Saturday, July 13, 2013

Listening to and Reflecting on the Lessons we Teach our Children

One of the "habits for living" that my kids have embraced, accepted and come to enjoy during summers and weekends is spending the first 30 minutes of most normal days with reading.  Everyone with their own book. There is definitely time later in the day where I read to them and they read more by themselves, but for this first 30 min we are all in our own books (I'm often writing).  At first it was something I requested of them but now I don't even ask.  My oldest daughter just gets the timer and makes sure her younger brother and sister are on board with their books and quiet time.

For awhile, my son (now 4) didn't want to just sit and look at books because in his words: "I can't read".  We did away with this belief system quite quickly. I think one of the most important things this life routine has done for my kids is the belief that we all learn, read, create, etc. in our own our own pace. Reading for him means looking at pictures and letters and remembering/retelling stories that he has had read to him time and time again. And books that are about his interests at the time (this currently involves superheroes, superheroes, superheroes).  It's exciting to see him pick up books and "Read" in his own way...with joy.  And pride. No different from his older sisters.

Just as my kids have come to accept that we are all readers in our own way, in our own time, and at our own pace, they have also come to believe this about most things in life.  This "I can do it" belief system allows them to start small with things and not get discouraged at seeing the big picture or only comparing themselves and what they can do to what others can do.  This carries over to so many things in life... fitness, jobs, education, writing a book, starting a business.

Just as we can all learn how to live by watching and truly listening to our kids, we can learn and grow by truly listening to and believing (for ourselves) the messages and lessons that we are helping them learn.

Just a few:
  • Start Small.
  • Believe in You.
  • Believe you CAN!
  • We all Learn in Our Own Ways.
  • Don't compare our beginning steps with where someone else is after doing something for awhile.
  • Everyone starts somewhere...own it! 
There are so many wonderful messages we send to our children every single day. We teach them through LIVING.  We teach them through all of the many things we do with them, encourage them to do on their own, the examples we set with our own lifestyle and how we talk to them about life.  

It's Worth
tell ourselves those most important messages we tell our children.
Sometimes we Forget.

What are some lessons and messages that you teach your children that are worth reviewing for yourself from time to time?   I strongly believe that we so often teach what we need to know.  Even if we already know it and just need to reflect on it.  


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Writing For ME. Rediscovering MY Something.

Jewelry from The Run Home

I've started writing again.  Okay, so I never officially stopped writing. At least I didn't intend to. But somehow, in the midst of all this life stuff, my writing just kind of dried up. Not just my blog writing but my personal writing.  My every day just for me because it makes me happy writing.

Along with running, writing is my perfect therapy. We all have our"SOMETHING".  That thing we do because it makes us feel more connected with ourselves.  That thing that brings life to our world.  Writing (and running) is MY something. It clears my head and gives me energy. It makes me feel in touch with myself.  When I write (or run), I am inspired to live a fuller life.  Whether I write for myself or for others to read, I almost always walk away from it feeling centered, calm and motivated.

I think back to a couple years ago when I just couldn't stop writing. I journaled, blogged, name it. I wrote and wrote and wrote. And I started to find my voice as a writer.  The more I wrote, the more I wanted to write and the easier writing was. Again, similar to my running. At one point I couldn't even keep up with all the things I wanted to write.  I had many different notebooks stacked up on my desk, note pads with lists and ideas for life and more writing, my personal journal, etc.  Sometimes I even put a pen and notebook in my jogger stroller because I knew I would think of something I'd want to write while I was on a run with my little ones in tow.  In fact, there were many times that I just stopped on the side of the road mid-run just to jot a sentence down before it flew out my head and was replaced by the next thought.  I was living the "writerly life" that I always talked about to my students when I was a teacher.

And I was doing it solely because it brought me JOY and fulfillment.  Not to make money or have others know me as a writer (Heck, I don't even claim to be a good writer).   I didn't write for anyone else but me. Because I wanted to!  It made me feel connected with myself and others. With every new piece of writing I wrote and every idea I captured (whether it was for a public audience or just myself), I felt happy to have written it.  I felt happy...

Like Running,


And I miss it.

So, this week I blew the dust off my journal, decided to take my walls down again when it comes to this blog and I set a new goal for myself:

Write something every day.

I'm going to try to make time to write every day.  Even if it is only 10 minutes.  Whether I write a blog post to share with others, work on something I've got going in my notebook, write a letter to myself in my journal, process something on paper, make a list, write to my kids, send a long e-mail or letter... I'm going to write.  

So, here's to getting back in SHAPE! 


Already off to a good start today:
  • Up early with coffee and journal, notebook.  
  • A bit of time to read...I think writing and reading definitely go hand in hand.  
  • QUALITY time and conversation with my kids.
  • Quick treadmill workout before heading to doctor this morning.  A workout that was short but effective in getting me sweating and feeling alive!  Oh, and my kids were dreams...they just sat next to the treadmill and chatted with me.  4 miles:  1 mile @easy 8:35 pace then next 3 miles with alternating 45 seconds to 1 min at 6:40 pace and then 2 min@8:35 pace.  An easy workout but just enough mix up to get my body used to running a little faster.  Getting an itch to train lightly for something again.  Or not.  Mostly enjoying the freedom to do whatever I want and be fit and healthy without being tied to a plan.  I like this.  
  • CONNECTING with a few special people. 
  • One of our new friends in town asking if she could take all three kids for a play date.  Um, Okay!  Going on 3 hours now and she wants them until 8.  Can we say DATE with my hubby for dinner?  Thank you friend.  Can't wait to return the favor.  Such a treasure to have found another mom who is all about the play date trades.  
  • A walk by myself to the library and coffee shop down the street from us.  
  • Writing about writing.  I know, boring.  But its my start to finding MY Something again. 
What's YOUR SOMETHING?  Or SOMETHINGS.  That thing that makes you feel more alive and centered when you do it?