Home About Me Awards Favorite Blogs Momformation Favorite Adventures

Stronger. 2012, here I come.

I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions. I don’t like them and the only one I’ve kept is the one I made not to make them. I’d rather set goals throughout the year, targeting areas that are meaningful to me at that time. And 2012 won’t be any different, except that I’m going to be more focused in what I want to accomplish.

The truth is, 2011 was a good year in a big picture sort-of way but ended poorly. In fact, December really sucked. Happy, worth-celebrating events, like a dear friend’s 40th birthday and the Christmas holiday, were overshadowed by a miscarriage, coming in dead last in my 5K (stupid of me to attempt it two days after my D&C), crappy deadlines, and a horrible cold (I even lost my voice). All of that put me in a foul mood for almost the entire month.

But 2011 is behind me and 2012 brings a fresh start. So far, I changed my hair (went a little darker with a little ombre, adding a touch of spicy to the new year), Fussypants turned 5 and in itself is monumental but also brought my brother, sister-in-law, cutest nephew ever and my aunt in town for a visit and I started working out again. So far, so good.

After the miscarriage, I did some reflecting and realized that without question, I am content to remain a family of four. And since four has always been my favorite number (I don’t know why, it just is), it becomes even more meaningful that I have four areas I want to focus on in 2012: Family, Friends, Fitness and Me. I couldn’t come up with an F-word for myself (ha) so I’m calling that area Feng-shui Me (simply defined as improving life by receiving positive qi – life energy, life-force), so it works as my F-word.

My four areas for 2012

In addition to my four areas of focus, I am also incorporating a word theme. Shell from Things I Can’t Say had a fb post about word/themes for the year and that intrigued me. It was easy to pick one since I know what I want to accomplish: Stronger. I want to be stronger in several areas.

Family: My family is my everything but I plan to be stronger and more focused on prioritizing certain areas so that I am really embracing the moments I have with my family.

  • Date nights. 2011 was a better year for my husband and I in terms of making more time for date nights, which often included overnight babysitting, but I want to be more consistent in making sure he and I have alone time. This ranges from the simple matter of getting the kids to bed at their bedtime hour so he and I can have time to ourselves each evening to actually going out on dates and taking weekends away. The last weekend away we had together was in July – I know. But so far, 2012 is off to a good start…we are going to Vegas, just the two of us, in a few days.
  • One-on-on time with my kids. Fussypants is at the age where he enjoys and benefits from just mommy & me time and daddy & me time. My husband is better at this than I am (but only with our son) and I want to spend more time with each of my kids, doing what they want to do. They each have their own interests and I want to embrace that. This will also include time with my son, husband and myself and my daughter, husband and myself. We tried this on Fussypant’s birthday. My folks took Little Miss and my husband and I took him to the hockey game, just the three of us. It was really nice and he enjoyed the one-on-one attention.
  • Family fun time. In direct contradiction to the bullet above, I want to spend more time together as a family. We are always better at this in the summer but there is no reason why we can’t focus on this all year. My husband’s work schedule means that sometimes he isn’t home 24-72 hours in a row so we need to take advantage of when he is home and do fun things, even if it is something as simple as a family bike ride.
  • Extended family. My parents live in Southern California now and I don’t want to only see them when we are passing the kids off when they babysit. I really like my mom and dad and want to spend quality time with them, sometimes without my kids. And I need to see my brother and his family more often. He lives in Arizona but my nephew is growing so fast and I don’t want to miss out on every single moment. I also have an aunt, and two cousins (one who also has kids) in Northern California that I miss and a biological family that I very much enjoy spending time with that I want to see more of. It’s difficult to fit it all in but I need to find a way.

Friends: I used to be a really good friend but then I had kids. I thought I’d see more of my friends after having kids but it rarely works out that way. Our kids are on different schedules or in different age groups or have different interests so I don’t have as many play dates as I thought I would. And some of my friends don’t want to do play dates, they want to get together without the kids which then introduces scheduling and babysitting dilemmas. I’m not saying I never see my friends, that’s certainly not the case, I just want to be better at it. In 2012, I want to make more of an effort, I want to be the one inviting my friends to lunch rather than just accepting their invitation. I want to reach out to them more, just because. I plan to be stronger and more focused on being a better, more accessible friend.

Fitness: I’m off to a good start in 2012 but I don’t want to be in getting in shape mode forever. I want to achieve maintenance mode. Maybe that is not the right term but I want what my husband has. Ok, not the freakishly fit, carving out 3 hours a day to workout routine but he is already in shape, and works out to maintain that shape. I feel like I’m constantly wading in the deep end of getting back in shape and targeting certain areas (currently I’m all about cardio and core). But I need to dig deeper (says the girl who likes carbs and wine and chocolate). I have a 10K trail run coming up in March, and the week after that I’m doing a mud-run with a team of moms. Working towards a goal. I plan to be stronger and more focused on consistently working out and pushing myself to achieve the results I want.

Feng-shui Me: I’m always tired and usually cranky, forgetful, and unorganized. I never used to be that way, especially forgetful and unorganized. And I’m done with it. We recently watched Kung-Fu Panda 2 and it occurred to me that I need to find my inner peace. If I can align myself in my own mind, then my family, work , sleep, and everything else will benefit. There is so much to do in this area; I need to purge and organize closets and kid crap, time-manage my work projects (I’m actually really good at meeting deadlines), get a freaking handle on the laundry (my life would be more pleasant if I folded and put away at the same time), actually look ahead on my calendar so I don’t almost miss birthdays and really, really, really make more time for myself to be me. This could be as simple as reading a book (I’ve set a goal to read a minimum of 25 books this year), taking a nap, getting a pedicure or as big as having a girl’s night out. I almost always operate in Mom-Wife-Career Mode, which I love and wouldn’t change for the world, but sometimes I just need to take a step away and be in Coreen Mode. I plan to be stronger and more focused on myself, so that I am more peaceful and productive.

And that’s that. 2012, here I come.

gingerbreadmama

Losing it

I so wish this post was about losing the holiday pounds but alas, it is not. It is about me being a dumb-ass. I’ve lost (and lose) many things; my sanity, my temper, my patience all being high on the list but I don’t lose material objects. That’s not to say I’ve never lost anything tangible, I’m still mourning that cute sweater and dress I left in that Vegas hotel room 12 years ago (and no, it’s not a what happens in Vegas story, the clothes were hanging in the closet and I just forgot to pack them). But I digress. I’m good at keeping my wallet, my shoes, my lipstick, my glasses, my keys – you name it – where I can find them.

Until yesterday.

Crusher and I were heading for a trail run but stopped at Petco to get dog food first. All good. Quick trip, dog and dog food loaded in the car. And then I can’t find my car key. Anywhere. And when I say anywhere, I mean I even crawled under my car to look for it. It was truly the mystery of the vanishing key.

A woman parked next to me helped me look around the car and as she drove off, left me with this parting gem, “You know, when you stop looking for it you’ll find it”. Helpfully unhelpful, thank you very much. Like I didn’t already feel stupid.

I called hunky hubby but he had gone surfing, and was not close enough to help. After my initial annoyance passed, I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I am capable and was going for a run anyway. It all comes back to the concept of making lemonade.

So I got the dog back out of the car, grabbed a bottle of water, my house keys (could you imagine if I had left those in the car) and took off running. It’s only about 2.5 miles so it didn’t take forever. Once home I got my extra car key, hopped on my bike and went back to my car. A dude hanging out by his truck in the parking lot (I didn’t ask) helped me load my bike in the car and when I got home and tried to open my tailgate, it was stuck.

I drive a Volvo XC90 and the back hatch is split into a top piece and a bottom piece so it opens wide. Somehow my key had slipped under the bottom half where it bends to connect to the car. While I was driving it must have loosened and lodged itself in the joint (for lack of the proper word, though I’m sure some car-guy or engineer knows what it is really called) that makes it close and got stuck.

After a  little maneuvering, I was able to jiggle it out, get the tailgate open and recover my key. Thank goodness.

It wasn’t the workout I had planned, but it was a workout, so I’ll take it.

What is the dumbest thing you’ve ever lost?

gingerbreadmama

Nailed it!

My 5K was better than I expected, although it took us longer to get to the race due to road closures then it did for me to run it.

It was an extremely well-organized event, the weather was a perfect California day, the course was near the ocean and I ran it in 35:25, which is much faster than I expected.  Afterwards there was free food and free beer. Good times.

I feel good about it and I’m looking forward to running more.

My next 5K is this Saturday, and my goal to shave at least 25 seconds off my time. Run mama run!

gingerbreadmama

Run mama run

I used to run all the time. Long distances. I can’t recall when exactly I stopped doing that but I do know it was pre-ipod/small mp3 players and had something to do with me not wanting that much alone time with my angsty thoughts. So it must have been when I was in my 20s.

I’ve wanted to get back into running for a long time and on Sunday I am doing a 5K in Long Beach. I haven’t run a “race” since 2008 and truth be told, I walked a good chunk of it with my friend Kelly.

Gingerbreadmama and Captain Fussypants, 2008

I’ve been half-ass training for this upcoming 5K and I don’t feel completely ready. I realize it is only 3.2 miles and that this race is attached to a marathon and a half-marathon, which are considerably farther distances, so I shouldn’t whine about 3 measly miles but am feeling nervous about it anyway.

This one is called the Run Forrest Run, aptly named – they must have seen me coming – because me running is more like a jog and after the spectacular, inebriated tumble I took at the Blink 182 concert, wrecking my knee, I’d consider my pace to be just above limping.

But I’m lucky to have a circle of trust and in it a dear friend who embodies the word persevere, who asked me what my goal was. Without hesitation I responded, “To finish”. She chuckled and said, “Then you’re ready. And then you can beat that time in your next race” (because she knows I am doing the Chapman 5K less than a week later).

So here I am, two days before my race and I guess I’m ready.

gingerbreadmama