What a gas.

I got an email from a friend this week noting that I have a disproportionate amount of calamity/strange things occurring in my life. He’s a pretty perceptive guy, and I pondered this as I was walking home from the Chevron station near my house on Friday night after putting the gas nozzle in my tank and then almost immediately locking my keys, purse, and cell phone in my car. Tony was home watching Addie, and I tried to call him using a fellow gas guzzling patrons’ cell, but neither of us usually answer when a number we don’t know pops up on our cells. So, I informed the Chevron attendants of what happened, and that I would be walking home to get an extra set of keys. Feeling like I was in a fishbowl walking down 99, I thought about how I react when things go differently than I plan.

Friday was a good day. Tony had worked from home, I had some good time with girlfriends, and Tony and I decided to finish off the week with a little takeout from Tasters Wok, one of our favorite little restaurants that we very rarely get to enjoy. My plan was to get some gas, go wonder around Bartell Drugs, grab Addie some lotion and lazily wander through the aisles (I don’t know why but I can’t get enough of drug stores – I think they’re so much fun), pick up dinner, head home and watch a movie on the couch with my husband.

Instead, I promptly locked my keys in the car and got to walk home in the brisk evening down one of my least favorite roads. I had some good thinking time while I walked home. I thought about how thankful I was that we live close enough to the gas station that I could walk home (especially because I couldn’t get ahold of Tony). I thought about how I was thankful that it wasn’t raining (and I wouldn’t have said this before we experienced this ‘spring’ but I was also thankful it wasn’t snowing/hailing). I was thankful I’m not one of the people dumb enough to try and cross 99 without a crosswalk….as I surely would have died. I realized how blessed I am to have a car, and how happy I was that I didn’t have my daughter with me when I did this.

When I got home to grab the extra set of keys, Tony could have walked back and got my car for me, but I decided that I wanted to complete the experience in its entirety. I took the keys and set out once again, thinking that perhaps one of the reasons I feel like a disproportionate amount of strange things happen to me is that perhaps God thinks I have more lessons to learn, and He wants to give me more time to think about them.

When I got home from my cold walk and picking up dinner, I hugged Tony and thanked him for the break. When I left the house at the beginning of the night I told my husband I just needed a break and some time out by myself. I realize now that perhaps I should have been more specific with exactly what that break would entail.

The Deadman from Death Valley

A month or two ago, I could sling my baby on my hip, grab the carrier, diaper bag, look put together and even remember to brush my teeth. I would head out the door, to arrive somewhere (what?!) on time. My baby would be all smiles and as I sipped my coffee and chatted with friends I would revel in the nice 8 hours of sleep I got in last night. I would think, “Gee, what’s all the fuss about?” What I should have been thinking is, “Uh oh. Whenever you get all smug (Oh, I got this), that usually means the universe is about to check you big time.”

Now I look like this.

I learned a lot about what my baby was doing and how she (and I) were growing during pregnancy, but I feel like along with all of the other information the doctor’s office gives you, they should also hand out a pamphlet that says

Congratulations! This next few months will be heartbreakingly wonderful. You’re going to love this little one so much it will surprise even you.

But, be forewarned, you’re going to look gross for like, 7 months. Your daughter is going to pull out one of your earrings on a daily basis and you’re going to walk around looking like a pirate. And everything you think you know? Be ready to chuck it. You don’t know as much as you think you do. Get ready, you’re going to love it.

And I do. So much. But these past few weeks have been an adventure in me adjusting my perceptions of myself, between what I said I was going to do and the reality of what I really am doing, and of what I’m able to do. Between the feelings I have when I walk by the kitchen and know there are dishes that need to be done, but that I also need to call a friend and catch up on life.

Today Tony and I took Addie to the pediatrician because of a few things, least of which is our angel who formally slept 8-10 hours a night does not anymore. Its been going for a while and I’m a my wits end. There are very few things I need to function, but a healthy amount of sleep is one of them, and coffee is the other. Our regular pediatrician was out, and the Doctor we saw talked us through the ‘crying it out’ method, something we’ve been doing this week, hence the reason I look like the Undertaker.

I know theres really nothing that the hospital, a friend, or a book, can tell you to get you ready for all that parenting entails, and I’m only four months in. All I’m truly learning is that I can never say never, thats ‘rolling with the punches’ means so much more to me now, and that I should have deeply appreciated those tropical vacations and nights of uninterrupted sleep when they were here. Although I wouldn’t trade stumbling out of my bed blindly at 3:30 in the morning to calm a crying infant for any of it.

 

biting elephants

Before I got pregnant, I used to go to Bikram Yoga (where you do yoga in a hideously hot room). A nurse one time asked me what I did for exercise and I told her I was doing “Hot Yoga”, and she looked at me, deadpan, and asked, “Is that like, with a pole?” She was a little older, and it was pretty funny. Anyway, I remember really enjoying it right up until I had to run out and throw up in the middle of a session. All of your things were stored inside of the yoga room (keys, purse) and I needed to go back in to get them to go home, but the woman at the front desk wouldn’t let me, and she encouraged me to go back in because I guess it was very important to make it to savasana. I remember looking at her and pleading, “But I just threw up my lunch! I really don’t want to go do yoga right now.” I had to sit in the hallway for an hour until everyone was done with class to get my things and go home.

After that, I didn’t want to go back to yoga, but I went. I remember feeling anxious about it because I would think, “How am I going to make it through 90 minutes?” I would have done better if I had simply thought about making it through to the first break, then the second, and through the end of class. I don’t go anymore, because it was fun while it lasted, but I think that I learned something with the way that I approached the classes. I did better when I thought about it in small segments, rather than thinking about each class in its entirety.

I think goals are good, they help us be productive, they give us something to look forward to. When they become counterproductive is when we think about them on too large of a scale. I did this today when I realized I needed to clean the kitchen, bathroom, do laundry, workout, and after thinking about doing all of that, I sat down on the couch exhausted. I struggle with the same thing when I think about getting into shape after pregnancy. “I would like be able to run a marathon by the end of the month. And I’m not a runner.”

I love the silly riddle, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” I have a tendency to get ahead of myself, instead of thinking in terms of small changes, little goals. So thats it. I’m changing my whole way of thinking right now. (Get it? :))

But really, I think it will be good for me to try to start thinking in terms of smaller goals, and getting Tony to buy me giant presents when I reach them.

Well, at least the goal thing I can do.

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