Thursday, September 25, 2008

kick-ass bloggers can't whine?

Posting has really slowed down around here and I have to admit that I've actually contemplated whether or not I should continue with the blog. So I was very grateful when that wonderful blogger and blog-community-builder extraordinaire, La Belette Rouge, gave me a shot of encouragement over the weekend, inviting me to the red carpet to receive a Kick Ass Blogger award

A big reason I've thought about taking a break, if not quitting, is that having completed a year, I'm concerned about repeating myself and wondering what my focus should be here or if, indeed, a focus is necessary beyond what concerns or delights me at the moment. Unfortunately, I have no time, or perhaps just not enough energy, to spend thinking about this. And that -- lack of time and energy -- is really why I'm considering taking a leave. September is always a tough time with the onslaught of new students and reading and meetings and marking and meetings and book orders for next term and students with problems and . . . I love my work, but dealing with 100+ 1st-year students, which I'm doing this term, can be really, really draining. Yesterday, as I do each Monday and Wednesday, I did 3 80-minute classes, which requires a lot of performance adrenaline, which takes its toll.
However, when I started trying to figure out why I'm so very tired and why I can't seem to manage to do much besides work and fitness, I started totting up the time I'm putting into fitness -- rather as a way of appreciating that I am getting time for me. It might be demanding and tiring, but I'm choosing to do it and I'm reaping the benefits in good health so perhaps I should celebrate it instead of whining! And I thought if I got a blog post out of the totting-up, well, two birds, one stone, you know . . .
So here's what I've done in the last week, fitness-wise:
Last Friday: Ran 'round the island once (4K) stopping to run the stairs (60 of them, up our park hillside) 5 times -- chuffed to note that a very fit-looking 26-year-old neighbour was having to pause at the top between her flights to catch her breath, while I just puffed up and down, up and down.
Saturday: 4x round the island, about 16K
Sunday: rest day, just walked around once, with Pater
Monday: Walked to and from work, 80 minutes total of brisk walking -- very hilly so I always arrive in a sweat, having taken off gloves, scarf, hat as I climb almost 300 stairs from campus bottom to my office
Tuesday: Ran 30 minutes before my hour-long Pilates class -- Pilates was especially vigorous this week as Margaret's trying out some new moves on the Reformer -- we did the equivalent of at least 15 minutes skipping (but we do it horizontally, on a machine, so no gravity stress) over the class, besides all the other core work, stretching, flex-ing, all the things that keep my joints moving over a reasonable range.
Wednesday: Again, the walk, 80 minutes as on Monday
Thursday: And today I have another Pilates class, but I won't do the run first.
So no wonder I'm tired. But I'm also strong and able to move comfortably and confidently, and I'm healthy enough, despite some of the annoyances of getting older. And, on top of that, according to a blogger I respect hugely, I'm also a kick-ass blogger. I'll be baaaaaack!


  1. Blogging and fitness have a lot in common--both take tremendous endurance. And, I am so happy that even as you are feeling some blogging fatigue that you have it in you to stick with it. You are a kick-ass blogger and I feel sure that you have not even come close to saying it all.

    I was surprised that there was no kick boxing in your routine as you are so good at the kick-ass.;-)

  2. Oh, don't quit! The rest of us who have no time at all for anything will miss reading. And you won't be repeating yourself come November, as there's only one first time you become a grandmaterfamilias! I've noticed you keeping that news on the down low, but a familias-wide mazel tov is in order. I will never forget mom helping me bathe Irene for the first time, truly a full circle. I guess the next one comes when she'll be needing my help as much as I needed -- I mean, still need -- hers.

    And I know exactly how you feel when all your me time goes to exercising. Why can't the me time go to sitting in some fabulous, child free cafe with someone bringing me coffee and creme brulee? But then, I'd need to spend lots of me time shopping for much larger clothing, which would also make me grouchy. And so it goes.

  3. Post as you wish (and I hope you continue, dear ma!). If it's an obligation to feed the Blogmonster on a given day, why do it?

    As for exercising time, everyone determines what's right. My own goal/limit for exercise is an hour a day, 30 min absolute minimum, max 1 hr 15. Beyond that I miss the other things (and when I was running, needed more sleep).

  4. Kick-ass indeed - I had to go lie down after just READING about your fitness schedule!! Patricia
    P.S. Please keep blogging, about whatever, but at your own pace.

  5. Bravo on the fitness front. By all means you need to do what gives you strength, both physically and mentally, and exercise does wonders for the mind and soul as much as for the body. But I hope you post occasionally too, as I love absorbing your ideas and savoring your words and thoughts. Blogging isn't a competition though, do it when the time and the words are right.

    Meanwhile you shall be my inspiration as I am trying to wrest some time to return to exercise and regain my once fit self, and return more regularly to blogging as well.

  6. lbr: thanks again! and yes, both the fitness stuff and the blogging take a certain discipline, but luckily, they both yield rewards (and a-wards, thanks to you!)
    dana: It's true -- the move into grandmotherhood will definitely get a post or two, altho' as you say, I'm keeping it all on the down-low right now in respect for my daughter's privacy.
    Duchesse: That's closer to my usual routine as well -- but I'm doing the extra running right now as prep for a possible half marathon. As for the long walks, they actually borrow some of my commuting time -- I'd be spending 10-15 minutes each way, at least, between finding parking, walking from parking to office, etc.
    Patricia: See my reply to Duchesse to get a better context for my current routine -- and thanks for continuing to read and encourage me.
    Mardel: It's hard to get a fitness routine established, isn't it? I've been working on that principle of personal budgeting that says "pay yourself first" (that is, put money in savings first rather than leaving it 'til all the bills are paid, 'cause they never will be) -- seems to be working, but it's really a commitment!

  7. Hells bloody bells I am in awe of that fitness schedule. I tend to put the gym on the back burner for any given excuse. I feel better for going, but sometimes something has to give.
    Note to self "must try harder"
    In terms of repeating yourself, It never bothered Jane Austin.
    In terms of finding time to blog, as and when should be good for everyone, if you think how often full time, very well paid journalists need to post, then you are surely a triumph of quality over quantity.
    So QED you have to keep it up!

  8. Non, Non, Non, ne fermez pas votre blogue, voyons. Vos fans vous réclamment ma chère. Prenez un peu de recul au besoin mais ne nous quittez pas, s'il vous plait et merçi.


  9. Mater, don't go! I was just getting to know you! However, if blogging becomes a chore, or a drain, or a must-do, then you must break! You can also do shorter posts. You can do lighter posts. You can post just pretty pictures. It doesn't have to be all substance, all the time. Take a one-month break and see how you feel, then decide...

  10. Alison: Are you kidding me? Don't you dare chastise yourself with all you do. I wasn't so disciplined with the fitness thing either when my kids were the ages yours are. Sanity was my goal, then, and occasionally getting some sleep at night!
    Orane: merci. Non, je ne vous quitterai pas! Especially not after you've left me such an encouraging comment. So pleased to hear from another reader.
    Karen: Thanks for the encouragement -- I like the idea of the lighter and shorter posts and am strategizing a bit about how much I can get set up on the weekends to be augmented and posted during the week. I'm so tickled to see you here, btw, as I've recently discovered your blog as well and have been enjoying your posts very much.

  11. Materfamilias, I will allow you to slow down on your blogging but I WILL NOT allow you to stop!! Are we Clear!
    You deserve the kick-ass award, we need you.

  12. Cybill: Yes, ma'am (and I hope you can hear the snappy salute I respectfully gave you!). As you'll see from the following post, I've taken your advice.

  13. Hi! I am late to respond but I really hope you don't quit but slow down if you need to..

    I am a Canadian ex-pat and you are one of my must-have connections to home.

    I wonder if you would ever consider writing on this blog (I know you have the Materfamilias Reads blog) about some of the fabulous CanLit you teach. I know down here there is almost no access to Canadian literature and I think it's too wonderful not to be given a public forum. Maybe a once a month review of a book? I think people would love to hear about the literature you feel so passionately about.


  14. Short and to the point - don't stop. Perhaps ironic coming from someone who is currently on hiatus, but I stand behind it nonetheless.

  15. Christine: Great to hear from you and thanks for the kind words. As you say, I do use my other blog for keeping track of my reading -- some Canlit has been finding its way there and occasionally I'll write about what I'm teaching, but I have to admit that doing it on a regular basis would feel a bit too close to work.
    Thomas: Thank you -- how's that hiatus going?


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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