This post is going to be a little bit all over the place, but I do have a point.
So bear with me.
The past couple years have been very difficult. This is no secret. The past few months have been even harder. That’s no secret either.
And the past three weeks have just been ridiculous.
Since my husband’s accident, I’ve been going non-stop. I’ve had a lot of people ask me, “How are you doing? How are you holding up?”
Well, I’m tired. And I’m not saying this looking for sympathy or help. I’m just really. Fucking. Tired.
And yes, I’m worried. I’m stressed out. I don’t know how this whole thing is going to play out.
I know the stress is taking a toll. I got pretty sick last week, and I have this cough that I cannot shake. I have fallen asleep sitting at the computer multiple times in the past few days. I’ve let myself get run down.
I know what I’ve been doing to myself. I’ve been doing it partly on purpose. I have not allowed myself to slow down enough to think about anything. Because if I do that, I’m afraid I will go to a place from which I won’t be able to return.
In fact, I said that to a friend who asked how I was the other day. I told her I hadn’t allowed myself to slow down. And that I knew a breakdown was inevitable.
I was right.
Last Wednesday I had a staff meeting at the Y. I don’t know how many people were there. Probably like a hundred fifty people. I had completely forgotten about the meeting, and I had a bunch of stuff I was planning on getting done that night. All my plans were messed up, and I was even more stressed than usual.
So at the meeting, staff members were sharing stories about how members have let them know they are appreciated. How the Y is much more than just a Y. How the staff there really is making an impact on peoples’ lives.
And as I was listening to the stories, I started to think about all the support we have gotten from our community. From our friends. And from the Y. I sat there holding back tears.
While I am feeling overwhelmed with the recent events, with the pressure I’m under, with being solely responsible for earning money while my husband is indefinitely out of commission, I was also feeling overwhelmed in another way.
I am, again, overwhelmed by the amount of support we have received from the community, and from our friends and from the Y, too.
The Y has given me a job, has helped us out with financial assistance so the kids can be on the swim team, and is a place my children love to go every day. They genuinely love going there. Because the staff genuinely cares about them.
And as I sat there listening to staff members sharing stories of how they’ve been told they have made a difference in members’ lives, feeling indebted to the Y for everything they have done for me and my family, I knew that I had to at least share my story. But I was already crying just sitting there.
When the microphone was offered up for anyone else who had a story to share, I took it.
And that’s when I had the breakdown that I knew was inevitable. In front of the entire staff of the Y, I cried the ugliest of ugly cries.
It wasn’t pretty, and it took me a few minutes, but through snorts and snot and lots and lots of tears, I was able to express my thanks and my thoughts as a person who has had the fortune of being helped out by the Y in a multitude of ways.
I was pretty emotional that next day. The floodgates had been opened, and I was spontaneously bursting into tears all morning.
And then I got this Facebook message from a friend:
Cue the ugly cry again.
Number 3’s old baseball team had taken up a collection.
Like I said before, it hasn’t just been the Y that has been a lifesaver. My community has been amazing. So have my friends. One of my best friends actually has all the kids over at her house right now to play and to feed them dinner so I could have a break.
And I’ve also received a bunch of stuff from blog readers. Starbucks gift cards. Cards offering encouragement. Donations of money. Boxer shorts, even. (Don’t worry. They were new). And to the person who sent the boxer shorts, they are actually needed, so thank you.
Thank you all so much
So yeah, I’m overwhelmed in a bunch of ways. Some good, some bad.
But after I lost it at the staff meeting, I realized I needed to get back on track. I needed to start taking better care of myself, because if I’m not functioning, then we are really screwed.
If I’ve ever had reason to say I don’t have time to exercise, it’s now.
But I know my brain. It needs exercise. Badly. I am a shitty mom without exercise. And I’m also extra bitchy.
And it’s not like I hadn’t worked out in weeks, but between getting sick and my husband being hurt, I wasn’t on my usual schedule.
Which brings my to my final point.
I feel very, very strongly about exercise not being something you do only if you are trying to lose weight.
It keeps your head clear, it’s a free stress reliever, antidepressant and anti-anxiety drug all wrapped into one, it keeps you from snapping at your kids and husband (less often, anyway), it makes you feel sexier, it makes your clothes fit better, it improves your sex life, and it sets a good example for your kids.
And it allows you to not just watch from the sidelines, but to still participate in fun things when you are old. Which is what I plan on doing.
There is no way I would make it through the stuff we are going through right now if exercise weren’t a part of my routine.
I am very thankful that it has become an automatic for me, and something I look forward to being able to do every day. It’s my favorite kind of me time.
And one of my goals is to get all moms to that point.
If you are not there, if exercise is not a part of your routine, I want to help you.
It’s called Not Your Average Fitness Course. It’s a six week course where you are given weekly exercise goals that are manageable and sustainable. It’s flexible. You are not nailed down to any specific type of exercise. By registering for this course, you automatically become part of a supportive group of ladies (and every once in a while, a dad or two) who are all working toward the same goal: an improved quality of life and a better stocked box of tools to help you get through the shitty times we all experience at some point(s) in our lives.
You don’t need to belong to a gym. You don’t need to be an athlete. You don’t need to be anything other than willing to improve the quality of your life and in turn, your family’s life.
There is no better time to start than now. School has started and you have settled into your routine. Holiday weekends are behind you.
It’s time to take care of yourself.
Cause when you don’t take care of you, it’s really freaking hard to take care of anyone else.