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When the Expert and I moved into what is essentially our dream house in the lovely town of Roswell, Georgia, I broke out in hives.

We had been through some serious drama regarding houses over the past year, and we were *finally* in a good place, a great school district, with lovely neighbors… and there I was, breaking out in hives.

The realization hit me:  This is where I will be. I mean, really… be.. for the foreseeable future.

“Well, Meredith,” one might ask, “What in HELL is wrong with THAT? You have a wonderful family and home and you are breaking out in hives.  What. A. Brat.”unnamed (2)

Yes. I will be the first to admit that hives under these types of circumstances is very bratty.

I’ve been having lots of meltdowns lately, which hasn’t been helped by ROUND TWO of diverticulitis.

I seriously started hurting last Monday night, and finally, got some relief yesterday.  That’s almost an entire week.  Not fun.  I haven’t worked out (because I could hardly move).  Although the Expert dragged me to the Christmas tree farm on Friday, and I had fun, but I was wiped out afterwards.

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So I woke up this morning (still haven’t worked out yet)… and the ever-growing to-do list starts unraveling, and I am thinking, “I have to X Y and Z” and I start to freak out (again).

This is all making for some serious boring reading.   I know.

Headline: Swim Bike Mom Freaks Out (Yes. Yawn. Again.)

[But I can’t write about swimming, biking and running… when I am doing none of that. Well, I could do a nice informative post about Queen lube… I guess.]

So I realized today… that I spend so much of my life wanting to get better (at whatever), to be smarter (at whatever), to work harder (at whatever), to tackle all these huge lists of things… and I never even take a single second to just be ME.  To just be ME. Where I am. With who I am.  With what I know.  With what I have done.  With all the things I have written (and enjoy those things—and not think about all the things I should be writing or saying or doing).

I have been breaking out in hives about the wrong things.

Life and home and happiness—that should not break me out in hives. I don’t know how to be content, because I am always like a groundhog–sticking my head out of the dirt and searching around for what’s next…  Oh wait… is that a Prairie Dog? Either way, I don’t think we should say Prarie Dog and diverticulitis in the same post…  Moving on.

Anyway, always trying to be better and faster and smarter and and and and….

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I am tired  of running around.

But I don’t know how to stop being a Prairie Dog/Groundhog.  I don’t know how to just say “F” it—I love my body just as it is!  I love living in the suburbs!  I am thrilled with prices at Publix! I really do want a minivan! Everything is Awesome!

Trust me… I know that I have everything in this entire world that I need… and even more than I want.  I don’t need you to tell me that. I don’t need a scolding. I KNOW in my skull and brains and heart.  I am grateful for what I have.  I just want to stop looking for anything more… I just want to BE.

How can I slow… it… down?

How can the insanity of chasing everything… stop?  That’s what I don’t know how to do.  I am honestly, whole-heartedly clueless.

I am still running around and breaking out in hives… because I am me.  Meredith.  A wife and a mom who lives in the burbs.  And who can’t process the reality that life is good… and it’s okay to admit that… maybe, just maybe… I have everything that I need, and that I am enough. Good enough and smart enough… enough.

…That if, after today, I got no smarter, no faster and no saner… that I would be okay.  It would be just fine. I would be just fine… Just as I am.

I just don’t know how to unplug and admit that.


  • Kimberly

    December 1, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    The story of my life as well. It’s a hard place to be. I think that some people naturally (though genetics, personality, energy profile – however you want to define it) gravitate toward content and peace with life, others are drawn to critique and lack of satisfaction because we want to be better.

    I have not figured out how to turn off that part of my nature – and I’m not sure I want to. I just want to learn how to channel it better so it is not so self and soul destructive.

  • Kati

    December 1, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Channel that energy into helping others. Find a cause you believe and use your energy and will to never settle to better the lives of others. I’ve always made the joke that if all of us triathletes would use just an ounce of our energy and time towards helping others…imagine how much better of a world we would have.

  • Colleen

    December 1, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    I am very similar. I know how blessed and lucky I am, and I am very grateful for it all. But I too don’t know how to live in the moment so well… always seeking or looking for anything else I might need to improve upon. Oh, and get the minivan. Its a huge step (i.e. step down… there’s no going back). But I really love it… and a part of my soul just died now admitting that.

  • Melissa

    December 1, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Constant seeking, seeking, seeking and adding more and more to do, yet not doing the important things I think I should be doing. Never settled. Never calm and at peace. This is the story of my life until recently, very recently. I finally figured out I have an ADD brain. Whoa! major revelation because I’ve been relatively successful for a long time, but there are cycles and I was about to go down into the valley and wreck it all. Done it before, many times. Total upheaval provides a great deal of brain stimulation, but that is harder to do now with three kids and a decent marriage. Been taking meds for a month now and I can focus, be persistent and get some of the easy things done. Essentially, taking speed daily has allowed me to be calm. Might not fit for you, but thought I would throw it out there.

  • Beth

    December 1, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Right there with ya, girl. Not sure what your spiritual situation is, but the sermon at my church yesterday addressed this spot on. I’m happy to share it with you if you are interested.

  • Michelle

    December 1, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    One of the MOST difficult things I’ve had to learn how to do was to be still and listen. I used to do everything I could to keep from hearing silence, because in the midst of the silence my insecurities and worries all seemed to be trying to scream the loudest for attention. I feared being run over by it all. Slowly I acknowledge each of those insecurities simply by saying “yes, I hear you”. I didn’t try to get rid of them. I just acknowledge they were there and I heard. It took a while to get through them all so be patient with yourself. And yes, they still pop in for a visit, but now I know how to handle it. You are a great mom, great wife, great role model. It’s time for you to believe it too… <3

    • mary dougherty

      December 1, 2014 at 5:29 pm

      love your writing and honesty… I have learned so much about what you are talking about though yoga..probably the thought of one more thing to do makes you cringe but I think you would love it even once a week..

  • Lauralee

    December 1, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    Have you ever read the book ‘The Power of Now’ ? The author is Eckhart Tolle. It is all about how to live in the ‘now ‘ and just be

  • cherylann

    December 1, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    Restless people do great things…you have already proven that- at least that’s what many of us see in you. Take a deep breath and maybe take a yoga class this winter? It helped me a LOT with “moment” appreciation!

  • Renee

    December 1, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    For years now I have seen a grief therapist who once told me to remove the word ‘should’ from my vocabulary. ‘Should this, should that …’ creates expectations that where you are and how you are, right now, is somehow not right, or not enough. ‘Should’ is an unforgiving word.

    Years later and I still think of this at least once a day when I fall into thought patterns like you described, for like a lot of you, this is simply how some of us are wired to think. I find my moments of mental release on the bike or in the pool, where I swear I can sometimes feel myself sweat out little beads of anxiety, and lately I’ve been able to hit the reset but to in a yin yoga class too – we hold the poses long enough for me to shut the brain off. I will be thinking of you with wishes for good health

  • Jo

    December 1, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    This post really resonated with me, because I know what it feels like to always be striving, and planning, and never getting there, even when you get there. I found myself overwhelmed with life and…spinning without moving forward, or like I was on a treadmill and nearly falling off the back of it. A few months ago I started working with a life coach, which, honestly, a couple of years ago would have sounded pretty hokey to me, but it has changed the way I look at things so much. I am still dealing with getting overwhelmed with, well, life, but not as much, and I feel so much more gratitude for my life. I can accept the way things are and have been able to start to let go of what “should” be. Anyway, my intention was not to demand that you get a life coach, but to let you know that it is possible to shift your life so that it becomes more peaceful and slows down.

  • Sara

    December 1, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    Just be you. All your ‘normalcy’ got me through the longest run of my life today. As I counted down the minutes I had to remind myself that I just have to keep moving forward. I took this body that I loathe, all 213 pounds of it, and ran 5 miles on a treadmill that I hate. But I keep reminding myself not to judge a book by its cover as outwardly I am no poster child for fitness. But it did feel good to still be running as all the skinny people got on and off the treadmill while I kept running. F it and get the minivan.

  • Beth

    December 2, 2014 at 11:48 am

    I consider myself to be the total opposite of the do-er and more of a be-er. Even though I have accomplished a lot in my life and have some great experiences, I tend to be very laid back about it. I really started to get more anxious and ADD-like when I got into this sport and started training. I had a hard time juggling everything and it got me crazy. Now looking back at my season and having a bit of a break, I can be more objective and take things more in stride again, which is really just my nature. I always try to be positive and optimistic, which goes hand in hand with my “laid-back-ness”. I think to a degree, we need that “crazy” to accomplish the really hard things in life. It gets us to where we want to be. The key is to know when to shut it off and when to turn it on.

  • jackie

    December 2, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Maybe what you are telling yourself is that it’s time to enjoy your life, your family, your health, your job, your home. Maybe it ‘s time to quit chasing the next triathlon and the constant training so that you can enjoy all of those things. Instead of long bike rides, swims, and runs, you could go to yoga class a couple of times a week, or take your kids for a swim, or go to an exercise class that is not triathlon related. Just enjoy who you are and what you have. Slow down and catch your breath. No criticism intended, just a thought. I started doing tri’s at 60 so trust me, it’s never too late to go at it.

  • Lisa

    December 2, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    I think you will probably always be trying to be better, faster, stronger, saner, smarter….that IS who YOU ARE. The trick is to say what can I do today and focus on those daily little steps….. which is what I have to do to stay sane. If I think about the whole list I also think I have to have it all right now which is unrealistic and hive-inducing. This is also the only way I can stay on a diet. Every day I tell myself that tomorrow or this weekend I can eat a whole pizza. This thinking gets me to stay on track for the day and then when I get to my “whole pizza day” I generally don’t want to sabotage myself that way and can usually make it one more day without. Best wishes!

  • ddb

    December 8, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Meditate. Daily. Start small — 5 or 10 minutes. Heck, start with 2 minutes. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t do it “right.” It is normal for our minds to drift and wander, but with practice, the space between thoughts gets longer and longer. It has been scientifically proven that meditation changes our brains. Google it to read more about these studies.

  • Chandra

    December 9, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    I just wanted to aim you towards another blogger I read,, she like most of us struggles with all of the things, but the way she writes and structures and looks at life is refreshing and actually helpful. I think you’ll like her, she is a runner with huge big runner dreams and goals….


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