Just Breathe

I know I need to write. There is so much to say. Yet I am left speechless. My mind feels like a dryer drum spinning and spinning. I am short of breath. Anemic? Yes. And probably contributing to my slow runs and struggle to keep going.

I’ve been missing the pause in my days. And running automatically gave that to me. Especially my long runs. Yes I am missing my long runs.

For now I am trying to remind myself more frequently to just breathe. Even that simple conscious breath is medicine. It’s the pause. The pause I need. Just Breathe.

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Sleep?

Oh sleep where have you gone? I’ve missed you terribly. I am reminded of the days when I had newborns and not-so-graciously stumbled through my days. Seemingly awake but eyes half closed.

Between my new course, my extra work hours, and my 18 year old son who has made this whole college decision torture, I am sleep deprived. Angst, worry, frustration, and pure busy-ness have consumed me much to my own dismay. Deep breaths are welcomed when I remind them to present themselves.

Even my running has slowed incredibly. By a minute per mile. And those of you runners know that is significant. Whether it’s the side effect of my current life or an iron deficiency or maybe both, I am definitely feeling run down.

…and not-so-patiently waiting for sleep!

Could it be?

The other day while driving I had one of those ah-ha moments. It was about being happy. Some time ago I wrote about my mom always telling me I was unhappy when I was younger. To this day, she continues to reference me as an unhappy child and how she tried so hard to “help.” My initial emotional reaction to this is anger. Even thinking about it boils my blood. But I suddenly realized it was HER feeling that she was placing on me. Growing up I couldn’t’ see this. I only knew how jumbled I felt inside. Anxiety, stress, anger, frustration, a feeling of being trapped and wanting to escape. I remember these feelings quite well. In fact I remember very clearly my first panic attack at 10 years old. And I remember clearly how for the next nearly 30 years after, I was intertwined with my mother’s emotions. If she answered the phone upset when I called, that only played out for me personally the rest of the day. Her thoughts quite honestly became mine. Although I never saw this.

I.Never.Saw.This.

Until quite literally almost 6 years ago I woke up. That’s what it felt like – waking up. And suddenly I saw so much and thought HOLY SHIT! It was this time I separated from my now ex-husband while also distancing myself from my mother. And it was this time that my panic and anxiety all but disappeared. How ironic.

To only validate my recent ah-ha moment, my mom sent me a text a few days ago. It read:
“I really cannot wait for Prince Charming to walk into your life even tho it’s not of that much importance to you. If that day happens I’ll be beyond happy.”

So even though she acknowledges it’s not as important to me, it’s what she wants. It’s what will make HER happy. At 43 years old, she still tells me I need to wear my hair a certain way, to put more makeup on. She even told me recently she’ll pay for a make-over. These are things SHE wants me to do. And yet, I feel fine the way I am. I have worked so hard on my emotional, psychological, and physical state. And I am proud of this work. I think I do a pretty damn good job.

The smile I wear walking through the halls at work (that yes, realistically aren’t every day because nothing is perfect), the peace I feel while running, the positive energy I share at yoga, the laughs I have with friends, the excitement I feel when watching T play hockey, the proud feeling when D receives another college acceptance…all of this and then some is my happy.

MY happy.

What Next?

A few weeks ago I wrote about my amazing experience running and completing the Marine Corps Marathon. Since then I have been medically advised to take a step back from running as well as any truly vigorous exercise. To heal. Though the recommendation is medical based and relevant to my GI tract, I believe it’s also about me healing emotionally. Time seems to have sped up in a way that the days get ahead of me. I literally lose words. I am exhausted. While I try to process the marathon or rather hold tight to the liberating emotions of that day, I find myself struggling to keep up.

And I am trying to figure out what next. Yet, slowly opening myself to allow “what next” to find me. Somehow that seems more romantic.

Long walks and heated yoga classes, good books, new recipes, and pauses to look out the window are all part of my current prescription. Oh, and keeping warm under a cozy quilt.

When the moments seem to be on fast forward, what do you do to find the calm amongst it all?