Tag Archives: 52

52 FEATS – NUMBER 38 (Turning Off the TV)

25 Sep

UPDATE:

Well here it is, Sunday, and I have successfully completed this Feat!  It wasn’t easy; I had to constantly remind myself – and my husband – that I couldn’t watch TV.  It’s normal for us to watch a show or a movie after the kids go to bed, and that was a hard thing to skip out on.  I don’t watch much TV during the day, but at night when I’m exhausted, it’s about all I have energy for!

But I’m so glad I did it, because it did lead to some fun opportunities.  One night, my husband and I played Scrabble!  Another night, we went for a walk at the park while the kids were at their grandparents’ house.  And on another night, I went out for a walk around the neighborhood alone.  Heavenly.

And the reading…oh the reading!  I finished an entire book and started another one.  And these are “just for fun” books, not Book Club books!  That feels so luxurious.  From now on, I am definitely going to think twice before mindlessly reaching for that remote!

ABOUT FEAT NUMBER 38:

You may not want to hear this, but this week is National TV Turnoff Week!  (I kind of don’t want to hear that, either.)  So I’m making that my Feat for the week.  I don’t watch a lot of TV, but if I include all kinds of screen time (facebook on my laptop, solitaire on my iPad), I’m sure I rack up a lot more than I realize.

According to www.screentimeinstitute.org:

“Screen time cuts into family time and is a leading cause of obesity in both adults and children. Excessive use of screens for recreational purposes leads to a more sedentary and solitary lifestyle and that is unhealthy for all of us, both mentally and physically.”

This week, I’m going to make a concerted effort to cut WAY down on my screen time.  (I still have to work on my computer and check emails!)  I plan to get a lot of reading done.  I have a stack of books a mile high on my nightstand that I’m dying to read, plus some favorites that I really want to re-read, like the Twlight series and The Shadow of the Wind.

I have to be honest, it doesn’t hurt that two of my favorite shows (True Blood and Torchwood) just ended their seasons, so I won’t have to miss them this week.  But hey, it’s not my fault!  That was just a happy coincidence.

I’m dragging my kids along with me, but that will be my little secret.  If I tell them that we’re not going to watch TV all week, they will seriously wonder why they’re being punished!  I’ll just try to keep them occupied in other ways, like scrubbing toilets.  (So far today, with 2 sick kids, it’s not going so well – all they want to do is watch TV!)

I invite all of you to join National TV Turn Off Week with me.  Leave those sets dark, and see what else you can accomplish with that time.  Exercise!  Read a book!  Take a walk outside and enjoy this nice, cool(er) weather!

Enjoy life!

52 FEATS – NUMBER 36 (Doing Yoga)

11 Sep

For the original 52 FEATS blog entry, click here.

UPDATE:

This week was a total bust.  I started off strong, doing hot power yoga Monday morning and Tuesday morning.  On Tuesday night I was really tired, but I just chalked it up to my aching muscles and extra exercise.

Wednesday morning I woke up with a nasty, full-blown, knock-me-on-my-butt cold.  My daughter had it, too.  She and I spent 3 bleary days on the couch watching TV.  I could barely stand.  Or breathe through my nose – an important component of yoga breathing, and just generally not feeling like crap.

But I’m not giving up on this one – I’m trying again.  Unfortunately, my schedule is much more hectic this week and I have a sick kid (my son’s got it now!), so I won’t be able to make it to the yoga studio 5 times.  BUT that won’t stop me from practicing at home.  I recently found a podcast done by one of the owners of The Yoga Project, Stacy Dockins.  (You can find it by searching LiveLoveTeach on iTunes.)  I can do the practice I enjoy so much, right in the comfort of my own home.  It won’t be quite as good as being in the warm studio, but it will have to do.

I’m still going to do another Feat for Number 37 (gotta get all 52 in this year!), but I’ll combine it with Super Yoga Week.  Looking forward to it!

ABOUT FEAT NUMBER 36:

I’ve always enjoyed yoga.  Over the last couple years, I’ve taken my practice to a much deeper level by getting into “hot” yoga – energetic, athletic, flowing yoga in a heated room.  I’ve done it so much that I don’t think I could ever go back to “cold” yoga.  I thoroughly enjoy feeling the heat as it gets into my muscles, allowing me to deepen my poses, occasionally taking them to places I didn’t think possible.

Yesterday morning, on National Free Yoga Day, I attended a free yoga class at Velociti Fitness in Arlington.  Instructor Beth Culler offered just the right combination of challenge and insight.  At one point, I remember her making a comment about striking just the right balance between work and ease.  I left feeling envigorated, empowered, and enthusiastic.

Lori, my dear friend and fellow More than Mothers blogger, has been told that 3 days of yoga a week will change your body, and 5 days a week will change your life.  I know that the life change won’t happen over the course of just one week, but I’m going to aim for those 5 days this week anyway to see what happens.

I’ll be going to The Yoga Project, my favorite Power Vinyasa yoga studio.  In a couple days, I’ll probably be so sore I won’t even be able to hold a pencil, but I’m going to keep at it and give it my all.

Namaste!

52 FEATS – NUMBER 28 (Counting My Blessings)

12 Jul

For the original 52 FEATS blog entry, click here.

It was my plan to do a “Counting My Blessings” Feat this week (I also thought about calling it “Keeping on the Sunny Side” or “Remaining Positive”), and yesterday it became much more important than I originally realized.

A friend of mine was moved to a hospice center last night.  He’s been battling cancer for over 3 years now, fighting with everything he’s got.  It’s not that he’s a super-positive person; in fact, you might consider him downright crabby, even on his good days.  But the will to survive is strong, and he has endured more than any of his friends can believe.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to defeat this terrible disease once and for all.

All kinds of things have been going through my mind, things about which I can’t come up with answers.  My friend isn’t married and has no kids – does that make this situation better or worse?  Is it right to expect certain responses to grief from others?  And what about the ethical dilemma of withholding nutrition?

I’m going to visit him tonight.  I’m nervous because I’ve never been to a hospice center, but more so because I’ve never talked to someone who knew they were dying.  I don’t know how to handle a conversation with him, but I’m going to do my best to get my crying done before I see him.  Then afterwards, I’ll come back home, have another good cry, and kiss my kids within an inch of their lives.

Count your blessings, people.

52 FEATS – NUMBER 26 (Keeping a Journal)

27 Jun

For the original 52 FEATS blog entry, click here.

So last week, as I was playing, and playing, and playing some more (see FEAT 25 here), I quickly realized a few things:

1.  I would rather be doing just about anything than re-enacting the same 30-second story for Potatoheads a hundred times.

2.  A week of playing felt more like a week of saying yes – any time my kids asked me to do anything with them, I said yes and did it right then.

3.  Playing that stupid Potatohead game with my son paid off big time.  When my daughter woke up from her nap, the first thing my son said to her was, “Mom and I had so much fun while you were asleep!”  Wow.

4.  I should be writing this stuff down.

I no longer keep a personal journal, though sometimes I think about starting one again.  I’ve kept one at various points in my life, and for some reason, I always end up throwing them away.  Not empty pages, but full of writing.  For some reason, there’s something I don’t like about revisiting my past.

But my kids’ lives – that’s a totally different story.  They’re constantly doing and saying cute, hysterical, or completely crazy things.  That, coupled with the fact that I have a notoriously bad memory, means I need to do a better job of chronicling things.

I love the personal feeling of handwriting things, but I simply don’t have the time.  What I do have is a super-cool computer journaling program!  I update it from time to time, but what I’ve always wanted to do is start a daily report.  Even if it’s just a couple of sentences talking about what we did for the day.

So this is the week to do it!  Every evening I’ll set aside 10 minutes or so to write down how adorable/silly/maniacal my kids were that day, and all the fun things we did.  I’m sure in 20 years, it will be my favorite thing to read.

52 FEATS – NUMBER 22 (Standing up Straight)

2 Jun

For the original 52 FEATS blog entry, click here.

DAY 4 UPDATE (Thursday):

This has been a tough one!  It’s quite possible that for me, no other bad habit is quite as ingrained as bad posture.  I don’t even think about it doing it – maybe because it’s a constant, every-second-of-every-day thing, I just operate on auto pilot.  But I’m trying to “remind” myself often to sit or stand up straight.  I’ve also noticed that I scrunch my neck down – what’s that about??  Trying to correct that one, too!

ABOUT FEAT NUMBER 22:

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine posted a funny picture on facebook that had several different examples of bad posture.  At least, I thought it was funny until I realized that most of those examples look exactly like me!  Slumped shoulders?  Always.  One hip higher?  Most of the time.  Hollow back?  Never heard of it before, but yes.  I didn’t know I was such a train wreck!

As a mother of two little kids, I feel like I’m a little justified in my bad posture – after all, my entire world is near the ground.  I’m constantly bent over to deal with my children.  I’m grabbing, cleaning, hugging, picking up, etc.  But I’m starting to worry about the long-term effects this slumping will have on my neck and back (which are always sore, by the way).  It may be just a slump today, but in 10 years, what am I going to look like?

So for this week, I’ll be standing up straight, and hopefully I can make it a long-term habit.  I’ll be constantly reminding myself to have my shoulders back, head up, hips even, and both feet planted flat on the floor.  I might also do some exercises to strengthen my upper back and shoulders, which will help my posture.

So if I look taller this week, you’ll know why!

52 FEATS – NUMBER 16 (Taking a Break)

18 Apr

I feel like a workaholic lately.  Plan activities with the kids. Do laundry.  Attempt to keep the house clean.  Blog for myself.  Write for others.  Try to have a little fun in my life.  And so on…

You know what part of being a productive and happy person is?  Knowing when to back off.  I’m going to take a break for a week.  Not because of a lack of ideas, or time, or because I’m getting tired of doing my Feats.  (I’m actually enjoying them very much.)  Instead, I’m taking a deliberate hiatus to recharge myself, to allow some fresh air into my brain, and to see what I can accomplish by channeling this focus into something else for a few days.

I encourage all of you to take a well-deserved break in your lives, too.

And don’t worry – we’ll still have plenty of other More than Mothers posts to keep you entertained this week!

52 FEATS – NUMBER 14 (Being on Time)

10 Apr

For the original 52 FEATS blog entry, click here.

DAY 7 (Sunday):

This week wasn’t too bad, but it’s something I clearly need to work on – one week isn’t going to completely change me on this one.  On Thursday morning, my one early day in the week, I’m usually running out the door in a panic at 8:30 am.  This week, I was shooting for 8:15.  I didn’t quite make it, but I did make progress.  My kids and I sauntered casually out of the house at 8:20.  Not exactly my goal, but I made it a long way.  Earlier than usual, and not racing like a maniac.

I did a good job on Saturday, though.  I attended the Project Mom conference in Fort Worth, and a friend was picking me up at 7:30 am.  That’s really early for me!  I woke up before dawn to shower and make myself presentable.  I was ready to walk out the door – purse already in hand – when my friend pulled up.  Woohoo!

Today, I was going to a cooking class (which was so much fun!), and of course, I didn’t want to be late for that.  Unfortunately, once again I was waiting for my husband to get home before I could leave.  He’s not usually a late person, but for the second time this week he was running late, which made me late!  I was disappointed, but once again, it was beyond my control.

But that brings me to an important point: there are usually so many things beyond my control.  How many times have I been ready to walk out the door and one of the kids needs to use the bathroom, or spills something, or has a meltdown?  Or I realize I’ve left my phone in the house, or forgot to let the dogs back ins?  I’m pretty organized, but those things catch me by surprise all the time.  It’s just life, and crazy things happen when you least expect them.  How to plan for that?  I’m not sure, but the first thing that pops into my head is that I need an extra hour in my day.  That 25th hour is the answer to all my problems, I just know it.

My husband also thinks that I may have a hard time knowing how much time has passed without looking at a clock.  Recently I went outside to do some yardwork, and came back in after what I thought was only a few minutes.  Turns out, a LOT more time had passed.  Maybe my internal clock just doesn’t work well – but I don’t think that’s a good excuse for being late.  I just need to keep working on this one until I get better at it!

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