My Health and My Children’s Happiness Go Hand-in-Hand

It’s the start of a new year, and as I always do at the beginning of the new year, I resolve to work out more to stay healthy. As I well know, it’s hard for me to stick with anything for very long, this blog not withstanding.  So I’ve come up with an incentive that I think will keep me on track.  Starting this week, I am paying myself $5.00 every time I go to the YMCA, and I’ll kick in another $1.00 for every mile I walk in a single day. And this is the best part: I’m putting the money in a fund to buy my children’s Christmas presents. Brilliant, yes? I just love, love, love those kids and grandchildren so much, I couldn’t stand to disappoint them next Christmas. I couldn’t stand to see their little boo-hoo faces if nothing was under the Christmas tree from Mommy. I mean, I know every year they say, “Oh, Mom, you don’t need to buy us anything. Your love is all we want.” But what kind of a mother would I be if I listened to them?

I went to the Y on Monday, and then yesterday I went for yoga. At the end of the day, my husband called as he was leaving work and asked me if I wanted to go to the Y to work out with him when he came home. Cha-ching! Twice in one day. What a bonus for my little sweeties! It’s only Wednesday morning, and already my children have fifteen dollars in their kitty.

This is also a great way to reduce my spending. After all, my employer (me) doesn’t have an unlimited supply of funds. She can only stretch her retirement check so far. From now on, instead of drooling over the clothes in the J.Jill or Talbot’s catalogues, I’m going to put them right in the trash. My money is going straight into my kids’ Christmas fund. After I work out, of course.

Today I have nothing on my schedule except laundry. Usually, on days like this, I would sit back and read or play my music, but I need to exercise for my children (my E-string is broken again anyway). I can’t decide if I should go to the gym or walk to the library, a three-mile round trip. Or, I could walk to the gym, a two-mile round trip, plus I’d get the five bucks for working out. If I was a really good mom, I would walk to the library, walk to the gym, and work out. This tires me out just thinking about it.

I hope I can keep this up. I wonder if I should let my children know about my plan. That way, if I start to falter, they can encourage me. After all, their happiness is at stake. Now I wonder if I can get my husband to make the same deal with me. I could really use a new MacBook next Christmas. Hey, I’m only thinking of his well-being.

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About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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45 Responses to My Health and My Children’s Happiness Go Hand-in-Hand

  1. Pingback: Sunday signage, wind, and flurries « Life in the Bogs

  2. pattisj says:

    Not the E string again! Wonder what the neighbors will think of a bodhran. I’m glad you are looking out for George’s health. 🙂

  3. Robin says:

    This is brilliant! I love this idea. 🙂

    • Coming East says:

      I’ve had so much work today, Robin, that I couldn’t work out or take a walk, and now I’m bummed because I won’t have much to put in the Christmas fund this week. Amazing how guilty this makes me feel!

  4. Amy says:

    So true, our health and our children’s happiness go hand-in-hand. Thank you, Susan!

  5. A brilliant idea! I hope you keep it up! 🙂

  6. Jiawei says:

    What a great idea, Susan! Good luck with getting your hubby on with you, so that you can get your MacBook for Christmas!

  7. Huffygirl says:

    Great idea Susan. there’s a phone app that does this too – Gympact, though I’m not sure you can set the amount of money you want to “earn.” I have not tried it. Going to the gym has never been a problem for me, but I could probably do with some kind program that keeps me from eating too much chocolate.

  8. Lori Lipsky says:

    I like your way of thinking. Good for the kids and good for your heart…and there’s nothing like a Christmas gift from mom/grandma!

    • Coming East says:

      I’m hoping this will keep me on track, Lori, plus I need to curb my spending on clothes I don’t need. I actually put $23 in the kids’ fund this week. Not a bad start.

  9. Wonderful resolution! It sounds like one you could keep and that makes it really good!

  10. Dianna says:

    Wonderful idea! I’ve slipped out of my walking habit (holidays….cold weather…not feeling well…excuse, excuses), but I think you’ve encouraged me. I’m planning to get out in the morning and WALK! I know I’ll feel better once I do it!

  11. Al says:

    This is truly a noble quest. I, for one, am sure that you will more than fulfill your promise to yourself.

    In that vein, I have another idea. When you have reached the goal for the kids’ presents (I know you wouldn’t want to overdo) you can start giving the money to a charity. I’m thinking ANTM* Foundation would be an excellent one. They have not received their certification for tax exempt status yet, but should have it by the end of the year. Give it some thought.

    *(Al needs the money)

    • Coming East says:

      You are truly a compassionate person, Al. That’s why George and I are so appreciative that you’ve befriended us. Once you get your tax-exempt status, let me know and I’ll send you a check.

  12. E.C. says:

    You clever girl. What a great idea. I wish you great success with getting in to shape and your kids/grnadkids Christmas fund. 🙂

  13. winsomebella says:

    I think the fund is going to build up quickly—–one muscle at a time 🙂

    • Coming East says:

      You just wait, Stacia. I’m going to be in better shape than I’ve ever been, and my kids will have nice presents, too. Hmmm…wonder if I can use some of the money for cute work-out clothes.

  14. Wonderful idea! Really, it is… thanks for the idea DAF

  15. Great idea! I hope you get that MacBook..hint to the hubby.

  16. What a great idea! It is amazing how these bargains with ourselves are motivating. What is so nice about your plan is that it is incremental- not just an all or nothing thing. Hope those kids have a fabulous Christmas next year and a healthier mom to enjoy it with them!

  17. I wish someone would pay me to workout, then maybe I would be more consistent. : )

  18. lulu says:

    What a neat way to challenge yourself into a healthy routine. After three workouts in one day, however, you need a day of rest!

    • Coming East says:

      Friday is supposed to be rainy, so I will give myself a rest, Lulu. I’m wondering if I can work out really, really hard and take long, long walks for until April or May and then take the rest of year off. Surely I would have amassed enough money for my kids by then?

  19. Great idea! Keep at it! I agree– nothing more important than being to have more days seeing those grandkids.

    • Coming East says:

      Those granddaughters are growing up so fast, Cyclingrandma. The oldest is nearly fifteen. Wish they didn’t live so far away. Maybe I could use some of that money for a plane ticket.

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