Challenging Oneself; School in Session

The last couple of weeks have been interesting, as I have made some changes to my daily routine and Dalton and I have gotten started with his second grade materials. It only seems fitting that I share a little.

This month marks one year since I started paying attention to my weight again. In that time, I’ve shed a little over 65 pounds (almost 30 kg for my metric friends), mainly due to restraint in eating. This has become more important in recent weeks as my position change at work has resulted in an even more sedimentary lifestyle. I’ve managed to effectively hold my weight, but not without a little effort.

July 30, in an effort to further restrain myself in my consumption, I decided that I would keep the 6th precept on work days. For those who may be unfamiliar, the 6th precept reads:

“Vikalabhojana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami”
I undertake the precept to refrain from eating at the forbidden time (i.e., after noon).

I have decided to not try to impose this restriction on myself on weekends primarily because I think my wife would be rather cross with me if I didn’t enjoy meals at the “regular” times with the family when I am home, and it is really difficult besides to not eat when everyone it the house seems to be grazing… but when I’m at work there is no one to complain and no real temptation to be eating unless I want to, so I just don’t bother.

I’ve noticed that, as a general rule, I seem to have overall better sensation in the abdomen throughout the evening as a result — no more bloat or awful gas — and my (ahem) movements are more regular in general.

It isn’t for everyone, granted. I wouldn’t expect people who are doing heavy lifting, working and sweating all evening, to maintain such a rule, and I wouldn’t either, but it seems to suit me pretty well.

Another new thing I’ve adopted is a 6 AM start to my day with a one-mile walk every morning. Afterward, I perform puja (chanting, devotional readings, etc.), all without interruption from the children (who are still sleeping). It isn’t until 7:15 that I even start thinking about coffee, the thing that used to be the absolute first priority every morning. On that note, I’ve also reduced the coffee intake by about 60% (down to 4 cups from 8-10 daily) without any serious withdrawal effects.

I enacted the latest of my routine changes on Friday and have had some discomfort in the late evenings at work as a result, but nothing I’d call “serious.” I think I’ll adjust to it quickly, and it has been interesting, in fact, to contemplate the tiredness of the body and contrast it to the alertness of the mind, which I can see are not, in fact, entirely the same thing. All told, I’m still getting between six and seven hours of sleep every night (depending on when I get home from work), so contrary to those who might think I’m depriving myself of sleep, I know there are are many who do well on less.

Picture courtesy of my wife (8-11-12)

So, in conjunction with the above changes, Dalton started second grade yesterday! We spent about three hours between Handwriting, Science, and History with a little bit of time devoted to some basic review in other areas. While today’s routine was not quite so vigorous, we still logged almost two hours. He seems excited to get started and really seems to love homeschooling so I’m glad we have been able to continue doing so. While his mother has been busy with work (and will be for the bulk of the next 14 days), I imagine she too will be starting with his Literature, Math, and Art courses soon.

We spend a lot of time thinking about how others could do this or that better — have you challenged yourself to do better, to be a better person, lately? When you do, what is your motivation? Is it wholesome or do you just hope to get something in return?

There is no other time than right now to decide to be better than you were a moment ago. Goals become less important when intention takes over and you act with something so simple as that in mind.

Be well, my friends.



  1. thank you , inspiring and thought provoking post

    1. Thank you for saying so, friend.

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