Here is a quote I came across in a recent Runner’s World article:
“The challenges we each encounter are uniquely ours, but they will come. We all have good years and bad. Shift happens”
Hmmm? Yep that one made me think. I agree with MOST of its sentiment, except sometimes I think we all face some similar challenges (that we may think are unique). It is certainly true that our challenges take on a unique “life” based on our past and current situations. But I am a strong believer that our challenges, and the ability to share them, are what connect us in this world.
Here is what is on my challenge list lately . . .
- Money concerns – how are we going to pay for daycare again? how much are baby gates going to cost? why am I spending so much at BJ’s?
- Listening to people’s advice but not letting it “get” to me- taking it for what is is, advice.
- Having confidence in WHERE I am.
- Celebrating the right things and letting go of the negative
- Learning how to stand up for myself- bullies (even ones disguised as co-workers) are still bullies
- Accepting that I am not the person I was . . . and that is a good thing.
- Allowing myself to set goals (and not being afraid to fail)
- Being kind to myself
- Learning how to be a mom AND a wife AND a runner AND a daughter AND a sister AND a friend- and forgiving myself if I can’t do ALL well ALL of the time.
I can’t be completely alone on these things, right?
To balance it out, here are the things I am doing well (I think)
- Accepting love and guidance from my “girls” (as much as I am able to at the moment)
- Staying in tune and in touch with my needs as a person- a nap here, a book there
- Treasuring the joy of being a runner again
- Staying in the moment when I am spending time with little Miss P
- Remembering that other people’s lives are occurring- trying not to forget the little things that let them know I care.
And for the end of the quote . . .”Shift happens.” Well all I have to say is thank goodness. I wouldn’t be where I am today if “shift” or “shit” (lol) didn’t happen.
I can’t believe it has been a month since I last posted. It continues to be a challenge to find a balance as a working, running mom. Because full paragraphs are alluding me after a week from hell, I am going to just bullet point what is going on in my brain! That is if anyone is out there is even following along. I have been following you all!
- I am about a month away from what I have deemed my “comeback” half marathon – time goal is locked inside my own head
- Little girl is 6 months + and growing like a weed- pics below
- Daddy’s adjustment to stay at home dad has been a challenge but he handles it like a rockstar- he has 4 weeks left and I hope he doesn’t lose his shit
- God help me when she starts day care- in a month!
- I finally made it back to my pre-pregnancy weight but not pre- infertility weight ( and then there are those stubborn ab muscles that need an overhaul- ugh for c-sections)
- NFL season is upon us and I haven’t found a way to cheer like I used to without scaring the hell out of my child
- I am officially addicted to the series Weeds and I just finished an awesome book (the shoemaker’s apprentice by adriana trigiani- I get to see her speak on monday!)
- I have had a lot of tough situations occur lately that have made me question myself and doubt my abilities and my own sense of self. I have to work on being more confident in myself in addition to being kinder to myself. Now that is a journey.
- Registration for the Pittsburgh marathon opens on October 2nd . . . dare I?
- Why do I all of a sudden have a NEED to try and get into the NYC marathon for 2013? Seriously bad odds on getting in, but dare I?
Things I am grateful for today: this beautiful fall weather, baby giggles and grunts, supportive people and good listeners
Tomorrow is “D” day. ”D” for dread.
I go back to work after 20+ weeks off (here is where you can hate me since I miraculously defied infertility and gave birth 12 weeks before the end of the school year- hence the extended maternity leave).
I don’t feel guilty about going back to work, but that may be because my husband is now on duty for 9 weeks. Maybe the guilt will come when we start taking her to day care at the end of October. Right now I am just sad. Sad that I am going to miss out on time with her. Sad that the last 5 months flew by. Just sad.
It is going to take us a few weeks to find our new “normal” and then that will change again when we are both working full-time. Let the adventure begin. . . I am just crossing my fingers and toes that I can find the patience with myself to find a new flow.
Along the way I know there are going to be some tears. Some days of frustration. Some days where I feel like it is all coming together.
I am going to miss her for sure. But the silver lining, I cares so much less about work. Now when I leave at the end of the day I have even more reason not to let the workplace “get to me”. I will not allow my job to overpower or detract from my time with my family (I am going to repeat this mantra over, and over, and over again.)
In the end I guess this is my first parenting lesson in letting go. With many more lessons to come.
How did we go from this . . .
To this . . .
Today I am grateful for: Great running companions who made 12 miles so much nicer yesterday, Less humidity, TV shows that make me laugh out loud (Weeds!), Baby kisses
At some point in our lives we fall into the trap of measuring our individual progress in concrete, numerical terms. Who knows when it happens, but lately I have really noticed how that mindset takes away from our true journey as individuals. It quantifies our lives, our experiences, and in so many ways steals our energy and attention away from the important things in life.
Don’t get me wrong, having goals is a great and powerful thing. I just don’t want to be a slave to the “measurement” of my life. I’m not comfortable with it anymore.
I have been measuring my life by weeks, journeying from infertility to pregnancy. The number of cycles or the number of blood results. The weekly milestones during pregnancy. The weight gained. The days left until my daughter’s arrival. As important as those measurements of progress were, at times I found they overshadowed the miracle of the new life we had finally created. I am aware of this now as I try very hard NOT to quantify her as a baby. Yes we will celebrate when she hits milestones and acknowledge when she turns 6 months, a year, etc. But I really want to make the effort to focus MORE on the giggles, the wonderment, the hugs. I hope I can begin to appreciate the changes in her without trying to “measure” it.
Pregnancy and motherhood are only a couple of areas where I have succumbed to gauging progress with tangible numbers.
As I struggle to take the baby weight off I am focused more on the number on the scale and the size of the clothes than I am on the mental and physical health and wellness I am building. I look too much towards the goal weight and less at the small successes along the way towards balance. And let’s be honest- the number on the scale is nowhere near as important as what I should truly be measuring- the impact and example I am setting for my daughter.
Even with my “beloved” running it becomes so easy to measure runs and races strictly by time, pace, and distance. Although those numbers are in many ways measuring my progress they need to take a backseat to the progress I make as a person along the way. It is much easier to measure pace than it is to measure dedication, courage, patience, and self-confidence, yet those qualities are what I want to focus on as I run.
It is easier to quantify life isn’t it? A number is concrete. It is easy to use to compare to others, to societal standards, to our former selves. But I don’t really want to do that anymore. And I don’t want my daughter to either.
But the lesson is right in front of me, right now. I just have to embrace it.
The number of weeks of the age of my child doesn’t measure her curious, silly personality.
The number on the scale doesn’t reflect the amount of hard work and dedication I give to regain my fitness level.
The number of hours that I will have to spend with my child after returning to work doesn’t measure my ability as a mother.
The pace on my next run can’t take away the joy and peace that I get from a sport I love.
My goal is to focus less on “measuring” and more on living. I just know it will help me to become a better person, a better mom, wife, friend, etc. I know I will find more happiness along the way because my energy and focus will be on the things that matter- the things that really can’t be measured in the first place.
It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
What do you measure that you wish you wouldn’t?
Today I am grateful for: cooler weather, fluffy magazines, 9 week paternity leave and a husband who is excited about it
All is well, I just have had a hard time putting into words my life right now.
As I head back to work in a couple of weeks I am trying to come to terms with how I am feeling about being away from my daughter for the first time since March (or you could say since last June when I found out I was pregnant). There is a lot of fear and sadness about being a working mom. Right now I am a little bit of denial and when reality creeps in I have been “running it out.” Any advice out there about going back to work would be great
I am loving this age- Piper is just so funny and so interactive. I can’t get enough of her of course.
Besides just trying to find my bearings I have been fulfilling my American duty and watching the Olympics. I am in awe of what these athletes can do. I can’t wait to cheer on Meb Keflezighi in the men’s marathon Sunday. I met him a few years ago at the Pittsburgh Marathon expo. He is such a kind and humble man.
I have been trying to get in some last minute reading and cooking which I have really enjoyed. Here are a few great quotes I have run across that spoke to me:
- The grand essentials of happiness are : something to do, something to love, and something to hope for. ~Allan Chalmers
- The highest form of spiritual practice is self-observation without judgment. ~Swami Kripalu
- We can all best contribute to society if we first and foremost sense and acknowledge our own feelings, then act from a sense of who we really are, not from an idea of what will earn us the most positive responses or avoid the most negative ones. –Chi running.
What I am grateful for today: Fresh food and new recipes, Amazing friends who willingly babysit, Hill workouts
All really great daily reminders huh?!
-I am in the midst of really trying to adopt #7. It is hard to dress a body that feels so foreign.
-#8 Funny how now that we have a daughter my husband is SOOOO much more vocal about the itty bitty size of females in advertising.
Any particular step speak to you?
Today I am grateful for: The ability to work with my husband as a team