Flash forward to the end of May and LA County is just beginning to open some things up.
I may have been a little more prepared than others, having worked from home for the last four years. The travel I had been doing for my job hasn’t been happening, but I am still employed and very happy about that. The band gigs are still totally on hold, which sucks, but for the first time in over 30 years, I am only working one job.
I have found it isn’t bad to be home. In all the years I have lived in my house, I have never spent so much time in the backyard. It really is a great space to chill. I also discovered other things during this time that I have to say are really great.
Here are my top three:
MY NEW “GYM"
I have been going to the gym and working out regularly since my early twenties. I have never taken more than a couple of weeks off, even a year and a half ago when I really messed up my knee. So the thought of being in lockdown and not getting in my regular activity was the one thing that really freaked me out. The older you get, the harder it is to stay in any kind of physical shape. Traveling and not eating well on business trips had already put some extra pounds on me. I started imagining myself fifty pounds heavier in a short month, barely able to walk from my bed to my home office. I was saved by my Amazon prime, which I figured out was good for work out videos, as well as stalking toilet paper. Maggie Binkley’s 15 Minute Work Outs are my absolute favorite. She sets up a schedule for a different workout every day and you move up levels after doing the schedule for a few weeks. She does a variety of exercises, in an average sized room, all using just your body weight, which is perfect at home.
The great thing about a video class like Maggie’s, is you can do it anytime. I have worked out five days a week, since the pandemic started and haven’t missed a day. In the past, if I worked late, I missed a class that was scheduled at the gym and I just didn’t go. There were some good instructors at my gym, but there were some that weren’t so good. Stretching was sometimes an afterthought, particularly when you got a teacher who couldn’t manage their class time. This never happens with Maggie, who makes sure you have cool down time and stretching with every video. I also like that the hardest work outs are over mid-week, with Thursday and Friday being a little less intense. It makes me feel like my week has an easy progression to the weekend.
How have the results been for me? I have lost five pounds and with all the stretching, this is the best my knee has felt since I injured it. I am doing side planks and pushups on my toes, two things I haven’t been able to do in years.
I never thought I would say this, but I see myself going back to the gym on a regular basis. If I go back, it might only be for a cycle class or two to add some variety to my week.
Check out Maggie’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/fitnessmaggie/. Or search for her videos on Amazon Prime.
DISCOVERING “MY” MUSIC
Earlier this year, I got some new cd holders that look like library card catalog cabinets. (See above.) Yes, I still have cds. After experimenting with different streaming services, I have gone back to old school. I reorganized my cds and started listening to them alphabetically, starting backward with the Zs. I have gotten to the Ss. I have a lot of cds! But I am really enjoying listening to music I haven’t listened to in years and thinking about some of the memories the music brings up. It is helping make up for no concerts or Summerfest this year.
FINDING GARDEN PATHS AND SCISSORS
I always love doing projects around the house, but I have had one I really never wanted to tackle. On the side of my house, was an old pile of wood from the old deck we replaced four years ago. I was always going to do something with the wood, but never got around to it. I finally decided now was the time. I spent several nights cutting up some of it into a garden path I saw online (see above) and throwing the pieces that were rotted away. It is wonderful to not have that eye sore anymore.
The garage is the cleanest and most organized it has been since after it burned down. I found six pairs of scissors because I kept buying them when I couldn’t find the ones that were buried in the tool chest. I can now open every cabinet and find anything I am looking for. I did the same thing in the kitchen and my home office. The garbage has been full every week and I have bags of stuff waiting to go to the Goodwill as soon as they open.
Which I am much more anxious for than the gym opening. I might be looking at a few new “normals” of my own.