Saturday, August 06, 2011
Whew! As I look behind at all that went on this summer leading up to the return to work, I am amazed at how swiftly five weeks can go and what I have packed into the time.
I got a couple of days reprieve in the form of the dreaded "furlough". I work in education and due to lack of state funding, my salary was reduced by 1.9%. This didn't come as a big surprise and I have been planning the budget for it since last April. I just didn't know how the picture would look until the school board passed the budget this last week. Long story short, I will have six furlough days in this coming school year and I have adjusted my budget to work with the shortfall. I am fortunate to have a job (28 teachers, 2 librarians, and additional staff in support areas were laid off). This is not a whine session, just my reality for now. Life is full of varying degrees of problems and I am a pretty good adjuster. I am grateful for the extra time off actually. Instead of starting work on this coming Monday, I will work only two days next week and take a personal day for my birthday.
I have begun to regroup for school and am relaxing in the accomplishments I've had this summer:
1. Cleaned every closet, cupboard, drawer, and "hidey hole" in preparation for the annual garage sale.
2. Read a lot of books and watched some great DVD's.
3. Had a great visit with my daughter and her hubby and my darling grandson.
4. Dealt with a lot of homeowners association stuff (I'm the President) and did a lot of problem solving with a great board.
5. Cleaned out the Clubhouse Kitchen with other board members and got things ready for the Garage Sale in July.
6. Installed a new range hood with the help of two wonderful neighbors.
7. Worked on a re-do of my bedroom--work in progress, but I love the creating, planning, shopping for deals and labor involved.
8. Spent time with my BFF walking, talking, and hunting for the perfect bargains for #7.
9. Visited a lot with my terrific upstairs neighbor.
10. Tracked, tracked, tracked and read a lot of great stuff on SP!
11. Walked, walked, walked and am adding up the miles!
12. Encouraged two friends to join Spark People.
13. I should reach my birthday goal of a 10# loss.
14. Really am benefiting from SparkPeople in a ton of ways, but one that really pertains to the accomplishment of the previous list is that I have MORE energy!
15. I'm actually excited to dig into the new school year and get back with my great school family. We will have a lot more challenges with finances, kids, families, and unknown issues that are always a part of the school year, but I'm ready and refreshed.
Monday, July 25, 2011
Taking a trip or vacation can be healthy and good for us. It can also make us appreciate the familiar and routine. I've just returned from a five-day trip to my daughter's home. While there, I got acquainted with my two-year old grandson, survived unbearable heat, ate Texas style food, saw and experienced a little of the world my grandson and his mom and dad live in, and had a great time. Everything was only vaguely familiar and certainly far from my Northwest routine. Traveling to their home gave me a glimpse of what they are doing as a family and how their lives are influenced. I love having this personal window and can come home with new memories and understanding. It was both exhausting and exhilarating to spend the time with them and be a Grammy if only for a short time.
Needless to say, I missed the routine and was anxious to dive back into my world, complete with the bed, moderate NW temps (even the rain), and the new habits I am developing on Spark People. I fully expected to have a gain. Computer access was not available, so tracking was only in my head. I tried to stay on the healthy end of the spectrum, but getting enough water in while it was pouring out faster than a geyser at Yosemite was next to impossible. Exercise was also hard--no long walks in the moderate Northwest. While we were outside, I couldn't wait until the next AC stop to beat the 100+ temps. This week will be one of recovery and getting back to the familiar and refocusing on the good habits. I'm actually looking forward to tracking and getting all my water in. Tomorrow a long walk awaits. I want to thank SP for helping me appreciate my new good habits and wanting to restore order to my world.
Sunday, July 03, 2011
It's that time of year again. The annual garage sale for my condominiums is coming in a couple of weeks. The chore always seems to fall just after school is out and it is a great incentive to declutter my 825 square feet. Every drawer, closet, nook and cranny is subject to the purging and I am ruthless.
It got me to thinking about how motivated I need to be about my lifestyle changes in the nutrition and exercise departments. The revitalization that comes from the clean closet or cupboard can be applied to my newly engerized and confident self. The three questions are still the same:
1. Have I used it this year?
2. Do I love it?
3. Will someone else benefit from it?
Well, I haven't used my body well in the past year, but since joining Spark People, I'm learning to appreciate it more and awaken it's hidden assets. The good nutrition, motivating articles, and tools to help me create new habits have already paid off in more energy, better sleep and a few pounds lighter. That leads to question #2.
I'm learning to love myself again. The realization that I can and have succeeded at a lot of things has made me look at myself differently. The old tapes are starting to recede and there is a new voice telling me that I can do it and I do deserve to feel great. Not everything is under my control, but I can choose what to put in as well as what to get rid of.
Finally, question #3. Yes! Someone will benefit--me, my co-workers, friends, and family. The healthier, happier me will be more outgoing, less self-conscious, more giving and forgiving, and a lot more active. I really will be able to spread myself in a better way as well as give back to myself in a new enthusiasm for life. The latter years don't have to be stagnant and boring. I can't wait to put all that I am learning out there for others.
Well...another closet is waiting. That's the other part, this will always be a work in progress. One closet at a time. It is easy to let the clutter collect and forget what we have stashed away thinking we'll get to it later or find something to do with it. Sometimes, it is just better to deal with it now and keep those dark corners from getting stuffed.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
I just read the recent Spark article about exercise being the "X" factor in weight loss. Great information and it did help me to remember that the exercise component is also a learning process. There will be starts and stops, success and failure, but if I keep trying that's what's important.
It was so good to read about finding something you like to do when it comes to your exercise routine. Growing up as a kid, we lived outdoors. Summers were spent riding our bikes, swimming, playing games until dark, building forts out of weed fields, and playing football on my brother's neighborhood team. I was the only girl allowed because I could throw a football and wasn't afraid of being tackled or tackling someone else. Winters were spent skiing, building snow forts, having snowball fights, sledding and building snow men. In other words, exercise was play. I need to get back to that mentality and quit thinking of exercise as tedious.
The article mentioned making your exercise fun and something you like. I love to walk, so this summer I've got several really neat places I want to go and walk in as well as around my neighborhood. I plan on alternating long walks (3 miles) with hills and neighborhood sites with shorter walks to the Farmer's Market or for a coffee downtown. Of course, I plan on visiting some of my favorite walking spots as well as some new ones. In between, I will work on some homestyle strength training with the Spark Videos and some weights.
This afternoon I had a little strength training workout putting up new blinds in my bedroom. Climbing up and down a ladder, drilling into a very hard surface, and generally sweating for a couple of hours feels like I burned at least 500 calories. I won't go into why it took me a couple of hours--as a woman DIY'er, nothing is as easy as it looks and there is always Murphy sneaking into the act too. Anyway, the blinds are up, the room looks great and I will have to go on to the next project. I love decorating and a lot of my projects are a good workout too!
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