Happily Wrong and Happily Running and Unhappily Anxious

Sometimes there are happy endings. The person in the ambulance? The one I was sure died in the park on September 10th? I was wrong. She lived. She was saved by her soccer coach and she lived. I still don’t understand why the ambulance sat for so very long before taking her to the hospital, or why it looked like she was alone in there. But none of that matters, it is rare that I have been so thrilled to be completely wrong.

—————————————

Yesterday I completed my final long run before the blessed taper (end of a training program during which you run progressively less in order to save up energy for the big race) begins. My running app, which is the boss of me, told me to run 13 miles. I did 13.1, the exact distance of a half marathon. Even if I screw up royally on October 19th I proved to myself I can do it.

When you run as slow as I do 13 miles provides a lot of time to think. Lately I can’t escape thinking about my anxiety, which had been unbearable this fall. It was so terrible before I left the house yesterday morning that I was sure I wouldn’t complete the distance.

But somewhere after the 3rd mile just doing the work pushed the anxiety away. The run felt impossible, it was crushingly painful, but I found a rhythm. By the way, the runner’s high people are always talking about? Fucking myth. It has never happened to me.

I’ll tell you what, though. Chasing the anxiety away? The pain is worth it.

I’m in a bad place right now. Scary bad. I drop the boys off at school, come home and sit in front of the computer. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I berate myself for not touching the overwhelming list of shit I need to get done. Sometimes I stare at nothing. I’m always choking on panic and fear.

Why don’t I just do it? Send the emails for the school project? Do the research? Start the editing of a paper? Why don’t I clean the house? Get started on dinner? Organize the avalanche of papers? Do a fucking yoga video?

I am paralyzed. I sit and I sit and I hate myself and I sit some more.

Right now the only thing I have energy for is pretending everything is just fine when I leave the house. The smiles I force on my face at school drop off and pick up, the small talk at soccer, going through the effort of wrestling the boys into bathing suits in the Y locker room before swim lessons, that stuff takes every ounce of energy I have.

Being with friends is a reprieve. I am happy getting coffee with girlfriends, or spending an afternoon at the park with our little gang, or attending birthday parties and cook outs. I can tell my friends the anxiety is bad, but we all have our shit to deal with. Going into detail feels like it would unfairly burdensome.

Admitting I have an anxiety order and that I’m struggling is easy here. In real life I can’t let my guard down. If I don’t pretend everything is just fine I will stop functioning, even at the poor level I’m at right now. That is not an option. The boys must get to school and to their activities. I must make it to my appointments. I must act normal until I can escape to the safety of the house and let myself fall apart while perched on a stool in our kitchen, my blank face lit up by the computer screen.

So yes. The pain of a thirteen mile run is worth it if it chases the more severe pain of anxiety away for a few short hours.

no nap

C naps.

big kid

T grins.

end of harry potter

Finishing up the first Harry Potter book.

Mama Humble Pie

You know how you think your kid is exceptional? Come on, we all do. We can’t help it. I’ve actually come to think that the wacked out impulse is totally normal, you just need to have a sense of humor and awareness about it. Because every kid isn’t an over-achieving special flower. In fact, telling a child that they are gifted and special and uber-intelligent actually just might backfire-they don’t think they need to work hard for anything because they know their natural state of being is extraordinary. If they have to try they already think they have failed. I’m trying hard to remember that. To compliment T and C on how hard they are trying rather on what comes easily to them.

But sometimes I get so excited about my kid’s special flower-ness that I get carried away with myself. On Wednesday I posted this status update to FB:

“For weeks T has been insisting we call him “Bumblebee the Yellow Car Transformer”, which is a major mouthful. This morning he switched it up. Now he is “Opt-Thomas Prime”. What a clever little nut-job.”

Man, was I ever proud that my guy was smart enough to figure out that play on words. I mean, he is only three. And 29 of my friends were kind enough to like the very braggy status. Cut to yesterday. My boy spiked a fever and so he was stuck on the sofa with Grandma’s iPad. He kept asking for the video with Opt-Thomas Prime. And I told him there wasn’t a video. It was something he made up in his head. That sweet, wonderful, clever little monkey made it up all on his own!

Um, actually he didn’t.

Yup, it is a Thomas the Tank Engine/Transformer Mashup that isn’t even appropriate for a three year old. And I now feel like I owe all 29 of my friends personal apologies. Friends- I am an asshole. A very braggy asshole. Not only is my son not a brilliant wordsmith, I’m being a shitty Mom by not monitoring what he is consuming via Youtube. Oops.

So what am I going to do now? Brag some more! Way to learn a lesson, Karen!

thomas writes his name

Little man knows how to write his name. And I can verify the authenticity of this one. I swear, I was sitting right there. What? You don’t believe a word I say now? I don’t really blame you….

superhero

The dashing superhero I had dinner with the other night. T is an extraordinary superhero, you know. Very advanced for his age. He can actually fly! And he has superhuman strength. We are so proud. And delusional.

ride em cowboy

And here is my cowboy. Although he is a mere 21 months old he already can lasso steer and ride bulls. Seriously, my children are so very gifted.

We’ve been on the road for almost a week. Missing Z like mad. He is blogging about his Japan adventures if anyone wants to check it out. I’m so excited for him, but I can’t wait to give him a hug in a few weeks. The posting will continue to be pretty sporadic for the next while. We are having fun adventures with family and are keeping very busy. Hope you are as well.

Big Fat Correction

Here’s the deal. I’m going to try to be honest with you guys. All the time. I like to think of myself as a scrupulously honest gal. But I fuck up sometimes. I’m actually surprised that no one called me on this latest fuck up. In my day after the election post I wrote that I didn’t vote for Clinton the second time because of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.  

Um, yeah. That scandal didn’t break until January of 1998. While their affair had already started by the election of ’96 I, like the rest of America, was blissfully unaware of it. 
Wow. When I wrote that post I believed exactly what I wrote. This sort of makes me wonder what else I’ve gotten wrong in the two and a half plus years I’ve been blogging. It’s troubling and interesting and I’m not quite sure what to do with the information except to say I’m very sorry. I like to think I don’t make mistakes remembering my history (or US history) often, but as I’ve just proven it happens.
I will say that when I realize I’ve made a mistake I will cop to it immediately and I will apologize. If I’m getting something wrong, please feel free to correct me! I’m not perfect. Like I’m super duper far from perfect. 
Let’s try this again: I didn’t vote for Clinton in 1998. I was well on my way towards becoming a Democrat. But I couldn’t get past my upbringing. I didn’t want my parents to be disapointed with me. I do remember feeling uneasy about my decision. I knew what I was doing didn’t really line up with my beliefs. So I guess I do wish that the me that existed in 1996 did vote for him. I have never been a courageous person. I’m ashamed of that. I did the cowardly thing in 1996. Did it again by voting for Green in 2001. But I haven’t done it since. And I will try to not do it again. 
Seriously. I’m sorry. Can we still be friends? 
Here’s my peace offering-A rather embarrassing photo taken by our dear friend C last night. We sure know how to get wild on a Friday night…
My boys making music very early on this Saturday morning. 

Weekly bread making.