Monday, August 12, 2013


I am not a cat person.

like, at all.

I couldn't ever give a concrete reason for that.  I've just never really been one for cats.

but... hubby came with a cat.  non-negotiable.

so... for the past eight years, I've lived with a cat.

and the cat?  he crystallized what I don't like about cats.

he is constantly underfoot and in the way.  he follows you around, being loud and obnoxious.  he climbs on things I do not want him to climb on (with his paws that have been in the litter box). the litter box.  did I mention the underfoot and in the way part? 

it's like he tries to be a bother.

and I've spent quite a few years being really annoyed at the cat.  I don't yell (I'm not a yeller), but I huff.  and I speak in exasperated tones.  and I come close to threatening. 

so the cat?  he learned to try and stay away from me.

but one day it occurred to me that I have enough negativity in my life that I cannot control.  why was I letting this cat be another source of negativity to me?

good question. 


I thought about what it must be like for the cat.  he's got hubby and me.  we are his source of everything that he needs.  food, water, friendship, everything.

I thought about what he's really like.  not my I-don't-like-cats filter view, but him.  and he's just not so bad.  he doesn't climb on things like kitchen counters or bed pillows.  and do I really care that he sits on the back of the couch?  and most of the time that he follows you around?  it's to the kitchen because he wants treats.  how can I, of all people, fault him for that?  he's mostly self-amusing, playing with his various cat toys and whatnot.  and that one time there was a mouse inside the house?  it didn't last long.

and so I decided to control the negativity that I can.

I made a conscious choice to be nice to the cat; to make a real effort to like the cat.

at first it was hard, for both of us.  I had to count to ten a few times.  and he seemed kind of confused when I would pet him.

but now?  I think we're kinda friends. 

I walk up to him at least once a day and whisper-yell "he's so fluffy!!!!" while I scratch his chin (he likes that, the chin scratching).  I give him treats pretty much every time I go into the kitchen (so, lots.) 

he sits down next to me when I'm icing my knees.  he wants to sit on my lap when I'm reading a book. 

and  when I woke up in the middle of the night feeling sick and whet to lay out on the sofa?  he came and laid next to me for the rest of the night.

and I was so grateful for his company. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

space (this one)

how many times in the past two months have I come to this space, logged on, stared at a blank screen for awhile, then logged off?

many.  very very many.

it's hard to say why.

I still like this space.  I still want to have this space.  I still have things I want to say, thoughts I want to record.

but somehow, something is different.

part of it is me, I suppose.  but a far bigger part of it is outside of me.

and I suppose I shouldn't let outside of me determine what I do or say.  but sometimes it feels like that's the best possible thing to do. 

but I miss this space. 


I slowly peek around the corner and tip-toe back in.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

post script

so, big race was good.

better than i expected.

better than last year.


i still have the but.

as in "better than last year, but still so much slower than before."

i keep thinking at some point that will stop happening.  it took  a full day before i thought it, which is progress.  but...

it hasn't stopped happening yet.  but someday,  maybe.

just before big race, i mentioned the "m word" to chiropractor.  his response was "well... let's see how big race goes, and then we'll think about thinking about talking about a possible marathon at some point."  that's his way of saying no, because he knows i don't like  "no" very much. 

although the funny thing is, i'm really okay with the absence of marathons.  i mean, i'd give just about anything to still be running them, but still.  i vividly remember my only post knee implosion marathon.  or more accurately, i remember the minutes/hours/weeks following my only post knee implosion marathon.  it was awful (huge giant massive understatement).  and i really don't ever want to do that again.  but still.

i'm heading into a summer that will not be filled with marathon training.  and i'm not sure what to do with that.

there are 12 days left in this work year.  big race part 2 falls toward the end of those three weeks.  the month between part 1 and part 2 has not been easy on any front.  but i'm still looking forward to part 2.  i'm curious how everything will hold together, if everything will hold together.  i feel like it will be good for me. push me.  test me.

and i think that's what i'm really looking for, wanting, needing now. 

a good push.

a test.

i've got a summer to figure it out.

stride on.

Monday, April 29, 2013

big time

i've already started packing.  well, i've started making piles.  i'm a little unclear as to what i'll need.  the weather's been a bit schizophrenic, so i've got pants, capris, shorts, tank tops, short sleeves, long sleeves, fleece, several hat and headband choices, gloves, and a scarf.

i don't leave for five days, but still. i need to prepare.

it's almost big race weekend.

it tends to be my favorite weekend of the year.


the build up?  it's been less than perfect.

and that has me nervous.

we've had nothing but coldwindyrainysnowy weather for ages.  it's  made for some less than pleasant outdoor training.  and forced more indoor training than i'd like.

life has interfered, more than i would have liked, in sad and upsetting ways, leading to late workouts, sleepless nights, and other unhappy side effects. 

 when i think about my speedwork, speed needs air quotes.  because there really hasn't been any.  speed, that is.  and i'm not sure why.  i've been working as hard as i can  (really.  i'm not one to do something half way, you know?).  it's just that it doesn't seem to be working.  is it the coldwindyrainysnowy weather we've been having?  it is my knees?  is is my knees reacting to the coldwindyrainysnowy weather we've been having? 

am i just getting old?

who knows.


the thing is, i'm still excited. 

more excited than nervous.

there is a hotel room waiting, an expo to wander, a big dinner to eat, bricks to kiss.

there is fun and smiles and happy waiting for me.

and in the end it all comes down to one simple, joy-filled thing.

slow or fast, ready or not,

i'm going running.

stride on.

Monday, April 15, 2013


i wasn't in boston today.  i wasn't anywhere near boston today.

i was sitting at a reading conference, with my phone in my lap,  covertly watching the progress of the boston marathon, silently cheering for the runners.

and then.

my heart hurt.

i have been there.  in that exact spot.  hubby and best friend where right there waiting for me.

best friend just sent me a text saying that if our year had been this year, we would have been right there.  that gave me chills. 

the thing is, we're runners.  violence is not within our scope of reality.  it has no place in our sport. 

our sport is open to everyone, regardless of gender, age, race, religion or any other limiting factor.  it is the only sport where the professionals and amateurs all compete together at the same time on the same course.  if one runner is hurt, other runners will stop to help them, even though it will "hurt" their own race performance.  it's the only sport where spectators don't pay to watch and will be there for hours and hours in all kinds of weather with nowhere to sit or go to the bathroom.  strangers cheer for strangers.

our sport is one of joy.

our sport is a celebration. 

of life.  of health.  of triumph over adversity. of human spirit.

and it will remain so.  of that i am certain.

stride on.

Monday, April 8, 2013


i have friends.

really.  i do.

i don't necessarily see them very often, especially when i'm working.  but i have them.  and i love them.

but i don't have a group of friends.

like, a cohesive group of friends.  who all have something that binds them together, like work or kids or running or macrame.  who all hang out together.  who all go and do things together.

i don't have a group like that.

i have friends.  and my friends all have groups of friends.  and i sometimes do things with my friends.  and they tell me stories about things they did with their groups of friends.  but i'm not actually a part of any of my friends' groups of friends.  (maybe i should make a flow chart?)

i'm kind of a loner.

and usually i'm good with that.  i guess it sort of fits my solitary nature; my shyness.

(i mean, usually when i find myself in a large group of people, i'm the one who's not talking; who's trying to blend into the wall or the pavement or whatever is nearby.)

except sometimes i think i might be missing out.  sometimes i wonder if it maybe bothers me a little, this not having a group of friends.

and sometimes i wonder if it's possible for me to find a group of friends, or join a group of friends.

then i realize that i have no idea how to do such a thing.  and that i'd probably have to go back in time, and maybe change everything about me, in order to have a group of friends today.

and it seems pretty unlikely that such a thing is going to happen.


i guess i'll continue to do things with my individual friends sometimes, and be grateful to have them in my life.

and sometimes, just sometimes, i'll wonder what that group thing would be like.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

choices. and the people who love me anyway.

i get into these little periods of time where i endlessly lament (or whine about) how little time i have. 

i am hopelessly behind on everything. 

i am a terrible friend who never calls, never writes.

i never go anywhere, see anyone, or do anything.

all i ever do is work, and the schedule i keep because of work SUCKS.


but the thing is, i choose this.

i do.

and i choose this for one reason; i want to run.


and the me who is two steps shy of 40 is not the me of long ago.

i cannot just "get up and run" like i once could; like many still can.

i have to get up early enough to deal with digestive issues and arthritic knees, and that takes all the time before i must get ready for work so that i'm only slightly late.

then after work it's about the run (or the cross train), ice, and compression braces, and getting to bed as early as possible to get up at ridiculous o'clock to do it all over again.

i eat my main meal of the day at work in 15 minutes or less.

i really don't see or talk to my family or friends.

i really don't go anywhere or do anything.

and i really do choose this.

because i love to run.

but the thing is, the people who love me, who care about me, get this about me.

they get that running isn't just something i do.  it's part of who i am.  and that i am miserable without it.

they get that, when i'm following the work calendar, they won't see me or hear from me.

they get that, when i'm following the work calendar, i think about them all the time and send them love and light and the best possible vibes.

they get that in june, july, and august i will see them and call them and write to them (and actually comment on their blog posts instead of just reading them and smiling and sending love out into the ether).

they get that i love them dearly, and that i love them all the more for accepting and respecting this aspect of me.

so stride on. 

not just me, but everyone who allows me to be me.

stride on.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

march. thank you.

january?  february?
they sucked.
really and truly.
i can't give a clear reason why.  i can't point to any one thing that made the past two months extra awful.  there really wasn't anything terribly different than other months.
perhaps it was the combined weight of a dozen other, smaller things from months past,  things that just can't seem to get sorted out, and they just built up and built up until the weight was crushing.
i don't know.
but that's just how it was. 
it was a struggle each day.  to get out of bed.  to make a path from one end of the day to the other.  to do anything that wasn't absolutely necessary.  to play nice.  to smile.  to run.  to be me.
hubby and i laughed out loud (in a sarcastic/bitter way) the day this showed up on the calendar.
 (we left it on the fridge.  as a reminder.)

it seemed almost fitting that i would end the month of february sicker than i've been in years.  kind of like one last "ha!"

then i turned the calendar page.


i brushed off the cobwebs.  took out the hibiscus tea.  hung up a training plan.  registered for spring races.  hunted up the spring detox grocery list.  unpacked the bunnies.

i started to look for silver linings. 

i've gotten as far as "being hideously sick for a week gave me two days off work and allowed me to read two books and watch two movies."

it's a start.  and it's more than i've been able to muster in awhile.

because a page turned. 

and it's time (finally, thankfully) to march forward.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

i wonder

when i was a kid....

my parents taught me to be polite, to say please and thank you, to respect my elders, to follow the rules, to listen to my teachers, to work hard, to do my best...

i wanted to do well in school...  i listened in class... i paid attention...  i did my homework...  i followed directions...  i didn't need to be told twice...

i didn't want to get in trouble...  but when i did find myself in trouble, my parents did something about it... they didn't make idle threats...  i knew that if they said it, they meant it, end of story....  i know this because one day i spent the whole day washing baseboards...

i only got spanked one time, because i never wanted that to happen again, not just because it hurt, but because i didn't want my parents to be upset with me....

i wanted my parents to trust me....  i wanted my parents to be proud of me....

i wanted my teachers to trust me...  i wanted my teachers to be proud of me...

i knew i had to earn trust...  i knew that i had to earn pretty much everything... 

i wanted to spend as much time as i could outside, moving, playing...

i wanted to create... from scratch... with paper and crayons and scissors and glue...

i wanted to write stories and turn my stories into books that were written by hand and had pictures i had drawn and were bound together with yarn...

i read books...

i wrote letters to pen pals...

i wanted to be kind to people...  all people... even people i didn't know...

and i wonder, i really wonder,  if there are any kids out there today who are like this at all?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

that's what they'll call us

the first mention came in october, in that cute little 6 year old niece voice.
"we bought you an owl!"
quickly followed by her mother's "you're not supposed to TELL her!"
which is how i found out that my lovely nieces (6 and 4) had talked their mom into buying me a stuffed owl for my birthday.
which is in december.
and from that point, every time i'd see these beautiful girls (once a week or more), they'd be sure to remind me that i had an owl coming to me.
one day, i stopped by to visit and precious little miss 4 was lovingly cradling the owl in her arms.
"this is your owl" with her sweet little grin.
i might have melted a little bit.
and when my birthday finally came around?
miss 6 marched up to me, huge smile on her face, and handed me a beautifully wrapped present.
"we got this for you!  it's a surprise!"
and guess what! 
it was an owl!

now she sits in a place of honor in my home.  (yes, i know she's a she.  her name is willie faye.  after my favorite character in "christmas after all."  i've put much thought into this owl.  how could i not?)

and i bought 2 more owls.  one for each niece.  for valentine's day.  or tomorrow, whatever.

after all they did such a lovely job caring for my owl, it only makes sense they should have owls of their own.

(plus, then we can be owl buddies.)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

uncommonly good

up early-ish, but not because of an alarm, so that's okay. 

a cup of green tea, a pear, and some oatmeal.

stretching as the sun comes up.

out in the freezing cold to defy the elements for a little while.

hot, hot shower.

bundle up and out for coffee with hubby.

back home, he sits at the computer working on his next book and i sit on the couch to finish the book i'm reading.  and some hot cocoa.  and duke ellington in the background.

brownies in the oven.

comfort food for dinner.

a cup of tea and some more reading.

off to bed.


no hurrying.  nothing that must be done.  no place that must be gone to.

days like this don't happen often.

but what a gift when they do.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

words. or lack thereof.

they're floating around in my head.

words.  and words.  and words.

but they're stuck in my head.

and i can't figure out how to get them out.

there are things i want to say, to people i love and care about.

but i just can't get the words out.

i have emails i want and need to send.  thank yous to wonderful friends who sent wonderful gifts from far away.  and i want to tell them how much i love and appreciate and miss and love.

but forming the words into sentences, and the sentences into paragraphs, and the paragraphs into a letter....  i just can't seem to do it.

i sit down and stare at a blank screen.  and then i get up and find something else to do, hoping the words will find a way out as i do the something else.  but they don't.

there are people i would love to sit down and share a cup of tea with, and catch up on everything we've missed.  but the thought of having to talk about everything we've missed is exhausting to me.  i'd be happy to sip my tea and listen.  but talking?  i just can't seem to do it.

i've even gone so far as to become impatient and frustrated with people who want to talk to me, who want me to talk to them.  people i love, see often, everyday.

i'm not sure why this is.  why right now.

maybe i'm tired?  maybe i'm full of stress?  maybe i'm sad?  maybe it's the weather or the phases of the moon or lack of good green tea at the grocery?  maybe it's because other peoples' lives are far more interesting or the grass is always greener or it just seems that way?

or maybe this is just what is for right now.

maybe this is what is supposed to be right now.

and i think, if i just be patient, and silently send my love and gratitude out into the ether, and be patient some more, and give myself this time, it will all work itself out.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


i want to know how to knit.
and crochet.
and sew.

i want to have enough time to call the people i want to call.
and email the people i want to email.
and see the people i want to see.
and read the blogs i love to read.
and watch movies.
and read books.

i want to not center my life around my knees.
and my digestive system.
and have to get up at stupid early o'clock.

i want to figure out a way to earn money doing what i love to do.
and not have to keep doing something that isn't what it used to be because we need the money.

i want to continue to run.
and quit feeling any sort of need to be "competitive."
and not feel bad about not feeling a need to be "competitive."
and not feel like i'm letting people down because i'm not being "competitive."

i want my hair to grow long.

i want to win the lottery.
(but just a little one, not, like, the mega-gajillions one.)

i want to abandon the worst of my vices.

i want to travel.
further than the next town over.

i want to actually, really, truly figure out how to meditate.
and maybe find a teacher.

i want to do less bustling about.
and more staying at home.

i want to accept my imperfections.
and accept the constraints of time.

i want to bake cookies.

i want to step out of my comfort zone.
a little bit.
nothing crazy, now.

i want to actually meet people i probably should have met long ago.

i want to drink tea.
and coffee.
and cocoa.
and not be hurried about it.

i want everyone to know that i mean well.

i want everything to be okay.

i want to be okay with the fact that few of these things will actually happen.