My Cup Overflows…

It’s time to pull it together….I mean really. Kids, work, house, fitness, food, marriage, self – and all of those expand into larger subsets. There is soooo much. And I am struggling, really struggling. I feel like I am on a spinning carnival ride that won’t stop and let me off.

How do people do it? How did my parents do it? I mean, maybe things were a little simpler in life, but probably not. And they did it, and my grandparents did it…and they did it without phones, without online shopping, amazon two day delivery and grocery pick up service. Am I alone in feeling like I can’t quite get a grip on reality? Or is it more normal than people let on?

I feel like there is not one thing in my life that I can accomplish without interruption. Even right this moment….my 3 year old daughter is showing me a picture, wanting to know where she was when the picture was taken. And I’m having to find a way to explain to a 3 years old that there was life before her. Which of course, according to her, there was nothing before her. And sometimes, I think she may be right.

Before her…what was before her. There was work, I had really just gotten started. After so much time in school, I had only just gotten started with work. There was marriage, and romance and week nights cuddled on the couch with our TV shows and long Saturdays and longer Saturday nights and luxurious Sunday mornings in bed.  There was a distinction between self and all other beings. There was time.

Every single moment is FULL. [I have had to change my son’s poopie diaper, find her baby because she NEEDS it, be fully present at a cupcake party at 830 am, tend to his bumped head since he doesn’t understand yet that he is taller than the table, break up an argument between the 3 year old and the 1 year old as the 3 year old is convinced that the 1 year old is after her toy when he is walking across the room in her general direction, and put him down for a nap – all while trying to maintain a consistent thought stream].

And I don’t mean to sound like I am complaining. And as I read over my work (to refocus my thoughts after each interruption), I realize that it what it sounds like.

I wouldn’t trade any of it with my kids. They are what makes this insanity worth it. Before her, there were no little arm hugs, no crys that only Mamma and her super powers could fix, no first baby smiles or steps. I won’t say there was nothing before her, because that too would be inaccurate. But there has been so much after her (them).

But I do want to find some balance, or at least find a way to really enjoy and be present in all these things that make up a life. I don’t want to look back and feel like I was just frustrated all time or worried about time or just making it from one thing to the next.

So where does the balance come from. What is balance and how do people find it, much less maintain it. I suppose it is different for everyone. And probably instead of a consistent state, it is probably always in some form of flux. And maybe that’s the rub for me. To never really feel like I have a grip on it because there is always something changing. Change. That thing that is really hard. Ya.

So, I’ll have to work on a plan. Life is too short to miss it because you’re busy.

 

Making Plans

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With the New Year upon us, and 2017 looking to hold many changes for my family, I’ve been thinking about New Year’s resolutions. Now, I am much more about gradual change than drawing a line in the sand, and if I can help it, I prefer to have a plan for change instead of sudden change, but we don’t get to pick out everything we want, do we? I don’t know who said it, but I’ve heard it and lived it, “the only sure thing in life is change”.  Change is hard.  I don’t think people make drastic change at one time well. It can be done, of course, and sometimes life demands it, but I like the pace of the turtle, slow and steady. I like to plan, and I like planners (it’s that pen and paper thing). And just like a woman who is always on the hunt for the perfect purse (I am her, too), I am always on the hunt for the perfect planner. I’ve had 3 in 2016 alone. And I think it’s hereditary. My Momma, for 2017, has bought two planners that I know of, and contemplated on a third, all in the quest for finding the perfect planner. As much as I like planning, I’ve never developed a really good system (probably because I keep changing planners) that I stick too. Now, I still plan, it just winds up in various places, on various pieces of paper. Now, back to New Year’s resolutions, which are really goals we have for ourselves, and goals are plans which are achieved thru planning.  For New Year’s resolutions, I think people make large, broad generalizations about what they would like to achieve and they don’t really think about how to achieve it. And then they lose interest because the goal is too big, too far away, and they didn’t come up with a plan. Really, to be successful it’s about setting small, achievable goals, planning on how to achieve those goals, watching your progress, self-evaluating, and adjusting your plan. And not beating yourself up if you need to change your plan.

This (almost past) year (2016) I had a 6-month old, and I knew I wanted to lose the end of the baby weight. I had stopped breastfeeding in November (I could not wrap my mind around jogging while breastfeeding….that could be a whole other blog post), and I think I spent most of December thinking about working out. I had a whole new life schedule going on and I wasn’t sure how working out was going to fit in. Traditionally, I was an afternoon/evening work-out-er. I was exhausted from 6 months of less than normal sleep. I had managed to wake up at unthinkable times to feed a baby, but to work out at an unthinkable time of day I had to spend a whole month thinking about. And then, I didn’t even start January 1. It was sometime mid January that I had infused enough spunk in myself to get out of bed when the alarm went off at 4 am. I would hit the alarm button, and get out of bed and then sway a little as the fog tried to lift. Teeth brushed, banana down and a cup of  fuel in me I would hit the treadmill. Now, before the baby, I was running. I was running a lot (I had a goal of 10 miles on my 30th birthday and I did it). But at this particular phase in my life I remember telling my self, it’s OK if you never run that far again. It’s OK if you never run again. Just do something. So I walked. And in those cold 2016 months, I walked on my treadmill and I watched what I ate. And by early spring, I had that itch, and I ran. And by spring, the weight was off and I was running again. Then I got the challenge to run the half-marathon in November and I took it and I smashed it. So, really, it was a year long, progressive, step-by-step, goal setting and achieving year. It was manageable.  And I was successful.

This coming year, I think I want to maintain a schedule better.  A lot of times, something will throw me off track and then I will just throw in the whole week saying I’ll start over next week. And a lot of the time, I have no idea where time went! For example, I hadn’t blogged in nearly 2 weeks, I hadn’t run in 1 week. In this case I do know where the time went. There was traveling home from Thanksgiving, unpacking, decorating my house for Christmas,  preparing said house for bursting at the seams company (cleaning, shopping, washing), said company came (cooking ,visiting, playing, drinking, talking, eating, laughing), travel for work (packing, forgot phone, back-tracking, unpacking) and Christmas shopping. But in all of that, I didn’t maintain a schedule. I didn’t come close to keeping a bedtime or a wake-up time. I made excuses for not doing things, said I would do them at other time, and then threw in the towel. Now, I realize this happens in life. And I’m not so Type A and OCD that getting off my schedule rocks my floating boat and causes it to sink. I can generally go with the flow pretty easy. But, I think making, keeping, and maintaining a schedule would better allow me to make sure this life falls more on the extraordinary side than on the extra ordinary side.  I will be able to fit in those things that make me, me. My fuel. Not just what life is requiring of me. Life is getting crazy, fast, and to accomplish my list that includes work, family, play and life goals, a schedule is going to be paramount.  Without a plan, you can’t change the plan. Life is going to be full of roadblocks and I believe planning a schedule allows you to find the alternate routes.

 

Hoping

A Christmas parade brought tears to my eyes this past weekend. With all the troubles of the world it was rejuvenating to watch a community join together. Feeling the pulse of connection between people gave me tingles of hope for this world. And I have to have hope. I have to hope that we will learn from mistakes and grow and prosper. I have to hope that good will win and peace will prevail.

I am my Momma’s child

I have gotten off track (already!) with my once weekly blogging goal. Traveling, eating and digesting twice topped off with a middle of the night wake up call filled my plate (literally and figuratively) over Thanksgiving. But we kicked off the holiday season, no less.

The start of this holiday season has been bittersweet. I’m so excited that my daughter can more independently experience and participate in the Thanksgiving feast and her two little hands can rip open a present on their own under the Christmas tree. But, I find myself looking at the “My Fist Thanksgiving” and “Baby’s First Christmas” memorabilia with an ache of days too quickly past. I was again reminded over the holiday when my seventeen-month old decided she needed playtime in the middle of the night how fleeting babyhood really is.

This isn’t the first time I’ve felt that way. The last year and a half have moved along at a break-neck pace. We’re now on her second holiday season. Where does the time go?!? It’s cliche, but true.

I don’t remember the last time I was up with her in the middle of the night. Disclaimer: we had an excellent sleeper. From four months old she was doing twelve hours a night. So, I don’t mind when things happen and I’m sleep deprived and zombiefied the next day. It’s so rare, it’s special (so long as I have coffee and nothing to do the next day). The middle of the night bond deep tiredness and lingering sleep deprivation hangover serve as tangible reminders of how fast babies grow and then aren’t babies any more. As a whole, that phase ends quickly as a new phase is ushered in just to be replaced again.

Just as quickly, I forgot how tired losing those night time hours could make you. How did I ever do it night after night when she was an infant? How dangerous was I behind the wheel during daylight hours at that point in time? As infants and tiny babies, Momma is needed, wanted, required all the time. We’re the food source. My baby, however, isn’t really a baby anymore. She’s a toddler. And she just doesn’t need me all the time. She can do so many things on her own now, and demands that it is so. And her abilities grow by leaps and bounds daily it seems. Letting go is both joyful and painful.

But, while she is willfully expressing her independence by throwing food on the floor she happily scarffed down yesterday, sometimes, she still wants her Momma. And for these rare and continually fading Momma moments, I am thankful. I cherrish each and every one and try to cement them all into my memory becuase I know she won’t always need me. However, she will know she can always count on her Momma, even in the darkest hours, just like I do.

Running with it

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I really do wonder why people share everything…I mean everything…with the world these days. Daily, I am astounded at what people put out there. I have an inner battle with myself about posting a picture on Facebook. I’m a pretty private person. I don’t even like to put stickers on my car.

But I want to write. And I want to write about all kinds of things; even things that are, well, personal. And now my inner self is doing it’s rodeo-kick “Ok. Really. You want to do what!?! And who is really going to want to read it?!?” But that is not very emotionally uplifting or confident or grown-up. I’m not supposed to care what others think as an adult, right?

Here I go-I’m doing that stream of conscience writing thing we did in high school. Which is really just the current running stream of thoughts I have going thru my head at any given moment in time anyway.  What was going on between my ears on my run this morning? I know it was cold, I think I had a minute of,  what are you doing…why!…you could be warm in bed. But, I went, I did, I conquered. Hey, there’s that little confidence thing! Yes, I did. And I remember thanking God for the air in my lungs, my two functioning legs that carried me, my heart that pumped warm blood to my cold extremities, my ghetto-booty (as noted by my husband since high-school and only appreciated by myself at a later point in life)  for propelling me along, and the will power to get out of that warm bed. That must be why He gave me a husband who snores. It’s this alarm clock that goes off with surprising accuracy every day. I watched the sun rise over the river, the fog lift from the water. I ran. I enjoyed. I started my day off in control, living, and being grateful. And it’s nice to remember that now, at the end of Friday, the end of a long week. I’m living. Maybe I can do this writing thing (hey, there’s that confidence thing again!). Who cares if anyone reads it. And if they do read it, who cares what they think? I will at least be testifying to my own lived-in life. Maybe my child(ren?) will read it one day. Hopefully they would be proud of their Mamma and say, hey, she went out on a limb – she tried- she lived.

I’m not a writer. I managed to complete an undergraduate engineering degree and then a doctor of pharmacy degree… I am currently a practicing pharmacist. I always thought about writing. I enjoyed writing assignments in school, and I did well at them. However, there were these other plans for school and life and accomplishments and pieces of paper to be obtained. So, I’m not a writer. I do not have any kind of degree in writing. This is not the first time I’ve gotten the whim to write. There are 2 blogs out there that I started, and then for the aforementioned fears, never continued. But, I wasn’t a runner either. I wasn’t a runner, but I decided I wanted to run. I committed. I set goals.  And now I have one half-marathon under my belt. I am  a runner becuase I get out and run.

I have an unexplained love affair with pens and paper. So, I think this desire to write and fill pages has always been a part of me. I have 2 whole shelves of beautiful journals that I have bought over the years. And I’ve been afraid that what I have to say isn’t worthy of their crisp, clean pages (in fact, I’m writing this on a crappy work pad). No longer. I don’t need anyone’s approval or rating. I simply must satisfy my own soul. I will be a writer becuase I will write.  Fast had nothing to do with running and good doesn’t have anything to do with writing. They are simply adjectives. I’m just gonna run with it.

I also have a love for words, for the English language. There is an endless combination of letters, word placement, inflection, accent and connotation. Any idea, thought or emotion can be expressed. For example, take the words extra and ordinary. Separate, they have completely different meanings. Together, extraordinary, has an entirely different meaning than either of the two words that make it up. And that’s why I think I’m going to use it for the title of this blog and a new life ideaology for myself. I think sometimes I am extraordinary – and sometimes I’m extra ordinary. I work, I keep my self up, I take care of a husband and a daughter and 2 dogs. I contribute to family and friends. I care for my patients and their families. I am extraordinary. But, I let the mail pile up and have dust bunnies and my kid throws food on the floor and I let the dogs clean it up and the toilet is dirty. I am ordinary. And I don’t think that is too far off from most.

For me, most days will be ordinary – but some, will be extraordinary. I have to live every day and fill the space between the extra ordinary and the extraordinary. I hope you will join me.