Friday, July 29, 2016

Getting Healtier After the Kids Leave

Last year just after we dropped our daughter off at college, my husband and I started a count of how many days we could go without ordering pizza. We didn't count going to a pizzeria or a local pizza joint, just days when there was no pizza delivery to our house. I lost a few pounds doing this.

Slowly, we stopped eating like teenagers. We tried new vegetables and new cooking methods for preparing them. We are still working on grilled vegetables - for some reason, we just can't seem to get grilling veggies just right. However, I have become a master at roasting veggies in the oven! Next, we also cut out as many processed foods as possible. I learned to make several dishes from scratch or we just quit eating those dishes all together.

Me? I started walking. The spring of my daughter's senior year, I walked about 10 minutes 3 days per week. That was all I could do. Now, I walk or use my recumbent bike when the weather isn't cooperating. an average of 38 minutes 5 days per week. My minimum goal for exercise is 150 minutes per week, but honestly I am not really happy unless I get in 165 minutes. I even tried yoga! I don't include this as a daily practice, but Tuesdays are now Yoga Tuesdays.

Right now, I am working on cutting down on my beer consumption. This is a tough one because my husband and I are beer connoisseurs. But, I figured out how many beers I have on a worse case scenario week (one with parties, football games, holidays etc..) and then cut back 10% from that. I keep a count on a little chalkboard sticker in my kitchen. The first week, I lost a pound. When that 10% cut becomes easy, I will cut another 10% and then another until I am in a weight loss zone.

The point is that I feel better now than I did in my thirties and forties. If I am tired I sleep, If I need to walk or work out I just go. If I don't want pizza, I don't order or even go out to get it. My life is becoming more about ME. After the last child's trip out of the nest, I am rather enjoying this.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Slow End to Summer

I end my summer by heading up Freshman Orientation for our incoming freshman. I don't get paid, but I do it for a couple of reasons. 

First, when we came up with the idea, I taught freshman. Those poor kids are only about 6 weeks out of middle school and are having to face up to the responsibility of attending a tough high school program on a college campus. We are a STEM school, so the rigor is demanding. Students need to be comfortable with the technology used to learn in class. The idea of orientation in small groups (around 15 at a time) was to give them time to get used to us as teachers and to the computers. I also hope that they meet at least one person who will be a friendly face on the first day of school. Since we meet before the high school or the college starts, they will pretty much have the campus for themselves for an entire day. Hopefully, this will make those first few hours in August just a bit less overwhelming.

Second, I get trade time. So, when the snows start to fly in the winter and we are expected to risk our lives to come in even though school is closed, I already have some hours banked away. Ok, so this is the selfish part, but those hours have come in really handy more than once. 

The last reason I do summer orientation is that it allows me a gradual return to work. I can go ahead and take some things back to my classroom, get a heads up on my schedule, and most importantly, start getting up a little earlier. (Not that anything prepares me for that first 5:15 AM wake up in August!) 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Summer Chore Fail

I wanted to finish the bathroom this summer. Then, my youngest returned to the nest. I had forgotten what a slob she is. There is no way I can get that bathroom clean while she is home. I will have to wait until she returns to school this fall.

I don't remember a summer when I didn't get to finish the project that I laid out for myself. I feel like a big failure.

Oh, I have completed other chores and other small projects. I have read tons of books - both fun and serious. But, I haven't completed the bathroom. It keeps gnawing at my brain. I am just not going to get it done. I. AM. JUST. NOT.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Weekend at Home

Sometimes it feels as though we are just never here. We seem to be on the go ALL THE TIME.  I spent most of last week with one side of the family or another up in West Virginia. I made multiple trips back and forth to my home state.

This weekend, we are home bodies. I am loving the time here in my own home. I love being able to catch up on chores and being able to enjoy my tiki porch. I love the slower non-traveling pace.

Today, I finished washing down the refrigerator. I took it all apart, piece by piece, and washed it all down. I hate that chore but always feel so accomplished when I see my refrigerator all cleaned out and shining like new.

Of course, along with a shiny clean refrigerator, I also have to have clean floors and counters. So, I cleaned those as well. Now, I have a nice clean kitchen for cooking and serving dinner. My youngest is home from college for the summer - this means that the nice clean kitchen will last about 30 seconds after she gets home from work! Well, at least I got to look at it for 30 seconds, right?

Tomorrow, we have NO PLANS. I am as happy as a clam. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? I really like thinking of all the possibilities.