Monday, May 7, 2018

Busy Days, Lovely Days, Lucky Me!

As you'll read below, I've got a bundle of activities I'd really like to fit in today. One of those is my Monday blogpost, but I was fretting a bit about what I could manage in the time I have. Not sure what you'll think of this solution, but I decided just to share a reasonably typical Random Day of Retirement.. .

What I've Done Thus Far Today:
-- Worked Out in the Condo Gym
In case you're curious, here's the Warm-Up I did today, as designed by my trainer:

  1. 500 meter row
  2. Side lunges-10 a side
  3. Body weight squats-20 reps
  4. Bird Dog- on hands and knees extend the opposite arm and leg until straight-hold for 1
    count-then repeat-10 reps a side
  5. Plank on BOSU or stability ball-hold 30 seconds-1 min
  6. Shoulder mobility on the Stability ball-thumbs down and go behind head and swoop back
    to the start-5lb-10-15 reps
And here's the day's Circuit, of which I did 2 sets:

  1. Squat w/ 1 arm cable row-squat first then pull as you stand-keep your shoulders back and push through the heels as you stand-15 reps a side
  2. Reverse lunges (12-15lb)-hold a dumbbell at your chest (hands on black sides)-15 reps a side
  3. Up and overs on the rower-keep the weight in your heel-10-15 reps a side
  4. 1 min row-as fast as you can
  5. Lateral jumps-2 there-one back-6-8 reps a side or just normal lateral jumps for 15 reps
  6. Single arm chest press on BOSU or Stability ball-keep hips up high and your abs tight
    (10-15lb)-12 reps a side
  7. Reptile abs in a plank position-keep 10 reps a side
  8. Kneeling triceps extensions on BOSU-keep your shoulders back and abs tight
    (10-12lb)-12 reps side
  9. Dumbbell deadlifts-nice flat back as you go down-be sure not to look down or your
    shoulders will round-think about hinging from the hips and letting the knees bend a small bit at the bottom (15-20lb)-12 reps
  1. Dumbbell wide plie squats tapping the weight to the ground each rep-feet wide and toes turned out to 45 degrees (20-25lb)-12 reps
  2. 1 min run at incline 5 speed 5 mph
  3. Vsit med ball core rotations on floor or bench-knees in the air and pull the deep core
    muscles in while you rotate (8lb)-10-15 reps a side
Almost as much of an achievement as becoming fit enough to do the circuit now, for me, is simply learning the terminology. It's all very well to do the exercises under my trainer's supervision at her studio, but then to be able to remember what means what when I get back to my own gym? Well, that's been a whole separate learning curve. . . I feel very fortunate that I've had such encouraging, fun, patient, and supportive guidance.

-- Measured and Mixed my bread dough. . .

What I'm Doing Now:
-- Well, Duh, Writing this Blogpost. . .

-- But I'm Multi-tasking, doing the writing in the half-hour periods while my bread dough "autolyses," and, later, while it rests (again for half an hour, then an hour) in between my folding it. .

What I Hope To Do Later:
-- Write for an hour on my long-form project.
-- Sketch
-- Spend 10 or 15 minutes on my German practise (Duolingo) and 5 or 10 on French.
-- Book the bus to get us from Lyon to Strasbourg a few weeks from now -- there's a very good chance SNCF (French train system) is going to let us down thanks to a job action which will render our train tickets useless. . .
-- Get more serious about packing, now that our flight is less than two weeks away. . . So far, I've begun putting aside likely garments, but it's time to start making some decisions. . .
-- Run a few errands: pick up a travel adaptator to replace the one I left in a socket in Paris; restock my favourite loose tea; and check out a travel yoga mat or two (my daughter recently qualified as a yoga instructor, and hopes to lead a few "classes" for family when we gather in an island waterfront house in Croatia next month).
-- Read

Would you believe this list is not complete? Of course you would! You have equally long lists of your own, I'm sure.  By now, you'll probably have noted that everything on my list today is a voluntary activity, some of them indulgently creative. I'm very fortunate, I know. But still busy, right?

So now, if you're willing, you're very welcome to share your list for today or give a rough idea of your typical Random Day. If retirement's still only a dream for you, perhaps you might tell us whether any of this list resonates with you or whether, instead, you're quite sure your retirement days will look quite different.


  1. After reading your post today, I realize how lazy I am. Today I watered some pots, moved some soil by wheelbarrow, went to my book club, ate cake and cheese and crackers and drank prosecco. A good day. ;-)

    1. I just remembered, I also went on a 6km hike...not as lazy as I thought.

    2. Too funny that you completely forgot a 6km hike! And I recognize that self-accusation of laziness. Why do we do that? Like your gardening -- which is work, even when it's play -- my activities are ones I chose and they're rejuvenating. Neither of us are lazy. Both of us are very fortunate. ;-) And btw, that's my kind of book club -- I'm a bit envious. . .

  2. You're going to Strasbourg? One of my favourite cities. For three lovely years it was my weekly shopping city....I knew the Mamouth (giant Costco-like-but-French big box store) backwards and forwards and every interesting little village between home and there.

    1. The plan was to change trains in Strasbourg, but with the SNCF work action, we will probably spent a pleasant afternoon and evening there, and stay overnight. I'd love to hear more about your time there.

  3. You are a very busy and organized lady, Mater :-)
    Good organization (or shall we say now ,time management :-))is the key to achieve everything that's planned and be content. I would like to be more spontaneous,at least in the evenings but even than the chaos could set in (and it is almost impossible to get the tickets for anything on the whim.)

    1. I don't feel especially organized until I begin listing. . . .
      I know you love your lists as well, right?

  4. You make me feel rather guilty but I am on holiday , so not a normal day . I have managed an hours dog walk in the beautiful beech woods behind our rented cottage . Quite a steep climb too . Later we shall drive to the nearby town for some provisions & visit a few local shops - there’s a nice little arts & crafts gallery & some second hand book shops . Tonight we’ll walk to the pub which has a good Italian chef . In between there will be lots of sitting in the cottage gazing out at the loch & mountains on the doorstep . Hopefully there’ll be wildlife . Dolphins , seals , deer & the rare , for us , red squirrel . We might also see the sinister black nuclear sub passing by . I’m looking forward to hearing about your holiday .
    Wendy from York

    1. That's a busy day as well, and also full with so many pleasant activities.
      As for the sitting and gazing, it's important to leave time for these restful and replenishing moments. . .
      And you'll be sure to hear about our travel. Not so long now. . .

  5. This morning I waved goodbye to my best friend and her family. They are heading back to Lethbridge, Alberta. Her youngest daughter graduated from the University of Utah. She was my college roommate and also partner in crime. We were reminiscing about how many times we were reported to the dorm mother and sent to the dean's office. Oh well, "those were the days my friend, we thought they'll never end" :) I'm missing her a lot already. Sorry Mater, I can't seem to muster up the will to get on my soap box today. Your busy schedule also makes me feel inadequate...nothing to do with you. Everything to do with me having a very lazy day. xx Amelia

    1. Oh Amelia, sorry you're missing your friend.
      Remember, as I've said above, that my schedule is only busy with what are essentially leisure activities -- gym workout included, although I have to push myself to that. And as it turned out, three items on the list didn't get done -- and there was some delegating involved as well. . . As I said to Ali, above, we need to stop calling ourselves lazy -- I do it all the time, and then my husband will point out what I've been doing and it turns out it only seems lazy from the inside. . . all those voices, real or imaginary, that we've internalized over the years. . .

  6. I can see what you mean by a separate learning curve as respects the terminology. It would probably take me half an hour to look up all those words in a dictionary (I am not sure I really want to do that...).
    I am a lists person myself, but at the moment I am trying hard to do without them or at least with less. The problem with lists (for me) is that they always start with things which may be useful or necessary, but often are not really pleasant. And so I plow on and on and never get to the fun part of the list. My personal "training schedule" these days involves learning to do what I feel like doing most at any given moment. Like getting the sewing machine out NOW.

    1. I think it's really important to give yourself lots of time and space without too much commitment at this transitional stage between your academic life and your future. . . .
      In my experience, work life can make us lose touch with what makes us happy, and it takes some practice to get back in touch with that rather than immediately setting up "shoulds."

  7. My days go something like this:

    Get up between 5:30 and 7:30am
    Have breakfast, procrastinate writing
    Write from whenever I trick myself into starting until 10 or 11.
    Bustle about, i.e. dig big holes or clean the house, or else do an online yoga class. Or, if I have something really big in the administrative category, tackle that.
    Eat lunch
    Lie down for a while and watch some television. It is really hard for me to go all day from writing in the morning through dinner/cleanup without a small break in the middle.
    Go volunteer at school or visit my mother, do the grocery shopping and/or other errands
    Cook dinner
    Clean up from dinner

    That's the rough structure I have landed on, perhaps for now, perhaps for a while. Gives me a rhythm.

    1. Ah, the procrastination. I know!!
      I have a break in the afternoon as well, but mine is very often called "a nap." Always followed by a cup of tea and some reading. . .
      I like your schedule -- firm enough to ensure forward momentum but relaxed enough to leave room for happiness and serendipity.

  8. Your workout list made me realise how much I'm missing my personal trainer, left behind in Edinburgh! I know exactly what you mean about remembering exercises. As a late starter with exercise I was amused and horrified in equal measure at how little physical memory I seem to have.
    Gosh your daily to do list is long!

    1. You too?! I think it's why I embraced running so happily -- that I could remember how to do ;-)
      That list was just for one particularly busy day, and to be honest, I didn't get through it. But note that some of the items don't take much time. The French, the German, just 10 minutes or so each. . .


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