With New Years resolutions flying here and there, most people are focusing on who they can become, not who they were. Yet I sit here in the floor with my 8 month old daughter as she plays, still in my pjs at lunchtime and wondering why I ate a chocolate doughnut for breakfast not long ago (not to mention why I even had such crap in my house to begin with!). Rachel has become very clingy over the holiday break and won’t let me get a foot away from her for most of the day. Getting a shower on days when I’m home by myself with her is an achievement these days. So I’m sitting here feeling a little sorry for myself, though it’s been great hanging with my little mini-me and watching her learn new stuff everyday. People everywhere are focusing on making improvements to their lives, but I can’t help but find myself looking back to my old self, the one who would have gotten a great run in this morning, who would have had a yummy protein shake for breakfast, and who would already be in the middle of a fun new workout program. She would throw on her cute workout outfit whenever the mood struck her and get down to business. Or she’d lay around reading a good book after her morning run, enjoying her coffee and planning what to do with the rest of her last leisurely day off from work. She might go shopping, make a new running playlist, or work on a new painting. As a new mom, I feel guilty about even thinking this way. I love my daughter and have enjoyed the past two weeks with her. Though I no longer have the ability to focus only on myself for the new year, becoming a mother helps me to focus on a new type of resolution, one that isn’t so selfish. Because as much as I know that I still need lots of improvement, now my resolve is based on what’s best for my family. I want to unplug more, get angry and stressed less often, and show Rachel all the love and attention that is possible. No new workout plan can compare to the life-changing power of a sweet baby. Becoming mother is a far greater achievement than becoming hottie ever could be. The road and my running shoes will be there. Rachel will only cling to me for a short while. There will be a day when she won’t need to reach for my hand as she tries to stand on her own.
2013 is here! January 1, 2013
A new year has begun. Many are so afraid to set resolutions for fear of failure. Not me. I love setting goals for myself, even if I don’t reach all of them. Here is what I’m looking forward to this year:
- I’m going to be a mommy! This is probably the biggest and most important thing that will happen to me in 2013. This opens a huge door for all kinds of resolutions, but for the most part, I want to just learn how to take care of my baby and juggle the responsibilities of family and work. Since I’ll be having Rachel at the end of the Spring semester, I’ll get all summer to spend time with her and get adjusted to being a mommy before going back to work in the fall. I know the time will fly by, but I hope to make the most of it. Which leads me to my next resolution…
- I want to focus on spending my time wisely. I am the Queen of Time Wasting. Brother Don gave a sermon about time wasting just this Sunday, and it really hit home. Satan steals our time with needless anxiety by overloading us with unnecessary commitments, possessions, work, and information. The other major source of anxiety (and time-wasting) is regret. We have only 8,760 hours in a year. Why spend it dwelling on what has already happened and can’t be changed? Instead of wasting time on the above robbers of time, I want to focus my attention to the following: drawing closer to God, spending time with family and friends, doing all I can to raise Rachel as well as I am able, taking care of my health (exercise and nutrition).
Those are the things I’m setting my sights on in 2013. My spiritual life is very important to me, so I plan on devoting more time to Bible study and prayer. I plan on working through the entire Bible in a year (one of those plans for weekly study), but even if I am unable to always keep up, reading even half or a third on my own will be better than just opening it only when I’m in church.
I feel like I am constantly struggling to give more attention to my family and friends, who honestly deserve it. I know I can do better in this area. I have resolved to work on this issue in the past, and I believe that it has gotten much better recently. There is always room for improvement, though!
I am already focusing a lot of attention on how I want to raise Rachel. I am reading some books that I think might be helpful. I am getting my registry in order, buying some clothes and other items along the way, and learning about cloth diapering. I’m taking birthing and breastfeeding classes this month to prepare for her arrival.
As I always strive to do, I plan on focusing on my health. During the time I was trying to conceive, I let a lot of this go to the wayside. I stopped teaching Zumba when I had my first miscarriage in March. Zumba had been my most favorite type of working out, and suddenly, it was gone. So was that 2-3 hours of calorie burn every week that I was suddenly missing. I wasn’t eating all that well and rarely exercised. Running wasn’t giving me the solace it had in the past. Much of it was from apathy/light depression. Some of it was from fear that exercise might cause another miscarriage. So I became complacent about my health. Now, I am struggling because I am gaining a good bit of weight with this pregnancy. I know that I can make more time for weekly exercise (I have become very lazy about exercise and have really lost the habit), and my nutrition has been atrocious. I’d really gotten into the mindset of ‘I’m pregnant, so I can eat whatever I want!’ I know better, so I’m going to start eating better. Will you never see me with a big scoop of Coldstone? No, I won’t go that far. :) But I can doing better on a day-to-day basis. Part of making health a priority is to maintain focus, which I do through my Facebook page, which is a source of self-motivation, and Dailymile.com, where I keep up with my yearly walking and running miles.
It’s always a little overwhelming looking at what you want to accomplish in a year, but we are amazing in our ability to adapt to new things. Make your 2013 a wonderful year.
First Run of the Year January 2, 2012
just went for my first run of 2012, and it was actually the first run i’ve done in about two months. i haven’t really been feeling like running lately as much as i work, but i started a challenge on dailymile.com with my friends to help motivate us to run 400 miles this year. it was my goal mileage for 2011, but i really didn’t put out much effort last year. i’m hoping i can do it this year, though. 400 miles is only about 8 miles per week. this year, though, i am going to count all my mileage, so that includes any walking i do, too. see, i do this weird argument with myself. i usually convince myself that walking isn’t worthy of counting as mileage (because really we walk every day and everyone can do it, so it’s not that special right? so wrong!), so on days when i don’t feel like running but could easily get a few miles of walking in, i don’t because it’s a waste of time if it doesn’t “count.” so then i burn zero calories all because i think i’m too good to count walking as exercise. i mean, i am a tough half marathoner. i can run 14 miles without stopping. i can train in 95 degree mississippi heat. it’s okay for others to walk but not for me. i can run and run and run. i can’t belittle myself to get on the treadmill and walk for two miles. oh so silly reasoning. egos. our pride stops us from doing so many good things for ourselves. walking is a great form of cardio. you burn almost as many calories as running without the impact of running. i admit that i have listened to running elitists and let their distaste for walking or run/walk influence me far too long. so long as i am moving my butt off the couch, who cares what i’m doing??? with three jobs, i know that i will probably not be able to do 400 miles worth of just running, but i am determined to do 400 miles regardless. i’ll run when i can and walk when i feel like it.
so back to my first run of the year. i was really nervous (as i always am before a run, which is odd after 5 years of running…), so i procrastinated for a few hours. i needed to eat. then, the food needed to digest. then, my dog needed to go out. then, i needed to hydrate. then, my garmin needed to charge. then, i needed a nap. then, i…had no more excuses. i bundled up because this southern girl does NOT like the cold. and boy was it cold! i wore my thin nike livestrong wind breaker, which i love love love. it makes me feel like such a runner (why, i don’t know). anyway, i started my garmin and was off. i was surprised to find that i wasn’t dying like i thought i would after having not run for two months. i figured it was just the cold wind numbing my pain, and i kept going. coming up near the first mile mark, i started to feel a little fatigue, and it was so COLD. the wind was gusting at about 20 miles per hour, and the shady spots in the road were so chilly. i glanced down at my windbreaker, which is a gorgeous blue and along the zipper on my chest in bright yellow is “LiveStrong,” the trademark for the Lance Armstrong Foundation for cancer research. when i look down, all i can see is the “strong” part of the logo, and it made me think about all those people out there battling cancer, living their lives day to day struggling much worse than i was out on the road today, and i picked up my pace. i resolved to finish the run with no walking, not because i was feeling snobbish toward walking but because i knew that i was strong enough to do two miles without a walk break. not only was i going to finish the last mile without walking, i was going to do it stronger and faster than the first, and i did. i am healthy, i am fit, and i am alive (in more ways than merely breathing). that’s what i have to celebrate this new year.
to join my 400 miles in 2012 challenge, join dailymile.com for free and join the FIT IN 400 challenge or click here: FIT IN 400 Challenge
December’s Gone December 27, 2011
it’s so hard to believe that i haven’t posted anything since the first week if this month, and december is pretty much gone, now. i’m so glad it went by fast, though. jamie will be home sometime next month, and i will be so relieved and happy to have him back with me everyday. it will take some getting used to, of course. i have lived alone for the past year, after all. and he’s lived in tents with smelly guys *lol* it’ll take both of us some getting used to, i guess.
christmas went pretty well this year. a lot of my family showed up here, which is out of the ordinary. we usually just have our parents over. in addition to my mom and dad, my two aunts and my brother, his wife, and a niece came, and my cousin, his wife, her sister and baby came, as well. i suppose everyone wanted to surround me with family and make sure i was feeling loved and needed. it did make the day more enjoyable, even though i of course was wishing jamie was there. we all talked about him often, because he was on all of our minds. i told my brother how he loves my deviled eggs and always wants the bowl after i’ve filled the eggs because he likes to eat every last bit of the leftover filling out with a piece of loaf bread. my brother was talking about how he couldn’t wait to come see him when he got in and have a steak with him, and my cousin was talking about having a beer with him and having him over for a birthday party in april. my parents told me to wish him a merry christmas and made sure his gifts from them were under the tree before they left.
so 2012 is only a few days away now. i think there are going to be some major changes coming this next year. i can feel it. maybe that’s why people get so excited about new year’s resolutions. they know that every year can bring big changes, so they try to gain some control of the changes by making plans and setting goals. nothing wrong with that, i guess. plans help us get focused on what we want out of life, which is a good thing. best wishes for a wonderful 2012!
Music to my Ears! January 10, 2011
One of my resolutions was to spend time on the things I love. One of those things is music. I got so accustomed during grad school to put my hobbies on the back burner that I have found it hard to pick them back up now. I plan on practicing more with my piano. To hold me to it, I committed to playing the piano in church when the preacher’s wife is out, so now I have to learn some new songs! Also, I just committed to taking violin lessons from Mr. James Hill, who is also over the Rainwater Observatory and Planetarium in French Camp. A prior student of mine who takes piano from Mr. Hill’s wife referred me to him. I am really excited to start. Although I have had my violin for about three years, I was always reluctant to try to go very far with lessons on my own for fear of learning improper bowing technique or some other problem not easily fixed once learned. Jamie bought me a violin accessory for Christmas that I’d had on my Amazon Wish List for ages, so I thought that while he’s gone, this will be the perfect opportunity to devote some time to that. Not only will I not be taking time away from him while he’s away, but I also won’t be scratching and screeching and driving him crazy for the next several months. Maybe by the time he comes home, I won’t sound so bad playing it!
2011 Will Be All About Balance January 1, 2011
“When we become too fixated on one area of our life, then our balance is shifted and we no longer have peace.
If you think of life like a scale, giving too much time and effort in one area of our lives means we have to forgo other things, therefore our life is thrown out of balance. This isn’t always a bad thing when you are working toward a goal, but when one is never satisfied with reaching his/her goals, we fail to find the joy in the journey. It isn’t the destination that makes us who we are, but enduring the journey that gets us to our destination that does.”
I really like this passage from a blog I read today. It is very true. Sometimes I do put my blinders on when going after a goal and let other things fall to the wayside. I need to find a peaceful balance among the goals I set for myself in the new year, because if not, when I do reach a goal, it will be diminished by the guilt that I’ve gained from ignoring other areas. Maybe that’s why people are so afraid to set resolutions, especially multiple ones. It’s difficult to balance daily life and goals that make you break out of your normal routine somewhat. I like a challenge, though. I have much to balance in my life in 2011, and I am up for the task.
“As we look into 2011 we look at a block of time. We see 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes, 31,536,000 seconds. And all is a gift from God. We have done nothing to deserve it, earn it, or purchased it. Like the air we breathe, time comes to us as a part of life.” ~ Stephen B. Cloud
As I stand at the edge of a new decade looking into a new year and into my 30’s, I am strangely excited. My hubby says that he can’t get excited about this year, mostly because he’ll be in another country, but I get excited about every year. It affects me the same as it did when a new year would start in school, when everything seemed new and anything was possible. It was the anticipation that I could make the year into what I chose but that there was also the element of mystery in that I didn’t know what lay ahead of me, what blessings and trials would come my way.
2011 is no different. I am almost giddy, not to see one more year gone, which is always bittersweet, but to see a new year dawn before me in which anything is possible. Although I don’t look forward to spending much of the year away from Jamie, I know that I will make the best of my time and live this year as fully as I can.
As for resolutions, in 2011, I resolve to:
- learn to live on my own – this is a necessity, because I don’t have my daddy here making sure I’m okay every day like I did through the first deployment
- let Jamie know as much as possible that I love him, support him, and will be here when he gets back – I’ll do this with care packages, letters/emails, making myself totally attentive during his phone calls, and hopefully chatting with him online through Skype or Ventrilo
- living as healthy a life as I possibly can – this includes eating well even though I’ll have only myself to cook for, exercising regularly, running, lowering my body fat to lower my risk of diseases, keeping the house clean and as stress-free as possible, getting better sleep
- make time for the things that make me happy – God, family and friends, music, writing, painting, reading
- take time to learn something new – I just began to learn to knit; I’d also like to learn to play my violin and guitar; I’d like to learn to speak German
I generally like resolutions, because goals help us to break out of our set ways and become more than we thought we could be. For those who don’t resolve to make any changes in their lives because of fear of failure, I leave you with this quote and a motivational video that I love:
“More powerful than the will to win is the courage to begin.” ~ Anonymous