On March 9th, I was very proud to watch as kids from our elementary school participated in the competition Odyssey of the Mind. It was my first year to attend as a parent and my first year of being a coach.
It is a little bit stressful to coach a team of kids (all under 8 years old) in designing and building a problem answer. Our problem was to create a museum concept and then build and present three exhibits explaining the theme of the museum. The problem definition stated it best as the first sentence of the directions was “Children can see the extraordinary in the ordinary.” This was proved over and over during the course of our work.
Starting in January, we met as a team at least once a week. Every meeting started with food because hungry kids are distracted kids. Then, we would have our team cheer to build our energy up for the hard work. As part of our cheer, each team member had a chance to do their special move. It was exciting to see what they came up with each week. A simple cartwheel turned into team excitement and cheers.
They worked well together because conflict was ordinary but solution was extraordinary. The best was when they questioned each other – they did not tiptoe around the subject – they just asked “Why did you make that ugly?” or “Why can’t you keep the theme?” Often the explanation from one kid would get a shrug from the others and an “Okay, if that’s what you think.” After 6 practices we had a 5 minute cheer followed by a race because we changed the theme (after everyone agreed they didn’t want to stay with the original theme) and everyone was super excited by the new theme.
It was difficult to coordinate practice schedules but looking back, it was all worth it. The kids were so proud of themselves after the presentation. We tried and we did it.
I have two growing boys. I have become accustomed to buying them pants and having them folded up in inch increments and hemmed two inches high because they will undoubtedly need to have them pulled back down at the next growth spurt. It’s $10 for each pair of pants. However, I know my mom taught me how to do this but I just do not remember how to do it.
So, when I was visiting my mom this weekend, I asked her to help me remember how to use the sewing machine. Luckily, my mom is accustomed to my engineering curiosity so she gave me a detailed tutorial on proper setup of the machine and the necessary tension for different fabrics. She then went through a detailed demonstration of where setups can go wrong and cause unnecessary anger and frustration. She laughed as she told me that she has done all of it too many times and if she can help me avoid the issues even once, the world is a happier place.
End result = 3 pairs of little boy school pants properly hemmed and two adult shirts fixed. It was a victory day for spending time with my mom and (re)learning a skill.
Two weeks ago, I got very serious about my calorie count. When I hit 1300 calories in a day = That’s It! No more food or drink goes into my mouth. It has not been super hard, although in most cases it means I am done consuming by 6 PM. However, yesterday, I flew home to visit my mom.
My mom loves to take care of her kids. She bought special food for the house so I had my favorite things available. I told her about my diet and she changed up plans so we would have less calories. Somehow though with freshly grilled chicken, delicious cheese and a huge salad with olives and walnuts and so many good things, I am already at my calories for the day.
I know that I should be focused on my #longtermgoals and should walk past but how can you do that with fresh food made by mom? Short term happiness is sometimes the key to long term satisfaction.
Yesterday was the end of the soccer season. As I was sitting in the stadium, I looked up to a beautiful view. The clouds were circling around the sun in a slow spiraling dance. The picture does not do it justice but I can remember it clearly. If I was a poet, I would be able to describe it but as it is I will just consider it beautiful motivation.
As I looked up into the sky, I remembered how great my life is and that if I want to be healthy – I just need to decide to do it. There are so many other things that are outside my control that I have no reason not to make this one happen.
So, I woke up this morning and I completed a run. It wasn’t fast and it wasn’t pretty but I got there and moved. I can so I should.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
I am tempted to start with “Day One – The Journey Begins” but that is so not true. My journey with my weight started more than 30 years ago. I cannot remember when I first realized I was a chubby kid. I know that by 4th grade, I was already avoiding full length photos.
This is why I have to change now. Instead of enjoying the feelings from remembering a great time with my husband, I look at my picture and think how big I have gotten. I know I can be healthier. I will not allow myself to go above 185. This is the line in the sand.