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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Run and Run and Run and Run and Run

At Tot Shabbat, our friend Julia does an exercise with the kids where she does a physical activity, and then makes them stop. Eventually she gets to running and says, "What happens if you run and run and run and run and run and run and never stop?" and the kids reply "You get tired!" It's supposed to indicate the importance of Shabbat and taking some time to rest.

But my endless internal monologue spits back "You never stop? Then you're a working mommy."

Now I realize we've all got our things, and that feeling of never stopping is by no means limited to working moms. However, that's what resonates with me.

Since the start of 2011, I can't shake the feeling that I've been running quite a bit (but have yet to see any related weight loss - darn). Work has been insane. In a good way, as I very much prefer being busy, but it's just been a lot. Throw in four snow days and lots of commuting hassles and it's been a real challenge. I'm now working from home one day a week, and I think it's going to do wonders for my sanity, and I'm thankful to have that option.

Besides Hannah and Max's birthdays and parties, the kids have attended four birthday parties and had to turn down a few invitations as well. I went to Abby's book launch party and a Super Bowl party at Emily and Ari's. I participated in Sisterhood Shabbat and actually read a book (a rare event for me). I've tried to recruit people to attend our synagogue's first ever retreat, and agreed to be on a panel for our upcoming Yom Hashoah (Holocaust remembrance) event (hello, speaking in front of 1000 people!). Finally, I went to see the president of my favorite network, Bravo, speak at an event and have her validate my love of Real Housewives, house flippers and Tori & Dean. And of course, there's the usual shopping and schlepping, but I'm sure there's been more of that than usual too.

It's all been great and I've wanted to do everything, but at the same time it's been too much. There are too many Sundays spent running from one thing to the next, cramming in loads of laundry and doing dishes as I go. So this weekend I am determined to get in more down time. We have to pack for our trip, but I'm going to make a real effort not to make myself crazy. And while we're away, I am going to try really hard to enjoy being away and slow down and take in the moments.

Because my sneakers have worn through, and I'm not planning to buy another pair for a while.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I Can't Help Falling (in Love with Yaktrax)

For those of you who don't know me well, one important thing you should know is that I fall.

Often.

Okay, well, not every day, but often enough that I've sustained some pretty swell (pun intended) injuries from it. I think my first major fall was junior year of high school, which led to a sprained ankle. There were some safe intervening years, but I had a lovely fall while majorly pregnant with Hannah down an icy hill at the end of 2003. When she was just a week old, and coming home from a cardiology appointment with her Grandma Susan there to witness it, I fell going down the few steps into our Brookline condo (thank goodness for the infant carseat / baby bucket). Then there was "The Fall That Started It All" in November 2005, when I was wheeling Hannah in her stroller down the daycare steps, and fell with her stroller landing on top of me, which I believe was the initiation of all my back problems. Of course, I also fell while pregnant with Max right before Thanksgiving (so only 8 months along that time). The arrival of Max just happened to coincide with me starting to break my bones, first with Extreme Strawberry Picking in June 2008, and then during an episode of the Winter Blahs in January 2009 (my heel and a finger, respectively).

So I've got quite a history with falling. I trip over toys, over my own feet, pretty much anything. But walking on ice and snow is by far the worst, and I find it totally terrifying. Basically, I can have a panic attack on my walk home from the train. But those days have come to an end.

After at least a year of hearing about it regularly from my friend Ana, I went ahead and purchased a pair of Yaktrax Walkers. The elasticized plastic wraps snugly around my boots and the steel coils grip the ice beneath my feet. Since I've worn them, my feet haven't slipped even the slightest bit while walking outside (and while I gag having to write it, you should know that we've got about 4' high snowdrifts in my town right now). My heart no longer races while waiting with Hannah at the bus stop, wondering when and how I'll slip, and what injury I'll end up with this time. They are truly a miracle product, and I've fallen in love with my Yaktrax.

Now, Ana has vigilantly warned me that Yaktrak turn your boots into ice skates if worn on tile or marble, so I have to take them off once I get to the T station in the morning, and put them on just as I begin my walk home. This has definitely led to some strange looks and interesting conversations with my fellow commuters, but I don't mind at all. I'm happy to tell anyone who will listen about them, and that's why I'm telling you here now.

I told Ana that the snow was likely to stop once I bought my Yaktrax, and for once that bit of Murphy's Law hasn't played out (sorry, all!). But the peace of mind I've gotten by spending the $25 was well worth it. Many thanks to Ana - hopefully I'll make it through this winter injury-free!

(And in case anyone cares, I was in no way compensated for this post and all opinions are my own. I'd Blog with Integrity if anyone did want to send me free stuff though!)