a peek inside the fishbowl

03 Dec, 2016

Weekend reading: December 3 edition

By andrea tomkins in Weekend reading

30 Nov, 2016

Why is it so hard to go to bed at bedtime?

By andrea tomkins in Misc. life

So, as you can see, I’m still thinking a lot about habits. In this post I listed a few of the healthy habits I have on the go right now. Some are new, some are old, but the one thing they have in common is that they seem to be working for me. Stressors aside, I have been feeling pretty good lately. I’ve also lost five niggling pounds over the past few weeks, so that may have something to do with it as well i.e. the fact that my pants aren’t squeezing the life out of me is making me happier/less grumpy overall.

Of the whole list, I think my going to bed at bedtime habit (a new habit!) has made one of the biggest, most positive changes in my life. It’s kind of a no brainer. I can’t even believe I’m writing this, actually, because we all KNOW we need more sleep. We all KNOW we need to get ourselves to bed at a decent hour. We KNOW that if we are tired we are crabby, and eat more. And if we’re tired we don’t do things like take the dog for a long walk, make it to yoga class, or tick things off our to-do lists.

Why is it so easy to tell our kids to go to bed, but so hard for us to do it?

Part of my epiphany goes back to that Gretchen Rubin book about habits I’ve been reading. Early in the book, she talks about owls and larks. (That is, people who like to stay up late v. people who function better in the morning.) Well, I never thought I’d say this, but I’m actually more a lark than a night owl. Although I certainly don’t lo-o-o-ve getting up from my warm bed in the morning, for some reason I am motivated to get stuff done at this time: I jump on the treadmill, use my Litebook, and get some writing done. (Also, coffee.)

So, back to bedtimes. Since I don’t exactly leap out of bed every  morning, I thought maybe, MAYBE it might be a tiny tiny bit easier if I went to bed on time.

Here’s something else. This might sound weird, but I found it easier to tell myself to go to bed at 10 every night than to simply tell myself I need more sleep. With an actual time as a bedtime, I’m able to eliminate a lot of internal arguments I used to have with myself. With a 10 p.m. bedtime, I can say, without question, IT IS BEDTIME. It’s my new rule.

Last night Emma and I went to the gym. I showered when I got back (it was around 8:30 p.m.), brushed my teeth, and changed straight into my pajamas. At 10 I went to bed with my book (WHAT A LUXURY) and read until I was tired. It was lights out by 10:45 or so.

Since I’ve been going to bed at 10, I’ve actually felt well-rested. (!)

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to figure this out. Do you have a bedtime? Are you an owl or a lark?

27 Nov, 2016

Weekend reading: November 27 edition

By andrea tomkins in Weekend reading


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  • 4,258 deaths: As a society we MUST talk about this. It's bad and getting worse. The C in LCBO is Control and yet their mandate seems to now be HEAVY PROMOTION o
  • andrea tomkins: Thanks all. It's a tough issue for sure. And it's not like I don't drink wine, I do (and beer, probably more beer) but I agree that a line has been cr
  • Marguerite: Your post rings for me. I worked as a psychotherapist in varous treatment centers in Ottawa for 20+ years, mostly in women only facilities and I have
  • Lynn: I also think it's crossed a line somewhere. It used to be you'd think about an evening out with your girlfriends, and having a glass of wine there mar
  • Tudor Robins: As a non-drinker, this type of merchandise seems a little baffling, somewhat sad, even a bit tacky; never cute, or cool, or particularly funny. But I
  • Cath in Ottawa: I'm really glad you wrote about this - I've been really conscious of this trend the last few months and have been trying to sort out my feelings about
  • Misty Pratt: I've written about this before too, but have focused more on the wine-drinking mom culture. And hey, I'm no innocent, because I partake and crack joke

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our two daughters Emma (17) and Sarah (15). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times, and a regular contributor to MediaSmarts.ca. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger, and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999... which makes me either a total dinosaur or a veteran, I'm not sure which! The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!


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