Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Thank you in advance, Dr. Goodall.

The link above is an amazing interview that I think anyone could enjoy and find interesting!  I can't wait to have Jillian listen to it, as I regret not having learned more about Dr. Jane Goodall over the years.  I've always been familiar with her and her work, but somehow, this interview really struck a chord with me - her wisdom, patience, ability to tell a story, and her peaceful being, really...I feel better just having listened to her speak.

To be honest (because, have I ever not overshared my feelings on something?), the latter portion of this interview made me a little teary-eyed.  Not gonna lie, I was already, randomly feeling a bit emotional today, but I think part of it was that I found myself comforted by the fact that I was listening to someone that in many ways, reminded me of Jillian.  And because of that, it seems maybe she can identify with and learn from Goodall and her "Roots and Shoots" program for kids.

Jillian has a pretty consistent concern for, and desire to, change worldly issues.  I've seen how frustrating and overwhelming it can be for Jillian - to feel like an outsider, not always knowing how to communicate these concerns of justice and purpose that seem so much bigger than herself.  Now, I can share with her a person and their organization that will give her more tools and opportunities to confidently go forward on the path she chooses, feeling knowledgeable, empowered, and I hope, always at peace with her path in life.  

Thank you, Dr. Jane Goodall, for being the amazing person you are, doing the amazing things you've done and continue to do, and making it possible for our youth to learn from you and continue your work.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

A Sad Reality.

Upon telling Jillian goodnight a bit ago...the following conversation:

J:  Mommy?  I'm really jumpy at night...I'm afraid our house will catch on fire.  That's why I have all of my stuffed animals right here next to me.  So that if we have to get out really fast, they'll be easy to grab.

Me:  Munchkin, I don't think you have anything to worry about.  I understand that stuff like that can be scary, since it's sometimes unpredictable, but I think it's going to be fine.

J:  I know, I just really worry that something will happen.

Me:  I understand.  I think I remember having similar fears and concerns.

J:  Really?  I think I just get afraid because of the fire drills and lock-down drills at school...Lock-downs scare me the most, because you can usually put out a fire.  But with lock-downs, the person is out to get you.  And won't go away.

. . . 

J:  Were you scared during fire drills and lock-downs?

Me:  Well, we actually never had lock-downs.

J:  Really?  You DIDN'T?!

Me:  No...fortunately, that kind of thing just wasn't as big of a concern as it is now...

J:  Yeah, I worry that the bad guy will come in, and tell the principal to announce that we're just having a lock-down drill.  And that then the bad guy will be able to do whatever he wants.  So a lot of times, the drills happen when we're in P.E.  And we'll all be huddled in the gym, but like, some kids try to start to talk and goof off a little - and I'm always like, 'shut UP! This could be real.'"

Me:  I honestly had never even thought about that scenario . . .

Friday, February 5, 2016

When 100 Years Old Doesn't Look Like You Would Expect...

100th Day of School.  The students were challenged to "dress like you're 100 years old."  Only, something in my weird, creative brain was totally turned off by what I heard my son describe to me when the "assignment" came home:  "Everyone sprays their hair gray or white, and people dress old and walk with canes..."  Something prompted me to instead ponder with Everett the following questions:  "Hey, you're 100 years old - you're probably pretty healthy...what does that look like?  What kinds of things have kept you living till 100?"
That's right.  This poor kid is stuck with a mom that would rather think outside box than go with the status quo of dressing "old."  But y'all - let me clarify:  I'm not against looking "old."  In fact, I would rather look "old," than have surgeries to look "young."  I've never been one to try to "reverse the aging process," or to deny how old I am (35).  

Everett pretending to drink his "Green Juice," with an ingredient label that included (going off of memory here):  water, spinach, kale, apples, bananas, orange juice, ground flax seed, chia seeds, and cinnamon.  I normally add other ingredients to our Green Juice, but that was all I could fit on there. :)

I guess what I have learned over the last few years - especially since the kids have been in elementary school - is that I tend to want to go against the grain . . . and this inclination seems to be stronger and more purposeful when it involves our kids and them participating in things the way everyone else does them.  Stuff that would otherwise be pretty innocuous, black and white issues.  I've realized that I do not like being told how something is going to be, or how something just "is."  The reality is, I'm discovering why my kids seem to argue so much.  With everything.  Because, here I am, questioning something their school has pumped up and encouraged the kids to do.  I just don't like the notion of them following the masses because everyone assumes that's how it is.
Everett "Healthy at 100" - I stuck a label on the front of his shirt that says, "Want to be Healthy at 100?  Ask me how!!!"  If this were my first child, the label would no longer exist...she would definitely agree with the premise, but would likely prefer to not be approached by people regarding the topic.  Maybe that assumption is inaccurate, and she would argue otherwise, but regardless of how that would play out, I think it's safe to say that for our second child, he's more than happy to share this perspective with others!

Staying active and eating healthy can keep you feeling and looking young!  If only I could have also had him carry a little yoga mat and a sudoku book...there are definitely other factors that help one to stay young in mind and in body!

Maybe it's me trying to "train" Jillian and Everett to think for themselves.  Maybe it's the fact that being a Unitarian vegan has helped me learn that, "hey - you can think outside of the box AND be okay."  Because really, you can be MORE than okay.  You can be you.  You don't have to settle for "okay," for the norm, for the unquestioned, for the more traveled path.  And sometimes, taking that less-traveled path can be more challenging.  Sometimes, it's met with questions and obstacles along the way.  But as I imagine walking through this labyrinth of life choices and experiences, I envision little side roads that branch off from things that only appear to be walls along the way.  They branch off in a fashion similar to how I imagine neurons and dendrites within the brain.  (I know just about enough of that topic to know that providing an interesting link would be better than pretending to know more than I do.)
And that can't be a bad thing, right?  New neuron paths and dendrites are a good thing!

"Ask me how I'm so healthy at 100!"
Of course, it helps that Everett is willing and excited to do something unique that will allow/require him to explain himself.  For me, I just appreciate these little opportunities to create moments of conversation that might encourage development in the thought process.  I'm also thankful for the fact that Everett is in a school, with a teacher, that will embrace differences brought to the classroom.  Maybe she'll even encourage him to share the reasoning behind his noticeably different expression of what 100 years old looks like.  Even if she doesn't, I'm happy knowing that I've provided my child with a little bit of practice in being different, and owning those differences - whether they be physical, mental, spiritual, or otherwise.  These experiences in school and in childhood are what prepares us for a lifetime - of an unknown number of years - of accepting the challenge of learning who we are and taking that winding road of twists and turns that gradually shapes us and reshapes us into a constantly converting being, changed from both the inside and out, into something new each day, each hour, each minute.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

2016: Mexico and Slimming Down. In reverse order.

A few days ago, I posted on Facebook about my need for accountability.  Like, to the degree of probably being obnoxious, and I would be surprised if there weren't a few people who have "unfollowed" me/hidden my posts.  Either because of posting about workouts...or veganism...or being a Unitarian...or craft stuff.  Whatever, the case, I'm okay with that.  I'll own it.  I post a lot.  I write a lot within those sometimes too frequent posts.  It's just me, and I make no apologies for striving to keep it real!  

Alright, so back to the reason I REALLY need some accountability.  The company that Richard works for set some pretty high goals last year, but the heads of the company also made the promise that if all the goals were met, everyone in the company (plus significant other) would be treated to a trip to Mexico...specifically, Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya​ (flight, all-inclusive stay, etc.).  Both Richard and I kind of tried to not think too much about the trip or talk about it, but I definitely knew that he was working his tail off to do his part in making it happen.  Well, we found out this past week that the company met all the goals!  So Richard and I will both get to experience Mexico for the first time in April!  WOOHOO!!!

Buuuuuttttt, I've definitely got to slim down.  Not because I care what annnnyone thinks.  Because, I don't.  Well, except for me.  I care what *I* think of me.  And frankly, I've looked and felt better.  I know a big component is sleep.  And y'all, I'm TRYING.  I've been getting to bed earlier this last week, and my hope is that this will help some.  BUT - I also think that in training for a half marathon last year, I fell into the trap of eating too much, thinking it would be okay.  And, well, I definitely should've heeded the warning that you EITHER train for a longer race, OR train to lose weight, inches, etc. - but not both.

So we're going for the latter option now, friends.  I'm starting at roughly 166 pounds (yeah, I'm putting it out there...whatevs) - hoping to get a more exact number tomorrow morning, and I don't know that I really have an exact goal in mind...although, maybe I should.  I can tell you that between having J and E, I got down to 141.  That would be nice.  :)  But...not exactly a realistic, healthy goal before mid-April.  I think 10 pounds and more toned in roughly 80 days sounds good.

So let's go with that.  10 pounds and toned.

But...here's the kicker.  I'm changing things up even more starting February 1 when my membership to Lifetime will officially be "paused."  If you know me, you KNOW I've LOVED the classes and the teachers up there.  But when I found out that a friend of mine was opening her own Jazzercise program we decided to "pause" my LT membership until summer, to see how Jazzercise works out for me (the friend that opened it has made an amazing transformation, so I'm all, "I will do this if that's what I could look like..."`). I'm a teensy bit scared to not have the same, kick-your-ass instructors I'm used to, as well as really targeted strength training and regular yoga classes, but . . . doing Jazzercise Monday through Thursday, and probably Saturday mornings (the only days it's offered) for an hour each...it's gotta do something, right????

Anyway, my hope is that posting stats here daily will work the way it did, back in 2007/2008 when I was doing elliptical every.single.day. and got down to 141. Just knowing it's out there, somewhere, and that someone might be inspired by it, expecting me to keep up with it, etc. THAT is what I need to know.

I've also joined an accountability group on FB, started by a fellow vegan mama - yay! DOUBLE accountability!!!!

Stay tuned!!!