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 #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 #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 #85: Childhood-Wild and Free

I was sitting on this bench waiting for Adalie to come out of her school. First, I heard a mother scolding her child for honking her horn. Then I hear a daycare teacher hushing a group while she was waiting on the rest of the children. Finally, a little boy runs up to my bench, climbs up it, jumps off, and rolls down the hill in the grass. His mother, close behind, immediately starts in on him. Now he’s dirty, now he’ll get her car dirty, now she’ll have to wash his jacket.

And it all made me realize how hard we work to contain children. The wild, raw energy that’s so curious and uninhibited. Such beauty in their excited voices, their wild eyes, their never ending flow of body, and their wide, wide smiles.

I watched her later that evening, dancing around the living room in her sequins and wild colors. Her body vibrant with movement, her checks flushed, and her voice strong.

And I thought about what all we do to quiet that voice in a child. In the hallways and the lunchrooms, in the night hours and church services. We “shh” their comments and frown at their inquiries. I send her nonverbal cues that her continuous talking annoys me.

I didn’t want to run today. I’m still just so tired. But I got out there and I chose to do it, it wasn’t even too bad. But I thought as I ran about how life can feel like this run, obligated, serious, and necessary, but not fun. I vowed to enjoy my ball of fun as much as I could tonight with her loud ways, her literal comments, and her ever-changing moods. I vowed to enjoy her sparkles and laughter, her stories and energy. I vowed to love her tonight with as little control as necessary. Because we are given the freedom to be and express ourselves–why shouldn’t a child?

Young blonde girl with flushed cheeks asleep on a colorful blanket.

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 #58

Today I ran 3 miles without stopping … and for most of it … I felt awesome. Today I was a true runner.

Today I got paid … and that also feels awesome. Today I am rich.

Today was spent, off and on, with my best friend. My Love. We talked, flirted, planned our anniversary trip and generally were awesome. Today I was in love.

Today I was the mountain peak — unstoppable, beautiful, and breathtakingly awesome.

And I’m just gonna ride the high all the way down to the valley…

Ebb and flow … its a beautiful flow …

New Year Week (Days #40-46)

Second week of no school … no work … it has been busy nonetheless and all of our schedules are so off.

Therefore, I am writing another week long summary…starting tomorrow it is back to our regular scheduled programming … which means a walk a day, a post a day … pinky promise.

This week has been amazing though …visiting friends, getting stuff done for classes, overnight trips to Hot Springs, and ringing in the New Year with my Love and other important people in my life … and being away from the grinding block of work this week as reminded of a few things:

  1. It is not my identity
  2. A career is nice but it is not everything
  3. If it matters this little to me now, it probably always will; so I shouldn’t invest so much thought and worry in to it

Here’s what I do know after this week:

I love my life. I love the people in it. I love the experiences I have. I love who I am. I love my little family. I am one happy individual.

Man in an orange sweatshirt petting a brindle- and white-colored dog on a walking path with a river in the background.

Damn … it’s a good place to be.

The piece that fell together for me today is, if I feel this way about myself and my life NOW, I will probably feel this way down the road. I try so hard to plan my future. By nature, I am a planner, a list maker, a doer above all else. But I would have never dreamed, more-or-less planned that my life would look this way right now and I LOVE it. I haven’t enjoyed every part of the journey or been comfortable with myself every step of the way. But I have learned to flow, adapt, re-evaluate, and begin again. I have learned that life is not stagnant or rigid and the more I can embrace it and be flexible, the more I get from it.

So I have resolved not to resolve this New Year’s. Because let’s face it, resolutions are too rigid and nobody can hold themselves to their own standards anyway. I have intentioned some experiences I would like to have this year, though, and recognize in order to do so I will need to make decisions to move forward in those areas:

  1.  I want to run a half-marathon this year…this is not entirely true…because I have a love/hate relationship with running…but I want the experience of crossing that finish line…of knowing I did something I did know for sure I could accomplish…and I like the structure of training and want to buy a cool 13.1 sticker…so there is the real story…
  2.  I want to finish this project strong while adding more to our blog…this is a creative outlet for me…I am a better person when I am being purposeful in my analysis of self…plus I sometimes lose interest in things and I want to feel that feeling on day 365 that I actually finished this project!
  3.  I want to experience premium health through nutrition. I am a big believer in the power of food to give life to our bodies. I want to plant more, grow more, cook more, Farmer’s market more, read more, can more, and eat more this year. Because who doesn’t want to eat more…

And these are a few of my “goals” for 2015. I am never short on dreams or desires for a new experience so I am sure others will come up as the year progresses.

But for me, gentle readers, this is what it all boils down to: I love my life because I am free to seek out the experiences I desire … if my desire changes, my experience changes … and that’s okay, because I can flow like that.

Where do you want your life to flow this year?

A yellow lab looking out across the Arkansas River with leaves on the ground between the dog and river.

Christmas Week (Days #32-39)

Forgive my silence … it has been a very busy week of Christmas festivities. We are now 5 Christmas celebrations, 10 hours of road time, and 3 exhausted people done with it all.

All the presents under the tree are gone. All the toys rifled through. Ella, our elf, has hightailed it back to the North Pole. And the tree, whereas it used to gleam with anticipation, now seems to be glaring at me from the corner of the room. And now comes the true test of will as everything must be put away and organized for all the new to come.

The after-Christmas let down is always hard for me. Because once the warmth of holidays is over, it seems that all that is left is the cold of winter. It’s so bare and drab and yuck …

We did go for a walk on Christmas Day at my dad’s house. It sits on a very tranquil piece of land. Small pond, thick woods, and horses. The sun was out for the first time in several weeks. I felt as if it were melting the ice from my veins. The wind was crisp and made me feel so alive. It was the perfect moment to clear your head of the busy cobwebs that always seem to take up residence during long winter months. We walked the loop of the property and lingered with the horses.Man in a black hat sunglasses touching the nose of a red horse with a white fence and white barn in the background.

They were beautiful and affectionate and so “grounding” for me. In the insanity of gifts, activities, family, and food, it was the quiet moment I needed with the universe. To remember I was just a part of a sum, to feel connected to the energy all around, to embrace love for love’s sake.

It was my moment in the sun.

And now, as the winter blues threaten to overshadow my days and disrupt my nights, I hold that moment sacred–as a shield to sullen thoughts and plastic feelings. And I remind myself that every season teaches, and then it passes, and it’s my own thinking on it all that causes me to swim or drown. I am learning to choose to embrace this ebb and flow of life.

I am hoping to swim…

A woman kissing a horse on the nose on a sunny winter day, with a white fence trailing off into the distance.

Day #14

An image of a 25 mph speed-limit sign in a residental area on a cloudy day.Time is such a strange concept to me.

And finding its balance seems almost mystical to me most days. If you push too fast you often cause wrecks. Go too slow and you can miss the point of existence. It’s finding the pace that flows with, not against, this strange stream of life. So much of that is intuition oriented.

Most of us have so many voices in our ear that it’s difficult to hear our own. I encourage you today, gentle reader, as you walk, think inwardly…

What choices will create a healthier me? What do I need to do to be authentically happy? How do I practice contentment in my present while walking with intent toward my future? If no one else was around, what would I be doing with my life right now?

I’m not saying these should be impulsively acted on today, but I would consider who you are beneath the schedule, the roles, the peer pressure, and the “rules.” When you peel all that away and are left staring at your own reflection, can you live with that person? Probably.

Are you in love with that person?

I walked today in neighborhoods and dreamed possible dreams. I noticed things like speed signs and windmills, and how the world responds to changing seasons in its own time. As I walked, I hoped mightily for the wisdom of the flow and the grace to dance in this life- river.windmill