Sunday, June 30, 2013

My Simple Life

With all of this family fun time over the past month, we are so off our routine that part of me wants to curl up in a tiny ball and cry.  Instead, I’ve held it together while dealing with daily meltdowns from my ladies.  I get it.  They are tired.  But when I ask you to clean your room for the tenth time, please don’t start crying.  Mommy is on the verse of losing her shit.  Thank you.

And then our tub leaked (for the final time), and Billy ripped it all out.  Seeing the enormity of the task ahead of us made me want to have a meltdown.  It almost made me wish for a split second that I hadn’t noticed the paint bubble on the wall.  Or the damp ceiling.

Instead, I started cooking.

Dear Lord, please let my marriage survive the remodel of the bathroom.  Amen.

I cleaned the house a couple of days ago and rejoiced in the sheer simplicity of it all.  I kind of wish that I didn’t clean the shower though…what was the point now that it is lying in pieces on our deck?  And I really scrubbed the grout, too.  Oh well.

I already know that I need my routine.  In this chaos of the world, it helps me stay focused.  I need the simplicity in order to hide from the gray areas of the real world.  Last week, I had the same conversation with three different clients.  At the end of the week, all I really wanted was a nice long run to clear my head…and a beer…and some ice cream.

My routine.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Internal Struggle

It’s funny to me that other people think of me as a runner.  Because I really don’t like running.

I like being able to clear my head.  My body is grateful for the exercise.  And I feel justified in drinking a beer in celebration or eating an insane amount of food after a long run.

But the actual running…sometimes each step is a pain in the ass.  Sometimes with every step, I question, what the hell am I doing?  Why did I choose this?

Today I got up at 5:15 to run 5k.  I did not want to run.  I wanted to sit on the couch and have my coffee alone time.

Instead, I got dressed in the clothes I laid out the night before and was out the door by 6. 

I first saw people on the paved trail a quarter mile in.  I happened to know them and gave them a friendly hello.  I don’t like to see people that I know when I exercise because then I have to put on this show that, Oh, yes, I am running.  This is so easy-I’m in such good shape.  Even with complete strangers, I pretend not to be panting and wheezing.  I have no idea what that’s about.

I noticed quite a few people on the trail, all wanting to beat the heat of the day, I’m sure.  So there was a lot of faking it.

When I hit my last mile, I felt a pain in my foot.  For me, running is only about 10% physical and 90% mental.  I say that because I know that my body can run these distances, but my mind likes to point out every opportunity to stop.  So this pain, it was simply a pain, but my mind had me convinced that I was injured and should stop running immediately to prevent further injury.  I also had a side cramp.  My mind wanted me to know how good it would feel to stop and walk for a bit.

I constantly have this internal struggle where I go back and forth.  One part of me wants to give up, the other is reminding me how long it will take to get home if I stop running or how I will be stranded in the middle of the park.

Honestly, I have no idea how I can run 12 miles because I was running one-fourth of that distance today, and I was ready to give up. 

But the amazing thing is that my legs kept moving.

And my body was happy to have the exercise.  And my stomach was happy to eat that Snickers tonight after the girls went to bed.  They caught me, of course.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Angel of Hope

Tomorrow is my first day back to work after my vacation.  I’m not dreading it.  I’m dreading a few items on the agenda, but not the actual going back to work.  That’s always a good sign that taking a vacation worked.

I could tell that I needed a vacation…well…a few months ago.  But after I woke up roaring, that was a definite sign.

I was feeling a little worn thin.  Feeling like I was responsible for it all-this huge burden of the world.


We do this thing in the social work field called “supervision.”  Sure, it’s meeting with the boss to talk about projects and goals, etc. but it is also an opportunity to process what we have seen and heard.  A way to get out some of this trauma.  I talked to my boss about it.  This fixer feeling.  I said that it felt like I was responsible for fixing everyone.

That’s a bit presumptuous, isn’t it?  That I should fix someone or that they need to be fixed.  That I am so perfect that I can just swoop in someone’s life and make their life perfect too.  Because I have all the answers.  Ahem.  No, not really.

Vacation gives you the gift of perspective.  The reminder that there is more to life than work.  But for me, it was more of a reminder that life isn’t all tragedy and pain.  There is joy.  And I see it every day, but doing the work that I do, sometimes I lose sight of that.

This is what my dad had to say about it, the day after I posted all about my struggles with finding that perspective:

I can only say you cannot do everything for everyone. You have to let go and they have to generate an angel of hope for themselves. Enjoy your life with your family.

He’s right.  I’m no one’s savior.  I’m just trying to be a helper, not a fixer.

And I need to look for the joy with my family, with my life.

Thanks for the reminder, Dad.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Lake House

I came back from the lake house worn out. 

The day after our return trip, I fought bouts of fatigue and dizziness and couldn’t tell if it was motion sickness or the change in altitude.  Or both.  I rotated between playing on the computer, reading and trying to nap.

I stayed in my pjs until 5 pm.  Then I finally took a shower and brushed my teeth.  I know, I’m pretty gross.

I did manage to wash and put away all of the laundry from our trip.  I actually put it away.  It did stay in large unfolded piles most of the day.

Who wouldn’t be exhausted?  The week was full of fun.

I went on the most adventurous trail run I have ever been on.  Mainly because of the events of the run.  My sisters and I all fell down.  On separate occasions.  Some of us more than once.  Don’t worry, no major injuries.  Nothing some band aids, hydrogen peroxide and booze couldn’t fix.  I’m the leg with the green shoes.  At that point, my wound was still full of dirt from the second time I fell.

One afternoon, all 23 of us invaded a lakeside bar.  Hula hooping ensued.  My parents toasted their 50th wedding anniversary with a round of shots off a water ski.  There are pictures of that, but I won’t post them here.  You are welcome, Mom.

One of my sisters gave me a sewing lesson.  She helped me make a dress for Katy (I have a picture but due to my own technology issues was unable to post it).  Yes, she brought her sewing machine on vacation.  So what, I brought my immersion blender and mini food processor (among other random kitchen items).  We all pack weird stuff on a trip.  One of my nephews didn’t think I could replicate this kind of success without my sister’s help.  He’s so judgey.  I hope he likes wearing the hat I am going to make him with scraps from this girly fabric.

Of course, we played the blue balls game.  Ok, I realize that this game has a different name, but we are juveniles in my family and have renamed it.  We kept getting interrupted by these ducks. 

There were moments that I will hold in my heart.  A few of us were sitting by the dock one morning.  I turned around to see Lucy holding the hand of one of my nephews.  He’s 21 years old.  The kindness that he showed this tender-hearted lady melted my heart.  Of course, I don’t have a picture of that.  There never seems to be a camera around for those moments you hold in your heart.

That’s what vacations are about.  Making those memories that will last.