Days #98-101: The Struggle is Real

I have developed a catch in my back that seems to refuse to go away. It is bothering the nerves in my right leg so that when I try to exercise my entire leg goes numb.

I have also caught a nasty cold that has the pressure in my head so intense that I feel like it will surely explode and that would be preferable to how I feel.

The snow has been beautiful but plentiful on Monday, Tuesday, and now Friday and Saturday encouraging my hermit-like existence this week.

To top it all off, I took my Love to get a simple medical procedure done yesterday morning. His doctor wanted a endoscopy to see if there was a reason for his chronic acid reflux. As they were placing his second attempt at an IV, he had a vasovagal response and passed out. He fell back on the bed, his heart rate dropped, his breathing slowed, and began to jerk in a seizure-like way. We went from one nurse to five in about ten seconds and they started different things to get him stable and going again. The whole experience only lasted about a minute. Then he was awake again and they had him hooked up on oxygen and saline. But it was the longest moment of my life, thus far. I knew rationally that no one dies from passing out over a needle. But I wasn’t exactly rational in that extended moment of panic and my brain (why do brains do this?) automatically went to worse-case scenario, “What if I lose him?”

Let me be really honest about myself for a moment. I am a wanderer, a dreamer, a doer, a be-er, but I’m not a great lover. I tend to focus too much on the tasks, the to-do list, the future, the adventure, and I have learned through nature or nurture to not get too attached to anything in my life. I have moved several times in my adult life, I have changed jobs often, I have watched too many friends and lovers become strangers. Therefore, some where along the way I decided it is better just not to put too much stock in any relationship because they all seem to falter or fail. I enjoy friends and family but mostly on a pretty superficial level and I’m completely okay with how things are.

But when my Love came along, he demanded differently. He helped me go into the deepest parts of me. He gently teased out my thoughts and opinions on things. He created such an environment of safety for us that I was able to finally let my guard down completely. I love him from the best of me with all of me because I trust there will never be a day he won’t see that in me. What we have is rare and vulnerable and frighteningly everything. Our souls are intertwined as they dance through this life completely individual but always as one. I never knew the completeness of love until him.

So as my mind went to what life would be without him, I could not possibly fathom it. As I sat beside him for the next hour, his face pale, his body trembling, his voice unsure, I saw it in his eyes too.

He looked at me, tears threatening to spill over, squeezing my hand, and whispered, “You are the best person I know.”

And I whispered back, “Thank you for really knowing me.”

Day #97: Weird Day

School was out today due to the snow but it warmed up quickly so the snow didn’t stay for long. The theme of my day was flexibility.

I wasn’t planning to take off work today but with little love out of school I really had no choice. So we spent the morning getting laundry finished, house work done, and of course, a little coloring was in order.

Little love then had a play date with her favorite friend at school this year. They played beautifully and I was able to get my cloest cleaned out. I took them to lunch and it was from there that things went a bit awry. On the way home, having a strained esophagus, little friend threw up all over my backseat. We got home, got her and the car cleaned up, and the girls went back to playing.

Weird day!” I thought.

We then went to the gym to run a bit later. I took 5 steps into my run and felt my calves seizing up on me. I tried running slower, I tried running faster, I tried walking… the pain would not stop. So I hobbled my way through my hardest run yet and made it three miles. I was disappointed but decided it was better to be careful than injured. So I went and stretched for a long time and did some ab work.

The night ended with a quickish dip with my Love in the therapy heated pool to hopefully loosen those muscles and a quick dinner at Chickfila.

We made it home and my legs and back continued to scream at me so I took some Tylenol and after making sure little love was tucked in and passed out, I hit the bed myself.

Not the day I was expecting or really even wanting, but it was the day I was given and while it wasn’t perfect it was full of love and lovely moments.

And that’s all I really need…

Blonde girl coloring with 101 Dalmations movie playing in the background.

Day #96: Life, Wear it Out!

It’s like the universe loved my praise of the snow so much last month that it decided to do a repeat performance. And it was spectacular! It snowed for a few hours in the morning but I was at work so I didn’t see much of that. However, about 1:30 we got the call that school was dismissing early at 2:15. I was a little confused because at that point the snow had stopped, not realizing another round of snow was on its way.
A bearded man in a black coat sitting with a blonde child looking at a map of the world.
This time we were at home when it started, and every time I came near to a window I felt drawn to watch. I love snow so much… it’s pure whiteness, it’s delicious delicacy, and it’s soothing. dampening power. It’s like it takes this big messed up world and it makes it new again. Cleanses its energy. Gives us all a redo. At least that’s what I imagine as I stare out the window lost in the mesmerizing fall of all the “befores”… all the rewinds we had requested… all the “if I had only knowns” whispering from the yard. It’s like a blinding promise that there is always a second chance.

barling-snow

“I’ll take that chance,” I whisper to the knowing in the snow, “I’ll take that chance and this time I will dance in it. I won’t treat it like its fragile, I’ll wear it out, and love again, live again, be again.” Because what’s the point otherwise?

Blonde girl smiling with a pink cat stuffed animal.

Day #95: Safety, Love, and Contentment

After a grueling week of training, I was thrilled to finally get a “rest day.” It was also the much anticipated trip to Tulsa to watch the Sleeping Beauty Ballet.

It was quite the experience to get to our seats… having had a late breakfast we mostly snacked on the way there… this proved to be a grave error as little love got car sick in a potato chip bag just minutes after changing into her beautiful dress… she did so well though…we walked in the foyer, threw the bag away, and went straight to the bathroom to wash her hands and face. She never cried or really even whined… I called her my trooper the rest of the night. She was proud of herself.

As the ballet started and progressed, I felt the tears as always… first in my throat, then teasing my eyes. It seems as if any time I watch art… become… I have this reaction: at ballets, plays, and symphonies, to name a few. Because first of all it is truly like creativity breathing and there is something so magical about being in that moment with an artist.

Secondly, I can never NOT think about all the hours and work that has gone into giving me this experience and I am always overwhelming grateful. The artist picked up the brush and started with one unsure stroke, the dancer with warm ups and blisters and hope, the musician who has practiced every day for the last several decades. There is a nobility in fine tuning one’s craft but there is a joy in watching their art come alive on stage.

It made me appreciate the marathon training more. Made me feel confident that I could endure four months of training to create the finish line moment. My art in the making!

P.S. My favorite moment of the evening was little trooper sitting on my lap with her head leaned up against mine and feeling the pressure of my Love leaning against her on the other side. It dawned on me that she will not remember the details of this show or even possibly forget her unfortunate meeting with chip bag, but she will hold this moment of feeling completely safe, loved, and content in her heart.

And that is all a mama ever really wants…

A mom and daughter with heads together smiling down at the camera. adalie-dave-and-busters adalie-and-craig-at-dave-and-bustersBearded man with short hair and brunette woman with heads together smiling.

Day #94: A Marathon of a Day

Today was a marathon of a day… pun intended…

Vibrant fruit in a mixer with milk in the bottom.We got up, ate breakfast, did a little housework, and headed to the gym…

Eight miles later… we came back home, showered, ate lunch, and left to pick up little love from play practice…

Blong girl in a blue sweater swinging and smiling, with a black and silver VW beetle in the background.We then met some friends at the park, played for a bit, and left to pick up my Love’s mother for dinner…

Next lap was a restaurant, lots of conversation, lots of trying to entertain the little one, and then we took “Ma” home…

Final stop was Walmart for the grocery basics of the week, then home, then the realization that we forgot dishwasher detergent, and so back to the Walgreens down the road…

Home again, PJs and bed time snacks, cuddled to a movie while I worked on homework and grading papers…

And we all fall down (or pass out)… it was a day filled with doing and being but honestly not much more thinking than the moment required… it was 26.2 miles kind of a day and I’m just glad to have survived it without injury…

Good night, sweet friends!

Mallards and white ducks swimming on a cloudy day with choppy water.

Day #93: Being Fully Human is a Little Terrifying

We went to a movie tonight. It was an action packed, classic good guy vs bad guy kind of flick. I’ve always loved this type of movie… it appeals to my heart. Everything is so cut and dry, black and white… sure of itself. The good guys always manage to outwit, out fight, and eventually conquer the bad guys…

If only life were so simple.

As I ran today, I thought about this very concept. How does one define a “good” run? In lack of pain? In minutes per mile? In perfect form? I just don’t know

And I think good and bad lie somewhere in that thought as well… we are capable of unhealthy decisions, hurtful words, physical aggression given the right circumstances… and we all rise to the challenge in other moments with a helping hand, a simple encouragement, the beauty of forgiveness undeserved…

The older I get the more I realize the impossibility of perfection, of the dazzling superhero and the absence of the obvious villain…

We are all fully human and that biological break down can take us to really ugly places, only to be redeemed by a breathtaking reminder of becoming all we hoped we could be. And while its messier, more uncertain, and definitely a hell of a lot scarier knowing you possess both the qualities of the villain and the hero… it also makes life a whole lot more vibrant… the journey more satisfying… the transformation more powerful.

For whatever you do, gentle reader, choose well.

Day #92: Mole Hills are Really Just Mole Hills

She lost her tooth today! She dreaded it, begged me not to touch (even though it was hanging by a thread), and cried when I asked her to let me give it one tug. She had built up in her mind as horrifically painful and scary.

I understand… I do that with my training runs. Today was only four miles (cue eye roll here) but I had a tough run Tuesday so I have been dreading today. Strangely, a toe on my left foot hurts and it has made my form difficult this week. Funny how something so small can wreak so much havoc…

I finally convinced her to let me put my hand in her mouth. She gave me permission for one tug. The tooth was laying completely flat on its side so I knew it was beyond ready. I tugged, the tooth popped out, my little love screamed then cried, then laughed, then cried some more. About ten minutes later with a cool washrag in her mouth looking down at her tooth in the tiny treasure chest, she says, “That really wasn’t too bad.”

As wrapped up four miles of nonstop running that I took in small chunks of changed paced, different hill patterns, and awesome trance music — I realized, “I’m done and I could keep running; that wasn’t so bad.”

Little love and I walked around the house tonight with a slight swag that only comes from both facing and conquering our fear.

We are human; hear us roar!

Six year old girl close up of first lost tooth.
First lost tooth. Tears and laughter sometimes come together.

Day #91: Variety is the Spice of Life

Variety is the spice of life, don’t you think?

Today was cross training and it was nice to do something other then pound, pound, pound the pavement (or treadmill).

We picked our little love up from play practice and went and ate at a different restaurant than usual and it was really yummy.

The little love was extremely pleasant and content all evening… putting on pjs without a fuss and brushing her teeth without moping and whining. It felt the the twilight zone but in a much more awesome way.

I got into bed and contemplated the day. I am a rare bird that loves change. I see the benefits of stability, certainly; but big change does not scare me. I always think to myself, “It’ll work out; it always does.” And that has been mostly true for me. Now I wonder if it’s because I feel that way that it does OR that the fact that it does makes me feel that way. Either way, I know this, change… variety… new scenery makes me smile.

And I really love that about me…

Day #90: Stop and Smell the Roses

One fourth of the way through this experiment. I have enjoyed getting to know myself more. I have marveled at sudden insight and struggled through posts of little importance. But not once have I not continued the journey; I still don’t know exactly where I am going but I think it’s to the center of my best version of myself… the gentler, more aware, less urgent me.

I read something yesterday that took my breath away because it describes exactly who I hope to become, the way I endeavor to live and love others. I will leave you with it and a picture of my flower that chose to bloom today. Always stop and smell the roses, gentle readers, that is one lesson I have definitely learned in the last three months.

“Beauty is being fully yourself, without being full of yourself. When you share generously of yourself, you are beautiful. When you know the beauty of yourself as you, then you know the beauty of others as themselves. You allow others to discover themselves in and through you, making no claim on them to be a certain way to satisfy your self- interest. Instead, you discover yourself through the play of being. Self and nonself complete each other, and beauty shimmers.”

Walking the Way
Robert Rosenbaum

A pink Lily displayed in a table-top vase.

 

Day #89: Watching the Snow Dust the World

Snow day! Probably the only one we will get this year. It was pretty unexpected and thoroughly enjoyed!

I lounged around, read, stayed in PJs, drank my hot tea, slowly. I lay in my bed propped up staring out the window watching the snow dust the world with beauty. I read lovely words that nourished my soul. I enjoyed the softness of my sheets and comfy PJs. I breathed in the joy of minutes undefined and agendas taken apart.

Little love occupied herself playing and my Love made breakfast and did some work on the computer. It was a quiet, gentle morning… and for me that is a rarity for mornings. Brunette woman giving the thumbs up.

We went to lunch and then little love got to go with a friend to a movie. We went to the gym and I actually completed a five mile run without stopping to walk. Also, unexpected and exciting! It was one of my best runs yet! A brunette child with head phones sitting in a zebra-striped chair.

Mr Meander shared today… I love to read his voice… his thoughts… I fell for his words first and I love every opportunity to read them again. I was not expecting his post and it was a sweet surprise. Don’t forget to read it, too!

I love unexpected gifts and today was definitely that… I am thankful to the universe for weather that can stop hectic Mondays in their tracks giving us one last luxurious taste of the weekend.

Blonde child looking at a phone in her lap.