Other Forms of Insanity

November is a crazy busy month – so why not make it more interesting by writing a novel in the midst of all the craziness?

National Novel Writing Month is here, and I am partaking.  Please excuse my blog absence as I frantically scribble 1700 words daily that (so far)make no sense at all.  =)

And if you are so inclined, please join me in this particular form of insanity!

Astrology, Insanity, and the Cold Weather Slump

Remember back when astrology was the Big Thing, and we all read our horscopes and poured over books about our personalities based on our sun signs?  Yeah, I used to LOVE that stuff.  And personality tests.  I don’t know why, it just pulls me in every time.

So it turns out I’m a Gemini.  Back when I read all the books, I always thought “Yeah!  That’s exactly like me!  How weird!”  Now I realize most of that garbage is so generic it can apply to anyone.  But there is one trait that sticks with me about Geminis in particualr, and I can’t wish it away as generic because it is So. Me.  Geminis are really bad at finishing things.

I am GREAT at starting new things.  I’m great at ideas, and brainstorming, and I’m always up for taking a crazy new class or adventure.  But I have zero follow-through.  My closet is perpetually half cleaned out and organized.   My DVDs are partially alphabtized.  I call my workspace organized chaos.

Maybe I get distracted.  Maybe it’s boredom.  Maybe it’s 12 other new things and ideas to try that get in the way.  The only thing I can consistently finish is a new book.  In school, everyone thought I was a procrastinator because I was always pulling all-nighters to finish term papers.  What they didn’t realize was that I LOVED term papers – I usually raced to the library for research the minute it was assigned and worked furiously for a couple days.  Until I found soemthing else and forgot all about it.

Whatever the reason, I, KitTeaCat the Gemini,  can admit it: I suck at finishing things I start.

(Maybe this is why ballet appeals to me?  There is no “finish” to ballet – it is constant progress.)

By far, my finish-challenged self has the worst time with workouts and staying healthy.  I am into the gym – until I’m not.  I religiously did ballet videos – for a bit.  I love running – if it’s not too hot or too cold and there’s nothing on televison.  And I can stick to a diet – but more often, I choose not to.

Winter is the worst for workout slumps.  It’s cold and it’s dark and all I want to do is eat cookies and drink wine.  I usually end up skipping the gym and staying on the couch.  Plus, holiday food.  Mmmm.  I always find myself slacking and quitting and putting on some hibernation weight.  It’s just what happens.

UNTIL TODAY.

Or rather, until October 15th, which is the day I embarked on a workout schedule so crazy, they call it Insanity.  I have owned a not-so-legal burned copy (shhh) for several years now, and have done a couple of the workouts here and there.  But I have made the command decision to go against my nature and actually Finish. The. Program.

To this end, I have written up a snazzy schedule.  I have altered the 60-day program to around 90 days, taking into account my ballet classes and holidays.  I’ve even been meal planning.  I am fighting the winter slump and it’s not even that cold yet.  Yay me!

And, most importantly, I’ve been saying this out loud.  To people.  So I can’t quit quietly.

Why the Ice Bucket Challenge is Not for Me

Unless you were recently roused from a coma, chances are you’ve heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge.  Videos are all over television and social media of people dousing themselves in icy water and daring their friends to do the same.  The stunts are to raise money for ALS, commonly called Lou Gehrig’s disease.

If you don’t know what the challenge is exactly, or anything about ALS, I’m not surprised.  Most of the videos and posts I’ve seen are pretty vague about the “rules” and even the benefits of the exploit.  I suggest you look it up if it intrigues you.

I haven’t been “challenged” as of yet, but I have decided I will not be participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge, or donating to ALS, should this fad come around to me.

A few things before I get called a heartless and uncaring person:  Is Lou Gehrig’s disease a horrific ailment? Yup.  Do the sufferers deserve awareness, research, and work toward a cure? Absolutely.  Is this trend raising money for the cause?  It sure is.  Do I support donating to worthwhile charities, whether it is by giving your money, your time, or whatever you have available?  You bet your ass I do.

But, honestly, ALS does not affect me.  I don’t know anyone who has it.  I don’t know anyone who knows anyone who has it.

In short, I’m not passionate about it.

There are lots of things I am passionate about:  music and arts education, animal welfare, the military, marriage equality, AIDS research  . . . the list goes on.  Every year, I donate to charities and volunteer at functions that support these causes.  Because they are important to me.  Because I care about them.  Because PASSION for them compels me to do it.

And if someone asks me to donate to a charity that I don’t feel passionately about, or that I am not familiar with, or that can’t tell me how the funds will be spent, I politely decline.  And you should too.  Philanthropy is about doing good that you believe in; it’s about finding what drives you and making things better as a result, even if it’s in a small way.

I won’t donate to a cause simply because I see some gimmick on the internet.  Or because someone I know dared me to.  Or because the whole world knows about it and thinks I should.

If you’ve taken the Ice Bucket Challenge and donated, good for you.  I hope your money is spent wisely and leads to healthier, happier lives.

But I also hope you donate or volunteer for a cause that YOU choose.  Something that lights a fire in you.  Something that is deeply important to you.

Would my view on the Ice Bucket Challenge change if one of my loved ones was suddenly struck down by ALS?  Possibly.  But that’s one of the great things about passion for a cause: you can have as many as you like.

July Update!

It’s been awhile, dear blog.  July has been a SUPER busy month, and I’ve been shunning the computer at home.  Here’s a brief what’s what about how the KitTeaCat household spent July:

  • Volleyball!  I’ve ben playing on a fun coed beach league.  We’re seriously terrible, and haven’t won a game all season.  But we’re having fun, and getting better!  It’s nice to be outside exercising with friends.
  • Ballet!  I’ve been taking 2 classes per week, which is wonderful.  Trying to decide if I can continue for the whole year.
  • July 4 marked the one year anniversary for me and my husband.  And we celebrated by . . . baling hay.  We had a plan to travel for the day, lined up puppy-sitters – but the weather dictates farming.  But tossing 1200 bales of hay is fun too, right?
  • Puppy!  Our newest dog Luke is fitting into the pack and growing like a weed!  He’s a Mama’s Boy for sure, so I’ve spent a lot of my usual blogging time with him.
  • Gymnastics!  My sister and I have kept up with a private lesson a week.  It’s great to do something different – and hopefully I’ll be able to show off my front handsprings!
  • New gym!  As of TODAY, my sister and I have joined a new gym (following our trainer – long story!).  And the best part of the new gym is that membership includes group classes at now charge.  No more excuses about getting bored with workouts!
  • Hot Dogs!  I love summer.  Everyone’s having cookouts, and everyone’s cookout includes hotdogs.  Seriously, I ate 8 over Fourth of July weekend.  Good thing I’m staying active!
  • Ballet again!  Because I can’t help but put in writing that one of the girls in class has told me twice now that I’ve turned into “a fun to watch dancer.”  Am I glowing??

What have YOU been up to??

Random Thoughts for Your Wednesday

  • Shaving my legs is that magical time when I discover bruises I didn’t know I had and have no idea how I acquired.
  • Puppies are exhausting.  But totally worth it.
  • Someone really needs to invent a waterproof pen and paper pad for the shower.  That’s where I have my best ideas and remember all the things I need to make a list to do.
  • High carb days are The Best Days.
  • Wednesdays are just a day you have to get through to get to Thursday ballet class.

Snowed In

Haven’t left the house since Sunday morning.  Dogs refuse to go outside and insist on being covered with blankets.  Kitties fight over lap snuggle space.

Well, technically it isn’t snowing any longer.  But has been deemed illegal to drive due to the conditions.  We’ve gotten 22 inches of snow in 5 days. The temperature is currently -9 F, with a wind chill of -35 F.  Schools are closed.  Businesses are closed.  The low temps have broken records.

Hope everyone else is nice and warm.  I will be spending the day cooped up with my pups and kits in with some fluffy blankets.

WIN_20140107_110716 (Maddox – wearing a sweater and wrapped up in not one, but two blankets.  She’s not very upset that Mama has to stay home 😉 )