Dealing with Change!

Sunday=rest day.  My legs were very thankful for 24 hours of minimal movement.  

I slept in until 8:45 in the morning.  It was weird.  

For dinner we went over to my sister’s house for my nephew’s birthday dinner. 

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Chicken, funeral potatoes (my mom’s recipe is here), fruit, green beans and salad. 

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Of course he was thrilled to get a picture of Brooke for his bday:)  

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His request for dessert was the huge apple pie from Costco.  Costco sure makes a lot of people in this world happy.

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I also brought my pb no bakes (they sure don’t look pretty but they are addicting and super easy to make.  My BIL agreed with me that these cookies are even better than the chocolate ones).

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Guess who’s back today?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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A hard part of my divorce is trying to figure out my ‘identity’ (does that makes sense?).  For so long being a ‘wife’ was a big part of who I was (along with many other things but that was a huge part) and I have now come to terms with that no longer being a part of my life.  I feel very independent now (yes, I know I live in my parents’ basement…) but it is weird when the ‘wife’ part of my identity is gone and at the same time I don’t have my ‘mom’ identity of taking care of Brooke for the weekend.  It is a weird feeling.  Anyone want to hire me to watch your kids just for one weekend a month;) 

Getting used to so much change is just going to take time and just like with running, it will get easier.  Those first few times you get out to run (whether you are just starting out or coming back from a long break or an injury) feel almost impossible but after a few weeks/months of training we are running 3 miles like it ain’t no thang.  Our muscles and lungs adapt and figure the whole running thing out.  So just you watch…in a few months from now I will be able to cope with my time away from Brooke a lot better.  Even though I will cope with the time away better our reunions will ALWAYS be the best thing in the world.  I don’t know why I feel the need to tell you every thought I have but I just hope it helps anyone else out there that is struggling with a major change to know you aren’t alone and we will figure this out.  

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What day have you been taking your rest days recently?

Anyone going through some big changes now?  What? 

What kind of cake/dessert did you choose to have for your last birthday?

Longest break you have taken from running?

-I think it was about 12 weeks because of my femoral stress fractures.

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153 comments

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Brooke is so cute! Love the cheerleader outfit. I haven’t taken more than a couple days off since I started running consistently last March. I’m hoping not to as long as I don’t get hurt. I try to take 1-2 rest days a week to let my body just be.

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I get it and it does get easier. Really, it becomes a new normal. I have done that dance with my brain since my daughter was 2 and it does get easier. Continue to fill your time away from Broome with what you want to do. The hardest part for me was always feeling selfish when I wasn’t with her and enjoying my ME time. It’s ok to do that. It’s ok to miss her like crazy and still enjoy sleeping in and not having to wait till a munchkin wakes up before leaving the house. You will get used to the new normal because you have to and it will be ok. Your so strong…..and when all else fails, keep telling yourself you want to show Brooke the strong side. She won’t get it now, but will in the long run.

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Thanks for sharing and have a blessed day. You continue to inspire!

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When I first got married, I really struggled with the “identity crisis” thing, and I felt like no one really understood it. We had a very short engagement, so it was a sudden change, and one that I had never really envisioned myself making. I felt like I woke up one day, and I wasn’t myself anymore. The person I had always been was replaced by this new “wife” person, and she even had a brand new name. It was a good change, in my case, but a drastic change nonetheless. It took some time. I think one of the keys for me was to allow myself to feel how I wanted to feel, how I WAS feeling, without judging myself or being angry with myself for feeling that way. I know you’re already on that road. You’ve handled this so well! You always give me hope for my own life. After a while, our new situation pretty much always becomes the norm. Now if only I could get my lungs to be okay with trying to run outside in the cold air, I’d be golden.

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Lauren,

Cheers to the short engagement identity crisis!

I love my hub. He’s my beyond best-est bud. Yet, we met and married in 30 days and it was wow!

I’d never had a true long term relationship and have always been fiercely independent. He moved into my place the week before we got married and all of a sudden there were 2 bikes in the living room and my spare room was filled with his stuff.

He works from home, so it was crazy for me to go to work during the day and then come home to him wanting conversations.

It took me a while.. a good while.. to adjust to it, especially because his teen son was involved. All of a sudden I went from teaching middle schoolers during the day to having one on the weekends- no break! Oh, and add into the fact that I only had a sister growing up, so now there was a ton of testosterone around me!

For others, it might have been a simple change, but for me it was huge. Through long and thoughtful conversations, we made it. We remembered why we married as we did (it just felt right and we loved each other… for once, I didn’t analyze and I just took a leap of faith).

We’ve moved beyond that by leaps and bounds. A little girl added to the mix has balanced the hormone levels wonderfully, and I’m so grateful that we hung in there.

As you said, being honest and giving myself time were keys.

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Oh I’m so glad to know that I’m not alone! Thank you for your kind reply! I was also very independent before meeting my husband, who also was my first long-term relationship! I’m always happy to hear sweet success stories like yours!

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Thanks for this Janae, you truly are an inspiration and though it might not be easy to share everything, I know that you’ve helped me on more than one occasion, so can only imagine all the other people you are helping as well!

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I will always choose a chocolate Colin the Caterpillar cake for my birthday, no matter what! I took nearly a year off after training for my first marathon!

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I have been taking my rest days when I need them and unplanned…except today…I knew after my last long run my legs were going to need a day to recover. Anyways-

I can relate completely to finding an identity. When I moved here and left my job, I felt like I lost part of my identity that I am still looking for. Not working, I question what am I doing? Who am I? I struggle with change at first and it takes me a while to truly get adapted.

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Brooke is so cute in her cheerleader outfit.

I find when I’m going through change it helps to journal. Getting my thoughts out on paper always helps me feel better.

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I think any change, whether it’s positive or negative, takes time to adjust to. You’ve been handling things so well, Janae, and I’ve no doubt that you’re going to come out of this as an even stronger woman than you were going in.

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I’m just curious what you are doing for work now that you are single? Are you going to go back into teaching? I get your parents helping you through a tough time but just curious as to your long term plans?

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Great question Jane! I will talk all about it in my next post:) Thanks so much!

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The reunions with Brooke make it worthwhile <3 She has two parents who still love her, and I'm sure she misses you too! At least you made the most of your weekend! :) I had a cookie cake for my last birthday.. they are my favorite. Thankfully I haven't had to take time off of running for any major reason. Currently my foot is giving me some issues, b ut I'm hoping it will work itself out…

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And those cookies are getting made.. tonight. My rest days have been the days after my meets. I’m probably going to be taking Wednesday-Friday off this week though because my big race is on Saturday! I think the longest I have taken off since I started running is a week. I only started last year and I’m hooked!

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I usually take a rest day on Saturday or Sunday. This week it was Saturday and I did some nice stretching! The last birthday dessert I had was a delicious layer cake with chocolate cake, pecans and chocolate frosting. Chocolate overload = amazzzzing!

We are all so inspired by your positive attitude with all the changes you are going through!

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I know you’ve read Mile Markers because I read it because I saw it on your blog. Your post reminded me of the chapter where she talks about how when she drops her children off at her ex-husband’s for Christmas, she goes on a run immediately after. It helps her smooth the transition between mom mode and not-mom mode. Transition is hard, but eventually we learn to overcome it. Good luck. ;)

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Thank you for being so honest. At least from a readers standpoint, you have handled this with such grace and have come out as a stronger mom because of it. Just keep smiling…the light at the end of the tunnel is coming around! Xoxo

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I recommended your blog to my friend who is now going through a similar situation. I think it will help her out, so thanks for sharing your thoughts.
I take my rest day inthe middle of the week because I usually am dying to sleep in after a few days of running and working.

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you’re doing an amazing job with the divorce, you seem like you’re dealing with it in the right way. Sweet little Brooke, I think I’d have a hard time without her too:)

For my birthday cake- I like cheesecake or cake with buttercream icing! Someone needs to talk to my hubby though and let him know that birthday cakes are important lol!

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I can imagine it is very tough. Finding out your identity throughout many life changes is hard. I have never been through a divorce and it is supposed to rank at the top of the list of stressful life changes. I am glad you have running to get you through. When Brooke is older, the weekends away will not be as challenging. I have a soon to be 3 year old and a 6 year old. When they are so little and so dependent upon you it is hard but as they find their personality and their voice it is easier to relax when they are away.
My little one and I are having a hard time with change currently as she is in love with going in the BOB for our long walks/short runs and as I am now out until I guess after knee surgery, we just stare longingly at the BOB! Guess I will have to find another outlet for my energy.

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You will figure it out. You are handling this insane situation with the utmost grace.. Thank you for sharing.

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Thanks for sharing, Janae — you’re doing a great job!

My birthday dessert of choice is always ice cream cake :)

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hang in there! All change is hard, but I’m sure you are going to find your way, & you seem to be doing SUCH AN AMAZING JOB being a mom to Brooke :)

And in the mean time, you can always just run it off!

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These hard times will only make you stronger, I am sending you some positivity today!

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Janae, I read but don’t often comment. However, I really respect how you’re handling things – both privately (from what I can tell you’re allowing yourself to grieve and to process and not just stuffing the emotion) and publicly (being real with your readers in a responsible, safe way). Brooke will benefit so much from your health and I’m so glad you have such an amazing family to support you and love you and walk with you during this. Much love and prayers to you.

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Kim said everything I had to say. Thank you.

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Thanks for sharing. I know you are helping others who are going or will go through the same thing. I think independence is a great thing. Enjoy it as much as you can.

My rest days have normally been on Sundays but lately they have been whenever. I ran 10 miles yesterday and 7 last Sunday so clearly Sunday isn’t always a rest day anymore.

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I’ve been resting for a week and a half now. I hurt my ankle again. Calling the surgeon today.

For my birthday, my girls made me German chocolate cupcakes. I’m not sure what they will come up with for my birthday this Sunday!

Longest break I have taken from running was when I broke my ankle in March. 13 weeks of recovery followed.

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I can completely relate. Like I’ve said before it’s been two years since my divorce and I have a new bf but I still struggle every other weekend when my kids leave for 2 days. Some weeks are better than others but it’s always sad to not have them around. I did really start getting back to my hobbies I enjoyed before I was married and that really helped me. Drawing and…. piano! (I know you used to play too) Get back into it!

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I know there must be sleepless nights and a stream of negative thoughts that you don’t share- but even still you seem to be coping extremely well. You are strong!

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You are so strong, thanks for sharing your life with us :-).

My biggest hangs right now… Being furloughed during the govt shutdown. It’s very weird to not go to work…

I was out for about 4 months with a stress fracture. So brutal! And it was def a struggle getting back into running shape.

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The biggest change in our lives right now is settling down. My hub and I are both Navy brats, and he’s ex-Army (before we met). I moved a ton on my own once I graduated from college.

There was always the “we should keep the boxes in the garage/basement/spare space because we’ll be moving soon and need them” mentality. That’s gone.

It’s surreal. I went outside at 430 this morning to put out the recycling, and the sky was lit with stars. Had I wanted to, I could have driven (or walked) the .9 mile to the ocean’s edge to just hang out there. One morning, I will!

At the same time, my hub’s writing is taking off in huge regards. This place is just a bit of calm while all that is happening, and it’s incredible… but it’s weird.

It’s weird to spend 8 hours doing yard work on a Sunday, because we never have. It’s different to Craigs List greenhouses, old cement mixers, and to try to figure out how to remove concrete ponds (jack hammer…).

It’s through the prayers/reflection-acceptance-faith bit that it feels less weird. It feels okay. I’m embracing it… a lot… with a ton of gratitude.

So even though my given name means “wanderer,” it’s incredible to have found a “home spot.”

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I feel like my mid-twenty’s have been full of change. Most of them are small but many force me to consider my role in the world and my own identity. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to be without your sidekick for an entire weekend, but you’re right that it will get easier.

I have more or less been on a running break for about 6 months thanks to a nagging leg injury. It’s no fun, but it’s also rewarding to start back up and have to work for every mile.

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I have been following your blog for a couple of months now, and I am really thankful for you :) Not only do I think of you when I’m doing my long runs (sorry that sounds creepy), but I’ve recommended your blog to a friend who is also going through a separation.

I went through a very similar separation about 5 years ago (my son was 1 and a half)…my mom used to tell me this, “time heals all wounds,” and it’s so true. Just like you said above, healing takes time, and I can PROMISE that it gets easier. Childless weekends will NEVER be perfectly easy, but with time, it gets better and easier :) When you feel alone, remember, a lot of us have not only been through this, but we SURVIVED! :) And running always helps!

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Aww, I’m sure it will get easier Janae. Just stay strong :) Thinking of you.

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I love your attitude about the whole thing… shows your true strength and character. I think this time without Brooke one weekend a month warrants a puppy purchase, don’t you? ;)

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i just got married and am also going through a change of learning how to be a ‘wife,’ if that makes sense! it’s an adjustment. brooke is adorable and i want an apple pie now.

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Change is hard for everyone I think. From an outside perspective, you have dealt with this in a really strong way. Side note: we are the same exact dinner last night. Moms home cooking is the best. I keep telling mine that I’m going to move into the basement in May but they aren’t so keen on the idea… Something about how I am can only live with them once I find myself a real job.

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I completely understand what you mean about the change in your identity. For a long time after my divorce, I felt somewhat adrift and aimless, especially when my son was with his dad and I was essentially alone and my arms were empty. It’s really hard! I still struggle with that empty feeling when he’s gone, especially on holidays, and saying goodbye each time is so difficult.

I’ve been keeping you in my thoughts through this whole situation :)

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My big change is graduating school and trying to find a job. Right now I’m dealing with job searching and not really having anything to do but (hopefully!) adjusting to life as an adult with a real job as opposed to a student, which is what I have been for the past 23 years!

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What you are feeling is soooo totally normal. I didn’t know who I was either, I remember when I first realized divorce was happening – I said to my friend, I don’t know who I am right now. What is my name? I felt like my last name wasn’t mine and although I still kept my married name to this day for my son’s sake, I truly feel now like it doesn’t belong to me (I think I need to change it soon lol)….You will totally get through all of these emotions, it really is a process. And when I first didn’t have my son with me all of the time? Weird feeling, terrible feeling, sad feeling, odd feeling. Now, I hate to say I look forward to the me time and the break but still feel weird because when I walk around town, I have no child with me and no ring on my finger. People think I am a kid in college when in reality, I am a divorced mom to a 10 year old son. Hang in there. You are doing amazing. Divorce is rough but you have amazing support and a beautiful daughter.

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You are so strong and inspirational. This time has to be so difficult for you but, girl, you are rocking it

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My birthday was yesterday!! We had cupcakes, yum!! :)

Thanks so much for your honesty and being open with your readers during this time of your life. You are such an inspiration with your running and being a genuine person! :)

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You have such great perspective on things! We are also going through major family changes but in a good way. Regardless, change always throws me for a loop so my heart goes out to you! I’m glad you enjoyed your reunion!!!

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Hopefully it will get easier as time goes on to figure out who you are now. We’ll all be thinking about you and pulling for you in the meantime!

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HUGS! Hi, Brooke! My longest break from running is a little over four months (May – Sep 2013) bc of pregnancy bed rest and having the babies! And sadly I’m building up another break bc I haven’t run since that one time in Sep… ay yi yi!

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Sundays are my rest days, I love it this way. I get to spend a day doing absolutely nothing, my body loves it this way :). I’m dealing with becoming a student again, and becoming a nursing student. Lots of studying, learning how to balance my time, learning how to accept that I’m not getting much time with my boyfriend, and I sure won’t later on. It all just takes time, it will get easier for you, some things just take longer. Your situation was a drastic change, so it will probably take a little longer, but my point is, it will get better :) Last dessert I had for my birthday was pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting :). Longest break I’ve taken from running was 2 years, from multiple stress fractures in both shins

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I really hate change. It’s a shame because it keeps happening over and over and over. Life has a way of changing as soon as you get comfortable with things. Over time I have come to believe that change is a way that I learn to grow, however painful it may be. Maybe this will allow you to find other parts of yourself and your identity that you had forgotten about (or maybe that you never even knew you had). Chin up though, love! I admire your positive attitude.

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I am on a current break from running due to my femoral stress fracture :( I am really bummed but really focused on coming back stronger!

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I love you, Janae! You continue to inspire and amaze me with how you’re handling everything. I can totally see how figuring out your “identity” can be hard right now. But you are ALWAYS a mama to your sweet Brooke, even when she’s away for a weekend here and there. You’re also an amazing daughter, sister, aunt, and FRIEND! :) Hugs!

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You have an amazing attitude…keep your head up and keep smiling, pretty girl!! You’re An amazing mum!:)

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I think it’s great you can share your thoughts with readers like that. I’m sure many people can relate, including myself. I am all too familiar with change. My husband is in the Marine Corps (active duty). We have to move often, and his career always comes first. It’s hard hard for me to have my own identity. I have to leave my friends and family to move to places I’ve never been. We’ve been stationed in NC for a year now, and I’m still adjusting at times. I’m also a new stay at home
Mom, which is another adjustment for me. Don’t get me wrong. I love the life we live. I’m very proud of my husband, but with deployments and moving there is always a lot of change. I still fight with what’s my identity (besides being a marine wife). We are a lot of things. It’s about finding what makes you happy. Keep your head up. You have lots of support, and you will get through this.

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Changes: I’m started a masters program this year, nothing to crazy but the workload along with a husband, full time job, and kiddos is a big adjustment.
Last year for my birthday, my two bff’s and I ran a 1/2 marathon and went to Disneyland afterwards. I do not remember any desserts, but we did have endless steak fries at Red Robin.
Rest Day: ended up being today because I couldn’t squeeze my 20 miler in until yesterday.

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I usually only run 2 days a week, 3 at the absolute most! I found that my body just can’t handle running anymore than that. It helps me to not get mentally burnt out either. Hang in there with Brooke being gone. I have a 4 year old who initially only went to her dad’s once every few weeks and then eventually it turned into every other weekend. It was super hard at first but look at it as a great chance to recharge your “awesome mom” battery and enjoy the rest period. And even when she’s gone you still have your “mom” identity…that can never be taken from you!!

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You and your daughter are beautiful and such an inspiration. Your a strong lady! Change is always hard, hang in there and if I can ever do anything for you please let me know:) Im having a grandbaby soon, you can come cuddle him with me on those long weekends:)

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You have such a positive attitude! It is so inspirational see you move on and love life like you do each and every day. You and Brooke bring a smile to my face. I was so so so excited to see you have her back…FINALLY. I know that weekend was probably long, but it looks like you were sufficiently occupied!

I am going on seven months of no running :( I tore both meniscus in my left knee in January, surgery in February (which didn’t work)….It is sad, but I am taking up so many other hobbies to keep me busy!

XO Lauren

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*I usually rest on Sundays, but sometimes a Tuesday/ Thursday is thrown in there, too! Sometimes, rest is just sooo much more beneficial than a workout!
*Banana cream pie for life. It’s actually called ‘Not Yo’ Mama’s Banana Cream Pie’ mmmm =]
*A few months off running! I got pissed after a very hard half, then my IT band got sore… not a pretty sight.
*Give ’em hell, girl! You’ve got this under your belt! (Just like that sub 3 =] )
xx

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The big change I am going through is that I am 10 weeks pregnant with twins. We did IVF and it worked, which is exciting. But I have a little bit of bleeding every day and am constantly cramping HARD. My doctor seems relatively unconcerned as does my husband, but it is freaking me completely out. Fortunately, every time we go for an ultrasound (weekly) they look beautiful and are growing normally.
Not to mention, the thought of twins is petrifying me! It wasn’t what I was prepared for at all in so many ways!! It’s a huge change, and time is clomping along VERY slowly right now. I just want to get to 12 weeks and try to relax!
I’m not running right now, but I’m walking and doing the elliptical and/or bike. Oh! And I signed up for a pre-natal exercise class, so I’m excited to learn what exercises are best for me right now and meeting some other future moms!
I’m glad for you that you have a wonderful family and Brooke (and running of course!!) to keep you going through the tough times!

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CONGRATS Suzanne! That is amazing news. What sweet little miracle babies you have :)

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Janae- it’s definitely ok to feel like you lost some of your identity- and thank you for sharing this. You are doing great- and definitely an inspiration with your positive outlook. I hope these weekends get easier as you get used to the new schedule- I’m sure your family will be happy to keep you busy :)

For my bday I either like an ice cream cake or a yellow cake, chocolate frosting, with PB baking chips- so good!

Longest running break was 18 months for a pelvic stress fracture.

Happy birthday to your nephew!

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Change can be really intense, but I always find that I’m a better person for it. I feel like having set-backs in running really helps me deal with life’s other set-backs in a positive and constructive way.

I went through a huge life change last year, and am stilling adjusting. I got married, moved to a city from a small town, started my first job last fall, and finished my degree (while working full time). It’s been really intense, and on more than one occasion I have fought back tears while trying to get through the crowds on my commute home from work. But I am also finding so many things that I love about living here, and am learning that I can pretty much be happy anywhere.

I’m currently on crutches due to my femoral stress fracture, and am realizing how strong and determined I can be when I want to be–taking public transportation and walking about a mile a day on crutches in a crowded city is not for the faint of heart :)

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*still

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Sarah, props to you! I am 2 weeks out of tendon repair surgery on my left ankle and on crutches. I can hardly get around the house and small trips on those things and it drains every ounce of energy I have. You rock!! Best wishes for a quick recovery!

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I know it must have been hard to write something that is so raw, but you continue to amaze me. I think that’s why you have such a following. You aren’t afraid to put yourself out there and everyone is inspired by that.

Going on my 18th(ish, I’m not sure when I completely stopped running) week of non running, but I am crossing my fingers that my physical therapist let’s me do some “light jogging” today.

Have a wonderful Monday and keep being that awesome HRG that we all love :)

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Wishing you the best while you get through this hard time.

But I must say, as a reader, I’m extremely curious as to what transpired and what led to the divorce? As far as I could tell, you had a very happy family. Your blog had been all about your family- is it possible to give some idea on what happened? Did Billy cheat or you woke up one day and decided something was wrong (highly doubt this).

I’m just really curious, and I’m sure many of your readers are.

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ahhh i love you so much. the last part of this post is golden. XOXO

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I truly appreciate how open you are being with your readers. Sorry you have to be away from Brooke some weekends, but think of those sweet reunions. I can only imagine the huge smile on her precious face when she saw you!

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That BYU outfit is so stinking cute!! I’m so glad you have so many friends and family to help, this is a really difficult time. You’re always so positive and trying to move forward. I know a lot will benefit from your kind words and strong personality through all of this! Keep it up:)

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Janae, you are amazing and so honest. As a reader I know you don’t have to share those very personal details with all of us, but I think it’s why we like your blog. :)

for my last birthday i had a large cinnabon all to myself with extra frosting!

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I take rest days as I need them and rarely plan them. Your new schedule will get better. You are doing what’s best for Brooke and you and life has a way of working out :)

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I take Mondays as my rest day.

Even though I’m not in the same boat, seeing you dealing with the changes and difficulty in a positive way is a great example. My mother and sister (7 years older) are both alcoholics and the way they deal with things is to drink. I have chosen not to handle things that way. The only way for me to see alternatives is by surrounding myself with positive people who set good examples. So thank you, Janae, for representing what I view as a constructive, productive lesson on living.

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Change is difficult, but you are so strong. I applaud you for how gracefully you are handling everything. My “big” change is not huge, but it rocked my world. My daughter started preschool two weeks ago. It’s weird not having any kids with me during the day, but I know it’s for the best.
This year for my birthday I had oreo cookie cake (oreos, ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate syrup).
I’m starting back running from a few month hiatus. This hasn’t been my best year for running (non-running related injury and surgery), but luckily I have still been able to exercise. I figure even though it’s been a rough year for running, I’ll work up to a good baseline these next couple of months and be ready for an awesome year next year!

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I totally understand…if I lost such a big chunk of my identity, I would be lost for a while too. The good thing is though that you have a chance to make yourself again, to be true to yourself and to carve out a new, stronger Janae.

I am awful with change. On date night last night, my husband and I were discussing that our time here in the Bay Area is probably quite limited now, and the prospect of moving and new change made me quite down for a while. But change is always good in the end, even if its miserable at the time.

hang in there, you are doing so well.

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Christian and I are young which is good and bad. Good because we never really had the chance to be “independent” therefore no clashing heads over merging our lives together. Bad because we never really had the chance to be “independent”. I love him to death and I wouldn’t change it for anything, but I can understand where you’re coming from with the whole “identity crisis” thing. I went from a high school kid to an engaged woman and it’s hard sometimes!

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You are really inspiring, honestly. You’ve handled everything that has gone on so well and always manage to stay really positive

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Finding your identity is so important. When I went through my break up, I had been with my ex since I was 18. I was 22 and had no idea who I was without him. I didn’t know what to do with myself. Slowly, I found things that I liked to do that had absolutely nothing to do with him. I was able to be myself and learn to love myself again. Your positive attitude is amazing.

Brooke’s outfit in that picture may be the cutest one yet, but it’s pretty hard to choose.

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Since my injuries, I’ve had a hard time with my identity as well. I went from a running student teacher to a nobody because I just lost my whole life. It’s hard when life throws you huge curveballs but you will get through it, Janae. I think you’re doing a wonderful job and you have a lot of people supporting you. It is hard in the beginning, but it is never the end.

I’ve taken a lot of hiatus’ from running in the past two and half years. I just found out from all of my surgeries I may have necrosis in my knee (bone death). I find out on Wednesday. But, as you said, I’m just trying to roll with the punches.

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Janae. I look up to you so much. Your perspective and thoughts are always spot on, informative and uplifting. I don’t worry about you so much because of this. I know as hard as it has been on you, you have already grown so much because of it and will only continue to. It’s weird (and not life changing like your situation is) when I am injured and not running for a long period of time, I go through a small identity crisis. I feel like I am a runner snd running is pretty much my only hobby (unless eeating counts?) So when I can’t run I feel like I lose a part of myself. Especially when everyone I see asks me about running or what races I am doing…you know, to be friendly, but they ask because that is how they know me too and I am not that person. Does Does that make any sense? This iniury right now is the longest break from running I I have ever had since I started in 2002…including pregnancies!!! Aah.

I never ask for cake for my bday. It’s all about ice cream :) Hope your reunion with Brooke was fabulous this morning.

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It’s amazing how much a rest day can really help you both mentally and physically! I feel like taking a rest day, especially on Sunday, really gets me motivated to get back into it on Monday!

Your meals look delicious! I have always heard of those cookies but have yet to make them! I might need to give them a try!

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I think we all struggle with our identity at different times in our lives. When things were hard for me I was really struggling, not with an identity being taken away, but still feeling like me when I was trying to fulfill my identities (wife, mom, etc.). I found the best way to always feel like me, despite what’s going on around me, is to truly like who I am, to base who I think I am on stuff no on else can change, stuff that lasts longer than my kids being at home or my hobbies will or any house or car will ever last. I need to learn to be who I want to be forever, and that’s tough, but every step that takes me closer to that goal makes me happier and more confidant despite the storms that may rage around me.

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Brooke looks so adorable in the cheer outfit!

Can’t wait for your trip to NYC. I ran my first half marathon and I’m so proud. I’ll show you the medal :D

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Janae, this is beautiful. Your thoughts and positive outlook on things are great…even though, of course I know some days are harder than others…you are so strong and I think it’s great you are ‘getting it out there.’ So many people can relate, and may even have encouraging words for you. I can’t relate in that sense, but there are other areas of my life that I can TOTALLY relate to. (like in the sense of my identity.- my eating disorder was so long part of my ‘identity’- but now it’s something that I WANT to branch myself away from…I don’t want that to be a part of me…even though it’s a daily struggle I have come so far & every day only gets easier.)
Oh, and you are MORE than welcome to ‘borrow’ Gabriella one weekend a month! :D

XO. Love you. Stay strong!

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I think it’s so wonderful that you’re so candid about your situation. You’re a true inspiration to all women going through a divorce. I couldn’t imagine losing my girl for the weekend, and your strength and positivity is a beacon of light. Continue to stay strong and share all your thoughts! XO

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Janae, I have never left a comment before but I just have to thank you for helping me. My husband of 24 years died in September and I am having a rough time. We were high school sweethearts and have two teenage boys. Some days/minutes are better than others but your post today was helpful to me. I know you are in the middle of your own pain but I hope it helps you to know you are helping others. (Does that even make sense?)

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I am truly so sorry for your loss. I teared up reading your comment! I just want to give you a big hug. I am always here to email:)

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I don’t have kids (and I’m not divorced) but I am a child of divorced parents. My mom struggled with the identity issue for a long time, but ultimately, the weekends apart forced her to create an identity for herself that was separate from her identity as a mom. And that was an EXTREMELY positive thing for me, her daughter, to see. As a result, I grew up with this role model of a strong, amazing independent woman as a mother who had a social life, hobbies, and interests outside of me. So when you’re struggling with this issue, I think you can take solace in the fact that you are creating something awesome for Brooke. It’s so important for girls to have strong female role models!

Also, as an aside, the weekends with my dad allowed me to form a relationship with him that I never had when my parents were married. Before the divorce, I didn’t really know him – we had very minimal one-on-one time. After the divorce, we did so many things together, just the two of us (or the three of us – my brother and I) and formed a good relationship. That was also a really positive thing!

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Your comment was EXACTLY what I needed to read. Thank you so much for sharing your story with me from the child’s perspective! It was perfect timing!

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Thanks for sharing janae! I was just thinking about you yesterday and said an extra prayer. Lots of love to you and Brooke!

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Thank you so much Nicole!

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Totally dealing with a LOT of changes right now (mostly good, but still changes). In the last two months, I got married, became a homeowner, and got a new job. Oh, and my parents are going through a divorce after 30 years of marriage, which I expected but still sucks. Know what I’m having a really hard time with? Changing my name. I haven’t done it yet. I said I never would. Then I had a reason to. Then .. ugh, getting married when you’re older makes that harder I think. I felt like I’ve done so much with MY NAME, which sounds cocky and it’s not that much but I competed in NCAA, graduated law school, and passed the bar.. before I got married. So, I get the identity thing in a different way, but it’s the same “who am I” thing.

Brooke will thank you one day for being an amazing mom. My parents did EVERYTHING separately and now that they are splitting up, it’s easy for me not to take sides, as I’ve always had a relationship with them separately.

Longest break from running, probably a month? But I took off SO MANY MONTHS in gymnastics due to SO many injuries!

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Saturday was my rest day after a 20-miler on Friday. It was wonderful to do nothing, although chasing after my 4 y/o and 18 m/o isn’t exactly complete rest!

Hang in there! You will figure out your new identity in time. You’ve got the rockin’ mama piece figured out, so everything else will just fall into place, in due time. Keep on running and hugging that little girl and everything will be fine.

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Aww you’re right, it will get easier. The running comparison was a perfect one. Think of the time away from her as time to recharge yourself and help yourself to be an even better mom than you already are (you seem like you’re already a great one, but you know what I mean).

My rest days are whenever I feel run down and my legs are tired. I have been trying to switch it up with hot yoga and weight days on days when I don’t run. Happy birthday to your nephew! Mine is in 3 days, and I’m getting excited! :)

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I’m going through some positive changes right now. My baby is due is just a couple of months and we’re getting everything ready and organized in his room. It’s so much fun!

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Aww loved this Post Janae. I loved the ending a friend and I were just talking about running and when I read the last part of your post I knew she had to read it haha. I heard this methaphore once that was really nice. It talked about how all the feelings were in an island and wisdom announced the island was going to sink. Love dedicated it’s time to morn and visit all the places it loved while everyone else prepared their boats. At the end it asked several feelings for help, vanity didn’t want love in it’s boat because it was too dirty. Sadness was too sad to help. Richness said there was no place, the boat was too full with gold. Etc. Love thought it was going do die and was sad because no one would experience love again. Then this old man he had not seen before helped him. When he got to the island he asked wisdom who that old man was and why he was the only one willing to help him. He told him it was time, because only time is capable of understanding how great love is.

Sorry for the long comment, I just love that story. :)

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I so needed to read this today so thank you! I am going through a break up and I know a boyfriend/girlfriend break up is no where comparable to a divorce but I still feel a lot of pain and heartbreak right now. I know that we have a loving Father in Heaven though that wants to give us comfort and peace and wants us to be happy. You are one strong lil lady and I want you to know that your blog brings me comfort and peace so thank you for blogging and opening up to the world ;)

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Friday is my rest day. Monday is cross training, no running. For my birthday last year, and most years I make a chocolate cake with party frosting. The frosting is like the inside of a Devil Dog.
Last year was the big change for me, we moved from Boston to Seattle and I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Too much going on. You take it one day at a time. And count on your family and friends for support.

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so right! i definitely agree with you about change. i have frequently felt like “oh no, things are different!” but for me, i am interested in being around people with that same mindset of perseverance and optimism. I don’t want to be around people who continue to mope and cry. of course, grieving or feeling your emotions/ stress is normal and has to happen, but i want to move forward with hope!
awesome reflection :)

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I LOVE that you share everything with us :) It’s why there are millions of us out here who feel like you’re totally our BFF :)

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That cheerleader costume!!! Ahhhh!!!

You know what’s amazing about people (and you!)? We all have such a great capacity to adjust and find joy and new things and reinvent ourselves throughout life. And there is ALWAYS something great around the corner. xoxoxo.

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The birthday dinner looks delicious and so fun! Apple Pie is the best birthday pick for an October birthday. My husbands and my birthday is right around the corner this month too. I think we will be swinging byCostco, haha.

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Any sort of big change can be difficult to deal with, but I’d say you’re doing a fabulous job Janae!

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This past year and a half has been chock full o’ big changes. You know.

My longest break from running was about 10 years (undiagnosed torn labrum that degenerated). Since I started running again in 2010, these last 7+ months have been the longest break…which isn’t over yet :(

You are doing the best for Brooke while taking good care of yourself. Right on.

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My prayers are with you Janae..you will adjust into your new life, but when Brooke leaves for visitation,part of you will always be a little lost.
My Ex left when my 2 girls were, 6mths and 6yrs old..having them go on visitation in the beginning was heart wrenching, I didn’t know how to breathe or what to do..My children are and have always been “my heart on legs”. It does get easier in some ways, its changing your Ideas about what you thought your life would be.
I can tell you,it will make you Stronger than you ever thought possible..it’s a process that takes time, I have always had faith, and that became stronger also..

Your writing has brought back many memories of a hard time,but also a happy growing time.. years have passed and my girls are now 18 and 24…
My thoughts are with you and Brooke, I’m so happy you have a supportive family and many good friends..Take care….

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I think it sounds like you are dealing with this change really well. I’m glad that writing helps you a little bit because your blog readers love hearing about your day :)

I currently take one full rest day a week and it’s always on Fridays. I do my long run on Saturdays so having Friday off is perfect. My legs get rested up for our mission the next day AND I get to go out to dinner the night before to fuel up and hang out with Adam and/or friends and family!

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Thank you for sharing your story with us! I think when you do it’s a reminder that you are actively choosing happiness and you are making an effort every day to be the amazing person that you are. I think it’s so easy to fall into the “well I’m not as strong as she/he is” trap but when a hard time hits we do have the choice on how we deal with things. I am constantly amazed by your strength and I know it will make a huge difference for Brooke to have such a strong role model. Thank you so much for sharing Janae!

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Brooke’s little BYU outfit is too cute! I CANT wait to try those pb no bake cookies! I love anything with PB!

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Sunday is always my rest day. Sunday is the best day of the week because I get to sleep in too (til 7:30 ha! until next year when my church time changes)

I love the big chocolate cake from Costco (the tall one with the chocolate shavings on the side)

Although I’m not divorced, I can only imagine a part of what you are feeling and my heart goes out to you.

I could really go on and tell you what I’ve been through(with my husband) but maybe it would be better in an email.

There have been quite a few times that I felt the rug pulled out under me and it takes time to get through that. Allow yourself that time to get your equilibrium back, get your bearing so to speak.

I remember one day in particular, I was staying with my BIL and SIL and was just done with all the drama going on (and feeling that rug pulled out under me and thinking I could no longer be married) and laid on the floor and cried and cried thinking there was no way out of the latest development in the drama and my BIL and SIL just sat there and listened and talked me through it.

You seem to have a great family and really that’s the best way to cope right now. (which you’ve already shown us :) )

You will make it Janae and you may even look back on this time with gratitude in all the things you’ve learned. (Even though it really may suck sometimes!) I know I do in my own situation. Just keep being you. We all love you (cyber BFF’s!)

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This post was exactly what I needed! I definitely understand the identity thing. It feels like I am a totally different person when my kids are away from me. My kids are my world! You are the definition of grace and class. You have handled your divorce incredibly. I admire you so much for that.

Keep your chin up! You are such an amazing mom to little Brooke!!

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You are exactly right, Janae- this will all get better and feel more “normal”, it is just a matter of time and adjustment. It is exceptionally weird to find yourself the same way you were several years ago… single and childless. (Well obviously you aren’t the same person, nor does your child going for visitation make you childless, but you know…) I honestly had no idea what to do with myself for like the first three months. It was just so… weird. It could have felt very empty, but I just decided rather than feeling empty, I was going to rediscover who I was and what I wanted in life. When we are living our lives for other people, plenty of things about us change or go under the radar, and this is a chance for you to rediscover things about yourself or just to learn more about who you are now. I am still pretty sensitive by the time Sunday rolls around and NEED my son to come home (it is awful to be gone for more than one day!), but I can enjoy the space now and sometimes look forward to it. Especially when you are a SAHM, the space can really help you to recharge and be a better parent. Chin up, buttercup!

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Thank you for sharing with all of us, I think your open-ness about your feelings is part of what makes this blog so great!

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Stay strong, girly! You are doing great, and Brooke is lucky to have such a great role model for her mommy.

We are going through some big changes in our home too. I am applying for tenure and promotion this year. My husband is starting a new business. We are trying to sell our house and move across town. Plus, I am pulling my Brooke out of school this week to start homeschooling her. Yep…lots of changes. Sometimes it is stressful, but it is also good because I know these are all moves in the right direction for all of us.

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My favorite dessert is creme brulee! Yum!

Longest running break? I don’t think I’ve stopped running completely since I started back in 2008, but I didn’t run much June marathon this year until Aug.

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birthday dessert = carrot cake cupcakes from Costco :)

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You’re so many amazing things, and those things will continue to shine brightly as you figure out your new normal. You are Brooke’s mom, but you’re also a daughter, a sister, a runner, a blogger, a candy lover, a positive person, a strong woman, and someone who MANY people look up to. (And you’re many more things too!) Glad she is back!

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Thank you for being so open and honest and for sharing what you’re going through – I know that you’re encouraging many people during whatever difficult change they’re going through!

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You’re amazing, Janae!!!! <3

HUGS. xo

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I think we all know the only acceptable birthday cake is a Carvel ice cream cake in the shape of a turkey. It’s a proven fact. And if that’s not possible, fine, funfetti. It won’t be nearly as good but it’s the only adequate substitute.

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Thank you for being so open with your readers!

I sounds like you are processing things really well.

Hang in there!!

http://expertbrand.com. Where I get all my cold weather performance apparel!

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Janae – thanks for being honest and putting it out there. It helps to know someone else is also wrestling with a loss of identity. Transitions are hard.

I love your blog and thank you for the reminder to stay positive and future-focused. Love the honest and upfront post :)

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Thanks for sharing. It is really brave to be so honest. I imagine that reunions with Brooke are the best! Even just coming home after a day at work seeing my baby’s smile makes everything good.

The biggest change I am going through is going back to work after my second baby and trying to get back into running after a LOOOOONG time off. I haven’t run regularly since 2010.

For my birthday I like ice cream cake!

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I’m happy that you are finding peace and independance again! It sounds like you are getting to a better place in your life- praise God! I’m praying for you and Brooke everyday <3

My birthday is tomorrow! I'm SO excited because my grandma is making me her famous carrot/pineapple/spice cake- it's SOOOOO good!

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Awww, sometimes your posts just make me want to give you a huge hug. This was one of them. You are handling your divorce with such class. You are a wonderful mother and Brooke is lucky to have you as her number one role model. Keep your chin up every weekend that she’s away will get easier because you continue to get stronger. As for birthday treats, chocolate covered strawberries for me, yes please!!!!!

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Brooke looks like such a happy little girl – you are obviously an amazing mom and that identity is *always* yours, even on those weekends when Brooke is away. I’m sure this is one of the hardest things you will ever go through but you seem to be managing it great and creating a happy, stable home for Brooke to thrive in. I think you are amazing!!

I’m not going through anything quite so major, but I’ve been a stay at home mom for 9 years and am getting ready to look for a job and get back into the workforce. It probably sounds odd but I’ve been grieving a little for the end of the “small kids at home” era…My girls are now 7 and 9 and I love every second of the ages they are, but it just is so bittersweet that they are growing up so fast. I’m excited to get my work identity back, but also nervous and scared and a little sad that time has flown so quickly!

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The past 12 months have been all about change for us. My husband lost his job last October, his new job has taken us to Oahu 3 weeks out of the month. Last Fall my Dad became very ill and he passed away in March of this year. Some days I think I’m doing great, others not so much. Although the Hawaii job is wonderful, I feel torn between our friends/family/home in California and our new life here.

I don’t remember if I had cake on my birthday this year! I did make an awesome German chocolate cake for my husband who turned 50 in August.

Rest days have been inconsistent – I try to work around travel days and jetlag.

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So happy that Brooke is back!

I have so much respect for how you are handling everything you are going through. Your positive attitude is an inspiration to me and you incredibly resilient. I wanted to let you know that the writing you have done about running and life in the past few months have been a huge inspiration for me. I had a terrible year last year and decided to run my second marathon this year to move on. I re-read your post “how running makes us better at life” yesterday morning before my second marathon because it really motivated me during my training. I ended up setting a 32 min PR yesterday! Thank you for continuing to be a bright part of your readers day and being a total warrior and inspiration. Onward and upward :)

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Funeral potatoes are no good unless they have corn flakes!!! Your mom passes!

In divorce I think both sides go through similar things. I have been on the mans side of divorce and I agree, change is hard! But things do find their place.

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This analogy is amazing. There is nothing more difficult than getting back into running after an injury, but before long, it’s much easier than you ever thought! I recently had to take a month off due to an IT Band issue and coming back was one of the most frustrating things I’ve ever done, but I stuck with it and now runs have become so much easier!

I always take off Thursdays for my small group and Sundays because they are just great for being lazy. :)

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I’m glad you have the support of your family to help you through this difficult time. And you WILL find yourself again…try not to look so hard and it will happen on it’s own.

Most of the time my rest days are on Saturday or Sunday, depending on my race schedule.

No huge changes at the moment, but I’m contemplating some that I’m not quite ready to put out there yet. I have this way about me that, when I say it out loud, it’s going to happen if it’s the last thing I do.

My longest break from running has been three weeks after getting slammed with illness (strep, bronchitis, flu, and pink eye within a two-week time frame). My first few runs back ended in tears, and I was sure I’d never get back to where I was (I did, of course).

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you identity has always been there, wife or not. You are one amazing, beautiful, kind, loving FRIEND, MOTHER, DAUGHTER, SISTER, and PERSON.
<3

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Hi! I recently read the book “Who moved my cheese?” and it definitely helped me reflect on how I think about change. It’s super short, so I definitely recommend it.
Love the blog; keep being you! :)

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I just wanted to tell you that I think you are awesome and handling everything with such grace and beauty. You are beautiful, inside AND out, and I thought you should know that. :) :) Also, Brooke in that cheerleading outfit?! ahhhh I can’t handle the cuteness!!

xo

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I really enjoyed this post. It made me really think about struggles that so many of us go through in our personal lives. I know it must be hard to share some of these struggles, but I’m thankful that you do.
You inspired me to do some deep thinking today! Thank you!

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I can’t wait to give you a big hug this week <3

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Runners don’t quit. Quitters don’t run.
Stay strong, it will get easier.

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I think you nailed it. One of the hardest things (obviously besides the emotional turmoil) about divorce is figuring out who you are again. You go from being two parts of a whole to having to learn how to make yourself whole with just yourself. (If that even makes sense…!) For what it’s worth, you appear to be doing it wonderfully!

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Identity crisis! I went through that. I was married….then my husband died. I didn’t want to stop being a MRS. It felt wrong to say Miss or Ms. I felt like I didn’t fit in. Then I was introduced to running. It’s been 14 years since he passed away but I’m ok being Sally the Runner and not Sally the Wife. Maybe someday I’ll get to be a wife again. I always pray for a second chance at that. But in the meantime I’ve carved out a great lil identity. =) Hang in there….You’ll start to feel more comfortable with your change.
Speaking of change…..I’ll be turning 40 in 11 days! =) I can’t wait for my cake. It’s going to be chocolate chip cake with ghiradelli chocolate ganache filling! And the top of the cake is going to have a race bib that says
SALLY
40

Being without Brooke will get easier. And like you said, put that emphasis on the reunions!!!!!

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I admire you so much Janae for your classy attitute. Also you must know that you helped a lot of people through this sharing, including me.

Love and wish all the best

Brooke in this outfit is just the sweetest thing I have ever seen :)

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GOSH! I can relate to this post so much!! I had dated my ex from the time I was 14 until the my senior year of college. I didn’t know life outside of him. He was my best friend, my secret keeper, and suppose to be the person that would love me indefinitely forever. Unfortunately, things changed and needless to say I found him in a controversial situation. He was well on his way cheating on me, not that he physically cheated but he was deleting texts and his mind was definitely no long where it had been throughout our relationship previously. I felt like I had lost my best friend and greatest love. I definitely first hand know how hard it can be to walk into a room of people and not have him. My identity was so intertwined in him and who he was. I almost felt like I was grieving a death. I went through the hardest time thinking it was my fault or maybe if I was different this wouldn’t have happened. However, I definitely came away from this so much stronger and so much more dependent on myself. You HAVE been SO strong and I admire you so so much!!

P.S. I emailed you last year asking if I could use pics of you pregnant with Brooke running for my presentation for school. It turned out great and everyone loved your pics :)

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I just moved to Colorado three weeks ago and am looking for a job, so I get the big changes! I also wanted to let you know that I am thinking about you and praying for you! I can’t imagine the changes you are going through, but you will make it, and you will adjust!

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Im struggling with empty nest syndrome and living and looking at a stranger who used to be my best friend. We now have nothing in common, no shared interest or activities and barely can carry on a conversation. In addition, i have been ‘forcefully’ promoted to a job that is beyond my capability so im feeling like a bit of a failure in my professional life as well. Everybody has struggles thats why we have to treat everyone with kindness.

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You’re such an inspiration, I love your optimism!! Stay strong pretty girl! We runners are a tough crowd.

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Your brother-in-law looks crazy fun! I hate that you are having to go through all these changes-it really breaks my heart for you, but yes you will get through it and it does get easier.
Usually my rest day is Fridays-I’m just exhausted after a long week.
No big changes right now, but I’ve been through plenty the last few years.
My choice of celebration cake will always be chocolate on chocolate!

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Aww. I can’t imagine what a divorce feels like but I think about you all the time and am always trying to send positive thoughts across the miles! I think change is hard for everyone. Even though what I went through was ‘just’ a breakup it still took me a long time to get back to who I was, to feel normal again. I never believed that saying about ‘time healing all wounds’ but I think time does play a big part. Taking care of yourself and doing something healthy like running when you’re feeling down also helped me immensely. Just know that all your readers are pulling for you – we really are!

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you are doing great Janae!

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Every day has been a rest day since the St George marathon until today. I finally woke up early and did some Insanity. Maybe I’ll run again tomorrow. Ya. That might be nice. :) I’m starting to miss it.. YAY!

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Love your honesty and perseverance….and that picture of Brooke, omg.

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Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us, Janae…I can’t imagine all that you are walking through right now. We know many people from church (and outside of it, of course) who have been divorced recently and although I don’t know the details of your “why,” I can only assume there is much pain and grief and surprise surrounding your divorce. My husband was diagnosed with cancer 5 months after we were married (almost 6 years ago now) and we both dealt with a lot of identity issues. We couldn’t do what identified us so strongly before (working as outdoor adventure guides) and he couldn’t work – so hard for a man’s identity specifically. I’ve often thought about if he died who would I be? We have a widow friend and she has dealt so well with this but it’s been a growing process for her as an individual. All that to say that it makes so much sense to be struggling through those issues and I know that growth will be the end result! So glad you have such an amazing family, Brooke :) and running. Thanks again for sharing.

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This is a beautiful message! Thank you so very much, Janae. You inspire me every single day. I love you so much!

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I definitely lived in my parents’ basement for three years after my life fell apart (for different reasons, but still…). I faced a lot of shame and embarrassment throughout that period of time, but looking back- I am mostly just so grateful that they were there to help me heal and figure out how to move forward. Now I’m stronger and happier than ever! Thank you for opening up and sharing this with us…I think a lot of people will be able to relate to how you’re feeling. You’re certainly not alone :)

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My rest days vary since my work days and days off varies. I usually save my rest day for a day where I know I won’t have the time or energy to get out there and run. Or for that morning where I wake up and can’t imagine moving a muscle in my body.
This year has been life changing for me, not that I had anything major happen, but I finally realized that I needed to figure out who I was and what I need to do to make myself happy as a single mother (I’ve been a single mom since my daughter was born), but sometimes in that you forget who you are and your merely surviving day to day. You’ll find who you are.

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Yay for Brooke being back with you!

I’m either a vanilla/vanilla girl or will devour any cake with coconut!

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Love your honesty. I try to be honest on my blog too (like today) even if it isn’t always my happy side. I think being true is important. Like, right now, my biggest change is figuring out why my 11 month old isn’t sleeping through the night all while working on presentations, midterms and papers for school. Although I had a breaking point last night, I know it will all be worth it. We just need to hang in there no matter what :)

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