The Good Stuff.

I’m sitting down to write this and it’s 9:06 PM on Friday night. My family is out for the evening and the house is insanely quiet. I had to take advantage of this momentary lull to actually FINALLY do some writing.

Over the past month, I’ve started at least 6 posts, only to leave them in my draft inbox. I can’t even sum up motivation to write lately, it’s so weird! If I had published a post, it would go something like this:

Monday- I ran today. It was a good run

Tuesday- I ran today. Bad run.

Wednesday- Guess what? I ran.

Thursday- I’m going to blow your mind right now-I ran today!

Friday-A day off from running.

Saturday- I ran!

Sunday-Wouldn’t you know it, I ran today, and it was longer than all of my other runs!

Mileage total: Lots of running and tons of some whining along the way.

I couldn’t bring myself to post those obnoxiously boring details and figured that no one would want to read that drivel anyway. I can chalk my lack of motivation and inspiration up to the fact that I am TIRED. The kind of tired that starts in your brain and works its way down to your toes. This kind of tired is the stealer most of my time and all of my energy.

This has been a year of learning and of good changes for me and my family. You may remember that I became a full time mom to my stepdaughter this past summer. I’ve never been so tired, happy, worried, proud, run-down, laughed so hard, cried so much, or been as confused and concerned as I have been over the past few months. I can’t describe it any better than that. If I had to use a word to describe 2015, I would go with “LEARNING”  or “NEW”. HAHA…and maybe “TIRED”.

I don’t have any kids of my own, so obviously, this was a giant life change. When it happened, we were still on summer break–this made it an ever BIGGER life change- My summertime life was pretty much me, on my own, doing whatever I want all day for 3 months. But into my life entered a sassy 8 year old.

I’ve been in her life since she was just 2 years old and since she was so little, she doesn’t remember a time that I wasn’t. We would have our visits with her on weekends and try to cram family stuff/friend stuff into those 2 quick days. It still never felt like enough time with her, though.

This past summer, I never expected to become a full time mom, and I didn’t expect to learn all the things that go along with it.  I know that I thought that when I eventually became a mom- it would come naturally to me and I wouldn’t have so many NEW things to learn. HA. HAHAHAHAHA. 

There have been mom fails.. like the fact that I didn’t know I couldn’t send my daughter’s medicine to school with her and I didn’t know she needed a note for every new person who picked her up. And there have been struggles that keep me up all night, like the struggle to get my little one to sleep in her own bedroom. And the struggle to establish routines with little things like showering and lunches and homework. So many new things. (Homework-I’m looking at you!)

There is exasperation…I find my myself at a loss for words sometimes because I literally do not KNOW what to do in some situations because I’ve never dealt with certain things before. I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the time I’ve gone to my SIL, Mom and MIL for parenting advice. This is all brand new and I might as well have gotten a baby instead of an 8 (now 9!) year old.

Through all the confusion and exasperation, I have found that I’m adjusting.  I’m even adjusting my running! I used to do every single long run on Saturdays and I’ve been consistently stubborn with this for YEARS..Seriously, I can’t remember otherwise. I truly never thought anything in the world would change my routine of long run Saturday. Now I have a little buddy with me on Saturdays (my husband works) so my long runs are always Sundays. Things change, and you have to adapt to those changes and roll with the punches.

Most people don’t like change. I’ve always been a fan of it.  I like new things because it shakes things up and helps me grow. Without a doubt-this has been the biggest year of change for me. My best friend is fond of saying “Everything happens for a reason”. And as much as I used to hate when she would tell me that (it mostly came on the heels of a breakup), it is actually a 100% true statement. I know this little one needs me. So all the change and growth and learning and sleepless nights is to help her.To see her is like my heart is walking around outside of me. Its so weird and awesome and awful all at once.  

And I’m learning. I’m learning that some of my favorite times come when I least expect it. Aly and I have fallen into a Saturday morning routine and we make a whole day of having fun and I LOVE IT. We are beginning to develop routines and have learned that showers work best with the music playing on her IPAD, and all meals are to be accompanied with milk..not juice. Warm cozy clothes are the fave and jeans have got to GO. Homework is best done RIGHT when we get home, and when listening to music, we are in agreement that it should always be blared LOUDLY (preferably Tay Tay Swifty)

Little things mean so much more now too. Like when she gets out of bed and immediately gives me that big bear hug. Or when she spontaneously tells me she loves me. And when she falls dead asleep in my arms and I have to carry that little beauty to bed. Man I love that. These little details trump all the confusion and the worry and make every single struggle worth it.

And along with that you learn that a new chapter in your life has begun: It’s making sacrifices and thinking about the future All. The. Time. Its giving up sleep and nights out and learning to deal with the parent swap off of responsibilities. In short: It’s a lot. (Kudos to you single parent families out there!)I have so many questions! Does it ever get easier? (I don’t think it does) Will I ever have all of the answers? As much as I would LOVE to ask Santa Claus for THAT for Christmas…I don’t think that I could ever actually get all the answers. I’m learning that parenting is kind of a learn-as-you-go thing. 

I once heard a quote somewhere that went like this: 

To adopt a child means that my child grew in my heart instead of my belly.

I love this message and it rings true for a stepparent too. Since I’m a step-mom: There is always going to be a struggle. I can’t imagine that ever going away. We stepparents have different challenges. And with those challenges come different rewards. I’m learning that I’m probably Aly’s stepmom for a reason because that kid is turning into my little mini me and I love it. I’m never goingto be her “real mom” and that is ok. I’m her “other mother” and that is in its very own class of amazing-ness.

I sat down to write about how un-motivated I was to write about running . I started typing and this is what ended up coming out! I guess I just wanted to get all this out and it  ended up being pretty therapeutic. I know that I’m blessed to lead this little bitty life of mine and everything that is happening now makes me a very lucky individual. This is all “The Good Stuff” in life and not everyone is as lucky as me! So thanks for reading and I hope I didn’t bore you with my non running babbling! Next time, I promise it will be running stuff! Sometimes, that little thing called LIFE gets in the way and changes us. And if you are luck enough, your own life will be filled with the good stuff, too!