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Has it really been this long since my last post??? Where it seems I’ve been slacking on the blogging front, I’ve more than made up for in the “living life to the fullest” front – no complaints here, especially with so many of the COVID restrictions having lifted. Life and living sure feel a bit more “normal” today than they did the last time I posted.

I bought a super cool 4×4 last summer, and it seems that so much of my free time since then has been spent driving through parts of nature I’ve never witnessed in the RV – let’s face it, a well built off-road vehicle simply goes more places than a motorhome can. So….I’m selling the RV! “WHAT???” you may ask, but honestly, it’s not being used as often as it should be and I really hate to see it rot away in storage until it’s no use to anyone.

We’re building out the topper on a 2000 F250 Super Duty diesel with a too-high lift (we can deal with that over the winter) in order to make a less luxurious but a more sensible-for-our-needs camper. We also bought a really, REALLY cool Gazelle tent that sleeps 6-8 and assembles in 40 seconds (not an exaggeration, it is seriously that fast) to give us more room if/when we end up needing it. We haven’t camped in such a rustic way since we were kids, so it will be interesting to get back to our roots. I will tell you, though, that the build on this “camper” is not going anywhere near as quickly as I’d like… (I’m an instant gratification kind of chick)

As for the 4×4 – ours happens to be a Jeep JKU, but we don’t consider ourselves “jeepers.” That community has proven to be somewhat…troublesome. I see memes every day about how it’s the best community in the world, but I’m just gonna throw this out there – “best communities” don’t spend this much time backbiting and downgrading and mocking and just generally being unhelpful. Not to say we haven’t met some AHHH-MAY-ZING people, we just wouldn’t say that jeepers as a group are our cup of tea. The weird snobbery about what constitutes the “right way” to even just OWN a Jeep really rubs me the wrong way (apparently I DO own a Jeep the “right way” and it STILL bugs me to constantly see the snarky sh*t aimed at others). Anyway, we call ourselves “offroaders” or “4×4-ers” or occasionally “overlanders,” but not “jeepers.”

So, here’s our setup as it sits today – don’t let that bed topper fool ya, it’s rain tight, but it’s literally just a bare truck bed with a liner on the inside. One of these days we’ll have it done and I can share it for the obligatory “ooohs” and “aaahs.” 😛

Haunted.

Yesterday. What a peculiar feeling kind of day. I woke up after some ultra-bizarro, way-too-early-to-even-wake-up-yet dreams, leaving me unsettled and with a strange, jumpy energy all morning. Anxious, maybe. You know the dreams I’m talking about – the ones that hit you right before waking so they’re guaranteed to stick with you for a few hours, even though you can’t quite put a finger on what exactly you dreamed about. I imagine when someone says, “haunted,” this is what they mean.

Thinking I could clear my head and burn it off on the treadmill, I ran for about 3 miles, and walked on a slight incline for another 3 – no luck. The weirdness just lingered. Not that it was a bad day at all, it was just…odd. Maybe it was the waning moon. Maybe it was the dreams. Maybe it just…was.

Do the right thing.

Whenever motivation falters, commitment has to step in and step up. These are the words I just spoke to my friend about her workouts. Sometimes we just aren’t feeling like a run or a bike ride or like skipping over the sugary donuts in favor of a protein drink. THAT is when the promises we’ve made to ourselves swagger over to the plate and say, “Waaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiit a minnit. Get off your butt. Do the right thing.”

Today, if your inner voice starts talking about how it’s Monday and you just don’t feel like it…get off your butt. Do the right thing.

Sweetness.

It’s kind of amazing what a rational, mindful, and intentional attitude adjustment can do. That, and a weekend of wheeling in the mountains. As a completely off-topic mention, it’s too bad the name “Smoky Mountains” is already taken because the Rockies really fit the bill for that these past few weeks. 😦 We were IN the mountains and could not SEE the mountains, other than the one we were actually on.

Anyway, back to my mindful reset and living well – for whatever reason, I skipped a bunch of morning runs and workouts for about a week, and that just isn’t like me. And I was SOOOOO out of sorts because of it. So getting back on track for the past few days has really helped. Some time out in nature, between driving through the woods and hiking them during different obstacles, was a great way to catch my breath and re-center.

I think that I’m going to keep rolling with this momentum, and continue to enjoy the sweetness of life…

It occurred to me after yesterday’s crankiness, maybe I should do a few things to manage my own mood. Aside from the boredom of weekday living lately, I needed to clear the murky energies from a few months’ worth of shockingly unpleasant private messages I’ve received, as well as any potentially negative residual juju from the group of folks we had over Saturday. You can’t always control the crud people drag around with them, or the sometimes confusing amount of rage/pain/insanity complete strangers are feeling compelled to aim directly toward you… sometimes that sh*t lingers. None of us can care for anyone else if we don’t first care for ourselves.

If peace is to remain a priority for me, clearly some action was warranted.

So late last night I soaked in an epsom salt bath with a little lavender and cypress to clear my own out-of-sorts energy. The zillion candles probably helped my mood, but mostly they just made the bathing room mysteriously lovely and frankly, who doesn’t look even more attractive by candlelight?? 🙂

This morning, while I sipped an outrageously DECADENT espresso with coconut cream, I set about burning some sage to smudge the ENTIRE house. I lit a white candle in every room, and left them to burn away any other craziness I might have missed with all the smoke.

And finally, while lacing up for my morning run, I set my intention for happiness and clarity – something I have been forgetting to do for too long. Running is just exercise without an intention, which can be fine, but running for me is about time alone to think my own thoughts, to marvel at this world we live in, and to feel the joy of being ABLE to run (oh, and medals…but that sounds way less zen than the other stuff).

Today is the day I took back my attitude, and it’s none too soon because we’ve got two new Jeep trails to ride this weekend and it isn’t going to be much fun if I’m being a grouch. 🙂

Whining

Guys, it’s HOT. And the mountains are burning, which is covering everywhere I can see with a fine layer of silky ash. You can literally smell these fires, and the nearest one is over 120 miles from where we live.

I can’t even remember the last time I saw rain.

This is kind of a thing in Colorado – it’s pretty arid, so we don’t get tons of rain on a regular basis. Knowing this and being happy about it are two separate things, though. I’m tired of watering grass and flowers and veggies. I’m bored with the heat – pools are closed, amusement parks are closed…I’ve read so many books, I’m feeling downright scholarly. 🙂 And yes, I know this sounds a lot like whining, but it IS boring to have so many of the usual options for summer play shut down. I don’t feel like anyone needs to open up on my account, I’m just commenting on how different summer is this year. The Jeep alleviates some of the “stuck at home-ness” of it all, but we can’t do that all day, every day!

*sigh*

I’m sure I’ll survive – boredom isn’t lethal, but UGH. The truth is, the stifling heat, the haze of smoke, and the quarantine semi-lockdown has got me kind of feeling a bit “blah” about doing anything more than I absolutely have to.

Okay, whining over. I can get back to work and chores and running on the treadmill in my comfy air conditioned home gym – First World problems aren’t really problems at all, amirite?

 

Pandemic Gratitude Check

Have I really been gone this long?? My apologies, but anyone who follows me at all knows that writing droughts on my page are relatively common. I’m busy, y’all!

My life hasn’t changed much. I’ve still been running, and still doing my 9-5 job from home, which was the case well before the pandemic changed so many lives. I spend weekends on difficult mountain trails in the new Jeep. Life is still pretty darned good, and moving along at an even keel.

I hear so many folks ranting about how much all of this mask wearing and how staying home sucks. I guess I’ve just been so fortunate, I sometimes forget how lucky I’ve been. My job is the same, and I know that isn’t the case for everyone. I work from home, so I don’t have to risk my health or anyone else’s to go out if I don’t want to. My bills are paid. I’m not worried about whether there will be food or electricity or even the little extras to bring additional pleasure to my life (my Amazon habit is embarrassing…). I know how to sew and had a ready supply of all the things I needed to make a zillion masks for my family, which only sounds weird if you weren’t raised by a gang of crafty, craft-supply-hoarding weirdos like I was. lol I always have SOMETHING to keep me busy and engaged. I’ve got Zoom so I can “hang out” with my girlfriends for happy hours. I have access to nature in my own (huge) back yard. My kids are adults, so I don’t have to worry about littles in or out of school. I’m an introvert, so time without tons of people will always be fine with me. I could go on and on and on.

So today, just like every other day, I’m going to keep counting my many blessings. And I’ll keep reminding myself that this has been a bigger struggle for others, so I need to stay on my toes with doling out empathy instead of judgement.

So many posts about running these days. I apologize, sort of, but I’m obsessed. Hang in there, guys. My love of running isn’t going anywhere, but surely my enchantment with writing about it all the time eventually will. 🙂

For the largest portion of my adult life, if someone had suggested running to me, I would have assumed I was about to be chased by a bear. And to be honest, I would have weighed my odds against wrestling with the bear before I assumed running was even necessary. For whatever reason, at one point in my youth I ran my last run, I couldn’t tell you when it was or why it was, it simply was the last for a very, very long time. For whatever reason, I decided that running wasn’t for me and I was done, though I kind of doubt it was a conscious thing, it just…was. For whatever reason, I believed I couldn’t do it and thus convinced myself I didn’t want to.

Fast forward to now, I’m a grandmother of FIVE, and one day I saw the cutest Adidas running shoes, black with copper stripes. One day I saw a whole bunch of 5Ks on Facebook – hello Bubble Run! How YOU doin, Black Light Run? 10K at Disney World in November? Sign me up! One day I saw, REALLY saw, my mother-in -aw with her 9 prescription pills 3 times per day and her many illnesses and I thought, “Holy sh*t. I need to do something or I am not going to age well. I’m certainly not getting any younger.” Cute outfits, pretty finisher medals, and the icy cold fingers of fear and vanity are all excellent motivators, it turns out. Don’t judge – we all have our things.

I’ve started working with this program called “Couch to 10K” which sounds like I never exercise at all though that’s not true. I’ve been a weights-and-yoga-alternate-days girl for ages, but skimped mightily on cardio-specific exercise (with the exception of long afternoon walks in the springtime to spy on everyone’s yard work to get ideas for my own yard. It’s basically Pinterest, unplugged). Running has only been on my radar since Nov/Dec of last year, so a couple of weeks ago I wanted to start over at the very beginning. I’d been hitting the treadmill or the sidewalks and just kind of going for it, but I wasn’t feeling super inspired by my progress – hence the program/app/whatever. So far, it feels a lot more like I’m moving forward and not simply moving, if that makes sense. 😊

One thing, though. I really struggle at times with the sensation of breathlessness during a good run, despite focusing on good breathing habits. Maybe I suffocated in another lifetime or something, but being even a little out of breath is so beyond uncomfortable for me. There are times when it actually triggers an anxiety attack and all I can do is push through it and keep running, which means I’m teaching myself that this physical discomfort isn’t fatal. It isn’t going to harm me. And my body isn’t going to give in, no matter what my head sometimes says. The thing is, my physical limitations are practically non-existent and now my mental ones surrounding my physical abilities are becoming fewer, too. Every single run is a small victory over the voice in my head telling me I can’t do this. Or that I should quit. Or that this is too hard. And every single small victory makes me a better, stronger, healthier, and smarter version of myself.

 

 

 

And I was RUN-ning…

(I hope everyone read that like Forest Gump would have said it)

This has been a week of super weird energy for me. First, I have a nasty cold-or-flu and that always makes me a miserable cow. Second, I just couldn’t run because my body ached and my head was stuffy so it seemed like rest was in order, but that meant I got ALL up in my own head about failure so, yeah…

Anyway, after having to change pajamas about 3 times through the night, having “sweated out” the worst part of the illness (has anyone else noticed that if you have a good sweat, you feel so much better after??), I’m feeling much improved this morning. Still stuffy and can’t breathe out of my nose, but when you’re running, who cares? We all sort of turn into mouth breathers at a certain point. 🙂 I made myself take it easy, and talked myself out of “making up for” the two days when I simply couldn’t drag on a pair of running shoes, let alone actually run, and just enjoyed the gentler pace with some cranked up music.

It’s weird, really, all this running. I have been convinced my WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE that I hated running, when I’ve never actually done it outside of when I was a little kid. I do think that part of the issue was the utter lack of reasonably supportive sports bras (no kidding), because until recently those weren’t widely available (or available at all) and I had to use this method I called “double bagging,” where I would simply wear two sports bras at the same time to minimize, but never eliminate, bounce. And friends, if you’ve never run in flimsy bras with a 36DD chest, shut up with all your helpful hints about how to fix this issue. The only true fixes are a good bra or not running in the first place. End of story. Let’s not even go into the need for increased kegels so my closer-to-50-than-to-20 year old ass won’t pee if I sneeze…that is a real fear, guys. So I do whatever necessary to make sure it doesn’t happen to me. My mom was an OB/Gyn RN. I know things.

Anyway, a few hundred bucks and a few trusses later, I ventured forth into the Great Land of Runners and it is very, very good. I’m relieving stress, I’m letting go a few pounds I didn’t want anyway, and I can’t wait for spring when I can spy on all the neighborhood yard improvements! Yay, spring! Yay, spying! Yay, creativity in full bloom!

Weird energy aside, all I can do is me. It’s taken me a long time to figure that out.

Well. That happened.

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I finally fell victim to an internet troll who posted a snarky comment to a comment I posted (where I was agreeing with my friend, the original poster). And I proceeded to participate (albeit briefly) in a pissing match with a complete stranger about whether college should be free or not (I’m in favor, he is not). I do believe he basically suggested I might be a communist, which I *think* was intended as an insult. *sigh* Weak sauce.

Stupidly, I found myself becoming increasingly frustrated, trying to prove my point about why bettering citizens betters society as a whole and damned if he was determined NOT to hear me, until it finally occurred to me: this man is determined NOT to hear me. 🙂 What a revelation!

I finally bowed out of this conversation; I think I was 3 replies deep, maybe 4? It may or may not have been the most graceful exit, though I did try. Regardless, it felt good/wise/enlightened/ultra-zen/woo-sahhhh to remind myself that arguing is a complete waste of the precious time I have left on this earth. Whether that means dying 60 years from now or 6 minutes from now, do I want to surrender another second of my time internet-boxing with a man I’m unlikely to meet and certainly will never intentionally hang out with? Nope!

Crisis averted, kids. But it was a close one because in the past, I’ve been known to argue less-meaningful-than-this shit for DAYS (and not surprisingly, it never felt any better to win an argument than it felt to lose one). So, hey there buddy, you can chalk this up as a win by default. I really don’t need it, so I’m not playing. 🙂

I’m sending peace, love, light to everyone. EVERYONE. (oh yeah, and I signed up for 2 more fun 5Ks over the summer, and increased my single-mile running speed by 40 seconds this week, so I have a LOT to be excited about!).

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