Back to Basics

Every year about this time we start preparing for "Back to School". I consider this the beginning of the real New Year. When you have kids in school, August is more like January. It entails extensive goal and list making. It spurs an organization frenzy. New clothes, shoes and supplies are bought in order to ensure success in all areas of life from personal image to academic standing. Yes, August brings excitement and a renewed sense of purpose for us, a chance to start again on a blank canvas.

With one child in college, my August preparations have lessened quite a bit. College Boy is now responsible for his own personal image and academic standing. Of course, there is the check writing by us that makes this possible plus the friendly and encouraging accountability texts and phone calls to help guide him along the way. I must say, I do not miss the trips to Office Max to fight over supplies.

Son #2 is a senior in high school this year. The Senior Year. The amount of stuff required to be done this year boggles my mind. I know, I've already done this with one kid but really, you cannot compare my boys as they are very different so each Senior Year will be too.

This kid plays sports like I drink water. We are constantly on the go, sitting in bleachers and cheering for the team somewhere in the Texas panhandle. I have no idea what this year will be comprised of so we will just have to be ready for anything.

It's a sweet sorrow really, watching these boys grow into a responsible young men. Sometimes I miss the little voices, the sound of army men battling it out on the coffee table, and the sweet cuddles they so quickly grow out of. I cherish those memories. (I don't miss the work load of those young years though.)

So it's back to basics for me. I'll tell you this: summer is wonderful but it's a terrible influence due to the bad habits I fall in to. Staying up/sleeping late, being lazy and unstructured, having no clue what day of the week it is, putting off chores to sit on the patio reading... Honestly I'm a bit concerned about this, when son #2 leaves home I may become a complete and worthless bum.

The first thing on my TO DO list is try to blog more. It just helps me think better. I don't know why but it does so it's a must. Seeing my thoughts in black and white helps me keep perspective. It gives me a place to vent, praise or just ramble. I am a much better writer than I am verbal communicator. Some of you may not think that's true but only because you know well. I'm much better one on one with a close friend than in a group. I also suck at small talk. I think I need a tele-prompter or an earpiece with a speech writer on the other end. At the very least, note cards. Maybe there's a class I could take "Social Skills for the Socially Inept"?

Well, moving on now. Next on the list is to find a regular Bible Study. I haven't had one in a very long time. Years ago I went to one that was phenomenal, my friend and the leader of it passed away in 2004 and since then I've not had a steady group. I've been a part of several over the years but none have had the impact that one did. It's probably me, in fact I know it is. I miss her, I miss that group and our dynamic.

Part of me has held back from getting that involved again, I can't really explain why though. Some of it is that I still compare that group with any others which is very unfair and all I'm doing is cheating myself out of something that might turn into a good thing. Another road block in this area was disease. Not only did I loose my friend in 2004 but I was also diagnosed with UC that year. This diagnosis stole a lot of my freedom and ability to commit to things. It seemed like the days I couldn't get out of bed were always the days the study group met. I had to guard my health and my time allowing only priorities to lay claim to my energy. I never had enough to fully commit to anything outside of family.

Thankfully, now with my ileostomy I am a much healthier person! Also, my kids are so much more independent now. My schedule is wide open and ready to be planned. One thing chronic illness taught me though is saying yes and no and meaning it. I truly consider what I am willing to commit to and freely say no when I need to. Gone are the days when I worried that saying no would offend someone. If I say yes, I mean it and I will do everything possible to keep that yes. If I say no, it's because I do not feel good about committing to something if there is a possibility I won't be able to follow through. One thing I've implemented is that I no longer apologize for saying no. If I preface my no with a "sorry" then it's because I mean it. "I'm sorry I can't" translates to "Man, I really wish I could but I cannot keep that commitment and I want to be honest with you about it." Saying no is meant to be respectful to the person asking not a personal judgement or insult to them. It's also a way I stay healthy and keep my priorities in check. It's so easy to over commit and that takes a tole on my health faster than anything.

Structure. Man oh man do I ever need structure! I am not one to willingly put structure in my life even though I need it. I tend to be very spontaneous and prone to follow a wild hare but structure keeps that side of me in check. I am a classic starter of projects but not always a finisher. The structure of the school year outlines my days and gives me time brackets in which to function. I can better manage my whims when I know I have a time frame. Structure does not come easy for me and there are times I will fight it like a baby fighting sleep.

Today started day 1 of the Back to Basics campaign. I've done well too. For example, it's 3pm and I'm NOT in my pajamas. I've knocked out my errands and chores for the day as well. I think I'm gonna reward myself with a 4pm Fight Club class. Nick's Fight Club is my latest obsession! It's so stinkin' fun and I absolutely love it! It's the hardest workout I think I've ever done and it burns the calories like none other. I try to go 3-4 times a week. It just makes me happy. So happy.




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