Ball State, CICS, Inspiration, Running

Thankful. working. mom.

I don’t claim to be the most emotionally aware person. By there are two things that I’ve been very aware of lately.

1. Your daycare reflects your values.

We’re moving to a new side of town, and so I find myself in the same place I did a year and a half ago. Then with a baby in my belly. I wondered, will these people take good care of my baby? Will she feel loved, or neglected? What happens when I’m not there? I think about the cost. Then I wonder how much goes in to the pockets of the teachers who actually take great care of my little girl. Then I get sad that it’s not more.

When I called one daycare close to our new house, they said they offer a $50 discount if needed. I asked, what does “if needed” mean? As she described it, I don’t think we fit in that category, and I’m thankful. We are not a financial needs family that they so graciously serve on the east side of town. But I do want to check it out.

And then I think of Raelyn, Harper’s best friend at school. I saw Raelyn’s dad while I was picking up Harper yesterday, and he described how the girls were leading each other by a stick through the playground. They are the sweetest family. Her mom was the first parent friend I had at daycare, and we will miss them.

2. My Midwest/small town girl is showing. And it may not jive with my coworkers.

This also related to “we just bought a house.”

When I was in grad school, my professor said something I’ve always remembered. He said you kids from the Midwest never want to leave. He said it like it was limiting. Like I’ll try to help you find a job, but you’re this makes it harder. You people who want to be close to your parents, get married and have kids.

Um, yes sir. I wanted and got all those things. My husband and I just bought a house for our toddler, and sometime later our second baby. We have good jobs we like and where we feel confident. And we didn’t have to go to the coasts to do it.

Telling that story, I literally IM’ed a friend: “You do it for the yard. You do it for the kids.”

Telling two male coworkers who are slightly older, happily unmarried, world travelers, about my small town girl plans made me feel small.

But how lame is that, I tell myself. We both have different lives and different things we live for. For me, I live for the fam!

Wish us luck in the daycare search.

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Running

Discipline

This is the hardest, to make a plan and stick with it.

I have great ambitions for plans:

To put away my phone.

To actually wake up at 5:40 am.

To not slam doors.

To go running.

Two things always come to mind when I think about discipline.

1) Own your morning!

No one owns your morning but you. Not even your kids. I heard a life counselor say in a seminar that she once met a woman who just wanted to have breakfast with her kids. But she complained they kept her running around so much she could never do it.

The counselor asked her: Could you wake up 30 minutes earlier? Could your older kids or your husband help? Could you prep it the night before?

It’s hard to make that choice, but yes she could wake up earlier. There’s nothing stopping that.

2) Christians learn to love discipline!

(or maybe that’s Catholics). ๐Ÿ˜Š I’m pulling that either from the Best Lent Ever or Best Advent Ever podcast. But I agree. We learn to love the steady structure of the mass, the fasting during Lent and the other things that take discipline.

Also, disciple must be derived from discipline, right? I bet it’s in the etymology. ๐Ÿ˜ (I did not look it up.)

***

I want to run a 5k soon. The things I need to do to make that work are: Go to bed early, wake up early, leave work early, workout before dinner, eat real food.

It sounds like a lot, but in my mind, that’s what is needed. And if I can achieve it, then I accomplished more than just a race. That’s why discipline matters. ๐ŸŽค

The last week or so, I did two runs and one workout. So I’m slowly on my way. And there’s always the reminder of little girl. ๐Ÿ˜…

Professional Development

Conviction

I pull my hair back to brush my teeth, and I see more gray hair showing at my temples. Sometimes it’s fun to imagine them as blonde highlights. Sometimes it makes me feel unpolished. But also, and ultimately, I makes me feel authentic.

Sometimes I have to reaffirm. Is “authentic” really the feeling that wins out? Surely, I can color my hair. Or, I can believe that I like it. What I shouldn’t do is be a martyr.

I feel like this is what Andrew Luck was wrestling with when he decided to leave football. How do I really feel, and then: what will I do about it?

It’s what Joe Biden asked himself when he considered running in 2016 and decided he didn’t have the fight for it — and then in 2020, decided he did.

Decisions are always good when they have conviction behind them. I read a book by Peter Drucker, in which he said he had to make a decision between going to a class program for his child or going out with his wife – both of which he had somehow already committed to. He knew he would hurt one of them, but he also couldn’t split the evening because he didn’t want to give them both only half his attention.

I forget which he picked. Whatever it was sucked for someone and partially for him as well for being a bit of a jerk. But I remember him saying he was confident in his decision because he was confident in WHY he made it.

Professional Development

The psychology of dressing up

Recently, I was messaging a friend about how to dress at work. I said I was given advice to not dress up so much, lest I appear unapproachable. I said, I felt offended.

But in the kind and humble ways of my friend, she gently suggested what would it hurt if you did dress down to something like dark jeans and Rothy’s (a popular brand of washable flats)?

Turns out, the feedback matches popular opinion. Smart casual is a new trend in modern offices. It’s a step below business casual and describes well-fitting, tailored casual clothes. It makes you seem more trustworthy to recruiters and bosses, more worthy of promotions, and more ready to transition from the office to outside events with clients.

Given the research and advice, I did go out this past weekend and purchased dark jeans that ended at the ankle and a black lacy top with pink and red flowers. And I wore it on Monday, as soon as possible.

It’s always good to inspect and adapt, in project work and in personal style. While I was a little disappointed that my pencil skirt and blue blazer came on too strong, I’m glad for the feedback.

One of my favorite blazers, now taking a back seat to smart casual.

Fail fast. Fail forward.

Life Lessons

Clean eating

I once heard someone say that a person has a certain amount of gluten they can consume in their lifetime. And because of bad food choices, people are hitting that threshold a lot faster.

I have a confession. At age 29, I may fit into that category. At least, that’s what this barky cough is telling me. Not just this cough, but the series of illnesses every single month that are hard to shake off.

Gluten is the protein in rye, barley, and wheat, and is used to make bread rise and absorb liquids, like soup. Here’s a source.

While I’m not completely sold that this is my issue, I do know I need to eat better. The book “Food Rules” says there are three rules:

Eat FOOD (not processed food).

Mostly greens.

Not too much.

So, that will be my guide, as well as some great “clean eating” recipes my friend sent me.

Pictured here is turkey meatballs and cauliflower, then leftover meatballs and frozen veggies. ๐Ÿ˜‹ This is just from last night/this night. I JUST started this new meal plan.

Eating good food and not processed/ sugary food is tough. But if it’s any consolation, I really do love how pretty this “real food” looks!