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Goal setting and making long term plans

Monday, November 05, 2012

My long term plans are shaping up quite nicely. At first, I wasn't sure what was going to happen after my job teaching music ends. Now I know I'll be teaching ESL for adults in a slightly underfunded but great environment. Knowing this and how much I'll be making has allowed me and my boyfriend to start thinking harder about our future together.

So here's what we talked about:

1. Our living situation. Right now, we're both in my room in my mom's apartment. Not bad. We have enough privacy, but are short on space. Once my income is steady and I have some money saved up we're going to find an apartment. We want this to happen by my birthday, April 11, 2013.

2. Goals for his career. He's working on his A+ certificate and hopes to be working in computer repairs pretty soon.

3. Goals for my career. Teaching ESL for adults sounds like it wouldn't make much money, but it does! So I plan on staying at the ESL school for the long term. Maybe go to graduate school for teaching ESL so I can be running a school someday.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PLANTAGO 11/17/2012 10:51AM

    ESL teachers rock! I used to have one 16 years ago and he was great! My 4 kids also had great people teaching them. I am so glad you like your job emoticon

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SINGINGMAIDEN 11/6/2012 5:59AM

    Thank you! Your comments make my day!

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KONRAD695 11/6/2012 4:15AM

    I've lost weight, gained, stalled, lost, gained,gained,lost a lot, stalled, lost, gained, and then started understanding the Spark process. I'm getting the idea that this can be used for all forms of life, andI'm starting to use it that way.

So if you have already figured out the Spark goal system, have set your goals, and know how to reach them, then there is no stopping you. Enjoy the journey. emoticon emoticon

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Accepting Mistakes....

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

After reading the first chapter of The Spark and learning more about Chris I got to thinking a little bit. Well ok, I thought a lot. I thought specifically about mistakes I've made in my life. Nothing too dramatic really. Got married too young (terrible idea, got the divorce papers to prove it). Trusted the wrong people. Got into a wrong relationship or two. Won't go into it any more than that, not here anyway.

The point is it all could have turned me off men and relationships and trusting people completely but it didn't. I am in a wonderful relationship right now, planning on moving in with him and having a life with him. So, you see, my mistakes haven't stopped me. Merely delayed me a bit.

It's been a long road. In between mistakes I've lost 70 pounds, received my B.A. in music, sung in front of 40,000 people on the 4th of July (with my ex-husband's sister no less), gone to Italy by myself for a few months, and started forging a teaching career for myself.

You'd think that any mistakes after all that would seem minimal, right? Granted I haven't married anyone or gone trusting the wrong people again, but I have made mistakes. The most recent seems to be my demeanor in the classroom. Or maybe I'm just blaming myself instead of the poorly behaved students? From the first day I've been determined to be the nice, but firm, teacher. The one who wouldn't put up with misbehavior in her classroom and student would feel comfortable with her. It appears I've done that second part too well. Students are so comfortable in my class that they misbehave. Constantly talking with their friends, not paying attention, being disrespectful and being seriously shocked when I do something about it (detention). Luckily this job is temporary and my main goal is just to get through til the middle of December. But still, I'd like to prevent this from happening again.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KONRAD695 10/31/2012 12:24AM

    Kids can be a chore. I have two, and they have convinced me to never try thirty at once. Good luck and hang in there! emoticon

I like not letting mistakes stop you. I try and do the same. Doesn't always work the first time, but I eventually get back to it. emoticon

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JANETTEB553 10/30/2012 8:46PM

    Teenagers can do !!Seriously Shocked!! at the drop of a hat, but I don't doubt they know exactly what they are doing. emoticon

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Getting Sparked

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Good morning! So I the past couple of months have been a little rough. I'm teaching music in a small private school. I'm responsible for general music classes for grades Pre-K to 6, the grammar school chorus (grades 4-6), and the middle school chorus (grades 7-8). It's my first time working with such young kids and it's taken me a while to find my way. But I finally feel like I've found it!

Anyway, I've been exhausted. When I get home from work I sprawl out on my bed and I just stay there. Been getting the rest I need that way, but I haven't been taking such great care of myself. I've been neglecting my nutrition and fitness. So yesterday I decided to give myself a fresh start to the week. Included a fruit or veggie with everything I ate, drank plenty of water, cut back on the coffee (that's the hard one for me). Then after work I rested for a couple of hours and after dinner my boyfriend and I went to the gym. As he did his usually weight lifting routine I decided to spend the time on the stationary bike. Taking it easy, right?


Wrong. I rode 9.5 miles in 45 minutes.

And, you see, I brought my Kindle to the gym with me. So while I rode I read The Spark. I haven't read it in a while and when I did read it I didn't really read all that carefully. So last night I really read it while I was riding. And I have some thoughts, but I just realized my first lesson is coming soon so writing about it will have to wait til my break.

Have a great morning!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KONRAD695 10/23/2012 7:33PM

    Glad to see you're getting back with it. I'm still in my Spark honeymoon phase with all gears in high motion. I'll read your blogs to help learn from your thoughts. emoticon

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SINGINGMAIDEN 10/23/2012 8:18AM

    Thank you, Kandolaker! I decided that I have to make time. Going to go for a nice walk after I unwind from work tonight.

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KANDOLAKER 10/23/2012 8:08AM

    Great job getting back on track! Hope your stress and work load becomes more manageable - and you can make the time to focus on yourself. Best wishes!!

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Getting back in shape...hobbit style!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Six years ago I started following Frodo's path from Bag End to Rivendell and beyond as a way to get myself up and walking more often. I counted every mile and compared my progress to Frodo's. I did it faithfully for a long time, but then I stopped. Or at least I stopped counting miles and have lost track of where in Middle Earth I'd be.

So today I'm starting over. This time I'm following the path of Bilbo, in The Hobbit. The first leg of the journey is 357 miles from Bag End to Rivendell. So far today, I've walked 1.5 miles.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOOKINGUP2012 8/1/2012 3:55PM

    emoticon emoticon Join us if you like!

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The way we eat

Saturday, April 21, 2012

This week I did a unit about food with my ESL students. These are intermediate students, so it wasn't just vocabulary like apple, beef, chicken, etc. It was about the way we eat. We read about several different popular weight loss programs. After we read, I asked them what they thought about each program and their response was the same each time. "This is crazy!"

We also discussed how eating habits in the U.S. are different from eating habits where they come from. Honestly, this isn't the first time it's been on my mind. It's been on my mind since I came home from Legnano.

For some reason, we truly believe that we will starve to death unless we eat every few hours. Most of us eat 6 meals instead of 3! I call it eating like a hobbit. Breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, and an evening snack. I think eating like this is reasonable if each of your 6 meals are 300 calories are less. But let's face it, who is satisfied even for just a few hours on 300 calories? Most of us reach for a little snack in between those meals. And this is especially true if we are eating fat free, sugar free, low carb.

Eating that way made it so the eating habits in Italy shocked me! I didn't have anything fat free, sugar free, or low carb over there. Hello! It's Italy! What's Italy famous for? Cheese, pizza, pasta, and wine. Right? I enjoyed large portions of each and ,despite my fear that I would gain, I lost weight! How on earth did that happen? I was stumped until I thought about it later.

There were 3 meals a day. Breakfast was usually a cake of some sort or some biscotti. And if either of those was dry my host mother handed me a jar of Nutella. Lunch wasn't until 2 or 3 in the afternoon. And it was a big meal! Usually meat, followed by some pasta or rice or polenta, then the vegetables. And after that they pulled out some cheese, fruit, and bread. Dinner was the same and not until 8 or 9 at night. Sometimes between breakfast and lunch I would go out for a coffee with the other teachers. Most of the time it was just coffee (espresso). Sometimes for an extra treat we grabbed a brioche. A couple of hours after lunch my host mother would make some coffee (still espresso). Sometimes there would be a treat too. Those snacks were rare. Most often we were too full from meals to have snacks.

I felt better when I ate like that! I didn't have the constant munchies that I do at home. Lately, even though I haven't gained weight, I feel bloated and gross. Most of what I eat here is fat free or low fat, there's very little sugar (I like Splenda), and very few white, refined carbs (I prefer whole grain!). So what on earth is going on?

Here's what I intend to try this week. It's time for me to go back to the way I ate in Italy! I'm going to try it this week and see how I feel. I will have 3 balanced, more calorie dense meals a day. This will be easy on work days because I teach for about 5 hours straight. And on those days I walk a lot too. I walk to the bus stop in the morning and I walk from the bus to the school.

Anyway, there's my challenge for the week. Focus on 3 balanced, dense meals a day. Walk whenever I can, and go to the gym on my days off.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PANSYMAKEHAY 5/1/2012 5:31PM

    Good luck on this! This way of eating obviously works for your body, so go for it!

My problem is that I can eat a big meal, and 3 hours later I'm hungry again. I'm going to start journaling again now that I'm mostly over the cold, but I do try to keep my calories under a certain point even if I'm eating small snacks between meals. I sure wish I could eat a larger amount and still not need to eat again so soon. I get tired of being kind of hungry all the time. {:(

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