Oops

I’m much better at starting posts than finishing them.

A few years ago (well, more than a few now, more like five or so), I made this promise to start doing more things I’m bad at. My tendency is to live in my wheelhouse and only do things I do really, really well. But, is that really living? So, five or a few years ago, I joined a boot camp and started punching a bag and lifting weights and all sorts of crazy exercises where I would literally tip over in front of everyone. And, the world didn’t end. I started cooking, too (a huge source of anxiety for me), and posting pictures of my many failures (and the delicious deserved wins) and laughing at them. I take myself so seriously – it is like a weighted vest I wear all of the time – doing those things made me feel lighter because the world doesn’t end if I make a mistake – the world stands still when I don’t do anything.

SO, maybe more here. Bean is growing and fearless (real food, crawling, voicing her opinions through babble and throwing puffs at Remy) – and I need to be a good example.

Life is meant to be lived and messed up and sort of fixed and challenged. Regrets are important, because they show you learn. Mistakes aren’t daggers and bumps aren’t mountains. Perspective is the key.


Reverb March – Luck

Here’s another topic form Project Reverb 2014, a series of monthly prompts to give participants “a chance to think about how the month (and the year) is going and to project into the rest of the month (and the year).” Like I said, I’m a huge fan of the bloggers who run it (Kat, Sarah, and Meredith).

Here it goes….

 

Luck | Is luck what you get?  Or, is luck what you make?  When have you been lucky?  When did you create your own fortune?

 

You make your own luck.  Or, at least that’s what I want to believe.

When I was in grad school, you had to take this ridiculous Comprehensive Exam on all of literature in order to get your Masters.  4 hours to write 5 essays with citations and criticism and just everything.  If you didn’t pass, they COULD offer you an oral exam or they could kick you out of the program.  No biggie.  Just two years of paying for classes wasted on a stupid timed test.

I like writing deadlines (the procrastinator in me tends to shine under a tight timeline), but I hate timed tests.

I never study for tests, but I studied for this.  Months of studying (followed by a lot of happy  hours and appetizers and cloudy headed mornings trying to remember what I’d learned).  I had strategies and plans for whatever topics they gave us.

I finished all 5 essays in 3 hours, anxiety making me type at a frenzy.  When I stopped with 45 minutes left (to check, to revise, to just think…), I realized that I based my entire first essay on a play that was not one of the listed choices.  All 10 pages had flowed out of me – I had felt CONNECTED to that question and my answer was everything that I was that my school of choice was not – creative, on the edge of a pun, too much in some many ways – and it was all wrong because THE PLAY WAS NOT ONE OF THE LISTED CHOICES.

I had studied.  I had worked.  I had gotten through only to hit a wall instead of a door.

40 minutes left and all I could do was hit CONTROL + A and delete the 10 pages of me.

It was just a test, but it wasn’t.  After two years of a dean who thought I was not a serious student because I worked full-time as a cashier AND went to school full-time, of having my paper ideas rejected because they were too “out there,” of not being enough of a feminist because I didn’t want to write only about gender – it was a test to see if I was still here amidst all that nonsense.

I made my own luck.  I bet on my brain.  39 minutes for a degree and my dignity.

 

 

The fact that I passed isn’t the important thing; nor is the fact that I passed all 4 questions.

The important thing wasn’t the luck – it was that I didn’t give up in that moment.  A degree is a piece of paper and maybe some more money at work.  Remembering who you are and the smarts that got you there – I’m lucky I got that back before I hit the rest of real life and all that the end of my 20’s and the first half of my 30’s would bring.


Things I Say in My Head while Driving to Work

It’s ok to be sad.

I was brought up to look on the bright side – no matter how dark the day was.  To always find and focus on the light.  To put my happy face on for the world to see.

This could be a red, raw post about life right now – being a mother and a daughter in a hot mess of life.  Happening.  Right.  Now.

Instead, it’s going to be about the rest of it.

The process of PT has me down.  My leg feels worse than when I started.  I don’t feel any closer to taking a (slow, gasping) jog than I did at 100 months pregnant in August.

I’m dealing with this by eating crap food I don’t even want at this point.  I’m over Cheetos for breakfast.  Even Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are making me gag a little.

But, it’s ok to be sad and feel all of this.
I can’t run it out. I can barely walk it out.

My PT friends let me ride the bike for 10 minutes last week.
It was a cardio miracle.
It was h a r d (embarrassingly so).

Maybe it isn’t my year to run.
Maybe it isn’t my life to run (maybe I’m a little overdramatic from lack of sleep after the LONGEST OSCAR SHOW EVER).

But, maybe I can lower-impact my way through a few months on a bike.  Still moving.  Still thinking.  Still showing up for myself.

It’s ok to be sad (for a while).  Just don’t be stuck.


Reverb February – Heart

Here’s my second go at Project Reverb 2014, a series of monthly prompts to give participants “a chance to think about how the month (and the year) is going and to project into the rest of the month (and the year).” Like I said, I’m a huge fan of the bloggers who run it (Kat, Sarah, and Meredith).

Here it goes….

Heart| Show us your heart.  Let it all hang out.  When have you thrown yourself into a challenge, or shown/received love?

 

I’m not lovable.

 

That sounds awful.

 

I’m not stereotypically lovable.  (better?)

 

Big declarations or actions or presents make me uncomfortable – to the max.  For my 30th birthday, B spent the entire month before telling everyone I knew (my friends, my boss, random people I see in the hall at work, etc.) what he got me and leaving me CSI-like clues to try and figure it out.  A scavenger-ish hunt mixing my love of procedural television and mocking from friends and strangers?  That is SO ME!  But, at the end of the month on my actual birthday, when he gave me a bottle of wine and a candle (to hang out with in the hot tub at the B&B in the Berkshires he was taking me away to THAT VERY DAY), I wasn’t grateful or reduced to girlish tears or even excited – my entire self was prickly with the attention that I reacted with anger and fear: “I get migraines from that wine!” “Does the B&B even serve food I’ll eat?!”  It was incredibly honest and shameful.

 

My love language is that I’m a hedgehog – all spikes and cuddles together.

 

Part of me thought I’d write about Bean here – but, that seems too easy.  Although it isn’t always immediate (especially after a bumpy ending to a pregnancy), loving her (and her loving me) is a simple given.

 

B and I don’t always match up – we are not one of those magnet couples with similar interests.  We work to find common ground and show our love in ways that speak to our individual selves.  When it works, it’s heaven.  And, when it doesn’t, we find our way back.

 

The second time B and I hung out (ever), we ended up alone in a room.  I was freaking out – the safety of emails and work and other people was just gone.  As I am apt to do, I began babbling.  I could not stop talking – nervous chatter about nothing that just would not end.  In my head, all I could think was “Blew this one – he must think you’re a wackadoo…” but, I. Just. Could. Not. Stop.

 

But, he recognized something in me – he somehow knew how to deal with this prattling hedgehog part of my soul.  So, he grabbed me and kissed me.

 

Shut me up good.

 

And, nothing has been the same since (thankfully).


5 Thoughts on PT

1. I think my healthy mojo or motivation is only at its peak because I’m off all lower body cardio and strength.

2. IT Band Syndrome + childhood scoliosis + misaligned pelvis and hips = a lot of planks and upper body strength training.

3. All of the above during Bean’s teething and starting foods, B’s “let’s put the house on the market by the end of the month” frenzy, and this Birthday Prom we have Saturday night (which will be its own post – yikes, prom at 35) are making for a stressed out and aimless me.

4. You’d think I’d find a way to focus on eating better and working on mental and physical flexibility, but all I want is yummy food and a run.

5. When you have a high pain threshold and the PT’s massage makes you almost leap off the table in pain, seeing someone walk by with a cane, a foam roller, and a 3 scoop ice cream cone can make you laugh hysterically (with everyone looking).


Reverb 2014 (and hi)

I know – it’s been a few weeks.  But, it’s ok.  Life is to be lived.  And, my baby won’t go the F to sleep on a regular basis (which is more thanks to the massive dose of prednisone she takes and hopefully not to my failings as a mother.  We’ve started putting her down on her side, which has helped the situation)…

I decided to participate in Project Reverb 2014.  It is a series of monthly prompts to give participants “a chance to think about how the month (and the year) is going and to project into the rest of the month (and the year).”

Last year was crazy, but it was more about waiting – for the baby to be born, for the nursery to be done, to not feel so huge and lost in my body, to be able to move and run and play with my dog.

This year is about actions – figuring out me as a mom, being in a new role at work and trying to define what that is and what I want to do, finding a way to exercise with an infant and a bum knee, just constant searching and redefining and moving forward because freezing in place is not an option –  but, I want to make sure I’m just not madly moving through it all.  I don’t want to miss it completely.

I’m a huge fan of the bloggers who run it (Kat, Sarah, and Meredith) – all 3 of them gave me wonderfully poignant and funny moments to read during my 2013-full of pregnancy, newborns, and trashy romance novels (one of my only pregnancy cravings).

Hopefully, this will give me some structure to my writing that is more me-focused, vs. the amount of writing I do focused on Bean for her Baby Book I’m so dreadfully behind on.

So, onto  it:

Prompt: Routine | Have you started a new routine this January?  Is this routine different from last year?  Is it the result of a resolution or goal you’re working on?  Tell us about your days.  How do they flow?  If you’d like, maybe give us a full “day in the life” or just some snippets.

My routine is so drastically different from last year – but, it’s supposed to be.  That’s what babies do.  But, when January rolled around, I began to reflect that I was trying to create routines (Bedtime routine for Bean, Dinner routine for B, get to bed early so B won’t be tired for his commute, cleaning routine, designated fetch time for Remy), but not for myself.  I became that clichéd mom within 4 months of having a baby.

After this realization, I saw the need not to make resolutions or goals for the year (madness with a Baby and a House Hunt and just LIFE RIGHT NOW), but to make quarterly areas of self-care focus to make me happier and more fulfilled and more myself.  It sounds selfish, but it’s helping me be better at all of those other routines.  Q1 my focus is on budget, taking care of how I look (to take care of how I feel about how I look), decluttering, and eating real food.

An amalgamation of a weekday:

3:30 AM: Bean cries, but I get back on her side with the pacifier and she’s out again.  #sleepismyfriend

4:30 AM: B’s alarm goes off; he gets up with Remy to get ready for work.  Bean sleeps, so I do the same.

6:15 AM: B wakes me up when he leaves.  I shower, do my makeup and hair, and get dressed while singing nonsense songs to a babbling, cribbed Bean.

7:00 AM: Feed Bean (who’s actually hungry!) and then play the prednisone game.  As she’s learned to spit, we are both covered in it by the end.

7:30 AM: Wipe Bean down, change her, dress her and put her in the car seat to chill.

7:45 AM: Start my car (Oh, frozen New England winters) and take Remy out and chase him around the yard until he does his business.  SO COLD!

8:00 AM: Drop Bean off in daycare and walk down to my desk; read blogs, TV recaps, and email while I eat a yogurt and Luna bar (with a Diet Coke)

8:30 AM: Get to the working – dive into eLearning, presentations, meetings, IM’s, etc.

11:30AM: Come up for air and walk down to visit Bean.  Look at my Fitbit and see how far  behind I am on my steps.  Head out to the parking garage for a 15 minute catchup walk.,

12:00 PM: Lunch and a book.

12:30 PM: Back at it – spreadsheets and formulas and tracking, oh my!

3:00 PM: Go check in on Bean after naptime – she’s hanging in the exersaucer listening to a book (a multitasker at 5 months!).  Realize I haven’t walked around since my last walk, so take the “long way” back to my desk by walking upstairs, through the caf, downstairs to my desk.

4:30 PM: Finish my day, go grab Bean, back to the car and home.

5:00 PM: Drag everyone and things into the house.  Try to calm Remy’s immense excitement (and keep Bean napping).  Leave the car seat by the back door and chase Remy through the snow in the backyard until I’m shivering.

5:30 PM: Get in my pajamas and get dinner (lemon & herb chicken and vegetables) in the oven; select the kitchen counters as my 1 thing to clean for this day.

6:00 PM: B gets home.  Remy falls apart with love and Bean wakes up.

6:30 PM: B and I trade off eating dinner with feeding Bean and playing with Remy while catching up on our day.

7:00 PM: Bean’s bath time – splashing, squealing, and soaking wet me.  Lay out her outfit for tomorrow (and wonder where all her socks seem to disappear to…)

7:30 PM: Bean goes down.  Fetch it up with Remy while finishing dinner.

8:00 PM: Watch a few episodes of Veronica Mars on Netflix – we’re almost done with Season 3, just in time for the movie.  Intermittently, go give Bean the pacifier, take the dog out, text, Facebook, Twitter, read, ZONE OUT.

10:00 PM: B does bottles while I prep my breakfast, lunch, and snacks for tomorrow.

10:30 PM: Wash my face, brush my teeth, foam roll.

10:50 PM: Take Remy out and get into bed.  Fall asleep during a Good Eats rerun from the DVR or a Pioneer Woman episode.  Dream of food and sleep.


5 Thoughts on 1/8/14

  1. I started reading The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer.  I love my Bean like whoa, but I miss reading (outside of the trashy romance novel cravings I enjoyed during the summer).  People always expect good book recommendations from me (that’s what an MA in English and a nerdy persona get me) – and, more so, reading is a huge part of who I am outside of all this mom stuff.  At least 2 new books (not comfort re-reads) per month and write-ups in GoodreadsOh January, so full of hope and promise(s).
  2. One of B’s friend is having a PROM for their 40th birthday party next month.  Ugh.  I barely stayed at my own prom for an hour back in the ‘90s.  Get ready for lists questioning if I should wear a tiara or not (I’m leaning towards yes!).
  3. I figured out that the snacking monster in me comes out to play when I’m feeling aimless at work, especially since I came back to a new position that isn’t as production-based.  It starts harmlessly…  Don’t know what I should be working on?  Hmmm…  I know – I’ll take a walk.  That’s healthy.  Look – it’s the little convenience store – HOW CONVENIENT!  I’ll get a Diet Coke.  And a candy bar.  And some chips.  OOF.  But, at least I know now and can head myself off at the pass and walk out to my car (until the polar vortex goes away and I can go on the walking trail again).
  4. I was pretty annoyed with New Girl during the first part of this season; last night had some of that nostalgic, awkward madness I miss (rather than weird innuendos between Nick and Jess).
  5. It’s my goal this week to get my 7000 steps in all 5 weekdays.  So far, so good (even if I did power-walk around my house during commercials last night until the dog freaked out).

5 Thoughts on New Years

  1. My entire house (minus Remy) has had the stomach virus over the past 48 hours.  BRUTAL.  Bean began it on New Year’s Day but go through it in a matter of hours.  The next day, B and I came down with it within an hour of each other.  In a one bathroom house, this was disastrous.  Everyone survived (thankfully) and we’re ready to attach the snowstorm that hit us last night.
  2. There is no better sight than my dog frolicking through snow.  It makes the snow-blowing and swearing so much more bearable.
  3. So, 2014…
  4. Keeping with my “never start anything on a Monday” guideline,  I’ve added “and never start a healthier eating/exercise plan on New Year’s Day;” this week has been a hot mess and I demolished part of an apple crumb cake for breakfast and dinner on New Year’s Eve.  Totally worth it.
  5. Community came back last night.  I was so disappointed in last season; my hopes were not high.  However, Harmon did his best to “repilot” with respect to the precedents set during his time away.  It wasn’t perfect, but it had such a better flow and weirdness that had been missing.  Ugh, Changnesia was the worst.

5 Thoughts on 2013

  1. 2013 was all baby, all the time – I spent the entire year pregnant until I had Bean at the end of August; then, I spent the next 3 months lost in this post-partum fog of joy, exhaustion, disappointment, and so much damn love.
  2. I feel I lost track of myself in all this baby stuff (which is normal).  I know things aren’t meant to be the same, but I hope to find a better balance of my personal and healthier pursuits during this next year.  READ ALL THE BOOKS!  Or, at least more than I did.
  3. My dog hated me for most of 2013.  It broke my heart.  You always hear about dogs becoming more protective when you’re pregnant, but Remy was repulsed by me.  It’s only now, 4+ months post baby, that he’ll play or cuddle with me, no matter how I’ve tried to pay him attention or play the hell out of him.  Dog guilt is harsh.
  4. I’m so glad I didn’t make resolutions or goals for 2013 – nothing to have failed at.  Some years are immeasurable.
  5. I didn’t see nearly enough movies this year.  I’m going to be lost on my Oscar ballot.  Oof.

5 Thoughts on 12/26/13

  1. I don’t do well with short or broken work weeks. My routine is all jacked up. Next week won’t be any better seeing as we have a half day on New Year’s Eve and then New Year’s Day off. Hopefully, I can pull myself (and my house) together and get back on track. I remember these things called vegetables and drinks other than Diet Coke – vaguely.
  2. I got the Fitbit Flex from B for Christmas. I’m pretty much in love with it. I had the Ultra, but I constantly lost it picking up Bean or playing with Remy the Dog. The fact that the Flex syncs with my new iPhone and I don’t need to do anything fancy with it is pretty awesome, too. I’m hoping it will motivate me to get up from my desk during the day and walk somewhere other than to get a candy bar and more Diet Coke.
  3. Oof – I need to get back off the Diet Coke. It’s such a bitch.
  4. Last night was the Doctor Who Christmas special (linking to Alaisdair Wilkin’s on-the-mark thoughts). Although the Matt Smith years ended up being quite trying, it was a lovely ending to have him become the Doctor who waited. Bow ties are, and always will be, cool.
  5. My Bean is 4 months old today. I can’t even handle it. She’s desperately trying to sit up on her own and just leans forward with this intense look on her face whenever you put her down on her back. She’s so focused and then, at times, so silly and babbling away in her little voice. Best thing I’ve ever done.