Monday, July 30, 2012

Blessings from a Gift

So yesterday I finished painting my bedroom. Yes I said finished. See I’m a person that likes to see results immediately. I know don’t we all. So I’ve wanted to paint our bedroom and cover a headboard with some vintage napkins I found, so we made the headboard but before we hung it I knew I would be painting soon. Define soon. So I got the paint and painted just the wall in which our headboard would hang. I know lazy but it was a start. Anyway, a few weeks have gone by and I decided that my goal for the weekend would be to finish painting our bedroom. I thought it would only take a couple of hours. WRONG! It took me all afternoon. Really? Of course I had “help”.
But the purpose of this post isn’t about painting my bedroom, although it is a pretty color and things are coming together nicely, but I want to save that for another post. No, the purpose is about another blog post I came across today that made me stop and think about my own Pirfect Life. The author, Nancy Jo Sullivan, talks about her daughter who had down’s syndrome and how she found the blessings throughout it all.
During my afternoon of painting, little batman thought he needed to decorate my room. So here I am trying to work around furniture, kids and now decorations. I had a dinosaur, Legos and Lego books. After awhile little batman went to a friend’s house to play so I wrapped up painting and started putting my bedroom back together which included removing his decorations. So when he got home, needless to say he went to check and was a little upset that I had removed his decorations. He brought each exact lego he had created and put them back exactly where he had them. All the while, I’m trying to explain to him that I don’t need his legos in my room. I wish I had captured the look I got, priceless. But you guessed it, the legos are still in my room but they were relocated onto the window sill by my bed.
The point is I caught myself thinking this morning as I was reading Nancy Jo’s post that even though Elliott’s issues are difficult and stressful, he is so much a blessing in my life. I even have a Happy Mom’s Day banner hanging on my door because he insists it’s my day, every day. Smart kid!  The little love notes I get, that say Elliott Love Mommy with a flower and heart are so precious to me. So who cares if the Lego man in an airplane might not fit in with my deco, it was a gift from a blessing that I shouldn’t refuse!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Searching......don't we all?

I often wonder will I ever get it right. Will I ever stop searching? Searching…searching…searching for something more. I mean come on, who didn’t when they were younger search for freedom from your parents. You didn’t realize how well you actually had it until you were out on your own. Searching for the right man, searching for the right job, the right house, continuously searching for something, someone. Then at some point in your life you might give up for a while or even after you search for something you decide you don’t deserve it. Or you settle for something less than perfect. Don’t we all?
My head is spinning today.
I have a long for simplicity in a world that is so chaotic, including my own life. We live in constant chaos it seems. Drama, drama, drama. But do we make the drama, probably. I’ve gone down this road before, wanting to simplify as much as possible in my life. I will go on a non-buying spree, making do with what I have. Now don’t get me wrong, I have plenty. There is nothing wanting on my end….well may be a new pair of shoes or too? Don’t we all though? The non-buying I’m talking about is no eating out, no Starbucks (Love me some chai tea), even meals are basic no frills. And then…..I say screw it and go buy me a Venti Non-Fat Chai Latte.
Do you ever wish you could walk away from this life to something you dream of?
I dream of a farm, a farm house with a wraparound porch, a small town (I mean small-wherever one knows you name). Movies like Baby Boom, Field of Dreams entice me. My hubby’s town where he grew up is intriguing….. Could we, would we walk away from our jobs to run a farm/ranch? Crazy?
So am I silly for wanting something that will probably happen? Am I silly for thinking that if we moved to a farm that life would be so much better? Problems will follow wherever you are or new ones will creep up. But it is the simplistic lifestyle of being on your own land, of being in a small town, of all of it that I long for. Don’t get me wrong I know farming is hard. But there is something appealing to it.
I have plans, I have dreams.
I make lists. I should prioritize them. I get too many projects started and then get frustrated because they don’t get finished fast enough. I should be more patient but I have a vision in my head and I want the end result. Don’t we all? We want that end result. Something tangible that I can say, hey I did that. May be that is why I run. I can train, complete and race and say see look at my bling! You would think I would think the same way about weight loss but alas I don’t. I get frustrated and more often than not give up. Unless of course there is some type of contest related to it. I know better. I’ve lost weight on more than one occasion. I love to eat good food though. Don’t we all?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Gains and Losses

Gain and losses…..I confess that I have gained 5 pounds of the 12 I have lost since February, well actually as of today only 4 but when I weighed last week it was 5 so be it. Last night at the gym, I felt the loss of strength. I had been working pretty consistently in the gym, making great gains in strength!! But yesterday during my weekly workout with my BFF I couldn’t get all my pull-ups done and being that we used the pull-up machine I had to increase the plates to help me lift! UGH! I felt like such a weakling and to top it off I was so frustrated with myself for letting myself go this past month.
I know I couldn’t help some of the situation but the food thing I can control, well may be that is obvious I can’t but I could have tried. And the truth is I could have cared less. I knew every “bad” thing I put in my mouth, every glass-bottle of wine that I drank, every workout I skipped, I knew it would reflect but I just didn’t care. I think though I have come to my breaking point of “enough is enough”. We all hit it. Some ignore and continue on the destructive path and some take a stand and change.
I am well aware that I cannot control everything in my life or anything for that matter. Except my hair, I can control it with a short haircut J I am well aware that my life is borderline if not totally chaotic, unstable, messed up, miserable, etc. But what I have decided is that I can’t live in this state any longer. There are choices that I made that have caused this situation but there are choices I can make today to be happier, to try and make it better. I have to bring happiness back into my life for my sake as well as my children. I’m tired of living in misery.
I’m not sure where my journey will lead me. I’m not sure of tomorrow. But I’m not going to worry about tomorrow any longer. Today is my focus. Because by worrying about tomorrow and yesterday, I’m liable to miss today and the small things that make the life worth every struggle.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Changing the Chaos

I know I have written on several occasions about changes that I need to make for my family, sacrifices that I have been fighting yet it is evident that I need to. Family comes first right? Always has in my book, that’s the way I was raised and that is what I hope to instill in my children. Now don’t get me wrong, you can look over the last few years and would question if I put them first. All the hours I trained last year for the half ironman, all the times I’ve rearranged to do something so I could workout, run, lift etc. Forty-eight events to date (since 2008) and I have about 5 more to go this year. So I know some would say, oh you haven’t put your family first not at all. But I guess it all depends on perception. I think I have but I know I could do much, much better.
I’m becoming more and more at peace with my decision not to participate in certain distances this year; certain races that I know would take time away from my family. Basically putting triathlons on hold. However, even though I’ve put my own training on hold, I’m volunteering at the events I would normally participate in. Helping comes naturally to me. I’ve even started helping a friend train for her first triathlon, so I’m still involved in the sport.
 I’ve been told by a close relative that sacrifices are what parents do. It was obvious in our conversation that he didn’t think that I sacrifice enough. I felt that in his mind, I should give up everything including the gym in order to put my family first. I disagree with him. Working out rather in a gym, running, cycling or a combination of any of that has been a part of me ever since I picked up a barbell 20 years ago. Running is as much of a part of me as well. Believe me, you want Mommy to run or work out. Really you do. I’m not going to put myself on a pity party for what I haven’t done or what I should do because everything can be done in balance. Balance is the key.
I know with the approaching school year that things are once again going to become hectic. Not that they aren’t already  boarding on being hectic because of sporting activities that the kids are involved in but it is manageable without school. Add an 8th grader and a 1st grader into the mix of their sporting events, plus both parents working full time and you’ve got borderline chaos. Plus our monkey boy needs some extra attention right now and if I had continued training for triathlons he would have gotten that or it would have fallen on my hubby which isn’t fair to him either. Training for three events is sometimes difficult with everything else I had to do. And I’m not going to go into a race under prepared, not going to happen.
I’m also realizing that my workouts are suffering because since I have a tendency to wait until the evening to work out, they have been sacrificed as of late and the scale reflected as so this month. Of course eating like I have been hasn’t helped either so it was a double whammy. But that is a whole other blog.  So I’m thinking that I need to re-arrange my workouts. Tuesday evenings I work out with my bff. It is the only night she can and probably will be that way. So what about the other nights? Well I’m thinking I need to utilize my time in the morning and at lunch time. Hubby leaves around 4:30 every morning (Tuesday-Saturday) which gives me plenty of time to do a workout in the morning, probably some type of cardio (elliptical or treadmill) and still get ready. Then at lunch I can utilize the gym or if I want to run outside I can. That leaves the weekend. Well I can either get a long run in on Saturday mornings if the kids are at Nannies or Sunday morning if need be. But I want to reserve Sunday’s as family days. So I’m thinking 4-5 days a week of lifting. I like circuit training and I’ve liked the quick fast repetition workouts that I’ve been doing as of late. I have 30-40 minutes at lunch, totally doable.
So for the next few weeks, I’m going to planning, testing and tweaking my workouts. That way come school time I should be in a good groove ready to attack the next battle of chaos.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Rushing for Time

I am so not a time person, meaning if I make it somewhere on time or a few minutes early then I’m on time. I don’t see the point in being somewhere 15-30 minutes early; to me that’s a waste of time. I’m not sure where I got this attitude because I’ve been in the military and in fact my husband is so much of a time person it drives me insane. He is the 30 minutes early or you’re late and now he has our daughter thinking the same way. UGH! So I it’s no surprise that I constantly feel like I’m running late. I even walk like I’m running late, very fast and with a purpose. In addition, I’ve always wanted to be the type of person that wakes up early, feeds the cows/hogs, whips a cake and has her entire house cleaned before the rooster calls. Um yeah, I’m a hit the snooze button 15 thousand times then force myself to get up. I really have no excuse to not get up early because my hubby gets up at 0400 every morning because he has to be at work by 0530 but of course leaves the house at 0430 so he can be there no later than 0500. Right because otherwise he would be late?!
But this morning, the alarm went off, which that in itself I was shocked at because it meant I actually slept halfway decent, and after hubby left, I was still awake. So what did I do? Well I started reading my Nook when my little one came in and climbed in bed. I was going to get up, make a cup of tea and read but when he came to bed I knew I had to lay there with him which was no biggie since I have the Nook Tablet and it is backlit so I didn’t have to worry about having a light on. I read for about an hour, then when I was sure he was good and sound asleep I got up, dressed and hit the elliptical for about 30 minutes.  I came back into a quiet house, fixed my tea and got ready for work. I was even able to pack my lunch/snacks too without rushing. In fact the whole morning was done without rushing, watching the time, etc…..
You know what else I noticed. I haven’t rushed all day. I really noticed it when I walked between the buildings this afternoon. Usually I’m race walking from one building to the next. You know what? I like the peace that I felt while walking. May be it has to do with the extra devotion time I got this morning which I don’t typically get. May be it was staying up and not having to rush. May be it is the Lord’s way of telling to “Keep still” like I heard so clear last week. May be it is a combination of a lot of those things but it felt nice.
Now I can’t say I will be able to stay awake everyday like that, especially on days off but on the other days it is a possibility.