Tuesday, April 26, 2011

you capture - pink

Some days suck.

And it's cold.

And it's raining.

And you're running late.

And you leave your breakfast on the counter.

And you leave your glasses on the dining room table.

And you have two meetings. At the same time. Before work actually begins.

And you really just want to crawl back into bed and sleep until you can't sleep anymore. Which is probably a really (really) long time.

And when you finally make it into your work space, you see that some anonymous someone has left one single flower on your desk.

And suddenly your day isn't so sucky anymore.

see more at Beth's

Saturday, April 23, 2011

so I said when

There was a time in my life when I did everything. Everything I needed to do/wanted to do/was asked to do/etc.

That time is past.

As I get older, I find more and more that I can't do it all. Even if I want to, I can't. The reasons are many and varied and sometimes kind of depressing. And it took me kind of a long time to realize any of it. But once I did see it, I had very little problem adjusting; I was able to look and see what could be trimmed away. That's actually kind of a continual, day to day process for me.

And as I sat staring down this weekend, I knew something had to give.

My priorities seem to be written in triple bright neon these days, so they were not hard to spot. But sometimes figuring out what will go is not quite so easy. But I have my process of elimination (for lack of a better term), and eventually it gets sorted out. And once it does, I'm good with it. Even if what has to go is something I would actually really like to do, I'm good.

But it doesn't always work out that everyone else is good with it. And I've found that sometimes when I try to explain what, to me, is crystal clear and makes perfect sense, the response I get is "that's just stupid." So I've pretty much quit trying to explain myself to other people.

Really, I figure they don't need an explanation anyway. Because sometimes I just have to do what's right for me. And that's all the explanation there is.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

you capture - spring

Just a few glimpses.....


see more at Beth's

Friday, April 15, 2011

keep pushin'

This week was one of those weeks. I know you know those weeks.

By the time I got to Wednesday, I just kind of wanted to curl up someplace dark and quiet and not come out. Ever.

Wednesday also happens to be one of my three precious run days. But I did not feel like running. Not. At. All. I felt like curling up someplace dark and quiet and not coming out. Ever.

But instead, I came home from work, changed, and headed out the door. The automatic pilot part of me headed for the hills. Literally - the out and back loop that takes me over some crazywicked hills.

As I started my slow shuffle down the street, I felt as though my legs were made of equal parts lead and iron. The thought of just looking at hills tired me. The thought of running up them made me want to cry. Everything in me wanted to turn around and just go back inside.

But I didn't.

I keep at my slow shuffle until my legs started to loosen up a little. And then something happened that I hadn't expected. I started to push the pace.

I can't even say what made me do it. I can't remember the last time I'd done such a thing. I can't even say it was a conscious decision.

But there it was.

Me. Pushing.

Maybe I was delirious from lack of sleep.
Maybe I was fed up with the things-out-of-my-control.
Maybe I was trying to remember what it felt like to race.
Maybe my legs remembered something the rest of me had forgotten.
Maybe it doesn't matter.

Because I went with it. Mind you, there was nothing particularly fast about the pace I was pushing. But it was faster than I'd managed in quite awhile. And don't even think those monster hills didn't slow me down to something akin to a crawl. But holy wow if I didn't pick up again when I got to the top.

And when I got home? I didn't feel so leaden. I didn't feel so ready for a dark hole.

I felt good.

Good enough to push on through the rest of the week, with something like a smile on my face.

Stride on.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

you capture - smile

And then I bit his head off.

Which made me smile, too.

Some days are like that, I guess.


See more at Beth's.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

so I turned myself to face me

When it comes to my hair, I will try just about any cut or any color.

That is about the limit of my comfort with changes.

I am a creature of habit. Change makes me nervous. It's just so unknown. More than one night I've sat awake wondering, worrying, about how things could/might/need to/should/are going to change.

And yet, one of my favorite quotes is "Be the change you wish to see in the world." (Gandhi said that.)

I've always taken that to me the whole, wide world. As in, do what you can to make the world better. And I've always tried to do that, nervousness or not.

But lately, I've kind of turned that phrase inward. It occurred to me that "the world" is also my world; as in my life. And if my world is going to change, I'm going to need to be the one to do it. And it needs to change. And that makes me so, so, so nervous. Even as I make decisions and choices that I hope will bring changes, I am nervous.

So when the nervousness sets in, I've taken to saying "be the change" to myself. Somehow, that helps. Somehow, that little phrase reminds me that it's still me, and it's still my life, and I'm not actually going to change who I am, but that the changes will serve to make my world a better place, and maybe even make me a little better, too, which will, in turn, make me more useful to the world around me. How those three words do all that, I'm not sure. But they do.

Hubby brought home a ring for me not so long ago. It's just a simple silver band, inscribed with the words "Be the change you wish to see in the world." A beautiful, ever-present reminder.

Be the change. I'm trying. Every day.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

you capture - fun

... because sometimes you just need a post-work, pre-dinner, hormone-driven snack.

see more at Beth's

Sunday, April 3, 2011

fairy tale

Once upon a time, there was a girl who loved to run. She wasn't a "natural" runner; didn't look the part, wasn't particularly fast. In fact, people were sometimes surprised to learn she was a runner at all. But she loved it just the same. And she worked really hard at it, too.

Over time, over miles, over races short and long, she improved, little by little. She set goals. She worked toward them, day after day. She watched her times drop at every distance. Eventually, she actually became a kind of good runner. There was quite a string of time where she consistently won her age group, finished among the top ten women, won a few races herself. Her lucky 13th marathon was the Holy Grail of Boston.

Exactly one year later her knees were in an MRI machine.

Running changed then. She still loved it, to be sure. But it was harder now. Painful. A struggle. She was slower than she had ever been. It was frustrating. And, even though she put on a brave face and said all the right things to make everyone think she was fine, she was sad. And she let herself be sad for a very long time.

Then one day, she decided she didn't want to be sad anymore. Being sad was a waste of time. She could still run after all. Even if it was slow, she could still run. Even if it involved new rituals, she could still run. And, after all, she still loved to run.

So she set her mind and her heart, and she went back to work. And it was still hard, but it somehow didn't seem as difficult anymore.

And one day, she decided it was time to be brave and sign up for a race again. A 5k, just to remember what it was like to run a race. It scared her. She was afraid of making a fool of herself, of being the slowest person there, of people pointing and whispering (things like "didn't she used to be good?"). But she got up early on Saturday morning, laced up her running shoes, and toed the line anyway.

And she did what she had done in every race she had ever participated in - she ran. When she got to the one mile mark, she noticed the clock was already showing double digits. But this oddly didn't upset her, or anger her, or depress her. When she got to the two mile mark, she realized that once (upon a time) she would have already been done with the race. But this oddly didn't upset her, or anger her, or depress her. Instead she took stock: Do I feel okay? Yes. Would it be possible for me to run any faster than I am? No, not today. So? Keep running.

And she did. She ran the slowest 5k she had ever run. But this oddly didn't upset her, or anger her, or depress her. After all, it was the best she could do on that day.


Will she ever be faster? Will she ever get better? Will her times ever improve? Maybe. Maybe not.

It turns out it doesn't really matter.

One day she was fast. That day is over.

One day she was slow. That day is over.

But every day, she loves to run.

So she does.

The end.

Stride on.

Friday, April 1, 2011

little moments

... waiting in Starbucks for my ventisoyunsweetenedgreentealatte and listening to George Harrison's If Not for You playing in the background...

... sitting in a quiet house eating warm apple cinnamon oatmeal...

... realizing that it was totally worth it to buy the expensive flat iron...

... unrolling my mat...

... turning on the radio in the car to find that Eric Clapton's Lay Down Sally is starting just this very second...

... seeing that, for the first time in a month, the store has the pizza sauce that you love so much back in stock (and buying two, just to be safe)...

... standing still on top of a sand dune to listen to the waves below...

... wearing a hat, with a flower on it...

... lacing up my running shoes...

... eating a homemade peanut butter cookie...