New habits

I vaguely recall saying that this week was supposed to be back to normal.  If that’s the case, I’m changing normal, setting new priorities, and holding myself accountable.  I am writing this on Sunday afternoon, just after two o’clock.  We have just arrived home from church.  In this case, Sunday School, church, lunch and the grocery store.  We need to leave in about two hours to head back to church. And in that case, mass, youth mission trip meeting and a new class about theology.  

For the most part, I blog about things happening in my life for a few reasons:  1) to keep a record of what this chapter of life looks like 2) to communicate to my friends and family (and strangers) the details of my life 3) to reflect and live with purpose and sometimes even 4) to entertain my small (but growing!) blog audience.  I think this post is mostly to record my reflections and also to share what I’ve learned and how I’m making adjustments.

Today is reminding me how much I crave a quiet and peaceful Sunday.  I will promise again to write soon about the two churches I attend, but for now you should just remember that I do attend two churches.  We are part of a Sunday school class at one church, attend services at both churches, and are considering attending an additional class on Sunday nights.  Sometimes that seems like a lot of church.  Honestly, it’s tempting to talk ourselves out of one or the other at times.  Especially on a day like today, with only a little down time at home before it’s time to go back again.  Which is exactly why I want Sundays reserved for the Lord…no grocery shopping, no lesson planning or goal writing, no errands or major cleaning.  When I have the mindset of Sunday being a day for the Lord, it’s not nearly as tempting skip a class or a service or a meeting.

To understand how I got to where I am on this particular Sunday, we’ll have to back up a few days.  I really did work my tail off the week before last on that silly half million dollars thing.  So I went into this week intending pretending to be back in a normal routine.  And then, I went right ahead and scheduled two events for Tuesday after work, one for Wednesday after work, at home Thursday night but cooked dinner for the whole family plus the mother-in-law, and one more event for Friday after work.  Oh yeah, and somewhere in there I stayed up until 2am because I thought I should get some additional work done.  I totally enjoyed my week—don’t get me wrong.  I attended mass in support of a former co-worker, I enjoyed chopsticks and fellowship, I chatted and ate with a new friend, I sat at the table with a bunch of Zerbe men and a grandma, and I snuggled a niece.  And that 2am night?  I didn’t really start working until after midnight, because I chatted with my husband about lots of heavy stuff until then.  So really, tons of fun stuff…just not so much a normal routine again.

Which led to yesterday– after sleeping about 11 hours on Friday night, I still felt wiped out on Saturday.  I managed to take several naps throughout the day (in between loads of laundry, of course) and even went to bed before 11pm.  And that’s all I did.  No grocery shopping, housecleaning, lesson planning, goal writing etc.  Just recovering.   Well, the laundry was no small task, it was simply the only task.
So Sunday became the grocery store day, and the lesson plan and goal writing day—with a dose of temptation to skip mass and theology class tonight.  But I’m not going to do it.  We’re pushing through the day, accomplishing the necessary tasks, and getting a good (not guilty feeling) start to the week.

And my commitments to this week ahead?
-Be in bed every night by 9pm. The goal of being in bed by 9pm makes it pretty likely that I’ll meet my actual goal of being asleep by 10pm.
-Wake up every morning at 5am. I do enjoy having a quiet morning before I start my day.  Waking at 5am means I can take the first shower, I have time for breakfast and time to pack lunch.  I also have time to empty the dishwasher and fold laundry.  I can also leave early for work.
-Go to the gym 4 times. It has to be scheduled or it doesn’t happen.  Between 5 different school schedules, sharing a car with my husband and adding in extra activities it has taken this long into a new school year to feel like I can set a realistic work-out schedule.  This week it seems possible to go Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday and Saturday.
-Eat a healthy breakfast and pack a healthy lunch each day. Historically, I eat healthier when I’m working out.  There’s just something about sweating on an elliptical for an hour and then eating McDonald’s that just doesn’t feel right.  Plus, I cringe to think about number (or lack) of servings of fruits and vegetables I had last week.
-Leave work at 4pm each day.  This might be tricky, but it’s possible.  I’ve seen it done!  I have more planning time than any public school teacher I know.  But, I also do more individualizing than any public school teacher I know.  And still, there is always more that can be done.  This week, I am going to work hard to use my time wisely.  I will likely be at work early some mornings and I am willing to work through my lunch break in order to complete my tasks and be ready to leave at 4pm.  At some point, (soon I hope!) this will be necessary in order to be a good mom to the kids we want to adopt.  Now is as good a time as any to practice for that day.
-Spend every evening at home.  This is not a realistic expectation for every week, but it’s one I am committed to this week.  After being gone nearly every night for the past two weeks, I know I need to devote some time to home.  I also am looking ahead to the following week when I’ll have my out-of-state siblings in town and will want to be free to spend my evenings with them.

And there you have it.  I’m excited about the commitments I’m making.  I’m hopeful to have some writing time during the week, but I certainly look forward to writing about the restful Sunday I will be enjoying just one week from today.

Edited to add:  I actually wrote this post on Sunday afternoon.  I am actually posting it on Sunday night.  Yes, it is past 9pm.  Yes, I know that was one of my new habits for the week.  However, I did finish all my LLH paperwork and I didn’t play on the internet all day.  AND, I’m fairly sure I’ll be asleep by 10ish.


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