Sunday, May 6, 2012
Ten miles a day. That was/is my goal. And even though two out of the last five days I've rested or taken shorter runs, I'm finding that it's not impossible to accomplish. The bigger challenge has been finding time to go out for multiple sessions. Thankfully Elliot is on a scooter kick and will join me through paved routes in the park, but he's not quite ready for anything more than three miles at a time.
So that's what I'm doing these days. My feet are tired but my mind is clear and sharp. The scale has yet to budge, but I feel better. Yesterday for the first time, there was not a single incident of back pain, which is enough to keep me going forward.
There isn't time for sewing. Barely time for teaching. The house might stay somewhat clean because we won't be here.
I am consumed.
And I wish I had never taken that two month break, falling into sedentary living and over eating. It came with anxiety and discomfort and a feeling of hopelessness. The smallest little problems seemed to be big and unmanageable.
The things I used to worry about don't seem to matter when I'm focused and driven. When you're bone tired, you don't have much energy left to ruminate on petty, temporary problems. When you're focused on yourself, the things other people do and say seem to be just a bit farther away. And as much as I care about my friends and family, I realize that getting wrapped up in another person's challenges is not very healthy for me psychologically. This is especially true during the hours I care for a group of children in the afternoons. The drama of their sibling combat has had an impact on our household. While it's true that we enjoy many happy times and will remember these days with fondness, I'm finally resolved to the fact that it is not my responsibility to change how they feel about one another. I can do my best to set expectations for peace and love, but in the end, they are going to be who they are. I am not super nanny.
While the days tumble forward into warm mid spring, the humidity and heat make for sharp tempers and intolerable situations. We've turned on the air, filled their little bodies with watermelon, popsicles and lemonade. I'd love to put up the pool, but I know that it will become yet another arena for conflict. They enjoy smashing each other in the face with balls, dunking one another to the point of near drowning, and splashing one another repeatedly despite screams of desperation.
Elliot watches all of this and tries to mediate.
I have disciplined them in creative ways, used positive reinforcement, provided artistic activities and modeled conflict resolution. I have ignored and forgotten and shrunk incidences that could have been their ticket out of my household forever.
I have told them I loved them and hugged them.
One day they will grow up and hopefully grow through these behaviors. Maybe I'll still be a part of their lives this time, unlike the children whom I've cared for in my past. Because of moves, growth, and life changes, there are many people whom I helped though the early years of life who I no longer have contact with. I look back and remember my devotion to them, and how much I learned about family life. This time, I'm finally approaching the very end of my care giving career. In four weeks, I'm going to retire from this work and focus on the adventurous life of my dreams. The one in which I actually have time to paddle in my kayak, take long runs and hikes, visit my family, drive to the beach, reconnect with Emily, Richard and even Elliot. He's growing so fast that it feels like I have the meet the new boy he becomes through each stage.
If I'm not here, I'm running my heart out. Finding peace. Making plans. I will try to take more pictures along the way.