? IDGAF

It's vacation. I'm living my life.

My FitBit hasn't buzzed with my step goal one day this trip. (I didn't wear it the day at the beach). I haven't even checked my standing on the weekly challenge.

Again. I don't care.

Earlier today I got a text from one of my personal training clients telling me her dad bought donuts and she was struggling not to eat one. I told her eat the freaking donut! Eat the donut and then go for a walk or something. Just don't eat them all.

You have to live your life.

When we get back home this week I will get back on track. More vegetables and more steps.

But tonight, tonight I'm eating pie.