Fragility

Life is fragile.

Or is it that life is precious?

What if it really is true that you never know what you had until it’s gone? 

Can we learn to know what we have?

Blink your eyes. Too late, they’re gone. 

Answer your phone. Answer your phone. Answer your goddamned phone. 

Take a deep breath. 

Rage. Cry. Frantically google. 

Pray. 

Live. Die. Repeat. 

Isn’t that supposed to be a movie tag line? 

Fall apart. Pick the pieces up. Keep them safe. 

Breathe. Please breathe. Don’t you dare stop breathing. Fucking breathe. 

Rage more. Go numb. Drink too much. 

Love. Cry. Love more anyway. 

Run. Stop running because you can’t breathe from crying. Run more anyway. 

Life is terrifying. Life is hard. 

Listen to the waves crash on the shore. 

Breathe. Scream. Love still more. 

Pick out sympathy cards. Hate every second of it. 

Buy plane tickets. It’ll be ok. Repeat it louder until you start to believe it. 

Lose yourself in everything. Finally ask for help. 

Life is precious. It is fragile. It is terrifying. It is hard. 

Live. Love. Die. Repeat. 

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Long Runs

There’s seriously nothing like a long run on my calendar. It’s an attainable, but stretchable goal. It sits there as the pinnacle at the start of my week. The good start that sends me rushing into the week on the back of that elusive runner’s high.

Not that I’ve ever had an actual runner’s high. But the elation that comes as the exhaustion drops away? It’s the buzz I need in this life.

I’m a curious balance of excited and anxious all week. Excited to boost my mileage and get more comfortable at longer distances. Anxious about how my lifting will impact the run. I refuse to quit my lifting routine, but I do cut my weights back the day before a run. I cut lifting before my last race and I think that’s part of why it went so terribly wrong. I won’t do that to myself again. Lifting, and lifting heavy, is a big part of my health both mentally and physically.

The night before I’m all nerves. I drink a glass of wine to calm myself down. And then another. And then worry about being hungover off of two glasses of wine. I’ve run hungover before but it wasn’t pretty or fun.

The morning of my long run starts with nerves. The perfect timing of coffee, food, water, and let’s face it the bathroom. A slow warm up, dynamic stretches, and getting my devices to find the satellites. All with the dogs barking out the window wanting to know why they can’t come too.

Finally, all too soon and after way too long, my feet hit the pavement. Stride after stride, I check my breathing. Not too fast, I’ve a long way to go and don’t want to run out of energy. Not too slow, that’s often harder in the long run (sorry) than too fast.

In for three, out for two and before I know it I’m not counting my breaths anymore. Step after step everything else just drifts away. I find my zen where I’m not constantly checking how many miles are left (the answer, always .10 miles less than the last time you looked).

The aftermath is as beautiful as it is ugly. Sweaty, crusty, and exhausted I stretch and roll my achy hips and legs. I gulp at my water while marveling at how much easier the long runs seem this time around. My pace stays much steadier, I don’t feel completely dead after, and I’m already planning the next time out.

I’m not sure when running became my way of life. But it is. And long runs are my church. They ground me, they refresh me, they help me find my center. Some days I don’t recognize myself anymore, but then I just go on a long run and find that I’ve been there all along.

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Come What May

My words don’t come easily here anymore. This place has been my safe haven for over 9 years. And yet. 

I cringe whenever I see the app on my phone. I hate the nagging feeling that I need to come write. I feel guilty when I’m on my computer killing time and writing is the last thing I want to do. But still. 

I don’t want to be finished. Or maybe it’s that I know I’m not finished. This season is one of few words but hopefully they’ll show back up. 

I’m trying to honor when I don’t feel like writing. But it’s an outlet for me and I think that letting it get all plugged up is less than helpful. Writing is a big part of how I process things and gosh do I have things I need to process. 

Here’s to tomorrow, come what may. 

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Catalina Island

gloomy catalina

gloomy catalina

I keep trying to find the right words to recap this day. But my story hangs in my heart. Early in the morning, before I was even awake in California, my Uncle departed this world. I received the news right as we boarded the tender. I wanted nothing more than to run back to our room and bury myself away from the world. Instead I sat shaking next to my husband, trying to understand why people can’t just live forever. My heart is still raw.

all the boats

all the boats

The day was gloomy, which matched my mood. We hadn’t signed up for any excursions, so we were free to wander the island. I drifted in and out of grief as we meandered. There weren’t many other people pressing around us which left me free to feel what I needed to feel. B was amazing at giving me space to dwell and simultaneously gently cajoling me back to life.

bell tower

bell tower

My pilgrimage point was the bell tower on top of the hill. It was critical to my mental state that we make this point. B’s favorite method of drawing me out of grief was to point at surrounding hills and talk about the fortress he would put up there and how he would defend it. On our way back down to the ship, we visited a few stores including a couple of grocery stores so we could gawk at their food prices.

formal night

obligatory formal night pose

That night was formal night on the ship. I actually love the formal nights as I find that we don’t dress up enough in our every day life. We took advantage of the fun on the ship jumping into karaoke, the comedy club, and of course late night pizza. The only downside to such a short cruise was that we only had one formal night, I seriously wish that formal nights were a regular part of my life.

towel animal the second

towel animal the second

This was a hard day in my life. I think the worst part was being out of touch from my family and not being there with all of them. I was so glad that it was a fairly chill day but also that I was able to distract myself with the festivities during the evening. While it wasn’t the day I originally imagined us having, I was incredibly grateful to have that day be what it was.

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Sail Away

Please be singing Enya right now. Please.

first towel animal

first towel animal

When B got his 2017 vacation confirmed (he puts in for it in Oct for the next year) his parents mentioned doing a family trip since we had missed the last one. I struggled with that because we realized that it had been five years since we took a completely solo trip. It’s one of those military family things. We’ve always lived away from everyone so most of our vacations have been about seeing people. So I immediately put the plan into motion for us to go on a solo trip at the very start of 2017. It was exactly what we needed.

"husband puts up with instagramming wife"

“husband puts up with instagramming wife”

Carnival does a very nifty thing, that I’m not sure if is LA specific or if they do everywhere since this was our first cruise in five years, where you sign up for your boarding time. This was excellent for anxious traveler me. B was able to get home from his shift and sleep for a bit before we headed down. I find it excellent to live within easy driving distance of the port. It was a nice quiet start to the trip.

sam_3902

aforementioned instagramming wife

First thing we did after dropping our bags at our room, was head down to the Guy Fieri burger place to grab a quick lunch. We had Your Time dining, which meant we weren’t sure how late we would end up eating dinner. I honestly didn’t have much expectations for the burgers, but they were quite reminiscent of the ones from his restaurant in Vegas. And they were way better than the burgers I’ve had on other cruises. We ended up eating there every day. It was a terrible food choice but an excellent soul choice.

SoCal at night

SoCal at night

Not much happened on that first night. It was our first hint that the cruise was going to be on the cold side. But it was just so great to get away. We spent a lot of time sleeping, a lot of time reading, and we put in plenty of laps on the track on top of the ship. It really was exactly what we needed to start the year.

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Chugging On


2017 has definitely been a roller coaster. Losing my uncle on the third day of the year derailed me. Having B on nights was also wearing. I was tired of falling asleep alone, waking up alone, eating alone, and not seeing him all week long. 

There’s been good things – our cruise, some exploring, booking our big vacation, and signing up to run a half marathon together. But it’s been hard y’all. 

The darkness is slithering out from the cracks and curling across the void. I just have to remember that even a lone candle can hold it at bay. I just have to remember to turn on my light. 

So here goes. Lights on. Time to get back at this thing I call life.  

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Restart

Grief y’all. 

My heart still hurts. I don’t understand this grief thing. Some days almost feel normal, but I certainly don’t. 

I just can’t find any words right now. Between his loss and the state of the world, I’m hurting.

I cut my drinking way back in January. Cutting the bullshit, I’ve had a bordering on unhealthy relationship with alcohol for years. Going to bed sober was an interesting feeling. Now it’s one that I cherish. Also nice is not needing to question my emotions as being alcohol fueled. Don’t get me wrong, I still drink but never alone anymore. 

Night shift has been so hard. We go weeks without really seeing each other. I’ve become possessive over our time together and that really isn’t healthy. It won’t be resolving itself this month. 

A couple we had been friend dating is on the verge of divorce. She’s moving across country while he stays here until he can get a job back there. They’ve been together for over a decade. But this job. It’s terrifying to see so many marriages that crumble apart. 

There are good days. Right now they just seemed lost in the swirl of hard ones. So I run. And I stare into nothing. And I take bubble baths. Hopefully the next set of good days lasts longer. 

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