I often thought that if I took care of myself half as well as I took care of my child that I would be in pretty good shape. For example, I always make sure that he eats at least one serving of fruit for his morning snack at school and I work hard to get him into bed at a reasonable hour, even on weekends. I’m mindful of how much time he spends indoors versus outdoors and I remind him to balance his screen time with more creative activity. As for me, though, I hardly pay the same kind of attention to my own daily habits.
A few weeks ago, Fred officially began training for his black belt testing (in taekwondo). He was given a journal in which he is to track his daily and weekly activities such as running, doing push ups and sit ups, and practicing his forms and self defense techniques. In addition, he is to reflect weekly on how he has exhibited patience, sacrifice, self control, discipline, and punctuality.
While I definitely need to think about how much (or, more accurately, how little) exercise and fruit servings I am getting, this question on behavior piqued my interest. How often do I show those character traits or behaviors? I decided to try out the exercise for fun. This is my own reflection of the past week (√ marks what I did well and X shows otherwise):Patience √ With my clients…always X Showed exasperation when Fred started talking to me while I was working at my computer (repeated multiple times throughout the week). X Showed exasperation when Fred didn’t move as quickly as I’d wanted him to (repeated multiple times). Sacrifice √ Took an afternoon off of work to make dinner and cake for Max’s birthday √ Took a morning off of work to help a friend with her business √ Sang Fred to sleep because he still wanted me to √ Stayed up late several nights to respond to last minute client needs Self Control X Ate too much red meat X Ate too much carbs X Popped a sleep aid 3x this week (before trying other options, like meditation), a consequence of the fact that I — X Stayed up late too many nights on my computer and X Kept going to sleep past midnight Discipline √ Got all my client work done during the week so I could take the weekend off √ Went for a run (2x) with Fred and Max √ Made a schedule for my March reading and am keeping on track √ Cleaned our bathroom before it got gross √ Returned/submitted all necessary forms, checks, emails, etc. for Fred’s school and activities X Fell behind in grocery shopping Punctuality √ Am up on time each morning to get Fred ready for school √ Was prompt responding to clients X Got meal on the table a little late on most of our taekwondo days, resulting in rushed eating and late arrival to class X Failed to respond to some emails from friends
I wrote out the “X”s not to be negative but as a way to see my patterns. Clearly I need to do a little better with the self control. It seems that the older I get, the more likely I am to want to please myself. While I am still a healthy eater overall, I’m less fanatical about it and I listen to my body more (I don’t know if that is good or bad). I keep to my 80/20 rule (80% healthy). This past week was a little off though, a sign of fatigue perhaps, or an unconscious attempt to reward myself for having worked hard for my clients.
And I need to work on patience, with my child. I always do a better job when I’ve had enough sleep. So it all goes back to self control.
What are your strong and weak points?