discipline without a light heart becomes resentment

I figured this out while running which requires a lot of discipline. This totally applies to my past, my present and my future.
I realized that when I was younger and always compliant, it wasn't because I wanted to be. Then came the resentment. Resentment that took me on a long path of feeling like I needed to prove to anyone and everyone that I wasn't anybody's anything. I've freed myself from that now, but so many people still see me as that past person.
Now I have to make sure I'm not disciplining myself, my husband, my son for self serving reasons. A light heart.  Sometimes disciplined is the way things have to be.
And in the future, I need to make sure my marriage and my children understand when the discipline is necessary.
This is one of those carve it into a piece of wood and hang it in the kitchen type sayings for me (so that I don't become my mother entirely).


I'm kind of immersing myself in running. I don't have as much time to do it as I want to. I forget until the day is over like "oh yeah, I wanted to run today." But I'm also reading a book (Run Like a Mother) about running and when I do remember to run I want to go.  I happen to be thinking a lot about running and how or why I got where I am. Especially since some of the points made by the book are dead on for me... I have more of a review of the book going on in my head as I read but, I'll save that for when I've finished it.

Today during my run :D I thought about how I got to the point where I could run 5k without stopping and how many different pieces have fallen into place for me to get here. There's a piece that made me stop making excuses, there's a piece that makes me run through the horrible pains of hard work, there's a piece that makes me push myself past "what I want to do."

I stopped making excuses because my husband was running. I made Marc quit smoking when we were first dating. And by made, I mean that I told him I knew I wouldn't marry a smoker and that eventually I would have to reconcile myself to that and end up re-evaluating our relationship. It was the first time in the couple weeks?months? we had been dating where the idea of us ever splitting up had been brought up as a realistic outcome. It was one of those statements that could have put us into a quick and simple break-up spiral. But it didn't. Marc stopped smoking on his own and I never had to re-evaluate anything. I did not say it to get him to stop smoking, I said to because I was being straight up honest. But, I am happy, obviously, with the outcome.

We have had similar experiences when it comes to either of us gaining weight. Though the "I won't be with this way" part of it doesn't play a role. But, I know for me, in the past I have said something not because of "fatness" but because of the implications about the lifestyle leading to the "fatness." When I was pregnant with E, Marc joined a beginners running group with my best friend. It was something I would have done with her, but since I couldn't Marc did. I was doing my own exercises and walking (not enough...) while Marc was running three times a week- in the middle of Canadian winter! I had never thought of Marc as a runner, but after a couple of weeks he was one. I followed Marc's progress like I was the one out there putting in the miles and I got to taste a little bit of the pride and accomplishment he was feeling because of his successes. I still get a status update after every one of Marc's runs, and I have modelled my start after his. Just about a year after Marc started running, I kicked my own but out the door and made myself try. It wasn't like I was saying "If Marc can do it, you can." but, that was kind of what I was saying.

The first few weeks of "running" I would run for two minutes then walk for one until my stop watch said at least 15 minutes. I think the most I got through was 20. Eventually I realized how little I was pushing myself, because I ran a few times with other people and felt like it was too hard to keep going, but forced myself to out of pride. I think it's important to have an "I'm gonna die moment" from running at least once every few runs. Though they are harder to get as you go because you train your mind while you're training your body.

In times when I thought I could not go on and I needed to stop, I would think about my natural birth of E. During the contractions, I would count through my breaths to focus on breathing. Breath six and breath seven were always so bad, I still don't know how I survived them- Right now I'm getting small bubbles of panic thinking about their pain. I am definitely curious about the next time I have a baby (which will hopefully come one day in a few years) how this memory will effect me. For running, the memory has been quite beneficial. "It's not as hard as a a six or a seven" was a common mantra for me as I trained my brain. Now, I kind of zone out into my thoughts. But if my mind ever starts to freak out about my physical capabilities, that's where I go. I never really thought about running a marathon before I started reading about running, but it feels like this type of mind trick would help me get there if I ever really wanted to. Which honestly, right now. I don't.

And now that I have been running for a bit, I have found little tricks to keep me going when I think I should stop. Focusing on swinging my arms, singing a song in my head, talking to God, setting a small goal and then setting another one once I reach it. Most of the tricks come along with the thought that I will appreciate it later. Short term losses, long term gains. You run enough and you can remember, even during the pain, the awesome feeling you will have after your run. Also for me I think about how much better I will sleep. I don't think a regimented exercise schedule can cure my narcolepsy. But, I know I get a more normal sleep in those times when I am exercising regularly. It makes my brain feel more normal during the day and sometimes helps me skip the excessive daytime sleepiness.

The biggest part of this that I hold dear is the part where Marc started it all. We have this relationship where we encourage each other to grow as people. We don't do it actively from the top down, like "sweetheart, here's a goal I set for you to achieve." We build from the bottom up. We celebrate each other's accomplishments and express when we're genuinely proud; when we're appreciative. Running really becomes that regular piece of accomplishment that you can hold on to because the rest of your life slowly is consumed by things you're unrecognised for doing. When your spouse is into your successes with you it's like a double-dip of satisfaction.


Peking Grill in Brande, DK
Everyday when Marc comes home from work there is the same to-do list for us to conquer: cook the dinner, clean the kitchen, entertain the child, go for a run (for one of us). Today, we set it up that while I took E for a walk, Marc would run and then start on cooking and cleaning. During my walk it occurred to me that it might be a nice treat to bring home Chinese food from Peking Grill- one of the only restaurants in our little town.

Marc barely ever asks me if we can get food from a restaurant because I always say no. The food at Peking Grill is delicious. But, as with all restaurants in Denmark, getting dinner here is expensive. Spontaneously, I decide to order some take out for dinner. I think of it like my version of bringing home a bouquet of flowers- just because I love my man. He does so much for our family, I wanted to treat him to a surprise.

So, my walk with E turned into a walk plus waiting twenty minutes for our pick-up to be ready. Because it was a spontaneous decision, I really wasn't prepared to be waiting with a one year old in a restaurant. I had him outside for as long as I could, but it was cold and started raining. This restaurant is small, so I am waiting with E in his stroller and people are eating their dinner not so far off. I occupy E with nothing for as long as I can, but his hunger gets the best of him. He starts to whine, and then when I won't let him out of his stroller, he starts to scream.

So, thanks to facebook and the seemingly never ending debate that I have been hearing all summer about how horrible parents are when they have screaming children in public- I start to get anxious. E won't calm down. He only knows one way to tell me how uncomfortable he is. All I can do is talk to him, but doing that makes him realize that I know what he wants and so he just gets mad and cries even louder.

I start tearing apart the diaper bag, begging there to be a toy or digestive cookie lost somewhere in the bottom. I won't make eye contact with any of the diners. E continues to scream as loud as he can. I'm just about to give up. I start to go through the not-exactly-short process of putting the rain cover on the stroller so I can get E outside and distracted. Maybe the diners will have to hear him scream for another three minutes, but at least it will end for them. With every second, I can just feel the room judging me an unfit mother more and more... Then, the woman who is always the front of the house comes out from behind the counter with a bag of huge puffed rice chips and a sweet smile. 

She put a napkin down on the counter and dumped out a bunch of chips from the bag. She doesn't speak English so she couldn't actually say "here, these will help you" but she might as well have. I handed one to E, he crushed it and then realized it was edible. He was happily munching on his third chip when we got our order and headed home. So, E screamed for a couple of minutes- maybe the diners thought "omg this kid is going to ruin my meal," maybe they didn't. All I know is the restaurant woman could have stood behind the counter staring me down, but she supported me instead. It felt like one of those "only in Denmark" kind of moments.
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