I just started teaching high school health classes and it’s already teaching me a lot.
For me, health has to be a really well-rounded thing. I am interested in the health of my gut, the health of my body, my “spiritual” health (for lack of a better word), my emotional health, my relational health, etc. My diet and my exercise are certainly at the top of the list of how to keep myself healthy but if I am not being creative, not sleeping enough, not giving myself enough little pieces of pleasure, or taking care myself in ways that aren’t intake and output then I get antsy. Some months I get on auto-pilot and I’m working out a lot, eating well, and have a lot of professional progress but I am miserable. I grind my teeth at night. I feel gross, for some inexplicable reason that I cannot explain. I feel irritable and I feel depressed. These are all signs that some part of me is unhealthy.
I am just out of graduate school and really new to the hustle of having multiple jobs in order to support myself. I am older than I once was, and I can’t ignore the basics of self-care without feeling like shit almost immediately. In my efforts to be productive I can forget to have fun. In my efforts to have fun I can forget to be creative. I am working on figuring out a good balance of these things, thus I have created the 29 before age 29 list (inspired by a few other powerful women in the health and art blog-0-sphere). It is as follows:
1. Complete a one minute handstand hold, against a wall. (I just completed my first three-second hand stand hold, so this one might be a long shot. It is actually the goal I feel furthest away from, but still totally feasible. Basically, if I can hold a handstand for one minute I can do anything.)
2. Continue doing Crossfit on the three days on, one day off schedule. Go to the workouts that I am bad at especially.
3. Sew a dress
4. 150 pound deadlift (this one is practically in the bag and I can’t wait.)
5. discuss room-mate issues with grace and expediency.
6. Figure out some sort of kitchen table situation. (right now we have no common space except for in our long narrow kitchen, thus we have no kitchen table. There seriously has to be a way to change this. On hinges from the wall? Yeah. That seems the most reasonable way, honestly.
7. More therapy, no skipping sessions. When shit hits the fan for me emotionally, I tend to avoid therapy (An example of this is that I had a completely powerful and earth-shaking session three weeks ago and have found excuses not to go back since.) Like with Crossfit, I think sometimes I get close to executing things that scare me and I back out because the closeness of it signals my self-preservation stuff. What I need to remember is that I am old enough, wise enough, strong enough to do it all. And it will be uncomfortable, and than less uncomfortable, and than easy. Okay. got it.
8. Plan curriculum for all five of my classes through the end of the year. If anyone ever said that teaching high school was easy, they are out of their minds. (Did anyone ever say that? Probably not). My experience has shown me that nothing makes a class go smoother then a solid plan and if I could have my whole year planned out in advance it would be amazing.
9. & 10. See Louisa, see Jennie. I am busy. It is hard for me to see my friends, even when I deeply connect with them and care about them. These are two names but really there are more. It’s worth it to put in the effort.
11. Go to the ocean.
12. Write through chapter 25 of my book. (I am on chapter 18 now. This is a long shot, and although it’s #12 on the list it’s #1 in my mind.)
13. write a letter
14. make home-made coconut milk yogurt
15. buy a flat of bulk almond milk (I go through a gallon every few days, it’s a sickness.)
16. read a book
17. blog once a week
18. start a video for art’s sake
19. start an art piece (sculpture)
20. get a haircut, you dirty hippie.
21. get eyeliner, learn how to use it (I am fucking terrible at being a lady)
22. get a mani/pedi/wax (see above)
23. go to Bolinas
24. set a date to organize my classroom
25. find out if my Children’s Theater contract continues past June
26. do taxes
27. call someone to process the death of my friend Galina.
28. make a mix tape
29. get the ball rolling to start container gardening in my backyard.
PHEW. That is a lot of goals, and guess what? My 29th birthday is in a little more than a month. There is absolutely no way I could complete this list without eeking away at it a little bit each day, and luckily I know that and am inspired by the fact instead of paralyzed. I am so pleased to see that this list totally touches on every area of my life. It encourages professional development, emotional health, fitness growth, social times, creativity, and just plain old self-maintenance. Even if I don’t have a perfectly balanced life, I do have very well-rounded aspirations.
If you see me shitting around you should probably remind me of this list. Those tasks aren’t going to complete themselves!