Archive | May 2014

The Ebb and Flow of Life- Letting Go and Reeling

I don’t know about anyone else, but my little princess- Maggie- is obsessed with the movie Frozen. The song “Let it Go” is on frequent play back these days. It’s even on the pop station here in town. Why is it speaking to adults? What might they be letting go of figuratively? Pain? Mistakes? Doubt?

In the movie it is about letting go of what is holding Princess Elsa back out of fear that she might hurt someone with her amazing powers. Elsa was actually capable of making beautiful and wonderful things. Then Elsa took it too far, but in taking it too far learned what her limits and capabilities actually were.  

 I said to a friend yesterday that in my teaching I gave it 150% and I learned a lot about myself in taking it too far. Sometimes you just have to lose yourself and go over the top and then reel yourself back in to what you really should be doing. Finding some new parameters of your strengths. 

Running is another example for me. I’m at the over the top place in this obsession I have for running. I am letting go of my hesitations and shooting on out the door, but when I can’t go it’s all I think about. My husband and I go through obsessions. We learn from them and grow from them. We go over the top and then reel ourselves back in and in the end we are a newer improved model of what we once had been, but we eventually fizzle out of our over the topness. Just like Elsa we have a tendency of taking things a little too far and then settling in for what we learned from it, but it’s about control of your desire to see what you can do and then realistically what you can do with time, energy and money. The fly lady cleaning phase we went through is a perfect example. The house is still a mess, but we learned a lot about keeping a clean sink and that is a habit that stuck as well as cleaning off hot spots. 

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In the coming months I will be letting go of so many things. One in particular will be my business and all of the equipment I have accumulated over the last four years. I’m having fun going through everything that I will be letting go of at a yard sale in a few weeks. I’m hoping to become more flylady proud as I will have less things in my home. The daycare closes in 84 days just a week or so from when my new job is projected to actually begin. Our friends are moving to DC and we spend the most time with their family out of all over our other couples friends. It will be weird without them around almost every weekend this summer. The company around the fire and our table will be different. I will not be with the children I have cared for since their birth and I will miss them and their families. Those friendships have formed a foundation on which we can not ignore and we wont.

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I will begin my new teaching job shortly following the closing of the daycare. I will be beginning a new teaching adventure, but I will be letting go of the time in my home. I have spent the last four years in my home essentially. I will be letting go of the idea that our children are small. I went to my daughters preschool today for “Muffins with Mom”. I don’t normally get to do this because I’m already working by the time her preschool opens. It is hard to do these things, because I have missed so many other “Muffins with Mom” moments due to my employment. That was my one and only I will probably ever get to participate in and I’m glad and grateful that I got to attend. When leaving I watched as the other mothers were attempting to leave and say goodbye. Their daughters clinging to their legs with tears streaming down their faces. The mothers made a common parenting mistake- the leave- reverse and come back for one more goodbye. This causes the child to go through waves of emotions… Mom is leaving… mom is gone… mom is back… mom is leaving again… mom keeps saying she will be back in just a little bit… and she returns again. I found myself watching as a caregiver of children and all I could think was to start singing- Let her go…. let her go…. but I didn’t. My daughter has these meltdowns from time to time too and we reward her for changing the behavior until it stops. We leave quickly and if she doesn’t fuss she gets a reward after school. Maggie hung up her Ariel costume she had worn for the celebration in her cubby very neatly as I was leaving and kissed me goodbye. She was fully prepared for me to leave and to help make the other children happy by playing with them. I was proud of her in that moment. My son- Alden- has an amazing knack with babies. He truly knows how to make a baby happy. One of the babies I watch simply saw my son’s silhouette through the door yesterday and started giggling knowing it was Alden. Sure I went over the top to be with my children. I resigned from a job during a budget crunch while other people were praying they kept their job- I resigned from mine. The foundation for their early years was important to me and I can see it now in their empathetic behavior. I am blessed to have been able to do this, but the over the top effects has started to show wear on our finances and the upkeep of our home and our vehicles. These things allow for me to prepare for letting go.Image

This summer both of my children will be home with me and a few other kids. They are no longer “little kids” as they both will be in school next fall. It’s my last big squeeze before I return to the classroom. I want to selfishly soak them up before I have to let them go and reel back in my professional life. I have a better understanding of my teacher and parenting powers now. This time I know what I am capable of on all fronts, but it’s about balance. Now it’s time to let it go so that I can reel life back in again.

My Mantra is in the Steady Pace of a Good Run

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If there is a decision to be made I have researched it and questioned it. I’ve prayed on it and I’ve run on it. I am a non-conformist. I will form my own opinions and make my own decisions. Not rash and careless and instead my mind is working in over time to reach some peace. I am training for a half-marathon now and I am working towards adding a mile onto my long runs every weekend. I like to run alone when I am stressed, because it is my think bank time. It is the time to talk things through in the fog that has clouded my mind for the week.

At mile five of my long run on Saturday and I got to the side of town I once taught in and I observed the beauty that surrounded the area along the greenway. The roaring sound of the river, the birds chirping with their springtime glee, and the soft light green elegance of the willow trees swaying in the gentle breeze. I was on mile six when a wolfpack of ladies joined the greenway and they were doing an interval walk/run. They hooted and hollered as they passed other wolfpacks of runners going in the opposite direction. I was heading up to pass them and even though they were doing an interval and I was just running we ended up moving very close to a similar pace. I was in deep thought and processing into mile six and they were clouding my mind with their chatterboxes. Mile five had walked me to the door of my thoughts and I had opened up mind and body. I found these chit chatting ladies terribly distracting. I had some thinking to do this time. Right near the hospital there is this steep incline and I was tired of crossing with these ladies… I needed the quiet of the earth. So I knew that if I just booked it up this particular hill that I would leave them behind on my journey and again I be able to hear the train rumbling in the distance and rustle and bustle of a city somewhere seemingly a longer distance away than the train. Once beyond those ladies my mind opened again. The last I noticed the chatterbox ladies was during their cheerful celebration when they made it to the top of the hill and I left them and their distraction there.

Once in the quiet of my mind again I said to myself- Do not behave out of desperation. Do not behave out of character. Instead behave out of necessity. Behave with the strength and the courage that others may not possess and even when they do not understand the lengths you will go to … do NOT falter. Behave as you feel called to do and with that I arose like a shot out of the cannon I shaved nearly two minutes off of my pace in the next two miles. I ran the last mile at a slightly lower pace as my mind began to wander again and I had to shut it down with the reality that I was so close to my weekly training goal for the week. It was a mind cool down from all the work it had been doing.

I went a little too far in my run, but with intention I had stepped my fifth mile into the paths of my old memories only to leave them to the back of me and move towards my finish line. At the end of my nine miles I did not cry. I wanted to cry in my release of thought processes, but I did not. I had a mile and a half to get home. I didn’t want to put too much pressure on my body so I walked. I was filled with endurance endorphins that had convinced my body it could do more. My brain however yelled NO and stifled the desire within me to just finish the run at a beautiful number of ten. I ended up walking up to the local coffee shop to meet my husband.

I bumped into friends at the coffee shop in my sweaty vulnerability of my running gear. One of my friends delivered a message of assurance for what had been weighing on my mind during my run and then she said to me, “My friend likes to run. She says it is good for her body, but it’s also healthy for her mind.” My response was, “And what do you think I was doing this morning?” I guess over ten miles into the morning my smart mouth filter dissipates.