This year I decided to make a New Years Resolution, sort of. Ever since I turned 40 in June of 2009, I have been noticing that I am no longer the young guy, which is weird. I was always the young guy, at work, at church, etc. I was always the youngest guy in the group. I got married young, had children young etc. So this realization, or admission, that I was no longer viewed in such a way was a very real change in the way I have always looked at myself.
In this moment of self realization, I decided that given that I was growing older and still had an infant in the home, that I needed to ensure that I was going to be able to still do those things with my younger kids that I have always done with my older ones (coach sports, keep up with them outdoors, etc). I have always been pretty physically active, used to swim in a masters program on a regular basis, play sports on adult teams, but after Denae went into the hospital with Joseph early last year, I stopped those frivolous activities to tend to more pressing needs and haven’t been able to get back into it.
As a family we have also been reviewing our busy lives and have been taking inventory of those things that are keeping us too busy (we do have 9 kids…), and only doing things that fit well into our family’s schedule and trying not to allow any one person’s activities in the family to have an adverse effect on the whole family’s schedule. This is where my resolution comes in…..
The only thing I could find that would help me to keep fit, or at least provide a regular opportunity for physical exercise, was an in home fitness program, I choose P90X. I have friends who have done the program, and they loved it and the results were pretty impressive. So I took the plunge and started working out at home last Monday. So far so good, a lot of variety in the workouts and they are pretty intense activities too. I love the feeling of working out so hard that you are just a bit sore and feel it for the next couple of days. I know that sounds weird, but it is a feeling that reminds me that I need to continue the program because I am not in as good of shape as I need to be.
Some of my kids are working out with me too, not every day, but there is usually someone who is interested in what I am doing. So far we have been having a good time and working really hard. I know taking care of my physical body is important, but I still need to find that balance with my physical fitness and my spiritual fitness.
Another thing that happened after Denae went into the hospital is that I stopped attending daily mass on a regular basis, I had no choice, too many things to do with work and taking care of kids to give an hour to attending mass. As one Catholic priest says, “You are called to a vocation in life and perhaps as a married person and parent, it may not be appropriate to spend 3 hours in front of the blessed sacrament each day (like a vowed religious could do), lest you neglect your vocation.” Now I was just spending an hour each day, but even that had to go when Denae was taken from our family for almost 2 months (hospital and recovery).
Now I must figure out how to maintain and also grow in my spiritual life once again. We have been praying as a family each night pretty faithfully, so this is good, I have been taking an online course in Theology (Theology of the Church, taking 9 months instead of 6 to complete), and attending daily mass about once a week. I still feel something lacking, so pray for me in figuring out the right balance.
Life is very good, there are some things which need some work, but I think I have them identified. Hopefully I will keep my new years resolutions and continue to follow my vocation as husband and father according to God’s plan.