Throughout the month of September I did a little experiment. I was gentle with myself, set a routine in place and have been working on being present in the moment and guess what…it was wonderful!
I always wanted to be a morning person but there is so much good TV on at 10pm! When I was a kid, my grandmother used to get up really early to catch the bus to head to work and my sister and i would beg her to wake us in the morning before she left so that we could be up early with her. There was something almost magical about being up before everyone else in the house…quietly eating a bowl of cereal, sneaking to watch cartoons or play Barbies.
There was something about being a morning person, up bright and early, ready for the day that I always wanted but the body resisted. Even having a nine(ish) to five I would find myself getting up reluctantly with the alarm and rising through the morning, annoyed that my time belonged to someone else. Now that this new normal includes regularly waking at 4am, I find that there are days when I am full of energy and ready to seize the day. I take advantage of this burst of energy; I do a little yoga, do some house task that I want to complete, read or just spend some quiet time for myself.
But I also have a routine for “off days.” On the days when I am feeling rundown, I sleep in and rest and guess what…it is not the end of the world!
At work, I have been very intentional to be at work. I have been clearing my work space (more about this later in the week) and loving that I come into work to a clean desk, a to do list that I am actually accomplishing. Things are where they should be and work is work and if I choose to bring something home to work on, it’s not because I was screwing around all day and have to play catch up but for my edification,
I had made this whole plan to walk/wog/run for September but on the day I was to start my legs felt like they were on fire and I was suffering from an acute case of “Idonwanna.” My knees were swollen, my joints kept locking up and I went back to bed. Before I could beat myself up, I saw that there was a yoga show and I decided that revise my plan and work on my flexibility.
So far I have been averaging 4-5 days a week of yoga practice. I like the idea of having a quiet moment for myself before I have to do all the things for everyone else. I have noticed that on the days that I do not practice I feel a little scattered, more ragey (this dang Prednisone…shakes fist) and edgy when people are asking for help. I have been countering these feelings with a walk at lunch, hell, eating lunch, and making sure that I spend a little time doing some things for me.
Eventually I will want to practice in a studio or for longer than 20 minutes but for now I look forward to pushing myself a bit more, being able to bend without too much grunting and feeling a little bit stronger than the day before.
I do plan to train for an upcoming 5K but the couch to 5k app only calls for 3 days a week so I can add walking a few days to my schedule. I want to revive my goal for walking…eventually I would like to be able to walk/wog/run to a little coffee shop in West Philly, have a cuppa and then head home. It would be about a seven mile loop so it really is something that I have to work up to. Realistically I can see me doing it but I need to get over that mental block telling me that I am too weak.
Being gentle with myself
was is hard. I am such a “shoulda” person that I oft find myself thinking that I should be doing more, should be, should have, then I am should, should, shoulding all over myself.
I have allowed myself to just be. In the moment, allow myself to limits, slow myself to be kind to myself. eat when I am hungry, rest when I am tired, work in an environment that is what *I* want. And when the plan changes, as it oft does, that is OK too.
The beginning of the school year is always a weird time. I love the new routine that seems to come with September, the wonder of what is to come but the transition can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming. Instead of trying to be all “Eye of the Tiger” and do all of the things, I scheduled a light September at work, spent evenings saying no to things when I needed to and it was a month of sometimes doing things and month of allowing myself some marathon Simpsons watching.
This month I am going to again go for a short list of goals, building and expanding upon the September goals.
- Continue with the morning routine. While the last week found me up at “It is too early to fry that egg” o’clock, next week could totes find me sleeping a full night’s sleep, me sleeping until 7am, and the routine will be off. So the plan is to shoot for a 5:30 am wake-up and get the things I need/want/done before my time and attention belongs to everyone else.
- Continue being gentle and kind to myself. Instead of getting up in arms for all of the things, I will allow myself room to make mistakes, room to celebrate wins and will treat myself the way I would treat other people.
- Begin training for the 5k. In the past I would set some crazy goal and then find an excuse not to reach it. This race is something that is going just be fun and a good way to reintroduce wogging back into my life. I don’t need to compare myself with anyone else, just know that I did a bit more for myself than the day before.
- Lastly, remember:
A Facebook friend, Dawn, shared this and it took me a few hours to process what I was reading. I sound all hippy dippy even to myself but I am loving this idea of centering, taking a few minutes to figure things out and, well reclaiming my time.
Also…it’s the start of Rach-tober and you know what? I am choosing to celebrate this year!
What are you October plans?
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