Posts in Reverb 2013

#reverb13 | prompt 31 | at the finish

December 31st, 2013 Posted by Lexicon, Reverb 2013, Reverb and Reflect, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “#reverb13 | prompt 31 | at the finish”

#reverb13 is a prompt-a-day series for the month of December designed to reflect on 2013 and project on hopes and dreams for 2014.  Through December 31st Meredith, Kat and I will post each day with a new prompt.  Join us by writing, or join us by reading.   Follow us on Twitter @project_reverb and hashtag #reverb13.  Let’s reverb.

At the finish: What’s next for you?

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I’m a firm believer than you can have a fresh start anytime you want one.  It doesn’t have to be January 1 or a Monday or the 1st of the month.  Anytime’s a good time.

But I do love the feeling of January 1 because it feels like a blank slate.  A good time to evaluate what worked for me last year.  And what just didn’t work out very well.

What didn’t work out so well was being a perfectionist.  I do this thing where I believe that if I can’t do it perfectly, well then I’m not going to do it!  Since I’m rarely perfect at the start of anything (Unless we’re talking starting a carton of ice cream.  That I do well.), one can see how being so perfect limits me to just about nothing.

If I can’t write the perfect blog post, I won’t publish it.

That set of pictures I took turned out overexposed, so I’m not taking any more photos.

The bread I tried to make turned out like a hockey puck, so I’m not making any more bread.

When I tried that eyeshadow kit, it looked liked I got punched in the eye, so I’m done with eyeshadow.

I’ll show you, life!  I won’t do anything!

So being perfect hasn’t worked out.

But being imperfect is going pretty good.

Teaching group fitness helped me get over being perfect pretty quick.  Here’s a secret: I don’t ever teach a perfect class.  I make a choreography error here and there.  I didn’t get as deep as possible into a squat.  I said glutes when I meant abs.

But here’s the thing:  I keep teaching anyway.

I figure, if I like teaching (which I do) then I’ve got to accept that I won’t be perfect.  I will always try my very best.  But I’m human and humans make mistakes.

And here’s the other thing:  I learn, I improve, I get better.  I continually put myself in the arena and try again.  Somehow knowing that flawless execution is impossible, I feel freed.  I’m a woman, not a machine.

So accepting imperfection and continuing to try my best has worked out.  I’m pushing myself to try more and more and more things, even if I don’t get the greatest results at first.  I’ve got some new things I’m going to try right here on this blog.  So expect some new types of content.  Expect some vulnerability.  Just don’t expect perfection because she doesn’t live here any more.

 

 

#reverb13 | prompt 30 | relationships

December 30th, 2013 Posted by Lexicon, Reverb 2013, Reverb and Reflect, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “#reverb13 | prompt 30 | relationships”

#reverb13 is a prompt-a-day series for the month of December designed to reflect on 2013 and project on hopes and dreams for 2014.  Through December 31st Meredith, Kat and I will post each day with a new prompt.  Join us by writing, or join us by reading.   Follow us on Twitter @project_reverb and hashtag #reverb13.  Let’s reverb.

Relationships:  Did you find a new best friend?  Delve deeper into a relationship?  Break up?  Get back together?

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It’s not the endless piles of laundry or the constant making and cleaning up of meals or the countless visits to the pediatrician that gets to me as a mother.

It’s the loneliness.

Being a mother of young children is lonely.  The loneliest I’ve ever been.

So I cling tight to my relationships, those people who offer life support when I’m drowning in a sea of diapers and goldfish crackers.  A special thanks to:

To my Tribe.  That’s what we call ourselves, my family and Dan’s family.  When Dan and I first were engaged, I couldn’t have imagined how this family dynamic would play out.  I foresaw years of alternating Thanksgivings, eating twice for every holiday, driving to this house and that house for Christmas.  Then one year I suggested that we all have Thanksgiving together.  And now we do it all together.  Holidays, birthdays, everything.

And when I refer to my family, I mean my Tribe.  Everyone.  I don’t see it as Dan’s Family and My Family.  We’re in it together.  And this year was especially traumatic with my grandmother’s move to a nursing home, Michael’s surprise early arrival, and various other familial trauma dramas involving extended family members.  But what’s remarkable is we drew closer together.  Circled the wagons.  Tightened our love hold on each other.

To Corrine.  I’m glad you don’t think I’m crazy when I text you because I think Michael is holding his arms strangely and do you think that means there’s some underlying, never-heard-of-before disorder?  Am I just being nuts?  Okay, we agree I’m being illogical.  Great, thanks!  I’m glad you don’t judge my dirty house, that I let Kate eat animal crackers for breakfast, and when you’re pretty sure I wore those black yoga pants yesterday…and maybe the day before that.  You totally get it.  And I need that.  Because I don’t want to explain myself.  And with you I don’t have to.  I cherish all those playdates in your basement where we exchange heartfelt conversation while the kids scream at deafening volumes and throw plastic balls at each other.  Sometimes I think about us, several years from now, with our kids in elementary school and us having lunch at Panera, alone, not having to cut up anyone’s grilled cheese.

To Kim and Ginny.  I remember when Kim emailed me, and said she wanted to come over and had something to tell me.  I thought she was going to tell me she was dying.  And I was prepared to get real upset.  She was acting all cagey.  And then told me she was in a relationship with Ginny.  And I wanted to kill her.  She had me all concerned over nothing!  That’s all you got?  I THOUGHT YOU WERE DYING!  Anyway, Kim and Ginny, I couldn’t love you more.  I’m so glad we’re not only deeper pals this year, but we’re also neighbors.  You both inspire me to live my life on my terms.  A common phrase in our house is WWKS?  (What would Kim say?)

To Marie.  I read somewhere that if you’re friends for someone for at least seven years, then you will be friends for life.  We’ve been friends for just over a decade.  Remember in high school when I owned flip flops in every color of the rainbow?  And remember when I’d get mad when you couldn’t eat lunch with me because you were studying for the Calculus AP exam?  And remember at U.Va. when I convinced you to haul your laundry on the bus so we could do wash together and we’d wait between cycles in my extremely small dorm room?  When I see you, I still see 16-year-old Marie.  Even though we’re married and own homes and really I know we’ve come a long way, when I see you, you’re still high school Marie.  And I’m high school Sarah.  And we’re in Creative Writing class making up bad haikus.

To Dan.  Marriage with small children isn’t for the faint of heart.  And it’s a reminder that there’s no such thing as equal.  Some days someone pulls harder than the other.  Some days it feels like we’re just Small People Managers.  Some days we can be like ships passing in the night – literally changing rooms as you attend to one Small Person and I attended to the other Small Person.  And I need you to take care of Small People while I do my thing.  And you go out of town so I’m on Small People duty.  I worried about this at first.  But it’s just a season.  This is life with Small People.  And in that short time between Small People bedtime and when we crash for the night, we plan and scheme about all the things we’ll do and all the places we’ll go when people can take care of wiping their own bottoms.

To myself.  You think you don’t know who you are.  But you do.  You’re not just one thing.  You’re a lot of things.  Be all the things.

#reverb13 | prompt 29 | list it

December 29th, 2013 Posted by Lexicon, Reverb 2013, Reverb and Reflect, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “#reverb13 | prompt 29 | list it”

#reverb13 is a prompt-a-day series for the month of December designed to reflect on 2013 and project on hopes and dreams for 2014.  Through December 31st Meredith, Kat and I will post each day with a new prompt.  Join us by writing, or join us by reading.   Follow us on Twitter @project_reverb and hashtag #reverb13.  Let’s reverb.

List it | List posts are everywhere.  Top 10 Ways to be Happier TodayThree Tips for More Energy.  Seven Ideas to Stay Focused.  Give us a list.  Of anything.  Your to-do list for the day.  Your grocery list.  A Buzzfeed inspired list.  Anything.

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What I’ve learned in 2013

+Not everything is my fault.

+Worrying is akin to praying for what you don’t want to happen.

+Ask and you shall receive.

+Two kids are easier than one.

+When faced with a problem/inconvenience/bad news/etc… it works best if I give myself a requisite number of minutes/hours to fuss about it.  And then I need to move on.

+I’m starting to learn that perfect is not only unattainable but unnecessary

+I’m happiest when I’m busy.  But not too busy.  There’s a fine line.

+You get back what you put out.

+Little irritants aren’t worth getting worked up over.

+When in doubt, lean into gratitude.

+I’m doing my best.  And that’s all I can do.

+This, too, shall pass.

+Say yes and figure it out later.

+And opportunities come back around and around again.

+Good friends are hard to come by.  Cherish them.

+Using castor oil to wash my face has improved my skin quality more than any other type of cleanser.

+Hold open doors, say thank you, tell the cashier have a great day.  People don’t expect kindness.  That’s sad.  So give out kind words and smiles often.

+It’s not all about me.

+Everything will work out.

#reverb13 | prompt 28 | cry it out

December 28th, 2013 Posted by Lexicon, Reverb 2013, Reverb and Reflect, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “#reverb13 | prompt 28 | cry it out”

#reverb13 is a prompt-a-day series for the month of December designed to reflect on 2013 and project on hopes and dreams for 2014.  Through December 31st Meredith, Kat and I will post each day with a new prompt.  Join us by writing, or join us by reading.   Follow us on Twitter @project_reverb and hashtag #reverb13.  Let’s reverb.

Cry it out: What moment in 2013 brought years to your eyes?  Are you usually a crier?  Or did tearing up take you by surprise?

I’ve already told you how I cried for three days after Michael was born.  Full on shoulders shaking, ugly cry.  Definitely the most tears shed this year.

But you already know that story.  So the other time I cried this year, and the thing that makes tears sting behind my eyes is this picture:

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When I see this picture, I want to cry.  Every time.  I can’t look at it with out getting all emotional.

Being a parent defeats all logic.  Several times a day I want to tear my hair out Britney Spears style and sell my kids to the circus and tell Dan I’m moving out and don’t try to find me because I’m tired of being my family’s maid and so over having my every bathroom visit supervised by small people who want me to open a Go Gurt package while I’m on the toilet.

And then there are those moments where I can’t hug them tight enough, can’t squeeze them enough, where my heart burns with fierce love.

#reverb13 | prompt 27 | pee your pants funny

December 27th, 2013 Posted by Lexicon, Reverb 2013, Reverb and Reflect, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “#reverb13 | prompt 27 | pee your pants funny”

#reverb13 is a prompt-a-day series for the month of December designed to reflect on 2013 and project on hopes and dreams for 2014.  Through December 31st Meredith, Kat and I will post each day with a new prompt.  Join us by writing, or join us by reading.   Follow us on Twitter @project_reverb and hashtag #reverb13.  Let’s reverb.

Pee your pants funny:  What was the funniest thing that happened this year?  Was it funny when it happened?  Or was it one of those things you laughed about later?

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That disastrous trip to the grocery was definitely the most I’ll-laugh-about-this-later moment.  I wasn’t laughing so much as clinging to my sanity that day.

But on the whole, living with small people is about as equally entertaining as it is infuriating.  We have to laugh or else we’d cry, right?

I’ve written before about stuff Kate says.  The things that come out of her mouth never cease to make me chuckle.

Here’s a few more moments that have me a little concerned about what she says at preschool:

A conversation between Kate and Mommy on the way home from preschool.

Me:  Kate, tell me about baby Jesus!

Kate: He’s just a baby.

Me:  Okay, well what did Mrs. S say about baby Jesus.

Kate:  Well, there was no room at the hotel.  He live in a stable.  With a cow.

A conversation between Kate and Daddy.  Note: Belle is barking in the background like the crazy nut she is.

Kate:  That f!!!cking dog!

Dan:  Kate!  We don’t say that.

Kate:  Mama say that!

A conversation between Kate and Mommy on the way to preschool:

Kate:  Mom, when you’re a bigger girl, you can go to school!

Me: snort!

Kate, Mommy, and Daddy talking about Christmas.

Kate:  Okay, I will sit on Santa’s lap.

Mommy and Daddy:  Great!

Kate:  But I’m not going to kiss him!

 

#reverb13 | prompt 26 | five moments

December 26th, 2013 Posted by Lexicon, Reverb 2013, Reverb and Reflect, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “#reverb13 | prompt 26 | five moments”

#reverb13 is a prompt-a-day series for the month of December designed to reflect on 2013 and project on hopes and dreams for 2014.  Through December 31st Meredith, Kat and I will post each day with a new prompt.  Join us by writing, or join us by reading.   Follow us on Twitter @project_reverb and hashtag #reverb13.  Let’s reverb.

Five moments: Tell us about five moments you don’t want to forget from 2013.

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1) When this guy joined our family.

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2) When his sister first held him.

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3) When we celebrated our family of four with professional pictures on the beach.

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4) When we signed the contract and began the process of building our new home.

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5) When I pushed myself as an instructor, passing my AFAA group fitness instructor program, took a BodyStep AIM 1, and passed my BodyPump video certification.

#reverb13 | prompt 25 | covet

December 25th, 2013 Posted by Lexicon, Reverb 2013, Reverb and Reflect, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “#reverb13 | prompt 25 | covet”

#reverb13 is a prompt-a-day series for the month of December designed to reflect on 2013 and project on hopes and dreams for 2014.  Through December 31st Meredith, Kat and I will post each day with a new prompt.  Join us by writing, or join us by reading.   Follow us on Twitter @project_reverb and hashtag #reverb13.  Let’s reverb.

Covet:  What did you covet this year?  Are you working towards getting that, or just admiring it from afar?  Is it a tangible thing, or just an idea?  Tell us about what you’ve got your sights on.

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There were plenty of times this year I coveted what other people had.  Someone’s house.  Someone’s car.  Someone’s income.  Someone’s job.  Someone’s skills.  Someone’s looks.

I think it’s human and natural to feel envy and to feel jealous.  It’s part of life, I think.

Today – Christmas Day – Kate woke up with a fever, skating around 102.  I knew something was brewing yesterday.  But I crossed my fingers and hoped it would pass.

But it didn’t.  She woke up miserable, coughing, runny nose, burning hot forehead.  So we let her open her gifts from Santa while I called around for the nearest open urgent care.

Not how I wanted to spend my Christmas.

I spoke to the receptionist at the nearest emergency care facility who said we’re open, come on down, tossed on the nearest t-shirt and cleanest smelling yoga pants, tucked Kate into her car seat, and off we went.

On the way, I saw families walking, enjoying Christmas morning together.  I wanted to be enjoying Christmas with everyone in my family.  We were supposed to head over to my parent’s for brunch and gifts and coffee.  At a stoplight (one of many I hit on the way there and one of the only cars on the road), Kate said, “mama, it’s Jingle Bells.  Turn it up!”

So we mustered up our joy and sang Christmas songs all the way to the urgent care parking lot.  In the waiting room it was Kate and two teenage girls in various states of distress, what appeared to be the flu and a potential allergic reaction.  My first thought was ugh, uuugghhh, I don’t want to wait here, but then Kate snuggled into my lap and we watched various news segments on the funniest Christmas gifts and Kate snuggled into my chest and I stroked her hot forehead.  And I remembered how I’m working on leaning into gratefulness and rethinking my thoughts when life drives me crazy.

There we sat, snuggled together in the waiting room for an hour.  And then and hour while the kind nurse and doctor checked Kate over carefully and diagnosed a double ear infection.  As I wrapped my arms around Kate’s long body in the exam room chair, I thought, really, this is nothing.  Nothing compared to the heart ache and sadness many people face this time of year.  This is an inconvenience.  This is not an actual problem.  And so it wasn’t quite the Christmas morning I had in mind, definitely not a Pinterest or Instagram worthy moment of those I envy.  But it was a chance to think about how fortunate I am.  For the fact that these sick days are rare in our house, access to good care, a comfortable life.

On our way out, the nurse gave me a sympathetic smile and patted my back and said I’m sorry, I hope you have a good rest of your Christmas.  And I said, “No, please, thank you.  I’m the lucky one.”

#reverb13 | prompt 24 | crazy

December 24th, 2013 Posted by Lexicon, Reverb 2013, Reverb and Reflect, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “#reverb13 | prompt 24 | crazy”

#reverb13 is a prompt-a-day series for the month of December designed to reflect on 2013 and project on hopes and dreams for 2014.  Through December 31st Meredith, Kat and I will post each day with a new prompt.  Join us by writing, or join us by reading.   Follow us on Twitter @project_reverb and hashtag #reverb13.  Let’s reverb.

Crazy:  What little thing drove you crazy this year?  Was it unique to this past year or has it been buggin’ you for a while?  How do you intend to get rid of it or resolve it in 2014?

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+The traffic on 66.

+The traffic on 123.

+Everyone at Costco.

+Just sitting down to eat breakfast when someone calls me from the bathroom for assistance and my hot breakfast becomes cold.

+The amount of laundry that piles and piles and piles.

+Everything about the grocery.

+Having to eat with one hand while I feed someone with the other.

+Anything to do with vehicle maintenance.

+When the Internet breaks.

+Cleaning.

+Dealing with the insurance company.

+Waiting in line at CVS, waiting in line at the gas station, waiting in line to see the pediatrician.

I’m in the beginning stages of a book project, and several weeks ago I was interviewing someone for this project.  I was lamenting about the Stuff of Life that drives me crazy.  All these little hassles.  The repetitiveness of our days.  How it seems that so much of my life is spent dealing with menial tasks while a much smaller part of my life is spent doing those things I love.

He agreed.  Said, yes, those tasks are annoying.  But maybe it’s also in the way we look at those tasks.  Maybe we can see them as a time to be mindful – and grateful – for our lives.  That I get to be here, waiting for my Explorer to receive it’s annual inspection, because it means I have a safe car to drive.  And when the third person at Costco rams her cart into mine and cuts me in line, it’s a time to practice being zen, consider that maybe that woman is having a bad day.  Maybe something terrible is going on in her life.  And maybe not.  Maybe she’s just mean.  But who am I to say?  Let it go.  Be zen.  Practice mindfulness.

I have a knack for letting every little thing get under my skin, so I find myself burning up with frustrations.  And it requires a lot of energy to keep that up.  So I’ve been practicing letting this Stuff of Life just be a moment, a time to practice gratefulness, and to cling hard to those more joyous moments so they can be buoys to hoist up my mood in trying times.

#reverb13 | prompt 23 | the race set out for you

December 23rd, 2013 Posted by Lexicon, Reverb 2013, Reverb and Reflect, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “#reverb13 | prompt 23 | the race set out for you”

#reverb13 is a prompt-a-day series for the month of December designed to reflect on 2013 and project on hopes and dreams for 2014.  Through December 31st Meredith, Kat and I will post each day with a new prompt.  Join us by writing, or join us by reading.   Follow us on Twitter @project_reverb and hashtag #reverb13.  Let’s reverb.

The race set out for you: Tell us about how you’ve been running along in 2013 and the race(s) you intend to run in 2014.  These can be literal races, or just the road of life!  What did your path look like this year, and are you choosing the same for 2014?

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In some ways I’ve been hurdling bravely into lots of things with the potential for scariness.  Having another baby.  Deciding to tear down our home and build a new house.  Earning my AFAA certification.  Auditioning at another gymTaking BodyPump training.

And in other ways I’m running scared.  Scared to share my writing.  Scared to delve deeper into this idea of being my own business.  Scared to take on new ideas.  Because I’m scared things won’t work out.  I’m scared I’ll fail.  Fail in front of others.  Allow others to see I’m not perfect – and to realize it about myself.

But there are these pesky items I’ve had on my long-term dream list, things I’d like to try my hand at.  And these things aren’t life or death.  If I try and fail, nothing bad will happen.  Sure, I might get a bruised ego.  But if that’s the Worst Case Scenario, then really, is it worth running away scared?

While I don’t like making resolutions, per se, I am setting an intention that if the only thing holding me back is fear, then that’s not a great enough excuse.

I hope my path is filled with lots of things, lots and lots of things.  And if some of those things don’t work out, that’s okay, because I can pick a new path.

#reverb13 | prompt 22 | uphill

December 22nd, 2013 Posted by Lexicon, Reverb 2013, Reverb and Reflect, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “#reverb13 | prompt 22 | uphill”

#reverb13 is a prompt-a-day series for the month of December designed to reflect on 2013 and project on hopes and dreams for 2014.  Through December 31st Meredith, Kat and I will post each day with a new prompt.  Join us by writing, or join us by reading.   Follow us on Twitter @project_reverb and hashtag #reverb13.  Let’s reverb.

Uphill:  What uphill battle did you keep fighting and fighting in 2013?  Are you going to keep fighting it or let it go?  Why?

My gold star people.

My gold star people.

Gold stars.  Reassurance from others.  Needing – no – desperately requiring recognition from others.

I loved school because that’s where I got all my gold stars.  I had seven classes, seven opportunities for A+s and good job marks.  And in real life?  There are no accolades.  No one hands out the gold stars.  No student-teacher conferences where I’m told what a wonderful student I am.

So how am I to know if I’m doing a good job?  How am I to know if I’m a good writer, a good blogger?  A good fitness instructor?  A good parent?

I fought and fought and raged against myself in search of gold stars.  I’m no good unless someone says I am!

This was crazy making.  It made me crazy.  It made Dan crazy, as my partner, who does reassure me and gives me gold stars, even though I reject them because he’s my husband, so he has to say I’m great.

I desperately want a piece of paper that says I’m certified in X.  That’s why I like group fitness.  Because I have a certificate that says I’m certified in BodyStep and RPM and BodyPump.  But even with that, I don’t have a certificate that says Good BodyStep Instructor.  I feel all legitimate with a certificate.  A proof of a gold star.

So all year I fought an uphill battle, searching and searching for that certificate, those gold stars.  And I’m not finding any.  Because that’s adult, life, I suppose.  Got to give yourself gold stars.  So in 2014, yeah, I’m going to work on letting those gold stars go.

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