Let It Be Known that on February 24, 2012, Luke and I submitted a payment of almost five thousand dollars to our credit card company, leaving us with a double-digit balance for the first time since 2010. We celebrated with a cheap bottle of red and nineteen dollars' worth of steak and tortillas from Qdoba. Bring on the cookies, bag up those chips. We can afford it. (Today.)
After four months of intermittent physical therapy, I can finally run with only minimal aches and pains. Did I ever give you the skinny on that whole thing? A PT evaluation in October confirmed my body was still a mess from my last c-section: severe diastasis at least three fingers wide, weak pelvis and lower abs, compression in the right knee between the kneecap and the femur. It was explained that my core was too weak to absorb the regular impact of running, so the full burden fell to my lower half, which promptly failed the task. PT exercises helped alleviate this until my gallbladder pulled a hissy fit on Thanksgiving, and it wasn't until my birthday I felt like anything close to normal. By then it was January and hello, Mini Marathon training!
It had been my plan to run this year's Mini since being pregnant with Liam, with goals of improving on my freshman effort and marking a return to the sport with a PR. At the start of training, though, I hadn't logged a mile since September.
Here is where I experienced my first lesson in Keeping It Real for 2012 and admitted I couldn't tackle the Mini quite the way I planned. Right now I'm following a run-walk schedule that exists only in my head, and it is this: Get outside three times a week. Run when I can, walk when there's pain, and don't feel guilty if I skip two weeks a day. Just keep on.
To date I'm at three miles, and the official training program hosted their 10K race last weekend. CAN WE SAY YIKES. Moving forward, it's probably best that I focus on races where training doesn't start in the dead of winter, especially when we're not in a financial position to take on a gym membership. But that's okay. The important thing is I'm moving again.
My kids are growing up so fast. The toddlers are signed up for school in the fall - pre-K and preschool, respectively - and will take swim lessons this summer. They're also displaying an interest in learning how to read. How do you spell "snake," Mom? Daddy, how do you spell "airplane"? Kara holds ballet shows in our living room on a regular basis, inspired by Selena's and Olivia's enthusiasm, and will start her first dance class next month. There is constant chatter from her about turning five and going to kindergarten and next year can she please invite school friends to her birthday party and slow down, child, I'm not ready for this yet. Nathan is making steady progress on the potty-training front and adores all things trains and dinosaurs. Liam is cutting two bottom teeth and pulling up on everything in reach. He was baptised at our church, which we are quickly falling in love with, at the end of February.
Such the little man.
Their relationship is every bit as adorable as you can imagine.
I'm not sure how to navigate this new place I'm in, having recently resolved to let the dust settle from several years of activity instead of chasing The Next Big Thing. I've adopted four different life plans since the start of 2012, embracing then abandoning each one wholeheartedly when the sense of peace I waited for didn't come. Taking long-held dreams and examining them under a microscope, I'm faced with hard questions. How much of my goal setting has been driven by an attitude of laziness and a longing for easy? Am I allowing the bottles-and-diapers phase of parenting, which is unique and temporary, to misguide decision making related to the future? Have I been moving towards something or running away?
Then there is this: Who am I holding accountable for my long-term happiness, aside from myself? And where am I left if those people fall short?
(Can you imagine living with this crazy on a daily basis? I assume Luke has your sympathy.)
I've made a lot of declarations the past couple of months - make that the last few years - about family and priorities and What Really Matters, and it's embarrassing to consider another direction now that the follow-through isn't meeting my expectations. Maybe it's the wrong time. Maybe I had the wrong dream. Maybe the alignment of the two already happened - right time, right dream - and I missed the window. No matter what the case, now I have to admit that it might be time to move on.
(Related food for thought: Linda's post on giving up a dream. Note my passionate monologue on plan one near the bottom. That Frema! So naive four weeks ago back then.)
Picture Linus from the Peanuts Gang being asked to give up his security blanket.
Lucky for me I don't need to act on anything today. Even luckier, there's plenty left to hold onto.