MBA Mommy

Part MBA, Part MRS, Part MOM…..All ME

Posts Tagged ‘balance’

Bad Habit?

Posted by mbamommy on August 9, 2012

I’ve decided I’m going to start smoking again.

Ok, which part of that statement is more shocking to you? That I’m going to start smoking? Or that I’m actually admitting to having smoked in the past? Yes, it’s true. For those who haven’t known me my whole life, I haven’t always been….well…angelic. I made some bad choices. I tried a few things. I broke a couple rules. And I had a blast doing it. Sue me.

I know, I know. I know all the research. Smoking is bad. It makes you smell bad. It makes your breath stink. It’s bad for other people. It could even kill you. Blah, blah, blah.

Ok, I’ll admit it, I don’t miss smoking. I don’t miss how much they cost. Or having my wardrobe smell like a bar. Or smelling like a bar myself the morning after. I appreciate the additional lung capacity that quitting has given me (Crossfit would be waaayyyy more challenging if I still smoked). And, hey, those holes in your neck are a pretty big turnoff. As are the wrinkles and the raspy voice.

But let’s focus on the positives here, people. Well….maybe just one positive. And it’s an important one! Ready for it?

Smoke Breaks

Back when I smoked, I took smoke breaks. I still see people taking them now (of course, it’s usually at least 50 yards away from the entrance of a building, right by the dumpster, in freezing cold weather….). I took them at work. If I remember correctly, I think employers were legally required to allow a smoke break every hour. I remember co-workers who didn’t smoke being jealous of that break. And, I took them with friends. I’d walk outside, get 10 minutes of fresh(?) air, chat with some peeps or just stand by myself there smoking. It was like a built in 10 minute self (or friend) check-in multiple times a day.

And, boy, I do miss that.

Ok, so maybe picking up smoking in order to slow down and take breaks throughout the day isn’t the most intelligent idea I’ve ever had. There are some serious health risks involved, after-all. But, whaddya say we re-implement those mandatory self check-ins? Those 10 minutes every couple hours to grab a friend, stand outside and chat? I can’t see anything wrong with that!

Fine. I won’t pick up smoking again. I’ll just pick up smoke breaks.

Posted in ME | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Make it Count

Posted by mbamommy on August 7, 2012

In my last couple posts, I’ve made reference to the fact that there’s been a lot of change around here recently, which led to my blog absence. In some sense it’s been pretty life changing. All good changes, thankfully, nothing like going through Z’s diagnosis a couple years ago, but life changing nonetheless.

Almost exactly a year ago today, I posted about my life as a slot machine. Well, the slots have stopped. The Refresh button has been pressed. FINALLY!

The kids are fully entrenched in their languange immersion school. They’re doing so well that S actually won a speech contest earlier this year. They’re making friends, having fun and learning a ton. What more could I ask for?

J’s job is going great. He’s loving it and is on a fantastic career track.

We bought a HOUSE. We’re no longer renting our teeny tiny temporary home and have found our dream house. I’m never moving again. Seriously, it’s from here to the old folks home. I can walk the kids to school. I can walk to Starbuck’s. I can walk to the parks, the pool and my friend’s houses. It’s an easy commute to downtown and basically anywhere else I’d want to go in Denver. I’m so thrilled to have found it and so happy to have that stability in our lives.

I found a JOB. A full time job, working at a really great digital agency, managing top brand clients, making more money than I expected and with a Senior Director title.

I quit that JOB. A full time agency job, with all its stressors, travel, and demands on my time and mental bandwidth turned out to not be what I wanted. I could have done the job. We, as a family, could’ve manage the travel, the hours, the chaos, the craziness. But I realized that I didn’t WANT to. Yes, it was great to have the extra money. Yes, it was fun to be challenged and work with smart, engaging peeps. But, I wasn’t sleeping. I was eating poorly, not working out and drinking too much. I wasn’t healthy and I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t being true to myself and playing to my strengths.

I started another JOB. A part time, work at home opportunity with my previous client. This one is perfect. Just enough responsibility without requiring me to be on call 24/7. Minimal travel (only once a year), working with great folks in an industry I love and with the flexibility required to keep my family running smoothly. I’m making some money, not a ton, but some.

And, who knows, maybe someday it’ll lead to something more. But for now, it’s allowing me the balance I so deeply crave. It’s allowing the MBA, the MOM, the MRS and the ME to have equal opportunity to shine. I’m happy and I’m being true to myself.  Not all the time, of course. I’ve certainly had my moments. This is life, not a game show, afterall. But, with the balance I’ve created, worked for and am lucky enough to have, I can handle those moments better.

I can (dare I say it?) have it all.

The morning after I left my previous job I looked at myself in the mirror and said, “This is the first day of the rest of your life.”

Now that we’ve completed the refresh of our lives I can actually start living it. Between Crossfit, eating well, working part time, playing with the kids, playing with J and living in Colorado, I think I can make it count.

Posted in MBA, ME, MOM, MRS | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Shout Out

Posted by mbamommy on November 24, 2011

I was perusing Facebook this morning, seeing everyone’s comments about Thanksgiving and what they’re thankful for and it got me thinking. I wasn’t planning on writing a Thanksgiving focused post, but everyone’s comments made me realize I had something to say today. What am I thankful for?  Of course I’m grateful for my friends and family and for their and my good health. That, in my opinion, goes without saying. Without friends and family and without health….well….that’s just not a life I want to lead.

So, then I got to thinking about are all the things I’m thankful for that allow me to live my life. This life. Not the one I imagined. Or had conjured up in my head when I was young and naive. But my day to day real life. So, below are the list of things that I’m giving a shout out to today (in no particular order). And, I promise to do my best to support these things as much as they’ve supported me.

I’m thankful for….

  • HIMAT – without which we would never be able to consider private school or purchasing a home
  • My Angels – without whom I would be completely lost in this world of Asperger’s
  • Early intervention – without which I would be completely lost in this world of Asperger’s
  • Weighted vests – which have made such a difference in impulse control and executive functioning for my little man
  • Education – on so many levels: my degrees, my kid’s budding bilingualism, my understanding of my son
  • My husband’s job – for providing us with so much
  • My job – for its work-life balance
  • That I live today and not at an earlier point in history – all in, I think we have it pretty good
  • My iPhone (yes, it’s made that much of a difference in my and my family’s lives)
  • My arms and legs – which allow me to do all the things I do throughout the day
  • Living in Colorado – because no matter what happens on a bad day, it’s happening here and that makes everything brighter
  • My daughter – my constant ray of sunshine
  • Social media – because how else would I be able to re-connect with people I haven’t seen in 15-20 years?
  • Straight irons – without which my hair would be a complete mess
  • Skype/FaceTime – which allows me to be with my family no matter how far away we are
  • My blog – for being my outlet  and YOU for loaning me your ears (eyes?) and hearts
  • Toddler alarm clocks that change when it’s time to get up – because otherwise I’d be starting my day at 5am
  • Kid’s Clubs at the gym – for giving my little sensory seeker a means to get his squirmy worms out while mommy gets to exercise
  • My Toyota Highlander – the most reliable, safe-feeling mode of transportation I’ve ever had

There’s more…and maybe throughout the day I’ll continue adding as I think of things. But, for now, I think this is a good start.

What about you?

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Drinking the Kool-Aid

Posted by mbamommy on August 11, 2011

Have you ever heard that phrase?  For some reason I’ve been hearing it a lot recently.  So, I decided to do a little Wikipedia research (have I mentioned I’m a big fan of Wikipedia?) about where it came from.  I always thought it came from Tom Wolfe’s “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test“.  Turns out I’m wrong:

Drinking the Kool-Aid” is a metaphor, used in the United States and Canada, that means to become an unquestioning believer in some ideology, or to accept an argument or philosophy wholeheartedly or blindly without critical examination. The phrase can sometimes have a negative connotation, or can be used ironically. The basis of the term is a reference to the November 1978 Jonestown Massacre, where members of the Peoples Temple were said to have committed suicide by drinking a “Kool-Aid”-like drink laced with cyanide.

Sweet.  Glad I’m using it in my day-to-day vocabulary.  And I always thought it was such a positive phrase.

But…since I am using it…and since I like the phrase, I decided to do a list of all the non-cyanide laced Kool-Aid I’ve been drinking recently.

  • Working out at 5:30am in the morning with J.  Man, is it tough, but boy is my day great afterwards
  • Not drinking (see above)
  • Meditating
  • Being Present (see above)
  • Living Primally
  • Vibram 5 Fingers (see above)
  • Yoga
  • Social Media
  • Summer in Colorado
  • Writing
  • Pottery
  • Taking time for myself
  • Taking time with friends

What about you?  Drank any Kool-Aid lately?  Let me know what you’re inspired by!  Maybe if we get enough peeps talking about positive Kool-Aid drinking, it’ll debunk the negative connotation…thereby allow MBA Mommy to enjoy using the phrase without feeling guilty. 🙂

Posted in ME | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

From Here to There, From There to Here…..

Posted by mbamommy on August 4, 2011

…funny things are everywhere.

I realized yesterday that it was a year ago this week that our migration to Colorado began.  J had just received his job offer and I jumped on a plane and spent 4 days looking at rentals, schools and therapy providers.

Was it really just a year ago?  It feels like a lifetime and a minute all rolled into one.  So much has happened in a year and so much more will happen as we go forward (ugh….I shouldn’t try to be philosophical before I have my coffee in the morning…that was terrible).

I have an analogy I like to use to describe my family’s situation right now.  You know how when you play a slot machine, you pull the the lever (or, I guess these days you just press a button), and the slots spin around and around, slowing down one by one until they line up along the line?  And then you see what you’ve won?  I feel like our life is kind of like that slot machine.  The first slot has stopped spinning….the kids/school situation.  The second one is slowing….J’s job situation.  The third one is still spinning and will need to continue until the other two are in place (me!).

To go in more depth about that, I should give a (semi) brief update on how everyone’s doing.

Z is doing amazingly well.  When we first got here and he started preschool with his IEP and private therapy services, they had to do a lot of interventions to help him regulate his sensory overloads and learn how to play with other kids.  We (J, I, his therapists and the teachers) literally had to teach him how to play.  And, not just the turn-taking stuff that every kid has to learn. We also had to teach him to read expressions, understand the give and take of a conversation and how to be flexible enough to allow other people (adults first and then kids) influence the games they were playing without having a complete meltdown when he wasn’t scripting everything.  In the beginning, the OT would bring him in from recess early and take him to the ‘motor room’ where she had a swing and a dark, quiet corner where he could wind down.  Otherwise, his sensory system completely overloaded with the transition from playground to loud, chaotic bathroom to sitting down in a classroom.  By the end of the year, not only was he a part of every minute of the class, he was helping other kids resolve conflicts and the SpEd team was using games/therapies they usually reserve for kindergarteners because he blew through the more age appropriate stuff!

It wasn’t an easy road in the least.  I spent a lot of my time driving him to and from school and therapy (he spent 10 hrs a week in school and 10 hrs a week in therapy).  But the teams he worked with were all angels…truly seeing my son and his strengths and using those strengths to work through the weaknesses.  One example: Z is obsessed with airplanes.  Has been for as long as I can remember.  So, his school OT created a game where she’d ask him “How is your engine running?  Fast, like an F-16?  Just right, like a Blackhawk? Or slow, like a Bi-plane?”  She used it to help him identify how he was feeling and she altered the traditional usage from Winnie the Pooh (fast like Tigger, just right like Pooh or slow like Eeyore) to something he could relate to.  She made charts for school, home and his private therapy so we could all use it.  He loved it and was able to identify how he was feeling and we could help him regulate from there.

A year ago, Z would scream when we washed his hair during bath.  He HATED getting his hair and face wet and we’d have to take extra precautions not to get water in his face or ears….I think it actually hurt him somehow.  We started swim lessons at the beginning of the summer and for weeks he would cry and get upset whenever his teacher wanted him to put his head under water.  And then…one day…BAM….he was swimming.  Something clicked in that little head of his and now we can’t keep him ABOVE water!  He graduated to the next level of swim school.  He’s extremely strong and can swim a good ways across the pool underwater.  We’re at the pool all weekend, with him jumping in, swimming to us and back to the wall, jumping off our shoulders, playing with older kids…he even ventured into the deep end last weekend!  J and I look at each other sometimes and say, “Is that really our little Z?!”

Before we moved here, I heard horror stories about services available in Colorado.  How the schools weren’t great, how there weren’t experienced service providers, insurance didn’t cover autism related services, etc etc.  I have to say that I’ve had nothing but amazing experiences with everyone who’s worked with Z.  They were right about insurance….the situation is abominable….I’ve even thought about getting in touch with Erin Brokovich to see if she could make a difference, but I’ve been a little busy with my own little life so far.

So….Z’s doing so well that we stopped therapy for the summer.  I don’t think we’ll be starting ABA again but we are in the process of getting OT rolling again.  He’s still got some challenges regulating himself (what 4yo doesn’t, right?) and because of his new school environment (more on that in a minute) we think it’s still important to have outside support.

The biggest change (for me, at least) is my relationship with me.  A year ago, he could take me or leave me.  He was ALL about Daddy.  I would have to coerce affection out of him.  For some reason, he just wasn’t interested in hugging and kissing me…or anyone else for that matter…just Daddy.  There were nights when I would go into his room to say goodnight when he and Daddy were reading and J would be close to threatening him with timeout so that he’d give me a hug. I always stopped him before it got to that point, satisfying myself with just blowing him a kiss.  And, I understood what was going on.  But, it still sucked.

He still fights me at every turn.  His logical little brain constantly looks for ways to rationalize his way out of doing his chores or anything else I tell him to do.  He questions everything and refuses to accept a half answer, which I mistakenly try to give him sometimes.  But instead of hitting, scratching, biting, kicking when I say no to him, he (mostly) accepts it.  Pouting and telling me he’s mad at me of course…..but a FAR cry from our arguments of a year ago.  Folks, he TELLS me he’s mad.  Do you understand how HUGE that it?

Anyway, our relationship has changed and evolved into something I treasure.  He asks for me to read books to him at night.  He asks me to cuddle with him.  He comes to me when he’s upset.  He freely gives me hugs and kisses, even sometimes without me asking for them.  He tells me he loves me and squeezes even harder.  Those parents of kiddos on the spectrum that are reading this will understand how unbelievably precious this is.  Those parents of NT kiddos…..please cherish each and every hug, they are a blessing.  I find myself waiting until he lets go to end an embrace because every hug reminds me of when I used to not get them.  And I never want them to stop.  Hopefully now they won’t (at least until high school and I’m a constant embarrassment to him).

OK, so now little S….who’s not so little anymore.  My baby girl.  What can I say about her?  Well….not much without getting teary.  She’s our angel, she’s our diva, she’s the light of our house and she can just as easily bring our home crumbling down around her with her tantrums.  She’s growing a very funny, very sweet, very LARGE personality.  Her teachers all love her and comment on her dramatic way of talking.  She’s all hand gestures and exaggerated facial expressions.  She’s a smart little lady who excels at everything big bro doesn’t: relationships, friends, reading people….street smarts to his book smarts.  She’s a tough little girl who won’t back down to bullying by big bro.  She’s a natural athlete who can throw a ball better than Z.  She’s not afraid of anything and is usually the one leading Z into trying new things (like swimming).  She’s my girly-girl who loves all things pink (including her elephants) but is dirty from head to toe at the end of every day.  She idolizes big bro, is a Daddy’s girl and has an amazing bond with Mommy.  She’s a snuggler and a cuddler and a jokester all in one.  What’s the saying?  “When she’s good she’s very very good.  And when she’s bad she’s terrible.”?  Something like that.  Well, that’s my S.  She’s stubborn, independent and opinionated. (I have NO idea where she gets that). She keeps us on our toes and laughing all the time.  I remember being terrified of having a girl….and now I couldn’t imagine life without her.

So…school.  We’ve decided to send the kids to a language immersion school to learn Mandarin.  They’re in camp at the school this summer and they both LOVE it.  They come home every day with new words, new songs, new friends.  J and I are so far extremely impressed with the school, the community, the education….we’re so excited we found this for our kids.

And, because that first slot has stopped moving, everything else can slowly fall into place.  The kids are in a great spot…they’ve got their groove on.  And it’s so wonderful to see after all we’ve been through.

As for J….well, he’s getting his groove on too.  I’ll write more about his marathon in another post (or, maybe have him write it? hmmm….) but as far as getting involved in the Denver community and finding a good job fit…well, it’s all there.  Now that my gregarious, outgoing husband is out from behind his desk and doing what he was born to do, his career path is bright and solid.  His “thing” this summer is golf and he’s taking full advantage of the Colorado summer to get out on the course and hack away.  Recently, he and I began a workout program called Insanity.  The workout is hard….insane, if you will.  But what’s truly insane is we get up at 5:30am in the morning to do it.  Crazy, right?  But, it’s been fun.  It helps your motivation when the person who’s sleeping next to you is pushing you out of bed when the alarm goes off.  It’s motivating to hear the huffing and puffing and under-your-breath swearing going on right next to you.  It’s an amazing way to wake up and keep your energy going throughout the day.  And, if NOTHING else goes right for the rest of the day, at least you worked out!  J and I end every workout high fiving and fist bumping.  It’s fun to have something new to do together.  And, boy, do we sleep well!

I know I was the driving force behind us moving to CO, but he’s certainly a willing participant.  He drank the kool-ade and we’re both loving living here.

And, finally, me.  Well, my slot is still spinning.  There are a lot of things that still need to be finalized before mine stops.  Things like finally selling our house in NC (we have a contract but it’s contingent on them selling their house).  Things like figuring out whether I want to/need to and can/can not go back to work full time.  And, what will that look like?  Where would I work full time?  Do I  formalize the contract/consulting I’m doing now?  Do I want to?  And, what’s best for my family?  For me?  So many questions.

But, that’s all really ok.  Because, I’m having the time of my life right now.  J and I have dubbed this summer the “Summer of MBA Mommy”.  I’m working part time and the kids are in camp all day.  I’ve got free time to do the things I want to do (yoga, blog, reading, writing, walking, seeing friends) and free time to do the things I need to do.  I’m making some money….not a ton….but not nothing either.  I’ve written before about wanting to Be Present in my life and I will write more about Finding Balance.  I feel that I’ve struck the perfect balance this summer.  Frankly, I feel like I’ve won the lottery.  Freedom during the summer in Colorado?  There’s not much more I could ask for….well, except for someone to buy our buyer’s house so I can stop my obsessive online house hunting and start for real….anyone in the market for a new house in Raleigh?  I know a GREAT one you could buy. 🙂

Because then? JACKPOT.

Posted in ASPERGER'S, AUTISM, MBA, ME, MOM, MRS | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

I am Zen Mommy

Posted by mbamommy on April 12, 2011

(Jacquie W, if you’re reading this, yes, I’m borrowing your FB post line from way back when.  Hope that’s ok!)

In this recent quest of mine to stop being stupid via focusing on one thing at a time (aka STOP multitasking), I’ve discovered meditating.  OK…..stop laughing…rolling your eyes….groaning…I KNOW. Meditating?  Really?  Dude, I’ve totally moved back to CO, right?  Next thing you know, I’ll stop shaving, grow dreadlocks and start following the Dead.  Oh wait…they’re dead (at least Jerry, and, come on, he’s the only one I know).

Besides, I already tried on the hippie bit back in college in Boulder….it didn’t fit….I like showering too much.

But, I digress.

Yes, folks.  Meditating.  Now, you have to understand, this is not the first step down this path that I’ve taken.  I’ve been eating (mostly) Primal for about 6 months (more on that in another post), with much leeway to fall off the wagon, I buy almost 100% organic, I get my milk delivered to my doorstep from a local dairy, I work out regularly (including yoga) and I recently went to a Naturopath.

I’m guessing your starting to say “Huh?” and “Why?”.  Or just shaking your head and thinking “Man, that altitude has really gotten to her.”  And, yes, folks, even though it’s legal in this state for medicinal purposes, I am NOT smoking anything.

This is all in the pursuit of being a better ME.  Being a better MBA, a better MOM, a better MRS…and mostly just a plain old better ME.

See, I didn’t realize it while it was happening, but the past few years have been nuts.  With so much going on, so much to deal with, so many changes, I kind of lost touch with the present.  And, apparently, that’s what meditation is all about.  Being present. Frankly, that’s what all these life changes are about.

I know that sounds a little odd, but think about it.  How much of your time is spent thinking/reliving the past or stressing/planning for the future?  When you’re multitasking: getting the kids breakfast ready, checking email, feeding the dog, thinking about the day, remembering something you forgot to do, writing up a grocery list, thinking about your work project, forgetting to shower or brush your hair…..how much are you actually missing?  I mean, do you actually taste the food you cook?  Do you look at your kids?  Do you listen to what they’re saying?  Do you see their desire to interact with you?

Sadly, I sure don’t.  I’m so focused on doing, finishing, checking things off my list, moving, moving, moving.  And, at the end of the day, my to do list is still there….but my kids will be in college.  And, I really don’t want to look back and think about all the times I missed out on.  Honestly?  I don’t want to spend too much time thinking about the past at all.  Because I want to be able to enjoy NOW.  I’m realizing that as much as I keep saying I want a break from my life, to take a vacation or just sleep in….what I really want to do is focus on the here and now.  ‘Cause you know what?  It’s pretty damn good.  My kids are amazing and getting more amazing each day.  And my husband is wonderful.  And I don’t want to ever take any of that for granted.

In the immortal words of Ferris, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

So, I’m trying it.  Just like I’m trying all these other things.  So far, eating Primal is making my body feel better (my mom has celiac’s….I’m guessing I’m at least slightly gluten sensitive), eating organic and local just plain tastes better (and makes me feel better knowing I’m doing something ‘green’), working out…well, we all know the benefits of that…..and the naturopath has given me some options outside medicine to even out my crazy mood swings (and oh by the way….working a heck of a lot better!).

I’ve only really meditated a few times, but I can already feel the difference.  You’re probably saying, “it’s just in your head”.  Well, yeah, it is.  And that’s where it’s supposed to be.  I’m calmer, more relaxed, more willing to play and SEE my kids, more focused and less “multitasked”.

Who knows if it’s meditation, any of a combination of the above changes I’ve made or simply a placebo affect.  But, you know what?  Who cares.

What about you?  What do you do to find your inner Zen?

Posted in MBA, ME, MOM, MRS | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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