Hopeful …

For most of my adult life if you were to ask me what the greatest mistake I could ever make was, I’d say it would be not fully appreciating my life. Seriously, THIS is my greatest fear. Perhaps it came from losing my mom when she and I were both so young, but that thought really bothers me. Our days may be long but our years are definitely short. For some, those years are even shorter. In my early twenties I made a decision that I wasn’t going to take one day for granted. I made it a goal to find happiness in each new day no matter what trials I faced. And I promised myself that I would relish every joyful moment I was given. I refused to live with regret or worry being the theme of my life. These choices have served me well. But I will admit, it takes a whole lotta work. It doesn’t always come easy, but this “habit” of mine is worth it.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are hopeful!!!

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Put in my place (HA!) …

This afternoon Reese and I were playing with her stuffed unicorns. I think I’ve written about these little gems before. They are absolutely darling. The purple one is my favorite. After playing with him for a little while, I told Reese AGAIN how much I loved the toy. Reese looked up, looked at the purple unicorn in my hands then looked me right in the eye and said, “It’s mine.” Well … OK then, HA! Oh, this kid cracks me the heck up!

Well, I hope you all have a day where some one puts you in your place!!!

A survivor (times 2) …

One year ago today I woke up early and headed for the gym. I did some speed-work and clocked my fastest 1/4 mile (7:13). Not to shabby! I went home and continued on with my typical morning routine. Then I headed to my dental cleaning. This would be that last time I would feel like myself for months.

Later that day I would find myself in an ER with symptoms I was all to familiar with. I was sick. And despite the fact that no one believed me I knew my body. I had meningitis. Again.

Today is the one year anniversary of my second round of meningitis. Still with so many questions left unanswered. That alone is a demon I must face every day. I have become obsessed with Facebook memories. Trying to find some clue as to how I got so sick so fast. Again. There is nothing there. Nothing. I finished a week of 100,000 logged on my Fitbit. I mention twitchy legs, crazy fast speed-work and a rest weekend. It was to be a well deserved break from my training that was going better than I ever could have hoped for. I was strong and healthy. Race ready. There was nothing in those memories that would indicate that I would become so sick in just mere hours. How can anyone’s brain be that swollen and they not show any signs or symptoms?!?! It’s baffling. Utterly.

There are days that I still feel like a ticking time-tomb. I’m not sure if that feeling will ever go away. The memory of this experience and the fall-out afterward will always be unsettling. The “unknowns” are worrisome at best. But I refuse to cave into fear and let it immobilize me. Life is too precious for that. I thought battling meningitis once was bad enough. Twice, just seems insulting. But I truly believe that life gives us lessons for reasons. Reasons we might not ever understand. And THAT gives me my peace. Trust me, I can easily focus on all the things that this illness has robbed me of. How disruptive it was to, not just my life, but my family’s and friends’ lives as well. I can resent the fact that I still don’t feel like myself and that I fear it happening all over again. I can focus on the anger I feel when I see my precious kids worrying about my smallest of ailments. Children shouldn’t have to worry like that! OH, if meningitis was a person I would have punched it in the throat long ago!

Anyway, as I see it I have two options. I can choose the road paved with anxiety, fear and bitterness … OR … I can be thankful that I even had a road in the first place.

Let’s face it, life is not always easy. Crap happens through no fault of our own. But life can still be beautiful. I’d be lying if I said this illness hasn’t changed me. It has. I am not the same woman who woke up on this day a year ago. I am, for better or worse, the Jennifer I was supposed to be on this day and in this moment. Meningitis helped shaped me. And I’m OK with that. I am an ever-evolving woman who accepts that change and defeat and pain are an acceptable way to form me into the woman I am meant to be. Meningitis was a pit stop. OK fine, TWO. But it wasn’t my final destination. God and the universe clearly are not done with me yet and that’s good … because I still have dreams. And as long as I have breath, scared or not, I will chase them.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are a survivor (times 2)!!!

The happening place to be …

I was tired today. REALLY tired. So much so that I actually took a nap. It wasn’t very long and super broken but it was definitely valuable. And it was a happy nap too. I say that because of the two dreams I had. The first dream I had was of dolphins playing in our backyard. They were so loud and having a ball! I worried that they would disturb our neighbors. I admit, this one is strange on all sorts of levels. The second dream I had was about a lively party going on in our backyard. People were talking and laughing. They were having a great time! I’ll be honest, I have no idea what got into my head that explains why I would dream of our backyard TWICE in one nap. But I did. I guess my subconscious dream-state mind thinks our backyard is fantastic … and aquatic animal friendly.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you end up in the most happening place to be!!!

Feeling it …

It has been a long week filled with many ups and downs. But really, what week isn’t? I believe that life is best lived when it is felt with raw emotion. When life happens, good or bad, and we must simply “roll with it”. Those times when we are immobilized by fear and sadness. Or when we are overwhelmed with joy and feelings of being loved. When laughter and tears are experienced without force. All of it, real. Genuine. And perfect for the situation that we find ourselves in. It is in these precious moments that I am most alive. Proof, that I am not missing out on the lessons and gifts that life has for me. I love “owning” it. THIS IS MY LIFE. Ugly or beautiful … I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you feel it!!!