29
Sep

41

Come and see
I swear by now I'm playing time
I against my troubles
I'm coming slow but speeding

I am growing more and more comfortable in my skin and more and more comfortable with celebrating a day that for 39 years made me so sad, so lonely, so sullen, so so blue.

So, this year, I once again celebrated. I celebrated me and I allowed myself to be grateful for my year. A year that has been really hard for me. A year that has been full of change and embracing change. A year that I set forth a huge goal and got there. A year that I decided to walk away from something that has defined me, given me worth and purpose. And I did it. A year that was so emotional because of my decisions and my choices. A year in which I reflected on 2 decades of work, 2 decades of dedication, 2 decades of opportunities and a full heart. A year in which I made a decision to be more present and slower with you. A year in which you taught me how gorgeous it is to walk slow. A year in which I have learned that I want to stop running hard and start running freely. A year in which I have learned how much we all mean to each other.

So, I celebrated me. I took the day off. I went to be pampered. I sat in silence and I watched the rain. I got a massage, I fell so much in love with massages. I laughed, I read, I slept. I sat in heat. I took the best shower. I bought a lovely coffee. And then I came home to family and framily. I read cards, I read gorgeous words, I was showered with love, I was hugged so tight, I was told you were happy I was born.

Do you wish a dance and while I'm
In the front
The play on time is won
But the difficulty is coming here

I will go in this way
And find my own way out

This is my decade, the one I was born as. And I am moving into a phase in my life in which I will be heading a new project. One I hope I get to ride out into the sunset of my career. One in which will bring me as much joy and love. One in which I still feel helpful and dedicated and determined. One in which scares me, because change scares me and because change worries me and because change makes me so sad. But I have done what I wanted to do and it is time for me to take this significant step in this direction.

41, you started out so strong. You went off the rails already with an emotional rollercoaster of hell on earth, because that is what life is. It's a wash and repeat of wonderful and awful and boring. And I am ready for all this year and this entire decade has in store.

I'm begging slow I'm coming here

27
Sep

Five Minute Friday - success

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 success.

Go.

It has changed for me. What I think has changed the most is success now means I am healthy, I am calmer. I am slower. I am quieter. I am fighting uphill less. I am hurting less. I am softer. I am kinder to myself. I am treating myself like I have always treated others. I am starting to give myself the benefit of the doubt. I am going to give myself permission to pause. I am gentler with my words and my thoughts.

Success is no longer wearing my fighting gloves. It's no longer in the constant battle with me to win a race only I am in. I am no longer competing with myself because I am going to be okay. It's no longer reaching for things I don't want to grab and hold. It's no longer screaming on the top of my lungs in my head and having a pounding headache at the end of the day. It's no longer proving to myself I can do hard things, we all can.

It's now proving to myself that I will be okay. I can more than okay. I can be really successful being me. Quiet, loving, kind, generous, giving, loyal, heartfelt, stubborn, crazy, erratic, emotional, cries all the time for the right reasons me. And that is a successful person who will be okay.

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.

20
Sep

Five Minute Friday - challenge

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 challenge.
Go.

This week, I walked away from a 20-year career. After three years of planning and deciding and working towards this goal, I finally gave my notice and will end my long-time work at the end of 2019 starting 2020 new. And the biggest challenge isn't the chaos of the next three months or the transition or the work that this will entail...the biggest challenge is quitting. Quitting isn't something I do well. Quitting feels like the wrong word for this because it is the wrong word. It is a resignation from one amazing opportunity and life, to the start of a new one. But when you live in my head and in my world, all I can think of is, I quit. I quit my job, I quit my career, I quit on my love, I quit on my agency, I quit on those I have pledged to serve, I quit on the honor and privilege I have been given. I quit.

That is not to say I am not excited, that is not to say that I am not ready, that is not to say that the agency is not ready, that is not to say that this is what I want, that is not to say that it is needed. Because as I heard someone remind me yesterday, this is complicated and the emotions are going to be plenty and they can all live there at the same time. Excitement and sadness, resentment and fear, joy and panic, loss and gaining, all at the same time and it is complicated, that is for sure, it is very complicated.

When I came home, I was asked if I felt relieved, the secret was out, the cat was out of the bag and I don't live in secrets so doesn't it feel good to have said it out loud? No, it didn't feel good. I think because I also have a challenge of speaking feelings and not unraveling and crying and I couldn't get the right words out and I was left feeling like I didn't express my gratitude nor did I sound like an adult. So, embarrassed, I was just embarrassed. So yeah, it's complicated.

And now, I walk away and towards. Because I gave my notice, I resigned, I quit, I am leaving who I have been and what I have been attached to and how I have been defined and known. I have some sitting with it to do. I have some walking through it to do. I have some things to work through and on and figure out now. Because yeah, it's all complicated and it will be a challenge.

Stop.

16
Sep

Lovey

When you were both born, I gave you each a little present, a lovey. They look a little different, but their size, their use, and their shape are the same. It was my first present to you, it was my first decision as a mom as to what to hand you, and it was the first time I made such a good decision that when I see them today, I am overcome by memories. And joy. And love. And remembering how little you were. And what they meant to you. And what they mean to you. And finally, what they mean to me.

When you are first starting out as a parent, there are so many "cute" things about shopping. There are so many aws and ohs at little clothes and socks, and blankets and stuffed animals, and ways to decorate your room. But, I remember really wanting to get you a lovey. I remember how important it was in my mind, I became a little me about it. I didn't research them or look over every single one. I walked into a store with something in mind and I walked out with it in my hand. And, when I met you, I remember placing it in your little tiny arms, I remember wrapping your arms around it, and I remember telling you how important this will be to you. And then, I let you fall in love, all on your own.

Every time you cried, I placed lovey in your arms as I too held you. Every time you slept, I put it right by you, reachable and close to you. Every time you were sick, I made sure you had it on you. Whenever you were anywhere snuggled, I made sure it was by your side. And now, all these years later, for one of you over a decade later, I really strongly feel, it's not only one of my first decisions as a parent, but it was also one of my best. Because as time went by, lovey became a part of you and what you turned to. As time went by, lovey was what you needed to fall asleep and even though Cole, you have outgrown it for needing sleep, you still need it in your life. You still need to know we have it. You still need to know it's yours. Anna, you need it...plain and simple end of story need it. And for both of you, no matter how important it is to you, it means so so much to me.

When I first heard what they were called, lovies, well, how could they NOT be made for this mamma? Lovey is what I call dad, and those I adore, and those in my circle. Lovey is my little nickname for those that matter, and this, this was going to matter a lot in your life. I remember watching you sleep and search for it in the middle of the night, I remember hearing you stir as an infant and realizing it was close to you and that's all you needed, I remember it being so positive for you and for your growing little mind. So no, it's not just a little something I gave you. It's the first something I gave you. It's the first thing I bought for you and said "happy birthday little one" with. It's what reminds me of babies and little, and snuggles, and love, and parenting, and warmth, and family, and motherhood.

So, no, it's not something that I can ever replace. No, I don't have a "spare". No, I don't want you to lose sight of it and yes, I do worry I may lose it which is why I keep a mamma eye on it. Because it was the start of us lovies, it was the start of you and the very first thing I ever gave you.

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.

9
Sep

Unfamiliar Road

For the first time since you could talk, you said you didn't need a story read to you, you were fine reading all on your own. I pretended to cry and say, "I guess that's okay, it's your first day of 5th grade and you just want to read your book". I was hugging you and said, "it's fine, you can grow up". As I pulled away, I saw your eyes glisten. You were actually starting to cry.

We are headed down some unfamiliar roads you and me. But isn't that the way we kind of have always been? Being our first, you are the first everything. The first experience of everything and so even though time goes on and we fall into grooves, there are always surprising firsts. Like how it dawned on me you don't need help in the shower anymore and I couldn't remember the last time you did. Or how soon, our reading dates will look a little different. You reading your book in your room, and maybe I will be beside you...maybe I will be in a different room, maybe it will all change.

You have taught me that that's okay. Because as unfamiliar as these roads are, I trust you. I know you will ask for what you need and for what you want. I know you are loving to walk slow so you won't push it. And, as unfamiliar as it continues to get, we're still us and you still have a lot of me in there. Like when you cry at the thought of mom not needing to read to you, or like how you cry because sometimes, you and I just need a good cry. As I held you, I told you it's okay to cry. People like us, we need to let it out sometimes. It's also okay to want to get so into a book you don't want to stop. It's also okay to be held like the little girl you will always be in my heart, even when you're 25 or 45...because sometimes, you just need your mom. All of that is okay sweet girl.

As you held on to me, you said, you can read to me mom. I know sweetie, but I also know you're really into what you're reading. No, please read to me, our book...just stay. That's the other reason these unfamiliar roads will be just fine. Because we can count on each other to stay and hold each other. Because you still want me to. Because when you are living a childhood you don't have to recover from, a #happychildhood, it's all going to be okay, even unfamiliar roads can lead us to home.

So, I stayed, we read our book together, we snuggled. You stopped crying, you put your head on my shoulder and I stayed. When I was done with the chapter, you went back your book, we did our goodnight ritual, and I left.

Lovey, all we are trying to do here is to remind you that you are home, you are where you need to be. You are where you belong. And we can walk these unfamiliar roads together sweet girl. We will figure it all out together.

2
Sep

One hell of a summer in 2019

It was one hell of a ride this summer. We got so much in, we lingered, we were lazy, we did, we accomplished, we traveled, we stayed, we built, we did nothing. We swam, we read, we beached, we (I) napped and napped and napped. We loved, we spent time around love, with love, with loved ones. We ate great food, we got alone time, we got family time, we got framily time, we got us time.

I surrendered, I changed, I laughed, I cried, I got worried, I slept and slept and slept and slept. I trained, I went for really long runs, I am getting ready to hang up my training shoes, I made some really hard decisions, I shared those decisions. I drank so much coffee, and so many bloody marys, I danced, I planned, I did and I did nothing.

We had ice cream and long talks. We had snuggles and movie time. We had so many people here, we opened our arms. We watched the sun come up and go down. We spent time with those we love and some time alone. We read, the kids read, they built, they played, the did camps, they saw friends, they saw us, they got time, they were busy, it was all-consuming.

We got every last drop of summer out of this summer. We really put our arms around it and squeezed and we hugged and hugged it tighter and tighter. We love summer, all of us. But, after all this time, we are also all ready for structure and routine and a little more clarity on the days. We are ready for time tables and the flow we all fall into. As this year progresses, I need to remind myself that your foundation continues to build, the stakes are so low right now and you can make millions of mistakes because that is how you learn, become independent and how you stand on your own two feet. There are some major shifts coming our way this fall. You will have more responsibility, I will do much less reminding, natural consequences will take place. I have to embrace the crazy that is about to hit me and prepare for it being just me in a few short months.

But in the meantime, I want us all to remember, we had a summer. One hell of a summer. We are lucky, we are privileged, we are beyond. We won't always spend summer like this, it won't always embody childhood like this one did, but that's going to be okay too. I promise I will walk with you because you are choosing to walk slow. I can't promise I will be ready and happy about how we change and mold and grow, but I promise to walk with you.

One hell of a summer is the only way to describe this one guys. We really loved the hell out of it!

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