Thursday, September 28, 2006


Several days after the arrival of my sister and nephew and I'm still alive. I've been aunt, baby sitter, bottle heater, rice cereal maker, diaper changer and baby-sitting-bottle-heating-rice-making-diaper-changing woman all in one. Who is also an aunt.

So yeah, I'm thinking I've got this baby thing going pretty good. I have remembered what it's like to eat a meal with one hand and to somehow navigate through downtown traffic with a child who will not stop crying for anything. Already fed, napped and changed, he was still quite upset. Seriously, I promised him everything from ice cream to a Corvette to an NFL career and now I know, sometimes babies just cry. AND WILL NOT STOP UNTIL THEY ARE GOOD AND READY. Everyone has survived and is doing quite well. I'm thinking maybe, just maybe there is a chance of me doing this someday.

Along with all the fun and hard work, it's also been a huge wave of emotion for me. Having a family-like house has been better than I could have imagined. It's revealed to me that yes, I might actually want chaos, joy and sleepless nights of my own one day. I know a little more about me now.

Well, for everything you think you know, there's always something you don't know.

Like our trip to the mall today. Boy, was that interesting. Did you know that ten o'clock on a Thursday morning is Designated Stroller Time in the mall? This is the time when all the baby momma's that don't work on Thursdays go to the mall and push around single, double and, oh yes, even triple strollers and chat with each other in Old Navy about how they just can't lose that last ten pounds. I felt a little out of place having gained my "last ten pounds" from burritos and Starbucks and not incubating a child for nine months but, you know, I nodded along in the most empathetic way I could.

So we're standing just inside the door of the store and I notice several gawkers walking by looking at me through the store window. What could it be? Am I holding the baby upside down? Is it there spitup down my back, again? I readjust, everything looks okay.

I think.

Yet, people still stare. And I have no idea why. I look around for something, anything. Food in my hair, maybe I've dropped something, I don't know.

I'm getting a little irritated, thinking there are some really rude, judgmental people in this town when my sister comes around the corner, quickly pulls the baby's hand off the collar of my v-neck shirt and proceeds to recover the left side of my chest.

Watch those strong little baby hands, they will pull more than your hair.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Is it an African Swallow?

This was a lot of fun. Thanks for participating.

I guess I should have a disclaimer stating that this is my opinion only and should not be mistaken for that of a professional or anyone who actually knows what they're talking about.

Ginger Breadman asked:
Oh man, I did just google myself. I'm totally serious. First I googled my real name, then G. B. - that one is so much more fun. A question for you . . . hmmm . . . if you were the last human left on earth, and you could bring back two people, who would they be and why?

Googling oneself is sometimes fun but often, it's TMI for me, you know? Someone with my same name does a whole lot of academic research in the UK though, so at least I can seem smart.
That's a tough question. Provided I don't take it too seriously, I'd have to say I'd bring back a hot rock star who I wouldn't have to worry about being a "bad" rock star because there would be no groupies and also, probably my mom. Entertainment and mom's lasagna, what more do I need?

Ginger Breadman also asked:
I've got another one. What is it that you do for a job? You said something the other day about cancer patients that made me wonder.
I work in software. Intriguing, I know. I do a lot of volunteer work with The American Cancer Society so that is where my references to cancer related issues usually come from.

skinnylittleblonde asked:
What is your very first memory?

My first memory is actually one where my mom had to go to work and leave me with a family member and I didn't want to go, so I cried on the porch for about thirty minutes while they tried to coax me into the car. The promise of ice cream finally did it, go figure. I was three.

GirlGoyle asked:
Q&A huh? Well funny you should throw this out there cuz I was just thinking of you the other day. You are just so engrossed and passionate about running that it fascinates me. I've gotten to a point where my skinny jeans cringe at the sight of me and so I wonder...what would be your suggestion for someone who wanted to get into running but doesn't know where to start. I can get as far as tieing my sneakers and getting to the gym for a 3 mile run say...two times a week. But the problem is I don't' know how to set running goals so help me. So...I have tied my sneakers...where do i go from here??

Well, the first thing I'd say about distance running (which I consider to be anything over a 5K) is that you should enjoy it, at least at some level. The feeling I get from running or from having ran is a huge motivator for me. As for goal setting, I think it's important in the beginning (or all the time, if you're me) to set smaller goals.
When I first started running, I'd run two minutes, walk a minute. You can already run three miles so what I'd do is set nothing more than weekly goals. This week, three miles. Next week, go for 3.5. The following week, go for 4. Then, the week after that, I'd drop back down to three. I say this for two reasons. First, I don't think a newer runner should increase more than 10% (+/- a percentage or two) per week in mileage. You'll find a lot of research on this but the main reason is to avoid injury. Second, when you drop back in mileage once a month, it gives you a break mentally, which you'll need as you increase the distance. I think as long as you're not training for a particular distance on a particular date, slow increases are the way to go.
Just as a side note, races are a good way to test yourself. Not because you're competing but because you have to prepare for the distance. It helps to know how to pace yourself and to decide how comfortable you are with a certain distance. So much changes when you're on the course with other people and a finish line. A good one to look at now is a local Turkey Trot (usually a 5K) which happens on Thanksgiving in almost every city in the U.S.
Okay, I obviously could go on and on.

Runner Girl FL asked:
Ok I got one....
When does training for the marathon stop hurting?!?!

Ha, I don't quite know how to say this but my first instinct is to say never. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. Unless you're injured and trying to run on that injury, the pain of training, I think, is actually good. I mean, you're running a marathon. You're pushing yourself past all normal and logical limits. It's not supposed to be a walk in the park. So take care of your body and make sure the pain you're feeling is a "good" pain. Also, stretch. Stretch all the time. Become the Queen of Stretching. Be a better stretcher than anyone who has ever stretched before. Do you get what I'm saying? Stretching is important.

Sizzle asked:
what color is your hair?
It's now brown. I highlighted and bleached and dyed for ten years. I loved blonde but I got over it.

justacoolcat asked:
What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

Heh. Is the swallow carrying a coconut?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Because you're fabulous and I'm a slacker who sure is thinking a lot of herself these days

It's no secret, I'm preoccupied.

But you all? You are fabulous. You send me emails on running articles. You make comments on posts from a week ago. You say "10 miles!" like it's great even though you ran twice that before breakfast today. You're awesome.

And me, well I don't know who I think I am but I think I'm going to try something. How about a Q and A?

I am quite sure I'm thinking much too much of myself to assume that someone may have a question of little ol' anonymous me, but still, it's possible. Anything is possible.

So, if you find yourself bored to the point where you have nothing to do but you don't want to resort to Googling yourself (just like you did yesterday), then please, ask me a question. Which I will answer, if I want to.

Also, if this totally bombs, please still be my friend.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Drool Magnetism

Things you won't expect to happen ever, happen at the most inconvenient times.

Well, sometimes anyway. This morning I was up early. I am not a huge fan of early Saturday awakenings but seeing baby smiles made it seem like nothing. We decided we needed some things from the store so I threw on some sweat pants and a winter fleece (because yes, Winter has arrived early on the front range and there's snow on them there hills) and ran to the grocery store.

I had three things to buy and was planning on in-and-out when I bumped into someone I sorta know through someone else. Well, it was actually half of Station 4 (yes, Fire Station) partly made up of a friend of a friend and also, that guy's cousin. Oh Lord, how I'm so charmed by these chance meetings. Thank You. I don't exactly know what happened but somewhere between the baking isle and the dairy isle, I gave a guy permission to get my number from our mutual friend. Of a friend. Or something like that. I have no idea how this happened, I couldn't duplicate the situation if I tried. Apparently, as my sister informed me when I returned home, the attraction may have had something to do with the baby spitup on my shirt. Now that's hot.

It gets better.

After a protein and caffeiene-packed breakfast I decided today, in all it's thirty-eight degree (F) glory was a great day to do my long run. I set out for ten miles and somewhere around mile three I started passing a few more runners. I was impressed by this as early cold tends to shock people into denial but also, I was lost in the new Pearl Jam record and wasn't really paying attention. It was windy, so my hair was blowing out of place- and by "out of place" I mean totally all over the friggin' place. I was sweating, but also, my nose was running. It was sunny, so I wore shorts- but also, it was close to freezing so my legs were red and slightly numb. (I know, I'm crazy. Blah, blah blah.)

Anyway, about mile three I notice I'm being paced. Okay, whatever. It happens sometimes. I glance over, it's a slightly tall man that I know can run faster than he is. I say nothing, and continue to zone. A walker approaches in the opposite direction so my pacer has to cross the path and is now right next to me. I glance over, he says "hey." "Hey," I offered in return, certain the snot was running straight down my face. We chat a little, I turn down the iPod. He flirts, I try to remember to breathe. I ask myself no less than two thousand times what is going on. Somewhere during mile seven, I agree to a running date next Sunday, weather permitting. No numbers exchanged, barely first names. If the weather is too bad, there is a coffee shop near by.

I finished my run, returned home and immediately went to the mirror to check for spitup. Sure enough, the sleeve of my shirt had some sort of drool-like mark. No one knows what it was for sure, but I'm gonna venture to say the next week of going out in public with evidence of having been around a baby is quite possibly the best way to find dates since Rush Week at college.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

My favorite distractions

Tonight I missed everything. I didn't watch the television I wanted to watch, I didn't check email. I didn't even return phone calls. I didn't water flowers or take out the trash. Grey's Anatomy came and went and I completely forgot.


Because now, right now, there is a baby sleeping just one room away from me. His mother, snugly tucked into bed as well. Both resting from a long day of travel. Both here, both safe.

My beautiful sister- four months after giving birth and back into her skinny jeans- made a cross country trip today, alone, with my nephew. She stepped off that escalator looking like the smartest mom ever; baby strapped on in the front pack, backpack on the back. Hands free, people, listen up!

And my perfect little nephew, I'm not sure there are even words. He's animated like his mom, laid back like his dad. He smiles constantly, makes cute little baby sounds that could warm even the coldest heart and I'm quite certain each and every person who meets him will fall in love before they even know what hit them. A natural charmer, that one.

They've been here mere hours and my house feels different. It feels alive. It's like there are emotions from floor to ceiling. The rug beneath my feet is softer. The walls aren't just walls, they're protection. Everything is richer, warmer.

I peek in at both of them now, faces barely visible through the stream of light coming from the hallway and I realize again, or maybe for the first time, the true meaning of a home.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

said the boogy said up jump the boogy

They all got together for dinner.

Old friends. New friends. Everyone in between.

Then, they went for dessert.

Some left their cars at the restaurant.

After dessert, some needed a ride back to their cars.

"Ride with my cousin, John," her friend said.

Okay, it's just a mile or so, she thought.

She and John got in the car.

It stunk.

The music was too loud.

The conversation was bland yet completely centered around him.

The ride could not have ended soon enough.

The music was too loud to think.

She finally got back to her car. Finally.

She survived the ride and possibly, avoided a really bad first date with John.

It's okay, it had been too long since she'd listened to Bawitdaba anyway.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Anger As Fuel

Last night, I came home and wrote an entire post about anger. About how, a few days ago, mind you, a woman in her sixties driving a large car flipped me off for no apparent reason. It made me angry, and enough that I would bring it up several days later as an example of how anger is just going to happen and there's no way to avoid it.

But then I thought, why? Why the anger? What's the point?

I wrestled with my feelings about anger for a while. Then, I didn't post what I'd written deciding to sleep on it. I woke up this morning still unsure of how I feel about anger. My first instinct is to say no to anger. Let it be, let it go. It's not worth it and it doesn't create a positive environment around you. And I believe that. I believe you have to let things go, as much as you can.

Interestingly enough, though, I also believe in strong emotion (I know, shocking). I believe that's what motivates us. Strong love, strong desire and sometimes, strong anger, have birthed some of the greatest movements in this world. When I work with cancer patients and their families one of the constant and most obvious emotions is anger. They are angry at cancer. They are angry at the way it changed their life, they are angry at what it took away. The anger may not be 100% of how they feel, but it plays an unmistakable role in the lives of those affected. Many times, I often hear the anger is what motivated a patient to be relentless in her battle against the disease. I cannot, having witnessed this emotion, say anger is wrong.

A strong emotion like anger is what keeps us from settling. It can happen anywhere, at any time. Josh mentioned in his Civic Duty post that he just couldn't stand to see someone blatantly littering. It made him angry enough to say something. And I think it should. There is always a chance of someone coming back at you with their own anger, but is that a reason to keep quiet? We are all too consumed with keeping quiet at the risk of danger when, really, the quiet is often contributing to even worse. Like Josh, I once told a guy to stop hitting his dog because it made me angry. It may or may not have been my business, but it rattled enough emotion in me to say something. And maybe, he feels something different before he goes to hit his dog now.

Once, the single and therefore having limited perspective girl I am, got all upset over how some women treat men. The comments on that were mostly on my side if a little mixed but I made the mistake (or had the extreme fortune, maybe) of sharing that post with a friend (yes, sometimes I share this stuff with people I actually know!). I received an email back that basically chastised me up one side and down the other- if that's even possible- saying how dare I think those things and how should I know, I'm not in that relationship. But I wrote it, and I stuck by it because I felt strongly enough that the behavior is wrong.

I also approached it in a much more constructive way, which I realized after my chastising. Sure, my friend may have ripped me but for what purpose? I seemed to get my point across without insulting or ripping anyone apart. Well, except for the women in denial because yes, I still believe you shouldn't treat a man like crap and then expect him to kill your spiders. And this, I think, is where the difference lies. It's never the emotion that's wrong, it's how you handle it. Do you channel it into strength and fighting for survival or do you channel it into negativity and hate?

It's tough, I know. I know when that sixty year old woman flipped me off I was feeling all kinds of negative. There was nothing in me willing to find a way to channel that into something better. But sometimes, there is.

So go on, get mad. Get angry at cancer and carelessness and cruelty. Get all in a tizzy about people and things that aren't right. Use that anger to get to a place where you can do something about it, even if it's only to hope for a change. I'm going to. It is what is supposed to happen. Keeping our mouths shut does not mean we are trying to preserve something. It means we are trying to preserve ourselves and that should not always be acceptable. Of course, keep you and yours out of imminent danger but also, make very certain that the cost of stifling the emotion isn't even higher.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Just Another Wannabe

Somewhere in the last year or so, I've stopped using phrases like "when this happens, then I'll do that" or "wait for _____ and then _____ will be easier." It just doesn't make sense any more. Sure, there are limitations- like the bank account and time, just to name a couple- but overall, I find myself no longer creating conditions around my life.

I think part of this is because I've accepted that being a dreamer is always going to be who I am. Not the head-in-the-clouds, unrealistic dreamer, but I will always want some part of my life to be challenging. I know I'll always struggle (things like furthering education, dating and knee injuries come to mind) but I also know that I won't stop working toward more.

At first, I questioned myself. Am I unsatisfiable? Am I impossible to please?


I'm happy. Thrilled, in fact. There's so much I feel blessed to have and be that putting it into words feels nearly impossible. But there's still a need for more. I think what I had to realize is that happiness does not equal static. It's not an anchor, it's a good wind.

Somewhere along the line, I had taught myself that guilt was related to wanting more. But I just don't find myself believing that anymore. Now, I feel like I owe it to myself. And to sound ridiculously cliche, I owe it to everyone else, too- the world, really. It's not wrong to want more. If I'm not fulfilling my potential in the best way I can, that is what I'm doing wrong.

Being a wannabe is a good thing.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


In this last week or so, without my camera, I've realized how important it can be to not only experience something but also, to have proof that you actually did. This or any other trip would be no less memorable had I not had photos to show for it, but it's the images themselves that seem to make those memories last.
A bit of Vancouver, brought to you by me and also, Alamo Car Rental.
(Thank you, Alamo!)
Heading downtown


The neighborhood bookstore

Lion's Gate Bridge

The rock balancerAnother of life's mysteries
Cricket, anyone?
You knew I had to throw some boats in
Mountains in the morning
Beach in the afternoon

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Pity and Admiration Are Separated by a Very Thin Line

I'm back to running again. Full force. Things are going well. Now, I can't shut up about it. Apparently, the universe is sending me a sign though. People are generally supportive but I've had some comments lately that make me question whether I should talk about it at all.

(With, of course, the disclaimer that I completely understand not everyone lives in the running world and that there are different lifestyles to fit one’s needs that may or may not make one accustomed to certain terminology or jargon.)

“So, you’re still doing that running thing, huh?”
Said in the same tone as one might ask “So, you’re still doing that crack cocaine thing, huh?”

“All that activity, aren’t you afraid of what you’ll do to your bones?”
No activity, aren’t you afraid of what you'll do to your ass?

“So, how long is this marathon?”
All marathons are 26.2 miles. All of them.

“You spent $120 on running shoes? I would never do that. I mean, why run when you could shop? Do you know what kind of handbag you could get for that?”
Yes, probably one large enough to help me haul around all the anti-depressants I’ll need to take to be able to live in my own skin. You have your handbag, I'll have my sanity. Win-win.

“I heard running makes you age faster. With all that up and down motion, your skin is bound to stretch and sag.”
Yeah, you go with that. I’ll see you in ten years, Mr. Ageless Wonder.

“Wow, you don’t look like you can run ten miles!”
Gee, thanks.

"You run more than I change my kid's diaper."
I have a feeling your kid and I could have a long conversation about chaffing.

"I'd rather starve myself than run."
Cool. I like nachos and beer.

"So you race and then you cross a finish line? That's it?"
I don't know how to answer this.

"So I bet running totally throws off your hormones, huh? Like you must be so mellow all the time."
Ummm, what?

"What do you do when you're running for that long? I would have to be, like, reading or something."
I tried, but I just couldn't get into the story. Maybe it was all the moving vehicles.

"I could never run for a mile. What if you have to go to the bathroom?"
Listen to your mom and go BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE. And then make sure there are a couple available on your route because you're right, you can never count on that.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

This is the kind of post that seems shallow at first but then you read it and realize it's really just proof of how motivation comes in many forms

Today, I was flipping through the pages of one of my favorite travel magazines and looking at photos of their annual photo contest. Seeing photos of fabulous, warm places is just lovely. Sometimes, I can even say "ooh, I've been to that beach" or "hey, I've seen that tree." What could be more fun?

Anyone who's visited or done a little poking around here knows how I sometimes talk about the beach. And the ocean. And islands. And warm weather. So when I look at these photos I can't help but ooohh and ahhh and point out to others how fantastic they are. It's how I pass the time when I'm not actually there.

Then I came across a certain featured photo that is likely to be the thing that motivates me for the entire winter. No, not because of the sand and sun. No, not because of the cuteness- because at first, yes, I was all about the awww, how cuuuuute! commentary. But then, it hit me: I have some serious work to get to. And soon!

So, I now give you, a photo that is:
A. Adorable
B. Intimidating
C. Motivating
D. The thing that will keep me from cheesecake for the next eight months because, heck, if this woman can have a baby and walk down the beach like that, so can I. Well, except for the baby part. I'll just borrow that.
E. All of the above

Sorry for the copy/paste- it was the only (fast) way.

Yes, I'm sure I look just fine, too.

Yes, I know that the photo could have been touched up.

Yes, I know this woman may not be the mother of this child.

I don't care.

I'm so glad I can run again.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A list of confessions I really don't have a title for

1. For personal reasons, I have more than once eaten an entire box of Cheerios in one day.

2. This has happened recently.

3. I sometimes tell the dog to "sit" and "stay" in Spanish. I also work in the occasional "good morning, how are you?" and "do you know how to get to the town square?". Until I get back to Mexico, I've got to keep it up somehow.

4. At my parent's house, I will sometimes put CNN on the television and put the picture-in-picture on Fox and compare the two.

5. I don't have cable television. I am too cheap.

6. I once stacked a working television on top of a broken one. I know.

7. When I'm bored at work (read: when I can't concentrate so instead I play on the sweet, sweet internet) I "will" all of you to create new posts.

8. I sing in the car all. the. time.

9. A friend once made me play Dance Dance Revolution and Karaoke Revolution.

10. This wasn't that long ago.

11. I liked it.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Just When You Need It

I came across this photo today.

Storm clouds and all, some things just have a way of making you feel good.
Even if it's all or nothing, I'm thankful certain images can take us back to the past.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

A Connecting Place

In the town where I grew up, there is a memorial at the corner of Hancock and Pikes Peak Avenues for Fallen Fire Fighters. I remember visiting when it was first unveiled in the late 80's. A family member took me along and we stood among other families, mostly made up of fire fighters. I remember feeling both lucky and afraid that I was connected to this. This memorial always seemed to remain the same: something for all the city and it's visitors to see, but seeing very few that would ever have a direct connection.

I remember our soccer team would practice in the fields around the memorial. I remember sometimes, you'd see a visitor or two, sitting on a bench or tracing the letters in a name on the wall. And the memorial just stood there, on it's own, always available to that occasional visitor.

A memorial, in and of itself, is strong. It's constant, it doesn't ask for anything and it's dependable. This one is no different. And over several weeks in the Autumn of 2001, I was reminded how very much this memorial is like those it honors. Strong, constant, unassuming and dependable.

The purpose of this memorial didn't change five years ago. But I think, in some obscure way that no one could have ever imagined, it's place has. It will always be on a small corner in a relatively small city, but to some now, it seems more like a place for a connection to those we may have never known but also, will never forget.

IAFF: Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Everyone likes a good fair

A few weeks ago I took my friends' kids to the county fair.
They were moving that day and as hard as it is to keep track of toddlers amongst ferris wheels and cows, it is infinitely better than carrying boxes.

I consider wearing them out an accomplishment.
Well, that and no one got their shirt eaten by a goat.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Cooler Running

A few weeks ago, I mentioned Fall was coming. Some people were in denial about it, which I understand as I spend the entirety of Winter in the exact same state of nonacceptance, but considering I was declaring my love for Summer in February, I am clearly always jumping a little ahead in this season game. My run last night was no exception.

Yes, that's right. My run last night. I usually tend to run right after work but yesterday there was shopping for bread baking ingredients to do and handbags to be bought. Yes, handbags plural because I can't decide between the red and the black and I plan on asking everyone in my office, neighborhood, family and address book their opinion before I decide which one is going back. If I had my camera back from Mohammed at Alamo, I'd take photos and post them here so my near and dear bloggerite friends could vote as well. Well, digress much?

The run didn't start until about 5:30. It was overcast, breezy and looked like rain might fall any second. I still headed out as I'm going to do my best to stick to my training plan in hopes of still completing a December marathon. I had to let my dreams for August and October go, so December is the final hope for my marathoning this year. I needed to do five or six miles last night with a little speed work to stay on schedule. Best laid plans, right? Not so much.

Instead, I got out there into the cool breeze and yes, I must admit, the subtly changing leaves and well, I just became distracted. With the music in my ears, the trail in front of my eyes and the mess of thoughts finally clearing out of my head, I was just immersed in the run. I've been running a route close to home that is actually a loop. That way, if I don't feel good or if my injury decides to act up, I am close enough to home to not be stranded. This is merely a two mile loop so the first round goes pretty fast. Last night, so did the second. And the third. And the fourth. I ran eight miles before I even started to feel it. I really had to stop myself to realize that it was just too much, too soon. Eight miles may not seem that long, but it is when you haven't been able to run in a couple months. It is HUGE.

I blame the season. It is my favorite time to run, really. Sure, I like running in Summer, on the beach. I like running in Spring, in the park. I even tolerate a good Winter run if the wind isn't blowing. But Fall really is the best for so many reasons. First and foremost being, you don't sweat as much. And against anything you could have convinced me of a month ago, I am starting to think maybe, if it had to happen, I was injured at the right time. Because as much as it tortured me to be inactive in Summer, I am that much more thankful to be running right now. I look forward to the leaves that will fall and crunch under my feet. I look forward to the crisp air. I look forward to the warm afternoons that quickly turn into cold nights.

I want to embrace it as much as I can, as it's an all too brief occurrence here on the Front Range. Somewhere during that fourth loop last night, I think I decided this. I mean, why not embrace something that's happening anyway. Quite a parallel to life, don't you think? As I walked in the door and smelled the distinct scent of bread baking in the kitchen, I realized I'd already started.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Action plans need not apply

I'm going through one of those odd periods where there's about a million things going on and a million more floating around in my head and I can't seem to categorize, prioritize or quantify any one of them. I know you don't know me but trust me when I say, it's extremely rare that I can't find words. I talk early (except for first thing in the morning because there is just no reason for that), often and, on occasion, quite loudly. I write things like documents and reports and emails all day that explain things to people. I then go home and work on articles, talk on the phone and meet friends or family and rarely am I at a loss for what to say. I go and read other blogs and comment on them in a way I believe is coherent and sometimes even thoughtful. And yet, I can't seem to talk about me. I try over and over to put it together and it just isn't working.

Random thoughts are just flying around with no real purpose and I'm really making an effort to figure out why. Then, I get too exhausted, I go for a little run, I get more exhausted and then go to bed. Yet I wake up feeling stuck. Nothing feels resolved or settled anymore. It's like life is up in the air and I can't figure out why. I haven't changed. Things are going well. I get to have fun trips and new adventures. What gives?

Stifled. That's sort of how I feel. I feel like I need something. Maybe something new. I need a new challenge or task. I need something to wake me up and renew my spirit a little. I need something to talk about other than knee pain, databases and my dog. I want to get excited about something I've never been excited about before. I just can't figure out what that is.

Part of me feels guilty for feeling this way. I'm so fortunate, I should have no complaints. Can I work? Yes. Can I have fun? Yes. Can I pay my bills? Yes. Can I travel? Yes. Can I run? Yes, finally! Am I loved? Yes. Am I respected? Yes. Am I fulfilled? Eh, not exactly sure.

So I guess that's where it lies. I made a comment on a couple of different blogs today about the struggle I have with accepting the fact that our lives are not efficient. I believe that's how we're created; complicated, confusing and imperfect. Fact is though, I also believe it's my nature to fight that. I am an action person. I see a problem, seek understanding and then go about repairing the problem. It's an effective approach, for sure. Unfortunately, it's not fool proof. It doesn't account for bumps in the road, detours and dead ends. It's a plan that has no room for growth, change and learning to have faith. It doesn't allow for inefficiencies. The action is only fulfilling if I get the desired result. If I can't get there, I'm stifled.

I'm not sure how I'll handle this. I'm not sure I have a plan B. I suppose the answer, like so many, lies in acceptance. It lies in me finding a way to juggle the balls that are what I know, what I believe, what is and the fear of getting to a place where it can all make a little more sense than it does today. At the same time, I know that figuring it out isn't guaranteed. At some point, I'm going to have to figure some things out, accept others and have faith in the in between.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Ummm, duh?

"Oh, so you're from Colorado? Do you ski?"

"Sometimes. But not well."

"What about mountain climb? You must do that?"

"Well, I've rock climbed before and I've hiked some fourteeners."

"Like an outdoor backpacking expedition?"

"No. Like a hike."

"So, I've met a true Colorado native and I have no stories to pass along to friends?"

"Well, no, I guess not."

"So what DO you do?"

"Umm, I run and bike and go on vacation. Generally to areas warmer than Colorado."

"Oh. Well, what about ice climbing? Have you been ice climbing?"

"No. What about you? Certainly you must have done some of these things?"

"No dear, I'm Canadian."

And that was my first conversation after crossing the border last week. I post it not so much because it's telling of my trip but because it's telling of the assumptions we make about people. And, it's sort of funny.


Vancouver was wonderful. Here in the CO, you tend to forget about the diversities of the world. While we do have multiple races and cultures living together, we're not what I'd consider to be "international." Vancouver is a little like the Western crossroads of the world. It was refreshing and also, very good dining.


I want to post pictures, really I do but, you see, I do not have my camera. In my Major Dumb Move moment (of which I make about one per year) I left the camera in the rental car. Luckily, I realized it before my flight departed. However, I did not have time to go out of security and then go back through so Mohammed and the lovely staff at Alamo Car Rental in the SeaTac airport are returning it via FedEx. Then, assuming all is intact, I will post pictures. Because really, you gotta see it.