12
Oct

Five Minute Friday - praise

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 praise.

Go.

Words.
Words of affirmation.
Words of gratitude.
Words of praise.
I love and live for words.
I am calling myself a writer because I have this teeny tiny little blog that only my children will read and follow.
But maybe because of my writing and my love of it always is why I love and live for words.
Maybe because it is my love language.
Maybe because I also chased their approval and never got it.
Maybe because I quietly worked so hard all of my life and not a single person noticed.
Maybe because now, as a mom and CEO and wife and business owner, I never ever hear them.
Unless I tell them to.
Unless I ask to be acknowledged and I cannot even begin to tell you how shitty that feels.
I made you dinner, what do you say?
I landed a donor, what do you think?
I found us the right fit, how is it going?
It all goes unseen, not recognized.

So, I spent a month acknowledging myself.
One solid month of each and every single day writing about something that I am proud of me for.
It was sad at first and a few times it made me cry but in the end, to look up from my desk and see 30 reminders and thank yous to me, well, that made me believe in myself again.

I gifted the words, all the praise, to me.
And one day my daughter wrote something.
A handful of days my husband wrote to me and both were lovely.
They instantly made me feel warm but this was a gift I gave myself and I followed through.
I was so proud of myself for fighting through the feelings of sadness
the feelings of "this is icky"
the feelings of "does it even count if it's coming from me?"
because it does count.
We are our loudest voices and we are around us all of the time and we are the worst at building ourselves up so yes, it mattered.
Yes, it counted.
Yes, I found my praise.

I praised myself for being a good mom
I praised myself for my strength
I praised myself for running a company
I praised myself for always being scared but always doing it anyway
I praised myself for training and running a half marathon
I praised myself for being 40 and handling my birthday like a grownup
I praised myself for the work I do for my agency
I praised myself for my work, my determination, my grit
I praised myself for my health and my priorities
I praised myself for my traditions and how special I make time, critics be damned
I praised myself for my nurturing nature
I praised myself for my love.

Words are important to me.
I stopped being shy about
I stopped asking for it from others, I can't even pretend that forcing it is okay.
And I just started with me.
I allowed myself the gift I always want, one that can't be wrapped, one that can't be put in a box.
One that takes time and consideration.
One that takes thought and notice.
I got me.

5
Oct

Five Minute Friday - share

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 share.

Go.

I want to share something,
this blog is for me.
It is healing for me.
It is a journal of my parenting.
And despite the criticism I receive regarding how pollyanna I make parenting seem, not only do I disagree,
I just don't care.
I know that I share and am honest about my struggles, regrets, worries, concerns.
And I just don't care if you think it's too positive, I will always protect and defend their childhood.
I do not do this because anyone follows me, because they don't.
I do not do this for others to offer advice, because I have none to give, I am winging it.
I do this for me and for them.
I do this so you have a way of knowing how this all went down.
I do this so I have a way of looking back and remembering how this all felt.
I share to heal.
I share to let go, acknowledge and define the feelings I have, and then tell them to piss off.

I share because there are times when I am lost and distracted and empty and it's all too much.
I share because I know so many go through this and we are not alone.
I share because I have to call it out in order to move past.

I share about our amazing.
I share about our awful.
I share about my past.
I share my concerns for our future.
I share what we do well.
I share where I failed.
I share my solutions for us, the positive ones I found, the ones that no longer work, and the regrouping we always have to do.
I share where we stumble.
I share where we lost our way.
I share our book, chapter by chapter.
I share for me and for them, to heal and to know we always find our way back to us.
Because we actually do, we always find our way back to us.
And it ends positively because that's our family rule, we always end the day on our good.
We always end touching toes and talking about the parts we loved and apologize for the mistakes we made.
And as I climb back down the stairs, after yet another long day, I am thrilled to have the quiet and the time without being a mom because I am me too.
The book we started over 18 years ago is torn and faded and beat up and the pages are weathered and the cover is old and a bit ratty.
The story is changing year by year and some chapters are really scary and tearful.
Some chapters are amazing
all the chapters matter.

I share because I will always believe in our happy ending and because I know I have to share to heal me.

Stop.

16
Sep

It's personal

I get asked why a lot.
Why do I run, why do I race, why the triathlon?
Why if you're so scared of swimming do you throw yourself into a body of water and swim across a canal?
Why if it causes this much anxiety do you keep doing it?
Why?
What is the rush for you?
Is it the training?
Is it the exercise?
Is it the body issues you still carry?
Why do you do this?
When it hurts, why do you keep going?
When do you think enough is enough?
When will you finally stop?
Why is it so important right before you turn 40, why in your 40s, why?

These aren't the only times people sit me down and ask why?
Because when you live like "this", people look at you and wonder why a lot.
Why do you do it that way?
Why do you add so much?
Why would that bring you, hell anyone, pleasure?
Why did you start doing that?
Why are you participating in that?
Why are you so type A?
Yeah, I get asked why a lot.

And all I have to offer is, it's personal.
There's only one person I am trying to prove it to.
And that's me.
I am sure it stems from them and wanting some sort of acknowledgment.
I am sure it is because they told me all I couldn't do it.
I am sure it is because they wanted to be needed and so they wanted to raise weak.
But I will be 40 and soon.
The only person this falls on now is me.

What I am about to write,
what I am about to share, is going to sound self-loathing.
It's going to sound as though there is too much self-hate.
But, I promise, it is the opposite.
This is the most loving part of me because it is all about self-care.
It's personal.

Races and running and triathlons and half marathons and marathons and hearing my feet on the road and freezing in water and swimming even though I just learned and biking 20 miles on a Wednesday and being bone tired and killing myself isn't just gratifying, it's healing.
It's healing because I live in doubt.
All year, all month, all hour, minute by minute, I live in doubt.
Of me.
And I have strong roots in fear.
Of all that I do and try to do.
Everything that I say yes to, I walk through fear to get there.
My jobs, my careers, my business.
My family, marriage, parenthood.
Owning a home living a life or just plain living.
I doubt myself and am scared of everything.
So, if that was my litmus test, if being too scared or thinking - I can't - was the reason I didn't do something,
I wouldn't do anything.
And f that.
That's not a life, certainly not one I want to live.
So instead, I do.
I run.
I try.
I swim.
I do yoga and get stronger.
I weight train and step out of my comfort zone.
I push.
I make sure I'm tired.
I keep going.
I work long hours.
I train for long periods of time.
I work on being a mom.
I work hard at my marriage.
I take the promotion, I plan for my future and next steps.
I write a blog to protect their childhood.
I work hard period and end of story.
I do.

And I tell myself enough.
Enough of the BS talk and whining and the scared nonsense.
Do.
Your body hurts? Too bad.
You're too tired? Everyone is tired, get out there.
It's cold and the water scares you to the point of shaking? Stop it, they won't let you drown, get in now.
You trained for four months and he is beating you barely hitting the road? Yeah, that happens, he's stronger and more athletic but who cares.
Oh you think you'll be a shitty mom and fail them? Well everyone thinks that so you're not special.
You're worried your marriage will ruin what you guys have? Stop being so negative.
You think you can't run a company, specifically this company? Too bad because you are so keep going.
You're worried everything will fail? Yeah, it might, it could all crumble, but you still have them.
You're busy? Show me someone who isn't.
You want your MS to be the reason you can't? Someday it might be, but not today.
Today you will shut up and show your body you can run 13 miles.
Show it that a triathlon is in reach, who cares how long it takes.
Shut the hell up and lace those shoes.
Get up early and get started.
Hand out your business cards and talk to people about what you do, sell your brand.
Work your mission and remind people why it's important.
Work for what you ultimately want.
Do.

Show yourself that you can handle this.
Remind yourself of what you are trying to get to, what is waiting for you within reach now.
Do.
That might mean more grit than most.
That might mean more exhaustion.
That might mean more from you more expected out of you.
Because in order to quiet the doubt and the fear,
I have to do.

And from the outside it looks crazy because it is crazy.
From the outside I know people judge.
From the outside I hear the whispers of that is one tightly wound ball because I am and I won't let myself down.
And those that don't have to be this way, I envy you. I wish I could live just like you but I can't.
I know I make my life harder and I am working on that but I won't give up on me either.
So instead, I do.

It's personal.

14
Sep

Five Minute Friday - crowd

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 crowd.

Go.

It's not my favorite, being surrounded by a crowd.
I instantly think of strangers and small talk and the awful feeling of awkward.
I think of how awkward I am, how quiet I get.
I get lost.
But then I think of him.
How much he loves a crowd.
How much he comes to life.
How much he seeks it.
How much energy he gets from it.
And I realize he is my balance.
He has taught me to find the energy from it, to take their excitement and turn it into my own.
He has taught me to love races, not just solo races, but official races with crowds of people.
He has taught me to sit back and watch, take in the crowd, watch how excited they get.
He has taught me to look at my resort town with enthusiasm when the crowds pour in.
He has taught me that it means life and joy and people are out and happy.
He has taught me to get caught up in it, use it to my advantage.
And so I have.

Each summer, our amazing little town comes to life in this amazing way and crowds and crowds of people come.
Everything is busy and loud and warm and summer nights walking around have become my favorite.
We are teaching our kids how special it is, how lucky we are.
We remind them that having to find parking means people are here.
We tell them that we are privileged, we get to live here, where others want to be.

Each year, I do two races and both are now in official race settings, not just on my own.
I have learned that my time does improve.
I have learned that it does warm my heart to hear people cheer their family members on.
I have learned that there is something about that "great job" from a stranger who is smiling that makes me feel okay.
I have learned that reading the signs always makes me laugh when I need it most.
I have learned to relish in their screams and cheers and go get its.

You taught me this and now I know it too.
I get it.
I don't need it like you do, I never will but I understand now.
Crowds do mean life and joy and spirit and energy.

Stop.

9
Sep

Exhale

It has been a summer.
Like a for real summer.
I don't have off like the rest of my family but even I felt like we were living our best life.
There were sunrises and sunsets
warm weather
paddle boarding
camping
our Cape trip
track days
so many old friends
framily time
so many visits and my heart being full
framily that knows my whole story
framily that accepts and do not judge
framily that only loves and knows we are all doing our best
ice cream for dinner
the kids read their hearts out
they played and played and played
Cole became the best bike rider
Anna went to her first sleep away camp
both kids went to basketball camp with dad
Pearl had an amazing Cape week with her bestie followed by fun with camping
a week with their grandparents and so much adult time
just amazing wrapped into one incredible summer.

Except I could not exhale.
Me, I was the problem.
I was so anxious and so nerved and worried and scared and had this feeling of concern
and there were days where it would pass and then days upon days of it being right there.
But, it's my year of different and so I kept trying.
Trying to figure out why
trying to let whatever it was go
trying to find my breath
trying to let it out, exhale and let go of whatever was on my mind
trying to not let whatever this was ruin this time, destroy the good memories
trying to not let them in on what was happening
trying to get back to okay so I could find my way into joy.

But, as always, the harder I tried, the worse it got until it all piled on and found its own way out.
And then built back up and piled on and found its way out
and such was the cycle I was caught in.

It's going to be okay, just call it out.
Give it a name, recognize that it's there and then it will go away once you have given it fair attention.
But it didn't.
And it hasn't.
And here I am.
With little faces in school and me wondering where I went wrong.

So, I start again.
Because fall is crazy and summer is how I restore.
Because I am mad at myself for not restoring.
Because I stayed too long at a party and I am trying to get back home.
Because I started something so new and so scary that I feel like I might mess it up all of the time.
Because when I do mess it up, it does crazy things to my nerves (upholders struggle with doing it wrong).
Because I have too many balls and I am starting to feel alone.
Because I am celebrating my birthday for the first time ever and I want it to feel special.
Because the weight is hurting my shoulders and placing a foot on my chest.
Because I should be crying more than I am, releasing.
Because I don't want to let them down, I don't want to hurt their memories.
Because I want to make sure they know I am here, even when I am withdrawn.
Because I need to not be withdrawn, I don't want to fake it.
Because there is nothing to fake, things are all okay.

Summer of 2018 was not an okay summer, it was wonderful.
My little boy told me yesterday he was so sad our summer and our time together was over.
He was actually heartbroen that our break had come to an end.
That's how different our summers have been.
Because our summers were not always like this.
Years ago, our picture looked shattered and our pieces were all over the floor.
And at the end of that summer, I started to put parts back together and made some big changes.
Since then, things have been getting better, stronger.
They were concerning and I couldn't have them be concerning.
And the tide turned because we shifted and we made important decisions to change.
I found framily to hold on to.
I reconnected with the past.
I started to take ownership.
I found their little.
I found joy and so did they.

So, I am back to my journey of starting with okay.
Just be okay and then find a little joy.
And with a little joy find a little more joy and a little more.
Find your calm mamma, remember after you take that big breath in, let is out again.
Exhale.

7
Sep

Five Minute Friday - rain

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 rain.

Go.

We're called Pluviophile, lovers of rain.
Those that find peace, joy, a calming of the mind the second the first drop falls.
It's restorative.
It is beautiful.
It is comforting.
And I wish I could explain why it's so important to me to have rainy days.
I wish I could eloquently put into words that when the skies gray, when the water falls, when the sound on my roof is that rhythmic beat of the earth crying, I feel comforted, I feel safe.
I am restored.
I feel relaxed and deeply exhale.
Because there is a sense of stopping, pausing, watching.

It starts with a darkening of the sky.
A sign of what is to come and flickering lights become a must.
You can finally look at the sky without squinting, you can see nature take over.
And we need the gray to enjoy the sun.
We need the dark to finally appreciate and never take for granted the light.
Water is needed because our earth needs to drink.
And sometimes, we all need a good cry, even the skies.

The sound, the rhythmic sound.
The sound against my roof, up against the windows, the sound that reminds me that all is being renewed.

So send me your long, cold, rainy days.
The ones I can watch out my window, light candles, cozy myself up.
Send me the wind and the storms, it's okay to tantrum out of control, even the weather needs to have a bad day.
Send me water and the sound and the rhythm that brings about a calm and reminds me to breathe.
Send me your storms while I take a long car ride so that I can see its full story in all of its glory.

I am not just okay with rainy days, I crave them. I wish them, I look for and am drawn to them.
They allow me to finally pause, take a moment and admire the power of weather.
Just stop, listen, watch it as it falls down all around.
And then, watch how green everything looks, how renewed it all is.
We need the rain, we all need water.
Some of us more than others.

Stop.

2
Sep

Five Minute Friday - loyal

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 loyal.

Go

I was away when this one was posted.
And I am too loyal to just let it go.

Loyal is a word I often use to describe myself.
I am loyal to my family
to my framily
to my work
to my life choices
to my little faces
to my person
to my life.
I am committed to myself and my life.

I am your go to if you need someone in your corner.
I am the one always on your side.
I am the constant, I am the protector of relationships and bonds, I am loyal.

I am the one that can be counted on.
I am the one that rushes to defend, myself, my choices, my people.
I am always working for you, I am the one that will have your back.

And recently, a coworker mentioned how they too were described as loyal and how that is such a generic term
and a different coworker was quick to point out that it's really not.
Because it is not generic and it's not a given and it's not in everyone.
It is only the loyal that understand that we will stand by your side.
We will stand proud and strong and we will be your everything.
It is the loyal that understand that we love fiercely and with all we have.
We give you our all so we do not take love lightly, we know who is deserving, who we allow in.
Because once you have us, really have us, we don't let go.
We are yours and you are now a part of us in a very special and unique way.
We are the loyal.

31
Aug

Five Minute Friday - rush

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 rush.

Go.

We are having a summer.
An actual summer with late nights and camping and vacation and the dad adventure days and camps and sleep aways and smores and ice cream for dinner and a Saratoga Racetrack kind of summer.
We are having an amazing summer.
With sunsets and sunrises and paddling and water and swimming and tired puppies and fall asleep the second your head hits a pillow and friends and framily.
God, we are having a summer.
But with everything so jammed pack and every week and weekend planned and crammed, I feel so rushed.
It all went by so fast.
And I know it always does and I know it only gets worse the older and older they get, but this was a different kidn of rushed.
This is a: our window is closing kind of rushed.
This is a: our time with them, this part of them is quickly fading kind of rushed.
This is a: they are getting bigger and more independent but still just want us and that won't always be the case kind of rushed.
This is a: are we appreciating this time enough kind of rushed.
This is a: are we pausing enough kind of rushed.
This is a: are we telling them how much they mean to us enough kind of rushed.
This is a: are we letting them know how much we love to be around them too kind of rushed.

I spent a summer watching you.
Both of you.
The nine-year-old that still loves stuffed animals and playgrounds and mom and dad time and reading.
the six-year-old that still loves all Star Wars stuff and running around, and all sports and mom and dad playing with him and reading dates.
I watched you and I saw our gorgeous wide open window.
The one in which you don't need, you just want us around.
The one that lets you do more for you, but still love all little girl and boy things.
And I watched me too.
I watched me inhale all of you in.
The deepest breath I could hold, and I forgot to exhale.
And so I watched me live in a world we aren't in right now and I held and held my breath.
I lived in the world where this incredible window was already closed.
I lived in a world where there was no going back in time.
I lived in a world where there was no reliving it and I felt rushed.
Because I want zero regrets when it comes to living your best childhood.
I want to wake up old and have these memories make me smile.
I want to wake up much more wrinkled and have my eyes glisten at the thought of all we did together.
I want to wake up more gray and run my hands through my hair and remember all the times you did.

I lived in tomorrow and forgot to exhale and remember I am here with you today.
I lived in a time where I want time to constantly hit pause, even for a little while longer
so I can hold you more.
so I can tell you more things about you.
so we can discover more about you.
so I can give little guys and kiss noses and breathe in all the little and olive juice love.

But, I can't pause and I think I am being to realize I don't have to.
I have a little while longer to go and so this is the pause.
This is the time, this is when they don't need us but want us.
It is happening right now and as long as I don't rush through it
as long as I don't look at this gorgeous open window of time and spend it worrying about the door on the other side,
I won't rush us through it.
I have exhaled.
I have hit pause.
Every day until you guys tell me, mom, it's time to take one more deep breath and hit play again because we are ready
and taking you with us.

Stop.

17
Aug

Five Minute Friday - loved

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 loved.

Go.

The way it feels to be around you.

I had this week with friends who know my whole story.
We talked and talked and talked.
We ate and laughed and watched.
We watched our children (no longer babies) love on each other.
We watched them become the sort of friends that will also know each other's whole story.
We watched the waves come in and out.
We watched the sunshine warm us all.
We watched the water make our little faces silly.
We watched love.

The way it feels to be around you.

I once wrote about when love becomes family.
How important that feeling is.
How you just know that it means this person will be in your life, you are connected.
And it can happen with partners.
It can happen with friends.
It can happen with the family you were given and the one you pick for yourself.
But along the way, all you have to keep in mind is the bond, the connection, the feeling of loving and being loved.
It is all that matters.
Not the squabbles.
Not the ups and downs.
All of those tell your beautiful story, give your life the color it needs.
But the family, the connection, the wanting to love them and being loved by them, that's family.
That's love.

The way it feels to be around you.

I didn't know if I would be a mom.
I didn't know if I would take this on.
And just the week, I was reminded by someone who only hears snippets of my life that I love it.
And I do.
I love being a mom, no, I love being your mom.
I love holding you.
I love hugging you.
I love the smooches.
I love the traditions.
I love making it special.
I love your childhood.
I relish in your little.
I am in love with your points of view.
I protect this time.
But, none of that comes naturally to me.
All of my mothering is a lot of work.
I work and work and work at being your mom.
But, want to know why that's okay, because it is the work that I love.
My whole life has led me to this moment, has led me to you, has led me to love my mothering.
My whole life, I didn't even realize how much I wanted this but now that it is here, I love being your mom.
Because when I am with you, I am loved.

It is my year of different.
And as the year is quickly rolling by, I need reminders of why I wanted it to be different.
I needed to find peace, calm, health, me.
I needed to find acceptance, gratitude, and reminders of all the love.
The love I give, the love I get, the love that surrounds us.

Because being loved is the way it feels to be around you.

Stop.

3
Aug

Five Minute Friday - anniversary

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 anniversary.
Go.

There's the one I share with you and the world.
The one in which I met you halfway down an aisle and together, we walked hand in hand to our forever.
But then there's the one just for us.
The one that people tell me I am silly for still recognizing.
The one where we met.
And for me, meeting you is the same as the day we became family.
I never needed the big day, or the announcement.
All I ever needed was us.
Because from the moment you smiled at me, I had this overwhelming feeling we would be in each other's lives.

There's the one I share with you and the world.
The one in which I am not even in the picture and dad is introducing you.
The one in which everyone else gets to finally see the amazing you are, all wrapped in pink little.
But then there's the one just for us.
The one in which we became connected well before it was time.
The one in which you let me know you were there
you were coming
you were a girl
when you were actually coming to meet everyone else.
There's that anniversary too and I remember it so clearly.
You were my girl, I was your mom and since I didn't enter into motherhood lightly
this is the anniversary where you whispered in my ear, we've got this.

There's the one I share with you and the world.
The one in which everyone came to meet this little man we created.
The one in which people fell hard for you fast.
The one in which I can hear nurses fighting over who gets to change you because being by your side meant finding joy.
But then there's the one just for us.
This quiet moment in chaos in which they put us face to face, nose to nose.
And I gave you our first little guy.
It's the one in which I remember thinking, this is love at first sight.
You are my one and only love at first sight.

There's the one I share with you and the world.
The one in which a family a four went and picked you up in a parking lot.
Got to take new puppy pictures and tried to heal from a loss.
But then there's the one just for us.
The one in a friend's living room looking through pictures of a new litter.
And I saw your puppy face and I said, that's her.
That's our girl.
I showed your dad and said clearly, this is her.
This is our next baby and we have to go get her.
Because I knew you had healing powers to mend the sad and broken.
And I knew we were ready to accept that again.

Anniversaries around here are important.
Anniversaries around here are special.
Some are joyous reminders of love and family and framily.
Some are reminders of loss and goodbyes and heartache.
All tell our story though because life has to be filled with both.
Anniversaries around here are plentiful.
There are many of them because we have much to celebrate, so much to remember and keep close.

Stop.

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