Sunday, June 27, 2010

Savoring The Simple

It’s a beautiful summer morning in New England. I so appreciate living here.

The sound of high tide lapping against the rocky shore of the Long Island Sound is soothing to my soul.

Seagulls are resting from their scavenging ways. Instead, they float peacefully on the rippling water.

Sailboats and wind surfers and kite boarders litter the distance and puffy clouds drift across the baby blue sky like cotton balls.

Sunshine is weaving in and out of the cotton-like clouds and a whispering breeze keeps the heat from bearing down.

I may not always live here but I am soaking it in today and loving the way it calms my anxious heart.  

Days like today remind me of the value of simply being in the moment. 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Keep Going

A couple of months ago I ran a ½ marathon. The training was treacherous to say the least. Every ounce of energy, will power and mental motivation was wrung from my being on a weekly basis for 4 months prior. If I didn’t have the pictures to prove it, I would never believe that 4 years ago, I trained and ran the full 26.2 miles. Half that distance should have been easy as pie, but it wasn’t.

I almost gave up.

I almost gave up when I didn’t have enough breath to run 3 miles without walking. I almost gave up when a 5-mile run was sheer boredom. I almost gave up when I developed blisters on the arches of both feet. I almost gave up when my knees throbbed after running 8 miles. I almost gave up when I calculated how slow I run and realized that I would most likely finish near the end of the field. I almost gave up when I stopped to think about the logistics of driving 8 hours to a town in Virginia that I’d never been to for this exhausting race.

But I didn’t and here’s why:

I did the training; I waded through the physical and mental obstacles and if I had given up, I would have let myself down. No one else would be disappointed but I would have disappointed myself. Although it would be more convenient and easier to stop short on the follow through, I would never forget it. It’s like going through the process of buying a house, finding the right place, making an offer, gathering information to get a mortgage, doing the inspection and then when the only thing left is to sign your name on 500 pieces of paper, you say, “I can’t” and go back to living in an apartment. 

Perseverance kicked my butt. My quad muscles were tight knots for almost 2 weeks following the race and one of my toenails is still black more than 8 weeks later but the exhilaration of finishing that race has launched me toward the next one.

What I thought was going to kill me actually empowered me to face another challenge. 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Making Peace With Retail Chaos

I don’t like T.J. Maxx. Although you can find designer brands for less, the clothes are sorted only by clothing type or size. I’m thrilled about finding a bargain but I don’t like pawing through knit shirts and silk shirts and Hawaiian shirts on the same rack. It’s the same reason I don’t like thrift stores. It’s chaos to me. I’d rather stroll into Old Navy greeted by a pastel rainbow of $8 tank tops stacked in ascending sizes. The flow of white to ivory to pink to peach layered in rows has a calming effect on my shopping experience. I like things in order, packaged in symmetrical shapes and proportionate sizes.

While I can choose my retail environment according to my preference, life is displayed more like a thrift store. I like to think ahead, make a goal and map out the way to get there. It doesn’t always turn out that way. So, while I am trying to be less uptight when I make a plan and it comes crashing down like a tower of Jenga blocks, I am also trying to enjoy shopping at T.J. Maxx. Sometimes from the heap of my demolished life plans, an even better plan evolves in its place.  And it’s not all bad when I stumble on an Adidas workout shirt for $9 because workout clothes are my weakness.

However, the day I walk into Old Navy and it looks like Goodwill, I will be pissed. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

46 of 50

Last week, I took a step towards accomplishing one of my goals.

There’s a running list that I keep to track the many things I want to do in my lifetime. Every so often I look it over to see where I’m at on the road to mark those things off that list. One of the things on this list is to visit all 50 of the United States. By “visit”, I don’t mean, walk from gate to gate in an airport. I mean, see something of the landscape and experience each state in some way whether that be to drive through it, see its landmarks, partake of its food, or just go to a Wal-mart.

Maine was number 46.

After living in New England for almost 5 years, I had to see what was north of New Hampshire.  Here’s what I found.

Still on the list: Alaska, Hawaii and those evasive Dakotas that I have somehow missed in my travels. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Breaker Breaker 1-9

Okay, this scrap of cyberspace has been neglected for a bit longer than I anticipated but I haven’t forgotten about it.

I started scribbling here a few years ago with the thought that it would be a good spot for me to keep the practice of writing current. That was it, just a place to practice.  

I haven’t been as consistent as I hoped because let’s face it, fear and doubt and busyness and drama, you know, life, has at times, taken the words hostage for small and now, large periods of time.

It’s maddening when I see how this happens. It’s not that I stopped writing. There’s plenty of unpublished words on my hard drive. Some that I will publish here in the future and some that will never be lit up with a dot com address but it’s maddening that I let the “stuff” of life derail my ambitions.

Additionally, I got a little shy when I realized there might be an audience on the other side of the screen. In my absence, I have tried to come up with something more intriguing; some kind of theme around which to center the words I write here but for now, it’s living on, as it is… just a place to sort through life as it bounces along.

Do you copy?

10-4 over and out