I had a busy morning today and the girls were being watched by a new baby sitter. When I finished my business, I collected the girls at the park and convinced them that a swim at the lake would be better than hot plastic and metal on their skin. But, there was one condition; we could only stay an hour due to dentist appointments (tragic, I know).
The bigger girls quickly changed into their suits and packed money to buy ice cream, AKA lunch, but the little one was not having it. I think her breakfast of blueberries and goldfish crackers was leaving her crabby. After I wrestled with her for a bit about whether or not one could really swim in a pink and white dress, we finally made it into the car.
While driving to the lake, I thought to myself, am I nuts?? It won’t be easy to get them out of the water and we’ll be late for our appointments. I could hear my husband saying that I hadn’t left enough cushion time. It’s all about cushion time!!! But it was so hot, so we kept driving.
And then, while we were in the lake cooling off, it happened. That a-ha moment when everything is perfect. All three girls were swimming and were completely happy playing with one another. I wished I could freeze that moment for awhile and just drink it in. That was why we came to the lake, for just that few moments of perfectness. And I was lucky enough to see it.
So I have this secret. A good one. A big one. And pretty soon I’ll be able to share it. I knew I couldn’t keep it to myself, so I told a few friends. I mean, I can’t just up and make changes without giving some warning now can I. But the interesting thing about a secret is that people don’t know what to do with it. Some will go home and tell their spouses, and that’s fine with me because they don’t know me anyway. Some won’t say a thing to anyone. I’m like that most of the time, at least lately anyway. I’ve held on to some private secrets my friends have told me because they aren’t for anyone else to know. But some people can’t contain the secret. It’s like they’re holding a balloon with a leak. They can’t find the leak, but they know it’s somewhere on the balloon. Soon the leak grows. And as much as they try to keep it from coming out, the balloon deflates and the secret is out.
It reminds me of this great children’s book calledThe Secret Olivia Told Meby N. Joy. The main character tries hard not to tell the secret her friend Olivia has told her, but one day it just slips out. The secret gets told to another friend, and another friend, and it also starts to grow. By the end of the book, the secret has mutated, almost like a game of telephone, and the main character feels so bad she confesses to Olivia what she has done. Both girls learn a lesson, which is “Don’t tell a single person a secret. Or it won’t be a secret anymore.” * So while I can be upset that the secret is now out and spilling into different areas of my world, I can only really be mad at myself. But I must admit it’s an interesting lesson in sociology.
In a few weeks I will spill my own secret, but I’m glad I told a few others along the way. Because whether they realize it or not, I now know who I can trust and who I can’t. Who likes to share gossip about others and who likes to remain quiet lipped. It sort of puts your friends into a truth order. I’m not mad at this friend, but I don’t think I will ever tell her anything secretive about my life anymore. And that is sad because it means we will be just surface friends. I have to wonder if she’s told any of my other secrets to any other friends….
Did you hear that…….Gotcha!
* The Secret Olivia Told Me, N. Joy. Scholastic Inc, New York ©2007
Today is Father’s Day. It’s also my sister’s birthday. So every year at Father’s Day, there’s this constant reminder that one of the reasons my dad became a father is missing. To me it seems like an awful, cruel joke. Let’s celebrate and be sad all at the same time. What’s even more cruel is that my sister’s widow remarried and had a daughter born on her birthday. So he suffers the same happiness and sadness as my dad. Not quite Greek tragedy, but sad nonetheless.
Over the years, I’ve tried to be mindful of my Dad and his sadness. He usually stays home from work on her birthday (midweek) and the anniversary of her death. I can’t say I blame him. I mean the one reason I don’t watch movies or shows about missing or murdered children is that I know I could never deal with that pain. I can’t even stand to have my children at their other house.
But even with this pain, my Dad hasn’t stop being my Dad. When I call him, he answers. When I need him, he comes to help. We still argue about politics and health issues and team up against my husband who’s the only Red Sox fan in the family. While my Dad wasn’t always accessible to me when I was younger, he is there for my children now. Having missed out on playing with me because he was working, my Dad now plays and cuddles with my 3 girls. He attends all of their music and gymnastic events with a proud smile on his face. He teaches them about his salt water fish tanks and his telescope. He even watches their tv programs (my step mother and I swear he loves the shows more than they do!).
So while today is a hard day for my Dad, I hope being around his grandchildren will help ease the pain. That he can find a reason to celebrate even though he really wants to cry. I love you Dad!
Recently a friend of mine asked if I was still working while writing my blog. Her point was that it seemed like I was doing a lot of things at once. Raising a family, teaching fitness, writing, giving out fitness tips, and on top of it all, teaching first graders. While I can pat myself on the back for doing all of the above and more, I don’t feel that I’m a “Super Star” in any of the above areas. But I don’t know any differently. I have never been one to slow down and take it easy. You can attribute that to my short attention span or to my Italian heritage, your choice, but I just don’t know how to sit still.
When I mentioned this “problem” to a male colleague of mine, he said, “yeah, you’re a Jack of all trades, and a master of none. Welcome to the club.” We laughed, but for me, I resolved to change that. I don’t want to go through life being mediocre. I want to make an impact on the people around me and I want to be noticed for doing excellent work. I don’t need a million gold stars, but I need to feel accomplished. And while I see the generations before me that need accolades constantly, there’s nothing wrong with a supervisor once in awhile saying, you know what, you’ve done a great job here. It makes life worthwhile and it makes us work harder.
So I ask this of you, which person are you: the Jack of all trades or the master of one? Are you ok with who you are?
A friend of mine remarked awhile back that she wished life came with a Handbook for Adults. Wouldn’t that be great? I mean think about it, no matter what what the problem is, whether it’s your job, your spouse, your children, your health, your friends, or your family and all you have to do is check the appendix and find the page containing the answers. I’m imagining a flow chart. Maybe all the topics aren’t there, so you would have to generalize your problem into a category. There would be a separate category book I suppose. It might take time to find your problem and then find the correct solution, but it would be there. Right in front of you. No deviations allowed. Problem solved. Hmmmm…
But what if upon seeing the solution, your heart didn’t agree? Would you be penalized for going solo with your solution? Would there be handbook enforcers? Would we become boring and robotic by dealing with our problems in the same fashion? That doesn’t seem appealing. While in the midst of a crisis, we all want boring, right? The simplicity of life with no chaos. You know as well as I do that we are a product of all that we come in contact with. This handbook would, in a sense, stifle us as human beings. We’d lose our essence.
I for one will take a chance on me. I will trust my ability to compromise and my knack for diffusing a crisis. While it might seem like an easy button for life, it would only take life away. We’d all be plain white toast. And I definitely want to have some flavor.
For me the end if almost here. The end of the school year. The end of old challenges and stress. If you know me, you know I resort to humor more often that not. It’s easier than accepting reality. So here’s your Friday escape!
I love ecards!
I understand why a 28 year old would want
to marry him! Of course, he’d have to stay
Really? If someone proposed to me
this way, delete contact would be
At least they’re consistent.
Happy Friday people!
(images courtesy of pinterest.com)
If you are one of the people who reads my blog on an almost daily basis, I owe you an apology. I was faithfully writing day after day and then, well, I stopped. It’s not that I haven’t had anything to write about, because I have. It’s just that I think of these great stories or ideas while I’m not near a computer. Sometimes I’m in the car and letting my head unwind before a day of work. Sometimes I’m in line at the supermarket and something hits me. It never fails. And the words go together just beautifully in my head. I’m thinking so hard, I wonder if I’m talking out loud. But you know what happens when you have something so perfectly worked out in your head. You can’t recall the exact wording and the story is lost. As soon as I sit down and look at qwertyuiop, I start to question my idea in the first place.
I’ve thought about writing about so many things. Like the one upper I deal with at work who I thought had changed, but truly hasn’t. The day my daughter cried when her green balloon floated away in the sky. So sad!! The ideas I’ve had about trying to piece together my crazy ass dreams. I think those would just scare everyone into thinking I’m a psycho though. And then there’s the big story I’m waiting on…about doors closing and new ones opening. Did I mention I also have about 4 drafts just sitting on my tumblr dashboard?
Within seconds of going onto the CNN.com page, I regretted my decision. Here are the headlines making news at this hour; 18 Victims Rescued in Child Porn Raid, E.Coli Makes 14 Sick in 6 States, Daughter: Megachurch Pastor Beat Me, Manhunt for Killer of 9 Year Old Twins, Dr. Cleared on DUI/Texting Hit and Run, Family Dies in Swamp Crash (plane crash). There were a few other depressing titles and a few that were lighthearted, such as Russell Brand complimenting the way Alec Baldwin kisses. Seriously, this is the news? No wonder I never bother reading it anymore. I think I’ll just watch another episode of Jerseylicious instead.
I almost forgot today was Friday! How does one do that??? It has been so stormy here for the past week, I’m hoping this weekend brings some sunshine. Luckily on pinterest.com this morning I saw so many funny things that will brighten your day regardless of the weekend forecast. (At least they were funny to me at 6 in the morning….)
Have a great one!
This is for you A!
The cuz seriously gets me…
Funny or true?
I have no idea actually….
Like permanent marker on a wall…
I would never really do that.
(images courtesy of pinterest.com)
Today I took a mental health day for fear that if I didn’t, my head my literally explode. My head is, for the most part, never quiet. There are always thoughts swimming around inside and when it gets too crazy in there, it starts to seep out. I snap at everyone and am just basically a stress case. My brain is so busy trying to solve every problem that it causes me to yell at anyone who distracts me from this task.
Like last night. I yelled at my children for no reason. Well, I’m sure there was a reason, but normally I would have handled it differently. Luckily I recognized this and apologized for being cranky. My oldest took pity on me and tried her hardest to get the 2 year old to bed. It was a proud mama moment to catch a glimpse of what she might be like as an adult. Much to her avail, it didn’t work so I went out into the main room with the 2 year old in tow. I ate almost a whole bag of cookies, not kidding. That’s how stressed I was. And then I stressed more because I ate that many cookies. I’m pretty sure I ate most of a bag of candy too. And I’m not supposed to have sugar, wheat, and food dyes. My body is definitely not happy this morning.
So what exactly was causing this stress? Where should I begin…end of year paperwork, meetings, finalizing my new endeavor, keeping my new endeavor a secret (so hard for an honest person), getting chores done, cleaning up the house after the bomb went off, getting more food, calling my lawyer about a festering situation, getting bank work done, wondering how to clean the couch after the dog thew up on it, worrying about my middle child who is so unhappy and doesn’t want to leave me, trying to help my mom who is not feeling well figure out why she is not feeling well, hoping my energy levels return to normal, cursing myself for not developing better sleep habits in the 2 year old, and ants! I’ve tried to get rid of them using cedar blocks, but there has just been so much rain. Sigh…I think that’s about it.
Maybe it doesn’t sound like a lot to you or maybe it sounds exactly like your list. I just know when I can’t handle it anymore and when I need to get away. So far I’ve gotten blood work done, gone to the bank, gotten more food, and started to clean the kitchen. My head is still spinning, but I know by the end of the day many of the things on my list will be gone. And while I’m not resting today, I’m de-stressing in my own way and that’s all that matters.
(And people ask me why I do these crazy obstacle races like the Spartan Sprint. For exactly the reasons above. I need something to prove I’m still alive!)
Last Saturday I completed the Spartan Sprint in Tuxedo, NY. It was grueling, it was challenging, and it was fun. The best 2 hours I’ve spent in a long time. I have to admit, at the start of the race I was petrified! Seriously I almost had a panic attack. Watching everyone climb the long rope to the top and ring the bell was freaking me out. I wasn’t sure if I could do it. And if I fell, it probably meant a broken leg.
Luckily the rope climb was one of the first few obstacles and I successfully owned it! With that behind me, the rest of the race was a piece of cake… at least mentally.
So now that leaves me to focus on a new goal. One that I had in the back of my mind that now needs to take center stage; the marathon. Back in March, I came up with the idea of creating my own Girls’ Marathon. One that would not be a public race, but rather a gathering of girl friends running a marathon on our own. There would be no registration or fee, instead you create your own number and take on the associated risks. Family will be there to follow us with drinks and pit stops would be set up along the way for necessary trips to the bathroom. At the end of the day, we would spend the money that we would have paid to run on a fabulous dinner.
So now that it’s June and the Girls’ Marathon is set to happen in October, I can no longer ignore the training. I have to get going on this because I am not about to excuse it away. There will be long runs in the hot sun and hill repeats to get faster. The road and I will get to know each other intimately. Two hours of running will turn into 4 hours. But I’m ready now. Just like the Halls….
Ryan and Sara Hall
Sara Hall kicking butt!
(images courtesy of pinterest.com)
This morning, as I write, I’m listening to the rain fall outside. In buckets. Like cats and dogs actually. In less than 6 hours I will be competing in a Spartan Sprint in NY with some crazy people I call friends. We’ll have to run, mostly uphill, for 3.5 miles and complete obstacles along the way; like a mud crawl under barbed wire, a spear throw, a rope climb, jumping over a fire pit, monkey bars, freezing cold water, etc. Sounds like a typical Saturday, right?
I remember when I told my colleagues about the Rugged Maniac I raced last September. One of them said, what do you get at the end? I said…ummm..nothing. His reply was, well, what’s the point then? I wondered if there had to be a point. There had to be a point, right?
For me, these obstacle races let me know I’m more than just a runner. That perhaps people shouldn’t underestimate the 5’3”, 39 year old standing before them. I’m strong and mostly fearless. And unlike road races, they let me enjoy teamwork. These crazy friends and I are going to stay together, well most of us anyway. We’ll help each other over walls and up ropes and encourage one another to keep crawling. Last year I had to rely on some stranger to put his hand on my butt and give me the final push I needed over a slanted wall climb. This year, it will be a teammate. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Good luck Spartans!