It may seem as though I'm hopping on the "Word of the year" bandwagon, but I'm not. I actually hopped on it last year! :-)
In January of 2011, I decided upon the word "healthier" for my word of the year. Mostly, I wanted to focus on a healthier body. I was spurred on this mission to become healthier by the awesome gift of my elliptical exerciser from my friends last Christmas. I also had some other inspirations---my sister had lost a bunch of weight, and my clothes were not my friends in the way they had been before.
I'm happy to report that I did keep up with the word of the year in 2011! I made much healthier food choices--this included understanding and realizing calorie counts AND portion sizes. Portion sizes were a biggie! I still use my little half cup measure to portion out my Chex Mix for lunch--the changes I made have become habits. I also put more exercise into my mix. I still really dislike exercising! But I found something that wasn't overly painful and was pretty effective---a circuit of speed walking and jogging. I don't go a huge distance---not even a full mile most days--but it is something. And I'm proud to say that in 2011 as a result of my "word", I lost about 18 pounds! Yay!
So, on to the word for 2012... BALANCE.
I struggle with balance in my life during the school year. I pretty much work, and then work, and then work some more. It is the nature of the beast of teaching---we have pretty full plates. Add in the whole single-parenthood and homeowner factors and I have a very lop-sided life for 9 1/2 months of the year. I have guilt that I don't spend enough time with Kendra and I know that I'm not taking care of myself in terms of allowing some "me" time.
First, the Kendra part. I know I give her time. But I spend a whole lot of time staring at this computer screen or doing things in preparation to teach other small people. She never complains. But she needs to know that she is my top priority. So I took a minute the other day and made her look me straight in the eye while I said this: "You know my job is busy. You know I have lots to do all the time. But you also need to know that NONE of it is more important than you. NONE of it. If you need me, truly need me, I will drop everything. You need to know that. You can always ask me to stop working to be with you, and if I can do it I will. You just need to tell me." I plan to make sure I say this to her at regular intervals so that she knows that even when I'm buried in work I will always make time for her. Always.
And as for me, I have to give myself some decompression time. This year, I had my students write a reading resolution for the year. I absolutely LOVE to read, but I usually only allow myself to read during school breaks. I read blogs, but I don't allow myself to delve into real books because I tend to get sucked into a novel and then choose to read over doing work for school. But as I was helping with my kids on their resolutions, I realized that I have been denying myself something that gives me stress relief and exercises my mind in different ways than work does. So I have made my reading resolution of allowing myself to read at least three times per week for pleasure. This will be my decompression time.
I'm hoping that these two things will just be the jump-start to ways I can get more balance in my life. My workload at school is not ever going to lessen, but maybe I can tip the scales a little my way. For the two or three friends who read this blog, feel free to give advice of how else I can get some balance. I'd love your input! :-)
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