How’re you doing during these crazy times? Hanging in there? Still getting some exercise? Still eating relatively healthy? Me too! So here’s a recap with plenty of pics and a survey invitation at the very end…
MARCH 22, WEEK 01
Everything started closing down statewide. I typically work from home, but usually have places to go, things to do, classes to teach, etc. throughout the week. It was the first time in memory I stopped that daily routine. Suddenly, there was nowhere to go, not as much to do, no classes to teach, and so on. Mind-boggling how quickly things changed in only a matter of days. Even more mind-boggling is how interconnected everything and everyone is, both financially and otherwise. 😲
Oh and everyone started panicking and buying up toilet paper, bottled water, and hand sanitizer. Really? I mean, I ain’t judging, but REALLY? Toilet paper, bottled water, and hand sanitizer?! SMH (As you can probably guess, I’m not one to cave much to panic 😉)
MARCH 29, WEEK 02
I took the liberty of pretty much gutting my entire bedroom and donating a lot of clothing (in desperate need of retirement), organizing my closet (dress clothing to the left descending to casual on the right), organizing my desk (positively no more clutter and much more space). 💻
Speaking of desks, my desk lamp has sat in the very center back of my desk for YEARS. Did you know that moving a lamp to one corner on the same desk does SPECTACULAR things to your desk?! OMG! I can’t even tell you how much bigger/more spacious my desktop appears to be after that one single move! If there ever were miracles, this would definitely have to qualify!
And now I want to swap out that red wall for a different color… and get a different desk lamp…
This was also the first week I was unable to find rice in the markets. Do you know what it’s like to deprive an Asian of rice?! It’s like taking a fish out of water. We flop around in death throes, gasping for air, trying desperately to survive. 🐟 I’m kidding of course (sort of). While I don’t eat as much rice as often as I did when I was a kid, it’s always nice to have some on hand – kind of like a security blanket. I’m sure you all have something similar in your fridge, pantry, or cupboards. Right? Riiight??
I started riding my Fixie (fixed speed bicycle) here and there. 🚲 So grateful to have it and so happy to have finished outfitting it weeks before COVID.
I also started putting together a 600 piece Star Trek puzzle my sister gave to me for (Christmas?) YEARS ago. Author’s note: “YEARS ago” will appear again later.
APRIL 5, WEEK 03
My cleaning/organizing Tasmanian Devil self moved into the kitchen, living room, and business office. NOTHING was safe! 🌪🌪🌪 Forget COVID-19! That unused kitchen appliance which sat for MONTHS (probably more like years) in the back of the cupboard is now gone to the donation pile. The random collection of random stuff in the living room? Either in the trash or the donation pile. My business office? Health and fitness texts – organized, monthly professional journals – organized, old flyers, cards, and odds and ends – trash. The ginormous pile to be shredded – SHREDDED. I had to stop a few times because the shredder started smoking and the red light came on! YIKES.
And then, when all was said and done, I ran a clean, damp cloth over everything and removed a thin film of grime and dust from all of it. Did you know grime and dust carries an ODOR?! I sure didn’t! That’s the downside to living a block away from a major thoroughfare/30th Street. Blame it on my bachelor life, but I didn’t know rooms could smell SO much better after you give everything in it a thorough dusting!
Rain and other stuff…
No bike rides this week. It started raining in SoCal and it rained every day. Not always 24/7, but enough to cause flooding around the area multiple times. We’ve also got a leak in our utility room so it was doing its leak thing. How much did it rain? 🌧🌧🌧 Well, I had to empty a 5 gallon bucket four times over the course of 6 days. Each time it was about half full, so that’s about 10 gallons of water that came thru the ceiling. YIKES.
Oh. And I started Phase 1 (3 weeks) of my new workout routine! After all, the training studio is completely outfitted, so why not? I’m very grateful to have it available and I have literally zero excuses not to use it.
APRIL 12, WEEK 04
After nearly a week, the rain finally ended yesterday… and so did the ceiling in the utility room.
Started my bike rides again, 9 miles, three times a week. 🚲
LUCKY ME! On April 15, I was one of the thousands (millions?) who were unable to get a status on the whereabouts of my stimulus check. “According to information that we have on file, we cannot determine your eligibility for a payment at this time.” WOO!
I began checking every day (and only once a day) as to the status of my piece of the pie. And every day, “According to information that we have on file…” Unbelievable. US citizen, files taxes every year, pays taxes every year yet “we cannot determine your eligibility for a payment at this time.” Gotta love it!
On the positive side of things? I FINALLY finished the first of seven Harry Potter books (thank you for the boxed set Reuben!) and moved on to the second one! Why is that such a big deal? Because I started reading the first book in December, 2016 – yes, 2016!
Not only that, but I’ve found that taking time to read a book actually helps me to slow my mind down, especially if I’ve been on the computer for several hours or playing video games. Reading forces me to slow down and focus on something different for a change. And who doesn’t love Harry Potter anyway?!
I also finished the Star Trek puzzle (and had 2 extra pieces to boot). Somebody, somewhere is royally pissed off and missing two pieces from THEIR puzzle! This was yet another way to slow the brain down and focus on something tangible and tactile.
Oh and I moved to Week 2 of my new workout routine! 💪🏽
APRIL 19, WEEK 05
On April 24 (day 10 of checking the IRS website), it finally gave me a different response! This time, it said it needed more information and asked for my 2018 AGI and whether I received a refund or paid/owe. I filled in all the blanks it was looking for and hit SUBMIT. HOORAY! I’ve moved on to the next phase! “You are eligible for the payment. Once we have your payment date, we will update this page.” *face palm* Back to checking the site every day. 😑
The Legend of Zelda
I declared victory over the 4th (and final) Divine Beast in the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild video game. (And mind you, I didn’t really start playing video games until probably a year or two ago.) Now all that’s left is to defeat Calamity Ganon, but I’ve got a ways to go before that!
If you’ve got time, some money, and well… some more time, you’ve got to get a Nintendo Switch AND this game at the very least. Even if all you do is wander around, the scenery changes from fierce and incredibly hot volcanoes to frigid snow-capped mountain tops to tropical rain forests to expansive woodland forests and so much more; the game does NOT disappoint. Simply breathtaking, especially on a big screen!
But, if you want to kill monsters, collect random stuff, cook food, meet interesting characters, and tame a few horses, you can do that too! I’m very grateful to have it (my sister spoils me, thank you!) I can’t recommend it enough especially nowadays when a little bit of escapism is definitely a good thing.
And before you scoff, check out this article from NPR! Growing old is mandatory, growing up is not! 😁
And other stuff…
I moved on to the final week of the first phase of my pandemic workout routine!
And I finally got around to making some funnel cake which my sister (surprise!) gifted to me YEARS ago. It actually turned out VERY tasty despite the “Expired 2018” stamp on the package! 😋
Don’t be alarmed, I’m still eating quite healthy: my signature smoothies, salads, chicken, tuna, black beans (I love this instant pot black bean recipe), whole grain pastas, an occasional, legit Chinese stir-fry or other recipe, and even sardines in tomato sauce (don’t knock it till you try it!) And, if you don’t have an Instant Pot, you need to get one like YESTERDAY. It’s a gamechanger in the kitchen and I’m pretty stoked to have it! (Thank you Dave and Lorine!)
This week it got downright sunny and HOT in SoCal. Temps in the mid-80s, flirting with 90 here in North Park just outside of Downtown. 🥵 Talk about bipolar weather. One week, it’s monsooning and cold, the next it’s back to desert heat. At least it’s a “dry” heat. 😊 Regardless, I’ve maintained my 9 mile bike ride 3x weekly.
APRIL 26, WEEK 06 AND BEYOND
- Move on to Phase 2 (3 week duration) of my pandemic workout routine.
- Continue my 9 mile bike ride 3x weekly
- Continue eating healthy
- Continue getting 7+ hours of sleep nightly
- Continue practicing gratitude daily
- Take care of assorted business-related tasks and housekeeping
I’ve related my last several weeks to you because my hope is two-fold; first, you’ll know that I’m still alive and well, and two, that creating and sticking to a routine will help keep you grounded in reality, no matter how much the world may appear to be spinning crazily out of control. If you haven’t done so already, take some time to figure out what works best for you. The key points below have worked well for me.
Everyone responds to stressful situations and events differently, however, there are many things we can do to help mitigate that stress. Some people like to remain in touch with friends, others prefer to be more in touch with family, and still others are content with alone time.
Some people enjoy music, reading, podcasts, playing video games, surfing the web (if you like surveys and nerding out to statistics, you NEED to check out this website!), getting outside for a walk or a run, working out, and the list goes on. Whatever you choose, be sure to include exercise on a regular basis. Choose what works best for you and then stick to it. It’ll help relieve stress and can also help boost your immune system.
Nowadays, it’s especially important to remember that there are some things you can control and others you can’t. I know it may be easier said than done, but let go of those things over which you have no control (this includes other people); you’ll feel better (and so will they!)
And to the extent that you’re aware and able, work on being mindful of and controlling your personal thoughts, emotions, behaviors, actions, and reactions to other people, places, things, and situations. The keyword here being “aware.” With better awareness comes usually better handling ability.
Hopefully, you’re taking some of this down time to reflect a little more on your priorities, goals, and aspirations. This is especially a great time to be more mindful of your health, particularly when it comes to exercise and nutrition.
Maybe you can also spend more time communicating with friends or family. Start that new hobby. Read that book you’ve always wanted to read. Play that game you’ve always wanted to play. Put together that puzzle. Make that funnel cake! Whatever it is, you’ve got ample opportunity during this “hard reset,” don’t miss it!
It may sound cliche, but practicing gratitude/being grateful for things, people, situations, etc. really does go a long way to framing things in a better perspective. In other words, no matter how bad things may seem, there is always a positive side. And if that isn’t enough, the fact that you were even BORN is huge, your odds were 400 TRILLION TO ONE! Let THAT soak in for a minute or two. 😊 Your mom and dad could have waited just ONE MINUTE longer (or started one minte EARLIER) and you would NOT have happened! Or, you’d be someone completely different! 🤯
In all seriousness, if you’re exercising regularly, de-stressing regularly, eating relatively healthy, moderating the alcohol consumption, getting at least 8 hours of shut-eye nightly, and practicing gratitude on a daily basis, I’d be willing to bet you’re on the right track for great self-care.
So last night, I created a COVID-19 survey because I’m curious how everyone else is holding up in the exercise, nutrition, sleep, and stress departments. It should take 10, maybe 15 minutes, to complete. I’ll close it out in a week and post the results. And please feel free to forward the survey on to others to complete! The more responses I get, the better!
I do hope this blog post finds you and yours well, gave you a few laughs, chuckles, or smiles, and/or helped you in some other way. For now, if you have any questions, need to chat/vent, or just plain want to catch up, don’t hesitate to call or text me at 858.336.7573 or email me at [email protected]. Until next time!
Update 4/26/20 5:00pm… Finished Chamber of Secrets and now starting Prisoner of Azkaban! Now go take our survey! 😷😁