Sundays

weekends2Kind of a bittersweet day for me and I am guessing for many others.  It is the day before the work week begins.  I try and cram it full of all the things I did not get done on Saturday and then at the end of the day I find myself wondering where my day went.  Only to realize, hey you, “you did all of these things, got some things done and others procrastinated for another weekend but now it’s time to prepare for work on Monday.”   I wonder if anyone else has this dialogue go through their heads or if it is just me!

I guess this blog goes well with my balance blog from a few days ago.  How do we balance our weekends to be a recovery too so we feel recharged to take on a new week?  I must admit, I have only been working full time for about 3 years so I am trying to get use to this.  And I also must say that I like what I do, I just like to spend time with my family so much so that I begin to wish I was financially well off so I could stay at home and be with them more.  I am sure that this is not just my wish but the wish of many others. weekends1

So back to the question: How do we balance our weekends to be a recovery period so we feel recharged and ready to take on a new week?  Any ideas?  I might have a few.  How about the policy of no work at home!  Can’t say I follow this right now but I am planning on implementing it after the first of the year because I think I will be organized with my new job at that point to be able to make that call.

Date nights?!  We try to have them a couple of times a month.  Sometimes they range from a matinee movie, a long bike ride on a local rail trail, a concert (a little more expensive), and maybe a family date day like rock climbing.  Our goal is not to spend a lot of money but it is more about time spent together.  This definitely makes the weekend that much better.

What are some things you do to make the weekends last longer?  Is it okay to do nothing on the weekend?  (Really need to know the answer to this one!)weekends

Date Day and “Triathlon Weekend”

Dave and I in a previous date night picture but thought it was cute.

This weekend was a packed weekend but in many ways relaxing.  I know sounds crazy doesn’t it!  Packed full of things but relaxing because I got to spend it with Dave and do things I/We wanted to do.

First things first: I completed what I am calling my first ever “triathlon weekend”.  Now before you get all excited because you want to jump up and down that I completed a triathlon, let me explain.  It is pretty exciting that I can still walk but it wasn’t really a triathlon.  On Saturday I went for the run in the beautiful 40ish degree weather and it was so nice I just kept going.  It felt so good.  I think I went a little over 10 miles but in my haste to get outside, I forgot to fully charge my ipod all the way and so at mile 8.5 it died and along with it my music, nike plus app telling me how far I had gone, and my timer.  But I did not lose my stride and knew about how much farther I had to go (Yeah for running some of the same paths).   I think I finished with a steady pace of about 8:26 per mile.  And it felt good.  So long run – check!

Then I decided for date day (something we try to do at least once a month) we should do something cheap (hey it is almost Christmas time and we need to save).  So we headed out to the local rail trail (if you don’t have one of these around, find one!  They are so nice).  Anyway we decided to do the whole thing, 24.6 miles.  The first half was great and then coming back was okay until we got to the last 6 miles and hit the strong headwinds and I swear it was all uphill!!  But we made it, the whole thing in a little under 2 hours at a 10-12 mph pace.  Not bad.

My ride!

Finally I finished my “triathlon” by swimming/soaking in a COLD bath for about 20 mins in hopes that I will be able to walk again tomorrow.  So see, my first ever Triathlon completed!  🙂

I also think date day was a success too!  We had a great time chatting along the rail trail and finished by going to one of our favorite restaurants for appetizers (yummy nachos) and libations.  Not normally recommended after a long bike ride but remember it was date day!

I love to spend time with my other half and do my form of “relaxing” over the weekend.  It gives me new energy to make it through the week and plan what wonderful things we can do next weekend and as a bonus it clears my head!  I am really starting to see the importance of taking some quality time for myself in such a stressful and taxing job, which by the way, I really do love!

Hope you had a wonderful weekend too!  Did you do anything exciting/relaxing?

Really living!

“They really lived!!” a quote from Secondhand Lions

Last night I got home kind of late after spending the evening with some wonderful ladies and when I came in Dave was watching the end of a movie.  I felt like I had seen the movie but couldn’t really remember but I wanted to respect him and his viewing but I wanted to chat so I sat down and watched the last few minutes.

Then I heard that line, “They really lived”.  This got me to thinking, what does it mean to really live?  Will people say that about me when I die?  “She really lived!”

I want them too.  And I really want to live today so I can give them a chance to say it some 50 or so years from now (very optimistic that I will live healthly for a long time!).

But then that makes me begin to define what does it mean to “really live”.  Most of our days are filled with routines.  We have work, meetings after work, kids to get to dance or other activities, and we go, go, go.  Then on the weekends we try and rest.  Is that how we want to live?  Probably not all of that but how do we find a balance that allows us to really LIVE?

As I have been saying this week, I am on a staycation at home between jobs and I am trying to relax and with that comes defining how to relax (still working on that) but now I add on what does it mean to Live?  Could I give myself one more challenge for the week, I thought I was on vacation?!  But I think defining how we live also defines how we relax so as much as those two maybe seem like separate concepts I think they are very similar. 

This is what I have thought so far about living:

  1. Make the most of everyday
  2. Smile a lot because I am convinced it can change your mood.  It is hard to smile when you are in a bad mood but if you try it, it can make it better faster.
  3. Enjoy the people you are with.  Including take time and get together with others.  It is so worth it!
  4. Allow yourself to cry and show emotions.  I am taking this one to heart this year and as you already know, I cry a lot especially when it has to do with my senior in high school.
  5. Tell people how much they mean to you.  They want to hear it but won’t ask and you will benefit from it too as long as it is the truth.
  6. Do something with your partner/spouse/good friend at least once a month.
  7. Try new things.  Just recently went rock climbing for the first time.  It was great and something I had never done before.
  8. Read and develop new knowledge about new things of interest.  You can teach old dogs new tricks!
  9. Take time to relax.  Working on it but if I am doing some of these other items, I find it very relaxing.
  10. Last but not least…. Remember to take time for yourself.  I do mine through running and training.  I really get in touch with my body and feel at peace (most of the time!).

 

I hope you find these helpful.  I am sure if I stick to this plan others will exclaim after my long, long life, “She really lived!”

Downtime and trying to Relax

Not sure I have really talked about it in my blog but I recently got a new job.  Oh, I haven’t started yet but I will at the end of the month.  I am excited, nervous and looking forward to the change.  In the meantime, I have taken some time off.  I would like to say these two weeks off will be filled with me getting my life in order and relaxing but mostly what it consists of is errands, errands and getting things done before I start the new job.  Why is it we wait until we have time off to relax to do all the things we need to get done?  Doesn’t that sound counterproductive?  Shouldn’t we use the time off for what it should be used for? Taking time for ourselves or spending it with our family.  So that is my goal starting NOW!

How do you spend your downtime?  Do you ever just take time to relax?  Do you know how to relax?  Do you feel relaxed with my hitting you with all these questions?  I’m feeling better sending all my anxiety to you my wonderful blog readers!  🙂

To some a bubble bath is relaxing, reading a book is relaxing, to me relaxing is taking a long run on a beautiful fall day.  I was able to do that today but it was a short long run (now that doesn’t make very much sense does it?).  I use to consider a long run about 3 or 4 miles but that was before I would do 9 and 10 mile long runs.

So I did a 4 mile long/short run today to help with my relaxation.  It was mid-afternoon and the fall trees looked gorgeous and the temp was in the low 60’s.  Great weather.  I love spending the time listening to my ipod and getting out of my head.  Relaxing and in some weird ways thinking.  Hey, I can’t help it!  I have never really learned how to stop my head, at least I was thinking about doing things relaxing.

I think it is important to determine what it is that makes you relax.  What is even more important is for you to do it!!!  So get started, make a list, think about, or however you want to do it, just find more ways to relax.  Your body, mind and soul will thank you for it!

Rainy Friday’s

I truly believe rainy days are made for napping.  I love to listen to the sound of the rain on the skylight, from my bed of course and usually while watching HGTV, trying to read or the aforementioned napping part.  Because really what else are you going to do on a rainy Friday that you are not working.  You go run errands (like I did earlier) and you get wet.

Here is why napping is better than running errands on a rainy day….When I walked into Target with my wet running shoes I was making the most hideous noise on the tile.  I went right for the clothing section/carpeted section and try endlessly to dry off my shoes.  But of course instead I find a good deal on shirts which was not what I came in for but hey, my shoes needed to dry off and here I am!  Then my hope is that my shoes are less squeaky so it is time to depart the clothing section and make my way around the store to find the things I came in for.  Only to find that apparently many other people tried what I tried and my shoes didn’t get dry and I still squeak!  Oh well.  After roaming around the store listening to my shoes (which apparently I am the only one who’s shoes make this noise because I feel like everyone is looking at me) I pick up my last items and check out, only to find that it is raining harder and the now what seemed like a close parking spot really looks like you are in the north forty but let’s be honest here, I’m at Target and there are no close parking spots at any of the big box stores.

After a light jog to my car and only getting a little wet I make it to my car for the short ride home.  Yep that is me who lives close to a Target which is great but the truth is I have to drive past a big wal-mart to go to Target but I would do that any day and I usually do!  So I make it home in one piece because it is only rain after all and I only melted a little bit because you know someone as sweet as me melts in the rain!  🙂

Why do I tell you this story?  To convince you that rainy days truly are meant to be enjoyed from the comfort of your cozy bed listening to the rain on your skylight or windows, reading a good book/nook/kindle, watching movies or in my case HGTV, and/or napping.  Just plain relaxing because you get the day off!

Oh! A Cat’s Life!

I have two of the most people loving cats I’ve ever met.  They are brothers who are as loving to each other as they are to us.  Usually when someone thinks cats, they tend to think of ones that have their own agenda.  Well, mine do too, but it includes being next to us, most of the time.

One of the cats is a small 13lbs and loves to ride on his dad’s shoulders.  You heard me right, he will stand and meow at my other half until he leans down and lets him on his shoulders.   Such a funny sight. 

The other weighs in at about 20 lbs and he is the one who always wants to be next to me.  At times he will flop down on me and lay on his back to get his coobies (cat boobies) rubbed.  As I sit here writing he is actually resting his head on my arm and touching my leg with his paws.  So cute, he reminds me of an infant.

I tell you all this because I am not sure I ever thought how therapeutic these animals are to my life.  When I have a rough day at work, I can come home and they are there just wanting to be loved.  Not asking for things (well at dinner time they sit and meow for the food but hey, they have to keep up their girlish figures).  The unconditional love they give is awesome.  Petting them and nurturing them really takes the stress out of my body.  I guess my advice is if you don’t have an animal in your life and you always wanted one, do it.  You won’t regret it.

Not really sure I want to live a cat’s life but I am glad they are in my life.   

Wonderful Wednesday

As you can see I might be going to deep into the alliterations this week, somebody stop me!  But here is why today was a wonderful Wednesday.  Today my daughter started her senior year of high school.  It was a wonderful moment marking a huge milestone in her life and mine (of course actually graduating will be good but one step at a time please).  Also, I proved myself wrong today,  I thought I would turn into a sniffling ball of tears but crazy enough I held it together.  I was a little emotional but nothing like I thought I would be.  When I got home from work, I spent the afternoon with my daughter looking through her scrapbooks and posting embarrassing photos of her on facebook (Hey isn’t that a mother’s job!).  I love spending time with her if you couldn’t tell by the earlier post on her birthday.

So that is reason enough for it to be a wonderful day but there is more.  Today was my Thursday and tomorrow when I am done at 3pm I will be off until Tuesday.  It’s not that I don’t like my job, it’s more like I need a break.  Mentally I am spent!  I am looking forward to this time off and flying to OKC for a wedding and spending time with my friends of over 20 years.

Now that brings me to the therapy part of the blog… time for some reflections or teachable moments… taking time for yourself.  Do you do it?  Why or why not?  How often?

I talk about my running being my time for myself but that is not always enough.  I am attempting to find out new ways to take time for myself.  Rejuvenate my mind.  I was given a gift this evening by Dave (another reason why today is wonderful, I love presents!).  The gift was a full body massage!  Something I kept saying I wanted to start doing for myself but felt I needed a reason to do this.  Okay, more of a reason than, I want it.  More like I just ran a half marathon (which was when I actually spent money on a massage recently) and I deserve this to help my muscles recover.  But do we really need to make up excuses to treat ourselves?  Or maybe it is just taking care of ourselves.  I’m gonna work more on that.  Maybe not a massage every week, maybe reading a book I want to read, maybe taking a yoga class or just taking some time to just sit in silence and meditate/slow down.  I’m still working on all the ways to take care of me but I urge you to take care of yourself and come up with some good ways to nourish your soul.

Vacation

I know, I know, I slacked off a day and didn’t post yesterday but here is why, I am headed out on vacation.  I am sure you understand the amount of work that needs to get done before you head out on vacation, well multiply that by 1000 when you are in residential care and you usually see your clients a lot.  Plus add in that I am a perfectionist and I don’t want to leave any client feeling like they are being ignored.  So then what do you get, me, a person who put in 30 hours in 3 days to make sure no one was left hanging and then a completely warn out person who will be so happy to be on vacation.  So happy in fact picture me quoting William Wallace running to my car in a parking lot yelling, “FFFrrrreeeeeeeeddddooommmmmm!!!”  Okay I didn’ t really do that but I really wanted to!

So you may be asking, if you are on vacation, why are you posting?   Well technically I leave in the morning with my daughter to head to our family lake house where my other half is and we will await the arrival of all our other girls for some family time.  So I post….

I found this quote (if you have not already figured out, I love quotes and find them very challenging):

“If you’re on vacation, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to really be on vacation.”

Which got me to thinking, will I relax and really be on vacation?  I want to be, I need to be, but how do you do that?  Well here is what I am planning on doing.  I am taking some books (okay more like my nook with books loaded on it).  I am thinking my running shoes will be a good idea too because even though I am on vacation, I want to eat like I am on vacation which means I will need to exercise!  I am going to take my laptop so I can continue to write some blogs that I will post when I get home because we don’t have  internet on our island and I am enjoying writing, kind of like the journaling I have my clients do!   And I am taking a willingness and openness to BE, and I mean just BE!  I know you are probably thinking that that’s kind of weird.  But if we have ever met you know that I need to stay busy.  There is no rest for the weary!  But I realize that I need to slow down.  I have spent many years doing, doing, and doing and I am beginning to realize that even though it has helped me get to where I am, I need to learn to enjoy just being.  Our last daughter is in her senior year (insert lots of tears here!) and soon it will just be Dave and I at home.  I want to enjoy this year!  I know it will be filled with lots of tears because I am that type of emotional mom, just ask my kid!  I want to enjoy every moment and for me it needs to really begin on this vacation.

I reflect on the quote, we do owe it to ourselves and our family.  So I am going to give it a try.  I am going to BE on Vacation staying present and aware which is something I try on a daily basis but tend to get lost in the craziness.  So maybe this vacation is more than just a vacation.  Maybe it is a restart on being present.  There is my therapy challenge for you: BE Present.  Be aware of each moment and savor it because it won’t come back around again……..Now I am off to pack!  😉