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.

Anyhow.

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.

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About Cassie

Two sisters from two misters. What could be more fun?

Posted on March 5, 2012, in Cassie and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. This exactly. Today, I hope to blog about the same thing minus the forgetting to eat part. I wish I only ate when I felt hungry instead of getting this little idea in my head that ohh… I’d love to have some (fill in the blank). I seem to always make time to grab something to munch on.. but the exhaustion part, I know well especially this time of year.

  2. I wish I could forget to eat! It would make losing this baby weight a heck of a lot easier!

    I kid, I kid. Seriously, take care of yourself. We’d like to have you around for a good long time, please.

  3. Oh Cass, it’s really no wonder why we get along so well! I also took forever to potty train, and frequently forget to eat, because I can’t be bothered. There’s also the added bother of eating = pooping, which I hate to have interrupting my day. My struggle is that my blood sugar bottoms out very quickly, so I have to force myself to eat something to avoid the nausea, sweats, and overall weakness of hypoglycemia. So I started eating basics…in terms of a little bit of carbs, and more protein. I force myself to eat things that will help me not to need to eat again soon. Being on the road, it’s so easy to go fast food all the time, but I try not to. Instead, I always have a container of peanuts with me. Couple handfuls and I’m good for another few hours, where I’ll grab a couple more. Cheese sticks kick butt. I wish I ate more fruit, but alas, it’s just not me. What makes it worse is that I’m a total texture eater that also goes through phases of what I like…and just when Eric thinks he’s onto me and knows what I want, I no longer want that.
    As for recognizing the bad habits your kids either inherited or learned from you, I’m guilty as well. Louie has been such a struggle to potty train because he just.won’t.stop. Both he and Laynie are horrible eaters, not because they’re picky, but because there is so much they’d rather do, that sitting down to eat is pretty low on the priority list.
    You’re not alone. 🙂

    • This is so refreshing to hear, Kel. Honestly. I often wonder if I’m alone, but then I realize that we as mothers typically put ourselves last.

      I try to live by the mantra, “If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else.”

  4. I have no idea why I like you so much, because you are craaaaaaazy. I guess no one ever told you, but there’s no fun eating will interrupt, because eating IS the fun. Everything else is only wasting time until there’s room to eat again. I AM LECTURING YOU.

    j/k. You’re a perfect and unique snowflake.

  5. The only times I have ever in my life “forgotten to eat” were because I was trying to multi-task several things at once. And then my stomach let out an angry roar and that was the end of that. So glad you’re realizing things are so crazy and your body is taking a time out. More cooking and blogging, less Joe’s O’s! 🙂

  6. Yeah, what Ett just said. Gotta feed the beast, dearie.

    Regarding the kids’ “vent communication,” I just hope you don’t have a laundry chute. Do they have those any more?

    We had them growing up and my grandparents did too, and we kids found them endlessly fascinating. It was a good science background too, because we were always seeing what kinds of things we could drop down the chute.

    Mom always caught me, though, before I could get my little brother locked and loaded. I bet Claire could talk Luca into jumping in on his own…

    • We don’t! But the one house we looked at to buy had one. That would have been so much fun. And so much nicer with the whole laundry situation. Next house, for real.

  7. This x100. I know exactly what you mean about trying to adjust to a “new normal” with a new, demanding job, marathon training, and trying to be a half decent wife (your baking has inspired me to get back into it, got eggs and butter and flour tonight at the store.) It’s not even that I forget to eat, it’s that I can’t eat the entire time I’m at work unless I really think to go to my locker and get my Luna bar, and there’s always something I feel like I should be doing or learning instead. Sometimes, I think that a long nap/good sleep is your body’s way of reminding you that no matter how much you want to, you can’t function on adrenaline alone. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait until marathon training is over so I can work out for fun again…

    • YES. I’m so tired of marathon training. It’s always on my mind. Did I run enough? Did I run far enough? How did that run feel on my legs? Will my knee make it?

      I just want to have fun again.

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