More Living, Less Existing

The ways to create a first posting on a blog seem endless; yet, lack creativity. That being said, I’ll just dive right into it.

A day in my life looks somewhat like this and is probably the best way for someone to get to know me on a surface level at least. In each portion of my day, I am presented with choice. Choice to live or choice to exist. 

Get up at 4 a.m.-to most people this sounds like a dread and believe me, there are days when I want to hit snooze but from 4:00am-5:30 am…I get my time. The most peaceful part of my day that sets the tone for the task-driven day ahead. Meditation, yoga, self-care all happens as soon as my feet hit the ground, before everyone else gets up. The beauty and silence of the morning creates a space for me to find my breath so that I can come right back to it as soon as my day feels chaotic. As soon as the negative thoughts concerning the daily-tasks jump into my head. It has taken trial and error to get myself to this place but believe me, this part of the day is essential for me to tune into life for the day.

5:30-5:50 a.m.-Time for my three kids to wake it up…they greet me with lovely early morning phrases like… “Why do we have to get up so early?” “Can’t you get a new job?” “School sucks, can we be home-schooled?” Dreamers, they are. Breakfast, get dressed…let’s go!

5:50-7:15 a.m.-So begins the lovely commute from my house to my kids’ dad’s house to catch their bus, then to work I go. Conversations w my sleepy kids happen or sometimes I just listen to them sleep as I go up the highway. More meditation, Podcasting (let me know if you need some good suggestions or can share some with me), music. I used to dread this ridiculous commute but I’ve come to enjoy the space to myself in the car before I head to work to serve my students, it’s become therapy.

7:15-2:45 a.m-My work and my service, high schoolers ages 15-18, 10th grade and 11th grade English. My energy goes to my students during this time and I do mean my full energy, any educator can attest to that. Working in a high-school is no joke. It’s a “give it your all” type of job, everyday. More details to come at a later date on that one.

3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m-Back on the road I go…the second commute of the day. By this time, I have to really practice the breathing I used at 4 a.m., no joke. Transitioning from “teacher” to “mom” can be a challenge and that’s honest. When negativity creeps in (and it does) back to the breath I go. Back to talking myself up, back to reaffirming myself. “You are strong, you got this” “This is light work compared to other things you have been through”, etc.

4:30-5:00 p.m.-Headed home with the kids. Sometimes there’s conversations, sometimes they sleep. Often, this is when arguments between the three kids happen and traffic on the road is irritating. Either way, I try to make the best of this commute by holding onto the idea that the memories we make in that car are for forever and we won’t always get that time. And I…I am learning to breath through this.

***during football season, ↑ and ↓ look TOTALLY different***more on that when it’s relevant

5:00-6:00 p.m.-I cook. Even though the kidlets are exhausted and “sooooo hungry” and “are starving” I make them wait for me to cook (most days with success) because I like to eat at the table together. This isn’t as picturesque as it sounds, I promise. Normally my older son wants to “eat later” so that he can stay on the phone with his friends (more on that later) and my other two complain about what we are eating “I don’t like vegetables.” “How many more bites do I have to eat?” Still, as someone who doesn’t remember a lot of “sit-down” dinners with my own family, this part of the day feels essential to me. By now, the fatigue of the day starts to rear it’s ugly head. After all, 4 a.m. was a long time ago.

***Wednesday’s I’m off to Grad school (yippee!–lots and lots of breath for that) and my kids are with their dad***

6:00-8:00 p.m.-This is when I try to get in some quality time with my kids, my partner and with myself. I have to push myself onwards with positivity and can usually conquer that with a quick yoga breathing sequence. We have recently decided this is the time when everyone decompresses, cools down, and relaxes into the evening. Me and my partner (more on that lovely human soul to come) have started taking the dog on a walk so that we can chat, check in with each other on our thoughts and feelings and move those endorphins to get through the rest of the evening. I can’t tell you what a change this can make for the day. I try to consciously spend at least 15 minutes of undivided attention with each kid. That seems simple but it can be a challenge when a pre-teen doesn’t want to put down his phone and house chores and lunches to be packed are nagging my attention. If I’m feeling a little weak, I reconnect with the breath, read a passage or so from self-help book, meditate and breath some more. I never “feel” like doing it but I make myself do it. I never regret it.

8:00 am-9:30 p.m.-Settling deeper into the evening/early night. Since we are on an early schedule, that means early bedtime. Hugs and kisses to the babies and lights out for me, just like I’m the first one up, I’m usually the first one out.

Ok, so I have broken down my daily schedule…what’s so inspiring about that? Well, in each time block of my day, I get the opportunity of choice, the opportunity to live or to exist. I don’t know many American adults who don’t have a chaotic schedule, I’m not unique or special in that sense. I can’t count the number of days I decided to exist with this schedule. I can tell you that much of that thinking took me to exhaustion and to darkness. Really. The negative thinking sparks all types of other negativity…poor relationships, poor choices, poor habits and on and on. It was awful. I was a pessimist, I thought, by nature but…that’s a lie.

But, within the past few several months, I decided…I made the choice that I was done with that, that there was no solution to the exhaustive schedule that I had to change my mindset in order to feel…well, alive. I’m not pretending that a rainbow parted the clouds and a unicorn swooped me up and took me to the land of roses and butterflies, no. Wouldn’t that be nice? It all started by getting on my yoga mat and just giving the practice a try.

I’ve learned that to be happy, to live, to feel alive involves a practice, a conscious intention, a choice…with every single breath of every single day. 

Hippie. Corny. Lame. These are the terms that some would describe this type of thinking but I encourage anyone who is going through anything…trauma, disaster, chaos, stress or just compulsive negative thinking to remove those judgements from their own consciousness and feel empowered that we get a choice with every breath we breath. We can allow the negative to overshadow what we do and ultimately who we are. Even in the most tedious and routine tasks, the choice to find the light is available to us.

Every day is different and every learning moment has a lesson…enter the purpose of this blog. In a culture of negative thinking, I simply want to connect with others, share my story/lessons and hope to cultivate more and more positive energy so that I myself and ultimately others, can feel the power of life, the power of choice…the power to live, to not exist. 

2 thoughts on “More Living, Less Existing

  1. It never seizes to impress me just how little we think we know a certain person. Everything about them seems so simple that a human loses interest pretty quickly, although if you seek their true nature, you will most definitely meet a completely different soul. Never knew being a mother would be this harsh. Great job staying composed and positive in school, it reflects onto your students for sure. Entertaining blog as always 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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