I haven’t gotten my official year-end report yet, but I ran some stats all the same and they were a bit disappointing. I knew I didn’t walk as much this year as the past two years. My heart wasn’t in it this year and toward the end of the summer, the ticks freaked me out.
So for the first time in three years, I fell under the 3 million steps milestone.
2016’s stats were definitely better and were the high point so far:
And in 2015 I got a late start since I got my Fitbit for Mother’s Day that year…
Unfortunately, weight wise, I’m exactly where I was when I started walking in May 2015. I guess ya gotta love a challenge, right?
One cool thing is my lifetime total steps so far is 9,990,734 steps. That’s super close to TEN MILLION STEPS!!! And it’s 4,191 miles in three years and THAT’S pretty amazing.
2018 will bring my 50th birthday and the halfway point of my life journey. My ultimate goal is to live to be 100 so I can get my face on that Today Show Smucker’s Jar. I’m looking at you Carson Daly. You’re younger than me. I’ll be expecting you to do the honors when the time comes.
It’s that time of year again where I think big thoughts, make new plans and the year ahead is filled with possibilities. I blame the eleven days of Christmas break for all that. Being off work somehow makes me dream unrealistic dreams and think I can accomplish far more than is actually humanly possible.
I’ll realize that by January 4.
But until then, here’s my plan for 2017: The Year of the Squirrel.
More on that later.
Last year ended on a down note, with my mom passing away Nov. 10, and my book sales are all but nonexistent. Seriously, I’m making around $150 a month on seven books. It all seems like way too much work for very little reward. I made half the total income last year that I did the year before (which was the all-time high at a whopping $7K).
I’ve been trying to psych myself back up and get back into the groove. I ran some ads (spent $100) to try to respark interest and revenue, but all it really accomplished was brief stint at Amazon #1 FREE and then four new reviews. I even wrote a couple thousand words, but it’s just not happening. The motivation is gone.
I’m not saying I’m quitting writing completely. I am saying I’m going to let it slide and pick it up as I feel like it. I’m sure at least a dozen people in the world will be sad about that, but it is what it is. Ultimately, I’m the only one putting pressure on myself to make it happen. I’ve given it a good go. I’ve pushed hard for the past five and a half years but gained very little financial traction. I’ve proven I’m not a one-book-wonder and now…I’m moving on.
The beginning of a new year seems like a good time to do that. A clean break.
It’s harder than you’d think to wind down, however. Trust me. I’ve tried quitting before. Ideas don’t stop coming and characters don’t stop talking. Once Pandora’s box is opened, it won’t be closed again. I’m going to keep collecting those ideas and conversations and one day–in the future–I’ll give them the attention they deserve. I also have a few events to attend. Fun events like VisionCon in February and Ozarks Indie Book Fest next October.
Until then, I’m going to participate in the Year of the Squirrel. No, the Year of the Squirrel is not one of the Chinese Zodiac signs (I checked). Nor is it an actual thing. It’s my thing. The Year of the Squirrel will be my chance to follow all the little interests and passions that speak to me this year along with the things I must/need to do. Believe me, there are plenty of need-to-do things. Cleaning out Mom’s house is one of the biggest ones right now.
The things I’m passionate about at the moment include: crocheting, FitBit walking, reading and watching the Gilmore Girls. I think that’s a pretty good start.
There is however, actually a Squirrel Appreciation Day if you’re so inclined to participate. For real, it’s Saturday, January 21 this year. Plan accordingly.
One big goal this year is to get back into shape. Last November, I was in a good place and ten pounds from my goal weight. Right now I’m two pounds above my highest weight ever. I have some work to do.
The biggest fun thing on the horizon for 2017 as far as personal entertainment that I’m looking forward to is the Supernatural Convention in Chicago in July. Bryon and Grace gave me that AMAZING gift for Christmas. I still can’t believe it! Front row, baby! And I get to ride the Amtrack there. Bryon and Grace are going to meet me there after the con is over, and then we’ll have a family vacation in the Windy City.
It’s going to be a looooong time until July.
The good news is I have plenty of time to catch up on my review of the eleven seasons of Supernatural before I go. I’ll have a Masters in Supernatural by that time.
As is my way, I’ve started my Year of the Squirrel List so I can store a few of theses nuggets away for later. It will definintely be a work in progress this year.
Year of the Squirrel List
Crochet all the things
Read all the books
Walk 10k+ steps every day
Finish all seasons of The Gilmore Girls (I’m on S3)
Rewatch all 11 seasons of Supernatural
Reacquaint myself with our garden, wait…which way is it?
Read my magazines the day they arrive
Reorganize my recipe boxes
Clean out and reorganize the bath/medicine cabinets
Donate more clothes out of my closet
Empty Mom’s house of contents and sell them
Read, file or delete all the SAVED articles on Facebook I’ve collected
Surf way too much Pinerest
Can and preserve the garden bounty
Make good food
Eat good food
That’s a good beginning, I think.
I’m sure there will be much more to add during the year because…SQUIRREL!
What does your 2017 look like from here? Do you make resolutions?
I have become a slug. This was not a surprise to me. I know how much time I spend in front of the computer and/or tv (sometimes at the same time). Don’t forget my other favorite pastime … reading. I also drive a lot for work which means lots of time spent sitting around. Generally, I like sitting around being a bum. None of these activities however inspire movement of any kind. Well, maybe when I raise and lower my coffee cup and click my fingers along the keyboard. Still, not many calories being burned there.
The two things I decided to focus on for January were writing and walking. My friend Liz recommended a great digital pedometer which I promptly ordered from Amazon. I really had no idea how much I walked on an average day. It took me a few days after receiving it to decide to try to get it set up. I hate trying to figure out my stride and fiddle with the settings. I finally sat down one day when the house was empty and quiet and figured the damn thing out. It was actually pretty easy. I got it all set up and headed outside to take the dog for a walk. That was a good day. I took Belle on three loops around our trail; one in the morning, one at lunch and one before dark. She was happy, and I was too.
Belle and I did that three days the first week I had the pedometer. Each trip around our trail is 3/4 of a mile and takes about 15 minutes. Since that first week, I pretty much backslid into business as usual. I even forgot to wear it one day. I did walk on the treadmill a couple of nights but then life got busy as it is prone to do, and my ambition waned. When it was warmer outside, I made Grace take Belle for a quick 10 minute walk in the mornings before school. Now that it’s cold, I don’t have the patience or the desire to arm wrestle her into doing it. I don’t even want to take the dog for a walk on those mornings so she’s stuck in the kennel until Grandpa picks up Grace after school and takes her for a walk.
Today, I MADE myself walk her around the trail twice. It was hard. It’s cold. I didn’t want to do it. I did feel great when I got back inside and warmed up around the pellet stove. Belle is noticibly calmer when she gets to expend some of her energy as well. I know in my HEAD that it’s a win/win. My heart and the rest of me take more convincing.
I just checked the trip meter on the pedometer. It’s been eleven days since I started using it, and I have 48,676 steps on it. There is a great Walking Site that explains about the whole step thing and how many you should strive for. Basically, 10,000 steps equals about five miles. Two thousand plus steps equals a mile. So in eleven days and despite my lackluster ambition, I have walked about twenty four miles (if I did my math correctly). You should check that though. Seriously.
For the optimal health benefit, I should have been somewhere closer to 110,000 steps. I was less than half. I have got to move it! Uggg. Why can’t it just be easy? But you know it never is. I know it never is. Exercise always feels uphill both ways.
I think back to ten years ago, when I was a walking/hiking machine! I was in the best shape of my life then. Now … not so much. On a birighter note, I have managed to lose five pounds in the little effort I have exerted so far. Well, that and not eating two chocolate chip cookies four times a week at Subway. It really is the little things that add up.
I made it to the gym late this afternoon. It’s only the second time in two weeks. It’s not that impressive; twice in two weeks. It’s barely better than nothing at all but it’s a start. I’m a great starter.
Last week I went in and pinged around on the equipment and managed to waste an hour and have some sore muscles the next few days so I suppose it was something. But it felt pretty aimless overall. Today I asked for a consultation and a body analysis, glutton for punishment that I am. A very, nice and perkily fit girl named Taylor measured me and my fat and determined that 109 pounds of me is essential parts… 66 pounds of me is fat.
I had 37% body fat. Now that is impressive.
She helped me develop a six week plan for strength training and optimistically suggested I do 30 minutes of cardio 3-5 days a week. Uh huh. I would love to do that but I don’t see how it’s going to happen. I’m going to try. I’m more likely to make the three than the five.
I used to be in a shape other than round and would like to be again … like tomorrow. The absolute simplest exercise she suggested took absolutely no equipment and was excruciatingly difficult. The plank. Seems simple; stretch out and hold it for thirty seconds. Repeat. Taylor suggested three times. I did three times. I wasn’t feeling like a hero so three was all I did.
It was a lot harder than it looks.
Or maybe I’m just in a lot worse shape than I’d like to think.
Either way … plank I did along with ball wall squats, leg abductions, dumbell front raises, dumbell curls, tricep pushdowns, 15 minutes on the bike and 15 minutes on the treadmill carefully keeping my heart rate at 145. Exercising is very complicated. But, I like a plan and now I have one. All I have to do now is implement it.