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.

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.

15
Jul

I am the answer

When you were brand new to this world and I was forced to share you
I was the one you needed in the middle of the night.
I was the one you needed to smell.
I was the voice you remembered.
I was the comfort you looked for.
I was your food, your rocker, your changer, the one that knew all the sounds.
I was your answer, I always was, I still am, but I will not always be.

When you have a bad dream, you immediately go to his side of the bed.
When you are feeling sick, you call for me.
When you fall, you look for us immediately.
When you are trying something new, you seek our familiar faces.
We are your answer, we always were, we still are, but we will not always be.

So many twists and turns
so many changes
so many different milestones and from the beginning to today I am the answer.
I always was, I still am, but I will not always be.

Life will continue to bend.
It will make you feel upside down.
It will also make you feel confident, moments, long moments of feeling like you have this part of life down.
But, there will always be questions, there will always be changes.

For this little window in time, I get to be your answer.
For this minute in our lives, I get to hold it all for you.
I always was, I still am, but I will not always be.

Because you will grow and you will go and live the life you are meant to.
You are going to find your circle.
You are going to find and at times create your reason.
You are going to be.
You will become the answer for others.

But, for now, I will allow this window to be wide open.
I will welcome this time of you wanting to be with me.
I will welcome what in the end will feel like a brief moment in life.
I will be the answer.

When you are wondering who in the world you can turn to.
When you are searching so you don't feel terribly alone.
When you are seeking comfort and someone that knows your whole story,
I am the answer.

When you need a hug, one that feels so familiar.
When you need to hear words that make you feel like you belong, remind you that you are home.
I am the answer.

I always was, I still am, but I will not always be.

29
Jun

Five Minute Friday - if

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 if.
Go.

If I smiled more, I would be proud of my almost 40-year-old lines.
If I laughed more, you wouldn't see me as a serious mom.
If I let go more, the anxiety wouldn't build.
If I was more patient, my family would feel lighter.
If I was more in-tune, I would know how to de-escalate situations.
If I could turn back time, there are so many things I would change, so many conversations I would do over, so many words I would take back.

But, I am me.
I am me and I am okay.
I am me and I don't have to be different.
I am me and I am not anyone else.
I am me and I shouldn't be anyone else.
I am me and I have to find the good of what I do.
I am me and I too am allowed to make mistakes.

If I focus on my good.
If I remember my year of different.
If I remember that I am who I am.
If I remember that I am not the crazy that I feel others see me as.
If I remember how much I love, how much I care, how much I try, how much I do.
If I remember that the person standing in front of that mirror is okay, she is okay.

If I had to do it all over again, this life all over again, you know I would have it turn out just like this right?
I would marry you all over again.
I would have the two children we have.
I would have spent 17 years loving Mia and I would adopt Pearl.
I would be living here.
I would be loving you all.
If I had it to do all over again, I would have it turn out just like this
being exactly who we are.
Because we are okay.

Stop.

15
Jun

Five Minute Friday - restore

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 restore.
Go.

It's the end of another school year.
It's the end of another season.
It's the end of sports and lessons and so many schedules.
It's time for this family to sit back and restore.

It's the end of our tri.
It's the end of all of that training.
It's the beginning of the racing season but for now
it's time for my body to rest, it's time for me to restore.

It's the start of my kids acting up.
It's the exhaustion coming through.
It's the lack of patience from every single one of us.
It's time for our unit to regroup, come back together, find the simple and bask in it.
It's time for us to restore.

It's time for a summer bucket list, the only one we stick to.
It's time for some new traditions and in my year of different, it's time for me to find my restoration too.

It's time to get back in front of framily.
It's time to fill myself full with all the right people.
It's time for me to step back from those I do not feel good about or good about myself with.
It's time for me to find where my heart is full.
It's time for me to find those that are comfortable with my crazy and admit to their own.
It's time for me to find my restoration too.

It's time for my kids to feel a part of a happy family again.
It's time for us to find all the relaxing parts of life again.
It's time for us to feel connected and squished together again.
It's time for this family unit to be restored.

3
Jun

Everything changes

The heartbeat I once saw on the screen is a school-aged girl wonder.
The baby I nursed is a six-year-old lover of love boy.
The bottles I once washed are now family dinners arguing over what we like to eat this week.
The diapers are gone and replaced with sports equipment everywhere.
The daycare I once needed is replaced with after school everything.
The house with just a little pile of toys right here is now stuff, just more and more stuff on every surface in every corner.
Everything changes.

As a seasoned mother reminded me this week
the things that make me anxious and tired and wanting an out
are all of the things I will look back and realize how much I miss.
Everything changes.

The toddler holding my hand, learning to talk still needs to talk things out with me, for now anyway.
The chubby fingers and face are now growing into who you were always meant to be.
The little is being replaced with personality.
The laughter and patience I once had are becoming more tired and faded.
The baby love that made me whole is scared of the children I need to raise
the adults they will be tomorrow.
Everything changes.

So, as I go around the house and wipe down counters,
as I pick up and put away
as I clean on top of clean on top of clean
as I tidy and the frustration builds in my chest
I have to remember
everything changes.

The day will come when they are either no longer in need of all this stuff
no longer in want.
The day will come when the house will be so quiet that "noise" will split me in two.
The day will come when I will long with my whole body for signs of life in my home.
Everything changes.

Velveteen mothers know all too well that the years feel like days.
They find themselves staring at the people they once held on to so tightly and thinking over and over
once upon a time not so long ago
you were an extension of me.
I was your world and you were my stars.
Everything changes.

Which is why I love that I am the collector of stories
I love how much I can play back each and every memory.
But it is also at times quite painful to feel as though I can still reach out and touch that little that I got the privilege to mother.
Everything changes.

Here is what I know to be true and need you both to understand.
I have zero regrets about how I spent my time...
carefully examining you and breathing you in.
Watching each day with love.
Hearing myself in old videos
seeing old pictures
I am reminded how much I enjoyed mothering you.
How much fun I had and how much I relished in the days.
I was slow with you.
I enjoyed you.
Everything changes.

And as the parenting gets more delicate and heavy.
As I feel this need to guide more and this worry hanging over me
I hope to return to the me I was and still am.
Everything changes, even this velveteen mother.

27
May

Six!

There is so much small and little in all of you.
There is so much good and kind and sweet.
There is so much love and love of love.
There is so much boy.

Six sweet love of mine,
you are six and I have been holding on to each and every single day with you.

My five-year-old started school and continued with the kind and friendly and loving little boy.
Children are drawn to you
adults adore you
you make others feel good about themselves
you help
you care
you show empathy
you are just one good soul.

There is something about you that still looks all toddler to me.
Maybe it is because you are so short.
Maybe it is because you have such strong emotions.
Maybe it is because you are so brand new.
Maybe it is because you are my last and I am unwilling to let you grow.
Except that, of course, I am because you are making it so.

And so sweet boy, you took my hand once again and you led me to six.
You still love story time with me.
You still beg for little guy kisses.
You still tell me I am beautiful.
You still hold my hand.
You still love all things Star Wars.
You still love all things dad.
You are still an all eating goat.
You are still a climbing monkey.
You are still the one that believed in childhood the most
and reminds me that I have every right to hold on to that too.
You still cling to little while leading me to big boy.

You are just sweet loving Cole.
The one that completed a family even though I didn't realize we were missing a piece,
until I met you.

So welcome to six.
Welcome to more active sports
welcome to your first summer after school
welcome to the start of 1st grade
welcome to the next round of teachers that will also love you.
And a mom and dad that always have.

I eat you up I love you so...
mom's sweet and low.

27
Apr

Five Minute Friday - stuck

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 stuck.
Go.

All throughout my life, there are years and years of feeling like I couldn't move.
Years of feeling captured in mud of my own doing.
Years of feeling cemented
until the universe tells me that something has to give and I make a change.

Where once I was angry, stuck in the feeling of why me, it's all on me, bitter resentment of a childhood lost.
The universe gave me you, the person I needed to remind me of joy and ease.
Where once I could not trust or believe in soft, I met someone who melted all worries and got rid of many sharp edges.

And it continued to give and give with family and little faces and second chances.

And I found myself stuck again, missing family and framily.
Missing connection and adults.
And the universe once again reminded me it was time to make a change and open my heart and the universe gave me close wonderful friends.
And traditions
and love
and taking care of each other.

And I found myself stuck again, things being too hard because I made them so.
Things being out of sync
out of balance.
Our lives totally out of balance.
And all the emotions and night upon nights of crying and feeling like I had nowhere to go
stuck inside my own head
stuck inside my old ways
stuck.
And the universe reminded me of a different way.

In my year of different, I made the change.
I no longer wanted to keep doing the same things and expecting different results.
I no longer want to run to stand still.
I needed to make changes.
I looked at the direction my life was heading
the pain I was causing
the destruction I was doing
and I pulled my feet out of the cement
I pulled my head out of the fog
and I made the change.
To no longer be stuck in me.

15
Apr

Finally grateful

What I once took for granted, I have found gratitude.
What I once saw as a burden, I now see as a gift.
In my year of different, I have found a way to be thankful for my life.

Thankful for things like
each night, we get a couple of hours of "us" time before we head to bed
on Sunday mornings, she would crawl into bed and read while we still sleep off the exhaustion
the kids are so healthy that they get to be crazy and drive us crazy
we still hold hands, still touch toes, after all these years
we have really amazing three day weekends
I am good at my job
we have friends that have become framily
snow days
family movie nights
slow Sundays
I sometimes get to steal 30 minutes alone in a coffee shop while my daughter is at piano practice
I sometimes get to spend that time with my son
vacations and not making school lunches
we make little getaways special and fun filled
a tired Pearl after a good day of play
finally learning how to ask for help
a handy husband that pours all of him into our house turned home
great classes at our inexpensive gym
traditions and making time stand still for just a few moments
coffee dates with good friends
hosting holidays in our new home

What I once saw as the wash and repeat, I now stop to recognize as special.
What I once felt was boring, I now see as time slowing down.
What I once carried as a heavyweight, I now see as my life, unfolding and I am putting my baggage away.
I am finding the room, the time, space, to reflect and be grateful for all I asked for and received.
This is my life and I am all in.

13
Apr

Five Minute Friday - other

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 other.
Go.

I have options.
I stood at this place in my life
a place of blue and hardship and I took a step back.
I looked at things from afar, tried to give myself some space and distance and I quickly saw two lanes, two roads.
I had to pick...one or the other.

One path looked foggy and had lots of obstacles and trees down, things in my way.
But it also looked so familiar, almost comforting because I knew every twist and turn.
This path has been all of me, I have built a life on this road.
I can see the younger me fighting for a way out.
I see all the things I put in my own way.
I see my home, my family, it's calling me to come back.

The other looked clear, it had more sunshine but was also brand new to me.
Newly paved, new trees planted, new life.
But all the same, new, and not at all familiar.
There was no same old same old on this path,
nothing for me to fall back on because I always fall back on old faithful.

I had a choice to make and it was time I treated that choice like a gift and not a burrden.
I am lucky enough to have options and choices in my life.
I am lucky enough to be afforded that space but I had to pick, one or the other.

Was I going to go down the path that was full of fog, steeped in it, so difficult to see but also so familiar that I could navigate it in my sleep?
Fog or no fog, this path knew me and I knew it.
Or would I choose to move through the new, the shiny, the sun, the light, the fresh air, the full of life but still...the other?
After almost forty years on this earth, where would I go, how would I live?

I stood at the crossroads
longing for things to be different and realizing that means I have to be different.
I was ready, no longer wanting to dip just my toe
I was ready and in my year of different,
I was ready for the new, the unfamiliar, I was ready for the other path.
And so, I took my first step in.

Stop.

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