Sunday, September 23, 2007

"Are You Stretched Out, Mommy?"

The title words inspired by my 4 year old probably have you all conjuring up a myriad of images, I'm sure. But, after my initial outburst of laughter was under control, I realized how profound my little one was.

Let me give you the background. It was a particularly difficult day last week. Lots of things going on and going wrong. I was about to be called upon to be referee between my daughters for the umpteenth time that day, when I let out one of my patented sighs of exasperation (which is apparently a sign for those around me that Mom is near her breaking point). My youngest daughter comes up behind me, lays a hand on my shoulder and asks in her most concerned voice, "Are you stretched out, Mommy?" See, what she really meant was, "stressed out", but the common, everyday term got turned around...or did it?

I realized, I have been stretched out lately, stretched thin, to the point it doesn't feel like there's enough of me to go around. Between my organizing business, my job (normally 4 days a week as a paralegal) and home and family, there's just been very little time for me. No doubt about it, I'm stretched out! No time to think, to ponder, to read, to relax, to do any of the things I enjoy. I'm almost to the point where I've forgotten what it is that I enjoy. Scrapbooking, what's that? A manicure? Never heard of it.

I took my plight to my husband. "I need time out. I need time to recenter. I want to take yoga. Not just pop in the cd at home either. I want to go somewhere and "take yoga".

He's usually a really supportive guy, so I wasn't surprised that he was very agreeable to the idea. (Plus he knows if mom's not happy, nobody's happy.) He even suggested he'd call his friend who owns a local fitness center and set something up for me. It's this great place, he told me, with a kids area right next to the class and a big window so I can keep an eye on the kids. You know, if he ever needs to drop them off to me for any reason.

"No way, bud! The point of me getting out alone is to get out alone! You know, like you do when you play softball twice a week."

"Oh," he says. "Is that what you meant?" He was even more agreeable then. Lucky for him.

I took my first class this past Thursday and it was great! Aside from the sore, stiff muscles in places I didn't know had muscles, it was very relaxing. The balance ball was interesting. I always felt slighted as a kid because I never got a "hippity hop ball". Now I figure this is my chance to re-live my childhood. And as I bend and twist my way into "downward facing dog" (that's a yoga pose by the way) I think to my self, "Now I'm really stretched out!"


leah said...

I am definitely a stretched out mommy also, right now! A new acquaintance asked me Friday when I "get still." I almost laughed. I am still and quiet when I'm really engaged in a conversation. But to be still and quiet and listen to myself? Not so much. Think, ponder and read - I do those. But relax?? Whole different ballgame. Not so big on relaxing. Hard to turn my brain off.

Maybe we should go get a manicure? I've only had one in 40 years and that was 8 years ago. I think I'm overdue.

Christine, The Organizing Muse said...

Definitely overdue...I would join you, but I'm a recovering nail biter and I believe I've fallen off the wagon! I only have 4 left!

An Ordinary Mom said...

I think I am getting too stretched out, too ... what a great way of putting it! Taking alone time, especially to exercise, is so important. After all, how can we take care of others if we have nothing left to give?

Enjoy yoga!

Marcia said...

Hi Christine

I saw your profile name at Lara's!

I also work a full-time job and have a part-time business so I thought we must e-meet!

Hi - nice to meet you :)

Organising queen and
Marcia's take charge blog

Copyright 2007, Christine Rice

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Christine Rice, Professional Organizer and owner of Organize It Today helps people discover "organizational enlightenment" with the help of her newest book, A Life Less Cluttered: Expert Secrets to Your Own Organizing Epiphany. Visit her website at to find out more about her services and products.