Tag Archives: exercise

Ten Year Report

Di of Pensitivity101 tagged me for this introspective challenge. I’ll begin with the high points of the past 10 years, followed by the low, and then answer her questions. I’m not going to tag anyone else. 🙂

High Points 2010 – 2020

In 2011, my sweet kitty Gatsby came into my life via the Orange County Animal Shelter. 😻❤️

My daughters both graduated from college (and did extremely well too), one in 2012 and one in 2015.

They also both got married to awesome guys (2017, 2019)! 💖💖

In 2018, a wonderful little granddaughter arrived! 😍✨🤩

I have published many books during these 10 years, and while they may not fly off the shelves, the fact that I have actual finished novels and other books out there gives me a great sense of accomplishment.

Low Points 2010 – 2020

My divorce was final in 2011, and while this was a necessary step, it’s still sad.

The relationship I had through my 2-year divorce process ended badly in 2011.

The entire 5-year dating debacle that followed was a depressing, and at times frightening, mess and continues to have repercussions to this day.

My dad passed in 2013 (my mom in 2008).

My cat Cocoa died in 2010 or 2011… my memory is a bit fuzzy right now. 😢

Di’s Questions

Is there any year in the past decade that stands out as the best?

-This last one (2019) ended up on a positive note because I moved into a new place with a good friend and got away from my old rundown apartment. I also spent quite a bit of time with family and friends and began writing a fun story. 🙂

Has your taste in music changed in the past ten years or do you think music in general has changed?

-I don’t listen to much new music, but in the last several years I’ve found myself liking more country and folk songs. Hard rock is a bit of a bore sometimes lately.

Are you heavier or lighter than you were ten years ago?

-I’m about the same, up maybe 2-3 pounds. But in the middle of these 10 years I was much lighter ~ I got sick from sushi (will never have it again) and could hardly eat for a month. Then a certain relationship stressed me out so much, anxiety kept my appetite away. I was 10 pounds lighter than today and so right now I feel “fat” because I liked the way I looked then. I’m hoping to get back there, but via exercise and good habits. 😇

How many cars have you owned in the past decade?

-Two.

Fun prompt! 🥳

~*~

Image snagged from Rory!

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

On Our Way [socs]

Stream of consciousness Saturday

On our wayto better days. That’s what we say, pumped up with our New Year’s Goals. Like many others, I’ve vowed to get in better shape… and the parking lot at the gym is crowded now. Yes, I drive to the gym, even though it’s in my condo complex, since management can’t seem to program my electronic key to get me through the last walk-thru gate. It’s like the opening sequence to Get Smart, if you’re old enough to remember that show. But whenever I ask about the key, the person who needs to deal with it has just left for the day. 🙄

I’m trying to avoid getting raging angry about so many things (another resolution). So what if I can’t walk through to the gym? It’s not the worst thing in the world. Now, the gate closest to my apartment has quit working from the outside… that’s okay, right? They’ll fix it eventually and it’s fine to take the long way around to a different gate. More exercise! Plus, it’s not like I do everything perfectly myself… I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my life too. As long as one gate works, and I can get home… like, whatever. 😜

My three words are from the chapter titled “Worth” in Jennifer Weiner’s book Hungry Heart. I don’t know why I purchased this book, except it has a picture of an upscale looking Hostess cupcake on the cover. I don’t think I’ve read any of her novels. I wanted to enjoy this book, because cupcake and also a smart and funny writer writing smartly and humorously about feeling fat and unloved… that’s so unusual! 🙃

But HH is incredibly tedious and dejavuey… like haven’t a million other smart fat girls written smartly and fatly about being smart and fat? Yawnnnn. And I find myself skimming much of Jennifer’s complaining. I loved her trip to Israel though, and how she finally decided to say eff it regarding other people’s opinions when she returned. Yeah! Who cares what people think! 😎

I thought the story would really take off from there, but no, back to yawwnville. An autobiography doesn’t have to be boring; I’ve read interesting ones. But they need to be edited, and saggy sections should be cut. Am I going to abandon it? No, I’ll probably skim the rest, so I can get credit for it on Goodreads. And I remain hopeful that there is something more to it I can enjoy, since I did get totally immersed in the one section. 🤩

Speaking of saggy things, exercise makes you hungry. If you burn up 100 calories on a bike, your brain will say hello time for a vat of pasta. And you can say no brain we are having a sensible scoop of tuna and some yummy crisp veggies. But our brain is sulking and plotting on how to trip us up. It’s not about being a “good” person or a “bad” person; we all come from a long line of people who avoided starving to death when there was very little food. Yay us and our superhero metabolisms. 😜

I see I forgot to finish this post Friday night and schedule it at 4am Saturday because I’ve been obsessed with watching Jeopardy on Netflix this week (not the GOAT thing, but catching up from last year). When I got home at 10, I turned on the TV, forgetting all about blogging. That’s unusual for me, but these are strange times. 😳

Luckily, I woke up earlier than God… and the first thing I thought of was yikes I didn’t post for SOCS! 😱

~*~

Image credit to Shelley Krupa.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

FPQ52: The Good Life

Fandango’s provocative question

Fandango provocatively asks…

What does living “the good life” mean to you? Do you think that you’re living “the good life”?

I’m going to guess that most people will answer in the affirmative to this question. They’ll say they’re living the good life, since anything else seems like admitting failure. We’re always supposed to upsell ourselves. My life is great! My marriage is fantastic! My new job is a blast! Six months later… divorce and bankruptcy court.

Cutting up marriage certificate

But I’m not most people. Not gonna upsell. (My phone doesn’t even believe that’s a word anyway.) I’m not living a “bad” life ~ obviously these definitions are subjective according to our own definition. In my case, I would say I am living an “okay” life.

To me, a good life would have included a happy long-term marriage. It’s not a whole lot of fun doing everything on my own as a single person… case in point, moving. Ugh! I had some help from friends, for which I am extremely grateful, but that’s not the same as a husband with whom you make mutually beneficial decisions. And it’s sure not making me happy to contemplate my lonely retirement on limited funds. Blah.

But as I said, it could be worse. Much worse. I could have ended up with one of the dating site psychos, gahhh. I could have made even stupider decisions than I did in all sorts of areas. No really! I could have.

There are lots of positives happening: good job, good friends, reasonable-ish health, adorable kitty, wonderful daughters, great sons-in-law, sweetest grand daughter, nice new place to live, etc.💖

Cute tuxedo kitty

But I’m plagued with chronic pain (yes, despite being in decent health otherwise). It keeps me from exercising and enjoying some of the good things around me. That gets me down a lot, and I don’t have one of those naturally bubbly type of personalities that goes wheeeeee it’s fine that my neck is all stabby… I’ll still go for a 5 mile joggeroo and smell the flowers cuz life is beautiful! Eff that. 😛

If I’d known I was going to be single at the end of the game, I would have focused more intently on education and career in my 20s. I had every opportunity, but wasn’t thinking about the big picture at that point. I could have done so much more… and made so much more money. You say money isn’t important? Try looking for a place to live in Southern California!😳

On the other hand, it’s gorgeous here. And there’s a lot to do, plus it’s still free to watch the sunsets over the ocean (not to park at the beach however). I’m glad I didn’t stay in Chicago, despite the pizza.🍕

There you have it. Again, not everything has to be extreme, good/bad, love/hate. My life is okay. Not great. Not terrible.

California sunset

~*~

Image credits to Fandango and me and idk about the orange scissors one so whatever.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Me Myself and I

[post title stolen from Beckie]

Rory has a new game happening, which is all about me.

Bitmoji legend

Now, I realize I’ve been saying that I’m gonna avoid these kinds of rambling personal posts and focus more on fiction and poetry, but the first thing you need to understand about me is… I’m a liar. Okay then.

1. What is your favourite sweet treat?

I have lots of favorite sweet treats. But first, let me announce that I’m not a chocoholic. I can happily leave the choccy treats to others… and while I enjoy a chocolate chip cookie like any normal human, it’s not at the top of my list. What is? Coconut cake, lemon bars, thick homemade peanut butter cookies, and crumbly cinnamon coffee cake (like the kind Starbucks used to sell before they made it “healthy”). I also love pie, but am super picky about it ~ if it’s not exactly right, I don’t like it at all. Forex, pumpkin pie is awesome but only if it has a graham cracker crust and whipped cream on top. Otherwise, meh.

Pumpkin pie with graham cracker crust and whipped cream

2. If you want to really relax – what is your go to?

I have a hard time totally relaxing. There’s always something (usually several things) bothering me somewhat. Idk how people can forget about all that’s wrong with this world… even if you’re personally cocooned against financial horrors, what about other people and animals? You must know of the vast suffering that goes on day in and day out, unabated. I just trudge along, I guess. There are things that temporarily distract me like movies, games, poetry. But I know the other stuff is there while I divert myself with trivia. I spend too much time on news sites, which is depressing, and I know I should stop. What’s the point? I can’t do anything about all this outrage… it just boils in my brain, keeping me from being able to relax. Soon, I’ll be moving to a place where it’ll be easier to exercise; maybe that will help.

Treadmill bitmoji

3. What is your guiltiest pleasure?

This is a weird question for me now. I don’t feel I even have “guilty pleasures” these days. I hardly indulge in anything because of fear of consequences. And after a while, not indulging becomes as much of a habit as indulging, you know? It’s like I’m too lazy to do anything wrong. Drinking? Nah. That’ll give me a migraine. Sex? No thanks. Too stressful to deal with another person. Overeating? Ick, tummy ache! The only self-indulgent thing I might do is not get dressed on a Sunday and watch movies or read all day instead of finishing any chores. But this isn’t even that pleasurable… I only do it when I’m really tired. And I’ll feel bad when the unproductive day is done.

Bitmoji relaxing with kitty

So, there you have it, Rory. Super boring personal jabber. I warned you. 😜

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Who Needs Drama? [fiction 725]

[This is a multi-part story. Lexi Brown is trying to escape her past and create a new life for herself in Otter Village, 500 miles from where a traumatic event occurred 6 months ago. In our last episode, we read that Kevin and Lexi took a romantic stroll and she told him about her past, after which they shared their first kiss.

Here are the posts in order so far:

Falling
Sisterly Chat
Smoothies
The Angry Brother
Trust Issues
Something You Don’t Know
Moonlight]

Man in blue suit talking at meeting

Kevin had a busy morning, which was a good thing because he didn’t want to spend time thinking about Lexi. His afternoon passed similarly, in a crush of meetings and reports, since it was third quarter end, and he needed everyone in sync for a great year-end. Just because he’d downsized from Chicago to Otter Village didn’t mean he’d lost his drive to produce the bottom line results for his superiors. A hotel was a hotel after all.

But eventually he ran out of energy, even after copious amounts of coffee, and called it a day at 9pm. Now there was a difference between this sleepy town and the big city: he had pulled all nighters at quarter-end back there as general manager. Part of that could have been due to his ongoing anxiety to impress the Chairman of the Board, aka Dad, he finally admitted to himself as he headed out the door into the refreshing evening air.

“Hey, Kev.” The afternoon chef greeted him as he headed toward the beach. “Going for a run tonight?”

Kevin had changed into casual clothes a few hours ago. “Actually I’m headed home to zone out in front of the tube. I’m beat. Tomorrow?”

“Sure thing!”

Unfortunately, without work or exercise to direct his thoughts, they immediately wandered back to Lexi… and that kiss.

Kiss in the moonlight

What had happened to his plan to go a year without getting involved with anyone? It hadn’t even been four months since he’d relocated! He had thought he’d ended things sensibly and amicably with Emily, but she’d badmouthed him to family and friends, while he’d said nothing, trying to be a gentleman. They’d all relentlessly criticized him, telling him what a terrible mistake he was making. Yet, he stayed in Chicago, where he’d grown up, gone to school and college, knew everyone in the neighborhood.

But then Emily slept with his best friend, got pregnant, married him, had the baby. Kevin felt forced to attend the wedding and fake happiness, with his parents and sisters gloating “told you!” every chance they got. Spiraling into a black mood, Kevin began hitting the downtown bars every weekend and hooking up with whichever random woman caught his eye. One of the women was a employment recruiter, in Chicago for a convention, and had stuck her card in his pocket before they’d parted. Disgusted with his life, Kevin impulsively called her when he found the card. Not for a date, but to send her his resume.

She had a job for him–this one, 3,500 miles from Chicago. Perfect!

Kevin unlocked the front door of his rented condo. He liked it here. Liked his simple life consisting of work, exercise, friends, TV. Once every couple weeks, he called his mother to say hello and “liked” one of his sisters’ Facebook photos. If they texted, he’d give a short, cheery reply. No drama. That was the key.

Relationships were drama. And Lexi? Kevin laughed as he peered in the fridge. Lexi was the freaking epitome of drama. She escaped here, supposedly incognito, after being the victim of a violent crime, with her crazy husband as the perp. A cop killed her mister, and the dead dude’s brother blamed Lexi. Even though Lexi had been using a fake name (more drama), brother dearest, likely another psycho, found her, and he’d probably eventually hotfoot it up here for a dramatic showdown.

Kevin pulled out a container of leftover Chinese food and smelled it. Seemed fine. He dumped it in a bowl with the leftover rice and nuked it in the microwave. As the oven ticked away, Kevin stared out into the darkness of his patio. Just last night he had been with Lexi, in the warm kitchen of her rooming house, filled with the delicious scent of freshly baked cookies. It was nice having Lexi fluttering around him, making sure he was happy and fed. A man could get used to that. Not to mention her soft curves, fitting so well in his arms…

The microwave dinged. As Kevin ate dinner by himself, he thought maybe he could be a little bit flexible on that one year dating moratorium he’d given himself. It had been four months. What if he said six months, not a year, and took things really slowly for the next two? That could work…

Redhead with brown eyes

[to be continued]

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Laura’s Music Challenge 30

Girl playing instrument

Happy Monday! It’s time to start the week on a joyful note by joining Laura’s song challenge! 😻❤️🎶

1. Post a video of a song that is about getting spiffied up.

2. Post a video of a song that makes you cry for no particular reason.

3. Post a video of a song that is a great work out song.

Warning: NSFW!

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

FPQ23: I Burn Whole Cities

Fandango provocatively asks…

“How do you manage or deal with stress? Is there a specific strategy or approach that you’ve found to be particularly effective?”

My post title comes from the HBO show Game of Thrones where dragons have been known to release stress by destroying cities with fire. I am not a dragon, alas, though I have gotten vicarious pleasure especially during stressful times by reading A Song of Ice and Fire and from watching the show.

In general, I find that losing myself in a fantasy world of a novel or movie for a few hours is a great way to deal with stress. I do prefer movies over series, or series that have finished, because I don’t want to have to wait for the next season (and these days, that can be so unpredictable), which ends up leaving me at the mercy of people yapping online about the show and giving their predictions. Annoying!

Depending on what the stressful even was, I may wish to talk about it privately, with a daughter or a friend. I’m careful what I say to whom these days though, so as not to end up with more stress from the convo itself. I may write about the situation in a diary for my own clarification. I find the act of writing words on a page/screen to be therapeutic.

For immediate relief, deep breaths work. For a 24 hour period, repeating the mantra that “this too shall pass” helps a lot. If I can’t sleep, there’s always the Valium or Benadryl last resort. It’s really bad not to sleep because then I’ll feel even worse the next day, which will increase my stress. Cuddling my kitty and spending time alone at home usually helps me feel better.

Here are some stress management techniques that are supposed to help but do nothing for me:

1. Exercise. I know it’s good for me, but it makes everything hurt more and I end up with a (worse) headache.

2. Taking a vacation. Way out of my budget and I would be completely stressed about the money I spent.

3. Glass of wine. This is a migraine trigger about 50% of the time.

4. Music. This is tricky because a lot of songs pull up sad memories for me. I have to be careful about music. Plus, Gatsby doesn’t like it. Mostly I only listen in the car.

5. Sex. With a man? This was generally the cause of almost all my stress and giving it up has reduced my anxiety to nearly zero.

Dracarys! 🔥🔥🔥

Seven More Secrets

Big thanks to the lovely Sadje, one of my favorite bloggers, for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award. When I say “lovely,” I’m talking about Sadje’s kindness in the blogging community and her support toward her fellow bloggers. She’s always there with an uplifting word and a cheerful comment to brighten the day. Sometimes I may not be in the mood for sunshine, but it is good to know where to find it regardless. Since Sadje blogs anonymously, I can only imagine she’s just as lovely in person as her personality indicates.

Now, I will go ahead and reveal seven more secrets from the depths of my soul, but I’m not going to nominate anyone else for the award. However, if you follow me and haven’t received one of these yet, I would love to share mine with you! Just copypasta the image, link back to me, and make the list of seven things. Nominate people if you wish (tag them so they know).

1. I took an exercise walk yesterday at the park, woohoo! It was about a mile and a half total, which is a lot for me, given my chronic pain issues. 😀

2. Today I feel okay (for me), so I’m going to take another walk. 👍🏻

3. My kitty has been sick! I switched his food to a hairball preventative, and it didn’t agree with him. Then all his regular food made him sick too! 😢

4. I ran out last night and bought plain baby food chicken because he hadn’t eaten all day, but he only took one lick of it.

5. This morning I went to the pet food store and they gave me samples of new food to try. Gatsby ate a little of this and didn’t throw up, hurrah! 😻

6. They also told me the crunchy food I’ve been giving him isn’t nutritious, so I bought new crunchy food, but he hasn’t tried it yet… one thing at a time. 😺

7. The cremation society has been sending my ex-husband junk mail at my address and I find this very disturbing ~ we’re divorced, but neither one of us is dead yet, so BACK OFF! ⚱️

FPQ20: The Hardship Lollipop

Fandango provocatively asks…

“Does hardship really make a person stronger? If you think so, under what conditions and at what point is it too much hardship? If you don’t buy that hardship makes a person stronger, what do you think does make a person stronger?”

Welp, I can only speak for myself… and the answer is… it depends!

Let’s take physical hardship, as it pertains to me. I am in chronic pain and have been for years. Does it make me stronger? Hell no. It sucks. I used to belong to a gym. I used to take 5 mile walks. Now, I can barely drag myself out of bed. I keep saying I’ll feel better if I get some exercise, but it’s so impossible to do anything when I’m at this level of pain, which I am all day every day.

On the otter hand, financial hardship was good for me. No really. I was spoiled by my parents and segued right into being the kind of wife whose husband took care of the money. I was told how much I could spend and had no idea what was going on. When it all came crashing down, I had to learn how to take care of myself and my children later in life. It was a good lesson and made me a better person in all kinds of ways.

As usual, these answers depend on the person and the circumstances. 🙂

A Glut of Glitches

Mistakes have been made,

But no one will be blamed…

“These things happen.”

Maybe some are my fault;

It’s hard to know exactly

Where the fingers slip

And the glitches begin…

Symptoms of the po-mo age,

And it could be worse–

It could be raining.

I should disconnect,

Go gridless and rest,

Get some exercise

Emerge from my nest

Of electrical tech

Into the sunshine.

That sounds sublime,

But I’d feel so alone

Without all the souls

Who live in my phone.