Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday Thirteen


So, with all the recent happenings at Casa de Skatemom, I have come to a startling realization that we aren't in control of how much time we have on this earth. Fatalistic? Maybe. But being the "cup is half-full" type of gal I am (the kind that I'm sure makes my pessimist hubby half-full of crazy most days), I am taking this realization and instead of hiding under the table, I am making a list. A list of places I'd love to take my kids before they fly away to their own little lives. And I intend to make that list of dreams actionable (yeah, I hate that corporate-speak, too, but it seems to fit here) by setting a plan, a schedule, a way To Make It Happen. For now, though, I'm just working on getting the list together (in alphabetical order). Suggestions and commentary are welcome!

1. Alaska - catch a salmon to grill on a cedar plank
2. Arizona/Utah - camping/cycling
3. Aspen - winter skiing redux, with less anxiety and more fun
4. Boston - Fenway Park & American history tour
5. Carolinas/Outer Banks - family beach week
6. Cozumel - diving/snorkeling/margaritas
7. Destin - family beach week
8. Grand Canyon - rafting and hiking and being Brady
9. New York City/upstate - new NY ballparks and Hall of Fame
10. Orlando - theme parks redux
11. San Diego - visiting the zoo and the Bat
12. Spain - tapas and tilting at windmills!
13. Washington, DC/Williamsburg, VA - museum/history tour

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun!

Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

View More Thursday Thirteen Participants

Friday, July 17, 2009

so, yeah...

so last time on this station, we were contemplating what comes next in the plan for me...what I could take on to stretch myself, and challenge myself physically, and somehow, slowly, start me back on track for that big goal of mine that I have been avoiding lately... and then, well, life hit me. It hit full on, hard.

It hit all of us in my family last month, when my mother-in-law got sick and ended up in the hospital unexpectedly. Then it hit even harder when she passed away less than three weeks later. Stage Four stomach cancer was the official cause of death. But strangely, we really don't feel like we ever had a chance to fight the cancer, since her system was so weakened by it by the time it was diagnosed that she never stabilized enough for us to come up with a treatment plan or strategy. Ultimately, it was too late for her. Our only solace is that we had enough time with her to tell her we loved her, to thank her for all that she had done for us, and in the end, she didn't suffer, she wasn't in pain, and she knew that she was loved.

And now, our lives are in an upheaval, and the least of my worries are the extra 30 pounds I've been trying to drop for the last three years. If only that was the biggest thing on my mind right now. My kids are devastated, my husband is at a total loss, and my father-in-law is adrift without his partner of nearly 43 years, although we all acknowledge that he doesn't fully realize it yet. And my biggest support system is gone. I've always maintained that I can't do the job that I have without her, and now that she is no longer a part of our lives, I'm not sure how to move forward. My most major concern is keeping everyone balanced, allowing and encouraging them to grieve as they need, to but not letting it overshadow their entirety. We have to honor her at the same time that we move forward.

So my priorities have shifted, to say the least. And after running every day in June, I didn't run for the first two weeks of July. There was too much to think about, too much to do, too much to coordinate with her in the hospital, and family members coming in from out of town, and the kids worried about her but not really wanting to see her with tubes and wires and IV drips attached to her, preferring instead to remember her as she was a few short weeks earlier, and as she will be in their memories. She wanted us to go on our trip to Austin even though she was in the hospital, because she wanted her boys to have a good vacation. And I didn't make it a priority to run while we were down there because I needed to take a break. And when we got back, things had progressed to where there wasn't a chance to go out, or if I had the chance, I didn't take it because I needed to be with my boys or with my husband. And that was the right thing to do at that time.

But on the day after my mother-in-law died, I woke up and needed to go for a run. I needed to clear my head, and process what had just happened and what comes next. And it obviously didn't solve all the problems, but it gave me a little bit of strength to face the day ahead, and a little bit of solace to think about her and all that she had done for me and my kids and my husband in her life.

So what now? I'm not sure. I know traveling for work is going to get tougher. I know it's going to be rough to figure out the next steps. I know I need to focus on what's important, and re-examine and re-evaluate. But I also know that on that list of what's important to me is my running, and my fitness and my health. I need to do that for myself, and for my family. It's all I know how to do right now.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Now what?

So, I was able to complete the June running streak. Ended up with 102 miles for the month, which is more than I've done since February, which was the marathon month, and January, which was the long-run lead-up to the marathon. I'm on the home laptop, so I don't have my stats for the first six months of the year handy, but will post those as soon as I can. I'm doing pretty well, esp compared with last year's dismal performances overall -- I was very disappointed in my mileage for the year last year.

But now what? I didn't come up with July streak idea in time for yesterday, so I took it as a very-much-needed rest day. And today wasn't much better, so for the first time in a very long time (three months? four?), I've gone two consecutive days without any kind of physical exertion at all. And I've had ice cream on both of those days, too. Talk about falling off the wagon. But I'm just extraordinarily unmotivated right now. Doing a swim streak doesn't seem to make sense to me since I would be doing a whole lot of flailing. I *thought* I was a pretty decent swimmer (for someone who didn't know how to swim six months prior) before Danskin two years ago, but after the flipout in the lake, I realize how much I don't know about swimming. I know I suck on the bicycle, but could get better with more miles in the saddle. Tough to do that without a bicycle, though. I know, wah, wah, what a sad story. I know, suck it up and deal and get in the water already. Yeah, I know what I need to do. I'm just having a hard time making it happen. Which is stupid, since making it happen is my specialty. It may not be pretty in the end, but I do make it happen. So what's the problem? If I only knew, and if it could only be solved by hitting the streets, or jumping in the water, or climbing aboard a trusty bicycle. Maybe it can be... and I just need to do it.

Anyway.... got a longish weekend with the boys planned, but not as long as we'd wanted. We'll need to make the most of it, though, and hope that it's good enough to spend some time together and have a couple of days' worth of fun. And maybe by the end of it, I'll have figured out what I need to do to get motivated again for the next big thing, whatever that might be....

Remember to raise the flag this weekend, and celebrate the greatness of the USA. Happy Fourth, folks!! Be safe and enjoy!