Self-Reflection, Self-Esteem, Marathons and Children

This week ended up passing quickly, with some hours holed up in the library working on case studies (two more, three exams this month and one next month and I’m finished school!), getting the mail sorted out and paying bills and generally tidying up the corners of our life that slipped into disorganization while I was away.

I thought a lot about my life while I was walking for hours and hours at a time in the cold Himalayan mountains (what else is one to do?). There are a few different things that I’m still digesting, but mostly, I’m really happy with my life. With myself. Which is a pretty rad feeling.

Physically, I’m happy with my fitness level. I’ll up it a bit this summer as I train for a marathon and attempt to keep lifting weights (I have historically had trouble balancing both things at the same time) (see also my new page up above, I’ll be updating it monthly with my schedule, my totals and my weight lifting progress).

Mentally, I’m happy with how I feel about myself. Sure, there are parts of my body that I’m still not 100% happy with, but the most important thing is that my body does what I ask of it. I fuel it well and push it hard and I rest when I need to rest and sometimes indulge in a big bucket of movie popcorn or a few too many beer and basically, we’ve got a good equilibrium going on. And that feeling of balance has let me abandon some self-consciousness that plagued me in the past.

Being away from the kids wasn’t as hard as I expected. I turned off, emotionally, which I wasn’t even sure that I knew how to do before this trip, to tell you the truth (on the other hand, I cried at a drop of a hat for the first two days I was home). But it did give me time to reflect on how I’ve been mothering them.

At one point, as we turned around and started to walk away from Base Camp, my brother told me that this was one of the greatest things he had ever done. And at the risk of being the biggest cliche imaginable, my first thought was that my two greatest accomplishments were at home waiting for me.

I used to feel really conflicted about how to be the best mother for my children. I felt like I should *want* a career and I also felt like I should *want* to be at home with them all the time. In reality, I wanted neither. Or both. The reality is that I want to be at home with my kids most of the time, but I also want need some things in my life beyond them. Places where I exist outside of them, outside of being a wife or a mother. Regardless of how important those things are to me, I need a place that is my own.

I’m getting there. I have this coaching gig with Team in Training and it’s proven to be a wonderful experience. After my university program is over, I plan on continuing to teach on campus once or twice a week, depending on the class availability. I’ve signed up to complete a Yoga Teacher Training program starting next fall and afterwards plan on teaching some yoga classes through the week. It’s a far cry from how I expected to use my HR Certificate three years ago when I started, but life is about a journey, and this program allowed me to find the path that led me to where I am now (a very nice place).

That said, all of this also reinforced to me that day care, that full time outside the home childcare is not what I want for my kids. So we’ve started looking for a nanny. Someone to come three days a week and hang out with the kids while I run/work/whatever. Someone who can stay with them sometimes on the weekend if Steve and I get a chance to go away. No luck as of yet, but I feel very optimistic that we will find the right person by the time that summer vacation rolls around.

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