I’ve broke the golden rule of blogdom: You must publish regularly. I know this. But somewhere along the line it became too much for me.
The way I saw it, my choice boiled down to write about fitness or do fitness. So I did fitness.
Combining Couch to 5K with Jeff Galloway’s Ultimate 5K, I managed to run/walk up to three miles. I got a little (very little) skinnier. I felt healthier Then, I got busier again and eventually, this fall, I stopped doing anything and got fatter. Then, to top it all off, my allergies stole my breath away.
I went from couch to nearly a 5K and back to the couch.
Meanwhile, in that one year, some of my friends went from couch to marathon.
Yes, I am a failure at fitness. I have always been. But I will not always be. I still have hope.
So I figure it is time to brush off the blog, but this time I want to add a twist or two. I figure I need to expand my focus to fit my reality.
This Is My Quest
Last year, I just asked if I could get fit. This year, my quest is manifold:
Can I …
Believe Me, the Last Is Not Least
Let me repeat that last part, “and find a solution to my son’s headache.” It may be last on my list, but it is first in my thoughts.
See, my 12-year-old has had a headache for six months. That’s right. The same headache. Six months. On a scale of 1 to 10, the pain is usually about a six or a seven. Lately at its lightest, it’s a five.
We’re now at the point that we are trying everything we can think of with him, taking him to doctors, osteopaths, acupuncturists, massage therapists, yoga lessons, meditation … you name it. And it all takes time – the one thing I have so very little of.
But more on that in future blog posts.
And a Plea for Help
Honestly, I don’t know that I can do this. Especially since I am serious about the book-writing thing too. It’s time. I need to actually finish the story I’ve started, but I’m a long, long way from doing so.
So, have an idea for a blog post? Send it my way. I’d love to have guest writers here.
You see, I am connected. I need to be. I have a way of getting carried away with whatever I am doing and forgetting the rest of the world around me.
So, to compensate for this tendency, I use Google calendar to map out my life. It emails me events at 5 a.m. daily, pings me about them with 20 minutes to go and, then, hits me up again when I have five minutes left. It practically grabs me by the throat and shakes me.
Without it, I am lost.
With it, I leap from meeting to work, to scouts, guitar lessons, theater practice and baseball in a single bound – well, two or three beeps. I dance in a nervous frenzy around my schedule, my world, remembering when the boys need to be ready for pictures, what day I need to bake cupcakes for a fundraiser and when I need to take the boys in for a tooth cleaning.
Hooray for the calendar.
But a bigger hooray for something else – something I almost never see on that obscenely early morning email – those three words – the ones that I saw this morning:
Nothing. Scheduled. Today.
Let me say that again. It just sounds so good.
Nothing. Scheduled. Today.
A free day. That means I can run a few miles, fix the cracks in the ceiling, finish trimming the shrubbery, wallpaper the wall leading down to the basement.
That means I can try that silly kit to whiten my teeth, dance a little dance, write a chapter of that novel I never get to writing, play another game with my kids.
I can go to the beach, hunt morels, take pictures in the woods, train my boys to be better at doing chores.
But wait. It lied. My fault. I never filled in everything.
Guitar lessons. Baseball. An unplanned cold that is somewhat stealing my voice and begging me for sleep.
Still, this morning, facing the luxury of unscheduled hours, I tried hanging the wallpaper. It’s a small wall. An easy enough job.
But first I had to replace the dead light bulb so I could see down that dark hall. I screwed in an energy-efficient replacement, a new CFL.
Smiling, feeling competent, I soaked the paper, straddled the ladder. Lined things up. Started to trim, and hit my head on that brand-new bulb. Yeah, I cracked it in two on my thick head.
Oh, Lord, let the mercury rain down upon me.
The directions for cleaning up a broken CFL are enough to make you never want to purchase one of these darned things again. Yeah, LEDs are where it is at.
Not knowing what else to do, I went outside and hosed my hair; then, dripping all over the place, I made Steve Google broken CFL directions.
Evacuate the room for 15 minutes. Put on disposable gloves. Use two pieces of cardboard to sweep up the glass. Put it all in a Ziploc. Use tape to get any remaining pieces. Put tape in the Ziploc.
Yeah, so I’m using duct tape and rubber gloves, and I’m cussing up a storm as the tape sticks to one finger, then the next then, the palm, then the Ziploc. I pull out another piece, with more of the same, only it finally takes the entire finger off one glove.
Yeah, and that’s about the time I put my hand down and poke myself clean through with a nice, sharp piece of mercury-laced glass.
Thank goodness we’d sent the kids upstairs so they wouldn’t breathe in the stuff. The words that came out of my mouth may have been more potent than the mercury.
Me showered, my clothes in the laundry, the floor scrubbed and one lonely piece of wallpaper on the wall, hanging rather imperfectly — my cold finally got the better of me. It was about all I could do to curl up on my bed and nap.
So I did. Until the calendar buzzed, and I began hopping, back to guitar lessons and baseball and dinner somewhere in there.
That strand of wallpaper? It will probably have to stay lonely all week. After all, everything starts over again tomorrow.
Once upon a time, in a place not so far away, I had real jeans.
They came stiff, new-looking, waiting to be worn in. You actually could wear them to work on dress-down days and still feel dressy enough.
And I was happy.
Who knew I’d long so for those days – the days when friends would have to lie in bed to pry up their zippers. Those pants didn’t give, but they sure did hold bellies at bay.
Me? I was always too ashamed of my thunder thighs to ever go quite that tight. But still …
Those button-fly Levi’s 501s were my favorite. They fit just right.
What ever happened to real women’s jeans?
My boys can still get real denim – the true blues. Not the ones that are stone washed or, worse yet, have pre-made holes. (They quickly make those themselves, sliding into first base. That’s the way it should be.)
I want that type of jeans. They make them for kids. Why not for moms?
Somewhere along the line, corporations have decided that we like our tea always sweet and our jeans laced with Lycra. Why?
Do they think it is comfier?
It is not.
The new-fangled, faux-denim creations feel fine when you first put them on, but, an hour later, they’re hanging – their pockets cutting mid-butt. Nobody looks good with pockets that low.
A belt is now a necessity, unless you really want to show off the top of your underwear or, worse, your butt crack.
Forget wearing these things to work. No dress-down day is ever dress-down enough. Heck, half of them come pre-holed.
Just get me a good pair of denims, and, I swear, I’ll wear ‘em enough that I can make my own holes. Thank you very much.
Oh, what I’d give to go back in time and grab several pair.
Forget the mall. Guess it’s time to shop Ebay.
Levi? You listening?
The Tibetan monk speaking at it was purported to be the reincarnation of a Buddhist master from the somethingth century. In this current carnation, he studied for ages in a Tibetan monastery under another very distinguished master.
Now, the skeptic in me needs to express that I don’t necessarily believe in reincarnation, but for a monk to be raised from childhood like that — believing he was this other person and being so soundly steeped in the ways of Buddhism — all of that has to change him. So I went figuring I could probably learn a thing or two.
Changing the air in the room
Now, I don’t know for sure how all of that might have changed him. But he sure changed the air in the room.
There are some people who leave in their wake a trail of peace. He was one of them.
Different levels of practice
Anyway, the monk spoke in broken English and referred to Buddhist concepts I can only guess at. So, I missed a lot of what he said, but I also learned a lot.
He said that there are different levels of meditative practice. The first is to do things to ease your own suffering, to help yourself. But then there is the other level where you do what you do to ease the suffering of all sentient beings.
Since then, I’ve found myself trying to dedicate what I do in meditative practice and elsewhere to the benefit of all sentient beings.
If it ends with me, it’s a dead end
It sounds corny, I know. But I think that mindset may just make me a better person.
I’m now weighing the possibility that positive ends that stop with me are dead ends. I want to, instead, place myself as a conduit for goodness.
I’ve got a long, long way to go, but, I must tell you, those dedications are helping me find a peace I’ve never found before.
My big weekend workout? Crawling on hands and knees with Steve in our attic, fiberglass flying everywhere, and then hauling 40 55-quart bags of old insulation down our stairs and into our driveway where they now block our garage.
It was hot, sweaty work made worse by the non-breathable getup I insisted on wearing.
I’m pretty sure the neighbors now think that 1. we have some toxic stuff brewing here in our house or 2. I’m a super geek. (OK, so maybe I am, but still …)
On the positive side, I must have shed a couple of pounds in water weight, and you should see all of the black on the air-filter mask. I think the sexy space look might just have been worth it.
I think we still have another 10 bags to go.
That new insulation better do its job.