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Archive for the ‘Various and Sundry’ Category

(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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

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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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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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Fear.

Last month I started training to run the 10K in the Bolder Boulder. I started in mid-December, the HEIGHT of cookie season, so I wouldn’t somehow chalk this all up as a New Year’s resolution and abandon it in a week. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have to tell you, running when you’ve told yourself your whole life that you hate running (or that you suck at running) is a bit of a challenge. And the thing is, it turns out that I don’t hate the actual act of running, but my mindset has always been that I, in fact, am not a runner, and that I simply could NOT be good at it. So, overcoming that limiting mindset has been the difficulty for me. It all boils down to fear of failure or of looking foolish, and an overall sense of worry about not being quite good enough. Does that resonate with anyone else?

What have you been telling yourself that you’re not good at, that maybe you’ve never even really tried? What are you so afraid of?

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Gumbo party night.

My older daughter recently passed both her exams for real estate (first try, 90%, no big deal) and officially got her license 3 days ago, so we’re having a small family party tonight. I’m slightly embarrassed to say that we haven’t given adequate attention to life’s good things in our family, not for a long time. So, it’s time to celebrate with a bucket (almost literally) of gumbo and a big ol’ pot of rice, and a WHOLE bunch of babies running around Chez Inman like hooligans on the Friday night agenda.

No, it isn’t terribly exciting, but most of life isn’t about excitement. If you’re lucky, it’s about being content and always having enough (love, joy, money) to get you through to the next day. It’s also about being smart enough to be grateful for these things. ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope everyone is having their own version of “gumbo party night,” wherever they are, and that they’re smart enough to know that all of these seemingly little things really are the big things.

 

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Crazy.

You know when you pick a fight and you know you’re being crazy, but you pick the fight anyway and then feel super crappy after? Yeah, me either…

But what’s interesting is that the person who MADE you crazy in the first place wants to play dumb like none of this has anything to do with them, and that all of your crazy is completely unjustified and, you know, crazy.

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Feeling it. (?)

Due to a recent rash of soul-wrenching lack of self-confidence, I decided to pull myself up by my ever loving bootstraps and really, get over it. Seriously. Part of this, “Get over it,” project is to kick my fear of photos of me.20191216_121617

There are probably about 4 photographs of me in existence today that I don’t, you know, sorta hate. Which means that there aren’t pictures of me with my kids or with my grandbabies. If they forget me someday, there is little evidence I was ever here. That’s kinda sad, right?

Anyway, I’ve committed to taking (and keeping) at least one photograph per day for a whole year (hell no, I’m not posting all of them here), to get past my photo phobia.

I mean, we only get one face, and as far as faces go, I could have done a lot worse. I’m a grandmother of FIVE for heavens sakes. Still, photos have never been my thing, so I’m going to start making photos my bitch. I hope. Because today, I’m kind of feeling it.

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Soul tired.

I have spent the last – god, I don’t even know how long – in a flurry of activity, maybe trying to keep a few demons at bay. An idle mind is the devil’s playground, and all that (if you even believe in such nonsense, which I don’t)… But religious doctrine aside, I’ve been staying busy. Weirdly busy. Cleaning what needs cleaning. Repairing what needs repairing (and what my large but not unlimited skillset will allow me to repair). Researching interesting hobbies and buying golf clubs. Joining a book club. Writing bucket lists. Building a photo journal by committing to snapping a picture each day. Posting to Facebook at 3am because I can’t sleep. I’ve been traveling a bit, too, to Taos on a roadtrip with my girlfriends and to Pasadena for work (but also with my girlfriends).

The funny thing about keeping busy is, eventually you run out of shit to do. And you have to sit with whatever it is that is eating you, with whatever has left you bruised and defeated, with whatever is making you feel incompetent and undeserving. And when you’re forced to sit with this, you tend to get a bit out of sorts and maybe even downright ugly. Mean. Surly. Bitchy.

SO, here is where my busy-ness road seems to have ended, folks, and I’ve spent all day in a mood as black as a moonless night, kicking at shadows and wanting to pull out my own hair…except it’s great hair and I don’t want to wreck it, so it’s totally not going to happen. The day isn’t over, though, so a good cry and a long, hot soak in the giant-sized tub isn’t entirely out of the question. It’s just… I’m tired. Like, so tired. I don’t know what tomorrow looks like, let alone the rest of my life, and I need more than a minute to ponder that in peace and quiet. Unfortunately, I’ve been practicing so long at avoiding asking myself any real questions, that I don’t believe I know HOW to sit quietly to do any of the important work that needs to be done on and for myself.

Today, it isn’t just my body that is tired. It’s my soul.

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In Between.

There is always something happening in the area occupying the โ€œin between.โ€ Life is in between two points of not being โ€“ the vast voids before conception/birth and then death (and if you believe as I do, eventual rebirth). Happiness falls in between bouts of unhappiness or even simply existing. Inhales happen between exhales. My favorite finger is smack dab in between index and ringโ€ฆ ๐Ÿ˜Š Most of the best things exist in the in between.

Sometimes the in between kind of sucks, though.

This is where compassion labors to take precedence over ego. These are times when maybe you are so frustrated and resentful, when your very soul feels battered, but you want desperately for someone to be okay even if they are the cause of your pain and confusion. You love them, but perhaps you really want to run them over multiple times with your Jeep at the same time. You feel righteously indignant at their behavior, even if it isnโ€™t about you. It impacts you profoundly, but it isnโ€™t about you. And so you dig deep into your well of understanding and gingerly fish out what you know to be true: that surely anyone who is struggling this much needs tolerance and charity, not a lecture.

Today, Iโ€™m facing THAT in between, not the happier, inhale/exhale kind. And guys, Iโ€™m working on the understanding and empathy, but damned if Iโ€™m not also feeling a bit furious and bent out of shape. Empathy is funny that way โ€“ it will only get you so far and then youโ€™ve got to figure out where the hell all your zen went. This is going to be a long, long weekend of biting my tongue and lending myself to listening intently for comprehension.

There are days when life is certainly quite a conundrum, but maybe this in between is simply intended to remind me of the happiness that was before, and the happiness that is sure to visit again.

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I am.

I am not pretty. I am not nice. There is no piece of me so halfway as to be narrowed down to bland, vanilla-pudding words. I forget that sometimes. I make myself small often so that others might be big, and sometimes, some days I need to remind myself exactly who I am.

I am whispered ancient wisdom and wanton, reckless abandon. I am electricity in the air and tingles on bare skin. I am both fists clenched, and I am claws raking.

I am outrageous laughter skirting a despairing abyss. I am blazing inferno and destruction. I am fury, and I am chaos.

I am cooling water and forgiveness. I am love at the expense of everything else. I am sacrifice.

I am a mother f*cking force of nature. I am the perfect storm.

There is nothing halfway about me and I will not be chiseled away, chip by tiny chip, until there is nothing left.

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On Sharing…

Guys, I’m having a hard time lately with the notion of generosity. For all my ranting and promotions of generosity, for the numbers of times I have been a genuinely happy giver, I have hit a brick wall with a round of giving that has me feeling a bit bitchy and taken advantage of.

See, I was raised to know that to give is our reason to be. It’s why we’re here – to leave this world a better place than what it was when we first got here, and that means giving to others, whether that’s your time, your love, your money…whatever. You give so that your life actually meant something when you’re gone.

So, why all this grumbling in my head about “they should have planned better/known better/figured it out/done without?” I don’t get it. I always thought of myself as generous, but for many reasons, this time it’s different. It’s harder, and I’ve had very little luck changing my attitude about the giving (or the recipients). I can afford it, but for some reason, I just don’t want to.

I dunno. I’ll keep working on the kindness and understanding thing and keep writing checks – maybe if I fake it long enough, I’ll start to feel it, too.

 

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