Friday, November 15, 2013
Be a better person
One thing I have always struggled to deal with is self-control. As a kid, this meant I was a little rambunctious. As a teenager this was more focus related. I couldn’t do my homework without having a snack and some music going while I worked. As an adult, this leans more toward emotional control. I constantly find myself lost in the moment, letting my emotions get the best of me. I give in to my temper more than I should, and I’m starting to see my kids mirror this activity. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of how we appear to our family. Picture someone you have a lot of respect for and ask “Would I want this person to see me like this?” Sometimes it’s just best to walk away.
Temper feeds on stress. If you haven’t gotten the right amount of sleep, nutrition, etc., your stress can contribute to the emotions of the moment. I have decided to take control of my life and my emotions. This is how.
- Food – I am going to monitor when I get hungry, and how much food it takes me to not be hungry anymore. I am then going to focus on not eating too much. I will also be eating more regularly. No more skipped breakfast. No more huge dinners right before bed.
- Bed – I will be going to bed at roughly the same time every night, getting up at roughly the same time every day. This will have me up before my family, enabling me to have some time to myself but also to ensure I am doing everything I can to get everyone ready for work/school.
- Work/School – I have to leave at the same time: Early. Better to be early than rushed. I need to be sure I have eaten breakfast and taken care of all I need to be ready to leave before taking up side projects like starting a load of laundry or cleaning the floors, or any number of other chores that I am suddenly and randomly compelled to do.
This will require a morning routine. For me, it will be as follows:
- Bed time ~10pm. Earlier if I’m not feeling well.
- Wake up ~ 5am. Later if I’m not feeling well.
- Run. Get at least 1 mile in every weekday. (I started this today)
- Shower. Duh
- Get the kids up.
- Start the coffee maker
- Make breakfast for myself and the kids and my wife if she’s up.
- Get the kids dressed and ready for school.
As long as all this is done, I know that if I get started on something else like dishes, I can drop it and leave at a moment’s notice, and do no harm. The point is to be sure I am and out the door without having to rush.
When I get home, things will be different. My family will be in various stages of the dinner/shower/PJ’s process depending on the day, as my wife’s work schedule varies. My focus will be to establish where they are in the routine and help if necessary. Otherwise it’s make/eat dinner, wash dishes, and relax. Bed by 10pm. Do it again the next day. (Since writing this, I work significantly earlier in the day, so I actually pick the kids up from daycare and feed/bathe them)
With regards to Diet – I’m not one to limit how much I eat. I like to eat, and I am not picky. However, I do need to start eating better. This week I baked some chicken tenders and made a big salad with red, orange, and yellow Bell Peppers, Mushrooms, cheese cubes, and romaine. So in the morning all I have to do is throw some salad in a container with some chicken and lunch is packed! I think I will be alternating this with stew or Chili to keep things interesting. And I will try to have more home-cooked meals, less take-out. I’m usually pretty good about this, but not lately. And less food from the box. Hamburger Helper, Mac and Cheese… these are all things that could be made without the box mix. Get some noodles, get some cheese, get some ground beef, and get to cooking. This is my new motto for dinner. (I now have a 100 sq ft garden to supplement groceries for salad. I grow corn, broccoli, tomato, cucumber, watermelon, jalapeno, spinach, and shallot. I eat a lot of fish and chicken for protein, and have a high protein breakfast)
Most importantly, I need to change the way I address my family. It needs to be more about them and less about me. My kids need to know I love them no matter what I’m talking to them about. If they are in trouble, I can’t just yell at them. They need perspective to understand what’s going on, and I will provide it. I might still yell, spank, or generally be mad, but what I say and how I say it is crucial. I can’t have my kids yelling at each other and arguing because they see me doing it. I am generally not an angry, short-tempered person, but when I get to that point, I have a hard time controlling it. (This is still an opportunity area for me, and I was right: the kids do pick up these yelling habits. I have improved though)
So if you’re out there reading this, and you look back on your day, week, or whatever and realize that you can make some improvements, know that you are not alone, and do what you need to do to give yourself the best chances for success and happiness. It starts with you.
Update: 9-3-2015: I have recently been doing pretty well lately with what I set out almost 2 years ago to do…
- Bed time ~9pm. Earlier if I’m not feeling well.
- Wake up ~ 4am. 5am if it’s not a run day.
- Run. Get at least 2 mile in every run day.
- Shower. Duh.
- Skip the coffee and drink 20 oz of water.
- Make breakfast for myself.
- If the kids wake up before I leave, have them get dressed first thing.
As you can see in the italicized updates throughout the blog, I have made some progress in some of these areas, and acknowledge that I still need work. I eat much better, and have found that the kids love kale smoothies and they love fish. I am better about having them do their chores before anything else is done, and they like to help me with mine sometimes. I still have a hard time with my temper sometimes but I know when to walk away.
This is living with ADHD
read the original post here.