The Article (Part One)

"When life gives you lemonade, make lemons. Life will be all like: WHAAAAT?!?!"
-Phil's-osophy (from the T.V. series Modern Family)

Recently, a writer from Southwest Metro Magazine contacted me about interviewing me for an article she was writing. (Yes, you can laugh now.) While not on my bucket list (although, like any good 'to-do list' keeper, I quickly wrote it down just so that I could cross it off), I enthusiastically agreed.

The topic(s): Stress Management and Balance

Hee hee hee.....I know, right?! Apparently she hasn't read the blog (ever) or she would know that my form of stress management looks a little like a drunken sailor in a row boat in the middle of a hurricane who thinks maybe if he blinks ten times real fast while clicking his heels together that it will all suddenly disappear until he realizes he forgot the glittery shoes and doesn't even have a dog named Toto. (No offense to you drunken sailor: you're doing a great job....)

According to the editor of the magazine however, if I can qualify for the Boston Marathon while raising five kids, etc., etc., then certainly I know something about finding balance and managing stress. She obviously has not seen me running wilding into Ashtanga yoga on Friday mornings, hoping I haven't missed anything only to find that I am the first one there, have ten minutes before class starts and oh, I forgot my deodorant, again.....breathe (but not too deep because eeeew)....

At any rate, I gathered my thoughts (like four single spaced pages worth.....I think I could have written the entire article actually) and chuckled a whole lot in the process. I mean, let's be real: stress management with five little kids in the house is as much about containment (as in, keeping kids contained) and having healthy outlets to let off steam as it is about balancing everything perfectly in order to avoid stress. With a full house, there is always stress somewhere (I usually see it following the Solomonster around like his own personal shadow....you know, the kind of shadow that jumps out at other people and makes them run their shins into something painful before landing on that hidden lego with bare feet).

And balance? Really? If you mean balanced like the little runt of a kid flailing her arms and legs wildly at the top of a teeter totter while the larger than life bully just sits there at the bottom laughing, then yeah, I have that balance thing TOTALLY worked out.

Those are attainable goals perhaps on the very best of days and far fetched dreams that get swallowed by chaos on the bad ones. And I can talk till I am blue in the face about being intentional and proactive, yet flexible, and about taking necessary breaks, keeping fit and maintaining a nutritious diet, regularly challenging yourself and your family and most importantly, finding the humor in everyday life. (For crying out loud, laugh a little more y'all!) But truth be told, this is a work in progress at best. I would even venture out to say that for most of us it is a never ending work in progress.

I heard it said recently that you shouldn't compare the inside workings of your family with the outside view of other families. The truth is, we all have strengths and weaknesses and most of us are pretty darn adept at keeping those weaknesses tucked just out of view. So if for any reason I have ever come across as "stress-free and balanced" (which you, dear reader, know is laughable) you can trust that I certainly have some rather big kinks in my personality to work with (gosh darn that Myers Briggs!) Just ask my husband. Or anyone else who has ever interacted with me, ever. And those kinks permeate our entire household and mix with everyone else's kinks and guess what? (No, we are not a kinky family....) We continually fail to manage stress or keep any sort of balance and the house teeters precariously close to completely out of control more often than even I will admit. (Although, I just did....Phew, there, I said it. What a load off!)

Anyway, although a tad outside of my comfort zone, the interview was both interesting and enjoyable and after forty minutes or so she had what she needed. And I was all: "But wait! I haven't gotten to the best parts yet! And then one year, at band camp...." Kidding, of course. I was, however, left wondering if I would walk away from the experience sounding like the idiot that was me on the phone or if perhaps she had picked up some brilliant tidbit to quote me on, while she browsed the internet....

And then there was the photo shoot.....

--To be continued-- (Don't say I didn't warn you!)

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