17 September 2021

Self-created issues everywhere

 Had a couple of small issues at school the past couple of weeks and I'm definitely thinking it's my mindset. I need to change that and so this post will hopefully work it out. 

The first one, a student lied about something I said. I didn't get upset at the time and was very proud of myself for that. But now I'm beginning to question my reaction in light of other things happening. 

The second one happened yesterday when I apparently took a bad tone in an email to the entire staff. I could write pages justifying what I wrote, but that's not the point. The point is that I think I may be a little off and I need to figure out why. 

This year is not going like any of us thought it would and I'm fairly confident that has to do with the last year and a half. Some students have literally not been in school all that time. These years are important for social/emotional development and they have missed out on a lot of that by being home for 18 months. Some kids took to it and flourished, others not so much. I think many of the adults have suffered similar issues, and possibly me. It is possible that I've had so little interaction with other adults that I tend not to see when I overstep. I need to pull it back a little bit. I need to think before I act and I need to consider how this will be taken by the receiver. Both in things I say and in things I write. 

I like to think that I deal with most things with equanimity but the truth is that is not happening lately. I've been getting upset over small things and letting setbacks really derail me. I've been getting frustrated with people and situations that I have no control over. So, it's time to work on my equanimity and let things go that I can't control. How do I do that? I question my thoughts. Question, question, question.. I cannot let any thought go unquestioned especially if it is a thought about frustration, aggravation, irritation, whatever. I do not want those things to control my life and my mind and I'm going to stop them right here and now. I had somehow allowed the questioning to slip and it's time to bring it back. So, I'm going to dedicate my weekend to questioning my thoughts. I need to dig into them. To understand them. And to not let them control me. I've also lost my planner tracking. I find that whenever that slips, my thoughts tend to follow. So it's time to get back on track and question everything. 

07 September 2021

Time to regroup

 We are on a 5-day weekend from school because of Labor Day. Today is the last day. I spent the other 4 days letting life get to me. The details really aren't that important. I had some things to do that I really didn't want to do and so I let it get to me. I know better than that. I know that how I feel is determined by how I view things in my life. I also know that happiness is a choice and not a condition. I lost sight of all of that the last few days and it's time to dump that attitude/thinking and get back to living my life the way I want to. 

I did not get to the gym this weekend because of said attitude, and now my butt hurts bad. It hurts to sit (which is what I've done most of the weekend), it hurts to stand, it hurts to walk. Ugh. Need to get rid of this. 

So the plan for the day is: 

1. Be happy - this is not something that happens to me but it is something I choose. I choose happy today

2. Be productive - because of above referenced attitude, my productivity has been lacking and I need to pick it up today

3. Relax - it's back to school tomorrow so even though I have things to do, I need to relax and enjoy my time off. 

I need to figure out a way to get my 10,000 steps in a day. That is going to be my focus this week. The assignment for DMSC is to avoid all junk food and alcohol. Well that's easy for me so I'm instead going to focus on getting my steps. I may order a clip-on Fitbit since I think my watch doesn't get all my steps. Or I could focus on how many steps my watch does actually count in a day. My watch may say 7,000 but I'm actually getting 10,000. Maybe a FitBit.   

Anyway, off to shower and get this day rolling. 

27 August 2021

Stress vs. Stressors


One thing I've learned in the past couple of years is that there is a huge difference between stress and stressors. Stressors are things that happen, outside yourself. They are basic situations that occur in every day life. Money can be a stressor. Work can be a stressor. Health can be a stressor. Family can be a stressor. Lots of things can be stressors. Living in the modern world is going to expose you to lots of stressors every single day. There isn't much that can be done about them, things happen. 

Stress on the other hand is how you react to stressors and that is very much in your control. I used to be a chronic worrier and ruminator. I had the idea that if I didn't think about the stressor constantly, and basically let it control my life, I wouldn't come up with a way to solve it. I have since learned that not only is that not true, I don't even have to let the stressors affect me at all. I can ignore, though ignore is not the right word. Stressors have to be dealt with because they are usually problems or issues that need to be fixed/solved. But letting them ruin my life is absolutely not necessary. 

We just completed the 4th week of school. We are back in person and expect all the students to attend in person, there is no online option this year. I'm actually glad for that, I prefer to teach in person and enjoy the energy I get from kids. But a problem has surfaced. I teach my classes in a very hands on, interactive way. I don't use a textbook at all. Well, in the past 4 weeks a number of kids have been in and out due to Covid. They either are sick and stay home to be sure it isn't Covid. Or they have been exposed and need to quarantine. Or some such nonsense. How do we do hands-on, interactive content if there are kids missing every single class. Also, we have to allow them a way to make up citizenship points if they are out and since mine are based solely on participation, that was almost impossible. Last week I think I had around 20 kids out in total. Yikes!!!!  So a stressor has been how do I get these kids the assignments and keep them caught up without making double work for myself?  

Last week I let that stressor affect me. I developed a headache that just will not go away. It's not super bad, I can completely function with it, but it is always there and that gets old. Tuesday I came up with a solution to my problem. There is a site that has the experiments we do, and we do lots of experiments, along with some questions so that the kids can do at home what we did in class. I even came up with a way to deal with it. Every class I write down who is absent from that class. At the end of the day, or when I get time, I post the assignment to those students only in the Google Classroom. They do it and it keeps them up with what is going on in class and they earn their citizenship points for 'participating' by doing the assignments. Genius! I thought I've got it handled and this will work well. 

The problem is, I still  have my headache and it's now Friday. If it was caused by stress it should have gone away once I solved the problem. Then last night I noticed that my eczema was coming back. I get it on my hands in times of great stress. Ugh!!! What the hell????  Clearly I am still letting some stressors affect me and I need to get to the bottom of it. 

My self-care has slipped a tiny bit with the return to school. I really don't have time (or energy) to workout during the week and I've been slacking on the weekends. The first week or two I went to the trainer on Friday and the gym on Sunday. Then last week I blew everything off and didn't go at all and that's when things really got bad. The lesson here? I must workout to help keep my stress in check. Working out is purely physical and allows me to release pent up energy. This helps me deal with stress even better because there is no physical component to it. I can't go during the week, okay that's fine. But I can go 3 days on the weekend. Next week I have a 5 day weekend - that's an entire week. I can actually workout more than I work. 

I have not let mediation slip at all. I do that every single morning without fail. It has become an integral part of my morning routine. Thank god. 

Food is still kind of iffy. I need to take control of my food more. I have a hesitancy to do that because Hubby fixes all the meals. He cooks dinner. Makes the lunches. All the food he handles. But there are a couple of issues with that. First, he makes things I don't want to eat - like pasta the other day. And many times it is not enough for me. When I am working out regularly (which I will be soon) and my self care is on point, I eat a lot of food. Also, I'm kind of over the stuff he makes regularly. He has gotten into a bit of a rut and we eat the same kinds of things all the time. I need to come up with a way to convince him to branch out and do different things. Also, we spend an inordinate amount of money on food for 2 people. Our freezers are packed to the gills with food and yet we go shopping every week. Last month we spent over $1000 on food and there is 2 of us. WTF?   I'm seriously considering one of those food kits. We would spend about $80 a week and that would be around $320 a month and that would be considerably less than $1000. We would still need to shop because that would only be about 4 meals a week, but I thought if we do that not only will it cut down on the food bill but it would make it easier on him if he didn't have to think about dinner during the school week. I don't know, I'm going to talk it over with him at lunch today. 

Steps!! Steps are my nemesis. I cannot seem to get 10,000 steps in a day. Since returning to school my steps have greatly increased Monday - Thursday. But even then I can't hit 10,000. Yesterday I got 7500. I was on my feet all damn day and that is all I get??? I have discovered that my watch does not record my pacing which is really annoying. I can pace for 20 minutes and get 100 steps - that's not right. So I need to solve that. Maybe I can get a small FitBit and keep it in my pocket and see what that says. Just went to investigate and those are not so easy to come by. Crazy. But steps are something that I need to work on more diligently. I read one lady who was using a timer to time her steps. I wonder if I could use my excersice feature to track my steps while pacing. Hmmm.....something to consider.  

Okay, I have to get ready to go to the gym. I need to shower and dress. So I'm off. I feel a little better having gotten all this out, I just need to figure out how to ditch the stress completely. 

15 August 2021

Gratitude Day 1

 It's that time again, gratitude time. I love this assignment because it reminds me to be grateful for everything in my life. I need to keep this up regularly. 

Today I am grateful for feeling better. I had an episode at the gym on Friday that scared the crap out of me and then yesterday I did not feel good at all. But today I feel much better, back to my normal self, and so I am grateful for my health. 

I'm also grateful for the fact that I have enough food to eat that I can be overweight. I don't want to be overweight, but that just means that food is not an issue for me and therefore something I am extremely grateful for. 

I'm grateful that we are back to school and things are relatively normal. I don't think it will stay that way, but I am thankful it is that way now. 

I'm thankful that I'm getting my front tooth fixed. Those teeth have bothered me for so many years and not having them has really been a blessing. I have not had pain in my mouth since they removed them. And, getting the crowns in will be amazing. 

I am thankful for having enough money to be YNAB broke. I have money to pay my bills and still have some put away, but I'm 'broke' because I don't have money to waste. 

I am thankful that I still have Bella and Lola. I know that I won't have them much longer and as much as I hate to see them get old, I love that they are still here and I can still love on them. 

I am thankful for every single day when I wake up and get out of bed. 

I am thankful for a job that I really do love. 

I am thankful for where I work. Having worked in a seriously toxic school, this place is literally just a ray of sunshine. I look forward to going to work every single day. 

I am thankful that I found a job/career that I really do love. I really enjoy teaching. I love the school environment and I can see myself doing this forever. 

I am thankful that I have made some good friends like Lee Turley at my school. She is funny and awesome to be around. 

I am thankful for friends like Janna and Mike. I love hanging out with them and just kicking it. 

Okay, that will have to be it for tonight. 

25 July 2021

It's all in the point of view

 I have a terrible habit of seeing things in black or white. This or that. Yes or no. I struggle to not have polar opposite opinions. I also tend to rely on lists more than I should and get frustrated when things don't go as planned. I'm a work in progress. 

The last couple of days we have woken up to rain. RAIN!!!!! It has been gloriously amazing and I've loved every second of it. It has rained most of the last 2 days and it is looking like it's going to rain again today. Yay!!!!! But, because of said rain, I have not been able to stick to my walking routine with Mavy. Now he is also a creature of habit and it is throwing him off too, but there is not a lot I can do about that. So Friday we did a short walk in the morning and then walked the canal around 3pm. Yesterday it was raining pretty consistently all day and we didn't get out to walk the canal until 2ish. Side note: he did not want to walk the canal again. I think he's out of shape, like me, and was tired from the day before.  Anyway, woke up this morning to rain again. Can't walk him this morning so that will have to come later. I want to go to the gym but it feels like my schedule is all screwed up. I feel out of sorts because the routine is walk him, go to the gym. I know this is ridiculous and I am working very hard on not being so rigid. That attitude has gotten me into the all or nothing thinking. Well, if I can't walk this morning may as well not walk at all. What????  That is so, so, so ridiculous. So I can't walk this morning, I will probably have a window of opportunity later. I'm really trying to get out of that type of thinking in all areas of my life. Work, play, home, etc. There are very few things that I have to do at a fixed time, almost everything I can roll with the punches. It is definitely in your point of view. 

24 July 2021

Time to process

 One of the things that I do regularly is walk Maverick along the canal near my house. It's about a 2 mile walk round trip and I love it. We walk along a canal that has walkers, runners, bikers, roller skaters, and no cars. It is awesome. One of the benefits of that walk is that I can talk to Maverick and work out things that are in my head. I had not realized how much I needed that time and that processing. It is now summer in Phoenix and you don't walk very far at all if you can help it. So there have been no canal walks just some quick trips around the block before the sun comes up. As a result, there has been no talking things out and no real processing time. And I didn't realize how much I missed it and needed it. Yesterday was raining all day - it was glorious - and around 3pm it had stopped raining and was only ~75F outside. So Mavy and I walked the canal. It was awesome. I talked with Mavy the whole time and worked out some things that were inside my head. It was then that I realized how much I need that walking every day. It's raining again today and I'm thinking I'll be able to get another canal walk in today, but when it stops raining I don't know what I'll do. I could get up early and walk super early, but I also return to work on Monday. I will clearly need to work on this and process it. 

As for what I worked on yesterday.... On Thursday I went to school to put my room back in order. I wore a pair of workout shorts and a tank top. At one point I got a look at myself in the mirror and realized that I am huge. The thing was there was no anger or self-loathing or self-depreciation there. It was kind of factual. I have gotten large. It brought home the fact that what I've been doing is not working. What have I been doing you ask? Well, I've been going to the gym when I feel like it. I haven't been walking much. I bought a stand-up desk and haven't had it up in probably 3-4 days. I've been eating pretty much whatever is put in front of me and I've let junk food sneak into my diet again. Also, my sleep has been suffering because of all of the above. I don't like it. I don't like it at all. I have also found myself living inside my head far, far too much. So as we walked yesterday we talked about this and it kind of felt like a putting my foot down moment. I'm not emotional about it. I just want things to change. I know how to make them change. I just need to do the things required. No emotion. No self-depreciation. No beating myself up. Just change. I need to make movement and working out a priority that is non-negotiable. I go back to work on Monday which means that I will have to work out in the afternoons on my way home. I just have to do it. I need to determine what exactly my goals are for this life and focus on those. 

I was just listening to a video and had a revelation. I assume things for other people. I see other people who go to the gym regularly and think they must not have to work. I don't know that. They could be even busier than I am and still they make the gym and their health a priority. I need to stop that. 

Time to engage robot mode and just do the things that I know I should be doing. 

02 July 2021


 I'm supposed to be doing at least 3 minutes of gratitude every day this week and I've completely forgotten about it. I have been doing 10 minutes of unentertained time after I meditate but not the gratitude journaling. Oh well, it's Friday. I'll do today and tomorrow and Sunday and it will have to do. Here goes: 

I am grateful for the intelligence to work things through and be able to logic things out. I see so many people who just don't have that ability and it is downright scary. 

I am grateful that the worst of the Covid pandemic is over, at least it appears that way. I'm grateful that everyone we love made it through safely and that we are no healthy and happy. 

I am grateful for summer vacations. Being a teacher is hard, really, really hard and having a few weeks to rest and regroup is not only welcome but compeltely necessary.  

I am grateful for my new standing desk. It is so awesome to not have to sit all the time. I love being able to stand and work, it's awesome. 

I am grateful for my Bella and Lola for as long as I have left with them. They are both aging kind of rapidly and I know we have more time behind us than in front of us, but I am truly grateful for each moment I get with them. 

I am grateful for YNAB. Finding that budgeting software has really helped me with my money handling. I was never good at it but at least now I have a bit of control. 

And that's it for today. That was 5 minutes because my watch doesn't have a 3 minute choice and I'm too lazy to set it myself. Time to move on. 

Self-created issues everywhere

 Had a couple of small issues at school the past couple of weeks and I'm definitely thinking it's my mindset. I need to change that ...