Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pride cometh before the fall...better wear padding

I was asked at work last night to name something I have done that I am really proud of outside of work. I have to admit, aside from making four babies in recent years, I had a hard time coming up with something that happened in this century. I was stumped, so we moved on. The girl next to me starts into her schpeel about how she was graduating from college in a little over a month and she was so proud of everything she had gone through to get there over the last few years. How she is the first female in her family to get a college education. How she finished her program in four years when they warned her freshman year that most people have to go five.

I have similar stories. I was the first person in my family to graduate from college. I worked super hard and had some amazing experiences to be proud of.

15 years ago.

This has been bothering me a lot since last night. I do stuff worthy of praise. I must. I am busy ALL THE TIME. Somehow cleaning up the mac n cheese Clark dumped on the floor at lunch just doesn't make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

And it is not just the pride thing. When people ask me "what have you been up too" I instantly think of my kids and husband and what they are doing or what they are involved in. I love to talk about them and the great things in their lives. After all that IS what I am doing right. Being their cheerleader. Taxi driver. Personal chef. Housekeeper. Laundress. I am not unhappy with this situation either. In fact I love being a mom. I love watching my kids grow and change and being a part of all that great change. It just makes me take pause because I am not answering the question with the answer they were looking for. If this were an essay question, I would fail.

Here is the reason this bothers me: what happens in 10-15 years when they no longer need those things? When they all move out and learn to take care of themselves. Go and get real homes and real jobs and only come to visit when they are in town. Am I going to be THAT grandma who makes huge amounts of food for 3 people just because I now have a reason to cook?

My point is this. What am I doing that sustains Lisha? What more can I do to feel a sense of accomplishment in myself? With the little time and energy I have left at the end of the day, how can I make the most of those moments to fill MY cup? Just saying it out loud makes me feel selfish.

I enjoy reading. I like to knit. I guess finishing a book or a project makes me feel good. But that seems insignificant to me because I have been doing them both for so long, it is just part of my life. Maybe that is my problem. I have let great things become small. I think I need to start to look at life with rose colored glasses instead of the greasy ones I wear now.

In short, I need to be more humble and have more gratitude in my life.

So what sustains you? How do you fill those fleeting moments in life for YOU. What do you say when an old friend or a new boss asks you "What are you proud of in your life? What have you been doing lately?" Me? I am raising 4 little kids who are brilliant and inquisitive and love to explore new things. AND I am working on improving my physical health by working out and eating better so I can keep up with them. Not to mention supporting a husband who is a very dedicated teacher and who will be starting his Masters Degree in a few months. Oh and we are working toward buying our first home in a few months. Talk about taking on a new project!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fish from afar

We went to the Downtown Aquarium in Denver and Clark loved the fish....especially if he didn't have to get too close to them. He stood back about 5 feet from the tanks and watched them. When I would pick him up and take him closer his grip got tight and his whole body became rigid. As the fish got smaller in the tanks, he would get a little closer, but he never would touch the glass.

At one point there is glass in the floor where you can stand over the fish and watch them swim under you...big ones like sharks and manta rays. He freaked out when I put him on that glass and became so tense he couldn't even move to get off even though he wanted too very badly.

He did not want to touch the starfish, but he liked playing in the water.

We had a lot of fun crawling through the tubes and wandering through the halls. He really enjoyed the salt water tanks full of brightly colored fish including Nemo and Dory. His favorite was the blue and yellow Macaws. Although he would get tense and jump every time they would make noise.
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Thursday, February 18, 2010

A glutton for punishment

Because there is not enough going on in my life and I don't feel like my stress levels have been hitting the highs I am looking for, I decided it was time for the girls to start piano lessons. I started when I was 5 or 6. Ry was 5 when he started. Ally is already 8. It was time to get going on that adventure. Truthfully the lack of a piano is what was holding me back in the first place. They would have started 2 years ago if I had had one.

Some people would not let that deter them. I have a friend who takes his kids to the church before school every morning to practice. I like to sleep too much to do that. Knowing how to play the piano is not worth my sanity. Now thanks to "Santa" and one very generous brother in law, I no longer have an excuse for them to not take lessons.

When school resumed after Christmas Break the girls started taking lessons from our neighbor every Monday afternoon. They were so excited they could hardly be contained. The first week of lessons was great. They actually fought over who got to practice first. It lasted for about 8 days. Even after the second lesson they were still excited and anxious. Then the reality of practicing every day set in and they are no longer anxious.

So now I not only have to bribe them to do homework every day, I have to coerce them into practicing piano too. Emma informed me the other day that she was done with piano. I told her no. I already paid for the lessons this month.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Happy Engageaversary!

It is almost Valentines Day. I know. Another excuse to eat more chocolate and for the manufacturers to make more money on pink and red heart shaped versions of something they already make. Such a conspiracy.

Anywho...I bring it up because it is also the 10 year anniversary of my engagement. Woohoo! And look what I got for my engageaversary. Yea me! I love how small and lite it is. Plus we have a wireless printer so I can just push a button and it automatically sends it through with no wires to hook up. How cool is that?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Step Aerobics Nearly killed me...

This morning I got up the courage to attend a class at the Apple that was not Yoga. Step Aerobics is almost everyday at 8:30 so I decided this was going to be "my class". The timing is perfect and I need the structure to keep my heart rate up so I can actually burn some calories. I have been working out for weeks now trying to build up my endurance and condition myself to make it through the 55 min class.

I went a little early and warned the instructor that I was new and might pass out. I lasted about 20 before I had to pee. My bladder is not used to all that jumping around. I came back in and gave it my best effort but at about 45 I had to stop. My head was spinning and my heart was racing faster than it has since child birth (or some other activity that I have not done in 10+ years). I have to say, I am not afraid of sweat. I am not afraid of turning into a tomato...which I do every time I work out. I am afraid of collapsing onto my step and rolling into the path of the girl stomping out her steps next to me. Mostly because it would cause everyone to stop and look and I would be responsible for their decreasing heart rate.

So I choose to step aside and wait it out until the spinning stopped and the heavy breathing subsided a bit. The instructor got a little worried and came back to make sure I was not nauseous...I know to drink water so that was not an issue. She was relieved. But did mention to the entire class that I was brand new. To which I got a round of applause and a whole bunch of well wisher comments as the class ended.

Maybe aerobics classes are not the evil place I once thought they were. Maybe no one cares if you can do the steps or not. Maybe everyone is as worried as I am about passing out into oncoming steppers to even notice me red faced and frustrated behind them.

One gal, the one with the 3 levels under her step and kicking her leg up to her chin, walked down the stairs next to me and said "I hated step for about a month. I was so worried about everyone watching me and not knowing what to do...but then I realized no one cares and they are concentrating just as hard and are too focused to notice my mistakes. Now I love it!"

Maybe in March I will love it too. As long as I don't pass out I think I will be able to keep going.

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