TOLT #88 – Vanity

As I approach 40 a lot of things are different. One thing is that my hair is turning gray. Sometimes I pull the gray hairs, sometimes I just try to figure out a different way to wear my hair so that they aren’t so prominent. Many of my friends tell me they don’t even notice them. My kids have started telling me that I will soon be old.

So many other things have changed as well. I am actually in to a routine of flossing nightly….something I wish I had been doing for years. (Thank you COVID-19 lock down!) I sweat a lot more when I workout (I am guessing this is something hormonal). I don’t sleep well, but this could be due to stresses in my life.

And finally, my skin is changing. I am getting far more wrinkles on my face and my skin is drier than it has ever been. And that brings me to my thought for today…..question really.

Is it vain to try and use a cream to improve your skin as you age?

I am considering using something with retinols and hyaluranic acids and all of the other crazily termed chemicals out there. Partly for vanity and partly for the health of my skin as regular moisturizers don’t seem to do the trick at this time. I have even had to switch to using a cream with ceramides to prevent eczema patches from appearing on my elbows (something I never had before I was pregnant with my oldest).

I have never been the vain type….at least in my eyes. I am feeling a little down on myself for even considering this course of action. So, tell me

What is your “beauty” regimen?

 

 

TOLT #87 – Searching

This past week has been a little bit better in the checking off things department. However, yesterday I didn’t get a chance to do a Wellness Wednesday post because my Wellness Inventory account was closed for most of the day. I was able to do a little work on myself there today, but I didn’t want to post late.

Instead, I opted to post today about a meditation/podcast I did this week. I used my Insight Timer app to finally listen to a podcast about self-love. It started out in a way that reminded me so much of SNL’s Delicious Dish segments that I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to take it seriously. I decided to listen to the podcast while I did my yoga practice since I felt it wasn’t the same as a meditation. This had both positives (two birds with one stone) and negatives (my kids often talk through my physical practice and it was sometimes hard to focus on both the posture/breath work and their discussion).

I really don’t know how people listen to podcasts while they drive!

But, I just wanted to share one thought from the podcast with you today:

You are searching for what you’re searching with.

I am sure that this will mean something different to each of you, so I encourage you to share how that phrase resonates with you…..

 

 

TOLT #86 – A Rough Week

Last week I intended to start my work on my summer courses….but the set up wasn’t ready for me to start yet. Then the rain set in.

It rained for DAYS! And that, plus hormonal things, put me in such a funk that when it was time to start work……I couldn’t.

So, for the last two days I have been absorbed by setting things up. I have ignored my kids. I haven’t cleaned a single room in my house. And my yoga and meditation have been thrown out the window.

I didn’t do any wellness work yesterday (or this week) even though it’s what I need the most right now. My life is out of whack and I am taking it back in this very moment.

  1. I blogged. I needed to.
  2. I am about to go for a walk with my kids. We need that too.
  3. Then I am going to come home and clean up a little so that I can get my space in order to do Pilates and Yoga and Meditation.
  4. Then I will cook dinner and take a shower and start over tomorrow.

Balance has not been on my side. As the planner list grew the checks got fewer. It’s been a rough week, but the rain is gone and things are looking up!

Do you ever feel like you immerse yourself too far into one thing?

 

TOLT #85 A Summer of ?

Today was supposed to be my kids’ last day of school. In two hours from now I was supposed to be picking them up and headed to the park for our annual picnic and popsicles end of year celebration. There should be water balloons and bubbles and the chaos of a bunch of kids running wild in an open space. There should be parents standing around trying to manage, talking about summer plans….vacations, camps, etc. There should be kids running up and asking for one more popsicle, searching for more bubbles and water balloons, begging for sleepovers tonight because….there’s no school tomorrow.

Instead my kids are downstairs playing LIFE. They didn’t have any school work this week. My oldest did his bridging ceremony (very unceremoniously) on Monday. And tomorrow morning we go by the school to pick-up what was left behind almost three months ago….while staying in our car and wearing masks.

Summer break feels different.

I have been tentative this whole time about who we were exposed to. My kids have only been in one building other than our home in the last three months….it was to pick out birthday donuts at Wake N Bake and they wore masks and we were the only customers in the shop. We haven’t done a lot with friends. We haven’t been to the beach once in 2020.

Next week we are going to try the beach….early in the morning (7-9am)…..and see how it feels. This summer won’t be as full of play dates as usual. We won’t be at the pool as much, the beach as much, the parks as much. We probably won’t be inviting people over every week for dinner. There won’t be trivia nites and concert nights and ice cream stops as often as possible. We won’t be at the library or the museums. We will be home, for the most part, as we have been for the past three months.

In August we will face the challenge of returning to school….maybe.

I wonder what we will be like then.

What are your plans for the summer?

How have you handled the end of the school year?

 

TOLT #84 and Throwback Thursday: Headed Toward 40

Six years ago I wrote a post called First Steps in which I was musing about waiting for my baby to start walking and about how hard it was for me to get started back to exercise:

First, I am no longer 23 or 29 or even 32. Last year when I started back running after a cool winter break I was able to just jump right into it and take off with a rather nice 9:30/mile pace. That dropped off as I got pregnant, but I was still happily walking almost 5 miles a day at about 13:30-14:00 mile paces until E got here. Today I ran 1.07 miles at a pace of 10:56/mile. Age has a lot to do with the slowing down. It effects your metabolism as well as your muscle building capacity. Getting old kind of stinks, but I’m not “old” yet, because my kids aren’t old enough to tell me I am. So, for the time being, I will just remember that getting back into shape takes time.

In 3 months and 23 days I will be turning 40. Age has always been a random and not concrete feeling to me. I don’t regularly feel like I am “my age”. However, my oldest (who is 9) has started telling me that I will officially be old this year when I turn 40. I am curious as to how that will feel.

What age did you think was old when you were a kid?

What age do you think is old now?

How as turning 40 for you?

TOLT #82 – A Call to Open

I hope that this post finds you well and safe wherever you are. I have taken a serious backseat in the last couple of months. I didn’t want to write about my coronavirus day to day or my negative opinions on how our country is acting around this international pandemic. I didn’t want to turn my blog political or have it just be a journal of the monotony that is quarantine life.

Instead, I put my head down and focused on the two main objectives I have had these past two months:

  • Finish the semester for my students
  • Keep homeschooling and life at home as normal as possible for my kids

I have not succeeded at the level I had hoped for either, but this week is finals week, so objective one is coming to an end. Other things in my life are coming to an end as well, but I’m not ready to write about that at this moment.

This morning I didn’t have to grade at 6am. I still got up at 6am and did my normal, go to the bathroom, check my phone, head upstairs. I spent a few minutes with my oldest who always wakes up early. I snuggled with my youngest when he found his way upstairs. I didn’t open the computer or respond to emails. We had breakfast and then I did something I haven’t done in FOREVER! I went upstairs and did yoga and meditated.

A few times over this at home period I have done yoga to film videos for my class. At one point I was trying to do some simple poses each day for gut health because my whole body is off at this moment. But, to be honest, I have abandoned a lot of my training. Life has taken many different turns for me and I have sacrificed some of the things that keep me most centered.

Today I chose differently. I did this video from Erin Motz at Bad Yogi:

As I was doing pigeon pose on the right side I noticed something unusual…..I couldn’t lay forward in the pose. I didn’t hurt, but felt trapped when I closed my body forward. It was as if I couldn’t breathe. So, I opened up the body and pushed it toward a backbend….not much of one, but one all the same. As I was doing it I realized that it was helping my heart chakra immensely. I was feeling open and free for the first time in a long time. So, when pigeon came up on the left side, I was surprised that I could do some of the fold, but also how great it felt to backbend and be open for a few breaths there. I usually ONLY love to fold forward in pigeon.

Later in my practice, as we were doing seated forward fold, Erin said something profound to me. She said to focus today on the feeling of the pose and not necessarily on how it looks. Right now I am in the process of making my life feel good; no matter how that’s going to look to the rest of the world…..

Namaste

TOLT #81 – Bronchitis, Allergies, and Other Crap

Amidst all of the coronavirus hub-bub I’ve gone and gotten sick to the point that it has wiped me out of EVERYTHING! If you life in the south you know all about how allergies are a thing almost all year round….well, things are blooming and I’ve got them kicked up. But it’s not just allergies that have me down.

Nope!

My students are coming to school sick and sharing their germs with me. Magically my kiddos have escaped the bugs this year (mostly because I am keeping them at arms length from me at the time being), but I have not. I have been on and off sick now for almost two weeks and now officially have bronchitis.

On top of that, I’ve had two….count them TWO UTIs in the past month from all of the AMAZING running I was doing up until the point I got sick.

 

All that being said….I just wanted to check in on this wet and miserable Thursday to say I am now on

So that means time for me to recuperate and catch up on life and blogging.

What’s on your mind today?

Have you been sick and/or worried about a pandemic?

Check back next week for some real posts!

TOLT #80 – Starting Anew

I couldn’t be more excited to announce that Amanda at Running With Spoons magically appeared back in the blogosphere about 10 days ago! I am hoping that means that she will bring back her Think Out Loud Thursday groups because I truly enjoyed reading everyone’s posts and the community that it brought. TOLT groups was her last post before disappearing….so in honor of her return and the start of a new semester, here’s my random thoughts of late:

  1. This is a photo I snapped myself to show my husband what I was looking like.

    I tried branching out recently. I went to a girls’ nite in party a couple of weeks ago that was make-over themed. I am not the type of person who usually spends a lot of effort on my looks. I don’t do make-up much any more, don’t style my hair, don’t really go outside of the box for my clothes. So, a make-over party is not up my alley, but I’m also open to new things and meeting new people. This party was hosted by The Busy Budgeter¬† who was also my make-over artist for the evening. I tried new food, new drinks, a face mask, had my make-up done, and took pics with a fancy halo light. You can see those photos on her website as well as many tips for a great girls’ nite in!

  2. The semester is off to a great start! This semester I am teaching solely at one place and it has helped in so many ways. While I am now teaching 4 days/week, being on campus so often helps me to be more in touch with the campus community and leads me to the rec center more. Today I taught 2 classes, biked, and swam. The semester has also presented me with a new vision of success that I hope to achieve. Here’s the visual I made for my class as an example to show just three of the many areas I plan to work on this semester to keep the ball rolling!
  3. I’ve got new GEAR! Unfortunately Agnes has seen better days. She has started to shred and so I’m replacing her with two new bras that I got off of Amazon Prime Wardrobe. They’re Champion brand, which is a brand I used to wear a million years ago when I was still in college, but thought I would give them a go again. They’re certainly more cost effective than the Under Armour bras I’ve been buying the last few years. The Under Armour ones have been amazing to me, except something has started to go awry with the front zip closure. One time I was teaching yoga and the bra unzipped itself and I had to figure out how to redo it while still having 20 students doing sun salutations. And most recently I was running on the track and had it unzip when I took a deep breath. The new bras are back closure, so hoping that that helps. They’re also very adjustable and are supposed to be able to cross in the back. However, I find it hard enough to do back hook sports bras that I’m not sure I want to mess with a criss-cross at this time.
  4. My oldest is turning 9!
    We look a little different now, but the love is the same!

    Yep, I’m that mom who cannot believe she’s been a mom for 9 years now. I still remember a lot of what it was like to push that child out of my body, discussions we had when I was trying to get him to tell me if he was a he or a she in the womb, and the moment I found out I was pregnant. I remember the sweet noises he used to make when he was little and what it felt like to hold his little hand. I love going back to seeing the videos I’ve made of him over the years to watch his personality develop. I don’t write a whole lot (anymore) about my kids on the blog, but Happy Birthday Tank Monkey! Mama loves you!

  5. And finally, because all I have energy for today is 5, I need your advice. I need to come up with some music for my classes this semester and I need to find a new streaming service. I was seriously still using cds until recently! I used to have a subscription to Yes Go! music when I worked for NETA, but that was only a one year deal and at the time I wasn’t financially able to maintain a subscription based service. And before you go throwing ideas out…..I don’t have an iPhone or Apple Music. Ideally I’d love something I can pull up on the computers at work instead of using my phone so that it doesn’t die or get interrupted every time I get a notification. So, thoughts are welcomed!

What’s on your mind today?

TOLT #79 – End of Another Semester

Another semester is over and done. Each time one ends I wonder how I could have done better and what I will change the next time around. When the next semester starts I have high hopes and ambitions and nerves like crazy! There’s always a little bit of….what if they don’t like me? In that same moment I think, it doesn’t matter if they like me or not.

For me, my self-esteem is not caught up in my image of how I teach. I know that I am a good teacher. To some I am a great teacher. For myself I am satisfied in my work and my work makes me happy. Every semester I get both bad and good reviews. This semester was no exception.

However, in grading one student’s paper I read something that has really struck me as wise and something I want to remember. She wrote:

My goal is consistency, not perfection.

It couldn’t be more simple than that. Life, for me, is about consistently being in a place where I can be content. I want to know I’m doing a good job and that someone is benefiting from my existence. I won’t be able to make all of my students happy. I won’t be able to get to everything I want to do. I will miss workouts and kill workouts; not send some emails on time and send too many emails sometimes; be tired and cranky some days and overly perky some days; let the laundry pile up and have a completely spotless home; spend hours grading or skip grading to be with my kids; eat too many snacks and forget to eat lunch; write on my blog and then abandon my blog for work or a nap or a workout or to read……I am not perfect and my life is not perfection. But, really, that’s what makes it kind of perfect for me.

At every point in my life I am consistently where I need to be….striving for my best, but accepting that each day is what it is. I am content and balanced.

What does consistency look like for you?