I am not a runner. I want to be a runner. I am kind of like run stalker, you know, in that I’m a walker 😉 I have talked to a few runners in my day, explaining that I get dizzy, blackout, chest pain. I mean, when I run, my body starts to shut down… the systems are failing people!!!! (more about my general lack of physical fitness another time). And time after time I hear about the “second wind”. “You just need to catch your second wind!” they tell me. Apparently the second wind comes just before you die. Just when you think you can’t take another step, it hits you, like a sweet spring breeze and you are walking on air! Ok, maybe a bit over the top, but I have to be real: I’m feeling a bit bitter that I am missing out. Every time I run I am stuck permanently in the gasping and wheezing stage and am pretty much determined to get a runners high before I die (it’s on my bucket list people!). That aside, I realized today that I HAVE experienced a second wind before, just a little less “hot, fit, yoga pants mom” and more “hubby’s sweats, no makeup, coffee and cake mom”.
My friends, I have experienced a cleaning second wind and it is darn beautiful. In fact, it is so glorious that I feel a bit miffed that it isn’t something we talk about. I mean, I know it exists, it isn’t something that cannot be found or achieved by the everyday exhausted mom. And like the runners second wind, it only comes when you are dragging your butt against every fibre of your body and mind telling you the couch is a much more palatable resting place. It only comes when you shut off the TV and the computer and walk into that room that makes you want to crawl back into bed. It doesn’t show up until you get past the “I don’t know where to start” stage and just start somewhere.
But somewhere along the way, without even realizing it, you are no longer aimless or forcing yourself to work anymore… you are in “the zone”. The zone where you are motivated and driven and not stopping until this thing is complete. The zone where you have superhuman strength to move couches and bookshelves and tables. The zone where you forget to eat or drink and midnight is just another number on the clock while you work tirelessly, relentlessly, on a project you are darn well going to see through. You, my friend, are experiencing the cleaning second wind. Here are 5 things I have learned about the second wind.
1. Milk it! Once you realize you are in this tender, much sought after stage, you can’t just let it go! You have worked hard to get to this place, now reap your reward! Use that second wind for all it’s worth and get as much as you can done while it lasts!
2. Utilize the Domino Effect! The second wind has a good friend, positive reinforcement, but you have to claim it! I have found the best way to do this is to go to that room you worked so hard on the day before, and just sit there and bask in how good it makes you feel. When you turn around and see a messy area somewhere else, you will most likely feel a burst of motivation and determination to keep going.
3. Take a tylenol the next day. While I did have superhuman strength to move a huge 12-cube bookshelf, large table (I think I broke both of those in my efforts, shhh, don’t tell my hubby), and various other pieces of furniture. I also noticed that the next day I was pretty much unable to walk. I was exhausted and in a great amount of pain. If you are doing a lot of heavy lifting, have a warm bath and take an advil and make sure your body has some time to recover! (seriously you guys, my LEGS!)
4. Avoid your computer! This may have you scratching your head but it is VERY important when you are in a redesign/organization frenzy that you stay far far away from the internet. I can almost guarantee that you will start looking at Ikea or Wayfair or whatever online furniture/organization store you have and start online organizing in a way that costs WAY too much money (I currently have $1800 worth of furniture sitting in my cart to custom organize my school room and home studio. Thankfully I went to bed before pushing submit and woke up with the clarity that my husband would not consider those same items as necessary as I did. I mean, those 4 little chalkboards and distressed metal pen holders were really important at 12am you guys!)
5. Plan for the fallout. Here’s the thing you guys, when we are completely invested in one area of our house, the whole rest of the house is being neglected. This is the fastest way to lose steam. What I try to do is take my day 2 domino effect and instead of working on another room, taking that day for the rest of my house. I vacuum and do dishes and make meals and relax in the evening. Then I take the next day completely off. When I hit day 3, I go down into my newly organized area and kind of let it settle on me, and I find I have a much easier time mustering the motivation for round 2. My house is in order, I took some time to rest and recover, and I can continue plowing ahead like a crazy person.