Finally finding some peace …

Today was what would have been my mother’s 67th birthday. That just still seems so young to me. The worst part is that she has been gone now, 20 years. She died so very young.

I think as my age approached my mother’s age at her death, I mourned a little deeper. I knew she died young, but the magnitude of just HOW young seemed to be growing increasingly upsetting to me. Luckily having been a clinician I had known this might happen. I was prepared for THAT day, month and year when I myself reached THAT age (which is THIS YEAR). And I have to tell you … at times it wasn’t pleasant.

Even though I was with my mother through both battles with breast cancer, I didn’t have a clear understanding of how she could have felt facing her own mortality at such a young age until I got sick with meningitis about 7 years ago. There were about three days when my doctors weren’t sure if I had bacterial or viral meningitis. To break them down into the simplest terms, viral was survivable … bacterial … not so much.

In between the pain, the drugs and hallucinations I had to conceptualize my own death and I thought a lot about my mother’s. It was a scary place to be. At the time my H-Crew was only three members big … and they were so young. Too young to lose their mother. Thankfully they didn’t. I ended up with a rare viral strain that left me with a few side effects, but, I survived.

I think my grieving changed after all that. Everything intensified, having now had a glimpse of what my mother must have experienced. I felt even sadder that she was so young when she died, but I also had a better grasp of the strength she must have had. She was my hero before that, but after, she was the greatest superhero that ever lived!

I went into THIS year thinking it would be just awful. That it would be harder than any other year so far. But you know what? It hasn’t been. I can’t say it’s been easy, but it hasn’t been nearly as horrible as I initially thought it would be. In fact, I’ve been happier, cried less and have been able to reminisce without completely breaking down. Quite honestly, I have no idea why. Perhaps I just needed to GET HERE and see for myself what this age was all about. Me at 46, my mother’s last age and how it was going to be … just … for me.

Well, I hope you all had a day where you think you may have finally found some peace!!!

Arctic yoga …

Today was one of those summer days I live for. It was HOT and I loved it! When I left for the gym before 6 this morning it was already warm and muggy. I was so happy! I admit, I tolerate heat a whole lot better than
most people. I think it’s because I am so darn cold most of the rest of the year. Why yes, yes I do know I live in Southern California. But trust me, if it drops below 60 I am more than likely in my Uggs and gloves. No joke. But today I was soaking up and storing that heat like a reptile!

That is until I got to my evening yoga class … where the air condoning must have been set on NORTH POLE! Hot yoga … NO WAY! This was ARCTIC YOGA!

So much for my day of complete warmth … HUFF!

Well, I hope you all had a day where you didn’t think you were freezing to death!!!

Friends for life …

Yesterday I got to spend time with some of my sorority sisters from college. One of us is moving away with her beautiful family to start a new life in a different state. We are all so happy for them … but also so sad.

Thankfully over the years we have learned that we don’t have to live under the same sorority house roof to stay close. We have all “grown up”, started careers and families … lives outside of that house with a big pink and green triangle and “Z” mounted on the wall. But we “moved on” with the knowledge that we shared special times long ago that literally bound us for life. I would be lying if I said these women didn’t help shape me into the woman I am today. They did … and I am so grateful. And when we get together, no matter how much time as passed, we are just like we were all those years ago when we had ponytails in our hair and were wearing our sorority letters. Our sisterhood is truly is a gift.

So as our lives begin to take on more changes, twists in our roads, we go forward with the knowledge that time, nor distance, will matter. We share a history and a love that our hearts will never forget. And we will be there for one another … for life.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are thankful to have friends for life!!!

22 miles full of laughter …

This morning I ran my final long run for my training for the Ventura Marathon. Training doesn’t end, it just tapers over the next three weeks. Miles go down, so your body has time to recover from what you just did to it, HA!

I don’t care who you are, running 22 miles is never easy … not for anyone. That saying, “If it were easy, everyone would do it” is driven home for me on days like this. Distance running is hard … that kind of distance is brutal. Add in the summer heat and it’s hell.

But. I love it. All of it. The good. The bad. And the ugly. And my 22-miler today was ugly … and rather funny.

There is not much more to say about my run this morning than I already did on my personal page on Facebook. So I guess I’ll just share what I posted here too. No candy coating, I promise. Just some raw honesty. Here goes:

22 miles, on weary legs, a questionable foot, in the dead heat of summer. This is how it all went down:

Mile 1: I feel great, nothing hurts! You got this girl!

Mile 2: Nice pace … don’t be stupid.

Mile 5: Left foot says, “Hey lady, remember me?” … SHUT UP FOOT!

Mile 7: Snot drips into my mouth and an RV with a very hot and smelly exhaust passes me … I die … just a little.

Mile 9: was wrong. Very.

Mile 10: I ate a whole quarter cup
of pumpkin seeds without gagging. Go me.

Mile 11: Side cramp and a little gagging. Damn pumpkin seeds.

Mile 13.1: Half marathoner … again … WOOT! Singing and happy :)

Mile 15: The emotional mile. I love my family and my friends. I cry. Good lord woman, hold it together.

Mile 16: In your face haters! I am #bitchen

Mile 17: Blisters and I am going to lose at least two toenails.

Mile 18: Simple math is lost to me. I am pretty sure 18 is close to 22.

Mile 19: I am down to two pieces of clothing. If I remove any more I will go to jail … is jail air conditoned? Doesn’t sound so bad. #ihatesummer

Mile 21: Everything hurts. I am pretty sure I’m bleeding but I can’t figure out where. There is no joy in this mile. None.

Mile 22: Finished. I am thankful for all the loving and supportive people in my life, for the cold wet grass that is my front lawn, for neighbors who have learned not to call 911 and for running. Running: that amazing thing that shreds me physically and emotionally, but always seems to put me back together just a little bit better than I was before.

22 miles … DONE.

Well, there you have it. My 22-miler in a silly nutshell. There were many times I really didn’t think I was going to make it this far into my training. So many people are responsible for helping me get here. It truly humbles me. So so so many lessons I got to experience along these training miles. Again, I am humbled. I am grateful to still be leaning and growing as a runner. But most of all, I’m thankful to see the humor in all the mishaps. Yes, I love running THAT much. Even the awfulness I have come to appreciate. My mom taught me how to do that. She told me that life is not fair or predictable. That I will face some nasty situations (and people) in life. That things will not go my way. But I have a choice. I can quit and become bitter or … I can be happy and move forward. Yep, I blame my mom … and I would have my life no other way. Thanks mom :)

Well, I hope you a have a day where you choose keep on laughing!!!

An endless summer …

It is no secret that I love summer and the ocean. They both make me extremely happy. Combine the two and I’m down right giddy.

Today we had a fairly typical summer beach day for us. But I have to say that, for some reason, in August I seem to love and appreciate all of it just a little bit more. Perhaps it’s the feeling that summer is drawing to a close. Maybe it’s just warmer. Or maybe we are comfortable and content in our summer routine. Whatever it is. I love it. And I never want any of it to stop. For me, the seasons don’t have to change. I am in my element and it feels heavenly.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you wish for an endless summer!!!

Enjoying the silence …

I love the chatter and clatter that fills my days. They are noises that are familiar and predictable. They are my life sounds.

But there is one noise, or rather lack there of, that is my favorite. It is the quiet of our home at night. It is so peaceful. This absence of our daily noise, this particulate noiselessness, is also familiar to me and it has a way of making me feel like I am where I am supposed to be … home.

Well, I hope you all had a day where you enjoyed the silence!!!

A relaxing reward …

There is something about that first sip of hot tea at the end of my day that makes all the craziness fade away. It courses through my body like a wave of sedating warmth as I sit cozy in my bed. A gentle and simple cue that let’s my mind and body know that my day is finally over.

Well, I hope you all had a day where it ended with a relaxing reward!!!