It’s the holidays and like what I hope are the rest of the women/wife/mothers out there, I start planning and spread-sheeting and making lists around Thanksgiving (okay, post NaNo!) and spend the three weeks before Christmas jockeying for the right gift for everyone on my list. Hubby admits to never having a good idea for a gift and happily sits back and lets me handle everything. I used to feel a tiny bit bad about this like I was taking too much of my own control in this piece of our marriage. But lately I wonder if he’s actually not the smarter of the two of us having now manipulated himself out of all responsibility for gift giving and letting me have all the stress. Hmm. I hope it was only coincidental on his part and he’s merely reaping the coincidental rewards.
Big Sister’s best friend on the planet and her family moved into the house on the corner last month. After three years of living far enough away that to see each other outside of school hours required coordinating a play date with their parents, the girls are ecstatic to be able to walk across the street any time they want to see each other. It has added a new dynamic to parenting – since she now wants to do nothing but play all day and all weekend. She even told me that she wanted to quit dancing so she had more time with her BFF (Best Friend Forever). The other day when I’d had enough of her room looking like a tornado had blown through and yelling constantly about how she either needed to do X or she was grounded from seeing BFF, I took a step back and had a conversation with her about how she thought things were going. As if on queue, she asked me how she is supposed to do her homework and go to dance and do her chores and still see BFF every day. I told her it is all about finding balance between the things you have to do and the things you want to do so you can do both. Do you think it’s easy for me to be Mommy to you and Baby Sister, and be Daddy’s wife, and run the household and go to work every day and be a good employee and still have time to run and write and read and all the things I WANT to do? Nope, it’s hard and it sucks some days but by finding ways to be better and faster and more effective at the things that I have to do, and sometimes giving up things I don’t care as much about as others, it gives me more time to do the things I want to do. The conversation that began with her in tears throwing her hands in the air in frustration ended with a pretty grown-up kind of discussion which I hope lays the groundwork for a very valuable lesson she’ll have to remember the rest of her life. Maybe this will be one of those things that she’ll remember for the positive column when she’s in therapy as an adult?
On the heels of this conversation, the stars aligned as they rarely do resulting in a day all about me. I had neglected scheduling a hair appointment too long and had some seriously embarrassing regrowth going on. My sister was in the same boat so we decided to schedule together so we could hang out for a few hours. The stylist could get us in before Christmas (a miracle in itself) but only for an afternoon appointment. I checked my calendar and didn’t have anything scheduled that day at work and decided it was meant to be. While I was at it, I’d take the entire day off. I haven’t had one of those with the exception of the time off required to do my two Ragnars since last spring so I was due! Since I had the whole day off, I called to see if I could get in to see the massage therapist my sister has been demanding I go see to fix my plantar fasciitis issue. I called, she answered, and had an appointment open the same morning. What are the odds? While inputting the massage appointment in my calendar I realized I had a girls’ night dinner planned that night from weeks ago and had already lined up a babysitter. Seriously! A decadent day of activities for me and only me. I came home from girls night that night refreshed and recharged. Dinner lasted an hour longer than normal because one of the group was running late and we decided to wait to order. We got to chat in depth enough to realize we were all going through the same things as everyone else and buoying each other up like only girlfriends can. If only I could have squeezed a run in it would have been the perfect day.
Here’s where I tell you about how I haven’t been running and where I admit that my “injury” had become a full blown injury (without the quotation marks) sidelining me from my favorite pastime. I can’t ignore it anymore when I go for a little baby mile run and can barely walk for days afterward; where it is so bad that even if I haven’t run in a couple of days and go to a friend’s house with the “no shoe” rule and spend three hours barefoot I’m in agony when I leave; where the only shoes I wear are my running shoes for the support to stave off the pain and I wear them every minute I’m awake every day. The worst part is that because I really haven’t been able to run more than three or four miles a week since the Vegas Ragnar, I put on TEN POUNDS without even realizing it. Until one day I put my jeans on and they were uncomfortably snug. Of course then I was so depressed about the ten pounds I put on five more from emotional eating. *sigh*
The good news is that running is just over the horizon for me. I put my big girl panties on and did something about it. I spent an hour with my sister’s amazing massage therapist who touched nothing but my lower leg. I walked yesterday for forty five minutes as directed and still had zero pain when I woke up this morning. Which means today I get to go for a little jog and see how it goes. If I have no pain, I’m cleared to resume my normal running. If it still hurts, I have to go see her again. I’m tingling with both anticipation and dread at how it will go. I want to be able to run so bad and I’m so scared it isn’t going to be that easy. But until I try I’m just sitting here with my ass growing larger by the hour – or so it feels.
Wish me luck! And here’s to you – may you have a happy holiday season while maintaining balance in your own life. Remember that if you don’t take care of you, there isn’t enough of you to take care of everyone else…