Wake Up Time

I have a new alarm clock that works well — a little too well. It wakes me up immediately from a restful sleep and propels me out of bed without hesitation. That’s what alarm clocks were built for, right?

Except this particular alarm makes no sound, and there is no snooze button to push. It’s actually not a clock at all. It’s my bladder.

Like clockwork, my bladder wakes me up religiously to get up and pee in the middle of the night. By the time the alarm on my iPhone chimes at a normal hour, I’ve been up and down at least twice. My bladder leaves me no choice. When I try to reason with it, my bladder practically dares me to fall back to sleep, making it impossible to do so. I leave a perfectly comfortable bed and head to the bathroom.

In order to reduce these early wake-up calls, there are a few habits I apparently need to change. The first is to stop drinking anything two hours before bedtime. I also have to watch what I’m drinking. I’ve identified diet iced tea as the beverage that fills my bladder the fastest and supplies it with free refills all night long. So, no more Snapple with dinner. When I was younger, repetitive visits to the bathroom were known as breaking the seal after a night of drinking wine coolers. That was so much more fun! How sad it is that a non-alcoholic drink has the same effect.

My husband sleeps through this, but our dog takes full advantage of the situation. She is the one I have to shoo into the middle of the bed when I come back from the bathroom. Chloe will take this opportunity to stretch out and rearrange herself on my side of the bed. It always amazes me how much room she takes up.

I may have to experiment with my bedtime to accommodate these changes. If I push my bedtime to midnight instead of 10:30 pm, I should be able to enjoy a glass of wine at dinner or drink a Blue Moon while watching the Phillies game. Maybe that will reduce my trips to the bathroom.

I’m sure you are on the edge of your seat now, so I’ll keep you posted.  



July 2023 Book Report

I had a goal to read 12 books this summer. I didn’t think it would be difficult since I average about four books a month anyway. Since summer doesn’t officially end until mid-September, I had a good shot. Maybe I still do, I read three books in June, but I only read one in July.

I had a tough month. I was depressed, and my regular dose of Zoloft wasn’t cutting it. I had enough energy to work and watch baseball games, and that was it. Reading felt like a chore rather than a welcome escape. After finishing the one good book early in the month (which I’ll get to in a minute), I borrowed Did You Hear about Kitty Karr? from the library. But I returned it the next day after hearing a reviewer say it was a great story with a slow burn. In book-speak, this means it could take a while for readers to get into the story and reach the good parts. I knew this wasn’t the time for a challenge. I was already feeling challenged enough.

Did Not Finish (DNF)

I also DNF’d This Time Tomorrow, which I put down at one point and never picked back up. I thought it would be easy to jump back into the story, but as I began to read, I remembered why I didn’t like it in the first place. This hurt my heart and my pocketbook because I was halfway into the book and bought it as a hardcover when it first came out. These two strikes cost me time and money—two things I hate to waste. But I had to let it go. I donated it to the swim club library.

A Five-Star Read

The one book I did enjoy was The Perfect Marriage by Jeneva Rose. I listened to it for three days straight on Audible. I hung on to every word and plot twist until the final chapter, which brought about an unexpected but fantastic ending. Here is the set-up. A top-notch defense attorney and her husband, a struggling writer, have what seems to be the perfect marriage. They have career success, beautiful homes, and a great life. But everything changes when the husband’s mistress turns up stabbed to death in their marital bed. Of course, he is the primary suspect and looks guilty as hell, but he insists he didn’t do it. Heartbroken, the wife decides she is the best attorney and the only one that can defend him. As the mystery unfolds, there are many other characters who had the motive to kill her. With each new clue revealed, I found myself changing my mind as to “who dunnit,” which made this a lot of fun to read.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loved The Plot or The Silent Patient. This is a book you won’t soon forget, and listening to the audiobook was an added bonus.

No Book Buy July

The other challenge I put upon myself was not buying any books for the entire month. I wanted to save a little money and couldn’t justify bringing more books home when I already had so many unread ‘must-have’ novels. Still, a little retail therapy might have come in handy. When I’m depressed, I like nothing better than passing the time in an indie bookstore. The hunt for a new book feels productive to me, and being present amongst a community of readers always brings me joy. Instead, I tried to find that joy in the comfort of my bookshelves or at the local library. I’m not saying that denying myself the pleasure of buying books added to my depression. But it might have made it a little harder to bear.

Happy August!

I’m happy to say that I am doing much better. The new medicine has kicked in. I have more energy for reading and for life in general. I’ve already purchased two new books and am halfway through the first one now. I will continue to shop my shelves in August because I know I have some five-star books I can dive into. I’m not going to make a list of books that I promise to read this month. I will ease back into the reading life, pick up books I’m in the mood to read, and hope I have more of them to review next time.

What have you been reading lately? 



A Challenging July

Well, friends, today is the last day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge, and I’ve done 27 out of 31 posts this month. I’m going to call that a win for me! I actually took on three separate challenges this past month, and completing them all has not been easy. But I put in the time and effort, so I’m giving myself high marks. Here are my results.

The Ultimate Blog Challenge

I’m thrilled with the 27 posts I’ve written this month. It is not easy to come up with a new topic every day, and I am proud to report that I only skipped four days. But this challenge was never really a numbers game for me. I came into it wanting to establish a daily writing habit, and I did. I carved out time to write and made it a priority. On the days when the words wouldn’t come, I didn’t fret about imposter syndrome or writer’s block. I took those days to mean I needed a break. Giving up was never an option because I knew the words would be there when I returned to my laptop.

I want to thank Paul Taubman, our UBC leader, who sent daily emails of ideas and encouragement for the entire month. I didn’t always take your suggestions, but I save every last one of them for when I need inspiration. I also want to thank everyone who read and commented on these blogs. Your support means the world to me, and as long as you keep reading, I’ll keep writing.

(And please subscribe so you don’t miss any posts. There is plenty more to come! 🙂 )

No Book Buy July

This challenge came to me from another blogger who suggested a “no buy July.” I was intrigued by the idea but didn’t want to go all in. So, I modified it not to buy books for the entire month. It took a lot of discipline not to download books from Audible or visit my local indie bookstore, but I made it through without buying one book. And boy, was I tempted! I didn’t stop listening to book-themed podcasts or ignore Facebook groups that I subscribe to, like Currently Reading. 

I planned to shop my shelves and read books I already own. Sadly, I only read one book and DNF’d two other ones. So, it wasn’t the best reading month for me. But at least I don’t have more books to choose from because I have plenty already. I’ll probably extend this challenge til the end of the summer and then hit up a few indie bookstores while we are on vacation in September. I can’t deny myself the pleasure of buying books forever, but another month will be good for the bank account and my personal library.

Step Challenge

In yesterday’s post, I wrote about the step challenge. I am continuing my streak of 10K steps daily and am at eight days straight. Today was a beautiful day for walking, so Chloe and I took a nice stroll around the neighborhood. This challenge also includes incentives to add bonus miles to our team total. Last week, I accomplished all three incentives – walking 10K steps for five days straight, walking with a new friend, and walking in a new location. Here is hoping our team is in second place this week. I know I did my part and will continue to do so.

Did you do any challenges this summer? How did it go? Let me know in the comments!


1 2 3 137

%d bloggers like this: