Tuesday, September 17, 2013

These Busy Days

For the past couple weeks, I've happily been in the position where I wake up looking forward to each day (well, more or less - can't say I'm really looking forward to the day I get my cavity filled later this week!) and looking back on the week with a sense of satisfaction. It's a nice place to be and I'm so thankful for it! As I mentioned before, I was starting to get kind of antsy by the summer months, so having a more regular routine and a lot more responsibilities outside of myself (ie. for other people) has made a huge difference.

Of course, I now have those overflowing days where I end up eating lunch around 6 pm and am more or less running from one thing to another, but I'm trying to avoid that as much as possible. I do hate rushing. Passionately! I'm sure it's unhealthy because it sends my stress levels through the roof, and when I'm over-scheduled, I also find it hard to be focused on what I'm doing at the present moment and give my full attention to it. Blegch, the high-powered rushing from one meeting to another lifestyle is clearly not for me!

Thankfully, though, I have a lot of control over my schedule these days. The trick is just learning to say no, graciously, when I realize that the day or week is already fully booked and that adding anything more in starts to follow the law of diminishing returns. (This is a trick I have not yet mastered. Someone teach me, please?)

I do have a few tricks that are working well, though. To wit, I've actually taken to blocking out sections of my agenda to make sure I include enough time to recharge from the more hectic moments of the week. I'm also ridiculously strict about keeping Monday entirely as a day off - absolutely no meetings or social obligations allowed! It usually doesn't end up being much of a day "off" since I'm generally cleaning the house, getting caught up on emails, and organizing the week ahead, but as an introvert, I look forward to that time all week because I know I can stay cocooned alone at home, and no one is allowed to enter my hamster ball!* Really, time off doesn't have to mean not doing anything productive, it just has to mean no human interaction is required. Knowing that alone time is coming gets me through the weekend, when I have to be "on" most of the time.

There's still a lot of room for improvement (especially in continuing regular workouts), but I feel much more relaxed overall, confident that I'm moving in the right direction and being smarter about how to use my time and fit my schedule to my strengths and goals, and not the other way around. I  just hope these happy feelings are around to stay!

*(Skip the intro and scroll to middle of page for the cartoon strip.)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Sleep in the Balance

Benefits of Waking Up Before 6:30 am :

1. More hours in the day to get stuff done.
2. Watching the sky brighten.
3. Balancing off the almost 12 hours of sleep you got yesterday. (Is this really a benefit? Law of Undulation, maybe?)
4. Not feeling rushed to accomplish today’s tasks.
5. Having enough time to make a leisurely breakfast (and then opting to spend about 90 seconds making a smoothie… FAIL.)
6. Strange motivation to rearrange furniture, clean, and organize everything.
7. More time for blogging!

Drawback of Waking Up Before 6:30 am :

1. Fewer hours of sleep.
2. Loss of sleep.
3. Only slept for five hours.
4. Missing your only day to sleep in.
5. I want to sleeeeeeep!
6. Zzzzzzzzzz… (by 2 pm)
7. Sleep, I miss you. :( 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Boomerang Effect

The thought may have crossed your mind that I finally threw in the towel and abandoned blogging for good, seeing as how sporadic my posting has been throughout this year. (If so, I wouldn’t blame you!) Over the past several months, I have wondered if I should just give up, too. I haven't posted in months, and I haven't posted consistently in years! But, like a boomerang, and ever full of surprises and optimism, I’m back!

In my absence, I have begun writing approximately 70 bajillion new posts (in my head), spotted more random shoes than I can remember (but not as many as previous years, yay!), travelled to Orlando (for The Gospel Coalition 2013 conference), gone on and off a carb-cycling diet, started learning how to play from chords on the piano (up ‘til now my training has been exclusively how to read music), visited Starbucks more times than I care to admit, not killed grown a tomato plant indoors on our window sill (the first tomato is still ripening – so excited to eat it!), taken a family vacation to New England (Boston and Maine), enjoyed barbequing on the outdoor patio, reconnected with an old friend, slept in as much as humanly possible, visited friends in Belleville and Port Colborne, gone to the dentist after an embarrassingly long time, and resumed my ministry involvement at church (primarily: working with university and college students).

It was a good “sabbatical year” that I had, but I was growing very restless towards the end (ie. over the spring and summer, especially June and July) and it is good to be busy again. I was technically “busy” taking care of myself during my break from serving at church, but ironically enough the lack of structure was making it tough to stick to a regular routine. I am really hopeful that I can do better at that now… but I guess that remains to be seen! Regular workouts resume next week (last week I had a cold, we were on retreat with our church over the long weekend, and this week was my time of the month to be crampy and incapacitated), as does meal-planning and (hopefully) getting into a healthy sleep routine. Nothing like the beginning of a new school year to put the wind in your sails when it comes to such matters!

I hope all is well with you, and I hope to spend more time writing during what is left of 2013. (Gulp! We’re not going to go there, but HOW IS IT SEPTEMBER ALREADY?!?!) What is on your horizon for the fall?


P.S. This probably shouldn’t be written as an afterthought, but I figure I should record it here anyways (for posterity?). Wilson and I have been attending some natural family planning classes, and we’re hoping for a 2014 baby! We will see what the Lord has in store for us (hopefully parenthood!), but I’m pretty excited that after much waiting, we’re finally confident that this is the right time to start trying to expand our family. J

P.P.S. Yes, even though I'm not yet pregnant we more or less have our baby names picked out already. This is a surprise to no one, right?!