This morning, Norah and I went for another 3 miler, and this time, she fell asleep during the run. Ahhh, I love it when this happens because I feel more relaxed as I run. When she fusses during a run it kinda stresses me out since there's little I can do but run faster. So, when she snoozes, I feel like the run is more "mine" and that's nice.
So, that brings the week's tally to 10 miles so far. Good, good, I'm on track for my goal of 20! Of course, during the week, I'm usually on track; it's the weekend where the running goes to hell.
Anyhoo, Laura had another good comment about coping strategies; she said, "I would love to hear some strategies you use to not feel overwhelmed at times like this (or less overwhelmed!)"
I get lots of similar comments or questions about "balancing" running/work/motherhood/life and I always steer clear of directly addressing them because, well, I'm not sure I'm qualified to really answer this. Yes, my life has a lot going on, but truthfully, I rarely feel "overwhelmed," and I always keep in mind that there is always someone else out there doing a whole lot more (more kids, more work, more running), so I don't usually expound on this topic.
But, I can say these things make my life easier and more enjoyable when life gets busy:
1. I have a wonderful husband (whose birthday is tomorrow!) who does his equal share of parenting and domestic duties. So, that's not all my responsibility.
2. I have a child who sleeps well. Norah consistently sleeps from 6 pm - 6 am every night (sometimes there's a bit of variation on either side of that timeframe). I can not take responsibility for this; she just naturally established this sleep schedule early on, and it's awesome to be able to have the evenings free and to ensure that I always get about 8-9 hours of sleep a night.
3. I have a great job for me: It's flexible, varied, not-too-demanding, and satisfactory and meaningful. So, while I do have my times (like now) where I have a lot of work to do, I rarely feel much stress or dissatisfaction from my work. And, I can wear flip flops to work, which I sometimes do. Like today.
4. Beer. Never under-estimate the power of a frosty beverage to help de-stress. Better yet, a few beers and an episode of "Modern Family" and I feel down right awesome: Alcohol + laughter = a less-stressed Jess.
5. Coffee. A few cups of this a day and I operate like a well-oiled machine!
6. Okay, so the last two get a little silly, but that's actually my final coping device: Never taking any one area of my life too seriously. I'm not a super-wife/mother/teacher/domestic diva/running rockstar and I never will be. I do my best, but I often fail or fall short in some areas. This can frustrate me from time to time (not feeling great about the running as of late, as you can tell), but on the whole, most small failures don't bother me. I used to go to yoga at this studio back in MN when I was in my early 20s, and the instructor there always repeated a saying that I valued and I try to apply to my everyday life; she said, "You're not in competition with anyone, not even yourself."
So, that's some of the ways I balance life and cope with the busy times; what are some of your methods? I'd love to hear about them. Especially if they involve some combination of Vicodin and alcohol :)