Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Whine and Opera

I went to the opera the other night for the first time in years. It was La Traviata, which I saw in Italy well over a decade ago. Whenever I go to the theater, first my brain turns on all the backstage goings on – I worked in theater in high school and college. Second, in period pieces like this, I think about the times we live in. Part of me wanted to be like those women, spending their evenings at parties every night in Paris, their days lounging and visiting. Of course, I probably would have ended up on the less financially secure side of things, which was a whole different world. I’d be working in the laundry, or in some kind of servant role. Awesome.

Anyway, my point is that it’s confusing to be a woman these days! I feel overwhelmed often (apparent in this blog) by the expectations I put on myself. I have a great career I’m trying to grow and excel at. I have a wonderful son I want to give enough quality time for. A husband and a relationship to nurture, a house to care for, laundry and shopping and cooking, friendships to maintain. Yes, my husband shares the care of our family and home with me. But for some reason (am I alone here?) I feel like women (or at least I) put way more on ourselves than our counterparts do. Yes, I realize no one is demanding these things of me but ME – but it doesn’t make it any easier. If only my own expectations of self had an off switch.

No wonder I get so stressed. I mean, NO ONE can do it all. Seems pretty basic, and I keep trying to find my happy place where I can just be content with whatever I’m able to do. And yet every time I think I’m getting close, I watch the contentment slide through my fingers only to hover just beyond my grasp. Sigh. My life is certainly no La Traviata. I have a good job and family and health. Poor Violetta is forced to leave her love, getting your him back only in time to die of consumption. OK, she wins. And I guess sometimes, its good to go watch her story so I can get a little healthy perspective into my own. Cheers, girlfriend.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Trusting the Love

My son is ridiculously happy most of the time. Granted, he’s 5. But wow – it’s just so wonderful and inspiring. It makes me never want him to grow up and start thinking too much. Just keep wearing that smile and giggling and relishing the joy of being alive.

I’m not unhappy. Actually, a lot of the time I’m pretty happy. I had a day recently though where I did some stupid stuff. The problem I have is that in that case, when someone points out the stupid things I did – when I should perhaps just say “hmmm, that was not the best move, I’ll do it differently next time” I don’t. I start feeling like it’s a commentary on me as a person. I didn’t do something stupid – I AM stupid. I want to be able to take criticism but my brain seems to have a short circuit when it comes to that stuff. It’s not a task I failed at – I AM a failure. It’s not that I did something embarrassing – I AM an embarrassment. Even if the input is coming from someone I know loves me – my husband, my mom, my best friend….my brain still flips the input. And I become 2 inches tall in my head. Or just want to crawl into a hole.

I so desperately want to protect my kiddo from this. I want him to wear that smile and that trust and confidence in who he is forever. He’ll run into things that are bad and wrong and all that, of course. And I want to give him the tools to navigate those waters. But I really want him to feel a security I don’t.

For now I’m just watching his face, his smile, and when I’m feeling less than great as a person, I’m going to trust him. I’m going to believe completely every time he runs to me and throws his arms around my neck to hug me and give me kisses, that I’m loved with all my cracks and broken edges. Because even when I feel like I’m not worth it – he does, with all the energy in his little self. And that is awesome.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Slowing Down

So since my last post, I’ve chilled out a bit. Things were a little frantic there – I tend to take on a lot and put a lot of expectations on myself. And sometimes I get so involved in the goals and expectations that I forget to cut myself some slack.

I’ve always wanted to be one of those energetic, ambitious, outgoing, super motivated people. I’ve tried to play that part. But you know what? I’m just not. I like doing things, but I really like my quiet time. I like spending evenings watching movies and relaxing. I like walking – not running. More than going to huge concerts and festivals, I like spending time hanging out with a glass of wine, a fire in the backyard, and a few close friends. I need things to be slower than they are – slower than I let them be.

I realized all this last week, and looking at my relatively nutty schedule – I made the call that I’m taking a break from my 3x a week, 5:30am Crossfit class. And when I start back with Crossfit, it’s not going to be at that hour. I know exercise can help ease stress, but in this case, rushing to get to bed, then getting up at 5am and literally not stopping until 8pm that night – it’s worn me out. I can’t do it anymore, at least right now. And also, while I want to be healthy it isn’t my career or job to be totally focused on food and diet. I get why our coaches are so honed in – this is their passion, it’s what they do! But I don’t want to feel bad for spending an awesome evening out with friends over a pitcher of microbrews because there’s too many carbs in beer. I don’t want to do that every night, but I don’t want my overjudgemental self encouraged to deprive myself and beat myself up. While Crossfit certainly doesn’t encourage me to do this – I’ve been judging myself more harshly next to those ripped, dedicated people.

All that said, I do love Crossfit and I will go back. But I’m going back on my terms, for my reasons, and not for anyone elses. But for now, I’m going to kick back and take it a little easy. Give me a call if you want to hang!