Schedule That

A friend invited me to play pickleball this morning. I told her I had stuff going on. I didn’t tell her I was going to the library to write a blog post. The library was scheduled for later, but I wouldn’t get my other things done and then there is the coffee invite and then… I didn’t tell her what was on my schedule because I believed the feedback would be similar to past feedback. I didn’t want to engage in a conversation where I would be defending my choices. I didn’t want to sabotage my schedule and I didn’t want to not do what I had planned. It isn’t particularly about writing the blog post itself, it is about staying on course; it’s about showing up.

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Yesterday I had a volunteer appointment scheduled. It was cancelled. I was happy I could do more of the things at home needing done. An hour later, my DIL messaged me and asked me to take our granddaughter to her gymnastics class later in the day, at the time I would be making supper. I jumped at the chance! There were leftovers in the fridge; how important is making supper anyway when I can be hanging out with a 3 year old I love.

The thing with working on so many things is balance, and for me flexibility. The reason I want to work for myself is to have the freedom to spend my time how I want. To be able to take an opportunity to help out my kids with their kids and to spend that time with them. I want to be able to keep Thursday morning Wallyball on my schedule and be able to go for a bike ride when the weather is nice.

The downside of working on a business, is there are so many opportunities (business and not business related) that come up that can eat into the part of the schedule that gets things done. Those things that are also important and that will produce income. The things that help people, the things that fulfill me. The things that help me to grow, the things that are giving back. That is where the balance needs to come in.

A couple weeks ago, I spent a lot of time in volunteer/service work. It just happened things fell in the same week. My FIL needed dental work which meant me taking him to appointments over a few days. One of the things about scheduling and time blocking is recognizing that the driving time can be more than the appointment time and then there is the “I’m out, I will stop at the store, I will drop this off…” that adds to it. The result of everything that week and the following week was a feeling of despair on the things that were important to me like having a tidy house, and getting my garden in, which is time sensitive; I can’t leave that until August. I was able to get some of that done the next week between appointments but also at the expense of a bike ride one day. We only have so many hours in a day/week and choices need to be made.

I have been diving deep into scheduling, working on making bigger (for me) moves in my business, changing my thoughts in some areas, working on upgrading life. There are things I am working on, signing up for or changing, that may not be understood with people I know. I will avoid the naysaying by not giving too much info, or I may just avoid the naysayers. I am willing to make changes, I am willing to work on my schedule to get the most out of my day. I am willing to say no to things that don’t serve me. I am willing to fail at what I am willing to do.

This past month I have had a weekly accountability partner. I have been filling out a weekly report reflecting on the past week and filling in the things I will work on in the coming week. It has been a great exercise in helping me focus on what I want to do, get done, and helping me see what I have achieved in the previous week. I have been able to get through some things I struggled with. I have struggled with goal setting in the past but I am working through it little by little. Growth takes time but application is like fertilizer on the thought seeds. I am applying a lot of things right now and scheduling, goals, lists are getting me further faster.

A quick note on lists. Last week I was introduced to results lists rather than ‘to do’ lists. So that is something I will be working on in the next while. A results list gives purpose to what you are doing. In cleaning a closet, I can do ‘clean out a closet’ but what is the result I am looking for. My result can be to organize the stuff to fit better, or my result can be to get rid of all the stuff I don’t need in the closet. Those are two different results for the same closet but if I am just cleaning the closet, I may get lost in the process and not get the result in the end. I may feel frustrated at the task and although enjoy the tidiness and clean shelves, still lack in a feeling of satisfaction.

Working on the lists, working on my schedule and working on weekly goals is where I am right now. So, today, I came to the library to write a blog post, away from the distraction of the things at home. I had it on my schedule.

 

 

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Hashtag Januarythings

Whereas the end of December has people reflecting on the past year, the beginning of January has people looking forward to the upcoming year. I have never been one to make resolutions, believing them to be rather superficial, and having the opinion if you want to start something new, start when the thought hits you, rather than on a specific date. It may be that belief, or a fear of failing–but that is another post.

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Last January I made a vision board. It is amazing how many of the things on it came to be or were close to the vision. My vision board for this year is not complete, but will be by the end of the month. I am kind of cheating, as there is much from last year I intend to put on it again. Because really, most of what we want and dream about doesn’t change completely from year to year, but there are tweaks and sometimes new and bigger things to work on.

This year, I have a new planner. In the fall I learned about and practiced colour blocking to schedule more of my day, to do more of what is important and to see the categories (business, family, fun, exercise etc) I am spending my time. I have been faithful in filling in the planner and colouring the blocks. There is also a page at the beginning of each month to list goals and other information. That is where I put some of my household goals like cleaning a closet, or organizing something. I got a slow start with appointments the first week and being in LA the second week, but I have accomplished a couple things on the list. I still have a week or two and I am plugging away at the things on that list. I will be moving some of the items to next month; that I am sure of.

I have been reading quite a bit, a new habit I started a couple of years ago. I am on my 4th book this month. I intend to start a list (on my to do list) so at the end of the year I will remember what I read and see what I accomplished in that realm. The books I have been reading have me going back to learning about habits. It is so fitting for the beginning of the year and I will be implementing a few things here and there as I see the need (desire).

I started a few new things which I won’t share at this time but I will say, my January is going swimmingly as far as personal growth and goals go. I am striving for better and the future looks bright.

What are some of the things you do in January? Do you have a vision board? Do you have resolutions? Do you set goals for the year, or do you set them throughout the year as you need them? How is January for you so far?

 

No Other Animal

No other animal is reading this post. That’s right, I am 100% sure there are only humans who are able to read this post or any other post. With this in mind, I want to assure you that I am not hurting the feelings of any animals. It is not my intention to hurt their feelings nor is it my intention to hurt the feelings of anyone reading this. I am also not making a judgement on anyone’s life choices or what they want to promote to the world. Nor am I arguing with those things are looking to engage in an argument where you may think I disagree with you. We all have our beliefs, our understandings, and our choices. This post is not about that. You be you! I am happy for you to be you! I am not arguing with you being you, your beliefs, your understandings, nor your choices.

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Here’s the thing! No matter what you believe, no matter what you understand science to prove (there is science on many sides of an argument), no matter what news you listen to, no matter what you’re trying to promote, to help people understand, to share with other people….no matter what…make your evidence, wellllll….evidence. Don’t use pseudo science, don’t use “well that’s just the way it is”, and for Pete’s sake, don’t say, “No other animal does it, so that is proof it is wrong for humans”.

Yes, I went there; it is a common one particularly in one area. When I see that argument presented, I automatically become suspect of anything before and after in an article. If the evidence presented isn’t strong enough to hold to its truth, putting in a statement that is utterly ridiculous to back up the point and to substantiate the claim, reduces the rest of the information to the realm of unbelievable. All the research and citing of other articles and scientific evidence, that may or may not be official is meaningless if it is followed with something that is not an argument but is presented as one. Sadly many who promote their beliefs feel a need to resort to nondescript platitudes when their arguments are weak (that may be why I believe an article with a platitude is full of weak evidence). If you are secure in your belief and the science you are using to back it up, you shouldn’t need to use a ridiculous statement to finalize the deal. Sensationalism may sell but it isn’t evidence.

Just for fun, here are a few more things no other animals do. No other animals wash their food, no other animals cook their food over fire or on a stove. No other animals use a fork, a knife or a spoon. No other animal makes another food from the one that exists, not even a fake rendition of what other animals are eating. No other animal worries about bacteria, or understands the process of fermentation. No other animal can decide to be different tomorrow than they are today. No other animal can do more than simple math, but then that is like some people haha. No other animal is reading this or will ever read this. If your argument is that no other animals do it, it might be good to give up all the other things other animals don’t do. Things that make you go hmmmm…

So do you, promote your thing, believe what you do, I don’t care (in the way that I want you to be happy, not in the sense of not caring about you), but if you are going to cite science, leave it at the science and don’t dilute it with sayings that are not an argument whether this one or others. Rant over.

 

I Got Lost

Somewhere between there and here I got lost. I can’t really pinpoint when it was, where I deviated from the path, where the course I was on took a one degree flexion. I can’t even say I was completely lost. Not in the sense of everything. I was just lost in one or two areas. One of those areas was writing. Last January I made a vision board and on it was ‘Write’ and I did until our bike trip, then… crickets. There is never a time when there isn’t a blog/facebook/instagram post floating in my head. They are always there, the ideas and words and phrases, but I get lost somewhere between my head and my fingers, and my posts go floating into the abyss.

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I wasn’t hiding. I really wasn’t. There was a lot going on through the last half of the year. I have been giving it a lot of thought, trying to figure out where it all went south. I am not sure if I came to the correct conclusion.

One of the things I have been involved with is a group on social media marketing/branding. I have also been listening to podcasts and a lot of the information goes to branding and marketing as well. There is a whole lot of planning and purpose involved in how you put yourself out there. Having a specific outcome is important. I planned this blog to write inspiring posts about exercise and wellness for people to be inspired to do a little bit more. But here’s the thing. Sometimes I want to write about my cat. Or just something else. And so the post is there but my mind says it’s not relevant. So I don’t write and my blog falls silent. And sometimes my social media does too.

I will see how it goes. I will write here or elsewhere. I may just write about nothing, I may not write again for while. I am sure that with my optimistic count of 2-3 readers, me being one of them, I won’t disappoint too many people no matter the outcome. Perhaps it is not my season for writing. Perhaps, I will remain lost. I have other things I am working on right now. I might have to leave some things out. I want to get to that room behind the overgrowth of vines and hunker down, but I don’t know if I can go there yet. I had to write this post that has been bouncing in my head for two weeks. I have to publish it in its rambling flaws too. Because we don’t find our way without taking a step. And I guess time will tell where I go from here.

Day 4: Well That Didn’t Work

We had a lovely breakfast here with our friends and got a little later start which was fine because we knew we had an easier day. OR did we? We had planned to go from Duncan to Victoria today. Yesterday at the Duncan Info centre they suggested rather than taking the Malahat which is the main (and only) highway direct to Victoria from the rest of the Island. They said it was dangerous with all the construction they are doing and suggested we ride down and take the Mill Bay ferry to Brentwood, then ride down to Victoria or go check out Sidney. So that was our plan. We also planned to take Telegraph Road down rather than the main highway. To get to Telegraph road we had to go through Duncan then go to Cowichan Bay.

We took a photo of the the giant hockey stick in Duncan. The shops along Cowichan Bay were really cool so I stopped to take photos of the street but missed the essence of it getting the sides of the building. We didn’t stop to shop because we had places to get to. Coming out of there was a steep climb. I also did not get a photo because as with all those steep hill photos, they don’t capture the essence of the steepness, nor the struggle to get up them. This particular climb gave me the new realization of my lack of fitness, both bike cardio as well as bike strength. I had to stop part way up and then struggled to get back on the bike. I suffer with balance issues at the best of times. I did manage to get on eventually and did finish the climb.

However, we also missed Telegraph Road which was somewhere at the top near the school. We didn’t realize it until we had gone down some and could see the highway. We ended up taking the highway the rest of the way.

We got our tickets at the Thrifty’s grocery store. It is 35% off for the ferry tickets if you buy them there. After talking to a couple people we found out there was an accident on the Malahat and our daughter wouldn’t be picking us up on the other side so we got tickets to come back as well. We were assured we would be able to get on the ferry as foot passengers with our bikes. It became apparent the magnitude of the situation when we approached the ferry area. There were cars parked along the road people had left to walk on the ferry, there was a very long (km or so) line of vehicles waiting for the ferry. The ferry we saw was able to transport about 25 vehicles (I could be way off on that but it wasn’t very big) so needless to say there were people waiting for a very long time. The ferry ride was about 40 minutes.

We got on the ferry half an hour after getting down there. We ate the Subway lunch we got and lined up to walk on. When we got to the other side we took a side road up which was less steep than the straight up which had just as many vehicles lined up. We road a few kilometers and turned around to go back to the ferry, not wanting to miss it due to too many foot passengers, and have to take the next one. We had dinner plans and wanted to get back. So we headed back, got some ice cream and lined up for an hour (because the ferry was half an hour late).

When we got to the other side again it was worse than it had been earlier. We had to walk quite a bit with the bike so stats are pretty wonky. We rode back to Thrifty’s for our daughter to pick us up.

Stats: Distance 44 km, Max speed 49 km/hr, Ave speed, under 20 due to that crazy climb and the walking with the bike to, on and off the ferry.

When we got back we realized the supper plans were on the other side of the Malahat and they had to be cancelled. We decided to take our friends out for supper and went to a nice little Thai place nearby which had great food. Spent a quiet evening visiting.

Our day didn’t work out like planned but it still worked out to be a good day. Tomorrow we will be doing touristy stuff and not riding. Regular posts to resume starting next week.

Day 3: Parksville to Duncan

Today started out better than yesterday although it wasn’t all smooth sailing. I am usually posting the highlights of our days and making it seem pretty magical and there are definitely those moments and I capture some of them in photos, but there are other times that just can’t even be explained let alone be captured with photos. The mornings after a couple of days on the road are kind of rough. This morning I felt tired before setting out. We drove to Parksville after staying with our friends again in Comox. Even with the coffee, I was feeling quite tired.

We set out and that initial sit down on the seat is not something I look forward to. Then the burning in the legs for that minute until the circulation starts; again not fun. But after that, things were going well and I felt pretty good. We had to go on the main highway which was a little more daunting particularly where the side barriers make the shoulder of the road narrower. We got back on the old highway but perhaps that wasn’t best as we had to go through Nanaimo so some places riding with traffic. Lorne ended up with a flat tire and it happened right near a bike shop which was great because he needed a new tire. He packed two in the van but our daughter had decided to go check out an island.

So tire changed we caught a trail through much of the city which was quite fun as it was mostly downhill. Once we were out of the city we continued to follow the signs of the highway which was a bit of a problem when we ended up at the ferry station. This added 15 km to our day. It was also a few big climbs there and partway back. On the bright side we took Cedar Road and ended up in Cedar and had lunch at Coco’s Bistro which was really refreshing.

The day was really warm, reaching 28˚C. The climbs seemed really long and while on the backroads a little steeper. I got pretty tired and felt sluggish. We tried to keep hydrated and got gatorade to help out but I think we were less than successful. The stats are quite telling.

So some stats: Distance 96 km, Time 4 hour 46 min, Avs 20.2 km/hr, Max speed 59.9 km/hr. Not a stellar performance.

We were pretty tired once we arrived and dry mouthed. Our daughter picked us up and we drove to our friends’ home in Shawnigan Lake where we will stay tonight and tomorrow night. We had a beautiful supper and visit and I am getting to bed much too late. It will be an easier day tomorrow, barring a 15 km detour.

Day 2: Courtenay to Parksville

Woke up early enough this morning leading to hopes of getting an early start. Sometimes things don’t work out the way you hope. We headed to where we were going to start out looking for a place to have breakfast. Having exhausted the buildings that way, we headed back to the other end of Courtenay where there was the bank we needed to go to for a business transaction. Of course it was closed but there was a Ricky’s next door. When we had finished we had to wait for our daughter because she had gone for a walk with the van key and my bank card was in the van. Transaction finished we headed to the other end of town to start our journey. It was after the bikes were unloaded, I realized I had left my shoes at the house, so back to Comox, then back to the south end of Courtenay yet again.

We got started around 11:30 and my frustration was relieved through pedalling. We had some climbs and some great downhills as well. Stopped a couple times for photo ops and to get off the seat. We did 58 km before stopping for a longer break, having a small, late lunch at the Beach Hut in Qualicum Beach. Our daughter showed up for a short time as well because she got to town around that time.

When we started out we got to see some baby deer on the side of the road in Qualicum Beach. We stopped for a wee chat with them. Found out later the deer are quite comfortable in town which is why I was able to get some photos from not too far away.

We headed to the opposite end of Parksville to the Info centre. Our daughter had just arrived as if we had planned it. She knew we were going to the other end of town and with our many other travels have often arranged to meet at the info centre of our destination town.

Some stats: Distance 75 km, Time 3 hours 28 minutes, Ave Speed 21.5 km/hr, Max speed 47.4 km/hr.

After we packed up, we headed to Coombs to check out the markets. We enjoyed our walk around. I got a couple little items for my fairy garden I made a couple weeks ago.

When we got back to our friends’s place supper was made and we have had a relaxing evening. This last photo is of the sweet dog Ollie who was so thrilled this morning I had forgotten my shoes because we came back to see him. He cheered me up.

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