Tuesday, March 29, 2011

you capture - vibrance

Hubby and I are both vegetarian / borderline vegan. And when we eat in the company of non-vegetarians, we often hear comments about how our companions could never give up meat, or "jokes" about eating meat, etc. It is annoying, especially since we don't make comments about their choices in food, but we've learned to accept it.

But the funny thing is, when everyone sits down to actually start eating, those non-vegetarians will look over at our plates, then often look back at their own with a trace of sadness in their eyes. See, our plates are always prettier and much more colorful.


see more at Beth's

Sunday, March 27, 2011

lost and found

In about 5 weeks, it will be time for this spring's Big Race.

Five weeks.

I drug myself through January and February, spending most days wondering how I would ever make it to the Big Race, let alone actually through it. I can remember exactly two runs in those two months that were not marked by the word pain. And I really, truly thought I was done running.


March arrived. And even though it's still freezing cold, there's some sunshine. And I decided that I didn't want to be drug through March. So I dug in

I gave up chocolate for Lent (notmetalkaboutit). I pulled out my old, trusty training plan and amended it to fit the new normal. I got to work.

I quit running in the knee braces, and save them for some post-run therapy.

I've been running up and down hills. Big ones.

I've been to the track for speed work. (Granted, to anyone watching it would not look like speed work. But speed it a relative term.)

And today I hit ten miles again. It was long, and it was hard, and the near constant freezing wind didn't help anything. But it was good.

Because, for the first time in a long time, I felt kinda like myself again.

I've missed me.

I have five weeks to run up and down hills, and run circles around the track, and inch my mileage up, little by little.

And that makes me smile.

And Big Race doesn't seem like such an impossibility anymore.

Stride on.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

you capture - youth

I remember when birthdays were like this.....

(Okay, so I guess mine still are, if I can help it. I may be at an age when many people try to forget or ignore their birthday. But then you don't get cake. Why would I deliberately do something where the end result is lack of cake?)


see more at Beth's

Sunday, March 20, 2011

spring fling

Today I am packing away clothing made of corduroy or wool, as well as clothing that has a turtleneck. I am also shoving winter coats into crates and then shoving those crates into basement corners.

It's not necessarily warm, and I could wind up wishing I still had some of those things within easy reach.

But I don't care.

Spring begins today.

Although it's still chilly, I want jackets, and cotton skirts, and t-shirts with cardigans, and mary janes with no tights.

Although my knees still ache and the wind still has a bite, I'm running with a little more pep, and a smile on my face, and faaaaar fewer layers.

Although I have a crazy, full, busy, most likely tiring week ahead, I can see spring break on the horizon.

I am ready for spring.

Ready for sunshine

Ready for outside.

Ready for a bicycle and my legs to be my main modes of transportation.

Ready for open windows.

Ready for fresh air.

Spring, I am so glad you're here.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

you capture - emotion

Sometimes I want to take pictures, but I don't know what I want to take picture of. That's usually when I head over to my sister's house and just see what happens.....


see more at Beth's

Sunday, March 13, 2011

let go

I have created a very intricate labyrinth of rituals to get myself from one side of the day to the other. Steps that must be taken in a very specific, careful order or my world will tilt off balance, if not come crashing down. And I have been telling myself that this whole little dance is to my benefit, to keep me functional and "normal"and lots of other things.

But lately I'm not so sure.

Have I just crammed so much into the day that I've pushed out anything that can actually help to lighten it?

Things that once were fun and freeing are becoming one more thing I have to try and fit into an already over-crowded day. I seem to just be tired and sluggish and unhappy and anxious and all kinds of other not good things like that.

And then I had this thought - What if I stopped?

It came to me the other day, as I was crying because it was late, and I was tired, and I still had to about 12 different things before I was able to get into bed, and I was so filled up with stress and anxiety that by body was in huge amounts of pain in all kinds of odd places. Though my tears I said to Hubby "I just want to be like normal people. I just want to stop hurting. I just want to be able to go to bed."

And the thought came. What if that was what I did? What if I just went to bed?

I know there are some things that I really, truly do need to do, but...

What if I did the things that made me feel good, but not the things that make me feel less than good?

What if I shifted my focus to the things that actually, truly help me, lighten me, bring me some measure of peace or happiness or calm?

And if I didn't manage to fit every little thing into the day, I just let it go and went to bed?

These thoughts are revolutionary to me. And a little scary.

I want to believe that I can control everything, and that by controlling everything, I can make everything perfect. I can make me perfect. I can make life perfect.

But really, there is very little, if anything, that I can control. And nothing is ever perfect.

Including me. Especially me.

So why do I put so much energy into trying to make it so?

My answer has always been that I, in fact, can control it all and make it all perfect if I just work a little harder, do a little more, so I simply must make each step I take through my labyrinth day dance be as perfect as possible, so that I can be better, faster, thinner, happier, on, and on, and on.

But today..... I just keep asking why do I put so much energy into trying to make it all perfect?

Because it's not. And I'm not. And it's not going to be. And I'm not going to be. Ever.

But I believe I can be happier, calmer, more at peace.

I used to be.

I can be again.

If I can just let myself go.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

you capture - body parts

It's kind of crazy to think about all the people who look at us during a typical day. It's maybe even crazier to think that each person who looks at us sees something different...

focuses on something we may not usually think about...

notices things we may not have noticed ourselves...

and yet, it's all still you.

What do people see when they look at me?


see more at Beth's

Sunday, March 6, 2011

here and now

This was one of my favorite moments today. I wanted to take her picture. She wanted me to take pictures of Scooby Doo. So I did.

She is my niece. She is sweet and cuddly and I'd give her a kidney or a pony or pretty much anything else she wanted. I sometimes tell my sister that if she can't find her middle child, I probably came and took her. But not to worry, because I'll bring her back soon.

I've come to realize that being Aunt is good for me. That's what I can be good at. I can scoop up the little ones I'm surrounded by and take them for ice cream and cupcakes, read them stories, frost cookies with them, supply them books and crayons and drawing paper, cheer for them at dance recitals or sporting events, and tell them just how lovely and wonderful and amazing they are. And then send them home with their mom.

I don't think I'd be quite so good as the actual mom. The fact that I'm 36 years old and have yet to have any seriously strong maternal urges or hear any loud ticking noises kind of backs that up.

I can't quite pinpoint any one reason why I don't think I'm supposed to be a mom. But I also can't remember a time that I really, truly pictured myself with children of my own.

There was a brief time, not too long ago, when I kind of thought maybe Hubby and I should have children. But, really, is that a good reason to have kids? Because you "should?"

I suppose that could all still change. Never say never and all of that.

But sitting here today, my heart is content spending time with a little girl who wants me to take pictures of Scooby Doo, then walks me to the door, gives me kisses, and tells me that she loves me before I drive home for dinner, just Hubby and me.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

you capture - technology

I am fighting my own low-key war on technology. Yes. I am.

Technology is a big buzzword at work right now. And everyone I know is touting the wonder and necessity of things like ipads and iphones and smartphones and smartboards and on and on and on.

And I'm sure the kindle is a wonderful thing. But somehow, touching a plastic screen just doesn't hold the same magic for me as turning a page.

Don't get me wrong. I love my computer and cell phone and ipod and digital camera as much as anyone. But that's about my limit. And I worry that an over reliance on the wonders of technology might just be ruining the ability of humans to truly, meaningfully communicate with each other.

People are becoming so used to text-speak and saying what they want to say in 42 characters or less that they don't know how to write anymore. A complete sentence is a foreign concept. A paragraph? What's that? Details? OMG yuv got 2 B kdng.

I know children who can't make the 15 minute car trip from their house to the grocery store without turning on a DVD. I know children who are (seemingly) glued to their DS. And why would they go outside and play? They have a wii.

And, I have to say, I miss getting letters in the mail.

Maybe I am old. Maybe I am old-fashioned. But it makes me sad.

So, each day I'm waging my own anti-technology battle, fighting on with pencils and erasers and loose leaf paper and dictionaries and paperback novels.

"Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind."
Henry David Thoreau


see more at Beth's