Attack of the monday

Hi there friend! Long time, no see!
That’s on me, and totally my bad. I know I keep saying that life is getting in the way, and it truly is. I guess I didn’t really realize how crazy things would get when everything got back in full swing, but now my normal blog writing time has been interrupted by literally everything else in my life. And things have been very heavy with the passing of RBG and all the political ugliness…to be honest, I’ve wanted nothing to do with social media of any kind lately.

And today, as the title of this post suggests, was such an insanely “Monday” Monday shit show…the morning just made me cranky, the day dragged by, and I forgot my sneakers so I didn’t get to workout after school. The weekends have been flying and I hardly have time to take a breath. This weekend was especially busy with lots of podcast recording going on, and since the recording studio is in our basement, we’re very limited in what we can do while people are recording down there. So right away there goes the majority of my productivity for the day: no vacuuming, no laundry, etc.

On the bright side though, my little dude’s daycare has asked that we start sending him in pull-ups because he’s been really interested in using the potty and has done a great job, but is having a hard time getting his diaper up and down (we use cloth diapers and the snaps are a huge pain in that regard). Can we get him to use the potty at home?! NOPE. But if he’s ready and willing to do it there, maybe that will translate to potty use at home, too. A woman can dream…

So with life being pretty much back to pre QUAR craziness and my world screaming down the track like a runaway freight train, I thought I’d take a minute to talk about what I’m doing for self care. I know, I know, the term “self care” has a really bad reputation and many people think it’s just bubble baths and face masks for days. But truly, when life starts getting overwhelming, it’s past time to take care of yourself. For me, self care is a way of showing myself that I’m just as much of a priority as anything else in my life. I wouldn’t neglect my family, job, or other responsibilities, so why neglect my own damn self?!

Here are some of my most favorite forms of self care:

  • Massage.
    I’ve only gotten a few massages before, and before last month I had always gone to someone I didn’t know and would never see again. Lately my shoulder has really been bothering me, and I always talk about treating myself to a massage but I never do it. Finally I mustered up my courage and messaged my friend Rachel at A Time to Heal Massage in Walton. I’ve known Rachel since we were in high school and we reconnected at the gym a few years ago. She’s incredible AND a business owner, so she has even more of my respect. I messaged her business page for an appointment and let me tell you, it’s something I schedule monthly now. Being able to relax, chat with a friend, and get my aches and pains worked on is something that everyone deserves, and I only wish I had done it sooner. If you’re one who balks at the price of a massage, consider this: you can always get a shorter duration which is cheaper; you’d spend as much eating out twice as you would on a nice massage; if you go to a reputable place you’re being attended to by a trained professional who has spent years honing their craft and consistently work on professional development to stay up-to-date on current techniques; massage can combat numerous health issues including digestive and immune systems maladies.
    If you’re in the Walton area, check out A Time to Heal Massage and book yourself an appointment…you deserve it!
  • Social Media Timer.
    I flip flop between turning the timers on and off, but lately I’ve had one firmly set in stone for Facebook and I’m glad I do. It keeps me sane and keeps me from mindlessly scrolling through the expertly designed algorithm that the app sports. If it weren’t for certain groups I’m part of, I’d probably deactivate my account entirely. Knowing that I only have 30-45 minutes per day keeps me from obsessing over the app, plus I end up doing other, arguably more productive, things. How many times have you been on your phone, only to look up and suddenly realize that an hour (or more) has escaped you as you were being hypnotized by that tiny glowing box? I’m telling you, set a time and hold yourself to it and you’ll be amazed at how much your life is improved.
  • Movement.
    Yeah yeah, I work out. I’m trying to shift my mindset more towards moving my body in a way that celebrates what I can do, rather than as a form of punishment. My Beachbody coach started a Fall in Love group on the Beachbody app and I’m really loving that as well. It helps keep me accountable but also empowers me by connecting me to other like-minded people. I’m finding more and more than when life is crazy, I really need to get my 30 minutes in to show myself clearly that I am still a priority.
  • The Library.
    I love my library. They have continued to offer amazing programming all throughout QUAR, including a virtual book club, Take and Make activities, and STEM and coding programs for kids. Before they shut down back in March they contacted their patrons and told us, “Hey, come and stock up on books since we have no idea how long this is gonna be.” So that’s what I did. They were able to reopen the drop boxes in June and we could put holds on materials to pick up, but it wasn’t until very recently that they opened back up for browsing without an appointment.
    As someone who used to spend hours every week hanging out at the library (my kids LOVE their play area), not being able to go there was like part of my identity being taken away from me. I was finally able to go browse this past Friday, and to be honest, I got choked up. I was just so happy, and at peace, to be back in those book-lined aisles, it felt like going home. And as someone who didn’t have an ideal childhood and hid in the solace of the pages of books, it was even more fulfilling. I felt whole again.
    AND I got to meet the BOMB librarian I connected with through mutual friends and the virtual book clubs and I felt like we’ve known each other for our entire lives. The library is magical.
  • Podcasts.
    A 40 minute commute (one way) is a prime place for podcast consumption, but in the mornings I’ve taken to listening to Yoga Girl Daily’s podcast; they’re updated daily and are around 5 minutes each, and they’re a great way to start the day. She sometimes give you a meditation practice, or something to think about and reflect on, a journaling prompt, anything like that. She has a calming and peaceful voice, and I have to say, I prefer starting my day listening to her than checking the shit show that is social media…
    I also listen to TONS of other podcasts, including ours at PCN as well as My Favorite Murder, An Acquired Taste Podcast, Redhanded, Why Won’t You Date Me?, and This Might Just Get Weird.

What will you do to take care of yourself and show yourself that you’re a priority in the coming weeks? I’d love to know what your tips are, or if you do any of the things I’ve suggested above.

I’m on full-on “house makeover” mode so I’ll be posting updates on that as things get moving along. We’re not doing anything crazy as of yet, just getting our outlets replaced from being two prong to three prong (woo hoo!) and I’ve been looking at different things to do in our kitchen. I want to update the back splash and then pick a paint color from there, but of course the back splash I ADORE is hand-painted at a place in CA and I have to contact their show room for prices…so that’s gonna be way more than we can afford…
But I’m hopeful that we’ll find something similar somewhere. It’s so pretty.
Anyway. Thanks for reading, and I PROMISE to be more consistent in my posts. Talk soon!

The Decor Rabbit Hole

Well hello there, incredible reader. Take a second right now and get some water. Drink it. I’m serious. We could all stand to be a little more hydrated 🙂

Things have been incredibly busy over in my neck of the woods; school started up and the whole family is adjusting to a very new schedule. We had 6 months of free floating so getting back into the swing of things is taking longer than I thought it would, but when I really think about it, what did I expect? I guess I assumed we’d get right back into it in a day or two, but things haven’t been that straightforward; Dan and Lily’s school did a rolling open thing so they only had three grades in the building each day, so she went on Wednesday and then didn’t have to go again for the rest of the week. I had conference days Tuesday and Wednesday and then started with students on Thursday, and poor Felix is not sure why everyone is up so early now but he wants to be in on the action so he’s been waking up between 5:30-6 in the morning. 

All-in-all I think we all had a great first week back, but this upcoming week will be the real test when Lily resumes school every day except Wednesday and also has (virtual) ballet thrown in as well. But ya know what? It’ll be fine. We’ll figure it out and adjust as we go, like we always do. 

If you’ve been a reader for long you know that I am crazy about summer, and everything that goes with it. I love the weather, the food, the activities, it’s all great! But I do have to say, this past weekend was the perfect, quintessential fall weekend. The weather was lovely where it was cool in the morning but warmed up throughout the day, it was gorgeous. We made our way to the farmers’ market and then the park to play with friends on Saturday, and I got a great run in on Sunday and then did lots of meal prep and watched football. Go Saints! This weekend really made me appreciate the shift in seasons as a new opportunity and something to look forward to. While I’ll miss summer and everything about it, would I love it as much if I didn’t get other seasons to enjoy as well? Wow, that’s some heavy thinking right there!

I’ve felt a lot more like an adult lately (which is funny since I’m 34, I have 2 kids, and this is my 13th year of teaching, so I’ve been an adult for a while now…) and I think it’s because I’ve been wanting to do more “adult” things with our house. I’ve never really had “decor” or done anything like that, but lately I’ve been thinking about changing things up and doing some painting in our house and adding in some accessories. It all stems back to a dang candle from Target. Yep. That’s the culprit. See, I was at Target (blissfully) alone and they had a nice display of candles, and the small ones were only $5! Well I started smelling them, as you do, and there was a big one in a gold container and it smelled EXACTLY like my gram who passed when I was in college. Every other gardenia scented candle I’ve ever found was just not quite right, but this was spot on and I bought it. Note: it was not one of the $5 candles…but still worth it. So now I’m digging gold accents in my living room, and I want to paint the walls either a cream or deep blue to match flower pots I bought over the summer (even though I’m guaranteed to kill those plants because I have a brown thumb, but whatever). And if we paint the living room we should really do the bathroom and kitchen, and maybe I’ll get new kitchen towels because mine are red-themed but do I really want that now? And if we’re going to paint the bathroom we should really redo the floor and get a new counter, and maybe replace the medicine cabinet….And down the decor rabbit hole we go! All of this because of a candle!

A blogger I follow, Juli over at Paleomg, hired an online interior designer from Havenly and her house looks AMAZING, but she also has a lot more money and room to work with than what I have, and with two kids do I really want to spend a bunch of cash on redecorating? At this point in my life a white couch is the equivalent of burning a pile of money, right? 

What about you? Do you have a set “style” or “decor” or do you kind of wing it? Should I just tear the bandage off and do it, or ease into it over time? I’d love to know what other functioning adults are doing!

Thanks for checking in with me…we’ll talk next week!

Welcome to September!

Hi there, faithful reader. I’m sorry for the brief hiatus between posts; my family went on a trip to Old Forge with some nerd friends and their families and I was having too much fun on the lake to throw together a post 😉

25+ Inspiring Fall Quotes - Best Quotes and Sayings About Autumn

Can you believe that fall is practically upon us?! My husband, the science teacher and household “fact person” (a nickname handed down from our daughter) would argue that autumn doesn’t officially start until September 22, but there’s no denying that fall is fast approaching. While we were in the Adirondacks the air was crisper, the mornings cooler, and the surrounding hills enshrouded in a dense fog that all screamed AUTUMN! like a flashing billboard. As much as I love summer, I do love the transition from summer to fall. As a kid I was always enthusiastic about going back to school, plus I played field hockey which is a fall sport, so I have very fond memories of this season. Our season always started part way through August and ran through the fall, and I loved being able to watch as the hills slowly transitioned from their emerald green to the fiery oranges, reds, and yellows of autumn. And the smell in the morning, those quiet hours of stillness when the only sound would be the hollow tap of the stick on the ball as it glided over the dewy grass…I still wholeheartedly love summer, but fall is a close runner-up 🙂

Our nerd family stayed in a house on Fourth Lake, just a few miles from Old Forge. We had a playground right next to the house and beach access to the lake, which was wonderful. The owners even had Adirondack chairs arranged for the different houses on the property. You know what an Adirondack chair is, right? This guy:

Cordelia Solid Wood Adirondack Chair

Confession time: I’ve never understood the appeal of these chairs. Like, why do people pay hundreds of dollars for a hard wooden chair that their butts just sink into and they’re so hard to get out of? They’re hard, they look weird, I just never got it.
Until this trip.
It was our last day and I was up early with Felix. He and the other kids were hanging out in the house so I sneaked a last minute trip down to the lake (literally less than 100 yards from our porch). I walked down and tried to perch on the edge of the Adirondack chair to enjoy the view. Again, anger flooded my mind as to WHY people love these things?! I can’t even sit on the edge properly–
And that’s when it hit me. I’m a “percher” always ready to GO GO GO and I’ve been trained so well that I can’t even relax in a dang chair. I definitely thought that with this COVID quarantine stuff I had done better about slowing down in life, but apparently I was wrong. So I sat my butt in the chair and just enjoyed the early morning stillness of the lake.

It gave me some time to reflect on the summer that was behind us, what I had accomplished and what I loved about it, plus some time to look forward to the coming season. School starts up next week which is truly terrifying and I have no idea what to expect, but I always like to take some time to get in the right frame of mind to adjust myself to the new schedule. I tend to get a touch of the “summer time sadness” where I get teary eyed and beg summer not to go, please don’t leave me, please just stay a little bit longer.
So I take a few moments to get my head right about the change in seasons. I’m looking forward to a lot of things in the coming weeks, including:
1. Getting back into some kind of real routine. I love the lazy days of summer and I was still productive, but I am a person who thrives on having X happen on Y date at Z time. I need that stability, and going to work every day provides it.
2. I’m looking forward to getting back into a meal prep routine. I love the challenge and the feeling of accomplishment when it’s done. Feeding myself and my family nutritious food is truly my love language.
3. FOOTBALL. I love it. I’m sure it will be weird with no spectators in the stadiums, and who knows how long the season will last, but I can’t wait. (GO SAINTS!)
4. Apples, apple picking, apple cider donuts, etc etc etc. Pumpkin stuff too, but I’ve never had a pumpkin spice latte so I can’t really speak to those 😉
5. Cooler temperatures for running. My ideal temperature is between 50 and 60 degrees, and fall mornings are ideal for this!
6. Doing some slight house renovations. I don’t want to do anything major, maybe paint the living room and the bathroom, install a new kitchen faucet, and I’d LOVE to redo the counter and floor in our bathroom, but we’ll take all those projects one step at a time.
7. The holidays! I love Halloween, Thanksgiving is my favorite, plus my wedding anniversary is in there as well. Who knows what these celebrations will look like, but I’m looking forward to them regardless.
8. Sweat pants, hoodies, boots, cozy socks, the full fall look!

I guess this is all to say, even though going back to school and the coming year have me feeling anxious in many ways, there are still things to look forward to in this coming season. I hope you can take a minute to jot down a few things you’re looking forward to in the weeks ahead. I’d love to hear what they are!

Thanks for reading, be well, and we’ll talk soon! 🙂

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things…

Yes, I do love bright copper kettles and brown paper packages tied up with strings, but today I thought I would take some time to share some of my favorite websites and products out there. Last week I got a little preachy, the week before that was full of emotion, so let’s do something a little lighthearted, shall we? (Just a note: some of these websites will give me a discount if you shop with my link, and they’ll often give you a discount as well. Just so ya know.)

If you’re unfamiliar with FabFitFun, it’s a subscription box that comes seasonally and has over $200 worth of products and goodies for only $49.99 for the seasonal membership (or you can do $179 up front for the annual membership). The contents of the boxes range from home goods, jewelry, beauty products, make up, accessories, gadgets for literally everything and anything you can think of, etc. I signed up for a seasonal membership back in March when the Rona really hit the fan. One thing that I love about it is that it’s semi-customize-able but you still get some surprises in there, or you can opt not to customize it and just see what they send you! I chose to customize my fall box because one of the bigger ticket options was a fancy curling iron thing which is great, but I keep my hair pretty short so I have no need for something like that. When I was customizing my box there were a few cute bags that I could choose instead of the curling iron; I was torn between two bags and couldn’t decide, so I picked one and then I could add the other one on to my order for only $15! The bags in question are worth considerably more than that, so I see it as a huge steal. I was able to customize three sections of my box (I think you get like, 7-8 items?) and with each custom section you can add on any of the options for a little extra, still way less than what you would pay in a regular store. Once you’ve customized your box there is also an option to add a TON of other things to your order. You can literally get hundreds of additional items if you want, for significantly cheaper than you could get it anywhere else. If you’re looking to try a product or a tool but aren’t jazzed about spending $50 on eye cream, you can get it for as little as $17 from FabFitFun. And just a note, these are not “samples” or smaller sized bottles or tubes, these are regular full-sized products for hella cheap.
When you decide to sign up they’ll have you take a personality quiz to get an idea of what kinds of things you’d prefer in your box. I’m really picky about my jewelry, I don’t wear a ton of makeup, and with short hair I opted out of a lot of hair products, but you might be different and your box will be very different from mine!
You can cancel at any time, and with my link you can save $10 on your first box! So that’s over $200 worth of stuff for only $39.99.

Thrive Market
Without a doubt, Thrive Market is amazing. Obviously, I wouldn’t recommend anything that I didn’t love, but Thrive Market is an amazing resource and it feels less vain to recommend this rather than clothing or other “splurge” items. Thrive Market is very handy if you don’t have access to a lot of specialty items in your regular grocery store, plus the stuff they have is at a huge discount off the usual price. You can shop by specific dietary needs so if you’re vegan, Paleo, keto, raw, or anything in between, they have a specific filter that you can use as you shop so you only see items that fall under those diets.
I don’t know about you, but I like to get in and out of grocery stores as quickly as possible, and I always feel really awkward reading food labels for most things I buy, but I’m also really health conscious and want to make sure that what I’m buying is really what’s best. With Thrive Market you can browse at your leisure and take your time reading the ingredients lists of every item before adding to your cart or moving on to the next thing.
And they have practically anything you could ask for. Supplements, pantry items, specialty condiments, the list is endless, and getting your box in the mail is like Christmas! We got these coconut wraps that were AMAZING with peanut butter and jelly and this Sir Kensington’s “Special Sauce” was great as a spread or for dipping, plus it didn’t have any weird oils or other questionable ingredients in it.
Thrive market offers free shipping on orders over $49 and with this link you get 25% off your first order!

Beachbody on Demand (BOD)
I’ve talked a little bit before about my experiences with Beachbody, but just to recap: QUAR made all the gyms close and I need someone yelling at/encouraging me as much as possible, so following a “real time” program on BOD worked really well for my personality. There are over a dozen trainers with hundreds and hundreds of workouts and offerings for every ability level.
I have to admit, I was kind of a jerk when I first signed up because I kept thinking Oh I’m in pretty good shape, I do CrossFit and run, what it a workout video gonna do for me?! It kicked my ass, friends. I started with 21 Day Fix Real Time and it
I can back squat 200 pounds but you better believe there were moves in that program where 6 pound weights felt barely manageable.
It’s only $99 per year which is WAY cheaper than any gym membership you’ll find, and you can workout anywhere. If you get the BOD app on your phone you can even download workouts to have them when you can’t stream them from the website.
Next week we’re going to the Adirondacks for the week and I have no idea what service will be like, so I plan on downloading a few workouts that don’t need equipment so that I can still work on my fitness goals while away for a while.
If you’ve been reading my blog for long or if you follow me on any social media you know, I love talking about health, wellness, and fitness. Working out is one of my favorite things to do. I look forward to seeing what I can accomplish and how I can become stronger, both physically and mentally. It was a no-brainer, then, when I finally took the leap and became an Independent Team Beachbody Coach! Check out my cute lil website here 😉
I’m so excited to finally put my money where my mouth is, so to speak, and continue working out like I always do, but maybe I can help some people find their fitness passion as well. If you’re interested at all in learning more about BOD or anything Beachbody related, just let me know!

That’s it for me for this week. Thanks for reading, and be well!

Focusing on What You Can Control

Hi there! Before I launch into my topic for today’s blog post I just want to say thank you to everyone who read and reacted to my last blog post. I got wonderful feedback and I’m glad my thoughts resonated with so many people. So, thanks y’all! I’m still feeling nervous about going back so I’m focusing a lot on what my curriculum will look like come September. I’ll only have my students in-person 2 days and then we’ll be remote for the other days, so I need to find a way to adapt my stuff to make that possible. I’ll be focusing a lot on that for the remainder of the summer (can you believe summer is almost over?!) and that brings us to something I’ve been thinking about lately: focusing on what we can control when the world is crazy.
I listened to a podcast the other day by Autumn Calabrese, a Beachbody trainer, where she talked about taking control of your life, especially during these COVID times. It makes a lot of sense: there are things beyond your control right now and that makes you feel uncomfortable, so as a coping strategy you can become laser-focused in other areas of your life that you can control. While this is a good coping skill for some, for others this can become a slippery slope towards disordered thinking and behaviors (I’m thinking specifically of a time when I was a teen and I couldn’t control what was happening in my life except for food so hellooooooo dabbling with an eating disorder…don’t do that).

So what does this look like? You’re an adult, you still have a lot of control in your life. You can control when you go to bed, what you eat, whether you move your body or not, how much Netflix you binge, etc. The thing about these choices and this control, however, is that while you have the choice and control, you also have to accept the consequences of your choices. Stayed up all night eating ice cream and scrolling on your phone? Hate to break it to you, but you’re gonna feel like shit the next day. I don’t want to sound preachy but you know this is true (at least for most people). I know what you’re probably thinking: Ok so then what do you want me to do, eat healthy food, exercise, and get enough sleep?!
YUP. That’s exactly what I’m getting at. See, you have the power to control the aspects of your life that will make you feel your worst, or your best. For me, I feel my best when I’ve moved my body in a way that makes me feel good, when I’ve eaten nourishing foods, and when I’ve gotten enough sleep. Lord above, when I get less than 7 hours of sleep I’m truly a nightmare.

Let’s talk about these three things independently:
Sleep. A lot of really important stuff happens when you sleep. When we were kids, this was literally the time we would grow. Now as adults, this is the prime time for our bodies to heal and recover, both physically and mentally, plus getting adequate sleep is critical for a healthy immune system which is key right now. You should be striving for 7-8 hours of sleep at the very least. This can be really hard, especially if you have kids. I know for me personally, the only time I get with Dan during the school year is after the kids go to bed, so I don’t want to be hustling off to sleep at 9pm.
If going to bed early isn’t your jam, at least consider being screen-free for the 30 minutes leading up to bed time. Study after study shows that blue light from phones, TVs, and computers disrupts our circadian rhythm and makes it more difficult to fall asleep and to get the deep, restorative sleep that we so desperately need. Try reading a book or magazine before bed instead, or write in a journal to reflect on your day and set intentions for the next day.

Exercise. Maybe part of the issue of going to bed early is that you’re not as tired as you used to be. Seems silly, but if you used to frequent the gym or get a lot of physical activity but have found yourself lacking in that department as of late, you might not feel as tired at bed time as you used to. Back when I was doing lots of heavy lifting and training for a half marathon I was infamous for zonking out on the couch before my kids were even in bed.
And while gyms (at least in NY) may still be closed, you can move your body to both promote better sleep and strive towards a healthier version of yourself. Exercising, or even doing something as simple as going for a walk, not only gets you active and moving, it helps improve your cardiovascular health and makes your body secrete all kinds of feel good hormones that will make you feel awesome when you’re done.
And if you’re looking for a more structured way to work out, there are all kinds of programs out there from companies like Beachbody and many others. Back during pre-QUAR times I found that I was most successful when I worked out in a class setting with other people suffering doing the workout with me; I thrived on having people there to hold me accountable and being able to cheer each other on. I missed that a lot once gyms closed, and while working out to a prerecorded class isn’t exactly the same thing, I have found that I enjoy seeing other humans, it helps keep me focused, and the person leading the class has a lot of great quotes to keep you motivated.
You have the choice to move your body or not, you have control over how you feel at the end of the day. I know a lot of people struggle with finding the time to get a workout in, and I get that. I have to schedule it as part of my day. But here’s how I want to frame this for you: would you rather carve out 30 minutes a day for yourself and your health now, or would you rather need to make appointments with cardiologists and other specialists down the road for health issues that could have been prevented by being more active and taking better care of yourself?
You will never own anything as long as you have your body; treat it well so it lasts you a long time!

Food. Ah food. I love food. I love healthy food, and I love food that I know really isn’t the best for me. The thing is, I get the opportunity to make a conscious choice, every single day, of how I want to fuel my body. And I’ll tell you, I do allow myself some of those less healthy options (I hate calling them “treats” because I’m not a hecking dog and I don’t like calling it “cheating” because that just makes it seem…bad in some way. Having an ice cream or fries from time to time does not make you a bad person! And terms like “good” food and “bad” food can go straight to hell. No food is bad). I try to listen to my body and hear what it needs from me, not what it wants. Yes, I want chocolate every day, but my body doesn’t need it. My body needs veggies and water and the occasional bit of chocolate is ok too.
I have a long history of disordered thinking and eating, so making conscious choices about food is kind of a paradox for me; while having the choice can sometimes be empowering and liberating, it can also be debilitating and I have to be careful not to let one special “sometimes” item become meals and meals of shitty food or super restrict myself as a form of punishment. It’s a balancing act that I’m still working on, but what I can tell you for sure it that I feel my best when I eat a balanced diet and hydrate. I could drink iced coffee all day every day but damn, my head would hurt after a while, so I have to balance my coffee with some water. I always have multiple drinks with me, it’s wild.
I find that meal prep has helped me a lot with making healthier choices when it comes to food. If I know I have something healthy already made up and all I need to do is heat and eat, the allure of that sodium laden flavor bomb just isn’t as strong…plus it gives me an opportunity to really think, to truly make the choice, and I’ll usually choose the healthier thing. And fun fact about a diet rich in healthy foods and fiber: it will improve your digestion, which will help you sleep better! Whaaaaaat?!
For me food and exercise are very closely linked, and the benefits of both really are two sides of the same coin. You can exercise all damn day but if you’re still eating like a raccoon in a dumpster, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Every single food you consume is within your control and it’s a choice that you make.

Pin on ❣ F I T S P I R A T I O N A L ❣

I know, for a lot of people these three things can really be a struggle. My husband doesn’t love eating healthy foods or exercising the way that I do, but here’s the thing: he’s an adult and he knows what he needs to do. Does this mean he eats perfectly every day or gets a great workout in all the time? No. But he knows these things are within his realm of control and he can make the choice. He does his best to be consistent, and consistency will lead to more benefits than not trying at all. During this time of free-falling and not knowing what’s happening in the world at a given moment, these are the tenants we can cling to.

Now, with all this being said, please know that I am not perfect in adhering to my own advice. This past weekend we did a quick trip to Maine to drop my daughter off with her grandparents and you’d better believe I enjoyed ice cream, lobster, the most amazing chocolate raspberry croissant, and fancy chocolates. But I also drank a lot of water, packed a salad for the trip, ordered a breakfast bowl to go with the croissant, and had a burrito bowl instead of in a proper tortilla. Was everything perfect? No, not at all. But I did my best and made sure to really enjoy these foods that I’d never be able to get any other time. And that ice cream…I’ve been dreaming of that particular flavor of ice cream FOR A YEAR and I’ve only ever seen it at one place in Maine. It’s called chocolate cookie monster and omg it’s amaaaaazzzzinnnngggg.
I know that personally, once school things start back up again I’ll feel incredibly stressed and overwhelmed by everything that we’ll be dealing with, but I know that if I focus on what I can control rather than what I can’t, I’ll be in a much better place mentally.

Thanks for tuning in again! Talk soon 🙂

An Open Letter from a Teacher

Hi friends! Thanks for joining me again. I’ve had some things on my mind as of late, what with the debate about schools reopening in full swing, and as a teacher I obviously have a lot of thoughts about this. I thought I would air it all out here. You’re brave if you continue reading.
First of all, the thought that teachers are “lazy” for being apprehensive about going back to school in the fall is, frankly, insulting. If you ask a teacher whether they would return to in-person teaching or continue with remote learning, I guarantee that 9 out of 10 of them will beg to get back in the classroom.

I knew I wanted to be a teacher when I was in 9th grade. I helped a friend study for Earth Science exams and hey, I was pretty good at explaining the content in a different, easier to understand, way. After 10th grade English I knew for sure, I wanted to be a high school English teacher. And so that’s what I did. Never changed my major, never hesitated, never waivered. I currently teach 11th and 12th grade English.
I’ve always loved it. That’s not to say that there weren’t days when I cried or when I thought I was shit at this and I was some kind of impostor. But I’ve always had a passion about education and giving every single student the opportunity to rise from where they are now and access the rest of the world, to unlock their true potential and achieve all their dreams.

There are some things you need to know about me as a teacher:
-I call my students my “kids” because I don’t see them as temporary blips on the radar of my life. I love them like I would love my own children. Some of them need that love more than others, but they all get it.
-I am that teacher who worries about her kids when the school day is over.
-I’ve cried, so many times, over my kids. I’ve cried in frustration because they let me down, I’ve cried the deep agonizing tears for students taken from this world far too soon, I’ve cried tears of happiness and triumph at seeing my kids succeed, and I’ve cried tears of understanding and commiseration when they needed a shoulder to cry on (and with).
-I buy supplies for my room without a second thought. I spend my own money to make my room an interesting and welcoming place for all.
-I feed my kids. I pay for that too. I am that video on Facebook of the teacher who says, “Why aren’t you eating? You don’t have lunch? Here, eat this banana. I won’t eat it. Have these bars too.” I always try to have granola bars and other snacks for any kids who might want something. You wouldn’t believe how many kids need that.
-I give my kids rides to school if they need it. I take them from school to the gym we both frequent. I’ve given rides to prom before. Some of them have my phone number and we keep in touch.
-I read their essays, even the ones not assigned in my class. I read their college essays, their AP English essays, hell I even read their essays once they’re in college. I love it. They trust me with their words and at the end of the day, all we have are our words.
-As much as I may help them, they do the same for me. My first year at my current school, I had a group of students who would go to the cafeteria and get me a stromboli every Wednesday because I was very pregnant and didn’t want to waddle down there myself. Some of my kids came to my baby shower for my son, they offer to babysit, they randomly message me or tag me in posts to show their appreciation.

I know, I’ve painted a very glowing portrait of myself as an educator. What I hope this shows you is not only my dedication to my kids, but also my love of my profession. I hated remote teaching. I hated not getting to check in with my kids, ask them about their dogs or their scholarship application or their recent trip to visit family. I’m at my best when I’m in my classroom. All the same, I’m very scared about going back to work next month. I want to, desperately, but only if it’s safe. And while I love my job so much and it’s a huge part of my identity, I don’t know that I’m willing to die for it. I know, a lot of people who get COVID don’t die, but some do, and a lot of them are left with symptoms for who knows how long. One of the lasting effects is decreased lung capacity, up to 30-40%. All of my “hobbies” include physical activity…how can I run or work out with 30-40% less lung function? So while yes, I probably won’t die of it, what about my quality of life? Isn’t that important? And some people are sick and hospitalized for months, entire seasons of their lives. I don’t want to miss that much of my life! Why are teachers expected just to sacrifice, sacrifice, SACRIFICE, and the moment we stand up and say Hey, that’s enough, we’re somehow labeled as being lazy and we have to choose between our paychecks and our lives. No one should have to make that choice.

I have some other very real questions and concerns. If I, or someone in my household, come in contact with a person with COVID and we have to self-isolate for 2 weeks, does that take away from our sick days? Although I’ve been teaching for a while, most of my sick days got used for my maternity leaves (ah yes, the perks of being a female in a job that has no maternity leave…). What if that happens multiple times? Dan is also a teacher so between the two of us, odds are pretty good we’ll come in contact with someone who has COVID. Between this and normal illnesses, our sick days are pretty much gone, and sick days are a big incentive once we get to be retirement age (the district basically buys back any unused sick days once we get over like, 220 or something like that). So if we burn through them all, that puts us at a huge disadvantage going forward.
If I get it and have to be hospitalized, who will help my family? They’ll have to be quarantined. Who picks up the slack? Who will make sure they don’t just eat cereal for every meal? 😉
In the event that someone at my school gets it and dies, will there be sub coverage to attend the funeral?

I’m not saying I have all the answers, because I don’t. I don’t want to do remote learning again, but I worry about the safety of my kids and my colleagues. I worry about all the families. I worry about the people who typically rely on school as a form of “daycare” for their kids so they can work, and I think it’s unfair that they have to make that choice as well. The whole scenario is a nightmare.
And I’m aware that teachers aren’t the only profession in this kind of bind. But I’m a teacher, and teachers and schools have been at the heart of a lot of ridicule and skepticism lately, and I needed to get my concerns out. I need people to know, it’s bullshit that many of us are being advised to update our life insurance policies and wills in the event that we die from this.
There are some jobs where death is an inherent risk, but teaching shouldn’t be one of them.