Yesterday my day started at 5:20 a.m., when the alarm started yelling at me to get my ass out of bed and into the shower so I would have time to make it to an all-day conference I'd been invited to attend. I didn't actually make it into the shower until 5:45 a.m. ws was already out running. [Person-to-person to ws: I hate those phantom aches and pains! I'm sure mine are all in my head, no matter where they manifest themselves in my body.]
I left the house at 6:30 a.m., giving myself a little extra time to get lost because I'd never been to the Beckley Federal Correctional Institution before. It's tucked away at the end of an industrial park, in a beautiful wooded setting. During one break I looked outside and saw a grazing deer.
The conference topic was prisoner re-entry, a Bureau of Prisons initiative designed to prepare newly released inmates for success as they transition back into society. Most of the audience was BOP staff; to say I felt like a fish out of water is quite the understatement.
But I made the best of it, learned a lot and even contributed to the discussion – a big step for me. Speaking up in front of a room full of prison case managers and probation officers is not easy. At least for me.
I most often see prison staff in non-supportive, punitive roles, so I hope this initiative eventually takes hold among the uniformed guards. But I'm not holding my breath.
At any rate, I left the conference in the late afternoon, drove another hour to get home and immediately began prepping dinner for a couple friends who are here working on settling their late father's estate. No time for an afternoon run, and, truly, no desire either, since the temperature was in the mid-90s with humidity to match.
Back in the old days, when I used to do Real Work, I was in the office at 6 a.m. and in the gym by 5 p.m. Regularly. Routinely. I was, as Mary Christine recently reminded me, much younger then. It would take a lot of effort now to get back in that groove.
So yesterday was a day off and I'll get back on track today.
MPA wanted to know how the job jar idea works. I want it to help me overcome two bad habits. I intend to pull a slip every time I find myself mesmerized by computer solitaire or the contents of the refrigerator/pantry. I can keep up with the day-to-day maintenance of my home – cleaning floors and bathrooms, emptying and loading the dishwaser, laundry – but closets and dresser drawers and once-in-a-while projects tend to go by the wayside. No one but me sees the results, and no one but me is bothered by them. My laissez-faire attitude does not lead to organized closets or neat garages.
The fun, hobby-type projects I listed – paper crafts, beading, etc. – are activities that make me completely lose track of time. The idea behind the job jar is to do something – anything! – that will keep me busy, productive, engaged and not wolfing down the kitchen.
I posted a couple weeks ago about starting over, with my current weight as my beginning number instead of the 35 pounds heavier one I started with 18 months ago. I haven't quite made that fresh start yet. What worked for me then was eliminating sugar, following a low glycemic plan, logging my food and exercise, calculating weekly calories in/calories out and taking a photo on the first day of the month. I realize I'll start race training again in a couple of weeks, and I might end up staying the same, but I want that focus back again.
I hope I'm preparing myself for success.