40 is the new 18

I’ve been thinking a lot about age and getting older and blah blah blah. Okay, I shouldn’t just blah blah blah that but I feel like talking about aging is so overdone. But I’m going to anyway. 🙂

I think one reason I’m thinking about age is obviously because of the whole “changing my life” thing I’ve got going on here. Another is probably because my sister bff turns 40 on Monday and there’s an upcoming party/celebration of the bff sisters in a couple weeks in honor of the occasion. And, also because of this:

That would be my 14 1/2 year old son, whom I get to hang out with all weekend at my mom’s house. Can’t wait to see him – I haven’t seen him since middle of August and that’s a long time. It’s especially long after he goes back to his dad’s at the end of the summer because we spend so much time together. It sucks a lot to go from seeing him every day to then not again for a month and a half.

He is getting so freaking old. In less than 4 years, he will be the same age that I was when I met his dad. How freaky is that? How can he be that old already? So, these thoughts in my head are probably what have me thinking about age.

Here’s what I think about age and aging – even though I, my friends, my husband, and my child are getting older, I honestly do not feel old. Don’t get me wrong, when I was jogging down Linear Trail this evening after work, the pain in my knees reminded me that I’m definitely getting older for sure – but I don’t feel old.
When I was a kid in high school, being over 30 seemed like such sad and crazy thing – like your whole life would pretty much be almost over then. But what I’ve realized is that honestly, as I myself am approaching 40, I feel like my life is really just starting. I don’t mean to discredit all of my life before this point – of course I’ve accomplished a lot by now and lived a lot so far (like having a fantastic son!) but when it comes to me and my life and my aspirations and figuring out who I am, I’m pretty darn sure I’ve just begun. In fact, I know it.

I’ve had this weird philosophy about age for awhile (I think I got it from someone but I can’t remember whom right now) and that philosophy is that you’re not really old until you’re like 74 – then you can be old. And since life really begins to get kick ass after you start to figure out who you are (in my opinion), I’ve decided that 40 is the new 18 – you’re not really an adult until you’re 40. Which of course means that I’m still a kid. Seriously though, I refuse to act or look a certain way just because I’m “too old” or any crap like that so maybe me telling myself that I’m still a kid is an excuse/rationalization to myself that I don’t have to conform. But honestly, I doubt I’ll conform when I’m 74 either.  🙂

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dedication: the sequel

So I keep thinking about this dedication issue thing today – and I have a different viewpoint on it now. My problem is not that I struggle with dedication – I actually am quite dedicated to many things. Some things are easily related to my job, like fighting for social justice, equality, fairness, education, and easily accessible information for everyone. Some other things may not be easily related to my job, but are a hardcore part of my life like family, friends, and specifically time with my son.

What that means then is that my real problem is not that I don’t know how to dedicated to something, it’s that maybe I don’t have enough experience with putting that much dedication into myself. And THAT’S what I am going to work on. All of the above mentioned things that I’m dedicated to are super important to me and now I need to make sure that I’m just as important – that I, myself, should be in that list of things I’m dedicated to.

I’m guessing that it is easier said than done. But, the first step (recommended to me by a friend) is going to take this all one small step at a time. For example, simple dedication/fitness goal for about 6 weeks out and then go from there. The second step for me (well, really continual step) is to document the journey. That works for me – it’s why I’m blogging about it, so I can document the journey and who knows – maybe I’ll help/inspire someone else along the way. I think an additional way for me to document this by following this example. She documented her 160 pound weight loss through photos. Now, I’m no skilled photographer – but I have a decent unprofessional camera and I think I’m going to do the same. Not that it’s all about weight/appearance, because it’s not, but it will be another way to document it for me and others.

With the exception of this morning before work, I did not work out today. That makes me sad. And what was my fabulous excuse? Work, of course. Oh, and dishes. Good times. But tomorrow I will do better. And, to close on a beautiful “I love autumn” note, here is a (taken with my iPhone LOL) picture from the parking lot. It is beautifully awesome, yes?

i need the bodybuilder mentality

One of my best friends in high school went out into the world and became what she wanted to be – a bodybuilder. And she’s fan-freaking-tastic at it. Like, she’s an IFBB Professional Builder and has competed. And I love her for going out deciding what she wanted to do, stayed with it, and became successful and stayed with it through the good and bad times.

Yesterday morning while going around City Park, one of the local trainers was out there doing crap I can’t even begin to describe – I’m sure my crazy-ass-friend/online-trainer Douglas could tell me what it was, but I have no idea – like a weird push-up/lunge/crawl with some kind of bar thing. But what it looked like was that he was lunging/push-upping/spider crawling around the park, which let me tell you, is freaky to see at 5am in the dark.

(really, I swear this will all make sense and connect)

So. One of the times going around the Park, he stopped and said he was training harder now because he was leaving town this week – for a bodybuilding competition – and, he is totally fit and from my inexperienced eye, totally looks like he’ll do just fine at said competition.

Some years ago, I met a fabulously attractive man in New Orleans while partying there with two friends. Seriously people, he was beautiful. LOL. Anyway, we spent hours in the night drinking Tanqueray straight out of the bottle. I don’t remember what his job was but I remember on the side he was a competitive body builder.

Why am I rambling on about bodybuilders? It’s not because I want to be one (because, let’s be honest, I’m so not cut out for that). But – I think there’s something here to think about – my friend Heather has pretty much dedicated her life to this goal. Man at the Park (whose name I do not know) is out there at 5am pretty much every day that I am doing crazy ass workout things WHILE still training people at the same time. And stranger from New Orleans worked a job, competed, and had time to go to a convention on New Orleans for some down time. That’s all some serious dedication – and I wish I had it.

But here’s the question of the day – or week – or whatever:  how in the world do you find this dedication? And where the heck is the manual that one must read where I learn how to do this while working as tenure-track faculty at a university? I’m all for work-life balance, but how do I fit in that kind of dedication AND work AND family AND personal life?

Dave always tells me that professional body builders, models, celebrities, etc., have time to do hardcore dedication & training because it is their full-time job to do that and it might be hard for me to do something similar because I’m working another full-time job. But I don’t like that reason. I want someone to tell me how to do it. But I’m guessing that’s one of those “you need to figure it out on your own” things.

Having said that, if you know how to do it, please let me know. LOL

I’m tired today – probably why I’m so disconnected and rambling. And I’m frustrated because I’m only a few days into moving forward with the trying new lifestyle and I’m already frustrated. So, I’m frustrated because I’m frustrated. That’s some good reasoning there – good thing I don’t have a master’s degree in English or anything. Geesh.

But tomorrow is a new day. Or as my friend Ralph Waldo Emerson would say:  “Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

running away the demons

I had my first cigarette when I was 13. I remember it distinctly – my friend and I were sitting on my front porch steps in a small shit-ass town in Nebraska, listening to my mom’s cassette tape of Steve Miller Band’s Greatest Hits Album (which I’m pretty sure I never gave back – sorry, mom). We had just come home from hanging out with two guys we should not have been hanging out with – for many reasons, one of which is that they were in their 20’s. Yikes. What the hell was I thinking? But I digress.

Between then and now, deducting all the times “I quit” throughout the years, I think I can safely say that I smoked for 12 years at least. Smoking and gin have been my “holy crap it’s been a long day” or “omg, you won’t believe what I’ve just been through” or simply, “damn that was an amazing evening” responses. So in the last few years after I’ve quit smoking, after I quit drinking (beyond socially), I find myself with no more vices to fall onto after one those days. My only real vice left is coffee and I’m not about to suck down some caffeine at the end of the day. The last few years the response was to immediately get a friend on the phone, go to his/her house, or the best deal of all – go drag my bff from the downstairs basement and sit with her for hours on our back deck. But, friends change, people’s lives move on, and bffs move away or move onto the next stage of their life. And that’s all okay – it’s a part of life. But it still leaves me with no vice or thing to fall back on.

My guess is that’s part of the deal lately – with the thinking, wrapped up so tight in my head that I don’t know what’s right/wrong, inability to fall or stay asleep, drown myself in work pattern I have going on. I think I need a way to vent out all of that, with “that” equaling “life” but I seem to have ran out of bad things, good things have left me, and I don’t want to bury my husband with the crazy in my head. So the funniest thing happened today after work – or rather, on my way home from work.

See, I was supposed to be running an errand for earlier mentioned bff (so sorry – I promise I’ll do it tomorrow hon) but was so distracted with my thoughts, all I could think about was going out on the trail and well, running. It seemed like the only thing I could do was run until it stopped hurting. Until I could figure something out. And I couldn’t get home fast enough to do so. No one was home when I got here so I just left and went to the trails. I felt like I absolutely needed to run to clear my head and think about things in a logical way – to feel that “holy shit, I can do this” that I love so much about running. And so that’s what I did – ran away the demons of the day. And it’s good – maybe a good vice? I’ll have to see where it leads.

always about the journey

I think the one thing I can safely say is that I am not boring nor do I fall into redundancy patterns. Or, in other words, I can’t stay the same way and must always be improving, bettering myself/my life, and enjoying new things. I have two mottos:  one, “to thine own self be true” (that’s Hamlet, y’all) and two, “change is my constant” (no idea where that is from lol).

So, here it is – another new day full of change and possibilities. I think that’s one of the reasons I love fall so very much – it always feel like time for starting anew or refreshing. I realize that people think of spring in this way, but fall has always seemed that way for me. Maybe because I’ve been in school or worked at a school practically my whole life so for me, fall just signals a new beginning for me.

I see myself turning heavily towards a few “life goals” now – the first is still the same as always: to run. I do so love it and plan to continue it (without stressing about training for a half marathon right now) and pull myself back together to be healthy and in shape. The second is to pull myself back together financially – yes, I realize one does not talk about such things in public but I don’t care. It’s time for me to focus on getting rid of years of debt that is weighing me down. In some ways, it’s like the last thing that keeps being carried over from an old past life that I no longer live. That and a couch. But it’s a real comfy couch. 🙂

Fortunately I have two things going for me here – one, an amazing husband who truly is my best friend and puts up with more of my shit than any person should (seriously, can you imagine being married to this crazy?). He is on board and ready to be my number one fan for the running/being healthy. And with the financial, well he’s going along with that too. I think honestly, I could come home and tell him I wanted us to move to some far away city and so I could sit and write books all day and he’d support me. Assuming of course we could take the animals and be able to live/eat/have shelter.

Second thing going for me is that I know what’s important in life. And friends, let me tell you, it’s not how much you work in any given week. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job with all my heart and am able to accomplish some GREAT things there with the support of my organization. But that’s not where it’s at – it’s your family and friends. Family and friends who are probably reading this thinking I’ve lost my damn mind because I work a ridiculous amount of hours and have time for no one. And I can’t argue you there – that has been true.

But I believe with all my heart that things happen for a reason and people come into your life for a reason and sometimes you need to go away to see it all. And sometimes you need to stop and have a breakdown to figure it out. I feel like I’ve been on the verge of something for awhile – without knowing what that something is – but somehow between the last few weeks, some running, some being sick, some sleepless nights and a half bottle of gin, I think I’ve got it now. And it’s time for me to go and act upon it – a change in priorities or balancing out if you will.

Lord knows I’ll end up sharing this post on Facebook and for those of you who have read this long rambling post so far, thank you – and I hope you’ll support me in this journey – my so-called refraction of melia – it’s not just about running a half marathon or losing weight anymore – I am now changing to live in my journey for happiness – with the health and money stuff I mentioned above of course – but truly with friends, family, visitors, and people whom I have not met yet. Though I’m unsure how all of this work out or how to completely start it all, I’m going to write about it and see what we end up with as we go.

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And I do so love listening to music and writing 🙂

Progress! And Frustration.

First and most importantly, the birds are okay. The momma bird came back and all is well. 🙂

This week has been tiring for sure. A combo of things like work and activities with the first week of doing something everyday for exercise. Except I didn’t do anything last night but sit on the couch after I got off work. So. Tired.

Wednesday morning we did pretty well running – started out doing 2 blocks with a 30-second recovery walk and worked up to running whole sides (Manhattan folks, is that about 3 blocks? one side of City Park?). But, today was a different story. I was tired. And I ran out of allergy medicine on Wednesday so I had major allergy issues when I woke up. David even asked as we were doing our warmup walk if I was extra tired today because I was so out of it. I told him I didn’t want to do 2 blocks and then a recovery walk -that I just wanted to run and do recovery walks when needed. So that’s what we agreed. We put on our headphones and started jogging.

First time I slowed for a recovery walk? At the end of the 2nd mile. Yep. Did a whole 2 miles without stopping. And damn it felt good. Even cooler than that, is the face on my husband…this was the first time in his life that he ran straight 2 miles – even counting when he played football. He was pretty happy with himself. There might of been some kind of high-five awesomeness happening at the corner of Fremont & 11th at 5:30a this morning. 🙂 His pace is much faster than mine – he stayed near me for the first mile but after that he took off ahead of me. I may create a runner out of him yet.

So maybe that’s the answer – you can run well when you’re tired, crabby and frustrated? I’m frustrated because it’s been two full weeks of running now and I’ve lost NO weight. How is that possible? It’s not like I’m coming home every day and eating french fries and apple pie. But, I think I will avoid the scale because though that number isn’t changing, I’m wearing a size smaller pair of jeans today. So, whatever. I feel better about the whole thing after running this morning. It really does clear my head. It’s such a mental lift for me that I’m starting to think I need to run everyday. But we’ll work on that later. Tomorrow – bike ride!