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Journey To the Finish Line

PR's, 4 children, hopes and dreams; I'm always running after something

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Trust Your Journey

I’ve been in a weird place lately.

I know I’ve mentioned at least once that I’ve had a hard time putting together any cohesive thoughts for a blog post outside of something that already comes with an outline. As someone who thrives on organization, when my brain gets disorganized tend to cling onto anything that already has the steps written out for me. As if that is going to fix the jumbled mess. I feel scatterbrained. I write things down and still forget them.

There has been a lot up in the air in our lives lately and as a result I’m having trouble trusting what I already know. My job change brought with it some unforeseen issues and is moving along a little more slowly than anticipated. We’ve been awaiting news on a permanent teaching position for Bryan for awhile now and it still looks like no answer is coming anytime soon. I feel the uncertainty bleeding into other areas of my life – how I feel about myself as a professional, how I handle change, my running and training, how I’m raising the twins.

I went into my marathon training fully aware that my plan had me accumulating fewer miles than many do. My whole focus was to finish uninjured and not worry about time because it took me many months to increase my mileage enough to even consider training for one. Still, here I sit, 3.5 weeks from race day wondering if I made the right decision.

I went into this job change aware that things were going to be crazy and possibly unpredictable for awhile. Now there is a large part of me wondering why I, a person who thrives on predictability and consistent scheduIes, made a change that means there is a decent chance that scheduling changes can happen often and without much notice. A change that means very little predictability.

It is difficult while you are in the mess of anxiety to remember that the decisions you made were made for sound reasons, to remember that you once felt confident in the decision. I often hear runners tell those who are fretting about an upcoming race to “trust your training”. I’m finding it one of the hardest things to do, not only in terms of running but life in general. It’s so easy to get caught up in what if’s and anxieties, forgetting why you’re on the journey you’re on in the first place. Sometimes, you just need to be patient and remember that you’re on this path for a reason.

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I am trying.

If it Makes You Happy

Anyone who has read more than a couple of of my blog posts knows that exercise and fitness is very important to me. I run, swim, bike, rollerblade, practice yoga or some combination thereof 5 days a week, with few exceptions. Second only to the my own health and the health of my family, exercise takes priority.  I set my alarm and get up before everyone else. If that doesn’t work, I’ll let Abby and Miles watch 30 minutes of Pocoyo and hop on the elliptical run on the treadmill while they nap. I’ve been known to (and will probably continue to) wake them up a little early, plop them in the jogging stroller with milk and a snack and bring them running with me.

I don’t plan exercise around my life, I plan my life around exercise.

It sounds a little selfish, doesn’t it?

Here’s the thing, though. Exercise is a necessity for me, not just physically, but mentally.

I also work away from home 3 days a week. It was something I chose to continue doing after the twins were born. I like my job and I spent 6 years studying my field. It is important to me that I be able to contribute some financially and I feel like I am helping make a difference. I am a nicer, more sane and happier person when I am able to work.

Still, sometimes I catch myself feeling guilty. Sometimes I feel like I should want to stay home and willingly skip my workout so the twins can sleep an extra half hour. Sometimes I feel like a bad mom when I turn on Pocoyo so I can run out some frustration or kiss them goodbye as I leave for work. Even though I feel like these two things make me a better person and mother, particularly after infertility, I sometimes feel guilty.

Cate Pane recently posted a link to a page on The Science of Raising Happy Kids. It contains a lot of good, interesting information, but one fact in particular stood out to me.

Your (moms) happiness matters.

It says that a moms satisfaction with her life is more important to a young child’s social and emotional skills than her education, her income, whether she has a job and the amount of time the kid spends in childcare.

Last week I read a post in Favorite Run Community that left a bad taste in my mouth. The woman posted about how she sees all of this support to moms who run, even waking their kids to take them along. She disagreed with this mentality and said that if she can’t get someone to watch her kids, she just doesn’t run. Family first. I get up early and sometimes take them with me with the hopes they pick up the same habit (of course, if they are ill or truly need me, I will stay home). The post left a bad taste in my mouth because I thought that doing something to keep myself sane and demonstrating a healthy habit was setting a positive example. I thought doing things to ensure my own happiness WAS, at least in some ways, putting my family first.

You know the saying, and apparently its more true than we realize – if mom isn’t happy, no one is happy.

Or at least if mom is happy, her kids will be happier.

Take care of yourselves, moms.

 

 

 

Gonna be a long ride

I spend alot of time in my car.

Which is odd because I really don’t like to drive. But since I graduated and started working I’ve had jobs that have required either alot of driving or long commutes. Since I bought my car in April of 2009, I’ve put 62000 miles on it.

That’s alot of driving. Granted, its not all work. It’s been driven to Florida, Ohio, and most notably a trip this summer for some continuing education. I woke up at the hotel the first morning and walked out to my car to find this:

Yeah, that’s underwear. And no, its not mine. Baxter and I (yes, I named my car….don’t judge) have obviously been through alot together.

For my current job I spend about 60% of the time seeing kids in clinic, and 40% of the time either seeing them in their home, or traveling to or from. Fortunately or unfortunately, this leaves me with quite a bit of time to think. Admittedly, I spend alot of it worrying. Mostly about infertility and whether I’m emotionally and financially strong enough for what it might take to have children. Actually it kinda cycles by my cycle. Early on I’m bitter, then hopeful as we move towards ovulation, as we move towards the end I’m a variation of hopeful and sad for the arrival of my unwanted visitor. I’ve imagined so many pregnancy announcement scenarios that I’m pretty much covered if I decide to become like the Duggars. Be prepared, right?

I’m two days from D-Day, and I’m tired of preparatory sadness (yeah, I really do that). So I need to distract myself. In the early morning the radio is a good distraction. I enjoy listening to a local morning show and chuckling at the daily “phone scam”. After that, though, it’s all kind of hit or miss.

Take today for instance:

For the most part I listen to Top 40 type stations. Except I’m pretty sure I don’t hear 40 different songs. Just the same 10 on repeat. I’ve heard Adele so many times that it makes a downlowd-so-I-can-learn-the-words completely unnecessary. After hearing “Move like Jagger” for the 387634th time, I decide it’s time to move on. (moooooooooooove like Jagger!)

Click.

My windows are down so I can’t really hear the music right away. Then I realize I’ve stumbled upon one of the stations that plays nothing but Christmas music from November on. And, ironically, is playing “Its beginning to look alot like Christmas”. Except its 75 degrees outside. (NOT complaining!) It’s been uncharacteristically warm here lately, and if it weren’t for the dead leaves floating around and the invention of the calendar, I would have thought it was Spring. I think we need to write an Its Beginning to Look Alot Like Christmas, South Carolina version:

It’s beginning to look alot like Christmas

Shorts in every store

Take a look at your snowy globe

Drive around with it as you go

Cuz that’s the only way that you’ll see snow

(again, not complaining…..I hate snow. But really, its not beginning to look anything like Christmas in this weather)

Click.

Commercials. UGH. I swear, too, that every station plays commercials at the same time on purpose. Unfortunately multiple clicks later, I’m still listening to commercials. And its trying to get me to buy a car. I’m good to go for awhile, luckily (and even have some spare underwear), but even as much as I try to tune them out, I can’t help but catch some of it. And it’s claiming that it will approve anyone with a job who makes $300 a week! No credit check!

Anyone else no longer confused about why we are in a recession?

To digress a bit, for some reason this reminds me of the TV commercials for antidepressants and the like. “I was still depressed until my doctor recommended such and such and then I really felt better.” Well, that’s awesome (seriously) but then there’s the laundry list of side effects (tell your doctor if you experience tremors, suicidal tendencies or symptoms of stroke….). Yeah, sign me right up.

Actually, maybe they are onto something. You know what commercials could use that disclaimer? Target. Can anyone else not go into Target for 1 thing and come out with 6? I can see it now…..la de da….sale at Target. Then disclaimer (only bring cash if you cannot keep control of your credit card. Maybe shoppers have reported experiencing “how did I end up with this much stuff?” syndrome. This was particularly prevalent in teens and women in their mid thirties….)

Okay, back on topic.

Once I’m finally able to find a (or half of) a good song, I sing along. Whitey Houston eat your heart out. I’ve just about finished my performance and am accepting my thunderous applause when I realize something.

Huh. You know what? I’m at my destination.

Well, maybe it’s a bit delusional but at least I’m not worrying anymore.

 

 

Kids Say The Darndest Things

I love my job.

I really do. There are definitely rough days for sure, but overall I feel like I’m making a difference (at least somewhat) and at least a few times a kiddo says something that just makes me LOL

Kids say the darndest things

  • Once I needed to use the restroom and half a 99% empty coffee cup behind. When I returned, a couple of coffee spots had appeared on my piece of paper. I knew how it happened but wanted to see what would be said. Here is the conversation as it unfolded:

Me: What is this on the paper?

Kid: It coffee

Me: Did you spill it?

Kid: No, I drink it.

  • While labeling some objects, a kid pointed to a clock and stated very clearly “clock”, only his rendition left off a rather important consonant. You know, the one that differentiates the item that tells time vs. well…you know.
  • Once a kid looked down at my feet and asked “why do you have hair on your toes?”
  • I use the word wait alot. Usually with my finger pointed in the “give me a minute” position. Today while playing, a kid looks at me, holds up a finger and goes “wait”……”wait”.
  • Once a kid was describing to me the activity the kid wanted to do while we worked, and after the description was over, stated “because that’s how it works”
  • Once I asked a kid why we wear coats. The answer, which I can’t fully remember, involved the following statement “because you could end up under a sign that says RIP…..with x’s over your eyes”
  • One ended almost every statement with the word “baby”. I.E. Who’s food is this? The cat’s, baby!

This isn’t to say that I never said or did dumb stuff as a kid. My parents like to tell the story about a book they read to me quite often that had something to do with pine trees and cones. Having most of the book memorized, I apparently recited a page by saying “pine trees with cones….chocolate and vanilla”

Then there was the time I apparently closed myself in a closet and sing a Lionel Richie song

A bit embarassingly, I admit that I sucked my thumb until I was seven. In an attempt to get me to quit, my parents agreed that if I stopped for 30 days I could get my ears pierced. Apparently they had tried the bitter apple stuff, to which I had just licked it off, made a face, licked it off, made a face etc and continued to suck my thumb as normal. Since I badly wanted my ears pierced, I readily agreed. Three days in, my dad caught me sucking my thumb and told me I needed to start over. A crying fit ensued, where I begged and begged to please not have to start over. My dad thought for a moment and said “ok, we’ll just tack 3 days on the end instead”…….to which I replied “ok!”

Well played dad, well played.

                                                             (that was not me)

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