I started working out when Colbie was a baby, at first it was the promise of an hour alone without all three kids and a chance to interact with adults. Then it quickly became something I really loved. I signed up for more classes and started pushing myself to actually set workout goals. I started back at classes this week after a short hiatus when Benji was born. My new classes are more challenging and I am realizing that the rice krispie treat parties for one I had regularly during pregnancy did not disappear when he was born. Who would have thought?
Part of my new class is running, I am not a runner, after years of running track I still struggled at the warm up half mile we did before every practice. When Ben and I started dating he once suggested that we run together and I told him I couldn’t run because I had small lungs. He still likes to laugh about that. I was a sprinter and a high jumper before everyone else hit puberty and caught up to me in height crushing my allusions that I was in fact good at high jump. Most people got better as they got older, I peaked in fifth grade. So I decided to stick to writing and journal away my frustrations that my brothers got all the athletic and singing genes. While I still think my lungs are below average in size (and webmd confirms my suspicions) I decided that I would challenge myself because being in shape is about the only way I can keep up with all these little people I’ve birthed. These people who all get 12 hours of sleep every night and have plenty of energy and I suspect above average lungs based on their ability to scream the newest Olaf song (dear Disney, why?).
So there I was running on the track and one of the girls in my class was right in front me, I passed her and started running, then had to slow down when my *small lungs gave out, and she jogged right by me, my teacher lapped me for a second time and kept going. I stayed in this awkward rhythm for the rest of the 12 minutes, speed up for half a lap, slow down, passed by jogger, then lapped again by my teacher. I noticed that this other girl in my class clearly had her rhythm, she wasn’t the fastest on the track but she had set her pace and was sticking to it. She didn’t slow down or speed up, it was like she had entered a speed on the treadmill and was just moving.
This year I have learned a lot about my “pace” in motherhood, in a season where there are 1 million things that need my attention I have learned to set the speed and just keep going. My very wise friend says, if its not a “hell yes” right now then it’s a no. I don’t need to look around or worry that I’m being “lapped” by some of the moms around me. Only I can set the speed for our not so little family and keep moving. She ended up running the entire time and I wondered how much of it was that she just knew her pace and didn’t waver?
Each new years I try to do one thing, setting goals feels overwhelming in a time when my life is a bucket of unknowns so I just say one or two things I want to do during the year. Last year I wanted to read every night and write every Tuesday while all my kids were in school. The reading part was way easier than the writing part but for the most part I did it.
This year the thing God placed on my heart was social media. I wanted to give it up for a season and reassess its role in my life. I would love to think it didn’t play a role but the wiser part of me knows it does. I don’t think social media is bad but it messes up my pace, I look around and speed up not because I feel like thats best but because I’m lagging behind in a race of keeping appearances. I decided this year that I would stop setting my pace based on everyone else’s but instead base it on what makes sense for our family. What will help all 4 of my kids thrive? What will give me the most margin to cook family dinner and get rest? What will create the most space in our schedule for my marriage to grow? I realized it was easier to ask and answer these questions if I wasn’t constantly bombarded by everyone else’s pace.
I know i’ll rejoin the social media realm eventually. This isn’t a permanent thing but in a time when we are readjusting our rhythm I need to find my pace and stick to it. I need to ask God what pace he wants for my family and be Ok if its slower than I would prefer (which is hard to do if you feel like he’s handing out more to everyone around you). The one thing I have learned is that time is a relentless it is like my teacher on the track, lapping me before I even know what’s happening so while I can’t make her stop I can stop myself and ask, what’s my pace and do the best with the time I do have.