Posted by: Ingrid | April 22, 2015

Overwhelmed with Gratitude

IMG_1670

So the short story is that I finished my first Boston marathon, despite wind, rain, and cold, for a finish time of 3:28.54.  This takes almost 6 minutes off my last marathon time and requalifies me for Boston should I have the audacity or desire to completely disrupt our lives during the next two years.

The long story, and the thoughts that have taken up so much of my thoughts while we were in Boston for five days (when not stalking the Boston weather page and praying so hard that the weather would just. please. change.) are not about the race per se (though you can expect a lengthy, self-indulgent debriefing of the Boston experience when I get a chance to sit down and write it all out) but about the getting there, particularly the people in my life who made Boston a possibility.

It is humbling to me how often it takes so many people to make anything possible anymore.  I would like to think that I can self-sufficiently breeze through and handle things, when in truth, with small children, nothing is ever easy anymore and it is good for me to remember (and thank!) those who are part of the process rather than being frustrated that I can’t do it all on my own.

So without further ado, the lead roles of Ingrid’s 2015 Boston Marathon, in roughly chronological order.

First Running Buddy in New Town: The first person I ran with after moving states nine months ago who convinced me that running a marathon in 7 weeks would be fun.  It actually hurt more than it was fun, but it qualified me for Boston, which had not been on my goal list for the year.

Husband: Who not only cheered me on during the Estes Park marathon while driving a minivan with three screaming children in it, but then insisted that I run Boston.  He gave me endless grief until I committed and sent the BAA my credit card number while I protested all the while that I wasn’t sure I wanted to run Boston anyway.

Fairy Godmother: Swooped in, waved her wand and sent glitter flying everywhere.  She then proceeded to tell me to follow my dreams.  No mice or pumpkins were harmed in the process.

Coach: Originally this role was going to be filled by the all reaching Hal Higdon generic Boston training plan (the shortest I could find).  In a fantastic change of casting events, this role was filled by an accomplished runner who was willing to email me my training as the weeks progressed, listen to me whine about workouts, and give helpful advice.  If there is anything that’s going to keep you going through a hard workout, the knowledge that you are going to have to email your coach at the end of the week and detail your running does the trick.  Truly one of the people I have been most thankful for during the training process.  No one else cares that your 3K time dropped in your training runs except your coach!

High School Babysitter:  Found right after marathon training began, this responsible individual never knew if I would be studying pathophysiology in the basement or going out to run 7-10 miles in the wind/snow/rain (or sometimes) sunshine.

Really Awesome Training Buddy: Who, while training for her own first marathon that she is going to rock in a week and a half, was willing to lower her pace runs by 30 seconds to match my marathon pace segments during my Saturday long runs.  Also put up with my erratic pacing (Faster!  We’re barely at a 7:43 pace!  Oh, whoops, that mile was a 7:18.) and didn’t let rain, snow, hills, or sick children deter her.

Dad: Who returned early from life in the exotic far reaches of Thailand, leaving his lovely wife and really cool vacation spots (think elephants and awesome shopping) to come to rural Colorado and hang with a 3 and 5 year old boy.  For five days.  Yeah, five.  That is a LOT of hours with kids, even if they are your grandsons.

College Roommate: Who (along with her husband), was willing to add our youngest child who was a bad sleeper and eater and only mostly weaned to her collection of three children under 5.  For five days.  This should guarantee her some sort of medal as well as the ability to call in favors from us for approximately half a century.

Aunt and Nice Friends of Family: Fantastic aunt from back East who had family friends who were kind enough to allow us to stay with us on our jaunt to Boston, making the trip a possibility without having to re-finance our children.  Lovely people!

Supporting Cast: All of my dear friends and family who let me talk about the marathon, checked my status online, gave encouragement, followed my progress on the course, and congratulated me upon finishing.  As silly as I thought the text updates were, during the actual marathon it was such an encouragement to cross one of the mats and think that people in California, Colorado, and Michigan all knew where I was and cared about me.

Soundtrack: So my sister sent me two cds of songs that may be the best running music ever – but my computer wouldn’t read them so I was stuck with my old play list along with two new additions, One Republic’s I Lived, and Rachel Platten’s Fight Song, which I’d heard on the radio and loved.  More helpful at mile 10 than at mile 24, but still good running music.  Really though, Boston is so loud that the spectators are all the sound track you need!

Thank you to all who helped to make Boston 2015 a reality!

Posted by: Ingrid | April 15, 2015

Five days to go (plus marathon tracking info)

I have had several people ask how to find out what is going on during the marathon on Monday.  There is a mobile app that will allow you to get six updates on a runner during the marathon.  I would love this idea if I were sitting at work, sipping coffee and getting updates and giving commentary (Uh oh, they’re slowing down… must’ve hit the hills…).  As a runner, I am not so sure.  No pressure when people are being sent text messages of your mile splits, right?  But I will considered that extra incentive to run my best.  :-) Also, my bib number is 18590, for those who have asked for that.

And a little random trivia:

-There are 500+ runners from Colorado.

-There are 3 other Ingrids.

-I am the only person from Sterling.

Obviously I have too much time on my hands.

Today I ran three miles to shake out my legs.  The sun, already brilliant at 6:15, elongated my moving shadow against the newly plowed fields.  The air was crisp, the birds fluttering around newly blossomed trees, shaking off water as they rose in flight from the ditch by the roadside.  There was something almost spiritual about the moments on the road, breathing deep the cool air, soaking up the warmth of the sun.  A sort of centeredness knowing that this is where I am, right here, in the body that gets to run a marathon in a few days, running on these plains as the world wakes up.  I would not be running Boston if I hadn’t run an unexpected fall marathon because our move to Colorado made me feel crazy.  So I owe this town, with it’s terrible dogs and gusting winds and sometimes icy roads, a thank you, for the opportunity to meet a personal goal that I’ve carried for a decade.

Posted by: Ingrid | April 14, 2015

So much to do, so little time!

I am guessing that it’s normal to stalk the Boston weather report when the marathon in less than a week out.  Who knew Boston was so windy?!?  Maybe it doesn’t matter when you are in a sea of runners?

This has managed to be one of the busiest weeks of the semester (of course).  Husband had some big school related things to complete.  I had a Patho exam (today) and I have a lab quiz at 8:00 am the day after the marathon.  Then there are the things in the “other” category.  These include:
-Regurgitating the entirety of my brain onto paper to tack on a bulletin board because other people will be caring for my children.
-Making big decisions regarding what to pack for Boston.
-Checking the weather report again.
-Painting a beat up dresser (don’t ask me why, but I felt this was SO important).
-Making cookies, brownies, and banana bread so the boys and my Dad don’t starve.
-Hanging curtains in my Dad’s room.
-Making my marathon playlist.
-Visiting the chiropractor.

The clock is ticking for about a day and a half more and then we are off!  To Boston!  Wheeeeee!

Posted by: Ingrid | April 10, 2015

Top Songs of 2014: I need new music!

When I ran the half marathon about five weeks ago and put together my playlist, I actually “splurged” and used some iTunes credit that I have probably had since 2004.  Why are songs no longer 99 cents?  So sad!  But that is the rate at which I add running music, generally mixing around songs on playlists for years before getting tired of the songs.  I added three songs, Daughtry’s Waiting for Superman and Superchick’s Stand in the Rain, both of which I really like, and Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off, which I actually find kind of obnoxious. But here’s the thing, while part of me finds her annoying, her song also makes me want to laugh every time I hear it. On top of that, if she came out with a “Shake it off” parenting technique, I might be in (Paint got on the floor? I just want to shake!).

Once I was trying to piece together playlists for the really long runs I realized that I was desperately in need of new song and artist suggestions.  Although it does tell you something about a song when it sees you through an entire year of running.  Oddly enough, Frozen’s Let it Go, lasted only six months (Yes, I downloaded that song along with every ten year old girl in America.  I consider it an anthem for the first born child.) Based on the songs I still run to, here are my top 2014 songs in case anyone needs some new music.

1. Fall Out Boy, The Phoenix.  Because any song that rhymes “remix” and “phoenix” is guaranteed to make me laugh.  Also, Fall Out Boy has fantastic running music in general.

2. Fall Out Boy, Alone Together.  I was charging around the indoor track in Michigan over a year ago while listening to this and it’s still on my playlist!

3. Three Days Grace, Life Starts Now.  I heard this on the radio at the start of the year, what feels like another life time ago. One of those songs that I put in the category of “gritty inspirational”.

4. One Direction, One Thing. So I’d never seen the music video until just now and I am a little embarrassed. But there is something about the “boy band” sound that makes me laugh.  Which relieves tension.  Which is good for running.  Right?!?

5. Panic! At the Disco, Memories.  PATD: Good sound and interesting lyrics.

6. A lot of music by Kesha.  Please let it be noted that I never EVER claimed to have good taste in running music or that I ever allow my children to listen to the music I run with.

Also, if anyone has any running songs they absolutely love, I have this marathon in a week and I really need recommendations for new music!

Posted by: Ingrid | April 6, 2015

Two weeks to go

BM

So all of a sudden Boston is in two weeks.  TWO WEEKS?!?  As in, I will be done with the Boston Marathon at this point two Mondays from today.  I am finding this hard to believe.  Of course I meant to blog all the little details but life has not been conducive to much blogging or much… anything, really.  It wasn’t even conducive to me doing both of my pre-req classes.  I am not sure where my time is going these days but it is awfully hard to do more than survive.

This will be the first full marathon training cycle that I have completed and I truly feel like I deserve a medal.  I don’t suffer from a short attention span except when it comes to marathons, apparently.  Honolulu was a partial training cycle, then there were two train-for-a-marathon-just-kidding-I’m-pregnant incidents, and finally my Estes Park marathon which was done on 7 weeks of training.  I really liked that, because at the point I was running 20 miles and realized I was going to really run a marathon it was time to taper.

I feel like I still kind of did “marathon lite” this time around (only peaked at 50 miles), but I started in January and have seen it all the way through.  This feels something like a minor miracle with the winter weather in a new town, the crazy winds, needing to study for pathophysiology, lack of babysitters, and the fact that I have been sick 3 times in the past 4 weeks.  So I am sort of glad it’s time to taper.  But don’t mention that to me next week because I may be just a little bit crazy then.

Last marathon I did one 20 miler during training and it took me 2:57.  This time I did a 21 and a 23 miler in training (first time doing a 23!) and I finished the 23 in 3:02.30.  It felt really good to see progress there.  I feel like I have at least put in good effort this time around (a good portion of my long run motivation coming from a speedy friend who is getting ready to run her first marathon in May and who was willing to join me in snow and wind, running faster than she needed to).  Last time I realized with two weeks to go that I should probably be doing some of my long runs at marathon pace.  Oddly enough, this time I have had marathon pace in all my long runs since February and I still don’t feel like my body knows the pace.  Very weird.  I think the crazy winds (and they ARE crazy here) definitely contribute because it’s hard to really get a feel for a pace when you are on all sides of a 15 mph wind.

I am grateful to be two weeks out, uninjured, not pregnant, and ready to run my third ever marathon in Boston!  Also, since all of my running in the past nine months has been done somewhere between 4000 and 7500 feet, I am ecstatic to be at sea level for the run!

On the other hand, I have no idea, still, how it is possible to run with 30,000 other people.  How is that a good idea?

It is going to be its own set of crazy trying to leave my children in their respective places while we are gone and to not worry about them (or the toll they are taking on their caretakers).  But we get five days (5. Cinco. FIVE!!!!!) with no children.  Running 26.2 miles at the end of that is a small price to pay for such luxury!

This is my first (and probably last) Boston so I am trying to remind myself to have fun. :-) Yay, Boston!

Posted by: Ingrid | March 2, 2015

Race Recap: That Dam Run, March 1, 2015

Folks, I have not run a non-pregnant half marathon in almost 3 years!  (I did one at 31 and 38 weeks with Lily, but I didn’t push the pace with those).  As part of my Boston training cycle I signed up for That Dam Run in Greenwood Village and then watched our temperatures dip and the snow fall.  Colorado has some crazy weather, but for the most part the snow melts off and the roads clear.  I love this!  But I did not love the fact that it was supposed to be cold the weekend of the race and 50 degrees next weekend.  Not fair!

Worst case scenario we were looking at snow, more snow, ice, and 5 degrees at the start.  What we ended up with was sunshine and temps in the teens.  I actually felt quite overdressed by the time I was a mile in, but then couldn’t stop shivering once I finished.  Since the race was two hours away I brought normal shoes, my shoes with screws in them, and my yaktraks because I didn’t know what I would need!  Along with two pairs of gloves, three different hats, and a scarf.  What I really ended up wishing I had was a pair of decent sun glasses and sun screen.  Winter running is an odd beast.

The course runs out and back over the dam and then down onto the Cherry Creek trail.  Then you turn around and go back.  Even though the elevation chart was online:

image009I kept thinking that the hills would be okay.  What’s a couple hundred feet?  Upbeat self talk is always good, right?  The race was about 2000 feet higher in elevation which left me feeling breathless at the start and with a headache by the end.  I always get a headache when I go to Denver, whether I run or not, which I think is strange.

dam3

The race started on time.  A friend and I drove down together (leaving at 5:50 am) to do the half and a friend of mine from college came out to do the 5K.  There was a decent turn out, but it wasn’t a huge event, which was nice.  I re-re-re-re-discovered that I don’t like running with people in a race.  I just want space.  Obviously Boston, with its field of 30,000 runners, and I will be good friends.

So we were off at 9 am sharp and my goal that I thought (if the hills weren’t terrible) was attainable was 1:35.  Just hold a 7-7:15 pace. Running over the dam offered some really lovely views with the blue sky and the water iced over.  I held my pace fine until mile 5.  At that point we were hitting the ups and downs of the trails with parts that were iced or snowed over and I felt like I spent most of miles 4.5 through 9 looking at my feet.

I completely lost focus by mile 6 and 7-9 passed by in a blur of feet watching, ice dodging, and gaining momentum only to hit a hill or another ice patch.  I was pretty frustrated.  At mile 9 I remember looking at my Garmin and seeing 1:05 and thinking that if I could just crank out four 7’s I could still hit my goal.  But that’s when I hit the hill from hell that lasted past mile 10.  At that point the course was back on the dam with no ice but I had nothing.  I kept trying to pull it together and I couldn’t push past a 7:40.  Finish time was 1:38.06.  My slowest non-pregnant half since the one I ran 6 months after Isaac was born.  4th in my age group, 11th woman, and 38th finisher overall.  The first woman (37 years old) won in 1:27.45.

dam1

My friend, who now has 3 half marathons under her belt, all run in the past 6 months, beat her last time by 5 minutes!  I am starting to wonder, since the last three half marathons I have run in the last three years have involved the person with me running a personal best, if I should stop running and starting billing myself as a magic talisman.  Just rub my running shoes for good luck and you will PR while I stand on the sidelines eating donuts.

Not really, but I would love some tangible proof that my running is actually improving and I would like that proof in the form of a race that gives me a better time than I’ve run before (marathon doesn’t count because it had been so long since my first).  In the meantime, I will enjoy the trail of green glitter that my medal leaves and try to keep my children from walking off with it. :-)

IMG_2604

Posted by: Ingrid | January 19, 2015

On the brink of insanity

Despite moving and the long bout with the flu and all of the drama that comes with owning a new home, it has been a lovely month-long break.  Jonathan has enjoyed (ever since Christmas) walking around with his new monster slippers, shark backpack, with his plastic sword  (sometimes an entire arsenal) sheathed down his shirt or pjs, giving a whole new meaning to the term “own worst enemy”.

IMG_1664

Isaac has become delightful at five, as if he is finally figuring out the rules and how things work.

IMG_1683

And Lily, cuddly, babbling, and delightful is still more baby than toddler.  She teethed all four molars within a week and a half in December while chewing on her toes.

IMG_1711

I made the rooky mistake of deciding that it would be fairly easy to paint the walls (and most ceilings) during the last ten days of break in four bedrooms, two hallways, and the living room.  As a novice painter.  With three children under foot.  Surprisingly, I finished one bedroom, the living room, one hall, and almost the guest room, the trim in a bedroom, and the ceiling in another.  I learned that painting is all consuming, there is a not-nice word that describes me when I have to paint with children around, and that painting apparently burns a lot of extra calories!  Eventually we got to the point where there were more paint brushes and rollers in the fridge than easily accessible food.  This past weekend, in pursuit of a more grown up living room, I sent husband and boys off to IKEA to buy supplies for an entire bookshelf wall, which is a funny enough picture as is, all the menfolk traipsing around IKEA, but was made funnier when husband purchased a mattress for the guest room and then lost it four miles from home.  Poof!  No mattress in the truck when he arrived at our doorstep after bedtime.  Thanks to a local Facebook group we found it propped up against a stop sign by the cemetery a hour later.  I love furniture with a good story.

Now we are nearing the edge of the Cliffs of Insanity.  Tomorrow:

Is three months exactly from the Boston Marathon.

Husband begins his semester teaching 6 classes, one of them being Theatre Appreciation (Quick refresher: husband teaches philosophy).  He is thrilled by this.  I think he is crazy.

I start Pathophysiology tomorrow and the second course of Anatomy and Physiology next week: 8 units of science which will supposedly make me eligible for the nursing program in the fall.

That really doesn’t look like much until you factor in the one, three, and five year old; feeding them, taking them places, doctor appointments, etc.

Also, our semester will end in mid-May, followed by husband teaching a two-week history course (again, I say he is crazy), a trip with friends to Estes Park, and almost a full month in California followed by a month and a half for home projects and then possibly me starting the nursing program and Isaac beginning kindergarten.

Maybe I should have squirrelled away freezer meals rather than painting ceilings? Is it even possible to make enough freezer meals for six months?

 

Posted by: Ingrid | January 4, 2015

2014: Resolution Recap

I happily made many resolutions last year according to the philosophy that it’s better to have too long a list and not accomplish anything than to have no list at all.  Ah, list making, it never ceases to be on the short list of favorite and (as the mother of three) necessary things.

I didn’t really keep my resolutions in front of me, mostly because there was that 2 month old baby that wasn’t sleeping.  And then packing to move.  And then keeping half our stuff in boxes.  And then moving again.  I just pulled up January of last year to see if anything really got accomplished.

The good:

1.  Travel. I definitely travelled to new places with our road trip to Tennessee in the spring and then the move to Colorado with the marathon in Estes Park.  Check!

3.  Remember birthdays and send cards.  I loved this one.  I didn’t remember everyone but I love real correspondence that involves a stamp and not a “send” button.  Keeping this was quite fulfilling!

4.  Concerts. I attended several concerts over the course of the year though not as many as I would have liked.

5.  Read more books on our shelves.  Did pretty well at this, particularly after our move when I started binge-reading all of my Lois McMaster Bujold books again.

7.  Learning a new skill… well, I officially had to take two cake requests (since both boys had opinions) this year and I had so much fun.  Jonathan’s blue tiger request puts this in the “new skill” category for sure!  If these requests keep up I really need to take a basic cake decorating class!

IMG_1226

9.  Running and exercise was a broad heading.  While I didn’t do everything in this category, I did do a marathon and ran a PR in the marathon, both big things.  Still no pull ups completed but I’ll take what I can get!

11.  More family fun.  I think we have done better on this one but it doesn’t come easy to me.  Fun with kids is often tied to mess and spontenaity, neither of which I am hugely a fan of.  Maybe I am just learning to let it go a little better.  One thing I am having to accept is that, sometimes, it is just better for my husband and I to tag team with the kids instead of being all together.  In this case, personal survival trumps family fun.

12.  Researching school options for both myself and Isaac for fall of 2014.  I had all my ducks in a row by mid-May.  Isaac was going to do the fantastic young fives program around the block from our house.  I was going to do the nursing program in Michigan full time.  I had completed my pre-reqs, interviewed, taken the HESI (entrance exam), gotten a $5000 scholarship, and qualified for childcare because we were so low income.  So check that one off the list!

Except then we moved.  So now Isaac is doing preschool (again) and I have before me several thousand dollars to spend on an additional three more pre-req classes and a different entrance exam, pushing my potential start to nursing school to Fall of 2016.  Maybe.  This is all making me feel like Sisyphus.

Bonus Resolution: I found a baby book for Liliana and may have remembered to record some milestones.  I get at least partial credit for this one!

Additional Bonus Resolution:  Don’t get pregnant. CHECK.

The undone:

2.  Roast my own coffee beans.  Never happened.  Though I have drunk more coffee this year than possibly… ever.

The ambivalent:

6.  Go back to buying, cooking, and eating more naturally and healthily while on a limited budget.  I am going on three years of making my own bread and do most of my cooking from scratch.  I did find, however, that with the move we have a noticeable lack of good fresh produce and groceries are super expensive.  So I do what I can but would love for our pantry to look a little cleaner.

8.  Find ways to be happier.  I will not claim to have done this AT ALL, but it definitely occupied a great deal of thought during the year.  I think this is a good thing for future growth and happiness.

10.  Date my husband at least twice a month.  Yeah, this wasn’t going so well before we moved.  Then, after moving, the availability of babysitters (almost zero) and the cost and the lack of places to go mostly sidelined this one.  I cannot say how much I miss our surrogate Grandmas and babysitters in Michigan.  Six months and I don’t have a single sitter I can call during the day if I didn’t make it out to run in the freezing early mornings.

13.  Body image and baby weight: Lost the baby weight (Finally!  It has never taken this long before!) though stopped a few pounds short of my 120 goal.  Am I happy with that weight?  No.  But neither am I dissatisfied.  I am less likely to eat everything in sight when confronted with a crying baby, so that’s good.  Finding clothes that look stylish and put together?  Well, that hasn’t really happened but I’ve pinned plenty of things on Pinterest and they all tend to look like this.  Waiting, I suppose, for the day when I look at $100 and think: This could buy a pair of running shoes but maybe I’ll just buy boots.

clothes

I did get some fun jewelry though, and am trying to remember to put on a little makeup most days and pretend like I am a grown up.

14.  Finding sanity as a mother of three.  Yeah, let me know if you figure this out.  I feel like I have better perspective and know what to let slide after a year.  I have figured out what works best (ie. only do big grocery trips kid-free) and we work around those things.  A few weeks ago I even managed to call at 4:05 pm to schedule a 5:00 pm same day doctor’s appointment when we were all running fevers and still in pjs.  I got us dressed, defrosted the car, and drove across town over icy roads and made it on time proving that I have at least found a measure of efficiency as a mother of three.  Am I sane?  Well, I have survived my first year of mothering these crazies.  And I hear sanity is overrated anyway.

IMG_1615

Biggest Lesson Learned in 2014: Sleep is one of the most important things in the world.

Posted by: Ingrid | December 30, 2014

Suddenly it’s December 30th

Sometimes I marvel at how days that sometimes feel so long can collectively fly by so quickly.  I think I am still somewhat in shock that just a little more than five months ago we were in Michigan.  In the past five months we moved to a new state, Husband started a new job, I ran a marathon, we bought a house, packed all the boxes, moved again, got the flu a week later (for 9 days once it completely ran its course), and then two days later it was Christmas.  There has been so. much. change.  I am a little afraid that moving into our own house will feel like a freight train coming to a sudden stop; all the cars in the back slamming into the engine.

Then again, it seems like that has been something of the pattern of our lives for the past six years, so maybe the crash never comes?

Topics and questions that have not been blogged about during the past five months include:

-Is it worth it to keep blogging?

-What no one ever told you about buying a house

-The internet lied and we get way more snow and wind here than I was promised.  I want a refund.

-Why a 2 year nursing degree is going to take me as long as a double PhD

-The craziness of budgeting on one income in expensive (!?!) rural Colorado

-Running plans and goals

-Why you should never EVER move in December

-How much change can you handle before going insane?

-How do you make it through the throes of early parenthood without losing yourself completely?

-Moving to new places with young children and no family around is depressing and lonely

-The Boston marathon is 16 weeks from yesterday!

As an aside, I am resolved to not complain about the hot weather when it hits this summer.  To be able to throw on shorts and a shirt and hit the clear roads would be a dream come true right now.  At least we are over the longest-day-of-the-year hump, right?  It all gets warmer and lighter from here. :-)

I can’t believe that 2015 is right around the corner.  I still have fond memories of my mom stockpiling macaroni and cheese in case Y2K hit and that was fifteen years ago!

 

 

Posted by: Ingrid | November 21, 2014

The downside of realistic optimism

opt

I do not like to call myself a pessimist.  To do so would conjure up thoughts of Eeyore trailing behind his friends pronouncing doom and gloom over everything.  No, the term I prefer for myself is one that a former pastor of ours used years ago: realistic optimist.

How does this non-pessism play out in real life?  Let’s take a minor example from family life.  Say we need to go out of town on a Saturday morning.  Husband is convinced that we can all wake up at 7 am.  We can drink coffee for 30 minutes, He can send five emails and listen to an online lecture while I run 13 miles.  And we will all be fed, dressed, packed, and in the van and ready to leave at 7:30 am.  I, on the other hand (based on past experiences), am fairly convinced that it will be an arduous task to get all five of us in the same location without wanting to tear my hair out and am pretty sure we will leave no earlier than 11 am.  When reality plays out, there is only minimal screaming and stress, and we are on the road at 9:45, I am quite pleased.  (Husband could care less when we actually leave so his opinion, in this scenario, is inconsequential).

Of course, this does not work in all situations (and definitely not for some of life’s pivotal moments).  For example, I have never entered a pregnancy sure that it would end tragically or that labor would be horrific (I do, on the other hand, try to convince myself that I will be three weeks overdue).  Also, this reticence to be wildly enthusiastic over potentials extends only to my life and immediate family.  For most people, I am happy to day dream and get excited. (What!  You met a Brad Pitt twin at the bar last night and you’re pretty sure you’re going to marry him and live happily ever.  Seriously?  What are the odds?!?  You will have such beautiful babies!)

There are things that are perhaps not the best about this outlook.  It is difficult to get enthusiastic over something that you are fairly certain will not happen and it is hard to figure out my own dreams and how to move towards them because I will happily shoot them down as soon as they are thought up or verbalized.  I would say that it minimizes the highs and lows of extreme excitement and despondency that life can bring, but it by no means does away with them, and all in all, it works for me.

(Side note that Husband is the exact opposite and I am very conscious of how I respond to his dreams and brainstorming and try to be open minded when he tries to help me explore possibilities.  Eight years of marriage has taught me that shooting another person’s ideas down as they are coming out of his mouth, even if my objections make sense, is not a loving, kind, or smart thing to do.)

Anyway, this realistic optimism works so well that it just occurred to me today (after three weeks of being in the process of buying our first home) that we are closing on a house.  In less than two weeks.  And I have packed three boxes (that I may have packed today).  Apparently home buying is the dream of every realistic optimist because there’s always something.  Maybe the roof looked funny.  Or you have to negotiate the price.  Or wait on the inspector.  Or the appraiser.  So you aren’t really buying a house because you have to wait for more information.  I have mentioned the house to very few people because it doesn’t seem real yet.  But we will be moving boxes into our own home, a home in which we can actually have guests (!!!!!), in early December.  Probably there will be a blizzard on moving day.

Either way, it is time for some serious packing to happen here as I (cautiously) celebrate the biggest purchase our lives.  In this case, realist optimism looks awfully close to hard core procrastination! :-)

Older Posts »

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 464 other followers