May Challenge

After last post’s depression settled in, things got worse. 🙂 Well, they did for me, anyway. Eric is going out of town for a month! He is going to be traveling and installing internet in the homes in Montana, Wyoming, and Washington, which means that yours truly will become a single mom, albeit temporarily, in 32 hours. The feelings of being trapped, the depression I’ve been battling (or allowing to flood over me), the lack of control, the stress of our home life are all going to dramatically change when that timer goes off. So, I’m trying to be proactive. In the past, when Eric left (in his Army days, this was a frequent thing), I would shop myself silly since you get paid well to be separated from your loved ones for a period of time. Even more if that soldier is in a combat zone. Sure, you’re being paid to deal with the extra stress that those situations entail, but nobody ever joined the military without knowing that it was a fighting thing. Anyway, ramble over. Going crazy with a credit card is just not an option this time. And sinking into the mire isn’t either.

What I’m trying to say is that I have a new desire for change. I’m already being thrust into singleness for now, I think it should make me stronger. So, some goals I’m setting for myself for the month of May:

1. Eat Paleo (ish): I have been wanting to go Paleo for a long time now (over 6 months from my first attempt) but the thing is, my self-control is supremely weak. I’ve come up with a way that might bolster my courage and self control for the month of May. One of the problems I have with Paleo is all of those foreign foods. Realistically, I’d be replacing 90-95% of my current diet. That kind of exchange is just going to make me crazy! My plan is to start with a Paleo foundation (meat, vegetable, vegetable, fat- I made that up), but after consuming even a small portion of my prescribed Paleo plan, I’m giving myself the liberty to consume whatever standard fare I’m coming up with for my arrows. I’m hoping to combat the feeling of deprivation you get instantly from telling yourself you “can’t” have something. Because I can have whatever I want. But I don’t want to have whatever I can have. I have to find that inner drive that tells me I’m better than the tootsie roll on the counter or the ice cream in the freezer. I’m hoping this works for a couple of weeks and then I can begin a true Whole30 within a few months, having built up a arsenal of yummy foods.

2. Exercise daily- The most movement I get these days is to walk to the mailbox. I bought P90X last year and successfully used 3 days of the program (Whoopee), but I was so terribly sore that I just couldn’t bear to do another minute. This time around, I’m not planning on doing the full workout, for starters- they are just too long for a newbie. I’m going to schedule 45 minutes into my morning for exercise and get done what I can. I’m also not going to be using weights or resistance bands. I’m pretty sure I can get an effective workout with my own body weight. Maybe after 30 days, I’ll break out the resistance bands I bought just for this program, but probably not- the weights were easier to use.

3. Blog/Journal nightly- I love writing, I love blogging. I don’t think I really have anything super interesting to say, so I doubt I’ll ever get any followers, but eh, that’s okay. I’m doing this for me anyway. I’m going to need to process down from my day anyway. I expect that requiring myself to sit at the computer will be all this takes. I do enjoy writing after all.

4. Clean!- A major stressor in our house is the lack of cleanliness on my part and on the part of the kids. It leads to a lot of frustration and angry voices around here. And, even if I were permanently single, I’d need to get this done. However, without Eric imposing any of his standards on me, I’d like to see if I can make some successful progress in this area. Related specific goals are to do dishes nightly (perhaps right before I blog!), participate in FlyLady’s zone rotation (I’ll just be decluttering/cleaning whatever I can for 15 MINUTES ONLY), and the kids and I will continue to work on establishing our morning and evening routines. They truly are sanity savers…and I’m going to need all the spare sanity that I can get!

5. Homeschool according to the plan- Another big challenge already on my plate is the homeschooling that we are struggling to “get done” every day. I know that it’s not always about just doing the lessons, sometimes there is more organic learning going on, but at my house, creating fictional things in Minecraft is about the extent of our “unschooling” time. I have great goals in this area of my life, but first, I need one last attempt to stay on task. If I can’t make reasonable progress in my homeschool this month (90% success or better) then we need to seriously consider sending the kids to public school next year (and every year after that, because I can’t do this every other year nonsense) This is a high-stakes month for me.

6. Tech-time limits- I think this might become the integral part that allows me to keep the homeschooling ball rolling. I will allow my children 60 minutes of “tech-time” to spend as they choose, so long as they do their schoolwork efficiently and without whining. I won’t spank or yell, I will withdraw 10 minutes of tech-time for each infraction after their first warning. I expect it to be very difficult those first few days. The biggest concern I have is what I’m going to do with Andrew, whose life seems to revolve around Team Umizoomi most mornings. I don’t have enough toddler activities to entertain him without that electronic babysitter. I’m googling preschool activities like crazy. Most of them require too much work.

There are more, I also want to get outside (a necessary thing if I want a vegetable garden to grow), and I want to create something regularly. I’ve got plans to start on my quilt and I’m dreaming of a summer wardrobe. But I’ll save that for another post. I think this month is my last ditch effort to improve my life without the aid of pharmaceuticals. I need to fight this depression, but it just latches on so tightly that cutting it out can be painful at times. It’s not cancer. I keep reminding myself that it could be worse. I could have just lost my daughter to a horrifically speedy growth that couldn’t be cut out. And I remember to play with my children, smile like I mean it, and know that today is the only day I’ve been given. Lord, grant me the strength…

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