Saturday, January 23, 2010

Medicine Cabinet Clean Out

I'm a little embarrassed to admit that when I wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep, I think about organizing my house, to help lull me to sleep. Oh yeah, I've analyzed this one a lot. Organization is something that I've been "working on" for years. Do you have anything that you've been trying to do/achieve, however "small" it may seem, for a long time? Organization helps me to feel calm, in control, and accomplished. I'm the kind of person who doesn't like the fact that a lot of things in life are beyond our control. It makes me uneasy, and spikes my anxiety. I don't really love the process of organizing a mess- but I love the finished results. And the process has taken on an almost meditative quality for me lately. When I'm focused on an organizing project, everything else gets pushed aside. My mind is quiet.

One thing that I love about our house is these built in cabinets in the hall by the bathroom.

In the bottom left, we keep towels. In the top left is our bedding.. sheets, etc. in the top right is extra shampoo bottles, and other bathroom items. In the lower right is the medicine cabinet (we don't have one in the bathroom).

Sadly, the medicine cabinet got to a point of disarray. Actually, it never was well organized.

Here's a before photo:

It's been bothering me lately, so I ordered some Clear Stacking Bins from the container store which fit into the space perfectly. I like that they are open in the front, so you can easily see and access what's inside them. I'm thinking about getting a label maker for labeling such bins.

I took everything out, wiped the shelves clean, tossed the things that we don't use, and organized most of what was left into the three bins. I thought about taking the medications out of their packaging, but realized that we might need to read the directions! Now, there is a lot more room. When you live in a small house, you need to make every part neat and functional, I think.

Here's what it looks like now (so much more pleasing to the eye, right?)

Just $20.00 or so, and about a half hour of time, and it's so much better.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Basic Work Out

Until I started my new job at the pilates studio about seven months ago, I taught fitness classes for 13 years. I taught it all... step aerobics, dance aerobics, kickboxing, body sculpting, abs/back class... of course, not all at once, and usually I only taught two or three classes a week. Getting exercise was easy because it was "built into" my job description! I also tried to get into the weight room a couple of times a week and lift weights.

Lately, there has been a big shift in how and when I work out, and I'm still adjusting to it. When I started my new job training for pilates, it was so intense ( I really felt like I was in medical school) that I hardly worked out at all for a number of months. That felt horrible, but it was all I could do to squeeze in a little walk or short run here and there. Maybe it was partially the emotional aspect for me. I was so overwhelmed and overworked for those months of training that I just came home and flopped, and didn't want to move. But my body started to feel the effects of not having enough regular exercise. I was getting sore and tight in ways I hadn't felt before, and that scared me.

I realized just how important movement is for me, physically and mentally. I knew that if I could work out more, it would help me relax and feel more centered at work, and in all aspects of my life. So I've started walking/jogging more. I like to record when I exercise on the calendar on my computer. Doesn't it feel good when you can look back and see that you worked out "X" many times during the week? I also try to take two pilates classes a week (not always easy when you have clients that conflict with class times) and, I'm trying to use the gym at work more.

I know, it seems kind of weird for a pilates instructor and personal trainer to be struggling with her own work outs, right? But even when you work at a gym/pilates studio, it can be hard to find the time/motivation/ whatever/ to get regular work outs. I'm dealing with the same issues that everyone has to deal with... finding exercises that I like to do, that I'll do regularly. It's different now that I'm not teaching cardio classes. When I teach pilates classes, I'm not actually doing the movements with the class for the most part- I show them what to do, and then walk around correcting their form, etc. It's also not cardio, though it's some good strengthening and stretching.

My new goal is to fit in a work out in the gym Monday mornings right after my 7:30 client, and then again on Thursday or Friday. I usually do about 20 min. to a half hour of cardio, and then some weights. It's not a long work out, but I feel like it's enough for now. I also try to take a pilates class twice a week, and then I walk/jog once or twice on the weekends.

I'm starting to feel like I want to take some kind of class on the weekends, but I'm not sure what kind yet. Spinning has been appealing to me, but I haven't tried it yet.

You really can get a decent work out in only a half hour. If you've been struggling with wanting to start doing something, but are having a hard time getting going, try this on a weekend morning...

Go on a half hour walk.... walk up some hills... you'll start to break a sweat. If you want to, you can add some short intervals of a slow run. When you come home, get on the floor and stretch/ do some abs for five or ten minutes. That's it. This has been one of my very basic work outs these last months, and it's made all the difference when I felt like I couldn't do more. Oh, and feel free to mark your work out on your calendar, and then have a nice warm cup of tea or coffee with a healthy breakfast....

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year, And A Little On Resolutions

Happy New Year,

I hope you brought in 2010 in a way that felt just right.

I usually stay in on New Years eve and do something cozy, but this year we had a little surprise. Lisa's cousin and her boyfriend (who we had never met) came to see us. Lisa was extremely excited, because her cousin had never been here. We took them out for dinner at one of our favorite Italian restaurants. Then we took them to our favorite dessert place. The food was delicious, and we had a great time talking and laughing with them. It was one of those occasions when you are suddenly mingling with (someone) you don't know very well, yet feeling connected. Lisa commented that she thought I did really well with the surprise visit, because I'm not always one to be able to be spontaneously social. But I've been trying to be more "in the moment" and adventurous, and I think it's showing. That makes me glad.

It's hard for me to make resolutions, because I'm always "working" on something. But the start of a new year does make me stop and think about where I've been and where I'm going, and hone in on some goals.

Here's the list that's been running through my head:

-Continue to try to be in the moment.. don't dwell on the past or the future- be aware and appreciative of what's right in front of me, and don't procrastinate on having what I want/need now.
-Help a person or family ( and ) animals that need help
- continue my quest for better organization- (organization is broad for me- my house, my finances, the things I don't enjoy like doctor appts., and even the way I speak
-make sure that I do enough creative things- esp. photography and writing

Have a good Sunday!