Choosing to Be Who I Want to Be

The “Old Days”

Saturday, I was feeling super nostalgic. I was missing our old life. I miss the kids being younger, homeschooling, having chickens (our own little homestead), camping more, nature walks/journaling, read alouds and book studies with the kids (literature in general), Poetry Teatime, hands-on activities, “wild and free homeschooling,” the farmer’s market (the one we used to go to has closed for now), making all the things from scratch, etc.

I am beginning to realize that this is part of life. We will never have those days again. I’m grateful that I had them. I’m grateful that I have those memories. Robert tells me that I don’t remember the hard parts about it, and I’m okay with that.

I miss the flexibility, too. We had slow days, could go to town during the day whenever we wanted, could go on nature walks, etc. We didn’t have to get up at 5:15. The kids weren’t gone for almost 12 hours a day. We had so much family time.

Times are so different now. We are pretty busy. The kids have school all day. We are going to church every Sunday and Wednesday (which is SO worth it). The kids are doing the youth group things and Robert and I are finding our place. It would be so much easier if we were homeschooling and the kids were home more, but again, we make it work. The kids are not interested in homeschooling now, and I have to work. They wish they didn’t have the schedule that they have, but also, they prefer that over homeschooling. They enjoyed it while we did it, but especially Levi says it wouldn’t be the same. Levi will be in 8th grade next year. Ethan will be a freshman, and Karis will be a senior. None of them are in elementary anymore.

Gone are the days of growing butterflies from caterpillars, making and playing with homemade playdough, slime, etc. No more nature studies. No more art lessons. No more playing with Legos/playdough while I read aloud to the boys. No more crafts.

Here are some pictures of the old days! I’m so grateful for these memories!

I at least got to do these things with my students when I was teaching in person. Teaching online makes all of this impossible.

I was starting to wonder if I needed to go back to teaching in person.

Teaching in person included lots of hands-on activities, science experiments, read-alouds, etc.

“Ah ha” Moment

Robert convinced me to go outside Saturday, and we went on an almost 6 mile hike. We had such great conversation the whole time. It was beautiful! The temperature was perfect.

Through that conversation, I decided that it’s so important for me to stick with something and to find contentment where I am. It’s okay to miss the “old days” while still enjoying where I am. I can be who I want to be right here and now.

I actually have a lot more flexibility teaching from home than I ever had teaching in person. I don’t have to leave the house at 6:15 every morning and come home at 5:30pm. I have plenty of time in the morning for personal Bible study/devotion and prayer journaling. I can work the second half of the day from a coffee shop if I want to (though that’s a bit tough with how far we live from one, it IS possible once in a while)! I can go for a walk/run/hike during my lunch break if I want to. I rarely work on the weekends, so I have plenty of break/rest time.

I’m usually able to get my whole checklist done by Friday afternoon which makes the weekends SO nice. I don’t mind being in Kerrville for a long time on Sundays now because I don’t have to worry about prepping for Monday. I wouldn’t have any of this if I taught in person. I didn’t have any time to plan during the week when I was in person.

It was also SO physically draining teaching in person because you are “on” all day. There are very few breaks. Now I teach live sessions in the morning and have the afternoon to work on my to do list.

I’m still working on figuring out who I am and who I want to be, but I’m getting there. I do know that I want to live more, say yes more, stick to commitments better, and live a “lighter” life.

Struggle with Consistency

It has been over a year since I have been consistent with movement and nutrition. I feel like I have tried all the things. Right now, I’ve been working on trying to be balanced, but what that ends up turning into is eating all the things and not moving very much. Sometimes I feel like I need to “go all in” with something or I tend to just be lazy.

I have been going back and forth about whether or not I’m okay with my weight where it is, if I’m okay with my nutrition habits, and my movement habits.

At the end of the day, I’m not okay with where I am with any of it.

It’s not that I think I need to look a certain way, but I feel physically uncomfortable. My belly is the part of me that grows the fastest/most, and it’s literally always in the way and my belly feels so uncomfortable all day, every day. Excess belly fat is what brings on health issues (scientific fact). I also have high cholesterol, and I am doing nothing to control it right now except medication, and historically, that hasn’t been enough.

I’m currently trying to decide between two completely different approaches. One of them is starting very small (like a couple of workouts a week, maybe adding some more veggies/fruits, etc). The other approach is called 75 hard. The point of that one is mental toughness and self-efficacy (proving to myself that I CAN actually do hard things with food and movement and that I can do something without giving up).

The first approach is going to be following Balance 365 again. The 75 hard approach is to jump start consistency. This program is not for the long-term. It is a start.

Balance 365 is a non-diet approach and 75 hard focuses on a having a diet of some sort, but I get to choose.

So the “rules” of 75 hard are:

  • Follow a diet plan (I would either focus on EC Synkowski’s “lazy macros,” macros, maybe the Street Parking template, or just eat whole/unprocessed foods and don’t track at all)
  • Drink a gallon of water a day (the plan would be to drink 1 cup of coffee each morning, then drink water the rest of the day)
  • Two 45 minute workouts per day, and one of those has to be outside (I would do a walk, a Street Parking WOD, and some sort of strength training)
  • Read 10 pages of a book per day (easy for me- I read most nights before bed!)
  • No alcohol (would be easy since I don’t drink)
  • No “cheat meals” (I wouldn’t have such a strict diet that this would be hard)
  • Take progress pictures

If I were to work through Balance 365 again, I would be going in order of their self-guided program: The Core 4 Habits

  1. Sleep
  2. Internal cues
  3. Movement
  4. Balanced meals

I do feel like the Balance 365 is more sustainable long-term, but it’s almost a little too ambiguous for me. If I don’t have specific parameters, I tend to do nothing. I can’t keep going the way I am. Right now, I don’t move much at all because I sit all day for work and I’m not doing much intentional movement (mostly just a weekly hike at the moment). But, if it’s TOO strict, my brain tends to rebel.

I am seeking out advice from a few experts (for my specific situation), but ultimately, I have to decide which one will work for me, then I need to decide that I will stick with it no matter what. I am so tired of being so back and forth and having zero consistency. When I started the year, I decided that I want to be a person who does what she says she will do. That has NOT happened so far this year!

If I choose 75 hard, I don’t plan on posting about it on my Facebook (I might even deactivate… but I’m also wanting to be a part of a 75 hard community, so we will see). I won’t post about it on my “regular” Instagram either. I want to do this without “advertising” what I’m doing and being open to others’ opinions. I want to complete it before really letting many people know that I did it. I’m so tired of failing (in front of everyone, too, which makes it even worse). And honestly, the goal is to prove to MYSELF that I can do it and be successful. I know I’m posting about it here, but I know that I don’t have many readers, so this is mostly just an outlet to get things out of my head!

I’m actually thinking about either unfollowing everyone, deactivating social media, or at least only checking it maybe once a day. I am on social media ALL the time right now, and I feel like it gets in the way of my spiritual and social life and affects my mental and emotional health greatly. I’ve been praying about this as a way to fast during Lent. I would have more time for personal devotion as well if I limit social media!

Praying Through Things

I am out of town for work right now so I have a lot of alone time (I am testing students until about 2:00, then I have time to myself!). I am going to pray, journal, figure out my “why,” and decide what it is that I can stick to! If I do decide to do 75 hard, what will I do when it’s over? If I choose to do Balance 365, how can I make it something to actually help me make changes? I’m also going to make a final decision about social media and how I will go about addressing that. I’m kind of excited about this time!

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