Sunday, June 28, 2009

Notes on old.

Old.  It's my new four-letter word.  Sure it's only got three letters, but if you say it in my direction you might as well be an f-bomb dropping sailor.

Here are the reasons why:

The Tipper and I
It was in the car when I was first confronted with my growing chronological marker.  I was groovin' to KISS FM when a new song came on.  Always in a quest for a good running tune I was drawn to it's beat and turned up the radio.  I couldn't really hear all the lyrics so I made a note to myself to look it up on iTunes and listen before I bought.  And then, the chorus came on.  "Shush girl, shut your lips, do the Helen Keller and talk with your hips".  Do they even know who Helen Keller was? Ugh - I am so offended by this song!  And it's not the shut your lips use your hips part - I've listened to songs much worse than that and liked them.  It's the "Do the Helen Keller" line.  What?  I mean really - what?And you see, herein lies the problem, I am offended by a pop song!  What?  

Age Spots
In one week I injured my knee, gained some water weight, plucked two gray hairs and got a rash.  Maybe each of these, if separated by time, would not be a big deal.  But together it was enough for me to both cry in the shower AND vow that no husband of mine will ever be changing my diaper.  I'll have Dr. Death on my speed dial.

Senator Boxer* 
The use of the word Ma'am in my direction is becoming a daily occurrence.  If store really wanted to make a return buyer out of me they'd tell their staff to call anyone who looks less than 40 "Miss".  (*click here if you don't get that reference - and yeah, don't get me started on that!)

On that same note, maybe I do look older than thirty.  My cute Japanese brother told me yesterday, when he was told I was the big 3-0, said "You don't look 30" and for a moment I worried he'd say he thought I was older.

Tick, tock, THUMP, POUND:
My biological clock is pounding.  Nope, not ticking.  Pounding.   Neither of my two children were created because my bio clock told me it was time.  I wanted a baby - but there was no sudden URGE to have one.  There were alternative factors at (or not at) work.  But now  I see babies everywhere, except with me.  Everyone's having them, everyone's doin' it.  They're the new fall accessory and my retail store is closed!  Not to mention that in my youth making the decision to have a baby was as easy as flipping a coin.  Whether or not it should have been this easy is another conversation.  Now, as a wizened 30 year-old I cannot just say "because it feels right".  

Five and Four:
Nothing makes you feel older than noting the age of your children.  I'm sure my mother would agree.  Will starts Kindergarten in one month.  Kindergarten.  Will.  Me with a Kindergartner.  3rd grade, 6th grade, 12th grade - they'll all be here before I know it and I'll be sitting at this blog (if I remember my password then) crabbing about their age.  Not to mention that my baby, my BABY will be four in two months.  Four.  It doesn't seem like much when I type it, but when I hold him and feel his oh-so-not-a-baby body, my heart sinks.  It's going too fast.

Generation Gap Close:
Icons from my generation have started to die.  I hate to say it, it's only gonna get worse.  MJ dying was a real eye-opener for me this week and not just because of the reaction noted worldwide.  Parts of my childhood are set to the tune of his genius.  Parts of my ascension to adulthood are chronicled by his regression back to childhood. Thanks MJ, for the good, and the Bad.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

There is no such thing...

There is no such thing as a stupid question.

Oh wait.  Yes there is.  One.  

"Are you pregnant?"

Actually most of the time it comes out as a statement, not a question.  As in the one my neighbor made to me tonight as I was walking, totally exhausted, carrying a sleeping child, while wearing my bathing suit.

She said "Oh, so you're pregnant."

We stopped to talk about her move (to the apartment above us) and the curiousness that stems from a move.   She stole a quick look at my belly and attempted to confirm her suspicion.

I guess my possible pregnancy has been the topic of conversation, along with my upcoming triathlon and whether or not I should do one while pregnant, between she and my other neighbor.

I like both of these ladies...but please.  COME ON!  I can think of so many other ways of figuring out if someone is pregnant or not without asking directly.  Like:  "So, you ever think of having more kids?"  or "Two boys, wanna have another and see if you can get a girl?"

Or, just don't ask.

But, if you do.  Do not, under any circumstances follow it up with the statement of "Oh, I'm sorry.  I didn't mean anything by it."

Yes you do.  You mean I look pregnant.  You mean that the six to nine miles a week I am running (not to mention the biking and swimming) aren't doing squat for the belly I acquired from two babies in two years, a year (or two) of less than stellar eating, and, let's face it, genetics.  I already know that.  Trust me, I already know it.  

It's ok that you thought it.  It's not ok that you asked it.  Keep the stupid questions to yourself.  

Monday, June 08, 2009

Tis a gift...

Dear Shell,

The last few days a strange phenomenon has occurred.  Life has been simple.  You have chosen simplicity, and in doing so, sanity.  That isn't to say that life hasn't been busy.  It has. Wonderfully busy.  Yet somehow you've managed to keep things simple and beautiful.  So here's a reminder of some of the things you done, sometimes on accident, and loved:

When you start being overwhelmed, slow down.  Take a few deep breaths.  Start with one step instead of looking at the big picture.  

Play with your kids.  Each evening you've stopped the "work" to play.  You do a good job of caring and educating them throughout the day - but you love to play.  And they need to see you do it.

Be outside.  It rained this week, and you played in it.  You threw your normal caution to the wind - not to mention your fear of messes.  The boys thought they'd won the jackpot to be outside IN the rain.  It was such a simple pleasure.

Speaking of messes - they clean up rather fast.  And the making of them often changes the mood of the entire family.  Make more messes.  

Put your nose into books more and less into the computer.  You went TV free for a reason. Remember what image you want the boys to see of you, and what you don't.

Dinners can be simple.  You've cooked each meal - even on the days when you wanted to just grab something.  The truth is that the boys won't remember what they are fed as much as they remember that we all sat down together.  And talked.  And that mom was happy during dinner.

Nothing has to be just has to be.

And lastly, you love to run.  Yep, you do. Can you believe it?  I cannot either...but it's true.


Thursday, June 04, 2009

Breaking the wall

When I first started running, now almost six months ago, I never thought I could make it around the block.  

There is this street, just about 1/2 mile from us, where I used to run to and then run back.  I remember so vividly thinking "Shell, you just have to make it to Franklin."  My  heart would be racing, my mind a whirl of positive thought trying to push through negative energy.  I'd hit Franklin, feeling as though death was near.  Flipping back around I do it all over again just to make it home.  Some nights I'd get home and cry.  Cry because my legs hurt.  Cry because my pride hurt.  Cry because I was so ashamed of my body.  Cry because I never thought I'd make it past Franklin.

Last Saturday our TRI group got together.  We did a practice triathlon.  Yep, you read that right.  We wanted to see if we "got it".  Annie is about to start a busy summer - including our July 18th TRI date.  Autumn is getting ready to move for the summer (still close enough!).  And I just wanted to see if I could do it.

We met at a local university where they have free open lane swim.  We did our swim, bike and run all from that central location.  It hurt.  It was hard.  We had to choose the hardest 5k course in the entire state to run!  But it was doable.  In fact, I did it.  It took us 2.5 hours which isn't bad especially considering that our transition time was much longer than it will be on race day (we had to walk to our cars, put our bikes together, etc)

Fast forward to this morning.  I've got my workout schedule posted up in my kitchen (with my food journal) as a reminder of what I should be doing each day.  Today was a 5/2 for me.  Five miles on the bike and 2 miles of run.   The transition between the bike and the run is the hardest for me and the one that gives me the most nightmares.  I loaded up the kids and bike. Dropped the boys off at preschool and unloaded my bike.  I've planned out a route right by their school that allows me to drop them off, bike, run, and get home to shower in time to head back and pick them up.  It's lovely.  It's easy (not the route, but the routine) and it's practical.

As I ran back to the car today I realized something.  I've broken through the wall.  Not the wall of physical pain - that still exists and I still have to really push myself.  But the confidence wall. And I cried.  Cried because I am no longer ashamed of my body.  It's doing some amazing things for me.  Cried because I finished the run and thought, gosh I could go farther.  Cried because I am doing something I never EVER thought I could do.

This, my friends, is huge.