No Fat Chix

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Hey asshat – Media reminds me on an hourly basis that I am not their ideal. I don’t need your idiotic propaganda fueling more self-hate during the only time I am unplugged from the onslaught.

This graffiti is on a bridge, approximately 2 miles from one trail head and 8 miles from where I normally start. The only people who see this message are the bike path transients (those who live on the trail) and people who have worked to get there (walked, jogged, roller-bladed, biked). No matter their size, they are doing something good for themselves. When I get to this point on the trail, I have burned about 1,000 calories. I am sweaty and – depending on the amount of sleep I had the night before – might be chanting personal mantras to get the rest of the way to work.

I am trying so hard to not pass judgment on this person, even though they clearly feel that it is okay to wound the egos of any woman trying hard to make herself stronger. Because, let’s face it, even “skinny” women might see that and feel like they are fat.

I festered on this graffiti all day yesterday. It compelled me to ride long this morning just so I could snap a picture of it. I had hoped that by blogging about it, I would somehow purge my ill-feelings. But I know that when I see it again tomorrow morning, it is going to cause me pain again. I’ve never defaced public property with spray paint, but this might be the first time I consider it.

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The first yoga quest: downward-facing dog.

I have taken to writing weekly goals – maybe three or four things that I want to accomplish each week. They vary from starting a food journal, to cleaning the office, to finishing a craft, to something exercise-y. I have yet to complete any of them even though I have been writing them for four weeks now.

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The one that I always write every week, without fail or complete conscious recognition, is “complete 5 downward dogs”. They have always been so hard for me and I’d love to disavow them, but because they are critical in the sun salutation – and mastering said move is on the long term goal list – I have to practice.

It seems to be such a simple move.

Hands and feet on floor. Stretch. Cake, right?

Then you google it to read how to get into the position and there are five steps that require some pretty intense focusing. One a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being like a perfect downward dog and 1 being not even trying, I used *used* to be a 6. I could get the tailbone/pelvis thing to happen. It was my arms that just couldn’t take it. That was 10 years ago. So now I am at about a 2.

But there is something about this pose.

It is the pose that makes me realize that I’ve got to keep going. It has a weird driving force. It can’t stop with one downward dog. It is a quick addiction. It sucks but I love it at the same time. My calves burn. My hamstrings too. And let’s not even mention the tension in my shoulders and back. But with each one I feel something let go.

But maybe that is my obsession with this pose. With one slow movement I can assess all of the stress being pent up in my body. With all of my focus on breath and proper alignment I can feel where my soul is out of whack. As structured as this pose is, I sink into it like no other.

So this is why I put 5 downward dogs on my to-do list every week. Because once I do one, I do two, then three, then… well… you see where I am going with this.

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The Shifting Paradigm

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Pre-January 6th, 2014, my family unit was a two-working-parent household (mostly). I shuttled our son from home to daycare, then daycare to home, 5 days a week. He stayed in someone else’s care ~10 hours a day. Dadda was gone in the morning when we woke up and home when we got home just about every day. When we were home for the night, we had about 2 and a half hours of family time before bed. And we were all so exhausted that we were ALL in bed no later than 8:30. This was our paradigm from when Little E was six weeks old. We crammed FAMILY LIFE! into our weekends like it was going out of style. And family life didn’t just include trips to the park, love, and rainbows. It also included laundry, cleaning, meal prep, traveling to see the rest of our family, pet care, this list is a long one…..

It was manageable – or at least sort of – until December of 2013. Then our paradigm shifted ever so slightly. We went from having a daycare that was less than a mile away from our home to one that was about 10 miles away. The car rides to and from were unbearable. Grumpy kid = grumpy mom. Everyday. I couldn’t ride my bike to work anymore. I’d walk in the door with a cranky child and collapse on the couch while Eric cooked dinner and managed little E. It wasn’t that the daycare wasn’t awesome, because it was – obviously we liked it or we wouldn’t have continued to add 2 hours of car travel time to our day. But just spending 1 hour in the car every morning driving there and then 10 hours at work, then another 1 hour driving to daycare and then home was killing me. That 8:30 bedtime couldn’t come fast enough.

Then the other shoe dropped. At the end of the day on January 6th, Eric was laid off. It was unexpected. Just like the last time it happened (only a year before that, different circumstances, but still unemployed). He came home with his last paycheck in hand and that was that.

I don’t know about you, but money – money is the source of all of my anxiety. It always comes back to budget.

Anyway – we needed to look at our options. Our paradigm was about to change. Drastically. We are 3 weeks into making this stay-at-home-dad situation work. It isn’t a flawless system yet and we have a lot to work out. But even at Week 3 of our paradigm shift, it seems that we are better off emotionally (in most cases).

I know that there are other people out there that have made this transition. What have you found to ease the shift?

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