Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year's everyone! Hope you all are enjoying your Christmas season. We are doing fine here at Aquinas Academy. Looking forward to getting back into a more regular routine of school-ish things after the Epiphany, that's for sure, but thoroughly enjoying this beautiful season.

I do have to admit that this time of year makes me feel very awkward and out of step. Our liturgical season begins a new year at the beginning of Advent, and I sort of feel like, as a Catholic, I should make my "New Year's" resolutions then. But, the world pulls at me, and I put it off until Jan. 1. Then, Advent begins, a season of pentinence and preparation for us, and yet the world is joyously whirling about in a frenzy of Christmas - music, advertisements, parties, etc, while worshipping all things material in preparation for their feast of greed on Christmas morning. Then, Christmas comes, and to the world, the holiday ends at around 7pm on Dec. 25th (have you noticed some radio stations start playing Christmas music the week before Thanksigiving and stop around 7pm on Christmas Day??) Meanwhile, we put our tree up on Christmas Eve and leave it up, celebrating through the Epiphany on Jan. 5th. I always feel sort of drained and awkward in this brief period between Jan. 1 and the Epiphany - we should still be celebrating! But, the world marches on. Anyone else feel this way?

I actually haven't made any New Year's resolutions this year. I feel so depleted from all that's gone on in 2007 (really, since 2001, the year of my husband's stroke) that I don't have the mental or physical energy for grandiose promises.

Instead, I am doing two things. One, when I plan - I am planning baby steps only. I am good at creating elaborate plans that promptly fail when I become overwhelmed. And thus, I feel like I have done nothing but survive for almost 7 years now. It's time for me to start living, not surviving!

So, for example - when I plan for school, I am continuing to plan only what is essential. I've come to realize that I'm just very busy because I am teaching three young children to read - that is a LOT of work. I think part of the reason I have not done much school-work this year is because I'm just overwhelmed with the needs of all my kids at this point. Well, that and all that added stress of dh's unemployment, of course. So, I'm re-arranging my priorities a bit. I am now going on the belief that my oldest, who has gotten almost all my attention so far, can fend for himself for awhile - he is so far ahead it will not negatively impact him in any way. He'll do his catechism, math, some writing, a lot of reading, and whatever else he decides. That will free me up to really focus on those 4 r's with his younger brothers.

Another thing I need to focus on is my health. We really hope to have more children, and I'm not getting any younger. I simply must lose weight to have any hope of having a healthy pregnancy (or, any hope of another pregnancy at all). Rather than start out with the idea of "I have to lose 50+ pounds," my dh and I are talking about taking it in chunks. It is fairly easy (relatively! ;-) for us to go low-carb (the *only* way I can lose weight in my pre-diabetic/PCOS state) and lose 15-20lbs. Then, though, we get tired of it, and discouraged, and we go off low-carb, re-gaining all the weight quicker than we lost it. So, we've decided we're going to focus on losing those 15lbs, then, if we're feeling tired and discouraged, we will work to simply maintain that loss for a month or two, before gearing back up for another round of hard-core, losing another 15-20lbs, hopefully. I suspect that perhaps that's more realistic for us than losing all the weight we need to all at once. And I know that if I lose 30-40lbs, I will be at a weight where, in the past, it has been easy for me to get pregnant. I am contemplating starting another blog about our weight-loss efforts, and doing low-carb while feeding our children in a healthy manner (I believe children can go low-*er* carb and be *very* healthy - but obviously not as low as dh and I need to go to lose weight.) In the past, it's been difficult for me when we go low-carb because I feel like I'm fixing two different meals every time we eat, and I am focusing on how to work more efficiently, and be healthy for all of us.

Two, I am making one grandiose plan, but it is for something I am excited about, not something I look at with dread. It has to do with books, and I'll post about it in a little bit.


Sarah said...

Have you seen Leanne Ely's book Saving Dinner the Low Carb Way? I have heard rave reviews of that. I bought it for a friend whose husb was diagnosed diabetic and she loved it. I am thinking of getting it myself... we don't want to do low- to no- carb per se, but I need some ideas on how to feature protein in meals rather than feature or rely on carb which is what I am used to (it's cheaper and more filling - but my husband is doing cross training and the zone diet now so I have to rework stuff!).

Kelly said...

Jen, your plan for weight loss sounds very reasonable - I wish you both luck! I know what you mean about just "surviving". I am hoping 2008 will be a year of "living" instead of just "surviving" for us both.