Have you ever read something that was just what you needed to read?
I finished reading Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck. There is an essay/chapter within it titled “Parenting in Three Stages.”
“Adolescence comes as a gigantic shock to the modern parent, in large part because it seems so much like the adolescence you yourself went through. Your adolescent is sullen. Your adolescent is angry. Your adolescent is mean. In fact, your adolescent is mean to you.”
Back when they looked like this,
I could ask them to make their beds and they’d respond with sweet laughter (even if they didn’t make their beds).
But now, they look more like this:
and if I ask them to do the smallest thing, fire comes out of their ears. They whine. They sigh heavily. They’re angry.
Thank you, Nora, for letting me know their behavior is normal. I can laugh it off now. Kinda.
Listen, we go through this every May. I have to close the door after you go out in order to keep the flies and mosquitos from coming in. No need for you to get anxious and insecure. Just go out there and do your business. I’m right here. And remember, this is our routine until it gets cool again. When is that? It won’t get cool again until probably early November.
A couple weeks ago, I taught my 5th graders how to diagram sentences. We started out very simple. They liked it, because it was kind of like geometry in English class. Basically, students were to separate the subject from the verb and create dangling shelves for modifiers. After practicing ten sentences, we started our literature study and left diagramming off to the side.
On their vocabulary test today, I decided to be generous and offer extra credit for diagramming a very simple sentence related to our literary study, The Sign of the Beaver.Here are two responses:
When my daughters were six and seven, I realized something shameful.
I had a tummy paunch and was telling myself it was post-pregnancy fat. Yep, six years after giving birth, I excused and denied my mottled middle.
My moment of reckoning occurred at a Cold Stone Creamery of all places. We were eating our favorites: Ava with her Chocolate Devotion, Josie with her Strawberry Blonde and me with my Coffee Lovers. Boy, were we having a great time!
Before I get further with this story, I want to make something clear: there is nothing wrong with love handles or a bit of pudge. As long as YOU’RE OK with it. I was not OK with my weight. I wore loose clothing and felt badly when I undressed. It’s just me….I feel best about myself when I am fit. I have a small frame and I feel uncomfortable with excess pounds. This is not a judgment about other people. It’s about me confronting something I was unhappy about and how I changed it.
Continuing…We got up from the table when a very fit woman walked past the window.
“Wow, she’s fit,” I said, wistfully.
“Mommy, you look good too, everywhere except your tummy.” Josie said.
As with all children, her words rang true. I had let myself go a bit. I licked the final bits of Coffee Lovers off my upper lip. I fought tears. And I sighed.
I was ready to change.
In the next year, I lost 7 lbs. and got fit again. I had more energy and I was in a better mood much of the time. How did I do this?
I simply changed my habits.
Instead of going out for ice cream, I took the girls out for walks. We didn’t stop going out for treats entirely, we just cut back.
Instead of eating when I felt bored or stressed, I started jogging and doing yoga again. BUT, I made it a habit and I rewarded myself each time. According to Charles Duhigg (The Power of Habit), this is THE key to success. I woke up an hour early every day. I put on my workout clothes which I laid out the night before. After my workout, I had a glass of water and a cup of coffee. I reveled in feeling the endorphins run through my body and my coffee became my reward. I told myself, “No workout, no coffee.” I like coffee a LOT. That was enough to keep me going.
Honestly, I believe I am in better shape now than I was 25 years ago.
Is there something you want to change? How can you develop habits to make it happen? It’s easier than you think! I highly recommend Charles Duhigg’s book, “The Power of Habit.” It’s very entertaining and informative.