I am an adventure seeking wife and mother first! Travel, and endorphins are my best friends. I will try anything once, unless I know
I would be in danger. I have a crazy love of God, running, triathlon, the outdoors, dirt, wine, friends, good Vegan food, Yoga,
animals, happiness, and life! I truly believe the only limits in life are the ones set by ourselves. So get out there and expand the limits!!
~~Only she who attempts the absurd can achieve the impossible.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Always On the Run

I feel like lately I am constantly on the run.  This week is no exception.  I know you are thinking, “Duh…Paula, you are a runner, a triathlete.  OF course, you are running!”  I don’t mean the physical running. 
  Coming off of Spring Break with my kids, we are back hitting the ground running.  Back to school for my kids, which means Homeschooling with Alli.  This year, I have tried allowing Alli to have some more responsibility.  Which some days have gone great, others, not so much.  Some days I guess I have a feeling of being out of control with her school this year.   Something that was very consuming over the past 6 years of homeschooling our kids, has become another thing I feel I am almost trying to “squeeze in” Everything this past year has felt “squeezed in.”  Greg and I had a talk last night, and discussed the craziness of our schedules this year. These last few months.  We are not a crazy, busy, on the fly type of family.  We are very relaxed, very peaceful. Do not over-schedule ourselves.  And that peace still rings through our household, some-days, thank goodness.  But just in shorter time frames.  I used to be one of those Moms’s that was crazy on the schedule.  I would WAY over-book myself.  Could never tell anyone, NO.  Running kids to soccer, gymnastics, swimming, golf, ski club.  Time with friends, family, church activities.  The list was long.  A few years ago, when I felt like I was going to fly off the merry-go-round, I said, “Enough!!” Tapered my life down considerably, and it was good.  It was great!  I felt ok telling people no because I was too busy, when before I would have squeezed them in.  I re-prioritized my life.  Everything calmed down, and it was the best thing we ever did.  I took time with my kids.  Took time to “smell the roses”  To read.  I realized, that life is so short, and time with your kids in your home even shorter.  Play with them, laugh with them, be crazy with them.  I didn’t want my kids looking back when they are older, and wondering what we did as a family, like I did with my parents.  I wanted them to have wonderful memories.  And not feel like we rushed through life.
Now I feel that craziness sneaking back in.  I knew Ironman would bring along with it LONG training that I would have to make time for.  My time with my family is compromised; time with friends no longer exists.  Time for homeschooling is done on the run.  In the car some days.  I am always getting Alli’s assignments ready, explaining them, and am out the door for a swim.  For a bike.  For a run.  Every time I leave, she asks, “Going for a run, Mom?” 
Even as I am writing this, I am thinking about what training I should be doing.  And reading it back to myself, I get teary-eyed, thinking that I HOPE I am being motivational to my kids, husband and friends. An inspiration, and not selfish for taking time away from them.  When my family thinks back on this year, will they feel proud of me, or will they look back and see it as the year I didn’t exist? 
As a stay at home Mom, my whole day was always wrapped around them.  I waited for Ironman, for my kids to be older.  They don’t “need” Mom as much now.  But then I wonder if I am just talking myself into that?  Our oldest daughter is a senior this year.  Graduation around the corner.  Prom this Saturday.  Her and I are very close.  Does she still feel my closeness?  Or am I hasty with her.  Hasty when shopping for prom items?  Do I take the time for our talks about her life?  Boys? Friends? College?  Our son, who has always been older than his years, is in college, working full time, starting up his own company right now. Does he know I proud I am of him?  Have I taken time to tell him?  And Alli.  Is she learning enough?  Reading enough?  A lot of time I am so tired at night when I have to pick her up from practice, that I will ask one of the older kids to get her.  That is time I am missing with her.  Talking to her.  Even if it’s talking just for a few minutes, in the car ride home. Have I baked enough cookies with her these past few months?  Which she LOVES to do with me.  Have we cozied up with our jammies on and her stuffed animals around us, to read a good book, and laugh?  Maybe next week, she won’t want to cozy up anymore, and I would have lost that moment with her, forever.
And then there is Greg.  MY GOSH that man deserves a medal.  He has been my rock.  My cheerleader.  Through ALL of this never complains.  He listens to my worries, my stresses, my aches, pains, agonizing thoughts.  Cooks dinners, cleans up, helps where he can.  Our relationship has always been top priority.  To both of us.  We have ALWAYS had "date night"  usually at the least, every two weeks.  We've always been committed to that.  Our kids have grown up with that.  And they know how important that is for a marriage.  We have taught them, that we were first husband and wife, and it is always important to nurture that part of our relationship.  Which in turn makes us better parents.  Our date nights....well.....they too have been pushed back.  And still, Greg never complains.  Never.  The man has never had a negative thing come out of his mouth since this all started.  We try to schedule date night, but something is always coming up, or there is training, or something I need to do, because I had to put it off due to training.  Or somedays, some nights, I am frankly, just too tired.   I just want a date with my best friend.  
Ironman is hard.  Hard training.  Hard on your time.  Hard on the family, and marriage. Hard on your friends.  Hard on your life. It is one of the most selfish things I have EVER done for myself.  Learning to be a master juggler has been interesting.  Juggling everything.  Everyone.  All the time.  On the run.
How do you all do it?  How do you juggle careers, family, friends, pets, parties, training, quiet time, prayer time and still have small piece of Peace for yourself?   How do you do it all…..on the run????

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