Running.

Since I haven’t updated much in the last year or so, I really need to keep everyone up to speed about what is significant (and not) in my life.  Running is still very much a top priority.  And the kids and husband really help in that regard.  Here’s how:

Everything to do with our evenings and weekends is kind of built around my regular routine.  It’s not just me, my husband goes to the gym in the morning and that’s built in too.  But the kids are sleeping then, so they notice my absence more.  If I am a bit late getting out the door, there is no chance to backpedal, since they will often preface statements with…”When you get back from your run can I…”  or “Sunday after your long run can we go out on the lake?”.  Sometimes it’s the extra nudge I need.  And it’s always the break I need and I’m always happy and refreshed when I get home.  Usually, one of the kids or the husband will come down while I’m taking off my running shoes and get me a water.  It really IS a family affair.

I have now completed two half marathons since last October.  I love, love, love that distance.  It’s just right for me and the training is the only thing that I need to work out better.  I start too early and then am burnt out on following my schedule by the last two weeks before the race.  I’ve also done lots of smaller distances too and as a family we go to the fun runs that are taking place for  8 weeks in a nearby town.  My daughter (the 11 year old swim team member) is actually running 1 mile now at these runs and although I wouldn’t say she loves it-she wants to go each week!  The actual run she is ok with, but she really loves the atmosphere and how she feels after.  And that’s what I really wanted for her out of it anyway!  I haven’t been running the 5k trail runs they offer, because B wanted me to run the 1 mile trail run with her and there are plenty of other times I get my racing in.

And for the single parents and stepparents (two groups so dear to my heart), running (or walking or biking-whatever works for you) is so incredibly wonderful for YOU.  It’s a great time to just think and unwind and maybe listen to some music of your choosing.  It’s you time.  And you really need that in order to be a good mother or stepmother or father or stepfather.  Single parents, I know…it’s really tough for some of you to get out and hit the road.  Especially if you are really going it totally alone.  For my 5 single parenting years, I ran in the evenings on a treadmill while B played beside (at a safe distance) or ran when she was visiting grandparents or her Daddy.  As she got older, she rollerbladed or biked beside me.  My distances were less, but it was still wonderful for my physical and mental well-being.  I’d be happy to chat with you about how you can incorporate something similar into your lifestyle.  I firmly believe everyone should-we would all be happier people!  When I do get kind of cranky, my husband will say “ok honey…time to go for a run”. 🙂

To the one who made it all possible…

Happy Mother’s Day Mom.

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I’ve spent my entire 35 years trying to please my very intense, Marine father.  However, I have not once felt the need to “try” to make my mother proud.  She just always is proud of me and has always made me feel very secure in her love.

I call her every day, with no particular topic or question at hand-just because I enjoy hearing her voice.  We are very different people.  My daughter is much more like her than I was, am, or ever can aspire to be.  They are both people-pleasers, always concerned about others, always trying to make people happy.  They have a genuine empathy that is instilled in their hearts and could not be faked.  They can both be very affected by things people say or do, albeit unintentional or just an offhand comment.  I am much more nonchalant and things roll off my back much more quickly and I am definitely not all sweetness and goodness as those two are.

My mother has set the bar so high for parenting it is almost impossible to attain.  She worked full time my entire childhood, cooked meals every single day, packed lunches, did all the laundry, sewed, quilted, gardened, painted and built…she is more Martha Stewart than Martha Stewart.  To this day, I ask her to hem pants or fix a pillow or any other chore that to her is routine, but to me a major undertaking.  Just recently, she revamped a too-large tablecloth into the right size, making the excess material into matching napkins and pillows for my sun porch.  Over the past 15 years she has taken care of her two elderly parents, her aging mother-in-law and helped all of them to die with dignity.  She has watched her children have children and has become the role model my daughter so desperately emulates.  She is the “fun” Nana who takes B hiking and playing outside and yes, shopping too!  She is a fitness fanatic and has instilled that love of the outdoors and exercise in both me and my daughter.

We are so different I sometimes have trouble understanding her reasons and her upsets.  When she is stressed out, I have a hard time being compassionate, as that’s not something I “get”.  I often say that I won’t allow stress in my life…I feel it is a choice and drama that I don’t have time to allow in.  She doesn’t understand the bittersweet feelings of remarriage and divorce and single parenting.  She’s been with the same man since she was 19.  (She conceived ME on her wedding night)!

Yet, sometimes, she still surprises me with a bout of open-mindedness.  Recently I told her the Twilight books were incredibly good and since I don’t usually love fiction and especially not popular fiction, she listened.  She’s now on the third book and surprisingly completely addicted!  My daughter and I adore movie nights at her house, where we snuggle up and eat junk food.

She is passionate and strong and hopelessly in love with my father.  She’s curious and loyal and always there.  Getting angry with her can upset me like nothing else can.  She’s ridiculously wrapped around my 9 year-olds finger and it both makes me envious and warm inside, all at the same time.  I can’t begin to imagine a day when she is not there.  I’m not sure I would be able to go on, without her in this world.  It gives me hope that my daughter too, might feel I am necessary, needed…long after she actually needs my physical presence every day.

Thank you Mom…I love you.  You have done the most exceptional job of mothering I have ever seen.  Thank you for giving me everything and then some.  For traveling to stores far away so I could have those Guess jeans back in 10th grade.  For allowing me all the sports and clubs and activites that kept you running for all my teenage years.  For hunting down a Cabbage Patch kid when I was crying each night because I wanted one so badly. For making every Christmas, Easter and even St. Patrick’s Day magical.  For gifting me with the most idyllic childhood imaginable.  For lying in bed with me, spooning behind me and holding me as I cried myself to sleep, the night my first husband left our home and I drove to your house, 7 months pregnant.  For supporting me as I stubbornly held onto my home for three years after leaving my husband.  For helping me when I bought a house in a more convenient location.  For being so happy when I remarried and built a new family.  For….just being.  I love you more than you can ever know.  And I appreciate it.  Every last thing…every day of the last 35 years, and 4 months.  There is no other you.  How lucky am I?

Happy 35th Mother’s Day Mom.

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