Growing away …

Today is Sidney’s 17th birthday. Typing that is just down right shocking. It’s absolutely unreal to me how fast time flies. But it does. I have been very lucky to have been home with all my children. I have virtually missed nothing of their growing up years. And for this I am truly thankful.

I have mentioned before that losing my mother so young made me focus on “staying in the moment”. I appreciated and continue to appreciate every experience I share with my children, good or bad. Those moments make up OUR story, never to be written the same way again. Raising my children has been my greatest joy in life. Nothing compares to this kind of love. And I’ve got it TIMES 4 over!

I realized something a few months ago, when Sidney passed the one year mark until her high school graduation. All of my efforts to help her (heck, all of them for that matter) grow and learn and become who she is now and who she is going to become in the future, all really translate into one thing.

Growing … away.

I have been preparing my children to live a life away from me. To not need me and to be able to rely on themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I will always be there for my children. If they need me, I’m there! And even if they don’t, I’m there! But this whole growing up thing really does mean getting them ready to leave. Albeit to start a wonderful life of their own, but for me at least … it’s all just a little sad.

I would be lying if I said this hasn’t proven to be a difficult process for me. It has. For months now I am thinking behind every outing, activity, and holiday that “this is a last of sorts”. A series of losses in the midst of realizing my first born baby is going to be a REAL adult in 364 days … and will likely leave for college even sooner than that.

As a parent you rear out of love and definitely in preparation of THAT DAY that your child will “leave” you. You hope that they will be strong enough emotionally and physically to take care of themselves. That you have prepared them to be independent and successful. I have no doubt that Sidney will take life by the horns and show it who’s boss. The MOM in me is excited to watch her THRIVE and KICK LIFE’S ASS! And trust me, Sidney is EXCITED to do so! But the MOMMY in me just wants to hold her baby girl in her arms … forever …

BIG TEARFUL SIGH …

Well, I hope you all have a day where you love someone so much that it hurts!!!

Something new …

A few days ago I had a conversation with a friend about how much there is, even a my age, that I don’t know. I don’t mean things like the entire Japanese alphabet or how to build a rocket ship. I mean the simple things in my day-to-day life. I was saying that when I ultimately stumble across new bits of knowledge I feel like life gave me a surprise. At the time I couldn’t give a good example of what I was talking about, but today I can!

Did you know that if you stack candy corn in a circle, layer after layer, it actually looks like corn??? I had no freaking clue! Yep. I learned that … TODAY! I’m 46 years old and NEVER knew!

WHODA THUNK?!?!

Seeeeee! It’s like a little surprise that life handed me! Nope, it’s not information that is going to save a life or bring world peace. But it did do something. It put a smile on my face :)

Sometimes it’s not about the big things in life that get you through your day. If you let them, the little things can mean a lot too.

Well, I hope you all had a day where you learned something new!!!

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Making a comeback …

Yesterday I ran a local Halloween half marathon close to where I went to high school. A beautiful course setting, I’ve run before, on the roads through a large park. But this was a little out of my comfort zone … this course had trails. EEEK.

I was registered for quite a few races before I found the one I ran yesterday. But along with a really neat sparkly skull medal (HA) I liked this race for the challenges it presented me with. Hills and trials. Don’t get me wrong, I love running hills, but I LOATHE running trails. They scare me.

This race couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I feel like me again. My head, heart and body have aligned and it feels FABULOUS. So I was completely up for the challenge of this course. And boy oh boy, was it challenging.

I spoke with a few runners after we were finished. All of us agreed that this course was harder than even San Francisco … and it had DIRT DOWNHILLS.

Oh.

My.

God.

I was sure I was going to eat dirt, literally. So … I just screamed running down them. Not like a crazy wild woman scream, but more like a whiney sissy scream. Yep. I own it.

Sure, I could have walked down them, but I was bent. This race would be my “comeback” race. And it was.

I have struggled for months to run a 9:30 mile pace again … and sadly that isn’t even my goal pace! I did it a few weeks ago and then two weeks later somehow managed a 6 miler under a 9 minute pace. All I can say is that running is baffling.

Anyway, all I wanted to do yesterday was to finish this out of my comfort zone race, faster than I finished San Francisco in July. I didn’t care if it was by one second. I held back in San Francisco and ran slower to keep on track for Ventura. So I figured this more challenging course and terrain was going to be my gauge. Am I “back” physically or not. Can I now push myself to where I want to go, without the constant worry of injury? Am I really me again? Needless to say, emotionally, a lot was riding on yesterday’s race.

And so off I went. Hitting the pavement, dirt and hills in the heat of the late race start sun. And in the end, I crossed that finish line over 9 minutes faster than I did San Francisco. My finishing time was 2:06:38 and I finished 8th (out of 82) in my age group. It wasn’t a personal best for me, but I’ve learned courses dictate performance. I know by now that my time coupled with considering course difficulty is a better indicator of “where I’m at” than just my finishing time.

On top of doing much better than I had hoped. I was greeted at the finish line by a dear friend and Sidney who put my medal around my neck. Talk about a special race moment! Yep, I cried.

Comebacks are a funny thing. And they are getting funnier as I age. I never know what to expect of myself after an injury or set back. Do I expect more? Less? What factors do I measure in? I can tell you this, I am really thankful for new age groupings, HA!

Anyway, all I know is that I still have dreams and goals set in my heart and head. And as long as I feel healthy … and crazy … enough to chase them, I will.

No, I am still not quiet where I was earlier this year. And no, I am not where I want to be. But after yesterday, I finally feel like I’m at least headed in the right direction again. And for this, I am truly grateful.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you feel like you are finally making a comeback!!!

The gift …

Everything I needed to know about life I learned because of my mother’s death.

Yes, it was terrible to lose her, but I always thought it was extra awful that I lost her when both of us were so young. She was 46 and I was 25. We lost out on a lot of things … and well, that just sucks.

But, I also learned a valuable lesson at an early age. People and the moments we share with them are more important than ANYTHING else in the world. NOT ONE THING is more important, than the time you spend with the people you love. And THIS has shaped my whole adult life.

Some of our weekends get pretty crazy busy around here. Like this one. It’s easy to get frustrated or overwhelmed even when most of the events involve fun.

I often try to steal a moment alone before the craziness hits, like I did this morning, to remind myself that sharing these experiences with my H-Crew is all that matters. I give myself permission to not have things perfect and to let certain things go. To just enjoy the firsts, the lasts, the smiles and laughter, the mishaps and unexpected and unwanted surprises … because they are OUR moments. Never to happen again. Given to us to fill this moment in time. A day in our history. And I refuse to waste any of it.

Every. Single. Moment. Is. Precious. Thank you mom, for teaching me well.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you feel like you were given a great gift!!!