David and I sometimes refer to our current stage of life as “the grind.” We don’t mean that in a negative or bitter way, but the words just seem to reflect the demanding nature of life at the moment. Professionally, David works a job with a taxing, unpredictable schedule. On the home front, the girls are at ages that, though adorable and whimsical, are also prime for button-pushing with bouts of excessive whining (from the older one) and un-bribable toddler antics.
We call it the grind because though we are grateful (so very much so) for all we have (a good job, two healthy, awesome kids, etc), the days also wear us down with their demands and monotony. Day in day out… 5:15 alarm… grind… eat… sleep… repeat… high-five each other, say keep grinding… carry on.
Sometimes when it’s just been a day too many of the same, I need more than just a pep talk.
Yesterday started out the usual way: alarm, computer, girls up, breakfast, get dressed, put on your shoes (really, go find your shoes!), hit up boot camp, drive to Target… you get it. However, as we were walking into Target I got a call from David. It was short. Something about how his afternoon cleared up, the mountains and let’s just go. Say no more.
I jumped into action, tossing some fun snacks into the cart before rushing to get home.
Less than an hour later, I was showered, the girls were fed and we were loaded in the car.
Coffee in our hands and snack cups in the girls’, we hit the road without a destination in mind except to see the mountains. An hour into the trip, Hailey was engrossed in Rio and David and I in conversation. Kaitlyn, my recent nap skipper, even succumbed to the hum of the car on the highway.
While chatting about current frustrations, upcoming events and, like always, future plans, we hopped onto the Blue Ridge Parkway.
I rolled down the window to let in some fresh mountain air. It was exactly what I needed.
Two and half hours into the trip, we reached our destination– a playground. Ha.
In our defense, it is a well-maintained, adorable little playground in the middle of Blowing Rock, a small town in the North Carolina mountains. The girls didn’t seem to notice that we drove over 2 hours for a playground similar to one down the street at home and were just thrilled to get out and stretch their legs.
Then we stretched ours, covering the short strip of downtown Blowing Rock in about 45 minutes.
The girls giggled at the dogs and tried on hats in the shops. I tried to keep them somewhat wrangled and snapped pictures of signs that spoke to me.
In the midst of the grind, I sometimes get too fixated on what lies ahead. While it’s good to focus on the carrot that keeps us motivated, sometimes I need a break in our routine in order to enjoy what we have right now: a vivacious four year old that likes to push her boundaries, an adventurous one year old who keeps up quite easily with her big sister, and our (almost 7 year) marriage, which is as strong as ever, as we take on this grind phase together.
Despite my refreshed perspective, pizza and beer was still necessary to take the edge off of keeping up with the kiddos. Please tell me your kids can’t sit still at a restaurant table either??
Mmm, thank you Mellow Mushroom.
And with that, we headed back home, with renewed focus and lungs full of fresh mountain air.
Ok Tuesday, let’s do this.
Tell me, do you ever feel like you are stuck in the grind?
How do you break up the monotony and re-energize yourself when you need it?