My life is made up of lists of things to do. As a third grade teacher. the list of "to-do's" feels rather endless and is always growing. As a wife and mom, there are many "to-do's" that sometimes don't get done because of the teacher list, but still there are the essential things I must do, like fill out picture money forms, lunch menus, appointments, etc. Laundry, cooking, dishwasher loading and unloading. Laundry baskets that sit for days (weeks?) until I get around to putting the clothes away. Another "to-do" that is hard to do.
Please don't get me wrong. I am so grateful to have these "to-do's." I am grateful beyond words for my family, my children, and my job. It's just...there is no room for me on this list. For the me that isn't a mom, isn't a teacher, isn't a wife, isn't wearing another hat. The me that is just me doesn't make it on the list, no time for her. And it's kind of taking its toll.
Last year, I worked with a nutritionist for a while. When I told her about my day and my schedule, I sounded a little frantic. I think she was a bit worried about my sanity. She suggested it would be very hard to make healthier food choices when I felt so deprived. She suggested carving out time each day for myself, even if that meant sitting in my car and reading a magazine for 10 minutes before leaving work. I couldn't do it.
And I still can't bring myself to "diet." After a lifetime of low calorie Alba shakes, the "diet platter" at the diner, comprised of a burger without a bun and a slab of cottage cheese (I get angry just thinking about this), counting points, counting calories, cutting carbs- I just don't have it in me anymore. Yet. The other day I was at the park with my children and my son, Alex, started running up the hill. He saw other kids and wanted to join them. It was when my 2 year old, Megan, took off up the hill that I had the problem. I was by myself and Megan was racing up the hill, heading towards the top and all I could picture was her falling down, rolling into the oncoming traffic. I raced as fast as I could up the hill, which wasn't fast enough. I was (am) far too out of shape. Thankfully the kids at the top of the hill stopped her until I could get there, out of breath. I do not have the energy or the stamina to keep up with my children when they run from me, which is sad and frightening too.
This park incident forced me to realize that I have ignored myself for some time now, as evidenced by my out-of-shapeness. Last week, I took a step forward in the quest to put myself back on the list. Knowing I need to embark on some type of exercise to shake up my sedentary ways and work towards more balance, I considered different options. The one I decided on was Jazzercise. Before I was married, I was a regular Jazzerciser and I loved it. Loved the music, the dances, the pace, the time for me. When I thought of what would make me happy, it was Jazzercise. So I enrolled and found myself kicking up my legs to Kenny Loggins "Footloose" on Sunday morning. I know this sounds pretty dorky and silly, but it really felt good.
And so, maybe instead of seeing myself as deprived, I will work towards thinking of all the nourishing, healthy, refreshing foods I can eat that will make me feel the best I can feel. And maybe taking some time to Jazzercise will bring me back a little, the me that isn't a teacher or a mom or a wife or a daughter. I think she and I have some catching up to do, and it's time to add that "to-do" to the list.