At this point, our afternoon schedule looks as follows:
1:00 pm - Quiet time - we listen to an audiobook (currently Heidi) and we do quiet play or handicrafts
1:20 pm - Family read aloud in US History. We just started Across Five Aprils.
1:40 pm - Reading practice for Gregory (7), then I read to the boys. Emma (10) does either Greek or Latin.
2:00 pm - Mon: Faith and Life online (Emma), Play (Boys) Tues: Science - chemistry (mainly for Emma, but the boys often watch and join in) Wed: Programming with my husband (Emma), Science for the boys (We're working our way through A Drop of Water, doing most of the experiments) Thurs: Science (Emma), Faith and Life online (Gregory) Friday: Weekly meeting (Emma), Play (boys)
We finish sometime between 2:30 and 3:00, and so far this is all going well. What is not going well is, well, me. I started exercising in the morning during our Christmas break, and during break that was great. I was invigorated by the twenty minutes I was out there, running and walking, and I had figured out how to disappear for that amount of time and still have it work for rest of the family. But then once I started school up again, I found that my body couldn't handle the exercise and the demands of my daily schedule. My daily step count went from approximately 11,000 on Monday to 3,000 on Thursday, as I barely limped along, trying to get done the school work and the bare minimum around the house. It was frustrating and disappointing, and I already miss the running. But it is more important that I am functional through the rest of my day than for me to be out running for 20 minutes, as much as I like to run and would like to run in a 5K this spring. But I think my hip and back pain is a strong sign that my body isn't capable of doing all that. I am prone to hip pain, and I can add running (when combined to my regularly life) to the list of things that cause it, along with wearing pants (weird, I know), kneeling for more than a couple minutes, and carrying kids on my hip. It makes me feel old, running into these physical limitations like this. I keep whining in my mind, "but it isn't like I'm trying to train for a marathon! It isn't like want to climb Mt. Everest! (or even Mt. Rainier!) Why can't I do this?" Yesterday I read Jennifer's recent post, and this part in particular helped me to think about the whole situation in a new light. Here's the quote:
I’m not immune to the occasional pang of “I’m getting old!” thoughts that probably plague most citizens of our youth-obsessed society. MTV culture tries to paint aging — or illness, or disability, or any condition other than being young and healthy — as a great limiting of options. Alas, you can no longer [insert description of supposedly glamorous activity]. That’s for people who are [younger / healthier / prettier / wealthier] than you are. But the truth, which I understand with such great clarity after all I’ve been through in the past week, is that if your plans were not love-driven in the first place, then they were the kind of stupid, time-wasting plans that people shake their fists and rue through tears on their deathbeds; and if they were love-driven, then there are no worldly circumstances that could prevent you from executing them, even if the details change a bit.And this made me think more about my goal. Do I really want to run a 5K (or any other arbitrary distance in an organized event) or am I trying to build and maintain some level of physical fitness so I can enjoy the outdoors with my family? Which one of those goals is love-driven, and which one is the stupid, time-wasting plan I'm likely to shake my fist at? I think the answer is pretty obvious!
To this end, I've decided to try something new. I'm still going to go out when I was running, but this time I'll walk and I'll invite anyone in the family to join me. I expect some mornings I won't have much company, but I think on others I will have lots. And I think on those mornings I won't go as far or as fast, but that's ok too. We'll be together, our bodies will be moving, and we'll get the chance to experience the frosty mornings together. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go make a bunch of fleece neck warmers!