Monday, February 23, 2009

Move It Mama Monday

Well, I'm finally going to declare 2009 officially started because I have no choice in the matter. Yeah, yeah, I know. 2009 started almost two months ago. Well I had so much stuff from 2008 left hanging over my head that I wasn't really ready to start 2009 until today. And I'm starting today because (drumroll please)...

I turned 40 today. That's right, I've hit not-quite-middle-old-age.

I have to say 39 was pretty rough. I had a lot going on - the podcast, promoting my first book, writing and publishing my second book, the webcomic, Princess starting kindergarten, Saint Michael the Magnificent's work schedule (he's telecommuting with a NASA center on the opposite coast). I've been struggling to keep up, and I finally hit the point where I decided to start shoving stuff of my plate and not adding anything else on. This year I've decided to focus on certain basic things that I need to do, that I really want to do, that I enjoy doing, and nothing else needs to be added.

And one of these things is getting back in shape. I know I said back in January that I wanted to lose about 10 pounds. Well I hadn't made much headway in that as of a week ago. Being so busy means lousy sleep and eating habits for me, which means low motivation and a sporadic exercise schedule at best. But on Valentine's Day weekend, while I was away at a sci-fi convention pimping the new book, Michael picked up a Wii for the family, and now everything has changed.

I got to play with a Wii a bit back in December when we went to visit my in-laws. One of my brothers-in-law brought his over for all of us to play, and I thought it was fun. I also thought that maybe playing DDR would be a fun way for me to squeeze in a little exercise every now and then. I hadn't seen the Wii Fit yet. But when Michael showed me the new set up in our living room, he handed me the Wii Fit disk and I thought, "Hmmm... this might be interesting."

I had seen the Wii Fit demo online at Nintendo's website, and wasn't sure I'd be getting much of a workout from the program. Boy was I wrong about that! I've been doing Wii Fit for 8 days now, and I can honestly say it's a butt-kicking workout. I put in between 30-60 minutes a day on that thing and I'm always dripping sweat when I'm done. I haven't seen much change in my weight yet - I've lost one pound since I started 8 days ago - but I did notice a difference tonight when I went to my evening karate class. I've been struggling the last several months in karate. My knees have been nothing but trouble since my first pregnancy, and after Pixie was born, they were pretty much shot to hell. Constant pain in my knees plus extra weight plus being tired all the time has added up to me really not wanting to go to karate... and I'm a second degree black belt! I'm supposed to be good at this stuff, but I've been sucking wind for ages trying to keep up in class. I have to wear these humongous braces on each leg to protect my knees, which really makes it tough to do class. It's a fight to kick or lift my legs, and my balance has been so off that some of the katas and stances have been downright painful.

Well not tonight. This evening I went through two hours of class, and I don't hurt at all! I'm a little tired, but that's nothing compared to how I usually feel after an evening of karate. I was able to do everything with no pain today, and I saw marked improvement in my stances and balance. It's all due to the Wii Fit. That thing measures and tracks my balance and gives me instant feedback throughout the workout so I can correct myself on the spot. It's really been a workout for my legs. I can actually see my hamstrings, and I know from working with a physical therapist that strong hamstrings alleviate a lot of knee problems. This is nothing short of a miracle for me!

So in honor of my new found energy and to mark my 40th birthday, I'm thinking of doing a regular bit on Mondays called "Move It Mama Monday," where I'll blog a bit about what I'm doing to get myself back into shape and stay there. If anyone is interested in contributing ideas for this particular series of posts, don't hesitate to e-mail me at helenmadden (at) cox (dot) net. I'm looking forward to seeing if I can get my thirty-something body back now that I'm forty.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

What I Miss

I miss...

  • Sleeping in on weekends.

  • Staying up late to watch movies or have sex.

  • Breakfast in bed.

  • Listening to grown-up music.

  • Having the weekend to myself, with no obligations to be anywhere.

  • Evenings out with friends.

  • Afternoon naps (mine and the kids).

  • Time to read.

  • Time to draw, just for fun.

  • Crayons.

  • Magic markers.

  • Trips to the craft store.

  • Trips to the fabric store.

  • Sewing.

  • Costuming.

  • Being Xena Wariror Milkmaid.

  • Watching Xena Warrior Princess (but only the first three seasons).

  • Regular workouts at the gym.

  • Long hot baths with bath oil and fancy body scrubs and candles and aroma therapy.

  • Long hair.

  • Red hair.

  • My pre-baby body, especially the knees.

  • Feeling relaxed and well-rested.

  • Fat, happy, sleepy babies curled up in my arms.

  • My two cats who passed away in the last two years.

I don't miss...

  • Wondering if I'll ever get pregnant.

  • Being single and living on my own.

  • Working at a 'real' job.

  • A big paycheck.

  • Not knowing what I want to do with my life.

  • College.

  • The Army Reserves.

  • The Army Physical Fitness Test.

  • Wearing a uniform.

  • Wearing a business suit.

  • My twenties.

  • My thirties.

  • My teens.

  • My acne.

  • My braces.

  • The ass-holes who tried to make life miserable for me in school.

  • School in general.

  • Any of my ex-boyfriends.

I turn 40 in a couple of weeks. There's a lot of things I miss these days. Looking over my list, I realize I can fix most of those, if I want. Then there are the things I don't miss. I'm glad I've moved along with my life and left those things behind.

What do you miss from your younger days? What are you glad you left behind?.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Episode 25 - This Is My Life!

This is mostly an update on work, but...

Yes, this has been my life the last several weeks. Since November, I have struggled to survive the holidays, a convention (9 panels, 1 reading, an all-day author table!!), final edits on my new book Future Perfect, creating the cover art for said book, getting set up to join the "Oh Get A Grip" group blog (read us - we're fun!!), keeping up with the Heat Flash erotica podcast which now airs on Thursdays at 8PM on Radio Dentata (streaming internet radio with teeth!!), clean the house, feed the kids, help the Princess with her homework, potty train Pixie, and somehow find a few moments to have sex with my husband.

Yeah, it's been a little busy.

Things are starting to slow down a bit. I got my last major deadline out the door on Friday. I submitted a short story to Alessia Brio's Coming Together: Al Fresco, and regardless of whether or not I make it into this volume, I highly encourage everyone to buy a copy of any of the Coming Together books (I do have a story in Coming Together: With Pride, if you're interested). Coming Together is a charity anthology and all the proceeds go to the organization of choice for each volume. It's doing good while being bad, and ya gotta love that.

So this week's cartoon is just a glimpse into what's been going on at la casa de Cynical Woman. I'm tired, but things are evening out and I hope to be back on some sort of regular schedule in the next couple of weeks. I'll be at the Farpoint science fiction convention on Valentine's Day weekend, the same weekend as the release of Future Perfect, so I will be gearing up for that, getting promo ready and preparing for the panels I'm on (only six this time, I believe). Otherwise, I'll be turning my attention back to the podcast and this cartoon, putting in a little more time on my two favorite projects for a while. Hopefully, I'll have another cartoon ready within the week. See ya then!