Monday, January 29, 2018

Diet and Depression

That's literally what I googled after talking to my doctor.

I had been taking one anti-depressant and going to therapy to find the way out of this depression. It wasn't working. I was still fatigued, and blah, and feeling that not-sad-but-still-really-down-for-no-reason feeling. After trying for months to kick it with what I was doing, I went to a new doctor (because of insurance purposes; I loved my old doctor).

With many recommendations, I found a great new doctor. We talked about what I was already doing and then we came up with a game plan. One of the things he mentioned was a diet. Not a diet to lose weight, but a diet to change the vitamins my brain is absorbing.

We tried a B12 shot. I was not B12 deficient, so that didn't help. Doc also recommended probiotics. He briefly mentioned that there have been recent studies that show our diets are linked to the way our minds work. (That's one of those statements that once you hear you think "duh!")

The study divided the participants into two groups:
Support group only, and dieters.
M wakes up at 3 am, almost exactly every night. Whenever I have to get up in the night my body thinks we're up for the day. In these moments, when I can't sleep, I google. (Did you know that some spiders hibernate during the winter just to protect their babies?)

 After visiting Doc, I googled "Diet and Depression." There were some results from 2014, but I feel like that was too long ago to be relevant. Then I found this bad boy! (Mind you, all I know about Psychology is what google has taught me, but a website called "Psychology Today" seems legit to me.)

To sum up the article, a clinical trial in Australia found that what you eat is directly linked to your depression. What?! It even explains that it's not just any diet, but this specific diet that doesn't eliminate all the goodies. (My depression would greatly increase if I couldn't keep eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.)

The diet the article states the study used a diet called the ModiMed diet. The best part of this is that it's not a major lifestyle challenge! Not for me anyway.

The ModiMed diet (according to this article):

Encouraged foods: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, low-fat/unsweetened dairy (not doing great on this one), raw unsalted nuts, lean red meat, chicken, fish, eggs, and olive oil.

Discouraged foods: sweets (yeah...), refined cereals (no comment...), friend food, fast food,
processed meat.

Beverages: maximum two sugar-sweetened beverages per week and maximum two alcoholic drinks per day, preferably red wine.

Way easier than a full sugar free diet! You aren't encouraged to eat sweets, but moderation in all things, right? ;)

Rich and I have been sort of doing this diet, mostly we have been taking probiotics. Let me tell you, the NEXT day I felt a difference. KID YOU NOT! It's been more than a week of taking probiotics and I have not needed to take three naps a day! Know how many dishes I've gotten done? (None!) but I could do so many dishes if I wanted!

Remember how last post I said there are two sides to fighting depression? This would fall into the chemical aspect of depression. I highly recommend taking probiotics, and getting with your doctor to see what else you could be deficient in. It could be something as simple as B12, or something else that you can help by taking a vitamin. The best part is, with vitamins you don't really need to have a doctors orders to take them! So I say you should do it. Start poppin' those vitas!

Take it one day at a time. Fighting depression is a unique experience for each person. Some need more therapy, some need prescribed meds, and some just need to eat better (you know who you are). Don't be afraid to tell your doctors that what (s)he's suggested isn't working. They won't be offended (and if they are, find a new doc).

And just to cheer you up, here's a pic of M fighting exhaustion during lunch:

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Day To Day With Depression

People living with depression know the biggest battle is the day to day. It's like your cup of energy has a hole in the bottom. Every night, when other peoples' cups get refilled, yours just drains back out. It's the worst. You can't even "borrow" energy from the next day. There isn't anything there!

Not having energy fuels the depression. You aren't able to accomplish even the simplest of tasks without needing some down time. There isn't energy to complete your homework, do the dishes, wash your laundry, or even showering sometimes. Imagine not being able to accomplish those simple every day tasks while the world goes on around you. It's defeating. It can make you feel like you aren't capable of anything, which can lead to worse thoughts.

It's common for people with depression to use medication to help balance the chemicals in the brain,(I have to take two to counter each other's side effects...) but there are some small things you can do to help feel like you are still playing an active role in your own life. For me, getting out of the rut of exhaustion and defeat took a while. I want to share three things that have greatly helped me.

The first is to prioritize. You don't have to do this daily. Once you prioritize once, it kind of all falls into place the next day. It did for me anyway.

Prioritize: There are three types of tasks: Essential, Necessary, and Good.

I had one Essential task. Take care of M.

Sometimes, this is my entire day. 
My Necessary tasks were things like eating (yes, that is hard to do when you don't have energy and you're out of your favorite cereal), showering, brushing my teeth, etc. Just the basic needs of myself.

My Good tasks were all the other things: dishes, cooking dinner, laundry, tidying up, etc. If it didn't endanger us (germs), or endanger my marriage, then it was listed under "good."

The second is the Five Minute Rule. No, it isn't about eating food off the floor, that's the Five Second Rule. The Five Minute Rule is designed to help you make baby steps toward accomplishments.

Five Minute Rule: Pick a task you need to do. It can be anything! Dishes, laundry, throwing out trash, doing homework, showering, etc. Do that task for five minutes. If at five minutes you feel like you can continue, then do it! If you don't feel like you can, then stop. Simple as that.

I emphasized the word "can" because sometimes we feel like we have to finish our tasks. Don't feel obligated to finish anything.

I used the five minute rule to do my laundry and dishes (I know I have used those as an example a lot, but those were the biggest things for me). After five minutes, I often realized that the tasks didn't take a lot of energy. Once in a while they took way too much energy and I stopped doing them. I ended up building up about four weeks of clean laundry to put away.

The third thing is about yourself. It's very easy to get caught up in feeling obligated to fill the needs of others, especially in a marriage with a baby! But it is critical for your mental health that you do things for yourself. At first I felt incredibly selfish setting aside time for myself. I mean, M can't do anything on his own.

Take Care of Yourself: Every day do two things: one you find enjoyable and one that makes you feel accomplished.

My "accomplishment" task,
washing my hair. 
It's hard with depression to enjoy things like you used to, or like other people do. I get that. At first my enjoyable things were watching a TV show, or playing a game on my phone. It's since evolved into writing in my journal (which has always been my favorite thing), and talking more with Rich. (Depression takes a huge toll on marriages. Communication is both important and difficult.)

Sometimes, with depression, the activities that make you feel accomplished seem to pale in comparison with those you see on social media. People are off buying homes, traveling the world, getting married, having babies, retiring, graduating! All these great things and your idea of accomplishment is to shave your legs. That's great! It's not about the size of the accomplishment or how it would look on social media. It's about how you feel. Feel accomplished dusting? Great! Way to go!! Feel accomplished folding your blankets? Awesome! Keep doing it! It does not matter what others might think about your accomplishments. Your opinion is the only one that matters in this.

I realize that I am lucky enough to have a husband who understands my struggles. He hasn't experienced it, but he's understanding, patient, and supportive. I know not everyone has someone like that in their life. Know that you can always message me, and I will support the heck out of you! Want to brag about folding those towels? Heck yeah I'll listen, I'll even applaud!

You can work through the day to day. You can pull yourself up. You are strong enough. You are capable. What you are feeling is not uncommon. You are not bad at life. You are not imagining your depression. You can do this!!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A Story Without An End

People often share their experiences after the fact, whether that's years or even just days. Sometimes the experiences are too painful to share in the moment, but most times it's because we crave endings. We need to know everything turns out okay. That's why the bad guy always dies in the last film, and the good guy always gets the girl. Hollywood knows we need endings. (Hitchcock did not think we needed endings... I still stew about "The Birds.") I'm one of those people who needs an ending. That's why, I realized, none of my previous blog posts really seem to convey what I am thinking.

This journey I'm on hasn't ended. I can't write in the past tense when I talk about depression, transitioning to stay at home mom, and many other things. It's not "I had depression." For me it's "I have depression." It's "I am learning to handle being at home." Not "was." It's still happening, right this very second.

I want to share this journey but it's hard. Not because the experiences are hard, but because there is no ending yet. I can say I went to the doctor. That's neat. It's still inconclusive at this point but it's still neat I guess.

The stories that reach into people and connect with them have endings. They either have endings that make us feel good or endings we relate to. We can relate to the pain of losing a loved one after a long battle. We can also relate to finally getting that breakthrough job you've worked so hard for. As humans we love those stories because of the hope they give us. Hope that hard things come to an end. Hope that we too can smile after the storm passes. But that's not the point of the story I'm in.

I'm in the middle. There are stories I have that have ended, and I could write about those, but most of us aren't dwelling on our endings. We're focused on our middles (some of us go to the gym to work on our middles even!). I don't go through my day thinking "Oh my gosh, I'm so glad that two years ago that person apologized for hurting my feelings years earlier." While I do like that neat ending to a rough story, I live my day by thinking "okay, how can I get to an end in this?" We all do. Each story in our lives does come to an end, but before that we have to muddle through the middles.

My story, right now, isn't "I beat depression!" It's not "I have mastered being a stay at home mom! Bring on some triplets!" It's "How in the world do I do those dishes when I honestly can barely get up?" It's "I love my baby with all my heart, but man this is tough stuff!" I'm still figuring out how to boost my brain chemicals, how to change the way I act and think so I am not self-sabotaging, and how the heck I'm going to tire M out enough so I can nap too!

My middle is filled with doctor appointments, crying, and way too many chocolate oranges. It's trying to medicines. It's learning to backtrack and overcome anxieties. It's pajamas all day. It's forgetting to get the plates from Grandma's for three days in a row.

I want so badly to reach out to other women, to let them know that life is one big middle. That they aren't alone. That those neatly packaged stories happen to everyone, just at different times. Those who share complete stories had middles. They had tears. They had pajama days. They had moments of utter loneliness. Their dishes got dirty. They wore grungy T-shirts just to avoid doing laundry. And some of them are still doing it, because they are in a new middle. There will never be a time in your life when all the stories close at one time, just like there won't be a time when you finish your shampoo and conditioner at the same time. As one story ends, you'll find you were already in the middle of another this whole time!

I'm going to try to do my best to share my middles, so you know you aren't alone. I feel like the posts won't make sense, they won't be satisfying. There's nothing less satisfying than being unable to see how the story ends. In order to get to the end, though, you have to go through the middle. I want you to be in the middle with me. I want you to see that I don't try to crop out dirty dishes in the kitchen for Instagram. I want you to see me in the same shirt two days in a row because changing is just too dang much effort. I want you to know that at the end of the day when you realize your forgot to brush your teeth after breakfast, I'm right there with you. I want you to know that this is all of us. Those "fitness goal" girls you follow on Instagram don't smell nice after they sweat. They stink just like the rest of us. The "make-up goals" ladies? They don't do that every single day. Can you imaging the time they would spend daily just to look like that?! They would never have time to do dishes either! All these women that you look up to, that you admire, they have middles. We all have middles. Let's finish our stories together, middle after middle after dreary middle.

And because no post is complete without at least one picture of M, here you go!
Note the mess at the top of the picture? That's my life, every day. So don't feel bad if I don't invite you over; I just don't want you to crush the puffs into my carpet and I don't have it in me to vacuum. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Momming on a Schedule

My daily schedule before M:
-Wake up
-Do whatever
-Do more of whatever
-Sleep sometime

M's daily schedule:
9:00 AM - Wake up
9:30 AM - Drink a bottle/watch PBS/Play with Toys
10:30 AM - Cuddle Mom
11:00 AM - Nap
12:00 PM - Wake up
12:30 PM - Eat lunch
1:00 PM - Play with toys/try really hard to scoot under the couch/stare out the window
2:00 PM - Nap
5:00 PM - Wake up
5:30 PM - Eat Dinner
6:00 PM - Play with Dad/try really hard to scoot under the couch
9:30 PM - Bedtime

My schedule now that M is here:
9:00 AM - Wake up and eat breakfast
9:30 AM - Watch PBS
10:30 AM - Get cuddled
11:00 AM - try to decide when to go run errands/try not to fall asleep
12:00 PM - Change M
12:30 PM - Feed M
1:00 PM - Try to teach M how to play with his toys/rescue M when he gets stuck under the couch/stare out the window
2:00 PM - Lay down with M to get him to fall asleep quickly
5:00 PM - Wake up and realize you accidentally slept the day away again
5:30 PM - Try to find something appetizing for dinner
6:00 PM - Try to get rid of the "nap hangover" while M plays with his dad.
9:30 PM - Be wide awake while everyone else is tired and sleeping
12:00 AM - blog about it...

Guys, I seriously have no idea how to schedule myself so that I feel productive, fulfilled, rested, and headache free.

As you can see from my afore mentioned daily schedule before M, I have never lived on a schedule. In fact, I still have nightmares that I forget to go to class because I was busy doing other things. I'm notoriously late to everything in life (including my own wedding). I'm not sure how to schedule things. I feel like I need a big planner that just has each day broken into hours that I can hang on the wall. That way I can write "Shower" at 11:00 AM while M sleeps, or "Fold the Laundry" during that long nap period in the evening.

While that is a logical thing to do, it feels so...regimented. I like to just "do whatever". Do I write that in during a period?

And right now M is really emotionally needy. His teeth are coming in, he's at the stage where he wants to be mobile but can't quite figure it out and gets frustrated easily, and he's having Dad withdrawals since Rich had to go back to work this week. What if I write "do dishes" on my day and I don't do the dishes? I realize that nothing will happen. The world won't suddenly come to a halt, but I'll feel a little...lottle...guilty.

I realize moms aren't meant to be superheroes that can do everything while maintaining perfect hygiene and a smile, but sometimes my inability to schedule things makes me feel a little useless as a mom. Yes, I am here emotionally for my family. That's great, but also I don't feel like it's enough.

I thought one solution would be a scheduling app beyond Calendars. One that reminds you of To-Do list items and has a widget that lives on the phone home screen. I've tried dozens and none of them feel right for me. Mostly because I don't check off the items and then they blare on my screen and make me feel like I'm behind in life. I also don't like having my phone tell me what to do. Someday AI might take over and boss me around, but for now I like to feel like I have some autonomy left as a mom.

What I'm picturing I need is a white or blackboard on my wall. A large one. Big enough to write all the To-Dos I have for a week or two. Then I could organize them by Urgent, Necessary, and Someday. Then as time allows I can use the nap times to check off the ones that I have time for, and organize our awake times to get the Urgent and Necessary ones done that are outside of the house.

Guys, this might just work! I might have solved the age old problem! (age old meaning 8 months old for me.)

Now I know you all come to this blog just to see cute pics of M, so here are a few to satisfy your M cravings.

Isn't he the cutest kid ever? I don't know how we can have other kids after this one. We kinda hit the jackpot with him. (And to any future kids of mine who read this, I'm kidding, and I think you're just as perfect as M.)

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Unboxing Life

I have been MIA for a while. I think that's how most of my blog posts start. Either I need to just expect to not blog often, or I need to be better about doing it regularly. I'll figure it out eventually.

Or maybe I won't.

That's who I am.

There's a reason I've been missing, though. I haven't known what to write. I wrote this profound post about having PPD and dealing with that. People responded to that. So I wanted to write another post people would respond to. No one wants to be a one hit wonder. Worse than being a one hit wonder is being a one hit wonder that doesn't know when to quit. That's why I stopped writing.

M keeps me up at night sometimes (he's got two teeth coming in at once...), so I have spent many nights trying to craft the perfect viral post about motherhood and life. The post would have the right amount of wit, life-altering advice, and a cute ending. Everything to make a post be shared a million times. Then I realized, that's not why I write.

That one realization opened up a rabbit hole of thoughts. Why do I write? What do I want to say? What's important to me? Who even am I?

The answers started simple. I write because I love to, because words are art to me. I want to say things to make the world smile. My family, my church, and chocolate oranges are important to me. I am Morgan.

That last answer was a little harder to come by. I am Morgan, but what does that mean? After I asked that question, a whole new wave of self-awareness and self-evaluation washed in.

Morgan is a mom. What is a mom? A mom keeps kids going. She organizes the house. She can cook dinner. She has cute decorations for every holiday. She gets up and actually gets dressed in the morning. Some moms work out to maintain a figure they like.

Of those things, I keep the kid going. (I can cook, but it takes more effort than I want to admit.) So I don't belong in the "Mom" box.

I'm in my mid-twenties. What do people my age do? A lot of my friends have hobbies they actively do (rock climbing, cooking, painting, traveling, etc.). They spend time with friends. They stay up late. They go to every movie possible.

Of those, I go to movies. Only because Richi goes to movies. I don't have time to regularly spend time on hobbies. I barely have time to brush my teeth! So I don't belong in the "Mid-Twenties" box.

I have a few favorite TV shows. What do people who have favorite TV shows do? They obsess. They wear TV gear. They don TV jewelry. They quote TV.

Of those, I barely wear the clothes. I wear Dr. Who, Marvel, and DC socks. Clearly that's not my box either.

I'm LDS. What do LDS individuals do? Well, we serve. We use kind language. We go to 3 hours of church (not a typo, church is 3 hours). We love everyone around us. We have more kids than can fit in a small school bus. We abstain from alcohol and smoking. We're Christians.

Of those, I do all but the kids thing. I don't have a bus load of kids, and I don't plan on it. So I belong in the
"LDS" box. That seemed like it would be the end of my soul searching, but it isn't.

Truthfully, I haven't come to an end of soul searching.

I've heard several talks, or speeches, or sermons, or whatever you to call it, about not putting people in boxes. There's a specific video that comes to mind when I talk about that. A bunch of people who appear similar (having tattoos, or wearing hijabs, or having long hair, etc.) stand in boxes together. Then people read out things people have experienced or qualities that make up a person. The people then leave the first box and go stand in a new box together. You can see how all of them get mixed together. The point of that is to visually explain why we shouldn't judge people and box them based on how they look.

I feel like that applies inwardly for me, though. I have been trying to fit myself into one box. I'm a mom, so I should be like all moms. WRONG. I watch movies, so I should be able to quote them. Yeah, NO. I don't belong in any box other than the one labeled "Morgan." And not just any Morgan. Me Morgan. I know a handful of other Morgan's and we definitely couldn't all be in one box (but I'd love to be in a box with Morgan Freeman).

So that's where I am. I am working on unboxing myself from all the preconceived ideas of who I am based on one aspect of my life. I won't write profound posts. I won't always know what to say. Chances are I won't cook dinner as often as Richi would like (but he cooks too sometimes, so it's not a big deal). You won't see me sporting a Deathly Hallows necklace. That doesn't mean that those who do are wrong, or that I'm wrong. We're just living in our own boxes. Sometimes the boxes overlap, and sometimes they don't. That's okay.

Now that you read all the words about me unboxing my life, let me give you a brief update about life as a stay-at-home mom with M, what M has been doing, and how much fun double teething has been.

M has officially been out longer than he was in. He's 8 months (remember he was early).

Cuddling up, watching PBS, battling a cold.
In the last month he has sprouted two teeth. TWO! Both bottom teeth. I'm grateful for that. He can only half bite me. I'd probably have a lot of finger piercings if he had top and bottom teeth.

Munching his stocking gift.
This was his first Christmas. He enjoyed eating all the paper. He also likes his toys. He got some books and looked through them a handful of times. He has some clear favorite toys, but seems to enjoy each of them.

We sleep most the night, but he insists on sleeping in a bed with me. Not because he wants to cuddle. He just wants to be close. He loves his space and loves to sleep spread eagle.

Hoping for warmer days.
Being home with him all day, every day, is equal parts amazing and draining. I'm used to having a schedule that takes me out of the house, but now we do a lot of indoor activities and hardly ever leave. It wears on me. I'm looking forward to the weather warming up so we can go out back and swing, or walk to the park, or even just drive to Grandma's.

For now, we'll keep binge watching PBS and learning all about dinosaurs from "The Dinosaur Train."

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Creating Morgan: Just Say No

I don't believe in "finding" yourself, but I do believe in creating yourself and this month I discovered that I haven't been creating the person I want to be.

My whole life I have told myself the same small lie over and over again. "I can do that." Until recently, I could do that! And that! And that! I could do it all! Or I thought
I could. The truth is, I can't do that. Or that. Or that.

Can I be a room mom for D's class? Yes.
Can I be art coordinator? Yes.
Can I work part time? Yes.
Can I take care of M and give him all the cuddles? Yes and Yes.
Can I assemble a cabinet for my grandma? Yes. (Even those pesky Ikea ones.)
Can I start a personal writing business? Yes. (Will it go anywhere is a different question.)
Can I make and sell wreaths and other decor? Yes.
Can I cook dinner? Yes.
Can I visit a sick neighbor? Yes. (With a medical mask and hazmat suit on. I ain't about getting sick.)
Can I give Rich all the loves in the world? Yes.
Can I do all of these things at the same time? No. Not even close.

My whole adult life, I've prided myself on being able to do a lot of things at one time. I learn very quickly. I can multi-task like you wouldn't believe. I feel like there is nothing you can throw at me that I can't handle. (Except a hot potato. I will not handle those.) Doing many things at once has often earned a lot of praise (and some negative reactions, haters gonna hate, right?). Part of me lives for that praise. We all live for praise.

How B feels about building
Being able to go to art, go to work, cuddle M, craft, write, care for people and build cabinets has always been one of my greatest strengths. (Keep in mind, I don't do these exact things every day. That would be too many cabinets.) I thought it was my greatest strength. Until recently when I realized I'm not happy doing it. I enjoy it. I feel accomplished, but I don't feel like I'm going where I want to go.

"Your habits sculpt your path." (Farshad Asl) That's not something we think about as we are living our habits. It's not something I have thought about while living my habits. I don't eat cereal daily and think "yes, this is forming a nice path to being a cereal connoisseur." I have thought about the path I am on, though.

I have thought about who I want to be, the kind of woman I want to grow up to be. There are a lot of role models in my life and several more throughout history. Lately, I've felt like I'm on the wrong path to become like those women. It's felt like I'm on a parallel path that will never reach the same destination as a path I want to be on. It took me a lot of late night thinking to realize what's wrong. My habits.

I have a habit of being late. Everyone who knows me knows I run ten to thirty minutes late, minimum. If you want me to be somewhere on time, tell me to be there at an earlier time.

I also have a habit of not fully completing projects. I have a lot of pieces of projects sitting around. I have the materials to make some cute Halloween wreaths, but I just haven't put them together.

Another habit is messiness. Poor Rich probably goes nuts because he's such a neat person and I'm so messy. I'm not a slob where I leave trash on the floor, but I also don't ever put my shoes away. It's lucky if I remember to empty the dishwasher, or get M's clothes put away (or my clothes).

In all honesty, I have lied and told myself that these are signs of me being busy. They are the quirky consequences of a busy lifestyle tending to others. How wrong is that? Talk about "fake news." Being messy, stressing out my husband, is a sign of not thinking about his needs. (He did not tell me to say that, to be clear. I want to put his needs first.) He hates emptying the dishwasher. We agreed that it's the one job that is just mine. He loads, I unload. It's a team effort. But he then also does the laundry, the sorting, the folding, the hanging, the gathering of the shoes. He does it all. And what do I do? I blog about it.

Somewhere in there is Rich's
Our little office is a disaster. And it's all my unfinished work. This is his space, too. This is supposed to be a place where he can work on his dreams. Instead
it's a place to hoard my bad habits.

Unfortunately, I don't know that I will ever be able to be on time to things. But the rest of these problems, I can fix. I can fix them by changing my habits.

I've prided myself on saying "yes" to tasks. ALL the tasks. Run an errand? Yep! Build a cabinet? Yep! (That cabinet is on my mind. I need to get it finished.) Feed M? Yep! Listen to all three boys tell me about school at one time? Yep!

I continually lie to myself and say that these are the things that make me happy. They aren't. I don't have anything against any of them, but not everything I do makes me happy. I love to spend time with the boys and be a part of their schooling. I love cuddling M and watching him grow up. I enjoy crafting things from my imagination.

This is what makes me happy. 
What I don't enjoy is seeing the stress in my husband's eyes because he's too tired to pursue his dreams. I don't enjoy eating with chopsticks because all of our forks are dirty. I don't tripping over my own shoes in the middle of the night. I don't enjoy being so tired that by the time Rich and I have a moment alone, it's
spent talking about how tired we are. This is not the path I want to be on forever. It won't be.

People who are familiar with my tardiness also know I'm terrible at goal setting. It's sadly another product of trying to do too much. Instead, I set action plans. This is my action plan: Say No. That's it. No.

No, I don't have time to be art coordinator. No, don't buy more fake flowers. No, don't do all of those things.

It's going to be hard. It already is hard. Just typing the action plan was difficult. Habits take a lot to break. All of the things I like to do are good things. But all things require moderation, even the good things. I'm thinking about tomorrow. I have work. Then I have one parent teacher conference. I will also build that cabinet to get it off my mind. That's it. I have all that extra time. My mind immediately wants to fill the space. I could read. I could go to the library. I could go on a walk. I could work later. I could build more cabinets. That list of things relaxes me. But I can't do all of those things. I need to stop telling myself I can.

I need to say no. So I will. It is not failure. It is not weakness. It is how I am going to be who I want to be in 50 years. It's trading in my "jack of all trades" title for something better. It's putting Rich and M before myself. It's being a team player.

It's creating the Morgan I want to be.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

0-200 Challenge: Failed

I don't know that I would really say I failed. I didn't finish the challenge, but I didn't just give up. So that's a win, right?

The first two days of each activity (squats, sit ups, and push ups) went great! Then it hurt. Which is what exercise does. It hurts. But then my insides starting burning. That's when I remembered I had a C-section five months ago. It feels like a lifetime ago, but my body disagrees.

I didn't consider a C-section major surgery because I was awake for it. They numbed me of course, but I didn't think about how they took my insides out and then put them back. That's a little bit of a major surgery. My scar healed wonderfully, and my insides felt like they were back to normal, but I guess they aren't yet.

So while I didn't finish the challenge, I also didn't complete it. Will I return to it in the future? Probably not, but never say never, right? (I have said never to a lot of things, and I regret each and every one.)

I posted "before" pictures, but I don't really have any "after" pictures.

This is as close to an after photo as I have. I don't have any of my full body. I can tell you, though, that my hair did grow half an inch, so there's that! 

I did learn from this, though. I've always been someone who just "pushes" through. This is the first thing I didn't just power through. I listened to my body (it screamed, so it wasn't hard). I feel a little bummed that I didn't finish the challenge. How cool would it be to be able to "drop and give me 200"! It's a lot cooler right now to be able to walk and hold M and not be in pain. Maybe next year I can do a challenge that won't hurt, like eating a Popsicle a day or fold my laundry in a timely manner. While only one of those is a real challenge, I can probably pull both off. 

For now, I'm going to enjoy the fact that M and I are both alright 5 months later. I'm going to enjoy our nighttime cuddles. (I use cuddles lightly. He kicks me all night and leaves me with about two inches of bed space.) I'll also be enjoying my new gig as a volunteer writer for the Orem Public Library's blog. What I'm trying to say is that I'm not too upset about not being able to do 200 sit-ups. (Though, the abs of steel would have been great!)