Thursday, May 5, 2016

Changing My Mind Set

Steroids will really mess with you. For me, they keep me up all night. It's worth the trade off so that my face doesn't feel like someone is pounding it with a 2 x 4 and it allows me time while everyone is asleep to think and be still. I am grateful for the steroids and grateful to have time to continue to think about how to best take care of myself.

Over the last several months, I've been slowly making some changes. The changes resulted from waking up several times last year and feeling overwhelmed by my schedule. Each day, I'd look at the next day and realize that there was literally no time. For anything. I would get the kids and Jason out to school, workout, shower, and head out the door for meetings. Lots of meetings. Lots of work and community service meetings. Then, I'd head home and make dinner and go through bedtime routines. By the time we get Karson to bed then it's time for us to go to bed.

People would say, "You are amazing. I don't know how you do it all."

But I wasn't doing it all. Where was time to read a book? Shop? Decorate the new house? Just simply sit on my porch and have a cup of coffee? No time for any of those.

I'm beyond blessed. I have been given opportunities that I never dreamed of having when I was a child. I would love to do it "all" but that's just not feasible. I have two kiddos and a husband. I don't plan to really ever retire so there's plenty of time for all of the "extras" because life is a marathon and not a sprint.

Going back, I couldn't just drop all of my commitments and stop working. That isn't me. I had committed and would remain committed 100% until the end of the time I had promised.

I found ways to start pulling myself out of projects and literally just started saying to no to anything not already on my plate.

It's hard to do because even though people say they understand, I am not sure they do and I always feel like they are judging when you can't/won't help them.

I always ask if I am helping or hindering. If I can't give you help and make a difference then I need you to offer my seat at the table to someone who can. I'm not in a place where I just want my name on a board list. I want to be helpful.

I implemented "No Meeting Monday" and have set some self-imposed parameters for all things in my life. That's helped me be way more efficient and to roll with things when life doesn't go as planned (such as a week in quarantine with the plague).

I've also whittled down the community service list. I have only a few organizations that I serve but I do that with 100% of my heart and soul.

All of these things created more time for the boys and being able to enjoy them as they grow.

But there's one thing that has been nagging at me and I've not been able to find peace.

Most of the time, when someone introduces me, they give some professional and personal background and then they tell everyone around us that I'm a runner. "She's a runner. She runs marathons." In fact, I my LK superlative was Most Athletic (or something similar).

Since Karson was born, that's just not true. I won't lie, for me, it was much easier to do all the things when I had just one child. But after the second was born, I've never been able to get into a routine. A newborn plus a toddler is hard work. Just when I thought I was on a roll, I fell down our stairs. The fall down the stairs left me bruised for weeks and in great pain. Then I began experiencing the hip problems. Last year was a health and wellness disaster.

I used to use the hashtag #fitmomma with photos. I've always been proud to be the lady who could manage kids, husband, work, life, and staying fit. But it's hard to stay fit when you're always hurt (and stressed and tired).

I'm taking a new approach. I've changed my mind set. Instead of #fitmomma, I'll be using #healthymom in the future because it's not just about how many miles I can run or how fast I ran my last half marathon. It's not about how many yoga classes I take in a week. It's not just about how much weight I could lift or if I can hold a plank for 5 minutes. Health is so much more - it's physical, mental, and emotional.

I've addressed the emotional and mental health aspects. I'm not nearly as anxious or rundown as I was two years ago. And adding a disclaimer here, I did have a young son who doesn't care for sleep. During that pregnancy and for the first two years of his life, we just didn't sleep. At all. But now that he's sleeping, so am I. I could get up at 4 am for a workout before the kids get up but I deserve the extra time in bed and I am going to enjoy every single minute of it.

Physical health is very, very important to me.  hope to be able to run long distances again but right now is not the time. I hope to be able to teach yoga regularly again. At this moment in life, I simply don't have enough hours in my week. And honestly, I don't want to do it. It takes the right frame of mind to train for long distance runs or teach classes and I'm not there. And that's okay.

For today and the foreseeable future, I'd rather run a few days a week and work on building strength and stability in my hips and core so that I can maybe run a marathon down the road or get back to teaching.

And I know that the schedule I've laid out is a good one and should have me in good shape within a couple of months. And that would be great.

But overall, at the end of the day, I want to focus on overall health and not just one component. So, this #healthymom is signing off and continuing to rest so that she gets well sooner than later.

See you on the roads!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

One of Many Finish Lines

Every day, Facebook shows me photos and posts for that day in previous years. It's fun because I get to see awesome pictures, silly statuses, and blogs that I wrote in years past. So many of them are still very relevant and tug at my heart strings.

I read one this week reflecting on Jackson's foot/leg surgeries and his recovery. This time last year, he'd just finished up his second soccer season after having major surgery just after his 5th birthday. He was amazing then and still amazes me every day.

We are approaching the end of kindergarten. It went really quickly. And yes, I can see all you experienced mommies and daddies out there with older kids shaking your head and saying "I told you so" as I type this.

It was a fun year. None of us were super emotional during the first days. I was a bit surprised. I thought I'd shed more tears - there were a few but not many. After dropping him at his first Mother's Day Out program on his first day when he was 13 months old, I went for a run only to stop about a quarter mile in and sit down and sob. After all, he was my first and that was the first time he wasn't with me all day.

Truthfully, I thought Jackson might be a little more hesitant to get going. That said, I was super impressed on his second day when he opted for me to drive through so he could just get out and go in. Nope. He didn't need me to park and walk him in like we'd done on day one.

My number one goal for both kids is that we nurture them, love them, and teach them to be good adults. I long for them to be independent like Altman and myself.

Of course I'd be lying if I said that I didn't want them to always need me and I think they will but I want them to know and understand responsibility, the importance of getting an education, and how to interact with others. School is a great place to learn all of those things.

We've had all the fun kindergarten offers and I sure will miss it. He's at an awesome school and had an amazing teacher who has given him the opportunity to be himself and to learn new things in a safe environment. I've tried to go to the classroom once a week or at least twice a month to help out. I've been amazed at the progress in all of the kiddos. They're so cute and so smart and they have such great futures ahead of them.

Jackson's completed weekly homework assignments with some being fun and others not so much. I think he's going to take after Altman and lean towards math over English and literature. He does well with sight words but isn't jumping up and down to do them. But, he can knock out math problems like nobody's business. We'll see how things shake out. He's still young and I'm sure he'll surprise me over and over.

He's had days where he didn't get along with friends, where his feelings were hurt, and times when he accidentally hurt the feelings of others. It was rare but he did come home on yellow a couple of times. Mostly for talking. I can't imagine where he gets that trait. Otherwise, he's kept his clip on the "good" colors. In the afternoons before dinner, he tells me about his "expert" job in the classroom and other school happenings.

And so, in just 12 days, we'll cross the kindergarten finish line and head into summer. It's bittersweet as my sweet boy grows a little taller and becomes a kid. He's a kid now but it's different. I can see his mind processing things differently than he did a year ago.

Cheers to Jackson for not just surviving but thriving during his first year of school. This momma is so proud of him and both Altman and I are looking ahead to 1st grade and beyond.

See ya on the roads!