Thursday, September 29, 2011

Too Much Reflection Gives Me A Headache

Some days, actually many days, I feel like I'm just spinning in circles.  I can see what I want and where I want to be, but it feels like my efforts are taking me no where. It is easy to get frustrated when some changes take a long time.  Weight changes are slow, but there are rewards along the way. Simply the feeling that I get from exercising more or eating better make the days bearable when the scale doesn't change.

Kids are learning new ways to drive one crazy every day. Trying to keep up seems painful sometimes. As soon as I manage to change one behavior and new (and often harder) one appears.  Three kids can be extremely overwhelming. It seems my kids got faster each time. The 'phases' my first one went through at 5, hit the second at 4 and the Angel Baby is only 3. Ugh.  And this time of year, I have allergy season in progress. Though we don't have any definite allergies 'proven' or 'diagnosed' we still have signs and symptoms that cause troubles.  Kids waking up during the night with stuffy noses or dry coughs, not necessarily connected to a cold.  And there is a lot more SEE-food going on at the dinner table, because it is hard to eat when your nose is plugged.
It is also hard to eat when you sit across from the one with the stuffed up nose.

And work?  I'm having a hard time figuring it out. I am motivated and happy one day, I can see my direction, but the next I'm lost and wondering if it's time to make a change.  Is work the problem, or, am I the one standing in my own way, preventing the enjoyment I had before?

I suppose it's hardest because I sincerely think I was born in the wrong generation.  I am that mom who wants to be home with the kids. I'd be happy to get up early and make breakfast for my trucker but the demands of the rest of the day mean that I just can't entertain that thought. If I don't sleep at night, I just don't sleep.

This month has been mostly successful. I've been keeping up to my goals, but as it gets closer to the end of September I feel like I'm losing steam. I'm losing track of my reasons for the goals, my motivation.  I created a vision in my mind of where I want to be. I sat down and wrote out where I want to see myself. The big picture, long term goal. Maybe it will take 5 years or 15 years, and maybe it won't ALL happen the way I want to see it. But having written it all out, I was able to see what was important to me. The first things I think of when I think of the future are a higher priority than the little things that follow. Those first thoughts are the ones that I want to strive for.

Sadly, those first thoughts do not fit with my life as it is. Whether financially or due to time demands, many of the 'important things' are just not feasible unless I were to give up something like sleep.

Before I run myself back down again, thinking about how I will never actually get to that vision, I will remind myself that one step at a time I am building back up. I know that it takes time and effort to get ahead. I know that my goals and vision will evolve over time. I am grateful that my weak days are getting farther apart, and my smile comes more freely.
After losing touch, dropping out, slowing down for a full day, my Trucker kicked me out! Not in a bad way, he just knew the day had worn on me and suggested I go to the gym for awhile.  (I'm really loving this gym membership stuff.) So, I didn't even finish typing this!  I headed out right away and came back recharged. The last few days since I started writing this have been much better. Tonight when I felt like I was losing steam, I jumped up and went for a walk with Art. We laughed and raced and had leaf fights. Came home with rosy cheeks and full hearts.

My vision, it seems, has two faces.  The other face is here and now, being the mother and wife to my family that I want to be. The hugs and smiles, stories and giggles. The LIVELY conversations at the dinner table. Sure, I might see a lot more food when my kids are eating, but everyone is talking. I think the Trucker knows more about the kids school days this year already, than he did over the last few years.

I considered deleting the beginning of the post, but felt it relevant to keep it. I am simply human. Maybe next time I'm having a rough day I will remember to look back here and see that I recovered. How easy it can be.  If I could go back a few days and tell myself anything it would be simply to stop looking so far forward.

A dream is a dream because it hasn't happened yet. It's okay to dream big. It's okay to chase small parts of it at any time. Do not think 'all or nothing' just think.  Just move. And if all else fails, hit the gym and sweat it out!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hey, Check It Out! I'm On A Roll

I'm really quite pleased with myself. I saw my weight creeping higher and higher and I got mad. I was angry with myself and angry with life and well, I was sick too. I was too depressed to see that there was anything that I could actually do to fight it. In my distorted mind, I think I believed I was already trying hard enough.

But I reached the 9 of this group of 10 pounds and refused to roll into the next set of 10.  You know, it's like money that way, 39.99 is better than 40. 129 is better than 130 and hitting 130 would mean that 139 was a quick slip.

Not that I am devastated by weighing 129... I could only wish that!  I will not divulge the weight I am now on here. Perhaps when I reach my goal and share how much I've lost, you can do the math and figure it out. But right now... no deal.


I started to walk a little more.  I started to eat a little better. I stopped allowing the trucker to bring home his munchies. He was helpful, but that could be due to not having to share anymore. No chips in the house. I stopped buying the candies and crap that I would munch on while working at night.  Then at the end of August, I signed up at a local gym. I've been going a minimum of three times a week since I signed up in addition to the changes I've been making at home. 

Believe it or not, I've been able to cut down the coffee I drink because I don't feel dead tired all day. I've replaced it with water (that I wasn't drinking enough of before).

I also started tracking my choices and efforts on Spark People. I'm not a big full active member there, but it gives me a good way to track my food and fitness and it has a good app for my phone so it is working well. I'm not planning my meals or anything like that, but I am paying attention and that is a huge part of it. I might change my decisions for dinner if I've blown my limits at lunch, you know? 


I'm happy and proud to say that since that day I got mad, I'm back down 7 pounds. I'm already feeling better and starting to fit my clothes a bit better.  I'm getting more done with my day too, which is odd because I'm spending more time out of the house without kids in tow... I feel good. The trucker is behind me 110% and he's been really helpful with getting time to go since Angel Baby hates the daycare facility there still. I'm working on that.

Wish me luck, I've got to repeat that 7 a few times (at least). But I know I can do this, and I know there are a lot of people out there who will cheer me on.  Hey, maybe, I'll feel stronger and be able to quit this smoking habit again too....

If you are a Spark People member, give me a quick shout and maybe we can link up there too. iamabusymama (at) gmail (dot) com

Monday, September 12, 2011

Try Something New - Lunch Time

This year (pleeeeease let me stick with it this time), I have sat down with the boys at the beginning of the week and made a lunch list for the week. Art stays at school because he likes to have more time to play with his friends but Macboy thoroughly enjoys any break from the day that he can get, so he comes home. 

History has taught us that if we don't discuss it much, my kids will eat the same bologna sandwich every day for months without complaining, then one day it will just stop. You know that moment where it's like "if I ever see another piece of bologna again...." It's not that I force feed them the same thing every day. I don't. I ask them every morning what they want, and they tell me. I'm not awake enough in the morning to even think that it's the same thing they've eaten for the last 476 days straight.  They are not allowed peanut butter, and are picky eaters, so I'm kind of screwed for ideas.

Oh, wait.... I should have said grilled cheese. Or anything else. My kids still willingly eat bologna everyday even if it's not in a sandwich. I've gone through at least a package every week for the last .... oh.... 6 years. haha
(wish I was kidding)

I talked to them about the importance of variety, getting a good assortment of foods in and absorbing different nutrients and blah, blah, blah....

We started with a general list of 'acceptable' ideas, which I have kept and will add to as we find more variety, then we listed the days of the week and chose their lunch picks for the week.  When we got to Friday, I added a 'Surprise Lunch'  The big surprise is that I don't have a clue what the surprise is either.... I haven't decided yet. It depends on the amount left in the paycheck after the bills clear!

Art has asked to come home for lunch on Fridays, I agreed on the basis of Surprise Lunch days, but not necessarily every Friday. We would discuss in advance as the year goes on.  I know he likes to come home, but it all depends on the day. If he had a super morning recess he wants to continue it at lunch, if it wasn't so great, he wants to come home.  For a few weeks last year, he figured I could come into the school to check with him.  Ummmm..... No. I don't go there to pick up Macboy, so I would have to go out of my way to see IF he was having fun or not.  I finally put my foot down and made him come home everyday.  And of course, because Art will argue with everything just for the sake of practicing his english, both of those months, he wanted to stay almost every day.

I don't want to get into a rut for food, and I need to expand Macboys cooking skills a bit. Lunch is a great time for this. Most of the time it is just him and I and the Angel Baby, so I've been teaching him how to make more of his own food.  There will be a time not too far from now that he will need to make his own lunches everyday. 

I couldn't eat the same thing every single day.... I'd go nuts! So, I'm working on making sure they don't repeat their meals too much either. Plus it saves me time every day, I don't have to guess, I know I have what I need. They get more time with mom because I'm ready. Win, Win, Win.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Motivation - I Don't Feel Like Finding It

Some days are hard to get started. Days like today where I woke up 15 minutes later than normal with a headache.  These are the days when I don't walk the kids into the school, I just drop them off and watch them go in.  The days where I stay as close to PJ's as I can, for as long as I can.

These are also the days where I have a 10 mile long to-do list.

I've got to prioritize my day. I need to get a grip on what really has to be done and what can wait. But I don't even feel like looking at the full list. Jump online to check emails and delay myself even more by reading articles that I wouldn't normally, check things like Facebook or Twitter, read my work emails, personal emails, catch up to comments on the blogs.  A ten minute job that can drag out for an hour.

Sometimes I get a kick start. The phone rings and something new to take care of takes precedence over everything else. But then once that is finished I am back to square one. I have too many things I should be doing but none that I want to do.

Thankfully, days like this are getting farther apart. Beating down depression means pushing myself through these times. Just picking one thing at a time, even if it is not the highest priority of the day means that I can still find my sense of accomplishment.  Beating down the guilt that plagues me from not focusing properly will be there tomorrow. 

This day, this long slow day, can be exactly what leads to a downward spiral again. I will not let that happen. This time, I have forced my way through a few things that were important, and snuck in a few things that could wait if I wanted. I've left the dishes sitting, but I started the laundry. I've glanced at my work tasks and determined some top priorities.

The important thing here is that even though I don't want to do anything, I don't feel like starting, I have started. I have moved. I have got a few things done. This is not one of those days where I have chosen to hyperfocus on some meaningless task to avoid what really needs to be done. I have stuck to that actual list (that isn't written yet) and done what should be done today.  The things that can wait have already been waiting. I'm still recovering from laundry that collected while camping last weekend and it's Thursday.

I'm going to spend the next half hour, until Macboy gets home for lunch, taking 5. No, not just relaxing, but I'm going to take 5 minutes to focus on each part of my day so that after lunch, I will have a better view of where I really am. 5 minutes isn't much, but it can mean a lot. 5 minutes will not strain my eyes or neck and will not worsen this headache I'm fighting. 

5 for work - plan my tasks
5 for Angel Baby - change clothes for the day, she's in PJ's too
5 for switching laundry
5 for planning home tasks
5 for getting lunch going for Macboy

And most importantly,
5 for a cup of coffee to savour the last half hour of getting something done.

How do you get yourself motivated on days like this?  What is one thing that you can do anytime to kickstart your day?

Take 5.  Take care.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Whine, Whine, Grumble, Complain, Cry, Argue

I work very hard to maintain a positive personality. I know that I fail sometimes but I think I do pretty well over all. There are way too many people in this world who never speak a kind word. Those who must always be better or worse than you are. Those who see world in a dark way and are determined to spread it.

I admit that often my mind gets filled with dark clouds. There are mean and selfish thoughts and pages of complaints. The difference is that I do not feel the need to share them all. So I keep it in my head, where it doesn't damage the ones that I love.

Why did you walk to the school? We want a ride home.
Why did you bring the van? It's so hot in here.

There are so many wonderful and loving ways to share yourself with others. Why let them see this side?  Who wants to be around a compulsive complainer?

I caught myself this afternoon, saying that Art is just tired with school having just started. First three days ended with at least half an hour of whine and complain, even on Friday when we were going away for the weekend. He could have been excited, but he wasn't. He could have used his time to get his toys and games that he wanted together, but he didn't. And then he had perfect opportunity more than once to complain while we were out camping, because he was bored.  

I really want to believe that this is just part of the adjustment of getting back to school. But really? It's been months. It's far enough that I want to just scream when it starts. If you try to change the subject to something happier, he finds a way to make that bad too.  I certainly hope that he's not acting like this at school. I'll hear from the teacher for sure!

It usually wears me down fast. I have no tolerance for meaningless complaints. If you have eaten pizza 9004 times, chances are good that you like it. So don't tell me you never did.  Just tell me you don't feel like eating it today. There's a good chance I'll make you eat it anyway, but at least you didn't just complain. Next time, I won't serve you pizza and you'll complain that you want some. Even though you don't like it!

This is about exactly where my parenting patience stops.  Mean what you say and say what you mean.  Or just don't say it. This has been going on for what feels like eternity. My calm mothering side wants to sit down and find out what the real problem is (lack of sleep) find a reasonable solution (like eat more veggies and go to bed earlier) and MOVE ON.
But the side of me that shows up first now, is not that side. It is the side that wants to scream "For the love of all that is good and holy in this earth will you PLEASE. SHUT. UP!!!!"

I don't say it. But I will never say I don't think it.  Usually I just bite my tongue and ignore what I can. Eventually he shifts back into real life. (The other day it was a morning complain session. Did you know that one side of the sidewalk is warmer than the other?  Yes, sidewalk, not the other side of the street. I was walking on the WARM side of the SIDEWALK and needed to move because he was cold.)  I think Macboy went through  this. Well, he complained more at school than at home I think. I'm sure Angel Baby, when she's a NOT-Angel Pre-Teen instead will complain like this too. She'll probably figure out how to slam doors and scream with that super high pitch.

Everyone, everywhere should just make a point to say one nice thing every day.  Making the effort to say something good even when you don't feel like it, makes you feel better. And when you feel better, it gets easier.  

So go say something nice to someone. Tell me about it. I'll share it with him when he's feeling whiny. 

Cheer us all up!