(April 2016) Hello from the other side.

Hello! It's me! I'm in California dreaming of the way things used to be.

Just kidding. That's Adele. 

I'm in Wisconsin dreaming of warmer weather. I'm actually skipping out on a 10K this morning because the weather forecast says "100% chance of snow" at race time and it's like 30 degrees. Nope. I'm a wimp. To put my wimpiness in perspective, a good friend of mine just returned home in the wee hours of this morning from a 10-day mission trip in the Dominican Republic and is using my bib to run in the race today. So, yeah. Pretty wimpy. I care not. (I told her I still want my shirt, though.) 

Anyway. April 2. My last post was January 1. What on God's green earth have I been doing these past four months, right? So many things... and not so many things. My absence has not been because I have been too busy. I've just been busy being. 

Full disclosure, I have felt myself pulling away from media in many forms and in many ways. After witnessing so much ugliness being spewed from the fingertips of women/mothers in online forums and Facebook comment threads and knowing how awful (AWFUL) the internet is during election years I've realized something about myself: I can't be bothered. I just don't care. Nothing posted online means anything to me and nothing anyone writes or says out loud can touch me. It just can't. I don't care. 

I've had a bit of a self-awakening since the dawn of 2016.

Maybe it's the Citalopram. Maybe it's the daily 5,000 IUs of vitamin D (a slight exaggeration. Slight.) Maybe it's the EcoDrink vitamin powder I picked up from Costco because I'm a sucker (but in my defense, it is delicious and I do have more energy). Maybe it's the daily letting go I have to do because wanting control with a baby-turned-toddler is an exercise in futility. Maybe it's the dawn of spring. It's probably a lot of things.

I just feel better. I feel like myself. I feel like I am meeting myself - and not "again." This isn't "I feel betteragain," or "I feel like myself again." I feel like I am myself for the first time. Finally. After 33.5 years I am finally the real me, the best me, the truest me. 

I grew tired of trying to be what I saw on Pinterest or Facebook. I grew tired of trying to keep up with the best lives other people wanted me to think they had, not the lives they actually had. That's what gets confused all the time - we are constantly striving to make our lives like the "perfect" lives we see other people post about on social media or portrayed on TV and in movies - BUT THOSE PORTRAYALS ARE NOT REAL, GUYS. That post on Facebook is a snapshot. That movie is scripted and the TV show is staged. Marketers want you to feel lacking. That feeling of lack is what makes you buy stuff.

It's all just exhausting and unnecessary and I have bid that life adieu. 

So. What have I been doing since January 1? Well, to start, I have not given two farts about my "500 in 2016" running goal. It was stressing me out so I dropped it. I have been running. Sometimes 10 miles a week, sometimes 3. I run when it serves me and it feels great. 

I have watched my infant grow into a toddler. Two days ago he threw his first all-out tantrum. It was hard to take him seriously. I mean, he was hilarious. J and I had to hide in the kitchen so we could laugh and then compose ourselves before going back to the little guy. (He was losing his mind because I stopped pulling him around in his makeshift "sled" - a Costco box. God bless Costco.) When children become self-aware - when they realize that they can have opinions and then go and HAVE THEM - watch out. I mean, I know I just got to the toddler party and many of you have been there for years (or were already at the party but have finally gone home, thank the good Lord of hosts), so please bear with my discoveries and realizations as though you haven't known these things for years.

He climbs on everything. He gets into everything. He knows how to turn on the TV - I'm simultaneously proud and horrified by this. Except you know what? I refuse to be horrified. I'm choosing to be proud. My kid can figure stuff out. And, yes, he is under 2 and has had more screen time than is doctor/Alison-from-MOPS recommended. I don't flipping care. He is smart and sociable and vocal and curious and active. So back off, No One In Particular! (Or don't back off. I don't care anymore. Can't be bothered.)

Let's see. What else has been happening? My husband got a new job. I knew he didn't like (read: HATED) his old job, but I didn't know just how severely it was affecting him. Since starting at this new company J is happy. Like, legit happy. He smiles. He laughs. He does stuff to help me around the house all the time. He is excited to come home to spend time with us. He is SO much more present. If I've been feeling like I've found myself for the first time, it's nothing compared to the feeling of seeing my husband be himself - with me and with his son - for the first time. That's pretty cool. 

I've got a relay race coming up at the end of April that I'm pretty excited about. It's a 55 mile race from one city to another. There are 5 of us and we take 2 legs of the race. I've never done a long-distance relay race before, but I ran the 400m relay in 4th grade so I feel well-prepared. 

Okay. That's a lot to be going on with for now. So much more has happened, and yet at the same time not a lot. We've just been living. Really living. 

I recommend it.