Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Little Zen Goes a Long Way

Not long ago I read an article about how to become a bit more Zen by creating fewer obstacles or distractions in your daily living space. Being Zen basically means dwelling mindfully in the present moment. This can be achieved with some very basic changes. The same can be said about arranging your living space according to feng shui. In a nutshell, feng shui suggests you remove clutter, allow air and energy to flow freely, and create a relaxing atmosphere. And how, might you ask, is a busy mom suppose to “dwell mindfully in the moment” after little to no sleep then fumbling to find the bathroom sink amidst all the clutter? What if we put a few of these practices into place to become slightly more Zen moms?

Experts in Zen living and feng shui both suggest we first organize our closets and throw out all unworn items, organize outfits, and clean off the closet floor so that we can face the day less stressed. Another suggestion is to invest in a good mattress. It is amazing what a huge difference memory foam mattresses can make on your body, mind, and mood. Next, how about a bathroom facelift? You don’t have to spend a fortune tearing out walls to change your bathroom. A few simple bathroom furniture updates and organizational pieces can remove clutter and create a spa-like atmosphere. If you’re trying to be a little more Zen, tweaking your living spaces should be high on your list of priorities. After all, your bedroom, bathroom, and closet are the first places you greet your day so why not make them functional and pleasant.

Namaste, Zen mama.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Throw 'em to the wolves

After 8 years of running with a single or double jogger, we are entering a new era. We are soon to be that crazy family you see with 1 to 3 kids on bikes while mom and/or dad are attempting to run for exercise. These are not serious training runs I'm talking about. Just those in-between jogging-for-fitness days.

I have often worried about what happens when your kids are too big for a jogging stroller, but too young to stay home by themselves. Occasional sitters are fine, but it would be way to expensive to hire a sitter for every jog that I go on. So, enter bicycles. We successfully removed TWO pairs of training wheels from the fleet in the month of May, so that puts the 8-year-old and the 5-year-old on two wheels each. The two-going-on-three-year-old prefers her bike as well (with training wheels and tow rope), though she will sometimes get relegated to the jogging stroller once I build up the older kids' stamina a bit. Our current maximum is about three miles.

Some people probably view their kids growing up with some trepidation, but I will say, that I find it incredibly satisfying to give your kids that shove to get them started off on the bicycles. It seems so symbolic of sending them out into the world to sink or float on their own. I'm still running nearby, but there is that big push and then it is up to them.

I hope to get the 8-year-old up to about 5 miles this summer while I run with the single jogger. Though not so much an opportunity for speed-work, it is good enough for daily maintenance running. You know - mental health runs. We'll see how it goes...