Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pause. Rewind. Repeat.

It's been a while since I have consciously slowed the pace of my life.

Here I sit, in my classroom, already changed into my yoga clothes. The sunlight is glowing through the curtains in my windows. The freshly brewed cup of dark roast beside me is wafting toward my waiting lips. The soothing melodies of Boyce Avenue piped through my classroom sound system are enticing me to sway gently in my desk chair as I write. The day has been packed away, stacked and sorted. Tomorrow has been planned and written. And though I could work on what's to come next week, I made the choice to...just not.

In these far-too-few moments, I realize that sometimes the only solitude a mother and wife and teacher can have is the solitude she creates. If I genuinely value my "me time" so much as to lament its loss, why not put more effort and energy into protecting it?

And so I will.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Weighing In

Oh, Daylight Savings Time! The dawn of cranky preschoolers and parents alike, shuffling through the early days of Spring with tired eyes and a sense that, while we are exhausted, it can't really be bedtime, can it? It's a disorienting feeling, really, and though I understand the initial relevance of the shift at its inception, annually I wonder if it isn't time for a change (pun intended). Turns out I'm not alone in this sentiment. 

But I digress. I actually didn't come here to be cranky. No, I actually stopped by my own blog (I know, I've been a little bit of an absentee blogger lately) to write about quite the opposite: how I transformed my first Monday of Daylight Savings Time into a productive force to be reckoned with. 

Before we talk about the how, let's have a brief overview of the what. Seems logical. 

What I accomplished today:
  • I actually started the day with a warm breakfast. At home. In the kitchen. Like a civilized human being. This is not a weekday luxury that I can usually afford, and yet there I was, perched at the kitchen bar with a slice of spinach and mushroom quiche and glass of apple juice. Ten minutes of pure bliss. 
  • I left the house and got to work on time. Bella's shoes were on the right feet, her clothes matched, I remembered her backpack and all my own materials for the day on the first trip to the car. I did have to go back to get her a drink, but still. No one was crying, and this was a major family win. 
  • A normal day of work, i.e. seven and a half straight hours (I have 7th period planning) of feeling like a superhero with ADHD. (More on my theory about how teaching is re-wiring my brain some other day.) This included all the stuff you'd expect, plus a phone conversation with a community member I am excited to have met, discussing a visit to our school by current Kentucky Poet Laureate Frank X Walker. I'm pumped!
  • Bella and I made it home by 4:00. 
  • From 4:00 until 6:00, we relished in the warm weather. Really, it was almost enough to make me forget the return of frigid temps being forecast for later in the week. Almost. During those two hours, we walked the dog, went on a treasure hunt (meaning she hid her jewelry box in the shrubs and I wandered aimlessly, dog in tow, until she discovered it), played with sidewalk chalk, played soccer, and cleaned and organized my car.
  • I cooked dinner and prepped fruits and veggies for the week. Chicken and salad for dinner. Zucchini, bell peppers, cucumbers, strawberries, and cantaloupe ready and waiting in the fridge. 
  • I cleaned the kitchen, cleaned out Bella's backpack, and organized all our stuff for tomorrow. Since tomorrow is Tuesday, this also involved packing Bella's gear for soccer practice and my own for yoga class. 
  • I helped Bella with her March family project. This is one of my favorite things about her preschool class. Each month, her teacher sends home an art project that corresponds to the theme of the month. We have fun each and every month. This one, a now-painted-and-stickered flower, was no exception. 
  • I spent 30 minutes (which is a lot for me on a weeknight) on the couch with a cup of coffee, unwinding before Bella's bedtime. I kinda wish I'd had an hour so I could have seen the end of that particular "Love It or List It."
  • I helped Bella pick out her clothes for tomorrow, got her ready for bed (with Adam's help, plus two trips to the potty, three Band-Aids, and one PB&J), and lived to write about it. :-)
That's a pretty long, albeit sort of mundane (sorry), list of productivity for the first Monday in DST. Ready for the how? How did I, hater of Mondays and proclaimer of the unfairness of flying-by weekends, manage to stay awake and functional long enough to do all that day-in, day-out stuff, a lot of which was optional or could have easily been procrastinated another day?

How I accomplished all that today:

Two words: Weight Watchers. 

Not what you expected, huh? No, I didn't just pass out asleep at the keyboard and randomly type those two words with my forehead, though that'd be some talent. (Knowing my luck, had that happened and I managed to form coherent words with my forehead, they'd have been profanity and I would have accidentally emailed them to my mother-in-law.) 

It's true, though. And really, the phenomenon is not specific to Weight Watchers, as I experienced it with the one other organized diet I was ever actually successful in completing (Diet Free For Life, which I obviously did not truly become). What I've learned about myself is that even though I don't consider my normal "diet" terrible, even though I always try to make smarter choices when shopping on a regular basis, somewhere in that disorganized mess of stuff I put in my mouth every day, something is fighting back against me. I don't know what it is, but apparently it makes me sluggish and restless. 

Because when I'm on a diet, after the initial two to three day adjustment period, I have this incredible surge of energy. On a normal Monday, not only would I not have done all this extra stuff around the house, I would have probably called Adam to pick up something for dinner so we could play outside longer. I would have asked him to play with B so I could nap on the couch after we came inside. I would have procrastinated, or, as I affectionately view it, prioritized tasks and designated perfect times for them later in the week. 

However, because I have subsisted on lean protein, fruits, veggies, and the occasional splurge of chocolate or tater tots for the last week. I feel so in charge of my life right now. 

Oh, and I've lost 9.4 pounds in the process. 

That's what I call a Happy Monday.