Monday, March 21, 2016

Gettin' Stuff Done!

Well that was a whirlwind of a weekend! 

Friday night we had the Battle of the Books. We didn't win, but we had fun.  Then Joe, Natalie and I attended the church lock-in. It was an overnight activity with play practice, movie night, popcorn, a loud, rowdy game of hide and seek, and finally sleep for our youth group of 12-14 year olds. Natalie then spent the rest of the weekend with her cousin at college for Little Sibs Weekend, and Ben went to a birthday pool party for a friend. On Sunday we had church, an Easter egg hunt, Sam went to a friend's house, Joe and I grocery shopped, and Natalie came home. Honestly, I was completely exhausted by last night.

Since I was at the Lock-in, I didn't get to do my Saturday morning walk.  I did do my run on Friday morning though! (That might have been part of why I was so exhausted by about 10 pm at the lock-in!)

Today, after getting all the kids dropped off at school, I went straight to the gym and did my run. I wasn't really wanting to, in fact I was downright crabby. But once I was on the treadmill it was okay.  

I made a good food decision by having a reasonable lunch. I nurtured myself by going to my therapy appointment (during which it was pointed out to me that I'm not doing a very good job nurturing myself--more in that in a later post).

I'm tired and ready for bed. Tomorrow I'll have yoga, and I'm already looking forward to it!


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Ready For Battle

Guess where I am! I'm at our very last middle school Battle of the Books meeting! This is good news for a few reasons:

1.  Our big battle, the thing we have been working toward since November, is tomorrow!

2. We are making team t-shirts tonight! So exciting!

3. I'm really super tired of being the Battle of the Books team leader. I'm really, really over it.  (Oops, this doesn't count as good news I guess)

4. I repeat: it will all be over tomorrow!

Today went well, mostly. I took the day off from exercise, and that made me happy. I got a lot of stuff crossed off my to-do list, which also makes me happy. I didn't make any good food decisions. I ate lunch at Wendy's and got a chicken sandwich with fries. I guess I could have gotten two chicken sandwiches and two orders of fries, so I guess we can count that, right?

I didn't nurture myself today either. I'm not doing so well with that goal lately. Tomorrow probably won't be any better though, because it's going to be a BUSY one. In fact I'm not sure I'll have time to post tomorrow night. I'm chaperoning an overnight kids' activity at church (and that's after the battle of the books). 

Tomorrow is my running day, though, and I definitely will be doing that first thing.  

Have a good night, and wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

And Also: Fitness!

                          A selfie.

I wrote a post about Sue earlier today but I didn't touch on how my day went with fitness and my goals. I started the day with my second run of the week. It went well and I'm not feeling sore at all tonight.  Yesterday I thought about maybe going to Zumba after my run, but today I realized that was completely insane! I was worn out after that run! 

So instead I went home, showered, and headed out to Costco, Kohl's, and Michaels to get some shopping done that I've been putting off. One thing I picked up was some new socks. I needed some for running and some just regular ones. I also bought a huge package of toilet paper (aren't you glad you read this blog?). 

This evening was full of homework, dinner, dishes, chores, and a treat: the kids and I watched Fuller House together on Netflix. It's very corny, but very cute. 

I can't think of anything I did to nurture myself, so that will be next on my list before bed. I just got a new meditation app on my phone, and I think I'll go try it out.  Tomorrow I have a day off from exercise and I'm looking forward to it!

Have a great night, and thanks for reading!

Hidden Happy Surprises!

This is a picture of me with Sue at a work party
when we worked together at Ford
I have written in this blog before about hidden grief land mines. They are little triggers that I don't see coming, that make the grief come to the surface and feel very painful. Today I want to talk about what I've decided to call "Hidden Happy Surprises". Fortunately this is a phenomenon that is happening to me enough these days that I needed to name it. This is a trigger that makes me think of Sue or my dad, but instead of feeling very painful, these experiences make me feel happy.

Today I hopped into my car while out running errands and turned on the radio. The song playing was called "The Freshman" by a group called "The Verve Pipe".  This song and band was at its height of popularity in the early to mid-nineties, when Sue and I were working together at Ford Motor Co. When I heard this song today, which I hadn't heard in years, I remembered a friend and co-worker of ours named Rob.  Rob loved this group with his whole heart. He had gone to college with the guys in the band and was so genuinely excited about their success that he would talk about them often.

Sue, upon first hearing about the group, mistakenly called them, "The Verve Pipes". Rob quickly corrected her. It was "The Verve Pipe," not plural.  The next time she referred to them as "Verve Pipe". Rob corrected her again. The word, "The" is part of the group's name.

Then it came flooding back to me that after that initial exchange, Sue went out of her way to always, ALWAYS refer to the band as either "Verve Pipe" or "The Verve Pipes". At first Rob would nicely correct her, and she would nod and say, "Ohhh, right! The Verve Pipe!" only to turn around and call them "The Verve Pipes" or "Verve Pipe" an hour later. It drove Rob crazy. It was such a stupid thing, but she continued annoying him this way for YEARS.

As I sat in my van, reliving all of this in my mind, I started to laugh. It was just SUCH a Sue thing to do. I laughed, and I laughed, and I laughed some more.

Somehow this memory triggered me to feel so happy instead of so sad. It's weird how this happens, but I still have a smile on my face because of this hidden happy surprise. I'm so thankful that I got to have Sue as my sister. She made me laugh constantly.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Tuesday, March 15

Today was kind of a low-key day, and I liked it! After dropping the kids off at school, I paid bills and did a bunch of paperwork. I took some time to read...a lot of time to read (hello, nurturing!). 

I made a good food decision by limiting my portion size at dinner. And this evening I went to yoga.

Tomorrow I'll do a run and I'm debating going to Zumba afterward because I miss Zumba but don't want to miss my running workout. Is that crazy? I'll let you know tomorrow how it goes. Goodnight!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Monday, March 14th

I'm sore. It was a good day, but I'm sore. I dropped all the kids off at school and went right to the gym. I started on week three of my couch to 5k training. It felt great while I was running, but tonight I'm feeling it!

After the gym I took the dog to the vet, then came home to do some cleaning and work around the house. After the kids got home, Ben and I did a kids' yoga video together.
My cute yoga partner 

I spent some time reading today as my nurturing. I made so many good food decisions I can't even list them all!

It was a good day, I got a lot done and did a great job with my fitness. I'm just hoping the soreness goes away before tomorrow.

Have a great evening!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sunday Night Post

Good evening! It's been a busy weekend. Friday I spent my whole day taking care of my little girl after she had oral surgery. She was brave, but kind of had a hard time coming out of the anesthesia. Then later she had some pain, so I had to keep on top of her meds. I didn't work out on Friday.
My sweetie, Natalie, before her surgery 

Saturday I started the day with my dog-walking date and it was a wonderful, warm morning. It was much nicer than having to climb over snow drifts like we did a week ago!  After my walk I went to the gym to do my Couch to 5k running workout. I made a few decent food decisions, and I nurtured myself by talking with my friend on our walk.

Today I went to church (my nurturing for the day, I feel so much better about everything when I go to church!). Then it was off to my middle school Battle of the Books meeting. We only have one more meeting before our big battle on Friday night. (Go Team Book Scavengers!) 

Then it was off to the grocery store and finally, home to rest. Sundays are my days when I'm allowed to eat sugar, so I tend to go a bit overboard, and today is no exception. My good food decision of the day was to buy lots of good fruits and veggies for the upcoming week.

I'll end tonight's post with a picture of Sam with stickers all over his face. I'm not sure why he did this. He makes me laugh. Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Closer to Fine

I was looking for athletic pants for Joe, my oldest, at the store. He needs some pants to wear while he does his running workouts to prepare for our 5k. I looked up and recognized the woman browsing the racks next to me. I had a lengthy dialogue with myself in my head that went like this:

I know her. Who is that? Oh, right, a friend of Sue's. Should I talk to her? She knows Sue died, right? Oh right, I remember somebody told me that they had told her. Was she at the funeral? I have no idea. If I talk to her, what will I say? I'll have to remind her who I am. I'll tell her I'm Sue's sister. She will get that look in her eyes and she'll say, "I'm so sorry about your sister. How are you doing?" I'll have to tell her that I'm doing okay, no matter what I'm actually feeling because telling people you are not okay makes them very uncomfortable. She will tell me how sad that whole situation is, or that she can't believe that Sue is gone, or something else like this. I'll have to say something comforting to her. She'll ask about Sue's kids. Again I'll need to say that everything is going well, because telling people the hard truth just makes them upset. I will have to find a way to break away from the conversation and go back to trying to find pants for Joe. She'll look at me with sad eyes and walk away, probably a little more bummed out than when she arrived.

All of this took less than 10 seconds in my mind. I made a quick decision to turn the corner, and hide from her in the next aisle.

What you have to know is that this is very uncharacteristic of me. If I see someone in a store that I know, I will always, always stop and talk to them. So I started wondering why I hadn't talked to this woman. Then I began the questioning phase in my head, in which I go over my own behavior and try to figure out why I'm doing what I'm doing.

"What's wrong with me?" I wondered. My mind scrolled through possibilities:

I must be overly stressed right now.
I have entered into some new stage of grief that involves avoiding people in stores.
I'm depressed! I should call my therapist. Do I need to be medicated?
I'm so self-involved due to several issues with the kids that I have lost my ability to be social.
Sue's death has fundamentally changed who I am to the point that I won't talk to people in public anymore.
I'm avoiding my grief and therefore won't speak about my sister.

I finished my shopping, and went out to sit in my car. I was sad and upset, and needed a few minutes to sort through my feelings. Right then, my phone rang. My friend, Donna had called to check in with me.

Donna knows all kinds of things. She knows grief all too well, and I often bounce my issues off of her and she always talks through them with me. I explained to her what had just happened.

Donna said a lot of things, but what it all boiled down to was, "If you don't feel like talking to someone, you don't have to talk to that person."

Oh. Yeah. That's right. It's okay to just not be in a mood to be social. It doesn't necessarily mean that I'm having some sort of crisis, or I need to buy a self-help book, or I need to consult a doctor. Sometimes, as humans, we feel like talking, and sometimes we don't. Duh.

I drove away from the store and a song came on the radio that I remembered from when I was in college. I never paid much attention to the lyrics back then, I just liked the melody. I started to sing along:

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain.
There's more than one answer to these questions
Pointing me in a crooked line.
And the less I seek my source for some definitive,
The closer I am to fine. The closer I am to fine.

(Closer to Fine, Indigo Girls)

I felt as I was singing the words, that they were what I needed to hear today. I felt like it was telling me to jut stop it with all the stupid overanalyzing, overthinking, second guessing, and worry. Sometimes the best explanation is the simplest. I haven't gone over the edge into darkness and despair. I just didn't feel like talking to this person, on this day, at that moment.

And the more I can lighten up on myself, the closer I am to fine.

Click here to hear the song

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

I dropped the ball...

Oh my goodness, did I drop the ball. I was going along, somewhat keeping up with my daily posts, and then suddenly I wasn't. Somewhere in the midst of snow days, band concerts, church deacon meetings, Junior Optimist club meetings, Battle of the Books meetings, orthodontist appointments, sick kids, a kid scheduled for oral surgery, and regular nights filled with homework, chores, and lunch-packing, I dropped the stinking ball!

The day-to-day-to-day business of raising these four kids, and, well, life, sometimes feels like it's getting the best of me. Our lives are good, though, and I'm not trying to complain. I just sometimes have the feeling that I'm on a merry-go-round that won't stop spinning and I want to get off!

Let's jump right in: I have not been doing well with getting my nurturing in. I am not taking time for myself as much, and I can feel it wearing on me. When life gets extra busy, time for relaxation is the first thing I throw out the window. 

Today I did my second running workout in preparation for our 5k race in April. I started on week 2 of a couch to 5k workout plan, and so far so good.  

My eating has been just okay. I'm still sticking to my lent no-sugar rule pretty faithfully (I had a few screw ups here and there). I could really use some work on portion control, though.

So, I'm picking the ball back up. I enjoy posting here on my blog, and I'm going to give it a good try to get back into the habit of posting most nights. 

I hope you are all well, and that you are all ready to start reading the details of my (not super) exciting life yet again!