birthdays and bad habits.

Today was pretty much the most awesome day the Scoulars have had in quite a while. Probably since we were in Colorado. Madeleine turned six and we went full out. Keeping with tradition, she woke up to streamers on her door and balloons filling the hallway. Actually, she asked about it for the first time ever last night. “Am I going to have a 6 this year?” referring to the large number Bill always makes. “Nope,” we said, “we didn’t have time for balloons or anything. Dad might go make one in the morning or something.” Boy we had her fooled. We also took her to “test drive” bikes at Walmart after dinner last night, sneakily leading her to the bike we bought three days earlier and had hidden in the office.

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Needless to say, we had a pretty awesome morning. For breakfast we went to Munchers for strawberry cream cheese donuts and chocolate glazed with KU colored sprinkles and strawberry milk. Afterward, we went to Target to find an Elsa cake topper for her cupcake.

Then we had a meltdown. Madeleine is a model citizen when we’re in stores, admiring but not asking for everything all the time. But after being told yes all morning and then hearing a no about listening to the Monsters High doll display (seriously that thing is god awful), we had a monster Maddie on our hands. Thankfully, after a good talk in the car, the rest of the day was pretty spectacular.

What is that, the always wanting more? We all do it. I don’t do it as much as I once did but there are times where I just want more money, more clothes, more whatever, even though I have some seriously awesome shit in my life already.

A little backstory. Last Thursday night I went to yoga in the park with one of my favorite yoga teachers who moved to Boston but comes back to Lawrence occasionally. I was super looking forward to it. It was a lovely evening but holy lord did I get devoured by mosquitos. Through my clothes, on my face, they were relentless. Melissa kept us moving but we had to skip savasana for fear of being mosquito buffets.

Late Saturday afternoon my lower back started really hurting. I complained, bending over in the grocery store and stretching repeatedly. I laid on the couch the rest of the night. Sunday morning I woke up with a virus; swollen glands, a nasty red throat, fever, pain everywhere in my body. My joints ached, I had no strength in my hands and was completely exhausted. I laid around until I had to relieve Bill at a six-year-old’s birthday party (which was utter hell, I felt like garbage and this kid took seriously 45 minutes to meticulously open all her presents). I stayed home Monday, in bed and barely moving. I went to work the rest of the week, getting a lot done by sitting in my chair and not moving much. I “taught” yoga Thursday night, which was basically a farce, modifying each pose to not put any pressure on my wrists and barely opening my hips because of the excruciating pain. Thankfully I found a sweet sub for my Friday night Body Boutique class because I just couldn’t do it.

Fran, my sub, got me thinking. She expressed concern that I might have had a tick bite or something. Then I thought of the mosquitos. A quick google search for ‘Kansas mosquito-borne virus’ popped up with numerous articles from this summer about the chikungunya virus.

Now, I haven’t been diagnosed but as it’s a virus and there’s nothing a doctor can do anyway, I’m not paying someone to confirm it. I’m 99% sure this is what I have. It sucks. Somehow I got through my daughter’s kick ass birthday anyway because that’s what we do. Right?

My daughter’s birthday party at Laugh Out Loud was super fun, not just because the kids got to go insane but also because the kids’ parents were super cool. We all had a great time. I made redonkulously delicious mint chocolate chip cupcakes at Madeleine’s request (Bill, Maddie and I ate the frosting straight from the piping bag into our mouths this morning). We pretty much ate garbage all day, aside from the veggie salad I had at Chipotle for lunch.

Which also got me thinking. Of course, your birthday or your loved ones’ birthdays are the time to go nutballs and eat and do whatever it is you want to do because it’s your birthday and you can. But why is it so easy to stay slipped into those habits after the party ends? After Maddie’s transformation today, it finally clicked for me that sugar makes you a different person. It triggers that desire for more. It’s so flipping yummy but it flips a switch that is difficult to turn back off.

I’ve gained some weight this year and even though I sometimes struggle when I try on my skinnier jeans or look in the mirror, I’m honestly in a really good place. My weight is at a place of ease, no restricting of anything, eating mostly what feels good, and doing the movements I love: walking and yoga. In the past month or so I’ve been doing less of those movements, eating more of the sugary things that make me “feel good,” and yet I don’t feel good.

Even though we know exactly what’s good for us – what is proven to work not only on others but also on ourselves – why do we do the things that don’t serve us?

The CDC website says this virus can cause pain for a week or so but sometimes a month or more. I don’t want to be in that category. I have a distinct feeling that eating sugar in the amounts I have been would not serve me well in meeting that goal. I know I can do this, I’ve done it before, but I’m curious. How do you find ways to be consistent in doing the things that make you feel truly good?

Also, when in the fresh hell did I become the mother of a six year old?

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A slight addendum, as I wrote the post above late last night.

Life is weird. As Eliza’s mom pointed out, our girls are mature for their ages and sometimes it’s easy to take that for granted. Madeleine had a few six-year-old moments this weekend. Those times when you feel so strongly about something but just don’t know how to understand or express that feeling. Yes, the sugar and the yeses and the excitement amplified the situation, but we’ve all been there. Every single one of us has been six years old and felt those feelings. Life is weird because we’re all doing it every single day and not a single one of us really knows what we’re doing.

As such, I’m really curious to hear your responses to the questions I posed above:

Even though we know exactly what’s good for us – what is proven to work not only on others but also on ourselves – why do we do the things that don’t serve us?

How do you find ways to be consistent in doing the things that make you feel truly good?

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About sarahkscoular

Sarah K. Scoular (@sarahkscoular on twitter) has 15 years customer service experience including face to face, over the phone and via digital interactions. Sarah is currently Enterprise Community Manager for uCern, the enterprise 2.0 social platform where Cerner Associates and Clients connect and collaborate. She ensures the 100,000+ member network is connecting people with others in similar roles or special interest groups, sharing information and finding answers to the questions they're looking for. Sarah helps others who are helping to revolutionize Health Care. Outside of work, Sarah is the wife of a graphic designer/laser engraver and the mother of seven-year-old Madeleine. She loves to cook clean, plant-strong foods and is a certified yoga and Les Mills BODYFLOW instructor.
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