Loving November for the first time, in a long time..

I have to say that this is the first November where I am actually enjoying the excitement of the approaching holiday season. I am not just trying to ‘get through’ the month. When I taught fifth grade, November was always a source of stress. It always meant tons of grading for report cards, then report cards, then conferences, and teaching on top of all of that.

November was always one of the most difficult months as a teacher because there was so much to do. It was plagued with worry and stress. How are you supposed to do all of this in the little amount of time you were given? You actually wonder how the hell you were going to make it to the end of the month!

It’s different for me now. I don’t have worries. I don’t have stress. I am not concerned with pleasing other people. Don’t get me wrong, I truly enjoyed meeting the parents. There are those parents out there that you wonder why they don’t have more children because they are amazing. But those report cards and conferences, the anticipation of the first ‘this is how your child is doing’ stresses you out a bit.

Since I quit teaching, I’ve actually been enjoying every moment of November.

My house is clean.
I’ve enjoyed mid-day reading at Panera with a hot chocolate in hand.
I walked my dogs several times last week.
I’ve been sewing, crafting, and decorating my house for Thanksgiving.
I’ve even been Christmas shopping already. I’m almost done with everyone.
I had a wonderful lunch last week with a friend.
I’ve been volunteering my time- seriously there is nothing more rewarding than that.
I cook and bake now too (and not just on weekends). This week I made chicken corn soup, baked ziti, and banana bread.
I’ve been spending time with my nieces and nephews, which has been so much fun.
Last week, when my nieces spent the night, we made a project for their dad (who ran the NY marathon) and I enjoyed photographing them too.

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And this is the project they did for their dad including everything “New York.” Sorry it’s a bit blurry.

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I’ve been wishing on ‘Wishies’. You blow them in the air and make a wish and they carry your wish. I haven’t done that since I was a child. 🙂

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Let’s not forget the silly faces during lunch with my niece.

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Or Tuesday when we went to the playground. I can honestly say I was the only adult actually climbing and going down the slide too.

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I’ve been exercising too and I’m doing well on my weight-loss team. Oh yeah, I’m “Sandra” on the actual challenge chart, but as you can see I’m doing well for the Red Team.

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I’m not exhausted on Friday nights.
I went to the grocery store this week during the day.
I even had time to cut coupons!
I don’t stress out on Sunday nights.
I love sleeping in.

I have  nothing exactly new to post… Other than it has been very nice to stop and enjoy life for once. It’s so easy to go through the motions and get ‘caught up’ in life. I can honestly say it’s nice to enjoy November.

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Not enough hours in a day…

I know I haven’t blogged lately (over two and a half months). I’m actually surprised that people are still viewing my blog.  So I guess it’s about time that I start blogging again. After a wonderful lunch on Friday with two of my retired friends, I decided that since I do enjoy blogging I should make my way back to it. I have not stopped gardening or creating projects, which is why I’ve just been too busy to blog.

As you know, if you’ve been following this blog, I quit teaching. Actually I retired; I won’t go back. Not that I didn’t love working with children and it wasn’t incredibly rewarding, it just became too much. I certainly have other reasons too that I’ll share with you someday.

This was my first time not starting school since I can remember.  I was excited for more time to focus on me.  My sister-in-law did invite me to the beach the first week of school to help ease the transition. What better way to kick off the new school year than with a trip to the beach? As it turned out, I even got the chance to witness sea turtles being excavated on what would have been my first day with students at the EXACT time students would have been arriving.  That truly was amazing!

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After I got back from the beach, I had high expectations for my time. I thought I would have all the time in the world to blog and garden. As it turns out, I just don’t. I am not sure how I keep finding things to do or people to visit, but I still find there are not enough hours in a day. I’ve just been filling my days with stuff I love to do. This is happiness.

What am I most proud of? The time that I now have to dedicate to working out and taking care of myself. I started a challenge at my local gym called “Project Pounds Away.” It’s similar to “The Biggest Loser.” We train twice a week as a team, have team challenges, and ‘homework’. I also started Yoga and Zumba!  I’m not crazy about the Total Body class I take on Tuesdays or The Mixx class I take on Thursdays, but I do them anyway.

Anyone that knows me knows this is beyond my comfort zone and that’s why I’m proud. I usually don’t sign up for group things with people I don’t know. I usually don’t take group classes like Zumba and Yoga, let alone by myself. This post by Pink Runner certainly helped a bit. However, I’ve learned something about myself in recent months- I’ve learned that I love meeting new people and most things aren’t worth worrying about. I’ve let go of just about all the negativity in my life and I’ve been going by the quote: “Sometimes, you just have to show up.” So, that’s what I’ve been doing and so far it’s been working out great.

Hopefully that catches you up a bit on what I’ve been doing. So, even though there are not enough hours in the day, I’m hoping to blog more. 🙂

~ Sondra