This Is Like Planting Seeds

At the beginning of all things, we tend to feel quite silly. Picture me, chubby girl, jogging through my neighborhood. I’ve got the shoes, the shorts, a water bottle and of course the required music blaring in my ears. At this moment, I can’t brag about my pace. My GPS phone app clocks me at 5 K in 57 minutes. And that’s estimating that my last 30 minutes will be the same as my first, which they won’t. By the time I get a mile and a half (about 2.4 K) of walking and running in, I’m sweating like crazy. My calves burn, and my knees are weak. I am no picture of athletic prowess.

Of course, it won’t always be like that. Eventually, I’ll build up enough muscle to finish in half that time. Hopefully, I won’t be as sore. My stride will look stronger, and my run will be more fluid. I picture myself as a leaner version than now, running like a gazelle through the neighborhood. Onlookers will be in awe of my agility. I wonder, should I take my hair out of the ponytail? The wind could blow it as I run. I would also be in color-coordinated clothing. Shoes, shorts, and a tank top all coordinated. Yeah, I look like I belong.

It’s humorous because when I started with my old tank top and 10-year-old shorts and shoes, I felt awkward. I was pretending to be a runner because it’s cool. And I hate being trendy.

Aside: Running vs. Jogging.

The two are technically the same. Jogging doesn’t become running at a certain pace. Jogging is just an uncool word for some people.

– Me

I’m not sure where this started except possibly in the marathon running group. You don’t jog a marathon. When I looked up the terms in all the online running blogs I could find, no one was sure of the difference between the two. Jogging implies that you are trotting through the neighborhood with no purpose. In the case of running, people mean they are training for a run or a marathon. But that’s speculative.

When I began, with my out of date shoes, I felt awkward. So to legitimize myself I purchased official running gear. Funnily enough, the models displaying running shorts and tanks are 5’10” and 100 pounds. Their BMI is probably 5%. I know, I know, it’s really 14% and I’m exaggerating, but they are skinny girls. Lanky. Anorexic. My BMI is a higher. All those chubs on my body are well-earned. It took a lot of cookies and pints of ice cream to build them.

Now that I have my running gear, at least I know the shoes are not going to injure my knees and shins. With time, I will develop the strange quirks that go with being a runner. I don’t know if I will ever feel authentic because my mental picture is unrealistic; no real person could meet it. I think we do that with a lot of things. Even being an adult, which is something that comes with age, and we don’t genuinely earn, the mere act of not dying brings us to it, we can feel like we are a fake. At the beginning of every attempt, we step one foot in front of the other until we’ve trained our senses to become familiar with our new task.

Adulthood, parenting, hobbies, and vocations are that way. It feels strained. Not quite right. Everyone sees your stumbling and fumbling. That makes me smile. Even though I may not reach gazelle-like grace in my running, eventually even I can become comfortable jogging and running about the neighborhood dressed in trendy shorts and bright-colored shoes.

This is an edited repost.  Taking Up Running from June 9, 2013 

The image above was provided by Wade Harris ”Door, New York City”

My posts might be sparse for a few weeks since I have a cervical spine surgery scheduled, which will make it challenging to write. Wish me luck!

Seriously Happy

There’s no guarantee for success or one formula for not ending your life with regrets, but there are a few pieces of wisdom which have been shared over many generations.

  • Hang around positive people.
  • Don’t fix negative people.
  • Help your tribe.
  • Seek tasks and lessons that are challenging to you.
  • Respect the human needs: camaraderie, love, family, tests, learning, struggle.

Excerpt from BEING STRONG

Just the Taste

Earlier, I was eating an apple and enjoying it. I was just eating the apple, nothing else, and it was delicious. The Crunch. The Juice. It was a delicious apple. So much of my eating has become a duty. Just enjoying good food is difficult because we are all so uptight about eating healthy and not overeating. I’m right there in the mix of it also. Sitting down to eat a whole gallon of ice cream isn’t enjoying it. That’s a compulsion.

Documenting my food intake is entirely not my style. Of course like everything I do, I volley between a strict watch to eating whatever I want. Until I get in sync with my body though, I feel I need to be aware of what I’m doing. My main problem is when I start to watch, I also begin to grade. I judge.

Surely there’s a better way of staying healthy. A relaxed way. Somehow to respect ourselves and respect our food. With honor.

– excerpt from Being Strong
Find it on Amazon http://tiny.cc/1s4cbz

Fan Stuff

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What To Know

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Chasing Cars

Are we chasing cars like a tiny, dog?

I am driving with a friend the other day in this small town. It was one of those places where kids ride their bikes on the streets, so when you drive it’s like playing a video game only it’s real. Cars are parked randomly along the way. We watch for kids, but we aren’t ready for the sudden yap, yap, yap of a dog leaping toward us, chasing the darn car for way too long. All I am thinking is, what parasite has infested this dog?

I know people who continually date. They hop from one relationship to another, not pausing long enough to evaluate why the last one ended. Sometimes there are painful endings but other instances, nope. It’s a thing we do in life. Pursue our goals. Chart the course to Nirvana. Are you chasing cars? Do you have the parasite?

I wonder if I’m unhappy because my job is wrong or if I don’t understand happiness. There’s the song, Chasing Waterfalls, which talks about people who push through life too fast. Don’t go chasing waterfalls. Stick to the rivers you know. Is it possible to have the perfect job or the ideal relationship? Would I know it? There’s no test I can take to tell me YOU ARE HERE, so I am the little creature chasing–something.

“Chasing waterfalls” song

The little dog when he’s chasing cars, is he scaring them away or trying to catch one? Slow down fido! Take a roll in the grass. And go find that chew toy you lost.

Ithaka poem

As you set out for Ithaka, hope your road is a long one. full of adventure, full of discovery…

(for absolutely no reason at all)

Hope your road is a long one. May there be many summer mornings when,

with what pleasure, what joy,

(so many delights you forget why you came on your journey)

….And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you. Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, you’ll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

(boys and men and relationships will not for chasing. Life will be a pleasure.)

BY C. P. CAVAFY. (parenthesis added for my delight)

Elusive

It’s the word you can almost remember, the rare bird a watcher is longing to see or for some it’s a word of praise.

I have conquered tasks most of my life with my simple method. Break a job down into steps. I’ve used this method over and over, and it works. Mostly. Big projects and small projects can be broken down into steps, and it’s easy to see results, which usually inspires me to keep working.

How do you eat an elephant, is the age-old question–one bite at a time. Then there’s my back up plan, persistence. And doggone determination.

Being a type A person makes me believe if something didn’t happen, I must take action and fix it. And my conflict lies with my elusive projects which I’ve repetitively set aside time to complete.

I’m finding some of them are taking longer to chew. Are my methods broken? Or am I trying too hard? The latter is becoming my belief.

In time management, the belief seems to be that all goals can be achieved, we can make our dreams real if we apply ourselves. The current trend is to get up an hour earlier than usual. For me this would be 4:30 A.M. The realistic version of my life, the body which requires sleep, the person who has a mentally challenging job, and the pain from disabling migraines, these are challenges adding to my obstacle course. Everyone has something.

To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float. Alan Watts

I did the caffeinated, early morning, get up one-hour earlier challenge. I spent more energy concentrating on getting up an hour before than on doing what I wanted to do.

Next, I worked on my projects during lunch breaks, a time hack I’ve read about over and over again. It’s good. Did I mention that I have a mentally challenging job? And that people come to my coworker and me often with questions?

Lately, I feel my the finish is elusive, like the word I can’t quite remember. My advice to myself, Chill out sister. Let it come.

Everything in life is elusive. Gloria Vanderbilt

Check out Londonlozi.com regarding the elusive half-collared kingfisher sighting in the picture.

In A Dream

It’s Saturday evening, and here I sit on my couch finally writing my post. I’d crashed on the couch earlier in a coma-like sleep. It was one of those marathon naps, and I had been out cold.

I dreamed I woke and got up, but I was still asleep. In the dream I fell asleep on the floor, only it wasn’t my place. I startled at finding myself on a floor, sleeping, and not in my house. And then I remembered that I was dreaming, and in my dream, I hugged my couch pillow tighter. Tired.

I didn’t sleep well this last week. The neighbor’s dog was noisy, there was a storm, my cat woke me howling like a banshee, and my mind started working at midnight as if I needed to accomplish all the tasks that hadn’t been checked off my list.

It’s the end of the year. And we have holidays in full uproar. The pressure is on. My nerves get a bit wrecked. But truthfully the topper, the part for me that’s the most difficult is facing my shortfalls. Am I where I want to be? Is this project what I want to do? Sometimes I have to accept the little progress I’ve made. I did as best I could. Other times I can congratulate myself for where I’m at.

Here are a few thoughts to help

  • Take positive steps
  • Is there something you want?
  • Or to do
  • Make a plan
  • Put it into steps
  • What is realistic for you
  • Forget about the feeling, of it. It will feel awkward and artificial at first, like a new pair of shoes.

When I was younger, I had a good position at a church, but I doubted myself a lot. I felt out of place. There wasn’t anyone else to do the job, so I showed up.

Be a boomerang. Come back to the same spot you want. Feel it. Live it. Be it.

Be there and eventually it will feel right.

Show Your Bristles, Not Your Belly

Alpha males are not accustomed to being called out. That feeling of being vulnerable is something non-alpha females and men know too well. We fear the dark alleys. It already scares us to be accused, which is why we avoid scrutiny.

Pablo Neruda

We sit when we want to stand. We let others speak, and we are screaming inside. Our truths are valuable. They sound flimsy when we say them because they are weak and pale from being underused.

Learn to bristle. Fight back. Resist a little. Say things like, “I’m not sure.” Even better, “I want more out of life.”

We won’t become Alphas, but we don’t need to be anyone’s bitch either.

Solving My Unhappiness Factor

Why am I so unhappy? Sometimes I don’t understand the why’s. I feel failure, a vague discomfort similar to when I’ve forgotten to apply my antiperspirant. That awkward moment when the sweat beads under my armpits. Ick. But this moment was different. I knew why.

It’s been a rough month. A rough year. I’ve tried to convince Life to do things the way I wanted. She’s freakin’ ignored me. My air conditioner is broken. And I’m trying to sell my condominium. It seems as if there’s been a conspiracy against repairing my vintage piece of cooling equipment. Somehow they keep forgetting to follow up on my work order. Maybe my phone number is written in invisible ink. I’ve nearly given up hope on selling my place in the near 100-degree heat.

Well, weary shoulders or not, I keep trying. I can’t quit. For my happiness though, I have to move my finish line. Change my perspective. I need a different goal line because I can’t control the weather or the buyers. I can’t make my realtor do a smashing job of marketing my place. My neighbors are hoarders, and their junk keeps overflowing onto the staircase. But, these are not my problem.

I must create goals within my reach and reset my mental experience. This will release my tension level. Kaboom! Instant happiness. So, I made a fun goal, an easy task, a natural thing to make me laugh. Want to hear it?

Smile three times today in the mirror. Everything else is extra. Now, have an awesome day!

I learned some of this from listening to Richard Grannon from The Spartan Life Coach He has excellent training courses.

Finding A Finish Line

I’m a sprinter, but at the age of 16, I didn’t understand pacing. All I knew was I was doing an eight-mile marathon with my boyfriend for charity.

True enough, this compass does not point north.”

“…Where does it point?”

“It points to the thing you want most in this world.

Jack Sparrow and Elizabeth Swann

Boundaries are essential in my life. My focus gets lost like Captain Jack Sparrows when he lost his true north. I have a terrible habit of getting lost on additional chores. Once I took some Nootropics to get my groove on for writing, instead cleaned and sectioned my sock drawer. While that’s not wasted time, it was time that meandered down the toy aisle and played too long with the glitter.

I will keep going from one thing to another unless I’ve created a list. I need boundaries. These aren’t always about motivation although sometimes they can be.

I’ll continue this discussion next week. For now, realizing my happiness has come from setting smart goals. Some of my life has been overwhelmed by things I cannot control. I can manage my smile. I say beautiful things to myself in the mirror in the morning. Do you?

Keep smiling.