Friday, November 25, 2011

A new reason to nap

It is absolutely impossible to blog when you are keeping a secret. A secret that you want to tell immediately. A 10-week secret.

Matt and I found out almost 4 weeks after our honeymoon that we brought home a very special souvenir from St. Lucia. Our little jungle baby (Mowgli) will be here around May 31. We've had a good bit of time to get used to it, but every day there is a little bit of "whoa." Considering we only had 3 weeks of martial bliss before we started Parenting 101, I think we are doing pretty well.

I've been through every emotion in the book--terrified, excited, sad, content, scared again, happy. I'm like a revolving door of emotions right now. Matt has a hard time keeping up with all of them, and, unfortunately, most of the emotions are geared at him.

This ultrasound picture is from 8.5 weeks. By now, we have evolved from the blob shape into a small human with fingers and toes.

I knew I was pregnant before I took the test, before I ever missed a period. I had a sneaking suspicion. Poor Matt never saw it coming.

How do shows like this even exist? Exist enough so that there are multiple episodes? Because so many women are having random babies?

This boggles my mind. Yes, I have seen the show. Yes, these women tend to be overweight or have irregular periods. BUT, COME ON. I am only leaving the first trimester and I feel SO PREGNANT.

Last night, my reflux was horrific. I had a headache. I maybe slept a total of 4 hours. As I lay awake in our bed, Matt snoring peacefully by my side, I couldn't help but think of these women. Women who "wake up with a sharp pain" and then suddenly go into labor and have a baby. HUH?

What about the 9 months of cravings, the hunger, the reflux, the nausea, the BLOATING and gas, the weird pooping, the aching nipples, THE WEIGHT GAIN, anything? Hello?

Did this happen to women back in the day? Like, Jesus times? Or 17th Century England? Were women popping out babies like magic? No, they weren't. Because if they did, THEY'D BE ACCUSED OF WITCHCRAFT.

Gosh, I would feel so unprepared if a baby just showed up one day. Nine months seems like the perfect amount of time, doesn't it? Just enough time, but not too much. God job, God.

That being said, I am so thankful that Matt and I have this time to figure some things out before Mowgli gets here. To enjoy the process, hopefully. I mean, there are still plenty of days that I have to fight a horrible mood and remind myself that there is a PERSON inside of my body. If I didn't know better, I would think an alien had invaded.

For the majority of our marriage, I have hated the way that our house smells and I've generally disliked Matt. He has been amazingly understanding, though, and besides a few minor aggravations, he can pretty much ignore me and my hormonally challenged state.

Sometimes, when we are laying in bed, I look down and think how is a baby going to fit in there? And better yet, how is a baby going to come out of there?

While I'm still a little unsure about the pregnancy (don't worry, I bounce into maternal bliss several times a day), I am so so so very excited to be a mommy. Its a job I've always dreamed about. I can't want to hold her (I think its a girl--we will find out in about 6 weeks), and smell her, and kiss her. And if I tell you all of the things I'm excited about, I will cry. Because that's what pregnant women do.

But what I am most excited about is that we are bringing a child into the world who is going to be loved by so many people. And I want as many people to love our child as conceivable.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Life's real. Its made up of little things--minutes, hours, naps, errands, routine. And it has to be enough.

Now that the hub-bub of the wedding is over and Matt and I are finally able to settle a bit into our "new" life together, I would like to let out a long exasperated sigh.

The wedding was beautiful and perfectly imperfect. The reception was so unexpectedly fun (in that I hoped everyone else would have fun, but I did not expect to have as much fun as I did). The honeymoon was relaxing and quiet--so quiet, at times, that Matt and I just looked at each other and wondered, okay, now what do we do? And then the honeymoon was over. The moment the plane touched down in Atlanta, the phones came on and the normal, hectic life we had left behind just 6 days earlier made its reappearance.

It has been a whirlwind of a month, to say the least. And, actually, if I'm being honest, it has been a whirlwind of 3 months. Between buying the house, the start of school, and getting married, there were moments when we were barely breathing, much less talking.

So, in short, I like being married much more than I enjoyed being engaged. Let's be honest. After 18 months, who wouldn't be over the engagement?

Life in our little Green house is fun and comfortable, sometimes fiery. We enjoy our small disagreements and work hard to make each other happy. That's something that I hope we never forget how to do. I really enjoy coming home every night and having someone here that is just for me and I'm just for him, even though he's a grump.

And so, normal life has re-commenced; the routine of every day the same and a little different. Tired by 9, awake by 6. Throw in good friends, good runs, good books, and a stupid cat. What you have before you folks are a couple of tired, happy people. In truth, I am still trying to figure things out.

Blame my impatience with myself, and only myself, but I had kinda hoped we were past figuring it out. But I always do forget the point: every experience is one to grow on until the next. So far, though, being married is pretty easy. It hasn't been this earth-shattering shift in lifestyle that I had been warned about.

My favorite day of the week has officially become Saturday. I used to really enjoy Wednesdays because my schedule at school was a little easier and it meant that the work week was halfway over, but I've recently decided that Saturday offers everything I love about a day. Sleep late (maybe), run, watch football, clean a little (maybe), see friends, be outside, eat well, time for a nap, and a husband who is equally dedicated to a day of enjoyment. My love for Saturday might also have something to do with the fact that I work every other day. But any way you look at it, Saturday is splendid.

This is not to say that I do not love the days that I work. I love my jobs and I love all of the kids that I get to work with on a daily basis. I'm passionate about what I do and the many hats that I am blessed to wear. Lately, however, I've been exhausted. I'm going to call it a wedding hangover. While we slept a lot on our honeymoon, I could use another week of sleep. And so, in my tired state, I may or may not be giving off negative energy. Don't worry. I'm remedying this.

During one of the happiest periods of my life, I've become spoiled. In many ways, I forgot that being happy takes hard work, every day. Just like anything in life--anything that you want (or need, coincidentally) takes hard work. So, instead of riding this wave right out of happy newly-wed and into unhappy married couple, I'm recognizing a need for a recommitment to my personal happiness as well as Matt's. Pretty soon, the newness will wear off, just like the shininess of our new kitchen gadgets. And I'd rather start working on being happy, regardless, again.

Life's real. Its made up of little things--minutes, hours, naps, errands, routine. And it has to be enough.

Monday, July 11, 2011

If you want to be happy, be.

Matt and I closed on our very
own house almost two months ago on June 17th. While Matt dealt with most of the nitty gritty on house buying during the day (dealing with lenders, realtor, etc.), I worked during the day and in the evenings to make sure our finances were in order. Matt's job was much harder than mine. If the task were left to me, we probably wouldn't be in a house.

But our house is perfect and lovely and cozy. One of my softball players called it a "little cottage" in her super country, East Tennessee accent. That's exactly what it is though. And Max asked, "How is Matt going to fit in there?" Because Matt is big, and the house is not. But he fits. We are both fitting here comfortably.

Because Matt and I have not dwelled together before we closed on the house (54 days before the wedding, to be exact!), we are having to learn each other in a completely different way. A great way. Probably a way that is supposed to happen after marriage, but hell, we're here now so don't judge. We decided on this journey a long time ago, so we are happy with our decision.

Part of living together before we do the till-death-do-us part was an economical decision. The other part of it can only be described like house-breaking a dog. You can't be too busy or the dog will pee on the rug forever. Because we're getting married in September, it will mean that we will go back to our normal, strange schedules. I'll work all day and a few nights, and Matt will work primarily nights. So, if we are to spend any meaningful time living together, the time is now. We needed to sniff each other out so that when we work opposite schedules, we feel like we still live together. Matt also needed to learn how to make a bed. The past few weeks have been really fun and sweet.

Its like living in a real-life Sims game. Girl Sim needs food, so Boy Sim cooks. Girl Sim makes bed and tucks sheets, which makes Boy Sim unhappy because he doesn't like his feet tight at the end of the bed. Girl Sim likes her laundry to smell good and Boy Sim kind of likes smelling last week on his clothes (ie unscented laundry detergent). Girl Sim needs shower. Boy Sim waters plants 3x a day. Girl Sim wants a nap and Boy Sim wants to sit on the couch and watch. Boy Sim likes to wash dishes in the sink even though there's a dishwasher and Girl Sim can't stand the grime leftover on forks.

If you can imagine it, we've just met all over again and are dating. Except its much more complicated than that because we know each other so well, but not well enough. I haven't eaten carbs in two weeks because its not part of Matt's diet and he does all the grocery shopping so far. I'm melting because I LIVE off carbs. Granted, he has given me my own little cabinet space for crackers and cereal and pasta. And we are eating a really clean diet. But I do miss my rich breads. Not enough to go to the grocery store though...

If you haven't read it already, you really should pick up the small, unassuming book Hector and the Search for Happiness. Its so small that you could re-read it several times in a week if you choose. "Once upon a time there was a young psychiatrist called Hector who was not very satisfied with himself..." Hector is very good at treating patients in need of his help. But he can’t do much for those who are simply dissatisfied with life, and that is beginning to depress him. When a patient tells him he looks in need of a vacation, Hector takes a trip around the world to learn what makes people happy—and sad. As he travels from Paris to China to Africa to the United States, he lists his observations about the people he meets. The list he comes up with is simple, almost too simple, in solving this big conundrum. The secret lies in remembering the good things you have going for you.

Too often, I think, we let ourselves slide into negative funks without allowing ourselves to really think through it. Letting the bad thoughts slip in and failing to dismiss them, allowing them to infect us and others.

While we are all searching for contentment in our lives, we lose focus and get frustrated.

I've never been a planner, neither short or long term. I don't like to look too far ahead for fear that I'll be disappointed. Living with Matt and planning the wedding has taken me out of my comfort zone. I'm planning for my (our) future and it makes me most anxious.

When I was 5, my parents always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down, "happy." They said I didn't understand the assignment. I said they didn't understand life.

Luckily, Matt is really, really (almost too good) at planning. I do plan on letting Matt be the master planner for the rest of our lives. I'll do the day-to-day planning, but I'm not really even good at that. What am I doing tomorrow, you ask? I have no plans. Besides the basic survival strategies I've set up for myself (eat, sleep, run, work), I'm fairly inept at planning or decision making.

My search for happiness has landed me here:
1. Happiness is having a home and a garden.
2. Happiness is doing a job that you love.
3. Happiness is running slow enough to talk with a great friend.
4. Happiness is knowing how to breathe through a tough situation.
5. Happiness is Saturday morning coffee in your pajamas with someone you love.
6. The sun and the sea make everyone happy.
7. Happiness is a dinner table full of happy, smiling faces.
8. Happiness is coming home to someone you love every day.
9. Happiness is having enough money to do the things you love and pay your bills.
10. Making comparisons can spoil your happiness.
11. Happiness often comes when least expected.
12. Its a mistake to think that happiness is the goal.
13. Happiness is being loved for exactly who you are.
14. Happiness is knowing how to celebrate, breathe, rationalize.
15. Happiness is making sure the people around you are happy.

I think we like to complicate something when it is really quite simple; find what it is that makes you happy, and find who it is that makes you happy, and stay focused on that, and you're set. Promise. No matter what has happened before or what could happen later.

While all of the planning and changing have made me uncomfortable and anxious, I'm pretty proud of my ability to breathe through it all so far. I've learned (and am still learning) to move through this world of adulthood that's tarnished and scarred and ugly sometimes, and prevent a lot of the head-spinning negative thoughts. The scary "what-ifs."

And in four weeks, I'll be married to a man who works just as hard as I do (if not harder--he's not pre-set on the feeling, a grouch at heart) to stay happy.

"If you want to be happy, be." Leo Tolstoy

Sunday, May 22, 2011

and i like you better than anything in the sky

i love you much (most beautiful darling)
more than anyone on the earth and i
like you better than everything in the sky

-sunlight and singing welcome your coming

although winter may be everywhere
with such a silence and such a darkness
noone can quite begin to guess

(except my life)the true time of year-

and if what calls itself a world should have
the luck to hear such a singing (or glimpse such
sunlight as will leap higher than high
through gayer than gayest someone's heart at
your each

nearness) everyone certainly would (my
most beautiful darling) believe in nothing but

ee cummings

When it comes to hugging and loving, I had the most wonderful teacher. While the stereotypical, story-book grandmothers pinch cheeks and squeeze and condone the playfulness of a child, my Gigi was a nose-rubbing, down on all fours kind of lady. She wanted to know me, to know all of us (all 13 grandchildren) as whatever we were, without judgment.

In my life, I fell in love with my Gigi first. I fell in love with her confidence and her tacky jewelry and sparkly shoes. I fell in love with her sweet, long southern drawl. I fell in love with her hands. I fell in love with the way she talked to me--the language for just me. I fell in love with her hugs; the kind that pour out every ounce of soul and love and courage. Gigi was my person, the one that was meant for me in life. She let me talk, and dance, and create without insecurity. And I knew all of this, the way that I loved her and the way that she loved me, before she got sick.

I can still hear exactly how she said my name. And her laugh.

Lately, I've been missing her in every action and thought. She's supposed to be here and be excitable with me and cry with me and rationalize with me. Every day, I think I should be able to sit on a bed with her and talk and laugh and cry. Because she would get it. There are so many parts of my heart that she, and only she, would get.

In college, I carried her picture with me every day. To give me confidence to stand up in class and speak, to walk onto the field and keep my head high when it should have been hanging, and to remind me to be myself--that myself is grand. And beautiful.

In the ten years since she's been gone, I have not had that person that I could talk to without thinking first. Every word and every action has a consequence, but not with her. The years and months and days have been scary and sad and exciting--I need her embrace. To hold her hand and study our identical hand wrinkles.

But my Gigi taught me how to love with my whole heart. And although sometimes I'm afraid of it, afraid of that loss again, Gigi was the best teacher. Sitting on her kitchen floor, I learned that we are going to love with everything we've got and we are going to hurt and it isn't fair.

When I was young, my little cousin left us one night in his sleep. For weeks and months after this, I was afraid to sleep--afraid I wouldn't wake up if I closed my eyes. My little mind couldn't understand. Gigi painted me an angel and hung it over my bed, wrote and illustrated a book about angels who watch over sleeping children, and lay with me until it was okay to close my eyes, to give in. The angels are always near to those who are grieving, to whisper to them that their loved ones are safe in the hands of God.

In the months that Gigi was sick, I spent ever free moment with her. Laying with her and talking to her and holding her hands. I would go to her house after school and lay in bed with her and rub vitamin E on her scars and talk to her about all of the things I wouldn't be able to after she was gone. Because I knew she was leaving.

For a long time after Gigi left, all I wanted to do was make sure she was still here. I had little life goals of being just like her. To love like her, to hug like her, to dress a little like her (but she was a bit more flashy than I have the guts to be).

So, I woke up this morning aching for a hug and a conversation with her. It's been a long time since I've felt that feeling so strongly. All of the overwhelming plans for the next steps in life have me yearning for her input and her comfort. While so much of her is in me, I need to be able to bury my head in her perfumed neck and cry until its all okay again.

There are little details that I'm beginning to forget. What were the songs that you sang to me? I need to go to Margaret's (her best friend) store again and sit and paint furniture for hours and talk, and I need to sit on the edge of a bed. I need 8 more hours in the car or even just one hug.

For me, I do feel lucky to know what I was losing before it was lost. It has all made me much more aware of all of the people I love and how to cherish them daily. And I think I'll still have a day when I'm 67 where I'll wake up crying for a hug and kiss from Gigi. The reason it hurts so much to separate is because our souls are connected.

Lubba, dubba, dubba you.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Sometimes I think if we could all remember how to fall like a child, we'd bounce right back up. A kid instinctively knows how to fall. They fall in a way that they don't get hurt. If you watch them playing, they'll fall twenty times and only cry if their feelings get hurt. Adults don't have this. We grow out of it. Every fall hurts. It hurts our bodies and it hurts our feelings.

If I said that life is about failure, I would feel redundant. I'm pretty sure I tell my kids (not mine, but the kids I work with) every day that they are going to fail. Over and over again, they will fail. And its about how they react to it. So, life is about failing and falling and finding a way to continue--to keep breathing, to learn from the disappointment, to run along.

Being an athlete, I should be accustomed to falling. It's never been my strong suite.

My senior year of college, I threw my shoulder out on a play that didn't mean anything. The team we were playing had essentially already won, but I tried to throw the ball from the center field fence to the plate. And boom! No shoulder. After we had congratulated the opposing team on their win, I broke down and told the trainer that something was wrong. So, I sat for weeks watching the final games of my senior season, of the game that I love most. And that still hurts. Falling hurts.

Last weekend I participated in the Country Music 1/2 Marathon with the Emily's Power for a Cure team. I say participated because I didn't complete this run. I got hurt at mile 6. Body fail. And after 4 more miles of denial, I decided that it wasn't worth it.

Before I go on, let me explain the "it wasn't worth it." It was. But somewhere between my pride and the reality of the situation, it didn't matter if I finished this race. Between the anger and the tears and the disappointment, it wasn't about me.

So, quitting sucked. I can honestly say that I have never quit anything in my entire life. I failed and it hurt my feelings and I was wounded. During the almost 2 hours that I sat on the course, I threw things, wouldn't speak to anyone, and I cried. The whole time. (Big shout out to Jill Higdon who has, for the past 7 years, been my cry-to person. Only you can take that call and make me feel better about sitting on a curb). And when I finally got on the shuttle to the finish line, I was angry at the other marathon failures who only wanted to get to the finish to get their medals.

I'm not sure what the medal meant to them, but as they were yelling at our driver to get them to that finish line, I started thinking a little more rationally about the situation. I didn't want that medal. I wasn't finishing. But I didn't need the medal or even to finish the race to feel like I had accomplished something.

The process of this experience was better for my soul than finishing the actual race. I was good to my body throughout the training--maybe for the first time in my athletic career. I was patient with myself and encouraging. Training was amazing and fun and enjoyable (something it is not supposed to be, historically). I am a part of a team--something that I've missed greatly for three years--and that team is a part of something much bigger than any of us singularly. And I have found another sister.

The people that were swirling all around me that weekend have more resilience than that little child on the playground that falls and gets back up and falls again. They have been broken and are still breathing.

So, it's taken me a full week to get over the fall. I use get over lightly because it still stings a little when people ask me how it went. It was supposed to go well, but it didn't, and that's okay. It really is. And I'm really grateful that I had my people to find me and hug me when I got off that awful shuttle of failures.

I quit because running means more to me than one race. I need these knees to last until my brain is incapable of letting me run. I feel guilty about craving something so desperately, but my need to run is stronger than my need for nearly any creature comfort. I'm a competitive person, and finishing a route a few seconds faster than the day before leaves me with a guaranteed high. Unlike drugs or booze, my running addiction makes my life better. I will never need Prozac as long as I have my daily fix of endorphins. No other exercise seems to provide it for me in quite the same way. All of my dearest friends have been or are my running partners.

When we fall, its discouraging and hard. Its time and devotion down the drain. But in the big picture, its a small blip in a larger mission.

Friday, April 22, 2011


In the midst of a hustling, crazy life lately, I forgot to wish my blog a happy birthday. It's now an entire year old, and full of a lot of random thoughts. What my blog began as, it still is. And, although it's experienced a lot of changes, I think its grown a lot. I'm proud of it. I think I might let it start dating or get its driver's license this year.

In addition to forgetting my beloved blog's birthday, I've also neglected to visit much these past few weeks. While my mind constantly thinks about things that I could feed it, I haven't been able to flesh out any of these thoughts.

So, without further procrastination, a list of random things learned this year (infused with my craziness, of late):

Wear a bra
Although I do support the proud to be free movement, in most cases, it is always appropriate to wear a bra. It is not always appropriate not to wear a bra. Be on the safe side: wear a bra.

Speak your opinion
If you have a considered, well-thought-through opinion, say it. People respect an opinion that holds its own ground, regardless of the mouth from which it was born. If you have an opinion about everything, and you think its been thought through, and you tell everyone and anyone who will listen--well, we all know that those opinions get flushed. So, pick your battles. And once you decide what you really care about, there the opinion may form.

Be strong
While I constantly battle with the dilemma of personal struggle or public struggle, the struggle in itself must be faced with strength.

Adults get acne, too
"My ability to turn good news into anxiety is rivaled only by my ability to turn anxiety into chin acne." If you haven't read Tina Fey's new book Bossypants, it is a must. Our bodies do a great job of telling us how we feel when we don't know it. I've had more zits this year than I did in my entire youth, but I'm happy.

Good friends are hard to find
But easy to keep (if they really are good).

Don't be afraid to condiment
I love ketchup. And honey mustard, and ranch dressing, and bbq sauce. If you are using it, chances are whatever you are dipping isn't really good for you either. I condiment whole-heartedly.

I just had a horribly embarrassing phone conversation with a man who I presume is from India. And I couldn't understand him. He was speaking English, but with a thick accent. We eventually decided to communicate via the phonetic alphabet table (a as in alpha, b as in beta, etc.) Even still, couldn't quite get it. I think it embarrassed me as much as it did him. Enunciate.

When its hard, we want to run. Stay. Every day, we are put in situations that are challenging and uncomfortable and we make the choice to stay or go. When we stay, we learn something.

Always feel good in your shoes
This could totally be a precursor to a "walk a mile in his shoes" story, but its not. Shoes can make even the dullest wardrobe fabulous.

Humility is the best policy
I just spent 5 hours with a lady in my Remicade room who stunk to the high heavens. I don't know if I didn't notice this when she came in, but I woke up several times during my very expensive nap thinking that it was me. It wasn't, but it left me thinking about all the reasons why this woman smelled so bad. She looked clean. And as I looked at stinky lady, asleep in her chair, blood infusing into her IV, I stopped and slapped myself on the wrist (very quietly, so not to wake her). I don't know where she came from or why she's here or why she might possibly stink so bad--there could be a million bad reasons that eclipse anything I've ever experienced. Be humble, even when they're stinky.

Be a hugger (or become one)
A heart-to-heart, ear-to-ear, wrap-around embrace is the way to go. None of that one arm, pat on the back shit. Hug people like your mama hugs you. Hug the people you love.

On a bad grammar day, stay away from pens and keyboards
There is a big difference between sale, sell, and sail. In my head, they sound different, but in most East Tennesseeans' heads, they are all interchangeable. If you can't tale the difference, 'ought to stay away from 'em today.

It's better if you care
This policy is fluent for every possible task in life. If you care, you'll even do it for free.

Being a nun isn't for everyone
While my Poppy will probably be forever disappointed that I'm not going to become a nun, he's also pretty glad that I have no face tattoos or children. There are a thousand reasons to consider being a nun, and there's usually one big one holding a stop sign.

In direct conflict with the earlier lesson Stay, any self-respecting adult has to consider the option of going. Sometimes it just doesn't fit.

Donald Trump probably shouldn't be our next President
Sure, he has great hair and a lot of money. He talks a pretty mean game, too. I'm just not so sure we want him to go around firing all these people that just got their jobs back.

Figure out a way to pray
To whomever you please.

Reckless abandon (pt.1)
Every now and then, you've got to let the responsible side of you take a back seat. Have fun and laugh a lot.

Reckless abandon (pt.2)
Don't let the guilt of your irresponsible behavior tarnish the good time.

Be still
At every possible opportunity. Stop talking, stop thinking, stop moving. And, if at all possible, try not to be still in front of a TV.

It's okay to cry
I'm about 3 months overdue for my good cry, and I keep waiting on it to show itself. So, watch out.

Play with a kid
If you're having a bad day, find a kid to play with. Unless they've failed a spelling test, they are usually fairly consistent with their positive energy. And they love anything having to do with a ball.

Play with a dog
If you're having a bad day, find a dog to play with. Unless they've just been to the vet, they are usually fairly consistent with their positive energy. And they love having anything to do with a ball.

No matter how old you are, you can always play. As adults, we forget that this is a socially acceptable action. Go outside, take off your shoes, and play.

Be nice to yourself
Some days, you might be the only one. If you wake up every morning and look in the mirror and say, "E GAD! What the hell is that?" you aren't being very nice to yourself. Someone once told me to take care of my hair as if it were a fine piece of silk--what about the rest of me?

As a runner with runner's feet, I've always got calluses and blister's and extra skin. Polished toes are a great distraction to any foot malady.

Your parents love you
More than anything else in existence.

Boots are always in season
Especially in East Tennessee, apparently.

Eat sugar
Despite the facts about sugar that my loving fiance has attempted to spread like a Jehovah's Witness, I can appreciate a little sugar in my diet. While I wouldn't recommend using it like Paula Deen uses butter, I think its all about portion control these days.

Such an insanely hard concept. I choose to prioritize using the following criteria: What I care about most, What needs to be done the soonest, What someone else cares about most, and What is going to be late tomorrow. "Lesson learned? When people say, 'You really, really must' do something, it means you don't really have to. No one ever says, 'You really, really must deliver the baby during labor.' When it's true, it doesn't need to be said."

Rejoice for your friends
Be as truly happy for them as they are for themselves. It can be hard, but if you will smile and laugh as they smile and laugh, you'll fall right into it.

Be happy
Every day, find something to be happy about. Happy about what you see, hear, touch, feel, smell. And even if you're not really happy, you are training yourself to find it. Happy day.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Super Glue

Once you are broken, you are broken forever. In the past few months, this was more of a question than a statement. And I kept wanting to ask for everyone's opinions, but have since come to my own conclusion. When you've been broken, you stay that way. You are a beautiful stained glass window with a large crack down the middle (or 5 cracks) that's only holding it together because someone took time to repair you. Over and over again, they repair you.

Consistently, the "they" is an amazing smattering of people, new and old, who take turns holding you up. The beauty of human nature and the human experience.

In college, it became my custom to cry in my car. Not all the time, but when I would drive to or from home on the weekends. Again, it was a defense mechanism--don't let them see you weak--but it eventually became a cathartic release. I would be strong and responsible and likable and a warrior...until I got in my car. Somewhere along the road, I stopped needing to cry.

In the past week, I have spent almost 20 hours alone in my car. About an hour into my first trip, I realized that driving is not what it used to be. I didn't shed a single tear. And I expected to at least have something to get off my chest. But, not a drop.

I spend a lot of time (in all honesty, probably too much time) controlling my emotions. Being sure that I'm never too high and never too low. Because too high is a scary loss of control and too low is the darker side of that inability. My lady helped a lot with this, but since the (amicable) divorce, it's all been on me.

This has been an amazing week on an inexpressible level. Let's start with the obvious: It's spring break. And it's actually the first spring break that I have ever, in my life, had completely free. I'm not playing softball or coaching. I would like to take a moment and pat myself on the back for taking the week completely off. Because its done more for my soul than anything in a long while.

I spend a lot of time controlling my emotions. I also spend a lot of time looking for things that make me happy. Not the desperate search for a lifetime of complete happiness happy, but the here-and-now happy. The beautiful rise and fall of the sun (I admit, I take an embarrassing amount of pictures), a good run with a good friend, good food, a great book, etc. Those little blurbs of happiness build in me.

Its become one of my favorite pastimes, lately. Looking for those essential good things. Bad things are easier to see, I think.

So, this is what made my heart warm this week:

Tybee Island. Exactly what I needed to get over my work hangover and start to relax. While you can't see us in the picture, Jill, Sarah and I spent a lot of time people watching. And there were many people to be watched.

Super Moon. And super it was. It was bright and big and beautiful. I have a lot of love for the sky, and this moon was amazing.

Mom did yoga with me my first morning at the beach with them. It was really cool to show her something that I love so much, and to do yoga outside in such an awesome setting. She didn't exactly want to be in a picture though.

If life were exactly the way I wanted it to be, I would like to do this every morning. Sit on a dock and read and drink lots of coffee.

Puppy sat in the pillows of this chair all day, just happy to be with us. Dad was doing a little work and Puppy was bored of him.

My first sunset in Florida. I'm a sucker for a pretty sky.

Dad poking fun of his food throwing habit. I placed it on his head, but, unfortunately, it had some tomato on it. I had dinner with just Mom and Dad this night. Can't tell you when that's ever happened before.

This is actually the third in a sequence of pictures following the birds from the shore to overhead.

I love food. It was like sushi on a sandwich. And I got to eat it while looking into clear, blue water and white sand.

This is my running partner, Molly. Molly and I didn't go to the same beach, and that's why she's crying. She actually thought she was at a topless beach, and her Mommy told her that she wasn't. She should have come to my beach. This picture makes me smile every time I look at it.

I planned this sunset. Not really, but I planned my run down to the minute around this sunset. And when it started to set, I couldn't run anymore. It was too distracting.

Post run.

And now, home. Crawford James greeted me with the most unabashed excitement for his first karate lesson and couldn't wait to try on his digs. A child's excitement is much greater than an adult's. Revel in it.

The pictures can't tell the whole story, and I'm not sure that I can either. I got to have a conversation with my grandmother's best friend, who knew her as a real person. I got to vacation with my parents and my sister (that's it! not 7 people, but 4--and while we missed the others, it was really nice). I got to spend an entire day and night at the beach by myself, and I only cried while watching Secretariat.

It may be true that once you are broken, you are broken forever. But I really appreciate and enjoy all of the things that hold me together.