Thursday, November 25, 2010

peace, love, Final Fantasy and old vine zin

This post is inspired in part by the holiday - Thanksgiving - and an article I read in Runner's World several months ago. I don't remember the title or the author, but the gist of it was about changing the language of our own thought processes to have a more positive lookout on the tasks that lay before us. But not in a lame, reciting affirmations in front of the mirror, kind of way. It's just making one simple change to our internal dialogue: every time you think "I have to...", think, "I get to."

In the context of running, making this change certainly makes it easier to make it out the door. I get to wake up. I get to put on my sneakers. I get to go run. This tends to automatically make me think of the people who don't have the same opportunity I do to hit the pavement, and I naturally start to appreciate the run that much more.

But if I take it a step further and apply this thinking to other aspects of my life, well, things look pretty damn good.

For me, it's "I got to work today." On a day when people were lined up outside of soup kitchens because they're unemployed and can't afford a turkey dinner for their families, homeless, or both, I got the opportunity to pick up a busy shift. Now, I won't lie and say that by hour 6 of the non-stop Turkey frenzy, I wasn't hoping that people would eventually tire of entering the front door, but I won't soon worry about if I'll be able to afford groceries next week, or when I'll have my next hot meal. The people I took care of today took care of me, and for that, I'm extremely grateful.
And now, I get to clack away on my laptop like I've come to some sort of world-altering realization, I get to enjoy a glass (or 2) of wine, I get to watch my husband play his video game, and in the morning, I get to be the first person my daughter smiles at when I open her door. Life is good. (Hey, that's a nice little slogan. No wonder that T-shirt company makes a fortune.)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Instruction Manual: How to Master Moving Twice in Six Months, Mother's Addition

Newbie Mistake: Trying to go about all other aspects of your day-to-day as normal.

Seasoned Pro: Forget it.
Everything will take twice as long. Twice as long to get dressed because you don't know if you packed that shirt or if it's in the laundry, twice as long to prepare a meal as you deliberate questionable concoctions of random pantry items so you don't have to throw them away, and twice as long to go anywhere because every trip involves loading the car full of trash to take out or crap to donate to Good Will. (Editor's Note: My sincere apologies to Good Will for all the crap we're giving you. It's good crap, we promise.)

Newbie Mistake: Holding onto items because you're *pretty sure* you'll wear them again.

Seasoned Pro: No. No you won't.
For starters, let me clear up a few things: You're NOT going to take the time to go get those pants hemmed, you're NOT going to make it to Hobby Lobby to find the ONE button that matches the rest on that blouse, and now that you know what it feels like to have a baby where your lungs should be, you're NEVER going to wear that sexy corset top ever again. Trust me, go ahead and lighten your load and you'll be much happier when you discover your new place doesn't have as much closet space, after all.

Newbie Mistake: "Really, my kid's great. I can pack and move and take care of her at the same time, no problem.

Seasoned Pro: No. No you can't.
You might be Super Mom and you might have a Wonder Baby who'll peacefully flip through board books for hours, but as soon as the boxes come out, the desk drawers are being emptied and the newspaper is flying everywhere, she will get into E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. Even the most careful parent will find herself chasing after a toddler gleefully running around with AAA batteries clutched in a death-grip or lunging after that child about to perform a base-jump off a box. Now is not the time for parental pride. Ask for help, lots of it.

Newbie Mistake: Worrying about not running/working out for a week.

Seasoned Pro: Save yourself from your exercise OCD, or your back will make you pay.
That's pretty self-explanatory.

Newbie Mistake: Going for hours on end, staying up late to "just get it done" and basically burning the candle at both ends.

Seasoned Pro: No matter what you do, this whole moving thing will occupy your life, period.
No use in trying to rush, multitask, or work efficiently. Life will be crazy for a couple weeks but sure enough, you'll get back to normal, I promise. Hence my blogging while my daughter naps instead of rummaging through toiletries under the bathroom sink. I'll get it done one way or another, and if I don't, well, there's always later. When it comes down to crunch time we'll get shit knocked out and be on our way. Don't spend every waking minute fussing over details. If you don't sit down and take a break, you'll go nuts, and then when you do finally ask for help no one will want to because you'll be a nerve-wracked, sleep-deprived beyotch. No one wants to help a beyotch.

*~The End~*