The Dream Me

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Autumn has rolled into Huntsville and I’m torn. We’ve got so much going this year, stuff I’ve been referencing as “Fall” that I’m supposed to be doing, and Fall is here and I don’t have the time to do it all and suddenly these cool, cloudy days are sending me into CRAZY PANIC ATTACKS. GIVE ME MY SUMMER BACK! I’m not READY yet…JEEBUS.

I’ve taken some of your advice lately and been trying to turn nightly tea into a ritual. An anti-anxiety ritual that doesn’t involve eating 14 bowls of cereal or 12 peanut butter sandwiches. It’s kinda working, I guess. I miss the nightly binging, tea doesn’t quite do what a full belly does, but it’s something.

I’ve been talking to people a lot lately about what they do to unwind. Some shop, some take baths, some just go out for drinks with friends. All of those seem nice but the people who kill me are the ones who clean or COOK to unwind. Why can’t I do that? Why can’t I have an actual therapeutic desire to cook or clean? Do you know how much EASIER life would be if I had to cook or clean to calm my anxiety? THAT WOULD BE AWESOME.

Oh…OH! What if I had this unquenchable need to scrub toilets when I was stressed? Or wash bedding? Or…OR…DUST BASEBOARDS? Man. Can you imagine? I’d live in the cleanest house EVER.

For now? It’s eating and beer. So I’m starting by trying to substitute the ritual of making tea. And it’s close enough to eating and beer that I’m kind of fooling myself a bit. *sigh* Maybe someday I can train myself to clean when I’m stressed. A girl can dream…

I did it! I’m soaked! And it was kinda AWESOME!

Oops. Forgot that I was tinkering with the website ifttt and set up that my Facebook photos would publish to my blog. Yay! It worked! But, you know, this is the kind of entry to pops up and we don’t need THAT, now do we?

But…since it’s here…this is a picture of me tonight after my 6-mile run in the rain. I’ve never run in the rain before and I was kinda dreading it. But you know what? It ended up being kinda awesome. Splashing in puddles and just being soaking wet…is actually a little liberating. Had it been a little colder I might have hated it, but it wasn’t too bad!

Now…to turn off that function…

One Little Bit Of Mommy Guilt Conquered…Nine Hundered Bits To Go.

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Sometime before Spring of 2009 (That’s a transition point in my life I reference a lot for boring reasons) I was the kind of person that rarely – if ever – did things without my kids. I would scoff…literally scoff…at people harped on the value of Me Time. Whereas I, on the other hand, couldn’t even go to the grocery store without the kids and not feel guilty. So, when a woman would discuss the need to exercise, or get her hair done, or have a Girl’s Night Out – I would just assume, somewhere in the back of my mind, they didn’t like being a Mom as much as I did.

I KNOW! That’s a HORRIBLE thing to think!

But we all do that, right? We all – subconsciously at least – justify NOT choosing what other people choose in ways that make US feel better. Not intentionally, not deliberately, but we do it.

I’ve realized lately that I get a lot of Me Time now, or at least time without the kids, and I don’t feel ONE OUNCE OF GUILT about it! I’m not sure when that change happened, or how, or why, but it seems part of my Mommy Guilt issues have subsided. I used to feel like I had to REALLY justify leaving Donnie with the kids before doing it. It had to be an outside demand of my time that I had no control over. I would never just DECIDE to leave him with the kids without a reason outside my power.

But now? I leave him with the kids often. If I have a run for my half-marathon training I have to do? I do it. Before, when I was training, I would just skip the runs if I couldn’t do them in the mornings before the kids woke up, or after the kids went to bed. Now? I know they’re too important so I do them at night. I schedule meetings at whatever time I can instead of trying to find time when the kids didn’t need me. I even try to make plans with friends once in awhile.

And not ONE BIT OF GUILT.

You have no idea how much I wish I could pinpoint something specific that freed me from that guilt. It’s not me NEEDING to get away from my kids, I’m still not there or anything, but I don’t feel guilty for leaving them with their Dad anymore. Which was RIDICULOUS to begin with. I knew it was ridiculous, but that didn’t stop me from feeling it. But now? Gone. Last night E and I went running and left the little ones with Donnie, and that’s when it occurred to me. The old me? Would have waited until they were in bed so I didn’t have to deal with the Mommy Guilt of leaving them when they were awake.

So, last night it hit me: I’M CURED!

I just don’t know how. And I still suffer the Mommy Guilt in other areas (I keep forgetting stuff associated school, like Picture Day!) but it seems I’ve gotten over the irrational guilt that plagued me when leaving the kids with their OTHER parents. And I’m so glad I’ve gotten over this because they seem to not care anymore, when they used to act sad when I left. So, it’s good for me, and good for Donnie. He gets time with the kids with them being HAPPY instead of crying because I’m gone.

WIN/WIN.

So, does this help YOU in any way if you suffer from that guilt? No. Because I can’t pinpoint a cure. I’m sorry. But it’s great for ME! So…YAY!

On Marriage and Mud

Today is my one-year anniversary of starting boot camp. And while I do have an entry planned about that, I want to write today instead about a related topic. Something amazing I did on Saturday…something I hope someday you’ll do too.

I woke up, and dressed like this:

Before

And, following AdreAnna’s inspiration, I participated in a Warrior Dash. (SIDENOTE: This is not the first time I’ve been inspired by a blogger to do something crazy. I wrote here about how Pamie inspired me to run a marathon.)

I ended the day looking like this:

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In between those two photos I jumped over busted cars. As in, RAN ON TOP OF THEM. ON TOP OF CARS. And then through tires. And then I climbed over chest-high walls and under barbed wire.

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Shit just got very real, y’all.

(Let me sidetrack and tell a story: A girl was screaming at me when I was going over the cars. Yelling, “Come on LADIES! FASTER!” to me and another woman. She was trying to be “encouraging” I guess, with her Personal Trainer Vibe/Voice but it irritated me to no end. She continued hollering through the tires. I don’t respond well to that type of “coaching” but I guess she thought she was being helpful. She had a CrossFit Trainer shirt on, so maybe that’s her job. I let her pass me but I caught back up to her at the barbed wire/wall obstacle where she was STRUGGLING because she didn’t want to crawl on her belly under the wires. And she was trying to do it on her butt/back and she was loudly bitching about how this was DANGEROUS. I passed her and never looked back. I saw her finish about 10 minutes after I did. I resisted yelling, “FASTER!!!!”)

There was a mountain of hay to climb, and a solid black tunnel to belly-crawl through. There were downed trees to jump over. There was a horizontal bed of cargo nets raised about 5 feet or so off the ground. I had to climb over that hand over feet.

And there were WALLS. Several walls that had you climb up in some way (Knotted ropes, cargo nets, ladder wrungs…) and then the toughest part for me: Going down on the other side. Every one of those walls had a top that allowed you to see what was on the other side, and what method was there to get you down. I’m scared of heights so every time I contemplated going BACK DOWN the way I came and just running around the wall. EVERY TIME I thought about doing that…basically chickening out. But Donnie was waiting for me and cheering me on, so every time…I just did it. I threw my legs over, fought back tears, and slid down the pole, or the wall, or the net. One time, on an oddly vertical wall I just screamed to Donnie, “WHAT DO I DO?” I was so scared. But I just did it. One foot after another. Down the wall. Every time.

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That was the best part of the whole experience; that Donnie was there by my side every step of the way. We weren’t going to run together originally, but I’m so glad we did. He could have gone much faster without me, but he stayed with me so we’d have the shared experience. He waited after every obstacle and high-fived me, pushing me to the next TERRIFYING thing. And we did it all in 42 minutes which I felt like was DAMN FAST. We jumped the fire pits together and we crossed the finish line covered in mud, kissing at the end. As amazing as the whole thing was for me, personally? It was more amazing as a wife to my husband. I think Saturday was the most fun I’ve ever had with my husband. We cheered on our friends, we pushed ourselves beyond our limits, and we came home with viking hats. I think about the whole thing and am grateful for the physical challenge I faced and the fears I overcame, but I was pleasantly surprised by what else it gave me: A wonderful 42 minutes with the man I married, having fun and playing like kids again.

The Day After

I Miss My Glue Gun.

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I’ve been busier since school started back than I ever have been before in my life. And I worked full-time as a single Mom college student. I look at my life and see the changes from the summer and realize very quickly where my priorities lie.

I’ve stopped doing crafts entirely. I went to Hobby Lobby yesterday for an errand for E’s theatre department and didn’t get anything for myself. I ALWAYS NEED STUFF AT HOBBY LOBBY. Not this time. Haven’t done anything remotely crafty in weeks. My Pinterest boards are gathering dust.

I’ve stopped cooking meals that require more than a few steps. I’m still cooking, but nothing that takes time. I’m relying a lot on my crockpot and on variations of Sandwich Night! I haven’t baked for fun since school started, when over the summer we always had treats around.

My TV has been limited. I’m still making time for my favorites, but many of the shows that I record are just stacking up in the DVR unwatched. This is REALLY tough since the new shows start back next week. Except for Vampire Diaries which starts back tonight along with The Secret Circle which I loved when I downloaded the sneak peek of the pilot. I have no idea how I’m going to keep up with my shows. I’m just glad the new shows looks so…BLAH…so I don’t have to worry too much.

But I’ve not stopped working out or running. I’m seeing the kids plenty and even though my house is only clean because Donnie cleaned it this weekend, I am staying caught up on laundry and general order on the domestic front. In other words, my extras are being neglected but it’s not chaos on the home front. YET. E has two sets of auditions in the next two weeks, meaning the shows will start stacking up. When that happens? All hell may break loose. Until then I’m just proud that my kids are at least fed.

Even if they’re not clean.