Have you ever noticed how often multi-tasking ends up taking longer than doing each thing separately does? Or maybe not always longer, b...


Have you ever noticed how often multi-tasking ends up taking longer than doing each thing separately does? Or maybe not always longer, but you are definitely not doing as good of a job? For example, I often try to do something else while I brush my teeth. Brush my hair, put on socks, read, etc. After a long time my whole life of doing this, with much more than just brushing my teeth, I finally admitted to myself I wasn't actually accomplishing more or better tasks. Well I've known for awhile, but now I finally committed to make a change.

My goal is simple (not). Learn to focus. Fully embrace whatever it is I am doing. Whether that's brushing my teeth, playing with my kids, slinging some code, or writing this blog post. You just can't be fully immersed in more than one thing at a time. You think you can. I fall trap to it constantly. Convincing myself that I can do multiple things at once and do a good job.

Another one I do all too often is eat and work. I eat lunch at my desk every work day, and oftentimes breakfast as well. I get actual work done too, so I justify it. But my meal suffers. I end up taking forever to finish eating and then my food is cold. That's just silly. I have to adjust my life to make time for important things, like eating. Maybe it's part of my eating disorder recovery that I never gave enough thought too. Allowing food to be important enough to dedicate time to eating. And staying off my phone, email, social media, etc. But I could, and probably will, write a whole post just on that topic.

When I'm most on my game, with anything, work, husband, kids, anything in life, it's because I'm concentrating. I'm in it. Whatever it is at the moment, I am fully present. That's where happiness happens. Not when I'm reading an article on my phone while Sebastian is begging me to play Battleship or Yahtzee for the billionth time or Oscar is asking for help finding each and every tiny Thomas train in his set, the TV is blabbing in the background, and Brian is telling me the funny story of the kid's day. No one can concentrate on all those things at once! Shut off the TV, put away the phone, and be with your family! I know I'm not the only guilty one, but it's still more than a little embarrassing to admit this scenario is not an uncommon occurrence at our house.

But at least progress is being made. I realize the distracted multi-tasking is occurring much sooner these days and am quick to turn off the screens. I'm revamping my evening and morning routines to try and give myself time to take a real break at mealtimes. One day recently I actually woke up early enough to sit down and eat breakfast with Sebastian. I even put my phone away when I realized what a momentous occasion it was. I could relax and listen to my child who more than anything wants to talk, and not be rushing around trying to get my ass out the door and sneak into work right before 9. It was glorious. And I made it to work before 8:30. Miracles do happen! Actually nothing miraculous about it. It's all hard work to fight that voice that tells me "just a few more minutes" when my alarm goes off. A fight I lose most mornings (like today).

I have to give a big shout out to Habit Bliss who's 21 day morning routine I finished reading a few weeks ago. She did a great job of breaking down the reasons to have a good morning routine, ideas on how to accomplish change, and what things were worth changing. A lot of information I'm sure many of us could be reminded of. My favorite part was that we don't have to make drastic changes overnight, but can achieve lasting results with gradual changes instead. Something often forgotten, especially around this time of year when everyone is struggling with their New Year's resolutions or goals. I've attempted to have a better morning routine often in the past, but I eventually slip back into old habits. Usually it's because I'm trying to add too many things to my morning. This time instead, I am simply concentrating on eating breakfast at home and getting to work on-time without having to rush around. Once I make these things a habit, then I'll try adding more things to my morning.

What does a morning routine have to do with multi-tasking? Maybe nothing for you if you live in a bubble of a perfectly scheduled day. But for the rest of you who feel distracted and rushed like myself, you know what I'm talking about. I don't want to feel so stretched for time, over-scheduled, and constantly busy. I want to be present and active in my own life, and not like life is passing me by. I want to be focused.

So I encourage you to struggle along with me in the path to mindfulness. Any moment I achieve it, no matter how brief, feels so wonderful. Like I am truly "living in the moment".


Happy Thursday! Linking up with Danielle again for another round of Confessions. Or in today's case, some word vomit from me. I'...

The Good and the Bad


Happy Thursday! Linking up with Danielle again for another round of Confessions. Or in today's case, some word vomit from me. I'm a tired and stressed out mess today. So today's post is really a mix of several bad and good things. Such is life.

I confess...

...that here I am, again, writing my confessions at the last minute. I am just not good at posting on a specific day. Too much of life is scheduled, I don't want things I do for fun to be on a schedule too. Takes the fun out if it. Except confessions, it's always a good venting session.

...that I feel like crap. Stomachache, headache, and my knee is killing me again. I don't know if it's my usual IBS/food intolerance flair up or what. But I've been eating really healthy lately so it's just not right. Was it really the 1 glass of wine I had the other day?!

...that I am fed the fuck up with my stomach, as you can no doubt tell from above. Seriously when will I make it longer than a month without a flair up?

...that every time I make some progress towards pain-free running, I end up getting sick or injured. Feels like I'm constantly starting from the bottom. At least I'm still rocking lots of yoga.

...that yoga has been my savior this past year. I am getting so much more from it then ever before. I will just have to write a whole post about it because it won't all fit here.

...that I hate politics and am so sickened by all that's going on that I have been avoiding all news like the plague. Except immigration. That one has my attention. So happy to read about the strike today. Wonder how all those spoiled, rich, white, elitist pricks in DC are enjoying a day without people to do all the hard work for them!

...that Brian and I are planning a trip to Belize in May! Sans kids. Brian's mom is nice enough to come up here and watch the monsters for us. I am so indescribably grateful for all the grandparents. They are just amazing.

...that we bought our plane tickets for Belize a couple weeks ago but still haven't booked hotels or even decided exactly where we're going to stay. We want to see all the Mayan ruins but there are too many spread all over for us to see in 1 week.

...that I feel like a hypocrite for making fun of rich, white people and then talking about planning a vacation. Did I mention that we save up for YEARS before a trip like this? Good, then hopefully you know I'm not a total ass.

...that when I'm feeling down, overly positive people just piss me off. Like I want to punch them in the face. But when I'm feeling up, I'm right there with them saying stupid shit like "let's just be happy every day!"


Wish I could relax as well as Oscar! Well hello! Last week I had a 3 day vacation in Phoenix. So now, I have to take a few moments to b...

Learning to Relax

Wish I could relax as well as Oscar!

Well hello! Last week I had a 3 day vacation in Phoenix. So now, I have to take a few moments to be grateful. I had a wonderful time visiting my friend Sara. We went hiking, got pedicures and manicures, went to a spa, saw a movie, and even hung out in the swanky corporate bay at the Phoenix Open golf tournament. No I am not a golfer, and neither was I'd guess half of the over 200,000 people there. Instead the majority were just there to get drunk, socialize, and enjoy the beautiful weather. Not a bad time.

17th hole (I think)
We slept in every morning (so wonderful) and stayed up late chatting each night. There were lots of jokes and laughs and plenty of good times people watching. Ladies I gotta know... what's with the tiny rompers giving you the biggest wedgie ever and the 6 inch ice pick heels that prevent you from walking normally??? Does fashion really have to come at such a ridiculous price? Anyways...Phoenix surprised me with healthy and delicious food everywhere we went. And such perfect weather. I soaked up plenty of sunshine and over 70 degree days. It was the perfect winter break. I will definitely be back, but always in the spring and never the summer!

This trip was very good for me. You see, I have a hard time relaxing. Not just now, but for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I stayed busy. School, sports, band, choir, clubs, friends, there was always something going on it seemed. Then in college I took as many classes as possible nearly ever semester, so there was always homework. I remember when I graduated and started working, it was the weirdest feeling to come home from work and not know what to do. There's no homework? No choir practice? So I can just, like, relax?!

Thanks for the hot tip
It didn't take long before I busied myself again. Running, yoga, cycling, hiking, crafts, movies, books, friends. I have always had too many hobbies. Then came kids. And real busyness started all over again. Hobbies became less frequent, or changed to include kids. Carving out time for rest and relaxation became much more of a challenge. Like most new parents it took us awhile to adjust and learn to make time for ourselves. Now I feel like we are mostly there. Both Brian and I still feel like there just isn't enough time in the day for all the things we want to do. But I think that's okay. I feel that way because I love my life and just want to get the most out of it. A good problem to have.

But with that feeling of not enough time comes the inability to relax. At least for me. I wonder who else feels the same? I feel like any moment I spend relaxing and not doing something productive is a waste. I have to constantly remind myself that I am a much more productive human being when I'm properly rested. And that only happens when I not only get enough sleep but also take enough breaks. Being a working mom means everywhere I go someone needs something from me. Busy at work. Busy with kids. I steal moments as often as I can to get in my exercise or time to write. But a real break, away from it all, is a beautiful thing.

Each time I've traveled away from my family I have to wrestle away the guilt. I spend the first few hours (or more) having an internal battle to find that peace. To find that place where you know that you need this time and do not need to feel any guilt from it. The memory of Sebastian crying on my shoulder the night before I left, because he was going to miss me so much, did not help my cause. But I know he was well taken care of, is often a drama king, and was possibly just trying to get me to read longer past his bedtime. But it (sadly) made me feel better about my momming skills anyway. I feel like I spend too much time telling Sebastian what to do and not do, and not enough time just having fun with him. Sigh... I suppose that's just a part of parenting though. But it was good to hear he would miss me, even if did add to my guilt.

Cactus that jumps on you!
The guilt this time started days before I left, in preparation for my break. Brian reminded me I had nothing to feel guilty about and that I should just enjoy myself. (How awesome of a husband do I have?! I can always count on him to help me feel good about myself. Thanks babe, if you're reading this. 😚) And of course he's right. I'm glad I got the guilt out of the way before I landed. In sunny 70+ degree weather. I love you Oregon, but you have been a cold and icy winter. What is this, Nevada?! Give me back the rain and mild temperatures!

So today I am thankful for the wonderful time with a good friend and the opportunity to take a real break. I'm so glad I was able to fully relax this trip instead of wasting the time feeling guilty. So here's yes to us all getting time for R&R and no to mom guilt!