On chocolate and other seasonal treats

Hubby and I were talking about weight the other day. He’d been bemoaning his weight increase since having to cut back his gym sessions a few months back, on account of his arthritic hip diagnosis. But when I mentioned that I, too, had a little extra on my waistline I wouldn’t mind losing, he said, “Well, don’t eat so much chocolate then.”

Oh, to be felled by a simple phrase! Less chocolate? The world would cease to spin!

Once the initial shock passed though, and the world recommenced turning, the truth became clear. How can I honestly expect my gym sessions to assist my waistline reduction plan, when I supplement my diet with sugary treats every time I’m offered them?

And, at this time of year, it’s easier than ever to consume that sugary goodness. Every second Christmas gift from students or colleagues is chocolate. Or cupcakes. Or rocky road. Not to mention the Christmassy food that other staff open, and share with everyone. Great for exercising willpower… not!

But that, I guess, is what it all comes down to. Willpower means effort. Means intentional decision-making, not just reacting to the situation without a pre-planned “if this, then that” course of action.

If offered chocolate, say, “Thanks, but no.”

If given chocolate as a gift, thank the gift-giver, then open AND SHARE.

Limit sugary intake.

Maintain exercise routines as much as possible.

And most importantly: rethink waistline expectations. Perhaps that waistline measurement goal is more realistic for end-of-January, not end-of-December.

And seeing as today’s the 17th of December, perhaps releasing myself from my too-hard-not-going-to-make-it goal would be best for my own mental health…

Would you agree, dear Reader?

KRidwyn

[This post is a cheat]

Well – kinda.

It’s still me writing, at my desk, putting words onto the little white rectangle on the computer screen in front of me.

But it’s not Monday morning, the 17th of September, 9am.

It’s last week (well, it will be last week, by the time you read this – and I know that this sentence isn’t grammatically correct from when I write this, but it’ll make sense when you read this later… I hope!) and yes, there *is* indeed a very valid reason for this cheating post, which I’ve written and scheduled ahead of time.

I’m in Canberra right now. Or Sydney. Or en route to one of those places. At this point in the planning of the event (because it hasn’t happened yet) I’m still a little fuzzy on the details.

But Hubby is at home with Miss10 and Master9 and my mum, keeping the house fire burning (although maybe not, because the weather’s starting to warm up nicely and it might be too hot by the time this post is published, to need a nightly fire) because Miss13 and I are with sixty-nine other 12- and 13-year olds, enjoying (ha! hopefully ‘surviving’, at least) a week-long camp to our nation’s capital and other ‘worthwhile to visit for educational purposes’ places.

Hence the need to post ahead of time. I have absolutely no idea where I’ll be at 9am on Monday 17th September, but I *do* know that multiple kids will be there. All with pre-teen and early-teen needs, which is to say MULTITUDES!

Sigh. I’m tired now, even just thinking about it. And I haven’t even started packing yet.

So. That’s what my week’s going to be like. How about you?

– KRidwyn

And… it’s all over :)

until 2020, anyway! The CCC musical, Conundrum, was an absolute blast… and now the adrenaline is wearing off, I’m realising I’m the most exhausted I’ve ever felt in my life. And my back is SORE!

But it was worth it to see the smiles on the kids faces. And I learned heaps too 🙂

And check out these beauties!!!

Very blessed.

See you next week… I’ll have managed some sleep by then!

God bless,

– KRidwyn

Sipping from the saucer #17

I work at a Christian school. The pastor of the church which established our school has a saying: “The LORD has blessed me so much, my cup is overflowing (taken from Psalm 23) and I’m sipping from the saucer.”

I like the visual, so I’m using it here, in this month-long blogging challenge focusing on the blessings God has poured out on me.

Today, blessing #17.

Here on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, it’s suddenly become winter. It’s as if the temperature lever has suddenly been pulled down, because the temperature has dropped 10 degrees overnight – at least!

So as I drove home yesterday, I was thinking ahead to all the washing I’d need to do, to get three sets of jumpers (the heavy woollen school ones) and three sets of sports tracksuits, ready for wear this week.

Imagine my surprise, on arriving at home, to realise that Miss10 had washed and dried a full load on Saturday and another full load on Sunday, and that there was nothing left for me to do!

What an incredible blessing she is!

I trust that you, too, can have a blessed day yourself, dear Reader 🙂

– KRidwyn

Sipping from the saucer #7

I work at a Christian school. The pastor of the church which established our school has a saying: “The LORD has blessed me so much, my cup is overflowing (taken from Psalm 23) and I’m sipping from the saucer.”

I like the visual, so I’m using it here, in this month-long blogging challenge focusing on the blessings God has poured out on me.

Today: blessing #7… and it’s another work-related one.

As Head of Middle School, I decided this year to institute a new policy for my students: mobile phone collection during the school day. So I collect the mobile phones from the kids in my care – students in Years 7, 8 and 9 (11 to 14 year olds) – at the beginning of the school day, and then they collect them again at 3pm, prior to leaving the campus. It’s been working REALLY well, and the instances of cyberbullying between the hours of 8 and 3 have dropped to zero. (Surprise, surprise!)

But that’s not the point of my story. Instead, the story starts when I was on a deadline, to purchase the hardcover mobile phone storage case, so that I could use it to keep the kids’ phones safe. (There’s a HUGE amount of $$ that the school will be liable for, should any harm come to a kid’s phone while it’s in my care!) So I’d done the research, and decided to purchase a sturdy, the-best-that-money-can-buy storage case, from the Jaycar outlet that was closest to the school.

The trouble was, to make the case ready for phone usage, I needed to purchase it on the Friday, so I could have it over the weekend and cut out all the little holes so students could insert their phones securely, first thing Monday morning. But other commitments after school on Friday afternoon meant that I needed to duck out during the day to buy it.

Which wouldn’t have been a problem… but I have a fairly heavy teaching load on a Friday, with very little time between classes in which to shop.

So I found a spare 45 minutes. Not a huge amount of time, but enough – perhaps – if the traffic was light, and if I could find an easy park (I’d never been there before, and I’ve already mentioned how awful I am with parking at locations where I’ve never been before,) and if the service at the store was great, and if they had in stock the exact case which I needed to purchase. And if, after all that, the traffic was light on the way back to school, so I could get back in time to teach my next class.

Yeah. That was a lot of ‘if’s. And yet…

Who said God isn’t good? It all happened! And with 3 minutes to spare!!!

A blessing indeed. In fact, so much blessing that I was left sipping from the saucer 🙂

Have a great day, dear Reader!
– KRidwyn

Failing Challenges…

So I’m pretty up for a challenge, no matter the occasion. (Not sure what that says about me, but oh well…)

So at the end of 2016, when I completed my Goodreads challenge (2 books a week, meaning 104 books in the challenge, and I read 107) – I thought to myself, “No sweat! Let’s try for 3 books a week in 2017!”

Dumb move.

Really, really dumb.

I went back to full time teaching in January – but decided to not take that fact into account.

Whoops!

So here I am now, Monday the 11th of December, and there’s 20 days left to get the remainder of my challenge books read. 156 books in the challenge. 63 books read. Leaving 93 books to go.

Yup. That’s doable. Between 4-5 books per day…

Perhaps…

Wish me luck, dear Reader! (At least I’ve got access to well over a hundred Middle Grade books I’ve never read…)

And have a great week!

– KRidwyn

On deadlines

I work quite well to deadlines, I think. Not so much when a task is open-ended. That’s when I have trouble.

That New Year’s resolution: get fit? See, that’s a tricky one. Too open-ended. No specific goal; nothing measurable. “Get to the gym at least four times a week”? Much better. It’s achievable. And maybe I’ll even make that ‘get fit’ resolution.

Take that #AtoZchallenge, for example. 26 posts in 30 days: that’s do-able. The difficulty was, life = busy = no blogging after Day 16.

New, self-imposed deadline: finish all 26 posts before May 1 in every timezone. See? Do-able (just!) and I did it! (also just…)

It’s sad, really, I know. Self-imposing deadlines just to complete work that I set myself anyway. How much of a slacker am I?!

But I guess it just boils down to the fact that without that extrinsic motivation of ‘THE DEADLINE’, things just don’t get done.

I’ve got two new ones looming, by the way. Finish JUSTINE BROWNING AND THE MEDDLING MERMAN by May 14, and also finish knitting child #2’s blanket by May 31, ready for winter (the following day LOL).

Wish me luck! [I’m going to need it…]

And have a great day, dear Reader!

— KRidwyn

CC image courtesy John Morgan on Flickr

… and the new word is: FOCUS

Hello again, dear Reader 🙂

If you’ve visited recently, you’d have noticed that my last 26 posts were alphabetical, in order to meet the requirements of the #AtoZchallenge, where bloggers post daily using sequential letters of the alphabet, every day in April except Sundays.

Well, I failed that challenge in my time zone. I was fine up until ‘p’, but then school holidays finished and work got crazy-busy… and it wasn’t until late last night I realised that today was May 1st. And the challenge deadline was over!

Hence a massive amount of blog posting this morning. Q through to Z, and before April finished worldwide. So I *can* kinda still say that ‘I made it’… but not really.

Oh well.

My new thought is: focus. It’s what I need to do. I gave myself a deadline of Mother’s Day to finish Book 5 in my children’s adventure fantasy series – and I believe that’s less than two weeks away. 13 days, 21 chapters. I can do this…

If I focus!

So it’s back to weekly blogposts, and hopefully this time next Monday I’ll be closer to finishing JUSTINE BROWNING AND THE MEDDLING MERMAN than I am right now 🙂

See you next week, dear Reader! And have a lovely one until then!

— KRidwyn

J is for ‘job’

The regular reader of this blog may remember that I started a new job this year.

Head of Middle School at Caloundra Christian College.

I have well over one hundred 11 to 14 year olds to be responsible for. That’s a lot of hormones!

It’s been fun. So far, I’ve laughed and cried, exulted and been furious, enjoyed every second and wanted to tear my hair out with frustration. And that’s just before Morning Tea each day! Just kidding.

It’s been a wild ride, and I’m loving it. As a Christian, I *do* feel ‘called’ to the position, and I also feel as though I’m making a difference in the lives of the majority of the children in my care. And that gives me such a feeling of satisfaction!

But it’s also been far busier than I’d expected. So much so, that my writing has fallen seriously by the wayside. I knew it would – but not quite to this extent. No matter. This #AtoZchallenge is helping me get back some writing mojo – and when April finishes, I have JUSTINE BROWNING AND THE MEDDLING MERMAN to complete. Hopefully by Mother’s Day, which is the challenge I’ve set myself.

But school starts back next week after the two week Easter break, so it’ll be interesting to see if things go to plan…

Anyway, have a great day, dear Reader, and hopefully I’ll be back tomorrow with ‘K’ !

— KRidwyn

Challenge completed!

It’s that time of year again; Christmas ends, we brave the end-of-year shopping frenzy, and we reflect on the past 12 months with a mixture of pride and regret. Some of us make plans for 2017; think up some resolutions for the New Year.

That was me, twelve months ago.

I decided that I needed to read through the Bible in 2017. I worked it out: if I could read four chapters every day, I’d make it, with a couple of weeks or so to spare.

I even drove myself to the Christian bookstore that’s kind of close-ish, wandered the aisles, and bought myself a brand new Bible, which I started reading on January 1st.

The challenge went well until around March, where I missed a few days. Routines changed, and I broke the four-chapters-a-day record I was keeping with myself. I picked up the reading again as soon as I could, and read a few chapters extra for a while, just to ensure that I’d still make it by December 31st.

And guess what? I did it!

(Although to be fair, the title of the blogpost was probably a bit of a spoiler for how the challenge went. Whoops! My bad…)

I finished last week. No, not all chapters were read from my shiny new Bible, but the vast majority of them were. It’s funny, that thing about routines. When they change, and you get a new routine, and it works better than the old routine did? But then you feel guilty because of how you’d committed to the old routine or whatever?

Anyway, I read quite a few of the New Testament letters on my Bible app on my phone, where I’d read a chapter in between reps. It worked, so why not?! And I’d often quickly read them again in my ‘new’ Bible when I got home, or the following day, anyway. I liked the versatility of my phone, but the solid feeling of the physical Bible in my hands even more 🙂

But no matter how it happened, it did. I started in Genesis and finished in Revelation… and I’m thinking about doing it again in 2018. Not in the same order though. Not back-to-front order either. I’m not sure what order yet; but I have the rest of December to figure it out.

Anyway, here’s wishing you a very merry Christmas season, wherever you are, and have a wonderful week this week!

Yours,

KRidwyn

CC image courtesy One Day Closer on Flickr