meditation · rest · self care

Week 1 of Finishing Soft

Last week, I wrote about my conscious decision to finish 2023 soft but as we all know, there’s a big difference between wanting things to be soft and actually making them that way.

Here’s how it’s going so far:


Even though my intention to finish soft is just the first step in the process, it is an important one.

Knowing that I want to steer toward a particular feeling, to aim for more rest and relaxation, takes a lot of pressure off and helps me avoid that vague, looming sense that I *should* be working harder.


I had to make some tough decisions about what I could actually get done, what could wait, and what I could delegate. And I had to make sure that I didn’t wear myself down with the process of decision-making.

My solution was pick the things that loomed the largest and make those decisions first. I decided to schedule some of the other decisions for this week. And others will wait until the relevant situations arise.

Active Rest

I know all about active rest as part of a fitness routine but I only recently thought to apply it to regular old resting. I’m not claiming this as a brand new idea or anything but it has been a useful framework this past week so bear with me.

I’ve written before about how just ‘doing nothing’ is not very restful for me and I knew that I would have to make some clear choices about what rest and relaxation were going to look like for me.

I also knew that really resting, actually letting my nervous system relax, was going to involve more than dialing back my activities. Instead I would have to consciously choose active rest – activities that would quiet my mind, slow my heart rate, let me shed some of the ambient stress of this year.

Yoga and meditation are obvious choices here and I have been choosing videos and audio practices that emphasize the feelings I’m looking for. My search fields are now autogenerating words like ‘reset’, ‘soothing’, and ‘restful.’

Drawing – especially repetitive patterns – can also fall into the active rest category and I have been doing a fair bit of that.

And I have been doing a bit more reading (mystery stories!) and listening to cello music both of which bring a lovely sense of overall calm.

And I think that doing jigsaw puzzles will help, too, but I haven’t gotten around to those. I’ll let you know how that goes.


Obviously, I can’t say that I’m soft yet, it’s only been a week.

I think, though, that I am softening, at least a little.

And that feels pretty good.

ADHD · fitness · meditation · mindfulness

Christine and the Meditation Mystery

I have been doing a short meditation (less than 5 mins) every day for almost 3 months now.

After each session, my app (Insight Timer) prompts me to journal about it and even though I haven’t gone back to read what each journal entry says, I know that today’s entry was a pretty typical one.

It went something like this “Hard to focus, kept getting distracted. Still worth the effort though.”

I’m not judging myself for not being “good” at meditation.

I know that bringing myself back to my breath over and over is good for me.

I know that the practice is the point.

Also, holding onto the habit of meditating, no matter how “successful” I have been, has been extremely helpful amid the emotional challenges of the past two months.

So, I was going to forge ahead with short practices and see what happened.

A light haired dog sitting peacefully on green grass under a tree.
Khalee also does mindful meditation sessions but she doesn’t overthink them like I do. Image description: a photo of a Khalee, a medium-sized, light-haired dog sitting peacefully under a tree on a green lawn. Patches of sunlight are here and there across the grass. She is peaceful but alert with all of her paws folded under her body. This position is often described ‘being a loaf’ or ‘loaf dog’

Then I came across a program that involves longer meditations led by an instructor I enjoy.

And even though I was hesitant about my ability to do longer meditations, I decided to go for it and I started last week.

And here’s where we get to the mystery:

It is just as hard for me to convince myself to start a 12 minute meditation as it is for me to start a 2 minute one but once I get started…

It is WAAAAAAAAY easier to meditate for 12 minutes than for 2 minutes.

Not only do I feel better afterwards, I feel better DURING the 12 minute practices.

Mysterious, right?

Shouldn’t my ADHD brain be getting bored?

Shouldn’t it be HARDER to do a longer session than a shorter one?

Why doesn’t my brain want to peek at the timer every 30 seconds during a long meditation the way it does during a short one?

If the 12 minute sessions were guided meditations, my relative ease might make more sense but they aren’t guided, they just have some specific instructions for when thoughts arise. And those instructions don’t seem all that different than most standard advice about meditating.

Perhaps my brain likes the opportunity to try focusing over and over again in a longer time frame. Maybe my subconscious doesn’t think it is worth the effort to focus for just two minutes?

I haven’t solved this mystery.

Clearly I need to gather more clues.

*closes eyes, begins to breathe slowly*

habits · meditation · mindfulness · WOTY

Lying to Myself About Meditation

Monday morning. May 8th 2023. I wake up after an unusually restful night of sleep. I know I got up to the bathroom once. Other than that, I have no recollection of sleepless restlessness, which is not the norm for me these last many months. The first thing I notice is the fading rose of the light on the buildings out my window, soft and clear. I am surprised the day is here. I check my iPad for the time. It’s on the bedside table. Reading a novel (on the kindle app on my iPad) in bed as I fall asleep is one of my life’s pleasures.

And, in that moment, reaching for the time, I realize this: I did not meditate yesterday. Horror! How could I have forgotten?

I comb back through the day. It was not my typical Sunday. To start with, I didn’t get into bed until 4:00 am. I was taking part in a big group photo shoot organized by some friends, which didn’t start until past midnight. That same morning, I stayed longer in bed than usual … waiting until the moment before I needed to leave for my 5 Rhythms group at noon. I left my iPad out in a particular location to remind myself to meditate when I got back. But not with a note, as I often do, if I don’t meditate first thing in the morning.

That was May 7th. My cousin’s birthday. He was born 4 days before me. It would have been 1617 days of meditation in a row. 617 days since the last day of the first in-person visit with my mother after pandemic.

My streak!!?? I couldn’t lose my meditation streak, too! Enough with the loss already (I won’t get into the details—I’ve written about them the last couple of months.)

I recalled that while I was lying in bed Sunday morning, I had thought to myself, maybe 5 Rhythms will be my meditation today. After all, Gabrielle Roth, who developed the technique, called it a moving mediation. Still, if I’m honest, I wasn’t thinking about that anymore when I got to the studio. I was just inside my body, inside the dance. So, did it count if I hadn’t thought to myself, in the moment, this is my meditation?

I’ve been meditating daily for more than 4 years now, and I have adjusted my expectations and the form my meditation can take several times. For example, when I started, I required of myself a minimum of 20 minutes. After a month, I relaxed into any amount of time counting, so long as I sat down intentionally. My meditations now are most commonly 10 minutes long. Another requirement was that I be seated—a cushion or a chair (airplane seats count) or a patch of grass. Just seated, you get the picture. Then, about six months ago, when life got especially challenging, I began to relax the seated requirement and relaxed into lying down meditation. Sometimes (often on days when I’ve woken up super early or am having trouble motivating myself to get out of bed), I start my day with a meditation in bed. 

So, I am not averse to adjusting my meditation habits over time. And, I’ve never made the adjustment unconsciously. And, I’ve never included a moving meditation in my streak, at least not before May 7th. And, I do think it’s appropriate to count 5 Rhythms as a meditation, though I’d probably feel differently if it was the only form of daily meditation I practiced every day, which is how I feel about lying down meditation, too. Yes, at times the system of rules and regulations and definitions of what counts and what doesn’t inside my head verge on the Kafkaesque. For example, I don’t count riding around town on a bike as my workout, but I’ve also realized that it is a factor that needs to inform the workout I choose to do on a day when I’ll be riding around town a lot.

Which brings me back to my immediate problem on May 8th—what should I do about the meditation streak?

First, I decided to meditate, with the intention to notice what was coming up around the issue. Then, I thought, why bother? You’re just fooling yourself. You’re back to zero. You won’t get back into the 1600s on a new streak until you’re into your sixties. Suck it up. I sat down to meditate anyway. I considered whether there was a freedom in not being on the streak anymore. I’ve got a number of new, unasked for and unwanted, freedoms in my life. I don’t want more of these types of freedoms.

These thoughts crowded my mind: I have deep expertise in the field of being hard on myself, maybe this was not the moment? But if I follow that logic, was I at risk of being too gentle? What long time discipline would I cheat on next? If I decided to count 5 Rhythms, was I lying to myself? What would I lie to myself about next? A rabbit hole of dire possibilities yawned open.

Then, as if switch flipped, my mind quieted and I heard, count it. Add the session into your log. The streak motivates you If after a few days, you feel like a lying, cheating fraud, you can always take it out.

Well, it’s been more than a week now. When I look at my streak count, which is, as I type this (on Friday May 19, is 1628, I feel no remorse. I’ve come clean here about my streak. That’s enough. No public hanging required. I will continue on with my streak.

That last sentence was supposed to be the end of this post. My intention was to let the writing sit over the weekend and come back to polish the next week.


Saturday morning. May 20th 2023. I finish my run and decide to meditate outdoors. It’s only then that I realize, holy fucking shit, I did not meditate on Friday. The very day I was writing my first draft of this post, I forgot to meditate. Again. And this time, there was no 5 Rhythms waiting in the wings to save me. I was stunned. Was this the universe punishing me because I was lying to myself about my meditation streak with my 5 Rhythms fiddle? I sat down to meditate on my new streak-less reality. As I listened to the wind in the trees and breathed the breeze, waves of grief, followed by waves of jubilation rocked through my body. Each wave swelling into the space of the receding wave, as grief rolled into jubilation rolled into grief. For everything that’s been happening. When I finished my meditation, I was shaken. And I accepted. No, more than that, I welcomed what was. That was my word of the year, here was a reminder of the practice. I was not being punished or tested or whatever. I was living and doing the best I can. Later that day I bought a bottle of champagne to share with the friends I was having dinner with. To celebrate the ongoing deconstruction of my life.

This was the quote on my Insight Timer app on the day I realized that I’d forgotten to meditate. It felt like a message addressed to me rather directly. And the other image is my welcome to what now is.

I’m on day 4 of my new streak today. Or so Insight Timer tells me. And I don’t intend to streak for the time being. I will take the days as they come. 

fitness · meditation

Six things to do to celebrate World Meditation Day

Yes, it’s finally arrived. We’ve all been waiting impatiently– hankering to put up our meditation house decorations, buy enlightenment-directed presents, draw names at the office for the annual Secret Bodhisattva event, you name it. Well, knock yourself out (or rather, sit yourself down on your zafu cushion), because it’s happening today: that’s right, it’s World Meditation Day 2023!

World Meditation day slide template with graphics of candles, chimes, a mandala, and a person meditating wth very big flowy hair.
There’s apparently a dedicated World Meditation Day slide template. Hit me up if you want a copy.

Lest you think this is just a niche event, I saw that LinkedIn is planning its own workplace meditation activities. Here are some of their graphics, as proof.

People meditating in workplace casual attire, against that blue LinkedIn background.
People meditating in workplace casual attire, against that blue LinkedIn background.

You may be having trouble narrowing down what to do in honor of this very auspicious day. Don’t worry– I’ve put together a handy list of things that I might do; feel free to follow my lead, or create your own list (which I’d love to hear about in the comments, if writing comments ends up on your list…)

Number one: Nothing. I mean, spend some time doing nothing. Sit or stand or walk or lie down and just be for a bit. Let things get a little quieter. No multitasking for now. Oh, and either close your eyes or not; if not, maybe look softly slightly ahead of you and down a little bit so your head is comfortable.

Number two: Notice. What’s happening as I’m standing, sitting, walking, lying down or whatever? Are there sounds? Smells? Sensations? Feelings? Thoughts? All of the above? None of the above? Okay.

Number three: Breathe. In. Out. If you want to notice that, do so. You’ll likely get distracted (as you are one of the sentient humans), and then you’ll notice you’re distracted, so you’ll go back to noticing your breathing. Or the sensations, or sounds. Or whatever.

Number four: Maybe set a timer before starting (this should’ve been number zero– sorry about that) if you feel uncomfortable with something open-ended, if you’re busy, if you are a timer fan (I’m one of them– I almost never meditate without one, which is… totally fine. Up to you), or whatever. If want a timer specific to meditation, there are a zillion of them. Insight Timer is free and one of the many you might like.

Number five: Stop. You’ve probably got other things to do today (World Meditation Day block party or BBQ?). More likely those things include laundry, work, play, socializing, or dealing with any number of the things in our rich and complicated lives. So, go on and do those things now.

Number six: Consider starting over again at number one tomorrow. It won’t be World Meditation Day 2023. But, it will be a day in which the world might benefit from some meditation. Just a thought.

Hey readers– what did you end up doing on World Meditation Day? Lemme know.

meditation · mindfulness

Christine’s Wrist-Spy Doesn’t Know Everything

Please note: Despite my whimsical title, this post is about grief. Proceed with caution.

A friend of mine jokingly refers to smart watches as ‘wrist spies.’ Since she says it without malice or judgement, I find it hilarious and I’ve started using the term on a regular basis.

As spies go, though, it has been failing this past week. It might end up having to come in from the cold.

On Sunday, I received a notification that my ‘Mindfulness’ minutes are down this week and I immediately said, aloud, “Shows what you know, Wrist Spy!”

(By the way, if me talking to an inanimate object makes you concerned for my state of mind, rest easy. I do it all the time and, so far, my wrist spy is the only object that talks back to me. And that only happens when I say her name…or, let’s be honest here, anything that sounds like her name.)

Seriously though, I thought it was pretty funny that my wrist spy was calling my attention to my mindfulness because this past week has been one of the most mindful times of my life.

As you know from last week’s post, my Dad passed away on May 6th.

I’ve spent the last week thinking about him, about his life, about our lives, and about what the world looks like without my Dad in it.

I had lots to do but I was never trying to keep busy to avoid thinking. Yet, I didn’t end up ruminating either. I just sat (or stood, or walked) with whatever came up.

I’m not trying to cast myself as a perfect model of emotional maturity and mindfulness here, this was more by fluke than by design.

And, it helped that the tasks I took on – writing the obituary, writing and delivering the eulogy – not only gave me some good structures for my thinking, they were also the types of practices I do to help me process big emotions.

I didn’t consciously choose those tasks to serve that purpose but my subconscious was clearly on the case this time.

So, instead of spending my time thinking about the fact that my Dad is gone, I could spend my time thinking about how he lived and who he was, and how his spirit lives on in his family and friends.

All of that thinking felt very mindful, very in-the-moment to me.

And when I started to cry, I just let myself cry until the worst of the feeling had passed.

When I felt overwhelmed, I breathed through it. Sometimes I did that on my own, sometimes because my husband said, “You’re breathing fast, try to slow it down.”

And, I found myself noticing everything so sharply and clearly.

I saw crocuses on a lawn when I was out for a walk with the dog. I looked at them closely – the petals, the colours, the leaves – and I had a flash thought that my Dad won’t ever see flowers like that again. He wasn’t big into flowers or anything but the thought still welled up. Instead of getting carried off into grief about the things he would miss, I, luckily, was able to choose to notice them for him. I paid close attention to the colours, the contrasts, the petals and leaves, and how they stood out against the dull grass.

A cluster of crocuses on a yellowed lawn
Image Description: a cluster of crocuses ( a few yellow and a few each of three shades of purple) surrounded by winter-worn grass.

And I drank my (many, many) cups of tea slowly, letting the mug warm my hands and letting the scent and taste wash over me.

I turned my face to the sun when it came out, feeling warmed and hopeful and bright, despite the circumstances.

I talked with so many people who knew Dad and I paid attention to the details they shared with me and leaned into the connection to him.

And, I did a hundred other small things that felt mindful and kept me present.

On Friday, as I was waiting before the memorial service began, I played some songs from a playlist that I created – Songs that make me think of Pete *- and I sat and breathed slowly and felt like things would be ok.

Ever since listening so carefully on Friday, a few lines from Itchycoo Park by Small Faces have been floating up over and over in my brain, reminding me of the good things in the world even during this challenging time.

(What did you feel there?) well, I cried
(But why the tears there?) tell you why
It’s all too beautiful, it’s all too beautiful
It’s all too beautiful, it’s all too beautiful

Obviously, I’m having a very different kind experience than the main character in the song m. His ability to notice the beauty around him hinged on the substances he took. I am looking for and feeling the beauty around me because the intensity of my emotions is making everything very vivid right now.

While it isn’t always easy, this vivid sense of awareness means I have been very “present” from moment to moment for the past week or so.

I’m feeling all the difficult feelings, I am acutely aware of my experiences, and I am sharply attuned to the beautiful things around me like crocuses and hot cups of tea and my friends rallying to support me.

And all of that adds up to mindfulness even if it isn’t happening in a way that a wrist spy can track.

My watch may be spying on me but it doesn’t know everything.

*Please note, some of these songs are from my Dad’s youth and hence some of the lyrics are sketchy at best. Please don’t judge my Dad for the songs he liked then and please don’t assume that he held every value (or lack thereof) expressed in every song. I included them in my playlist because they make me think of Dad singing them.

habits · meditation · self care

Christine & the Updates

Christine and The Updates sounds like a very annoying cover band.

I can only presume they would pop up when you were in the middle of something and tell you that you had to listen to them. You could listen right now or you could schedule a time to listen to them later but you were going to hear their songs whether you wanted to or not.

And, of course, if you were about to do something very important and time sensitive, they would start a long, uninterruptible set. 😉

ANYWAY, enough of my extended and funny-to-me-at-least analogy.

One of the things that I fear when writing for this blog is that I am going to promise to follow up on something and then forget all about it. For example, that I might create a challenge for myself or say that I am going to do something for the next month and then either forget all about doing it or forget that I said I would follow up.

Have I done this already on the blog?

More than likely.

Have I done it recently?


And that’s what this post is about!

Here are some updates on a few things I have mentioned in the past few months:

Fitness Journaling

When I last talked about reflective fitness journaling, I was finding it very useful. It was giving me a ‘container’ for thinking about the how and the why of my various exercises, providing me with a way to celebrate my successes, and allowing me to consider how to adjust things without judging myself for them.

I’m happy to report that I am still finding all of those positives in my fitness journaling practice.

I have moved to a digital journal instead of a paper one because it is easier for me to be consistent that way. I set a reminder for every Monday and when it goes off, I open my exercise journal document and dictate my thoughts on my exercise habits over the past week.

Once I have written this week’s entry, I reread last week’s and if anything has changed or if I want to add anything to the current entry or change any of my plans for the week ahead.

My 6 Week Fitness Plus Workout Plan

I started out strong with this plan and had a helpful epiphany about sore muscles but then I ran into a bit of a snag timewise and painwise and while I was able to reframe that snag into a reminder that I am trying to tell myself a story of consistent exercise not the story of a 6 week plan, I was finding it more and more difficult to get myself to do those exercises.

I actually had to coach myself out of this one.

Lots of my clients object when I try to get them to work on their projects little by little (something I struggle with myself) because it feels like there is ‘no point’ in doing 2 or 5 or 10 minutes work on a project that will take ages to complete.

That’s when I gently remind them (and me!) of two things 1) When you are struggling with a project, you start by creating the habit of working on it. The tasks related to the project itself get done as a side effect of creating that habit. 2) Doing any amount of work on a regular basis is way better than holding out for a perfect work session that you can never get around to.

I really enjoyed the 20 minute sessions I did but they were wreaking havoc with my schedule and with the side of my knee. I found myself avoiding them, putting them off to late in the day, or planning to do them ‘tomorrow’ – not an actual tomorrow, a mysterious, non-existent tomorrow.

So, I have gone back to doing 10 minute sessions for the foreseeable future and I’ve left the 6 Week Plan behind for now.


Two weeks ago, I started another meditation experiment and I reported on some results last week but here’s another short update:

All is well.

Just kidding, I have more to say than that!

The latest news on the meditation front is that I seem to have shifted my thinking from meditation as something I *have* to do into considering meditation as something I *get* to do.

I have found myself looking forward to those few minutes of stillness and breathing.

That’s definitely a good sign.

Real Months vs Fictional Ones

Earlier this year, I decided to reduce the scope of my goal-setting and fitness planning. As a result, I determined that February was real but March might be fictional and then it turned out that March was real as well.

Somehow, I never made a decision about whether April was real but it does seem to have existed and now we’re into May.

Clearly May is real, or at least the first two days are, but I haven’t made a lot of plans for this month yet.

Sooooooo, be prepared for an encore from Christine and the Updates next week!

*The crowd goes wild*

Photo by Adam Whitlock on Unsplash  Image description: an excited crowd at an event shaking open packages of coloured powder in the air so the air above them is filled with splashes of colour.
Photo by Adam Whitlock on Unsplash Image description: an excited crowd at an event shaking open packages of coloured powder in the air so the air above them is filled with splashes of colour.

Ok, the crowd rolls its eyes and Christine laughs maniacally because, like a computer update, she’s going to do her thing, no matter what.

She will also talk about herself in the third person which is kind of weird but she’s rolling with it.

ADHD · fitness · habits · meditation

Meditation Experiment Week 1

In last week’s post, I told you I was starting a meditation experiment. The plan was to try reframing my meditation as if it were one of my medications – something I ‘take’ regularly that provides benefits over time. And, hence, to anchor my meditation practice to taking my other meds each morning.

How did that go?

Let’s say results were mixed.

The reframing part, the *idea* of meditation as medication is a good approach for me.

Considering meditation as a necessary component for my well-being is really helpful. With this approach, embracing meditation as a self-prescribed medication, the practice becomes less of a ‘task to get done’ and more part of the foundation of my daily life.

Yes, it has only been a week but I can feel the shift in my own perception and it feels good.

I’m not feeling a lot of the ‘give myself some extra brainspace’ benefits yet but it has only been a week.

I am, however, finding that it is much easier to actually start a meditation than it was at the beginning of last week. AND my meditation itself feels a bit better, a little more breath-focused, a little less scattered.

So, from that perspective, my experiment results are very encouraging.

However, the second aspect of my experiment?

Not so much.

In fact, trying to link the practice with my tangible medications was an abject failure.

As I had guessed, that part of overall my day is a little too unpredictable to include meditation.

And in attempting to link my meds to my med, I found myself taking my doctor-prescribed meds a bit later. Taking them later is not only less-than-ideal for my health and concentration, it increases the risk that I will forget them entirely.

After 3 days, I reassessed and decided that the link in timing was not all that important to me, but the change in perspective was vital.

So, I abandoned the idea and just included my meditation whenever felt best each day.

In fact, after a very busy day on Friday, I ended my meditation at 11:59PM. Just under the wire for a planned ‘daily’ practice, but it still counted!

Overall, this approach is working – it’s easier to start meditating each day and the practices themselves feel pretty good. I know the mental-space-at-other-times part will arrive whenever it gets here, so I’m not trying to rush it.

And I’m actually pretty proud of myself for not stressing about the ‘failed’ part of this experiment.

There was a time when I would have had to scrap the whole thing, convinced that I was missing some key piece of information and hence doing the whole thing wrong.

That instinct still pops up for me from time to time but it rarely details me any more. Apparently, the work I have done on that sort of stuff is really paying off. 😉

ADHD · fitness · habits · meditation

A (another?) Meditation Experiment

(This is a little stream-of-consciousness because I’m not really finished thinking this through. Please bear with me.)

So, I’ve been carrying around some ambient stress again.

I’m not feeling stressed about anything in particular. There’s no overwhelmingly stressful thing going on.

In fact, my *brain* doesn’t feel stressed at all.

My body, however, is telling me otherwise.

My first response to recognizing that stressed out feeling was ‘I need to meditate.’

And meditation does help me release that feeling in the moment, which is great, but reactive meditation is not nearly as helpful as regular (preventative) meditation would be.

See, I know that when I meditate regularly, I get a little more space in my brain.

And that space helps me make better choices about how to spend my time and my energy.

Last fall, I had a month or so when I meditated daily and I really found it beneficial. But then something came up, I couldn’t meditate at my regular time and I got off track. I’ve had a few short streaks of practice since then but it hasn’t really stuck.

However, once again, I am determined to find my way back to that daily practice.

On Monday, I was trying to figure out a good time for my practice when I (once again?) made the connection that meditation is similar in one way to my ADHD medication – it gives me a little space between my thought and my action so I can choose to be more effective, to be kinder to myself.

So then I thought ‘What if I put meditation in the same category as my meds?’ – that is, something that needs to happen daily, at the same time, in order to have the best effect.

And then I considered whether I could meditate right after I medicate.

I went back and forth on that for a few minutes because mornings can be a tricky time to find quiet minutes to myself but maybe I can take my meditation and my medications at the same time and it will work out just fine.

I’m going to give it a week and see how it goes.

I’ll report back next Tuesday with the results of this utterly unscientific experiment.

I’ll even take notes.

a photo of a light-haired dog curled up in a red leather armchair.
What does this have to do with meditation? Absolutely nothing. But it does make me feel calm so that’s kind of tangentially connected, right? image description: Khalee, my light-haired dog, is curled up in a red leather armchair next to a white pillow with gold stars on it. In the background, there is a patch of sunlight on the wall, a tower fan, and the rear wheel of a bicycle.
ADHD · fitness · goals · habits · meditation · mindfulness · planning · self care · walking

It Turns Out That March *Is* Real!

Remember last month when I knew February was real but, as far as I was concerned, March might be fictional?

Good news: March is real!

Note: I am reserving judgment on April though. Who knows what might come after March? Could be anything, really. It’s the very distant future, extremely Not Now.

Before we dive into super-real, and definitely happening right now, March, let’s roll back to the very distant and hazy past and see how the ancient month of February went. (ADHD time is a bizarre and fluid thing, no?)

My plan for the month was to extend my walks a little, to follow my meditation program, and to do at least one hip mobility exercise before bed. 


I didn’t extend every walk but I extended as many as I could. We had some especially erratic weather in February – lots of snow storms, some warm(ish) temperatures and some ridiculously cold temperatures. The pathways and sidewalks and streets have varied from clear and easily-traveled to hellish landscapes of lumpy ice and deep patches of softer snow. Between temperatures that were too cold for the dog’s safety and terrain that was too uneven for my safety, it was tricky to be consistent with longer walks. But, that being said, when things were safe for me and for Khalee, we added a little extra time to our adventures.

A light-haired dog in a red sweater with white hearts on it stands on a snowy path.
Khalee on one of the better days for walking in February. Image description: Khalee, a light haired dog in a red sweater with white hearts on it, is wearing a harness and leash and standing on a snowy path. The image is a sort of top down view and Khalee is standing sideways and looking back past me as I take the photo.


I managed to meditate fairly regularly but I didn’t follow the program of daily meditation I had planned. BUT because my plan was short-term, it felt easier to keep course-correcting towards meditating daily and, as a result, I meditated more often than I have in the past. Also, I became more aware of when stress was making me breathe shallowly and took conscious, slow, ribcage-expanding breaths to help myself feel better. Those breaths aren’t meditation per se but it is a mindful style of breathing so I’m counting them as part of my meditation practice overall. 

Hip Mobility

The hip mobility exercises are where I really shone in February. I didn’t use a tracker but since I stacked the exercises into my bedtime routine I was able to do them at least 20/28 evenings. I found a big difference in my hips and lower back as a result.

a GIF of cartoon character Daffy Duck standing in a spotlight doing hip circles.
Imagine me kind of doing this but I am brushing my teeth and reading an ebook at the same time. ADHD who? Image description: a GIF of cartoon character Daffy Duck standing in a spotlight doing hip circles. His eyes are mostly closed and it looks like he may be whistling. He’s probably trying to look sexy but he mostly looks odd.

So, as I think back on the ancient history of February 2023 I am comfortable with declaring it a success. And I think I owe that success to two things: 1) only planning one month at a time 2) reflective journaling.

A Short Reflection on Reflective Fitness Journaling in February

My plan in February was to write in my fitness journal each Sunday. 

I wrote in it for the first two Sundays but then I had two busy Sundays in a row. Logically, I should have moved my journaling plan to a different day but I didn’t. 


Because the first two weeks were so helpful, I was in reflective mode even though I didn’t always write things in my journal. So, I was still getting some of the benefits even with a less structured version of the practice. 

And being in reflective mode really helped me to be kinder to myself about how I approached my other practices and it guided me to spend a little extra time figuring out how to fit movement and meditation into my daily or weekly schedule. 

My conclusion? Even imperfect reflection practices are extremely beneficial. 

March Plans

So, obviously I am going to keep up my reflective journaling plans but I am going to aim for 4 written reflections – one each Monday. 

I’m keeping my evening hip mobility exercise but I am going to add in a shoulder mobility exercise every morning when I take my meds (or at least when I get my reminder to take my meds.)

I already get at least 20 minutes of movement every day but for (the rest of) March, I’m going to aim to do that movement before noon each day. Might be yoga, might be a walk with Khalee, might be strength training, but the goal is to have it happen earlier in the day. 

And I’m going to keep working on that daily meditation practice – even if it is ‘just’ that mindful breathing I described above. 

Let’s see how this unfolds as we March on!

A GIF of members of a marching band doing a hopping kick move instead of conventional marching.
No one said marching had to be dull, right? Image description; A GIF of a person person in a marching band uniform, holding a baton by their side, is moving across a field by hopping on one leg while kicking the other leg out in front of them. When they reach the centre, two other people in uniform are waiting there doing a similar movement on one spot. The stands in the distance are full of spectators.
advice · cardio · fitness · habits · health · holiday fitness · holidays · meditation · motivation · self care · yoga

Making Space 2022: Day 31

Here we are at the last day of 2022, the last day of December, the last day of my Making Space posts.

I hope that you have found these posts useful and that you have found your own ways to make space for yourselves in your days this month. I also hope that you have found (or are starting to find) ways to continue making space for yourselves in the days that follow.

And speaking of the days that follow – tomorrow, I start a series of ‘Go Team!’ posts that encourage you to be kind to yourself as you figure out the habits, systems, and practices you want to take on in the year ahead.

But before we get to that, I have one more thing to say about creating space for your future self and it goes like this:

New Year’s Day may be a symbolic time to start but you can add new ideas, habits and practices to your life at ANY TIME.

And, you can create your own symbolism or meaning around the time that you choose.

For example, even though I like the symbolism of starting new practices in a new year, I had a bit of sideways December so I couldn’t give a lot of thought to things I wanted to do in 2023.

Instead of putting pressure on myself to find time to focus on that, I decided to let December be what it was and that I would figure out what 2023 would look like once it arrived.

Or, to put it another way, I’m choosing to have Planuary instead of January.

By labelling next month as Planuary, I have given it a shape. I’m not going in without a plan and hoping things will just happen – that would never work for my ADHD brain. Instead, I’m planning to spend January figuring out what my plans could be.

And I’m inviting you to create space for your future self by doing something similar.

If you WANT to start something new sometime soon, you don’t have to come roaring out of the gate tomorrow. You can decide on your own terms and your own timeline when and how you want to get started.

You can plan to plan in Planuary.

You can write one thing on an index card and do that until you get bored with it.

You can make a giant list and a big chart and have a grand time with it (as long as you aren’t going to be mean to yourself if you have to change your plan – I can’t get behind that)

You can choose to just keep doing what you have been doing all along but add in the plan to be kinder to yourself in the process (THAT I can full endorse.)

Basically, I want to encourage you to give yourself the space to do things in your own way on your own schedule.

Your tomorrow-self doesn’t need to have it all figured out and doesn’t have to have the perfect plan.

Please be kind to yourself as you make space for future you to develop, expand, and think up cool and fun things to do.

NOTE:Have you ever seen DSri Seah’s Groundhog Day Resolutions monthly personal review system? It’s a cool way that they developed to check in with their resolutions and projects all year long. I love how they worked out a system that works for them without getting caught up in when things *should* be done during the year.

Here are our final videos for the Making Space series. At first I was looking for new year/end of year themed videos but there was such a variation in tone from video to video that I didn’t want to choose something that would be irksome. So, instead, I chose videos for calm and for energy/feeling good – I figured those could be most helpful.

I also chose a yoga video AND a cardio video so you could decide if you wanted to see the year out in a low-key way or in a burst of movement.

Whether you do these videos or do your own thing, I wish you ease, energy and lots of space for yourself as 2022 becomes 2023.

See you tomorrow for our first Go Team! post for 2023.

A video from the Yoga with Kassandra YouTube channel entitled ‘10 Min Morning Yoga for Calm. The still image features the instructor in light brown exercise clothing standing with her legs wide apart and her upper body folds forward toward the camera so she can touch her mat with the palms of her hands and her ponytail has flopped forward towards her mat. Text reading ‘10 Min Morning Yoga’ is overlaid on the upper left side of the image.
A PopSugar Fitness 10 Minute Feel-Good Cardio Workout with Deja Riley. The still image features the instructor standing in a white-walled studio with her arms in the air in a joyful sort of celebratory gesture (that is probably just part of an exercise movement but she looks celebratory to me.)
Another 5 Minute Mindful Meditation for Calm from the Great Meditations YouTube channel (I have really become a fan of that channel during this series!) The still age features light brown text reading ‘Calm 5 Minute guided meditation’ and a cartoon image of a person sitting in meditation with their arms, bent at the elbow, outstretched slightly to the sides in a welcoming or accepting gesture. Behind their head is either their long hair streaming upwards or a thought balloon that contains symbols of thoughts – question marks, ellipses, hearts, emojis etc. and behind their body there are symbols of tangible items like a clock, some gears, and the leaves of a plant.

About Making Space 2022

In December 2020, Fit is a Feminist Issue blogger Martha created a tradition – a series of reminder posts to take good care of ourselves during this last month of the year when it is far too easy to get swept up in your to do list, no matter what you are celebrating or not celebrating. Last year, it was my turn and after an introductory Go Team post called Give Yourself Some Space, I created a series of reminders called ‘Making Space‘ that offered a suggested short exercise video and a suggested meditation in case you needed an easy way to find space for yourself in your schedule.

For 2022, I’ll be doing the same thing but I’ll also be including a link to Martha’s post from the same date in 2020 and I’ll offer a few extra ideas for relaxation, creativity, and self-kindness here and there.

These posts are not about insisting that you do more, more, more during this busy season. Instead, I want to encourage you to remember that there IS a *YOU* who is doing all of the things and you are worth taking good care of.

Perhaps the things I suggest aren’t what you need in the moment. That’s totally ok. Perhaps you can use something else to create some space, something that will help you feel more relaxed or more in charge of your day.