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Saturday, August 24, 2013

I've just returned from Ottawa - visiting family. My brother and I had a very special dinner on our own while I was there. What a treat. I hope this becomes a habit we set time aside for from now on. My parents have just put a nanny suite in and there were photos we had to go through as they were down-sizing some dusty storage areas to make space for this. When I found this one, I knew I had to have it. It's a tangible reminder of how close Gary and I were growing up.

I've been away from Sparks for awhile. Things are beginning to return to normal somewhat after being in treatment for issues that cropped up again after taking a spill that exacerbated some old injuries. Attending restorative yoga classes this summer a couple of times a week has been really beneficial and I am now about to step it up a notch and take hatha yoga again. I also do 15 minute relaxation meditations to help me sleep. This is something I still need to work on but I've got a regime and I'm hoping this will over time allow me to again get my full 8 hours. I had gotten back to always having a full nights sleep prior to this. I'm lucky these days if I get 4 hours sleep (but it's getting better because I was only getting 2 hours) ... I am also seeing a nutritionist at the end of September after having gotten food sensitivity testing done. As well, I am in the middle of a 40-day 'take back your health' workshop on-line ... so while I've been away for awhile - I've been actively exploring and searching for answers.

I had been hoping for a workplace accommodation to my schedule so I had sequential mid-week teaching and could continue to work full-time hours prepping on Mondays and grading on Fridays but that doesn't look like it will be granted. The only other alternative that has my doctor's backing is a 50% workload reduction. Not honouring it would mean I have 8:30, 11:30 and 3pm starts over 4 days on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays which causing me to have to grade on Saturdays and prep on Sundays. I leaves me with one day on Thursday and students need contact during the week so - it's no life. At first I adamantly balked at the mere suggestion of accepting just a half load. Last year showed what happens when I don't follow a manageable protocol though so I have little choice and I am ok with this now. Something good that came out of the experience was the realization I have an amazing group of doctors supporting me through these issues. I feel very fortunate.

While I was ill, I wasn't sure why I was and that was frightening. I thought I was doing all the right things. I bought both a top end juicer and blender and was always with a fresh juice or smoothie in hand. I did detoxes and prepared eat clean meal plans and I was exercising but my body failed me and I had to take more time off work than I have ever done in the past. I was sick in bed for the entire December holidays and in January I returned to work exhausted and I slipped and that did me in. I returned to 50% workload reduction in March.

Throughout the summer holidays I researched voraciously trying to figure things out and I came upon the answer. So simple. After running from appointment to appointment for documentation requested by the school, I didn't fully comprehend how the stress of having to stand up to a system that wasn't supportive had sent me into survival mode. When the body is here, in fight and/or flight' no amount of nutrition or exercise is absorbed. Only when our bodies relax can vitamins and minerals be taken in and healing occur. It makes so much sense to me now when I hear that only when we are getting proper sleep can we lose weight. Our hormones get out of balance without rest and the road is uphill and overtiring and our bodies go into another realm.

I am dropping the word 'slow' from my 'slow & steady' mantra now and I see good things on the horizon. My mission though isn't to speed up but rather to relax and then I will be able to maintain a steady pace. Slow became a word that described me but it's not one I care to carry any longer. My goal is to get 100% better and then maintain it. If it means a 50% reduction of a specific type of work because it is scheduled in such a way as to hinder my progress then I will accept this as a gift and take on a more manageable schedule of tasks that enhance my vocation.

I had to take this photo too ...
Here we are again - this time I'm wearing red.
It was a windy day - what a great rainbow.
What a great smile my brother has too!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Love the pictures of you and your brother, they are precious. Sure hope things fall into place for you especially where it concerns your health and well being. I am glad to see you back. I do believe I am going to make all 31 days without any candy and that makes me feel very good. My one DD has been doing smoothies for her breakfast and she says she feels so much better and has more energy, she is doing some kind of a 30 day challenge and on her first weigh in had lost 5 lbs. I am so happy for her. Well you continue taking care of you.

    1667 days ago
    The photos are amazing and trigger deep emotions in me! Siblings teach us so much about the true nature of love! Thank you. And the rainbow one? Incredible! Thank you for attempting to use Spark People to help you order your healthy lifestyle, because I will be the one who benefits from your sharing. Your insights trigger and reinforce my healthy impulses!
    Enjoy your smoothies and your yoga and your steady progress!
    1670 days ago
  • JPUMA62
    That was an uplifting ReCommitment, thank you! I too am returning to the classroom in September, not as a teacher, but as an instructional aide in a SpEd classroom with bahavioral challenged students; 3rd-5th grade. I've been off all summer trying to stay somewhat active, walking, stretching, seated cardio videos, and Easy Yoga for Easing Pain. I'm approx 100 lbs overweight and the extra pounds are difficult to lug around a school yard with several kids dashing and running around me.
    I truly hope your district accommodates your needs and that you find the strength and passion to continue a rewarding career. emoticon
    1670 days ago
    It's good to see you back here! I hope the reduced schedule plus all the other things you're doing will restore your health. I bruised my ribs (with one possibly broken) a week ago and I can tell they will take a while to heal. Frustrating, but when I over do I pay the price. Practicing patience! I'm glad my hubby helps around the house or things wouldn't be getting done. Nice photos of you and your brother!
    1670 days ago
    It's so good to hear from you again. It sounds like you've had such a rough time of it, though. So many things play into our health and well-being and you've certainly been experiencing that over the last several months. I hope that things move in the right direction for you both with your work situation and your sleep and nutrition. Thanks for sharing the pictures; they're adorable. Wishing you all the best.
    1670 days ago
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