Day 851: Exercise anyway

I don’t know how much pride you’re supposed to feel in kind of just doing the baseline of what you’re supposed to be doing, but hell, I’m proud anyway.

My wife is on shift work; yesterday was a noon-midnight, which meant she rolled into bed somewhere between 12:30 and 1 a.m., and it’s frankly hard to go to sleep until she gets home, so I’d had a restless night before then. And when she came in, that activated the younger cat, who — this is a new one — brought a toy up to the bedroom, hopped up on the bed with it in his mouth, and when we wouldn’t play fetch with him started to knock it off the bed and hop back on with it, and repeat.

So not a great night for sleep.

The upshot being I went back to bed at 5:30, set an alarm for an hour, got up intending to just put in the minimal 10 minutes on the rower, but wound up doing the full 5k. Because I should, I guess.

Running late now, but I’m pretty pleased with myself. I had an excuse to lowball, and I didn’t. Ha.


1:45 a.m.! 1:45! That’s when they started this morning. I don’t know what’s got a bee in the cats’ respective bonnets, but they’ve been at it — bugging me, jumping on and off the bed, tussling and yowling — since 1:45.

To my credit, I got up, did some very intense exercise (running steps at the arena a few blocks away — not a ton but the first time in a while, so 10 minutes left me worried about my chest exploding), showered, and now I’m goin’ BACK TO BED.

Without kitties.

Key point being I got up and DID ALL THE THINGS, instead of just hitting snooze and sleeping in. So very proud I am of me, even if I’m not so keen on cat ownership right now.

Day 733: Cat Madness, 10 Minute Rule

Today was a good test of the “10 minute rule” for exercise — one of our cats somehow got her sanity reset at 3 a.m. and decided the other cat was Enemy Cat; they were on the bed at the time, so this involved my wife getting her face scratched and a rolling battle over two floors of our house as the older cat tried to straight up MURDER the younger one.

It’s settled down a bit now, and no permanent damage to my wife’s face, but we were up from 3-4. I used that time to pre-pack lunch, but then back to bed and up late — this is exactly the kind of day where 2018 me would have said “no time to exercise”.

2019 me says “there’s always a little time to exercise.” So a quick round of pushups/situps and just 10 minutes on the spin bike. Is it a workout? No. But it’s a tetch of exercise every day, which is the important thing. Gets the blood going.

I have time for 10 minutes a day (15 with faff on either side) to exercise. I must. Most days I’ll do more, but I’m determined to not do less.

Day 732: I Made A Box

I made a little box for my nightly checklists; I don’t have Checklist v2.0 to share on this computer, but it’s pretty much the same as Checklist 1.2 but with space for a one-sentence journal entry, a “gratitude/meditation” space, and a dedicated space to doodle something.

Is it useful? Is it helpful? Well, not super much so, but it’s substantial, and I think the physical act of taking a blank piece of paper out of it, writing on it, and putting it back on the “done” side is a ritual that feels good. It feels like I’m doing something.

“Productive” is out of the phone app race immediately — if you don’t set up 100% of your desired habits when you set up the first time, the “add a new habit” feature just drops the “buy now!” screen in front of you and if you clear it, it goes back to the main menu. My wife is trying HabitBull, and I’m taking a look at Momentum (Apple only, sorry).

To be honest, though, I’m not sure these things are for me. The checklist at night feels like plenty, and the “Flow to the Door” system seems like the optimal way for me to get my days started.

Oh — and I’m already altering the “flow to the door” thing. The cats have to get fed when I get up or it’s just not tenable. So now it’s not a perfect flow — up, clothes, then all the way down to feed cats / pack lunch, then back upstairs for exercise and flow resumes. The perfect is the enemy of the good!

Day 567: Everything’s A Toy…

We’ve discussed Small Cat Energy, and my wife’s observation based on STRONG TRUTH of Sir Digby Chicken Caesar yesterday:

“Everything’s a toy if you try hard enough.”

And it’s true! Anything can be a toy if you try hard enough!

For the cat it is particularly true; in the last 24 hours he has played with a number of cat toys but also

  • his water dish
  • a receipt
  • several bookmarks
  • a paperback novel
  • our feet
  • the other cat (they’re doing better now)

In the realm of seeking wisdom where you find it, though, everything’s a toy if you try hard enough is not a terrible rule for life.

It’s kind of a good rule for life.


Day 561: Small Cat Energy

The cat was found and life is good, but that was an entire morning of frantic activity and physical/emotional drain… but, as stated, the cat is found! Life is good! Phew.

My wife, who is not incorrectly kind of annoyed by Big Dick Energy, has suggested an alternative: since we’ve been fostering and have since adopted Sir Digby Chicken Caesar, we have been impressed with his energy and enthusiasm for just about everything.

She’s been proposing Small Cat Energy as an alternative to Big Dick Energy, and I gotta say I kinda like it. Boundless enthusiasm for the new, exploration, openness to play… Small Cat Energy!

In Full Focus news, I just realized this morning that there’s this whole weekly setup thing I gotta do, so off to the races!


Day 560: Catmergency

Quick one today — the new cat and old cat were getting along fine, but yesterday evening the older cat just WENT OFF and it’s been rock and roll since then. Apparently this happens, it’s called “redirected aggression,” and we’re going to be back to separating them. The little guy is hiding somewhere in the house, so I have to get back to tracking him down…

Day 545: Adoption

All right, we caved.

The foster cat is now the cat; we have rechristened him Sir Digby Chicken Caesar, and have put in for official adoption. The writing’s been on the wall for a couple of weeks, essentially since we had a potential adopter in who was all wrong and realized that this is a cat that needs a certain level of autonomy and respect that a lot of — forgive me — cat people really don’t have.

Holiday weekend; volunteer work this morning and outdoor work this afternoon, ideally a big day of getting things done and some solid relaxing on Sunday / Monday.


Just for fun, all of the Digby Chicken Caesar monologues:

  • “On a lonely planet spinning its way to damnation amid the fear and despair of a broken human race, who is there to fight for all that is good and pure and gets you smashed for under a fiver? Yes, it’s the surprising adventures of me, Sir Digby Chicken Caesar.”

  • “In a time future historians will one day call ‘the past,’ in a place I wish I could name but it’s been a confusing week, who is there to look out for the man in the street in case he wants his mobile back? Yes, it’s the surprising adventures of me, Sir Digby Chicken Caesar.”

  • “In a world spinning as fast as the inside of home base when you’ve just had a go at a four pack of Dulux tester cans, who is left to fight for all that is right and proper and good and leather and full of money and belonging to that teenager who doesn’t look like he can handle himself? Yes, it’s the surprising adventures of me, Sir Digby Chicken Caesar!”

  • “In a world spinning rapidly off its hinges, on streets cluttered with hood-wielding thugs having disco biscuits and cheap fireworks, who is left to fight for honour and justice and enough loose change for a bottle of Happy Shopper Ouzo? Yes, it’s the surprising adventures of me, Sir Digby Chicken Caesar!”

  • “In a society whose toothy fake smile is ravaged by the plaque of debt and the vodka burp of sub-prime mortgages, who will floss into the darkest cavities of our despair, and see if there are any gold fillings you can swap for a can of peppermint-flavored antifreeze? Yes, it the surprising adventures of me, Sir Digby Chicken Caesar.”

  • “In a world where it’s important to know who your friends are, rather than who your daughter is, who will prise open the fist of international conspiracy and see if it’s got a 2p in it? Find out next week in the surprising adventures of Sir Digby Chicken Caesar.”

  • “How many harmless narcotics must Ginger and I consume before the empire is safe? What the hell happened to my grant from the Home Office? How much longer will Benji’s remain the only sandwich shop not to have security men on the door? Find out in the next thrilling installment of The Surprising Adventures of Sir Digby Chicken Caesar!”

  • “In a world going to hell in a hansom cab, where all the batteries and paracetamol are kept behind the counter where you can’t reach them, who is there to fight for decency, honesty, and 3-liter bottle of cider-style drink for an amazing 59p. Yes, it’s the surprising adventures of me, Sir Digby Chicken Ceasar.”

Day 543: Waaaauuuugh Sleep

I know I’ve been going off a lot on sleep lately. But here’s the thing:

  1. Foster cat, who is a delight, is hyperactive and thinks he’s a shark. He’s now good about not being feisty when he’s on the bed! But if you leave something dangling off the edge of the bed, it’s fair game. He’s not on the bed. Cats are lawyers.
  2. Our older cat has been feeling a bit put out and not coming to bed with us lately, which is distressing to me a bit and a lot to my wife. So when she does join us we try to give her a lot of attention. We feel guilty, a bit.

So I’m kind of now being very attentive when I sleep to toes and fingers — either getting woken up with shark attacks, or even semi-waking up when I notice I’m dangling to pull my parts back.

And when older cat jumps up on the bed at 2 a.m., I spend some time patting her. Sometimes quite a lot of time if she is really seeking affection. I feel bad!

But man, it’s taking a toll on sleep. My wife was up at 4 and for some reason the cats decided to stay with me, chomping like sharks and tapping me for pats.

So it’s been up and exercise, but an overall draggy morning.

I’m not sure what to do here — I feel responsible for the wellbeing of the animals in my care, and they’re not being malicious. I guess I’m just hoping that the foster grows out of being a shark, and the situation with the older cat settles back down to normal once they’ve had more time to get used to each other. For now… yawn.


Day 534: Getting Up Anyway

Foster cats! FOSTER CATS! I’m happy we’re fostering, but I’m wondering how much of the current slump streak can be traced back to wonky sleep for cat-related reasons.

Fighting back from the slump today, though — despite a 2 a.m. wake-up and sustained campaign from the foster to convince us he is a shark and terrorize our older cat, we got up at 5-ish anyway. I’m well exercised, showered, healthy breakfast and lunch packed.

Some volunteer and schoolin’ obligations to square away — this is a big week for coursework for the course I’m taking — and then it’s off to the races. I’m hoping I can dig out of the lack of exercise/diet motivation by sheer force of will. Which is weird, because it’s the will that’s lacking. It’s like I have a will to not be in a slump, but the slump is a lack of… hm.