I’ve been looking for a fun new exercise regime. Actually, I have been pretending to be looking, which means for about two years I thought about looking. Finally – yay, me! – I actually bothered to type “fun exercise class” and my city into Google and found an article about a couple of unusual local classes, like one that has a bunch of cowboy gates and all the exercises are somehow done on the gates, like maybe how cowboys climb over rodeo fences to hop onto those cows – wait, bulls? – that jump around and try to throw them off. (I mean, I guess that’s what it like. I don’t actually know. The article wasn’t too clear on that.)
One of the reasons parenting is so exhausting, in addition to all the usual running around, is that you’re giving your all (and then some) to teach your kids how to live. I was struck by this thought today: it’s all up to Paul and me. Yes, other people come into play: grandparents, friends, teachers, other people in the line at Starbucks. But for the most part, the shaping of their character — the teaching of right from wrong — is in our hands. With newborn babies, our main job is simply keeping them alive. But later on? You have to teach them how to be.
It seems we’re bombarded daily with inspirational quotes and mothering advice columns that encourage us to take time for ourselves by having a bubble bath or a massage. A bubble bath is nice on occasion, but I get bored in about 10 minutes, and personally, I find it comfier to read in bed with my seven pillows than in a slick tub. Also, bubbles make a scummy mess. And massages are great, but I need a LOT more than one hour to recharge. In fact, ever since the kids were born, I have felt guilty about how much time I seem to want (need?) for myself. Those encouraging articles always suggest taking time “every now and then.” But I want a chunk of time to myself DAILY. In fact, I want a regularly repeating bunch of consecutive hours to do what I want without guilt, without questions to answer or obligations to fulfill. And I finally realized why I need so much of this: it appears I have very few consecutive grown-up days in me before I feel myself reverting back to a kid again. I can’t help it. It’s just a fact. Continue reading
I learned three things today, which makes it an awesome day for personal growth. (Yay, me.) I’ll share with you so that it’s a personal growth day for you, too. (Yay, you.) After you read this, and if you find it useful, you can go watch cat videos on YouTube or discuss conspiracy theories with your teenage son (don’t ask), because your day has been productive.
The three learnings are:
Please note: there is no moral to this story, I offer no insights or inspiration. However, it may serve as a cautionary tale. Most likely, it’s just a bunch of random nonsense. And there’s no thesis statement. Whatever.
When I got to the lake with my paddleboard this afternoon, the temperature was in the low 80’s, the lake was quiet and peaceful under a very slight breeze, and I took off for a quick paddle. But just a minute or two out from the dock, the lake was disrupted by these large waves that came rolling toward me from literally nowhere. They were fat and round and fun, like those thrown off by a pretty big or pretty fast boat, but there were no boats in sight. Not a single one. Huh.
Remember I wrote recently that I wouldn’t be a 15-year-old girl again for the world? Well, maybe I would. In fact, I AM. This has been the best July since I was 15, before I had summer jobs. Wait, scratch that: July of 21 years ago was the best ever, the year I married the love of my life and was a princess for the whole summer. That was awesome. I’ll never forget it.
Other than that, though! This summer rocks. July should be celebrated. So listen, start planning for next summer immediately and follow these steps. I highly, majestically, incredibly and vociferously recommend it: