by Ajike Akande
When I arrived at the library today to write this week’s post, I thought I’d write about this article that has been circulating on Facebook about a mom who stopped yelling at her kids after she realized how it affected them. I realized quickly, that I really didn’t want to write a post about how bad the article made me feel about the loud, probably soul-crushing, parenting I inflict on my kiddos. I would really like to be a non-yelling parent, and I think I actually try hard not to yell, but I’m not there yet. If it’s any comfort to all of you, the more out of control yelling I do (is there such a thing as controlled yelling?), the more in-mommy’s-face laughing from my kiddos. They think it’s hilarious to see me and Wife lose it on them. While this is seriously annoying, I’m glad that their souls are not being entirely crushed by our yelling!
Then I thought I’d write about our Miss O who is going through such a hard time right now. The wind down of the school year, its eventual end and the beginning of summer has left our beautiful O-Bear, who has Sensory Processing Disorder and rests on the diagnostic cusp of high functioning autism, is so out of sorts. She pushes and hits when she doesn’t mean to because she just can’t help herself, and she “disappears” when life feels like it's all too much. So I thought I’d write about Miss O but then “Fix You” by Coldplay started playing on iTunes, and the people at the big table in the library got to watch me cry and try to pull myself together. Needless to say, I’ll have to get back to you about our girl.
Oh here’s the song if you are sitting in a public place and you are in need of a cry. http://youtu.be/k4V3Mo61fJM
Those two topics are out for today, so I have no choice but to share this beautiful photo with you along with an explanation for why I was wearing this get-up.
I don’t know if you've heard, but just because parenting is exhausting and quite frankly, can make you sweat, it is not actually exercise. I feel like I’ve been tricked! With this new-to-me info in my back pocket, I’m making some changes. Last night was Day 1 of my “Walking With Mike (Michael Moore)” adventure. You see I have been giving this exercise thing a great deal of thought over the past, oh I don’t know, three years! Sure I have tried a few times to get back into Nia (dance) classes, but seriously, I have not exercised in years.
Truth is, I hate exercising. Really, really hate it. The only type of exercise I actually enjoy is dancing, but attending dance classes requires that I follow someone else’s schedule, be on time (not my specialty) and plan to leave the house. That is a lot of work for someone who isn’t really into exercise in the first place. Joining a gym? Well joining is not the problem. I’m a joiner at heart but going to a place, to do something I hate, alongside people who seriously look like they are experiencing their own slice of heaven, is not my cup of tea (or wine, which actually makes more sense, as I like wine way more than I like tea). And I can’t take up running because honestly, I won’t even run for the bus. Heck, I’d consider other options before running away from someone chasing me!
Clearly, many forms of exercise have been ruled out by yours truly, who has been happily exercising my right to lie on the couch and watch TV. I know that moving the body with some level of vigor is really good for one’s physical and mental health, so after lying on the couch googling “how to motivate yourself to exercise,” I flipped onto Facebook and saw a Michael Moore post about walking for 30 minutes every day. Apparently people all over have started virtually walking with him and of course tweeting about it with the hashtag #walkwithmike. Well, I love me a good bandwagon so I’ve decided to hop on – minus the tweeting. I don’t get Twitter.
So, last night I went for my first walk. Not wanting to over do it with some fancy “See, I’m exercising outfit”, I slipped on a sports bra under my spaghetti strap dress, shoved my feet into my new runners, which I purchased only because they’re awesome looking, grabbed my iPod that I purchased years ago for the sole purpose of exercising, and put on my 7 year old’s Angry Birds headphones. “Oh no you didn’t!” “Oh Yes I did!” I listened to music I haven’t heard in ages, walked briskly, bopping my head along with my tunes and thought about what treat I was going to have after my 30 minute walk. Best part? I came home sweaty! Thank you very much!
Now, don’t go thinking that one day is hardly a new exercise regime. We are not here to discourage. One problem though, it’s day two and it’s pouring rain. I don’t know if I am serious enough about this Walking With Mike thing to do it even when it’s raining! Alright, I am officially on an exercise kick, except when it’s precipitating or too cold, or too hot, or I’d rather watch Orange Is The New Black. Okay, that last one is a bit pathetic. Friends, this is happening. I am exercising. I’m one of those people!