Monday, April 20, 2009

The Person I Want To Be

So, a few days ago (now over a week ago) I composed this entry in my head while running, and then I never went back and typed it in. It faded in my mind for a day or two, but I started thinking about it again a few days ago and again today and realized I really want to capture these thoughts. I had a long, deep "think" with myself about weight loss, happiness, and my life in general, and I had a little bit of an epiphany in the process. Basically, for me the weight loss is not a freestanding issue, but rather an intertwined symptom of not living my life quite the way I want to. It's not just about eating more or less and working out or not. The bigger picture is that I'm not doing everything I want to in the way I want to in my life. I am not maintaining enough of a balance between "keeping up" and relaxing, or between taking care of everyone else's needs, and taking care of my own. The interesting thing, though, is that despite that being the case, I feel absolutely, incredibly, exceptionally happy with my life. A lot. Between the love of my dear husband, the amazing ball of happiness that my sweet little boy brings to both of us, my wonderful family, friends I care about and enjoy spending time with, activities that I enjoy a great deal, and a reasonably comfortable lifestyle (even through the times of financial stress, which have started to die down a little now that I'm back to working full time,) I feel happy, lucky, and fulfilled the majority of the time. I used to be a glass half empty kind of person, but something deep down changed pretty dramatically after the birth of our sweet boy, and I truly seem to find the positive in almost everything now. It's weird. But despite feeling that way, I am still numbing myself, some emotion or feeling, with too much food, and allowing myself to alternate between scrambling to keep up/catch up with my life that has gotten out of control to holing up to relax and saying screw it to getting things done, perpetuating the need to scramble again.

I have repeatedly tried to organize my life into the "ideal" schedule in my head, only to have it partly written down and forgotten within the next couple of hours. I think the schedule to fit everything in that I want to is very important, but also changing my outlook and behavior is pivotal in making that happen. For example:

I love my son more dearly than I could have ever imagined, and I think I am a pretty great mother, but I want to be an even better one. I want to be able to put together a themed craft to do with him more often that just over the holidays, as I do now, but on a more regular basis, maybe every two weeks or more, to coincide with things he interested in, learning at school, plus the holidays and seasons, etc. I want to get him back to the library more often as I used to when at home with him, so we can continue reading new books to expand his mind since he has his (large collection) all memorized. And I want to document his life in a scrapbook- I have mountains of notes, zillions of picture files, and a seemingly endless supply of scrapbooking stuff, and I have done some amazing pages documenting my pregnancy with him leading up to the night we left for the hospital to have him. The rest is still waiting. He's 3.5, will be turning 4 this summer... Most importantly, I want to have the kind of patience a mother of a 3 year old should, but it eludes me. Even though I know why he acts the way he does sometimes, it makes me mental, especially since the "terrible twos" behavior kicked in at 18 months, and no one told me that terrible twos is a dumb name because it doesn't even compare to the threes, and sometimes I can't help losing my cool with him. I wish I didn't.

I love my husband dearly, and I think I'm a decent wife, but I know I could be so much better. I don't feel the need to elaborate particularly, but I there are things that I do and don't do that I could improve upon. Don't think gutter thoughts, either, because that's NOT what I am talking about!

I also think I am a very valuable employee at work, but again, I could be so much better! My reasonable efforts are well appreciated, but I know for a fact that I could still do more/better. Why settle for good enough?

Likewise with my wedding business. I had definitely planned on doing it, but then started it rather hastily when I was facing down the possibility of no employment when I needed it. I have done remarkably well considering the resources I have had and the time I have given it, but it could be soooooooooooooooooooo much more. I have a huge list of things to do for it that never gets anything checked off from it, other than attending to the needs of the clients I have now.

Lastly, myself. And herein lies part of the problem, putting myself last. What mother doesn't? But how many people in positions to advise on health, weight loss, etc. have you heard say, REPEATEDLY, that to excel in your role to others you have to put your own health and well being first. And it carries through down to every detail such as keeping yourself looking your best so you feel your best all the time, instead of leaving the house on a Saturday with sweatpants and a ball cap.

On one hand, it sounds like I want to be unrealistic super-mom, but I know that the majority of people I know are pulling it off with MORE than one kid in the mix, so surely I can make it work. With all that said, I sort of believe I can do it, but it's more than the schedule discipline. It's the whole focus and attitude of I KNOW can do it, I am worth it, and I will be better for everyone else as a result of it.

Lots of Randomness, Been too Long!

So, it's been a while since I've written here, and my primary "excuse" is that the best time I had for doing it previously was first the boy's naptime on stay-at-home days, followed by lunchtime at work upon returning full time. Well, now we are banned from blog sites at work (among lots of other things.) It is unfortunate that people who don't get their work done have to ruin it for the rest of us! That being said, I still need and want to continue, therefore I need to continue my quest to prioritize and organize my time such that I can make time to do it on a daily basis at home. 3 or 4 times a week would probably be enough, but it's much harder to start that kind of sporadic habit than a daily one, I think. Less opportunity to forget about it.

So, as I sit here listening to my son sleep on the couch while recovering from the double ear infection that was diagnosed today, I'm brimming with stuff I've wanted to write about. I started an entry a while ago and never finished, called "The Person I Want To Be", I'll probably finish and post it next after a general rambling brain dump in this one.

1) The other morning when I got in the car, my odometer read "111,111". I love crap like that. OCDish, I know, but when I was a kid it used to give me a thrill when the clock read 10:10, 11:11, or 12:12, too. What can I say?

2) I am very much inside my own head when I exercise, and I value that time immensely. (I recently realized just how much when I was planning to stop and stretch at a particular light post on a corner and then someone was standing there when I got to it. I felt like it was an invasion of MY personal space, hahaha. Outdoors on a walk or jog is the very best alone time, followed by being on equipment in the gym where you don't know anyone else and don't feel obligated to acknowledge them, followed by languishing in a hot bath. Not exercise, but equally effective for relaxing and organizing one's thoughts...

3) I have been doing really well with exercise considering where I was. I can really feel an improvement in my energy level from day-to-day, and the other day in my hockey game I was nowhere near as gassed as usual by the end of the game. Still a long shot from where I want to be, though. Likewise- I'm eating a lot better than I was and lost that first 5 pounds, but not really being good enough to the point of making a conscious effort to lose weight, as is my continuing desire.

4) I love reconnecting with people. After I got on Facebook last year, it was extremely gratifying to gradually find and be found by people who were previously a part of my life, including high school friends and acquaintances, college sorority sisters, and even obscure relatives who I'd not otherwise bothered to keep in touch with. This weekend, probably in part as a result of such reconnections, a large group of my sorority sisters that all live in the same area got together for dinner. It had been 15 years since I had seen most of them, and it was so amazing. It really felt wonderful to reconnect, and talk beyond just what people have listed on their profiles, although I was thankful for having had my memory refreshed with them over the last year so they weren't total strangers! All of the ladies looked incredible, too, most having had several kids and looking like they hadn't aged a day. Further inspiration.

5) This week kicks off the first of my Spring wedding events. I have 4 current clients, one who is a relative of a friend and 3 who hired me as total strangers, and these weddings occur over the next 6 weeks. Yikes! This weekend will be my first client ever that wasn't someone I already knew, so a real milestone for my business (and confidence.) Wish me luck! The good thing, is, she is very laid back and cool, so I don't feel on edge going into it.

I guess that's it for now. My next post is older than this one originally, but written over several revisits, and hopefully doesn't sound too melancholy, because in general I am feeling pretty upbeat lately. But it is full of fairly deep thoughts. This weekend was finally a good dose of Spring weather, I'm remembering it fondly and pretending it is not freezing cold and pouring rain today!