Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What I am Willing to Trade

Yesterday I spent more than 45 minutes filling out paperwork.  Paperwork that is not even close to complete.  Paperwork that could ultimately change our lives.  Paperwork that, once filed, will have our house up for sale.

In thinking about it all- both as I was filling it out and after the fact- I realized a few things.  First, I'm extremely nervous about this.  I have no idea where we are going to go, how it's all going to play out or what's going to happen.  Second, this is HUGE.  Monumental. And somewhat overwhelming.  Finally, third, how are we EVER going to sell our house in this market?!?!?!

I also thought about the things that I'm willing to "trade" from our life now.  Things I'm willing to give up for being closer to our families, my work, my kids' school and an area that I'm much more comfortable in.

I'm willing to trade or give up:

* Being a homeowner for being a renter for awhile
* Having my snow shoveled for me
* Having my grass mowed for me
* Living on a Cul de Sac
* Being minutes away from apple orchards and pumpkin farms
* Living around the corner from the YMCA
* Having bears wander through my backyard
* Having neighbors who think it's ok to trespass and cut my roses for their own enjoyment
* Having an HOA fee each month that really doesn't get us much more than grass and snow removal- and garbage
* 95 minute commutes on bad days, 45 minutes on good ones
* Having my yard back to protected land
* Having a good size backyard but even better sized side yard
* Having to miss events at my daughter's current school because it's just too far to travel on my lunch break
* Having to be up before 5 most mornings
* Not being near a train station that can get me and my kids into the city, easily, for a spontaneous afternoon trip
* And so much more

We have contemplated and waffled and argued and every other emotion there is about this next step.  It's huge and scary and exciting all at once.  It's something we have needed for awhile and something we really want.

And now it's starting to really happen and I wouldn't trade any of this experience for the world!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Before and After

I completed my first triathlon this summer.

We use the word awesome so much in our society and I think that it often loses the meaning with which it was originally created.

I have to say, though, my experience was awesome.  In the truest sense of the word.  There is no other way to describe it.

I don't want to recap the entire day because a play by play could never actually capture what it was like to be a part of this even and complete it.  But I can tell you that I still get chills thinking about it.

I have always been an athlete.  My entire life.  It is truly part of what defines me.  Even at my heaviest I still played sports.  But when I took on the challenge of participating in this race I really was not sure it was going to happen.

First off, swimming is not my strong suit.  I am a former swimmer but not a championship one.  Not a highly competitive one.  Just one who did swim team for awhile and then left to focus on basketball.  So, the idea of having to swim in a dirty disgusting river really, actually, scared me.

Second, biking.  I enjoy riding my bike.  I'm sure that on really nice days in the past when I've gone out on trails and with friends I've easily rode 15, 16 or even 20 miles with no problem and without realizing it.  But the thought of being on a bike for 16 straight miles of hills and turns and unknowns was not all that appealing to me.

Finally, running AFTER biking.  HAH!  I run now and it's a shitshow because I'm not a "trained" runner.  But running a 5k AFTER having swam and biked, well, forget it.  I knew that right then and there my legs were going to detach themselves from my body and sit down on the ground and throw a temper tantrum. 

But, all of it, I did it.

It took me and my friend and training partner, Wolfie, a good while to do it, but we did it.

I have a picture sitting on my desk at work of Wolfie and I before the race began.  It's not the best picture but I really like it.  I keep it there because in that picture I am someone completely different from who I am now and who I was 3 hours after that picture was taken. 

I competed in and finished a triathlon this Summer and I didn't do it in record time or with the hope of winning, but I did it.  And I am in awe of my accomplishment.  I am amazed at what I have achieved because I never, ever, thought I could do that.

And next Spring, I'm going to do it three more times!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Change in the Parenting Pattern

In the past few weeks I have been thrust into an entirely new dimension.  A new version of parenthood.  One that I knew was coming but it smacked me so hard upside my head that I haven't been able to regain consciousness just yet.

My son started Kindergarten this year and while I was fully aware that this was going to occur, I don't really think I was prepared for it.

I waited until the last minute to get everything done for him.  This was partially because I am the queen of the land called Procrastinationville.  (I tell myself I work at my best under pressure)  But it was also partially because if I didn't take care of anything maybe the reality would not occur.

Logical, right?

Well, it needed to get done and get done, it did. 

My first realization that this was all going to actually happen was standing in the uniform store with my mother and two children.  My son was trying on a sweater vest and I started to cry. 

Now, let's remember, my kid has been in some form of school or daycare since he was 9 weeks old.  NINE WEEKS!  I was not crying because my baby was leaving the nest....far from it.  I was crying for the same reason that I bawled a week later when driving to work and thinking about how he'd be going to school soon- he was growing up. 

I love that my kids are growing up.  I love that they are learning new things and becoming kind and generous individuals (outside of our home).  I love that I don't have diapers in my house anymore and that my children dress themselves- albeit they don't always match.  But when a milestone like this appears, I am quickly thrust back into the early hormonal roller coaster days of new parenthood.

These are uncharted waters we're going through here and I worry that they may start to get choppy.

I bawled on my son's first day of school.  I tried my best to really hold it together.  I didn't want him to be worried that this was going to be hard or be afraid of a new school.  But apparently, my best at holding together is not all that great because I was a mess. 

My son?  Not so much.

His teacher stopped me in the hallway a few days later to see how I was doing and we laughed about the fact that this was not about him going off to school, per se.  She told me that I was the first parent in YEARS to cry on the first day of Kindergarten.  And then she told me that it was refreshing because it is such a monumental moment.

Last night was Back to School Night for my son.  And I managed to only tear up two or three times.  No weeping this time around.

Tomorrow night is another meeting at his school for a fun

But I'm in this world that I've really only seen from either the outside or the teacher side.  This world of parenthood is completely different from anything I've know yet. 

I don't know how to be a PTA mom, and I'm not sure I want to know.

I can't be the Home and School mom who organizes the gift wrap sale.  I mean I can, but I don't think I want to be.

Room mother really doesn't appeal to me.

Thank God there are parents that want those jobs because right now, I just don't know where I fit into this stage of parenting.

I never thought about the changing dimensions of parenthood and I certainly never expected to be this emotional. 

I guess in the end it becomes about your child weathers these changes.  My son, in his classroom on his first day as I was crying, patted me on the shoulder, gave me a kiss and told me it was all going to be ok.

Clearly, something is being done right!

Monday, September 20, 2010

I'm back

I think it might be time to make a return appearance.  Hopefully, a long term return appearance.

I'm not really sure why I stopped writing here. 

I can't give you a specific instance that occurred that made me want to step away from here.

I just needed to step away because it stopped being enjoyable. 

It stopped being about what I really wanted to say and more about what I thought people wanted to hear.

And I was caring about comments.  And I hate when I care about comments.

It wasn't about the content of the comments but rather that I was or was not getting them.

So, I very easily walked away.

I thought about coming back more than a dozen times but it never struck me as the right time.

I don't know why now is all of a sudden the right time but it is.

And I'm back.

I've been away. 

I've been all over the place since I've been gone.

I've been working and running and triathlon-ing and doctor visiting and house hunting and house staging and painting and just living in chaos.

And now I'm back.

Thanks for stick around.

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