Days I fall apart

It’s been hard lately.  A LOT has been going on – and most of it has been stressful.  And it has taken it’s toll on me.

I try my best to stay strong and not show that I’m hurting.  I don’t know why I hide my feelings so much.  My guess is I don’t want to look weak – and I don’t want to scare people away.  We’ve all had a Debbie Downer in our life before – and I don’t want to be her.  I don’t want to be the person everyone avoids.  I want to be happy, strong and put together – even though that’s the farthest from what I feel right now.

So the past few weeks, there have been times when my emotions got the best of me.  As much as I’ve tried to put them in a tiny box far, far away from the surface – they find there way out.

One day I decided to take my son to the playground.  We got in the car – drove there – and he immediately had a meltdown and wanted to go home.  I don’t know why.  He’s 2 – so he probably doesn’t know why either.  But I so wanted to be out of the house that I didn’t read his mood and figure out that a trip to the playground was probably not the best idea.  So we immediately went back into the car and drove home in rush hour traffic.  I cried and cried and cried the whole time.  My emotions could no longer be contained.  I was trying so hard to stay busy and not feel – that when my son had his breakdown it made me slow down and feel my own emotions.  I had stopped crying by the time we got home.  It felt good – but not enough.

Then there was the day when my son was suppose to go to summer camp (which he LOVES) but instead woke up with a tummy bug (the bottom kind).  So instead of running a few errands to get ready for upcoming Fathers Day, and then coming home to relax – I spent my day changing disgusting diapers and doing laundry.  As I hoped into the shower after he went down for his nap, all I wanted to do was sit in the tub and cry and cry and cry.  I didn’t.  I don’t know why.  I guess I had pushed my feelings back just enough not to.

Why is it that we are afraid to say help, I’m sad, I’m scared, I’m having difficulty coping, I’m alone.  Why must we try to live our lives as if they are constantly on social media – happy and perfect?  Why must we try to be super heros – taking on all tasks without the blink of an eye – nothing bothers us – we can do it all?  Because we can’t.  We are not superheros.  We are people.  Humans.  With feelings.  With limits.  With boundaries.

And why is that the only way I can verbalize this is in secret Facebook groups where no one I actually know is a member – or on a completely anonymous blog post?  Why does this have to be such a secret?  WE ALL STRUGGLE.  WE ALL BREAK DOWN.  AND WE ALL DUST OURSELVES OFF AND BECOME OUR HAPPY SELVES AGAIN.

Is this what happened to the recent stars – Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain?  Could they not tell their truths because of the image it would provoke?  And they felt the only way out was to leave this Earth?

I don’t want that to happen to anyone.  Ever.  But it happens so much.  It happens too much.

We need to stop the glorification of superheros.  We need to realize that being human means having ups and downs, good times and bad, and being there for each other for all the moments.

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Lesson from a chiropractor

I wrote the other day about trying to be more true to myself, and not shy away from any potential conflict my true desires might create.

Well, today I was put in my place by the person I least expected that to happen from – my chiropractor.

I like my chiropractor – he’s skilled, friendly, a bit sarcastic and most importantly, is helping my hip heal.  But he’s always been more of a joker.  Teasing me about wearing my UNC sweatshirt the weekend after they lost in the NCAA tournament.  Telling me bad jokes about parenting.  Things like that.

Today, he said in his normal, casual voice – “Look, I know you are a busy Mom, but you got to take care of yourself.”  He took the example of the shoes I was wearing.  They are old (way too old for me to admit how long I’ve had them), worn and give me no support.  I only wear them when running errands – I have nice, new exercise shoes.  But he was like, look, you need to support yourself no matter what you are doing.  Wow.  He was talking about my body and footwear choice, but it hit me where I needed to hear it.

Yep, I put everybody first.  That’s how I was raised as a good southern girl.  And I like the way I was raised – and am not saying that it is a bad thing to want to care for others.  But you shouldn’t neglect yourself.  And he’s right – I do.

I do things for myself while my son is at preschool, like exercise, and feel like I’ve done my self care.  And while that is self care, I would never, ever go to an exercise class while my son is not at preschool – I would never “burden” my husband with having to care for him.  That’s just silly and needs to stop.  My husband is fully capable of caring for him.  And I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself.

 

How to Be Me

I’ve been struggling with this for a while.  With some aspects, I’m all me.  I’m stubborn to a fault with some things and will not change for anybody or anything.  But other things, I tend to hide, fade away, not show my true feelings.  Usually those things come at the expense of rocking a boat I do not want to rock.

I have found myself holding back a lot lately – not making my voice heard, and not doing what I want.  There are reasons, which I won’t go into here, but mainly it’s to keep the peace.  Whether or not me doing what I want or making my voice heard will break the peace is unknown – but it’s a possibility, so that’s what scares me from doing so.

But lately, I’ve been bored, sad and scared.  And that’s no way to live my life.

I’m bored with my normal routine.  I don’t see or interact with a lot of people during the day, except for my young son.  I do work, but I work from home so all my correspondence is pretty much via email.  And my daily routine, while efficient and typically flies by, does not excite me or bring me joy.

I’m sad because of all this.  I crave friendship – companionship – understanding, and I don’t get that during my day to day life.  I want to be challenge – both physically and mentally.  Right now with my injury, physical challenge is not to be had.  But mentally even that’s a bit dulled down.  I’m alone and bored, and that makes me sad.

And I’m scared.  Scared to step out of my comfort zone.  Scared to “rock the boat” and have to face the consequences.  Scared to fail.  Scared to upset someone.  Scared that my life will be this sad and boring for the rest of my life.

I feel like I need a personal coach sometimes – someone to tell me to get up, get going and stop sulking.  Someone to say – do this now.  It’s the right time.  Live your life.  Be happy.  Find joy.  Forget about your fears.  Do what you want to do.  See that vision you have for yourself – go out and make it happen.

I’m trying to be that for myself now.  Among the responsibilities and so forth, of course.  But trying to think of ways I can be joyful and do what I want – make my visions a reality.  It’s hard to think this way without bringing up fears.  It’s hard to set those aside and unleash the dream wagon.  But it’s time.  If not now, when?

And now that I’ve covered many clichés in this post, I’m off to try to think of a vision, and make it happen!

5 Tips for Surviving Injury Boredom

When you are an athlete or an avid exerciser, an injury is devastating.  Not only do you worry about losing strength, endurance and skill, but your whole schedule and routine is thrown for a loop.  What are you going to do now?

I injured my hip flexor a few weeks ago.  At first I thought it had just cramped up on me and I needed to work through it – so I did, without any issues, for 3 days.  Then day 4 came, and I don’t know if it was the speed skaters, the jump squats or the sprints that did me in, but boy oh boy did that create a very real hip injury.  It hurt to walk the next day.  So I quickly called the sports medicine clinic and made an appointment.  I was hoping a few treatments and I’d be good.  Here I am entering week 3 and I’m still not back to my normal routine.

So yes, I worry about all the progress I’ve made and now lost.  I worry about starting again at the gym.  I worry about being out of shape.

And I’m not really sure what to do with the extra time I have.  Most people would love having extra time – and me included, but not when it comes at the expensive of my workout.

So I go to the sports clinic twice a week for treatments.  And on days I don’t go there – I go to the gym and do upper body only machines – no I’m not allowed to do anything but that.  I try to challenge myself with heavy weights, or lots of repetitions with lighter weights, but it’s definitely not the same as my Burn Boot Camp workouts that I truly love.   I also do my obligatory 5 minutes of hip stretching every morning and night.  Yawn.  I’m bored.

So here’s a few things I’ve come up with to help me beat my injury-recovery boredom:

  1. Cook ahead of time.  I usually spend my weekends making waffles, pancakes, muffins, veggie nuggets, etc. for my son.  I bake and freeze whatever is needed.  So instead of going to the gym while the young one is learning and playing away at preschool, I go ahead and bake/freeze.
  2. Take care of myself in different ways.  For me, I love to read.  I usually have about 30 minutes at night that I can read – and I make the most of that time.  So I’ve been reading a lot more during the day.  It’s fantastic!
  3. Clean out.  I hate the amount of junk that’s in my house now.  I’m pretty sure it’s quadrupled since I’ve had my son.  So I’ve been cleaning out stuff.  Some for donation, some for selling, some are just trash.  But it feels good to have empty drawers and shelves in the house again (that I’m sure will be promptly filled up next week when my son turns 2).
  4. Run errands without a child.  It’s rare that I get a trip to the grocery store or Target without a toddler.  And it’s glorious to be able to take my time, browse a little, read a few nutrition labels, without a kid squirming and making his “I’m frustrated” noise.
  5. Keep your goals in mind – but look at them from a different perspective.  I love to workout – the exercise part of health has always come easy for me.  But the nutrition – well, I also love chocolate and burgers, so that’s the harder part.  And while I have in no way revamped my diet during these 2 weeks, I have noticed changes that need to be made and am working to improve upon them.  I’m eating more protein sources for snacks instead of crackers.  I’m cutting back on the amount of caffeine I’m consuming and drinking more water.  I’m making egg white sandwiches and oatmeal more of a breakfast routine than eating some of the waffles I prepared for my son.  (I have yet to kick the pb&j for lunch habit though.   I’m all about that lately.)

The important thing to do when recovering from an injury is to focus on what you can do, not on what you can’t.  Have a lower body injury?  Focus on gaining strength in your upper body.  It’s all in the way you view things!

A good start

Right now the little boy is lying in his crib playing with his feet.  I love that view on the monitor!  He’s so happy and content – and flexible!!

After not working out a bit last week, I was determined to start the week of on a better foot.  Well, Monday didn’t happen but it rarely does.  I have a ton of work tasks to do on Monday so really I think of Tuesday as the start of my week.

Tuesday did happen.  Boy did it happen.  I went to my normal group exercise class even though I had a ton on my mind and didn’t really want to go.  But lying in bed Tuesday morning, asking God to give me strength and guidance for the day ahead, for some reason a vision of me doing the speed skater exercise popped into my head.  I don’t know why – but I took that as a sign from at least my subconscious that I need to go exercise that day.  (And no, we did not do any speed skaters)

My mind wandered the whole class – my body was going, but my mind was elsewhere.  And I think that made me work out harder than I normally would have.  Because boy oh boy are my muscles sore today!

So with my mind a little bit clearer today after a 2 hour phone call to my Mom, I decided to do some yoga stretching.  And my muscles did not want to move!  But it was good for them – even as I sit here envying my son’s flexibility I’m happy I went.  While I’m no where near as flexible as I was pre-pregnancy, my muscles are much happier now than they were before.

So all in all a good start to the week.  (Besides the mind clutter that I can’t stop from freaking me out!)