Thursday, November 30, 2006

And so I worry

Today, I made seven nervous jokes in five minutes. You know the kind, where you joke about your hair or your shoes or burping or gas or something just to take the attention off whatever the subject is? Well, today the subject was me and the fact that I am freaking out a little.

In case I'd neglected to be blatant to the point of sheer annoyance, let me now cross that line without looking back: I HAVE A MARATHON IN LESS THAN TWO WEEKS. I also have a major event to help coordinate, I have a plane to catch, I have Christmas cards to write, I have binders to organize, I have shopping to do, I have three projects due at work by the end of next week, and I have a knee that, according to my articulate doctor, is "living on borrowed time." No, it doesn't hurt and it's not going to fall off or anything but my doctor says we need to address it A.S.A.P. after the marathon. Ugh.

Never having been known for my quiet suffering or rock-like strength, I apparently have not been hiding it well. I came a little unglued when the hostess set my glass of water on the table at lunch today and when I promptly said "Thank you" she said "yeah, whatever." So I said "Excuse me?" and she ignored me. So then we had to leave the restaurant because I'm certain that, no matter how you've trained, they won't let you out of jail to participate in a marathon if you're charged with Murder One. My poor, innocent lunch companions were kind enough to humor me but I am sure they won't put up with much more.

I'm not sure why I do this to myself. I'm not sure why I freak out internally (alright and a little externally) at these busy times. They are mostly my doing, I know, but you'd think I'd learn to just chill out a little. You'd think I'd learn to not worry. But no, I worry.

I worry about being late. I worry about forgetting something. I worry about not getting the right gift. I worry that I don't have time to read blogs. I worry that this makes me seem like a jerk. I worry about my parents. I worry about my dog. I worry about my money. I worry about my inability to refuse Christmas cookies. I worry about life changing. I worry about life never changing. I worry about the weather. I worry about my legs not wanting to carry me 26.2 miles. I worry I'm not seeing my friends enough. I worry and I worry. I freak out, and get temperamental. I break out from the stress. I get tired. And then, I worry some more.

And I don't know why I worry so much about me. For someone that is calm and collected in a crisis, I sure know how to turn things over in my head at warp speed. Your dog fell off the porch and broke his leg? No problem. Stabilize it, put him in the car and go to the vet. That, I'm all kinds of together about. But with me, I'm totally illogical. I think about how I need to do laundry and pack and send those Christmas cards and, for gosh sake, stop eating so much and then I freak out and start dragging people out of restaurants because I may be stressed but if nothing else, I will demand decent customer service!

Some days I wonder how I have rational thought at all.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Slacker, in many ways

Boy have I been slacking. I go out of town for six days, I barely post, I barely pay attention to anything going on at home (which explains my surprise to the snow here today) and I slack on reading other blogs, too. Anyone care to update me?

In my travels, I've also noticed that I am a slacker in the dress-up department, too. Specifically, when I'm traveling. I like jeans and flipflops and sweatshirts but, my oh my, that is not the norm. People dress so trendily (did I make up a word?) when boarding planes these days. They have the matching purse and tote, shoes and accessories, perfectly made up hair and makeup. It's totally impressive and it will totally never be me.

I was feeling all insecure about this yesterday, on a layover in Dallas. It's true, things are bigger in Texas and, in this case, bigger in the form of fancy travel gear. I was really feeling like a scrub, wishing I'd worn boots instead of maryjanes and a sweater instead of my sweatshirt. And don't even get me started on my hair. I'll never be one of those girls that can just tie it in a knot at the back of her head and look like I just stepped out of a catalog. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about the simple but on me, that's just how it looks, simple. Maybe I need highlights again? Hmm.

Anyway, as I made my way through the concourses from one gate to the other, I thought about my travel attire. Maybe I needed to put a little more effort into it. Maybe I should have worn something else and chosen to bring my leather tote rather than the vinyl one? Who needs comfort anyway? But as I arrived at the gate for my Denver-bound flight, I looked around. There it was: jeans, fleece, knit caps, flip flops, Merrels and clogs... I was with my people, and we were going home.

I may not fit in everywhere, but at least I fit in somewhere.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

I Need a Map to Get from the Driveway to the Front Door

It is absolutely official: I have no sense of direction. I may think I do, because I can read maps and I can follow directions, but the sense of direction? The remembering where I've been? The "oh, this looks familiar?" None of that works in my head.

Today, while on a ten mile in the North Carolina woods, I was feeling pretty good. Going from 6,000 feet to sea level will make you all high on oxygen. My brother-in-law was good enough to come with me on the first 2.5 miles and then left me to my own devices for another 2.5 and then, mistakenly as we all know now, assumed I could follow the exact same trail back to the car. The EXACT SAME TRAIL. Well, you know, all them there fire roads just look a heck of a lot alike. (Do you like my new vernacular? It's something I've picked up, just for fun.) So, instead of fire road #6, I turned down fire road #5 ( which I would find out later; the roads were not marked) and then proceeded to get lost and go in one, giant, never-ending, oh-my-god-this-is-my-very-own-Blair-Witch-Project circle.

Eventually, I came across one person. One. In two hours. He was a man in his forties, dressed in camouflage, sitting on a stump eating lunch, next to a chainsaw. Yes, I know how that sounds. But, one person in two hours, you take your chances. Thankfully, the good man had a map and was willing to show me my way out. No, as you probably guessed, I wasn't far. "I always go out with a compass," he said. Yeah, good idea. But probably a better one for me is to always go out on a leash.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

All That and a Fully Cooked Turkey

A couple years ago, when my sister moved away for the first time and I was visiting her in her new Kentucky home, we attempted to cook our first solo Thanksgiving dinner. Yes, we had each other but my expertise was green bean casserole, her's mashed potatoes and neither of us had done anything but eat turkey before that day- never pulled out the insides, never greased it up, never even basted. We had to do it, though. We had to pretend life was the same and things hadn't changed, that we could still eat turkey and act like we lived in the bubble of our little family, a bubble that had been stretched over a thousand miles.



What we lacked in experience, we made up for in research and planning, though. Thank heaven and earth for that, because when I called my sister three days before and told her to take the turkey out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator, she asked me "why?" with a seriousness in her voice that had me imagining us eating our turkey for breakfast the following Friday. Later, she would be just as panicked for me as she said she needed a meat thermometer and I asked "why?" How we staved off e-coli that year, I'll never know.



Talking to her the other night, I knew that we'd never have a frozen turkey at her house, again. In addition to me, she's hosting another eight or so people at her house with the possibility of more. She's not worried a bit and plans to cook all day without, and I quote, "missing any of the football or beer." (We are definitely related.) I'm so proud of her for everything she's done and how far she's come. She continues to grow and amaze me with the choices she makes and the approach she uses in life. As an older sister, I don't know what makes me more proud: the fact that she can do it all or the fact that she believes she can.



Happy Thanksgiving, sister. I love you and I'll see you soon.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

As If I Needed a Reason to Make Travel Plans

Coworker 1: When I travel, I have to worry about what my husband wants to do. Sometimes it gets really irritating. And we always have to discuss how the money's being spent.

Coworker 2: Well, I don't have to worry about what my husband wants to do, but I have the kids and they take all the money anyway, so we don't get to do much.

Me: ...

Coworker 1: You, you don't have to worry about either, do you?

Me: No, I don't.

Coworker 2: You get to do everything you want without worrying about your husband, your kids or money. What is that like?

Me: It's pretty great, I guess.

Coworker 1: You need to travel even more than you already do. Take advantage.

Me: I agree.

Coworker 1: Yeah, now, while you don't have to worry about any of the three!

Coworker 2: Yeah, now, while you have the dream trip trifecta!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Just like my mother

I have been way, super busy this last week. I am surprised I have eaten, even. Ha, well that was almost funny because me forgetting to eat would be like Britney Spears forgetting to appear in front of a camera with gum in her mouth. It just would. not. happen. EVER.

Always finding time to waste, though, I've been momentarily distracted (read: consumed several minutes, maybe more) by this little internet psychic: 20 Questions.

Have you tried it? Are you not in pure SHOCK and AWE when it guesses what you're thinking? So far, I have beat it only once when my object was "candle" and it asked me "Is this object round?" and since I have several square and oblong candles, I said "no." It asked me if the object was tall and I said "yes" because candles can be tall but not in the 20 Question world, apparently. It is like when I asked my mom if I could try substituting Splenda for sugar in her cake recipe and she said "not if you still want to call it cake." In her world, it is not "just like sugar." At the end, 20 Questions told me I was wrong and that no, candles are round and short only and I lied and cheated to win. Still, I am in shock and awe.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Lessons

This morning when the alarm went off, I thought it was Saturday. Not because it felt like Saturday but because I heard a different voice on the radio than I'm normally used to waking up to. It's quite inconvenient for a radio d.j. to take vacation, really. It's also a little scary that I've become so used to a certain voice in the morning, the voice of someone I don't even know. The lesson in this: ask for one of those nifty iHome alarm clocks for Christmas. But we won't go there today and talk about the voiceless house, oh no, because there are other things to talk about.

Like knees. My little knee has been upset a little all week- I know, I didn't even whine and cry about it. Much. Just be glad I don't know your phone number, or you would probably be ready to cut the thing off for me by now. It's decided to swell up and was at it's worst point yesterday. The weird thing about it is, unlike a couple weeks ago, there's no pain. I ran on Wednesday with no pain but I couldn't help but feel as though I was being "bad" because, oh my heck, the swelling! Today it appears as though it's going back to normal, which only leads me to believe that the knee issue is work related. Lesson learned: offices cause me injury, I am certain. If I had the option to go and move all day, I would likely have no knee problems and also, a better caboose. But alas, I can't stop buying cute baby clothes (for my nephew) and the dog has become accustomed to food so, I have to sit in this chair.

Other than knees, life is looking quite bright right now. It has everything, okay 99%, to do with my upcoming trip. I am flying, on Thanksgiving nonetheless, East to see my nephew (and, oh yeah, his parents) and duh, of course it's all I can think about. Hence the fact that, I kid you not, I have an entire suitcase of unwrapped Christmas presents already packed. That little kid is a drooling, screaming gift magnet.

Sometimes, it's really tough to be away from him. But it's also incredibly beneficial. Rather than the comfort in having family just up the street like my childhood, our family is now forced to make every moment count. It's not something we grew up doing and it's not something I think our society is accustomed to. We have to learn to deduce what's really important and what really matters to us. Because we're far away and because my brother-in-law's career will continue on that path, we have learned to adapt. I'm thankful to have been stretched in this capacity. I'm thankful to know that distance does not make relationships impossible and that it can, in fact, make them better.

Looking back ten or even five years, I had such a different perspective on adult family life. A life where people separate and generations make more generations. I thought then that it was not my life. I thought that families that came together, gathered around a fire and laughed on holidays were only in LL Bean catalogs. They were there because they had to be, because it looked good. Now, I know different. I know that my family comes together, gathers around whatever they can and laughs (usually about ourselves and how we're utterly shocked that we turned out even half-way normal at all) because we want to.

At the risk of sounding completely ridiculous, nothing feels better than that. Nothing feels better than knowing that the person I am, the person I'm still striving to be, knows that she has finally come far enough to appreciate her place in the world and in her family, equally.

Lesson learned: Be thankful.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Searching

Yesterday, I was sent on a search. I needed to find gold rope. Not just any gold rope, but rope appropriate for the occasion. Appropriate for stringing up just so, for coordinating with the other colors, for looking “nice but not too nice.”

I was sent on this search by my friend, the one with whom I’m attempting to create things. Was the gold rope necessary? Not really. But it is what came from her imagination and I had a spare hour so I searched.

Wandering through the craft store, it all just started to become a little bit much. Not only was I not able to find gold rope, I wasn’t sure I cared. I’m known for taking things on. Projects, people, animals, you name it, I will take it. I will take it and do it well and not rest until it’s done. None of that, however, means I’m passionate about it. Passion, for me, is not a command. It’s not run by a switch that turns on and off when I need it. It’s more of a spontaneous fashion type of passion (excuse the rhyme, I stole it from Barry). When I’ve got it, I’ve got it and, by all means, I need to take advantage of it.

This gold rope wasn’t doing it for me. And more so, all that comes with the gold rope. I’m creating the creations, I’m working on the work but something just isn’t making me gung-ho on this whole deal. My friend assures me that I’m doing fine but I’m not. I don’t have that gold rope passion that she has. And it struck me right there in the store: I need to stop this madness.

No longer purposeful in my search, I ended up on an isle filled with hundreds of Christmas ornaments. I stood in that isle, looked around, took a deep breath and said a little prayer.

Right there, surrounded by the mass-produced signs of the season, I was calm. I was calm and I knew what I had to do.

Later in the evening, I talked with my friend. I told her I wasn’t feeling this. I am working over forty hours a week, trying to meet writing deadlines, sitting on two different boards and training for a marathon. My energy is spread too thin to do the job I think I need to do, which is nothing less than perfection. I told her I’d rather be out extra cash and happy than trying to sell and stressed out with one another.

Being the great person she is, she understood, which is more refreshing than I can describe. She’s busy too, spread very thin, so I was afraid. In the past, I’ve had worse reactions. The reactions that say “no, I’m not mad” but what’s really underlying is “ I am going to be mad for six months and probably not talk to you for at least half that.” Thank heaven and earth I am past those days, those relationships. I had no reason to be afraid this time.

Now, instead, I have permission, from both my friend and myself, to take a back seat for a while. We’re still going to create things together and we’re still going to meet our selling commitments but now, I don’t have to worry. I may or may not be as productive. I may or may not make as much money. But I will still have my sanity and I will still have my friend, and I will not feel the need to aimlessly wander through Christmas d├ęcor searching for answers. Answers that, I know, are already in me.

On Sharing

I’m sitting at dinner the other night, having a perfectly good time. There’s a lull in the conversation and my mind wanders. I wonder, all in the span of twenty seconds, when the right time is to share certain things about yourself. When do you tell them your dog’s name or your favorite book? Do you tell them you hate chocolate? When is the right time to share that you’re about a week away from losing your first toe nail?

A monumental, disgusting fact of distance running, I suppose but nonetheless, a fact. I’m guessing you can really go quite some time without sharing this information and some people might never, but I’m a sharer. Not too much, too soon, but eventually, in any relationship, it’s where I find my comfort. It’s not so much what I’m sharing as the reassurance I find in disclosure. I keep and I keep and I keep and the times I can let a little go, well I adore those times.

That’s why I felt so great about my run the other day. Though I understand it’s just a small part of my life, I like to think that some things happen that have significance completely independent of any other force. It’s not true, but how else are things real? How else do we decide between good things and just mediocre? How does one occasion mean more than another? Is it because we choose to make it that way? I think so. And I think we do that by the way we choose to share it.

Which is where I find myself now; really having a lot to share and unsure of where to direct that energy. I’m well aware that a first date is not the time and place for toenail stories. I’m also aware that driving my friends and family crazy with disgusting stories is no wiser. But where does it all go? Well, it looks like right now it goes here, but how long will that work? It would be far more productive to have a place, I think. I’m also, however, aware of what’s under my control, and this isn’t.

I had a friend, that two days ago completed a 100 mile endurance race. His wife, was there for the twenty-eight plus hours and even paced him at the end for the last few miles. His words at the end? “There’s no one else I would want to share that with.” It meant a lot for him to finish, of course, but it meant more that his wife was there with him, to share.

I hear this over and over, that things mean more when you share them but I rarely have chosen to believe it. Sure it can make an experience deeper and more memorable, but it doesn’t make it worth more, does it? Well, turns out now I think maybe it does. Figures, the time this actually starts to resonate is when I realize I’m losing a toenail. How deep and meaningful is that? I know, it’s not. It’s just disgusting.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Undeniable

Me: Have you guys decided where you're going to build yet?

Mom: We're thinking about the land down South. It's warmer down there and a closer drive for me.

Me: Don't you have to have a septic tank out there?

Mom: Yep, but it's already on the property. It's brand new.

Me: Have they changed something in septic tanks or can you still not use Clorox?

Mom: What?

Me: I don't think you can use bleach or certain chemicals with a septic tank.

Mom: Oh my god, I hope not. I would die without Clorox!


There are times when I have no doubt in my mind that we are mother and daughter. Sure, we have the same blue eyes and same color hair but what really convinces me is our need to have things really, really clean.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Difference Six Days Can Make

Less than a week ago, I had no idea. What to do, that is. Or what to think. Or how to think. I couldn't run and I thought, no was certain, that I would never run again. It was a combination of pain, panic, disappointment and frustration.

I was forced to take Monday off. And Tuesday. Wednesday, I woke up with no pain at all. I still took the day off, figuring it was just a fluke. Thursday I had no pain so after work, I considered a little run. One note about this pain I had: it never hurt to walk or run. My knee only hurt when leaning or twisting from one side to the other. Like when I turned to get out of the car, that about killed me. Come Wednesday, though, and Thursday the pain was no longer. So, Thursday I decided I'd go for a little run, just to see. Well, I did a nice five miles on hills and had no pain at all. I was fearful, still and had still convinced myself that when I woke up Friday, I'd be paying for it.

Friday came, and no pain. So then I had some decision making to do. Do I attempt more running? Do I try to stay on schedule? Most importantly, do I do my long run? My twenty miler.

Well, not as if this is totally shocking, but I decided to head out for my long run yesterday morning. I waited until later in the morning when it would at least be 35 degrees (F), donned some warm running gear, left the iPod at home and headed out. Due to my run on Thursday and my training so far, I knew the first ten or so would probably be fine. What I didn't expect was to feel fine at 14, and 16, and 18. But I did. It wasn't until just near the end of 19 that I felt really tired. Mile 20 was pretty damn tough, too, but I did it. I stopped to walk across the crosswalk toward home and then decided to run the rest of the way home, too. Sure it was probably only 2/10 of a mile but heck, I need to practice that anyway.

All who said to wait and not panic were COMPLETELY AND ABSOLUTELY RIGHT, as usual. Like I said, excellent at avoiding panic in other situtations or other people's problems but totally irrational when it comes to myself. Imagine that.

But let me just tell you, finishing that twenty miles felt fantastic. I am not sure I could convey the feeling in words if I tried. I've always said all those who say "it's not about the destination, but the journey" have never crossed a finish line. Now I think they've probably never had a week like I had, either. Six days before this run, I was wondering if I could ever get back to running, now I feel more like I'll never be able to get away from it.

I will still continue to enjoy this journey, though. If anything, I have even more appreciation for what it means to get to the end.

Friday, November 10, 2006

I might wake up, and then take a nap.

I'm sitting at home today, being lazy, reaping the benefits of working for a semi-governmental organization. I just had some breakfast, chatted on the phone with a friend (who gets to stay home every day- no fair. Well there's that whole child-rearing thing but whatever) and did some dishes.

I'm going to head to a friend's house soon to work on craft projects that we then are going to sell for profit, wish us luck. It is very creative and innovative, but we are not sure, like with any new business, that the market is going to jump all over it. We have some serious interest, but I'm not sure that's enough. Also, I'm not a millionaire and I can't afford to fund this forever. Hopefully, the profit fairies will smile upon us. If not, that's okay. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I have this optimistic attitude thanks to no knee pain. Yes, to all of you that told me not to jump to conclusions, you might have been right. Might. Seriously though, I am all kinds of good at not panicking until it comes to my body and/or my abilities. Then, I go into freak out, spaz out, break down mode which, thank heavens, is only temporary. So it's either bad day or manic, you decide.

Speaking of deciding, I love how everyone (okay, not everyone) was a political blogger this week. It's refreshing to know that people do care to educate themselves on their ballot issues. For instance, I got a call from my 19 year old cousin who said that he got to vote for the first time and was disappointed that every thing he voted for didn't pass. Ah yes, that is the way of democracy, son.

I wasn't feeling quite so civil in Wash Park last night, though. After meeting a friend for dinner, I came back to my car to find a young parking cop writing me a parking ticket. "Wait, wait!" I said. "Sorry, if you were two minutes earlier, I wouldn't have written the ticket." "But I'm not in a No Parking Zone," I said. "Your car is about a foot past the sign," he said. Seriously, 20 year-old parking cop on a power trip. Cool. It's a good thing the dinner and wine were good.

I'm off to watch the news and drink some tea. Staying home rocks.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Just Once

Just once, I'd like to respond to one of these men in their fifties who email me, a twenty-seven year-old woman, and say things like "I want to make your dreams come true." Really? Because my dreams start with avoiding being freaked out by men too old for me!

But I know that would be wrong, so I just delete the messages. It's like in the old vampire movies: They can't come in unless you invite them.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

There are some things in which I refuse to compromise

Thanks for all the great comments on yesterday's entry. It's a tough time and knowing that others understand is comforting, if even in a temporary way. I've not come to terms with it yet as I know it's too soon to make decisions, but today is better than yesterday. I refuse to back down, just yet. I won't compromise what I want for the latest challenge. It will be okay. And I know life will keep going whether I choose to participate or not.

Like this little bit of fun:

I get a note from a potential date the other night. Strangely, not an online dater but another "set up" type of situation. We'd exchanged emails, asked a few questions and all seemed normal. In my note to him, I asked him what kind of music he liked. He listed: rock, heavy, classic, jazz blues, good signs so far. Then, he said this: I absolutely hate country music. Despise it, every bit of it. From the old to the new to everything in between, hate it. I just can't make myself listen to it.

So I emailed, in so many words, back: Sorry, I just don't think we're a good fit. Best of luck to you.

And it wasn't because he didn't like country music. We all don't have to love every bit of music out there. What got me was how closed-minded ("the old, the new, everything in between") and adamant ("hate it") he was. If you're like this about country music, how are you going to be about my dog? Really, open the mind a little. I dislike certain music, I don't "absolutely hate" anything. The only thing I do hate is closed-mindedness. It has little to do with the music.

Except for the fact that, dude, my childhood was built on that stuff. Come on, now!

So, you see, other parts of life go on. I just wish every decision were so easy.

___________________________________

P.S. Hope you voted today! I did.

P.P.S. To all my friends in the PNW, hope you're not getting flooded right now. Be safe!

Monday, November 06, 2006

i have no idea

I don't know how to do this.

I woke up this morning with a pretty severe pain in the inside of my right knee. Yes, the same knee I've had problems with, but different place and different pain. But it's a bad pain. Pain that keeps me from moving my knee more than one degree either direction. Getting out of the car even hurts, twisting is out of the question. And I don't know how to deal with it.

The anger.

The pain.

The loss.

The disappointment, yet again.

The depression I'm afraid it will cause.

All of it.

I am four weeks out from a marathon. Four weeks out of a huge thing I've been preparing for, not just physically and mentally, but with a travel plans. And friends. And pasta dinners. And after race parties. And promises of pace groups, and finish line celebrations.

And today feels like that's all being taken away from me. This is a worse pain than I've felt, ever. It hurts to the point that I've been reduced to tears several times today. Then again, that wasn't just from the physical pain.

I hate the person that it makes me. It makes me not care. It makes me not laugh. It makes me not eat. And for someone that up until now has been fighting the urge to eat everything in the fridge, this is huge. Instead, I just don't care. It magnifies everything difficult I've been dealing with and it makes it worse. It reduces the good to the point where I can't even see it.

That's the feeling that scares me the most. I've never been depressed for more than a couple days at a time, certainly never diagnosed. But that's largely due to my being able to run. Or bike, or whatever gets me moving enough to get things in perspective. Which leads to being able to deal with life. Which leads to being able to be the person I want to be for those around me. Which leads to being present in my life. Which leads to happiness, and family, and friends, and fun. My life. It's all connected.

I feel robbed. I feel cheated. I feel like this thing, the one thing I feel like I really only do for me, is being taken away. When you're doing something good for yourself, it's not fair that it be taken away. It just doesn't make sense. And I know no one died and I know it's not the worst thing in the world but in all honesty, I think it's too hard for me to deal with. Sitting here tonight, I have no idea what to do. There's nothing I can do. I'm helpless and powerless. And hurt. And it came out of nowhere. And it's not fair.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The floor, it's clean

Seventeen years ago, I used to have this argument with my mother about cleaning. Doing chores, to be more precise. My chores, or child labor, as I was convinced it was then, consisted of cleaning my bathroom, vacuuming the basement and keeping my room clean. It would be no stretch to say that I despised every bit of it.

Seventeen years ago, I thought it was because I hated cleaning. I hated the idea of scrubbing a shower and toting a vacuum up and down the stairs. I thought I had better things to do, like homework and extra credit, of which I finished every bit and then some because yes, you must get straight A's and then some, afterall this is the fifth grade and if you're not succcessful now then what can you expect for your future? Also, I wanted to watch Fresh Prince of Bel Air after school everyday, not clean the toilet.

I'd like to say this improved as I got older. I'd like to say I took pride in helping my family keep a clean house, a house presentable to anyone. But the truth is, without a lot of nagging and even some threatening at times, I didn't. Not that I wouldn't do a good job when I did it -afterall, chores are like homework and if you vacuum and dust well, that's like extra credit- but actually getting me to do it was near miraculous. Once, without being asked, I cleaned the entire house for my mother one Saturday while she was working and, I kid you not, she called all my teachers the following Monday to check my grades and attendance. I had just wanted to surprise her, but instead I made her suspicious for at least the next month.

That's right around the time I remember her starting to use the line: When it's your house, you will care. And she was completely right. From the time I had my first dorm room, to my first apartment and even now, I can't sleep if my bathtub is dirty. I can't walk into my house and sit down if the vacuum needs to be run. I can't look at the television if it's got a spec of dust on the screen. I no longer have homework, I have housework. And what's better, I am starting to like it. I don't like it when I'm dead tired from a day at work or a week of running, but once I get going, it's quite nice. If my life always stays this busy and I can justify the cost, I would like a little help to get my floors clean but until then, I find it quite theraputic. It's like running, except I am capable of actually being the best. I can't be an elite runner, but I can totally lead the pack in cleaning. The best, really. Clean clean, all the time. The Queen Cleaner, even.*

To my surprise, this isn't a secret to those around me. Along with some dinners and sweaters for my birthday last month, I received a couple gifts that could very well have me eating off the floor. And liking it.




What's more, it solidifies the fact that I am not the stereotypical don't-give-me-appliances-as-gifts woman. Yes, diamonds are beautiful and of course I would not refuse them but shiny gifts come in a variety of packages.

_______________________________________

*I am now the Queen of Stretching and Floor Cleaning. No need to bow.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Twelve Good Things

1. My sister got to welcome her husband home from Iraq a month early last night.

2. This is a drop back week for my long run. This means I only have to run 10 miles, not 18 or 20. I highly recommend drop back weeks when you're marathon training or just doing long runs in general. Your body needs a break, just like your mind. It's like vacation, you come back stronger.

3. I get to go to a hockey game tonight.

4. I am getting Christmas shopping finished early this year.

5. I'm hanging out with my Grandma later.

6. We're having Chinese food for lunch.

7. It's in the 50's today and the sun is shining.

8. My laundry is done!

9. Just found out one of my very best friends is coming to visit in ten days.

10. Someone gave me the new Alan Jackson cd and let me tell you, I am not sure I could love it more. Even if you don't call yourself a "country fan" you should take a listen. Good stuff.

11. I leave in just 20 short days to see my nephew again!

12. Injini's are good for your feet. Serious. All you blister-getting runners ought to try. You won't regret it.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Training = Empanadas, sometimes

I am so forgetful. Here I am, beating myself up about being a major pig lately completely forgetting the hunger that comes with training. I eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast- the high protein, low fat cereal- and thirty minutes later, I'm starving. And not just the oh-I-want-something-to-eat-because-I'm-bored hunger but the stomach-growling kind. So then I eat my mid-morning snack. At 7:15.

For anyone who has ever trained really hard for something, you know how this is. You know that when you say you're hungry, it's because you really are. Yet, in the little body image mind game constantly going in my head, I forget this. I forget that your body's fuel needs change when you're depleting it like crazy. I forget the feeling that says GET ME SOMETHING TO EAT NOW OR I WILL EAT YOUR ARM AND QUITE POSSIBLY THE CHILD STANDING NEXT TO YOU is serious, not hormonal. Instead I eat when I'm hungry and don't always make good choices and feel bad about it later. I don't know why I do this, but I do. Like the empanadas I ate after my long run last weekend. They were so very good, but I didn't let myself completely enjoy them, which is sad. But honestly, empanadas are way too good to care anyway.

That all ends today though. I forget no more. I will eat, I will eat well. I will enjoy it. Today I have eaten the following (sorry, I know this is thrilling): 1 bowl of oatmeal, 1 apple, 1 banana, 1 soy chai tea, 1 green salad, 1/2 cup of lemon pepper tuna, 1 cheese stick, 1 piece of whole grain toast, 1 handful of pretzels, 1 pack of 100 calorie crackers, 5 strawberries and 1 yogurt. And it's not yet 2:00 p.m. Tonight I will have ravioli and asparagus, which I've been looking forward to all week. It's okay though, because along with eating enough for a family of four, my pants are loose and requiring a belt. Marathon training is not meant to be a diet plan, but it sure is a nice side effect, as are the empanadas.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Sillier than I thought

To: JustRun
From: Potential Date
Re: Dinner

Sounds good. So we'll meet at 7:00. Looking forward to it.


To: Potential Date
From: JustRun
Re: Dinner

Okay, me too.


The next day

To: JustRun
From: Potential Date
Re: Dinner

Do you mind if my roommate joins us? I'd like him to meet you, too. See you at 7:00.

To: Potential Date
From: JustRun
Re: Dinner

Uhh, you hang with your roommate tonight. Maybe we can get together another time.

___________

Oh, this is already so much fun.