Sunday, January 13, 2013

The First Week Back

We started back to school on January 7th.  All in all, it was a decent week.  Our lessons were completed, meals were made, some housecleaning was accomplished.  New read alouds were started and old ones were picked up without feeling the gap hardly at all.  Narration is truly and amazing, simple, and effective tool for creating lasting memories!  I made a few small changes to our schedule, to give recitation a firm place in the morning and to order the early afternoon a little better.  I wanted to make sure we all had some time for quiet activity, our afternoon family read aloud, a little more reading practice for Gregory and a read aloud for the boys, and some time for a little more school work.

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!


  1. That is such a great quote! I have recently had a similar realization, and I only have the excuse of ONE child. I was trying to get out running each morning, which ended up being just one more thing to try to juggle hours of baby-duty with Nathan for and sort of fell by the wayside. Then I decided to do some strength training fitness videos, and as much as I enjoyed it, even after sticking with it for a couple of weeks, my arms were sore each time I picked up Nell, and my legs were tired going up and down the stairs all day for diaper changes etc. In the end I realized that working out can't be prioritized over being able to carry out my daily activities with sufficient energy.

    1. It is hard to figure out how to manage it all - it seems like there is such a drumbeat of "exercise! exercise! exercise!" going on, but yet there's only so much time and energy to go around! Sure, exercising an appropriate amount can help me feel more energetic, but finding that right amount seems hard. And it also seems like a lot less than it should be - either by the standards of the heath gurus or my own ideas of what I should be capable of doing.