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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Halfway There

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 :)


aron said...

such a great post :) i definitely think you are awesome!

Java Joggers said...

Modern Family -- it is always good for a laugh! I love the quote from your yoga instructor... I should tatoo that somewhere on me so I'll remember it (except that I'm too chicken to ever really get a tatoo:)

Marlene said...

Don't be so modest.... you are a rockstar in many areas!

Thanks for sharing; I am definitely inspired by working/running/blogging moms who seem to juggle it all.

MCM Mama said...

You are doing a great job with it all. I'm in the "easy" stage right now - the kids are no longer quite so dependent, but we haven't hit the tweens yet. I'm taking this time for me 'cause I know in a couple of years, I'll have a lot more to balance.

Good job keeping it all in perspective.

Monica said...

You seem to have your life under control! Congratulations! :)

d.a.r. said...

I think laughing and enjoying every day is most important. The rest is just icing on the cake. I have a mad love for icing though...mmm especially cream cheese :)

Good for you for at least having your priorities in line. I hope you find your mojo soon!

Scarlett Elliewood said...

Wow, you really are amazing!

Don't you also think age helps with coping and learning the art of balance? Personally, I've developed a lot of coping abilities / habits (including running) in the late twenties-early thirties period. Well, and I've continued drinking beer and mad amounts of coffee!

Tricia said...

happy birthday to your hubby

and great post

youre awesome :)

Christine said...

Ok I've been lurking for a while now, but I just had to say - you are too funny! I look forward to reading your blog everyday, but this one in particular put a smile on my face :)

Jill said...

I love your list of things that help balance your running, especially the beer :). Looks like your mileage is on track, hope it works out this weekend for your run!

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

I love the way you address those questions.

You have a wonderful attitude. Nice job sharing it so well with us all!

Happy Birthday to hubby!

xm41907 said...

I came across this and thought of you and the other FL runners. Maybe it could help with your mojo!

Slushy Exercise booster

Anonymous said...

Exercise and wine. Not necessarily in that order!

Carly said...

Great post!

Carolina John said...

wow, happy birthday to the jer-bear tomorrow!

Heather said...

I definitely appreciate your comment about not taking any one area too seriously - I feel the same way. I sometimes feel guilty about that, but I can usually shut the guilt up with alcohol.

TNTcoach Ken said...

A few BEvERages and Modern Family hit the spot for me too! I loved watching the little boy run through the screen door..........LMAO!

Laura said...

That's a good list... I might have to try some of those strategies :-) Thanks for answering my question!!!