Friday, December 28, 2007

God Bless Us Every One

Its been a helluva year gentle readers. A helluva year. We've all had experiences we'll remember forever, we've all had a few regrets, a few triumphs and some outright flops. And we're all still here. That, in and of itself, is the greatest blessing - to still be around to read, to write, to gloat and to bitch about whatever this year has brought us. And, by some miracle - call it Internet, technology, divine providence, shared interest or sheer coincidence - we are together in a sense - together even though we're spread out across the planet, together cheering each other on through our triumphs and consoling each other through our flops and our regrets. That, most definitely, is another huge blessing.

If this year has brought you sorrow, I hope the next one finds you joyous. If this year has been a joyful one, I hope the next will bring even more of the same. I wish for all of us that we learn the things we need to learn, celebrate the things we need to celebrate, and mourn the things we need to mourn. I wish that we can find the strength to change the things that we must and the good sense to let those things that need to be left alone to their own devices. Most of all, I wish for all of us that we see the coming year as a blessed journey waiting to unfold and greet it with open arms, no matter what it may have in store for us.

God Bless Us Every One.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Calling All Heroes

This year, I've learned some valuable lessons, not the least of which has been learning to become my own hero. In the process, I believe I have stumble upon my "mission" - to somehow empower others or, even better, to help them to empower themselves.

So, here's my idea: my story is ok, maybe some may find it inspirational. I've conquered, or have started to conquer, some significant demons. But its not enough. I want to share other stories - other women and men who have learned to become their own hero. My hope is that, by sharing these, we can light the way for others who are seeking, that, by telling about the paths that led us to where we are, we can somehow illuminate the path for somebody else. Every path is different though many lead to the same place - and they all start with that first step. So, I'd like to write (or compile) a book - a collection of stories about ordinary people who learned that, when it really comes down to it, the only one who can fight your monsters is you - and that you are exceptionally capable of doing so, you just have to realize it.

If you have a story to share - about yourself or someone else - please drop me an email. And, if you have any ideas about how to make this happen, how to get as many possible stories to sort through, how to put it all together, send me an email as well.

This could be a crazy nuts idea - or an idea that's already been done. It could lead nowhere. But I need to give it a shot. It seems like another first step in another amazing path that will lead me somewhere else I need to go.

Thanks to all of you who have been with me on this journey - and to any of you stumbling across this crazy person's blog just now. Its been an awesome ride and I'm ready for more. Bring it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Learning Compassion

I've always considered myself a compassionate person - except when it comes to how I treat myself. Training for a triathlon certainly taught me to respect myself and my body and what I'm capable of. It taught me to push myself when I thought I'd had enough and that my limits don't always end where I thought they did. These are good things. But it didn't really teach me to treat myself compassionately.

Pregnancy has given me a crash course in self-compassion. Its really a do or drop situation - you set compassionate limits on what you demand of yourself or you drop. You compassionately allow your body another hour or two of sleep or you drop. You compassionately allow yourself to slow down a little, quit watching the clock, quit counting miles or yards, even take an unplanned day off now and again - or, you guessed it, you drop. This stage of my journey is also teaching me to be flexible and creative when it comes to finding ways to get some activity in. After months of trying to force myself to adhere to my old 4:30 wake up call on swim days, occasionally succeeding, more often failing, I've finally accepted that my body needs what it needs and sleep is high on the list. Higher than a killer workout, apparently. However, I still feel better when I work out - its just no longer doable for it to be an either or situation - either sleep or exercise. I need both. So, I did some investigation and discovered that the YMCA that's just three minutes from my office has lap times every day during lunch and every day after work. The monthly membership fee is only about $10 more a month than swimming with my now-beloved masters group twice a week. And for that, I can swim as much as I want, lift weights, even get a run in on the treadmill when its icy outside or I just needed to sleep in that day. I'd say that's a win.

Today was my first lunch time swim and it went, well . . . swimmingly. The water is hot (85) but it keeps me from trying to hammer myself into the blue line at the bottom of the pool. There are only three lanes, but they're wide enough for three people - and I only had to share my lane with one person. I'm going to miss my masters buddies - but they'll be there when I come out on the other side of this adventure. I'm really looking forward to sleeping all the way to 6:30 on swim days without feeling guilty.

Another thing tris taught me - where there's a will, there's a way.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Human with a Belly

So, now that the second trimester is in full swing (16 weeks and counting!), I'm starting to feel less like a semi-invalid pregnant person and more like a . . . well, a person. Just a person with a very big belly - a belly that seems to get bigger on a nightly basis. Its unbelievable. I know I grow big babies - things were the same when Boy Genius was cooking up in this fertile furnace of mine - so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, but its still a shocker when I look down and expect to see a view of the ground or my feet, unimpeded, and there's this "hill" in the way. Its beyond a bump now but less than a beach ball - I can still see the ground and my feet but I'm counting the days that this will still be possible.

Anyway, beyond the belly issue, I feel pretty darn good. My appetite and my energy have returned - my appetite more than my energy but I expect that I won't have my "pre-preggo" level of energy until months after this little one has made his/her entrance into the world. And, this morning, after a week of no back pain, I ran. Ahhhh. How wonderful it is to run. No matter the pace - and thank you for calling me on that nasty "slow" label, I need to follow my own advice and retire that word - running feels good. Breathing hard, sweating, moving - that feels fabulous and I can't seem to duplicate it walking. Walking is nice. Its medatative, gentle and invigorating. But I can't seem to really work up a serious, base layer soaking sweat with walking - especially in the cooler weather. And I just don't breathe as hard - and, call me crazy but breathing hard feels good! I'm not talking gasping or struggling for air but that lung enlisting, I must be alive, oxygen blasting kind of breathing. I love that. It makes me feel . . . human. There's that word again.

Of course, my back is a little "twingy" today. But, for now, I'm blaming it on Sunday's drywall ripping fest. No, Hubby and I didn't get into a fight. We're remodeling the baby's room - or what used to be a "playroom" (read pile of every toy imaginable obstructing any view of floor or wall) and will be the baby's room. It needs a major rehaul. Ugly shelves, gone. Nasty "wood" paneling, gone. What somebody may have once mistaken for carpet, gone. Drywall, gone. The demolition part was fun. Now somebody has to put it back together. I may be out of the country for that one.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


I've been unable to work out for a full week - a fast which I was finally able to break with a walk this morning. My belly has nearly instantly popped from the "Is she or isn't she" stage to full blown "When are you due?" - and I think my back has suffered from this rapid change in mass. It was so bad, I couldn't sit, walk, stand or lie down last week. Or, I could, but all of them hurt. A lot. So running was right out. And swimming seemed agony. So, I tried to rest as best I could and hoped for a recovery. So far so good.

Being laid up is hard stuff for an active person - rather you are training for an Ironman, your first Olympic, or a natural childbirth, its no fun sitting around and waiting to get better. It makes the common problem of "lack of motivation" seem ridiculously obsolete. You would do anything to get out the door and you can't understand why anyone would have a hard time getting themselves off the couch - despite the fact that you have suffered that exact ailment more than once. The good thing about the ordeal is it does seem to banish the "motivation blahs" for a time. I'm sure they'll come back with my desire to get more sleep but, for now, I'm thankful to be up and out again. Next week, I'll start running again, knock on wood.