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2011 goals – before the campaign

March 24th, 2011 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Personal - (Comments Off on 2011 goals – before the campaign)

My main goal for 2011 is figuring out the easiest ways to get everything done.

Now I have to take all the easy things and make them even easier. I will have almost no time away from work and Joe will be single parenting for five weeks.

My other goals for 2011 include:

  • Hitting 175 lbs – and then to keep going

Honestly, I don’t remember the last time I weighed myself and I have no idea where I stand. I do think I’ve been doing reasonably well, and my clothes still fit the same way.

  • Being able to make it all the way to my 10th floor office on the stairs

I can make it to six, and now I’m working out of a difference office that’s only on the third floor, but I intend to take the stairs up and down whenever I leave or come back – it helps that the elevator is really slow.

  • Consistently having a meal plan so that the whole family is eating healthy food

We’ve been doing fairly well with groceries and meal planning – I’ve even started having better breakfasts, but I am concerned. During the campaign I will be eating all my meals at the office with breakfast and lunch catered, and last time almost every meal was all carbs, breakfast was pastries at least once a week, and I gained weight – there’s was no way not to.

  • Continue to test my knitting skills in my project choices

I currently have three projects on the needles – a little dress for the baby girl that is half finished, one sock on the needles and its partner is finished, and a sweater for Joe. I really happy with the dress so far and I’m excited to see her in it.

  • Make my way through my ‘to read’ pile (my ever-expanding ‘to-read’ pile)

Since my last update I finished The Book Thief, read Harperland, the new Jasper Fforde, One of Our Thursdays is Missing, and now I’m reading Let the Great World Spin. I’m not very far into it but it’s beautiful and it gives me something to escape into on my bus ride.

  • Build up my profile at work

I’m happy with work, as stressful and constant as things are going to be. I will feel proud at the end of this five weeks.

  • Keep blogging, keep tweeting, maintain my connections

I’ve been tweeting less and blogging less, but I’m still here. I have also missed a few gathering (including tonight’s Twestival, which I gave up my ticket for) but I hope to use the time off I will have at the end of the campaign to spend time with the people I’ve missed.

  • Organize the second annual Road Hockey Showdown

Not on the radar.

  • Improve my French

Yeah.

  • The Shopping Embargo

The second half of the embargo was a lot different than the first half, in that I forgot to remember when I started thinking about things I wanted. I’ve been doing a lot better than I used to, but I still have impulses that I should ignore.

  • I really, really need to stop biting my nails. It looks bad, it hurts, and there’s no reason for it.

Doing well on this front. My nails are at a good length, and I’m keeping them polished.

For the next five weeks my goals are to: Do everything I can to help and never hinder at work; spend every moment I can with my daughter; leave work at work; breath; relax; keep my shoulders relaxed; and take a walk in the fresh spring air when things start getting to be too much.

In a few days it seems likely that my work will completely take over my life. We’re talking 14 hour days with an hour-long commute at either end. Thinking about work when I’m not at work.

The last time I went through this – an election campaign – it almost killed me. I had been working 12 hour days for over a month at a by-election and then came back home and started in on 14 hour days for another month and a half. It’s constant, stressful, tiring. I basically worked and slept.

And now I get to do it all again with a kid.

I cannot begin to express how scared I am to have to leave the house before she wakes up and get home after she’s asleep. To know that if I get a day off, I will have a hard time keeping up with her because I’ll be so drained. I’ve been doing alright being back at work, normal days, seeing her in the morning and the evening instead of all day every day, but this?

I cannot begin to express how much I will miss her.

I’m also worried. She and I? We’re a team. We play together, we make plans, we talk, we read, we walk, I push her just a bit further than her daddy does. I can read her emotions, I can calm her down.

I’m her mommy.

For almost 2 months she’s not really going to have a mommy and she’s not going to understand what’s going on.

The work I do is important. I feel good about it. If she were older and I explained she would understand that mommy is trying to make sure this country is a great place to live, but she’s 14 month old and she only knows that I’m not there.

Today, while driving out of the parking lot at Ikea, I had a flash of something. It wasn’t memory, it wasn’t real, it was something that my brain decided to show me – a possibility, a fear, something.

I was driving out of the Ikea parking lot with my daughter in the back seat, driving like we do all the time together, and my subconscious decided to show me something, decided to make me think about something. I pictured myself not looking the right way, I pictured a car backing out of a space too quickly, neither of us looking, I pictured it backing straight into the driver’s side of my car. I picture myself, slowly dying while my daughter screamed in the backseat. My brain forced me to think about my daughter, alone, crying, confused. My husband getting that phone call. Who would take care of her until he could get to her? Who would tell her everything was okay. No one can make her feel better the way I can. Mommy hugs, that’s all it takes.

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a flash like this. It was one of the first things I talked about with my doctor when I went to ask her to please, please put me back on my anti-depressants. I sat there in her office with my daughter, a newborn, in her bucket on the floor and I cried and begged for something to help me take better care of this little person. I didn’t even realize how much I loved her at that point, but I knew that all the people around me did, and I knew she was important.

Now she is my life, and this flash was infinitely more upsetting – because of the message it brought to me, and because it was so unexpected and unwelcome. I thought I was past this. I don’t want to go back to that place. As strange as it seems, I think it would be harder for me to handle it now, because then, at the start of it all, it was expected. I knew, going in, that I was going to have PPD. People surrounded me with care and worry. I was ready to ask for help.

Now, I feel as though I should be past this. It’s enough already. Look at this beautiful, vibrant, smart, funny, outgoing little girl I have in my life. She looks to me for everything, she loves me and I love her and enough with the bad stuff already. Can’t I have a little while just to enjoy us together?

Learning to say no

March 13th, 2011 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Parenting | Personal - (Comments Off on Learning to say no)

One of the biggest problems in my life is that I have real trouble delaying gratification. If I want something, or want to do something, I want to get it now or have it right away. This is true of me with food and true of me with things. It’s why I’m overweight, it’s why I’m in debt, it’s probably part of the reason I suffer from depression, and it’s one of the biggest things I need to change about myself.

It’s funny that I’ve been thinking about this more and more now just because my kid starts crying when I say no to her or take things she’s not supposed to have away. As her daycare provider says “She doesn’t like no.”

I am know facing a situation of putting my money where my mouth is. I am an example, and we have a problem.

We have a budget we have to stick to, we have meal plans to stick to, and we need to get our exercise. We need to stop taking the easy route – sitting on the couch instead of getting on the treadmill, buying a pizza instead of figuring out what’s for dinner, letting the baby have what she wants instead of trying to explain to her that she can’t and listening to the crying.

I have to tell myself that my goal weight is more important that my desire for a soft drink, that getting out of debt is worth more than a new sweater, that teaching my daughter an important lesson for her future is more important than trying to keep her happy all the time now.

I’m paying the price, she shouldn’t have to.

So I will switch my thinking to long term, I will make do with what I have and a little less, I will force myself to wait a little longer to reward myself in the end. Less weight, less debt, less stress and a happier family all around.

I keep loading up my blog to write, but there the page sits and no writing happens.

It’s not that I don’t have a lot to talk about and I lot that I’d like to think out loud about, but there’s so much that I can’t or don’t want to say in public because of the people involved and the people reading.

It’s been a hard week. The baby is both teething and sick, so we haven’t been sleeping much. We don’t have much money right now, so our stock of groceries isn’t great – and two things that are part of my depression cycle are unhealthy eating and lack of sleep, plus the aforementioned stress.

It leaves me just sitting, unable to move myself to do the things I’m thinking about doing. It leaves me confused about what I can be doing and confused about how to go about getting things done. I don’t know how to fix our budget, I don’t know how to fix my diet, I don’t know how to get exercise in when I’m this tired, I don’t know how to make her gums hurt less. I don’t know how to express all of this. I don’t know who I have left to talk to.

Joe and I had a disagreement yesterday morning in which I got more and more frustrated because I just couldn’t figure out how to say what I was trying to express in a way that he would understand. My brain just couldn’t connect my feelings to my words.

It’s strange because I started this week feeling fairly good. I went to a Lady Gaga concert last Sunday and she made me feel good about myself, and other people. Her full on acceptance of everyone no matter what they look like, believe or who and how they choose to love and the thousands of people in the room cheering those feelings on gave me a sort of optimism, and here I am on the other end of the scale.

Where do I go from here?

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