Random Saturdays – Winter Cleaning

Part of my workout routine has been to clean the house.  I live in a house that is way to big for me.  It’s way to big for my cat and me.  It’s even way to big for my husband, my cat, and me.  We have the kids 8 – 12 days out of the month, and that is the only time that the house seems like the right size.  When we have people over for birthday parties or holiday meals, the house feels like a good size.  Most of the time, though, it’s too big.

Most of the time, it’s just Ben and me cleaning, too.

We don’t make the cat clean because she’s spoiled.  The last time we had the kids, we made them clean upstairs (their area) on Saturday so that we could spend the rest of the weekend having fun.  We also told them that if they cleaned, we could try to go to the farm the next weekend that we had them.  So, they worked hard, we worked hard, they argued, they whined, they cried, and they finally got the upstairs clean.

Other than times like that, Ben and I don’t really spend large chunks of time cleaning because we don’t have large chunks of time to spend on cleaning.  Mostly, I keep the dishes and clothes washed, clean the kitchen counters, and try to keep things fairly organized so that anyone in the house can find anything he or she may need at any given time.  Before company comes over, we try to clean the toilets, swiffer the first floor, and clear space on the tables and counters.  Then, I greet everyone at the door with excuses and apologies for how dirty the house is.  Does this sound familiar to anyone else?

I am trying to develop healthy habits, including not being sedentary for too long.  So, I try to get up every hour or so and run in place.  Then, it occurred to me that I could also do spot cleaning in order to be active while also being productive.  The first spot cleaning is heavy duty, but spot cleaning afterwards is much easier.  As it turns out, cleaning burns alot of calories and works alot of muscles that I don’t use when I’m sitting in a chair staring at a computer screen.  Weird, huh?

I don’t think this house will ever be clean from top to bottom until the day we sell it and move.  The spot cleaning makes such a difference, at least as far as my emotional well-being.  I think it also helps my allergies.  It definitely adds to steps on my Fitbit.  I might buy some stock in Swiffer soon.  Those little cloths come in handy in so many ways.

 

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Exploring Your Depths – Make Do

Exploring Your Depths — Make Do.

Cathy’s blog today is about making the most of your situation, no matter what it is.  She reminds us that “perfect” is usually a fictional and, therefore, unattainable goal.  Making do with what you haven’t isn’t about suffering or half-assing things;  it’s about making the most out of what you have.

Just this morning, I read an article in O magazine about how to workout regularly even when you hate exercise (the web article has a different, and less compelling, title though).  The key is to set your sights low, to set manageable goals.  I haven’t  been able to get back into a regular workout routine since I hurt my knees awhile back.  I know that I can’t work out for longer than 20 minutes a day (even walking around the mall or Target for an hour starts to hurt my feet, knees, and/or hips and I often get headaches).  If I work out particularly hard one day, it can take days to recover instead of my old customary one-day recovery period.  Finding that balance of working out and not over doing it has been difficult, since it’s not the same ratio that it was just three years ago.  Lately, I’ve been disappointed because I can’t seem to commit  to working out regularly.  However, I have managed to do a number of mini-workouts throughout the day (yoga stretches and a strength move or two when I wake up, a 3-minute workout after dinner while watching TV, more yoga/pilates moves to stretch/relieve the day’s tensions before bed).  Granted, the pounds haven’t been melting off, so I still feel like a lazy loser, even though I feel better physically (less joint and back pain).  Why is it so hard for me to do all of these things in a 20-minute interval though?  What is my problem?!

When I read the magazine article this morning, I found it interesting that the writer started with 10 minutes of working out and that there are actually benefits to that because I always feel like a slacker even if I reach my 20-minute goal, which seems like a pretty pathetic goal anyhow.  Then, I read Cathy’s post, which reenforced the idea that even if my mini-workouts are all that I can manage right now, that’s fine.  I’m making do, and that’s good enough.  If I’m able to eventually amp up my workouts and stick with a regular workout routine without getting frustrated by a combo of injuries, laziness, and lack of sleep, then good.  The mini-workouts are fine too though because I am able to keep up with them daily and the health benefits are fully evident even if the waistline benefits aren’t there.  So maybe the combo of the magazine article and Cathy’s post is the universe’s way of telling me that making do isn’t such a bad thing afterall.