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Monday, August 14, 2017

Gym Mirrors and Petunia Pig

So, sometimes peer pressure works out in a positive way- like coercing you to go to a gym class.

I rolled in on two wheels, completely oblivious as to how long it would actually take me to arrive to the gym. At this time I'm normally curled up on the couch with the dog drinking my morning fuel of an ice cold Coca-Cola, and I wasn't sure what to expect.

When I walked in I saw a lot of perky pony tails. Don't get me wrong, I had a pony tail too, but my pony tail looked sort of sad and apprehensive and a bit frizzy. The pony tails surrounding me were sleek and confident. These ponytails could do non-knee push-ups.

As the class started, I knew I was in trouble when I was extremely winded during the "warm-up." There is no bigger lie then the words "warm up." Truth be told, I have never in my life attended ANY class, of ANY type, in ANY state where I wasn't completely ready to go home after the warm up. And not only go home after that, but feel accomplished.

Well, halfway through the workout, they did this exercise where you jump in the air like you are extremely excited. Of course there is always the modified version, or what I would prefer to call, the exercise for people who do not, in fact, feel like they have just won the lottery.

I tended to stick with that on more than one occasion.

In this particular gym class, like most, the entire wall you face is a big mirror. 

I looked at my legs in this mirror and two words unexpectedly popped into my mind...
Petunia Pig.

Normally, I would think that the image I was seeing was skewed in some way.
Sort of like when you see your reflection in store mirrors and your legs look shorter and stubbier than they really are. However, to my knowledge, there has yet to be a mirror invented which makes me look like Petunia while making everyone else look like BeyoncĂ©, so there goes that theory.

And let me be clear. This class was ONLY THIRTY MINUTES.

Not sure why, but I just needed you to know that.

As the class drew to a close, we ended with *several* rounds of burpees. 
Yes, the words -*several* and *burpees* in the same sentence. The most hated exercise in existence. I can't even tell you how many I managed to knock out. I just wanted out of there.

I was supposed to stay and do a Body Pump class, but since I want to live to see my grandchildren someday, I told my friends adios, I would see them tomorrow (this may be a blatant lie), and slunk to my car...or so I thought.

Yes, I was so out of sorts I walked to the wrong car. Luckily, I corrected myself before I physically tried to get in it. However, once I was sitting in my car, I began to felt that lump you get in your throat right before you throw up.

I proceeded to call my mom, because even in your 40s, that's what you always want to do when you feel sick. Unfortunately while talking to her, I burped very loudly in her ear, but began to feel better.

And do not think that the irony of burping after burpees escapes me.

Truth be told, I am typing this right now on my phone in the gym parking lot. I'm still getting my bearings. In the same vein as the people with the half marathon stickers on their vehicles, 13.1, there may need to be a new sticker.

"Past the warmup"

I would exhibit it proudly today.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

45 is ...



1. Your plan to have lunch and a massage on your birthday quickly morphs into cleaning up vomit and looking for a two-inch missing wolf spider.

2. You seriously contemplate if the amount of effort it is going to take to lose those stubborn pounds is really worth giving up golden brown fries dipped in ranch.

3. You decide that a Spandex black tennis skirt is perfectly acceptable as a bathing suit bottom.

4. You instantly fall hopelessly in love with anyone who even bothers to card you.

5. You want to yell from the mountaintops to all the teachers at your child's school, and to all of their parents, that once you were really an AWESOME, energetic, top-notch Pinterest-loving room mom. You really were. Now you are more a Publix-made cupcake, and "Oh, it was picture day?" kind of mom.

6. Sometimes when you are taking a picture on your phone and you accidentally flip the camera the other way, you actually scare yourself.

7. You think the filters on Snapchat are the best thing invented since electricity.

8. Your number one shopping question changes from, "Am I thin enough to wear this?" to, "Am I young enough to wear this?"

9. Your girls' beach trips graduate from dancing at the Florabama and morph into decadent dinners and chatting over cocktails in PJs back at the condo.

10. You suddenly begin researching skincare as intently as Jonas Salk trying to crack the code for the polio vaccine.

11. You find yourself wanting to tell some of these younger sports parents that their kids aren't going to play for the Red Sox so calm down and enjoy the ride.

12. You find yourself walking more and more into rooms and wondering why you did...

13. Your days of chasing toddlers and arranging play dates have turned into driving around older kids with jam packed social schedules like you are an Uber driver burning up the streets in New York City.

14. You embrace laugh lines over many of the frozen-faced people you see walking around like live wax museum exhibits. 

15. An organized closet makes you happy. Really happy.

16. In a lot of ways, you still feel exactly the same inside as when you were 25.

17. A smell or a song can still trigger a memory of a college party, or a laugh with friends, or a high school dance so vividly that it can take your breath away.

18. Sometimes you wonder when you are going to feel grown up.

19. When you have on JUST the right pair of reading glasses, you feel a little bit hot...in a mysterious librarian sort of way.

20. Now that you are a parent of tweens and teens, you don't think that on the old sitcom "Roseanne" that she was as bad a parent as you once thought she was.

21.  You wonder how on earth you are going to make the next 45 years as awesome as the first have been.

And last but not least...

22. When it comes to this crazy, precious life you have been given, sometimes you feel like you are just getting started.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

In 2017...


In 2017...

I will be audacious.

I will spend more time politely saying no thank you, and spend less time being pressured into a half-hearted yes.

I will focus on following my heart, and spend less time worrying about the unrealistic expectations of others.

I will spend much more time being creative, and less time being aimlessly busy.

I will not fall into the trap that being busy is something to be admired. I will look at excessive busyness as the stealer of authentic life moments.

I will stand up for principles I hold dear, without worrying about what anyone thinks. I will remember that if I am standing up for something I feel is right and good and just and holy, then others disagreeing with me should not matter to me whatsoever.

I will read more, not only because it is extremely enjoyable, but also because I discover so much more about myself when I read, which in turn makes me a more authentic me.

I will tackle the laundry problem, and I will win.

I will try to feel as close to God as I did when I was a younger me at Lake Junaluska, before adulthood stole my naivety of the world. I miss that.

I will go to the movies more...because it's fun.

I will try to read the whole Bible, because I'm not sure how great it's going to sound when I tell God I've made time to read all these amazing mysteries but not HIS entire book.

I won't worry about the state of my house when a friend drops by, because if it's a real friend, clutter doesn't matter.

I will not be ashamed of being a deeply feeling person. I will use it as the gift that it is.

I will exercise in a way that I enjoy, a way that I am more likely to stick with, and not necessarily the most popular ways.

I will try to do better and not fall into the bottomless pit of overthinking.

I will continue to remind my mirror reflection that grand expressions and smiling eyes and laugh lines are more beautiful and younger looking than immovable faces and waxen stillness.

I will try to see the humor in absolutely everything, because humor is truly one of God's greatest gifts.

If it's trendy to wear stripes, I might wear polka dots, and if big heels are popular I might wear comfortable flats. I will remind myself that the most beautiful thing of all is confidence and being comfortable in your own skin.

I will try to be more giving.

I will try to be more productive.

I will try to eat more healthy most of the time, but if I truly want the piece of cake, I am going to eat the piece of cake- no regrets.

I am going to write, write, and write some more. Like it's my job. Like a boss. Writing will not take a back seat to tedious tasks. The book will be finished this time next year. I will set attainable goals, and I will reach them.

I won't be a slave to distractions. I don't have to jump for every text, ding, and piece of information that comes my way. That can wait. But Monopoly with my family may not.

I will slow the pace on many things, and accelerate the pace on others.

There will be more now, and less yesterday and tomorrow.

This year will be a good one. This  year I'm hitting "reset."

I will be kind...

but I will be fierce.



Happy New Year!!!!!!!











Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Ice Cream, Hugs, and Music



To say that the last few months have been tumultuous would be quite an understatement. Many of us have been angered, saddened, embarrassed, enraged, horrified, empowered, incensed, or some other big, strong, soul-rattling emotion. Perhaps many emotions all at once.

During these times, some of us have drawn closer to people we may have more in common with than we ever before realized, and many of us have found that some of those closest to us seem like strangers. We have had our feelings hurt, and we have hurt others' feelings. Sometimes without even knowing.

It's been rough. All of the hostility has been in the air for a while now. It has been defeating. It's been exhausting. And mostly, it's been disheartening.

Our bodies, minds, and spirits are beaten down, and oh, so very tired.

No one should have to apologize for standing up for something they believe in, nor should anyone apologize for standing against something they believe to be wrong.
What is it they say? If you don't stand for something then you stand for nothing.

But sometimes we need to regroup. To rest. To feel peace. To reconnect. 
Our souls need music, hugs and ice cream. Simplicity.

There are times the swirling needs to stop.

Sometimes you need to feel the warm water running over your wrist while you wash a dish with Bing Crosby singing in the background. 

Sometimes you need to notice the light reflecting off your son's eyelashes while he is talking to you on the front steps in the brisk fall air.

Sometimes you need to look at a strangers, right into their eyes, and give a real smile and have that smile returned. 

Maybe, like a friend of mine, you even need to tell the guy at Starbucks that your name is actually 'Shazam' so he will yell it when your drink is ready.

It's about to be December, which should be the most peaceful and holy time of the year. And if we allow all the static in, we won't be able to feel the magic of the season.

Whatever fight we have before us, whatever battle we need to wage, whether it is for something we believe in, or against something we don't...

That battle will still be there the first day of 2017. 

And maybe, just maybe, if we stop and regroup, by then, our path will look clearer and our spirit will be stronger and filled with renewed love and purpose for others and ourselves.





Sunday, November 6, 2016

'Twas the Night Before the Election



'Twas the night before the election,
And all through Facebook,
Questions of Trump grabbing women, Or is Hilary a crook?

The poll workers were ready,
Tomorrow was the day.
One would have to be president,
There wasn't any other way.

The voters were nestled,
All snug in their beds,
But no one was sleeping, 
They were overcome with dread.

With Daddy in his red shirt,
And Mama in her blue,
We trudged to the polls,
Not knowing what to do.

When up near the voting booth,
There arose such a clatter,
I peeked ahead in line,
To see what was the matter.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But two voters fighting,
Their eyes filled with fear.

"But what about those tax returns!"
One of them shouted.
"So what's in those e-mails?"
The other one pouted.

More rapid than eagles,
The curses they came,
And they bellowed and shouted,
And called them by name.

But what about Benghazi,
And e-mails deleted?
Whitewater and 'Pay to Play',
She must be defeated!

You want a sociopath,
With our nuclear fate?
Who has a bromance with Putin,
And incites nothing but hate?

They went back and forth,
Until red in the face.
All eyes were on them,
Every voter in the place.

Finally they tired,
Running out of fight.
They both loved America,
This just wasn't right.

When all of this is over,
And the election finally ends.
These two will still be standing,
These two should still be friends.

After they finished,
Both casting their vote.
Neither looked happy,
They were in the same boat.

One walked toward the other,
It would all be okay.
He began clearing his throat,
And started to say,

We just need to stop,
We've been friends for years.
We need to stay kind,
In spite of our fears.

We can't let an election,
Tear us apart.
We both want what's best,
We're each following our heart.

As one turned to the other,
With a twinkle in his eye,
I leaned a little closer,
Though I didn't want to pry.

And I heard him exclaim,
Ere he walked out of sight,
"We can always just hope,
For a big meteorite!"






Sunday, October 30, 2016

Nine more days...who will we be?


Finally, this divisive election will soon be over, but I believe we all know that it won't really be over at all. Someone will win and someone will lose, obviously. If "your" candidate doesn't win, if "my" candidate doesn't win, what will we do?

1. We can complain, threaten to move to Canada, spew venom at those who elected this president, fail to see any good in the new president at all, lash out on social media, and cause more hatred and divisiveness to spread within our nation. We can contribute to the tearing apart of our nation from within.
OR...
2. We can secretly think that everyone who voted for this person is certifiably crazy, BUT, we can also hope and pray to be pleasantly surprised. If there is any good, we can TRY to see it. After all, since our nation's birth we have been severely let down by presidents from whom we expected great things. Isn't it fathomable that the opposite could take place? That we could maybe, even occasionally be shocked in a good way?

Someone will win and someone will lose. Half of the nation will be relieved, and half will angered. And many of us find both choices disheartening.

How will we handle it?

Because I think we can all agree that how our nation survives, who we ARE, at the end of the four year term, is much more important than who wins or loses.

Monday, September 26, 2016

We are better



Someone told me the other day that I needed to write my blog more often.

Deep down I already knew that. I want to write. It keeps me sane. It makes me happy. It gives me oxygen.

But honestly, I haven't been able to write a blog entry lately.

Why? I'm angry.

I'm honestly too angry and too fed up with this world right now to even know what to say. I guess I could try to write something whimsical, but I'm not feeling it.

I could write how I'm feeling about one of the 10,572 issues going on right now that everyone is arguing about, but I don't feel strong enough for the backlash, and what could possibly turn into extreme hatefulness if you have been reading any of the comments on any news article that happens to come your way.

Everyone seems so full of hate, an 'us vs. them' mentality. Everyone seems so willing to spew venom, yet everyone seems raw.

Everyone is looking at each other with guarded, tender, angry hearts.

Tonight is the debate, Lord help us.

I am predicting that everyone will watch, with their red or blue tinted glasses, only seeing the flaws of the candidate they don't support. Then it will be taken to social media where there is no respectful debating. It is raw, angry, insulting, in-your-face, fighting.

The kind of fighting where everyone wants to either punch the wall or throw up their hands and walk away.

I have had enough. Simply enough.

I have seen people tear each other down, friends who are friends with each other no more, and enough hatefulness on social media to almost literally make me scream.

I have opinions about this election. Very strong opinions. And I could give a million and one reasons why I think one of the candidates is the lesser of the two evils of the choices we have been given. But this blog post isn't about that. 

I am saddened by our political choices, saddened by all that is going on in our nation, but mostly by people's reactions of what's happening in our nation and the way everyone is tearing each other down.

I don't mean we shouldn't have opinions. We absolutely should. Perhaps now more than ever. But convictions can be supported in two ways, with a hateful, insulting, devisive rant, or with a calm, steady and loving sharing of truth.

Here is a thought. What if every single person, or even half of the people, would show nothing but love to each other- a smile, a hug, a short conversation, a "we clearly disagree but that's okay, and I really love your new haircut, it really brings out your eyes."

Maybe it's really that simple.

There are people who are struggling with severe mental illnesses, taking care of special needs children, people wondering where they will get their next meal, or taking care of aging parents, physically and emotionally exhausted.

And meanwhile, people are spewing hate at each other like wild animals.

Let's just stop. Stop. Stop. Stop.

Now.

We are better than this. 

I will be starting with the person I see in the mirror.