Heart Health: Finding Time

Working full-time means the late afternoons and evenings are taken up with homework, diner and housework.  Heading off to the gym is a thing of the past, although I dance once a week (usually) as my ‘escape’.  I am, unfortunately, gaining a few pounds lately.  The clothes I have managed to somewhat organize in my closet are a little tight.  My boobs walk into a room a few seconds before the rest of me.  My chin has a twin!  You get the idea.

February is also Heart-Health month and my son, Peanut, had been training for Jump-Rope For Heart at school (children asked to be sponsored to jump-rope to raise money for heart disease).  He had been jumping rope and was getting quite good. Heart-health is something I take very seriously; my grandfather passed away after a heart-attack and I have a slight murmur.  I also know that children are generally not getting the exercise they should in the modern world of driving to school, shortened recess, technological toys and over-scheduled lives.   But how could I fit in some more exercise without giving up other things such as time with the family?

Peanut actually came up with a great idea to tackle my desire to exercise more and my need to spend time with him.  We would exercise together.   He was also learning how to do circuit training in his the Phys. Ed. lessons in fourth grade.  Armed with some great exercises, Peanut put together a plan for the pair of us.  We started today…gently for Mom…and spent a wonderful  hour together.  And I really worked up a sweat!

The Plan:

  • Warm-up by walking the dog briskly around the block (extra points for getting yet another ‘got to do’ accomplished)
  • Stretches
  • Jog to end of cul-de-sac and back
  • Walk dog again (extra points racking up!)
  • Jump-rope for tem minutes (this nearly killed me)
  • Crunches
  • Push-ups (I used the modified version)
  • lunges
  • Cool-down walk

I have to say it was so much fun!  I worked on Peanut’s form with some of the movements, and he encouraged me to keep up when I was flagging.  The dog thought he was in heaven getting walked so much, although he did want to stop and sniff around which, much to his chagrin, he was was not allowed to do as we were on a mission.

Peanut and I had a bonding session which meant the world to me.  Even if we manage to squeeze in a condensed session during the school week, it will give us something to do together which is just for us and helps keep us fit.  I am always looking for ways to spend quality time with my sons.  Now I can take some pressure off myself as I am also taking care of our health at the same time.

How do you squeeze in time with your children and exercise?  Are your schedules as deranged as mine and how do you deal with it all?

Thoughtful Thursday: Does Everything Happen For A Reason?


Oh boy!  This is a really loaded topic for me.  Yes, I do believe things happen for a reason, but not in the ‘God decided it should be so’ sense.  Not that I don’t believe in God…I’m a little on the fence about organized religion, but I believe in the ‘force’ of God and the power of good, love, compassion, and forgiveness.  (Hmm…seems most wars start because the different religions argue about how to best show goodness, love, compassion, and forgiveness…but I digress!)

So, do things happen for a reason?  Yes…sometimes.  For every reaction  there is an equal and opposite reaction….or, there is a knock on effect, or the ‘what goes around, comes around’ yadda yadda yadda.  Whichever way you look at it, one just needs to think about examples in our own lives to realize, sometimes, things lead to other things and, therefore, there was a reason for it.  Am I making sense?  Let me give you an example.

I know a young boy who developed cancer.  He was in middle school and he fought tooth and nail to beat it.  He celebrated five years clear of cancer this winter.  I also know a six-year-old who was diagnosed with cancer…the same type as the brave middle schooler.  This little boy was terrified, his parents were terrified, but there was an amazing presence; the older boy, who was now a strapping senior, provided so much hope and was such an amazing role model, the six-year-old was able to face each battle with strength and courage.

Was it fair that either child got cancer?  No, of course not!  What is amazing, however, is the absolute belief both mothers share…it happened for a reason.  The senior became the rock that supported the six-year-old; the youngster will go on to inspire and encourage others faced with the terrible disease.  You may think I am being too “pragmatic or naive in the face of great anguish and potential tragedy”.  I don’t think so as I know both these mothers.  In fact…one of them is me!

Nighttime – MyTime


Night is a time for so many things.  Sleep is the first one that comes to mind. Yet sleep eludes me most of the time.  I find myself hoping, wishing, crying out for sleep…but NO!  Sleep does not always happen at night!

Night is a time for great thoughts!  I formulate some of my most wonderful plans and ideas at night.  I think about how I can turn my the house into one resembling the HGTV dream home….mine is definitely NOT that way at the moment!  I plan my lessons, decide which student to work with on a specific skill, think about materials that might make it more fun, and how I might use the lesson to enrich some students…it all comes to me so easily at night!

Night is also when I find by worst fears creep into my mind.  Some are rational, brought about due to events and situations that are beyond my control, but reasonable non-the-less.  Other thoughts are totally irrational, seeds from which bad thoughts grow, they are just weeds, forcing their way into my being, insidious and debilitating.  These I need to let go of…breathing techniques, reading, meditation…yeah right…they actually don’t work when these thoughts come in….I tend to just roll with them and hope they go away.

Night is together time for my husband and I.  Being together is as simple as our hands held gently  as we  he falls asleep; a meaningful conversation; a moment of love with the embrace of one known so well; or a time of passion and fire!  I generally find the wee small hours become more a time for solitude with the soft hum of my love’s breathing as he sleeps peacefully beside me.

At night, the animals play.  Cats chase their tails, dogs sniff out crumbs left by hungry kids missed by the Swiffer in the hurried clean-up of the evening.  Once tired, the animals decide our bed is a great hang-out and they walk all over me to say goodnight in their friendly, furry way.

Best of all, night is ME time.  I get to turn my attention totally to ME.  Selfish as it seems, once everyone has settled down and is safely in the Land of Nod, I can think my own thoughts, blog away with abandon, plan, worry, savor..whatever I wish to do (or my brain decides I should do).

Night is my time…night is a time for me…I just wish I could also get a little bit of sleep too!