Random Stuff

Hello my lovelies!  In case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t posted much lately.  It’s the middle of June and I’m a high school English teacher…that’s just the way it goes, I’m afraid.  Since it’s already after 9 and I teach a 6am fitness class tomorrow, this will be a “random things” type of post….here goes….

1. My husband went back to work today – I was spoiled and got to spend an extra 2 days with him, since he had a specialist appointment today and therefore didn’t go back to work on Monday when the rest of his shift started.  It was lovely to have those two extra days.

2. I wish he was home every night.

3. I only have one week of classes left before exams.  That is both exhilarating (because it means the end is VERY near), and terrifying (because I have A LOT of marking and other work to accomplish in the next week).

4. One of my closest work friends resigned from her teaching position and will be moving; it’s a bit of a ridiculous story and I can’t really get into it here since airing any sort of gripes about colleagues, administration or my school division is against the Teacher’s Code of Conduct and could get me into a lot of trouble.  I feel incredibly sad because the students are losing an amazing teacher, and I am losing a wonderful colleague and a great friend.  It sucks.  We had an assembly today, so the kids said their goodbyes and presented her with a gift.  I cried.

5. There are a lot of things about my career that are making me very unhappy lately.  Those things have absolutely nothing to do with my students.

6. I love my students, and if it were just about the teaching, I would be in my glory.

7. My husband told me to quit last week – not to give my notice, but to actually quit – because he is so fed up with seeing my frustration and tears.  Sometimes I think he’s right:  no amount of money is worth my sanity and self-worth.  On the other hand, it makes zero sense for me to actually quit at this point in my life.

8.  We have a plan.  That plan does not include quitting my job.  It does include making some changes to how I do things so that I can reduce my workload.  That should help a bit.  It won’t eliminate the other issues (the ones I can’t talk about online without risk of breaking the Teacher Code of Conduct!), but it’s a start.

9.  My fitness classes are going well.  My students want me to run Summer classes, and I had fully intended to do so…but now it looks as though there might be an issue with the venue I use being unavailable to me over the Summer, so I’m not entirely sure what is going to happen on that front.

10.  Maybe that’s the Universe trying to tell me that I need to take the Summer off of teaching and just focus on my own fitness, running and yoga practice….

11.  Today is Day 22 of my 30 Day Yoga Challenge.

12.  I kind of cheated on the Yoga Challenge on the weekend:   I played in a Slo-Pitch Tournament, so I didn’t do any Yoga on Saturday or Sunday.  I think I can just double up and do two 2 practice days to make up for it, but I don’t really know how that works.  It’s my own damn challenge, though, so I’m saying it’s totally cool!

13.  I am getting sleepy, and I really want to get to read a little bit of my book club reading selection before bed, so this will be close to the end of my post.

14.  I wrote “book club reading selection” to make it sound fancy, but I’m really reading smut – Fifty Shades of Grey is what we chose for this time.  I’ve only read the first few pages, but I’ve heard from some of the other ladies in my club (and virtually everyone else) that it is pretty raunchy.  Whatever….my husband is away for 3 weeks, so I need something to keep myself occupied! Ha!

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17 Day Diet Update

Hi folks!

Thought I would give you an update about my progress with the 17 Day Diet, since the last time I posted about it, I told you that I had paused.  Remember that prior to starting this diet that I was eating well-balanced, healthy meals with the occasional indulgence; this would have been a great plan if it wasn’t for the 2 1/2 month hiatus from any sort of calorie burning exercise – damn back injury!  I re-started the “diet” on Monday, January 30th, and it’s mostly going well, though there have been a few roadblocks I’ve had to navigate around.

On Tuesday, I attended a PD session with Dr. Steven Layne (an excellent children’s author and expert on engaging students of all ages in reading – check him out; you won’t be disappointed!  But I digress…back to the Diet).  Before hand, I had been told by the powers that be that “there will be a variety of healthy options, including some vegetarian items.”  Now, I have no desire to be a vegetarian, but that statement assured me that there would be something there for me that would fit the 17 Day Diet.  Wrong.  Would you like to know what “healthy” options my school division served for breakfast?  Banana bread and scones, and a syrup-y fruit salad.  Yum.  For lunch we were served Caesar salad, dinner rolls, lasagna, vegetarian lasagna and cake.  “Healthy options” my ass.  They did try to appease the vegetarian people, so I suppose I’ve got to give them some credit for that.  I did eat some banana bread and lasagna, but it’s a good thing I stashed a yogurt and two pieces of fruit in my purse!

Later that night I hosted book club* and that only happens once every month and a half to two months, so I had already planned a little indulgence.  I enjoyed a glass of red wine (or four – who’s counting?) and sampled the appies (Spanikopita with Tzatziki, hummus dip, guacamole, pepperoni and cheese tray, and a cinnamon roll) in place of my regular dinner.  My friend Tiffany also brought a delightful surprise dip that was like a Village Greek salad and hummus dip rolled into one (If you are reading this Tif, can I please get the recipe?).  I know it’s sorta lame that I “indulged” on Day 2 of my diet, but I really believe that (unless food has become an unhealthy addiction for you) it’s okay to roll with the punches, enjoy foods that make you happy, and then get right back on track.  So that is what I did.

I ate well all of Wednesday and all day Thursday, but enjoyed the Roast Beef buffet and a few beers at the Edmonton Oilers game Thursday night.  That’s right – I was at that game.  Sam Gagner tied Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffee for an Oilers’ points record:  he had 4 goals and 4 assists for 8 points total on the night.  It was incredible…and there is nothing wrong with celebrating a little bit when a player from your team has that kind of night – even if I did start the celebrating before the game actually began!

Other than those few “indulgences,” I’ve been eating quite well:  lots of fruit, veggies and lean protein.  Today is Day 9 and I was down to 148.6 lbs this morning.  That is a 5 lb drop from Day 1, and means that I’ve got 13 lbs more to go to reach my goal.  I’ll keep you posted!

* We read John Grisham’s The Confession for book club, but I didn’t finish it (do you remember how hectic this past month has been for me?!).  The other ladies in my book club all scored the book at 3 out of 5 fingers, and told me that I would be better off starting one of the books from my giant “to read” pile than attempting to finish reading The Confession.  That probably tells you all you need to know about the book.

Why I am Grateful for the Bull*%!& of a Pinched Sciatic Nerve

Yes, you read that right.  Grateful – really and truly, no kidding around here.  As much as having a pinched sciatic nerve sucked, I am also thankful that it happened.  Here’s why:

1. It got me a month away from work.  That part was lovely and terrifying all at the same time, but nobody died and life went on without me.  Sure, a few of my grade 12 students were stressed out that they wouldn’t be ready to write their English Language Arts Diploma Exam, but I’m pretty confident that they will indeed be ready in a few days when they have to write.  Most of my students still learned some stuff, and I realized that I need to stop taking myself and my career so seriously.  It is perfectly all right to focus more on me than on creating a perfect lesson (which often ends up moving in a different direction than I had planned, anyway!).  That month gave me time away from the stress of lesson planning, marking, and disciplining, and it allowed me some time to move closer to being healed.

2. It gave me time for pleasure reading.  I am a high school English Language Arts teacher, so you would think I would get to read a lot.  I suppose that I do read a lot, but I wouldn’t exactly call reading high school essays “pleasure reading.”  Occasionally student papers are quite good, and more often, the really bad ones are quite laughably entertaining.  I do read for pleasure, though I don’t get to do this as often as I would like, and regularly when I DO engage in pleasure reading it takes me so long to finish a book that I forget parts of the story.  I even joined a book club* in an effort to make myself read something other than student work and academic/professional development pieces; quite often I enjoy the books that are picked, though sometimes I REALLY don’t like them at all.  While I was away from work with my pinched sciatic nerve, I was able to read four whole books* that I picked out all by myself for no reason other than wanting to read them, and I thoroughly enjoyed each and every one!

3. It made me realize how much I love running.  I REALLY enjoy running; not being able to do it made me sad.  I don’t think I actually realized how important running had become for me until I wasn’t able to do it – now that I know, I can prevent myself from taking the ability to run for granted ever again.

4. It brought me back to yoga.  I previously posted about the universe bringing us things – sometimes it presents an idea to us so many times that we just can’t (or at least shouldn’t!) ignore it, and other times the universe allows forces pushes us to learn, grow, see, etc. simply because the time is right.  I think that my return to yoga is a combination of these two things:  I hadn’t practiced any yoga at all for almost six years, but the opportunity to practice and/or learn more about it had been “popping up” all over the place pretty regularly for quite a while.  I think the universe was trying to tell me that I should do yoga again, but I basically ignored all of those messages.  When I had to stop running and weight training, though, I needed something active to do, and almost all of the health care and fitness professionals I encountered suggested yoga.  I hadn’t been listening to the universe, so it stopped making suggestions…and basically forced me to practice again.  Okay, the universe did not hold a gun to my head, but it did push me in the right direction!

If it wasn’t for the pinched sciatic nerve, it would have taken me much longer to renew my appreciation for yoga.  I remembered how much I enjoy practicing – for both my body and my mind – and now I am in the process of becoming a certified instructor (another one of those universe brought me here things – it just fell into place so perfectly)!

Thank you pinched sciatic nerve – I appreciate you!

* The best part of my book club is NOT the books – it is the great conversation with a group of fabulous, intelligent and funny ladies…and the wine.  The wine is pretty good too.

* The books I read are The Road(Cormac McCarthy), The Birth House(Ami McKay), Galore (Micheal Crummey), and Water for Elephants (by Sara Gruen).  This last one was actually for my book club, but I suggested it, and would have read it even if the book club hadn’t chosen it, so I’m including it here.