Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lessons Learned

OK. So...it's been a year today.  A whole year that my Mama's been gone.  I miss her everyday but today was almost as hard as the day it all happened.  And oddly enough, I've handled it roughly the same way I did back then.  I haven't cried today.  Last night was another story but today, no tears.  I'm far from over it mind you.  I still hurt like no body's business but I know what I have to do now.  A year ago, I felt lost.  I didn't know what to feel.  I didn't know what to do.  I went into autopilot and made myself useful.  I cooked.  I cleaned.  I answered the phone and passed it to the nearest sibling.  Today, I once again went into that autopilot phase.  But this time, I was doing things a little different and doing it for me.  I went to the gym.  I pushed myself like never before.  I went to work.  I functioned fairly well and I even smiled.  I didn't much feel that smile inside but it needed to be done.  I went home and I walked 2 miles with my sister and a friend.  It was a good walk and I felt like I did something useful by helping them reach their walking goal that day.  My legs and my heart ached but I made it.  No longer was I lost or numb.  I felt it all and am fine with that. 

I believe in every tragedy, heartache, and mistake, there is a lesson to be learned.  Following my loss, I learned so much about myself.  I learned how to love like never before.  It's not something to keep to myself.  It's there for me to share and I will.  I have.  My husband has been so much to me.  He's been a wonderful support in everything and I love him more than I thought I ever could love a person that wasn't blood family.  I give him my love.  My family has always been there and I love them just as much.  But I've added a respectful love for all of them this year.  Everyone has grown to appreciate life just a bit more and none of them are shy about sharing that now and I think that is so awesome.  I totally respect that!

I've learned that I can do a lot of things that for years I told myself I said couldn't do.  I made a promise to myself that I would make myself healthy in my Mama's memory. It's what she always wanted for all of us. To be healthy. And I don't intend to disappoint.

I finally stopped trying to lose weight and decided to take measures to just be healthy.  And guess what?  The weight seems to be coming with that change.  I learned that it's OK to satisfy my needs first so that I can better serve others.  I've learned to stop putting things off no matter how hard it is to face.  I've learned that I can always make it on what has been given to me. I've learned to laugh and enjoy myself more.   I've learned that everything is going to be OK. 

Would I love to have my Mama here with me now?  Of course I would.  There are so many things I wish I could say to her now that I didn't then.  But I would never regret the relationship we had because of this.  God gave us a good run with her and we seemed to have made the best of it.  Now it's time for me to live the life that I always talked about with her.  I'm finally ready. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Drive You to the Alter? I don't think so!

I went to another wedding yesterday and we got back pretty late so I'm thinking that was probably not the best thing to do. It was nice but driving way the hell out in the middle of nowhere to find an awesome location is nuts. You know how I am with directions right? Well, I was as nervous as runaway slave. And irritable! I think I yelled at Alex a couple of times because he was reading directions and I felt like his accent was too thick! Poor man. Good thing he loves me. Oh! And the ceremony was supposed to start at 6 so we left home at 5 to get there by 545. The ceremony didn't get started until 715. She was beautiful and it was all quite nice. Well...except she cried the entire time. And she is not a neat cryer.

Anyway, afterwards they wanted everyone to meet at the pavilion to toast with champagne. That last 30-45 minutes. People can drink! Finally, everyone headed to the reception at about 8. Let me tell you, reading instructions to a secluded restaurant is not easy when it's dark. And in case you didn't know, sending your black friends driving on a country road is not nice! We don't like them and are super cautious. Looked like KKK territory to me. But hey...it was pretty I'm sure (if only I could have seen it in the darkness). Unfortunately, someone mentioned that I had printed out directions from the chapel to the restaurant so that meant several people were following me. On a dark country road. With a french accented navigator. I so need to get a GPS. Well, I passed the entrance and 8 cars passed it with me. We all had to turn on this tiny road. But we made it.

Ended up sitting with the grooms family. They were interesting (Bizarre in Alex's words), but they just got more interesting as the wine was passed. The main course came 45 minutes after everyone was drinking. And I think one of my co-worker's wives thought I had a thing for him. She kept telling me how wonderful he was and how much he loved her. And she drank a lot. But she was funny. That made it worth it because I have something to use against him at work. By 10, I was tired and had to work the next day so we would skip the cake. Once we were up to say congrats and goodbye, 5 other people at our table followed. The drive home was taxing if nothing else. I was tired. My contacts were dry and I could only see about 5 feet in front of us in super hilly territory. It was not fun. We got home and the dogs were yelping because they needed to potty. We were outside waiting on them in dress clothes. We didn't get to bed until about 12. I'm thinking I'm gonna start saying no to some of these invites. I'm tired of trying to be more social.

Needless to say, a morning workout didn't happen.  I was so tired at work I could barely keep my eyes open. I did make it through the day and had every intention of coming home and taking a nap.  My workout buddies were a no-show so it would have been easy to do so.  Unfortunately, my sister called to let me know she would actually be going to her gym today.  I was like, 'Wow! Really!'.  Lol.  She didn't find that too amusing.  So anyway, since she was going to do that I felt obligated to workout.  Since I didn't have them with me, I decided to walk the pond myself and get a good sweat going.  And sweat I did.  It was 82 degrees and I made that loop 4 times in 40 minutes.  What's the distance you ask?  Well, I mapped it out and looks like I did 3.3 miles today.  I was quite proud of myself. 

I'm tired but it was so worth it.  I know I'll sleep like a baby and this night will be well worth the wait! 

My quote for the day:
Here I stand on a hill in my mountain of dreams, telling myself, its not as hard, hard, hard as it seems. ~Led Zeppelin

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Switching the Six

So, this morning, we completed our six miles instead of waiting on Sunday.  It was not planned and the way it all came about was a bit annoying to me.  It all began yesterday when a coworker called me and asked if I wanted to go walking with her.  I said sure.  It had been about a year since I did anything with her and strongly suspected this invite had more to do with me mentioning it to her than her true desire to get out and walk.  But I said yes anyway.  Well, my husband was in the car with me and I told him I was going to go with her and asked him if he wanted to join us because it was a trail that he had not yet tried.  He hemmed and hawed about it and said he would think about it.  So, I didn't bother because I assumed he would not do it. Well, at 8am, I got up and while I was in the bathroom, he was pulling on his shoes already.  So, i called her to let her know he would be joining us so I would drive instead.  She decided she didn't really want to walk and had about 15 other excuses.  I was OK with that but my husband got the idea that the only reason she backed out was because of him.  Well, that's possible.  But then I felt like it was my fault for not thinking that she might be uncomfortable.  It's not like he would actually be walking with us. He would more than likely leave us behind at a quarter mile anyway! 

So, anyway, this put an uncomfortable silence between us.  We decided to just hit the lake and do our 6 miles.  For anyone that knows me, you know uncomfortable silence for me is worse than an actual argument. I kept asking if he was still upset with me but he laughed it off saying he was never upset to begin with.  So, I decided to just try to work off the annoyance.  But!  I only wanted to do 3 miles.  I worked hard and hit a faster pace than I usually do.  I even left him behind and then stopped to stretch at 1.5 so that he could catch up.  Well, on the last stretch, I told him I only wanted to do the one loop.  He wanted to do two.  I can't sit and let him do it without me.  Besides, his persistence is sometimes my biggest motivator.  He was going to do 6 miles whether I did it or not. We had completed the first three in 32 minutes.  I sucked it up and continued on.  We had been walking about 5 minutes when he dropped the bomb on me.  He said, 'I think we should run.'  Of course he thought we should run. While I was busting my butt trying to beat my personal time for 3 miles, he as just getting warmed up!  So,in a sarcastic snort,  I said 'Of course you want to run.'  Why does it never occur to him to run anytime during the 1st round? 

We started jogging.  I lasted a good 1/2 mile before dropping to a walk, and waving him on.  I didn't think he would get that far before stopping too.  Well, darn him, he ran over a mile.  I was walking as fast as my little 5'2 frame could go just to keep a decent gap.  I ran in intervals but it seemed just when I had the hope that I would catch him on one of his walk intervals, he would start to run again!  I was so frustrated!  But it wasn't his fault.  I was just annoyed that I couldn't keep up.  I saw him slow to a walk again and did a short sprint to catch up.  I got within 5 feet of him and he started running again.  I swore out loud and he heard me and stopped.  I irritably waved him on telling him to go and beat his time.  At about mile 4.5, I started talking to myself.  I told myself that the reason I was getting so irritable was because I was trying to run someone else's race.  He's taller than me, and his athletic ability far exceeds my own.  Why do I think I can keep up with him when I know full well, this is not possible if he is running his pace?  So, I started listening to my music and congratulated myself on the fact that I was walking the pace that I had in the first round and my sweating was minimal.  I was doing better than I had ever done.  So, I got over myself.  He did eventually slow and let  me catch up.  And yes....it was at about 5.75miles.  We finished and we were both still quiet but this time is was comfortable. 

Home now and trying to fight the feeling that all I want to do on this gorgeously gray day is lounge on the sofa.

  I did my dusty six.  And boy was it dusty.  Check out my grimy legs. (And ignore the fact that I haven't shaved please.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The ABC's of Me

Carli Fierce posted this on her site so I thought I'd participate too!

A. Age: 38. My thirties have been amazing!

B. Bed size: Queen

C. Chore you hate: Dishes

D. Dogs: Baxter and Sofie. Baxter is selfish and Sofie is a drama queen!

E. Essential start to your day: Earbuds w/loud music. Working with chatty women makes it necessary.

F. Favorite color: Brown

G. Gold or silver: Silver

H. Height: 5’2. I wear a 1.5in afro…does that count?

I. Instruments that you can play: Clarinet

J. Job title: Human Resources Generalist

K. Kids: Not yet. Maybe one day.

L. Live: Austin, TX USA

M. Mom’s name: Vera

N. Nicknames: The Greatest. Really. My Dad even calls me this!

O. Overnight hospital stays: So far none.

P. Pet peeve: Untidy ladies room. Clean up after yourselves already!

Q. Quote from a movie:  Snowbuddies:I must be contagious, 'cause he's catching cool like it was a cold!"

R. Righty or lefty: Righty.

S. Siblings: 2 brothers, 4 sisters. Yep…big but close baby!

T. Time you wake up: 5am no matter what time I lay it down. Sofie’s on the clock so if she’s gotta go, no one sleeps.

U. Underwear: Yes….I like them. Shouldn’t we all?

V. Vegetables you dislike: Yellow squash. I’ve tried it many ways but I still taste it so I gave up.

W. What makes you run late: Getting caught up reading blogs and not paying attention to time. Oh! Also getting caught behind the stupid Snack truck on the interstate.

X. X-rays: I’ve had many.

Y. Yummy food you make: I like to think all of my food is yummy but if I have to choose one, I would say pound cake.

Z. Zoo favorite animal: Panther. Awesomely black and mysterious and a little unnerving if you look it in the eyes.

That's me!

Active and Lovin' It!

I know it's been a while but I've had some crazy days.  Most have been pretty awesome days but there just don't seem to be enough hours in the day.  Consequently, I've fallen behind on my bloggin' duties.  But no worries!  I'll try to recap just for you.  First of all, just let me say I've been in the gym or outside working it out.  Seriously, this weather has been weird but my body doesn't seem to know this.  I have been craving working out.  Now I know I've hit a turning point.  And to think just a couple of years ago I only wished I could WANT to work out.  I'd pass the people in the gym and wish I could be that dedicated.  Drive past the joggers and tell myself one day that will be me.  Well, I think I'm almost there.  I am in the gym and am sort of jogging.  I hit my 15 minute mile!  I just about died but I did it.  I've not hit it since but I did it! 

My clothes are fitting me so well.  At my sister and husband's encouragement (begging is more like it), I finally purchased 2 new pairs of jeans.  For anyone that doesn't already know, I hate to shop.  I was sitting in the dressing room with a jeans my sister handed me.  I looked at the size first and then promptly told her there was no way I was going to fit into that size.  My exact words were, 'You got jokes.  Give me a real size!'.  Well, she insisted I at least try since I wasn't sure what I wore now.  Guess what?  Those suckers fit!  I was so excited.  She told me I should probably get a size smaller because once they were worn, they would feel larger.  I tried a smaller but was uncomfortable with them so I purchased the original.  Well....I should have listened.  They are a tad bit large on me now.  But that's OK.  It's been some years since I could say something was too big so I'm wearing them proudly with a belt.  Yay me! 

I'm still working on completing my 10k at the end of April.  I've even enlisted more people to join me.  My sister and co-worker have been walking with me after work.  Sister didn't really have a choice since this Round-Up race is a family tradition now and she would never hear the end of it if she didn't do it.  Though she thinks she's gonna cop out of the 5k and do the family mile.  I don't think so!  My friend 'Lina decided she needed to train for the 5k portion.  Now, I don't think they truly understood how much I actually workout.  We were walking the lake and as usual, my sister is bringing up the rear.  Doesn't bother her because she's just starting.  Lina made the comment that I walk faster here than I do at work.  My response?  'That's because at work I slow down for you.'  Well, it's true.  But we are outside with other walkers and runners.  I can't be out there and not break a sweat.  I'm not sure they know what they've gotten into when walking with me. 

My original goal was to shed about 10 lbs a month.  Well, the last couple of weeks have been so hectic that my eating is not where it should be so I lagged a bit. But I weighed in this past Sunday and am happy to report that I am at 5 pounds for the month.  I guess I'm on track but I need to really pay attention to my eating.  Unfortunately, this means dropping out of the team building activity at my job.  Sadly, the 'team building' is Wednesday Dessert.  I just can't do it.  Why work hard all week to ruin a good day with a slice of store-bought cheesecake?  That's what I keep telling myself to make it through those days.  It's hard when you work with nothing but sweet-toothed women!  But I can fight it!

My friend Barta has all but convinced me that I can do a half marathon.  I'm still scared of that.  That's crazy talk right?   First I need to complete this 10k right?  (I talk to myself a lot when trying to make a decision).  What happens if I can't do this?  My friend explained that you are trained for whatever race you choose.  So, I'm going to be attending a TNT meeting in May to see what this is all about.  Well, if Barta and Carli can do it, so can I. Everyone knows I love to fund raise for a good cause so why not benefit my body in the process?  Luckily, I have a pretty good cheerleader section in my life so I'm confident I can at least come up with a realistic goal. 

Let's see...Oh!  I have been so into this new active me that I've created another challenge for myself.  I sit at my desk looking out the window, watching walkers and joggers.  But my most recent 'want' is to be those that are racing up and down the parking garage stairs.  Yep! I'm gonna do it.  Of course I decide this just as we are about to get into the hot temps.  But, we have a shower in the office building so I can clean up after my lunch climbs.  Lina says she'll join me.  Right now I'm doing the short back stairs in the building.  I'm up to 7 flights without struggling too much.  I generally do short bouts of walking and then the stairs on my 15 minute breaks.  The security guard thinks I'm crazy but I think he secretly wishes he could do it. Ha!

I decided I cannot take my babies to the lake to walk.  Sofie's terrified of ducks and geese.  Baxter is overly excited by them so that's not much better.  I'll just have to be content with my sweet hubby and his giant one step to my three.  But again, I'm competitive so it makes me work that much harder.

My personal quote today:
It will happen, when you take action.