Day #69

I chose to be in-tune with myself today. I was proud because I often veto the small voice of reason and push on, despite. It’s a double-edge characteristic, I feel.

I have a theory that all people think, do, and feel. But when they are faced with a dilemma or a decision, they tend to do all three of these in the same repeated pattern. For instance, my Love is a thinker-feeler-doer. He needs to study it out, look at it from every perspective, research it again. Then he goes internal: how does he feel about this decision? What does his intuition say? Then he cross-analyzes and finally… does. Me, on the other hand, I’m a thinker, doer, then feeler, more often than not. It’s not that I suppress, I just forget to check in with myself. So if it’s logical and needs to be done, I make a decision and I do. It’s part of the reason I chose to write everyday. It forces me to reflect …

Anyway, I was proud that today I remembered (perhaps due to all the writing?). My calves were still hurting, I need new shoes, and my little love was missing her mama. So today was a rest day … a replenish the soul day … a snuggle my baby before she’s all grown day …

And it felt good …

A blonde, female child asleep on the couch with rosy cheeks and her arm draped behind her head.

Day #68

I hobbled through three miles today … I think I may be getting shin splints … it was the most painful run on the books so far but I was able to finish it. And in finishing it, I was able to find the beauty of discipline … discipline creates in its own time … it’s creates strength in the soreness … completion in the chaos … peace in the stressful … love in the face of feeling wronged.

We exercise a lot of discipline everyday .. well most of us do … in what we do, say, eat, work, create … and sometimes I forget that in the discipline there is a choosing … I feel dictated at times by the demands, the to-do lists, even the laundry piles … but I am the one who really creates with my decision to disciple myself … toward a half-marathon, a more knowledgeable teacher and counselor, and even an organized office and house. And, at least for me, when I do accomplish, when I see tangible results of a good run, paperwork caught up, grading done, and fresh laundry on the couch I feel good about who I have chosen to be. Industrious, yes. Continuously growing, forever. But always, always choosing and that reminder today felt good!

Day #67

Today is my birthday! I have always loved birthdays … it’s a beautiful thing to celebrate one’s life I think. To take each experience of that year … dust it off … marvel at it … and put it back. For me it breaks down into moments that brought me growth … knowledge gained, experiences had, truth revealed. Moments that brought me joy … adventures shared, snuggles close, and watching my own little creation as she changes and grows. And finally, moments that brought me into balance … reminders in perfect timing, earth reaching out to touch me, and silence in my head.

I love reflecting, because in reflecting I remember who I was a year ago and recognize who I am today. I hope that I never stop evolving as a mind and never stop shining as a soul. I hope I can help share the burden with more people this year through words, through action, through simple faith in them. I hope for more adventures with my Love

… be they big or small, we are the best team I have ever known. I hope for more growth in my abilities in my career and success in the steps we are taking to do that for both of us. I hope for love and happiness above all, because they are the Crown Jewels in this experience for me.

So there are my birthday wishes … now all I need are some candles!

PS: I ran 5 miles today … spent a lot of it trying to distract my self with my favorite moments of 31 … and I survived!

Day #66

I had an unexpected visitor today on my run … sharp, cool wind. We did not make friends. I found it very difficult to catch my breath, and regulating my breathing while running was pretty much out of the question. But I finished my 3 miles and as always I felt better for having done it.

Upon my return home from our run, I found another unexpected guest at my door. A beautiful soul who lights me up every time I see her. She was much more welcome than the cold wind, and instead, an instant friend.

Has anyone else noticed how it’s hard to make friends when you are an adult?

Everyone is so busy with careers and jobs and honorable pursuits that there is little time to really dig in to the sustenance of existing together. This was a chance of a chance kind of friendship that has taken root in my heart because I have few friends who really get me … she is one of those. And this is how I know …

After dinner with her and my Love, we enjoyed the rest of the evening in pjs, snuggled up, eating cupcakes, drinking wine, and coloring … yes my gentle readers … coloring. And in the glow of the lamp with my sweetest Love on one said and my dear friend on the other, I had never felt more complete with a color pencil in my hand. Sometimes the simplest connections are the hardest to come by … I urge you to connect with someone today … I dare say you will smile … genuinely, whole-heartedly … and it feels good.

A coloring book lying upon a bed with colored-pencils and a mandala coloring book in the background.

Day #65

I have to be honest … today I am grumpy … I had a wonderful morning with a dear friend who beautified my hair and made me laugh and filled my soul …

rachel-hairThen I came home … and as soon as I walked in, I felt everything I needed to get done jump on me and sat like a ton of bricks … grading, notes, home study, homework … not to mention the “runnings” of a household … laundry, toilets, dishes, groceries, and the list goes on …

And on …

And on …

And most times I enjoy the satisfaction of the to-do list … I am a list person by nature … when I worked three jobs and went to grad school I learned the art of calendar, lists, and color coding … my dad calls me “the hardest working girl in town.” I am not one who avoids task or challenges.

But sometimes I get so damned tired of living by the to-do list. The ever-present, never-ending dictator. I stood for a minute, took a deep breath, and dived right in because if there is anything that makes me grumpier than too much to do, it’s procrastinated panic

PS: Running or walking did not make the priority list today, however.

Day #64

Today we cross trained on the stair stepper. I went for fifteen minutes. The longest I have done that machine yet. Then I worked on arms with the heaviest weight I have done yet. Progress sings to the soul

We picked up Adalie from dance and did our usual Chick-fil-a quick dinner thing. Adalie chose to sit by Craig instead of me. She rough housed with him, she picked on him, she leaned into him throughout dinner.

My daughter is not one who attaches easily and her attachment to me is strong. So although Craig has been in her life as caregiver for about 2 1/2 years now, it has been an extremely slow process of her warming up to him … especially if I am around.

It was beautiful to get such a concrete and up-close view of progress. I watched her guard come down, her vulnerability show, her need to connect, however clumsily, come out. And I watched him effortlessly meet those needs, answer her unspoken questions, and just be present with her.

I sighed with relief and love.

So if you are working to meld families, gentle readers, take your time, be in tune, and just breathe

Progress is always right around the corner … as long as you don’t quit trying …

Day #63

Today my Love woke up sick. Back to the doctor and another round of antibiotics. More infection and more depleted energy.

We were supposed to run 5 miles today. But I chose to nourish with food instead of exercise today.

And what do we cook for the ill? Soup, of course! My Love is allergic to a good deal of foods so no chicken noodle here. I made carrot ginger soup instead.

A stock pot with soup ingredients in it. I giggled to myself as I placed leek, garlic, ginger and then broth, 2 lbs of carrots, and salt with a small dash of cinnamon. I giggled because of everyone who give outcry that healthy food is too expensive. My simple little soup was so cheap but rich in nutrients and vitamins and love.

I mindfully prepared this meal for my sick Love. I peeled the carrots and thought of them deep in dirt somewhere growing in the sun soaking up the water. I imagined the leeks being pulled from the ground and rinsed on their journey to my kitchen. As I stirred it all up, I focused on the energy and health that was present in that pot.

There is life and death in the power of food, my gentle readers.

An hour later, we sat down to eat.

He’s grinning at my homemade delight, “It looks like a gourmet soup.” And after tasting it, raves about how good it tastes.

Now I’m grinning ear to ear. The nurturer is being nurtured because there is health and harm in the power of words as well.

And there is love all around …

 

Day #62

I had work and class tonight (2 more after tonight) so no time to walk today. But I got to share in others’ enlightenment and that was just as good as anything I could have come up with … so here is what I learned today:

1. Having sex with your husband at least 1x a week can cure 70% of your marriage problems given the right circumstances.

2. When a child is able to go to sleep at a reasonable time and stay asleep, they are much more agreeable during the day.

3. When a child is actually getting the nutrients they need from food by avoiding foods they are allergic to, they have fewer stomachaches and less irritability which leads to fewer fits.

4. When we take time to practice mindful gratitude, we are less likely to feel depressed.

5. We all worry that we are screwing up our own offspring.

6. The power of knowledge can give us the strength to let go of unhealthy habits and relationships. It can empower us to advocate for ourselves.

7. A good husband is rare, a romantic one is rarer, one that seems to have an endless supply of love for you is worth climbing mountains for… I would climb that mountain every day for the rest of my life as long as I got to keep my Love.

A synthetic, red rose lying upon a chair.

Day #61

We were in the shower, Adalie and I, because sometimes it’s more convenient and honestly because we have some of our best conversations in there!

I will be 32 on Sunday. Some days I look at myself and think, “Alright! Only 32!” Other days, I see wrinkles, grays, “waves” in my legs (aka cellulite), and chub everywhere. As I ran today, I felt more like the latter. My knee was hurting, my calf muscle felt like it was locked up, and I had a side cramp. I ran most of the 3.8 miles but felt all of my years doing it!

So back to shower time …

Mom, will I have a big butt like you when I get older?” She giggles.

I roll my eyes to myself and try to be positive because one thing I am very careful about with her is positive body image. I see the effects of the societal pressure already … she wants dark hair, she wants “cool” clothes and asks to wear make up, she worries about getting fat. She is six years old! I look at her and see perfection, as all mama’s do I’m sure. She looks and sees mistakes; it breaks my heart.

So I try to be very positive and matter-of-fact about my own body. We talk about how my body was able to produce milk to sustain her. We talk about how strong our muscles must be to run (me) and dance (her). We talk about food and how it nourishes us or harms us. We talk about all kinds of things and I honor her curiosity with honest (developmentally appropriate) answers. And because of that, I hope she will never be afraid of her own body. That no one will shame her about her sexuality or her biology. That she will accept, and then love, herself in every stage of womanhood.

So slightly embarrassed, I answer her, “You might have a bootie like mine one day, when you grow a baby in our tummy or get older.”

I expect horror or exasperation or at the very least her to poke fun at me.

“Yes!” She says instead, “I think you have the cutest bootie.”

I must be doing something right …

A girl on the floor reading a book.

Day #60

“Wait for me!” I yelled to my small child’s back.

We were walking home from Mimi’s house and she had decided to run. I wanted to run but had a bag, a purse, and pants that wouldn’t stay up.

So I walked, hoping she wouldn’t get hit by a car.

And I thought, this is very symbolic of how I feel about my life lately … bogged down with stuff, ill-equipped for the moment, and half a mile behind — always.

But you know what I figured out today, dear readers?

You get there anyway. In your own time, with strong legs, and no need to struggle to breathe … you get there — and everything is just fine when you do.