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Confessions of a Cooped Up Teacher 4

Day 18: April 8, 2020

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Walking the dog. Walking her again. And again. And again.

Hours at the dining room table, covered in papers, notebooks, sticky notes, and tech.

Bleary-eyed from wearing glasses for so many hours of the day. Remind me to get my eyes examined. After.

Cooking from the freezer and the pantry. Weighing the urge to pick up groceries against the fear of picking up the virus, and deciding to stay home. To stay safe.

Learning to use Zoom, then not using Zoom. Learning to use Google Meet, then learning how to get rid of that echo. That horrible echo. Learning how to conduct online meetings with nine year olds who are just happy to see one another, and hopefully me.

Learning to sleep through the night in spite of my increased anxiety. Learning to avoid napping in the afternoon as an escape (which in turn messes up the sleeping at night).

Trial and error creating masks. Wearing my mask. Making one for my sweetheart and my son and his roommate and my aunt… Being productive. Helping. At least in a small way.

Appreciating nail technicians. Pedicures are so much more than the polish. I always tip them well, it’s a job I would not want, but I will tip more when I go back. After.

Thinking about everything I see and read in terms of social distancing. Starting to get anxious on those dog walks. Even while wearing my mask.

Appreciating my home. Knowing I have it easy. Appreciating the safety and space and comfort it provides. Appreciating my job and my sense of purpose. Appreciating others who are doing far more and making do with far less.

Waiting. Waiting for this thing to wrap up. For it to stop taking lives. For it to stop interfering with lives. For it to stop ruining lives. Waiting for it to end. Waiting to see the world come alive again.

 


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And Now This…

Well hello. Long time, no see.

My apologies.

I could give you a list of excuses, but let’s just not do that, ok?

Frankly, I haven’t had the writing mojo lately. I haven’t had much mojo at all lately, if I’m really honest. My house is a mess, my body is worse, and my get up and go got up and went. And then I went to the doctor.

You see, I’ve had a difficult year. Nothing bad has happened. Not. One. Thing.

My son is fine, my sweetheart is fine, even the dog is fine. Thank goodness.

My work was rewarding, my class was one of the finest I’ve ever taught, and I enjoyed the way our team organized our teaching this year. Even our new administrator surpassed my expectations, so all the work boxes were checked.

So, what then?

What’s been holding me back? Zapping my energy and motivation?

I’m not sure, but I think that having my son go off to college was a little harder for me than I anticipated. Silly, really. He was in the next suburb. The one where I work. I saw him about once a week. And there were nice things about having an adult only home, like no dirty socks in the family room, and no dirty dishes all over the house. But in truth, I didn’t adjust very well.

If I’m totally honest, I think I was a little depressed, and since old habits are hard to break, I went back to my favorite method of self-medicating, food. So. Much. Food. And not the good kind, either, At least not usually.

And then, somehow, I managed to miss my bloodwork. And I missed it again. And again. Until the doctor’s office refused to authorize my medication and I had to go in. I did. And it wasn’t good.

My healthcare provider (who happens to be a PA, and a damn good one) called our appointment my “Come to Jesus” meeting, and he laid it on the line for me. Damn. So now, again, I have to start over. Have to. No choice. No excuses. Sad or lonely or whatever, too bad. I have to get this done.

I don’t want to weigh what I weigh.

I don’t want to become an insulin dependent diabetic.

I don’t want to have to buy two airline seats.

I don’t want to have low back pain from just walking around.

I don’t want to have to pay a premium for clothes that fit and look nice.

I don’t want to take so many pills a day.

I don’t want to huff and puff when I exert myself.

I don’t want to hold back my sweetheart or my son.

I don’t want to be embarrassed to be in family pictures.

I don’t want my mother to worry about me.

I don’t want to shorten my life.

I don’t want to be stared at.

I don’t want to feel less than.

I don’t want to feel incapable.

So yes, I HAVE to. So I will. Again.

It’s time. Time to pull myself up by my bootstraps and get going. I have some positive steps already in place and more planned. Writing more is one of them. Accountability, baby. So if you’ll indulge me (and so many of you have, over and over), here we go again.

I know I’m not alone. I know we all have challenges we face, and things that we ought to do, but find difficult. I hope you’ll join me in trying to refocus on what’s important, so we can all improve our quality of life, for ourselves, and for our loved ones.

 


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Establishing New Habits

Welcome to December. The most wonderful  fattening time of the year. I have a confession to make. I have regained some of the weight I lost back when the blog was new. Maybe all of it. I’m afraid to get on the scale. I know, though. My clothes are tighter again and I don’t feel as energized as I did.

Oh sure, there are lots of reasons. The first and most compelling reason is the change in weather. I was in my pool nearly every day exercising and I LOVED it. Weird. But then it got cooler out and the water became too cold so there went my favorite workout. Boo hoo, poor me.

HT New PackageThere there was my commitment to spending most of my free time in November writing. And write I did! Many many words poured from my brain through my fingertips. A post a day (sometimes more than one) and a rough draft of a novel came out of my head. Amazing. But writers need fuel (I find that Hot Tamales candy makes me particularly creative), and writing is a sedentary activity. My musings on that topic are here. Yep, I know, excuses, excuses.

So there it is. The weight is back and now it’s holiday time and frankly, I’m not feeling all too pleased with  how I’ve been taking care of myself. Or rather how I haven’t been. Oh sure, November was a kick ass month and I’m thrilled with some of the results, but now December calls for some changes.

Besides being holiday time, December is the time of year when I remember a friend who died far too young. She was healthy and vibrant and wonderful and capable. She was a wife and mother and daughter and sister and creative tour de force. That bitch cancer got her and had its way with her. She begged her friends to take care of themselves as best they could. I’m not doing that. I’m sorry.

I’m not saying I want to get healthier out of fear of cancer, per se, but out of respect for it, and heart disease, and diabetes, and all the other nasty complications of obesity. Yes, I’m obese. I know I am, and I don’t love it. (Read some of the reasons why here) I don’t beat myself up over it, because that’s counterproductive, but I do acknowledge it. Intellectually I know I have to get going, but emotionally I’m feeling a little stuck.

I think what stops me in my tracks is the knowledge that I’ve done this a million times before. I get fed up, I shake things up, I make some changes, and I improve my health and fitness levels to a greater or lesser degree. The problem is that I never take it far enough. I lose momentum. I need to develop new habits. Fortunately, November has shown me that I’m perfectly capable of doing just that.

Writing has become a habit for me. Instead of writing once or twice a week (if that) I’m writing once or twice a day, and for longer periods of time. I’m exploring different ways of expressing myself, and I’m not afraid to tackle topics that might have intimidated me previously. I need to take that determination and drive into the battle for my health. This is a fight I need to win. I must create new habits. I better warm up the treadmill and dust off my awesome pink boxing gloves. I have proven to myself that I can take on and complete a challenge. My new challenge is taking care of myself. Anyone care to join me? One step at a time, one change at a time, one day at a time.