Monday, February 15, 2010

Your questions

My Formspring experiment was a success! I have so many good questions to answer. Thanks to everybody who sent me one. I think I'm going to use them and answer them here, but you can continue to ask anything you want to know and/or want me to write about. Here is the first batch.

I think this is kind of neato. Very cool to get anonymous questions--it's like the first day of school when some teachers would let us ask anything we wanted on a little slip of paper. I loved that day when I was a student. It was a peek into the mystery that was a teacher's life. Ha.

1) If you could create a new Olympic sport, what would it be? Winter or summer.

Oh, lawd. Whoever asked this question must not know that I am so un-sporty, it's amazing. I'm not a good spectator of sports or player of sports. I kind of hate most of them because I get so BORED watching them. There are bits of things I find interesting, but I will tell you that even though I sat and watched five or six hours of Olympic goodness yesterday, that had much more to do with my love of my in-laws and my trepidation about changing the channel at someone else's house than my patriotism or enthusiasm for sports. You'd think that a love of sports would somehow transfer over from my admiration of the physical discipline of dance or my new found love of running... Yeah, you'd think that, but it wouldn't be true.

So my answer would be... I don't know. Because I'm not even sporty enough to think of a good answer.

2) How did you hold up getting through Valentine's Day? Was it a happy day or a conflicted day full of emotions?

V-day passed in a pretty uneventful way. After all my talk about what it meant or not, it ended up being completely ordinary. I didn't even see E except for a few hours at breakfast, and the breakfast was for his dad's belated birthday, not for anything related to Valentines' Day. I missed E but not with any more intensity than any other time when he's been studying and I've been away or vice versa. In fact, I think I was a little more relaxed. I hope that's what came through in my V-day post. I'm not so worried about him having to "prove" something on that day to me or anyone else. He sent me and the kids a text that night that said he missed us and loved us and it made my month. I know he meant it, and I know he's doing what he's doing right now (studying for the Bar again) because he wants something secure and amazing for our family.

One thing about Sunday that was on my mind was that I am blessed that I have such an amazing support system, and I'm blessed that even with all of the trials and difficulty that E and I put our families through a year or so ago, there's not one change in how much they're willing to do for us or how much they continue to show us how much we're loved. His parents were gracious hosts this weekend, but when I'm there it doesn't even feel like I'm away from home. It's just comfy and I feel so loved there. I spent most of Sunday just feeling lucky I had great kids, a great husband who was working hard at home, and great in-laws who make me feel so at home.

3) What is the hardest thing about being in a relationship? And what are things you can do to try to ease this challenge?

I can only speak for me and E. Based on our experience, I think the hardest thing in a relationship is communication. In our experience, it's how we say things to each other that ends up being difficult. I can be yelling--yes, shocking I know--through tears at him about one thing, but it's really another thing that's on my heart. He can be ignoring me, but it might be because he's feeling frustrated about something he has a hard time saying. I know I'm a broken record with the Retrouvaille thing, but it really helped us to figure out how to talk to each other. We've been talking to each other for over half our lives, but there were some pretty big dysfunctions built in. It gets hard to break patterns and habits, particularly when they've been around since the beginning of your relationship.

For a long, long time, we both believed that if we just got our relationship to the place where we didn't fight, yell, ignore, grump--if we could just keep things calm--then we'd be able to be okay. The thing is that we're both complicated people with opinions, emotions, fears and frustrations. We are always going to fight, and it's silly to pretend otherwise or to assume that if we fight, it's over. We're never going to completely keep the peace. But knowing how to communicate our true feelings in healthy ways has been such a blessing. I know that sounds like a lot of hippy dippy BS, but when we set about the process of repairing our broken marriage, we followed some very specific steps as far as how we could start to communicate again. The biggest challenge for me is to communicate my feelings without blame or judgement, and to really listen without making assumptions. I'd venture to say it's the same for E. I think it's what we all want in any relationship--to speak and be heard, and to listen and understand.

Things you can do to try to ease this challenge? Remove distraction when you're talking about something important. Stop the cycle and do something different than what you've always done. Don't leave. For us it helps to write down what we're feeling separately and then switch, read, and discuss. That's from Retrouvaille. As far as the specifics of what we do, the "dialogues", I can't really describe them easily. But if you're interested (or if you think your marriage needs help), check out It taught us to be better humans, not just better partners in our marriage.

4) What do you like about blogging?

I like so many things about blogging that it's hard to enumerate them here. I like that for a toe-curlingly nervous person like me who shakes at the thought of too many people looking at her at once, it provides a forum for me to express all of the things that are spinning around in my head all the time. I love that I've met so many people who I never would have otherwise. I love that people connect with small bits of what I say and email me to say that they've been through the same things. I love getting comments. I love that a lot of people in my family know about what's going on in our life and family when I might not think to bring up certain subjects. I love that it's brought me closer to my parents, who both read it all the time. I love that I've managed to keep it honest and realistic without crossing my personal line of what's acceptable to share. I love that I'm documenting our daily life and all the reasons I love my family. I love that it helps E understand me better.

5) Do you stretch for your runs, dance, etc.? before? after?

Eep. Stretching. I think people think that since I was a ballet dancer and a dance teacher that I'm a stretch goddess. I'm so not! I was never naturally flexible, and every bit of flexibility I've ever had, I had to really work for. I don't really like to stretch and I don't do it as often as I should, unless I'm teaching. I like it when I'm dancing because it makes my body feel better, but when I'm out of the studio I don't really think of it. When I'm dancing I do stretch before class--a set of stretches I've created over time that I know will wake up my legs and back and open my hips. Basically I stretch then just to get the joints moving (I do a lot of hip circles and hip stretches since I have tight hips) but not that much to increase my flexibility until I'm already warm.

I'm not a great stretcher when it comes to running. I don't like to stretch cold so I usually don't hit my first stretch until the first stoplight, which tends to be about a mile in. Then it's usually calves and hamstrings, and I keep going. I should stretch when I get back, but I usually don't. Maybe a quick butterfly or hamstring stretch, but then I get in the shower. Sometimes I lean on the shower wall and press my heels down alternately, but I'm no model of post-run stretching. If you're looking to increase flexibility I recommend a little bit of loose movement to get your blood flowing first, then stretches. After exercise is the best if you want to be really loose and not worry about injuring yourself. But again, I'm kind of lazy when it comes to this. I know how and when to push myself but that doesn't always mean I do.

6) What is your favorite memory of E, Addie, and Hank (individually or together)?

Ooh, this is a toughie. They are so cute and so much fun that I have a hard time narrowing it down. I'd say the best, hands down, was each of their respective births. Well I mean the kids, not E. Wasn't there for that. Specifically the kids' first cries were amazing, emotionally charged moments for me. I can remember holding my breath waiting for that cry that signaled everything was okay. You can read the story of Henry's birth here and Addie's birth here.

Other favorite memories of the kids: Baby Addie at her first trip to Disneyland, riding around with her feet up on the tray of her stroller, sucking on a giant dill pickle from the fruit stand outside the Jungle Cruise. Henry's "drooly poolies" and constant wet t-shirt from the time he was born until he was about two. Snuggling both of them in my bed when they were teeny little infants. Nursing. Rolling Henry into a tight burrito. Addie's first day of Kindergarten. Staying up all night the night before her first birthday to make a scrapbook and crying because I couldn't stand the idea of her being one already. Henry pointing at everything and exclaiming "mm! mmm! mmm!" because he didn't want to talk yet. Addie learning making animal noises. Too many to count.

With E? Kind of the same deal. Winter Homecoming was a pretty good night--trying to slow dance without touching too much because we were nervous. Driving his parents' van back home from SLO the weekend we got engaged. Scuba diving in Maui together. Watching Rome together in perfect HBO-inspired silence. Buying our first TV together at Wal Mart at 2:00 AM because we were bored. Donkey Kong on the Nintendo 64. Fish and chips. Hospitals. Churches. Grandma's backyard. Reading in bookstores. Donuts that say I heart U.

7) What was the most hurtful thing about your separation from gluten free e?

What a complicated question--but good. I guess it depends on how I take your meaning. The most hurtful thing I dealt with on a daily basis was living in a house, alone. I didn't know how to do anything without my other half, and I was lonely. That hurt. I missed having someone to tease and try out my jokes on. I was bored. I was tired. I missed co-parenting. I was terrified at night. The most hurtful conversation I've ever had to sit through was E telling the kids that we were not going to live in the same house or be married anymore. Awful. Gut-wrenching. Heartbreaking.

The most hurtful thing between the two of us was dealing with the idea that I wasn't enough for someone, that I wasn't worth holding on to. I had a lot of shame relating to what I felt was a failure on my part to keep our marriage together, or to do my part to do that. Once we were separated, it was hurtful to have this person who I'd grown accustomed to sharing every part of my life with suddenly not there. I missed knowing what he was doing or being able to tell him about my day or cook for him. Once he moved out, it was hurtful to know that he was moving on, and that he was free of a connection to me. It hurt me to think about him going out, meeting people, looking. You get it. It all hurt.

The entire thing was hard, but it allowed us to get to the place where we could fix what was wrong between us. Did it suck? Yeah. Was it worth it? I wouldn't say it works like that, but things ended up the way that they were supposed to.

8) Why do you post so few pictures of yourself?

Mostly because I'm always the one taking pictures around here! I don't have many of myself because I'm usually behind the camera. In addition to that, I'm self-conscious. I know better than to take a picture of myself right after I've worked out or at the end of the night when I have brillow pad hair, because that's when I'm usually blogging. I'll try to post more, if the opportunity arises. Sorry you've been missing out on so much of me in my sweats. Most times when I'm blogging I try to take pictures of what I see from my perspective, like this pic of the mountains above Hwy 50 I may or may not have taken while driving this weekend.

9) What is your ideal job?

Stay at home mom.

Thanks for the questions! If you want to know anything else or you want me to write about something, ask away. Click here to go to my formspring page and ask me anything anonymously.

Peace out.

1 comment:

  1. So I asked the Olympic sport question. I was watching the Olympics when I read your blog, so it was the first thing that popped into my head.

    I figured you'd at least come up with some kind of hare-brained sport. Like speed reading in a fast-swinging hammock over a torrent of water. This would of course be a Summer Olympic sport. :)

    And yes, I assumed because you run you're into organized sporting events.