I’ve been quiet lately. Quiet enough that my dad messaged me and asked what was up, quiet enough that a friend and non-cyclist asked why I haven’t blogged lately. This post is a stream of consciousness tale of how things have been going. On the surface, it may seem pessimistic but the good news is I’ve managed some level of balance and compromise and kept all of the most critical things going.

I’ve been managing, spread thin between a ton of different goals. Things that come first — being a decent employee (I like getting a paycheck), being a good mom (I don’t want to raise a cretin), and being a good girlfriend (I wanna keep this one around for a long time). Things that fall to the wayside – healthy eating, weight loss, blogging, running my side business, thinking big for the women’s cycling team that I run, organizing group rides, cleaning my house, organizing get togethers … the list goes on.

The Big Stuff

Work has been stressful lately. I’ve been waking up worrying about things, and have spent a fair bit of energy contemplating my goals, what I like and dislike about my role, and how I can potentially re-tool parts of it to help both me and the business. Things are looking up.

The kid is doing well. He’s a rambunctious almost-10-year-old who, like a puppy, needs exercise and movement to help improve his behavior. Right now I’m typing this from inside the restaurant at a local ski hill, watching him get big air and try new tricks on the twenty foot high jump. This is where compromise comes in. He was patient while I took a nap earlier today, and was agreeable when I told him I wasn’t going to ski but he could still go. I can see his antics from here, he’ll swing by every 45 minutes or so and eat my food, and he learns a little bit about independence.

On the boyfriend front, things are going REALLY well. We passed our 6-year anniversary unscathed, AND he proposed a month and a half ago. Of course, I said yes. I mean, we already co-own the property where we live, so it was just a matter of time until marriage happened. Because he’s a smart gentleman, I get to pick out my own ring. I spent a lot of time fretting over what to buy, but I can say I’ve recently made a choice. However, if one more person asks when I’m getting a “real ring” or when the wedding is, I may snap. We took this long to get engaged, so it’ll probably be a while before we settle on anything else in this process, people! Don’t stress me!

The Other Stuff

I went on VACATION! A real, kid-free vacation where the focus was relaxing, eating delicious food, and letting off some steam. The pictures peppered throughout this post are from my recent girls trip to New Orleans. I returned home after having a good break from stress and “real life”, with a renewed goal of focusing on what matters most in life. It also helped me realize that I’m doing a pretty dang good job keeping the 8,652 plates all spinning.

Healthy eating has been lax as well as weight loss. I’m doing well getting enough sleep on a consistent basis, and my new blood pressure medications are working pretty well. I have a few side effects that are irritating so maybe I’ll have a meds adjustment in my future, but for now I’m no longer in the danger zone and my immediate risk of stroke and heart attack are much lower.

I was convinced I’d keep training volume high all winter this year, but it’s been hit or miss. Work travel has messed up my back a few times, causing me to cut back on cycling for a few weeks at a time. The upside is that I’m doing well managing post-surgery pain and symptoms, keeping my day to day life going well, but it also means I’m not as fit as I’d like to be mid-March. However, I haven’t given up on my goal to ride a happy 100 miles later in May for the Almanzo, and if I succeed it will be the longest gravel ride since spine surgery in mid-summer 2017. I’ve hit 165 miles on pavement, but the bumping and jostling of gravel does a number on me. I’ve been working on core strength, escalating my exercises to harder and harder ones slowly over time, so I have hope.

I’m here, I’m moving forward, and getting through my hardest time of the year. I planned an absolutely phenomenal almost-400 mile route for the Alexander, spring and the hope it brings are on the horizon,  and I’m figuring out how to continue keeping all the plates spinning without shattering anything.

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