E-flections of an Educator

Resolutions or Recommitments?

Posted on: January 1, 2012

I gave up making New Year’s Resolutions ages ago. Like many people, I would have the best of intentions–eat better, exercise more, get organized, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera–only to “fall off the wagon” early on.

I prefer to reflect and recommit. Semantics? Maybe.

I think, for the most part, I do pretty well with regard to “eat better.” Sure, I have my cravings and junk-food binges (I have a horrible sweet tooth!), but I do try to make good choices the majority of the time, balancing grains, dairy, fruits & vegetables, and protein, and I’ve significantly reduced the amount of red meat in my diet. Back in July, the yoga studio where I practice held a green smoothie challenge, which I took up for part of the month; I had to take a break when I was in Europe, but resumed when I returned. I have to admit that once I got back to school, it got a little harder (and more expensive with the changing season) to maintain. I even noticed that my energy levels weren’t as high when I got away from the daily smoothies, so I tried to do at least a few days a week. With the holiday season, and all the goodies, I’ve really gotten away from it. Because nutrition is so important to both physical and mental well-being, I recognize that I need to make a more concerted effort in this department.

The first three-quarters of the year were pretty successful with regard to the commitment to exercise. On October 6, 2011, my finger was smashed in a freak accident, severely injuring the joint capsule of the 2nd knuckle on my left middle finger. No yoga, no Curves–too much stress, strain, and pain! (Thank goodness I’m right-handed!) A full two months of occupational therapy before I could resume all activities. By then it was December, and with all the holiday activities, and a crazy work schedule, it was really hard to get back into the routine. I’ve only recently resumed my yoga practice. I need to recommit to myself, and schedule exercise (both Curves workouts and yoga classes) into my planner so it’s “in my face” like any other meeting.

Organization? It has been a lifelong struggle. I have no problem admitting that! I was the kid who could never find anything in her desk. Because of that, I really stressed teaching my students to be organized: keeping an assignment sheet (back in the days before student planners), what to keep in folders, how to organize the items in their desks so they could be found. I often had parents tell me they were so glad I taught their students this skill. Harder to follow it myself. I think I’ve cleared out the remnants of my dissertation research and artifacts from my home office, and it feels like a space where I can think again. Now I just need to keep it up.

My final recommitment is the most important of all. A few years ago, I adopted a Ghandi quote as my personal motto: Be the change you wish to see in the world. While 2011 saw the completion of my PhD, it also held some disappointments and more than a few challenges. Sometimes it was hard to keep a positive outlook, and stay focused on those things within my sphere of influence. I need to remember that I can and do make a difference every day.

Resolutions or recommitments? Splitting hairs? What do you think?

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