Tuesday, March 5, 2013

2013 I Will List

Run two half marathons.

Joe signed us up for a half marathon in June as my Christmas present. I've been wanting to run this half marathon for the last six years, but I was either closed out of it or pregnant. So while I hadn't run a step since last March, I recently laced up my sneakers and hit the treadmill.

The truth is with the infertility, the kids and life in general we've gotten away from each other. He thought this would be a good way to reconnect -- train and then run together. In theory, it's a great idea. Logistically, with three kids and no family around to help out, it's a bit harder.

Training for a distance run is ambitious. Assuming we're actually successful in training for June's race, my goal is to stay in running shape and run another half at the end of the summer. I mean, if one half is possible, then why not two?

Take time to stop and enjoy the moment. 

With three monkeys, I am running from day to night and someone always needs something. It is wonderful to be so needed, really. But when the kids are occupied I find myself washing dishes or doing laundry or cleaning or checking email. There is no such thing as free time, so I do what I can when I can and sometimes that means capitalizing on spare time when the kids are awake.

The other day I stopped paying bills and sat down at Ryan's train table with him and we played together while his sisters were sleeping. Normally I would have let him play quietly by himself because he "woke up early from naps". It was so wonderful to spend this time with him. They are growing so fast. Obviously I have to pay bills and manage my household, but sometimes I just need to stop and enjoy my children. And I hope to do better with this goal this year. 

Remember that I don't have to do it all. 

I am a proud person. I am a perfectionist. I am type-a. It's all a really bad combo, unless you need to get something done. Then these qualities are amazing. I try to do it all, I mean all of it. From our finances to our children to working on the side. I am constantly taking on too much and, lately, I've been falling short.
I need to get better at asking for help. But the larger issue is that I need to get better at simplifying life and only focusing on the things that are important.

Make more time for myself.

I think it's a disease of motherhood to take on too much and not ask for help. Or maybe I'm just the strong and suffering in silence type. Regardless, I have found that I am happier and more enjoyable to be around when I take time for myself. I'm a better mother, partner, friend, colleague. All of it. 

I hired a babysitter for Monday evenings to come and help Joe with the kids while he cooks, does dinner and baths. And while all of that is happening I do the mommy version of GTL, also known as spin, tan, sauna. I am only "missing" three hours of their lives per week. But lord does that recharge me. This is something I would have never done for myself two years ago. I think this is called progress

Make more time for my marriage. 

This one is a toughie. As a blogger, you're a chronic oversharer or an attention whore, or both. I struggle with how much I am comfortable revealing here, such is life. Joe and I hit a really rough patch right before Lola was born. That period in our lives together has made me question many, many things. It is hard for me to put that out there, but it's a big part of my life right now and so there it is.

We are working on ourselves, working on our family and working on our relationship. I think we are fixable. I think that we can be great again. Marriage is a full-time job and there is work to be done. With three small children, it is hard to focus on anything but parenting. But for them, and for ourselves, we are trying to focus on each other and trying to make our relationship work.

Let go.

And I mean really LET GO of so many things. My mother-in-law calls me resourceful. What she means is that I'm a fighter. I punch my way through any and all situations with some sort of superhuman resiliency and sheer will. There is a cost to all of that though. In order to survive, it means I have to shut off my emotions, push them down and persevere. Years of pushing shit down and persevering are taking their toll on me and I need to let myself wade in emotions that I really don't like, honor those experiences (yes, even the really bad ones), and let them go.

Another part of letting go is letting go of the things I cannot change (serenity prayer, anyone?). I am a fixer. I think when you are a survivor personality type, this is how that coping mechanism manifests itself. Consequently, I take it upon myself to try to fix things for other people who share their burdens with me. I need to learn to be a set of ears for listening, as set of arms for hugging, a set of shoulders for crying on and then to let go. Man, that's hard for me. Some people don't want fixin' and really who am I to assume my way is the right way anyhow?

And lastly, letting go of the people and relationships that are bricks. You know the kind that I am talking about. The kind that drag you down, down, down. The kind that give you such bad anxiety that you find yourself awake at 4 a.m. with a racing mind and a tired body. In theory, I think it's okay to set boundaries for those kinds of relationships and if those boundaries cannot be honored then the relationship cannot function. In practice, I have a really hard time letting go (sensing a theme, are we?)

I am working with a hypnotherapist who is also a LMHC and we'll be going through some negative release work and trauma therapy along with regular talk therapy. I am also exploring some more Eastern approaches to spiritual healing. Things like reiki, chakra clearing, energy work, EFT. What can I say? I am a granola hippy in fancy shoes.


So this is my year. I suppose we'll call it the year I get my shit together. 
Wish me luck.

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