Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I am starting to be aware of the negative effects of too much on the plate. Yes, of course, there is the effect of weight gain, but there are other effects also. The image above depicts what my last six weeks has been like. Not food eaten but tasks started.
I have at least identified that summer school is a downfall time for me. The regular session ends and I look at summer as a great time to accomplish everything I didn't have time for in regular session. I only have to teach at school for three hours two days a week, but there is much more than that on my plate. I forget that the session is only a third of the regular length with the same amount of work. That means grading three times as many papers and answering three times the student questions out of class.
If that is not enough I am teaching another online class which is also triple work in the summer. I don't have to go to school to teach it, but it takes more time than a regular class.
The anticipated free time has just about disappeared but did I notice? No. Instead I cleaned out two huge storage rooms, cleared out the garden and planted, cleared out my flower gardens, set up the sprinklers again, started organizing a garage, and replaced a leaky roof with my husband.
In the process of all this work my Spark Progress really suffered. I participated in a challenge and did very well, in fact would have won it if my Internet connection was working on the last day after I got off the roof after 10 hours of work. (yes I am very competitive and it is lucky that the connection saved me from myself).
Instead of losing more weight I actually gained around five during the six weeks of summer school and the only real exercise I got was the work I was doing. The few times I went on the treadmill it felt great but I didn't allow enough time for it regularly. Nothing wrong with that and it was long hours of hard work but I like to have more variety in my exercise program. I stopped logging food and exercise (no time).
Looking at all of this now I see that this is my pattern for the last three summers. It is the time when my red progress line went up again and not down. It is the time I lost my hard earned progress of the Spring.
What to do about it now? I can bask in the accomplishment of the new roof, the money saved on rent of the two storage rooms, the garage I can walk though again, the garden veggies, and the other things I accomplished. That does feel good. But most of all I can be glad that I have seen the pattern and can do something about it.
There is still summer left. My daytime class is done, my online class only has a couple of weeks remaining. I can use the extra time to get back on the Spark Program the way I know I should. I can plan and log again, and feel good about what I do for my health. Next summer I plan to either not teach as much or to not start any new projects during this busy time. Not giving myself time to plan is the worst thing I can do. I realize that now.
We can easily get too much on our plates. I plan to look carefully at my Spark Teams and pick the ones that I feel I can actively participate in. Some I will remove. This will also be true of some Spark Friends. I want to do well in what I do rather than to be overwhelmed by doing too much. Just like I leave that empty rim space around my plate when I serve my food rather than piling on as much as I can, I need to leave a little free time around my life so everything doesn't spill over.