Day #110: Cupcakes and Handshakes Change the World

Today I ran alone… it was weird… like running without my left foot… and although it was only 3.75 miles it seemed to take forever without my Love beside me…

He was there at the gym but his foot tendon was sore and he forgot his running shoes so he didn’t want to chance it…

I watched him shake hands with my uncle who also happened to be there. I imagined their conversation… him explaining why he wasn’t running… my uncle sharing a similar experience… and it made me think how we work so hard to be connected…

I had a mother in my office today practically begging me to hear her story. I met with a teenage boy who shuts down every time his story gets told on him.

We witness it all the time… in person… on Facebook… people desperate to connect to someone, anyone. And while that leads to a lot of dysfunction, the overall purpose is important. To really thrive, we need community, connections, nurture, love…

How many times in the rush of the day, in the haste of our agenda do we miss the most basic of our human connections… a steadying hand for an elder, a sincere compliment to a cashier, or surprising our spouse with their favorite “treat.” For my Love, it is a cupcake so– we neutralized the Monday blues with salted caramel heaven.

It makes me wonder, gentle reader, how many small kind things I could do if I just weren’t so into myself all the time? Maybe enough to change the world?

Or my world at the very least…

A vanilla cupcake with white frosting piled high, drizzled in caramel and rock sugar.

Day #83: Tearful Reunions and Exquisite Exhaustion

We made it home… and through the day… and for the day after coming back from vacation, that’s pretty good.

I went and had lunch with my little love because I hadn’t seen her in five days and I couldn’t wait one more minute. She didn’t know I was coming… when she walked in the cafeteria and saw me sitting there, her face lit up and her arms reached out for me before she even realized what she was doing. The pureness of wanting me was so sweet on her face that it choked me up a little. She came over to me and kept looking away… refusing to say anything initially… I thought maybe she was mad because she’s not a kid that particularly loves surprises. But as I looked closer, I saw the un-shed tears in her eyes. After getting a hold of herself, she turned around and the talking began 🙂 After not seeing me for five days, she had a lot to discuss with me.

But her prolonged pause reminded me of how I felt this day. Not really ready to jump in, not sure about how I feel, and maybe a little tearful. It was in this state of exhaustion and confusion I was able to pass out at 9:15 without a thought to anything else except the beauty of a little girl safely tucked in her bed, a pair of arms holding me tight, and my own marvelous bed.

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 #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 #51

Today I felt like I spent a lot of time avoiding the grasp of anticipation. There are a couple of opportunities that have come up that I “think” would be ideal. But I am uncertain if I will even get the chance to make my case as the best candidate. In neither of the situations do I feel much control. But I desire them both greatly.

Isn’t it funny how we can be so convinced of the idea of something that we have not yet even known.

And so I am fighting attachment, dear readers, attachment to an idea about how I want things to be. Furthermore, that smells a whole lot like expectation and that seems to breed rigidity.

I walked after dark with my Love, hand-in-hand. He directed our walk and I gladly accepted his guidance. I felt a little lost and overwhelmed from the pull of the tide today. We walked slowly and quietly as I worked to still my inner turmoil and tornado of thoughts. I centered on his hand in mine, the sound of my feet hitting pavement, and the cold on my nose.

I became grounded in the tangible, the real, the present.

And in those moments, I was able to truly let go of all that I cannot control and just be my present self, wholly.

It felt good; it felt right.

And I became calm and flexible again.
Sure we have ideas and goals and hopes and wishes. But I will not become attached to how they will happen.

“Now they’re blue,” he says beside me.

The lights at a particular house. They change regularly and it’s always fun to see what’s going to happen next.

I like the way this guy rolls,” my Love continues.

Me too … may I always see the thrill in the lights that lead the way and may I always know the joy in the unexpected changing.