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2023-02-14 - 8:34 a.m.

I awoke today so rested, content and just happy to take in the sunrise.

I didn't have that tired not wanting to get up feeling which is one I have felt of late. Just not as energized as would like to be.

I also was so disappointed when getting dressed up for work over the weekend (as I like to do for the retirement community) that so many of my clothes DON'T FIT!) UGH I mean fit well... I can squeeze into them.

I already got rid of the whole wardrobe from years of UNREASONABLY And UNHEALGHILY Skinny due to actual trauma/stress/being neurotic. (Yeah I guess I can own that adjective. I have to as had to play a character who was a bit neurotic in one of the scenes and when someone IN the show, acquaintence- not anyone who knows me WELL. asked if the scened the pro actor worked with me on was THAT One-- well it made me take pause as, No as a matter of fact it was not that one. That one was super EASY! Ha ha)

I was so happy to have done the show. Then happy to have also had the excitement and energy just HAD to expend prior to it that I got my house cleaned! That was such a great move BEFORE the show that day as I was not nervous at all but busy and focused. It was kinda funny to me as I finished cleaning the carpet and throw rugs downstairs and was so into it, then looked up at the clock and was like "Oh shit! I have to be somewhere.. Oh yeah THE SHOW! FUCK ...."

Its like the ADHD brain can get in flow and forget EVERTHING else in the moment. I mean for real. Just plain get it out of your head.

This is true of ANYTHING
I mean for me

It is a remarkable thing to be able to do that when really NEED to . It can be helpful.

After the deep emotional work of the acting of these deeply personal women's stories-
it was great to just MOVE the body in WORK and have the physical kintetic release of energy and tension.
SO helpful for balance.

Which is why EXERCISE balances mood SO much.

That trifecta. sleep, diet and exercise.

SO, I realized, with irony ( as of course this is a predominant theme of the women's show was in) that my OWN clothing did not fit and had to laugh at that. The timing of it impeccable. I put on a skirt and squeezed into it and was ready for work ( thankfully early. I hate dressing more than once in a day. REALLY I mean I prefer to get dressed once when I can in something that will work for all day!) As I was doing the normal chores of the day- dishes or what not... I leaned over at some point and the button on the skirt popped. Clearly too tight. I have all these lovely pants a co worker gave me last year and I discovered they TOO were too tight. Oh yeah, time to get serious about exercise.

I also noticed that my FACE is showing weight! I think I looked after seeing a friend and noticed the same in her. It is this extra Covid 20 lbs I think many of us put on from working from home. We snack more I think, and we move less. I would think for me with my dog being home was going to help me MOVE MORE but that is only true of I take advantage of the time by exercising rather than commuting! I wanted to work part time with INTENTION Of time to run every morning, and learn guitar ( as well as be able to shuttle everyone to Dr. Appointments). I met the one goal- now to get back to focus on the other and my OWN health after having worried and structured life to care for the kids health these past few years.

But I have noticed RECENT weight gain-

It is of couse, Not because I overdo it on holidays at parties. I NEVER do. I am very tempered

BUT FOR when it comes to CHOCOLATE
which is my addiction. And for some reason this year was just the TREASURE TROVE of Clearance GOOD chocolate.

AND I have the EBT Food snap help

and yes will shamelessly say chocolate was an expense. Far more than should be. OK
In my defense my local supermarket had these BAGS of NIAGRA CHOCOLATES- these carmel cups, and also bags of almond chocolate clusters- made with ...and this is key and why they were GREAT but also hit the clearance rack - made with 70% coco!!

They were DELICIOUS to me
but not as sweet as most people prefer. Its like the very dark cofee taste which is an aquired one. (Startbucks got us all on board with that... but I don't think dark chocolate has hit the mass appeal of dark coffee but for some hipster city communities. I mean price point a real factor in this. Mass marketing dark coffee even in neighborhoods, even in places like supermarkets and Target with effective obvious branded cafes meant even the plebs were going to imbibe! YES Starbucks gets a share of poor people's money...even those on SNAP etc...)

But the dark choclate market did not hit it in even my market. They tried but its a wealthy suburb with surrounding rural areas. This wealthy area I think where those wanting fine chocolate actually go to the Nuhouse (is that it? Similar name Nu something...from Belgim with swanky stores) Or Godiva
and the other store bought great stuff that ended up at Weigmans of Giant markets really ended up on Clearance.

I mean I can STILL recall the intensely amazing small batch of Canadian bon bons I found at Weigmans that were like the best EVER. I am sad did not capture the maker... oh but that was LAST year post Valentine's day! (Maybe they will be there again... ha ha... oh but I have to refrain from a trip to Wegimans just for them.)

Really it is an addiction at some point for real.

So the amount of chocolate we had in this house was high. Sure seratonin
levals increased....

But so did my waisteline. The fact I went on a week of craving and eating like the whole bag of the good tortilla chips cause I bought really kicking FRESH SALSA and no one else in the house likes it,

and I bought that store made guacamole. I mean this is a revelation to me that you can find fresh made guacamole as good as when make it yourself. I mean really....

and excellent ( ok not as good but still good) HUMMUS has become a main stream market staple.

Well when you have had a thin food budget for years and bought very practically and had to plan meals etc..
then have a large food budget

it does change how you eat. SURE I am buying the healthier options. BUT I think we also just have MORE food available. That is the truth. MORE that we don't NEED.
I mean more fresh fruit

and I don't think adding fruit to diet is a healthy choice really- MORE VEGGIES YES that would be healthy.

But our veggie consumption about the same. Just more cool snacks. More temptations.
Can afford the extras.

I have not made rice and beans in a long time. I have made more red meat than used to ( that may not be healthier at all). Beyond burgers got a good review one week so I bought that again to try but last night one kid would not even try as said they smelled awful.

OK enough about food.

I just felt fabulous waking up realizing it is because I EXERCISED more in the past week with intention.

I went for a swim on Friday and did not overdo it. I went for a RUN on Saturday and am pleased I FELT GOOD.

No pain
no aching or unusual discomfort. I was able to go a decent distance too , I think because the swim the day before helped stretch my muscles. I also had done the exercise from the PT sessions years ago to target and stretch those same muscles.

I had a beautiful hike on the unseasonably warm day enjoying a local Potomac Appalacian Trail Club access point where there is a hostel and well cared for property and access trail to the AT. The thing is I have lived here 20 years and never before discovered THAT One. There is one on the south side of town- but right on the NORTH side of my very own town there is this 2nd hidden gem. It is definately not as well known as the other I have been to many times.

I was looking for a nice place to walk with my dog on that beautiful day and just found myself seeking this lake that showed up on a map. There is a NEW park and I thought I could find it but couldn't , so picked a random lake on google maps to drive to-
to find it was on private property with well demarked no trespassing signs on the access road. So I figured, well it has been a lovely 20 minutes drive to the county and to see the mountains. I was content- then came across a road called APPALACIAN TRAIL ROAD.

Oh yes!
Thank goodness for well named roads. That couldn't be clearer.

So I followed the road, in my hospice car that my friends said should be named Mr McGoo.

I decided to name the car MX McGoo... Cause just learned of the new title Mx which is gender neutral ( not be Mrs , yet also not wanting to be Ms wanting NON Binary...)

and heck my car is not male nor female

so I like it for that! Mx McGoo

My trusty Kia soul I trust will not die on me when climbing up a mountain.

And it did not

I started following the road excited for the hike forthcoming, my dog chill and happy who I am sure knows what it means when I say "We are going to the trail today." to quickly realize that we were on an incline which means my car stops working properly.

Its like the CAR had dysautonomia too!
I Mean the functions that are SUPPOSED to be automatic with changes of altitude, movement and shifts in temperature just STOP WORKING suddently,

but I am a believer of pushing through to find the limit and not assume that anything is not going to be achievable,

and my car sputtered up the switchback of the narrow mountain dirt road
slowing at the beginning of the incline to 15 mph, then 10
then it continued at about 5 mph but still moving forward

AND I kept going til we made it up the 3 miles of the final incline.

I was so happy to park and take in the vista and enjoy each section of that slow ride as it was easy to appreachiate and I was relaxed without worry and happy to be alone frankly as anyone else would have not found it relaxing as I did.

Then the brief flicker of thought ... like only then , half way up the mountain thinking that did it really occur to me "What if" thinking how it IS POSSIBLE the car would come to a stop there.

and I thought

Ah but I do have a cell phone and AAA

and looked around and thought how I hoped the neighbors were friendly if anyone had to hike those woods come knocking....
and wondered how far the nearest neightbor was

One other car had, thankfully, turned BEFORE Me to take the road and not a moment after. It took off (by my standards! HA) and made it up top so I knew there was one other person on the mountain.

When I arrived at the top there was that lone car. The parking area TINY as they don't get many visitors by car. The hostel book shows they get a handful each month in the winter. Day trips or weekend trips. A cabin on the property can be rented ( I am sure it is on AirBnB as the other cabin for rent at the other PATC maintained trail hostel is.) Seriously if you see a cabin in the wood in Northern VA DO NOT BE AFRAID as it is very likely a kicking spot and a good chance it is the PATC property! For those who want to get away and like hiking I can think of no better place ( unless I guess you want ameneties thare are not 30 min away... but they do have little stores in these trail centers. kitchens, basic accomodations for those who don't mind just the basics to commune with nature.)

I feel blessed I can just DRIVE this close for such experience.

Yesterday I intended to go for a swim again. I should always do exercise BEFORE WORK
as with my ADHD brain that time warp, get focused and in flow thing happens. I start working and soon enough time warp happens and day is done and I have NOT Exercised.

So it was about noon when I stopped the business operation needs... doing work FOR my company ( the unpaid kind. I started 9am). Got it done then was ready to take a nice walk with my dog and get into the work that came in from a client. I was happy to have a project for paid work. (Thought it would take one hour. It took a bit over two hours total. I didn't ledger for the 15 min in AM reading it and started logging time when actually dug in more later in day. It really took 2.5 hrs then but I somehow just billed 2 hrs. Not sure if this is imposter syndrome but it doesn't feel like it- it feels like WISE as until they start sending me substantial work and it is clear that the client understands my unique value I feel like I need to give a little discount! I mean really. It is a market where I know I am charging 1/3 more than others.
They can try to have the others do some work for a while and I bet will call me again.
BUT I have to be sure to not be overconfident as there could be someone out there AS GOOD without ADHD who would SURELY BE ABLE To see the things I see and do so smarter and faster! SO I try to balance the reality that I have to keep my costs competetive! So I do cut off time if a task takes longer than I think is reasonable. I felt like I should have gotten this task done in one hour. If I had a GOOD template it would have taken an hour. BUT I had to rework their template langauge too... which I log and bill for too... and that incresed cost. In time once I rework every template for every secnatio the costs go down...)

But enough work shop talk.

It was just really awesome that I got a text and invite to meet a friend ; so was free to say YES available in a few hours- lets meet later and go for a walk.

I enjoyed another beautiful walk outside. This time on a farm enjoying a tour of the beautiful place my friend lives, culminating a the pond on the 100 acres of very private property....

My kid saw me getting ready and said "You look so happy"

I said "Oh I am"
My friend picked me up commenting "your car might not make it up the hill" which leads to the country property. OK, I admidt I know better. It would have made it, but was happy to accept the ride. I mean I don't want to push the luck too far. Honestly need to be driving when only HAVE TO. I am happy we have a warm Spring as I am going to get my bike out and start riding again.

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