Advice from Ron

28 Feb

I was watching Parks and Recreation last night with Matty and Elise, and Ron Swanson (expertly played by Nick Offerman and easily one of my favorite television characters of all time) said the most perfect and prescient thing for me at this particular point in my life.  He was counseling Amy Poehler’s character, Leslie Knopp, to take a leave of absence from work in order to fully concentrate on her campaign for city council.  Leslie is a go-getter who likes to do everything perfectly, but both her campaign and job in the Pawnee Parks Department were suffering because she was spreading herself too thin. 

So Ron tells Leslie “never half ass two things, whole ass one thing.”

I almost fell out of my chair, I thought this was so profound.

My mother, who was a superb naval officer back in the day, has given me the same advice, but Ron put it so succinctly, and the timing was so amazing, that it really just hit me in the face last night.

You see, this is my last week working as an active duty naval officer.

Being in the Navy is all I really know how to do.  I inducted into the Naval Academy almost 11 years ago and never looked back.  I know that I am making the right decision by getting out, but have been struggling with letting this huge part of my life (and my identity) go.

I know, deep down in my bones, that this is what I have to do, but it is still so hard.  I don’t ever remember being as stressed out as I have been over this past year.  This is partly due to my particular situation at work—there was a crucial turnover while I was on maternity leave and the new guy has been dreadfully hard to work for—but so much of it has to do with me.

I have been in a particularly lucky spot considering that my wonderful sister lives with us and takes excellent care of Ruby, and I happen to have the BEST husband who is understanding and helpful and just an all-around great guy, but my house has been messier than I like and this stresses me out far more than it should.  Ruby still does not sleep through the night, so neither do I, and by the time I get home from work I am so exhausted I just want to sit around and watch TV and play with Ruby.  I have done tons of research on the benefits of eating whole, unprocessed food, but have been too tired to cleanse my kitchen of all the crap and actually consistently cook real meals for my family every day.  This tiredness and laziness have combined into a horrible force and I have allowed myself to gain almost 30 lbs since I dropped 50 right after Ruby was born.  The weight gain has, in turn, stressed me out even more.

I know that staying home will not be some sort of magic pill that will drag me off the couch and make me a more energetic, exciting mom.  However, I also know that being able to devote 100% of my time and attention to being Matty’s wife and Ruby’s mom, “whole-assing” this homemaker business, will remove at least some of the stress and a ton of the time drags that have made this past year so difficult.  New challenges are ahead for sure, and I will have to deal with them head-on, but for the moment I can’t wait to start my new life as a Virginia Navy wife.

And I have Ron Swanson to thank for that.

4 Responses to “Advice from Ron”

  1. Jill February 29, 2012 at 5:39 am #

    Sarah, Sounds like something Pappap would say. I am so proud of you! Love, Jill

    • sarahshellock February 29, 2012 at 8:27 am #

      You’re right! That definitely sounds like PapPap! Love you and miss you!

  2. Scott March 2, 2012 at 3:56 am #

    Well spoke, Sarah…. Also, this makes me miss John a little 🙂

  3. Lindsey March 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

    Sarah, a year and a half ago I went through exactly what you are going through. Well, mostly, because Robby was born AFTER I got out. But, I have been through the officer to homemaker transition and I can tell you it was tough but rewarding. Once you figure out how to “whole-ass” being a mom, it is so awesome and rewarding. Sometimes I still feel a pull to work full time, but I know I couldn’t do it now. I am so much happier taking care of my child and just managing our house and finances etc. (yes he lets me control the money, haha!). Also, have you checked out the Stroller Strides workout?? They started in San Diego so you are in the right spot for it. It is an awesome one-hour workout that you do with your baby in the stroller. You get to meet lots of other mommies too! I teach it up here in WA and I love it. Good luck with your transition!

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