March has been a busy month and honestly, I almost forgot to do my wrap up post! I was so excited that I found the time to write a post last night and was working on getting time to work on another upcoming post, that it almost slipped my mind that my monthly wrap-up was due! I haven't written much, I know, but I do want to touch base with you all and ask how the rest of you faired this month?
My Writing World
Well, for those of you that follow the blog, you know the blogging part of my writing world isn't all that much these days. I've kept up with my Sunday posts but that's almost all I've done. My manuscripts have suffered with even less time. I didn't even send anything in for critiques this month, but am currently working on something for April. I didn't get my two days away last month for writing (I used them for some spiritual reflection instead) but am in the middle of that two day get away for March right now. So that's why I had time to do the extra post on food (see below)the other day, the one on reading aloud to your child and am able to write this one now.
My Book World
Here I've kept busy! In the area of fiction, I finished up A Prayer For Owen Meany. I'm not sure how I feel about the book. I didn't love it but I didn't hate it all either. It was a good read and certainly different from my regular genre which was a nice change of pace. ...continue reading "March Wrap Up"
Since I posted about challenging myself regarding stress management back on July 4th (Independence Day from stress!), I decided that I should give some updates here and there about what I have learned and what I'm doing to teach myself some stress management and relaxation techniques and how I'm fairing in actually putting them to use.
So far I've done the following:
I've continued my chiropractor sessions for my back spasms. Whether it's the chiropractor or me consciously trying to be mindful of my stress and making myself take more time to relax, the spasms have lessened in intensity and frequency. Now if I could just take that hour it takes me to drive to the appointment and back 2-3 times a week and do something for myself even when I don't HAVE an appointment...now that would be progress my friends and I'm sure it would lead to less stress induced symptoms. But.....
I've started reading both books that I purchased....I know...I keep adding books onto my reading list and sometimes I wonder if I'm actually causing myself MORE stress by doing that but....that's me. And reading is supposed to LESSEN stress so that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Thus far I've only read the introductions and breezed through to see what's there. I think I'll benefit from both. Anyone looking for ways to reduce stress or add relaxation to their lives needs to be willing to try various approaches. There really is not a single technique that's going to produce great results for every single person, so one must be willing to try several to see what's best.
Promised myself to start exercising again....yeah, I know...I've said this before. But this time I'm trying to be realistic. I simply can not do 20-30 minute workouts. I'm aiming for ten minutes - and that INCLUDES time on the bike, jumping rope, or walking AND weight-bearing exercises with very small weights (nothing more until I'm sure the muscle spasm thing is gone). Exercise, they say, can really alleviate the damage of stress on the body.
I've made more of an effort to start my days out right. I set my alarm earlier to make sure I get up and can follow my routine of prayer time and devotion (about a half hour of various things) as well as get in a minimum of 30 minutes on my writing before my littlest man wakes up - er, uh, well, at least before he's allowed to demand breakfast. It does make my day seem more productive and fruitful to me. Doing it first thing in the morning helps me feel more at peace and more control in the day. This means getting up by 5:30 in the morning when my body just begs to crawl back under the sheet but....it's worth it - it really is. Yes, TIME MANAGEMENT is a good way to handle stress!
What have you done recently to reduce or manage your stress load?
Resolutions.....because that's what we are supposed to do, right? haha...
Actually, I think resolutions are a good thing. It's goal planning. As long as the goals are REASONABLE... then writing them down to look at and remind yourself of what your goals are once in a while really will help you attain them. And I thought if I write them all here then I just might hold myself even more accountable - cause you might wonder how I'm doing with them...
There's a lot. Because I do a lot of things and feel I should have goals in all parts of my life...not just one or two. Plus I think if I have a lot of goals there's more chance of me attaining at least a few of them!! haha...
So here goes:
Stick to the Paleo Diet at least 93% of the time for at least 3 more months... I really want to give it a good shot - without causing too much stress of doing it 100% but really giving it our best and for a few more months to really watch longer term effects.
Exercise, on average, 3 times a week. (I know if I put more here, I'll fail.... and if I feel I fail it makes it that much harder for me to start again. 3 is reasonable.)
Add Evening Prayers to my Prayer Routine... we do pretty well with Morning Prayers- at least on school days and prayers at supper time. I need to do more than that.
Read at least 3 books that are of Orthodox content over the course of the year - I should probably start out by finishing the ones on my Goodreads Currently Reading List!! So maybe I should put 4 on that resolution list...finish the three and add one more...
Read at LEAST 12 Newberry Medal books... this shouldn't be that hard if I set my mind to it...after all they do all fall under the genre of children's literature...it's not like I'm reading novels the size off War and Peace!!!
Watch my Charlotte Mason Videos(by the end of MARCH). I bought them last year at the CHAP convention (convention held by the Christian Homeschool Association of Pennsylvania). Simply Charlotte Mason had a booth there and I bought the All Day Charlotte Mason Seminar and The Books & Things Seminar. I've watched most of the first one. It's packed full of information presented by Sonya Shafer. My husband also bought me another book on Charlotte Mason - I want to read that one too but I'll give myself longer on that one... by the end of the year!
Research for a Preschool Curriculum/materials and make a decision by the end of APRIL....at least have it narrowed down in time for the CHAP convention in May. He's already doing preschool type stuff..... knows how to count to 20 without help, higher with help and recognizes all the digits 1-10.... knows the alphabet (lower case and upper case) and most sounds, recognizes at least 22 words by sight, knows colors, basic shapes, etc.... so preschool may not be what I want.... by something Charlotte Mason style with lots of books.... and fun activities.
Break 3 bad habits.... sorry that's too personal...not sharing those...just that I have them and think it's important to pick a few to work on diligently. I'll know what they are...and who knows...maybe my family will figure them out by the end of the year too 🙂
Maintain my Gratitude Journal... I restarted one about a year and a half ago or so after reading Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts... I've been better at writing in it but I'm only to #465.... I hope to get to 1000 by the end of the year if not way before that!
Maintain this blog! I've been going strong for over a couple of months now...keep following me and give me comments-- it will encourage me!! 😉
Keep writing!!! I hope to pursue some publishers soon with a couple of the manuscripts I have finished...they still need some revision first. And I'd like to try to pop out a few more... at least picture books. That's the goal. I do have two middle grade manuscripts I've written that could be revised and I started a YA several years ago...I'm not sure if I want to return to that yet or not. I think I'll stick with the PBs... that seems to be where my passion is right now.
Set more time aside for ME - whether it be for reading, writing, or working on crafts I've ignored for years-- but time to do what I want to do and not just things for other people. I know that goes hand in hand with a lot of the above goals but I feel a separate goal to do that will help assure I work on it.
Spend more quality time with my children and my husband. I want to actually schedule the time to make sure it happens. Too often our date nights get pushed to the side because we simply forget to schedule it and too often I decide to watch a TV show because I'm tired rather than playing a game with my older son. And too often I don't sit down to just play with my toddler because I worry too much about other things that need done.
Work on coming up with EASY and QUICK paleo meals that will help me make sure I have time to do all of the above! My new cookbooks I got for Christmas should help me accomplish that soon!
Okay.... that's 15.... that should keep me busy!!!
So what are YOUR New Year's Resolutions? I'd love to read them!