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$300 loan.

I’ve been trapped in the gulag of budgeting and other brutal corporate pursuits for the past few weeks, so — well, you know the drill . . . .

This morning, however, I arose at a reasonable hour, let out the dog, ignored the disaster in the kitchen, spread out my mat and sat zazen for maybe 15 minutes (all the while doing my best to breathe through the sounds of the cat climbing into and out of the wreckage of last night’s spaghetti dinner). The bicycle ride into work was a bit bracing (mark Oct. 9 as the first day I’ve needed gloves) and I marveled at the trees along the riverbank, which are well into their annual autumnal fireworks. All that was missing was the bold woodchuck that has lately been foraging in the woods near the bridge. Still, pretty much a perfect morning.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about becoming more disciplined about my morning routine, because when I do manage to leave myself enough time in the pre-commuting hours to run through my preferred wake-up regimen — a little stretching, 30 Dr. Oz pushups, a few yoga poses and a 30-minute sit — before a quiet breakfast and a cup of tea, I always feel great the rest of the day. To make that happen, though, requires a good 90-minute window of time before I pack up my bag and climb on my Schwinn. And that means I need to crawl out of bed sometimes when I’m not fully rested — which, of course, is not a good thing for an older person like myself. If I don’t get enough sleep, my immune system rebels and I’m susceptible to the common cold, etc.

So, the key is to get to bed nice and early in a household full of night owls. Hmm. . . . Like I said, it takes some discipline.

A brief note on last night’s sweat-a-thon: Because it had been nine days since my last real workout, I decided to take it easy. I did about 20 minutes on this new Elliptical Death Machine — which I prefer to the older Elliptical Death Machines, because its orange-and-black  exterior reminds me of Halloween (or the Chicago Bears uniforms) and I seem to be able to operate it with much less risk of bodily injury. It also really gets my heart rate going (it must be love). I skipped the stretching stuff because I guess I didn’t want to stretch. Then, I spent about 30 minutes working my abs and upper body on the resistance machinery — also refraining from pushing myself too hard.

It must’ve worked. I feel pretty great today. And it’s not just because the budget’s done.

Thoughts to share?

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