The 2014-2015 school year is up and running! I’m ready to settle into routines, create some margin on the edges of my days, and leave the mad rush behind for a season. Somehow.
A quick reflection on September’s goals:
-Setting boundaries on my workday: Moderately successful. Most days I got to work somewhat earlier than 7:30 (to be discussed below!) and left between 5:00 and 5:30. I took work home more often than I would like, but I didn’t dwell too much on that, as it was “the mad rush season.” I did experience several times throughout the month of feeling more relaxed and refreshed from the evening and night, and I credit that to not having any work at home. If there is nothing that I can do about the task or stress that pops into my thoughts, I find it much easier to leave the thought behind and focus on the present moment. It’s a true break from work, which I desperately need to create on a daily basis.
-Working out four times per week: Epic failure. I worked out probably four times total in the month of September. Well, maybe eight times. I guess that’s not an “epic” failure, but it wasn’t enough exercise to help with stress and increasing the happiness chemicals. The problem was that I felt compelled to go to work the moment I woke up, instead of taking 45 minutes, or even a half hour, to exercise. In the morning, I chose work over working out. When the workout was planned for the evening, such as a yoga class or an outdoor activity with friends, I was more likely to honor my commitment, even though I much prefer working out in the morning. (To be discussed below!)
New goals for October!
-In addition to setting boundaries on my work hours, I want to get back in the habit of leaving work completely prepared for the next day’s teaching. The 7:30-8:30 hour can be used for lesson planning, paperwork, etc….there is plenty to do! But my first priority at 3:45 will be to get the room and materials ready for the following day. When I feel completely ready for the day’s teaching, I am hoping it will be easier to honor my commitment to come to work at 7:30, not 6:30 or 7:00.
-For a goal for personal time, I would like to take a lesson from what I am learning about setting boundaries on my work hours. It’s time to set some boundaries on my sugar consumption! For this “mad rush season,” I have basically been feeding my poor body an IV drip of sugar, processed carbs that quickly turn into sugar in my bloodstream, and caffeine. I haven’t even been making green smoothies, which is my staple for consuming fruits and veggies when times get tough! Sugar is the same as crack — I have no science to back that up at the moment, but you know it’s true! — so that’s what I’m going to address in October. I would like to get in the habit of eating something “dessert-y” just twice a day, morning and night. Generally, that will look like sugar in my coffee (or flavored syrup in my latte) in the morning, and some kind of dessert in the evening. (Does that illustrate just how much of my diet has been candy, cookies, coffee shop baked goods, cupcakes, ice cream….) A twice-a-day sugar habit may not be ideal, but an all-or-nothing attitude is what gets me into this mess way too often! Me and self-control have never had a great relationship, on any issue, and it’s time to change that.
“We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.” –Galatians 5:23 MSG