You guys, I’m totally fine.
I mean, I was fine.
I thought I was fine.
I am “fine.”
It’s just that, I feel like I’m walking in the fog. I’m squinting to get around each corner of my day. I’m slowing, unsure of each step.
I mean, I’m able to mom well. I’m careful not to lose my temper,though I do, because I’m human. I give my children all of my love, which is very easy to do. They are my miracles in the flesh, thanks to adoption and their birth mothers. Their occasional sass reminds me that they too are human and I am clearly rubbing off on them.
Our four year old has tested our boundaries on a regular basis, which probably means he is a normal child. But man it’s hard. We look for the mode of discipline that says “We love you, please stop being a jerk.” He fights dinner every single night. I’m learning that I can’t FORCE him to eat. I can’t control his actions, I can only make suggestions and show him by example.
Our baby girl is walking now and is testing her limits with us and her brother. She pushes him and pushes us. She is damn cute about it too. She has gotten her brother in trouble probably more than I am aware of. She gets into everything and can’t quite understand why she isn’t allowed to play with electrical cords, though I think we are getting through to her. Hopefully!!
It’s a struggle to keep the tiny humans alive at times between self starvation and potential electrocution. All in all, they are pretty damn amazing. And cute. And smart. And manipulative. Perfect little humans. My perfect and imperfect little humans. I love them more than I can possibly describe. My daily journey with them is both mundane and adventurous.
There is our marriage. My husband has been very stressed out with his job and with his training. He just completed the Xterra World Championship triathlon race in Maui, Hawaii. You would think this is not stressful, but it is the world championships after all, and the most challenging Xterra race he has ever competed in, and he competed with elite athletes from around the world. High stress for him. The whole idea of traveling with kids over long distances is stressful. We had nine pieces of luggage and two children between the two of us adults. It was stressful. Hawaii was great, but getting there, racing, and getting home was stressful. He pushes himself hard in all ways, which is overwhelming for me to watch. He lives with minimal downtime due to his own passions, but it comes with a toll. I don’t dump my shit on him as often as I should. I don’t want to add to his list of things to keep up with, so I try to hold it together for him and just be a “good wife.”
Then there is my working out. I’ve put a lot of effort into working out. Into feeling that I have control over something in my life. Into allowing myself to BE STRONG physically. I can fake emotional strength, but I cannot fake physical strength.
Here is the part where my crazy comes out.
I have a workout plan that I am following. It’s five days a week and takes about an hour to ninety minutes to complete each workout. The first phase was strength training with no cardio, which was amazing because I hate cardio. Phase two added cardio, which then added 30 minutes to my workouts four days a week putting me at a solid ninety minute workout four days a week. All of this requires a gym.
Why does this matter?
Well, the gym daycare only allows babies three months to 15 months to stay in the daycare for 75 minutes, which worked for the first phase of my training. By phase two of my workout program her age would change and I would then get up to two hours of daycare at the gym. I only needed 90 minutes though. PERFECT!
Well, I was pumped and had it all planned out. I get to the daycare on her 15 month birthday and excitedly said, “She is old enough to stay for two hours now!”
They asked her age and corrected me by saying their rules state THROUGH 15 months I am only allowed 75 minutes. So she was not old enough yet. Simple misunderstanding right?
I lost my shit.
I begged for just 15 extra minutes…just 90 minutes I said. They apologized and said they could not adjust the time for me as it was their policy.
Listen, I have hated working out for years. Since I was in high school. Here I am literally crying because I couldn’t workout for 90 minutes.
So I did my workout in tears for my 75 minutes, then picked up my kids from the daycare, in tears. Completely making a fool of myself.
I didn’t leave it at that…oh no. I contacted the director of the daycare and explained my situation and that the wording of the age policy was extremely confusing and they should allow me to leave my daughter in the daycare for 90 minutes. They then explained that they were actually increasing the age limit to 18 months and under to get only 75 minutes. They had found, it was too difficult for the minimal daycare staff they had to take all the little babies for two hours each.
I’m like, GREAT! I ONLY NEED 90 MINUTES!!
Ok, really Sheila? Is this about your 90 minute workout? Or is it about something else?
Here I am, lifetime hater of exercise, complaining to the management of a gym daycare that I can’t workout for 90 minutes because of their daycare policies. I’m still extremely embarrassed by my outburst and the reasoning behind it. I’m trying to figure out what the hell happened and why I was and am still so emotional about it.
It all comes down to control. I haven’t had control of my life in a long time. I haven’t had control over my fertility. I haven’t had control over the adoption processes. I didn’t have control of those embryos that didn’t survive the thaw.. I don’t have control over my sons willingness to eat dinner. I can’t control how fast my daughter turns 18 months. I don’t have control over the fact that my husband is exhausted every single night because he just wants to be passionate about his work as a triathlete and coach while also holding down a “real” job that actually pays the bills.
In the process of all of this, I’ve lost control of my body. I’ve lost control of my weight and my own physical strength. I’ve put so much focus on trying to spiritually control these outcomes by praying, manifesting, and visualizing success. It is physically exhausting to ‘think’ I had control over these things. I feverishly filled out forms from adoption agencies and fertility clinics. I diligently took my medications and gave myself shots. I make food that is kid friendly and do things for my husband that I think might make him less tired. I controlled what few physical things I could control and I controlled them well.
In the process of all this control, I put my emotional and spiritual body into full fledged panic mode. I see that now. I’m still figuring out how to reverse this now automatic reaction to anything I cannot control. If my body can’t control it, maybe my mind can. Right?
I found something else to control. My body.
When the daycare told me I couldn’t have that extra 15 minutes – they also told me I didn’t have control over my body. In my extreme mind’s version, I have control over nothing. My mind is solely focused on this one training plan. Apparently thinking it’s the “ONLY” plan that could work for me. Obviously, this is not the truth.
So, in the present time I sit knowing I have control over very few things. So I made a list.
Things Sheila can control:
- Keeping a clean(ish) house (sans anything the kids can touch).
- Continue physical exercise for a reasonable amount of time 3-5 days a week. Whether I hit my program goals or not. 60 minutes a day is REALLY GOOD. 30 minutes a day is totally fine. 90 minutes a day is bordering crazy. Don’t be crazy Sheila.
- Showering…I can shower…showering makes me smell nice. I can totally control that.
- Connecting with friends – in person and online.
- Take vitamins. <– brain health…your brain needs all the help it can get Sheila.
- Cook and plan healthy meals a few days a week. (not obsessively trying to hit 6-7 healthy dinners a week Sheila… settle down.)
- Not using the F word.. (failure) – not being angry with myself for missing a workout day, cooking unhealthy meals, having a messy house, connecting with friends, missing a vitamin, etc.
So, that is an incomplete list. But I find if I list all the things out I become obsessed with the schedule and try to complete every item every day and then I lose my mind due to lack of control. Which ALMOST happened when I made this list.
I am trying desperately to live moment to moment. Having to ask myself if I’m doing this or that because I’m using it to cope with another feeling that I’m burying. It’s super confusing. I feel paralyzed by my total lack of control, but I want to fix my need to control. So I need to be still and carefully make choices.
Is that a healthy thought or an unhealthy thought? Do I act on that thought or let it pass by?
Anyway, thats where I am. Stuck in the fog. Just focusing on a few things I can do and trying to let go of the things I can’t control. Which is most things.
The only proper ending I can think of is this:
Let it go… let it go… Can’t hold it back anymore….