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.
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.
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.
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?