Sunday, February 27, 2011

We All Fall Short

It feels like forever since I've written, and it probably has been. In my defense, for a while I had virtually no usage of my right hand/wrist until I figured out with the help of a fabulous Sports Med physical therapist that essentially I am suffering from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, google it for fun.

Basically, I woke up the morning after the last Bears/Packer's game with no feeling in my hand, and really bad vasal vagal responses when touching a certain part of my wrist. I thought it was carpal tunnel. It turned out to not be that (obv.) and is essentially an injury resulting from years of swimming, poor posture, and just for fun I'm going to throw in mother hood in there, because I would like to blame any major life changes on my children as much as I can. They'll get their turn to blame me in therapy soon enough, so here's mine.

I've been in PT for a few weeks, and damn if it doesn't hurt. But it IS getting better. I can type now, and perform all my ADL's, which is short for "Activities of Daily Living".

I've also been addressing the issue in my yoga class, because my Fantastic Yoga Teacher Jean has become a friend and mentor and I told her about my TOS and she has decided to gear some of her poses and postures towards me and my issues. I suppose it's a win-win, but on Wednesdays when I have therapy and yoga my body literally collapses at night. Super PT Carolyn promises fixing this issue will help with my triathlon races, and being the trusting lowly momathlete that I am I subject myself to her delicious torture every week.

I am also going through some sort of something here that is hard to define. My daughter is getting ready to go to kinneygarten, and therefore she is entering a new phase of life, which means, essentially, that I need to adjust and enter MY new phase of life. I met with Jean for coffee, and was so inspired. She is a mother of 4 following her dreams, and I want and need to do that too, with hopefully the added bonus of income, unfortunately I am not so very sure what that is anymore. Do any stay at home mothers who haven't really worked or led their own lives know what their dreams are? Do we have any? Are we allowed to have them?
So I've been evaluating things, thinking a lot, and worrying more. Am I doing these things because of my family and the life I've created for the past decade, or really, in spite of it? I'm not sure. I am however subjecting myself to a process and bit by bit beginning to trust it. Once again though, of course it creates the inevitable "mom guilt". There is so little time to follow my own path when the needs, demands and requirements of others are seemingly equally important. In short, in some respect, I am falling short. I am either cheating myself, or my family, neither of which is a very desirable option. And so the cycle continues. The desire to dream and become something greater than the sum of all my parts, the pursuit, the guilt, the 'falling short'.
Where do you fall short? How do you deal with it? Because, truly, we all fall short of our own expectations. Maybe it's all in our own mommy brained heads and we have the disparaging mommy media to thank for that, what with all the syrupy parenting magazines and useless helpful "how tos" on The Matt Lauer Hour . I especially like when Oprah tells everyone how hard it is to be a mom, and Leslie (mom on the rocks) put it best when she said that (paraphrasing here): "Oprah telling me how hard motherhood is is like me telling Oprah how hard it is to be a very rich black woman". Les is very tall. And very white. And very funny. Pretty much the trifecta of everything Oprah isn't. But I digress...this isn't an Oprah bash session, although some people think that the thing to do as a SAHM is sit and watch her all day, so there is relevance to the reference.
Really though...think about it. Where can we improve ourselves, or where do we want to improve, but feel stuck? Think about it. Get back to me if you can.
Song of the Week: Virginia Wolf by the Indigo Girls

Friday, February 11, 2011

I Get By With....

Look at this beautiful cake...half eaten less than a day upon arrival. Happy Valentine's Day to my Husband, who could care less about Valentine's Day, but sees it as a holiday where the Cubs pitchers and catchers report. The cake was shipped from Omaha, and has Guiness in the batter. Could I have pursued a better gift for the man I love? I think not.

I don't know how I am so lucky to have the friends I do, but well, I am. I was overtly aware of this on Super Bowl Sunday, as I sat with my girlfriend's in the kitchen at a good friend's home, laughing, and laughing and laughing. Then I hung with the boys a bit, watching the game, but sitting between Maddie's GodDaddy and SuperNurse Karin's brother, and it really hit home that there is such an easy comfort in being surrounded. Surrounded by love, friendship, and fellowship that comes fluidly and you can sit and shoot the shit, and be accepted, and when you are broken they pick up the pieces. My heart was so full that day.
Back to the cake. Remember my friend Julianne in Omaha? She picked me up at the library when Nate was a baby! I can't help but think that there was a higher power at work that day, because one day JulzHolla moved to Omaha, where I had the pleasure to visit a few times, making friends with Leslie, and then we all got into triathlons and Leslie roped in Yallison and Yallison roped in Yashley and though we had never met all together at one time, we all just clicked and became friends. Fast forward to the Omaha triathlon, where afterwards Leslie had Julz and I over for pizza and she invited Kelly the Awesome Massage Lady, and Julie the Cake Queen. Julie had brought a triathlon cake that was seriously good, and somehow Julie the Cake Queen and I have hooked up and she sent me cake in the mail. I seriously know how to pick my peeps! Or at least, the Higher Power aforementioned knew who I needed in my life and very gently guided me there, and I have had the good sense to listen.
And that is the short version of the story. I am trying so hard to be good to others, and positive, and I think it's really paying off, because the people I have surrounded myself are so equally full of such good energy.
This past Sunday, Pastor's sermon was about letting your light shine. Do for others, share the light within you. It wove so perfectly with what I've been practicing in Yoga, Namaste, and speaking my own personal truth and all, that I couldn't help but feel inspired. I see what doing good can do for me, and when you ask nothing in return, amazing things happen, like you get cake. In the mail. Pay it forward my friends, and truthfully, the good in those you choose to surround yourself with becomes a palpable thing. I have found my peace at long last.
"The warmth of a friend's presence brings joy to our hearts, sunlight to our souls, and pleasure to all of life."
Song for the Weekend:
"For Good"
From the Wicked Soundtrack

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Forgot to Post it

This is my favorite photo of the hood as it stands right now. We also got the call that there is no school tomorrow. Something about how they need to clear paths, parking lots and entryways for the kids to get in. Eat your heart out channel 5 photo contest....

Snow Kids Snowed In

In case you haven't heard, roughly 20 INCHES (give or take, skim a little off the top) of snow was dumped on the greater Chicagoland area last night. We had a real honest to goodness blizzard, complete with 60 mph winds, lightning and thunder, and a bottle of wine for good measure.

There have been all sorts of cutesy monikers used to describe said storm, which incidentally happens to be among the top 5 worst in this area. Words like, "SNOWTOPIA" and "SNOWMAGEDDON" and others are being tossed around like nickels at a casino on an Indian Reservation, and I'm kind of getting tired of them.

To be fair, there's a lot of effn snow. A lot. I took pictures to memorialize this historical event. We live in the cul de sac, so when the plows and front loaders started pushing the snow into piles, we got the biggest ones. Big enough for the 7 year old outside junkie to snowboard down and land safely in the street. And yes, I said land "safely in the street". Because our street isn't even close to being cleared. There's no way any car, truck, bus or helicopter can drive down it. At this point, I am not sure how the hell the kids are getting to school tomorrow. Yeah, it's that bad. And yeah, I'm secretly loving it. I'm making a gigantor pot of soup. Maddie and I made some easy bake oven brownies and are about to make some chocolate chip cookies. We've done homework, read, watched movies with popcorn at 10 a.m., and we are generally just hunkered down and loving a breather day.

Because that's what this is. Literally a day off of life (except for John, who is telecommuting in the basement. Apparently his co horts in Buenos Aires did NOT have a snow day). We have no where to go. And who would even want to?

It's kinda hard to tell how deep the snow is in front of the house until you realize that is a TREE that is almost covered. Here is Jack climbing said tree. Usually he needs to work up a jump to grab those branches.

This is what my STREET looks like. Like I said, I'm not sure how the hell the kids are getting to school tomorrow.

This is kid in street. He was really loving this.

More tree covered by snow.

Sort of snowboarding. Actually, I think this is falling off the snowboard. Very poetic.

This is the view from inside. The drifts really are bigger than she is.

He was eager to point out how high the snow is off the back porch. Apparently we are not opening that door for a while.

This is what it looks like when you have a snow lover trying to show you what it is like to stand and walk in the snow out on the back porch.

Although I love this being home and all, I do have to say I hope it doesn't snow again for a while. Because it's supposed to get arctic cold around these parts, and so the snow isn't melting for a while. And what will happen when it does? I don't want to find out. So we're in, we're warm, and we're enjoying watching the neighbors and village dig out.