The Year of You

small changes to a more balanced and blissful life

“It’s All My Fault” — February 18, 2018

“It’s All My Fault”

Last weekend, my four year-old son Shane broke his arm, and I felt responsible. That Saturday morning, Jason and I had decided to take a class at our gym. We arrived that morning, signed the kids into child watch and headed to our class.  As we were finishing a grueling HIIT spin class, the child care staff came to get us. My first thought was that one of the kids had to use the bathroom; I didn’t expect an injury. We quickly got to the kids and found Shane crying hysterically and clinging to his left arm in pain. To make a long story short, he fell (or was pushed according to him) and landed on his arm.

We made our way to urgicare and it was determined that his arm was broken: a non-displaced fracture at the elbow. One soft wrap and sling later and we made our way home with instructions to schedule an appointment with Orthopedics on Monday. Shane handled the whole ordeal so well for being so little. Meanwhile, Jason and I were just a little frantic. We had Shane’s birthday party that same night and now we only had a few  hours to get everything done that we had planned to do earlier that day. There was no way I was going to cancel that party on Shane after that terrible morning so we busted hump to get everything in order. It all worked out in the end, Jason and I engaged our teamwork superpowers and got everything completed just in time (including showers…mind you we had spent several hours sweaty and gross at urgicare). The party went well and Shane was happy in spite of his broken arm.

When I finally had a minute to sit down and reflect on the day, a tremendous amount of guilt rained over me. As a parent, we all know these things will happen. It comes with the territory, and honestly I am surprised in the nearly seven years of having boys that we haven’t had a broken bone sooner. Accidents will happen no matter how cautious we are, but I couldn’t help but feel responsible for Shane breaking his arm that morning. Irrational as it may sound, I felt guilty for lugging my kids to the gym that morning so that I could get a workout in.  I thought to myself, if we would have done our normal morning routine that Saturday, and I had just worked out during the kids’ nap time…this would never have happened.  I know this all sounds ridiculous, but this is honestly what was going through my head.

As parents, we try so hard to protect our kids and do what is right for them. Far too often we blame ourselves when something happens or when things don’t go exactly as we had expected. I know this is true for me. Parenting is hard…..like seriously ridiculously hard, and I have found that as the kids get older, it gets even harder, but in different ways. Sometimes I feel that I am failing them, and that day was one of those days.

When we feel this way, we need to remind ourselves that we are just doing our best. That morning, I knew our day would be busy so I decided a quick morning workout would be the best option. I was just doing what I thought made sense for that day plus the kids love going to child watch at our gym. It was intended to be a win-win for everyone. I also reminded myself that my kids are active little kids who like to play, and that they are bound to fall. They are going to get hurt, and there will be trips to the emergency room. It will happen…we hope it doesn’t ever happen, but it probably will. As long as we are doing everything we can to protect our kids and keep them healthy and safe, then we need to give them the space to play and make mistakes and fall down (and hopefully we all have decent health insurance). So today, cut yourself some slack.  Accidents will happen, and remind yourself that we are all just trying to do our best.

Lessons from a 7 Year-Old’s Skate Party — February 8, 2018

Lessons from a 7 Year-Old’s Skate Party

Have you ever had one of those parenting moments that just made you think to yourself “I did it!” “I am rocking this parenting shit right now”? These moments happen every now and again and sadly feel too far in between.

My most recent proud parenting moment happened at the dreaded school friend birthday party. This particular party was a skate party, and I don’t know about you, but I find these parties to be so flipping awkward. My son (Chase) isn’t yet to an age where he can be left at the party while I go out and run errands…I’m not sure what that age is, but I’m pretty sure it’s somewhere between 21 and 30.  Parents never quite know what to do at these parties so they typically spend 2 hours making awkward conversation or playing on their phones. I opted to bring work which was an optimistic prospect on my part.

Chase was so excited for the party, but I don’t think he fully grasped what it meant to go to a skate party…you know…that it would involve skating. As we got though the main door, Chase instantly realized what he had signed up for and wasnt having it…not one bit of it. I practically had to carry him through the door. He was begging to just drop off the present and leave…and sadly very close to tears.  Honestly, I just wanted to run out the door too. I could feel his pain, but we were there and we weren’t turning back without giving it a try.

Somehow, without getting frustrated, without pleading, and using my best skills of parental persuasion possible, I  was able to help him overcome his fears and get him to try on the skates. From here, it progressed to “skating” around the carpeted area with a walker which then transitioned to using the walker in the skate rink. By the end of the party he was skating without a walker and having so much fun. We did it! I was so proud.

I knew what he was feeling in that moment. He wanted to have fun. He wanted to give skating a try, but that voice inside of his head was telling him that he couldn’t do it. That terrible voice that keeps us from trying new things or taking chances. This voice made him fearful of the unknown. He didn’t know if he would fall down, he didn’t know if someone would laugh, he didn’t know if he could do it….but guess what? He  turned that fear into courage and he laced-up those skates and he tried. He took a chance on the unknown for the sake of fun….for the sake of enjoying himself and doing something that he wanted to do. He believed in himself because you know what is scarier than fear….regret. Sure it might be uncomfortable trying new things, but we need to be willing to be uncomfortable to live and feel fulfilled.

I think we can all learn a lesson from our skating adventure, that sometimes you just need to lace-up those skates, grab the walker and give it a go. Falling down is just a part of the process, and if you fall, you get back up and you try again because its fun AND because you can.

Balance and Bliss — February 1, 2018

Balance and Bliss

I have spent the last two years figuring out how to be happier.

Let’s face it, life can be hard and its hard in different ways for different people at different times.  I think we all reach a point (some may call it a midlife crisis) when we ask ourselves “is this what we wanted for our lives”?  For me, I wasnt unhappy by any means. I was actually quite happy. I had a great life with a great husband and a great family, a great job and so on. I just wanted more and I wasnt sure what that meant or what that was supposed to look like.

I’ve spent the last two years diving head first into figuring this out and have found great transformation through this process. Little by little I’ve chipped away at discovering who I am and trying to answer the even harder question of who I want to be. It’s a journey and so far I’ve loved every turn. With this, I am changing my forum a bit. I feel that I have so much to share from this journey…things I have learned along the way….some great tools that have worked and a lot that havent. I would love to share these with you in hopes that it helps you on your journey. I invite you now to join me on my quest to pursue more balance and greater bliss.

                                                                                     Lauren