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Today’s Tish-ism was inspired by bad drivers. I have now used this salute 3 times, therefore I am calling it a thing.
I work in a mall. One of the street exits for this mall opens out from the parking lot with a 3-way stop sign. The rules are, cars proceed after completing a stop in the order the cars stop in. So if I stop first, I go next. If all 3 stop signs have cars that have stopped at exactly the same time, they figure it out themselves.
Today was the third time someone jumped the line and took their turn before it was legally their turn to go. It is this very action that has started my Three Finger Salute. If you meet me at a 3-way stop sign, and I have stopped before you, and you go before you are supposed to, you will see a very pissed off driver, following you through her windshield and driver’s side window, with my 3 fingers being pointed at you.
So today, I used this gesture. To the guy driving that red pick-up truck, You broke the rules of the road today. The other person you cut off was also displaying an angry face when I drove by him. There is no excuse for not waiting your turn. I almost ran into your truck because it was LEGALLY my turn to proceed.
We are all familiar with flipping the bird, or giving someone the freeway salute, as it is also known. This is where my title came from. I encourage you all to express your road rage in this manner, when appropriate. Like I said, now it is a thing. At the very least it might confuse the offender, maybe even enough to figure out what just happened. More people learning how to drive properly has to start somewhere. This is where I am taking my stand.
Please note: Learn how to properly use your blinking signals. I DO know when and how to use my beeping horn. Learn how to drive properly, and I won’t have to.
Grief happens, because it is a part of life, and life happens. We all experience grief in different ways, and at different times. There are stages of grief, and they are well documented by experts. My story today was inspired by a recent wave.
I have been lucky, to be 42 years old, I have lost some of my grandparents, and their siblings, and two of my uncles; but most of my immediate family members are alive. I dread the coming days when that changes. It will happen, and I will have to deal with it unless I die before the rest of my family. I don’t dwell on it, and I don’t live in fear of what will be. We all have our time, and there is nothing we can do to avoid it. What we can do is live, and try to follow the moral guidelines we hold dear to our souls.
In the years since I have moved to Fredericton, NB, I have experienced the loss of some friends. It is a hard thing to learn to live with, the loss of a close friend. There are two people in particular that I am thinking of. They were my friends, and I still miss them.
I don’t focus on the loss, once time passes, and the funeral becomes a little less fresh in my mind. I have a lamp that one of these friends gave me, at my desk. It has an arm and hinges to tighten to hold the lamp in the position I want it to stay in.
Every once in a while, the lamp tilts down. I have always seen this as my friend’s ghost checking up on me. It may sound silly, but I say hi to him whenever it has fallen down. This friend became ill when a virus attacked his heart. He had some time to prepare for the end, and we all knew it would happen. We had all gathered in the hospital to show support for him and his wife, near the end. It struck me hardest before he was gone, one of our mutual friends had gone in to see him, and he was not in very good shape. I wanted to know if she had told him that my husband and I were there, so he would know. She said she had told him for us. When this friend dropped me off at home, I was alone. I leaned against my door, after I had closed it, and had my cry. I cried off and on for a week, little fits here and there, but that was my moment when I let myself feel the pain of losing that friend.
On New Year’s Eve, 2016, I was with the same group of friends, celebrating the beginning of 2017. It was our annual house party, and it is always a potluck. We meet, have a few drinks, eat, talk, and play games. If there is a World Juniors Hockey Game being aired, my husband makes our hostess turn on a TV, so he can enjoy what is notably the best hockey in the world, especially if Team Canada is playing.
When we came home, it was 2017. I had enjoyed a lovely evening and was in good spirits. I walked over to my desk, and the lamp had tilted while I was out. I said hello and happy new year and did something I haven’t done before. I sent a group message to the other friends that were at the party with me and passed on the story, and a happy new year from our friend’s ghost. It felt like the right thing to do.
The other friend died more recently, we are quickly approaching the one year mark. We became fast friends when we met on a dance floor. I had talked to her on occasion before that night. When my friends wanted to bail I asked her if I was welcome to hang out with her for the rest of the evening, and it started a beautiful friendship that ended way too soon.
It was the big C she was fighting when she lost the battle. Cancer is awful, and she fought like a warrior; until she couldn’t anymore. My friend was vibrant, beautiful, and had just started a new phase in her life. She had moved away for school. She was an artist, and learning was something she was passionate about. We kept in touch on Facebook, and she was really enjoying the courses she was taking.
One day she confided in me that she had found a lump, and it was cancer. I stayed in touch, and we chatted about school, her cats, her treatments, and her apartment adventures. One day I realized that she hadn’t been saying much. She was losing her fight. I started a conversation; that was the last one we were going to have. I was trying to be supportive and positive. It wasn’t working. So, I did what I do best. I got her laughing. We went down a silly path in that conversation about her feelings about cancer. She got to vent, creatively. I like to think I helped her deal, in a very small way.
This week, I saw an ad for a band I like that is coming to town. I always go to see them, and I don’t plan anything different this time around. I was sharing it on my wall when it hit me. I had introduced my friend to this band before she moved away. We had a blast, and she liked them, too. She was a people watcher and was confused by the mixture of people and styles of the other fans that were there. We decided that they were Preppies, Hipsters, and Lumberjacks. Plaid and beards and all mixed with a few clean-cut well dressed glasses wearing people. An odd mixture, but all present enjoyed the show, as always. I took her a little out of her comfort zone that night, but we had a lot of fun, and it was worth it.
So the other night, when the memory of seeing the band with her the last time they were in town hit me, I was sitting at my desk; overwhelmed with grief. I let the tears fall. It was completely unexpected but necessary. That’s the thing about grief, it has to run its course. Things happen, and you feel sad sometimes. It is what it is. It is healthier to deal with the feelings when they arise, instead of bottling them inside, where they fester and grow. Not letting your feelings out is toxic, and it never ends well, because instead of a healthy release, it could be an explosion, and the aftermath of that could be a bigger disaster than you are able to handle. So focus on the good times, and the memories that make you smile. When you need to express your grief, you don’t always get to choose when or how that happens, but it is necessary to help you move past the grief being so heavy on your heart all of the time. There is nothing wrong with grieving, and I do cry when I am overcome with grief. I try to be alone if I can, but you can’t plan it every time. You just have to deal with it, and keep moving forward, until it isn’t so raw. The important part is to let it out, so you can begin to heal.
It never goes away. I will always miss my friends, but I am still here, and I have to keep on living. One minute at a time, to a day at a time; whatever I am capable of in that moment. My first friend made me promise to take good care of my health, and I am honouring his memory by doing my best to be healthier. My second friend was an artist, and I am working towards writing a book this year. She would be proud that I am working on a lifelong goal, and as we had talked about many things during our friendship; she would also be happy to know I am working on my health and cleaning and organizing my house before getting the book started. She had a preferred method for upkeep on cleaning styles, and I plan to get that method in place when the deep clean is done, so I keep up with it for the long-term. That is how I am honouring her memory. This is important too, it helps me keep them in my heart, without causing more grief. If you don’t have a special way to honour the memory of a lost loved one, start one.
Random acts of kindness are a positive way to do good for someone else, and in your heart, it can be from your loved one, in their memory. Take whatever time you need to decide what it will be, and follow through. This way, it won’t just be yourself that you help, it just might help someone else cope a little better in their day, too. Even if it only makes you feel better for an hour, it is a start, and by helping others, you can begin to help yourself heal in a positive way.
When I started going to Zumba classes, I did a lot of the movements at half speed. I had to pace myself. I still do, but I am pushing myself more now than I did a few years ago. I go as much as I can, and I hate to miss class. It is literally the best part of Mondays and Wednesdays.
I am an optimist. Loyal, and honest to a fault. I am stubborn. When I make up my mind to do something, I usually don’t change it. I can be firm on my decisions, and hard to sway from something I have already committed to in my mind.
I use this to my advantage. I am working really hard at everything in my daily life right now. I don’t know if it’s because I hit that number 42 this year, and things are all clicking into place at this point in my life, but things seem to be going well right now. *Knocks on wood*
I am making progress in my cleaning and organizing challenges. It is not fast, or furious, but it is coming along, one frenzied spurt at a time. I plan to dive back into it this weekend. I really hope to get enough done that I can share pictures soon.
I am working on my health too. I am constantly talking about Trim Healthy Mama, and whether or not the food I am eating at any given meal is on or off plan. I am cooking more, and I tried a salad in a Mason jar for lunch one day this week. It was fabulous. I may add those into my regular lunch rotation, with a little less dressing.
I am Blogging, hear me type! This is a new adventure for me, and I am having a lot of fun. I am Always Thinking…so it is nice to have a focus for some of my thoughts. I really enjoy watching for likes and comments, especially from strangers. It is great to have support from your friends and family, but the kindness of strangers in the Blogging world is truly phenomenal. There has been a lot of support and encouragement since I have started, and that motivates me to keep going.
Which brings me to the point of my story. People are using words like engaging and inspirational when they are commenting about my work. Wait, what? Me? Really? Oh, Thank you! is exactly how I feel when this happens. I am learning how to accept compliments, and those are some mighty big ones! I am flabbergasted by the word inspirational. Not me. I am just me. I am starting to believe that I can tell stories and be funny. But I am the same person I always was. Maybe a little more focused and better at following through with things, but not inspirational. Not me.
So if I stop for a moment when I hear or read a compliment, sometimes I am just processing what I am hearing or reading. I might need a moment to understand that you are sincere, and figuring out an appropriate response. I realize that a simple thank you is the standard reply for a compliment, and sometimes the delay is longer than expected for my reply, whether in person or online. Trust me when I say that I may truly be in shock when I am experiencing this, and I am learning how to accept the praise, and even starting to pay it forward with saying nice things to other people too.
Quirky, stubborn, geeky, fun; with a wicked sense of humour, I believe. Inspirational is not a word I would choose to describe myself. It seems so much bigger than I am, but if people are getting that feeling from me just being myself, well I guess I must be doing something right!
It’s time for another Zumba story! I enjoy going to Zumba twice a week, with a great group of people. It is a steady group, and there are some of us that are regulars, and some that come once in a while, and there are even people who join the group and become regulars. We call ourselves the Zumba Crew.
When I started, I was a long way from the same level and speed as everyone else. When I start a new song, with new moves, I improvise. I will not use my arms if the moves are new, it can be too much to learn all at once. I didn’t spin on my feet for a long time, I marched instead. Sometimes, when everyone else was doing a fancy move that had them turning, I would smile, or wave, and stay facing forward.
That’s one of the things I like about the class I take. I am encouraged to do what I can, and to not feel like I have to be the same as everyone else. There are options. If I don’t want to move my arms, I don’t. Sometimes they do get tired. It helps to enhance the exercise when I move them, so other times, I do. There are times when I can keep up with everyone, and there are times where I go at half the speed. And there are times where I mess up. When I do, I laugh. Out loud. At myself. Usually for zigging when everyone else is zagging.
I wear a pedometer in class, and I broke 4,000 steps today. I like it when I get more than 5,000 steps in a class, and it has happened before, so I always try to get as many steps in as I can.
You have all heard of playing the “air guitar” to a favourite song. At my Zumba classes, sometimes we play the “air drums.” Today we were shown how to do this properly. If you just flap your hands around from the wrists, it is rather pointless. The way to move correctly is to swing your arms from the elbows right through to the hands. Hard. As hard as you can. I also saw a different method on TV, on the show This is Us. There is an actress on that show that went to what was called a “Fat Camp.” I watched her exercise with actual drum sticks. It wasn’t a Zumba class, they were in an air drumming exercise class. We don’t use sticks at Zumba. We could, but it might get dangerous.
So we drum out the beats. We were told to just pound the drums that weren’t there, like we were making the beat ourselves. I was going for it, when a funny thought struck me. As I was beating the air drums, going side to side, and up and down, I thought I’d better watch out for my cymbals. I am well endowed, and that could hurt too! I shared the thought with someone else, and when she laughed, I knew I would write another Zumba Blog post tonight. So I found myself laughing with a new friend at Zumba. I left with a story to tell, and I was also feeling good after a great class.
I made some resolutions at the start of this year. I am working at them, at my own pace. This week I feel like I am falling behind. We had a lot of snow early last week. I missed two days of work just digging out from under it. My husband, who normally does the shoveling, hurt his back, and is still recovering. So I did it myself. It was a lot of work, and the reason I missed the second day is because I spent more than 4 hours shoveling, and it exhausted me.
So I rested for 2 days, when I wasn’t shoveling. Eat; shovel; sleep; repeat; for 2 days. I didn’t get much done inside the house for those days. We managed. We averted the crisis of having no Pepsi in the house for my husband. It was a close one, though. He doesn’t enjoy coffee, he likes Pepsi. I enjoy coffee, and today, I am home without the car, so I can focus on what needs doing inside the house, and drink a lovely bucket of coffee.
I prep cook on the weekends. It is on my list of things to do. I need to get at the dishes and laundry. I want to finish the kitchen and move on to other rooms, but life happens. Other projects have popped up in the last month, so it was not a productive couple of weeks in my kitchen.
If you are following my blog, you are familiar with the Tish-ism in Bouncing the House. It is what I do. I crank the tunes and clean. This is in my plans for today. But where do I start? There is SO much to DO and only ONE DAY. I am a weekend warrior when it comes to cleaning, and someday, when I am more energetic or have things under control so that I only need a half hour a day in the week for maintenance house cleaning, that won’t be the case. I will be able to manage it this way at some point, and then I will have the time I need to focus on writing and crafts. What I WANT to do.
At the start of the year, I decided on three things as my resolutions. Work on me by living a healthier lifestyle, clean my house, really clean it, top to bottom, and write a book. I will not begin writing in earnest until the house is done. I will never get the cleaning done if I jump into writing and get lost in my creativity. I have a plan, but it takes dedication to stick to it and get it all done. One thing at a time, one project at a time, and one day at atime.
My creative mind travels in circles, and this can be distracting when I am working on something. I start loading the dishwasher, and go through the house to collect dishes. I find empty bottles and cans that also need to be relocated to the kitchen for rinsing and recycling. I fill the sink with really hot water, dish soap, and dishes that don’t go in the dishwasher. I wander into the bedroom and find laundry that needs doing. Get the laundry started. And realize that the dishwasher door is still open, the dishwasher is still not full and running, and the sink now has cold water with bubbles and dirty dishes in it.
So I add more hot water to the sink of dishes, and finish loading the dishwasher and take a break at my desk for a few minutes, only to realize that I lost track of time and the water in the sink, which was too hot when I sat down, is cold again and the dishwasher is finished and needs to be unloaded and the clothes in the washer need to be put into the dryer and a new load put into the washer but there is a load in the dryer that needs to be folded and put away. That was a long and busy sentence on purpose. It is demonstrating how I get in a loop.
Putting things away is a hard thing for me. I get so far with the cleaning and I just leave it forlater which essentially is never and the clean clothes get piled up and the dishes are just used straight from the dishwasher so they pile up again as the dirty dishes can’t go into the dishwasher if there are clean dishes in there and you get the idea. I go in circles, constantly, if I let myself, and when I do this, the chances of me finishing anything are slim.
What do I do to fix it? Well, I am stubborn, and that means if I make myself do all the dishes, I can get them done. If I don’t start ten other things at the same time. Some of the chores in my list are the kind you start and have to walk away from, so I try to get them going first. That is also a trap. I need a break, and I lose three hours. I have no concept of time at all.
Turning the music up LOUD helps, as long as I don’t turn it down on a break. I can’t sit at my desk for too long if the music is loud. That is another tactic I use. It works if I don’t just grab the remote and turn the music down so I can spend more time at my desk procrastinating from the things I really should be doing.
Another thing I am going to implement today is a list. I find crossing things off of my list gives me a small sense of accomplishment, it means I finished that thing on my list. I make lists whenever I travel, and go over them several times to be certain that I don’t forget anything, and I cross items off as I pack. I don’t forget things when I have a list made. So I need to make more lists. This can take time and be distracting. I can put too many things down and never get back to the list, because I need to start a new one. Or I can just spend too much time making the list and get nothing else done. Not productive at all.
I think today I will be making more than one list. I also think I need to make lists more frequently until I get things back under control. After all, that is one of the goals here, to get things under control so I can let myself do the things I want to do. I will make two, on a small piece of paper. One for cooking and one for cleaning. If I just use both sides of a small piece of paper, I can flip it over, and not waste paper that way. If the list is small; maybe, just maybe, I can finish everything on it. And that would help to get me going in the right direction again, and help me get back on track. OK. Time to make my little lists and get my day going in the right direction! When I finish them, I have two writing projects that do need my attention. That will be my reward for getting the chores done, I can then work on some other projects that will make me feel good about working on them, not just to finish them, as I may or may not finish them by the end of the day. Getting time to work on them, though, will be a reward I can work toward. Progress is progress, and that is my ultimate goal for today.
I got married six and a half years ago. The day of Hurricane Earl, to be exact. In the middle of my bouquet, was a live plant. An African violet. They were in all the bouquets and featured as centrepieces on the tables. We had a wedding planner, and she put things all together for us. We made as much as we could ourselves, but our families do not live in Fredericton, so we wanted someone else to decorate and have things ready for us.
Our parents on both sides were skeptical. They didn’t want us wasting money for a professional, and they weren’t sure it was necessary. I don’t know what we would have done without her! I arrived at the church and she wrapped me up and ran me into the building without the weather ruining my wedding dress. A true miracle worker!
My mom and mother in law helped with the favours. We made them ourselves. They turned out cute as a button!
They held the nice chocolates you get from Costco. We put both light and dark chocolates in each one. I worked on those squares off and on for years when I picked my colours. When it came down to the night before the wedding, my mom took on the final push to get them all ready. It was an impressive little army of teddy bears when they were done.
When it came to planning the wedding, like a lot of things in my life, I decide on what I want, and then I go for it. I made up my mind about the African violet bouquet and searched the city until I found a florist that would make it happen. I found the pattern for the favours the same way. I decided I liked the idea and worked on making them. When I found my dress, I didn’t even try any dresses on at any stores. I found THE pic of THE dress in a magazine, after going through hundreds of magazines with thousands of pictures. I then approached a local seamstress, and she worked her magic. She did a beautiful job of making a wedding dress for me. Doing the things you can for your wedding makes it more economical, and gives it your own personal touch. Local businesses like printers, bakeries, seamstresses, florists and wedding planners benefit from your special day and make the effort to do right by you, so you recommend them to your friends. It is what they do. Not everyone has that luck with their vendors, but we had that part covered with the wedding planner. The only thing she didn’t handle was the weather, and we still had a lovely wedding. It was memorable.
Back to the bouquet, this is a picture of the trial run. We had several African Violets on all the tables, and by the end of the reception, they had all been sent with guests to new homes. All but one. Mine. I got a throwing bouquet and kept my own. I took it apart within a few days and saved the heather, which dried nicely and lives in my guest room, in a vase, on a decorative shelf. I replanted the violet. It grew to quite a size in the first few years, and then it started to fade. As long as I am alive, I want that plant to live. It symbolizes so much. It is a living memory of the most important day of my life. Like a marriage, it needs to be cared for and nurtured. I have it in a good place in my kitchen, now, and it is making a comeback. I thought it was a goner a while ago. So I took some time, found it a new place to live, and it is starting to thrive again. I turn it when it leans towards the sun, and keep turning it every so often, just like watering it. I don’t have a schedule, I just keep an eye on it, and if it seems a little wilted, I give it water.
I was pleasantly surprised this week when my husband announced there were flowers growing on it again. He has a greener thumb than I do, so he keeps an eye on all of our plants. His Christmas cactus is huge. I call it the Green Monster. It is also blooming for the second time this winter. That plant is over 20 years old. Someone asked me how old it was the other day. I couldn’t really believe it was that old, but it is. That is a chair behind it, in case you are trying to judge how large it is.
What’s my point with this? Well, to put it simply, if you take the time to care for your African violet, it may not always thrive, but with the right amount of nurturing, just like anything in life, it will bloom when the time is right. It gives me great joy to see the next group of flowers reaching for the sun, and gives me hope that my marriage will continue to blossom also.
Update: I am currently amazed at the number of flowers on my African Violet. The pic below was taken on June 4, 2017.
It is the same plant as the one in the first pic in this story. It is still making me smile!
Trust your gut. Your intuition. We have all heard it. This is supposed to be how we protect ourselves. Being half Scottish, superstitions are in my bones. As a child, I had foreseen my grandfather picking me up after school one day. It wasn’t something that was ordinary, or planned for me by my parents; that I was aware of. So when I saw his truck after school, imagine my surprise when it was my uncle in my grandfather’s truck. It was all legit, nothing bad happened. My parents were unable to be home when the bus would drop me off, so they made alternate arrangements.
Premonitions. I can say this was the first time I had one. It wasn’t the last. Sometimes I dream things up before they happen. Other times, a stray thought turns from what if into a reality. So there is a foundation for the thought at the start. My gut does perceive things, and they turn out to be close to the truth, if not the truth before it happens.
So when do you know that your senses are misfiring? At the risk of sounding a little off center, I have asked. When I am second guessing myself, that is when I know it is time to see if I am being rational or irrational. Most times I am over reacting. So I am now learning that if I am wondering if I am being rational or not, usually I am not. I have a big loud feeling that something bad is going to happen, and a little tiny feeling of maybe I am over reacting as well. So now I have to try and find the correct feeling if the spidey sense goes off. Better safe then sorry, when it comes to personal safety, but in relation to social or work doubts, it turns out that is usually what they are. Not actual warnings of anything that is dangerous, but my overactive imagination; my own doubts.
When I have the wrong kind of gut feeling, it is hard to stomp it out. It causes panic and over sensitivity too. Those things are not productive, and the little doubts fan the flames. I have to rationally calm down the irrational doubts. Not an easy thing to do. But necessary, for functioning in everyday life.
Having other things to focus on helps. Diving into a book, or work, or a TV show can steer the panic away. Diversion is a useful tool. As long as it is not something that interrupts what needs to happen for life to continue on as it needs to do. If I can’t shake it, things get worse before they get better. Anxiety attacks are not nice. I have had some when I didn’t understand what was happening. That is scary. When I realize what is happening, I am able to calm down. When I don’t, they escalate. That is bad news. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and when I get worked up about something, it usually bubbles over somewhere in my day. This is hard to explain, sometimes, as I can get angry or upset, and have difficulty verbalizing what is wrong. There have been times when I am so upset that there is a physical reaction that prevents me from talking, a feeling like my throat is closing off. It is hard to deal with other people when that happens, but I always bounce back. It is what I do.
The first time I had a panic attack, I did not know what was happening. I was hyperventilating, and close to fainting. What did I do? I called my Mom. I was in another province at the time, and on day 9 of being a Nanny for 3 girls aged 10 and under. Their parents were on another continent looking for a new home. I was in the suburbs of Toronto, and on day 9 of 10 days alone with the girls, the reality and responsibility caught up with me. It was all a little too much for me to comprehend. Thankfully, there was a relative of the girls nearby, and she gave me a break. She sent me to the mall. I calmed down after that and a beer. I was legally able to drink that beer, being 19 or 20 years old at the time.
Not knowing what was happening was scary. It was a while before I had another one, and because I do not have them frequently, I can miss the warning signs because I am not always on guard. When I figure out what is happening, I can usually calm myself down. Not everyone is so lucky. Some people aren’t able to calm down without medication. I am lucky that I can, and sympathize with anyone who goes through panic attacks that can’t calm down by themselves. It is not anyone’s fault if they have panic attacks. They happen. People have to find coping strategies to deal with them, so they can function day to day. What can you do if someone you know suffers from this? Listen to them. Sometimes that is the best thing that you can do. Offering to help with a daunting task is also a good choice, if they are open to accepting your assistance. Mostly support in whatever way you can, and in a way that they say is OK. People that have panic attacks are still people, and helping a friend is never a bad thing, as long as they are able to accept what you want to do. Taking over is not the way to go, that may make them feel like they are not capable of what they are trying to do, and even though you might feel better, they may not. In this type of situation, you want your friend to feel like they can accomplish things, and by asking what you can do, you are helping. Even if they decline your help, they know you care, and you want to help. Sometimes that is all you can do, and all that is necessary.
It is important for your friend to know that you support them, so that they can do what they need to do to find their way out of the attack. Don’t brush it off, or make light of what they are feeling. It is real for them, I know. It was real for me. If they push you away, give them space, but keep checking on them. Call, bring them a coffee, or take them out for one. Little things can be big if they are done from your heart. It can make the difference between the worst day ever, or the best friend that helps you feel better about yourself. The world needs more people that want to be good friends. So do what feels right, and hope for the best. It will mean the world to your friend if you let them know you support them, however they let you. Be the best friend you can be, and it will matter. You can make a difference. You may never know how big of an impact you are in someone else’s life, so make the effort. You can’t fix everything, but you can help by being a good friend.
Here is another Tish-ism for you. In my efforts to live a healthier lifestyle, I have added in two Zumba classes a week. I do my best to be there, barring migraines and having to stay late at work once in a blue moon, I go. Living in Canada, sometimes weather is an issue. I am working on getting more active besides my Zumba classes, but for now, it’s my main activity every week. Winter + Ice = Tish is scared to fall down. So outdoor activities are not a thing for me in the winter, without the proper equipment.
I had a good amount of positive energy today, and feel like my pedometer lied when it read 3700 steps. It felt like a million tonight, at least. I was in the Zumba Zone, and was literally working my butt off. I know what that means. When I go back to class Wednesday, I will be moving a little slower, and maybe in a little pain. The good kind. The kind of pain that is caused from exercise that was done correctly. It also means I worked out my muscles, and that I wasn’t just going through the motions.
At the end of a class, when I feel like this, the first thing that comes to mind is that I Zumba-(ed) too hard.
I don’t like pain. I don’t deal with it very well. Lately I have successfully convinced myself that there is a right kind of pain, and a wrong kind. The right kind means that your muscles worked out and did what they were supposed to do. That is why it is good, it was productive, no matter how bad it hurts. It is neither throbbing, nor a high amount of pain. The bad kind is counter productive. If you rip or pull a muscle, it hurts a lot. I pulled a ligament in one of my legs in elementary school. I was mid-stride and went from running to limping and crying. I had to wrap it and got a few days off from school. I still remember how much it hurt when it happened. I do not recommend trying this, ever.
No matter what is going on, I have come to enjoy going to Zumba. I love dancing. Sometimes it is not the same as what everyone else is doing, but I am still being active, no matter what I have to improvise. That is important.
So when I was in the middle of class today, I really felt like I was completely in my Zumba Zone, and I went for it. There are going to be days that I am not feeling up to giving 120% to the Zumba class. Today was not one of those days. I felt strong. When things work for me, I am all in. I left feeling like I had worked out today. That is a big deal. I am not an athletic type of person. I do enjoy swimming, and dancing. Biking is OK, but I haven’t had a bike for years. It’s the same for skating, I used to skate, but haven’t for years. I walk, and I am starting to pick up my pace again when I have errands to run in the mall where I work, or even just for moving to the break room. I sometimes feel my heart rate picking up, and even am short of breath when I push myself.
What am I getting at? Well, there are days when you feel good and strong, and on those days like today, it is a good plan to push yourself a little bit harder. If you do this, on the days you don’t feel up to the 120% and you aren’t in YOUR Zumba Zone, well, on those days 75% is OK. You are doing the best you can. For me it’s all about how I am feeling, and I know my limits. I don’t think I am to the point I was about six months ago when I could feel my abdominal muscles the next day, but I am on my way back. By the time the weather changes from winter to spring, I plan to be increasing my activity level. When I am ready. And when there is no more ice out there. Until then, I’ll keep going to Zumba, I don’t have any plans to stop for a long time to come.