Tuesday, February 5, 2013

To Gym or Not to Gym?

I have had a gym membership for about eight months. This is a good thing. I need to be getting regular exercise, maintaining good heart health, and taking off some excess baggage. I started out very scheduled. Last spring I went to the gym faithfully every day that I didn't work. Then summer came along and I have been sporadic about my workout every since. I will be really good for a couple of weeks, and then I fall off the wagon and can't get back on for a few more weeks. I can almost always find a reason NOT to go to the gym. Perfect example: right now I have chosen to write a blog post instead of going to the gym. I have a few other reasons. I could be cleaning. I could be calling my mom. I could be putting chicken wings in the crock pot for dinner. All pretty good reasons. But none really preclude a trip to the gym. It's just around the corner. It takes about two minutes to get there by car. My car is in good working order. I'm not sick. I really have no reason not to go. Yet here I sit.

But I think I have identified the problem. I don't actually like going to the gym. I have found nothing that makes me look forward to returning. It's all just hard work. If it were fun, it would be different, but it's not. It's pushing myself it a way that I'm just not good at. It isn't the gym's fault. It's a nice gym. Great atmosphere, nice equipment, friendly people, good classes, even a pool and a hot tub. I have just never been a person who gets excited about physical activity. At least not solitary physical activity. So maybe I would be better at this if I had a gym buddy, but the fact is, I don't. My only choice right now is to go alone. And so I must choose to go. And herein lies the problem.

I am far too skilled at procrastination. "I'll do it later" falls too easily off my tongue. Really, I think that is what blogging this morning is all about. Sure, I'm glad I added a blog post. Two posts in one week is a record for 2013. I hope to achieve my goal of three posts a week quite regularly this year. But going to the gym three times a week is at least as important as adding to my blog. So here I go. Getting off the couch. Grabbing my gym bag. Heading out the door. The cleaning and the chicken wings can wait until later. But I do have to get groceries...

Oh! And Connor just called to say he needs to come home from school -- He's sick! So I guess I should stay home and be nurse-mom. Too bad! Off to the gym tomorrow!

Sunday, February 3, 2013


As of yesterday, I am officially the mother of a teenager. I feel like I should be afraid. Like I should be bracing myself. These are the scary years, right? The years filled with push/pull and testing boundaries and rebellion. Important years that must be navigated carefully. Years that will define my future relationship with my son.

But strangely, I don't feel afraid. I feel blessed. I realize that there will be push and pull, and boundary testing, and maybe a bit of rebellion. But Connor is an awesome kid. He is honest and trustworthy and really wants to do the right thing. I am not naive enough to think there will never be issues we'll have to struggle through together. We already have, and he and I are far too much alike to go through life without butting heads. Homework time this afternoon was a perfect example. His stress level and mine rose to the breaking point, and we both needed a cooling off period before we could accomplish what needed to get done. But it did get done. We survived. Sometimes Chris looks at Connor and I and shakes his head. We are two sides of the same coin, and we drive each other crazy, but we always come out the other side ready to share a hug. I hope that doesn't change as my teenager grows older and "cooler". I don't think it will.

Connor has always been a homebody. He never wanted to go to camp (much to his dad's dismay), and until the last year or so he hasn't even been big on sleepovers. He likes to be in his own bed and night, with Mom and Dad not too far away. Two weeks ago he went to his first youth retreat, a winter weekend in Muskoka with the church youth group. He was super-excited, and a little nervous, but only someone who knows him as well as I do would realize it. I was really nervous. I was more worried about a fiery bus crash on snowy roads than anything else. I just wanted my boy safe at home, and by 6:00 Sunday night he was, with a big smile on his face. I am so glad his first "away from home" was a good experience, a great experience. It was good for both of us, good for him to get away, and good for me to let him go. I know it will be happening more and more.

This weekend, however, on his birthday, Connor was content to spend the day hanging out at home with his family. We had a big family breakfast, opened some presents, had Connor's favourite (tacos) for dinner, and then he stayed home and babysat his sister while Chris and I went out in the evening. His biggest event of the day was joining Facebook. He's still a homebody at heart.

Connor is a teenager. He is three inches taller than I am, and is quickly gaining on his dad. The years of driving and dating and leaving home are not that far away. We are entering a new stage of life together, and there will be challenges for our family. But in general, I couldn't be more grateful for the kid that Connor is. He has a generous heart and a great attitude. He is compassionate and kind, a good friend and wonderful brother. He is a teenager, but deep inside he's still my little boy. I hope part of him always will be.