Spring in my steps

I can’t believe that it will be May tomorrow.

We will be moving in one month. My cousin decided that she didn’t want to buy our house. Now we are working on the little repairs to get it ready to put on the market.

I have been very busy. I’m not sure how much time I will have to blog over the next couple of weeks. So not to worry if my patterns seem to change a little.

The snow has finally melted! Spring has finally arrived. I am hoping to run outside from here on out. I haven’t been able to get in a long run at all lately. The weekends have been busy with kid stuff and I can’t take off of work to do a long run during the week. I’ve been feeling so sluggish and slow when I do get the chance to run just short distances lately (5 or 6 miles).

I’m running my first trail marathon in two and a half months. I haven’t been out on the trails yet. I am hoping that they will be open within the next week or so. I’ve only been able to run outside 5 or 6 times this year. Wisconsin is a harsh climate for exercising. That and all the beer we drink and cheese we eat, it’s no wonder why we lead the nation in obesity.

I have a 4 month window for running outside in ideal conditions, with about 5 months where it is nearly impossible to run outside at all. Not to mention that a lot of people suffer from seasonal depression. I try to curb it by taking copious amounts of Vitamin D. It’s hard to stay active here without a gym membership and even harder to keep motivated to run to the gym.

The window for swimming is probably closer to 2 months. I’m thinking that we still have some patchy ice out on the lakes. I don’t think I feel comfortable doing a full Ironman without several months of swimming in open water. Swimming indoors and even outdoors did not come close to preparing me for the massive waves during the Half Ironman.

So, with marathon training, moving, and fixing up our house plus working and everything else going on…my time is going to be very limited over the next couple of weeks.

I’m planning on starting a new series though…I have a huge collection of fortune cookie wisdom to share and recycle before we move.

 

Snowstorm slacker and other partly cloudy stories

Today was supposed to be the day that we were going to get a monster snowstorm. The whole state of Wisconsin was supposed to shut down. Everyone wants a white Christmas, but no one wants to cancel plans, or at least admit that they want to. Instead a few inches are going to trickle in over the next two days. Here comes snowstorm slacker…How flaky!

I wish I could be paid a lot of money for being completely inaccurate. I hope the weather forecasters are wrong about the 15 to 30 below wind chills Christmas morning too!

I thought I would have to cancel my plans for tonight. I have a karaoke date at a dive bar with an older man.

Now before you start to judge, let me explain. I have a thing for older men…like way older men. I have developed friendships with men that are in their 80’s. I am particular with my older men…they have to be flirty, funny, eccentric, and smart. This year my older friend lost his wife of over 60 years. This will be his first Christmas without her. He shares our family passion of singing…maybe this would make his day a little brighter on the darkest day of the year.

Yesterday I called my older friend from work to see if our date was still on. He asked me if I bought him a Christmas gift yet. Then he said, “Honey, why don’t you come down to the bar right now and I’ll buy you a drink?” He makes me laugh. I spend more time with him than with my own dad.

Family, it is a difficult time of year for that…family…strained relationships, obligated gatherings, all creating more stress over the busiest time of year…with the expectation of hearts filled with peace and joy.

I think I am finally at peace with our Christmas plans. My mom wanted to get together at my house at noon on Christmas Eve, but I wanted to get together later in the day instead. Paul, Angel, and I will be singing at the late night service. It is much more than I want to squeeze into one day.

If I have everyone at my house at noon then I would have to plan two meals that day, clean up before and after, and all of the dishes…then have enough energy to deal with family and be ready to sing. Thankfully, Angel has to work Christmas Eve until 4 PM and I DIDN’T WANT TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS WITHOUT HER. Plus I didn’t want everyone to eat and ditch before church.

So, my brother Mark and his wife won’t be able to attend. I haven’t seen or talked to them since July anyway. They never come to my family’s events or even send a card…so…oh well. My uncle Rick is having a family party the day before anyway. We will see them then. Uncle Rick is too nice. Everyone is telling him what to do for his party, but no one wants to do the work of having the party.

I think that if you are hosting the party then you should have full control. You pick the time. You pick the menu. You get my drift. I don’t think Uncle Rick wants that though. He seems more content to have people tell him what to do than I am.

Things have been going well. Angel is home from college. It is so wonderful. I get home from work and the laundry is folded and the dishes are done. She asks if she can help with anything else. In the evenings she just wants to visit and talk. She is my only kid that makes me feel like I did something right as a mom.

Other than that, I have been trying to keep up with my exercise routine. I called my cousin last week and told him I would like to run a trail marathon with him next summer. I like to run twice a week and have one day a week where I do something other than running to work out. Last night, Paul and I went cross county skiing the first time this season. I have to tell you that I am not really good at sports. Trust me. Although I run marathons and do Half Irons and stuff like that, I am the world’s biggest klutz. I watched others glide by skating on skis while I managed to fall in the flat area. I have zero sense of balance. I would fail yoga 101. I keep trying though. I’m going to need all the balance I can get as I age.

I probably won’t have much time to talk until after Christmas. It already has been a busy week with Christmas parties and programs galore.

And so far we got zero inches of snow from snowstorm slacker..

Merry Christmas!!

Unbalanced

This morning I went dumpster diving and it was the most joy I found in weeks.

Am I unbalanced?

I was thinking lately about joy, about balance. The main sectors of my life for the last several years has been family, work, and training for marathons, etc.. I like things clean. I am happy when these sectors don’t collide….when they don’t interrupt other sectors..

Now my sectors are colliding and I feel unbalanced.

Yesterday I took time off of work to train..I didn’t get all of my work done at the end of the day.

Work is so busy I feel guilty for doing anything besides work…I don’t worry about money because of my hard work, but I don’t have time. I drive my car fast because I would rather pay a ticket then lose a few moments of extra time. I tell my son not to speed.

Work pulls at me when I am with family. Another email that needs responding to after hours. It will only take a few minutes.

I eat my lunch while driving to work out or while pacing around the kitchen.

Sometimes I am too busy to write. I should be working. I didn’t get caught up today.

Then the kids pull at me. There is always something going on after school that I have to take them to or be at. Then there was the last couple of weeks spending every moment with my MIL as she was in the final stages of cancer. Then I have to decide which kids to sacrifice the other kids for. Do I cancel out on my daughter’s first opera to stay home with a sick kid??

Then there was my son who was having issues with colitis and he couldn’t get treatment until he gave a sample. He couldn’t get a sample. Then this morning after another call to the doctor, I got the idea of taking a couple of specimens and making it into one sample. Great idea, but it involved me going out into the dumpster with rubber gloves and digging around. But I was successful! Now my son is on medicine and I feel so happy about it.

But I was late for work..

It is so hard to keep my life in balance.

Being very busy at work for the last 3 months, having to hire someone, having to train someone, more work, more customer service issues because we are busier..

Being busy at home running kids around, housework, laundry, dishes, sick kids, a death in the family…

Training for an 18 mile trail run, a marathon, and a Half Iron.

This morning I jokingly said to my husband that I wake up with shit on my lips. Sounds disgusting, I know. I wake up stressed. I mutter to myself oh shit off and on all day. I fall asleep at night stressed and exhausted.

Is all of this effort worth it?

Most of the time I can keep up, but I feel so unbalanced right now… I want to do everything well, but sometimes I have to leave some important things undone and that bothers me.

 

Sink, swim, or walk on water??

It has been a few days since we last spoke.

I haven’t lost interest in you. It just seems harder to find the time…

I did get some sleep since we last spoke. That just makes life better.

I really don’t mind the stresses of everyday life. I don’t, really! I would rather be busy than bored. I have no tolerance for boredom. I can’t handle it. But I also like routine and structure. Go figure?

But sometimes the pendulum swings too far to the side of busyness. Those are the times that I find myself at the fast end of a Tetris game. Things happen so fast that I can’t keep up and none of the pieces fit together. I have been living in this mode for the last couple of weeks now. Then add a couple of sleepless nights with nightmares and I am a completely miserable person to be around.

I have been getting a lot of comments this week from close friends and family. Are you okay?? You don’t seem like yourself lately.. Please try not to worry so much. Are you just tired or are you feeling depressed?? What’s wrong??

I don’t want to be so stressed out anymore. Everyone goes through rough patches in life. I want to be the person that has enough faith to walk on water. Not the person that is flailing around, drowning, barely able to keep my head above water…dragging down those around that notice and are trying to help me.

But through this I have found that I have a lot of people that care about me. Although their concern worries me, maybe I do need to take better care of myself.

I want to be me again.

I will be okay!

I grew up living most of my childhood in fight or flight mode. It was one big adrenaline rush. But the thing is that I can’t seem to turn it off. I don’t want to turn it off. I don’t know how to live any other way. I am like the dog that has been beat too many times, but prefers the harsh owner because that is what I know. It is hard to explain. It is also hard to find that same feeling in healthy ways. So I run marathons and hang out with exciting people.

Tonight I will be going out with my BFF Cindy for beers and burgers. Then tomorrow night the old gang will be getting back together for the first time in years for a night of dinner, games, cocktails, and dancing.

Wow, I will be going out two nights in a row! (It’s not like I have been sleeping all that great on my own after a night at home anyway!) Lol..

I will be hanging out with some very beautiful women that also have a great thirst for adventure which usually equates to some pretty interesting stories…

 

The weight of my world

I am having nightmares again..two last week and one this week so far..

Last night I dreamed my sister-in-law Emily died. It was right around 2 AM. I stayed up a few minutes and went back to sleep into the same nightmare again. Then for the next 2 hours I continued the dream. Emily died and her little girls were without a mom. It was shocking, unexpected, and tragic. Not only did Emily die, but whatever killed her was contagious and other family members were exposed and might die. I woke up crying and here I am typing a rough draft at 4 AM wanting to sleep, but not really wanting to sleep.

This is a stressful time in my life. I thought I was going to fall into a deep depression after my daughter Angel went back to college. It didn’t happen. Honestly, I have been too busy to notice her absence. 

Work has been crazy busy, but yesterday we hired our new employee. There is relief in sight.

My mother-in-law, still dying and getting weaker with each visit. We have been going to see her as much as possible. It is a depressing and hopeless situation. I feel a lot of guilt because I have been neglecting my own parents. 

All of this brings up guilt from when I was a caregiver for my Aunt Grace. She needed so much care that it took all of my time. I didn’t spend as much time with my grandma whom I was closer to. I often drove by grandma’s house without stopping because Grace needed me more. 

Is this how my mother felt all these years taking care of my autistic brother Matt? I think I am finally getting it. I wanted to spend time with you, but he needed me soooo much more. 

Matt still needs her more, will always need her more. He had a meltdown over Christmas. He went home from work one winter day with his boots on and forgot his shoes at work. He was so worked up that he needed to be medicated. My mom told me about this on Christmas Eve because someday she said I will be getting the phone calls.

The weight of my world is so suffocating some times. 

Saying good bye?

I have often wondered why we say the words good bye. What is ever good about parting with someone that you care about?

This morning I said good bye to Angel as she left to go back to college. I won’t be seeing her again until March.

Last night Angel said good bye to her grandma, probably for the last time.

It was a rough week. Darryl called earlier this week very distraught. The doctor told him that Martha was never going to go back home again. She was going to be transferred from the hospital into a nursing home. They thought that she was going to beat this terminal stage 4 cancer thing. It is hard to blame them for feeling that way as they don’t have the internet at home and we are all new to this stage 4 cancer thing.

Living with her day to day, I’m sure that Darryl didn’t see how the cancer eroded her body like we did. Losing 100 lbs isn’t as noticeable if you lose it 1 lb a day. It broke Paul’s heart to see his step-dad break down and start talking about final wishes and funeral arrangements. We knew we had to arrange one last visit with Angel and her grandma before she left.

The night that Darryl called, Paul cried. Before all of this, in the 20+ years I’ve known Paul, he has only cried a handful of times. Mainly when his grandma, who helped raise him, died. Dealing with his mother dying has brought out a whole new range of emotions, some of them not very good. I want to fix things, but I can’t.

Sometimes I worry about Paul. He takes on too much responsibility. He is a great leader and everyone wants his help on this board, committee, or that. I find that most people care more about what he can do for them instead of him.

Besides Paul and my friend Cindy (who keeps calling and asking how I am doing), I have been pushing everyone in my life away. When things get difficult I shut everyone out. No personal Facebook statuses for me. I don’t want anyone to know. It surprises me that I even talk to you. Sorry, no offense, I’m sure you are a great person.

Instead of dealing with my emotions, I put more things on my plate. No, not food, if I’m really stressed I barely eat. Working long hours…yes…trying out for a part in the play…yes…signing up for an 18 mile trail run…yes…another marathon…yes, yes, yes….a half iron…yes, yes, oh yes!

Keeping very busy has always been a tactic of mine.

I’m not sure I can keep going at this pace. But I am afraid. If I stop juggling all of these busyness balls, I will surely drown.

I will keep going. I am determined to persevere. And I am going to keep writing (take you along on this journey with me)! Lucky you! XOXXO

 

 

That bites!

I feel overwhelmed by the busyness at work. I like being busy, but I don’t like feeling like I can’t keep up. Paul and I have been working hard together, alone. We have been arguing for days. It seems like the stress is bringing out the extremes in our personalities and right now we clash. I have been holding myself tight and my body aches from it more than it does from a 12 mile run.

There is no sanctuary.

At home, my pets still have fleas. They are licking and scratching themselves until they bleed. It disgusts me. I don’t want them around me. They sit in my chair and scratch. I can’t relax. I feel crawly when I sit down. I can’t stand to be in my house. It is unnerving.

The vet said there was nothing I could do, that I might still see a few fleas all winter even after treatment. I never would’ve guessed that something like this could happen. Was it the unseasonably warm fall temperatures??

I blame myself. My husband asked me why I blame myself for situations I have no control over. I really don’t know why.

If only I would have treated the pets a few weeks back when I suspected but didn’t find anything. I only put flea treatments on my pets if I have to. Maybe I was wrong.

I have been strongly indoctrinated as a child that the use of any chemicals was wrong. My autistic brother Matt was supposedly allergic. We weren’t allowed to wear bug spray. My brothers and dad had to take down wasps nests with the end of a rake and run or spray them with a hose. Chemicals were not allowed. Instead of weed killer, we put cement blocks on weeds to kill them.

I am not that extreme, but it is hard to change my mindset.

The one thing I am excited about is picking Angel up from college for winter break. We are heading out to pick her up this weekend and then having a family Christmas party at my brother Luke’s house.

We are also supposed to get a snow storm this weekend. We are expecting a foot of snow. After it is done snowing, we will have strong winds and dangerously cold temps. This is going to make the 6 hour drive downright treacherous for us.

Why can’t my life ever be boring!??!!!!!

Regardless, it is certain to give me something interesting to write about!

Shoveling snow with a fork

Do you ever wake up in the morning knowing that the day’s work is not going to get done no matter how hard you work?? It is a dreadful feeling. It kept me from sleeping soundly last night.

This is usually our slow time of year, but we got a large one time account that will keep us very busy until the end of the year. We all left the office early yesterday for a staff party and my employee that helps me with the work had to take today off. Some of the orders that came in yesterday still aren’t done.

Let’s put it this way…there is a blizzard and I only have a fork to shovel with.

As I was working this morning, I ended up getting timed out and lost almost an hour’s worth of work. I was so angry that more than a few obscenities spewed out.

It is almost like spending an hour writing a post, perfecting it (probably the best post ever), and poof it is gone!

Of all days for this to happen! How frustrating!!

I have so many stories to tell you too, but I really need to get back to work.