"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." A.A. Milne

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rest When You Need To Rest

Yesterday I found myself beyond the brink of exhaustion. I was shaky, crabby, and really ready to cry at the drop of a hat. I was a mess, plain and simple. I have had too much on my plate lately. I have been going through a great deal of emotional upheaval and it has drained me. I ran 15 miles on Saturday on top of some seriously challenging workouts. Our social schedule has been more packed than usual. I have not been practicing self care. Any one of these could have been compensated for but everything together meant I was heading for a crash. Last night I sat down and cried over something really quite ridiculous. (Um, sorry again precious, wonderful husband). I knew I needed rest so I went to bed early. After all I had to wake up this morning at 4:20am for an 8 mile run.

When the alarm went off this morning I did something I never, ever do. I asked John to turn it off and I turned over and slept for over 2 more hours. It was wonderful. We ended up all snuggling together this morning as a family. The kids joined us and we laughed and warmed up Hannah's cold feet. We had a slow, lazy moring with lots of snuggles and lots of reading. That alone made me feel better.

Workouts are important. Having productive days is a very good thing. Getting together with friends is vital to someone as relationship oriented as me and also to my kids. But sometimes, you just need to rest. You need to step off the crazy train and refresh. You can then look around and figure out how the heck you jumped on that crazy train again to begin with. You can decide the changes that need to happen to stay off it permanently or at least until you unwittingly fall onto it again. We are works in progress, people, works in progress.

There are many things important in this life but we must remember that anyone of them, or several combined, can become too much of a focus and lead us off a balanced path. When our schedule stops nurturing us and our families, we must have the flexibility to make changes, either temporarily or permanently depending on the circumstances.

There are tweaks that need to be made in my life. I know this and I am taking this opportunity to ponder what they need to be. It won't be my running or other workouts, that just happens to be what had to give at the moment. No, I will take some downtime. I will pray and journal. I will discuss it with my best friend John (that, of course, is my amazing husband) and a few select friends. I will make changes to modify and bring my life back into balance.

And all will be wonderful, well until I once again fall out of balance.

Works in progress, people, we must remember we are works in progress.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Dealing With Hard Times Intentionally

I am going through a rough time in one of my relationships. On the Meyer Briggs Test, I am an ENFJ. That NF in the middle tranlates to relationships are extremely important to me. Another translation is when I am experiencing difficulties in said relationships, I hurt deeply.

In the past I would allowed this to push me close to the deep end. I would have allowed my health to fall apart. I would have desperately run from dealing with the issue in an effort to avoid being overwhelmed by my own big emotions. Big emotions scare me. They have alot of power.

But a new day has dawned in my life. I know strive to live intentionally and authentically. That includes living authentically and honestly with myself, perhaps the hardest of all.

So here are a few things I am doing differently on this particular emotional rollercoaster.

- Food: Normally I would go one of two way, either stop eating or turn to rich, fatty comfort foods. The worst scenario is when I have managed to combine the two in some twisted, strange dance of starving and binging. This time I am intentionally choosing to eat healthier than I even normally do. I am increasing my fruits and veggies and my water intake. I am being even more selective.

-Exercise: I would normally fall of the exercise wagon and then proceed to wallow in my misery. I would quickly feel yucky, bloated, and out of shape. This, of course, would quickly ramp up my depression to new and unglorious heights. This go around I am faithfully adhering to my preset workout schedule. I don't care if I feel like it or not, I am determined to drag my grumpy butt to the starting point of each workout and push my self to do it.

-Dealing with the Issue: Directly confronting my feelings of loss, sadness, and disappointment is very hard. We all know this. I normally would run fast trying, and failing, to escape my problems. I feel my emotions strongly and deeply and can be quickly overwhelmed. But the truth is running away just makes it worse and harder to deal with it. So I am journaling (um, and blogging). I have confiding and relying on my amazing husband. He is a rock. I am leaning on my close friends. It is hard for me to make myself vulerable but it is good and necessary as long as your confidantes are safe and trustworthy.

- Loving My Littles: I am taking more time to love on my babies. Of course, this makes me feel better but it is more for them. Like their momma, they are both sensitive to emotions. No surprise, they are exceedingly sensitive to my emotions. I want them to be reassured that mommy is not upset with them. Also, I think it is very important our children see us experiencing and dealing with big emotions in healhty ways. How else shall they learn?

-God: Finally and probably the most important thing, I am seeking God in all of this. I am praying and reading more scripture. I am seeking Him as my ultimate source of wisdom, guidance, comfort, and peace. He never leaves me and will always hold me safely to Him.

So things are a hard but I am working through it. I am not going to lie, I much prefer happy times. But these times are necessary. These times are when the greatest growth and character development happen. In the times of great hardship is when we look into the mirror of who we really are. And it is the greatest opportunity to learn to dance in the storm. (Thank you Boom Crash Opera)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Super Cool: A Story of How I Learn a Lesson and Then Apply It

The other day I was driving into the mall. I know, the beginning of a scary story. I go into a one way entrance and this woman flies up the wrong way and almost hits me. I hit my horn and motion she is going the wrong way. She sits and stares at me. She doesn't move. I can't go back because I will be backing out, um the wrong way, into oncoming traffic. So we sit there. I again motion she needs to go back. She flips me off. It was....succinct. I finally manage to pull around her and in a moment of delightful maturity and grace on my part, I blew her a big kiss and stuck out my tongue. Seriously. Sometimes I don't get myself. Looking back, I am pretty sure she was embarrassed and froze. I could have had a little more grace.

Fast forward two nights ago, I was hot, tired, and decided to take the kids out for ice cream. You MUST understand something. I don't eat ice cream, cake, pie, and the like. When I say it is a rare treat believe me it does not happen often. Well, my order was not what I wanted and gross. I took it back and met the stereotypical Apathetic Teenager. Wouldn't replace it. Didn't care. Too bad so sad for Mrs. I want an ice cream I might actually enjoy eating. Again, that maturity surged to the rescue and I had a minor tantrum. (Can an adult have a MINOR tantrum or are they all pretty MAJORLY stupid??) Over ice cream. I had a tantrum over ice cream in front of my children. Proud, proud moment.

Yesterday, I went to the library. I had dropped my kids off at my parents and just needed to run in quickly. There I stood happily perusing the Bestsellers and this guy comes up out of nowhere to berate me for taking two parking places and being selfish so I wouldn't get a dent. (Right, because you know I protect the old Kia Sorrento like the luxury car it is.)I am standing there just looking at him thinking, did I? Does the library parking lot even have lines? I told him,"Sir I am sorry if I took up two places. I truly didn't mean too and if I inconvienced you I am truly sorry." His reply was pretty cool, "You are NOT sorry and you do NOT care. People are so selfish!" And he stormed off. I decided he was a crazy man and obviously his mental health care provider would be along soon to collect him.

As I continued with my book search, I thought of the past couple of days. I thought of my chidish sticking out of the tongue incident. I thought of my tantrum. I thought that in either situation if I had given grace or if they ice cream guy had given me a little grace how much better the incident could have went for everyone. Grace is not something we deserve. It is a present we give other people. I thought about the crazy man. Most likely he was having a horrible day and an innocent incident on my part set him off past what he could deal with. I made my decision.

I went over to him. He glared. I said, "Sir, I truly am sorry if my actions have upset your day. I have a 2 and 3 year old so dents and scratches are so far down on my list of concerns it is actually nonexistence. If I took up two spaces it was out of carelessness. I did not mean it."

He looks at me sheepishly, "Well, I am sure you didn't mean it. It could happen to anyone. I am sure I have done it without realizing it. Thank you for apologizing." I left him smiling and looking remarkably more peaceful.

I walked out to the parking lot with peace in my heart. I had chosen the better path and I felt right about it. My heart felt free and lighter.

The first thing I noticed was the library parking lot does NOT have lines. The second thing I saw was my suv sitting very straight, door opening width apart from the car next to me. The third thing I saw was the suv next to mine sitting completely, utterly, and without excuse diagonally across the implied spaces. I laughed alot.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I Am Extraordinary: Living a Life of Adventure and Challenge

You may have noticed I have been away from my blog lately. The reason is the following post. I actually wrote it some time ago but immediately following its creation, I went out and lived it. I hope you enjoy it.

The other day I was thinking of what a montage of my lie would look like and what I want my theme song to be. The theme song is easy to me, "Extraordinary" by Liz Phair. It is a great song about a woman who initially lives for others and their approval then suddenly says, "Heck with you people. I am pretty amazing just the way I am!!"

Now before you think my psyche is rife with unbridled arrogance, I'll share a little secret with you. I think every woman is extraordinary but many have not come to that realization. But you can my sweet sister, you really can.

Anyhoo, my life montage, let's get back to that, shall we? I do not want picture after picture of me sitting slack jawed on the couch watching mindless tv or hunched up in a chair blankly starting a computer screen. Nope, I want snaps of me climbing an obstacle, swimming a river, running through fire, and belly crawling through the mud. (Okay, okay so my montage closely resembles a Spartan Adventure Race and I do want to do that but let's stick with the metaphor.)

Ultimately, I want to live a life of adventure and challenge. I want deep, close relationships with people who will teach, encourage, nurture, and value me just as I am for who I am. I want to favor back to them. I want to love fully and joyfully, experiencing the pain and euphoria that comes with a well lived life.

I want to learn, always learn, another language, a new instrument, painting, whatever strikes my fancy and stirs the embers of my passion. The world is a vast, amazing place too full of wonder to ever be bored.

I want to physically challenge myself. I want to run a marathon and compete in hardcore triathlons. I long to the bottom of my soul to learn aerial silks and suspended hoops. Oh and I will do it. I want to find physical challenges diverse and varied. Of course, the aforementioned adventure races fit nicely right here.

Create. That is huge for me, artistic expression. Hooping falls in here. Poi, staff, and other flow toys are all fair game in this life of exploration. I want to expand my writing. I want "to do" art of all kinds. Who cares if I am any good??? I want to create.

What I am looking to do is to live my life fully. Every moment of every day means something. Each is valuable. Quiet moments can have some of the greatest impact. It is all so important and once a moment is gone it will never come back so I want to savor as many as I can.

Well, there is a fairly good description of what I want. But what do you want? What would your montage look like? Would you be amazed with joy or whould think, what have I been spending my time on? It is not too late, it is NEVER too late, to change your life story.