Monday, January 30, 2012

Manic Monday - Keep Calm, my "10" rule

I have a problem with becoming frustrated easily.  Some of it is caused by things not getting done in a timely manner by my family, some of it by school administration/teachers, and some of it by just plain old dumb people.  The reality is that I choose how to react to those situations.

I have decided that the most effective way to deal with these problems is to keep calm.  I have a "10" rule.  Depending on the circumstance, I either count to 10, wait 10 hours or even 10 days.  Each case is different.

If my children are the frustration, I count to 10 before I explode (or at least I try to remember to do that).  I'm not perfect, but generally by the time I slowly count to 10, some of the red hot fire of the situation has been diffused and I am able to think in my head the best possible solution to my frustration.  I can't change who my children are, but I can certainly be responsible for myself and how I respond to those triggers especially with those I love the most on this earth.

When it comes to my husband, I am blessed.  I can't think of any situation where I have been mad enough that I even had to count to 10 before I spoke.  This case is the only exception to my rule and it may sound weak and wrong when I say it, but when it comes to Ben, I generally just let it go and keep my mouth shut.  I am so glad this doesn't happen very often, I'd even say rarely.  But, the only reason this works is because he does the same thing for me and boy am I glad for that:) My life on this earth is too short to be angry with the man I love most on this earth.

When it comes to dealing with the school, whether it is a teacher or school official, I also use the 10 rule.  If it is an urgent situation, I try to wait 10 hours before writing the crucial e-mail or calling the school.  This gives me time to cool off and reflect on all the different aspects of the situation, not just my own side of it.  If it is non-urgent, I try to use the 10 day rule before I do or say anything about it.  Generally, after a few days, the whole thing has blown over or naturally resolved itself.

Ben has a similar rule when coaching football:  If a parent is upset about something that happened at practice or a game, he asks the parent to please feel free to call him on his cell phone THE NEXT DAY.  That way, the situation has been diffused and people are more likely to remain calm and discuss the problem and focus on a solution, rather than have a heated argument about what happened, which usually solves very little.

When it comes to dumb people, I just shrug it off most of the time and hope that in the next 10 years, they will figure out how dumb they really are and come to their senses.  Age improves everything, right?  Okay, maybe not everything, but sometimes it just isn't worth getting upset over.

Truly, our life here on this earth is just a pin point mark on our eternal existence.  Who knows how long we will be here?  We don't have time to be mean or ugly with others because today could be our last day on earth.  Sometimes it happens though, and the best thing you can do is make sure you apologize quickly and move on.  Tim McGraw said it best in his song "Live Like You Were Dying,"

...And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying
And he said
Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Workout Wednesday

Can you tell what is on my mind lately?  Yes.  Exercise.  I'm in a weight loss challenge and doing all right.  I'm 13th this week coming from not even in the top 20 last week.  I need to kick it in gear if I want to get into the top 7 by Monday and that will be the half way point.  But that is neither here nor there.  Today I want to talk about one way I think exercise is more fun...and that is with a partner.

Overnight hike for girl's camp while pregnant with #8 in 2009
I have lots of training partners, but my favorite is this one, my husband.  We have lots of fun together, hiking, running, and walking. He is my most favorite work out partner, but not because we always do it together, but because he supports me.  When I want to go running at 4 in the afternoon, he does mom duty for an hour or so so I can have my time.  I love it.  He supports me by joining races or even just keeping the kids for two days straight so I can do my favorite ragnar relay race.

I don't run or exercise for the social aspect of it, I run/jog for my health and so I can have at least an hour a day to myself, but I still consider my friends as partners in my training. I'm not a very fast runner and so I hate the thought of someone having to run slow so we can stay together and I can't usually schedule my runs very far than 1/2 hour in advance, so planning to train with them is sometimes hard.

I do love going to the gym with Jana so we can walk on the treadmill and visit or do our floor exercises and talk.  It was hard when we were both going to school and working to find time to just sit on the couch, so this was the next best solution.  Recently, I found out that our young women are training for a triathalon in the spring and they invited the women to come join with them as they do a boot camp at the park a few days a week.  My kids can play while I work out with my friends.  I love it.

There is a social aspect to race day and that is what I love.  I love that I am usually part of a group training for a run together, like the time Ben and I trained with Darcey and my brother Donny to do a triathalon a few years back. Ben and I would bike together and I could go to the YMCA and put the kids in the daycare while I swam laps.  The training was separate mostly, but knowing there were others doing it with me kept me motivated to train so that I could hope to not be dead last of our group.  Well, I still was last, but it was nice to have them there to cheer me on at the finish line.

Ragnar Phoenix 2011
I've made tons of friends through the Ragnar Relay race that is held all over the country, but specifically here in Phoenix every February.  It is 12 runners running 200 or so miles relay style.  It is the worst fun I have ever endured.  Each person runs 3 separate legs of 3-8 miles each.  We started on Friday morning and finished on Saturday night.  Last year, my total was 16 miles and I thought I was going to die at the end, and I think I had it easy compared to some of my friends, but it was so much fun.

So, my challenge to you is to find a partner, not necessarily one to train with, but someone to help you be accountable so that you WILL train.  Maybe you just need to get out and walk every day, you can definitely do that with a friend while even pushing the babies in the stroller.  Consider finding a race and sign up with a partner whether you train together or not.  I love the popularity of weight loss challenges too and the moral support I get from those friends.  I know we are all partners in it together and it makes the ride much more enjoyable.  It is also my hope that your spouse will be your favorite partner as they support you in your efforts to get healthy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Workout Wednesday

Exercise is an important part of my life.  My dad has struggled with heart problems for 12 years now.  He had his first heart attack in his 50's.  That is only a few short years from where I am and it has me constantly on guard as to how to better take care of my heart, not only through exercise, but diet as well.

Exercise has always been a fundamental part of my life since I was a kid.  I played church softball, volleyball and basketball since junior high.  I ran track, played basketball and was a cheerleader in high school.  I have always remained very active mostly because I am just not a sedentary person, there is just too much to do to spend it sitting on a couch watching t.v.

I played team sports, water skiied, repelled, did a lot of walking with friends as I got older and kept myself busy playing with the kids enough that I never felt the need to really "exercise."  That is, until that one day when I broke my ankle back in the summer of 2004 on a repelling run getting ready for girl's camp.  Yeah.  I couldn't even put weight on it in the cast for 8 weeks, then there were so many pins and screws in it, I didn't walk comfortably for another year when I finally had another surgery to have them removed.  That was with 6 kids, my youngest had just turned one year old.

The Dr. said I would never run again and I didn't care at the time, I was focused on getting off the pain meds and trying to run a household and not limp. Once the ankle healed and I felt comfortable enough to walk for exercise again, I tried running.  I didn't run very far or very often, but every once in a while, just to prove I could...I did.  Then I fell in love.  With running.  My oldest son calls it jogging, but when you are my age, you an call it whatever you want, even if you can't even do a mile in twice the amount of time it takes your oldest child.
This is me after finishing mile #16 in two days.  Ha ha.

I run only about one race each year but I am training for a marathon this year sometime, I just need to find one that isn't on a Sunday and isn't too far away.  What I absolutely love is the Ragnar series of races where you team up with 11 other runners and run a relay of about 200 miles as a team.  It is super fun, it takes two days to do it and I love it.  I'm going to California in April for that race with some friends from here.  So that is what I'm training for now.

My point is, that you don't have to be speed racer to get exercise.  Consider how much you exercise now and figure out how to do it more often.  Do you know what great exercise vacuuming and mopping are?  Not only would your house be cleaner, it burns tons of calories!  Maybe you didn't know that but you already do it, so pat yourself on the back for that one.

Gardening is another great one.  I know after working in the yard for an hour or so, I'm exhausted and my back and arms ache.  What if you did it a little bit every single day?  Imagine how toned your arms would be and how strong your back would become.

Next time you take the kids to the park, walk.  When you get there, push all the kids on the swings and see how long it takes before you get tired, it happens faster than you think.

Park your car furthest from the entrance to the grocery store.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator.  Take the stuff upstairs to put it away instead of piling it on the bottom stair for someone else to do it.  (that was for me).  Do jumping jacks/push ups/sit ups/whatever during the commercials of the show you are watching instead of sitting there.

The point is to just do something more than you are doing now.  Ready. Get set.  Go.  What are you going to do more of?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Bad Mommy Award...or do I just train them well?

Sometimes I get caught up in what I'm doing and since I generally lock myself in my office (there is no door to my office, it is a figurative "lock"), sometimes I forget to pay attention to what my little ones are doing.  I mean, there are like 6 other older people in this house, I feel like I have eyes all over the place.  Well, my attention was riveted on a Netflix documentary called Hey, Boo: Harper Lee & To Kill A Mockingbird (Very, very interesting). I was watching it on my computer while doing some crafting (New Year's Resolution see here) and Skylar came down and asked where Derek was.

Panic set in.  Do you know that feeling?  My heart started to pound and my hands started to get tingly.

I didn't know where he was and I hadn't seen or heard from him in over an hour.  I knew he was upstairs watching t.v. last I remembered so I ran up the stairs.  I thought maybe he fell asleep watching television or  playing with some toys.  I looked in all the rooms upstairs where the lights were on then ran back downstairs and looked some more.  I ran back up the stairs and into his bedroom which was dark.  I turned on the light and there was my sweet baby boy.  He had crawled into his bed and even covered himself up with the sheet (don't ask me why it wasn't on his bed).  Whew.  My heartbeat has slowed considerably and the shakiness in my fingers is subsiding as I write about it.
So, does it make me a bad mommy for my lack of supervision?  Or am I a fabulous mom for training him to do exactly what he ought to do when he gets tired?  Don't tell me, I don't want to know.