Lifestyle Choices Archives - JennieGScott.com
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07.03.2019

It's such a pain, meal-prepping every Sunday evening. I take out the spaghetti squash and the extra-lean ground turkey, and I put together my lunches for the week. I'm one of those who eats the same thing every single day, just for the sake of simplicity. The less I have to think, the better. But still, the prepping is a pain. It takes time, effort, and planning ahead, and I'd truthfully rather not do it. But I do. And it's such a pain, working out every morning. The alarm goes off before the rest of the house gets up, and I lace up my running shoes and pull my tangled hair into a semblance of a ponytail. I'm one of those who works out before going to work, to get it done early before my brain knows what I'm doing. The effort is a pain. It takes time, energy, and early alarms, and I'd truthfully rather not do it. But I do. I do the things I'd rather not do, small things that are a pain, because I've learned small things are larger than they appear. Meal-prepping and early alarms aren't really that terrible, even though it takes effort to do them both, but...

06.01.2019

  A little over a month ago, at the beginning of December, I decided to take a leave of absence from social media. You can read all about it here, but the main reason is that I just needed some white space in my life, and social media was filling my mind with unnecessary noise. I decided that for the month of December, I would stay off Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I did, and it was glorious.¬† I worried that I might miss it, that I would wonder what was going on in people's lives and feel like I was missing out. But 99% of the time, I didn't. I began to feel myself relaxing, not getting caught up in what other people were doing and saying. I wasn't constantly reaching for my phone, and I wasn't constantly living the life of a voyeur. Here's what I realized about myself and social media: I don't need it, and it usually doesn't make my life better. So here's what I've been considering as I've begun wading back in: why do I use it, and how will I protect myself? I've had to face some hard truths about myself and my choices. Prior to this fast, I was almost...

19.02.2018

  Grief has swept our nation, and my own heart is still tender. Last week, a teenager not much older than the students I taught massacred 17 people by shooting them in cold blood. Then he got a snack at McDonald's. Every day since this tragedy, the news -- both official sources and the ever-growing social media kind of news -- has been filled with a nonstop dissection of how it happened and why it happened and how to prevent it from ever happening again. I have many opinions, to be sure. The maternal side of me has thoughts, as does the former educator. The rule follower in me who sees things in black and white has her opinions, but so does the always-questioning woman who has grown adept at playing the devil's advocate. But today, the opinion I will allow to have a voice comes from the most important person in me -- the Christ follower. She, today, is the one who will speak. And this is what she will say: It is not enough for us as believers to simply say, as the wide-sweeping solution to this tragedy and those of its kind, "This world just needs Jesus." If I have read that statement once from...

29.01.2018

  If there's one thing I've learned about women in my own 37 years, it's that we feel immense pressure to be more than we can actually be. I'm not suggesting that we're not capable and intelligent and able to do great things; I'm suggesting that we are actual human beings with a limited amount of time, energy, and mental capacity, and it's time we stop feeling shame for having these limitations. It's who we are, and it's how we were created to be. Like it or not, it's the truth. We cannot do it all. And those are the five words we all need to keep telling ourselves: "I cannot do it all." Somehow our culture has created and perpetuated the myth of the superwoman, a woman who magically accomplishes everything she ever dreamed of and who stays in a great mood while doing it. Nope. She doesn't exist. The world around us expects us to be: skinny well-dressed intelligent but not threatening or dominating amazing housekeepers knowledgeable but not over-opinionated gourmet chefs who only use organic, home-grown produce   And it expects us to have: flawless skin, accentuated by perfect makeup flat stomachs, even after kids the wardrobe of a fashionista a side business in addition to our...

22.01.2018

  Today, I spoke these words when I saw my Facebook feed: "That's it. If you don't bring me joy, you're gone." And I meant it. I've written before about giving yourself permission to unfollow people on social media, and today I needed to take my own advice again. My feeds had become a cesspool of negativity, judgment, misunderstandings, and deliberate attacks. People who don't even speak face to face fight via a keyboard. With every scroll, I became more irritated. I saw post after post of things that, in my view, didn't need to be seen, said, or shared through this medium. It's like I forgot I had a choice. But it's MY social media, and I don't have to see what I don't want to see. (And all the people said amen.) So I scrolled and unfollowed, scrolled and unfollowed. And my heart got lighter with every click of the mouse. It's not that I only want to surround myself with people who agree with me and share my opinions. I don't. I believe it's super important to hear different views and be exposed to new ideas. But that's not what this is about. (And I think real life is the best place to do...

17.01.2018

  I haven't always been a runner, and I still don't think of myself as an athlete. I was 26 years old (and 6 months postpartum) when I ran my first 5k, and I still find it hard to believe I've run two marathons. So the fact that I ran over 1000 miles in a year sort of makes me giggle. But it's also one of my greatest accomplishments. You learn a lot about yourself (and life) any time you push yourself physically, and running many miles at a time definitely qualifies as pushing yourself physically. The fact that it's a solitary sport also takes it to a different level. On training runs when you're alone and just wanting to quit, you really learn what you're made of and how much mental strength you have. Running, to me, is far more mental than physical. So in 2017 as I ran 1003 miles, this is what I learned: You have to decide ahead of time that you're going to run, no matter what. When the alarm goes off at 5 am or you realize you'll be running when the heat index is over 100 degrees, it's so easy to make excuses and talk yourself out...

24.10.2017

  When I magically and mysteriously become inexplicably rich, the first thing I will do is hire someone to clean my bathrooms. The two children I gave birth to have been granted that great privilege now, and their skills are still somewhat, shall I say, lacking. Their top priority is to finish, not necessarily finish well. And bathrooms need to be cleaned well. That brings me to the task I just completed today - the deep cleaning of a bathroom my dear offspring only surface cleaned. Sigh. It made me feel like a pig. I'm one of those people who hates visual clutter and who actually enjoys organizing. But apparently when it comes to deep cleaning, I turn a blinder eye than I realize. I got on my hands and knees, a la Cinderella, wiping down cabinet fronts and scrubbing baseboards. Can we talk about what disgusting dust collectors they are? And the unbelievable amount of hair I apparently lose each day? Bleh. It's easy to ignore it when it's not right in your face. But when you're crawling around at ground level, it's right there in your face. And it's gross. So like any woman worth her salt, I began the negative self-talk. I fussed at myself for...

30.01.2017

  Dear World, What have we allowed to happen to us? When did we collectively agree that our lives could be ruled by electronic rectangles, and why did we give the virtual world so much power over the real one? Why do we allow social media alerts to take precedence over the people we're having dinner with, and why do we interrupt real-life conversations for those sent via text message? When did politeness give way to productivity, and why are special moments¬†interrupted for selfies? What in the world have we allowed to happen to us? We've created a life where we can't fully be with the people we're with because we're so concerned about what's going on where we aren't. We've become a generation of people who find our worth in likes and comments and who can't fathom not posting every detail of our days. We've said it's acceptable to have thousands of virtual friends and few real ones and to spend more time Snapchatting our acquaintances than speaking to our families. It's insanity, world, and we can do better. We have to do better. The chemical dopamine is an interesting thing. It is released when we encounter a reward, prompting us to repeat the reward's cause. This is why...

05.01.2017

  We are now a few days into the new year, and I've let the resolutions craze pass. I didn't come up with a list of 20 drastic changes I want to make in this year, and I didn't decide to overhaul my entire lifestyle in one fell swoop. I've done that in the past, and I've always ended up feeling defeated and frustrated. Instead, I'm easing into the new, praying about how I'd like to be different, and asking God to tweak me to be more useful to him. That's it. Sure, I have goals I'd love to see materialize in 2017, and certainly I have habits I want to change, but I'm not falling for the lie that 2017 must be different in every way from 2016. I'm not going to pretend that I have to be a completely different person because it's a new year. I didn't expect to wake up on January 1st and be transformed. A thought that occurred to me as the calendar changed is that while we humans place enormous significance on a new year, God is not limited by our earthly calendar. Our years are days to him, and the stroke of midnight changes nothing about him or...

06.12.2016

  Before you get outraged by the headline and assume I'm bashing being an American - don't. I love being an American. I get misty-eyed at football games when 80,000 people pledge allegiance to the flag and fighter jets fly over. I vote proudly (if hesitantly like this November), and I cried when I bought a soldier coffee the other day. So please don't assume I'm unpatriotic or say I should move to another country. But I was scrolling through social media this morning (mistake number one), and I had a sudden realization that being American allows us to be ridiculous in ways others around the world don't have the luxury of being. I watch the evening news every day (I've turned into my father for whom the world stopped at 6:30 pm), and I know of the world's wars, famines, and threats. I follow organizations that try to stop human trafficking, and I give money to relief organizations that feed and educate the poorest children. My Instagram feed shows me every day the life-threatening, desperate situations people are facing. But it also shows me how self-absorbed and hypocritical I am. How are we Americans ridiculous? Consider these examples: we spend money on...