{ a day in the life of ME }

My second posting in the { day in the life of ME } series...my great friend Maureen. She & I grew up in the same small town in upstate New York. We've known each other forever but have gotten closer (despite our geographic separation) in our motherhood adventures & our shared desire for a simple, sane & healthy lifestyle. Here's what her days are like. Doesn't her life INSPIRE you? And don't you think she should be paid to write?!?! NOTE: Her days begin at 4:30 AM. Yes, 4:30 AM everyday. Thank you Maureen for sharing your day with us...

There are few things in life that don’t require an asterisk (that is, an explanation, a disclaimer, some context.) I won’t spend time here describing what those things are because this is supposed to be about { a day in the life of ME } (which comes with its own long, winding trail of asterisks).

I’ll spare you the details and give you the Birdseye:

• I am not very organized in a tangible sense but I tend to see things clearly in my mind.
• I rarely feel productive enough but when I stop to think, I’ll admit I’ve accomplished a lot.
• I believe that a better way of doing things exists, but I’m okay with doing what works for now until I find it. I worry sometimes that I’ll never find it.

So before you read on, know that every asterisk you’ve ever read probably applies (including but definitely not limited to: every child is different, consult doctor before starting an exercise program, sleep requirements vary according to individual, never run alone, and side affects are rare but may include…).

Here is MY context:

• My daughter turned two in April. When she was nine months old, I left my job and started my own one-man business so that I could be home with her. I spend a lot of time studying how businesses and organizations operate compared to what their clients need and how they get what they need. Then I propose how these businesses and organizations can restructure or reconfigure what they do to: a) meet their clients real needs, b) increase productivity and outcomes, and c) maximize resources (money, time, people).

• What I really love to do is write but I wasn’t making the time to do it and no one was holding me accountable to do it. So I started a blog last October. While I’m not always sure where it will lead or what its purpose is, I am certain that I enjoy it. That is enough, for now.

• I do not have childcare for my daughter and I never have. What I do in a day is what I do in a day. Our families (my husband’s and mine) are a six-hour drive away. I could find help if I wanted to. But the truth is, I’m both blessed and motivated to make being home with her work. So I do. I make it work.

• I must run. I started running, seriously, about five years ago and I haven’t stopped since. You can read about why I love it here.

• I have an incredibly supportive and involved husband. He is my right hand and my left hand at the same time. We are in life and love together.

Here is MY day:

What You May Notice:

• My day starts at 4:30 am. I have always been an early bird; the difference is that now I moonlight with the night owls. It serves many purposes: (running, writing, paying the bills, and devoted Ava time when she wakes).

• I have three blocks of work and writing time on any given day, totaling between 7-10 hours. All while my daughter sleeps.*

• I have two blocks of Ava and ME time (not including sleep and meal activities)—one block serves to exercise our bodies the second to exercise our brains.

• I have one block of family time—sometimes we walk, sometimes we swim, sometimes we go for an ice-cream, sometimes we just play on the floor—the what isn’t important as long as we do it together, undivided in space and time.

*I know that every child is different, but as soon as I detected a pattern to her newborn ways, I put my daughter on a schedule. Knowing when she would sleep was essential to my ability to pull this business off—and now I’m convinced it’s a big part of why she is so happy, well adjusted, and smart (since it didn’t come from me)! As early as six-weeks old, Ava has had the opportunity to sleep in her own bed every single day at the same times (of course, times change with age). The result is a little girl who sleeps between 12-14 hours per night and 2-3 hours per day and tells me when she is tired and needs to sleep. That gives me lots of working and running time and gives her lots of processing and repairing time!

What You May Not Notice:

• I run six days a week and weight train at least twice a week.
• I practice yoga at least once a week, but I aim for twice.
• I pray every morning and feel off-balanced if I don’t; sometimes praying is just closing my eyes and being quiet.
• I make healthy dinners every night, except Saturday’s when we eat out; despite my intentions. to routinely plan ahead with my FeedME, I tend to know what I will fix only an hour before I put it on the table.
• We read in between everything (waking, potty, eating, sleeping) and sing on our way to everything.

So, while this day-in-the-life isn’t accessorized with glamour and Gucci, it sure is filled with loving and living. There are hard days among them and doubt-filled ones tucked in between, but what I’ve learned about days in general is that they pass way too quickly to want them to end…so on the bad ones, I think about what makes Ava happy—and then, suddenly, I am happy too.


Anonymous said...

That is a great post! Thanks for sharing Maureen!

Jenna H.

debbiem said...

Maureen - What time do you go to bed in order to get up at 4:30am?

LobotoME said...

Hi Maureen!

I like how you block out periods of time (for Ava, for work, for family).

I might need to give that a try!

J :)

Maureen said...

Hi Debbie--

I try to go to bed at 9:30p; but it usually turns into 10. I aim for 7 hours per night--but depending on how much work I have and how much I've seen my husband, I can function pretty well on 6. Before my daughter, I was definitely an eight hour per night kind of girl. I guess I've adapted, for better or for worse, I'm not sure yet :) I do think I'm looking older these days :)

FitMom said...

Dang girl. I'm far less organized than you. Seems like I work all the time.

tommysmommy said...

Yeah I think I need to drag my booty out of bed at 4:30am to get my life under control. HOW ON EARTH am I suppossed to do that? Maureen- do you give wake up calls? :-)

dmoms said...

I liked her at "she get's up at 4:30am". I get up at 3:45am so I can work early to be home with my kids in the afternoon. Early bird unite : )

debbiem said...

How long do you think it would take me to get used to getting up at 4:30 or 5:00am if I went to bed at 10? Yes, do you do wake up calls! Maureen - I am inspired to do it! It will give me time to workout, meditate and read my emails before anyone else wakes up in the house.

P.S. Jenny - I love this new (day in the life of me) series on your blog!

Maureen said...

Hi Debbie--

I would certainly do a wake up call! What time zone are you in? Even on mornings I don't have to get up early, I still do. I do my best thinking in the morning. I bet you'll be hooked. It is a wonderful feeling to steal a little bit of darkness and make something out of it. Even if it's just a thought or two. :) Can't wait to hear how it goes!

LobotoME said...

Ladies - I'm sensing a new challenge for the month of August - Get up and Go {at 5:00am }. I'm sorry Maureen but the ONLY time I can fathom getting up prior to the bloody hour of 5am is for a 6am flight! But I am inspired to find some ME time and quiet time and exercise time in the am before everyone else wakes up around 7. So that will be next month's goal. First I have to wrap up my no spend month. Which will probably roll over to next month because I will be too tired to shop! haha! J :)

Anonymous said...

Maureen-I love how you schedule your work time, play time, and family time during the day and keep Ava on a schedule. I think kids need schedules too. I must say part of me wants to try to get up earlier too, but 4:30am may be pushing it a bit. Seeing as sometimes I don't get home from work till 8:30pm. I will give it some serious thought though to how I can get back to exercising before work. Kristin

jesseh said...

that's a great way to use your momme planner! I hadn't thought to break it out into time blocks! thanks for sharing!