Day #79: Skiing, Flying, and the Freedom of Being

I wish I knew how to describe the feeling of skiing. It’s one of my favorites in the world. And we picked a beautiful day to do so in the gorgeous Santa Fe…

We did the smaller lift first to get our feet under us since its been about a year since our last ski experience…

I felt like my face would break from the grin plastered there. It’s the smooth motion of my body in-tune with the ground. The connection of energy as I glide back and forth over this mountain. It’s the contrast of the dark trees and the glistening white everywhere. It’s the warmth of the sun and the cool of the wind. It’s the speed of flying and the power of control. It’s the plunge of going over the side and the views of literally feeling like you are king (or queen) of the world.

And then it’s so much more…

I wish I was so much more precise and articulate… I wish I knew how to metaphorically strap you to a pair of skis and take you down the mountain…

But since I’m not I guess you will have to do it yourself…

Driving down a steep grade with snow on one side and dry brush on the other.
Ascending the mountain at Ski Santa Fe.
Two shiny forks picking at German chocolate cake.
Battling over the last bits of gluten-free, German chocolate cake.


Day #78: Marriage, Love, and Abiding Joy

We drove and drove and drove today. We went from Arkansas to Santa Fe, New Mexico. We sang and danced. We played games. We jammed to music. We ate. We listened to TED Talks. We answered “love questions.” We talked about everything and nothing. We sat quietly holding hands.

We laughed and we loved and we never once grew tired of each other. The thing is… we never do.

And twelve hours later, I was in New Mexico getting ready to embark on a new adventure with my best friend. And I couldn’t be happier…

Day #77: Friends and Loss Along Our Journey

Today was my last class. It’s always an odd feeling for me to walk in that last time and know I will probably not see any of these students again. The classes are only five weeks long but we spend quite a bit of time together talking about semi-personal stuff because it’s a psychology class.

As I ran this morning, I had one of the best 3 mile runs I’ve had so far. Because of that I felt some loss about not getting to run for at least the next three days due to our vacation. As much as I was looking forward to getting out of town for the weekend there was a bit of apprehension about my normal routine being changed.

When I got to class that night, I looked out at their faces that represent so many stories, so many personalities, so many thoughts and futures and lives…

It made me think on how many people have wondered in and out of my life… as an adult we endure this, probably even expect it and only when it’s someone extremely close to us or rather unexpected do we acknowledge the loss of attachments that happen. Obviously they hurt more, cut deep, and strip us of our normal.

But I feel the need to affirm that small losses are losses too. The coworker you rarely see after you switch jobs. The friends that fade away. The “gangs” you outgrow. The runs that go unscheduled. And the class you say goodbye to…

Everyone you come into contact with adds to your journey in both their entrance and their exit. And it’s okay to feel those moments…

Day #76: Time, Changes, and New Perceptions

We ran our 3.75 miles today outside because the weather was in our favor. The sun was out and the wind felt good the more sweat-soaked I became. As I ran, I thought about how when we first started running, our goal was a 5K… 3.10 miles… and it felt like SO much. Now we are cranking out 3 miles all the time but they seem so small compared to the 13.1 half-marathon we plan to run in May. It’s funny how time changes perspective…

I thought of this again as I sat cuddling my girl before bed. Tomorrow she will go to her dad’s house because I have class and then we are taking a weekend trip to go skiing. Five days without her voice, her humor, her literal brain, and her beautiful smile. It makes me sad now, but by six years old, we understand we can live without each other for a week. When she was a baby, it would have devastated us both… it’s such a trick that time plays with us…

But still, I sat there soaking in the cuddles and thinking about what six more years might do to our perceptions of who we are as individuals and as mother/daughter. Who knows really? But for today with tears threatening to spill at the thought of who we have been and who we will be, I squeeze every ounce of joy out of who we are today.

Mand women smiling wide, soaked in sweat and flush from running.

Day #75 – Traveling, Mental Clarity and Feeling Nervous-cited!

Today is Monday. It’s a short week for us because we are going on vacation Thursday!
I love to anticipate…the nervous excitement of looking forward to an experience…the flurry of activity as one prepares…but mostly the promise of a good time that floats on just outside of the routine-ness of the day.

For the first time ever I felt this way about running today. As I sat through sessions and meetings and paperwork, my body itched in anticipation of the run we were planning that afternoon. We had our rest day yesterday so I guess that gave my body and mind time to long for the exertion and mental clarity I always seem to achieve after a run.

Traveling does much the same thing for my soul. There are elements of it that are fatiguing: the planning, the driving, and figuring out where we can eat (due to allergies). But any headache is well worth the clarity of perception. I love seeing other people live, to be reminded that there is no “right or wrong” way to be, but all kind of ways of being. And the tapestry of that experience is colorful and intricate. But whereas I found beauty in our differences, I find comfort in our sameness. I never travel without being reminded of the connective-ness of everyone. While I am one small fish in the ocean, I am a part of the larger ecosystem of the thriving cosmos.

So yes, anticipation which can feel some like anxiety, much like excitement, being wrapped in impatience with a bow of nervousness.

It’s one of my favorite feelings because it means something wonderful is about to happen!

A man's shadow cast against a wall at a fitness center.

Day #74

I watched her get all her My Little Ponies™ toys out and set them up on the blanket on the floor. I sat at the table painting for fun and enjoying every moment of it. My Love was a room away working on this blog.

We all spun in our worlds of creativity and it was a lovely moment. There is a lot of power in creation. In watching what you are doing come to life.

A blonde girl playing with pony figurines on a coloful blanket. I listened to her play. It’s one of my favorite things to do. To listen to her imagination come to life through plastic ponies and dolls. To see her breathe life into her toys and watch where they may go. Today it was a fancy ball thrown by none other than Princess Celestia of course.

My Love calls me into the office. He requests my input about colors and formatting. His eyes lit up as he shows me how he edited a few of our pictures this week.

I study my silly bee that I painted. It’s so little; it’s so trivial. But I painted it… I chose colors and brushes… I worked hard to carefully merge the colors together and add details. and in doing so, I made it mine. I created it.

It was beautiful to watch us all create in our own way. To paint our day, our project, our world as we desired… there truly is so much energy in being creative and so much joy in living a life you have created.

Blonde girl playing with her toys spread out upon a colorful blanket.

Day #73

Today I failed. I was supposed to run six miles per the training app we are following. We got to the gym one hour before it closed. They turned the lights out on me right after I finished mile five…

I know I should be okay with running the five. I did hills the first three miles. I ran without stopping for a breather for four miles which is the longest I’ve managed thus far. I finished five miles in an hour. This should all be enough…

But the bar was set at six… my Love finished six… and I missed the mark…

As much as I didn’t want to be, I was disappointed in myself. I’ve always been the token first-born overachiever… or at least up until the last couple of years. Then I realized something that shook my whole life up… achievement doesn’t fulfill me. I have been the one to never give up, even when giving up would have served me better. I have been the perfectionist, the dependable one, the “hardest working person in show biz” as my dad likes to call me.

But I realized a few years ago that no one is really going to remember me for my achievements and no one really cares much if I’m the best. I learned the hard way that if who I am isn’t good enough to begin with, then no matter how hard I work to prove myself, I will just never be good enough for that person, that religion, that marriage. And I finally did the one thing I never thought I could do, I quit. I walked away holding my breath and terrified. And when I got outside in the dark in the night in the aloneness, I though I would die, I thought I would be punished, I thought I would crumble to pieces.

I remember marveling at the night when I first left my former life. I would put Adalie to sleep and take a blanket and just lay in the night. And instead of terror, I found hope. Hope in feeling connected without feeling condemned. Hope in the stars that share dust with me. Hope in living by the dark, of not needing to have all the answers to enjoy the day, embrace this life, and love without condition.

My failed run… it is only a blip on the scale of failures I have achieved… I failed huge a few years ago and it was the most liberating experience of my life…

Try it, my gentle readers, fail sometime when failing serves you best… embrace the dark… and just breathe…

Day #72

My Love and I have a “game” we play. It’s called “Remember that time…

We’ll think of fun time, silly time, or really big time…

“Remember that time we went to Kansas City for your birthday and got tattoos?”

“Remember that time we went to New York for Christmas and it snowed while we watched the light show?”

“Remember that time we went to Yellowstone and hiked all day so then we got tipsy off one glass of wine?”

Remember that time… it’s a favorite of mine…

In my efforts to live presently I most often berate myself for living too much in the future. As I’ve mentioned before, my Love and I are dreamers and always planning our next move in life. But this game as helped me see I live in the past, at times, too…

And I’m beginning to wonder…

If the balance isn’t the place in-between. Where intentional daily living produces a life you love so much you don’t mind reliving it in memory. That my today is a beautiful yesterday leading me to my brightest tomorrows.

Today we cross-trained, Wednesday we rested, tomorrow we run. It is what must happen to create the race experience we desire. Maybe the same is true in life… maybe we have to dabble in yesterday to create today in order to embrace tomorrow

…maybe the balance is there in that in-between.

A blonde girl with a blue bow peering of into the distance while her food sits in front of her.
Waiting anxiously for the first sight of the best friend.

Day #71

It was an ordinary run in the park. It was chilly so not a lot of people were there. I ran my 3 miles steadily, slowly, and with little pizzazz. But I ran it all and I finished.

Then my Love and I went back to Adalie’s dance class and waited. We did dinner, bath, homework, bed. I did my homework … Love worked on his computer. We went to bed, we kissed good night, we drifted into dream worlds.

It was nothing special of a day by the markers of extraordinary days. But it was mine and I loved it.

Every grateful breath of it.

Shiny balls of candy-coated chocolate atop ice cream in a clear bowl.

Day #70

Have you ever tried to fit a round peg in a square hole? That’s what today felt like …

A new Brooks running shoe, with bright pink and purple colors.After a rest-day yesterday to let my legs heal, my body has been restless to run all day. I did get some new shoes, though, and that is exciting!

I forgot to email my class presentation to myself yesterday, so I was frantically trying to multitask this morning.

I had a session with a pretty uncooperative 5 year old and then went to a group session that consisted of a lot of whining because I made them think

I tore my pantyhose at work and didn’t have time to change them before I had to teach tonight.

I forgot to get my debit card back at dinner and I had to go back to get it which made me almost late for class.

You know, one of those kind of days …

Side view of man in sunglasses driving in a vehicle, wearing a plaid shirt.

But I took a few minutes at lunch to hold hands with my Love and let the sun light my face … and I stopped in awe of the sunset for several moments. I am thankful for the earth today–the way it just is when nothing else falls into place. It’s like the Mother that catches me, dust me off, and sends me on my way… a more grounded and balanced soul.

A pink and purple sunset sky.