Clarity.

I told you guys I would stop by here more often, even on the busy and crazy weeks.  So here I am.  Hi!

Two weekends ago, Casey and I were having a lovely Saturday around town.  We’d just gone to a fun craft show and headed to one of our favorite vegetarian diners for lunch afterward.  And just in case you are interested, I was about halfway through this giant plate of fantastic-ness.

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Guacamole veggie burger with (soy) bacon, and a big pile of roasted potatoes.  Happiness. 

Casey was getting slammed with work emails all though lunch, and I could tell something was looming.  Looks like December is going to be really busy.  And by Monday morning, it was. 

Casey is in the middle of a big project, so his hours have sort of exploded.  Last week he was traveling, and when he wasn’t, he was in the office – even over the weekend.  This week has been more of the same – early mornings, late nights.  I’m not here to complain or rant about schedules and busyness though – it’s just part of life.  I know many others are going through the same (or worse), and we are very lucky that he has a really solid job. 

But the reality is – I’ve basically spent two weeks on non-stop baby duty.  Zero breaks – sun up to sun down and beyond.  It is always fun, but it’s exhausting.  I realized this week just how much I depend on my weekends for a mental break, and a chance to reenergize myself for the coming week.  Toddlers are exhausting. 

Capture

I’ve been in a funk this week, which is why I’ve stayed sort of quiet.  I always try to resist running to the keyboard to complain, even though I find writing to be very therapeutic.  So I complained to Casey instead.  With his crazy schedule, I’ve been alone a lot, which has given me lots of time to stir up all sorts of crazy in my head.  I fill our days with play dates and chats over coffee, but the afternoons and evenings are very long and I tend to feel really isolated.  Pair that with weaning and massive hormonal changes, and I’m fairly certain I am the definition of basket case.

Monday night, I ended up all weepy and blue, going on and on about how I don’t feel like I have any time to do things for myself.  When Cullen is up (which is most of the time – only 1-2 hours of naps right now), we are playing or we are out.  When he’s sleeping, I’m working.  And no matter how many emails I respond to, or Babble posts I publish, I still somehow always feel like I am behind.  So there never really feels like a good point in my day to say — Self, you’ve done well.  Time to relax and put your feet up.  (Does anyone ever feel like this??)

I don’t mean for this to turn into a big pity party.  These are just things I’m feeling lately, so please excuse my brain dump.  Recently, I’ve suddenly been feeling a huge surge of motivation to get back into regular exercise (I’m guessing this has something to do with those hormonal shifts too).  But it is met with the frustration that our current schedule is not really allowing for that to happen.  I am absolutely determined to figure it out – sooner than later.

After too many nights spent alone, and way too many really difficult evenings spent trying to entertain a very cranky toddler (who is getting his molars – kill me!), Casey texted me tonight to let me know he’d be home around 6pm, instead of the 8pm that has become our norm.  Do you know that the different between 6pm and 8pm feels like about ten hours?  And just like that, I heard angels singing from up above, and I felt like a normal, sane person again.

He was able to take over with Cullen as soon as he got home, which left me with a rare free hour before his bedtime.  I told him I was going to disappear for a bit, so I grabbed a few magazines and ventured into very unfamiliar place.

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I don’t even know how long it’s been.  Months, easily.  I’m guessing September – that sounds about right.  I knew better than to try to just bang out a few miles after such a long hiatus.  Plus, this wasn’t really about running.  It was more about taking a little time for myself, to do something that I needed.  And what I needed was to clear my head and move my legs.

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I walked most of the time.  Ran a little bit at the end.  Certainly nothing to write a big manifesto about.  But it felt really good, and 40 minutes later I left refreshed, relaxed, and ready to go find a squirmy naked baby trying to wiggle his way out of his pajamas in the nursery.

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I realized this week that one of the most important things I need to do as a mom is take better care of myself.  When I don’t take a little time out for me, I start to resent and take for granted all the time I spend taking care of my family.  I don’t have a master plan or proposed solution at this point, but at least I have the clarity to identify something that needs to change. 

I don’t really feel connected to running right now.  I don’t know why.  I keep expecting it to lure me back in, but the pull just isn’t there.  Instead, I’m feeling more drawn toward getting back into a regular yoga practice, or some sort of strength training.  We’ll see what happens.  Baby steps.  For today, I’m just happy to see some workout gear in my dirty hamper.  It has been far too long!