- Writing and running are my two biggest ways of processing. They both bring me back to myself and I'm forever grateful for them. It's crazy how when I'm away from them for even a few days, it feels as if I've gone forever without them. It's only been a little over a week since Grandma's Marathon and I've run at least four times since but it feels like I've gone months without a decent run. In this warped way of thinking, I feel like I've lost all my fitness at once. I know this isn't the case but even an 8 minute mile sounds hard right now. The idea of 26.2 miles in sub 8 pace sounds ludicrous!
- I just finished reading the book The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert. As is typical when I finish a book like this, I'm left with a load of ideas and feelings that sit with me for awhile before I'm ready to just dive right into another book. I'm always in awe at how some can just finish a novel and move right on to the next almost before the other is finished. I need time to process. I crave opportunities to sit down and really talk about a book. This is true with fiction and nonfiction. Granted, if the book is just some fluff book written purely for entertainment and a way to kill
brain cellstime on the beach, I can move on as soon as I leave the book next to a stack of gossip magazines for the next person to find. But this isn't one of those books. This is one that made me think and want to write in margins and start a book club that talks about the book at least half of the time (on my list for Bend). It isn't the best book I've ever read by any means or even a book that is life changing but it is one that will sit on my shelves as one I greatly enjoyed. And after hearing Gilbert talk at her book signing last week, I'm even more thoughtful about the characters and ideas she presents. It's a story that has me itching to travel, learn, further my education or career, stop being such a procrastinator and coward when it comes to putting myself out there in ways that are new to me, and really just be true to where I feel most called.
- As I sit out on my front porch to write and have coffee before the kids wake, I'm thankful for the morning moments to sit with my thoughts that settled over night. It won't be long before the whirlwind of the day leaves me with a head full of messy clutter and I can't keep one thought separate from the next. Heck, in about an hour, I'll be answering three questions at once, wiping up some sort of mess, trying to convince all three kids to agree on the same activity for the day, and doing anything but sitting quietly with my thoughts.
- Morning thoughts are the best. They are the hopeful and optimistic thoughts. Full of grace and second chances. Morning time is when I write my goals and gratitude lists. It's when I'm most forgiving of myself and see endless possibilities to make up for the things that didn't happen yesterday. Morning thoughts for me are so different from the thoughts I have right before bed. Another kind of stillness and quiet. The dust has just settled after a busy day. The kids look especially innocent and adorable sleeping in their beds. And instead of love and grace for myself, I often let guilt and regret creep in. YUCK! Such worthless and toxic emotions! And letting these feelings fill our heads is a hard habit to get rid of! At night is when I tend to beat myself up for all the things I feel like I failed at. It's when I have a chance to catch my breath and then realize all the things I could have done differently with my kids, spouse, etc. It's the nighttime thinking that I'm trying change. Nighttime thoughts aren't always so full of regret. I'm getting much better at shifting my thinking and taking note of the things I did well. This is important for me. I should start keeping a notebook next to my bed where I make a list of gratitude and things that WORKED and went well during the day. Maybe I'll start that tonight.
- Stay at home motherhood in the summer is especially challenging! Don't get me wrong, I love my kids. I'm thankful for this time. Glad to be home with my kids...blah blah blah. But I also feel like a shell of myself some days. Some days I feel like a crazy lady in search of her mind and sanity and trying desperately to hold on to a piece of ME while I'm being pulled in three or more directions at once. Some days are a slice of amazing and wonderful and others are a slice of the reality that motherhood really isn't always rainbows and butterflies. It really is hard work sometimes.
- In looking at my blog stats over the years, I'm amazed that my most popular post (by a long shot) is a post I wrote purely in jest and fun about Braless running. I created some seemingly serious Braless Running Society in the name of minimalistic running. I wonder how many people really tried to call 1-800-BRA-LESS over the last three years.
A few personal snippets of thought I wrote at earlier this past week:
- I'm not entirely sure what came over my children. Or perhaps they aren't MY children. Some legos came in the mail today for Sam's birthday and, not exaggerating, all three of my kids have been playing TOGETHER on the living room floor for 6 hours! SIX. Not a single fight. Nobody told on anyone. No whining. They just got along. Pinch me. They have a small village in there...tire stores, roads, stop lights, trees, hospitals... There's paint and cardboard out for the roads and legos are all over the place...really the floor is trashed with legos...but I've never been happier with a mess! I've served them dinner, brought them a few snacks and drinks, sat on the porch with Waylon, read a book (to myself), baked banana bread....and a few other things that tired parents sometimes don't get to do. What's happening? I think I should make them all sleep now considering it's almost 11 p.m but I think tonight is a night for an exception.
- I love the stillness that comes in knowing that big decisions have been made for the near future, being done with a big race, or finishing up with something I've been plugging away at for so long.
I love the quiet and endless possibilities I have with my days when I don't have a specific goal or pressing to-do or workout on the schedule.
I love the simplicity of sitting on my porch with a beer and a book, while my feet rest on the chair in front of me and my kids play with neighbors. Such are the seasons of life. The ebbs and flows of desire and goals to aspire towards.
It won't be long before I'm eager and hungry for my next goal...signing up for a race, finding community in Bend, or applying for something of one kind or another...possibly starting a new career or writing about a new idea,
but for now,
on my porch,
with my feet resting,
with nothing pressing,
I am Happy.
Content with this moment.
Cheers friends! Here's the the many seasons in life...
And recognizing and embracing stillness when it comes.
- So inspired after hearing Elizabeth Gilbert speak tonight! Brilliant, beautiful mind! You bet I took notes! So many of her words resonated with me. One thing she said (and what I asked her to sign here in my notebook) in regards to taking action with our life dreams rather than just sitting around waiting for it to happen to us is: "Your labor is your contribution to the miracle." The miracle is already there...do it! Lean In!
- I breathed deeply through every sibling fight today without losing my mind. There were many. At one point I almost laughed at the crazy energy and exchange of words that occurred in a matter of the 5 minutes that it took to get from the YMCA child watch, down the elevator, and to the car: "Get your hands off your sister, please don't jump on his back, did you seriously push all of the buttons in the elevator?, why did you think it was okay to just wipe a booger on the window?!, please put your shoes back on and get off the floor...." Sam survived without injury despite how many nerves were stepped on, angry gestures displayed, and arguments provoked. There were many laughs and fun spots amidst the summer chaos today... but also plenty of moments where I realized the truth to family: You sure can love these little people so very much but yet at the same time, in certain moments, you might not really like them much at all. In the end, I'm so glad to be a mother...THEIR mother... and that I get the privilege to love and enjoy these three kids of mine. My life sure is richer for it. And holy crap, it's humbling. The good kind of humbling...the kind that makes you realize that you'll never be too old to grow and learn from the people and experiences that come with life. And we'll always have room for more LOVE...to give and receive.
I already feel better having written this vomit of an online journal. Something about processing my thoughts on here that is so helpful in clearing my head and finding new focus. Maybe it serves as a dump of sorts. Same with the journals I've kept since I was in third grade. Once things are written down, it's time to get on with my day. I might come back to these thoughts later and process more (another thing I love about writing....capturing those thoughts for later) but for now: Bring on a clean slate!