Thursday, May 5, 2011

Something Has Got to Give

I'm mostly using this blog today as a journal for myself.  Perfectly understandable if you take one look at this long mass of writing with no pictures and leave.  This one is for me.  All me.  I'm the main audience with this piece of writing.  A way to get my thoughts out and process some of the struggles and feelings I'm having right now.  Not intended to be anything more than my random thoughts that are heavy on my heart this morning.

*  Self- Confidence/ Self-Worth. When did it happen that I've lost touch with believing in my "Awesomeness"?!  Seriously, a few years ago I was so full of confidence.  I felt like I was an extraordinary teacher, mother, and wife.  I wasn't cocky.  Just very self-fulfilled and felt "on top of my game"!  I wasn't always like this in life.  In fact, it took years of hard word to get there and to truly be HAPPY and let the past go.  But lately, I'm constantly sending messages to myself that "I'm not good enough" or that "I can do so much better!"  This has got to stop.  Today.  And it will.  If there is one thing about me that I feel I'm the best at in my life it is that I've got some MAD self-reflection skillz and I usually don't let myself get too far down a destructive path until I pull my head out of my ass and get things back on track.  So that starts now.  Right after this purge.

*  Reactive Parenting.  I know I don't want to be a reactive parent.  I mean we all react in some ways.  How can you not?  And I don't want to be one of those parents that only shows their children how to be perfect but not what it means to be a REAL human.  But I don't want to react so much out of frustration and anger.  Note to self: READ some parenting books!  For crying out loud, I read so much about running, teaching, diet, etc.  But really, Parenting should be at the top of my list if I'm choosing to do this gig full time.

*  Spread Thin. Staying home with my kids has become increasingly harder.  I feel so spread thin these days but yet at the same time I feel like I'm accomplishing nothing of any significance.  But I am...I'm raising kids here! But not so well these days.  Okay, scratch that...there is that negative thought again.  I am doing a good job but there is always room for improvement and by telling my kids that I'm working on A, B and C, I'm showing them that we all have goals and have to work hard to be good at something.

*  Fighting and reacting to each other!  My kids Fight SO bad these days.  Pay back time...yes Mom, I know.  My brothers and I were HORRIBLE!!!  I deserve every moment I'm sure.  I've got to find a better way of dealing with their fighting so A. I don't lose myself.  B.  I don't model poor reactions for them so that they just continue to react to each other poorly. and C.  Walk away until I can get control of my emotions so that I can be the ADULT and not one of the kids.

*  Skinny.  I don't want to be skinny.  I wan to be strong.  Somewhere along this marathon training, my muscle jumped ship.  My tone and buff arms have turned into sticks.  This doesn't make me feel healthy.  My pictures yesterday (Granted the angle of the pics made my legs look way smaller than they are) in my giveaway made me feel extremely self-conscious at how skinny I feel that I look (not in a good way).  And no, I am NOT looking for compliments or ego stroking here...please don't.  I'm just expressing how I'm feeing.

* Food.  I'm not eating enough.  I'm just not.  Half the days I end up going without lunch because I've been pulled in too many directions by my kids.  "mom, do this!"  "Mommy, I need you!"  "Mom, I'm done!  May I have water please?" and then I see the clock and realize it is time for kindergarten and running out the door for preschool and then nap for my son and then by that time I think about eating but instead I sit down and take a breath.  Really, it is just that my mind is going so fast that I don't slow down enough to just think and get my priorities straight.  I must eat.  Lots!  This is my FUEL for training!!  Even if it means keeping almonds on the counter so that I can snack throughout the day.  Protein.  I need more.  I just have not been thinking lately and I have let this slip.  Don't get me wrong, I eat a ton still but not enough high protein/quality stuff that I was eating at the start of this training.

*  Strength Training.  Somewhere along the road of marathon training, I stopped doing my strength training and yoga.  Probably why I've lost so much muscle and my pants are falling off of me.  Booo!  Must start making time for Jillian and Yoga again.  I want my muscle back.  I don't want to be some skinny minnie!  Thankfully my muscle memory is AWESOME and I'll get it back quick as soon as I start doing these things again.

*  Injury? My body feels like it is falling apart.  Seriously.  I'm tired.  My legs don't feel the same.  I'm run down.  After my 20 miles on Sunday, my "mojo" and self confidence may have returned but my body/physical strength did not come with it.  I have only run one 4- mile run since.  I am not running until my body gives me further notice.  I think I strained something in my groin area.  I feel it mostly at night or when I'm moving after sitting still for awhile.  When I lift my leg to get into bed at night, it hurts so bad!  Not just soreness from running like I originally thought.

*  No Half-Marathon for me?  I've been looking forward to the Hippie Chick Half Marathon this Sunday for sooo long!  I had hoped this would be one of my best races.  A great course, a great day, family coming to watch, all-women event....  It still might but if it is Thursday and I'm still hurting with whatever this is, I don't know if it would be wise for me to run on Sunday.  I have to keep my eye on the main goal and that is my June Marathon.

*  Outlook.  The way we see our life is so powerful.  We choose our lenses that we view our life through.  Thankful for this!  Thankful for reflection and moments of stepping back so I can keep stepping forward on a path that I want for my life.  Thankful that we don't have to be victims and let life happen to us but we have so much power in how we live.  With intention and positive outlook!  So, instead of focusing on what I'm not doing right and how I'm feeling like a failure, I will be working on focusing on what I'm doing right and what things I need to be taking to feel success.

*  Writing Festival.  I am leading a workshop at a writing festival this Saturday.  It is a Festival for students from grades 4 to 12 all over Oregon.  They get to hear guest authors, go to workshops about writing, talk about their writing, etc.  I love this day.  It is fun to be a part of but usually I am way more prepared.  In the past I've always done a similar workshop but this year I decided to change it up a bit.  I didn't write a proposal this year because the organizer said he "trusted" me.  Ha!  the pressure.  I almost wish I would have had to turn in my proposal early because I don't have anything nailed down yet on paper.  But it is in my head!  This will be fun!  It will be all about developing character in fictional writing and elements to effective story writing.

*  Pampering and Self-Care. And at the end of this long ramble, I'm off to prepare for a day just for me.  My husband has me scheduled for a massage, facial and hair cut today.  Hoping that this is a full recharge for me.  Thank you honey!



  1. I think its awesome that you check in with yourself and do self-reflection- thats the first step.
    I highly agree with you about almonds around for quick easy protein I'm not a huge endorser for protein shakes bc I think you should get it from your food, however in situations such as yours, if thats what it takes because of your schedule, thats another alternative!

  2. It's so funny, because I am VERY effective at managing behavior in the classroom (usually), and then I struggle so much with it at home. Of course, our kids see us and our directions very differently than they see their teachers, especially at a young age.

    You're absolutely right that you need to just take a deep breath, a couple even, and then start looking at what you can change and what you just need to look at differently. Add a word. Not "I can do better", but "I can do EVEN better." A lot of it is perspective, like you said. The stuff that isn't, baby steps.

  3. Oh my goodness. Your husband is AWESOME!!! I am coming back to make a longer comment as soon as i can. Love you and your thoughtful/though-provoking posts!!

  4. I think these are fairly common "issues" for people.

    I didn't mean to offend you when I called you skinny. I meant it in a good way, I promise!! I will call you fat instead? ;) kidding of course!

    Anyway, I'm not a parent but I know many would agree that they have felt similarly to these feelings before. I can relate to some of the non-parenting ones. (Although I never eat too little ...) This too shall pass!

  5. You are not alone..........

    Step one) Take your etch-a-sketch and shake it like a snow globe that you want to crush.

    Step two) Gently place your etch-a down.

    Step three) exhale and lace up your shoes.

    Step four) go for a run without a destination and without a watch; run until you cannot stop smiling.

    Repeat daily until the issues pass.

    don't forget to thank your fam - like you wouldn't anyway - right?

  6. You're in a valley of life. You need these times. They are essential for your growth physically and mentally. Sounds like new heights are just around the corner for you, Amanda! The thing is you are an amazing wife, mother, friend, and daughter, but you aren't perfect and there is always room to be better. You are teaching those kids exactly what they need to be taught about life and how to get through it because they will experience the same exact thing a million times over. I would say don't be hard on yourself, but you need that sometimes. If you aren't evaluating where you are then what are you doing with your life. (I think I just wrote that to myself. It was something I needed to hear. Thanks for bringing it out.) Enjoy your pampering day! love you!

  7. Sounds like a great first step. I am always trying to get my wife to make time for herself.

  8. my head is dizzy/spinning! here i thought i was busy.

    thanks for your blog! i am still out here reading it and keeping track. very thoughtful. always learn something.

    eat! eat more protein. do you use any protein shake suppliments? there are some tasty ones. just stay away from the creatine ones. liver damage is possible with those.

  9. Lindsay is right. As moms I think we all go threw this. Believe me it is not easy at times. I thought I was losing my mind. I couldnt do anything right. My two boy fought alot. You are doing the right thing and sometimes you just need to say stop the craziness. You have to pamper your self first that way you will be better prepared to deal with the kids and all the fighting and crazy thing going on in their lives. I look at my boys now and they are best friends. Hang in there girl and stay positive.

  10. Ok...back
    Ah, Amanda
    I can relate to SO much of this. You are a very good mom- aspiring to be even better. A v gifted runner who is in new territory with the serious training you have undertaken. It is very hard to balance it all- even when you aren't hitting a peak period for marathon training - throw in the training and, um, yes it can be a little overwhelming. I am glad you are able to take the day to sit back and look over things and make some observations.
    Here are a couple of things i see:
    Incredible that you can be at home to care for your kids while still being able to help with something outside of the house, like the festival. Stay-home mom is a full time job in itself. I could not do it. I am just not organized enough. Your festival coordinator should be very grateful to have your talented help.

    I had to drag my screaming kid from a freinds home yesterday..HUmbling. We all have those days. Very hard not to be reactive...

    GREAT idea to have snacks out on the counter!! Get food- and sleep, you'll feel better.

    IT's OK to feel drained, beat up a bit right now, but take care of the specific hurts! Get to the line safely! I want to see that super fast PR. A taper will really help you feel much better, friend. And it's coming SOON. =D

    Enjoy the spa day =D

  11. um- comment #3. I could be a stay home mom- I am...that read kinda funny. I meant all the other commitments =D

  12. Can't wait to see your haircut!! I think it's great to get all that off your chest. Let it all go. Yoga should certainly help you start feeling a bit better. Remember that you are awesome and life is what you make it!

  13. Are you living in my head?? Reactive parenting?? Uh I'll raise my hand! Fighting.. I just had to get up to deal with that! Everytime I leave them alone I get 100 phone calls about fighting!!

    I want to be strong.. all of it! You ENJOY your day!!!!

  14. What a great husband! Take that time and enjoy you!!

  15. Dear Amanda's Journal,
    I hope that Amanda decides to still do the Hippie Chick on Sunday. I would love to finally meet Amanda in person. I think she is just such a vibrant, positive, awesome person and I would love to see her speedy legs in action!
    Me! :)

  16. I agree with Fruit Fly. Hoping to meet up with you on Sunday, but you need to do what's best for you.

  17. 1-selfconfidence part...I think that is going to come with time. It is easy to tell that you are going through the process of figuring things out (through this post and previous ones). What's great is you are taking the steps back and doing it...not avoiding it. It will all be worth it in the end...just sit in it and allow it to happen. (obviously all just an opinion :))

    2-The kid thing. I am going through the same thing. I am reading a really good book that kind of works on all of this "stuff" and organizes your life, and whats important to you. 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families. I really like the book...again just a suggestion.

    Strength training- again ...same boat. I can not get one more person thinking I lost too much weight..I'm eating ...ALOT but haven't been doing the weights and it just looks skinnier...just an annoying thing.

    The injury thing sounds exactly like what I had! It turned out to be ALOT of inflammation of the pelvic bone...almost a stress fracture. So for that reason alone I would probably lay off the running a bit and maybe try the yoga. I have been using a foam roller and that helps a lot...I roll the hip, thigh and butt...and it alleviates the groin pain. Weird maybe but I guess its all connected.

    and I ditto the GO HUSBAND with the spa day! Enjoy it. This will all make sense later. ( i hope cause I feel like i am going through some of the same things lol)

  18. just re read my post and laughing...cause I'm too in every bullet...but its true! so, sorry if it sounded annoying!


    here's that book

  20. I'm sure just writing all this will give you some clarity. I have to check in with myself all the time. Enjoy the day.

  21. I read it all.
    you are not alone. the SAHM part, I so get it.
    the fighting part: sadly I get it.
    this is hard!
    it really is. I had my kids when I was older then you are now. Even harder. It will get easier. I think. I hope.
    Major husband points!
    Mine always tries to get me out for me time and I am an idiot and I never do it. I have never had a massage, or facial or even a pedicure!!!
    hope you enjoy it dear!

  22. As happens so often, your posting resonates so deeply with me. I do believe that just getting it out and then seeing how much we all think of you will help SO MUCH :) I am so impressed that you were able to essentially publicly purge in this way... how giving to your community and how giving to yourself! Wow. Ought I tell you how in awe of you I am? Well, I am. Ought I tell you that you ARE great at all those things you have mentioned? Well, you ARE! And as for the kids being "bad"... I tend to say/think that about mine, too. And my husband always says... "no, they're not bad... they're just kids."

    (((hugs)))) and sending you love and the power to find some clarity :)

  23. I think it's great that you've recognized these things are moving in the direction to fix them. It's so easy to train hard and have that as the one thing you are focused on. You soon see that you've neglected taking care of yourself--which leads to not taking care of the rest of your life!

    Have fun today and eat something! A giant burrito would be good. :)

  24. Wow, thank you so much everyone. I had no idea I'd get this much support from such a boring, wordy and personal post. Thank you. I feel the love.

  25. your self-reflection is something we should all do, i think taking care of yourself is a fabulous thing. hope you enjoy your facial and hair cut.

  26. Wow! I can't relate....I want to be skinny and I NEVER miss a meal. Guess I need some kids after all. Ha!

    You and I need to "cut ourselves some slack" but it's what drives us to try to be better.

    I'm trying to become much more type B, than A.

  27. I think you're husband is doing just the right thing sending you out to be pampered. You're just giving of yourself all the time - expecting yourself to be perfect, aim higher, do better - and you need to stop and take a big breath. Hope the massage helps lots.

  28. Been there...and visit there occasionally.
    Self reflection is always good and I'm glad you were able to get this down:)I did read something earlier about only doing long runs every 2-3 weeks so your body has time to heal and recover...even during marathon training. Food for thought. Enjoy your massage!

  29. Since I sent you a short story via email, I will shorten my comment:)

    I did not touch on the writing festival which is SUPER awesome and I can imagine the kids will relate to you so well! Gifted in so many ways!

    I hope you had an amazing day getting "fully recharged"

  30. Take a deep breathe and know you are not alone! Hoping you had a great day at the massage. Email me if you can tomorrow...I have been a horrible blog friend this week...a huge interview totally consumed me (and I haven't heard yet but I am certain I failed!) but I've been thinking about you and I have been in your exact shoes before.

    Big big hugs!

  31. You have a good point at the end when you say that you should focus on what you are doing right rather then the wrong, thats hard. Raising children and trying to keep some type of identity is difficult, I watched my mother struggle with this my entire childhood. But the thing that I like about you is that you have your goals which are important to you, and you have goals for your children that are equally as important.

    It is hard not to look at our lives and wonder what the heck we are doing and why we can't do better. So enjoy your time of pampering, have a large lunch, and know that motherhood is the hardest job on the planet with the toughest hang in there!

  32. The fact that you put this down and put this much thought into each of these areas of your life speaks volumes about the type of person that you are. Something WILL give… but in the meantime you seem to have perfect clarity about the direction you want to be moving in with regards to your goals. Great Post.