18 children have blessed my life. That’s not a typo – eighteen. Infertility, seven pregnancies (which contradicts infertility, I suppose), 12 years of foster care and adopting and I was blessed to end up with them from everywhere. More than “Yours, Mine, Ours” – an amalgam of foster children who aged out, adopted children, step children and even a few biological children. It. Is. Awesome. I grew up in dysfunction so foster care was my way of giving back. Someone made a difference to me, so I wanted to pay it forward.
Many things have motivated me to maintain my health. Being raised by parents who are addicts taught me a lot about what I didn’t want. I wanted to stay healthy and age gracefully. I’ve been active in many ways, but the one thing that was always a part of my life off and on since college was running. Inexpensive, portable and done in any weather running not only keeps me in good physical shape, it gives me a chance for my head to clear. It’s time to think, problem solve and plan, but mostly it’s time for me.
Running is a place where I can be the diva that I am while at the same time it’s perfectly natural to snot rocket, pee outside, sweat profusely and swear. I allow my kids to map out routes driven by their buses. I’m not afraid to get lost. I’m strong. I’m confident. Hopefully I have instilled in my children the value of staying healthy and active.
I embrace a minimalist lifestyle. Learning not to compete with others and what they own and have a clutter free, smaller home is a continuing journey. It creates an environment with less stress, less spending, less stuff and better relationships and experiences. Having strong family ties, being healthy and building memories are some of the things that are most important to me. The kids are growing up fast, I’m happy to enjoy the journey.