Clearing the Brain’s Cobwebs

I’ve mentioned that I’m trying to incorporate meditation into my life. It’s hard! Really hard… and some resources I’ve found lately have verified that I’m not just crazy bad at meditation. (Headspace talks about managing your expectations, Dan Harris’ book goes into the difficulties of starting.)

This was a badass endeavor. I resolved to do it every day. I started getting up a little early each morning and banging out ten minutes, sitting on the floor of our living room with my back up against the couch. When I was on the road, I meditated on the floor of hotel rooms. It didn’t get any easier. – Dan Harris

I need to find ways to alleviate the stress in my life though, it’s having a really negative impact on my health lately. I’ve let stress get the better of me before and the outcome was ending up in an eating disorder treatment program.

Running can be a great tool for your mental well-being, provided you use it the right way. See, when I first tried to run… I started and failed several times. Why? Because I was always trying to do it as something I thought I “should do” to be healthy and that it was “good exercise.” But it wasn’t until I tried doing it for reasons greater than just myself (charity fundraising) that it finally stuck. And once I got to that point, I could actually use it for myself in a way that was constructive. Lacing up the shoes and hitting the pavement was a tool to clear my brain and gather a new focus.

Yoga is that way for me. Yes, yoga is a fantastic way to be more flexible and fluid. It’s a great form of exercise as well. But for me, I never actually thought of yoga as working out, but more as something that helped put me in a good place. I guess that’s why I never have been tempted by the idea of doing Bikram yoga… that just sounds like it would be too draining. I want my yoga to leave me feeling settled and soothed. Which is why I need to make a push to incorporate it into my life more. It’s so important and I love the way I feel after a practice.

The thing that is the most important to remember is that whatever you’re doing for your physical well-being, doesn’t have to be bad for your mental state as well. If you hate going out for a run… then don’t be a runner! Find something else. If going for a swim fills you with dread, try something different! There’s a whole world of possibility out there! Find what works for your mind/body/soul!

This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

Friday Fête

Meditation is HARD. I’m currently on about day 15 of a 10-day introductory program from Headspace.  That’s because I fail to make the time… 10 measly minutes… for myself to meditate. And then when I do, I drift and think and analyze the whole time. That’s the whole point of trying to meditate, is to reign that reflex in because I feel it causes me undue stress. There’s also the issue of feeling like I’m doing some kind of illicit underground thing with meditation. I mentioned to my husband that I was going to try meditation and he just blankly looked at me and then went back to his college football boards. He thinks stuff like that is wacky. And it does have that image. But I’ve heard of the benefits and after reading Dan Harris’ book (10% Happier) on the subject, I’m certainly willing to believe that it’s not all wacky and “woo woo” or whatnot. (I need to buy that book… I got it from the library, it’s worth having my own copy. Note to self… do that next weekend.) But I feel like I’m not coping with stresses and changes in life as well as I possibly could. Life is moving too fast.

10-percent-happier-cover

Speaking of life moving fast… today is my kid’s last day in the toddler room at school. Then she has a week off before the new school year starts and she goes back to school as a “beginner” in her little uniforms. (Which I’m still waiting to arrive, hopefully they fit. Dinky little kid I have, they’ll probably be falling off her!) It’s weird to think of her as not so baby. Yet, she’s still a baby and it seems to be so fast/early for her to be growing up. I mean, she’s not even 2 yet… that’s a couple weeks away still. How is 1.9 not a toddler?! She even calls herself a baby still.

Speaking of a week off… because she has no school next week, that means I have no work next week. I had to take the week off to take care of her. We thought we’d go on vacation, but are we? So far… no. We haven’t planned anything. Cause we suck. Or at least we are massive failures at planning vacations. The problem is that I don’t want to plan everything on my own and then feel like I’m dragging people somewhere they don’t want to go. And so I’m just not doing that anymore. Maybe when A is a little older I’ll drag her places. “Dammit kid, you’re going to Disneyland and you’ll be happy about it!” But for now, that’s way too much bother. So I guess I’ll take her shoe shopping not on a weekend when the stores are so crowded. Her feet are growing so fast these days!

a-sitting-with-pumpkin-garden

Speaking of kids feet… because I’m such a nerd about letting feet develop and gaining foot strength, I’m really particular about the shoes A wears. So far, all her shoes are from Stride Rite (with the exception of her water shoes) because I like how flexible they are. But those things are kind of expensive when they only seem to last a few months!

Speaking of expensive shoes… I’m going to get the opportunity to try a pair of Hoka One One shoes. I’m intrigued to try these maximally cushioned shoes and see what all the fuss is about. Not only will I get to try them, I’ll get to give away a pair, so keep an eye out for that in several weeks. (I gotta get my pair and test them out!)

hoka-huaka

Speaking of… eh, I got no more segues.

If you were going to go on a spur-of-the-moment vacation, where would YOU go?

Out of Time!

168-hours-book.jpg

I’ve seen a couple of articles recently that say mothers just want “time” for Mother’s Day. Time for themselves, quality time as a family, time to sleep, time to shower, time to shop, time to relax, time to read, time to poop, etc. etc. etc. And when I first read those, I kind of thought, “Yeah… that’s what I want. More time!” Then, ironically enough, a book I had on reserve at the library became available to me: 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam. Basically the book encourages you to look at your life broken down by the hours in the week… there are 168 hours in a week. That sounds like a lot of time when you say that, right? And if you assume someone works 40 hours a week and sleeps 8 hours a night, subtracting those still leaves 72 hours a week. So why is it so hard to find time to do things, even mundane things like eat a meal or take a shower?

168-hours-book.jpg

I’m only a few chapters into the book thus far, but already I’m starting to think that some of the ways that I thought I didn’t have time are more decisions how I choose to use my time. One example, I thought I was failing in some way because I don’t have the time to plan/cook fancy meals for my family. I feel them, but it’s pretty simple. But the reality is that I don’t choose to spend my time that way. Part of it is that I have a small rotation of food I know my toddler will eat consistently, part of it is that I usually have to cook these things while holding her. And instead of spending a lot of time on meals, I would rather play with her anyway.

One part of the book was rather jarring to me. It said “Working mothers clock a lousy 1-7 minutes of daily reading to or with children, but even stay-at-home moms of preschool-aged kids don’t top 8 minutes per day.” Can that be true? Those numbers make me incredibly sad! I usually read 15-25 books with Alex every single day, because that’s what she asks for. She wakes up in the morning and says, “Eat? Book?” The girl loves books and doesn’t really play with toys at all at home. Sometimes she changes from books and asks to “Color?”, but the majority of the time she wants to spend it reading books.

I feel like the whole time from when I pick her up from school to when she goes to bed is pretty hands-on parenting. She doesn’t usually play independently during this time; she wants to tell me stories,  color with me, dance/sing with me, and be in my arms. I’ve often wondered how stay-at-home moms ever get anything done because I struggled to “do things”, but if doing the laundry takes longer because she’s “helping” to sort or move stuff from the washer to the dryer… if grocery shopping takes longer because we have to point out all the produce… if dinner prep is way condensed because she wants me to hold her… I need to relish those things because someday she’ll probably want nothing to do with me when it comes to life’s tasks.

So I’m going to track my time this week. I know I waste time on some frivolous things that I could probably tighten up to get more time for myself. I know some of that frivolous time (TV time) might mean that I spend less time with my spouse. Although, is it really quality if we’re sitting next to each other on the couch, both ignoring the same TV show while we use our computers?

I made a Google spreadsheet to fill in how I use/waste my time. I made a template available if you’d like to copy one into your Google Drive account and do the same! :-)

My Running Reality vs. Online Perceptions

Wallowing in negativity isn't doing anything good.

January is when my CPA husband starts working ridiculously long hours and I rarely see him until May. For years I could entertain myself when he had to work late weeknights or every single weekend by going running, visiting with friends, going to work on-site, etc. But with Alex, getting out to do stuff is harder. I don’t really dare run further than a few miles from home with the stroller these days because she has more definite opinions and if she gets angry… she gets ANGRY. She goes to bed 7:45-8:00, so it’s not like I can really go anywhere. And I rarely see friends these days, between working full-time (as a telecommuter) and having a toddler, I just spend too much time at home.

When I wrote my resolutions post (or anti-resolutions post, as it was) I said I was grumpy. That’s not quite true… I was down right angry.

  • I was angry that my time wasn’t mine to schedule
  • I was angry that other bloggers online seem to be able to train for marathons/Ironmans while pregnant or parents to tiny babies.
  • I was angry that I didn’t have a spouse that was more encouraging of my running and eager to stay with the baby.
  • I was angry that I had no idea how to even plan a race schedule for this year.

But then I did the Resolution Run on New Years Eve… I had been planning on running the 10K all year, but as it got closer I was going to blow it off because I’d had a hard time getting in any runs during the holiday break with the baby home from school. I had a change of heart (thanks for the simple text to get me out there, Jimmy), decided to take the stroller with me and run the 5K with Alex in tow. And I enjoyed getting out and running, pursuing my hobby while involving my daughter.

Wallowing in negativity isn't doing anything good.

It made me realize that wallowing in negativity isn’t doing anything good. Yes, I have a one-year-old daughter and full-time job and my husband has a more-than-full-time job, that makes training for distance events really hard. I know there are people who do it. I’ve seen things online that say, “Don’t feel bad about getting a babysitter for a couple of hours while you get in a long run.” Well… I would feel bad. I already send my daughter to daycare all day while I work. I WANT to spend time with her, far more than I WANT to train for a marathon. Maybe someday she’ll think I’m no fun to be with, but right now she wants to be with me as well. (So much so that it’s nearly impossible to get good naps on the weekends because she just wants to hang out with me!) I’m taking advantage of that time.

I think to myself that I’d like to plan out a race calendar, but that’s so hard these days. I don’t have any Saturdays to myself until May due to hubby’s work schedule. Then it gets hot and sucks here in Vegas for several months. And then the fall arrives and the husband’s college football obsession kicks in every Saturday. Maybe this coming fall, A will be able to entertain herself even more while he watches TV… but so far, she is very insistent on me playing with her. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE playing with her. But nobody asks you when your next time playing blocks is or when you’re going to push the popping mower around the house again, they all just want to know when your next race is. It’s frustrating sometimes.

Who cares what other people think I should be doing with my time?

But who cares what other people think I should be doing with my time or how many races they think I should be running. I don’t run to put on a show for others, that’s a big reason why I no longer share all the details of my workouts online. Although seeing others doing that so frequently does tend to make me second-guess myself.

I honestly do not understand how so many women online do so many things when they have kids. I feel so overwhelmed as a working mother. I am not one of those women who can just tote my kid all over the place and still manage to maintain my own hobbies. Gals that can train for marathons with toddlers or complete a race every other weekend with small kids, I just don’t get it (and kudos to them). But then, I don’t know anyone else’s whole story… just the narrow window they choose to share. Maybe they feel just as depleted as I do. Maybe they can do their training, but give up other aspects of life that I choose to indulge in.

I don't know anyone else's whole story... just the narrow window they choose to share.

The only way that I can keep any kind of running schedule these days is going on a run for my lunch break, because every minute outside of my 7-4 work hours are devoted to family life. Weekends I’m pretty much glued to my child (or she’s glued to me, I guess) because she’s such a mama’s girl. I don’t know if my hubby gets to do his own stuff because she’s such a mama’s girl or if she’s such a mama’s girl because he does his own stuff all the time! Some days I feel like I should just reconcile myself with the idea that I don’t get to have my own identity until she’s older and more self-sufficient. But that doesn’t seem like an option, since running was part of helping me re-claim my identity after falling into the devilish hands of ED.

So the only solution I can think of? Run shorter races, purely for fun, so I can take the stroller along with me. I will try to do a few half marathons this year (I wouldn’t mind signing up for the Mustang Half, but that’s during hubby’s busy season) but I have to accept my life is different, I will never have the life I used to have. And in many ways, this life is so much better. But it’s still hard to adjust.

This is all a massive brain dump, huh? I guess I’ve just been feeling depressed? Can you have postpartum depression 16 months after having a baby? But I’m feeling really good about the decision to make the best of where I’m at now, others’ opinions of what I should be doing with my running/fitness be damned.

Anti Resolute 2014

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Soooo….. what are your resolutions? I’m not really making any right now. I am just not feeling in the mood to make dramatic (or not-so-dramatic) commitments to change in my life right now. Maybe that is a cue to make a change, but I’m not taking that cue at the moment.

Last year’s resolutions were failures not successful. Buying a new outfit each month? Nope… But I did buy more clothes and I tried to pay closer attention to my appearance, so it wasn’t a total bomb. Hanging stuff on my walls? I did no decorating. I’m just not good at that I guess! Laugh more, stress less? I most definitely did not stress less, I invented all new things to stress over. But I am pretty sure I laughed more, it’s hard not to laugh when you have a kid, they do so many great things.

I find it interesting that two years ago I wrote that it was hard to come up with resolutions because I was grumpy. That’s the same feeling I have right now.  But for some reason, 2014 feels even more… terrifying to me. It seems like changes are afoot in so many areas and they’re scaring me! Or at least making me very uncomfortable.

Perhaps I’ll feel better in a few weeks or a few months and can face making goals/plans at that point. We should all feel free to make “resolutions” at any point throughout the year anyway.

Sorry Not Sorry Fail

I'm sorry I AM sorry I'm NOT not sorry.

The whole “sorry not sorry” phrase has been circulating teh interwebs for a while. Basically it’s supposed to be a way to encourage people (particularly women) to stop apologizing for things that they really don’t need to be sorry about, while sounding sassy and/or bitchy at the same time.

“Sorry, I sneezed.”
“Sorry, I blinked.”
“Sorry, I am in the same room as you.”
“Sorry, I breathed.”

Well, that’s kind of extreme. I’ve seen people tweet that they’re #sorrynotsorry for yelling at children and #sorrynotsorry for eating cupcakes for breakfast.  And the number of blog posts I’ve seen encouraging other bloggers to stop apologizing for not posting is… well, very high. I don’t have a specific count. Let’s just say it’s more than one… but probably less than 100. (Remember, these are just ones I’ve seen. There could potentially be more than 100 blog posts on the subject.)

I have not been posting as frequently as I would like or have in the past. And as opposed to just owning that and saying, “Yeah, I’m not posting. Sorry, not sorry.” my reaction is to apologize. Because the way I truly feel is:

I'm sorry I AM sorry I'm NOT not sorry.

Confusing enough? :-) Basically… I’m sorry.

I have wonderful people who send me stuff to review on my site and I owe it to them to post things in a timely manner. But then I feel like I’m not being true to myself (whatever that means) if all I post are reviews upon reviews. So I space things out, trying to get a mix but in reality I end up doing a fantastic job at keeping large gaps in my posting timeline.

I read a post on MindBodyGreen called “I Dare You To Start Doing What You Really Want In Life.” Upon seeing the title I thought, “Yes, I need to do what I love!” Upon reading the post I thought, “This only works for someone who is single, with no family, no obligations and is wealthy!”

Mainly because I ignore the step that says to take baby steps. For me, I see the list and it’s all or nothing. The article did provide some good prompts to help guide you through figuring out what you want in life:

  1. What makes me feel free and most alive?
    Running
  2. How do I like to spend time with people I care about?
    Playing with my daughter, seeing her explore/experience new things. Watching movies with my husband. Goofing off with my mom.
  3. What sparks my passion and revs up my enthusiasm? How could I could spend hours (if not days) doing ____ and actually lose track of time?
    I can spend hours on social media and lose track of time. But is that really what makes me happy? Getting in a good run revs up my enthusiasm.
  4. How would I ideally like to spend my week, days, and weekends?
    Weekdays: Get up and work for an hour, get the baby ready and off to school. Work for another hour. Have an hour to go running or workout, then get cleaned up. Continue to work for a while. Go to lunch with a friend. Work some more. Pick up the baby from school and play with her. Have dinner magically appear so I don’t have to plan/prepare it. Chill out with my hubby after the baby goes to sleep.
    Weekends: Get up to go for a long run without worrying that the baby will wake up while I’m gone. Be able to be out for a couple hours then return and get cleaned up, then do something as a family. Whether it’s a hike or going to the park or just going grocery shopping together… I don’t care. I just want to spend time all together! Movie night with the hubby.
  5. What would my ideal work place be? Who would I work with (if anyone)?
    My home office, but having the opportunity to go out and meet with other human beings regularly too.
  6. What ways do I actually enjoy moving my body?
    Running, yoga, pilates.
  7. What helps me feel relaxed and joyful?
    Getting in a run without feeling stressed that I’m letting someone down in some aspect of my life. Finishing a race feels incredibly joyful! Days off work where I get to spend time doing whatever I feel like all day are incredibly relaxing.
  8. How do I most enjoy helping others?
    I enjoyed coaching Team Challenge immensely.

And then they provide questions to help you make it happen:

  1. What am I willing to say no to in life, in order to say yes to what I do want?
    I have no answer for this. It feels like there is no option here for me.
  2. What guilt am I willing to let go of in order to thrive?
    Apparently none, because I feel guilty for everything. I feel guilty for making my husband take care of the baby and I feel guilty for not giving him the opportunity to take care of her more. I feel guilty for going for a run during my work day and I feel guilty if I don’t get in a run.

There are days that I feel like I should just get through my obligated posts and then quit writing here. But I think I would miss it. I did put a big tacky ad at the top of my site. Did you notice it? I have no delusions of becoming rich from this site or that ad. (That would be nice though!) But that simple thing should cover my hosting costs.  Cause I feel guilty that I pay to have a monthly host for my site… but I don’t think others feel guilty that they pay to scrapbook or crochet or play in a soccer league or whatever their hobby may be.

Basically I feel guilty for living. So maybe my jokes up there about “sorry, I breathed” aren’t that extreme after all.

Timed Out

5 Day Weather Forecast beginning September 26, 2013

Fall weather is finally blowing into Las Vegas. (Literally blowing… the winds have been pretty strong the past couple days.) As the temperatures started to drop on the forecast, I had one thing on my mind: “FINALLY… now I can get some good runs in.”

5 Day Weather Forecast beginning September 26, 2013

I assumed the summer heat was dragging me down and causing me to have bad runs all summer long. And it very well could be part of the equation. But the other part of that is that I’m just wearing myself out. And my system finally timed out. I have a cold this week. It came on hard and fast, but I feel horrible.

I have been working a lot of hours; I start working around 6 AM, then pause for a moment around 7 (which is when I’m supposed to start working) to get Alex ready for school. Then it’s back to the grind around 7:15-7:30 until 4 PM. I start working so early so I feel like I have the flexibility to take a long lunch hour if I need to so I can go on a run. And I’ve taken advantage of that (nothing like taking your “lunch hour” at 8 AM just so you can run before it gets too overwhelmingly hot outside) a few times. But most days I end up fielding phone calls, IMs, emails, meetings all day long until it’s time to go pick up the baby from school. Then after she goes to bed at 8 PM, as I’m watching TV with my hubby I’ve been doing a little work on experimental things that I wanted to figure out at work, but I never had the chance to because I’m constantly talking with someone else! It’s like I’m too busy to DO stuff at work.

Then there is mommy time. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my baby girl. How could I not love this independent little girl?

She’s amazing!

The best moments of every weekday are from 4:20 to 8 PM when I get to play with her, except that pesky dinner-making stuff gets in the way there.

But I do a lot of baby (toddler?) care. My husband went to Chicago a few weeks ago and while I missed him, I realized that there wasn’t a lot of extra care that burdened me during this time. I had to drive her to school myself and cut up some cheese for her lunch. But beyond that, I was doing everything that I always do. I realized that I don’t let my husband do much child rearing.

Let’s repeat that: I DON’T LET my husband do much child rearing.

Now, it’s not like he’s clamoring at the bit to take on any duties. “Hey, let me give the baby a bath!” or “You haven’t been out of the house in a week. Why don’t I take the baby while you go do something?” But I just do everything, including getting up with her at night every time she needs someone. (Which isn’t often, except this past week. She’s started to wake up crying and just needs someone to rub her back for a couple of minutes.)

A (female) friend told me that “Make sure to ask your hubby for help. Men can get comfortable. Don’t enable him.” And then a (male) friend told me this about men, “Although we should see the things that need to be done, we don’t.  And we should see how hard it is for you, but we don’t, but tell us what you need and we will do it! We are dumb as shit”

See, I need to learn how to ask for help and ask for what I need. And ask for what I want. Because although needs and wants are technically different, we are allowed to want things. Right now, some of the things I want:

  • to run at least 3x a week, preferably 4
  • pink and/or purple streaks in my hair
  • time to edit the baby’s 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th month and 1st birthday videos.
  • a pedicure

Things I need:

  • to ask for help
  • to figure out what I need help with! (perhaps I should reverse the order I listed these, huh?)
  • to decide what is priority in my life (whole other post subject!)
  • to not have a cold anymore!

I turned 35 last month. I can’t say that I “celebrated” my birthday because it was barely a blip on the radar. But I got to thinking, “Hey, I should do a list of 40 things to do before I turn 40! And then I can blog about all those things.” But… I can’t think of 40 things I want to do. And that’s kind of lame. It’s like I have no creative spark or vision for my life anymore, it’s just get through each day to wake up and do it all over again.

So help me reignite my spark… what are a couple of the things you want to accomplish in your life in the next few years?

August Goals

Goal #1 - Run 3x a week

My website has been down for most of the day because my host was having problems. So annoying! It’s been happening with more and more frequency. I’m changing hosts ASAP.

Did you know it’s a new month? Where does the time go? The older I get the faster it seems to go by!

Goal #1: Run 3x a week

Goal #1 - Run 3x a weekI’ve had a hard time running  consistently lately.  With this goal I don’t have to run any set distances, I’m not training for anything in particular right now. I just need to get myself out the door. Because once I do, I’ve been happy. I just haven’t fit it into my life as much as I need to or want to.

The heat seems to be killing me this year. I don’t know what it is, but I’m having a REALLY hard time with it. I think it may have something to do with hormones. My body is all kinds of out-of-whack. I’m tired, moody, overheated… I’m starting to think it may be my thyroid levels. I know those can change with pregnancy and breastfeeding,  why not with reduced BFing?

Anyway, I figure if I can get through the month of August running somewhat regularly (and after accomplishing goal #2), I will be more physically prepared to figure out a training plan/goal for the future.

Goal #2: Wean

Goal #2 - Wean the babyI’m so over exclusively pumping. On the day Alex turned 11-months-old, she had cow’s milk for the first time. And she drank the whole bottle. When I tried giving her formula after she first rejected nursing she gagged and threw the bottle. I was scared she would expect mama’s milk forever!  But she has been having two 5-6 oz bottles of cow’s milk a day for the past week and she’s been great with it.

Hey, by the way… did you know it’s World Breastfeeding Week? Yeah… nothing like seeing that little tidbit to add to my guilt over my weaning plans!

My approach to weaning has not been very scientific. I just dropped a pumping.  Then a few days later I tried dropping another one. (Okay, that few days later was today.) But I felt pretty uncomfortable several hours after my normal pumping time so I pumped 5 minutes to relieve some pressure. I even set a timer… and I didn’t want the 5 minutes to be up because it feels so much better to be drained. But I know my body needs the signals to stop producing as much.

There’s also the emotional guilt. Oh the emotions… that’s probably partly due to changing hormones as well. But I feel like I must be evil for “denying” my child something that is so good for her health.

But I’m also so excited at the possibility of no longer have to hook myself up to that machine 4 times a day (which was taking longer and longer) and not getting clogged ducts (which has been happening every other day since the baby refused me.) I look forward to being able to get up early and run without the pump, or sleeping in until the baby wakes up and just being able to get up with her without having to hook myself up to the pump.

Got any goals for the month yourself? Got any advice on weaning comfortably (and quickly) from the pump? :-)

What’s Difficult?

Keep calm and just keep running

Today’s #BlogEveryDayInMay prompt: Something difficult about your “lot in life” and how you’re working to overcome it

Sigh… I almost decided I didn’t want to do this post. Today I’m feeling somewhat overwhelmed. Not as overwhelmed as yesterday. Last night I took the time to do a hatha yoga practice on YogaDownload.com and that helped immensely. I really need to find/make time to do yoga more regularly. I have a subscription to YogaDownload, so that’s to encourage myself to keep a yoga practice in my life. So the yoga last night helped, then this morning my boss canceled our 8am meeting and I literally jumped out of my desk chair and yelled “Woo hoo!” and took my lunch hour at 8am to go run; another thing that helped me feel better.

So I guess those reactions are things that kind of refer to difficulties in my life. Depression, anxiety and emotional distress… things that have all gotten worse the older I get.

As a kid I was very high-strung and things would stress me out so much I would get sick. In elementary we had to do timed times table tests (that’s a lot of T’s), even though I knew my times tables having a clock ticking terrified me. One time my dad’s truck rolled down the hill in the night (parking brake issue, I believe) and after it was repaired, for about a week I would wake up in the night and go look to make sure it hadn’t rolled away. Weird little things that a kid shouldn’t have to worry about caused me anxiety.

As I’ve gotten older it’s gone to a new level. I feel stress and anxiety over nearly everything in life. I can over-analyze a situation to death. For example, I am registered for a race this weekend. I spent hours with thoughts rattling around in my head about how stupid I was for signing up to do it. I started to talk to my husband last night, “I’m signed up for a race this weekend. It starts at 7 AM. It’s about 40 minutes away from home. So to get my packet and stuff before the race, I need to leave around 5:45 AM at the latest.”

“Okay.”

“But that means I will have to pump so you can feed the baby. I won’t be able to feed her her first meal of the day.”

“Okay.”

“And I hope I can be home in time for her next feeding, but I may be late for that.”

“Okay.”

Somehow these things become monumental issues in my brain and he doesn’t see them as issues at all. Hell, maybe he’s looking forward to spending a few hours with the baby. Even if he says stuff about how the baby has to sleep in because it’s the weekend and she can’t interrupt his sleep; which adds to my guilty feelings!

My work has been busy busy busy lately and that adds to my stress levels. Sometimes I feel like I spend so much time with multiple IM windows open answering a multitude of random questions from multiple people, I can’t focus anymore. So I’ll set my status to “Busy” so I can just focus on a single task for a while, yet that makes me feel guilty!

I used to go see a therapist regularly to help cope, but since having the baby I haven’t been to see her. Her office is too far away, on the opposite side of town. It takes nearly an hour to drive there, thus I’d be out about 3 hours just to chat with her for an hour. “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For that!”

I think trying to do yoga regularly will help me. Trying to remember to take deep breaths and relax might help. And the running equivalent of a Finding Nemo line…

Keep calm and just keep running

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Do I need a five-year plan?

Alex in Sunglasses

I keep seeing things about how you need to have a 5-year or 10-year plan in terms of your career and I honestly cannot think of what I would want.

I’ve been in my current job for 12 years (and 4 months, but who’s counting?) I guess it’s not the exact same position, I did get a promotion a couple of years ago (“We’re moving your area to a different department and the old director is staying in IT, so I guess you’re the director now.”) And in reality, since I work in web development my job changes all the time as technology evolves. There is no “higher level” position in my current employment to work toward, I’ve peaked in that regard. But in terms of having a plan or trajectory, I’m lost.

I’ve felt this way for years, but it’s really amplified lately. The main reason?

Baby in sunglasses

She’s the most amazing and overwhelming thing to ever happen in my life!

When I was younger, I always assumed that if I had kids I would NEED to keep working. Not necessarily for financial reasons, but for mental salvation. I thought I would need the time and interaction with other adults as opposed to spending time with a baby all day.

But I also knew that as a working mom there would be a feeling of guilt about leaving my child with someone else all day and the expense of paying her tuition. There’s the feelings of guilt for taking time away from my desk to pump each day, even if I’m allowed that “privilege” by law for the first year of her life. There’s the guilt of feeling like I’m not as reliable as an employee because I quit working immediately at the end of the day so I can rush off to get her, where the old me would keep plugging away for far too many minutes or hours past the end of the work day.

As it stands right now… I get the worst of both worlds. I get the guilt that comes with working and the lack of adult interaction that comes from staying home.

The addition of Skype and Google+ Hangouts help me feel a little more connected to other people at work.  My daughter’s school teachers are amazing and they do activities with her that I wouldn’t think of doing if I was on my own with her all day. There are some positive things to my situation, but on a broad scale I’m just generally discontented with life.

I feel the biggest reason I’m unhappy is that I’m scared of change. Taking a leap to make changes is scary, even more so now that there is another person in my life who would be affected by these decisions.

I think that getting rid of the notion that I need a 5- or 10-year plan and being more mindful and living in the moment will help. It’s too bad that our world doesn’t encourage mindfulness more, we’re always supposed to be looking to the next thing. I’ve found that in my running too. I couldn’t just finish my first postpartum half marathon without being asked multiple times that same day, “What’s next?!” Can’t I just have this moment?

Do you find that you struggle with being in the moment? What do you do to pull yourself back into it and not focus on the future too much?