Short ramblings on no topic at all

“But if you close your eyes, does it almost feel like nothing’s changed at all?  And if you close your eyes, does it almost feel like you’ve been here before?” ~ Pompeii

I decided to get out of the house and get some work done today.  At home I have the best of intentions of doing things while the boys are napping…but they never get done.  I decide to read or watch TV…or do anything else other than work.  I knew if I actually wanted to accomplish something before the week started, leaving was the only way to do that.

As I sat at the Barnes and Noble I thought back to the last time I was here trying to get a little clarity.  It was the beginning of August and basically the eye of the storm for my summer.  It’s amazing to me how much has changed in under 2 months.  How much I broke apart and how much I have been put back together.  The same things that feel like they just happened yesterday also feel like they happened a year ago.  It’s almost unfathomable, sometimes, how much can change over the course of a month, a week, even a day.  That basically one minute of time can alter the rest of your course.  How one moment or word can put you on a completely different path.

I’m learning how to accept these monumental changes and try and move along with them gracefully.  I tend to take comfort in the known.  I re-watch the same movies and TV shows and read the same books, not only because I like them but also because I enjoy the predictability of knowing what is going to happen, and with that, knowing the feelings I am going to have ahead of time.  That’s not to say I don’t like change…I do…as long as I am the one who gets to initiate and/or control it.

I wonder how many different things I have been missing out on simply because I don’t close my eyes and jump into the unknown?  Of course, my fear is that it could turn out to be the worst decision of my life.

But…it could also turn out very, very good.

So Jump

“If she’s amazing she won’t be easy.  If she’s easy she won’t be amazing.  If she’s worth it you won’t give up.  If you give up you’re not worthy.  Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you’ve just got to find the ones worth suffering for.” ~Bob Marley

To say that this week has been crazy would be an understatement.   I haven’t been running since Tuesday.  My foot is killing me and I am trying to rest it as much as possible and try it out again Monday morning and see how it feels.  But, you know what?  I think this is one of the best things to happen to me.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t actually like being injured or the shooting pains in my foot.  But I knew that running was giving me some sort of endorphin-filled high.  Which made me want to run…a lot.  I probably have even been running too much, hence the pain in my foot.  I was worried that if I stopped running that my happiness would begin to disappear and that running was the only thing making me happy.

But it wasn’t.  I’m still happy even though I haven’t run or even worked out in the last three days.  My good mood seems here to stay, at least for a little while.  I’m starting to learn things little by little and that seems to be helping me change my outlook and perspective and keep me happier.

I’m learning that it’s OK to take a break if I need it.  I’m at the place where I know that a small break does not mean I have quit or give up.

I’m learning that it’s OK to stress about things…as long as you don’t let the stress over take you.  I’m letting myself feel the full weight of a situation for five minutes, handling it, and then moving on.  Worrying doesn’t help anything or change the situation, so why bother.

I’m learning that I know what’s best for me.  I love that I have a support system of friends and family who are there for me and want to help.  And I listen to their advice because they love me and want me to be the best person I can. But in the end, my decisions are my decisions and while they may not understand why I’m making one, they don’t have to.

I’m learning that friends may be people who tell you the truth, even when you don’t want to hear it, but they also will never intentionally try to pull you down. They won’t base their happiness and worth on your down fall.  Don’t ever let anyone dull your sparkle and all that…

I’m learning that not all bad decisions are “bad decisions”.  Decisions are choices, plain and simple, and what defines them as bad is how you see the outcome.  As long as you can live with the consequence of the decision you are making, and as long as it doesn’t intentionally hurt anyone, is it really a bad decision?

I’m learning it’s OK to be a little weird.  And to accept my weirdness and revel in it.  That one thing you think is weird, might be the one thing someone else falls in love with.

I’m learning that it’s OK to feel any emotion I am feeling.  Hurt, happiness, betrayal, love, sadness, longing, anger, giddy…there is a reason for each and every one of them.

I’m also learning that while it’s OK to feel any emotion you want, you need to be careful who you are sharing them with.  Don’t share them with people who will be reckless with them or judge.  While it’s OK to feel every emotion, not everything needs to be shared.

I’m learning that it’s OK to keep things to myself.  To keep me to myself.  Self-preservation is sometimes all we have.

And finally, I’m learning that sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith.

So jump.

It’s time to stop half-assing my life

“The difference between try and triumph is a little umph.”  ~Author Unknown

One word: accomplished.  That’s how I have been feeling lately.  I can’t believe that in three weeks I have actually met a quarter of my 100 mile challenge goal.   25 miles may not be a lot for some (hell, marathoners do more than that in just one day), but to me it is a big deal.  There has been an overwhelming response to my 100 mile challenge.  It’s exciting and flattering to know that I am helping motivate people to become healthier and hopefully happier.

But, the kicker is (I hope you’re sitting down), that I am a giant fraud.  Allow me to explain.  Yes, I have made the choice to be a happier person.  Yes, I have begun running and clocking my miles as a way to keep me motivated.  Yes, I’m trying to eat better and live a healthier lifestyle.  But really…

I feel like I am the queen of the half-assedness.  I make all the plans and have all these ideas and never really follow through on anything.  I can’t really think of one aspect of my life where I am giving 100% right now and that thought saddens me. The worst part is that while I’m not giving my 100%, I’m expecting 100% from everyone and everything else. I’m doing the running thing, but am I really challenging myself enough?  Am I trying to improve and actually become a “runner” or am I trying simply to just get it done in the quickest time possible?  I’m eating healthier, when it’s convenient.  When I’m too tired to cook or clean, take out it is.  I care about the environment and try to recycle when I can, unless it’s too much work.  Even within my friendships I am not giving my full amount of effort that I could give, yet am demanding that people give me 100%.

I really need to put more effort into things and give 100% in my job, in my home life, in my relationships, and to myself.

Because really, if you’re only going to do something half way you might as well save the energy and not do it at all.

Fear and (self) loathing

“Everything happens for a reason, but sometimes the reason is because you’re stupid and make bad choices.”

I tend to be over analytical in most aspects of my life.  I weigh pros and cons before making decisions.  Each choice I engage in tends to be calculated and the safest, most restrained, choice usually wins out.  It’s all very responsible.

Until it’s not.  Because, let’s face it.  There are always those choices that we make that seem to express the sentiment “What the Fuck?”  I mean, I know at least for me, I can physically see myself making the wrong choice and I do absolutely nothing to stop it.  I somehow assume that THIS TIME things will be different.  THIS TIME it will work out for the better rather than for the worst.

And you know what?  It never does.  I make this decision that I KNOW is the wrong one.  I KNOW nothing good will come of it.  And I do it anyway.  And then do you know what happens?  I go into a fit of depressive self loathing.

Why the hell is it that I can get my butt up almost every morning at 4:45 am to run before teaching elementary school children in East Baltimore but can’t stop myself eating that one food, drinking that one drink, sending that one text, saying that one thought?  Does it all come down to willpower? Or is it something else?

I really have improved in so many areas over the course of just the few weeks I have been running.  I am happier.  I have more confidence, I am working towards fixing things that need to be fixed.  I love the way my life is going…and yet…I still can’t stop myself from doing certain things I know will hurt me in the long run (FYI: I am not a drug addict, secret cutter, alcoholic, or anything else lifetime made a movie about).  What am I missing?  What else can I do?  I need to make better choices, even if I don’t want to at the time.

End teenage-girl-though-I’m-really-32 rant.

It could have been worse. It could always be worse.

“There’s nothing wrong or evil about having a bad day.  There’s everything wrong with making others have it with you.” ~Neil Cavuto

Today was not a good day.  It wasn’t a bad day either, really, just not a good day.  It all began at 1:30 am with a kid in my bed. After a few restless hours of sleep, my alarm went off at 4:45 telling me to get my butt out of bed and go running.  I was all for staying in bed for another hour, but I got up, got dressed and headed out the door.  I don’t know if it was the fact that it was actually cold in the morning, or the aching feeling in my left foot, or the fact that I was dead tired, but I just wasn’t feeling it.  After a mile, I decided to go home, do some stretching, and simply relax before work.

I thought maybe my mood would elevate at work, but no such luck.  We are starting a new reading curriculum so I have no idea what I am doing and I hate feeling disorganized and unprepared.  The kids were so off the wall that I actually looked up when the next full moon was because I was so convinced that there had to be a celestial reason for them being so crazy.

Basically, I was tired and cranky for the majority of the day.  I did perk up a little at aqua jog, but even when I returned home, I simply wasn’t feeling it…whatever “it” is.  I started to get slumpy and grumpy and really just sad.  Things have been going so well lately and I have been feeling great.  I didn’t want to lose this wonderful feeling.  I started to stress about the possibility of heading back down hill which made me feel even sadder.

And then I remembered that it’s ok to have a bad day.  It’s ok to feel like this once in a while.  And no matter what I do, it’s going to happen.  It’s how I handle my mood that is going to determine the day I have tomorrow.  Am I going to give in, and simply feel like I’m destined to be sad and depressed or am I going to leave today at today and wake up with a renewed determination tomorrow?

Either way, it’s a choice.  And I know which one I’ll choose.

100 Mile Challenge Miles: 19
Pounds lost since starting 100 Miles Challenge: 6 pounds

(Un)Broken

“Until you’re broken, you don’t know what you’re made of.  It gives you the ability to build yourself all over again, but stronger than ever.” ~Unknown

I saw the above quote on Pinterest the other day and it really spoke to me.  I’ve been pinning a lot of motivational quotes lately in order to help keep me on my path, but this is the best one I have seen.  I know I’ve mentioned or at least allude to the fact that I’ve had issues in the past with depression.  At the end of the last school year another wave of it him me, culminating when my dad died.  I tried to hold it together in a variety of ways, but due to other circumstances as well, by August I was quite literally broken.  There was no up or down, whole or half, only pieces that I was quite sure I would never be able to put back together.

But guess what?  I did.  I accomplished something I didn’t think was possible.  It started slowly, when the only differences I could see were mere subtleties changing in my daily life; crying less, sleeping more, smiling occasionally. And now, while not completely whole, I am far more together than before I broke completely.  I am happier, have more energy, and don’t let the small things upset me as much anymore.  I still have work to do and a long road ahead of me (don’t we all), but I’m not afraid of the challenge of living anymore.  As a matter of fact, it’s just the opposite.  I’m excited for anything that may be coming down the road.  And while I still get sad and weepy occasionally (don’t we all) I no longer feel that I’m fighting a losing battle.

And then the running happened.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not really running, I’m simply trodding along at an obscenely slow pace until I feel like I am going to die.  Then I stop for a few minutes until I think I can go again.  The whole process repeats until it’s it’s time to get ready for work.  And for some reason, it’s working for me. And on Wednesday I accomplished my first real running goal.  For the first time ever in my entire life, I ran a whole mile.  I couldn’t believe it (I still can’t).  I know to many people it’s not a lot, but to me it is huge.  It’s something I thought was impossible until it wasn’t anymore.

I took two days off and then decided to try the track today to take advantage of the gorgeous weather we are having in Baltimore.  I wound up walking for most of the time.  I tried running, but it just wasn’t coming today.  I had too many things on my mind, my stride was off, my foot was killing me (I have plantar fasciitis), and I just felt not all there.  But, instead of just quitting and saying I’ll try again tomorrow I trudged through and wound up completing 2.6 miles.

Honestly, the distance isn’t the big deal for me.  It’s the fact that I didn’t let myself quit.  I tend to quit (or try to quit) so many things in my life when the going gets tough or things don’t go my way.  I never really fight for anything and, as I’m learning, there are always things worth fighting for. You may not be able to fight for anything in the past, but you can fight for the future.

So now, instead of quitting, I am fighting for something.  I am fighting for me.

100 Mile Challenge Miles: 16
Pounds lost since starting 100 Miles Challenge: 4.2 pounds

Where did it come from? And please don’t let it go away.

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.  Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” ~Helen Keller

I can’t figure out what is different about this time.  Am I more motivated? Am I tired of failing? Do I feel like I have something to prove?  Did the status quo get too much to handle?

Point is, I’m uber-motivated lately…and I love it.  I not only feel the need to get shit done, I am actually doing it.  Whether it is home, school, or exercise, things seem to be moving along in a generally positive direction.  I don’t know if the running is helping my mood, or if my mood is helping my running.  Frankly, I don’t care.  What matters is that I am doing it.  Normally, at this point, I would start becoming skeptical of the situation and be waiting for the other shoe to drop, but not this time.  I know that I need to keep on going positively and I am determined to do it.

Even with my running, I am feeling like this is something that I can keep doing.  I know it’s only been a week and half but I don’t see an end in sight.  Normally by now I would have given up, or gotten tired, or simply felt defeated.  But not this time.  I know that tomorrow when I get up to run I will probably be slower than a turtle in peanut butter, but I will be doing it anyway.  Even today, when I wasn’t running because I had deep water jog, I was missing it and was itching to go.  I know I have to pace myself and build up endurance, but it’s becoming something I want to do and maybe even *gasp* enjoy (especially when I go at 5 am and no one is around to hear me sing when I run).

And, quite honestly, I need this.  Things were not going well, in so many areas of my life, and I knew that if I didn’t take action soon, something dire would have happened. I was beyond depressed; a feeling I hadn’t felt in so many years.  I couldn’t see the light and felt like I was simply holding on by a thread.

I am not ashamed to admit that running is saving my life in more ways than one.  And I will continue to run for as long as it’s helping…and then after that.

100 Mile Challenge Miles: 12.4
Pounds lost since starting 100 Miles Challenge: 4.2 pounds