Taking Charge

8 Oct

The last few weeks have been about taking charge of my life.

It has been 3 weeks since hubs got onto a plane and I began my new life as a single mama. Since then, I’ve had my own emotions about our relationship and epiphanies about his treatment of me . . . but I don’t want to get into that right now. Right now I want to pay tribute to all the ways I have taken back my life since then–and it’s only the beginning.IMG_7844 Almost immediately I basked in the silence and started to take care of myself. While my parents were still here, I got a pedicure–total relaxation! I’ve started taking long baths and reading books for pleasure. And shopping! Randomly one evening at 9pm I went on a shopping spree for some cute new clothes & accessories. I just wandered around, tried on clothes, and picked out accessories that I liked (while N was doing an overnight with the grandparents).

I also started losing weight almost immediately, but not in a bad anxious kind of way, but in a ‘I don’t have to eat out of stress/commitment/unhappiness’. There was actually a lot of strange food drama in our house, so I’ve been enjoying eating what I want to eat when I want to eat it. I’ve started cooking really good, fresh, food following the Fresh 20 meal plans (I’ve been picking a plan I like, not the prescribed week’s and then using the food over a matter of days/weeks rather than the usual 5 days). I’ve also started tracking my foods/portions and weight again using my favorite MyFitnessPal app which actually motivates me to eat correct portions (not eat for comfort/boredom/stress) and gets me moving.IMG_7939I quickly got N into a great drop-in preschool. They have a combination of regular kids and drop-in kids, but I think it’s the perfect environment for N right now. Not too rigid, but a bit of a routine. Freedom to play, do art, and meet other kids and have other adults interact with him. Of course, he brought home his first sickness by day 3! He has a cold with really awesome green snot and a low-grade fever. I had him home with me one day and since them we’ve been plugging along with a combination of sleep, warm shower-baths, tylenol, and lots of cuddles. He is doing better but hasn’t fully shaken it.IMG_7900He cried a lot the first week, but this week he hasn’t shed a tear at drop-off. Once I say ‘bye’ he turns away and ignores me. 😦 But he is learning that he’s in a safe place and mama returns for him, so I guess I deserve it!

When I am home with him (we’re home every day by 2!) he takes a nap and I’m sure to play with him. With the sickness and a gorgeous indian summer, we have been taking walks with him in his baby carrier on my back. It seems crazy to carry a 30-lb toddler on my back, but it totally works and I hardly feel the weight. He just snuggles in for mama-time and looks around while I get my heart rate up a bit and breathe some fresh air.IMG_7982I’m doing a good job of taking charge of my basic needs (food, exercise) and the final question–housing–will be taken care of soon. I’m moving in two weeks to university housing. I’ve already been approved and paid my deposit, so I’m just waiting for the current tenants to move out. I’m looking forward to being in an apartment right by campus and setting up a home for just my snuggle-bug and me. IMG_7977last year/this year

Since basic needs are covered, I actually have room to be alone with myself and get things done. I’ve been doing some editing for our wedding business because there’s no way hubs will finish his work. Teaching is going well–I’m already feeling better about it than this summer when my life was in constant turmoil. My course sequence makes much more sense and I’m just in a better place when I walk into class each day. The second class I’m teaching is fun and easy–it’s a lecture listening and seminar-speaking ESL class and most of my students are eager grad students. It’s easy to pass on skills I have to them and give them opportunities to practice English in a structured way.

I’ve also turned my attention back to academics. I gave a presentation to a sort of unusual charity organization that promotes English around the world. I presented on how to tutor ESL and I was the youngest person around by probably 20 years 🙂 It was actually totally fun and everyone really enjoyed it. Then I went to their luncheon with a talk by the Dean of Westminster Abbey. Fascinating talk–nice guy. That night was a dinner cruise at a pretty touristy Native American village. Not the best food but I still had fun.

I also found out yesterday that a proposal I co-wrote was accepted to a national conference!! Yay! And the conference (this spring) is in a nearby city (3 hrs away) so it should be pretty easy to go and have a great time! I also have some ideas of how I can re-think my dissertation ideas so that I really can start researching this winter and not lose time. I’m invigorated and, sure it will take work, but I’m in a much better place to do that work now.

Overall, my new life philosophy is “Take Charge.” Only I am in control of my life these days, so I want to live it the best I can. IMG_7893

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