Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Finding My Way Back.. A College Visit

Early Saturday morning, we packed up the van and headed out for a long road trip out to Pittsburgh. Having never heard of Carnegie Melon University before Corey mentioned wanting to go to school there, I thought perhaps it was 4 or 5 hours away. I was quite surprised to find out it would take 10 hours with no traffic and no stopping. We had a hard time finding a place to stay, due in part to how many students were attending the 'Sleeping Bag Weekend', a Steelers game on Sunday that I wasn't aware of, and a University of Pittsburgh football game on Saturday. On top of that, there were several conventions going on, an Alumni weekend at another college (there are 7 right in the city) and so we ended up staying 40 minutes away. Our drive out got derailed by some traffic that has us sitting there for 1 hour and 45 minutes, which made all of us just  wee bit cranky, and so happy when we finally reached our destination. Mandy's Pizza (West View) for dinner. Let me tell you how nice it was to go out for pizza, for the first time in years actually, as I was never a go out for pizza person, and get allergy safe pizza that was delicious. I wish Ash had come with us and I could have shared it with her, but I already told her if he gets accepted there, we go every time we make the trip out for a visit. It was that good.

The rest of the weekend was fantastic. We got a tour of the campus. We had sessions with the head of Admissions who also talked about financial aid. We attended a special parents panel put on by campus security, the health dept, campus psychologist, the head of student affairs, the housing people, and the  head of the Greek houses. We attended sessions with the Computer Science Dean, the Electric and Computer Engineering Dean, got a tour of the C.S. building and had a question and answer session with the assistant dean of C.S. Corey had an admissions interview and was able to sit in on a class on Monday. We visited the bookstore and some of the school buildings Monday during that time and Sunday night after we left him for his stay over, we were given a trolley tour of the city compliments of the college before heading off on our way for a fabulous dinner at Bella Frutteto. It was a busy, information filled weekend, but I am so glad we went. We got a real feel for the school, and what it would be like for him to attend college there. He realized that what he really wants to do is major in Computer Science, not E.C.E (he asked some really good questions about double majoring in both), and it moved up to replace MIT as his number one choice for school.

The ride home was a post in and of itself, but one I probably won't make. We left at 1:45pm, hoping that we could get back ahead of the worst of the hurricane, and were derailed around 3:40 by car troubles. We were out of commission until 6:30 getting the car fixed, stopped at a Super Wall-mart for some provisions for me, McDonald's for dinner for them, and then hit the road again. CT closed the highways, so we had to reroute around there, and all in all it worked out for the best. We drove through the hurricane, but according to wunderground, the radar that I watched as we drove across showed us in the best place to be as we traveled across rt. 84. We had heavy rain, and strong winds, but it could've been much worse.   I'm convinced that our delay was a blessing in disguise, and after a long 15 hour trip back, I was never so happy to get home at 7:10am.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Finding My Way Back... A Pity Party

I miss coffee. I hate that because of this stupid headache disorder I can't drink it anymore. Not even a cup here and there. Not even decaf. Not ever. Every once in a while I will take The Boy's™ cup, hold it in my hands and take the biggest whiff, and just remember what it tasted like. He thinks that must be torture. I think maybe he might be right, but herbal tea, while a nice substitute for something hot to drink, just doesn't cut it.

I miss running. I have no excuse for why I haven't been running, except for laziness on my part. I am having a hard time getting out of bed at 5am right now. It's cold, and it's dark, and I've been staying up way too late lately. When the alarm goes off, the last thing I want to do is get up and go out and run. On top of that, a lot of days my head hurts right off the bat. My appointment with the doctor isn't until November. Afternoons lately have been nuts, and the ones that aren't, I've been tired or my head hurts. Really, no good reasons not to be running. I am really feeling the effects of not getting out the door and I don't like it.

I miss bread. More specifically, I miss making homemade bread. This winter I'm going to be trying to make homemade gluten free bread. I already know it won't be the same and I'm prepared for that. I also miss the ease of going out to eat, or planning a trip and not having to spend hours hunting down places to eat. What a hastle.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Finding My Way Back... A Fall Photo Shoot

I wasn't supposed to be the one to take his senior pictures. Many years ago, I got disgusted with the prices they were charging for school pictures and I started doing them myself. She is a much easier subject to photograph, but we've always managed to get a couple of really nice photos of each of them. The past few years my MIL has taken all her grandchildren to have a portrait done, and the singles from those have replaced my pictures. Because life has been so crazy around here, especially in the fall, I have let that be OK. But not this year. My brother is an amazing photographer. He has a natural talent for capturing gorgeous shots, and a very pricey camera that takes really nice pictures. I asked Mr. Man if he would like for him to do his senior pictures, and he said he'd be honored. My brother was a bit of a harder sell, but in the end he agreed. We haven't been able to make it work out. Every day we have had free on a weekend to travel out to where he is, it has rained. The pictures are due to the school on Friday, and we were running out of time. Yesterday, I told him to cut his hair (he wanted it buzzed short, his favorite do, and it was getting too long and ratty) and we would do a photo shoot after lunch.

I had a bunch of great ideas for where we could go and pictures we could take. I brainstormed them all morning on the way to and from grocery shopping. He told me, as he laced up his sneakers, that we were going to the river. Oh, and once we got a good picture, we were done. I agreed, grabbed my camera and we headed out the door. We did a photo shoot at the river a few years ago. It's his favorite place in town, and it is only fitting that his senior pictures be taken there. He didn't want to smile, and I decided not to push it. He's a pretty serious kid, and he's had a rough couple of years, so I just went with natural. We had a bit of fun, and I got some smiles after all. I took a ton of photos, and eventually The Boy™ joined us and after a few more shots, he asked, "Are we done here?" and I said we probably had enough photos and I'm sure some of them came out good and we headed home. In the end, I kept 25 shots. Some of them are very similar to each other, with the purpose that I could make one black and white. The two I shared here are the ones I absolutely love best, and of course he picked a more serious one for his senior picture. So typically him. We had a good time, and really, I'm glad I got to take his pictures for him.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Finding My Way Back.. Crankypants

I came home from school today cranky. I don't know why exactly, because it wasn't terrible overall. It started out with me getting up late. I went to bed way past my bedtime last night. That might have been the first thing that went wrong. I was up baking for a school birthday celebration today, and I had to wait for my goodies to cool enough for me to cut them into squares and put them on some kind of plate so that I could wrap them up. (note to self, buy a plate that you can use for school that you don't care if it gets contaminated in the staff room) When I say way past my bed time, I mean it was an hour and a half past my bedtime and when that alarm went off this morning at 5am, and it was cold, dark and raining and my eyelids felt like they had bricks attached to them, there was no way I was dragging myself out of bed. I slept until his alarm went off at 5:30, and woke up again at 5:50. I still had to make one more item for our celebration, on top of my usual morning stuff, shower and get to work early to help set up. Oh, and did I mention it was raining?

I got through the morning with no issues really, and my wonderful husband went into work late so that he could drive me and all the stuff I had to lug down the road to work without having to get wet. The day went well, overall, and aside from a headache that started sometime during the day, and grew as the day went on, I really can't complain too much about it. But for some reason, when I walked through the door into my house, I was in the foulest mood. I don't know if it was the dark dreary day, the crankiness of the kids at school just finally getting to me, or a combination of the sum of the parts finally making a whole, but oh boy. I was in a state. I put my wet things down on the stool. I took of my coat and hung it out on the porch to dry. I had a snack, thinking maybe I was hungry. That didn't help. I logged onto Facebook to see if I could find a photo of my new niece, as that usually cheers me up. Nothing. I scrapbooked a bit, with some Christian music on Pandora to see if if I could life my mood (I'm working on our trip to Disney). Our internet connection was being choppy and my music was broken and it did nothing but send my mood further south. On top of that, I realized a bit later that I never soaked the quinoa so that I could make my g.f. pizza crust to have with tonight's dinner (it needs 8 hours to soak).

So when he walked through the door, and into my craft room, and asked how my day was, I said, "It was long and frustrating." He had to take Ms. Thang back to Keene to drop off apple-crisp she had to bake for Pumpkin Fest tomorrow (they prepped it elsewhere or I never would've agreed), and I did a bit more scrapbooking and worked on teh dinner list. When he returned again, he came up behind me and I leaned into him and got the longest hug. In that span of time, I felt all the crankiness of my day just melt right off. Sometimes, I think we just get touch deprived. Not enough physical contact can make a person grouchy, and I know this is true of myself, as I have felt it in the times when we are not getting along very well and spend a lot of time not really interacting with each other. I also see it in the kids at school who I know aren't getting a lot of attention from their parents. They act out and we have a lot of behavior problems with them. Those are the kids I just want to give big bear hugs to every day, because you know they are just crying out for some attention, no matter how they have to get it. It reminded me of that game, The SIMS, where the people walk around with those meter things above there heads, and when they are low on whatever need that isn't being met, the meter thing turns red, and it's up to the player to make sure it gets met. It sure would be handy if people had some way of gauging when each others needs weren't being met. How hard is it for my husband to know that my "physical contact" needs aren't being met, and I need a hug, if I don't even know it myself?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Finding My Way Back... Love Never Fails

One month ago tonight I was a sad, miserable mess. I was sleeping, if one could call it that, on an air mattress on the floor of my craft room, and the tension in my house was so thick you could cut it with a knife. September 2012 was a month that will live forever in my memory, if for no other reason, but as a reminder of what I never want to return to. It was truly awful. I've come to realize since then, that happiness is something you have to choose, every day. Every day in September, when my world was crashing down around me, it was all I was focused on. There must have been good things going on, in fact, I added to my thousand gifts list in September, but I didn't see a whole lot of it. I couldn't. Or, more so, I chose not to. I was too focused on everything that was bad, and blinded to the rest. When you chose to see only the negative, and to focus on what is wrong with your life, your life reflects your attitude. I couldn't see that then, but I can now. Who wants to live like that?

Having come out on the other side, each day is new chance to start over. Each day I choose to be happy. To love my husband. To accept him for who he is, and not put my expectations on him. To apologize when I am too demanding, or cranky, or wrong. To express what I'm feeling, good or bad, and why, so that he can understand in the moment, instead of later, when I'm still dwelling and he's long forgotten. We are communicating more, and better. Even though it may not be at a level that I would like it to be at, it's a huge step forward in the right direction. I know that this is an area he struggles with and so I patiently and lovingly encourage him when he makes a real effort. He is recognizing when he has done something that upsets me, and why it might have done so, and that's pretty big too. We are both working harder, and being gentler with each other, and if we mess it up, we say we are sorry, forgive each other and start over. No grudge holding and no sulking. It may not be perfect, and we may not be perfect, but it is so much better and it's a start to finding our way back.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Finding My Way Back.. Headaches

Longtime readers might remember that last fall, after a trip to a top neurologist at MGH in Boston for an unrelated cause, I was diagnosed with a hereditary migraine disorder. It was a rather comical visit, looking back at it. You have a fill out a 5 page questionnaire with this doctor, listing every health issue you have or ever have had in detail and he reviews it while he's meeting with you. I came to discover, while I was there, that he was also a top migraine specialist, so he was particularly interested in the section of the questionnaire about headaches, and how much writing and checking I had done there. When you have suffered with headaches just about every single day since being a teenager, you have a lot to write about.

After much discussion, and a battery of tests, including an MRI, I was put on an anti-convulsion medicine that is known to also prevent migraines. Medicine is amazing stuff. There were two  different kinds that he offered to me, and one caused horrible mood swings. You can guess that I didn't pick that one. The one that I take, has worked amazingly well in the year that i have been on it, even with the side effects, which have decreased over time. Lately however, I'm noticing that my hair is falling out in the shower. It started about 5 or 6 months ago, and I thought at first it was just a season of shedding, as one is prone to go through. Sadly, that hasn't been the case, and I am grateful that I have such thick hair. I read that it is due to the medicine depleting your vitamin B stores, and I have an appointment with my regular doctor in a few weeks to discuss this, get my levels checked, and hopefully start a supplement. I've also noticed my headaches creeping back. I don't know if this is due to my forgetting to take my meds on occasion (seriously, I have one of those daily pill things and an alarm on my phone, it's that bad), or if I need to up the dose. Something else to discuss with my doctor, but that is making me sad to think about.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Finding My Way Back... Catching Up

I fully intended to come and blog the past four days. Thursday I was uninspired as to what to blog about. I tossed about several ideas during the evening and none of them screamed out to me, "write a post". Blogging just for the sake of blogging has never really been my thing. I've done it before, and I feel like those posts just come out sounding like rubbish. Or, back in the old days, I would throw out a poll, or one of those "What type of ____" things. Dumb. Friday is errand day at my house. I come home from school, finish my grocery list, and after dinner, we head out to Keene and do all our errands. I'm exhuasted by Friday, and it seems like a good time to get that chore out of the way, because I'm not good for much else. Besides, we used to do them on Saturday, and then you loose a good half your day. What fun is that?

Saturday was the Dover Band Show. We packed up the kids, took them to the HS for their afternoon rehearsal before the 2 hours drive over to Dover, and then drove out to Manchester to visit my new niece. She is that balm that soothes my soul right now. She was suffering with jaundice after she was born, and her color is all back to normal again. The Boy™ and I each held her for half the several hour visit that we were there, and it was a lovely time with his sister and her husband, whom I feel we don't get to spend enough time with anymore. The band show was cold, yet excellent as always, and we got home way past my bedtime in the first hour of Sunday.

After a bit of a sleep in Sunday morning, the local fire department came out with their ladder truck and hoisted my man up to the top of the Tower of Doom, so that he could install the rotor we all pitched in and got him for his 40th birthday this past summer. It was rather fun to watch out the window (it was raining, and I really had a better view from the second floor), and now he can spin his antenna around and talk to the world. We had plans for some fall cleaning, and instead watched some crazy guy jump from space with a parachute, and then chilled out with a bowl of popcorn and watched Despicable Me with Ms. Thang. Overall, a very low-key relaxing day. Perfect. I didn't plan to skip any days this month with my blogging, but I'm not going to beat myself up for it either. In the grand scheme of life, I am feeling a whole lot better than I have been in months, and that says something.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Finding My Way Back.... In Need of a Break

The first year I had a week off at the beginning of the summer, and a week off at the end of the summer. Enough time to decompress between both jobs, and get my bearings straight. Last year, we started later in July, and I had a few weeks off at the start of summer, which was really  nice. But the trade off, was  a half week off at the end of the summer, and that was hard. I felt rushed and crazed, trying to get the kids and myself ready to go back to school in that short amount of time. This year, I had 5 days off at the start of summer (I got called in early), and no days off at the end. I worked until Friday, had the weekend, and was back to work for school on Monday. All summer long I dreaded it, knowing that it was going to kick my fanny, but we operated with a smaller crew this year, and I felt that because of an oversight on my part when we did the master schedule at the start of summer, I couldn't really change it.

I'm not going to start whining about how hard that has been, but really, it has been THAT. HARD. It started out tolerable, but as we've gone along, it's really started to take its toll on me. There is a reason they give teachers a summer vacation, and ideally, it's not to work your fanny off on a farm.  I've been looking forward to November, when we have a long weekend off for Veteran's day, and a nice long break for Thanksgiving. Tonight, it looks like we might be heading out to upstate NY to do a college visit during Veteran's day weekend. Maybe, just maybe, we might swing down and out to another one in lower NY on the way home. I'm not sure. So much for my nice, relaxing weekend. Fall is crazy and busy, and between kids events and fall cleaning, and family obligations, I am just plain exhausted. I really could use a break right about now.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Finding My Way Back.. Ironing

It used to lived tucked away in a closet, only coming out when we needed it. That was back when the kids were little and I stayed at home with them. Then I got a job working nights at Macy's and it came out a little more often. The Boy™ was working at UPS back then, in the warehouse, and there was no need for him to ever use it. I left Macy's when the pressures of being a 'salesperson' and not meeting my monthly quota got to be too much to handle, because really, all I was after was a paycheck, and went to work for a big box store who only required tan pants and a blue shirt.

 I was allowed the pleasure of staying home again for a few more years, we bought our house and moved, and then the next spring the dot-com company The Boy™ was working for went under. He was out of work for a year, and in that time, I went back to work again. This time, I brought it out from a different closet, and set it up in the guest room, that is now my craft room. I rationed, that if I was going to use it more, it was easier to just keep it set up somewhere, instead of hauling it out each time it needed to be used. When we had guests, or during the partial year or so that my SIL came to live with us , it would go back in the closet.

The year that I converted the guest room into my craft room, it came upstairs to live in our bedroom. It makes more sense if you think about it. Our clothes live in our bedroom, and it's kind of silly to lug them downstairs, iron them, and lug them back up. I set it up next to The Boy's™ dresser, in front of a window that overlooks the backyard. Some people find it to be a tedious chore, but I find ironing to be calming. It's kind of like therapy, almost. When I am feeling particularly frustrated, or upset about anything really, I take my music upstairs, plug in the iron, and get to work. The simple task of standing there, removing wrinkles from clothing, never fails to make me feel better by the time I am finished. Because I focus on what I am doing, I don't often look out the window, but I do take time between items to enjoy the view. The light, especially late in the day, just soothes my soul that much more. Everyone knows that if I'm really upset and I retreat to my room on a day after we've done laundry, it's because I'm ironing and they better not bother me. My daughter has taken to calling it "therapeutic ironing", and I think it's a perfectly fitting term.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Finding My Way Back... 20 Things I Love About Fall

1. Cozy Sweaters.
2. Lazy Sunday afternoons.
3. The crunch of leaves under your feet.
4. The return of soup to the dinner menu.
5. The way the light turns warm as it filters through the changing leaves.
6. Mugs of steaming tea that warm cold hands.
7. Popcorn and movies under a quilt.
8. Wool socks.
9. The band marching in the Fireman's Parade in early October.
10. Pumpkin anything: bread, muffins, cookies, granola.
11. Flannel sheets on the bed, and Flannel Pajamas on me.
12. Comfort Food: Pot Roast, Baked Pastas, Meatloaf, Pork Tenderloin, Roast Chicken.
13. Snuggling under a blanket that has just come out of the dryer.
14. Thanksgiving; my favorite holiday. We should give thanks every day.
15. Cool, refreshing air when I run.
16. The brilliant colors of Mother Nature.
17. Putting the house back in order.
18. Brown, Red, Green, Orange: some of my favorite colors.
19. The smell of 'fall' that is in the air.
20. Watching leaves tumble off the trees, geese fly south for the winter, and gorgeous golden sunsets.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Finding My Way Back....Food

Apples. Ancient Grains crackers. Big bowls of oatmeal for breakfast loaded with fruit, brown sugar, cinnamon and half and half. Popcorn. Rice cakes with peanut butter. Pears. Tortilla  chips, plain or with salsa, cheese and sour cream. Grapes. Vanilla Bean ice cream. Extra helpings of dinner. Beer several times a week.

Normally, I eat sensibility and keep my portions in control. Lately, I feel like no matter what I eat, or how much, I'm always starving. I almost feel like the more I eat, the hungrier I am. So I've been giving into my cravings. The thing is, I haven't been moving as much as usual either, so I feel pretty weighed down and sluggish on top of it all. I decided that today I was going to let myself have one more day of lousy eating, and then I'm getting myself back on track. I'm tired of feeling like crap, and I don't think this lousy eating pattern is helping any. 

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Finding My Way Back... Letting Go of Perfect

 The thing that is really hard and really amazing is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.    – Anna Quindlen

I am not a perfectionist. I do not sent unrealistic expectations for myself, and then get depressed when I can not or do not meet them. I do however have OCD tendencies. The difference from having OCD, and from having tendencies, is that a person with OCD is ruled by their disease. I walk by a couch and have to straighten the pillows every single time because I have a heightened need for order and for things to be straight and WANT them to be. I am also a rational and logical person. Someone with true OCD would have to fix the pillows over and over because they could not live with them crooked. They are irrational and illogical and it's a NEED for them, instead of a want. Obviously this is a completely simplified comparison, and not intended to insult anyone suffering from true OCD in any manner.

Having said all that, sometimes I drive my family crazy. They don't understand why the towels have to be folded a certain way, or why I bother to refold them if they aren't. They don't think it's worth the extra effort to fold the blankets so that they fit into the crate, and roll their eyes when I pull them out to fold them the 'right way'. They wonder why I fix the couch up every morning when people are just going to sit on it again and muss it all up. They can't see the point in making your bed every morning if you are just going to get back into it. When I ask them if they have done their chores, they ask me "to your standards?". I don't do it to drive them crazy, it's just a part of who I am.

Lately, however, I have been trying to make an effort to keep it contained to just me. If it's something they have done, such as folding the towels wrong (they won't fit in the cabinet if they get folded wrong), instead of saying something about it, I just fix it myself and move on. If they've done a lousy job vacuuming or sweeping or fill in whatever it is here, instead of calling them out on it, I'm working on just letting it go. I don't want their memories of growing up with me to be of a nagging, slightly crazy mom. Although, partly I think it might be a little too late already.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Finding My Way Back... Photographs

Much like the posts that don't appear on my blog when things are dark and terrible in my life, you can tell when things are out of sorts by the amount of photos that get taken. I opened my 2o12 photo folder, and was saddened to find that there aren't a whole lot of photos documenting this past year. In fact, I believe it might be the least amount of photos I have taken in ANY year. Just looking at the folder makes me sad, especially considering that my son is turning 18 this year, and is going to be leaving next summer to go off to the hall of higher academia. Where at the photos of the time we have spent together while he has been here with us? What about the every day things we have done. A lot of events that happened earlier in the year, I chose not to attend, and The Boy™ isn't a photo-fanatic like I am.

I am  working on making the situation better, and have started to snap more every day photos. Next year I plan on participating in another Project 365, and I think I'll do a monthly recap of my photos here on the old blog. I like to browse through some other blogs that do monthly recaps, especially if they put in a little blurb about what was significant about that photo. This afternoon, after I got home from a rather long day at school, I was sitting here thinking about what I wanted to write about, when I noticed the light outside through the trees was just gorgeous. There is something about the late day sunshine and the color of the fall leaves that just speaks to my soul. On top of that, it has rained every single day since last Friday, and today was the first day the sun was out. Not only did it look like fall, it smelled like fall as well. I grabbed my phone, and headed outside to snap some photos before the light shifted and I missed my opportunity. I think my phone might be the key to more impromptu photos.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Finding My Way Back... Unsubscribing

The amount of email that I get in a day is astounding. I have started to pay attention, and have noticed that I seem to get daily emails from the same places. I can't understand why these places need to send out emails every single day. The sad part, is that in all of those emails, very few are from actual people that I want to reply to. Some are daily devotional mails that I have subscribed to. Some are from blogs that I follow. Some are spam. Most are from websites I have purchased items from, wanting me to come back and spend more money. Who has time for all of that?

Yesterday, I started unsubscribing to emails that I no longer want to receive in my box. It's a pretty safe bet, that if I want to go and shop from a website, I don't need an email from them to do so. A few of them I will keep, as they contain discount codes to online sites of stores I shop at regularly, but overall, it's been a click-here kind of party going on over in my in box. Who needs to be bogged down with all of that mail? Who has the time to go through it all, to either read it, or delete it? Not to mention the fact that if I download it on my phone, I have to delete it off of there as well. Not me. I'm sure, not you either.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Finding My Way Back.. Early Morning

"Improve your spare moments and they will become the brightest gems in your life."  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

When the new year started, I decided that I was going to change my morning routine a little bit. I was going to start having my breakfast at the dining room table, and do some morning devotions and Bible readings. Get the day off to a quiet, and purposeful start. I mentioned yesterday, that from the time I get up, until the time I like to go running, I have about an hour. I can usually squeeze in unloading the dishwasher, making my breakfast, eating, devotions, and some email (which really, I should just axe out of my morning routine but sometimes it's important) before that magic 6am hour. I started out really good, and stayed pretty strong with it right through until the late spring. Mostly because I wasn't running. In May, I started running again, and even then it still worked out OK. Then summer came, and I got into the bad habit of eating in front of my computer again, and my morning devotions fell to the wayside. Then school started, and my marriage seemed to be falling apart right before my eyes, and I lost the running and then the whole rest of my morning routine went with it.

Being the first one up out of bed, I usually just get up, shut my alarm off and leave. Lately, however, The Boy™ has gotten it into his head, that he would like to get up earlier and spend some time with me in the morning. The funniest part of this, is that he is not a morning person. He likes to THINK that he wants to get up earlier, but it really doesn't happen. However, his alarm goes off at the same time mine does, and then again 15 minutes later. For the past week and a half-ish, since returning back upstairs, I have let my getting up at 5am habit fall to the wayside. I've allowed myself to get back into bed, as he is shutting off his alarm, which is a minute slower than mine, and then crawl into his arms and be held until I decide to get up, as he drifts back off to sleep. Some mornings, especially early on after my return, he stayed awake and we had some really good conversations. I'm spoken before about how I like to 'hide' behind the darkness sometimes when I have to get the hurt out. Mostly, however, I've just lay there, awake, or half-dozing, and allowed myself to feel his arms holding me close to his heart. To listen to his heart beating, or him breathing, or even snoring. To lay there, and feel safe, happy and content to not get up and let the rest of my morning be a harried mess of rushing around. It was what I have needed for the past twelve days or so, and it has renewed me in a way I didn't expect. Today, as I lay there, I realized that it was going to be my last day, aside from the once in a while lazy weekend morning or snow day. I didn't feel that pressing need to just stay there, safely wrapped in his arms anymore. I feel like that is a good thing, and tomorrow I'm getting back into my routine.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Finding My Way Back.. Running

"Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there."   – Will Rogers

Several years ago, after I started running, I decided that I really didn't  enjoy running at the end of a long work day. Often times I was tired, and headachey, and all I wanted to go when I got home was settle in with a hot cup of tea and relax for a bit. On top of that, there were chores that needed doing, and dinner that needed cooking and my family needed me to spend time with them. It seemed a little selfish of me to just come home, change into my running gear and head out the door without any regards to what anyone else needed at the time. Plus, I found that if I walked in the door, even if I changed, I often got derailed by phone calls, or people needing help with homework, or reminders about evening events that needed attending which meant dinner needed to be made and lo and behold I was the only one home to do so. Or, I would leave a warm school, walk home in the cold/wet/chilly/yucky weather, to my nice warm house, and not want to leave again to go out and run in the aforementioned conditions.

I realized if I went to bed earlier, which wasn't all the hard because at the end of the day I am dog tired, I could get up earlier and run before work. If I woke up at 5am, I had enough time to unload the dishwasher, have breakfast, check email etc, and head out the door at 6am, to be back and stretched and ready to head into the shower at 7am. For most of the year, it's a grand plan. Once it gets dark and cold in the morning, it's a little bit rougher to convince myself that I want to be out there doing anything. I need to decide again, between dark and cold, or tired at the end of the day and making the commitment to push through and hit the road no matter what. Recently I have discovered that if I bring my running gear to school, and change before I walk out the door, I really  have no excuse not to run. The thing I need to decide about now, is do I leave for my run from school, and have to walk back in, get my stuff and then head home, or walk home and drop my stuff off, and then just head off and run from there? Either way, I think the key is to change in the building, and then leave. If I already have my running clothes on, I really have no excuse not to run. I've read that the hardest part of running is getting out the door. I am here to tell you that statement is 100% correct, and I am living proof of it. I spent years so eager to get my shoes on and go, and for some reason, this past year I have struggled and struggled just to get out the door. It's not because I don't enjoy running anymore, because I really do love it, it's just that life has been kicking me hard, and I've let it drag me to a place where I've lost a bit of myself. It's time to find my way back.

Monday, October 01, 2012

31 Days To Finding My Way Back...

There is something so rewarding about flipping over the page of a calendar. No matter what kind of craziness awaits you in the new month, or how many days have appointments scrawled on them, or how many meetings have been scheduled, the new month brings with it hope and possibility. The chance to leave all the junk of the old month behind, and start over. If there ever was a month that needed leaving behind, it was last month. The best thing that came out of September, happened at 2:09am yesterday, when my beautiful sister-in-law Holly gave birth to my newest little niece, who is the 3rd cutest baby that has ever existed since my two graced this earth. Saving that, September can pack itself up and take a long walk off of a short pier, never to be seen again.

When your life feels like it is falling apart around you, and you are only getting 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night, everything kind of goes to hell along with it. The one thing that I was able to keep together during September, was my household chores. I attributed that to the fact that I was wide awake at 3am, with little else to do. Sometimes I would read. Sometimes I surfed the internet. Sometimes I cleaned. I thought about knitting, or working on a blanket for my niece who was due in early October, but I felt like if you could channel love and prayers into prayer shawls for people, it probably worked in reverse, and I didn't want all that negative energy going into anything that I was crafting. I didn't have the energy to run, although I knew that if I could manage it, I would feel a thousand times better being able to pound out all that stress on the pavement. Because I was waking up at 2 or 3am, my morning routine fell apart. Because I was exhausted by the time I got home from school, afternoons were difficult.

They used to say it takes 20 days to get into a new habit. I recently read that it's more like 60-70 for a good habit, 20 for a bad one. I'm inclined to believe that, because it's so easy to get into a bad routine, and it takes a little more work to get into a good one. I realized today, that I've fallen into a bit of a rut, all the way around, and it's time to break out of it. Get back into the swing of things, and get myself back on the right track again. I'd like to head into the winter with a strong system already in place so I can face those doldrums head on. Change is in the wind, and I'm hopeful that it's all for the better.