Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Finding My Rhythm

How hard can it be to fall into a routine? 

They say it takes 21 days to develop a habit and here I am with a change in my circumstances.  Mornings are the same—wake up, yoga, walk Snowdoll, coffee, email.  But when Rob wakes up things seem to ebb and flow in confusing ways and I can’t fall into a rhythm.  It doesn’t help that, because Rob’s been in pain, even his routine is somewhat off.  Together, we seem to be adrift, trying to catch our bearings.

So getting into new habits is a little more difficult.  I’ve been using the 10 Minute Trainer, give or take.  I say “give or take” because when I’ve done a 2 hours long yoga practice and the 10MT calendar has me doing a 10 minute yoga practice, I simply don’t.  I also find the cardio a bit intense at times. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I fully believe that we grow most when we push beyond our comfort zone.  That said, I don’t have to do it every day.  Push myself, that is.  Life has its own challenges and sometimes I give myself the grace to just be gentle, to be kind, with my body.  I almost always do the Total Body, Upper Body, and Lower Body workouts when they are scheduled.  When I don’t feel quite up to facing the balance challenges of one of the cardio workouts, I think it’s fair to replace it with either the 1 mile walk I do each and every day with Snowdoll or the 45 minutes I sweat it out on the bike.

It must be working. I’m losing weight.

But it may have been a mistake to try to add a sketch challenge to a schedule that is not clearly established.  I need to fall into a routine to know where things will naturally fit-in, if you know what I mean.  As I try to fall into a pattern of behavior, adding a new activity just seems like a bit too much. That is not to suggest I’ve given up.  Not by a long shot.  Oh no.  I am just going to table it for now.

Once I have a routine in place, knowing that life will always throw me a curve ball, I am going to take up the 75 Day Sketch Challenge again.  I’ve already learned one thing about myself and sketching.  When I was a teenager my mother signed me up to an open class at the Art Students’ League.  The first time I walked into the classroom I was not sure what was going on but I quickly recognized that there were two options:  start with a still life or draw a nude.  I immediately settled myself in front of the still life.  A few weeks passed before I had the courage to draw the nude—a man wearing shorts.  I guess that means I faced drawing a semi-nude.  But it was the very next week a young woman model came in and I was hooked on drawing the nudes. I never did a still life again.
However, I realized this time, when challenging myself, that perhaps I needed to begin as I had before.  Start with the still life and move into living models.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  I’m trying to retrain my hand/eye and what skills I’ve lost along the way can and will be redeveloped.  I merely have to have some patience.  Patience may be a virtue but I can’t say it is a quality I personally have.

Of course, if I were more patient, I might not push myself.  And if I didn’t push myself, I might not see progress with my weight-loss and exercise.  So while I’m giving myself permission to settle into a routine, I’m also aware of my personal inclination to push myself.  And while I’m aware that I push myself (dare I say too much?), I also see that I’ve allowed myself not to push myself all of the time.  Or at least not in every area of my life.   


  1. I have a bad habit of falling into routines. I have always been that way so I always have to be cognizant to not allow myself to fall into them.

    1. I need a routine. Otherwise, I forget to do things and then wonder why nothing gets done.

  2. This is still a balancing act for me -- how much to push, how much is too much, how much is too little. Routines and habits make a big difference for me. Knowing that, though, I'll sometimes have a list of fifty things that I want to do every day -- there isn't any routine that's going to get me there. So I have to remind myself that not putting too much pressure on myself is also something that I want to do every day even if it means giving up something. I hate giving up things, though. Good for you for realizing that the sketch a day will have it's time, just not now.

    For exercise, I found some peace from the book Play As If Your Life Depends On It by Frank Forencich ( He suggests thinking about what you want your body to be able to do 10 years from now and design your training regimen around that. For me, that's walk all day while traveling in a new city and work in the garden for an hour or two a day. That means my workouts have walking or dancing (which is really walking in a small space), squatting, lunging, and stretching. If I don't get more than that in a particular week, I'm doing fine even though I might wish I were also biking, swimming, and doing push ups.

    Joy's Book Blog

    1. Joy, I've been trying to incorporate strength training into my workout for over a year but I kept injuring myself trying to do too much. I have good form but I have a tendency to say, "I did 10 yesterday so today I'll do 100." Well, not really. But as I said in the post, I've been using the bike at a level 1 for weeks now and had planned on bumping it up to 2 on the 1st. But my knees were feeling delicate. Not sure. Not even painful. Just not quite right. So bumping up to level 2 can wait.

      I'm really big on functional exercise which is why walking and yoga are my priorities, always. Yoga for my balance and walking because, like you, I want to be walking for the rest of my life. And I'm pretty sure Snowdoll will be happy if I keep walking for the rest of her life. :)