• Chickster

Writing/Workout Retreat 2021

By Kelly


Since I work 40 hours a week (and struggle to fit in more than 8 hours of writing and 6 hours of working out weekly), I took off the last week in June to focus on writing and working out. So I mapped out my ideal 9-day schedule on a Trello board, but (just like when I tried this in 2019) the plan and the reality weren’t the same. Here’s how it went, and what I learned along the way:


The Plan


The Reality


Day 1: Savor Saturday

Since this was a weekend day, I was busy with other things and not motivated, especially since my 11-year-old, blind, Dalmatian-Lab-Border Collie, Kanna, was diagnosed with diabetes and pancreatitis the week before, so I was distracted making sure she eats and gets her insulin shot every 12 hours. So I let myself write while watching Parks and Recreation, which didn’t result in a huge word count, but not bad for the first day. I also did a Pop Pilates class and went to lunch with Seth.


Lesson: Don’t push too hard on day one. It’s okay to relax.

5 hours writing, 1,000 words, 1 hour working out


Day 2: Sunday Funday

I again allowed myself to write while watching Parks & Rec in the morning, but I wrote non-stop between 7 to 11 p.m., so I got a decent word count. I also swam at the gym for 30 minutes and went to dinner with Seth.


Lesson: Typing in bed on your laptop, because you’re sick of your desk, counts as long as you get the word count.

10 hours writing, 4,000 words, 1 hour working out


Day 3: Motivation (Mishap) Monday

I started the day stressed. Kanna hadn’t eaten her full bowl of food for the third time in a row, so I gave her a half-dose of insulin and waited for the vet to call back. After that, I went to my first physical since 2019.


The doctor’s office was full, so my 10-minute physical took an hour and a half. I had been fasting for 12 hours to do blood work, so when I got out of there at 12:30 p.m., I went to a sandwich drive thru and ordered lunch for Seth and I. When I got home, I realized I had “Maria’s” salad, half-sandwich and cookie, and not my order for two. But I’m the one who didn’t check the bag.


After I ate the not-mine, less-expensive order, I was irritated by the day so far, so I took a 2-hour nap. Then finally got a hold of the vet. Then I watched an episode of Parks & Rec. Then I tried on all the clothes in my dresser (something from my want-to-do list, because, as you can tell, I wasn’t feeling the writing), then I went to the gym and swam laps for 30 minutes. Then it was time to feed Kanna dinner and inject her again. Then I was so tired, I laid in bed, watched TV and fell asleep early.


Lesson: Off days are inevitable.

1 hour writing, 300 words, 1 hour working out


Day 4: Type (Too-Long) Tuesday

This was hardly Type Tuesday, but I wrote enough, considering I had a two-hour microblading/permanent eyeliner touchup that took 3 hours because the appointment before me ran over by an hour. But I didn’t get vertigo and it barely hurt—even on the bottom eyelid.


Last time I did the numbing process wrong. I was supposed to keep my eyes closed for 20 minutes to make sure the gel stayed in place—not look at my phone. This time I attempted to meditate and kept my eyes closed. But it made a huge difference in the amount of pain. It also helped that touchups have smaller needles, cost less and take less time. I won’t have to touchup the microblading for a year and the permanent eyeliner for two years.


But I did forget that I can’t sweat or swim for 10 days. So I could only do light workouts, like Pilates, but no cardio, for the rest of the week, which was disappointing.


Lesson: Schedule microblading/permanent eyeliner touchups in non-summer months, since I can’t sweat or swim. 6 hours writing, 3,000 words, 15 minutes working out


Day 5: Write Wednesday

This day, Kanna only ate a fourth of her food, so I called the vet and they told me to skip the insulin and watch her closely at lunch. Then I went to the vet to pick up a different food (since she didn’t like this one), and to Walmart to get some things. When I came home, I found my to-do list for the week really long, so I decided to knock it all out at once, so I could spend the rest of the week how I planned.


Here’s what I did:

  • Went through closet and book shelf and donated nos to Good Will

  • Picked up a prescription at Walgreens

  • Donated expensive diabetic food and treats to the local shelter, because Kanna can’t have any of it, due to the pancreatitis

  • Tried to schedule a free Hand & Stone massage that I’ve had a gift card for since 2019, but they didn’t have any openings

  • Finally ordered key fob for my neighborhood pool, even though I’ve lived here for 8 years, and it took less than a minute online

Then I streamed Pilates, got a pedicure and hit H-E-B for a few things, since it’s in the same parking lot. Then I made Meal Simples, watched a movie with Seth and went to bed.


Lesson: Sometimes you have no choice but to tackle your to-dos.

1.5 hours writing, 1,000 words, 30 minutes working out


Day 6: Think (Take-it-easy) Thursday

Everything with Kanna went smoothly in the morning, so I went to an early Pilates class, watched Parks & Rec, napped and finally started writing at 3 p.m. But I wrote until 7 p.m., which isn’t bad. Then Seth and I bowled until 11 p.m. and went to sleep.


Lesson: It’s okay to have fun on your staycation.

4 hours writing, 3,000 words, 1 hour working out


Day 7: Focus Friday

In the morning, we took Kanna for a vet visit, then I wrote for 7.5 hours, with an hour nap at 10 a.m. I was so into writing I decided to skip the daily workout. It truly was Focus Friday!


Lesson: It’s okay to skip the daily work out if you’re on a roll.

7.5 hours writing, 4,000 words, O hours working out


Day 8: (Savor) Sidetracked Saturday

This day, I was so into writing I almost wrote through my favorite Pilates class, but just made it. I planned to write after it as well, but something important came up, and I had to put my writing aside for the rest of the day.


Lesson: Some things are more important than writing.

2.5 hours writing, 2,000 words, 1 hour working out


Day 9: Sunday Funday

This day started with a lot of writing and words and ended with downtime. I had planned to write from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., but by 1 p.m., I needed a change. So I walked to the neighborhood pool (since the fob had just arrived) and tanned and read. Then I dipped in the pool (without getting my eyebrows wet because of the microblading touchup) and came back and watched Parks & Rec. Then I relaxed the rest of the day, since I had work in the morning.


I didn’t finish writing my time management book, but I am much closer


Lesson: You can’t have Sunday Funday without the fun.

2.5 hours writing, 2,000 words, 0 hours working out














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