Long time, no blog

Wow, I see my visits here have become few and far between. It has been nearly a year since I have updated, with the exception of my ongoing book list. Glancing back at several of the more recent, however non-recent, posts, I see a lot of focus on child-related issues. That is no surprise. As a homeschooling mom, a huge part of my time and attention is directed toward my children. I do give a lot of thought to how our culture, and how our own parenting and educational decisions, will influence them. In fact, the infrequency of my posts here is largely a result of my effort to be more available to my kids. As homeschoolers, we do spend a lot of time together. I found that it is pretty easy to let other things overtake our free time – my free time – and I don’t want all our time together to be about doing schoolwork. I want to have time to play together and work together on meaningful things other than school.

Since I spent a lot of time talking about running in the past, I will update briefly. After an injury in 2012, I have to admit, I fell apart on the fitness front. If I couldn’t run, I wasn’t going to exercise at all, darn it! I didn’t consciously decide that, but it turned into my reality.

One great thing I’ve noticed when I am in a good exercise routine is that I also tend to eat well. I called it my virtuous circle.

virtuous circle

noun

A recurring cycle of events, the result of each one being to increase the beneficial effect of the next:
‘economic expansion would itself produce a virtuous circle of increased productivity, increased exports, and increased growth’

Sadly, when I wasn’t running, I didn’t make an effort to eat well. I was very lax about my food choices. It’s not by any means as if everything was bad at that time, but I certainly put my health on the back-burner.

When I saw people running, I felt a longing. For a long time, I thought I could just dive back in at any point once my injury had resolved. I would decide to start running again, run a few times per week for two or three weeks, then fizzle out. Boo. Finally, in 2014, I acknowledged the reality that I needed to start over. I did Couch to 5K all over again, and was so pumped to participate in a local 5K as the culmination of that training program. I’ve also joined a local chapter of a national women’s running group – Moms RUN This Town – and the community has gone a long way in encouraging me to keep it up this time. I have been running pretty regularly again since July of 2014. I’m slower than I used to be, but I have run several 5k’s, a 10k, and even a half-marathon last fall. I have enjoyed getting to know some great mother runners in my community as well. How did I do it without community before?

I have no races coming up, but I should pick something out and sign up! While unnecessary, I feel that races add a lot of FUN and motivation to things. I did enjoy a four miler today. A sunny 60+ day in Minnesota in March? I’ll take it, with gratitude. My virtuous circle also seems to be functioning fairly well again. It’s hard balancing work, parenting, health and all the rest. I am a constant work in progress in all aspects of life.

How about you? Have you dealt with injury with more grace than I did? Do you notice virtuous circles in your life? Do you have any advice on balance?

Lazy Days of Summer and CSA 2011 Week 10

Maybe you’ve noticed it too. There is always work to be done. There are always weeds to be pulled. Always more cleaning that could be done. Grocery shopping to do. Etc. Etc. Etc. What do you think? Should we work until we feel all the work is done, or should we set the to-do list aside for a while and spend time on other things? We had two lazy afternoons this week. I had had productive mornings in both cases, but the work was not all done.

My children heard the signal – yes, the neighborhood children signal each other when they are outside to play. So cute. 🙂 While I could have said we couldn’t join the other families and kept working, I decided to seize the beautiful days that we had. My children played with friends all afternoon. I enjoyed adult conversation with our neighbors.

It’s all a balancing act. If we stay holed up all the time, and I get everything perfectly clean and organized (it could happen, right?), would we happier? How about if I spend some time everyday getting things done and take some time just to play with my kids or visit with friends, even if there’s still more work to be done? The second scenario appeals more to me. Honestly, will all the work ever be done? These kinds of days don’t happen all the time, and I rarely regret them when they do.

Am I just trying to justify our lazy afternoons to myself? Perhaps. But I do think it’s fairly common for people to get so caught up in their work that they struggle with balance. I think balance is important. Taking time for things we enjoy can be so refreshing, and I think it can help us avoid burning out or resenting the work we do. If we can feel balanced in our lives and approach our work with a joyful heart, isn’t that a great thing? Isn’t it also nice to get to know the people in our neighborhoods and build that sense of community? I tend to think so.

Yesterday was CSA pick-up, so I will share this week’s bounty. Here’s what we got:

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Carrots, sugar snap peas, cucumbers, green Boston lettuce, fennel, broccoli, sweetheart cabbage, radish seed pods, arugula, garlic, chite cipollini onions, ramp cheddar, monterey jack, and labneh. Two of these items are new to me.

Radish seed pods:
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and Labneh, a sheep yogurt cheese:
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I’ll have to let you know what we think of those.

Have you ever heard of yogurt cheese? I hadn’t. We shall see…

And now I’m off to make pancakes and get started on some yard work that I’ve put off for the last two days. Happy Friday!