Running no longer brings me JOY! #40in2020

I have had multiple conversations with friends in the last 24 hours about running.  It seems to be popping up everywhere.

Once upon a time, nearly 11 years ago I took up running.  After my daughter was born and I needed to lose the baby weight.  My son and daughter are just 17 months apart, so I didn’t lose all the weight from my son before I was pregnant.  By the time I had my daughter I had about 45 pounds that I was looking to lose.

A couple of friends were talking about picking up running, so I thought, why not?  I started out VERY slow.  It took me so long to even be able to push myself to run a mile without stopping or walking at all.  I slowly built up to a 5k, then a 10k and then a half marathon.  Like 1 week after I started running I signed up for a half marathon.  What in the world was I thinking?

I trained, I kicked ass, I lost weight and I felt like a million bucks.  I ran that half marathon and it was one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done in my life.  Then about 6 months later, I ran my 2nd half marathon.  Then about 4 months after that, I stopped running.

I thought that I gave up running because of a huge turn in life events.  Going through a divorce, working every single second that I didn’t have my kids and simply not making time to exercise.  I lost the heart for the sport that I had just developed love for 1.5 years prior.

I would then spend the better part of the next 10 years pushing myself to find that love again.  The passion for the sport that I once enjoyed and found therapy in.  I didn’t want to accept that my divorce had taken the will to run away from me.  It wasn’t until just recently, like this January that I realized I don’t find joy in running any more.

When I think about setting out on a run, I think UGH!!  When I think about setting out on a walk, I am happy and energetic.  So, why continue to push myself to think that I need to run?  Honestly, I can walk just about as fast as I run anyway.  At my best I run like a 10 minute mile and I can walk a mile in like 13 minutes…so why not just walk when it brings me so much joy?

In January after 9.5 years of struggling, I gave myself permission to say F running!!  I walk, I walk for miles and I LOVE it.  Running no longer brings me joy, so I don’t do it ❤

Eat, Pray, Love #40in2020

I read Eat, Pray, Love like 11 years ago.  Then 4 days before my 40th birthday the movie came out into the theater.  I went to the movies by myself to see it during the most difficult time of my life.  A couple of days ago I finished the book Eat, Pray, Love: Made Me Do It.  That got me thinking about the past decade.

10 years ago I found myself realizing that I had lost myself.  I didn’t recognize the woman in the mirror anymore.  The smiles, the laughter and the fun were all gone.

I had gotten married just a few years before and I dove head first into what I thought that marriage needed to look like.  First a baby, then buying a home, then another baby.  Meanwhile, I had left my job that I loved to stay at home.

I was chipping away at everything that made me, me.  I was a Mom and a pretty good one at that, a wife (I didn’t do so good at that job), an active member of my church and a friend to many.  Where was Stephanie though?  Who was Stephanie at nearly 30 years old?  I had forgotten to think about what I needed, while I thought I was taking care of everyone else.

Many things happened back then to shift my thinking and to change my life.  Over the last 6 or so years I have made it a priority to do things for me. Starting with this blog called “Making Time For Me.” Even if the only minutes I can find every day are to post here, it is only for me.

I have made time to work out, because when I exercise I feel better.  When I feel better, I am giving my best to everyone else, including myself.  I read, I write, I do side gigs here and there, I do yoga.

My husband encourages these things.  When I get up out of bed and do yoga in our bedroom on a Saturday morning, he thinks nothing of it.  When I can’t sit still and decide to go for a very long walk outside in the middle of the day, he just smiles and tells me to be careful.  He follows my blog and I believe reads it pretty regularly when I post.  My children understand that Mom needs some her time.  To be my best self and to love them the best that I know how, I need to love me to.

I am for sure still a work in progress.  When I got married the first time I dropped my maiden name and took on my husband’s name.  Over the following 4 years, I then lost my identity.  When I married Paul, I decided to drop my middle name of Lynn, that had no family meaning.  I made my maiden name my middle and then took Paul’s as my last.  I don’t ever want to lose who I am again.  Keeping my name is a gentle reminder of that!

 

I’m Giving Grace for That!

So…we have been home for nearly 7 weeks now.

I quit smoking on February 24th, like 2.5 weeks before the shut down.  What are the chances?  I don’t know what specifically made me choose that date, but it felt good so I did.  I’ll be honest and tell you that I have caved a couple of times, just a couple though.  I am giving myself grace for that!

When this whole thing started I was in the best shape I had been in for like a decade.  Down 20lbs for the year, feeling good on the inside and out.  Wednesdays were my “weigh-in” days for myself.  I have gained a couple of pounds in the last 7 weeks of being at home, less than 5.  I am giving myself grace for that!

We started our continuity of learning plan this week for school.  Which means trying to coordinate schedules for a 2nd, 5th and 7th graders.  Three different schools, three different plans.  Live viewings, videos posted, homework assigned and all due by Friday.  We will miss some things I am sure and I am reminding myself that my kids have been doing GREAT for the last 6 weeks and will continue to do so even if they miss a Google classroom update.  I am giving myself grace for that!

Every single day I see people post hateful, awful things on social media.  My gut is to respond to them, jump in with some personal thought.  Some thought about how their selfishness needs to take a backseat right now.  But then, my need to comment on their post says something about me more than it does about them.  People don’t know what to do and instead of just deciding how they feel about it, they are posting about how they think others should feel.  I am giving them grace for that!

Yesterday I saw someone post “If Jesus lives inside of you then nothing can touch you!”  Instead of interjecting my thoughts on that comment, I just talked about it with my husband.  Trying to get a real understanding of how that sentence makes me feel and if I live my life accordingly.  I reached out to my best friend who is a Deacon in the United Methodist Church and got an idea of why that made me feel some type of way.  This person believes that there is no way that the Corona Virus can impact them or anyone who has Jesus living in them, I am giving them grace for that!

Grace is my word for 2020.  I chose it sometime at the end of 2019.  Little did I know then, what I know now.  How much I would need that word in this year.  Grace….for myself, my children, my husband, my friends, my family, the school system, the teachers, the internet, google classroom and all the other things!!  Situations both new and old, they somehow all look different right now.  I am giving grace for that!

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Staying At Home

We have now been home for 6.5 weeks.  Today starts week 7 of Homeschooling and the good news is, we have 7 weeks left!  We have made it about half way through.

Last week my husband had Wednesday through Friday off of work.  Back in November he had requested the week off, because we were supposed to go on a cruise.  Well, he decided to take some days off to stay home with us anyway.

Since Dad was home, I gave the kids some “vacation” days!  I mean, we all know there is no chance to get focused work done when Dad is home!  LOL.  Paul was ready to head back to work this morning and as much as I love him, I was certainly ready for it to.

Even though, our daily homeschooling plan is anything but normal, we have certainly developed a routine that works for us.  One that makes me happy and that the kids are falling into stride with.  I feel capable and genuinely feel like I am helping them to progress to the next grade.

My husband is much more likely than me to want to be home.  To stay home, relax and do nothing.  But, even with his days off being able to “relax” isn’t all it is cracked up to be.  Wednesday is the same as Thursday, is the same as Sunday when you can’t do anything.  Paul has gone to work nearly every week day since this started and I have been home with the kids.  I envy him in a bit being able to see people everyday and I think that he was envious of me a bit being able to stay home.  Well, now he sees that “stay at home” isn’t all that it is cracked up to be.

Here we are though, first day of week 7.  We will keep on powering through and be stronger for it in the end.

Happy Monday ❤

A Good Tuesday

Tuesday’s are the day that I cry.  Well, for the last 5 weeks anyway.  In this Quarantine, Tuesday’s have seemed to be the hardest day for me.

They are the day I am most worried, most anxious and get the bad news.  They are the days that I am emotional, exhausted and never feel like cooking dinner.

Today, today that was different.

My youngest woke up in a good mood, which then helped my mood.  He was ready to have breakfast and then get our school days started.  After eating and changing we left for a walk around 9am.

When we left it was sunny and about 2 seconds later it turned grey and started snowing, LOL.  So, we powered through a short walk around the block.  We both needed exercise and so did our dogs.  While around the other side of the street we saw a teacher from the elementary school and it brightened all of our days.

When we got home, we continues on with our school day.  Jumping jacks and push-up together, kinetic sand play and math learning.  We started thinking about lunch and then unexpectedly got a video chat call from my grandfather in Florida.  My grandpa and grandma both have COVID 19. My grandma was in the hospital for 11 days, now she is home.  They are both at home, but separately.  Noah and I chatted with them, my mom and my aunt.

We ate lunch together, did some more kinetic sand play, a few chore and then it was rest time.  My 7 year old boy has been taking naps during rest time like 2 or 3 days a week now, after not taking naps for a good 3 years.  I don’t mind it at all though and am thankful that he is taking the rest he needs while he is home.  After all, isn’t that part of the beauty of us being home together?

I have communicated with many friends, had some groceries delivered and officially adopted our foster today.  It has been a Good Tuesday ❤

Week 5 of Quarantine

As of today, we have been home for 5 full weeks.  5 weeks that my kids haven’t been at school, seen their friends and just gone out to do their normal things.  5 weeks that I haven’t worked as a substitute teacher.  5 weeks since the older 3 kids have been to our house. 5 weeks since we last saw my Mom in person and gave her a hug.  5 weeks since we sat around a table and had lunch with friends.

It has also been 5 weeks of extra special time with my children.  5 weeks of figuring out how as a Mom, I can best support them with at-home learning.  5 weeks of being creative and thinking outside the box.  5 weeks of reading new books, playing new games and doing new puzzles.

There have been many times in these last 5 weeks that we have been more annoyed with each other than usual.  5 weeks of togetherness leads to a lot of short fuses and sassy words. 5 weeks of emotions and grief that we are feeling and don’t know how to express.

5 weeks of news conferences and press releases.  5 weeks of listening to people think that they know what is best.  5 weeks of codes, only to be extended by another.  5 weeks of some people thinking about how this affects the greater good and others thinking only about how it affects them.

5 weeks of Grace!  Grace for myself, for my children, for my partner, for my family.  5 weeks of grace for the president, for the governor and for all people on my social media.

Words to Live by Wednesday 4/8 #40in2020

We are here in some uncharted territory.  Finding ourselves navigating the day to day, but we aren’t even sure how.  Asking questions of why and when.

Faith is the answer to all of my questions.  Having faith that the choices I am making are the right ones.  Having faith that we will know when this is behind us and when it is safe to go back to our “regularly scheduled programming”.  Having faith that God is watching over all of us and is providing exactly what it is we need ❤

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Helpers

Having the ability to stay at home with my children is one of the biggest blessings of my life. However, being forced to STAY HOME with my children, well that is another story. Lol!

My husband goes off to work every day, Monday through Friday. That I definitely do not envy. While he is gone, here I sit.

Most of my days are occupied with keeping structure for my kids. Helping them to continue their education and making sure they don’t kill each other. All the while wishing I could do more to help. Help the world, help others.

A couple of days ago now a friend of mine posted that you could make masks out of old leggings. Leggings? You mean my hoarding of leggings for myself and my daughter was finally going to pay off? I watched a YouTube tutorial and I was on my way.

No sewing involved, just a few simple cuts. Voila, you have a mask.

Yesterday morning shortly after my husband got to work he messaged me and said, “I think I’ll bring in some of those masks you made.” Well, you know that means that I made more. This morning Paul was armed with 20 brand new, washed and ready to go masks for his employees.

I had been feeling so helpless. This one thing that I could do that might help bring some comfort to just one person made my heart smile. It also meant that I slept through the night last night. 7+ hours straight for the first time in a long time.

Hardest day so far!

I cried a lot of tears on Saturday. I mean technically it started before I even went to bed on Friday night. It was after midnight though, so I am saying Saturday was the rough day.

I needed to yell and to scream. Permission to be crazy, act vulnerable and admit that this is all too much. There were a lot of tears shed and not much sleep, so you can imagine what I looked like during the day Saturday.

I am a people person. I need to be around people. More people than just my own children. I like hugging people and running into people, giving strangers compliments and exchanging smiles as we go about the normalcies of life.

Needless to say I did some retail therapy, ate a lot of carbs and took in many cuddles from my kids and Paul. It made me feel better. Thank goodness.

This week is our spring break.  It won’t look like it normally would.  We do have some fun things planned.  Long walks in the fresh air, many books on my “want to read list” and some bakinh to be done!

I don’t know if there was something to it. If the 3 week mark was significant. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one of my friends who felt like they were hit by a ton of bricks Friday/Saturday. We will get through this.

Crazy Things We Do

For a few months now I have been thinking about getting a second dog.  I hadn’t really said much out loud because the last time we had two dogs, it didn’t turn out well. Read about that here Ten Minutes: Yesterday…

Anyhow, after everything started shutting down due to COVID-19 my feed was flooded with friends sharing that dogs needed to be fostered.  There was an abundance of dogs in shelters and due to everything, there just wasn’t enough people to take care of them.  Well, one night I inquired.  I wanted to get some questions answered.  I like to ask questions, I try to set myself up to know as much as I can to make an informed decision.

Well, I received an e-mail back from the Detroit Animal Care and Control on a Thursday morning.  I then told my husband about it, befriended a volunteer from the Shelter and asked many, many questions.  The simplest of answers was that we would have to go down to the shelter and see what dogs were still there.  They were practicing social distancing, you couldn’t go into the shelter.  You would fill out paperwork, tell them about your family and they would bring dogs out for you to see.

We had a couple of dogs we had seen on the site that we inquired about.  Most of them had already been fostered out (thankfully) and a couple of them weren’t going to be a good fit for our house because of our other dog and our children.  Well, they had 1 on our list, her name was Lady.  They brought her out to meet me and another young lady who was there to see her as well.  The connection between the two of them was undeniable, so I bowed back and said “bring me another”.

At that time, my volunteer went back into the shelter to see who was left that she thought would suit our household.  She brought out Mew (what a name).  Mew is what they call a “Detroit Special”, meaning that she is a mutt and they have no idea what breeds she is.  They estimate her to be about a year old and she was gorgeous.  We went into a big, outdoor kennel so that we could talk with her and pet her.  The kids fell in love instantly.  I messaged my husband, told her about her and told her that we were bringing her home.

This call for help from the shelters seemed like the best opportunity for our family.  We could foster a dog through all of this mess and if all went well, then we would adopt.  We have had Mew for 2 weeks now.  Her name now is Covi.  Clever huh?  If it weren’t for this terrible virus taking over the world, we wouldn’t have gone down to a shelter in Detroit to foster a dog on a random Thursday morning.  So, for us and our family, it just makes sense.

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Covi is the one sitting on the couch, being sniffed out by our Blue Pit, Sky!

We have had her for 2 weeks now and she is fitting in very well.  She has accidents in the house still, but other than that she is great.  She enjoys long walks, cuddling with her humans and even playing with and laying next to her dog sibling.  I see absolutely zero reason that we wouldn’t adopt her, but don’t tell the kids that!

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