Shift (Updated)

In the past couple months a problem has arisen in my little world: my husband’s shift has changed. He used to work pretty much the same hours as me, seeing us both home by 4pm. One of us would pick up the kids from daycare and we would work together (mostly) during the afternoon/evening getting everything done that needed doing. This also meant that I could hit up the gym right after work on the days that I wanted to work out.

Unfortunately (for me, not so much him) he now doesn’t get home until around 5:30pm. In that hour and a half I have single handedly gone and picked up the kids from daycare, tidied the house (dishes!floors!laundry!bedrooms!), refereed 4 or 5 fights, changed a shitty diaper (every fucking day at the SAME time!), made 2 different meals (kids, ours), met most of the demands of a 2 and a 3 year old (Can I have water? Can I have a banana? Can I have my red car? I want my crayons!), and fed the kids. He walks through the door, takes his work boots off and sits down to a hot meal.

At that point I am really fucking DONE. Get in my car, drive to the gym and lift weights now? Go suck rocks.

I usually end up back in the kitchen after dinner, cleaning up the aftermath and then making lunches, followed by bathing the kids and getting them ready for bed all while feeling shitty for not getting to the gym and trying to think of how I can make it work better tomorrow.

I know that lifting weights is really, very beneficial. I have been doing it for a several weeks now (although much less lately) and just the other day I thought I saw a tricep muscle on my arm. Exciting, I know.

And while I generally like how I feel after a workout, lately I don’t actually feel all that crazy about doing the workouts. In fact if I was going to be completely honest I might even say that I’ve begun to slightly dread them – likely in part because getting to the gym is such an ordeal now and I’m usually getting texts while I’m there saying, “can you grab diapers and milk while you’re out?”

Then this past Saturday I woke up with the urge to go for a run. I quickly threw on my running gear and split before anything had a chance to go sideways on me. I ran a 5km for the first time in a while. It felt fanfuckingtastic. I loved every minute of it and realized that I really miss running a lot. I’m outside, ALONE, listening to music, getting fresh air and good, hard exercise, working out my thoughts (I do some of my best thinking while I run). Not to mention, I don’t have to drive anywhere to go for a run and I can be out and back in 35 minutes. And it makes me happy!

In the past I could always fit running into my life. In current circumstances it would certainly be easier to fit in a run than a trip to the gym. The fresh air would contribute to my well being, the clarity and meditation type thinking that happens when I am running would definitely serve me well.

I know that strength training is better for my physical body than running is, and I hate to let it go – but it’s not doing me any good if I can’t find the time to make it happen or if trying to fit it in causes added stress.  And one of the things that have come about while doing the Whole30 is the realization that I want for things to be simpler. To have less stress. Be happier. Go easier.

So for now at least, I’m bringing running back.


Steve got home from work yesterday at around 5:15pm. I had dinner *almost* ready and my running gear on. I headed out the door.  There was a wee bit of backlash from my "people" and the little tendrils of guilt started to creep in for leaving them during hectic time. I pushed that bullshit aside and and hit the street. I ran 5km in the beautiful, fresh air and it felt really, really great.  I was wiped when I was done but that's the whole point. 

I got home and plated dinner and we ate.  Nobody suffered too much while I was gone a whole 35 minutes. After dinner I had a shower, got in my jammies and then I just layed down on my bed to relax.  I think Steve was a bit surprised by this, I don't usually take a rest.  After everyone went to bed (around 8pm) I got back up and finished up lunches and folded a load of laundry and then went to sleep.  And I slept like the dead. 

In the meantime, I woke up this morning to see that Whole9 had posted this on their Facebook page.  I can't believe how fitting it is for this very moment in time...

"Green Exercise" (exercise performed outside with exposure to green visual inputs like grass and trees) improves mood and self-esteem in as little as 5 minutes, and is particularly effective for those with mental health problems. 

Seeing and reading this little bit of info this morning has reinforced that I am doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing and I am exactly where I'm supposed to be.