author moments, family

Got Wheels Will Travel

Ah, to be sixteen again. Fresh wheels. Gas in the tank. No “have tos” as it’s the weekend. Where to go. Who to see. Back. Forth. Back and forth. Back again. Around again and again.

This about sums up the life of my youngest. Fridays mean off with friends. Time to blow off steam. Sleep in Saturday as it was a long week (in teenager eyes). Need to rest the mind and the body.

Mid-day rise on Saturday. Nothing on the calendar so off she goes. Zoom. Zoom. Here, there, everywhere. An errand. A drop off. A visit with a friend. Some food. Back to home base for a quick change. Evening plans are in motion. 

Off again. Social life calls. Sleepover calls name. I must. I must. Snuggle up Sunday is here. Lazy time thanks to the busy go-go-go that began Friday. A few chores, a quick favor for another, a car wash, a pick up at a friend’s. Zoom. Zoom.

5pm hits. Dinner time is approaching. Maybe it’s time to see the teen for a few minutes and share a meal. Maybe some conversation or maybe not. Head phones. Social media. Homework. Prep for the week is now here.

Where did the time go? Once a teen gets a set of wheels or gets independent by way of driving, relationships change. Mommas are no longer needed. Well they are needed but not in the same way. It’s beautiful to watch but it’s sad at the same time. The time you once spent together is now replaced with time with others.

When it’s your youngest or last it hits a little harder. Empty nest syndrome is near in sight. You look for opportunities to savor the time that remains before college or adulthood. Once the 18 number hits your value fades. You are needed but not as much as the sisterhood of a sorority, of a sports team, or a love interest.

The relationship in my mind drifts until 26 years of age. At this point the need resurfaces. Maybe for financial guidance. Maybe for grandparenting time. Maybe for help of some sort. Whatever the reason it’s a long wait.

I think my favorite age of kids is 8-11 years. Fun to play with. Old enough to listen. Not too much sass talking. And overall it’s a time they still need you. To get here or there. To buy this or that. For food. And so on.

Parenting doesn’t have a rule book. It’s expensive to say the least. It’s full of memories, both good and bad. Parenting shows your flaws as well as your strengths in your offspring. That might be the hardest part of parenting. Looking in the mirror.

Seeing the stubbornness.

Seeing the attitude.

Living with a mini version of oneself.

I still wouldn’t change it for the world but I do miss the favorite age I mentioned above. I have three kids in three different stages. They all give me joy, stress, and aw shit moments. For this rant I’m just putting it on paper. A way of confirming what life is for me now. 

challenges

A New Wall

I hit a new wall today. A mentally exhausting wall. One I didn’t initially bounce off and spring ahead like normal.

This wall was different. It started out as me being tired. Then it shifted to me being irritable. Then technology flipped a few switches that set me off kilter.

Moving on to mid-day a teenager rattled my cage. Then the rain hit. All the while work was super busy. It’s the end of the month. The end of the fiscal year. Emergencies by phone and mail.

I wanted to dish out numbers like they do at the meat counter but that’s not reality. It all needs to get done. You need to be four places at one time. It doesn’t matter if it’s pouring rain let alone if you are tired. 

When you are in the hot seat. The driver’s seat. The most relied upon seat, nothing matters. You are just expected to balance it all. But what happens when you hit the wall and don’t bounce back?

For some it may take one into a dark place in mind and body. Luckily for me I have some friends who can crack me up during the day with a funny text to lighten the load. I have some go-to gals who can be a listening ear when I want to punch everyone.

And then I can always change my scenery. For me, today I took a car ride. Got a coffee. Drank it away from people. Talked to a friend by phone. Took some deep breaths. Ordered dinner to-go. Planned an early bedtime to mentally let my brain rest.

I took to writing. This blog of course. Writing is a therapeutic outlet for me for many reasons but sharing stories of walls is important for people to read. It’s life. It’s real. It’s not filtered. There are no amazing pictures.

My wall is the beginning of what may be a long road of walls. It’s midlife womanly adjustments. The yucky m word. The one you want to be over so your cycle is history but the one you dread because of its uncertainty.

Let me just type the damn word. Menopause. Menopausal. Resident psycho to some. Bitch to others. I’m sure I’m missing a few descriptions but owning the word and its side effects is step one. One of God only knows how many steps.

Pray for me. Think of me. Lift me up in spirits if you see me against the wall. Plastered to the wall. Mentioning the wall. Or anything resembled the wall symptoms. Baggy eyes. Disheveled look. Short fuse.

The worst thing you can do is ignore my hot mess as that will make me want to isolate you. As a giver and doer I help many. Unfortunately many won’t see that need for help. That struggle at that damn wall. 

Is there a magic tea for menopause? And why the hell is the word “men” embedded in the word itself. That is just crazy because they are clueless when it comes to dealing with a menopausal woman. Just sayin’.

mEn-oh-PAuse: your lady friend is about to go batshit crazy. Clear the fuck out now. Don’t pause. Run. Hide. It’s safer that way.
If the DICtionary doesn’t say that it really should. Fun fact!

family

What’s Missing Today?

Today I went to the bathroom to spray some perfume. The new bottle of perfume that only comes out annually. It’s missing. Gone. It wasn’t even in my bathroom finishing section for less than 24 hours.
 
I thought, where did I put it? As if I was in the wrong or a state of confusion. Nope, furthest from the truth. I realized it was back to school time and a little mini me must have helped herself to my stash of scents. Of course she did. She needs to smell fresh at school all day and it seems you get sweaty running up and down the halls. Smelling good combats the sweat I guess. Wow just wow. Oh the bright teenager mind.
 
Then it got me to thinking. My missing tank tops for the gym. My missing gym socks that I thought got eaten in the dryer mysteriously. I literally took inventory and I was missing a lot.
 
T-shirts, booty shorts, shoes, jewelry and so on. Basically the only exclusions were bras and panties. Does this happen to anyone else? I thought I had a private room/bath but apparently there is an invisible sign that says come in, help yourself, stay until you find what you need, smell good and feel fabulous. 
 
I am a bit speechless. A bit flattered. A bit annoyed. Does this happen to anyone else? Fall is fast approaching and why do I think I won’t even find a cute sweater or sweatshirt when the need arises. Oh well that’s because lady hot fingers has probably helped herself for all the good stuff.
 
Then there lies the problem. I can’t go shopping for replacements because I like to try things on for the perfect fit and thanks to corona I can’t. Go away Corona. I need to replenish my closet. 
 
Invasion of the teen has happened and I guess she is missing her spontaneous trips to the mall for her own retail therapy and I guess my closet is at least new to her.
 
Rehome, reinvent, recycle. Oh the words I have that sum up the year we call 2020. 
 
Life is tough in my world. Clearly some teen girl has it made though.
perspective

It Just Happened

Just like that. I looked up and the calendar is showing September first is right around the corner. What in the heck!

Have I been in a coma? Did I get amnesia? Did I get hit by a Mack truck? No, I sure didn’t. I’ve been living in what seems like a a time warp of sorts. The corona blah.

I see some sense of normalcy on the horizon. School is back in session. A digital start moving on to in-person tomorrow. What a whirl wind for my new high schooler.

One way hallways, masks required, one way stairwells, limited social activities, no fun bus rides, just a bunch of rules, rules and more rules. In her world it’s still better than being stuck at home on a computer for hours. For me it’s a break from the insanity of the last 6 months.

Work adjustments, life adjustments, school adjustments. Just another day of change management. Grind, grind, grind.

September is here. Fall is in the air. Sweaters, sweatpants and blankets ahh how I love me some fall fun. Looking forward to hikes, toasted marshmallows, pumpkin seeds and maybe if I’m lucky a trip for a quick getaway if travel restrictions are lifted. Starbucks coffee in the famous red cup is a must as well. Caramel brûlée I hear you calling my name.

Here’s to hoping this fall is a giant leap forward into normalcy. May the leaves falling be a symbol of corona being a topic of the past vs. the present. May sports this fall be memorable for my child as she begins her high school career. May there be school dances and football games. May there be activities to look forward to that involve people and socializing.

Bring on September, October and November. Let these three months be ones for the record book. I want to look up and say “wow, I’ve had the best three months” instead of “wow, did I just wake up from a coma the last six months?!”

Fabulous fall here we come!

fitness and nutrition, friendship

Peachtree Road Race, 2019

 

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It’s an Atlanta Independence Day tradition. The largest 10K in the world.

Growing up, I watched my ultra-fit older brother run the Peachtree.  Other members of my extended family have run it at times throughout my life.  Five years ago, inspired by my sister-in-law, I decided to join in.

The Peachtree is a festive, social event as much as it is a fitness test. I look forward to running the Peachtree with family and friends.  Sometimes our running partners shift a bit.  Every year, I’ve had my youngest daughter with me.  How we both have changed since that first run!  See the pics below for glimpses of us through the years.

Some years are harder than others.  My first year, I was doing some walking and jogging at home when race day rolled around.  We completed that race during a thunderstorm.  I knew I had to do it again since I didn’t really get the “Peachtree experience” of silly signs, live music, and fifty-nine plus thousand other runners and revelers along the way due to the weather.

Other years presented challenges due to heat, travel schedules, and my level of training.  My time has gone up and down. In 2018 and 2019 I didn’t train specifically to run the race.  I just relied on my overall CrossFitness to carry me through.

This year I felt as strong as I ever have throughout the race.  I am still slow and steady, but I ran for much longer stretches than I have before, and my slow may be slightly less slow than my previous paces.

My goal this year was to complete the race in less than 1 hour 30 minutes, and I beat that goal by over 3 minutes.  I shaved over 8 minutes off my time from last year, and more than 23 minutes from my very first Peachtree result.

Even better…at the end of the race this year I felt like I could keep running, another first! And afterwards, I was ready to walk back up the very long hill to catch our ride back to the car.  The stairs we I to go up and down didn’t bother me. I’m usually stiff and spent for the rest of the day once I cross the finish line. I was a little sore the next morning, but not too bad. I got up, went to the gym, and went on about my daily routines.

Overall, this year’s Peachtree was a great personal success. Having a benchmark to look at makes a big difference in seeing how I’m coming along, year after year.  What fitness traditions do you enjoy?