17
Nov

Last night

We have been really lucky in the sleep department. Our kiddos are really good, really strong sleepers. There are cons to this, like they can't miss sleep. Ever. They can't stay up really late and bounce back...no, I mean ever. Because then they have to be treated like an actual bomb that you place in your hand and watch and hold and don't put down and when it explodes, you lose everything that is precious to you. So no, they can't stay up later in the summer and sleepovers make them monsters forever! And staying up for any reason is always not worth it.

But, overall, it's a good thing. They slept as infants and babies. I never went through the exhaustion that comes with early parenting. They napped like crazy. My daughter finally gave up her four-hour nap when she went to kindergarten. Although worried about her transition, I wasn't willing to work on this with her because who would?

Recently, they have been waking up more often. And that means they have been coming in more often. To him, it's starting to feel like a lot more, but for me...truth be told, I am really loving it. It goes against everything we did as parents of babies, but I don't care. I am letting them climb in, I am letting them take over the bed, and I am loving the snuggles and the fact that they feel safest with us.

Last night, it became the perfect storm. She read a book that scared her so much she had to put it down and then her imagination got the best of her and she was so scared she asked to stay with me. He woke up at 3:30am and got really worried about how dark it was and asked to come in. And there I was, sandwiched between my two babies...no longer babies...but my two babies.

One held my hand and whispered, I love you, from his sleep. The other fell hard and fast asleep pressed up against me, snuggled inside my arm. Her breath became rhythmic, I watched her eyes actually get heavy, like they would when she was first here. I watched her struggle to keep them open so she could watch me watch her, but she gave up sooner than she would have liked and she was at peace. He came in like a storm. Rushing, loud, worried, breathing really hard. His breath slowed as he realized he was okay. He twisted and turned for a second and then looked up, grabbed my hand, and was out like a light.

Last night, I watched both my babies be at peace. I watched their chest rise and fall at different rhythms. Last night, I saw his eyelashes were so long that I wondered if he could feel them on his cheeks. I saw how gorgeous her lips are and how perfect they form while she's sleeping. Last night, I saw how much they looked like you and how lucky I am that I married someone so handsome. Last night, I saw pieces of me on their face, and I felt so lucky to be there. Last night, I felt so lucky that my little faces couldn't sleep...needed me, needed my arms and my attention. Last night, I opened up our bed to them, and yes, you got kicked out. Last night we did things like we never do them. We let them in, I got to be there all night with them. Last night we didn't worry about routines or what this would do for their forever sleeping, or if we were setting them up for bad habits. Last night, we just let them snuggle where they needed to be for that one moment in time. We let them be and we accepted what they needed and maybe what I needed too.

With them growing up so big, these moments of little are so far and few between. Even though we are so lucky that they are walking slow, they are still walking towards new phases and away from little. But last night, we let them be scared little kids that wanted their mom or dad. And I can't wait to do it all over again.

10
Nov

On his 70th birthday

This morning I was introduced to a poem Charlie Chaplin wrote on his 70th birthday. It's remarkable. It's simple. It's profound. It's moving. It's loving. Sweet loves of mine, there is nothing I could write to you this week that would mean more than this message. It is from a genius who sat back and reflected on his life and all the things he finally learned...when he finally learned how to love himself.

As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is AUTHENTICITY.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody as I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it RESPECT.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it MATURITY.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment, so I could be calm. Today I call it SELF-CONFIDENCE.

As I began to love myself I quit steeling my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it SIMPLICITY.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything the drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism.Today I know it is LOVE OF ONESELF.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is MODESTY.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worry about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where EVERYTHING is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it FULFILLMENT.

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But As I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection WISDOM OF THE HEART.

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know THAT IS LIFE!

May you always love yourselves and may you find your life and your truth. You mom loves you and sees all you are meant to be.

3
Nov

It's simple to find little things

This week, I read a beautiful post from a wonderful woman who spoke on how it can be so simple to find little things in this world to make you smile. Make you happy. Make you slow down a little, appreciate a little more. She set out a challenge...find what makes you keep going. Write that shit down. Make yourself remember the things that make you feel like you are living, actually living. Things that breathe life back into you, make you so content, comfortable, and at home. So, I made a list. And not my regular "get this done" list but instead, a make yourself remember there are so many things to be happy and appreciative of list. This is my list of love.

  • Rain…the sound, the smell, the clouds, the gray, the dark.
  • Waking up before anyone especially if it’s still dark out.
  • But also, sleeping and napping at all hours, any time of day.
  • The heaviest of blankets.
  • The smell on my hubby’s chest, it smells like home.
  • My kids’ actual belly laugh.
  • My puppers kisses and hugs…because I have a dog that gives actual hugs.
  • Seeing my husband love on our dog.
  • Seeing my husband belly laugh at our kids.
  • Pop-tarts…for real though.
  • Looking through old pics of the kids.
  • My fireplace and how much my puppy loves the fireplace.
  • How much my puppy loves her crate.
  • How much my puppy loves her family and you can physically see it!
  • The glow of soft lights.
  • Coffee, I have such a deep-rooted love for coffee.
  • A lit candle.
  • My bathtub.
  • A good robe.
  • The sound of a bat as it hits a ball, that crack gets me.
  • The look of a grown man’s face when he is so happy you can actually see the little boy in him.
  • Watching basketball, especially college, most especially with my family.
  • Long runs when I have 0 training scheduled, because I'm just running for the love of running.
  • The very end of yoga because laying down is my favorite.
  • Waking up and realizing I have so many more hours of sleep ahead of me but I’m not struggling to fall back to sleep. Because again, I love to sleep!
  • A really good kiss, because you are a really good kisser, even decades after our first. 
  • This fall, I don't know if I was just ready to really watch it all happen this year or if this fall has been especially exceptional but we really do live in an amazing area. I feel like we are living in a movie about a place that has a beautiful fall. There are leaves everywhere, the air is crisp but still warm, the colors are gorgeous…it has been magic.
  • Family bike rides and family walks with the puppy.
  • Playing a game together as a fam, I just love spending time with you guys. 
  • A gray day.
  • A new snowfall.
  • Snowshoeing!
  • Watching the kids sleep.
  • Holding hands.
  • Quiet.

I have so much to love on every single day. I need to remember how lucky I am and how much good I can find in my days. It is not always easy, I focus a lot on what I can be doing, should be doing, could do differently, need to work on and lists that look so different. But this list, this is a list we can all make and all take in. And slow the hell down and remember that life gives you reasons to smile. Life gives you reasons to slow down, you just have to take a breath and remember that your own list is there for you.

1
Nov

Five Minute Friday - last

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on last.

Go.

It's my last two months of a 20-year career. It's my last chance to turn around and take it all back and tell them I just want to stay because I love my job. Because I love my work. Because I love what I do. Because, despite how I feel and how I am being made to feel, I am good at this. I belonged here. This was my home and as much as I sacrificed and did for them, this job made me.

It's my last two months of not having to depend on my business for my living. It's my last chance to say we can't do this after all, I don't know what we were thinking but I was wrong and I'm sorry and I take it all back. Because it's my last two months of being secure and now it's all me.

It's my last two months of holding down both jobs, doing two really big things at the same exact time while still trying to be a decent mom, bride, friend, person...and still hold on to who I am.

It's my last two months to dream and really think and plan out what I want it all to look like now. What I am going to spend my energy on, what I am going to eliminate. What I am going to have to walk away from. What I am going to be able to fully embrace.

It's my last two months and I am having a lot of feelings. I am on this roller-coaster of emotions and there has been a lot of crying, a lot of overthinking, a lot of should haves, a lot of fear, a lot of lasts. My lasts.

Stop.

26
Oct

Five Minute Friday -wait

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on wait.

So your mamma is always in a rush. Running from spot to spot. Dashing from thing to thing. I have a lot of "things". But dear Anna James and Cole Blake, you have forced me to just wait. Wait for you, wait for "I have to grab one more thing", wait for you in the tub, wait for you to make a decision, wait for you to finish that story, wait for you to get dressed, wait for you while you're "just finishing this one thing", wait for you to learn how to do more and need less.

But, I will wait for you.

In my year of change, everything has unraveled. Some good, some bad, some asked for, some not, few wanted changes, some that have floored me, some needed, some that left me empty, some that energized me, some that left me shook and angry. But you have stayed pretty constant. You have stayed in your you-ness. You have lingered and walked slow and taught me to linger longer. So, I will wait for you.

I will wait as you figure things out. I will wait as you decide who you are going to be right now, changing tomorrow. I will wait to see what this new phase will bring. I will wait you walking as slowly as you want because there is no rush. We have nowhere else to be.

I will wait for you.

Stop.


20
Oct

Left Neglected

"I have had my head down, barreling a thousand miles an hour, wearing the flesh of each day down to the bone, pointed down one road toward a single goal."

In NY, the seasons have changed. Everyone is writing about how fall is a reminder of how beautiful it can be to let things go. How shedding your weight and letting a part of you go doesn't mean an end, but a different phase of life. But when left-neglected, you don't see it as clearly. You don't see the entire picture and you roll your eyes at people stopping to take it all in. Until you too enter this phase, until you too start to take in all that is happening and start to put the full picture together. As a family, we are all entering this new phase and it is with great beauty that we are stipping what has always been there. All that we have ever ever known. All that we have ever shared, all of it is about to change and be stripped away.

And the truth is, although I am tired and done, I really do love my life. I love my current life. I love what I have done, what I have been able to do, what I have been given the opportunity to do. I really do love the work I have been doing. I really do love the mission I was working for. I really do love my office and the environment. I have loved the pace. I have loved the commitment, my commitment. I love big ideas and the capacity. I have loved the amount I have had to dig down. I have loved those that I have met, those that get it, those that understand why. I was good at it, I was comfortable there, and I will miss this. I will miss this part of me, this work. I will miss this life.

"I walk down the long hallway, slower than I ever have, and feel like I've come home. The predictable order of offices as I pass by, the framed aerial photographs of major world cities on the walls, the lighting, the carpeting, all feel inviting and comfortable in their familiarity."

Not only am I scared of what this will all mean for us and our future, but I am also scared of what this will all mean to me. To who I am. To who I want to become, to what I stand for. To what I now believe in. To letting go and finding beauty. Because when left neglected, I didn't see things so fully. I didn't see me fully. It was as if I was seeing just half of the full picture. And now I have to find myself in you and the life we can create without all of this. All of this busy. Time-consuming busy. Busy to be busy kind of busy. Who will I now be without all of this weighing me down? What kind of mother will that make me? What kind of life will we now lead? What will we do and what will it mean for us from this day on? How much of my old life will I miss? How much will I rely on my old ways and keep leaning into them but it feels so comforting to live there? So familiar, so logical and productive.

"I miss my life here - the fast pace, the high intensity, contributing to something important...being effective."

But, I broke up with myself once before. I faced a fear that was bigger and more of a commitment than I have ever in my life made. I became your mom. And I had to change. I had to become something brand new. And for a few years, I had to get lost in the fog of you until I came out the other side...me but different. I'm still in here though. I'm just different and different things are important to me now. But my foundation, my me-ness is still right there. It's time to once again be lost but found in a new me, a new us, a new life, a new phase.

It's time to linger, to really really be there for you. To really find new joy. To find new meaning, new purpose. "You're still a good person, even if you don't run a life-changing agency, you're still a good person." But it's time to find out what good I can continue to bring to this world. It's time to find out what being committed to this new life means for me.

"For the first time in almost a decade, I stopped barreling a thousand miles an hour down that road. Everything stopped. And although much of the past four months have been a painful and terrifying experience, it has given me a chance to lift my head up and have a look around."

And when I looked up, I saw all of you. I saw a little girl reaching for me and wanting to be close. I saw an active boy that wants to play and then play some more. I saw a smiling puppy who loves to cuddle and run and feel loved. I saw a husband that doesn't need my stress, doesn't need my tension, just needs to be reminded of how hard we are all trying and how good it feels to be together. I saw a family we created. One I most likely have left neglected, one I didn't see as clearly as I needed to. One I didn't smile at as much I should have. I didn't see the full picture yet, I didn't stop to see how it was all changing.

So last night, you slept in my bed, a little scared from a bad dream. I looked at your long lashes and eyes as big as dad's. I saw my mouth, I saw you calm and I felt your breathing. No matter how old you both get, there is something so soothing, calming and loving about watching your children sleep. And I was overwhelmed by the gratitude for the life we picked.

"And I'm starting to wonder. What else is there? Maybe success can be something else, and maybe there's another way to get there. Maybe there's a different road for me with a more reasonable speed limit. Whether it's because I can't, I'm too afraid, something inside me has changed and wants something different, or a complex blend of all three. I can't say but I don't want to go back. I don't want to go back to that life. The same intuition that led me to you, is leading me somewhere else. And I trust it. I'm not going back."

I said a quiet prayer of thank you and a louder apology. In these years of little, there were moments I almost lost all of this. There were moments of busy that could have made us a statistic. There are countless times I have been careless with the responsibility I have in your safety and protection...too busy to do one thing at a time. So I said I was sorry for being so rushed. I said I was sorry for not taking this as seriously as I should and taking stupid parts too seriously. I said sorry to you feeling like you were left neglected. I said sorry to myself for being left neglected. I said thank you for babies I was so scared to have. I said thank you for a husband that believed we should. I said thank you for a husband that made me feel that I could with him leading this part. I said thank you for a family that never gives up and always comes back to us. I said thank you for Cole's energy and heart and even his ability to cry as easily as he does. I said thank you for Anna's mind, how deliberate she is, and even her ability to be stubborn.

I am going to trust my instinct on this new life in front of us and I am not going back. I won't leave us neglected.

18
Oct

Five Minute Friday - active

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on active.

Since I can remember, I have been on the run. Going going going under I'm gone. Running from something, from someone, from myself. Never wanting to sit idol...always something to do. Always something else to get to. Always go go go. And recently, the universe has been screaming at me to stop. Just stop. Shut up, sit down, calm yourself and just stop. Being active and busy, put your badge of honor away, no one cares.

So, I'm done. Well, trying to be done. Trying to find my new normal of done but still me. Finding new ways to find joy. So universe, I, once again, am listening. Like when you called a book to me about a crazed family with too much on their plate until the mom gets into a serious car accident and has brain damage and can't be left alone and therefore has to put busy aside. Like the people that I am randomly meeting with that tell me things like, "no one is that busy...everyone just needs to calm down and shut up". Like the woman I met last week who over a cup of coffee and in a matter of minutes said to me "Sabrina, you're a good person...with or without running an incredible agency that does good. You're still a good person. And even if you do not work yourself to the bone, you're still a good person. Even if you find your new normal, you're still a good person. Even if you're not active, all of the damn time...you're a good person. Just find your joy now.

So, I have hung my training shoes and am taking long and gorgeous runs with my puppy. I am not worried about the mileage of next week, having to add on. No longer worried about the time but taking in the beauty of fall in NY. I am swimming to keep myself able to swim, not worried about having to do an open water swim soon, because I won't. I am going to go for walks with my daughter and my son. Walk in the quiet and walk in the cold. I am going to try meditation, because we all know how much I now need my mind to rest too.

I'm listening and finding ways to be me without all the activity.

Stop.

4
Oct

Five Minute Friday - listen

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on listen.

Go.

Lovies, mom isn't a very wu-wu person, I live much more in the practical. But over the last several years, I have stopped to really listen to the universe and figure out what it is trying to tell me. Or what it is trying to protect me from. Or what it is asking me to let go, or get over. Or what it is asking me to pay attention to. So, maybe that's wu-wu, maybe it's getting older, maybe it's setting up priorities and owning my life more, maybe it's giving up control and realizing I'm not in charge anyway, maybe I have been talking for so long that it's finally time to listen.

So, I am taking in the sounds of rain. I am watching the fall season land in NY with all of its glory. I am listening to my intuition tell me something is off. I am listening to you talk more, really connecting with you several times a day and listening all about your day. I am listening to what is important to you, right now and today vs yesterday. I am listening to our puppy when she is asking to be paid attention to or be run and played with. I am listening to my body when it is telling me it is tired. I am listening to my mind when it is telling me the same. I am listening to my feet, legs, arms, and muscles when they are telling me to stop fighting and running and climbing and pushing...instead, just take it in.

In my year of change, I have spent time listening to you universe. I am still a little rocky, shakey, and unsure of all you are trying to tell me. I am still trying to figure out if this is you talking or life just being life. I am still trying to figure out if I need to back off or show up harder. I am still trying to figure out how to be okay without being the tightly wound me. I am still trying to put it all together.

But lovies, I hear you too. I see the change in you when I changed. I see how much stronger we are, how little tension there is, how much more loving we can be. I see that you too needed to be heard and were asking me to listen and pay attention. I see that I needed to regroup, restructure and reprioritize. I'm listening lovies, I'm going to continue to do so.

Stop.

23
Sep

Done

It's been a strange week. A week of a lot of lasts for mom. A week that has me so tired I can't seem to get myself out of bed no matter how early I go to sleep and no matter how many hours of sleep I get. A week that has me feeling weird and a little off. Not feeling like me, kind of overwhelmed and not motivated. Lovies, mom is at a stage in her life in which she is feeling very done and is grappling with the emotional ride of feeling like a quitter. I am taking a break from my triathlons and the training that goes along with them. I am taking a break from my half marathons and the training that goes along with them. I gave my notice to a career I have built and an agency that has defined who I am. And I am just so bone tired.

I am watching my to-do lists just pile up and run one day into the other. I am watching my home just come undone. I am watching my emails collect in all of my different inboxes. I am turning off alarms instead of getting up to work out. I am turning off alarms instead of getting up to work. Every once in awhile, I get a surge of energy and plow through something, even a tiny thing. But then the exhaustion becomes so overwhelming that I just feel like I am done. Period and end of story I am done.

Maybe my MS is in overdrive and the exhaustion that I feel is because I have this disease. Maybe my emotions are in overdrive and I cannot climb these mountains anymore. Maybe my lists are so long I can't imagine how to get it all done so I am shutting down. Maybe I am sick and I can't seem to get better no matter how much I rest my body. Maybe the disease has something to do with that too. Maybe I need more than a break, maybe I need more than a rest. Maybe I am so scared I am getting paralyzed. Maybe I am so sad I am being swallowed. Maybe.

So, I am giving it attention and calling it out. Yes, I am done with proving I can do hard things. But, part of what makes me tick and part of what makes me proud is that I can do. I have to find the right middle between doing and not leaning into the hard. So, instead of running as hard as I can in a half marathon, I go for an 8 mile run with my puppy by my side, both of us smiling and loving our route and taking in the scenery of how gorgeous it is to live here. Instead of working until my head hurts and it's taking me three times as long to do things, I get up when it's still dark and I plug away and I check off my boxes. Instead of doing it all, I set up systems for the kids to remind them that they are people and they too are ready for the responsibility. And instead of fighting, loving. Loving our time together, loving what we are grateful for. Loving all that we have worked hard for and have been lucky with. Loving how we are building a family of trust and openness. Loving our little family walks. Loving some time together. Loving our snuggles. Instead of being the mom that says no, or reminds you of to-do lists, being the one that reminds you I trust you.

And then, this morning, I set my alarm early again. My brain and body felt rested. I got up in the dark, I kissed my hubby on the arm and squeezed his hand as I whispered "I love you." I worked for hours and hours in the dark. I drank warm coffee, I wrote, I got things checked off my list. I sat in the amazing quiet. I got to hear my little puppers sleeping. I knew my little family was all snuggled. And I started again.

There are some things I am done with. My body, mind, patience, acceptance, they have met their limit. There are a lot of things I have left to do and creating a new normal is very much one of them. I knew how hard this transition would be on me. When you spend half your life being defined and feeling valued in one specific area, it's hard to say I am no longer that. But, it is time. For a change, for a bit slower of a pace, for a middle ground, for me to find out who this person is about to become. And one thing she will never be is completely done.

13
Sep

Five Minute Friday - start

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on start.

Go.

This Sunday, I start what might be my last race for a while (see how committed I am there??). I have been feeling like it is time to hang my training shoes up, maybe not forever, but for a while. I have been feeling like I have spent an entire life proving that I can do hard things, and now, I need life to be a little more kind, to me. I have been feeling like I just want to take things a little easier on myself, and like I just need some peace. Hanging up training shoes means I am also putting down my fighting gloves and it's time to start this new chapter.

And so, on Sunday, I will stand at the start of my half marathon, I will wave to my family and I will run. I hope it will clear my mind and I hope it will be healing for my soul. I hope that it will feel like I might need a few years off to regroup, recalibrate, and figure out how to make this new world I am creating just a little bit easier. It is time for me to take a little break, a little breather, and to start a brand new day.

The words that keep flooding my mind are "easier" "lighter" "calmer" "kind" "gentle" "grateful". Because after a heavy storm, the clouds part, the earth is washed, the groud is full, the plants have been fed, sometimes, leaves fall off and branches break, but there is a necessary calm. Sometimes, you have to clean up a little from the debris left behind but that's okay. It's the start of a new day and for me, it's the start of a whole new life.

Stop.

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