Archive | May 2011

Dive right in!

It’s (almost) summer!  Well, the pool has opened, so it feels like it’s summertime!  This represents the start of many things…

1) My life is about to calm down, which will allow me to accomplish the bigger projects that I’ve been putting on the back burner.
2) The weather will be lovely, allowing me to spend more time outdoors (some of which, I hope, will be for a job I have yet to get)
3) I’ll be doing some bigger trips in the coming months.  On the calendar for sure are California (for NCCC graduation) and Chicago (for the cruise), but I’d also like to travel to NC (for the race) and NYC (to go see a Broadway play).
4) I’ll be spending time with friends, and attending another lovely wedding.
5) I guess this entry didn’t have enough material to really warrant a list, but my thoughts were feeling disjointed, so I thought it would be easier to write like this.

I’m excited to go to the pool, to celebrate today with a BBQ, and for life to get calm so that I can take the “slow and steady” approach rather than the “fast and frenzied” one.

Edit: I spent the rest of the morning playing Wii and eating lunch over with Spangler & co.  Then Little Little arrived, we made fruit salad, and went to BBQ.  We also watched the first to episodes of Doctor Who, Series 6, because she hadn’t seen them yet and I can always re-watch them happily.

ALSO, I just want to put this out there…
– Early July travel to race
– Late July, travel to NCCC
– August (possibly), travel to NYC
– Early September, travel to cruise on Lake Michigan
– August/September (probably the latter) travel to WV
– October, travel to Florida
… I think that’s TOO MUCH, but I still want to do each trip individually.  What do I do?

Condiments – Not Ketchup

I won’t even try to cover all of the last TEN days.  I spent time with friends, took care of business, and generally kept on keeping on.  As always, plans change and reform.  I am at the end of a very short visit to the town where I grew up, mostly just to check in with my grandparents, and to see Teddy.  It has been nice to get back to my roots, see familiar faces and places, and take a break from my day-to-day.  However, I’ve been coming up here on average of once a month since my mom passed away in February, and I’m starting to get a little exhausted from all of the travel.  I know I’m wanted and (in the case of my grandparents) needed, but it’s taking a toll on me, personally.  I had tentatively planned to visit again in one month, and I still may do that, but I won’t visit again until the cruise.

Ah yes – the cruise!  We’re going to spend a week starting in Chicago, and making a loop around Lake Michigan.  It’s in celebration of Bapa’s 90th birthday, and I’ve been invited to join them!  I’m pretty excited about the itinerary – I only hope that I can go without fear of losing the job I hope to get by then.  We’ll leave for Chicago around the first of September!

And now … running.  I haven’t run as much in the THREE weeks since the race as I did in the week leading up to it, which is sad.  I am running two days a week until my leg gets better – and I have only run once this week due to my travel plans.  But every day, my leg gets a little better.  I still have ambitions to make a trip to do a four mile race on the Fourth of July, but I’ll only go if my friend Kate is still willing!

What else?  I’m having a WONDERFUL friend visit for most of this upcoming week.  Her visit to my town is long overdue, but later is better than never 🙂  I’m ridiculously excited to show her around and do all of the touristy things that I never get to do.  She’ll get to meet all my local friends at a Memorial Day BBQ that we’re having.  And actually, my other good friend is also coming up for the event, which will make it even more special 🙂

Other things in the near future: Teddy’s even shorter visit to see me, 150 year celebrations for the church (including a concert!), and a visit from Kevin at some point in time TBD.  Oh, and hopefully hearing some sort of news about the job to which I have applied.  I’m calling them in the upcoming week to check on the status of my application, as I feel I’ve waited long enough!

PS: The title of this entry is supposed to imply that I’m covering the random happenings of life, not just catching up on everything that I have done.

Chronologize

If you read these regularly, you’ll know the significance (or at least, the definition) of that word.  Either way, this entry should be evidence enough for you to catch on.  In unrelated news, “the duke” from Moulin Rouge is completely insane.

Monday: Though I didn’t intend to spend my morning moving out my Little from her undergrad apartment and into my house (just to store stuff for the summer), that’s what I did from 11am-2pm.  With a short break for drinks at Sonic 🙂

In the afternoon, I met up with Lydia for my first trip back to the gym since the 5k last Saturday.  I took a necessary week off due to my leg injury.  I wasn’t completely better then, but it has gotten progressively better every day since the race.  Mostly, it was nice just to get back to routine.

In the evening, I met up with Carlie, as we have changed our regular hang-out to Mondays.  She was kind enough to help me clean out my kitchen cabinets.  And we celebrated a job well done with root beer floats and a very belated viewing of the Royal Wedding.

On Tuesday, I got up early to do some cleaning, and kept up the momentum with a visit from my Home Document Organizer.  It may sound silly to be employing the services of a professional just to organize my papers, but if you saw my house, you would understand why I need her.  We worked for a few hours, and I’ve got things mostly in order.  Now I am trying to integrate my working vs. historical files, gather a few more important documents, and reduce the amount of paper I store in general.

Following that, I spent the rest of the day being insanely productive, making phone calls, and taking care of business.  I still have a small to-do pile left over, but it’s so much better!  I even stopped by the bank.  THAT’S how on-the-ball I was.

That’s when the day got interesting.  Due to a 7:20 movie showing, I needed to take Bonnie to the park at 6pm, which is earlier than usual.  So I called my buddies and asked that they meet earlier.  The problem was that it was POURING rain at 6pm.  And while it stopped when I got to the park, the park was incredibly muddy.  So I let the dog play, and left earlier than planned just to dry off the muddy mutt.

I made it to the movie just in time!  Seeing Something Borrowed with a few girlfriends wasn’t my idea, but I’m glad I went.  It was a good movie – a little different than I expected, but that’s a good thing.

And then today, Wednesday, I had literally no plans during the day, and so I used that time to FINALLY clean my room and do some laundry.  Things had gotten completely out of hand.  And it’s so much better now.  I think I just needed that huge period of uninterrupted time to tackle it.  And I even made it in time to eat dinner and go to the park before choir practice.

Choir was so amazing tonight!!  The music we’re singing for the concert absolutely blows me away.  I adore the fact that I joined in time to do the annual concert.  New member classes are happening now at church, and so I’m joining officially.  This has been such a positive thing in my life.

Tomorrow I’m visiting a friend down in Portsmouth, running a few errands, going to the gym, and then hosting dinner and game night!  Should be fun.

Loquacious

I’m not sure why I’ve been writing so often in this blog, but I’ve really had a lot on my mind, so this is the natural by-product of that predicament.

I’ve recently done a lot of “catching up” with people – whether it’s reconnecting with old friends or meeting new people.  And of course, with that kind of interaction, you have to *explain* yourself to a certain degree.  People are always asking me how I’m doing, what I’ve been up to, and what my plans are.  And I don’t have simple answers to any of those questions.

How have I been doing?  I’ve been getting by.  My life is a little overwhelming, yet stagnant, on a day-to-day basis, but that’s in stark contrast to a lot of fun “events” that fill my life as well.  Basically, when I don’t have plans to do anything specific, I just end up sitting around and procrastinating on my big projects.  I mean, I’m doing it right now by writing this, but this is at least a step up from playing online games.  I’m trying to accept what I do so that I can work to change it.

What have I been doing?  I long for the day when I can answer that question with “I work here, I do this.”  Plain and simple.  But telling people that I work one day a week at the store my mom used to own, and spend the rest of my time working on my mom’s other business (internet marketing, though even that is an oversimplification).  And that I’m looking for another job.  And that I don’t have a regular schedule.  And that I’m still figuring things out.  Sometimes I just tell people that I’m looking for a job, because it seems easier, and it is true.

The worst part is when people knew that I was in California for two months.  Because they have no idea what I was doing there, and when I explain NCCC, it only leads to more questions.  I like talking about my time in AmeriCorps, but that inevitably leads to the discussion of why I left, and what I’m doing here right now.  I don’t like to tell people I’ve just met about my mom, because then the conversation becomes all about me and how I’m doing.  And I really don’t like telling old friends about it because they’re shocked they didn’t know sooner, and then I feel guilty for not telling them.  And they are more likely to know that I am an only child, and my mom was divorced, and I didn’t know my father, and I don’t have any family here where I live.

But the thing is … despite all of the strikes against me, I am getting by.  I have great friends near me.  I am able to jump over many hurdles, just not all of them.  I am able to be happy, just not all the time.  I think that’s the main issue.  While I certainly have some challenges and struggles, I am doing pretty okay.  And I almost feel guilty for doing okay, because maybe I should be more sad.  But at the same time, while I am doing okay, that doesn’t mean I don’t need people.  I know I just spent most of this entry complaining about the questions people ask me and how I don’t have simple answers.  But I think that’s mostly coming from strangers or long-lost friends.  From the people close to me, I sometimes feel like I need more than I’m getting.  Maybe I don’t.  It’s all so complicated.

My sadness is mixed in with my desire for independence, and that in turn is mixed in with my frustration at not having a definite plan for my life.  What am I doing in the future?  I don’t know.  Hopefully living a life filled with happiness, working at a job that I enjoy, and seeing good friends frequently.

In the past year, I graduated from college and was thrown into the real world.  I lived at home for the summer and worked in the store.  I traveled all the way across the country for a new job, only to be ripped away from there after two short months.  I had four wonderful and emotional months with my mom, and I have had three complicated months since she passed away.  There is NOTHING simple about my life.  But I try to make it simple.  I think maybe I just need more hugs (as per the earlier post).  All you need is love, right?

Hugs All Around!

That’s a sentiment that’s embroidered on a bib that the soon-to-be-born son of my friend Kelly received at Saturday’s baby shower.  The shower took place in my home, but I was not the host – as in, I did not provide the food or games.  But I did help decorate!  We had a jolly good time.  And that was followed by a great evening of burgers and salad at JG’s house.

And then there was graduation.  After a pretty normal church service (with excellent music), I had a little time before the ceremony began.  It’s so crazy – out of the 19 or so people graduating, I knew 16 of them pretty well, though I was going more specifically for a few select individuals.  And for my wedding date, miss Lydia.  It’s our tradition.  We’re going to keep going to these until she graduates (long story).  But it might be next year!  We’ll see!  I was so proud of all the graduates.  I’ll be sad to see them go, but I’m comforted by the fact that I’ll see many of them again soon – and some aren’t going very far away at all!

But alas, my train of thought has gone off-track.  It’s been derailed, if you will, by my incessant desire to chronologize my life.  Yeah, I said it.  It may be a made-up word, but it means “to record/describe the events of my life in chronological order.”  I’m really connecting the baby shower (and all the old friends I rubbed elbows with there) to the graduation by a common factor: HUGS!

Hugs are great.  You get them when you meet, and you get them when you part.  You get them when you’re feeling happy and even when you’re feeling sad.  The best friends will hug you just because, in the middle of the day, for no reason at all other than that they like you.

Hug are all different.  There are big hugs and small hugs, strong hugs and weak hugs.  There are reluctant hugs and meaningful hugs.  Congratulations hugs and I’m sorry for you hugs.  But the one thing a REAL hug can never do is make you feel worse.  Hugs are always a good thing.  There are bear hugs and cuddlebug hugs.  Some hugs sway and some hugs pat.  Some hugs knock you over and some hugs lift you up off the ground (just one of you, unless you’re on the moon).

I LOVE HUGS.  For my birthday last fall, what I wished for was lots of hugs.  When I see a good friend after a time apart, the first thing I do is hug them.  And a hug was one of the last things I shared with my mom before she passed away.

I loved this weekend because I got lots of hugs.  I got hugs at the baby shower, at the dinner, at graduation, and when I had my Little’s family over for dessert.  But I still need more.  All these special occasions come with hugs, but what I need to remember that I can get/give (with hugs, it’s the same thing!) hugs on an everyday basis.  There are countless missed opportunities to hug someone every day, and I intend to start taking advantage of them.  Hugs all around!

PS: One of the things I’m most excited about upon my return to visit NCCC for their graduation is an excess of good hugs!  So many of my fellow TLs give the BEST hugs.  And with all that hug-energy built up over the past few months, those hugs are bound to be amazing!

PPS: The best quote of the weekend: “So, are you two a couple?” *blank stare*

Recovery

I’ve taken the week off from running to recover from a pain in my lower right leg (I think it’s shin splints).  It’s gotten slightly better over the past several days, but it’s still not 100% yet.  I think I need to start incorporating more of a stretch/leg exercise routine every day.  But if I’m up to it, I’m going to start again at the beginning of next week.

I’ve had a very interesting and contemplative week.  I’ve been in contact with a number of friends, and have come to some realizations.  There are some people in my life who I’m not as close to anymore.  In some cases, that’s something I want to fix, but in other cases, I’m okay with it.  Friendship isn’t something you can force – it either comes naturally or it doesn’t work.  Real friendship is about give and take, and when it’s NOT working, it’s not really worth fighting for.  Friendship should be mutually beneficial, in my opinion, not mutually destructive.  So, I’m going to start taking careful note of those friendships of mine that are healthy, those that are sick, and those that are recovering.

Because, you see, most people don’t realize that I am still struggling to figure out a lot of stuff and am still in an emotional turmoil.  I manage pretty well overall, and I’ve found a lot to be happy about, but there are daily struggles that I keep to myself.  Friends that know me well have reached out to me, but others just ignore me.  What I need is support, and what I don’t need is any more stress in my life.

Just a few quotes

Inspired by the new theme:

“Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”

“Everyone is an athlete. The only difference is that some of us are in training, and some are not.”

“Nobody’s a natural. You work hard to get good and then work hard to get better.”

“Your biggest task is not to get ahead of others, but to surpass yourself.”

“Run when you can, walk when you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.”