Validation

The alarm went off at 5:45 this morning, I immediately picked up the phone and dialed the campus weather line. University closed until noon.

Sighing, laying back on the pillow. No mid-term.

For whatever the reason this term, I don’t have the focus. Last term I trained for a marathon, took a full time course load and came out with good grades. This term, I’m struggling most days, with calculus or with the elaborate excel formulas my prof wants us to memorize or with the kids being sick or with making sure supper is always made or with the amount of laundry.

My grades aren’t what I want, my stress level is often too high, my workouts have been much more sporadic that I’d like, and I don’t seem to have the will power to really focus on Weight Watchers.

I’m tired and run down and the winter seems to be dragging on.

Maybe this isn’t for me, I thought last week. Maybe I’m in the wrong program. Maybe I shouldn’t be at school at all.

It’s a means to an end, basically, and that’s never how I’ve looked at school before. But it’s something to grunt through at least until I can take some higher level courses that are actually interesting.

Perhaps I’ve become too practical, but it feels like pushing 30 with two kids isn’t really the time to be struggling with what I want to be when I grow up. I’d love to write, oh how I’d love to write. But other than the paralyzing fear that accompanies that desire, I know that I need something more than that.

I’ve been doing a new type of workout. Short and intense. I started doing these a little over a year ago, but gave up because they were too hard. I stuck with running and occasionally a random push up or two. I scolded myself for being so weak, berated myself for quitting.

Yesterday after I finished, flushed, sweaty and shaking, I realized how much stronger I am than I was a year ago. A year ago I had a 7 month old baby and I couldn’t do those workouts. I hadn’t worked out my whole pregnancy nor lifted a weight afterwards, and I berated myself for being weak. I ran a half-marathon 10 minutes faster than I had hoped, and I told myself it wasn’t that impressive because the route wasn’t hard.

Easy to beat that vicious mental cycle! I though, and sat down to compose a list of things I’m proud of.

Keeping the house clean. (Oh give me a break. BORING.)
Marathon. (Get OVER it, you weren’t even fast.)
Being a mom. (Who gets frustrated and won’t admit to letting her kids watch probably too much tv)
Being a good wife. (Ok, I can accept this one. Except I made a few bitchy comments yesterday)

See how this goes?

I’m trying to allow myself some space, to stop belittling everything I’ve done by reminding myself of everything I haven’t done.

I’m trying not to compare myself to the woman who works evening shifts while her husband works day shifts so the kids don’t have to go to daycare and they are both training for half marathons.

I’m trying not to compare myself to the mom who works 50 hours a week at a high paying, high profile job.

I’m trying to remember that no one is perfect. That in everyone’s life, something’s got to give.

I’m trying not to feel (and this last one is difficult to say) that without a paycheck, anything I accomplish is not validated.

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