Wednesday, October 22, 2008

'Tis the Season


Today I was thinking about the rhythm of our days amidst differing seasons. I don't necessarily mean the seasons of the year, but that has something to do with it as well. I'm thinking about the seasons of our lives: those times that ebb and flow, the waves that you ride, and the storms you weather.

We weathered a storm earlier this year when Paul lost his job and we had, thankfully only a few, months of unemployment. But we rode that wave and have managed to make it to this new part of the river, as it were, where things are calm, but the scenery is different; not bad, mind you, just different.

I keep later hours these days. At first I thought it was because Paul didn't get home until midnight, but that's not the only reason I find myself staying up. First of all, my children are in a new season. They no longer need me constantly and enjoy their downtime from their schoolwork as much as I enjoy my downtime too. Given that Paul is not here for supper, our dinners are light and often are self-made by each daughter. Sometimes we sit down together, but we often just grab what we want when we are hungry. This is really working for us and I don't feel badly about it, because we all eat our big meal together at lunchtime.

I think this eating schedule has its benefits too. The larger meal in the middle of the day has been recommended by dietitians for years. I think this, combined with my regular workouts is giving me more energy, which is why I can manage to stay up as late as I do.

I get up between 6:45 a.m. and 7:30 most days, depending on what workout I'm going to do. I have a great deal of variety, because I'm interested in keeping with this lifestyle and don't want to get bored. Days that I get up at 6:45 are the days that I'm doing weight resistance with the PBS show, Body Electric that comes on at 7:00 locally. I LOVE this show and I hope when I'm 60 I can look as amazing as Margaret Richard does. More than looking great, though, is the idea that I will maintain strong bones and be able to continue to move throughout my lifetime.

Usually on weight resistance days, I'll also do about a half hour of yoga. The next day will be a cardio day and I'll walk/run, do Pilates, or swim. I realize that classic Pilates is not necessarily cardio, but the dvd I have, called Progressive Pilates for Weight Loss combines dance with Pilates to get that heart rate up there! Some days I'll do a whole hour of yoga and two days I take off - usually Friday and Sunday.

I've lost a little weight, but not a lot. I don't need to lose much anyway - maybe 8 lb or so, but more importantly, I'm building muscle (love that!) and have lost 1 1/4 in around my waist.

Beyond having weight loss goals, I enjoy overall fitness goals as well. I think you naturally begin to formulate goals once you get a feel for where your baseline is. So, for example, I now have a goal to be able to run my whole shorter route without walking in between, I have the goal of 6 laps in the pool without stopping and resting, and I have the goal of a complete standing and seated forward bend in yoga. I don't have a deadline for myself to reach these goals, but I see them happening slowly with each workout.

So, in this season, my workouts happen usually first thing in the morning. Then it is school with the girls until noon. Then I put together lunch and we have lunchtime until about 1:30 or 2:00. From 2:00 to 3:00 or 3:30 or sometimes even 4:00 is the rest of our school day. Our evenings are full of walking our dog, Lucy, reading, playing around online (I'm new to Facebook and am having too much fun playing around over there!), watching a show sometimes and lots and lots of knitting for Christmas!! These activities take me into the wee hours, it seems. We have dinner every Wed. with my mom and go and hang out every Sunday evening with Paul's. A couple of once-a-month school activities with friends, and church at the house church next door every Sunday rounds out the rhythms of this season.

There are a few things I would change: more family close by, hours that Paul enjoyed more, a little more money in the bank to take a long-overdue vacation, but for the most part I am content in this season. And it is a season; I know that. It could all change tomorrow, but this is where we are today.

Seasons: Four in Line by John Newcomb
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