Last year, pecan trees dropped thousands of nuts on the rural property we rented. We collected several freezer bags worth of these nuts.
In late June, I took a bag out of the freezer to crack the pecans. They sat in the fridge for about a week until I got the supplies I needed to open the pecans and forage their tasty innards. It was my oldest son who took the first step — opening the bag and cracking a bunch of nuts.
Then they sat on a kitchen counter for a week or so until I made the time to crack the rest of the bag and pull out the meat.
Why is it so hard to make time to do the things we enjoy?
For me, it seemed very hard until this past month, June.
I logged 109 miles of walking, rucking and running, increasing my year total to 567-ish. I did six workouts from the #wedohardstuff Facebook group. Throughout the month, I felt like I could, sometimes really needed, do more exercises, but didn’t. I had the tools — my body, some free time and some clothes that kept me cool. But I wasn’t ready to “torture” my body with a grueling workout. I was having a hard enough time torturing my mind and soul.
Cleaning out the shells
In late May, I experienced vertigo. The illness and its treatment required me to refrain from alcohol, about two weeks. This is a long time for me to be without my drug of choice.
Since I was a junior in college, I had a hard time parting ways with beer and wine. I gave it up during my three pregnancies, but after my kids were born, it was so easy to go back to having a drink or two to help me sleep. So, this recent unintended break was a bit of a wake-up call that I needed to hopefully cut the chord for good.
After I recovered from vertigo, I decided to keep going. I noticed how different things were.
It was like the volume on life was turned to 11. I felt more connected with what was going on around me. I was sleeping almost all the way through the night — a rarity. Working out in the wee hours of the morning felt OK, not like I was carrying weights in my legs and a hangover around with me.
When alcohol was in my life, spending time with my kids usually ended with a lot of yelling and grabbing the nearest bottle of alcoholic something to drown my feelings of anger. It also drown my feelings of joy. Sometimes, I couldn’t remember either emotion nor that I did remember anything I did with my kids.
Without the alcohol-induced filter, I noticed the smiles on my kids’ faces when they talked about their favorite things. I wasn’t as irritated when they sang along with the car radio. I remembered doing that thing that one time that my kids actually remember more than I do.
Instead of working out during every free moment in June like I planned, I watched and relearned. The kids conquered some of their fears during some summer camps. I sat and watched, trying to cheer them on without butting into the instructors’ territory. It was like being with my kids for the first time, all over again. I kinda forgot a bit of who they are.
It was like those unopen pecans sitting on the counter. Once I actually put in the work and got to the center, the reward was beyond anything I’ve experienced.
During June, I exercised when I needed it, slept when I needed to and just sat in whatever I was feeling without instinctively grabbing a cold-whatever from the fridge. I felt that I lost something, but gain a million other good things. I really want to keep this good thing going.
All of this resettling forced me to acknowledge things I knew but hid from myself through alcohol and other quirks I have.
I don’t talk much in social situations. That’s OK.
I tend to be self-destructive when I am in a tense situation. That’s not really OK, but it’s OK to feel tense without being a jerk to everyone else.
I have an addictive personality — I can’t stop at one drink, one piece of pizza, one shopping trip. I am an all-or-nothing type of person. That’s OK.
I have three kids who are old enough to kick my mental butt. They know what’s up and have often called me out on my drinking, among other things. That’s OK.
I’m not perfect. That’s OK.
So for July, my goal is to get another triple-digit month of miles.
I am going to carry the flag at the Eagle Charge.
I’m going to continue traveling on my adventure.
I’m going to be a #wedohardstuff finisher for this month.
I’m going to have fun while doing all of this and then some.
I really hope you had a great June. I love the month, but as a mom, it can be quite an adjustment period. I’ll be making some changes to the blog in the coming weeks. I’ll keep you in the loop as much as possible. I hope you enjoy them.