Archives For Stress release

This was the view I had last Friday.

melted snow

and my mind tricked me into believing that spring was almost here

This was the view taken from the same camera angle just two days later on Sunday.

snow returns

you are an evil deceiver, Jack Frost

My mindset went from incredibly upbeat to completely ticked off in 48 hours. My mood fell as quickly as the thick snow came down.

I am left to wonder, will THIS be the final snow fall of the season here in Nebraska?

I. Am. Over. Winter.

My kids have a slightly different perspective.

snow day

yet another day off from school

Why can’t I have the same level of appreciation as they do for snow days?

It’s painfully obvious I’m not a kid anymore. Sure, on the surface, it would seem like a nice thing to experience a three-day weekend. And perhaps I would enjoy it more if it didn’t take me 30 minutes to warm up from the time I get out of my bed in the morning. If I wasn’t thinking about letting yet another running workout slip by because I hate the treadmill more than I hate math. If I wasn’t stressed about staying on top of everything in the office without physically being in the office.

This upcoming weekend will mark the end of my boys’ basketball seasons. They played 75 games between the two of them…and neither are ready for their seasons to end.

Guess what? I AM READY.

I am ready to switch to the equally (if not more) insane season of baseball, because those games are played outside and not within the confines of a gymnasium.

I am ready to run outside with a familiar group of colleagues over my lunch hour instead of dragging myself onto a hamster wheel.

I am ready to walk my dog on familiar trails and hear the neighborhood buzz as kids play in inflatable pools and run through sprinklers.

I am ready to blind people with my pasty white legs and wear flip flops as often as possible.

I am ready to take our vacation to Great Wolf Lodge, where my four-year old can experience (for the first time) what all the fuss is about.

I am ready to bid farewell to frigid temps and my perspective. Both are getting a little bitter this time of year.

Created by Heidi Woodard

Maternalmedia just celebrated its one-year anniversary on February 19. Back when I began this blogging site, I touted it as “only therapy for those who are easily distracted and overly committed,” because that basically sums me up in a nutshell.

I believe the overall purpose still rings true today. I also think this site has evolved into something a little more – a place where you can hopefully feel a bit uplifted or inspired to take action.

I tend to get inspired by people when I need it the most.

One such person is someone I met in high school and continue to follow because her story is incredible. She recently launched a Facebook brand page called Grown Up Spinach. It’s all about how she is attempting to model her family’s eating habits after her own personal (amazing) clean eating and weight loss journey.

One of the first articles she shared on her page was Coca Cola’s Low Calorie Beverages Will Kill You Before They Solve Obesity by the Food Babe. As a Coca Cola junkie myself, I have felt firsthand “The stimulation you get from the caffeine, along with the taste of something sweet,” and how it “keeps you coming back for more and more.”

I now know the sugary, fizzy crap is absolutely awful for me, but I bought into the multi-billion dollar industry’s “Happiness” ploy and taste long before I was old enough to realize I was ruining my health sip by sip.

Another person has taken her love of healthy eating, alongside the love of her husband, and created a company called Completely Nourished. The pair recently announced their decision to live in an RV and sell many of their household possessions…even the house itself eventually…to travel wherever their hearts lead them.

If you have 10 minutes to spare, here’s a great video of Christy explaining how she and her husband were once completely clueless about what they were putting into their bodies, and how they’ve done a total 180 and adopted additive-free eating.

My challenge is taking what I find inspiring and applying it to my life. I know what’s best for me, yet I have a tendency to slip back into old habits.

I made a conscious decision that, for one month straight beginning today, I will complete at least two tasks I do not want to do and one gratifying accomplishment I yearn to do every day.

My two crappy tasks today were:

  1. I did not drink a single coke.
  2. I pre-cooked lunches for myself so I wouldn’t eat out for at least four days this week.
not too shabby shrimp and pasta

not-too-shabby shrimp and pasta

My one fantastic accomplishment today was:

  1. A two-mile walk around my neighborhood.
icicle melt

may our stress melt like icicles on a warm wintry day

I’ve learned that I’m better at following through with goals when I make them public. If anyone else wants to participate on this month-long journey with me, I guess I’ve always felt that misery enjoys company (Have I mentioned how much I’ll miss coke? Let me clarify…the drink!)

Created by Heidi Woodard

My daughter brought home this picture today from preschool. It basically sums up how I’ve felt the past 48 hours.

My daughter's artwork is both sloppy and endearing - much like her mom.

My daughter’s artwork is both sloppy and endearing – much like me.

Here’s the problem: Santa has no time to be sick. Santa’s bought roughly a half dozen (rounding up) gifts so far.

Starting tomorrow, there will be 12 Days Til Christmas. Every year I tell myself I won’t put off buying gifts until the last minute, and every year I succumb to the sad realization that I am a procrastinator who detests shopping.

My mom let me know today that she has officially finished finding the perfect gifts for everyone and is ready to embrace the holidays.

I wanted to be mad at her, but that was hard to do since she basically tended to my every need the past two days. How can you possibly say “I can’t stand how organized you are!” in between sips of homemade soup? (OF COURSE HER SOUP IS HOMEMADE…I’m fairly confident I was switched at birth.)

At this point, I can’t even take deep breaths to try to clear my mind and calm myself down. I start coughing like a chain smoker every time I inhale.

All I can do is muster up enough energy to rewrite a classic holiday favorite with lyrics inspired by stress. Feel free to sing along.

12 Days Til Christmas

On the twelfth day til Christmas,
My conscience said to me:
At least you bought a tree

On the eleventh day til Christmas,
My conscience said to me:
You’ve got two family gatherings,
But at least you bought a tree

On the tenth day til Christmas,
My conscience said to me:
There are three kids awaiting,
Two family gatherings,
But at least you bought a tree

On the ninth day til Christmas,
My conscience said to me:
Flip off four people,
Three kids awaiting,
Two family gatherings,
But at least you bought a tree

On the eighth day til Christmas,
My conscience said to me:
THRIVE under pressure!
Flip off four people,
Three kids awaiting,
Two family gatherings,
But at least you bought a tree

On the seventh day til Christmas,
My conscience said to me:
Nix your expectations,
THRIVE under pressure!
Flip off four people,
Three kids awaiting,
Two family gatherings,
But at least you bought a tree

On the sixth day til Christmas,
My conscience said to me:
You’re an awful parent,
Nix your expectations,
THRIVE under pressure!
Flip off four people,
Three kids awaiting,
Two family gatherings,
But at least you bought a tree

On the fifth day til Christmas,
My conscience said to me:
You’re LATE every year!
What an awful parent,
Nix your expectations,
Cry under pressure!
Flip off four people,
Three kids awaiting,
Two family gatherings,
But at least you bought a tree

On the fourth day til Christmas,
My conscience said to me:
Go blame your husband,
For being LATE every year!
You’re both awful parents,
Nix your expectations,
Cry under pressure!
Flip off four people,
Three kids awaiting,
Two family gatherings,
But at least you bought a tree

On the third day til Christmas,
My conscience said to me:
Everything is hopeless,
Go blame your husband,
For being LATE every year!
You’re both awful parents,
Nix your expectations,
Cry under pressure!
Flip off four people,
Three kids awaiting,
Two family gatherings,
But at least you bought a tree

On the second day til Christmas,
My conscience said to me:
Wrapping’s overrated,
Everything is hopeless,
Go blame your husband,
For being LATE every year!
You’re both awful parents,
Nix your expectations,
Cry under pressure!
Flip off four people,
Three kids awaiting,
Two family gatherings,
But at least you bought a tree

On the day before Christmas,
My conscience said to me:
There’s always next year,
Wrapping’s overrated,
Everything is hopeless,
Go blame your husband,
For being LATE every year!
You’re both awful parents,
Nix your expectations,
Cry under pressure!
Flip off four people,
Three kids awaiting,
Two family gatherings,
But at least you bought a tree (with a light-up star that quit working almost immediately after we brought it home)

HAPPY HOLIDAYS PEOPLE!

Written by Heidi Woodard