Friday, November 7, 2014

TGI Friday

It has been a crazy week. Work, training, schlepping Tiny Dancer, the usual. But there is still plenty for TGI Friday!
Sprint for Life 5K

Today I'm:

Trusting in my progress and not worry so much for perfection

Grateful for my amazing yoga teacher. She is amazing and brings things (things I never even consider where there) out of me (on and off the mat) with such ease!

Inspired by... MYSELF! We worked on headstand this week in yoga and I'm actually able to get it! I'm amazed by what my body is able to do, and it makes me wonder what else my body can do.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

All You Have to Do Is Just Not Give Up

Watching the New York marathon last weekend I was struck by an assertion made by one of the commentators. He stated that it doesn’t matter that the elite runners where doing it faster, whenever you run 26.2 miles it HURTS! Everybody gets to a point where their body begs them to: “just stop!”  In order to run a marathon, you need to push on when every ounce of your body, mind and spirit is telling you stop…just stop! For the love of everything holy, just STOP.  RIGHT.  NOW.

Now, I’m not a marathoner. I have no desire to punish my body that hard for that long. The truth is I don’t think I will ever be mentally strong enough to push myself past the pain, screams and tears.  I do believe I can do a half marathon, and am training for one in April, and on  yesterday’s run  I had what I thought of as a marathon moment.

I don’t know if it was the humidity, being tired from working yesterday, dehydration, or what, but half way through my run I actually cried. Real tears, legs screaming, lungs screaming, somebody calling me a jackass (oh, wait, that was me) I’ve never cried during a run or a race, and it wasn’t like this was a crazy amount of mileage. I just had a moment. It didn’t make sense, but I went back to what that announcer said: even the elite runners have those moments; the key is to push through them.  A small voice piped up –above the one calling me an effing idiot- and said, “you just have to not give up.” Ah, so simple, so hard, so true.

This voice has been getting louder and louder lately and I attribute it mostly to my yoga practice. That negative voice would rear its ugly head while on my mat, berating me for all the poses I could not do, and then this tiny voice would answer, “all you have to do is not give up.” 

I may not be able to get into crow, or an arm balance. My mileage may be meager but all I have to is not give up.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I Spy...

I spy with my little eye...

I love "spying" on my kids- watching them be completely themselves as they become the amazing people they are meant to be.  It reminds me that they are individuals. They are complete unto themselves in spite of projections I put on them. They have their own dreams, hopes and fears, that have nothing to do with me.  The connection between mother's and their children can be so strong that it  leaves us unable to see beyond our own hopes and dreams for them and not  as they truly are.

I get so wrapped up in the idea of "my child," feeling sure that other parents are looking at and judging me based on my child behavior that they become little extensions of me rather than the autonomous creatures they are and should be allowed to be.

Stepping back and just watching them be themselves with no input from me shows me how amazing they spite of me... and makes me fall in love with them all over again.

Pic is of me spying on Zoe during her violin lesson

Friday, October 24, 2014

TGI Friday and 1/2 Marathon Training, Oh My!!!

Hello from fall in Houston. It has been beautiful here for almost two weeks, which probably means we are in for a shit storm of a winter. For now it is just beautiful here, and I don't get to say that about Houston very often.

I'm multitasking today on the blog. I was going to post yesterday and being a blog loser didn't, so I'm combining the 1/2 marathon (YIKES) training I did along with TGI Friday. It's my blog so, neah!

First off TGI Friday

This Friday I am:

Trusting my inner yogi. I've been doing privates with an amazing teacher and have come so far it is unreal, but I am balking at my home practice. I'm afraid of "doing it wrong" which makes no sense because my yoga practice before this was entirely at home on my own. I'm committing to just getting on my mat every day and see where I go.

Grateful for this amazing weather that has lasted over a week. It is perfect weather for running and sitting out back with the pups.

Inspired by the changing leaves and weather. Change is good.

Yes, I'm training for a half marathon... again. I'm hoping and praying that I remain injury free and that I don't wimp out. Both of which are entirely possible probable.

I'm running the Diva Dash in Galveston on April 19. That gives me six months to get my shit together and train well.

I'm nowhere near ready to run a half, but that is okay because I've got six months. (right?) The goal for now is to make running a habit and not a, "wow, it is a nice day and I feel like it so I'll go for a run" thing. I'm slowly building some base miles (since I have next to none) and getting my head convinced that we can do this! I don't know which is gong to be harder to convince, my head or my legs.

Run, Jess, Run!!!

Expect tons of bitching about running in the months to come!

Friday, October 17, 2014

TGI Friday!

It has been beautiful here in Houston- our one week of Fall I guess, but whatever, I'll take it.

This Friday I am:

Trusting in the openness and patience that will lead me down the right path

Grateful for my amazing yoga teacher who has showed me that I am stronger than I ever dreamed.

Inspired by my Tiny Dancer who has been "stressed" this week but handled it with grace, aplomb and a cotton candy Frappuccino!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Mom Shame

"Mom Shame" - That feeling that you're doing all wrong; that because of you your children are going to turn out to be mass murders or worse- will never become productive members of society and live in your house and on your payroll forever.

It doesn't help that all the other moms look like they have it all together. Now, I've had a glass of wine with enough of them to know that this isn't the case at all, but that doesn't stop me from thinking it.

Because my mom shame runs so deep, I'm always intrigued by the so-called parenting experts. I saw the newest one on Oprah (I KNOW!) and went out and bought the book. A lot of what this particular expert had to say resonated with me:

Your children are individuals with individual needs, wants and dreams regardless of the needs, wants and dreams YOU may have for them.
Your children are sent to you to teach you lessons you have yet to learn
The way you relate to and parent your children are triggers of and reactions to your own stuff
In order to parent effectively, you need to deal with your own stuff and get your own crap under control.

What it bottomed down to was this, when you understand the "why" of why you're freaking out on your children or are so obsessed with say, your kids grades,
you give yourself the space to connect to your children in a deeper and more meaningful way (buy the book).

I've recently had some pretty powerful discussions with my grown son regarding the whys behind some of my parenting choices which has created a deeper understanding and bond between us.

So okay, I get this book and decide I've been doing it all wrong all these years and now I'm going to start doing it "right." One of the things this expert advocates is letting your children "sit with" uncomfortable emotions so that they learn to handle them and not rush to "make it all better" which I actually believe in. So when Tiny Dancer had a major melt down this weekend, I stood back and thinking I was "giving her the space to sit with her feelings" let her melt down a bit, until she looked at me and screamed, "Why are you looking at me like I'm crazy?!" and took off running. Yeah, awesome parenting there!

I took off after her and attempted to explain what I was doing and apologized for it not being what she needed. She responded with an adamant, "NO! it was NOT!" So I did what I normally do in these circumstances which turns out to be exactly what she needs. I get her to breathe and in that breath she usually figures out the answer. I then talk to her about how she had the answer all along and feelings pass, all she does has to breathe through them.  Then we had ice cream.

In the end, the meltdown passed, she got the answer and we got through it. I'm not sure that my mom shame will ever go away...maybe with enough ice-cream.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Case of You

I remember that time you told me you said
"Love is touching souls"
Surely you touched mine
'Cause part of you pours out of me
In these lines from time to time
Oh, you're in my blood like holy wine
You taste so bitter and so sweet
Oh I could drink a case of you darling
And I would still be on my feet
I would still be on my feet

I  remember when my children were first born - being crazy intoxicated by their sweet newborn scent- not being able to get enough of them.

My NICU baby- Almost 19 years later,
and I could still drink a case of you!
Tiny Dancer being Tiny Dancer wouldn't let me put her down. She demanded to be held, carried and catered to from day one (not much has changed) Of course the three of us, since we had all waited on her for so long, were happy to oblige her every whim. In the early months, dad slept on the couch, endured back pain and practically got bedsores from non-movement while all the while TD slept peacefully on his chest.  The Boy Child held her in his lap while watching cartoons so I could get dinner on the table. I invested in a baby hammock and learned to do everything from dishes to sweeping with a baby tied to my hip.

The Boy was different. He didn't demand to be held. He was quite content to play with his hands at four in the morning and then fall back asleep until a more reasonable hour with no assistance from me, but he also spent 17 days in the "grower and feeder" section of the NICU.

Being a young mother I was petrified, even as all the doctors and nurses kept telling me he would be just fine once he learned to take a bottle, which of course he ultimately did and then 16 years later attempted to eat me out of house and home. Until that time, however, there was absolutely nothing I could do for him. I couldn't even feed him - unless you count holding a bottle while it delivers formula through a tube stuck up his nose down to his stomach, feeding, which I didn't. So I held him, wrapped up in my arms like a gift, and I rocked him. And I sang to him. I sang him country songs from the radio, hymns I learned in church and Joni Mitchell songs - sending each song up as a prayer - and then I held, sang and rocked some more.

The nurses encouraged me to go home and sleep, but every time  I left I was sure he was feeling frightened, alone and abandoned, and since there was absolutely nothing else I could do for him, I stayed. What nobody except Joni Mitchell seemed to understand was, "I could drink a case of you-and still be on my feet."

Almost nineteen years have passed and last week I had the amazing privilege of visiting this fully grown, amazing MAN - who I am proud to call "son" at college. As he sat across from me and gushed about college life, new found friends and new found freedom Joni's words floated between us, "I could drink a case of you..." when you were a newborn; when you were a precocious four year old; and yes, even when I wasn't sure either one of us was going to make it out of those teenage years alive- "and still be on my feet."  That will never ever change, and as he patted my back and whispered "I know Momma" when I burst into tears at the sight of him and sobbed, "I missed you soooo much" I know he gets it and I'm thankful for him letting me drink a case of him.  I love you, Son, and I couldn't be prouder!