I’ve been running three times a week. It’s a good practice to get back into, my body feels better when it is moving, but boy is it rough some days. I was commiserating with a friend the other day about how my legs hurt (okay, I ran two days back to back). Their words of advice, “don’t forget to stretch”. I hadn’t really thought about that any more until today when I watched my sister stretch before she went for her run this morning. How often in our lives do we forget to stretch?
One of my dear college friends gifted me a book several months ago. She recognized all the work I’ve done on and for me in the last year. (Boy, does it feel good when people actually see me and get it). I’ve started reading it and spent some time with it this morning as I sipped my coffee. One theme, you don’t need much to take the plunge and be brave. But you do need some framework–you can stretch yourself into it. You can do it, with passion and drive. Don’t forget to stretch yourself.
When I was little I always wanted a little brother. I can remember dreaming of it, and mentioning it to my parents, and I even remember their side glances that I didn’t understand (that actually read as “sorry kiddo, not physically possible”). I thought it would be wonderful because all of our initials were alphabetical and so he could be “SOS”. But as I got older I realized it wasn’t in the cards.
My first year at camp at my now job, for some reason my name got jumbled on the sign-in sheet. My last name got superseded by the surname below me alphabetically. And so it became a joke that I was a part of that family. They had two boys who were in my youth groups. And they became my “brothers”. At the end of the week we even took a “family” picture together (I’m sure much to the enjoyment of me and the mom, and the chagrin of the boys). But whenever I see those two (no longer) boys, I get a wonderful sense of pride. They aren’t actually my brothers, but it makes my heart swell.
Friends and I talked about going to get drinks at a local brewery where one of my “brothers” works. I immediately texted him to see when he works and found that his schedule wasn’t necessarily ideal, and then he said something that tugged on my heartstrings, “if I’m free I can meet you there”. It’s the little things, am I right? He’d spend his time off hanging out with me at his place of employment? Well that’s just cool. It’s wonderful to see the seeds you plant grow. It’s wonderful to see the respectful, considerate, genuine people your kids grow into and the ways they still reach out to you (and each other).
Hopefully I get to take him up on his offer soon!
Today was a reminder that I feel deeply. It’s one of the things I love about being me (even when it’s super hard and draining). Whether it was information I shared with a colleague that had been weigh on me, information shared by a friend in confidence, news of a friend’s family member passing, or the possibility of a missed opportunity later this year. I feel these things deeply. It’s a part of who I am. It’s my super power and my kryptonite. I love that part of me and continue to seek to use it for good.
Yesterday was a very productive day. In looking back, it was more productive than most Saturdays I have. And at the root of that, it seems to be the case because I was doing things I enjoy. Funny how that can make all the difference.
I got to watch one of my kiddos play a soccer game (probably my favorite sport). I love watching high school and college soccer–men’s or women’s. I told the folks I was with “this is why you never take me to a game for a sport I know/love–because I don’t shut up”. It’s the truth. I have comments and insight (and yeah, strong opinions). Most other sports I just follow along and concentrate more on the fellowship than the actual game.
I got some needed homework time in for grad school. It’s not too intense, but there are weeks I feel like I’m waiting until the last minute to get everything done, and I definitely don’t like that. Always room for improvement!
We have family coming to visit soon (lots and lots of family). I’m super excited, but it also means we had/have to do a deep clean of our house. We’ve had little ones around, but not staying with us for an extended period of time. It’s a reframe for sure to figure out what we need to prep and make safe and reorganize.
The night included games and tv and reading outside (for maybe 30 minutes because I started to bake). So many good things–some of them things I don’t usually enjoy, but in this case their result mean very, very wonderful outcomes. And that I can get behind.
Self-care is something I could always do better at, I give a lot, but like they say “you can’t give out of an empty cup”. Recently because of my “running” endeavor I’ve been outside more. There have been some beautiful fall days already. And I’ve seen the sun rise, been up before the sun rise, and have felt the cool fall breezes. It’s reminded me how much nature is a part of my essence, what is life giving to me, and where I find joy.
Earlier this week I took time to go outside and read for class after work. It was perfect–the noises, the smell of fall, and soaking up all the Vitamin D. When I finished the chapter I shifted and laid down on our outdoor loveseat (albeit super awkwardly as my legs dangled over the edge). And I actually fell asleep for a while. Something about soaking up the sun and just relaxing felt so right.
So a commitment to pay attention is ahead of me. To look for ways to be outside instead of holed up in front of a screen (ironic as I write this from my phone). Something about nature and the outdoors is just magical.
When I was growing up, my friends and I loved making up games, dressing up, and creating videos (music, television, etc). After they banned Red Rover on the playground (things got rough I guess) and sticker trading (because people were stealing from each other) we resorted to our own devices. And thus was born the land of Weird Wire. I can’t remember everything that was entailed. I remember sneaking snacks to recess (and eating lots of dried kool-aid with sugar), secret “handshakes”, and made up songs. It was strange–but it was ours.
Yesterday felt like a day on Weird Wire. It wasn’t a positive weird (though some really cool things happened) and it wasn’t a negative weird (though there were some thing that happened I wish hadn’t). It was a “I can’t wrap my head around this” type of weird. I’m still processing through it. The day was somewhat clouded by a very jarring dream that my mom was in. It threw me off for the rest of the day, in some ways, as I wrestled with what it meant. All in all a day to keep processing to say the least.
I know I just talked about nicknames the other day. But I realized in the last couple of days how apt I am to use pet names. Most people reserve that for a select few (if they use them at all). But I throw them around like glitter.
- I’ll call almost anyone “kid”, regardless of their age.
- In college I took to calling my bestie “chickadee” and often use it now with family friends.
- I’ve been know to use “champ” or “ace”–the the latter is very rarely. #loganhuntsburgerforever
- I call my cat “boo bear”. I can’t tell if he appreciates it or not. 🧐
- When my youth are going through a rough time, I have a tendency of calling them “baby girl”. I promise I only do that with the girls. It’s like my maternal instinct.
I’m sure there are more, but those are the ones that stick out at this moment. Pet names to me are a way of showing care and affection. It’s second nature to shower my friends and family with them.
I don’t like running, I never really have. My idea of participating in a 5k or other race is generally to walk and complete it. When I was in middle school I played soccer. One of my coaches would ALWAYS put me in as midfield. I’m not sure what there reasoning was, but I was slow and had no stamina. It never made any sense to me, but I digress.
As part of my fitness journey over the years I run for different lengths of time and different levels of success. I decided last night that I was going to start back on that path. I’ve done Couch to 5k before and it’s worked well for me. So, after work, I got ready and went for a run. It was beautiful outside. But the biggest thing ai noticed was how different it is to run after you’ve lost weight. I didn’t get as winded. My knees didn’t really hurt. Though my feet did (I wore the wrong shoes). But it’s a start for sure.
I love The Avett Brothers. This love started when BP first introduced me to them on runs one day. I am pretty sure that “Die, Die, Die” was the first song of theirs I ever heard. And. I. Was. Hooked.
They have evolved over the years. They have varied musical influences. They give back (i.e. Cheerwine Giveback, and St. Jude fundraisers). I’ve seen them many times in concert (I think four times in Indiana and twice in Ohio?). I can’t get enough. I was sad to miss them in OH on the Outlaw Tour this year (with Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss, and Old Crow).
Their lyrics sing to my soul. Their rhythms make me dance. They bring me to life. They bring energy to what they “touch”. And that is life giving.