Things have seemed absolutely insane the last few weeks and I’m hoping our family can catch our collective breaths and have some down time this coming weekend. In the last two weeks or so (not even counting my work commute), I’ve spent nearly 30 hours driving both work and “fun” related; Holly has as well which means we’ve been busy and away from home frequently. This means we’re just doing our best to hold our shit together, make sure the kids get their homework done, get to swim team at least once per week and making sure the chores don’t get away from us. While I wouldn’t say stress has been super high, it’s been more a steady roar of coordination and planning and giving of ourselves for our activities and family and despite some shared time together, Holly and I haven’t really caught up and connected as a couple in awhile. That needs to happen soon.
Some of the obstacles that slice up our time are semi-temporary. I’ve got to travel a LOONG day every other week for work. I’m doing a citizen’s police academy, which I’ll write about at some point, and that takes up an entire evening. Holly seems to be traveling a long day too at least once a week on a different day. That means the time spent together is maybe a couple week nights and most of the weekend, which are sometimes planned out in advance. We’re on the same page on juggling time with the kids, and making sure they are getting what they need, but I feel like it’s a constant go-go-go. I can’t imagine how some of my friends with 3-5 kids handle all the activities and work. As a parent, I tend to lean towards having our lives underprescribed than overprescribed, but we’re in a stretch now that requires a tight balancing act, and compromises are being made.
Motivation on health is pretty high right now, even if both my wife and I are struggling a little with establishing goals. She’s back doing the Whole Life Challenge to try and tighten back up after a summer. In general, we both just want to gain or maintain strength, lean out a little and look good naked. We’re both in the back end of our 30’s and while competition is fun (in things like crossfit or even running), and we do fairly well at them, I’ve found that pushing to kick ass at these things lead to more frequent injury. I’d rather try and stay healthy. Anyway, we’ve cut out most of our recreational drinking to remove empty calories and are eating cleaner again.
This last weekend we dropped the kids off with their cousins and headed to a three day athletic camp, primarily for weightlifting. We’ve done other athletic camps in the past for triathlons (pre-kids though), ranging from two days to a week. You almost always come away from these things with both a bump in knowledge and motivation after being around professional level athletes and coaches, and this weekend was no different. Our heads were spinning with the weightlifting knowledge dropped on us by a coach who podiumed at the American Open this year. To have this level of coaching always goes a long way towards improving yourself and moving better under the barbell, which is a general goal of mine. Now it begins the long process of implementing the techniques we learned and slowly burning in better movement pathways.
That’s where we are at. I remember a time earlier in our relationship and marriage where we smoked a bunch, didn’t exercise, and burned through spare time and recreational time like it would always be there. We don’t recognize those people we were any more. We try and make most minutes we do have available more worthwhile. We don’t watch television much, we read more, we spend more time discussing life, work, family and our relationship than ever before, and more importantly than talk, take action in many small ways to continue to improve these things. Like requiring “Continuing Education” to continue to maintain professional licenses, I think this should be done to maintain a good marriage. One of the coaches had a quote this weekend to the effect that if you aren’t getting stronger, you’re getting weaker. Same goes for marriage, if you want to coast and not improve in small ways, you’re actually getting weaker. MMSL talks a little about this too.
So we’re riding the razors edge for a short time here, and am hoping to take the foot off the accelerator soon and hunker down for a weekend with Holly and the kids with no activities – which would be the first time in over a month when we can do this.