:: WHY WE BE ::

Boo to false, self-imposed limits, we say. These champion oracles want to live enthusiastically. Follow our trip through projects that challenge, frustrate, and/or scare us. In the end (which is really the middle) we want to live like big bright free and authentically awesome people.

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

COFFEE POST 5 – What P Said… (Stephany)

I could literally copy and paste the first part of Patresa’s post from yesterday. Middle finger, last ten days, MIDDLE FINGER!!! The most frustrating part of flying the bird in this instance is that I have to direct it mostly in my own general direction. (I actually just smiled as I typed that. P & T, surely you remember Megan saying this: “I fly the bird in your general direction.” Thanks, Megs; I needed that smile today!) It’s so much easier for me to try to fly the bird at the time and the lack of “results” from the last ten days, but the cold, hard truth is that I earned the bird.

I’m almost ashamed to post this, to tell you the truth. My last post was all about how thankful I am for the good stuff in my life – and there’s a LOT of that, and I’m TRULY thankful for all of it. This post… the middle-finger-pointing post… is quite different. Ah, life and ah, me, for allowing life to jack with my head like this… My apologies for the drastic difference in tone, but I think there has to be a reason for the last ten days. There’s gotta be!

Allow me to recap by goal:

1. U 2.0 - It’s been a trying couple of weeks on this front. And as of yesterday, I made some decisions that are going to complicate this even further… more later… If, however, you’re the praying kind, send some up for me. I’m going to need them. (Thanks, in advance!)

2. The Caffeine Kick – The last six days have been an EPIC FAIL in the realm of kicking the caffeine habit! E-P-I-C fail. My youngest came home from Thanksgiving with Dad a very sick little fella. After a visit to Express Care on Sunday, he and I spent the next two days at home, battling a fever, lots of snot, and a nasty cough. Sleep? Um, not so much… Coffee & Diet Cokes? Um, MULTIPLE. The rest of the week was spent playing catch-up at school, including a marathon session of grading Thursday night through Friday morning that came as a result of my famous procrastinating… Caffeine– too many to recall, Me – ZERO.

3. Training for the Half – Um, let me just say that I put in a whopping TWO miles in the last ten days… I did do a couple of ab workouts, but I didn’t go into the gym ONE time or follow my training schedule a single day. And I will not even discuss the amounts or kinds of food consumed over the Thanksgiving weekend. Yeah. Go me.

4. Book project – I made “some” progress on this project, but admittedly I said “some” because I’m choosing to be positive and look at this one glass-half-full. I did do some work on one story, and I’m feeling pretty good about that story. It’s a good one, truly.

5. Pondering studenthood – I didn’t put more than 30 minutes of thought into this decision, but I think my brain needed the break.

6. Co-parenting – I survived a first over Thanksgiving. I survived it. Thanksgiving was the first holiday the kids spent with Dad, away from me. They had a good time, which I’m thankful for, and we all made it. It was gut-wrenchingly awful, though, to hand them over. And for the first time, I had to answer the question I dreaded: “Where are the kids?” My reply: “They’re with their Dad, having a ball, I’m sure.” MIDDLE FINGER without question or hesitation on this one. I doubt I’ll ever get used to this one, but maybe someday I’ll not feel the urge to fly the middle finger every single time. (A girl can hope, right?)

Goals for the next ten days:

1. U 2.0 – I’m going to tackle the devil head-on. You have no idea how literally I mean this. I’m petrified in a way I haven’t been in an extremely long while. HOWEVER, it’s the absolutely right thing to do, and my fear will NOT allow for the rest of my life to be dictated to me. That’s one of the reasons for U 2.0 in the first place, and I will not allow it. WILL NOT ALLOW IT.

2. Caffeine Kickin’ – ONE CUP A DAY. Despite the fact that caffeine made it possible for me to get through last week, it’s time to return to normal. With my new fave creamer (Peppermint Mocha) in the fridge, that’s going to be tough; it’s so dangerously delicious. I will have ONLY one cup per day and will just have to savor it.

3. Training - Tom Holland, P, & T, my apologies, however I WILL return to the program on Monday. I will follow the training schedule you so carefully designed and printed for me. I will eat like I’m fueling a healthy, active body and not like a group of seven depressed teen-aged girls whose boyfriends just dumped them so now they don’t have dates to the Prom. This may require regular infusions of Advil, Beano, and ice packs, but April 17 is approaching rapidly. Besides, the bones held together by the screw in my knee feel every extra OUNCE of weight on my frame, let alone the 2.5-ish pounds I have packed on in the last two weeks! This is going to hurt, but the burn will be so good in the long run. It has to be! It WILL BE, so good.

4. Book project – I’m going to make contact with a couple more sources this week, and I so look forward to hearing their stories. Beyond adding to the chapters of the book, I always feel so empowered, so convicted, so humbled, so encouraged by the women I talk to. These are tremendous women who are a real example, and I could use some of that right now – in a BIG way!

5. Co-parenting – I’m going to stop making comparisons between Dad and Mom. I’m going to start focusing again on making the most of the time I have with these kiddos. I’m going to remember that my example can be just as detrimental as Dad’s can be. I want to have fun with the kids and still teach them what they need to know, just like I always have. That doesn’t have to change, and I have almost allowed it to at times, especially lately. Today, for instance, we’re going to take care of household stuff after church and then go have some fun rocking & rolling at the skating rink for the first time in months! That’s how we always used to do things, how it should be, and how it’s going to be again. I’m looking forward to this!

Middle finger, last ten days. Middle finger, me. Okay, I think I have that out of my system now. It’s time now to re-focus and re-purpose and get back to the business of being ME and living life as it ought to be lived. Wish me luck, send up some prayers, and I wish you a week free of middle fingers!


Tanner May (Tanya) said...

Stephany Kimball, I am sending you two things right at this moment. 1. A high five. 2. A hug.

You know, training for anything is not easy, and you have started training, which is the BIGGEST step. First steps are always the most most mostest important, so I high five your 2 mi in the last few days and congratulate you in advance for the soul boosting kick a%* training you will get to do next. I also LOVE what you said about fueling a happy and healthy body. I could go on and on regarding the mind body connection and how treating our bodies as respectfully with food "fuel" is as important as keeping the Positive Polly thoughts as the driving forces in our noggins .

Thanks for reminding me of the Megan Francis quote! I giggled at that one. Love that chickadee, I bet she would love that reminder of her words too! I do wonder where "the bird" got associated with the middle finger... maybe I will research this further. :)

Mostly, I want to tell you that I very much respect your honesty around your feelings with parenthood. I support you Sister S, and I will send those prayers. No problem. Your kids are so so lucky to have you. When I talk about hitting the jackpot with my dad, I have no doubt that your children feel this way about you.

Rock on Steph COFFEE.

patresa said...

middle fingers UNITE! (and fabulous job taking responsibility, too, might i add!)

u 2.0… this is intriguing, ms. steph. i am saying "hmmm" and scratching my chin. at any rate, u 1.0 was pretty fantastic. imperfect? yes. mistakes? yes. but crappy 1.0's never even think of 2.0's. so… you will handle this new glitch with strength and kickassery.

coparenting sounds really really hard. thanksgiving must have been really really really hard. if it's any consolation, i know a lot of very successful co-parenters who work it out in a positive way and who have happy, health, loving kids. you will create this, too, i am sure.

yay for the book project! that sounds like progress, right?

training… blech. i'm with you on this one, too. and i am feeling it. since the marathon, i've gained 5 pounds, and i feel all 5 of it. all 5. ebb and flow, i suppose. let's get back at it, shall we?

caffeine kicking. i cannot comment on this, stephany. this is too unimaginably horrific to me. hORRIFIC. i drink coffee all day long (except, in the evenings, i switch to wine). i rationalize: "It's not crack." but it kind of is. oh my.

next round, i'm sure we'll be all THUMBS UP!

i'm high-fiving you, because you are lovely and good.

patresa said...

hey, i just published comment and then popped up tanya's comment. we BOTH high-fived you! that makes 10!

Wendy said...

I am a little late, but I wanted to add my high-five, too, for a grand total of 15! See, Steph, you're not doing so bad! ;-)

Co-parenting... oh that must be really tough. So sorry you had to spend Tgiving without your little loves. But I think your idea to cut out the comparisons to your M&D is a great, tangible step.
I have to say that I think that rocks that you took your kids roller skating after church! What fun, and what a great memory!

Don't be too hard on yourself about the caffeine... you did have extenuating circumstances that called for a change of plans. I know that this week will be better.

Chin up, li'l buckaroo! This week is a gnu one and it's gonna get better.

T-Free said...

Me too! Me too! What P and Stephany said! My middle finger too, universe!!! :)

And you are so right about aiming that darned finger right back at ourselves. I've been making excuses, knowing I'm just making excuses, and then still letting them be excuses. Sigh.

I think we need an official COFFEE rule that there will be no dietary expectations on anyone on holidays. It's just too mean to expect us to stare at all the good food and not eat it. Unfair!

Yay for book project progress!! Woo-hoo! And high-five for glass-half-fulling it, sister!

Oh, my. Thanksgiving as your first co-parenting holiday. That's rough. Hugs for you. Sounds like you handled it beautifully.

Oh, boy. Nothing like a sick kid the throw a wrench in the works, eh? I hope your little guy is doing better and you have a peaceful, calm chunk of time soon, during which you can knock the caffeine monkey off your back.

My husband loves that Peppermint Mocha creamer too! He's hoarding it since it's only around during the holidays. Have you thought about allowing yourself a cup of decaf, or mixing decaf with your regular to cut down on the caffeine? I 50/50 it with Starbucks decaf and regular every morning, have 1.5 cups, then have tea or 100% decaf in the afternoon if I'm craving something warm. Sometimes I just really like the warm cup in my hands, more than it being about the caffeine. The warmth is so soothing. I can't even tell the difference in the coffee since I started adding decaf so gradually. Just a thought.

This is hilarious: "I will eat like I’m fueling a healthy, active body and not like a group of seven depressed teen-aged girls whose boyfriends just dumped them so now they don’t have dates to the Prom."

You are really funny. :)

Way to re-focus! Sending you luck and prayers! Go, Stephany, go! Two high-fives from me for a total of TWENTY-FIVE!

Steph said...

Tawni, I'm going to do an experiment. I bought an extra Peppermint Mocha creamer at the store yesterday. I put it in the freezer, where I will leave it for one week. After the week, I'm going to take it out and put it in the fridge. When it thaws, I'm hoping that it'll be as yummy as it was before the freeze. If this works, I'll let you know so the hubster can stock up!

Girls, THANKS for the TWENTY-FIVE! I can never get enough "up highs..." Love it. You continue to bless me, and I appreciate it!

amy said...

1-You have my prayers, Stephany. I bet U 2.0 will be super powerfully fantastic, no matter what adversarial situations pop up.

2a-I'm officially off caffeine myself right now, though I'm drinking so much decaf coffee I'm probably still highly caffeinated anyway. I hear there are still traces of caffeine in decaf coffee...THAT'S how much decaf coffee I've consumed.

2b-if somebody is sick and a marathon grading session is involved, it's not a Fail to add some caffeine back into your day. It's a Survival Technique. Dude, that's Teaching 101. (Teaching 102 teaches you that Survival Techniques must be accompanied by many different comfort foods.)

3-Co-parenting takes guts and maturity and a lot (a lot) of strength. You are doing a billion times better than so many other people who have to send their children off with the other parent for a holiday, SO much better. I've heard the horror stories...I can imagine how gut wrenching it would be to not be with Melissa for a holiday, and so--big hugs and I raise my own middle finger in salute to your strength, S.

4-I wish you 5 tons of courage and strength and 4 weeks straight with no middle fingers in sight. You can DO it, Stephany. You can DO it!

Katie said...

Hi Stephany! I'm sorry I'm so late in posting, but I'm trying to catch up!

You know, they all sound like such fabulous goals, and I like how you've structured them for the next 10 days too. THAT is a plan, my friend. However, I have to say, the scariest part for me would definetely be the co-parenting. Now, I don't have children and likely won't any time soon, but I know how hard it is to share my toothpaste with someone, and I can't imagine the kind of cooperation you will need so you don't bust the toothpaste. That would be very hard to for me, and thusly I admire the poop right out of you Steph!! And striving to be a better person throughout is icing on the cake.

Also, I hear you on the training. Clearly, I have abandoned all attempts to even fake like I am interested in working out, but I admire your 2 days and ab workouts! I'm sure the next 10 days holds many miles!

Chin up and finger out girl, you've done lots to be proud of, and I admire your progress!

patresa said...

"chin up and finger out" … that DEFINITELY belongs on a tshirt!