Back to School Means Back to Routine

Back to school means back to routine.  For me, back to routine means back to walking.  No more excuses for not getting out walking.  Time for me, time for God, time for exercise and time for routines.

Time for me.  I wake up earlier than the kids and spend some time getting ready for the day alone.  I head out the door by 6am for my walk.  This alone time gives me time to think and refresh, and prepare for the day ahead.  It gives me energy and purpose so that I can better handle the ups and downs of the day ahead – because there will be many.  It helps me to clear my head of the garbage from the day before.  The rhythm of the walking and the repetitive movement is mindless and soothing.  I walk for at least an hour, and am grateful for this time.  A year and a half ago I hurt my back and couldn’t even walk for 5 months and for many years with little ones getting out by myself was an impossibility.  I don’t take the gift of this time for granted.  

Time for God.  I don’t walk by myself however.  I walk with God.  This is more important to me than the exercise.  Molding the two into one activity early in the morning helps me to start my day out right.  Walking is perfect for praying a rosary.  Rosary is repetitive in the same way walking is, and each mystery reminds me that God is the center of every part of my day and my life.  The mysteries also give me a chance to pray for others, bring my concerns to God, thank Him for my many blessings, ask His protection and grow in faith and virtue. As I walk, I pray the 15 mysteries by myself.  When I get home, I pray the other 5 mysteries with my kids.  I challenge everyone to make the rosary a part of their daily lives.

Time for exercise.  I used to walk for only 20 minutes a day but now I walk for at least an hour.  That way my heart rate rises and stays risen for longer for more benefits.  If I can only manage 20 minutes though, I take it.  When I first started walking, I couldn’t believe how sore my legs got.  Now the muscles have had a chance to firm and stretch.  I stop at each of the 3 churches in our small town and take time to stretch and bow before these places of worship.  I need this time of exercise to keep me from gaining weight.  If I’m careful with what I eat, it will also help me to lose.  I burn about 500 calories on my walk. It also helps to keep my joints and back loose and moving.  Arthritis has started.

Time for routine.  I thrive on routine.  Knowing what to do, when.  If I can start my day with routine, I feel like I have more control over the rest of the day.  I start the day with exercise and prayer by walking.  I wake the kids to deliver papers and we pray the rest of the rosary together.  Kids get ready and leave for school.  The kids I homeschool eat breakfast and get ready so that by 9am we’re ready for our school day.  We school until lunch time.  After lunch, there is time for chores, homeschool outings and visiting.  Then supper preparations, supper and sports and activities.  If I’m fortunate, I get time to read some of a book before the end of the day.  The only time I feel like I have control over is the first hour of my day.  With that routine in place, I am better equipped to deal with the disruption of any other scheduled activity during the day.  Knowing myself, if I didn’t walk and pray first thing in the morning, there would be a slim chance that either would happen later.

Now that I’m on my way to my routine of walking, my next challenge is to clean up my eating!  However, one step at a time…

 

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