Friday, September 07, 2012
My did I have a great summer! Also, a very TOUGH summer! Juggling several jobs, active kids and hubby's bumpy first months out in the culinary world all while trying to live on NO money has tested my patience, creativity and resilience. I'm happy with how things have turned out.
I've been very active - biking, working outdoors in the garden, walking.. I've also eaten VERY well. Since I work at a vegetable garden, I get to bring home virtually limitless amounts of fresh vegetables and herbs, so we are eating extremely well! I managed to put away about 5 dozen jars of tomatoes, 3 cases of mixed vegetable salsa and I've frozen a ton of fruits and veggies and made some jams, pickles and jellies. Oh, I've frozen a bunch of basil pesto, garlic/ginger puree, parsley pesto, cilantro... lots of nice healthy herbs. I'm super happy to be going into the winter with preserves like these. I think it will really help save us some money. My hubby has REALLY embraced local, fresh food in his cooking - rather than his old meat & potatoes and cream tendencies. Yay! I'm looking forward to carrying on with these great diet habits - packing my lunch or eating at the Seasoned Spoon (the vegetarian, student-run restaurant that I grow food for!), sticking with clean food, no food of the packaged/canned or fast varieties. I have to track my diet for my nutrition class, so I'm hoping to revive my food-tracking habit. I haven't lost a bunch of weight this summer, but I have held my own. I feel really healthy and strong, physically, these days - so I'd call that a pretty Sparkly Summer.
Now I'm back at school and a little overwhelmed with the work load, but I'm also seeing some real bright spots! Today's bright spot - Math! There. I said it. The bright spot of my day has been doing math. I've always had a hard time with math because I never learned the fundamentals. I'm not sure why - whether it was that my teachers gave up on me or that my parents were uninvolved in my academic life... I don't know. But I never learned my multiplication tables, never learned long division, my understanding of fractions is really basic... I took all the maths and sciences in high school, even took calculus and statistics in university - but I never got the fundamentals. So, now I need them; it's time to get over the fear and anxiety and just do it. I am VERY happy to report that I am plugging away at my workbook, and things are going really well! It's nowhere NEAR as hard as I thought it would be.
The other thing that's really changed for me is that I feel like I'm developing the confidence I need to become a nurse. That is a big hurdle for me. It's one of my summer jobs that tipped me over that edge. After the Respite meet & greet I mentioned in my last blog, I met and began work with a *lovely* family and their delightful daughter. This little girl is aMAZing! She has so many challenges; she can't speak, sit up on her own, control much of her body or even eat solid food. But, she is a happy, boisterous, giggly, beautiful, sweet girl, full of enthusiasm for life. I so enjoy my time with her! I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to work with this child and her family.
I was unsure about taking this job at first; I did not feel I was prepared to care for this child since she has such complex medical and physical needs. I really didn't know how to approach her; I'm such a word-person. I worried whether we would find common ground. But, I reasoned that I need to start facing challenges like this if I have any business at all becoming a nurse, so I took the leap and, with support from her fantastic family I've met the challenge. I am so glad I did. One of my major areas of interest is family functioning during challenging circumstances - what better way to learn what those challenges can be like! Plus, this child has utterly redefined my views on participation in life. Spending time with this little girl has been transformational!
The one thing I've missed this summer has been hanging out with my Spark buddies - which I plan to remedy in the comng weeks. I'm also hoping to get a couple of runs a week done. Not sure how that's going to happen yet, but I'm just going to have to make time somewhere.
So there's my update. I hope to see you all around here more often. *muah* to all my Spark friends. You have inspired me to do all of this - thank you!