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.

19
Apr

Five Minute Friday - next

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 next.

Go.

What is next for me? Where do I go from here and how do I keep going and moving towards what I want? I am scared, I am tired, I am so worried and my fear comes from having to only believe in me. I have to grab my whole family by the hand and throw them off a cliff and tell them that I am going to have us land successfully, without scrapes and bruises. Trust me guys, I can do this, I can have us fly off the cliff, not come crashing to the ground. And although they have all the faith in the world in me, I don't know if I trust myself enough to do that. And so I am worried, I am retreating, I am walking myself back and I am allowing fear in.

My next chapter in this journey will most likely be my last so I wanted to be intentional and really smart about it. I wanted it to be a combination of me and a challenge and growth. But, what if it now feels unauthentic, what if it now feels like I am an impostor? Is that the fear talking, is it me, should I listen to the nagging voice, should I push through? What is next? There are moments in this, glimpses in which it feels so natural. I feel right, I feel in control, my connections are aligning, my hours mean something. There are most times when I feel defeated, like it is all for nothing. Like I will never move, like my next will not come.

So, it is time to use my "me-ness" for the good. Set a plan, get it in order, get all my to-dos laid out and move. Don't stand still, don't bury your head, don't just cry and complain. Exhale, know what is next, remember your why and your reason, remember the hours and what you really want your life to look and feel like, move with your breath, be intentional, connect, be there for people, remember it all started with a purpose. Hold on to that purpose, know that others will find you because they too want this in their life. Hold on to who you are, hold on to them, jump, leap, cradle them in your arms and believe. You will land, you will do this. This is your next chapter, do your thing, do you, make it count.

Stop.

22
Feb

Five Minute Friday - just

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 just.

Go. 

Just trying to hold on and make sense of it all. Just trying to remember the me that I am in the chaos that has been here. Just trying to breathe and let it come, let it go, let it build, let it be.

Just trying to redefine this year, just trying to undo the universe having heard me call it "terrible" before it started. Because what I actually meant was that it would be challenging, but I will rise to the challenge. It will be overwhelming, but I will find a way to calm my nerves. It will be a lot for me, but I will search for what I can and should delegate. It will be ever changing, but I am embracing my year of change. It will at times be painful, but I will look at the lessons and I will look to the love I give out and let in.

Just trying to connect, remembering that loneliness is the killer of my joy. Just trying to build the best me, be the best me, shed what makes me dark, embrace the light. Just trying to move towards light and love and loss and living.

Just trying to remember that I have you. Just holding on to the love that we have created in this house turned home. Just trying to connect with their little faces, just trying to be right here with them. Just trying to remember these days of small and crushing little. Just trying to embrace all the big kid things for a mom that cherishes the baby phase. Just trying and that's the best we can all do, is try.

Stop.

15
Feb

Five Minute Friday - Confident

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 confident.

Go.

I'm not.
I'm just not.
I can't pretend to be, because I just don't have it in me and I can't fake it. Because I am not.
In anything that I do, anything.
I am not. I am scared instead and damn do I question.
My parenting, my leadership, my choices, my words, my decisions, my wants even. I'm just not.  
And I will be okay. Maybe more than okay.
Because what I have painfully learned is that confidence has nothing to do with me. But that doesn't mean I stop trying to be the best me.
Confidence doesn't live in me, but that doesn't mean I stop at all.
Fear propels me, it keeps me on my toes and it keeps my nerves tingling and it keeps me alive and working for what I want.
Fear more than any confidence makes me me.
I walk through it, I push, and although I don't believe in myself always, I also know I won't let me down.
I don't let others down.
I work for what I want, I fight myself to get there.
I worry because I love the "it" standing in front of me and although I am not confident in me, I am confident in the thing. I know the thing is worth fighting for.
And so I fight for it, I work for it, I put me into it and that's all I've got to give, me and my very best.
You know what I confident in?
You, of course it's you.
It's always been you and all you stand for.
Love and family and us and your belief in us.
I'm confident in you and in us.
I'm not, and I know others are.
I'm not and I know at times it knocks me off my balance.
I'm not and I will be okay.   
And I will be okay, more than okay. 

Stop.

10
Feb

Drive

It's a funny thing, ambition, grit, and drive. It allows for a hum for those who feed off of it, for those who need it as much as others need air/food. But it is also debilitating and at times, robbing of actual joy. It is also an exceptionally negative force and creates one more reason to feel lonely.

All week, I have been hooked on stories that follow people through the good/bad/ugly/gorgeous of their careers and the drive they had and have and the lessons they learned along the way, the lessons they are still learning, the lessons they know inside and out but cannot stop themselves, the reason why they feel so trapped in a box, why they love it, why they hate it, why they need it, why it is ruining important things in their life, and why it is their life. I have heard their side, I have heard those that worked with them, for them, speak up about how "interesting" it is to work alongside someone that has this drive. I have heard words like micromanage, all in, crazy, relentless and I have heard questions like are you successful because of or despite of? All week, I have related to, cried with, screamed at, felt sick for, been addicted to, and have felt ever so validated by all of their stories. Their determination has made them successful, leaders in their trade, trailblazers in their industry, the actual standard of how to do this and do it well. But rarely does anyone do this for success. It is the drive that is propelling and in charge. It is the grit and the never settling for anything other than greatness from yourself and those around you that makes them feel alive. And I find myself desperately searching for my own set of rules, a handbook of sorts to get through this.

There are what some call simple rules for doing and running and succeeding like never be afraid to fail (yeah right!). Take a chance, just leap, jump at opportunities. All of the words that make my heart go up and down, my stomach ache. But the rules for drive, those are much more complicated, much more in the gray, and very very personal. The problem is, the rules that we create, also become the chains that hold us down. And although personal, they do follow this weird little path that looks and feels and smells so familiar. It starts with pouring your heart, your you, into something and all you can think about, all you can dream about is the thing. You can't sleep so why bother? Go to work instead and just do what you are laying there thinking about doing. That hum keeps you alive and keeps your attention and keeps you going and in love. You get to a place of bone tired and you start to remember that you have others around you to turn too, others that can do some of the things right? But damn, letting go of that thing is hard because you know the thing, you took care of the thing, you nurtured the thing, you know so well how to do the thing, and you wonder, will they take good care of it as I have? And just when you think you can start to come up for air, you allow something else to fill that space and you are right back to where you started. And sometimes, the things that you gave up start to unravel and you double down. And the hum is harder to hear so you double down even more. And the anger starts to build and the person you are most angry with is yourself. Why are you here again? How has it been decades and you haven't moved the needle for yourself? You've moved the thing, but you are where you started, obsessing over the thing.

Drive is such a funny and exhausting but very much alive emotion. It fills us full and depletes us completely. And for those that feed off of it, we need to remember our balance. We need to remember how much we lean into work and how much it means to us. But for those that lean so heavily into work, we also have to remember that we can still get knocked off of our balance. Because the answer is not doubling down, the answer is not just doing more. We have to remember that when things get depleted, we have nothing to give those we actually love. Those we actually love, not just the thing we love. Those we actually want to nurture, not just the thing we have nurtured. We have to remember why we started, what our vision was, how important it is to us, how much we love it, how much we need it (more than it needs us) and why we also need to walk away from it to recoup.

Drive and ambition...for some they are food, water, air, life. In order to keep them alive in us though, we need to find calm within it. Maybe that means some of the rules have to change. Maybe that means celebrating success. Because although success isn't the goal, it is important to recognize the successes along the way. Maybe that means, looking for a line. Because although the finish line is never ever the goal, it is important to recognize milestones. Maybe that means stopping, looking hard at yourself and asking, for what and how do you want to be remembered?

20
Jan

Finding peace

In all the little things.

Like a warm bath.

The quiet snow.

The fireplace.

An uncluttered home helping to unclutter my mind.

The weighted blanket I begged for.

Nightly reading dates.

Slow starts.

Deep breathes and listening to myself breathe out.

Our weekly gratitude writing.

Big, meaningful, hugs.

Warmth.

Lit candles.

Connecting on the couch.

Hand holding.

Snuggles and piling on top of each other.

Family games.

Good food.

Movies and unwinding.

In my year of change, so many things have been added.

And to be honest, too many things have been added. There are times I cannot really focus and the list is never ending and I feel as though I am buried. I have also felt very alone, already resentful and angry at how much I have to keep explaining myself. How much I have to defend who I am. And in my own mind and worry, I have felt very picked on, very under the microscope and what I need to remember that there are few that get others. I am no different and, I serve others well.

But I have also added so much of what will keep me breathing. So much of what will keep me grounded and happy and at peace. Which is all I wish myself in this year. Peace, calm and joy. I wish love and warmth. But I can't just wish it, I have to make it happen.

So I will find my breath in yoga.

I will find my calm in my nightly bath.

I will stop my racing heart with weight.

I will stop my racing mind with words and hugs.

I will remember what is at stake.

I will hold on to who I am.

I will hear their laughter and remember how important childhood is.

I will bask in their love and need and desire to be around us.

I will always keep them talking as I sit attentively and listen to their day.

I will remember that the last time I felt lonely, the universe provided. And I will remember that the universe isn't just listening, it also speaks loudly and I will sit quietly and listen with open arms and an open heart. I will remember what my person and my coach said when I turned 40, what is amazing about you is that you are always thinking and always leading with your heart.

I have been working on letting go of the toxic and moving in the right direction for me. My biggest focus in this year of chaos has to be peace, calm, and joy. They cannot be big things, but small manageable ways to find it in my world. Because my world is my world and my ways are my ways. And when I set my mind on something, I find my way. But, I also have to remember that I cannot force it like I do most things. I need to go slow and find a natural rhythm to this dance.

So, my small and manageable ways are starting to serve me well. They are working and I am finding my clarity. I am finding my own way.

17
Dec

I lost my hum

There is something that happens when you say yes to everything.
There is something that happens when you think, sure, I can do that too.
There is something that happens when you keep on going and forget to eat, or breathe or think.
You lose your hum.

There is something that happens when you don't delegate.
There is something that happens when you take control of it all.
There is something that happens when you keep plugging along.
There is something that happens when you keep adding to your plate.
You take other things away.
You make your priorities out of whack.
And in the end, you lose your hum.

I first heard someone describe the hum on a Ted Talk and as soon as she opened, I immediately cried.
Tears of anguish
tears of guilt
tear of understanding
tears of being understood
tears of heartbreak
tears of wanting a different life
tears of realizing how beautiful my life is if only I stopped to look.

But, there is something that happens when you don't stop to look
you lose your hum.

I have acknowledged the hum before but in five minutes, I couldn't exactly dig deep...
So, here is how the hum goes...
I introduce myself by the number of hours I work in a week.
I wear it like a badge of honor.
I define my life by it.
Because a mom that loves her work and loves to work has to justify it, to someone and everyone.
And I do love to work.
I love working
I love the joy, the accomplishment, the tasks, the wave, the ride, the emotions, the winning.
I love to work.
It makes sense to me, I love that there is a right and wrong answer.
I love that I can get better at it.
I love that math makes the world seem real and I understand it.
I love that I get to be good at something.
I love to work.
And so, I do it all of the time.
I do it in my sleep
I do it instead of other things
I do it instead of things that I am worried I am not good at
I do it instead of sitting in quiet
I do it all of the time.

And the harder I worked, the better I got, the higher up I was promoted, the more work I was responsible for
and the hum got louder
and the harder I worked
and the more I was promoted
and the more I was responsible for
and the hum got louder
and so on and so on and so on.
Until, there was nowhere else to go.
And I was doing so much of the work
and I am a hard worker so she can do that too
and I won't let it fail so I work harder
and I won't give up so I keep going
and the hum got louder.

And then one day, it was gone.
The hum, the drive, the determination.
I lost my hum.
Suddenly, none of it made sense.
None of it seemed right.
Suddenly I was filled with regrets and what ifs and I should haves and what did I do and resentment and anger.
Because the hum made me think and feel
the hum was my guide.

So, I doubled down and searched everywhere for the hum.
I hear it when I am working, so I will work harder.
I hear it when the work makes sense so let me stay right here until it all makes sense.
I hear it when everything comes into focus so let me stare at the problem, I can find a solution again.
I just need to work harder.
But the hum was gone.
And I went into mourning.
I mourned a loss.
Of my work
my time
what I sacrificed
what I allowed to be sacrificed
I mourned me.

And then, I rooted to rise.
I ground down to rise up
and I found a new definition.
I found a new badge to wear.
I found other things to be proud of
and I learned to find a hum in different places.

It is still my go to
and when things get stressful and work becomes overwhelming
I still put my head down and forget to come up for air.
It is only when my depleted and exhausted and angry body climbs out of bed in the dark that I realize
I am here again.
I am in the bad place and I have to set a different plan in motion.
I have to determine a time, a limit.
I have to set a schedule of I will allow this for this amount of time and then,
I find my hum someplace else.

I cannot do it all
I cannot say yes to all
I cannot be it all
but I can still love the work
and the life.
I can say yes to my kids
I can read to them
I can train with them
I can journal with them
I can play board games
I can comb their hair
I can have quiet snuggles
I can be present when I am with them
I can make this life I asked for lovely
I can find my hum.

This Ted Talk changed me...http://www.ted.com/talks/shonda_rhimes_my_year_of_saying_yes_to_everything

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