Friday, February 24, 2012

Finding My Color and Reconnecting With ME

Every once in awhile I find that I'm feeling pretty far away from myself. I start feeling my world get cloudy and "blur-like".  Almost like I'm losing touch with the things that are most important to being my best self.  After rereading some posts that I wrote on here from last year about things like habits of happiness, making today great, or even refocusing on life with goals, I realize that I wrote these posts during a time of great inspiration.  I wrote them at times where I felt most alive, grounded and connected with ME. I wrote them at times that I was making myself most vulnerable and sharing my personal journal reflections on a regular basis.  Things have been different lately. It isn't that my life is out of control or even unbalanced right now.  In fact, Life has been pretty darn extraordinary. But something has just been missing.  My self reflection time has been taking a back seat as I focus on Boston training and checking things off my everyday lists.  My journals have been collecting a bit of dust as they sit on the shelf untouched.  And with this has come a very tangible DISCONNECT in my life that has dulled my inspiration and taken away just a bit of the color that makes my heart sing.  

But this morning, I took advantage of a peaceful house and the sunshine streaming in my windows and I found a perfect place on my rug with my coffee, a pen and my journal to regroup and connect with myself.  As many of you know, my journals (even my running journal) are my greatest tool for connecting with myself and living a goal driven life of gratitude and clarity.  My time in my journals is KEY for me to be the best Amanda!  This journal time left me feeling inspired, energized and deeply grounded.  The whole day took on a new angle for me and life around me just seemed to be "unblurred".  Clarity. Color.  

 Some things I reflected on today:

  • Motherhood.  It is so easy to get caught up in the busy parts and lose the magic parts. Errands, appointments, homework, messes, chores, teaching manners and social skills, etc.  But overall, I think I've done a pretty good job at pulling myself into the PRESENT enough to take the mental pictures and SAVOR this time.  It goes too fast!  I'm proud of myself in this area.  
  • Boston Training.  You know, I say that this marathon training takes a lot of time but really, I've been managing it all very well this time around.  I'm actually ENJOYING it greatly as of this week.  I do get tired and worn out with following a plan.  Some days I don't want to run but overall, things are FUN and I want to keep it that way.  A few weeks ago things started feeling like work and I felt discouraged but with a little mental shift, things became fun again.  I'm fitting in my runs AND still making time to be a solid mother and wife most days.  Other things have slowed down (blog for example) but I'm hitting the main targets.  
  • Friendships...Another pretty solid thing in my life right now.  I've made a point to reach out and keep my friendships growing. I feel blessed with some really great women in my life that are so very wonderful.  A big thing for me right now is asking myself how I can be there for my friends and not being all about myself.  I still need to work on this so that I'm not just taking.  Even things a s simple as a note to tell them I love them.  There is one friendship in my life that continues to hurt me despite all the people that tell me to just let it go.  It is a friendship that has never been easy and one that always leaves me feeling UNIMPORTANT, misunderstood and used.  :(  I suppose that I need to listen to my husband and friends and just let this person go. I deserve better.  And so does she.  Our entire friendship as been a big ball of misunderstanding.  Some people just weren't meant to be friends.  And that's okay. No more self blame or defensiveness.  Friends will come and go.  
Some things I'm being conscious of and working on making REAL:
  • Bringing ART and creativity back in to our home as much as it used to be!  This has involved buying a new art easel for the kids.  This has just screamed "CREATE" and the kids are all about using chalk, paint, markers and more.  This makes me smile.

  • READING.  This one is for myself and my kids. I've kind of slowed down with my reading life and also with how much I was reading to my kids.  The past few weeks we've read a novel a week as read aloud at night and the girls are loving it.  Our current read is George's Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl.  We'll have this one read in two nights. I'm also reading a novel right now...imagine that!  Not a lot of time to read these days with fitting in the miles but I've been enjoying it.  And I'm modeling reading for my kids...I like this.  Growing READERS HERE!  Realistically though, there are not many times during the day (or any really) that I have time to sit down and read for myself.  So that usually comes at the end of the day and then I'm often too tired.  
  • JOURNALING, REFLECTING, WRITING FOR ME!  And Sharing With YOU TOO. I really want to get back to where my blog started.  So much of it was just me sharing my reflections and most personal parts of my life with others.  Yes, running was a part of it too but not just running.  It is the vulnerable, reflective, raw Amanda that I see so much of a year ago and I miss her.  I need this!  Not so much the sharing part but the reflecting part.  
I'm off this weekend for a women's retreat with a bunch of women I don't really know.  Should be a very rich experience and I'm anticipating a lot of time to reconnect with myself as well as make some new friends.  I'm excited.  

My Threshold workout today:
10 miles @ 7:36 avg (not a true 7:36 avg since I stopped for a few minutes after 4 miles and before tempo part to turn on a 27 minute show for my kiddos so that I could finish my run)
4 miles @8:27-8:34 pace
1 mile 6:59
1 mile 6:54
1 mile 6:54
.5 @ 6:44
.5 @ 6:27
2 miles to finish with last mile @ 7:14.  
Feeling Strong!

Happy Friday!  



  1. Right there with ya on the friendship thing. It does hurt and so hard to just let it go and not get wrapped up in the blame game. Shame we don't live closer we could totally start a new friendship together! ;) Enjoy the girls weekend!

  2. Oops forgot to say, dang you are fast! Great pace I'm lucky to put out a 9:30 anymore :)

  3. Great post Amanda. Regarding the less than great friendship - I've had two of those over the years. Both times we've basically 'broken up' with each other. And strangely enough both friendships rekindled years later with much better results. It's like we just needed 'a break'. Some time apart to grow our own ways. Maybe that will happen for you :) Wishing you the best.

    PS - E is beside me yelling "I have that Mater too!!!"

  4. I love when my kids show me things like that leaf bone. Kids really come up with some of the best things, and I feel bad when I am too busy to stop and enjoy that moment with them. That is one of the reasons why i love your blog so much, it is always reminding me of those kinds of things.

    Have a great weekend!

  5. Wow, strong tempo there, nice finish!
    Reading these posts makes me want to start keeping a journal again. When I was ten my grandmother gave me a journal that was divided up to have just five lines per day. I remember feeling so accomplished when I could summarize my day in five lines! Honestly, I think it was excellent practice in concise writing.
    I might need to go out and buy a journal to get back into that habit.

  6. Amanda I look forward to reading your blog each week. You balance family/friends/life so well. Even when you feel like things are crazy you have such a positive outlook and that is so important!

    Thank you for being you. You inpsire me in so many ways; To be a better mom, a better wife, a better friend and a better runner!


  7. Thank you girls. I was just e-mail Christy that I almost deleted this post because it scares me sometimes to be vulnerable. Even though I shared mostly good things here, I kind of got a bit spooked by putting myself out there. Especially about the friendship thing since it is really a sensitive subject for me.

  8. I loved this post. It really gave me a lot to think about. I am scheduling some quiet time to lay some things out like this. Awesome!! Erica

  9. Sincerely a vulnerable post! You put into words so many things that are going on in my head right now. I too have a hard time letting friendships go... in fact, I'm using the one who is giving and getting "used". My hubby is always telling me to walk away, but it's so very hard to do for me...

  10. Amanda, I am so glad you are taking some time to re-focus and rediscover the things you love. There are so many sides to us.

    Great art easel! I like the art supplies at the bottom. I can't keep mine out in Levi's reach or they end up marking the sofa...He's sneaky that way!

    Hope the friendship thing gets taken care of and without any regrets. That stuff is tricky. I think you make a great effort to be friends/friendly- hard to imagine someone not wanting to reciprocate.

    Great running, Amanda. Things are looking fantastic there! Hope you have a great weekend :)

  11. Hey Amanda...I love this post! I loved your honesty and your vunerability... connected with your highs... and your lows!!

    It's really scary to put yourself out there like that, especially in front of thousands of people who don't know "you"...
    but, by doing so it makes our inner self shine through... it takes over the crap that sometimes other people only see in us. The "stuff" that doesn't define us...Our emotions, sensitivities, expressions and actions do that, and those don't always come through by words on a page. Yours did tonight!

    I haven't followed you long, but I know that small snippets of your posts are always "real" and that you always offer something that inspires us...You are very grounded, and very touched by those you love...and that is what i take from your words.

    I hope you keep on writing in ways that guide others in "all" aspects of life...including running...and I hope that others continue to do the same for you.
    thanks for your words and your time!

  12. your posts are always so incredibly inspiring, amanda! I love it!

    and way to crank out an awesome run!

  13. First, I have to say that I LOVE it that your boy is doubled up on the Maters...makes me feel normal (Q has 7 Mr. The Kings).

    Love reading this. You are such a is so clear to me that it feeds you immeasurably. You NEED that time. I know how hard it is to find the time for everything...but this one is clearly a need for you. Wish I could help you get that time :)

    Your training and attitude toward it is beautiful and perfect! So excited to watch it continue to unfold!

  14. Where's the "Fake Pooping" post? LOL...just kidding...this one is probably more inspiring;)
    I really like this post. it makes me feel close to always allow us to see the real you. You allow people to see the inner most vulnerable part of you and none of it is are such a wonderful amazing child of God Amanda. Man...he did good when He made you;) You are a joy to those around you. you know my thoughts on the friendship thing. You DO deserve better. I will take all the time with you she doesn't want b/c I love you and you have changed my life!! xxxxxxxxxxxx

  15. Oh..and I almost forgot to mention your run. GREAT tempo run. You are so strong right now, mentally and physically, just keep it up. I think Boston is going to be a wonderful memorable experience for you. I can't wait to share it with you. I LOVE the easel...I want my kids to have one so bad but we are too crowded already in this apartment, kinda sucks. I love you journalled today and I love that bits of Sam (hands, feet) are in those photos. you are such a neat mom!

  16. I love Samuel's hands sand feet and Mader trucks in the pics. Real life, ha? Yup, so hard to stay in touch with ourselves particularly when life is busy. Really hard. Much easy to get lost in the business of life. Good for you for taking time for this as it looks like it benefits you so much.

    Not sure what to say about the friendship thing. I think there are so many types of friendships and perhaps a more superficial type is what you want with this person? I rarely cut people out of my life completely these days, but I have gotten very good at limiting my interactions with people who are not a good match for me. I have no drama in my life in this department, ha!

    Your training is going really well. I've said this before, but you have grown into yourself this training cycle, doing your thing and not over thinking things. You are certainly getting stronger and stronger. You and Phitz are tight:)

    Keep it up Amanda, we are getting to the last 700 meters...Boston is almost here:)

  17. I don't keep a journal, but you've made me think about doing this before and here I am again inspired by your beautiful spirit and wisdom considering it again. Life just passes by so quickly, it's difficult to take it all in and capture every single beautiful moment.

    Love that you're son joins you with trucks as you journal, so cute. And I agree that art is so important for children, time to create and dream! Hope that your family has a beautiful weekend.

  18. Amanda, I am really enjoying your blog! You are an amazing writer, I love how you just put your whole self out there. You have inspired me to start writing again and questioning why I ever stopped. Thank you for sharing your blog with me!
    Shelley (Brooke's mom from preschool)

  19. Ah-my sweet friend. I've been wanting to get over here all day! Finally:)

    You know, we are different with our passions outside of running, different with what things in life make our heart sing, but I understand much of what you write in this first paragraph. The tangible disconnect.....I'm glad you were able to find some time to regroup and connect with yourself!

    You're a wonderful mother as I always say. You're also truly one of the most supportive friends I've ever had. I've never thought of you as a taker. Conversely, you give SO much of yourself to your friendships. Anyone who can claim you as a true friend is SO lucky to have you!

    Fantastic tempo! We will chat about this more soon but you are running very well, very strong. Stronger than I was running for a 3:18 on that course. A smart race for you could yield a HUGE PR there. It WILL yield a HUGE PR. I am SO DANG EXCITED that I get to celebrate that with you.

    Hope you're having an awesome weekend. Thinking of you.

  20. I find that having time to myself and being able to write about stuff - any old stuff helps me with perspective and clarity. Some makes it onto my blog. Some gets deleted. But writing it down is just so important in the processing of my life. One of my running friends made the accurate observation that my blog is my therapy.

  21. I hope your weekend retreat was good! I like the easel message board for the kids:)

  22. I really love how introspective you are about yourself, motherhood, and running. I definitely struggle with this and I think I would benefit from some journaling. But as I am obviously like 4 days behind in blog reading, I don't know that I have the time!

    I think sometimes we do need to let people go out of our lives. There are some toxic friendships and if they leave you more drained than refreshed, then it is time to walk away. Sorry you have to go through this and I understand that hurt.