Tuesday, 30 September 2014

What I learned in September

Another month has suddenly come to an end, and it's time to share what I learned with Emily again. School's well in, and life has been full this September. Hear's what it taught me:

I feel better when I stand more. I've been reading recently about the ill-effects of extended sitting. Turns out it's right up there with smoking, both in terms of increased disease, decreased life expectancy, and erasing the benefits of an otherwise active healthy lifestyle. Going for a run every morning isn't going to counteract nine hours of sitting any better than it counteracts smoking a pack of cigarettes (read more here). I also learned here that standing for three hours a day is as good for your health as running ten marathons a year. I'm never going to run a marathon, but I can find ways to spend more of each day on my feet and off my seat. So I've been making an effort to do more tasks standing up rather than finding a way to do them sitting down. I've also been trying to spend more time wearing my baby (which is best for my back and arms while standing but brutal for sitting) and less time awkwardly carting her around on my hip on the assumption that we'll both be sitting down in "just a minute". 

I've found I can peel apples, fold laundry, or take a phone call just as easily next to the counter as I can in my favourite armchair. Given that I'm always pursuing rather than avoiding standing-only tasks, I'm also staying on top of chores I usually put off. And while I'm not about to invest in a standing desk or insist on eating dinner over the sink, I can work more movement into my sedentary periods just by using a smaller coffee cup or taking more trips to fetch things rather than juggling everything I could possibly need in one overflowing armful. I've only been at it for a couple weeks, but I'm already noticing the benefits: if I sit less, I have more energy throughout the day and feel less stiff and sore at the end of it. It seems counterintuitive, but taking it easy is harder on my body than being on my feet. Excuse me while I go refill my water glass.


If you put a broken-off bamboo stem in water, it will root itself. 

Rooting bamboo stem, leaves and all
And if your preschooler also breaks the stem off the plant you bought to replace the first one he wrecked, he'll stick that in the water too. Neither denuded rod shows any sign of growing new leaves. We'll see if the rooting leaves grow new bamboo. Someday I'll have to find a productive outlet for my son's pruning habit. Until then, I'll be thankful the rest of my houseplants are out of his reach. 

Extremely belated birthday parties are still fun, and cream bourbon is amazing. After months of failing to plan my 30th birthday party, my husband and I threw ourselves a joint milestone gathering just before his 35th. We'd joked about making it a scotch party, but charging our friends the equivalent of a charity gala ticket just to come to our house for cake and finger foods seemed a bit extravagant. So we settled for a sort-of-kidding "no gifts, unless that gift is scotch" line in the invitation. It worked pretty well: along with some lovely non-liquor-themed presents, we did receive one very fine bottle of the venerable whisky, as well as home-made cider corked in scotch bottles, offers of butter scotch or scotch tape, and a liqueur I'd never heard of: cream bourbon. Turns out it's kind of like irish cream, except so so much better. It's fabulous straight, and even better in coffee. I highly suspect it will be superb with vanilla icecream. I'm toying with the idea of doing a joint milestone celebration every five years. And I may never buy Bailey's again.

Deadlines don't mean much when you keep them to yourself. As of her father's birthday (i.e. yesterday), my youngest daughter is officially nine months old. Which means I missed my private goal of publishing her birth story after a nine-month gestation. It's still in outline mode, like it was right after I missed my goal of publishing the day she turned six months old. Clearly, the thing isn't going to write itself when the only one who knows the deadline is me. So I'm making a public decision to publish her birth story on her first birthday. And write it in October, because writing between Christmas and New Year's just isn't going to happen. Now you know, and that should keep me accountable. 

Do follow on to Chatting at the Sky to see what other bloggers have been learning. I'll be doing the same, after I stand up again ;)



2 comments:

  1. I'm so interested in your stats on too much sitting. I've been sitting an outrageous amount with all this writing, but Bear built me a standing desk and it helps so much to switch up my writing positions.

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    1. My husband got a sitting/standing adjustable desk at work this month. He's a big fan too. I'm not writing enough to justify one for myself, but a reading stand would be most helpful. I wonder if I could find an old lectern somewhere...

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