Tuesday, January 31, 2012

questions of a thousand dreams

When did it become "cool" to be rude and disrespectful?

When did it become more important to be their friend than their parent?

Is what I have to say unimportant because I don't have children?

"How can you stand next to the truth and not see it?"

How can you possibly only care about yourself when seven billion people live here with you?

Why do people who don't know what they're talking about talk anyway?

Did you do anything today to make someone else smile?

Have you ever sent someone flowers anonymously?

When was the last time you were truly happy?

What does your Dream Life look like?

What can be done to fix this?

What are the chances I'll win the lottery?

Is it possible to be the girl who serves warm beverages and bakes cookies and still pay the bills?

When was the last time you woke up in the morning and weren't still tired?

Do you enjoy your job?


When did honesty cease to be the best policy?

Why are people afraid of quiet?

Is is possible that a person can be put in your life just to annoy the crap out of you?

Why is common sense so uncommon?

When was the last time you did something nice without expecting to be rewarded for it?

Did you do that because it was right for you or because you wanted to be able to tell everyone you did it?

Would you have done the same thing if no one was watching?

Do you ever desperately wish you could be a kid again, just so life wasn't so complicated?

Why do you remember every word to songs you haven't heard in years?

Does it all happen for a reason?

Would it help to know the reason?

Did you say "I love you" today?

Did you say "thank you" today?

Did you give thanks today?

Did you try to leave it a little better than it was?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

he might be out to get me

So, you remember the Ancient Chinese Torture Sandals that were a "gift" from Hubby? The ones that hurt when I wear them? Well, Hubby went and got me a new gift. This one? A Bed of Nails.

The technical name is "Lotus Bed" which makes it sound all nice and pretty and relaxing. It even looks pretty and relaxing. Except that when any part of your exposed skin (or, let's face it, your clothed skin) happens to even barely graze one of those pretty little lotus blossoms, it feels like a hypodermic needle being plunged into said skin by some sadistic untrained nurse.

Much like the Torture Sandals, the Bed of Nails is meant to stimulate reflexology points and the flow of energy through the body and heal what ails you and all that. But really, it just hurts like hell. I'm slowly, carefully, painfully figuring out how, exactly, to use it without white-hot searing pain.

His intentions were good, I'm sure. Or at least that's what I'm choosing to believe. Because just when I think he might be trying to kill me, he'll turn around and make some sweet pea soup for dinner.

Maybe I should check the recipe. Just in case.

you capture

Sunday, January 22, 2012

and you shall receive

I called it The Fudge Containment Plan. It was simple enough. Register for a race that's shortly after the holidays. I figured if I did that, I would have to keep my mileage somewhat up throughout the holidays season, which I thought could work to counteract the fudge and peanut butter balls and cookies and peppermint bark that I would be living on in the month of December. (Okay, so maybe "counteract" isn't the right word. Break even? Okay, probably not even that. If I kept the mileage higher, the fudge couldn't completely take over. At least, that was the hope.)

And I found a half in January. This appealed to me on many levels. The Fudge Containment level and the I Love to Play in the Snow level. So I signed up.

I didn't actually train. There was no speed work, no hill repeats, nothing that said "I have a race coming up." I just made sure I could cover the miles. And ate fudge. And peanut butter balls. And didn't even care. The race just sounded like fun. Go run! In the snow! Why ruin it with all the hard work and self-discipline required to train? (There will be time for that later, after all...) I hoped and prayed that race day would be cold and snowy and winter wonderland-y.

And ohmygosh it was!

It was something like 19 degrees when we started running. With about 6 inches of snow. And snow falling at that moment. It was awesome. And a few thousand hardy souls made their way along the course, laughing and chatting, warning each other about ice and puddles, encouraging each other, defying the odds and the elements, and being thankful to be out there to see just how beautiful the whole spectacle was.

And I was totally under-trained, and I pushed to hard, and my knees rebelled, and it hurt, and I was wet and cold. But it just didn't matter. It was so. much. fun.

Hubby was filling in for UB, and he was waiting at the finish with a bag of clothes and a working knowledge of the path to the nearest Starbucks, where we promptly went. I changed into something dry and ordered something warm, and we took to the snowy streets to make our way back to the car.

It was more than wonderful.

It was Winter Wonderland-ful.

Stride on!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

getting there...

It was finally cold enough for the snow to last more than 12 hours.

It was finally cold enough to put the flannel sheets on the bed.

It was finally cold enough that, when you looked outside, it looked cold.

It was finally cold enough to take the Sock Monkey Hat out for a run. (The poor thing had been languishing in the hat basket since Christmas....)

It was finally cold enough for frost to form on me as I ran.

Bill Bowerman once said "there is no such thing as bad weather, only soft people." If that's true, I must be rock solid. Because I hope for this, wait for this, dream of this all year long.

There are still thick, warm, cozy sweaters in my closet that I haven't been able to wear yet this year. Boots begging to fulfill their God-given purpose. Hats (so many hats!) that must think I hate them, they've been so neglected.

Come on, Winter. Show me what you've got...

you capture

Sunday, January 15, 2012

blow me down

So, it snowed. For real. Snowed like the weather just got the memo that it's January.

{It's pretty awesome.}

Which means snow needed to be removed from driveways and sidewalks and such.

I headed out to the garage, grabbed the snow shovel, and decided to start with the driveway. Now, let it be known that our driveway is small. Like, small. It's not terribly wide; just barely fits two cars side by side. It's not terribly long; one regular size vehicle won't be hit by passing traffic, but that's about it. We do have a fair amount of sidewalk that needs to be cleared. And a really small patio area. But really, it's not much to shovel.

Our neighbor has an even smaller driveway than we do. And absolutely no sidewalk/patio/other area that needs to have snow cleared away. And he has a snow blower. Not just a snow blower, but a superdeluxe snow blower, with a little plastic enclosure that attaches to the handle to stop the blowing snow from hitting him. It looks kind of like the Pope-mobile. But a snow blower.

So me and my silly, old-fashioned shovel take to the driveway, at the exact same time that Neighbor tries to start up his snow blower. And it makes a tremendous racket, and expels more than a few fumes, and it stops.

And I keep shoveling.

And Neighbor tries again. And there's more racket and fumes, and it runs for a few second and stops.

And I keep shoveling.

And we play this game for a bit until he finally gets the thing going. So I'm now half way done clearing my driveway (with a shovel) and he's making a racket and spewing exhaust and blowing snow. (Without any snow actually touching him, because of the Pope-mobile option.) And I move on to the sidewalks. Then the patio. Then the sidewalks in the front of the house. And then I'm all done.

And Neighbor is still trying to clear the snow from his tiny little driveway with his big ol' snow blower.

And the next day, as I was leaving to get grocery, I couldn't help but notice that my driveway looked better. Clearer. More even (I guess that's the word).

And I'm not altogether sure what my actual point is, here. Maybe just, um, when you have the world's smallest driveway and nothing else, do you really even need a snow blower? Or is it just a "guy thing?"

Because, well Neighbor (guy), your snow blown driveway was out-cleared by a girl using a shovel.

So there.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

good morning. sometimes.

I'm a morning person.

Really. I am.

I love to wake up early and greet the day. Perhaps 5:30? 6:00? Sip some green tea, do meditation, yoga. You know, ease into the day. See the sun come up, then head out into the fresh morning air for a run or a ride or a hike.

It's lovely. Near perfect, really.

I never get to do it, but it's lovely, nonetheless.

What I generally get is battered into semi consciousness in what is, essentially, the middle of the night by a screaming demon of an alarm (which is not to be confused by being awakened in the middle of the night by the Demon of Screamin'. That's another post entirely.). Making every effort to not wake Hubby, I stumble through the darkness, crying out silently as I inevitably stub my toe, and make my way to the bathroom. Once there, I down a glass of water and pray for all to go smoothly (ohplease, Idon'thavetimetowait, howisitalready4:17?). I fumble my way to the kitchen to slam a cup of tea and choke down my herbs so I can unroll my yoga mat and hurry up and relax already so that I'm not late for work. Again. That whole run/bike/hike thing will have to wait until after work. And will most likely take place on a piece of stationary machinery in the basement. Where we keep the cat's liter box.


Some days hand me a gift.

Some days, I get to not only greet the day with tea and meditation and yoga and running. Some days I get to luxuriate through the whole morning.

Some days I get to curl up in my chair, burrowed under a fleece blanket, with a book in my lap and a cup of tea at my side.

Some days there are warm scones, fresh out of the oven, with butter melting over the sides, a cup of chai, and a Hubby that I haven't seen all week with whom to share it.

Those mornings really are lovely. And way beyond perfect.

you capture

Sunday, January 8, 2012

throwing ropes

I had 10 days off of work. Ten. Whole. Days. And it was like I was a different person.

I woke up calm. Even though the days were as busy as any work day, I was calm. I didn't feel like I needed to hurry or rush or moveasfastasishumanlypossible in order to get out the door on time and go do things that other people wanted me to do. I was able to actually enjoy my breakfast instead of shoving it down my throat without tasting a thing, while simultaneously putting on shoes and a coat.

I was happy. And I smiled. Sometimes for no discernible reason. Just because the sun was shining. Or I had time to do the dishes. Or Hubby and I ate dinner together, like a real family, for seven nights in a row. Or Hubby and I had a real, actual converstion, not just a venting session in the 10 minutes of the day that we saw each other. Or I actually had time to watch a movie. Or I actually went to the movies, like at the actual movie theater.

I went to bed relaxed, laying there comfortably, without having to remind myself to un-scrunch my shoulders and un-clench my jaw. And I got in bed at, like, 9:30 instead of trying to force myself into sleeping at 8:00 by counting the minutes until the alarm would be buzzing me awake (that would be 450 minutes if I fall asleep at this exact second, which never actually happens). And I slept until 6:30 in the morning. Or I slept until 7:00 in the morning. Or I just woke up when my body was ready to wake up, never having turned the alarm on at all.

Somehow, there was time to do things I needed to do and things I wanted to do.

I walked though the day without a constant headache, without tensionandstress turning my shoulders into coils of knotted wire, without having to feign happiness or keep up appearances so that no one will know that inside I am sobbing.

Because most days, I have a constant headache, and my shoulders are knotted coils of wire, and I have to feign happiness and keep up appearances so that no one will know that I am sobbing inside. And on more days than I care to think about, I wind up sobbing on the outside, too.

And sometimes it takes ten days away from what life is normally filled with to see just how much you don't like what life is normally filled with; to see just how unhappy your "normal life" is making you.

And that makes me sad, because it wasn't always this way. But I think I'm well past the point that it can ever be any other way.


I find myself in a place I never expected to be, and trying to figure out what is next, and how I get there. Is it even possible to take things that you love to do and turn them into a way to pay the bills? I don't know.

I feel like I've tossed a rope out into the universe. And I'm holding on to one end for dear life. But I don't think it's the end of my rope. More like it's the beginning; and if I can be strong enough, and patient enough, and wise enough to hold on to it and follow it along, I'll wind up where I'm supposed to be.

Sunday, January 1, 2012



Change is a good thing.

Often necessary, often exciting, absolutely unavoidable.

But still, it makes me nervous.

So new years, they make me nervous, too.

There is the excitement, of course, of the possibilities, the what are you going to do with this big, blank slate before you.

But there is also the unknown, the uncontrollable, the unavoidable.

This year, in particular, makes me a worry a little more than most. There's just so much out there that could go so wrong.

And I try not to see the part of the glass that's half empty. Really, I do try. But it can be hard. For me, especially.


This year.

It seems more important than ever for me to continue my efforts to live in the present moment. And only the present moment. To pay attention, to do my part, to do what I can with what I have, to work to change what I can, to accept (fear-free) what I cannot change.

I can choose my actions, my reactions, my thoughts. That's a lot, really.

I can spend each moment looking and seeing, feeling and being. That's a lot, too.


This year.

Let's hope it's a good one. (Without any fear.)

The sun is shining. Right now, this moment.

That's a good start.