A Disturbance in The Force

I grew up with Star Wars and I though Princess Leia was awesome. She was smart, fierce, and could take care of herself. Her one-liners were priceless… “Aren’t you a little short to be a storm trooper?”

Carrie Fisher, though… She was even more badass to me. She was true to herself. She talked honestly and openly about her life and her issues. In 2009, I saw her in her one-woman show called “Wishful Drinking,” after her book of the same name. She was amazing – funny and open. Captivating and endearing.

On December 23, I was saddened to learn that Carrie Fisher had had a massive heart attack. Both my husband and I were upset… Today, she died. I am truly sad. But, I’ve enjoyed reading so many amazing stories and posts about Fisher today. Two in particular stand out:

1. General Organa. Boom.

2. This post from Jenny Lawson’s blog. Lawson admired Carrie Fisher for some very personal reasons and she wrote beautifully about Fisher’s influence.

Even though my 3 1/2 year-old son has never seen Star Wars (not yet, anyway), he and his preschool classmates seem to be obsessed with it. Today in the car, he kept telling me “the car said Star Wars” – and yes, it did. Sort of. The radio, but I’m not nitpicking. And, the newscasters were continually reminding me that Fisher is now gone. 2016 can suck it. We’ve lost so many this year. This feels like the last straw. Keeping my head down and hoping for the best.

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Running At the Happiest Place on Earth

This isn’t really much of a post, but I’m super excited and wanted to share… I just registered for the Disneyland Half Marathon in September 2017. How crazy is that!?! Registration opened today and I wanted to make sure I got my spot, though. So, it’s done and it’s on! I also registered my son for a kid’s run and he’ll get a runDisney hat with ears. With. Ears!

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Now that I have my spot reserved, feel free to sign yourselves up! I’m really excited about this one. There will be Disney characters along the course… And, really, I needed a good excuse to finally take my son to Disneyland. Woot! Woot!

Do you have a destination race you like? What is it? What would you recommend?

Carving Out Time for Yourself

I am a room parent for my son’s preschool class and, during orientation this year, we introduced ourselves and gave a “guilty pleasure.” For example, many people mentioned TV shows that they watch. But, why do things like this have to be a guilty pleasure?

I think it’s absolutely necessary for parents to do something for themselves and to make time for themselves. I make time for myself by exercising most mornings and I feel all the better for it. I get up before everyone one else in the house so I can have my personal time and still go about my normal parental and work activities. On weekends, I sometimes drive to a nice trail:

Dr. Deborah Gilboa, writing on sharecare.com, gave three good reasons to do things for yourself as a parent:

  • Lower your stress level. When you take time for yourself, you relax. When you relax, your blood pressure goes down, you smile more, you sleep better, and you have a more positive outlook – that’s good for you and your family
  • Help your family value you more by valuing yourself. When you pursue an interest, hobby, or activity that makes you happy, it can lead your child to show you more respect (because you are respecting yourself)
  • Children repeat parents’ patterns. If you value your passions or interests by making some time for them, your kids will grow up to do the same (hopefully). They learn by example, so if you are “calm and collected” thanks to your “you time,” they will remember that

Various articles suggest that time to yourself or with your spouse isn’t as selfish as it may sound. It can actually make for a stronger marriage, stronger family, and well-adjusted children. If you never leave your child with a sitter or grandparent, they won’t learn that it’s OK when you leave them. It’s also about identity – you are more than just “Mom” or “Dad.”

Sounds great, but how? Here are a few ideas:

  1. At-home movie night. Get your child/children in bed and queue up a new movie or an old favorite. Then, enjoy some snacks and maybe a drink
  2. Date-night kid swap. Set up a system with friends (or through the FC Parent Club) so that you can save costs on a night out. For example, once a month you take their kids for a night and on another night, they take your kids. The kids get a playdate and you get your adult time
  3. Take a walk. a 15-minute walk can make you feel better and allow you to collect your thoughts without all of the interruptions of home life
  4. Go to the gym, especially if your gym has childcare. While your spouse may be able to watch the kids for a bit, a gym with childcare lets you get in  a workout without additional guilt – No one is on the hook for additional single parent time

Time for yourself doesn’t have to be long and it doesn’t have to be complicated. It may sound difficult, but I really do recommend finding something. Anything. Regain some sanity and be a more patient parent. Lofty goals, I know. I have decidedly benefited from my alone time. My son is now 3 1/2 and he excitedly asks every morning if I went biking or running. I don’t know if he’s “proud” or me or not, but he know’s it’s my thing.