Week # 2 – MR’s Classroom

These are the weekly happenings in MR’s classroom this week. We are moving strongly into academics and exploring ourselves, exploring others speaking positions, or media and what makes it considered “mass media”.

So this week with my dual credit English courses we will be exploring academic language and the privilege it provides us. I usually explore this through David Bartholomae’s academic article, “Inventing the University” which allows for some deep academic discussion of what makes things “scholarly” versus just good. I purposefully maxresdefaultmake the material hard, so I can gauge where everyone is at. We read sections together, then they will get some tough academic questions that I have them “translate” into language they better can understand and then they answer them. All of them introduces to the fact that college is a performance that always starts off with us not knowing.

Then we will move from that article to “Shitty First Drafts” by Anne Lamott. Students will find this much more accessible and we discuss a lot that you are not supposed to start out sounding amazing. That is just not a reasonable goal or expectation. They are also currently working on essay # 1 which is due Friday. It is an identity narrative. They have three options for which to choose to write an essay. The first is an extended name narrative, the second is using “This I believe” narrative prompt, and the third is an identity recipe centered around a metaphorical recipe of what makes you or a literal meaning of a recipe that you can share that will tell some sort of narrative maybe of family or culture.

In my English 9 course we are reading “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe and I am using Laura Randazzo’s materials for this. She is amazing and has some of the most engaging materials I have ever used. My textbook has this same story but it is not as visually appealing to my students has her hand out. As well, the questions provided in her handout create the best discussion points and as an aside….my students LOVE anything Edgar Allan Poe. I also will be teaching her lesson of O. Henry’s “Gift of the Magi” which is by far my favorite short story to teach. I am a true Victorian era enthusiast so it fulfills that need. In the mean time, they are getting ready to write a simple personal narrative, so we are learning elements of that, as well as, learning the basics of MLA. The only trick here is I write with them on my apple TV, so they can follow getty_615072736_357887along and make their MLA template for the year for my class and others.

In my dual credit speech, we are still working on starting Secondary Sara’s “15 minutes of Fame” speech from this post. The kids are loving it and having fun with it. I have quite a few drama kids this year, so the idea of using a persona of someone else was extremely appealing. Those speeches start Friday. In the meantime, I am lecturing quite a bit on the basic elements of speech and communication.

In my mass media class, we started exploring what makes media “mass” and they are completing that by researching and preparing presentations on a mass media of their choosing. They will start presenting those presentations on Thursday. I am really looking to make sure they understand how media reaches the masses. I made the assignment sheet for this assignment, so if anyone is interested just be sure to send me an email or message and I will email it. I love sharing my own created resources.

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Hope you have an amazing week teachers!

 

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Keep them close.

TheKey2

Picture from Bam Radio Network.

Imagine this…it was my first year in the classroom. I did not go to school for education and had zero classroom management skills. In fact, I didn’t even know what that word meant until about 4-5 months into my high school classroom. So when a student acted up I let it frustrate me and I took it extremely personally. That usually ended up with me writing referrals and my principal sending them to in school suspension. They would come back even more mad at me and even more disruptive to my classroom and here in lies the cycle of dread of going to work.

I hated coming to work and I continuously looked at classifieds because I figured it just meant I was not cut out for this stuff. My boss was patient with me. My colleagues were great at giving advice. But it took time to see that didn’t work and what I was lacking was me in the classroom. I didn’t believe in that way of handling things.

I had an epiphany. Classroom management to me seemed to be something that maybe I could compare to raising children. Was I sending my daughters to their room when they were making bad choices? Was I taking what they were doing personally? Was I immediately disseminating a punishment?

My answer to all of those is no. I never did any of those. I am an empath and carry all the emotion that comes with that. If people around me are miserable….chances are I am as well. I have to be really careful with that and what that can look like in my classroom because it can derail teaching very easily.

So I took a ‘mothering’ approach. That meant we talked about what was happening when those issues would arise. I also didn’t give them the opportunity to escape the conflict. They had to look at me and discuss the behavior and choices being made. Just as I would my daughters. What I eventually realized is that most of the issues had nothing to do with me which allowed me to dismiss the feeling of it being a personal attack. It also allowed me to deal with the behaviors from a much different perspective.

I also found it very important to sit down with them. Something about being a teacher towering over a student in a power stance just never sat right with me. I am not in this for the power of the position. I am in this so they can find the power of their own voice and I have zero desire to take away that power because most do not even realize they have any sort of power. Power is a funny thing in the classroom and it is delicate and based on the make up of a classroom you have to be very aware of the use and abuse of it.

The term “keep them close” has been on the rise in the social media teaching world. This idea to not do referrals and not send students out of your room. As I was reading about it I realized that is what I have been ascribing to all along. This idea that we are not sending our problem onto someone else because of the message that it sends to the student. This idea that a student is not worth my frustration, aggravation or attention. That is the opposite of everything I believe deep down in my soul.

Once I let go of this idea of what a teacher did in those tense situations my classroom management skills got so much better. Some may see it as too squishy (aka motherly) and that is okay. But let me be clear, my students will tell you 1) they respect me (and my squishyness) 2) Also, they know good and well when that line has been crossed with me.

As well, I have some rules that will also get you sent out of my classroom. They are repeated tardies and violence or threats of violence. I will tell you right now I have rarely/if ever had those issues at all.

I just choose to handle the issues that arise in my classroom myself and I actually pride myself on that. Because sometimes that maybe what the hope of the issue is…that a student will be sent out and not dealt with. I feel like instead I am sending the message of importance of what we are doing in my classroom. I also operate from the idea that students want to do well and that I expect that before I expect misbehavior. But I also remember they are human. PERIOD. They are going to make mistakes. I am going to make mistakes. So we make mistakes together and create an a forgiving atmosphere that allows for those mistakes. And then we move on.

Meal Plan Week of August 20th

So one thing I learned last week….I need simple. Like super simple and easy. The beginning of the year is overwhelming to me. Too many new things. So guess what I am gonna do?

Keto. Keto allows me some great advantages. It makes things super simple for me. It helps massively with brain function. I don’t even know if I know how to explain it, but my head loses the clouds.

So for breakfast and lunch this week it is simple. 2 hard boiled eggs, 4 pieces of bacon and mid-morning a chocolate shake. Lunch Monday-Wednesday are going to be a salad, with bacon, ranch and then a side of salmon patties. Thursday and Friday will be a chicken bacon topped salad. All of that will be served with an avocado.

Monday’s dinner is tostada which is a recipe we got from a friend of my #2’s family. It is a hard tostada shell smeared with refried beans (warmed up with a tablespoon of olive oil). Then topped with lettuce, queso fresco and salsa. I won’t be eating that and will likely have breakfast of sausage, eggs or omelet of some sort.

Tuesday will be grilled chicken alfredo. I just grilled the chicken and will do gluten free pasta and ragu alfredo sauce. I will likely just eat the chicken and bacon baked green beans.

Wednesday is my version of salisbury steak. A favorite in my family which is basically hamburgers with onion them and then they are cooked in beef stock until it thickens and the meat becomes very tender. I can eat this.

Thursday is always dinner out and who knows what I will eat.

Friday, I will probably have homemade pizzas and I will make a keto crust out of almond flour.

All of these meals (as are all meals at my house) will be served with a salad. The sides will likely be the same this week and will be green beans and corn on the cob because I have ton from my garden. I also may make mashed potatoes to go with dinner Tuesday and Thursday.

All of these recipes are mine.

 

Meal Planning – August 13th

05921f74-5d4d-4889-b48f-cc47cad45f7d-64c34673-8617-44d4-8ecb-507e03aee8d3-v1Hi All, so Sundays during the school year are for meal planning. My school has non-traditional school hours. We go from 8:50-4:15 and then usually for me I sponsor clubs, so I am home much later. This means as a parent I gotta be on the ball in the feeding my children game. Most of my meals I make on Sunday or I have planned so my kiddos or guy can throw them together.

I have been doing this for almost 4 years at this point. I have a few small pieces of advice to aid in it. The first and most important is being flexible and forgiving with yourself. Meal prep requires time and sometimes what you plan either does not work out or doesn’t sound good. So if you are the two F’s you can still make it work.

You can move meals around if they sound better and you change the game up a little. I utilize Schwan’s frozen foods sometimes to aid when I need a change or an assist. Schwan’s is great about deals and then when you order from them you also earn points so you can spend the points like money. As well, I eat clean (low chem) most of the time Schwan’s brings pretty high quality as well.

MR’s BREAKFAST – I am soooo simple in this category. I eat 2 hardboiled eggs, fruit of IMG_8975choice and usually gluten free oatmeal with almond milk and sprinkle of cinnamon. I top with nuts and sometimes dried cranberries. I never change this unless I am giving up carbs for awhile. Then subtract oatmeal and add in 2-4 pieces of bacon (usually that would be if I were doing keto). I will include container counts if you do 21 Day Fix containers. 1 yellow, 1 red, 1 purple and 1/2 blue

MR’s LUNCHES – I typically have the same lunch for work daily. I have one pouch of tuna with a tablespoon of Duke’s mayo and 1 cut up pickle spear cut up. I mix it all together with a dash of pepper. I will usually have a fruit (banana is a fav) and then a salad with a sprinkle of some sort of nut such as sunflower seeds or pecans and then have it with a tablespoon of ranch dressing (make my own) or Makoto asian dressing. Sometimes if I snack at school I will have the 100 calorie pack of almonds or a granola bar. But usually I don’t snack too much or if I do I will have a VEGA shake. Yes I am a beachbody coach, but I cannot do Shakeology because it just does not do well with me. I have tried. When drama is in I will bring snack packs of granola or full on some veggies to munch on. If I am not feeling that lunch then I will have leftovers, but usually tuna does me just fine. 1 red, 1 tsp, 1 purple, 1 green, 1/2 orange / the snack will sometimes either be a 1 blue or 1 yellow.

Dinner Week of August 13th 

Monday – Chicken Bacon Ranch – No linkable recipe. I bake chicken in ranch seasoning (dry hidden valley powder) and chicken broth. Make gluten free pasta, make bacon and then add in Alfredo sauce and mix all together. I usually will have zoodles on the side for me. I don’t really do pasta all that much and substitute with zoodles always or I find the healthiest version of pasta I can find. We are trying to move to a gluten free diet for one of my kiddos who we think has some gluten sensitivities. Mine will be the same just separate container. 2 green, 1-2 red, 1 yellow and sauce can be 1 blue or I omit if I can’t have anymore.

Tuesday – Hamburgers, salads, corn on cob from my garden and fries. If I am adventurous and have time which I should this week. I will make turnip fries or jicama fries. My sister tipped me off to this and they are soo good. I cut them like fries and drizzle with olive oil or coconut oil and then season and cook in air fryer. I usually go bunless since doing keto buns are soo dry on a burger for me. I just eat like you would chicken or steak. I top with ketchup and dukes. 1 red, 1 yellow, 2 green.

Wednesday – Chicken sandwiches, salads, corn and green beans (corn and green beans from garden). Chicken is from schwans and is breaded. Again I go bunless. Add in buffalo sauce for some spice. 1 -2 red, 2 green, 1 yellow and sometimes 1/2 orange.

IMG_8805Thursday – We always go out to dinner with my in laws. Usually it is to our local taco joint (I am obsessed with tacos🌮 if you didn’t know.) 1 yellow (2 if you have chips and salsa), 1 red and 1 green.

Friday – Usually a repeat of Thursday but date night with my guy. So container counts the same as Thursday.

Saturday is our day to kinda just make up what we want as a family. Usually the girls and I will try an new recipe and I work on teaching them how to cook.

My be flexible back ups this week if something falls through are Chicken Florentine or lunch meat sandwiches.

I hope to do this weekly to help you all see what I eat. I also should note I have eaten the portion sizing for so long I have it memorized and can do it spot on perfectly. I do check to be sure I am still on track, but so far so good. I recommend that you measure them out if you are going to calorie and portion control. You can buy them from Beachbody, but I have also found them at Walmart and Amazon.

Year # 9 – Day # 1

In schools all over teachers will share their rules, their syllabai and play their ice breakers. Me. Not so much. I hated that as a student and even hate it more as a teacher. My school has 10 class periods. Imagine hearing 10x you can’t and you can statements. I don’t fault teachers for this let me be clear. I actually applaud teacher diversity in every single aspect, and if school is supposed to be a microcosm for life then differing teacher opinions and procedures are a must. So go for it you syllabus toting, rule tellers on the first day teachers. You have my support 100%.

IMG_3891I don’t really have rules. I have a golden rule. RESPECT. I cover that the first day and every day. Everything begins and ends with respect. I also follow it. I have notes almost every where I stand or sit that remind me I am working with humans. To be human is real and that is imperfect and it just what I want. A safe environment to make mistakes and try again or try something different. Risks. They must happen, too.

The first day for me is usually unique because the majority of my students are juniors in a small school which means they know one another well. That also means ice breakers are not really needed, or at least traditional ice breakers. My actual goal for all of my classes is to build a respectful community of learners. I teach two junior classes. I teach freshman composition (dual credit English) and I teach introduction to communications (dual credit speech).

In my speech class, we dive right in. I assign our first speech because we will do more activities in English with the same group to go over how things work with MR’s classroom. Every year I have taught speech I always start with an introduction speech that we do using music. Students are required to pick 5 songs that share the story of their life that they want to tell. I share mine on the first day as well, so as an aside:

Last years five songs to get to know Mrs. E….

  1. What Its Like – Everlast
  2. Keep Ya Head Up – TuPac
  3. Hollaback Girl – Gwen Stefani
  4. She will be loved – Maroon 5
  5. Beautiful – Eminem

Every year they do change, but you get the point. I pair them up with someone I know they do not hang out with and they tell their stories through their songs. Then their partner does a speech telling their story through their songs. It allows me to assess their public speaking capabilities and it gives them some comfort because they are delivering their speech with a partner beside them.

This year though I am changing it up. That lesson after 4 years feels a little played out. I 20120802-141021.jpgwill likely narrow it down to just one song for introduction purposes this year and make it more improv. For their first speech, I am going to utilize a resource from Secondary Sara with the goal of being more purposeful in connecting speaking to real life. They will be researching and working on how public speaking is used in real life and emulate it.

At the conference I went to this summer, I got to hear a teacher from Illnois speak from Teach Better and she introduced this method (the Grid Method) of tying the real world into our classrooms and it has sparked some creativity in me and I am going to toy with it this year and see where it takes me.

In my English classes, I am also changing it up. In the past I handed out an index card or a post-it note and had students finish the sentence, “I am the one who…” and they had to share a fact with the class that would stump the class. The goal is to be the last one standing who no one can figure it out who it is. This worked nicely because as I said these kids have been together for awhile. It also let them see they needed to pay more attention to those they are spending so much time around. But again same ol’ tired feeling on this one. I want something new and more meaningful for my students.

And enters “Honoring Your Name Narrative” from Britt Hawthorne. Though it is not a source you can download, it was an idea sparked from her instagram stories (believe it is in her highlights if you want to find it) where she discussed the importance of having a student share their name stories and it aids teachers and peers in understanding their name, backgrounds and stories more. What I liked specifically was that it is not teacher centric on a students name and instead in student centric which I pride myself on in my classroom. As well, the first essay my students have to write for me is tied to their identities and their name if they choose, so it will help me to scaffold that learning. I also plan to show this video:

Now I teach two other elective courses…the first is Mass Media (10-12th grades) and the second is traditional English 9 (Grade 9). Those courses are little more structured because they are not college courses. The curriculum is pretty well set up for me, but on the first day I still do not go over rules and syllabai. However, I usually will do a writing activity that pertains to the course.

For mass media, we will look at one news story and see how it is covered by multiple sources and we define what ‘media’ is together. We usually do this in a scavenger hunt sort of manner and for English 9, these students are brand new to our school and usually brand new to each other because we are set up like a magnet school, so I take it slow with some writing, some partner discussion and then I ease into a more meaningful icebreaker.

And there you have it…what it will be like in MR’s classroom next week. I really like my students to get a feel for my classroom because I know it is pretty different from what they are used to and I want them to feel safe with that. That takes time to build that community.

Through the Blur.

“Through the blur, I wondered if I was alone or if other parents felt the same way I did – that everything involving our children was painful in some way. The emotions, whether they were joy, sorrow, love or pride, were so deep and sharp that in the end they left you raw, exposed and yes, in pain. The human heart was not designed to beat outside the human body and yet, each child represented just that – a parent’s heart bared, beating forever outside its chest.” 
― Debra Ginsberg

Most days I feel like I have nailed this motherhood thing. I have three strong willed, fiercely strong, mostly independent females I am raising. They all three make me proud of very different ways. They are incredibly kind, accepting and righteous when needed. They have good grades, good friends (and can spot when they need to not be friends with someone). They actually want to be around me most of the time. Sometimes, I have to make them leave me alone which I know I will likely regret when they are older, but I one of those people who needs alone time to have social time.

But if I am being honest some days I am not that good of a momma. I get crabby. I get yelly. I get selfish and I get frustrated because they don’t always think what I have to say is the best. The hardest line to walk with raising older kiddos is knowing when to keep your mouth shut and when to speak up and to make it more complicated it is different for each kiddo. Unfortunately, it took me awhile to come to the conclusion where each of those boundaries falls.

My oldest she is incredibly independent in most ways. But real life every day task…the bank…making appointments…asking a waiter to change something and she cowers in fear. But contacting a college she is interested in, dreaming about traveling abroad, reaching for the impossible, driving a car to unknown parts never even phase her.

My middle, a homebody determined to stay living at home for all of her adult life who would likely be fine if she only ever saw her puppies. She has no problem making phone calls, asking for anything or even standing up in front of the whole school for a spelling bee or to give a speech. She likes to be a contradiction to what you’d expect and that is just the way we love her.

And don’t even get me started on my youngest is literally only afraid of buzzing bugs and brushing her hair.

But their life has been fairly easy, but then it also has not. They have had moments and times often not lived out on social media that my heart breaks for them. Or worse they saw my own heart breaking and had to just sit there and watch. There are times I am ashamed of how I handled a moment. Maybe I had a curt word, or I got into my own strong willed, fiercely strong, and mostly independent mindset and butted heads with theirs.

In those moments, my biggest piece of advice is breathe and rejoice in the act of being human. There is also a lesson in that. They also need to see how to make mistakes, learn humility and being humble. Those are important parenting skills as well and I think at times I have perfected that over and over again. Thankfully, the love is unconditional and my girls appreciate my realness.

Through the blur – MR

 

 

 

It is okay to not be enough.

I have been thinking of this sentiment a lot this summer. If you noticed I am quiet here and contemplative. I am honestly trying to remember my whys. It is not that I lost them. It is more of how can I write about them if they are shifting.

My whys have shifted drastically in the last few years. But I want to get back to this idea of not being enough. My question I would like to pose is why are we shooting for that? I don’t want to be enough. I want to be more or I want nothing at all.

IMG_8030The last few years I have seen some pretty important people walk out of my life and others walk in and honestly if I had to label each of those with where they actually belonged. It happened the way it was meant too.

Enough has a connotation of settling and I am not settling for anything and neither should you. When you look up “enough” in the dictionary words like ‘adequate’ and ‘sufficient’ are used. Those are not words that I will ever allow to describe my relationship with family or friends or the people I love.

Social media has a way of skewing that. If you don’t believe me took up fitness or teachers on instagram. In 3.2 seconds flat you will immediately feel like you are not enough. It is so incredibly easy to become lost in the shuffle of likes and perfect poses and before you know it your instagram looks like someone else’s, but it is inauthentic to who you actually are.

I want people and things in my life that see me as more than enough. Period. That includes social media. That includes in walking by me on the street. And that includes when I look at myself. If not it is probably just better that they keep on walking.

So put people around you who see you. I mean who truly see you. They see you at your worst or they see you at your best. They see your intensity, or laziness or your being dramatic or bratty and it is the same. Not just enough, but maybe even love you more because of those things.

Those are your people. And let’s just take a minute and talk about you. You are more than enough. You are imperfectly perfect. You mean the world to someone every single day. You are the reasons for someone’s smile. You are someone’s why. So when you look in the mirror remember that. Always remember that.

“Don’t make yourself small.
Not for anyone.
If someone tells you 
you’re too much…
too loud, too sensitive, 
too fierce, too caring, 
too intellectual, too optimistic, 
too realistic, too logical, too emotional…
just smile and move on, my friend.
Clearly, they aren’t enough for you.” 
― L.R. Knost

Love and Enough – MR

 

College Visits & Growing Up Kids.

“We need to be raising our children for LIFE. Life is not a small system within 4 walls. Life is vast and wild. And once our children are out of school, that’s where life really begins. Too many people are raising their children to conform to systems. And when they start life they will continue to simply conform to whatever system they find themselves inside of. And those are exactly the kinds of people who will never change the world. The only types of people who change this world, are the ones who think on their own, design their own lives, and create their own systems. Everybody else is just there for the train ride. Very few people are designing their own train tracks. Raise railway designers, stop raising commuters.”
― C. JoyBell C.

Thousands times this…yes! Raising children for me is unique. My brain honestly knows no limits. I seriously mean that. I won’t ever lie and say that my growing up was perfect. But I had a few simple keys to “success” (in quotes because we all define it differently). I had two parents who honestly did the best they could with what they had. I had a huge support network that extended far beyond my own parents which subsequently moved me beyond my own world.

But the one true thing my growing up taught me was that when the world tells you, “No.” You flip the world off and do it anyway, and no my parents didn’t tell me that. They lived it. They had their own battles and hardships, but they kept going. I am just guessing as a bystander at this point, but I bet there were even times when they didn’t want to and they did anyway.

My guy’s up bringing, albeit very different than my own, also very strong and supportive. So to say we are raising some fierce females up in here is an understatement. Sometimes I wonder why I have pushed to raise such strong fierce females when that fierceness is directed at me. But then I remember the world. It can be cruel and tough and they need a whole lotta fierceness to be themselves and then I take a deep breath.

My oldest is going to be 17 in a few weeks. First, I don’t know how we got here considering I still feel 17 myself. Second, that means college visits. I should also note she is in an early college. I consider myself a college “expert” (again define that how you will). I have been in college for too long (since my almost 17 year old was 18 months with one year off in all that time). I have mad respect for college because it gave me much more privilege and education than I could ever dream of. I teach college courses. I work at an early college. And all of that I know one thing…COLLEGE is expensive.

I have taught my girls one key fact about college. You go to college where ever you want, but….IT IS ABOUT MONEY. Do not ever let a college fool you. They want you, yes, but they want your money first. So be sure in your decisions about college that money is a part of it. THE END.

That sentiment has set up high expectations for themselves and it has made them grounded in the fact that money must be a part of the decision and they also know that my guy and I will do whatever we can to make it work for them to the extent that we can.

My # 1 baby girl has definitely set her sights on some colleges and I have tried to instill on her (and her sisters) that a campus is more than the numbers and the programs. It is a feel you get on campus. It is the people on the campus. It is the area of the campus. So when we can travel to them we do. That has definitely been ramping up for her.

First and foremost, I raised her (and her sisters) being around my own college where I was taking classes or teaching on campus, so they have been more times than any of us can count to my alma mater IPFW (Indiana University Purdue University of Fort Wayne), now known as PFW.  Back then we made so little money that the campus truly was their playground. I still have the fondest memories of them playing on campus.

Second, I have forced them to consider state schools because of cost. We have gone to Rose Hulman and Butler. I hope to take her to St. Francis, Manchester and Trine University. She got a scholarship from St. Francis for art though it is not what she wants to study. We are also really lucky because all within an hour of us are some awesome schools and we go out even to 2 or 3 hours there are even more colleges. She has also visited some with school. We have also talked about schools much further away that she wants to visit and we are just trying to narrow them down for expense sake.

Then there is my # 2 Baby girl who is going to be a freshman in high school and in an early college as well. She has no idea of what she really wants to do or if college is even her, so I have tried hard to be sure to include her in these conversations about colleges and even go on some of the visits to ensure she is also seeing if these are options for her. Her struggle is she isn’t as sure of what she wants to do with herself as a job. My older  baby girl is pretty certain she wants to study chemistry.

However, I will also say and I have said to my own students and daughters that with early college programs and dual credit/AP credits I feel like there is so much pressure on our 14-17 year olds to have some idea of where they want to be as adults that it is confusing and sometimes even dangerous. They need to also be kids and explore their interests. If we are pushing them into a pathway they don’t want or are not ready for the results could be disastrous. So I try and instill in all of them (my children and my students) that they do not have to decide and even if they do they can still change their minds.

So I guess my parting words of wisdom as I leave this post here are raise them with no limits, while also teaching them to understand boundaries and supporting them in highs and lows of their journey.

Concluding with the Mommy part of the Rhetoric – MR

Crackle in those joints: A year later.

Warning: Imma talk about my hysterectomy so if you do not want to know about it…GO! Leave now.

giphy

Alright I promised a year later update and I didn’t think I would but then I thought there are some important aspects of talking about getting an earlier in mid-life hysterectomy that I needed to talk about so I will.

My first thought and maybe question from others is about regret. The answer is no way no how. Most of my symptoms of post tubal ligation syndrome have been eradicated. They are gone. I have one cystic ovary that will occasionally cause me some trouble and only avenues is total hysterectomy and I am not about that right now because the hormonal imbalances that immediately followed my surgery were tough.

IMG_5063

July 2017

For those that don’t know there are two types of hysterectomies. One puts you into menopause. One does not because you keep one or both ovaries. I still have my ovaries. It did take them a little longer to wake up and they definitely do not always function as they should but I am pretty evened out with the help of my oils. I use progessence plus to help keep them regulated. As well as, just being in tune to my body aka getting enough sleep, eating as healthy as I can and watching my weight.

I should also credit the keto diet for regulating my hormones as well. If you remember it was recommended by my doctor to help with surgery recovery and hormonal imbalance. Of course, I cannot prove that keto or the oil worked. But I also cannot prove that they did not.

I feel amazing for sure. My body is way more balanced than it was before as far as emotions, fluctuations in mood and energy levels. My acne that I struggled with and the massive amounts of pain caused by PTLS are gone. So yea no regrets.

There is a downside though. My joints aged quickly. Ortho doesn’t know if that is symptoms of surgery or just years of being overweight, highly active now and on my feet all the time. They literally crackle all the time. They did before, but now they really crackle.

I also found out I needed surgery due to floating piece of debris. I can do that whenever I want and I did not want to do it this summer like at all. If it gets terrible during the year then I will do it because recovery is not terrible. Otherwise, I just baby it (aka I don’t really get to run long distances anymore) and if it is bothering me I take it easy. I also will get steriod shots in it every six months. I was freaked out by the shot, but it really, really helped. Now I noticed my hips and shoulders are joining the crackle party. Grab tissue paper and wad it up. That sound is my joints.

My tolerance for BS is super duper low. Like I have none and I may be a tad grumpier than usual.

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June 2018

But it is all good. I always see the positive. The positive is that the pain from PTLS is gone. The positive is I am forced to pay attention to my body and give it what it needs. In my book that ain’t bad. And last and final positive is that I did not gain a ton of weight as is sometimes common with the surgery. In fact, I lost 40lbs since last year. Wahoo! Oh but I do have quite a few additional wrinkles. Oh well!

-MR

 

The Long Road and the Shadows

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“We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious,and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
― Walt Disney Company

A few weeks ago I wrote about this ridiculous notion that a “healthy journey” has a beginning and ending. Add in if you are a part of the “fitness social media community” I feel like sometimes it is set up with beginnings and endings. A new program is a beginning and weight loss or inches loss hold with this a magical ending point if you let it.

IMG_3422But I would like to entice you (really myself) to think about it taking care of yourself as a privilege and something you should be doing all the time. I don’t take care of myself and show up because of all these false pretenses that I usually think I am. I do it because at one point my health was so bad that my teeth were rotting, my health was at risk and I felt terrible.

I remember a time when that shadow made me hate myself. I hated how fat it seemed. What I noticed over time is I never looked at it ever with much love, but instead complete disgust no matter the size. No matter how “thin” I got or where my shadow fell.

I looked my three daughters and my guy in the eye every day and I usually did it on an empty tank where I often felt mad at myself and resented them because I thought they took that time from me. But the truth is…I did not make time to take care of me and I used them as an excuse.

I also romanticized this ideal that I had to be super fit, super skinny, and fit in a size 0 to IMG_4268be a success. Truthfully, that is never gonna happen and not realistic and it isn’t even really what I want because it sets me up to never be happy because the end is impossible to reach as I said in the above post.

So instead I am trying to shift my perspective and thinking. There is no end goal. The end goal is being happy in my skin, taking time out for myself and treating myself with more love. They love me no matter how I look. They being all the people and things that really matter.

And that shadow looking back needs to believe just a little more that love wins. It will always win, but you have to let it. That includes loving yourself a little more and a little bit harder.

So that road…it doesn’t end. It is called self care and I am on it. – MR