Exhaustion: finding your limit
After a really long day full of stress, exercise and endless grocery shopping it seems I met my limit. When 7:30 rolled around, Matt claims that I let the exhaustion of the past several weeks catch up to me, and I fell asleep on the couch. It’s one thing, if this was a nice quiet house, but the kids were within about 3 feet of me playing some game with Luca’s matchbox cars that included bombs and lots of giggles. Apparently after the twentieth, “Mama? Did you see that? Mama??” Matt decided to walk over and see what was going on.
There I was, on the couch, newspaper on my lap, dead to the world.
This is pretty much unheard of for me. (Except during pregnancy. I mean, hello. Yah, couches were hard to get off of. Why not just give up and sleep?) I have a hard time trying to force myself to sleep while the kids are napping if I’m tired because they’ll either wake up early and ruin my chances or what if some random creep tries to break into my house? I constantly have thoughts racing, always in protect my family mode. Not that I’m obsessed with that, it’s just always on my mind. It’s hard to fully relax once you become a mom. It’s just…you can only get it if you’re one, too.
I found my limit. It wasn’t just today. This was a long time coming. For the past few weeks I have been trying to find my stride in teaching, unconsciously stressing out about my upcoming taping for RPM, marathon training, being sick, teaching while being sick, 12 hour shifts at the hospital on Saturdays, choreographing classes, starting a cooking blog and just trying in general to find my new normal.
The hard part is that I love each and every one of those things, except for the being sick and stressing. I have a hard time pacing myself. I’m an all or nothing kind of girl. And I’m OK with that. But eventually it starts to catch up.
I’m very good at multi-tasking. I can make bread dough while bathing a kid in the kitchen sink. I can work on my choreography while playing cars with Luca. I can run through my RPM stuff while running.
But somewhere in that whole mess, I forgot about eating and basic self-maintenance. Yesterday, for example, I ate two pieces of french toast, a cheese stick, a handful of whole almonds, four veggie eggrolls and a little bit of stir fry and a bowl of Joe’s O’s.
In that mess of pathetic sustenance, I did my RPM taping, doing a full on, hard as you can get release 53, not holding back. I also did a marathon grocery shopping trip, as all of Pittsburgh was out buying everything in bulk for the fear of the inch of snow that was falling outside. When I got home, I made dinner and after that, I ran through my teaching for tonight.
Back when I lived alone in 2004, I had a problem with eating. I’m not saying that I am anywhere near that caliber today. Not by a long shot. But, I just don’t get the feeling of being hungry all the time and I took that to mean that I just didn’t need to eat. Same still goes for today. I only eat when I’m hungry. And trust me, I can pack it in. But when I question why Luca hardly eats anything, I know exactly why. I am the same way. When I get too busy or mentally preoccupied, I just don’t eat. I’m not trying to lose weight. I’m not trying to starve myself. I just forget. Or I just am not hungry. Or I just plain don’t feel like it.
I’ve been like this as long as I can remember. Eating, sometimes, just plain gets in the way of my having fun.
Anyhow, so I did a shoddy job of eating yesterday and probably for the past week, as far as I can remember and it came back and bit me in the ass. And Matt told me that the kids kissed me goodnight, and I can’t even remember.
I sat up on the couch at 9:30 at night, talking with Matt and he gave me a bowl of O’s and said I have to take better care of myself. The funny thing is that, typically I do. I’m just trying to find my new normal. Life is always changing. But for a good six months or so, it had stayed the same. And I went from going to the gym when I felt like it, even though I kept a pretty strict schedule, to having to be at the gym, subbing at times, and having to know what to teach as opposed to doing what I’m told. It’s quite a big change.
My mom said that when I was a kid, I took forever to get potty trained because I was just plain too busy to stop and use the bathroom. That it was an inconvenience. Makes sense. Instead of crapping my pants, I forget to take the time to eat. Or I grab something small, like a cheese stick and think that will work so I can continue on with my day.
I know better. Trust me. I don’t need a lecture. This is just what goes through my head. We all deal with stress and life differently. Honesty is a hard thing to come by sometimes. I figure if I throw it out there, I have to be more accountable to it. None of us are perfect, and my perfection ends about 10 seconds after I wake up.
This morning, I woke up at 8. Matt let me sleep in and I needed it. According to my sleep cycle tracker, (best iPhone app ever!) I didn’t move. I needed it.
And yes, I know the irony of keeping a food blog and then forgetting to eat.
But today is a new week and I’m more aware.
On a complete other subject, I love watching my kids. Claire recently discovered the heat vents and how fun it is to be sitting on top of one when the heat kicks on. She puts her blanket over her head and sits completely still for however long the heat is on for. Totally reminds me of when I was a kid.
Claire and Luca also realized that they can talk to each other from the first floor to the basement through the vents. They’ve climbed the stairs more times than it would take to get to the top of PPG Place. Legs of steel, those kids have.