Monday, June 28, 2010

Squeezing in Exercise When You Can

I have to laugh when I think about my tight schedule this weekend and how I desperately needed to fit in some sort of exercise. We had a mid-day birthday party to go to, and being busy as I was during the week with work, did not manage to pick up a gift. So Saturday morning comes and I get the kids fed breakfast and we wait for my husband to get up and going. Before I know it the clock says its after 10 a.m. My husband wants to go to the Farmer's Market which we usually do together but there was no way we were going to do that AND go get the gift in time. I had the idea that I would run (literally) to the closest Target for the gift so I could kill two birds with one stone. So, we split up, each taking one son. I wanted to take my 19 month old so I could run with him in the jogging stroller - and have the cargo space in the stroller to carry our loot back -  but my nearly 4 year old wanted to come with me and there was no talking him out of it. I have pushed him in the jogging stroller recently on a trail near our home but thought we would look ridiculous, with me wheeling this too-big- to-be-in-a-jogging-stroller boy through TAR-jay.

So thinking quickly, I put him on his bike, put his helmet on and grabbed a bike lock. I put his backpack on and put my wallet inside so that he would be able to carry the gift back. I have to admit, it was a pretty slow pace but I managed to keep moving the whole time. When I got too far ahead of him, he would say, "Wait up, Mom" and I would run back and circle around him.

While in the store I had to keep in mind that the gift would need to fit into my son's backpack, and couldn't be too heavy or bulky for him to bike with. The shopping was a success, and we made it back home in time for me to hop in the shower and make it to the party being just fashionably late.

My son was so proud of himself because I kept telling him what a big boy he was and how he was being such a big help to me. I was proud of myself for not blowing off the exercise and thinking outside the box! Win-win for all!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Relax and Recharge: Find Your Happy Place

After this past 3-day weekend I was reminded how important it is to get away. Between working full time, juggling two kids, a husband with an opposite schedule, maintaining my household (laundry, misc. cleaning and the never-ending flow of paperwork and BILLS), trying to work out and have a social life, I sometimes get so zeroed in on getting things done that I forget to do nothing.

There is nothing more relaxing to me than zone-out time at the beach. Whether its just watching the waves, listening to the ocean while I sleep, or getting a kick out of my kids playing in the sand and surf, I know that any time spent at the coast is good for me. I have been lucky enough to spend 10 years of my life living by the beach...but unfortunately have been back in "the valley" for the last 10 years and don't see my beloved ocean as much as I would like. This past weekend, with no "to do's" surrounding me, I could just let my mind rest and enjoy being exactly where I was. At the end of day one, I could already tell I was breathing more deeply and smiling more. Sometimes a beach visit just isn't possible, and I will strive to become better about finding alternatives. It's easy to forget that all it takes is physically removing myself from my day to day routine/environment to get a fresh perspective on things. Don't forget to find your happy place.