The semester has come to an end, and the summer break stretches out before me. Though I will still be teaching some private lessons, doing some playing with the symphony, and presenting at a conference, I will have a lot more time for me than I ever do when school is in session. The past months have taken their toll on me mentally and physically, and as I take a hard look at myself, I am not happy with the Denise I see looking back at me. Time yet again to make some changes, and what better time than now?

When I am in prolonged stressful situations, I inevitably go into comfort and protect mode; I pull away from people, wanting to be home with Dan and the animals as much as possible. I don’t eat well, gravitating toward comfort foods, going against my hard earned weight loss success. I lose focus and confidence, shying away from things I need to be doing because of the extra stress they bring.

Enough is enough. I decided that it’s time to shake things up, time to use this gift of the summer break to do my own personal boot camp, with a goal of returning to habits that make me a better, happier, and more productive person. My goal is to stick to a schedule, keep a promise to myself, at least five days of the week. I have learned over the years that I always am most successful when I stick to a routine- that is key. With that in mind, here is the schedule I have set for myself, starting bright and early each morning:

-cross training (kickboxing, yoga, rower, walking). Exercise is a foundation for me in so many ways.
-work on my book, including articles for professional journals from my research
-practice, preparing for upcoming recitals
-write more
-practice more
-walk the dogs
-spend time reading, meditating

Other than that, a return to eating more healthfully, gardening, working around the house, visiting with Mom…and being gentle with myself on those days that things happen that throw off my plans. I am a flawed human being, but every day I try to be better than the day before. That’s my goal from here until I check out of this world.

Today is Day 1, so as soon as the pups finish eating, I’m heading up to my gym to start my own personal bootcamp. All good thoughts are appreciated- things are always toughest when they are new. Once they become habit, it will be smooth….well, smoother….sailing. And I will be sending those good thoughts right back to you. Namaste, my friends.

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