Monthly Archives: May 2015

24 Hour Day: Getting Ready 2 hours

Slide05 I know I have spent two hours on just getting myself ready for the day.  To shower, shave, and do the 3-step beauty routine.  Get out of the shower, dry off, and lotion up.  Then comb, add product, blow dry, and style my hair.  Then on to a complete make-up routine, which, by the way, grows with the addition of serums and primers.  Nails? Mostly get done outside of this two-hour block of time. If they get done at all because I can’t wear nail polish at work. The routine continues on with choosing what to wear, along with jewelry, and accessories.

Okay, okay… I don’t get into choosing a handbag, but I do love a good WoW factor for a shoe.  … wait, maybe it’s a seamless transition to the shoe.  …BUT!  With a good pop of color.   (See what I mean.)

Needless to say I also have a short routine … and a shorter one.

Have you tried “going all out” in your beauty routine to see how long it takes? I write this because I imagine you have.  If not for vanity then at least to test some limits.  To create some boundaries of enough is enough.  How do I choose what to do and what not to do?

Okay, this does not plague me all day long, but there is a struggle between vanity and short-changing myself. I may brag about my 10-20 minute A.M. beauty routine, but throughout the day something less assure creeps up on me.  Especially when catching glimpses of my reflection here and there, “Would my hair hold it’s shape if I had just spent a little more time this morning?  Am I throwing out signals that I neglect myself?”

This segment was another one that was hard to pin down while keeping everyone in mind.  I know not every one has kids.  I’m not sure how many people get their spouses ready, as their might be some.  I do expect that both spouses and kids are constantly interrupting as they need to find something, get an opinion, or need a shoe tied. Yet, my husband gets ready faster than I do, and then scrapes my windshield. I’m guessing that anyone trying to set a comfortable pace for getting ready are going to find things, like scraping a windshield, to use the time up.

I’m getting carried away here and need to remember that for this specific time segment a half hour is allocated for bedtime.  Yep bedtime — brush teeth, wash face, put jammies on.  For those of you who allow three hours before work, don’t forget we allocated an hour for breakfast in the last segment.

We all know this evening routine is a struggle.  That’s why those wet facial towelettes were invented! If there is anyone who still thinks two hours is a ridiculous amount time for primping, let’s go to the gym and get ready for a third time after our sweaty work-out. Seriously, my exercise routine didn’t become more routine until I got a handle on this getting ready stuff. Why? Because when you think of doing an hour workout, you think of 60 minutes.  It gets discouraging when that hour becomes an hour and twenty minutes before you get a chance to be involved with your next demand.

In the end, my seeking to find a comfortable time frame became even more uncomfortable.  When, I allowed too much time, it was really hard to not pack more stuff in.  The effect quickened the pace and increased the feeling of, “not enough time.”  I kept at it and worked through it, but it was tough going because the running total is at 13 out of 24 hours.  We have used more than half a day, and we really haven’t even walked out the door yet.  We’ve talked about it, but with a bed time routine, sleep, three meals, and getting ready for the day, it’s possible that we are still home.

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A 24 Hour Day : SLEEP 8 Hours (3rd in a series)

The daily post gave a writing prompt about sleep. Serendipitous!

Life is a Crooked and Varied Path. Get On It!

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I start with sleep.  Not because it lops off our biggest chunk of the day, but because if you go long enough sleep is uncontrollable.  Sleep will literally overtake your body without you knowing it.  Ironic, as sometimes your body doesn’t go to sleep when you want it to.

We know we’re supposed to get seven to nine hours of sleep and we are repeatedly told that sleep:

  • promotes weight loss
  • restores and repairs our bodies
  • creates more energy
  • is a stress reducer
  • promotes optimal hand eye coordination
  • promotes higher cognitive thinking

What it comes down to is that sleep makes us wake up brilliant, beautiful and productive.

I don’t know about you, but when approached with this topic, I used to get protective of my waking hours.  I would get defensive at the mere mention of “supposed to” or “required” when it comes to talking about sleep. Besides, I wanted…

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Kickstarter Updates

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Risks and Challenges (update 5/16/15)

When building a campaign, Kickstarter asks to describe the risks and challenges to your project. The risk that it takes me forever to develop a quality book as people are looking for help to quit smoking is what drove me to Kickstarter.

All I want is to take one year to be a writer and completely immerse myself in my work to see what I can accomplish. That is what gets my heart racing. That is what tantalizes my hope. That is what feeds my American Dream.

I don’t want to get meticulous over creating a half-assed cover when I can pay someone who enjoys the work and will put out an excellent cover. Someone else can do that while I am writing.

I want to have deep discussions and near arguments with my editor over structure, grammar, and continuity. I want to pay my editor for a job that she loves and IS so good at. We, in our writers group, tease that she should have wrote the “Nitpickers Guide to Star Trek.” Yeah, she is that pedantic. Exactly what you want in an Editor.

Most of all it is excruciating that the book is not finished yet. Everyday I do something toward the completion of this book. It doesn’t matter if I’m doing a side project so I can learn what I don’t know, or strengthening my marketing muscle, or working on the book itself. A day goes by and another day goes by and most are productive for the time I am able to put in and another day goes by. Five years worth of days have went by. I have allowed that to happen because this is what I want to do. The risk of not meeting my Kickstarter goal is that my status-quo will continue and that is just sad.

What is failure?

That I didn’t do enough to write full time in 2016 and that I have to go back to dividing my attention. Doing that has no bearing on finishing the book and all rewards will be honored, albeit the high-end rewards would be post deadline.

I have 3 days left of my campaign to take one year and finish my book on quitting smoking. I’m going after it.

What are you going to do? Back a sure thing? Or are you looking for a risk? It only takes a dollar for you to be part of a sure thing. That is the beauty of Kickstarter.

Quit Smoking App (5/11/15)

Watching the release of the Apple watch has got me thinking about my quit smoking app again. It would be full of information that the user enters.

The next False Quit Date
The current issue
solutions for that issue
a place to take notes and jot down epiphanies
The user could choose from exercises and prompts from the book or choose to enter their own. Most likely four words or less. All the user needs is a reminder to flash across the screen a couple times a day to keep their focus. With two or three reminders set at different times, their day is pretty much full without being dominating.

I suspect the user would start off with topics in the book then quickly take off with their own notes and ideas. After all, this process is set up for the user to rip it apart and make it their own.

If smokers are reluctant to quit, how are you going to get people to read your book? From that, it sounds like your niche market is a bunch of reluctant readers. (update 5/5/15)

Oh yeah. Definitely. My first BIG hurdle in getting people to read the book is backlash against controlling them, their smoking, and their quitting. I have to overcome this immediate threat that I’m the one who will take their smokes away.

I have been writing this for a little while now. In the meantime I have been building multiple marketing platforms.

This past year I took Chapter 3, “The Fruit of the Spirit” and expanded it into a six book series that targets non-smokers as well as smokers. I call these short books “commuter reads.” If you are a passenger on public transit you can download the book and have it finished by the time your flight or “commute” is over. I hope these readers return to buy the quitting smoking book for loved ones. I also continue to build platforms with social marketing and my blog.

This is the very reason why I’m asking for help. I need to put out a distinctive book and persue a quality marketing campaign to transcend this reluctant outlook.

If you’re looking to back a project that promotes health and well-being, then awesome, I’m looking for you too and I’m so glad you stopped by.

Why do I think it’s odd that I got a life on the way to quitting smoking?  (5/3/15)

Most of the information that surrounds quitting smoking pushes the idea that life improves after you quit. Your heart rate slows down. Your blood pressure lowers. Lung health improves. More oxygen and less chemicals in your blood stream. You’ve heard it.

Before I finally grasped the concept of the the False Quit Dates, it occurred to me that if you present both a smoker and a non-smoker with the same agitation, a smoker would stop and go smoke before they could get a handle on the situation and a non-smoker would have to just deal with it.

All of the sudden, smoking didn’t sound so tough anymore. Although, I always came back and dealt with the problem, it was still quite disturbing and shook at the core of what I thought was my character … my identity. Furthermore, life would always throw something in the way of my goal to quit. It was the recurring theme of every quit date I ever attempted.

I’m not the only one. Life continues being life and doesn’t stop just because a person wants to quit smoking. You’ve heard it … “something happened, it was overwhelming, so I went and bought a pack of smokes. Now is not the right time. I’ll try again later.”

I had to learn how to deal with that before I quit smoking and that is how my life improved on the way to quitting.

Why Kickstarter? (4/30/15)

Because that is how I believe the world works.

I believe in giving a leg up.

I believe an untested talent is a waste.

If you think it? I believe you need to create it!

I was putting my own failed project behind me when I found out about Kickstarter. Even with my wounded and bruised ego, I still signed up to be a backer. As broke as I was, I knew I could participate in putting action behind a person’s idea. All that was needed was a dollar and a status update and that would mean the world to the project creators. To get another person on board that says, “Yes! I like that idea. Go for it!” is heartwarming. It’s exciting! At the time, I had to believe that still existed. Kickstarter is an ongoing example that it does.

May the 4th Be With You!

May the 4th Be With Me on my Kickstarter Campaign.

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Is that selfish?  I’m halfway through my campaign.

May the 4th Be With You to carry you through Cinco de Mayo.

Live Long and Prosper!  (tee hee)

24 Hour Day: Eating 3 hours (4th in a series)

Slide04

Check it out!  Both eating and sleeping create fuel for our bodies and we spend ELEVEN hours on it! That’s one hour shy of half a day!

Now hold on … don’t get competitive with me and start thinking you can accomplish all that faster than me.  I can be quick about it too, so bear with me here.   The point is, if we did the mundane-everyday, the way we wanted, without short-changing ourselves, what would our day look like?

To start I focused on one meal; supper.  My first calculations were 30-40 minutes cooking … If that is true, then the same amount of time had better be spent enjoying the meal, then and additional 20-30 minutes cleaning up.  Allowing for fluctuation, I figured roughly 40+30+20=1.5 hours.

I knew I was on to something because I hit a nerve.  My friends let me know I did.  Let me tell ya, my curiosity brought on some huffy conversations.

They exclaimed that it would take up their whole night.  If they’re off work by 5:00; home, settled in, and start supper right before 6:00, it’s nearly 7:30 when it’s all done.

I understood, in their minds, this meant they’re still working …still up and moving around.  At least until they sit down to eat.

Then if the children’s bedtime is 8:30-9:00?   That doesn’t leave much downtime before getting ready for bed.  Where did their evening go?

Their point was, supper blows their whole evening.  Hence my curiosity and quasi-research.

Now mind you, I was talking about the ideal supper, figuring that every night we’d want to hit that ideal as close as possible.  Along with a few cheat nights squeezed in-between.  When we say the word supper, a vision appears.  A table is involved, people are seated, there’s a table setting, and a more elaborate meal, which involves more time, more expense, and creates more dishes.  Realistically, we know this goal will only be reached a few times, but we would be doing pretty good in the process.

Except, I’m not talking about goals. I’m talking about time.  How much time does it take to eat three meals a day.  And remember this is not a race. We can all whip out some ramen noodles, eat, put the dish in the sink and be done in fifteen minutes.  But, that too is part of my point.  How do you get a realistic time, when, cooking, eating and cleaning up, take anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour and half?

Eventually, I went with an hour for each meal for a total of three hours a day.  You can do all sorts of stuff with that. You could have a forty minute breakfast and lunch and spend an hour and ten minutes on supper.  You could eat breakfast and do the dishes for later.  If work only gives you a half hour for lunch, you can make it up on other meals.  Hey, on the weekends you can spend two hours on just cooking.

Anyway, trying to mishmash ideals with realism is a pain in the butt.  So three hours a day to cook, eat, and clean up at an enjoyable pace.  (Can you tell I’m fighting the urge to change it again?) In the end of the 24 Hour Day you will see why it is useless to quibble over a few minutes.  Please bear with me.

Just like sleep, the focus with eating is about making us brilliant, beautiful and productive.  In other words; healthy.

Currently there is a push towards eating healthy, but think about it, eating is healthy.  If we don’t eat, we die.

Cooking healthy seems so hard …  cooking from scratch sounds like a lot of effort.

I wanted the prestige of, “No one can beat mom’s sweet potato pie … beef stew … pumpkin bread.” But one day it dawned on me that cooking from scratch is one of the easiest, healthiest, and fastest ways to cook.  Get this …

… there is nothing faster nor healthier than broiling some pork chops or chicken with some salt and pepper, steam some broccoli, and then serving a salad for supper.   No kidding.  Nearly faster than the microwave.

Okay, I put the pork chops on the broiling pan and turn the oven to a lower temp than broil, so maybe it isn’t that fast.  But, it is fast enough.

As a feminist this is what gets my goat.  In the 80’s there was this real push for men to do part of the housework.  It was all about 50/50 and a two-way street, and if you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours.  Well, not only did the men step up and take on cooking duties, they proved they were better at cooking.  (At least in this household, my husband gets all the ooh’s and aahs’.) The men went ahead and made it fun.

when men enjoy cooking

What happens when men enjoy cooking  www.flickr.com

They moved the chore outdoors and built these beautiful and elaborate outdoor kitchens.  I mean come on will ya!  How DID they have the time to do that!

Okay, my goat is got, I’m moving on.

The point is, we need to eat.  If we need to eat, we need to learn how to cook.  If not for our families than at least to take care of ourselves.

Some really positive things come out of eating two or three meals a day.

  • If you know when your next meal is coming there is less cheating on your diet and less compulsive eating and smaller portions.
  • Healthier choices are made when thinking through a meal plan.  Planning ahead = good choices.
  • Fewer mood swings. Body functions such as blood sugar levels stabilize.  Plus feeling of contentment from a constant full feeling.
  • Of course eating regular meals makes us brilliant, beautiful, productive with a steady infusion of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and oils.
  • Quality time with the family is a bonus.

In the past, I would often exclaim that I forgot to eat.  One of my biggest challenges was recognizing that I didn’t forget to eat, but “I forgot to allow time to cook.”

We don’t forget to eat.  Eventually we start scrounging for something.  Once I put allowing the time to cook to practice, it was much easier to “positively procrastinate” with some items on the Things To Do list.  It was then, I learned that cooking and eating wasn’t a chore or demand to take care of others.  It was a means to take care of myself.  Taking care of others is a bonus.  Sharing myself through a meal is a joy.  Not a demand, or something that gets in the way of living life.  Nor!  A guilt trip for something that I didn’t get done today.

I should enjoy taking care of myself just as I do any other time with selecting a style and a beauty routine.  Cooking is not only for those who have the talent.  It is a necessity for the fuel of life.  This outlook won’t take away from those who do, in fact it will probably lend more support.

There was an impact from the men who have fun with cooking, what would happen if the women had fun with it?  I’m sure there are a lot of women out there who do and I’m not sure if we truly celebrate it.  We need to let go of the fear that a women’s time in the kitchen is going to hurt the cause.  In reality, anyone’s time in the kitchen is a celebration of life.

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