Friday, March 20, 2015

Life Lately

River and his friend before a recent Irish music school fundraiser

I've been feeling super exhausted lately, and I've had a lingering sore throat since I got sick around Valentine's Day. Tuesday I realized I'd had the sore throat off and on for more than a month and finally made a doctor appointment. Wednesday I went in and got swabbed, but the doc didn't see anything obviously wrong. It was negative for strep, so there's that at least.

I'm sure my sore throat has nothing to do with being pregnant, having a family to take care of, training for a half marathon, and having a healthy (or rather, unhealthy) dose of stress in my life regarding Mr M's job situation {sarcasm}. Because we don't know where or when we might need to move, I've been trying to get the house finished (all those little details that never quite got taken care of), but I physically just haven't had the energy to do more, faster, which further stresses me out.

I've been thinking about it all this past week and have come to some conclusions regarding what I need to be focusing on and what I don't need to be worrying about.

* Time sucks. As in, things that take up a lot of time. They may be good things, but they still take a lot of time and/or energy and add to my stress level. This is something I've been working on since Christmas. When classes started up again, Sunshine didn't sign up for the Irish dance class because it made Thursdays too crazy busy with my Cub Scout obligations. Soccer just started, and we're not participating this season. We've done soccer spring and fall since we moved here 5 years ago, and we're all burnt out on it. Making a conscientious effort to not try to do everything has been helpful, but is an on-going struggle.

* School work. We've changed up Sunshine's curriculum a bit this semester, and while it feels a little "lightweight" to me, it's working for her, and it's helping with some weak points we've identified. Being the overachiever that I am, I've been struggling with the lighter course load, but I've decided not to anymore. Everyone learns at a different pace and I'd rather go slower and lighter and have her enjoy what she's learning than go faster and heavier and have her hate school. There's a whole post on this subject coming once the end of the school year is closer.

* Running. Finding time to run has been stressful, just as the physical act of running is tiring. Usually running is a stress-relieving for me, and if I wasn't doing the half marathon, I'd be a lot more lackadaisical about my training, but the stupid time limit has me worried. Though I don't see how they can assign a three hour time limit for the half marathoners when miles 7-13.1 are shared with the marathoners and we all start at the same time (and the marathoners have 6 hours to complete the course). In my mind, as long as I run the first 7 miles at a decent pace, I should be good. But I don't know that for sure, so I'm still worried about it.

I've decided to stick with shorter races for the next year or so. 5ks don't require a lot of training, distance-wise, so if my training slacks off, I'll still be able to complete them. Obviously I want to stay active, but I don't want it to increase my stress levels. I'm getting closer to the start of my 40 by 40 goal and I will be tweaking my expectations for that, which I'll post more about in another month or so when some things are more solidified. Right now, running shorter distances is proving to be less stressful and more stress-relieving than longer distances.

In the meantime, today is only the second day this week that I've managed to hit the treadmill, and I'm completely ok with that. Between recovery days and dentist appointments, I needed to allow my body to rest and not fret about missing workouts, and I managed it. I feel less exhausted and better able to handle life because I haven't been stressing about fitting one more thing into our already-hectic schedule.

* House projects. I'm still figuring these out. The projects have to be done to make the house sale-ready, so I need to make them more of a priority than I have been. At the same time, finding the time and energy (and money, in some cases) hasn't been easy.

* Family. I need to be more present and involve the kids in my projects more, when possible. We have some yard work to do and I fully expect Sunshine to help. River won't be a help, but he'll be out with us.

* Mr M's job situation. He still doesn't have a full-time job, but he has been able to pick up some work with his guard unit that has helped pay the bills. It involves him being gone a lot, which puts all the stuff at home on me. I think I'm finally accepting the fact that this may be ongoing for awhile, which somehow makes it easier to deal with. I'm not sure why....

* Sleep. I have a very bad habit of staying up late working on projects. It gets my projects done, but I don't get the rest I need. Luckily our kiddos have never been super-early risers, but they still expect to get up and eat breakfast at a decent time. I've been making more of an effort to get to bed earlier (and gradually moving my bedtime earlier and earlier) and I've been feeling a lot better rested. On the other hand, my projects haven't been getting done, so I need to find a good balance between the two.

* Scheduling. I try to keep mornings open for treadmill time and schoolwork, but being pregnant adds doctor appointments that also require babysitters. My friends who can watch the kiddos need to be able to watch them before lunch rather than after. Car appointments also go quicker when done in the morning. But all this throws off my schedule. Once the baby's born it won't be so bad, but right now it makes my life more difficult.

Thinking through all this has helped me figure out some areas I could improve in, but it also helped me realize that I've already been changing things to alleviate the stress. Sometimes just writing things out is enough to clarify what's going on in my head and around me.

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