This year has started with a quickness and I’ve had so much bouncing around in my head that I have a list (as long as Texas is wide) of things I want to accomplish. However, taking my recent advice into consideration, I am settling on magnifying one- okay two- things.
First, my need to spend more time with my children has been at the top of my list of necessary actions. While I love my site and writing the blog, it does require an outstanding amount of “behind-the-scenes” work. This lead to an overwhelming degree of stress at the end of 2013. Which sucked, to be blunt, because I really want to get my message out there and provide something “real.” It can feel impossible when your budget is zero and your time is extremely limited…not to mention I don’t have a beautiful assistant bringing me tea- this is a one woman show here lol.
The constant struggle of publishing content, promoting, and answering emails in a timely manner, on top of homeschooling and children just wasn’t working. Oh, and forget about the “me” time lol. This sea of duties began to overtake my life in more ways than one, and felt like an uneven trade. I would find myself trying to get “just one more thing done.” Meanwhile, my kids are getting older every second that goes by. I look at them and see it slipping- I want so much to sleep and breathe and think kids all day, yet even when I think I’m going to put my foot down there is that voice that’s telling me “I need to do something for me”…you see my dilemma.
So the need to shift focus, and give my children more time to grow together instead of apart is what I want most this year.
I want to be more involved with them, wrapped in the security of nurturing…instead of trying to pretend like I have eight arms. We homeschool, and while they are taking on more independent work (as suggested by their curriculum), I feel the need for more togetherness and fun. More group reading, more conversations, more crafts, and more outings. My friends think I’m either supermom or crazy, but I’m just a mom doing the best she can. I’m also a mom who recognizes when her children need her- these years go by so fast and now is the time to savor the moment. I love my children with all my heart- my allegiance rests with them and not my computer.
So while I will *still be blogging*, I have reevaluated my approach. I will not be putting “deadlines” on myself, or extreme expectations. I am shifting my writing schedule, and will be stretching out my blogging time, instead of cramming it into one little window. I have been blessed with beautiful contributors, which I feel has been Gods way of allowing me to practice this need of healthy balance. So these ladies will be contributing their own inspiration and love, and in doing so, allow me to breathe a little better.
This is not a complaint, it is just that I feel that I need to let my readers know this about myself.
Blogging isn’t always easy, and it’s a trade of time in the real world. It has brought me great joy to share information with families, and it will continue to be my online love child. However, within the blogging world there are limits, especially when you have small children. My hopes is that you, dear reader, understand my human flaws and realize that I’m doing the best I can. If there’s one thing I CAN promise- it’s that my posts will be MORE, because I won’t be wearing myself out in the process.
I can say, that since applying this, things have been much more manageable and I’ve been much more cheerful. I’m in the habit now of “just saying no” to work related tasks that are not urgent. I’ve been able to spend more valuable time with my kids, partaking in hands on school activities and reading just for the fun of it. Through this, there has been a sense of calm in the household and I really enjoy that.
Anyway, moving forward…my second resolution is to juice for 30 days (I’m on day 14). I wanted to get my health in order, and I was way overdue for a healthy makeover. After the birth of my son I did what lots of families do- I reached for convenience items because I was so tired I could barely rub two brain cells together to take a shower. I’m vegan, yes, so some people assume that means you eat healthy all the time (oh, the salad stereotypes). So not true. I experienced fatigue after sacrificing my health to processed foods again, like so many others do in times of stress. If there is one thing I know, it’s that everyone has an emotional attachment to food, it doesn’t matter what “diet” you’re on.
So it was time to chuck the frozen soy nuggets and fake cheese to the curb, and get back to real food, which was always my saving grace. Fresh veggies, fruit, grains, and nuts, with an addition of organic tofu (when prepared right, it can be the perfect healthy protein). Oh an juice. Juice er’yday. While I can’t do a complete juicing “fast” because I BF my son, what I am doing is drinking a hefty glass of juice every morning. Incorporating fresh, living nutrients accompanied by my efforts to prepare all meals from scratch is what has always worked best for me.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I have been eating fast food, or treating myself like a garbage can (been there, done that), but what I did do was take a big nose dive with my health in the last six months of 2013. Just from so much pressure with a new baby, school, blog, and of course the enormous hole that was left in my family when Doug died. So yeah, I let myself go a bit, despite what I knew was best.
So, I’ve been juicing since January 1st, and it feels really good. Dinner has started to be exciting again, and it actually feels really good to get back to the process of preparing instead of just eating. I’ve had a couple slips (yup…a wee bit of cake…hey I’m being honest here), but I’m not buying fake meat or cheese. In fact, the only substitutes I use is almond milk and vegan butter, both of which I don’t use a whole lot (coffee and the occasional toast).
The first few juicing’s were a complete shock to my system, and made me feel quite ill actually lol. Apparently I really needed this “mini” detox! I came to the conclusion that after three days, I strongly dislike carrot juice. I juiced carrots for almost two months last January (with beautiful results that you can read here ), and while I know it gets easier, this time my body is like, “no carrots pleaaaassse!!!”
On the super duper plus side, my children and hubby are taking part in the juicing extravaganza. Doing this as a family is building confidence and helping immensely. While my kids don’t always enjoy the combo, most of the time, they gulp it down like liquid candy.
I’ve also been switching up my juice more than I did for last years detox ride, which has made this experience more colorful, literally. As recommended, I have added sweet potatoes and beets to my juice, although I will admit that the first dose of this was something harsh, because I also added an orange- leaving it pretty STRONG to say the least. I quickly pushed my glass back under the juicer and added a pear, making it much easier to gulp down. I love all of these ingredients on their own (and sweet potatoes are wonderful juiced with celery and pears), but, for some reason, my body got as high as a kite after this particular concoction. LOL.
I apologize for the extreme word vomit, but this is where my heart is.
It feels good to focus on my health and my family (even if sometimes I have to choke down juice). I love my children and my husband SOOOO much, and without them all of this would be one big pointless life. My new years resolutions are to honor that love, by taking care of us from the inside out. Through family bonding, communication, juicing, and eating better, we will be sealing the deal for a better quality of life in 2014 and beyond. With good health comes a good life.
A life that, is worthy enough to blog about.