Have You Ever Taken A Sabbatical? Part 1.

Good Morning Friends!

I’m back from my sabbatical. I didn’t mean to take a blog break for so long, but I didn’t feel the urge to write for a while. It’s been a good break for me as I’ve taken a little breather from social media to focus on other things. Some HUGE things… more on that in a bit.

MY DAD

I came from a refreshing spring break with my family where we celebrated the life of my Dad in a beautiful military ceremony. Our family is fairly private and I told very few friends that he passed away last July 5th from congestive heart failure. He lived a very full 85 years. Even thinking about him now brings me to tears, but I’m starting to talk about him more with my kids keeping his legacy alive with all the wonderful memories I have with him and the lessons he taught us.

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My Dad suffered from diabetes and severe dementia for a long time… most caregivers thought he had Alzheimer’s at the end, but he still remembered a few of us in his last days. While it frustrated all of us, I can laugh now about how my Dad would get mad so quickly at one of us about something trivial and 20 minutes later… sometimes even mid-conversation completely forget why he was so angry, or that there was even a fight! We couldn’t stay mad at him for very long because we knew how frustrated he was, too.

The one thing that makes me sad, though, is that my Dad never remembered he had grandchildren and so my children never really knew him like I did (though he was always happy to see them when we told him). He looooved food, the outdoors, and working in the yard. His favorite food was ice-cream and he got to share one last bite with my 9-year old who learned about death first-hand last summer as we sat by his bedside for the last few days. Hospice even let my parents’ dog spend the last day right next to him.

I’m not sure why, but since coming back from that trip I haven’t wanted to exercise in over a month! I don’t think I’m depressed, but with my PF slowly getting better, I hesitate to make it worse and am embracing the fat pockets on my derriere. LOL! Do I get any credit for going so far as to put on my workout clothes and then clean our house or take care of other personal business that’s been neglected? (don’t answer that).

Last week, I tortured myself working outside for a couple of days with our blooming spring yard and now am paying the price with a full-blown head & chest cold that started out with sneezing and snotting for 2 days from allergies! Oye.

But my yard looks pretty! #priorities

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So now what?

A CHANGE

I’m figuring out what I want to be when I grow up! (I know, long overdue!).

If you didn’t already know, I’m one of the “Lunch Ladies” supervising lunch and recess at my boys’ elementary school. I started a year and a half ago and WOWZERS… did my eyes get opened to the highs and lows and huge challenges of working in our schools today.

I’m sure I haven’t even come close to the complete range of emotion when working with kids, but let’s just say I’ve sent kids to the principal and I’ve gotten hugs all in the same day. I open juice boxes and fruit snacks, help kids make friends, encourage good manners and kindness, clean up after them and teach them to clean up after themselves. I can honestly say that my initial view of how we teach and discipline our children has changed 180 degrees from when I first started.

The best example of how perspective and expectations can change so dramatically is to share a little story…

I remember going to my friend’s house who had three kids when I just had a baby. I’m not proud, but I admit I judged her. But, I also now LOVE and appreciate her even more for keeping it real and showing me what being a great mom is all about. Her house looked like a tornado had touched down. Not just in one room, but the whole freaking house!!!

“REALLY?”, I thought to myself, “Who lives like this?”.

Fast-forward 12 years… we do. Perspective changes when you cram in 3 very active boys, 2 dogs, and work. I seriously have a huge pile of laundry on my floor next to me as I write. (Where in the he!!fire does all of it come from because I just folded a truck-load yesterday and we did not wear this many clothes in 2 days?!!! #hatesocks)

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And the dish washer got partially emptied in the hurry of getting kids out of the house (they do it, not me… Boys, we need to complete the pass and go for the touchdown on our chores!).
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I have a second office on our formal dining room table because our real office has no room to sit down and spread out. #summerproject Who am I kidding?!

And that’s just part of the reality lurking in our house.

But, my yard is pretty. (Leo, get your paws out of my flowerbeds!!! Sigh)

Long-story short, I now have a completely different perspective of what family-life is all about (messy and happy and not a clean house) and have changed my expectations about what we should be focused on to raise healthy, happy, kind, generous, hard-working, critically-thinking, well-adjusted grown men! I’m sure that perspective might change a few years down the road as we get into full-blown teenager life! OMG, my son will be learning to drive in a little over a year….

So, what does this mean?

(stay tuned for part deux)

Love,

Teri

 

 

SNoW Excuses – Change Starts With Me

I LOOOOOOVE SNOW!

I’m like a kid waiting for Christmas. Snow just makes me so, so happy! Sometimes my friends call me crazy and I take it as a compliment.

The world gets quiet for a moment. And right here and now there is peace on earth.

The white blanket is cleansing for the soul. It’s pure. It makes time stand still for just one beautiful moment. And it’s absolutley breathtaking.

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In my own backyard.

Even when it’s frigid, the miracle that there are no two snowflakes alike blows my mind. (ok, that’s not entirely true because my kids love to remind me about the new possibility!).

I wasn’t quite ready for the snow as our grass never died and is still an emerald green beauty lying just below the surface. But when I woke up, I bundled up to embrace the cold and go with the flow so I can live MY life in this beautiful world we live in. (Remember the rose-colored glasses?)

Several of us joined up with the running club to get in 3-6 wet miles on Saturday morning. For a few moments here and there, I was looking forward to my fuzzy slippers at home as we splashed sloppy snow on each other with each step (brrrr – cold, wet, numb feet wasn’t all that fun). It’ll take about 5 days for my shoes to dry out and thank goodness my feet are now warm!

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My Asics GT-2000’s are getting trashed. Just in time for winter running!

Along the way, I heard a few minor complaints in between comments about the gorgeous winter wonderland around us, but I supposed it was to be expected since the conditions weren’t ‘ideal’ snow running ones. Had we prepared better, our feet would have been happier. (I’m on the search for fixing this… suggestions?)

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Thank you Trading In My Heels for this fun photo!

BUT.

I see a ton of people on social media who feel the exact opposite. They are NOT happy about the snow and they are pretty vocal about it.

It annoys me! There are people who have never, ever seen snow before. There are people who wish they could go out in it. There are people who… ARGHHH!

At first I wanted to talk about how they could change their attitude and just be happy about it. Sheeeze! I wanted to tell them move somewhere else or (gulp) just let it go!

But really it’s about ME and MY attitude. I’m not going to let someone’s bad day become mine, too! SNOW ROCKS! I LOVE SNOW!

I can’t change them and I’m not going to spend any more time being caught up in their frustration about it.

I choose to be joyful.

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I am loving my new INKnBURN tech shirt and band! So comfy!

Nature has a relationship with us and I’m going to make sure I slow down just enough to enjoy it. It’ll be gone again in a few days. It’s fleeting.

I don't want to be someone who wishes they enjoyed life more. Click To Tweet

Change and making a difference in the world starts with one. Me. I’m the one that needs to let it go.

Transformation Tuesday – The 30-Day Challenge

What does it take to truly transform yourself?

We see people changing on the outside by losing significant weight or transforming their bodies into chisled Mr & Ms Olympians, but what we also know is that these same people truly change on the inside, too. Their outlook certainly becomes more positive. Their self-confidence and happiness just shines from them!  Sometimes these transformations change a person’s life forever!

I’m ready for my own transformation and so I’ve accepted a 30-day challenge where I expect to see change.

The Challenge

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What this challenge is NOT:

  1. It’s not about food or weight-loss.
  2. It’s not about fitness.
  3. It’s not about running.

Suprising?! For quite some time now, I’ve been wanting to transform my blog and take it from writing when the urge strikes me just 3-4 times a month, to writing consistently and with an intense focus that will take it to the next level. To really hone in on an area where I want to become known as an expert where I can really help people… not just talk about myself all the time!

I’m talking about future transformation… reinvention. I hope to experience a blogging transformation in the next 30 days and beyond as I tackle a challenge that frankly, scares and intimidates me!

I’ve been challenged to blog for 30 straight days. It can be 100 words or it can be 1000. And, it can be on anything I want to blog about without focusing too much on editing, SEO optimization, and perfection (oooooh, that’s so tough for this self-proclaimed perfectionist who has barely scratched the surface of understanding what a great blog is all about, let alone SEO optimization.)

My Goals

I have a couple goals by participating in this challenge:

  1. Learn how to become more effective with my time while still producing quality content.
  2. Learn a few tricks and tips when it comes to blogging since I’ll be connected to a couple hundred other bloggers who’ve also accepted this challenge.
  3. Explore my voice. Find out what is fun for me to write about while still inspiring and creating a movement of people (YOU) who are ready for your own change.
  4. Let go of my fear of writing and putting myself out there. It’s hard knowing my thoughts, knowledge and feelings are being broadcast to the world and are being opened up to scrutiny. That’s a biggie!

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So hang on to your hats as I stap on some courage! I’d sincerely appreciate you commenting when the topic really speaks to your heart and providing me with any constructive suggestions you might have for improvement! I’m excited to see where this goes!

Have you ever challenged yourself to a 30-day blogging streak?