I missed a few days of the ’31 Days Challenge,’ which might technically mean I failed, but it still felt like a success to me.
I love writing. It helps me process information and sort out my feelings. I think it gives me more power over how I look a the world. What I mean to say is- when I spend time writing about my life, I become more deliberate in my choices.
I also enjoy writing as a creative pursuit. While I do believe that nonfiction writing is creative, I also like to make up stories, which is why I’ll be doing Nanowrimo this year (even if I am a few days late already). I’m so glad I got back in the habit of writing consistently, even if I didn’t do it every day.
In the beginning I laid out all of my reasons for picking ’31 Days of Enjoying My Kid’ as the topic for my challenge. It totally worked. I enjoyed making stuff with them, reading, cuddling, holiday festivities, and more. I’m not saying the month was perfect, I’m just saying our day to day lives got better, and that’s fantastic.
There were a couple of bonus side effects to shifting my focus that I probably should have seen coming, but I didn’t. I relaxed a lot- maybe because I gave myself permission to let a lot of things go, or maybe because I spent time looking back on the last 2 years and pondering how far we’ve come. Maybe it was just because during the many holiday traditions we participated in, I continued to remind myself that if we weren’t going to have any fun, what was the point? It was probably all of those things combined that brought my stress level down. I’m really hoping to carry that attitude on through Christmas.
I also got much better at helping the kids with their homework. I’m going to go ahead and bet that’s because I was feeling more relaxed. More relaxed= more patient= more productive homework time.
I feel like I would be remiss if, when discussing how much better I’ve started to feel, I didn’t mention the fact that I also changed my diet quite a bit. When I say diet, I mean what I eat, not I’m on a diet. I cut out almost all prepared foods, (restaurant foods, fast food, deli’s, etc...) which I tend to refer to as ‘convenience food’, and I cut out sugar except on the weekends- plus one full size candy bar on Halloween, because, c’mon.
I did it because I was eating too much junk, I was moody, and I was having trouble getting over my cold. I’ve banned myself from sugar a couple times in the last few years, and the effect has always been pretty much the same: I’m a raging lunatic for about 3 days, and then I feel a thousand times better than I ever did before I started. I can eat sugar, I just shouldn’t eat too much. The problem is that when I eat sugary foods (especially soda), I crave them more and more. I also lean on desserts for comfort and for celebrations (I planned no games for Slim’s party, but I did bake 2 different desserts). That’s why I had to set strict guidelines for myself and follow them.
The convenience food I mostly just cut out because I know it’s bad for me and I was trying to get healthy, and it’s expensive. With the holidays coming up, we’ve got to reserve that money for things other than pizza.
Anyway, I know that eating better has improved my mood quite a bit, too. I don’t want to sell my challenge short- I think it was wonderful. I just wanted to mention that it wasn’t the only factor to consider. Ya know, for scientific reasons.
**This has been the last day in 31 Days of Enjoying My Kid.