Monday, October 17, 2016

It's All TECH to Me

I try. I do. I really, REALLY do. But, try as I might I'll never be able to speak "tech." I will also not be able to understand it, explain it, or truthfully care about anything tech-like. When someone starts to talk technology, I feel myself falling into this abyss of confusion and lethargy. For someone inept in all things techy, the struggle is real.

...I'm the gal that was honestly stumped a week ago when someone asked me if I had an iPhone or an Android. Honestly...I have no clue. If you offered me $1,000 to tell you one difference between the two I would walk away with no money. To me a phone is a phone. Can I call, text and take pictures? Great, I'll take it.

...The Cloud. I just had Jesse explain it to me...again. As long as I know my files are safe, I'm good.

...BYTES. Honestly. What in the world. Jesse starts saying "bytes" and I think of food. Like how big of a bite of deep dish pizza can I take? As a visual he wrote out the differences between the different bytes, like megabyte vs. kilobyte, gigabyte vs. terabyte. This can be best represented to me in a visual. For instance, if I stacked Reese's Peanut Butter Cups on top of each other, and each cup represented one byte, which stack would be taller. Now that has me doing math....

I tried to actually use Reese's to understand bytes and their different sizes,
but Jesse then tuned me into the fact that if 1 peanut butter cup = 1 byte and there are
 approximately 35 cups in a bag, I'd need 30,000 bags for a megabyte.
Now THAT I can comprehend because that is something I can actually BITE into. 

Here is where I feel badly. Since Jesse works at an IT Company in town, technology is a big part of his life. It is something he is truly interested in it, and as his wife I'd love to be supportive and listen and show I care, but it is tough when I have NO clue what he is talking about. That, and to be frank, it bores me...very much like every science class I ever took.

So, welcome to some realistic scenes in the life of a wife married to an employee at an IT company.

Jesse walks into the door as I'm once again whipping up a domestic diva's dream supper of mac'n cheese.

Sarah: Welcome home, honey! How was your day?
Jesse: Well, today I had fun trying to identify the age of a PC with our RMM tool because it's a white box and only reports the serial number on the motherboard and the manufacturer is less than helpful. After that, I had to update the quoting templates for our server options because the processors on the Gen 9's switched from v3 to v4 and the speed has increased on the DDR4 Ram.

Cue my faraway look and random thoughts...
Sarah: Can he see the emptiness in my brain where all tech knowledge should be? If I respond with "Sorry about that," will he end this conversation thinking I understood what he said or will it make him keep talking? Maybe I hear the girls fighting and I should go break that up. Why does it matter if it is a white box? I think a teal one would look cool. Did he say something about a mother? I need to call my mom tomorrow. Wait, focus!! 

The girls are in bed and we are relaxing and catching up on some episodes of Longmire while he blogs or tinkers on his computer and I'm probably doing something for my It Works business. Suddenly, with a burst of enthusiasm Jesse pumps his fist in the air.

Jesse: Yes, I DID it! I installed three different OSs in VMs on the desktop of my laptop in an hour. Now I can run Ubuntu as my daily driver and use the VMs to test other operating symptoms.
Yup, I wrote nothing there because due to the time of day my faraway look is now just a completely blank stare. I'm also too tired at this point of the night to have the energy for random thoughts much less the effort to ask any questions. Instead, I give him the classic "I'm so sorry I'm unable to understand but honey I'm really proud of you" look.

I'm sure there are others of you out there that can relate. I'm sure we all have a spouse, a family member or friend that has some talent or interest that you could really give two hoots about, but because we love them and care for them we listen to them. We rejoice in their victories (even if they have to explain them multiple times) and comfort them in their struggles.

The crazy thing with me is that while the topic of technology wants to make me take a nap, it is pretty crucial to our (and my) every day living. If you would take away my phone and my computer away for a bit I would struggle. I know I would survive and life would go on, but you have to admit technology has streamlined our lives. I depend on it for so many things from connecting with my family and friends to running my business. I'm blessed to have a husband that gets the tech stuff. I don't get it, but I'm glad he does.

I know there are several things I'm interested in and talk about that make Jesse zone out, but at the end of the day I know he cares about me and supports me in all I do. I just hope he sees that in return.

Simply put...the connection is processing. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Beautiful Exhaustion

The other night my 2nd grader was getting out of the bath, and in her overtired state insisted she was too tired to dry herself off. As she stood there with water dripping around her she pulled out the big guns and said,

"Mom, I think you, as a Mom, have no idea what it means to be truly tired."

I instantly had about a million sarcastic (but true) comments to this, but I kept silent, knowing that saying anything at this point would just make the situation of a temperamental overtired child even worse. Instead, allow me to share the hashtags I used when posting this latest zinger from my daughter on Facebook.

#whatdidyoujustsay   #youhavetobekiddingme   #ohmyword   #icanteven

This is the part of the quote that literally made me laugh out loud (ok, internally) the most. Of anything, or anybody, mothers everywhere know exactly what it means to be truly tired. Her statement still would have made me laugh, but the fact that she added the "as a Mom" part really got me going.

Before I have everyone up in arms about how they are tired too, I realize that. I don't deny that everyone, no matter what stage in life you are going through at this time, does get tired. My point, though, is motherhood takes it to a whole other level. This is written to be humorous, but everything said is the dead-honest truth. Ask your mom, or your wife, or your best friend or cousin that is a get the idea.

When she said I have no idea what it means to be TRULY (I also love that she added that for emphasis) tired I immediately thought about both physical and mental exhaustion. Let's start with the physical side.

From the moment you become a Mom you are physically exhausted. Having a human growing inside of you is no easy task. Even when your baby is still the size of a pea or a blueberry or whatever the piece of food they equate it to at that point in your pregnancy, you are tired. Talk about first trimester tired. The feeling of waking up but needing to go back to sleep, or taking multiple naps during the day then wanting to go to bed at 8 PM. OK, who am I kidding, 6 PM is a normal bedtime. From those early months just continues.

Physical exhaustion reigns supreme when:
- 2nd and 3rd trimester tiredness is compounded by swollen legs, migraines, aching backs and sleepless nights due to multiple bathroom stops.
- Labor turns into a 24 hour ordeal and you get NO sleep because back labor is so intense. 
- Those first months of multiple feedings and diaper changes every night become your normal. You are so tired you put the diaper on backwards. It does NOT help when your husband wakes up the next morning and says, "The baby slept pretty well last night." Really?!?!? What room were you in?
- When post pregnancy hormones get out of control and you have severe insomnia for 4 months. Never ever have I so detested the sound of cheerful chirping birds in the morning. I wanted to cry from utter exhaustion. But I couldn't cry because I was too tired.
- You are so tired you don't want to shower or clean the baby spit up off your yoga pants. But, when you are a working mom you have no choice. Having to be presentable for work saved me from falling into the abyss of hygienic despair.
- What about those sleepless nights with sick kids? Like when you share your bed with your allergy-induced asthmatic daughter to make sure she keeps breathing? Or when the other one tops out at 6 night terrors spreading over the course of the night resulting in 2 hours of sleep for you? Or when you are on puke clean-up/bed sheet change #4 of the night after they have projectile vomited 6 feet into the air and....then...wait for it....they vomit once all over you. You are so tired you peel off the icky clothes and just climb into bed. 
- Another doozy is when they get older and you are chasing your littles all over the house, or the park (or the store!).  Once they are in motion the exhaustion of up, down, here, there takes over. Added to that are the pleas to "Watch me, Mommy!" "Push me on the swing, Mommy!" "Pick me up, Mommy!" "Let's play tag, Mommy!"
- Through this all you still fold the laundry, do the dishes, grocery shop, etc. Life as you know it doesn't stop. Tired...tired....tired...

As they age things change and they start sleeping through the night and they are able to entertain themselves at the park so the physical exhaustion ebbs a bit. While that side ebbs, the emotional exhaustion that has been there since Day 1 just continues, and quite possibly intensifies.

- Moms are probably their own worst critic. "Am I doing this right? What does the best-selling book say about this? The internet? I've only checked on 74 websites."
- The emotional exhaustion of knowing "that part" of your life will not be making a resurgence anytime soon.
- Discipline. "Are we doing this right? Why are they behaving like that?"
- The internal comparison game with other moms. "Why can't I be like her? She makes motherhood and family life look so easy."
- "Do they know how much I love them?"
- "Does my husband know how much I still love him? It is hard to make time for us these days."
-  How do I balance it all?

I am well aware that the lists above could have LOTS of other bulleted items, and there would be a wide variety for all the different moms out there. I intended this to be a comical look into the life of a mom, but realize I probably came away sounding like I'm complaining. That was most certainly NOT my intent. In the end, I (and I think a large majority of moms) would do it all again. I know the tiredness we feel now is temporary. Our eternal heavenly home will be one with no pain, no stress, no tears, and lots of rest.

Someday the physical exhaustion will be gone. God-willing our girls will be grown up and out on their own, maybe raising their own kids. Jesse and I will be at our dream lake house. He will probably be fishing and I'll be sipping coffee and reading a good book. While I often dream for a quiet moment like that now, I know years from now I'll be wishing I was pushing them on the swings at the park, packing up everything to go to the pool, taking another bike ride, or picking them up in a big hug. The emotional exhaustion I'm assuming will have taken a slightly different role...constantly wondering and praying for them wherever they are in whatever stage of life they are in.

So what soothes this exhaustion? At the end of the day, when you hit your breaking point both mentally and physically, and your child gives you the biggest hug and kiss and says, "I love you, Mom." 

BOOM. And there it is. At those words my body and heart just melt. Then I get up and do it again tomorrow.

Simply put...this is a beautiful life. 

This quote was said on one of those physically and emotionally exhausting days.
She was 4 years old at the time, and I dearly loved her perspective.