Thursday, August 18, 2011

Under the Knife Like Heidi Montag

Hello, whoever has not yet given up on this blog!!

I have so many excuses for why I haven't been keeping up with this lately! How's 5 weddings, getting hooked on The Wire (yes, I know we're super late on this), and having some badass back surgery?

I realize most "bloggers" continue doing this regardless of distractions but I'm not one of them and I have sworn an oath to myself that I shall never post multiple pictures of oatmeal (which is what those real "bloggers" do), so get over it. I'm a shitty blogger and I only do it when I have stuff to talk about, or when I'm motivated by Vicodin (as is the case right now).

That's from the back surgery, btw. As much fun as it is to pop a V for a bad headache, this is not one of those days.

The short-long story is that after about 5 months of seeing a sports med doctor for lower back pain and a weird pain in my left hip, and trying all kinds of things like physical therapy and chiropractors and all that junk, I did some sleuthing and attempted to self diagnose my condition.
I found an article on eipsacral lipomas and decided that they were what was causing the pain in my back. Everyone told me I was crazy and that I read too much, but I am nothing if not a motivated patient. I faxed the article to my Dr. and he suspected I was right. To find out if I was, he injected some cortisone into the lipomas in my back. Which he was SO excited about. He had never injected into soft tissue before. This was a totally new thing for him AND me. Which would freak out most patients, I'm sure, but for whatever reason made me feel much more comfortable that he was being very thorough. And a really good doctor is always excited to learn new things, no matter how long he's been in practice. I hope he can help someone else with the same problem some day. Because from what I've read, lipomas are so common and so rarely linked to pain (less than 30% of cases) that they are almost always overlooked.
Anyhow, I felt like a million bucks the next day. Ran a bunch of miles, was a rockstar.
A month later, he did another injection. And then, my body FREAKED OUT. A totally random and rare reaction that probably deserves its own post. Later.
But the pain went away in my back AND my hip (magic!). It came back once the shots wore off, but that was to be expected.

Since I responded so well, we decided they (the lipomas) needed to come out. But because they're in my fat, I needed to have them liposuctioned out. Try getting insurance approval for THAT. I cried. It worked. And yesterday I went under the knife.
I asked my doctor to go on ahead and take whatever fat got in his way. But my hips are still the same size, so I don't think he did.

It will be a few weeks before I know for sure if it was a success. But that weird left hip pain feels almost 100% better. Every fiber of my being is itching to run (that could be the Vicodin talking). Its been almost a month. I am sure when I do finally get to run again, my soul will sing. And my lungs and legs will scream.

Did I also mention I haven't had a drink in a month, either? Lost about 5 pounds doing nothing.
Probably some if it is muscle, but I'll take it.
I wonder how much this will make me want lipo on the rest of my body. The recovery has been pretty tame so far.
Move over, Heidi Montag!
Kidding. I have no desire to be a robot. Just a hot soccer mom.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Two Years In the Making

Remember last year, when I had all these fitness goals?

Then, remember how I sprained BOTH of my ankles and none of them happened?


Well yesterday, after two years of training, over training, falling, healing, 2 X-Rays, 1 MRI, 8 physical therapy sessions and countless miles logged,  I finally completed my first Broad Street Run.

I found out last month that I have disc degeneration and arthritis  in my lower back, an awesome hip injury and some weird residual ankle hernia.  Last year, I had said I wanted to finish the 10 miler in less than 1:50.  This year, given my multiple injuries, I was hoping to finish in 2 hours. 

It was basically the best day for a race. No wind, nice cool temps. The trick to this race is to not sprint out of the gate. The myth is that it’s all downhill. Its not. The overall gradient of the race is downhill, but there are definitely hills. So I went out, found a nice pace and settled into it.  Seconds before I crossed the starting line, I realized I had to pee. Like, bad.  I tried to ignore it and kept on. I figured if it got bad, I could stop at a porta potty. Or just piss my pants.

I saw the first bunch of porta potties and the line was like 20 people deep so I skipped it.  Checked my time at the first mile mark but realized I had no idea what time I started so I made a mental note and checked in again at miles 3,4, and 5.  I had my Gu at mile 4. The first 5 miles were cake and I was running nice, steady 10 minute miles.  I passed 3 sets of porta potties all with crazy lines (don’t these people care about their times?!)

At mile 6, I got a high five from the Governor. I was still feeling pretty great. Still having to pee. I saw lots of funny signs running through Center City: ”Running Takes Balls. Other Sports Just Play With Them” and “Not Too Late To Buy a SEPTA Token”

At mile 6.5, I saw a lady doing Zumba alone on a corner. Bizarre and hilarious.

The mile 7 marker was just outside my house. I looked for Andrew (and Ginny) but they weren’t there. He probably thought he missed me. How sweet of him to think I’m that fast. I was still feeling really strong and it kind of surprised me.

At mile 8, I started to get tired and I could feel myself dragging a bit but I was running through my neighborhood so I just kept looking around for people I knew. And thinking about how nice it was that I didn’t have to stop for lights and worry about some jackass running me over.

At mile 8.5 someone had “Eye of the Tiger” blaring.  My back was starting to ache a bit. I slowed to a quick speed walk  for a few seconds to drink some water. Then I picked it back up.

Right after that was a little hill that I run all the time. I promised myself that I’d sprint it and I did. Then the fatigue really set in.

At mile 9, I slowed to a fast walk for another few seconds to drink more water.   This was probably the most challenging part mentally and physically. My back was really hurting and I wanted to walk. My main goal was to not walk.  I spent half a mile debating whether I should walk for a bit.  I dug deep and told myself that walking for a bit wasn’t going to make my back feel better, and that it was just a mile more. (I have a crazy high tolerance for pain. Most people in my condition would have been in enough pain to walk at mile 7.  I am insane/crazy/determined. You decide.)

At 9.5 miles, the crowd got rowdy. All the cheering really pumped me up and I picked up my race pace again (about 10 minute miles). We crossed through the Navy Yard gates and people around me started to sprint. I knew the finish was still 1/4 mile away so I held strong until I could actually see the finish line. Then I picked it up and gave it every last thing I had. It was a total blur, the crowds were yelling, the announcers were yelling, and I couldn’t feel my legs. I just ran as fast as I could (in between two people, sorry!) and crossed the finish line.

The first thing I said was “Thank Fucking God.” Then I realized I had an ENORMOUS (seriously painful) blister on my toe.  Then I realized that at some point between mile 7 and the finish line, I didn’t have to pee anymore (I never did find a porta potty without a line and at some point I realized I cared more about my time than peeing). Then I was surprised that I wasn’t throwing up or on a stretcher. I survived unscathed except for a blister.

I finished in 1:48 and some change. Two minutes less than last year’s goal.  Considering my injuries, I’d say its a pretty damn good time for my first stab at this race. 

Broad Street1 Yay! I’m alive!

I’m glad I spent all of last week walking and taking it easy. My legs felt fresh and my body rested.  I can say for sure now that I don’t really have any interest in racing half marathons or any distance above 10 miles. I think its a good distance for me to be competitive and not put any excessive stress on my already ailing body.  Call me crazy, but I would really like to be able to walk when I’m 50.

Now that I know what the race entails, I think I can train smarter next year, and really utilize cross training and swimming to build strength without the impact of running 4 days a week. 

Overall, it was a really fun race. Lots of distractions and things happening to keep my mind busy and my legs moving.  Also, everything about it was so aweseomely Philly: the people cheering (lots of them drunk), the insane amount of high fives I received from random people, the music (everything from the Rocky theme song, to marching bands to one random shirtless dude with a drum set outside his house) the encouragement of strangers, the cowbells, the fact that  the “sprinklers” were just open fire hydrants with things jammed in them to make them spray upwards. I basically spent the entire 10 miles people watching, laughing and holding my pee.

And then I celebrated:

broadstreet2 The only thing I wanted more than a beer was some meat.

Now, I need to go lay in an ice bath and fix those gross tan lines.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dear God, I Love Tina Fey

I know I haven’t posted in forever and this isn’t actually a post as much as it is cutting and pasting something I saw on the interwebs.

My bad.


Courtesy of Suicide Blonde:


Tina Fey answers the Proust Questionnaire

What is your current state of mind?

On the verge of nervous exhaustion, but only for the last seven years.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A glass of wine at sunset on Fire Island. / No homework.

What is your greatest fear?

Child, loss or damage thereof.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Catherine the Great’s horse.

Which living person do you most admire?

Cathy Rigby. She was really good in that stage version of Peter Pan. No joke.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?


What is the trait you most deplore in others?

People who are proud of their ignorance.

What is it that you most dislike?

People who mock education as elitist.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Living in New York City.

What do you most value in your friends?

A willingness to come uptown.

What is your favorite journey?

Pulling up to my parents’ house for Christmas. Just pulling up, though—not the whole drive.

What is your most treasured possession?

A photo of my parents walking around the Acropolis circa 1965. They look like a poster for Two for the Road.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Natural childbirth.

On what occasion do you lie?

During press junkets for movies.

Which living person do you most despise?

Osama bin Laden. Unless we think he’s dead by now, in which case that guy who holds up the GOD HATES FAGS sign.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Jeff and Alice Richmond equally, but only because they look exactly alike.

When and where were you happiest?

Anywhere, during the 2 to 24 hours after a successful joke.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would get 30 hours a day when everyone else gets 24.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Providing 200 people with a nice place to work.

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?

My husband and I would work less and my daughter would sleep more.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

September 12, 2001.

What is your favorite occupation?

Being between jobs but having a good one lined up in about a month or so.

What is your most marked characteristic?

Obedience and a long nose. (I might be a collie.)

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

Veruca Salt, Francie Nolan, Miss Havisham. That’s me in a nutshell, actually.

How would you like to die?

I would like to drop dead while introducing the “In Memoriam” clip package at the Emmys … on my 10,000th birthday.

What is your motto?

“Stop reaching for the stars!”

Friday, February 25, 2011

Birthday Recap

Yes, my birthday was last week.  But, to be fair, I like to drag out the celebrations as long as possible, which is why I haven’t posted this yet. 

Okay, not really.  Its just because I’m lazy and I keep forgetting.

Anyhow, it was great birthday: low key, relaxing, & a bit overindulgent.

For starters, this showed up around 4:30pm on my birthday:



Here is what was inside:



The sad thing is that I didn’t even need a list to tell me what kind each was.  I have been stalking the Crumbs website for so long, I already knew them all. Top row: cosmopolitan, red velvet, Elvis (banana and peanut butter). Bottom row: squiggle (like a hostess cupcake), half baked, tiramisu.

I invited Karolina, Emily and her fiance’, Joe, to come eat them with us because I knew 3 things: 1)I did not NEED to eat them all myself (even though I could have) , 2) they would likely not survive more than a few hours alone in my house and 3) I ate the all of the cupcakes I previously intended to share (Alone. On a train.)

Here is the aftermath:


It was the most divine, sugar induced hangover in the universe!

Best. Birthday Present. Ever.


A few days later, my sister, brother and niece came to town. I am obsessed with my niece, Grace.  She is pretty much the coolest person I know.

The last time she was here, we took her to the Please Touch Museum, but she was a little too small for most of the things there.


But this time, she was juust the right size:


CIMG3640 Big fan of the slides


Maybe still a little too small for this?


Who doesn’t like carousels?


First she milked it, then she sat on it


I am a bad influence


I’m on a boat, yo



Amanda is a riot


Again with the slides..

Grace wasn’t feeling so well, but it was a lot of fun! I think Amanda and I maybe even had more fun than she did.  We also watched “Beauty and the Beast” about 17 times in 3 days. Its Grace’s favorite.  “Belle and Beast,” she calls it.  She knows all the words to the songs. I laughed so hard when I heard her sing it the first time, I almost peed my pants. (Yes, I was drinking, but still.)

I love that movie but it will be okay if I don’t have to watch it again until I have my own kids. Or ever.


On Sunday, we had some friends to our local bowling alley for a mini birthday party, complete with cake and pizza (and beer).

Here’s my cake:


Can you guess who liked it the best???


So, now I’m officially 31. And its as if all of a sudden, my clocks are ticking and my body is falling apart.  I feel creaky and achy and my blood pressure rose unnaturally high when asked to get on the scale at the doctor’s on Tuesday. (Don’t worry, its ok, it was normal 15 minutes later)

My doctor (bless her heart because I really do adore her) kindly reminded me that “things go downhill after 30.”  I’m not sure if she meant my body parts, my ability to stay in shape, my average daily caloric needs, or just my basic body functions, but its one of those things that maybe didn’t NEED to be said. Especially after going off birth control three months ago and being the only person in the entire universe to GAIN weight instead of lose it. Neat.

I’ve been hearing that 30 is the new 20.  I’m calling bullshit because if that’s the case, then 31 is the new 21.  And I can ASSURE you that I am not (nor do I FEEL) 21. (Although some kind dude in Vegas last month told me I looked 21). I cannot drink like I’m 21, I cannot run like I’m 21, I cannot walk up stairs like I’m 21, I cannot spend money like I’m 21, I don’t even drive as poorly as I did when I was 21.  Pretty much the only thing I do I now that I did when I was 21 is sleep.  And even recently, I’ve noticed I’ve been adjusting to mornings better. I only hit snooze about 3 times instead of 7 or 8.  Soon, I’ll be fifty, getting up at 5am, going to the gym, taking my pills and doing three loads of laundry before 8. 

God help me.  It really is all downhill from here.  How soon is too soon to retire?

Have a good weekend, kiddos!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

the ass in class

I just sent this to my college magazine with the following caption:


Becky Oot ’02 and Andrew Marx were married on May 15, 2010 in Philadelphia, PA. Alumni in attendance were: Moriah Geaghan Jellison ’03, Jessica Casale, Allison Heishman ’03, Brian Norris ’05, Jill Kroos ’02, Jillian Matundan ’01, Eileen Kasda ’04, & Kate Dowling ’02. Becky would like to remind anyone thinking of submitting a wedding photo to the Washington College Magazine to remind your photographer to take the alumni photo at the beginning of the reception, and not the end, as in this picture.



I really hope they print that last part.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

The Baby, the Bathwater, or Both?


All of a sudden, we’ve been talking about kids a lot.  Maybe that happens after you hit the one year mark and can high five your husband for  successfully getting through the “paper” year (and also for the satisfaction of knowing how many of your friends must have lost some money on their bets).

Or maybe its because its just the next big life thing to do (before retire and die.)

There are so many buzz words associated with having kids.  Like: “ready” and “expensive” and “sleep (or lack thereof)” and “career.”  Mostly the word “ready” though. 

Almost every parent I talk to has said “you’re never really ready.”  Well, ok.  Do they mean that in the “nothing on earth can prepare you for kids and how much they will change your life” kind of way?  Or the “unless you have zero debt and $100,000 in the bank you aren’t ready” kind of way?

I mean, really.  What does it MEAN when they say that?

Because if being ready means that one day I will wake up and say, “hey, you know what? I don’t so much care for (or need) sleep anymore. Let’s have a baby!”  I’m pretty sure that I will, in fact, never be ready.

And if being ready means having no debt and $100,000 in savings and a college savings account already set up, then no, I’m pretty sure I won’t ever be ready.

And I’m a planner.  The annoying kind.  The person who has everything mapped out days/weeks/months/years/decades in advance.  I plan everything from my meals to my vacations. But the thought of trying to plan for a baby? Even I am humbled (nearly rendered immobile) by such a daunting task.

Its not that I don’t WANT to plan.  Its just that it seems futile to try.  Sure, I will put money into savings and try harder to get up early.  But the idea of looking at a calendar and saying “I think we should plan to have a baby around this time” kind of ruins it for me. FOR ME!? The psycho planner extraordinaire? Yes.

Because I am the kind of person who does not take it well when my plans fail, or change or get postponed.  And I just do not want to relate to pregnancy and having kids the way I relate to the rest of the things in my life.  I want to be surprised,  elated, and a little unprepared.  Not panicky unprepared. Just “YAY! Now this is happening and I thought maybe it might and that’s okay because I have several months in which to prepare a bit more” prepared.

I want it to be a completely authentic and new experience for me. 


Can I be Frank? (you can be George.)  I really don’t LIKE being a planner.  I don’t know exactly why I am so inflexible sometimes and it bugs the shit out of me.   I drive MYSELF nuts. I never let myself relax. It is like the most obnoxiously large character flaw. EVER.

I know that having kids will turn my world upside down, and that it will literally force me to go with the flow and be more spontaneous. And I am SERIOUSLY looking forward to it.  I cannot wait to watch my stomach grow and stand on a scale and (for possibly the first time ever) know that the numbers are going up for a REALLY AWESOME reason.  I am so excited at the thought of having actual unavoidable  reasons for changing plans at the last minute and flying by the seat of my pants.

Would I like to be a millionaire and not have to worry about how much money kids will cost? Sure.  But that is not a reality for most of America the world.  Millions of people make it work ( and genuinely want to make it work) every day (welfare recipients with 45 children excluded because they usually want to do anything BUT work).

Every time we talk about having kids, I think of the movie Idiocracy.   We are those people at the beginning, rationalizing away the desire to have kids.  (If you haven’t seen the movie, you should watch it just to find out how horrifying it is when the intelligent people of sensible means stop procreating and the welfare recipients take over.)  Its kind of a crappy movie but the point I’m trying to make is that I spend so much time planning things, that I rarely have the time to genuinely enjoy them.  And I don’t want having kids to be like that.  Call it selfish (although I don’t see how getting huge, quitting drinking for 10+ months and committing your life to the health and well-being of another human is selfish), but I just want to enjoy it.

So if I get knocked up and I don’t have $100,000 in the bank and I haven’t woken up before 6am since I was a rower in college, it will be okay.  I will make it work. I have a great husband, a good job, a plethora of supportive friends and family, and a lot of sisters with hand-me-down baby clothes, and a lot of friends who can’t wait to babysit (right, guys?)


I don’t want having kids to be another one of my well-planned ideas gone awry. 

So I’d rather keep the expectation bar low not plan much at all.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Oh, Hai

Am I the only person who gets all sad and anxious on Sunday nights in anticipation of Mondays? It totally ruins the last few of my weekends, no matter how much awesome happened before it.

And this weekend was no different. I fiddled with my training plan some more and got a massage on Friday. The plan was originally to do 4 miles of fartleks but I didn’t want to ruin my massage. Sort of like not wanting to ruin my manicure by folding laundry.   I took a rest day and instead spent many hours dancing my butt off at the Girl Talk concert. And drinking vodka. Heck yes.

Saturday I ventured up to Drexel for the Philadelphia Materials Science Day, which Andrew planned and executed. It was fun and really interesting. I heard a cool talk about how (contrary to popular belief) a good portion of the pyramids were cast stone, not carved. I also made some foam, helped build a giant nanotube out of balloons, and ate a cookie.  Andrew did a great job with the event, I am very proud of him!

On Sunday, we had a family birthday lunch/dinner at Ekta, which is the greatest Indian restaurant in the universe, and then watched the train wreck that was the Superbowl performers (I’m looking at you, Black Eyed Peas).

And I did 5 miles on the treadmill. It was easy. As in not challenging and I didn’t even sweat that much easy.  My training plan has me doing my weekly long runs 30 seconds-1minute below race pace.  (This is for me only and for the purposes of injury prevention, some people may work up in speed and distance faster.) Either way, I cannot believe I’m saying 5 miles was easy.  I am giving credit to ample rest and the speed work I’ve been doing on my shorter distance runs. It works! Who knew?

Here’s what I did this week:

Monday: 3 miles at race pace (10 minute miles but I’m considering upping this to 9:30 or 9, depending on how my next long run feels)

Tuesday: thebestyogaclassever

Wed: 3 miles at 9:30

Thursday: Off (sore)

Friday: Off 

Sat: Crosstraining & 30 Day Shred

Sun: 5 miles at 10:15

I really think that I need a Garmin for my race training, so that I can figure out my pacing and splits when its finally nice enough to run outside.  Does anyone have any good suggestions for ones that don’t cost 6 million dollars?

I’m ready for the weekend. 


Too soon?

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Lets Talk about Yoga

Hellllllo, February!

I’m probably the only person in the universe that likes February, but its because its my birthday month and I am really vain about my birthday.  I’m an Aquarius, what can I say?  And no, this is not my “new” sign.  I have always been an Aquarius and I don’t intend to attempt to re-identify myself as a Pieces after all of these years.  Turning 30 is identity crisis enough.  No need to add insult to injury.

Anyhow, I like February.

2                                             Cake and gin & tonic, oh my!

A lot of my friends (and both Andrew’s sister and mom) also have birthdays in February.  Its basically one huge month of celebrating, and I dig it. 

wedding                                                                     I like to celebrate anything.

Speaking of celebrating, I was in DC a few weeks ago for work and discovered cupcake heaven.  It was in the train station.  It was called Crumbs.  I brought them home with every intention of sharing them with my fellow cupcake-loving friends, Emily and Karolina.  They didn’t even last 20 minutes once I got on the train. I ate half of one for “pre-dinner” and the other 1.5 after actual dinner.  Andrew helped. But not much.

cupcakefriends_n                                             These are my friends who like cupcakes. And wine.

When I die, I want to be buried in Crumbs’ cupcakes.  They were THAT good. 

I wonder if they ship….OH MY GOD, THEY DO! 

I’m done for.


In other news, I registered for the Broad Street Run. Again.  Maybe this year I won’t fall off my front steps and sprain both my ankles 3 weeks before the race.



There are no safety guarantees in my life, as my friends know well.  Every minute I spend uninjured is just one minute closer I come to actually being injured.  My friend Kate once said, “We are always prepared with you, Oot.  Every time we hang out there’s always the chance we might go to the emergency room. In fact, we kind of expect it.”  And she would know, because (somehow) she is the one who has ended up with me in the ER the most.  Oh the stories she will tell my kids.

I’m not embarrassed. Its who I am and we have all learned to cope  with it. Except Andrew. It still really annoys him.  He doesn’t think “accident prone” is attractive.  I can’t imagine why.  Who doesn’t want to bang a cute girl with nice legs in a short skirt (wearing an ankle brace and scabs on her knees)?

So THIS year, I really want to run the race. Like, finish it and not die and then go drink beer immediately afterwards.  So I’m trying hard not to get hurt.  I definitely overtrained for this race last year which is why a little fall turned into a HUGE injury for me. I mean, I’m usually covered in bruises and I trip a lot, but I don’t ALWAYS end up in bed for 5 days.  That only happens maybe once every other year.

So, this year I actually put together a real life training schedule, complete with color coding. Its pretty fancy.  Its also a muuuch slower workup in distance than  I attempted last year.  And it incorporates some speedwork, crosstraining and yoga.

Oh yoga, how I’ve missed thee.  

I took a late class at my gym on Tuesday.  I had looow (low, low, low) expectations, because I feel like gyms aren’t the best place for yoga: they’re loud and have flourescent lighting and its usually hard to focus and most times the rooms aren’t even private.  Yoga is always best practiced in a studio, in my opinion.  A lot of the experience of yoga is the setting in which its done, so it makes sense to do it in a space that its made for.

But anyway.

I went and it was a very full class, even at 8pm.  I am NEVER in the gym at 8pm so I had no idea how many people work out that late at night.  A LOT of people work out that late, in case you were wondering.

So we were kind of crammed in in the spinning room, in front of all the bikes and there wasn’t enough yoga blocks for everyone but it worked out.  The teacher closed the door and lit a candle and put on a nice soft light instead of the flourescents.  It wasn’t the perfect setting but it was a good improvisation.  Basically, she was just an amazing instructor.  She made sure every position was correct and walked everyone through every pose.  There were 2 people in the class who had never even done yoga before, and they were able to follow her and actually enjoy the class. It was just the right mix of challenging, stretching and relaxing. 

I am definitely going back.  I even modified my training schedule to include it.  I think it will be really helpful in preventing injuries, while also helping build strength without lifting heavy weights, which I don’t like to do while I’m running a lot because I hate running when I’m sore.

I guess this post wasn’t really all about yoga.



                                        This is my family. By Andrew.


Grace                                   This is my niece. She is the coolest. EVER.

CIMG3430                                                    We both wear our sunglasses at night.

winterbeer                                                                              This is Saturday.

cookies                                This is proof I have always been a dessert lover/fat girl.

bed                                              This is what my dog did to my mattress topper.

award                                                   This is the award I won for work. Modified.

CIMG3497                                                                      This is the love of my life.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Here We Go Now, Here We Go Now..

Ahhh, another new year! I love how they start out all shiny and well intended and then by March, everyone is back to their same old attitudes and habits and grumblings about the world. (If you don’t believe me, ask the people who own your gym.)

There’s something so divinely human in it all.  The half-assed attempts to improve one’s life coupled with the reality that it takes work and commitment and then the inevitable settling for lazy mediocrity.  So gorgeously human. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with it.  Mediocrity definitely has it’s pros.  Its just so predictable. And I guess it bums me out sometimes.

Its why I don’t make resolutions. They just strike me as contrived.  I like to think that (with the assistance of my husband) my life is a constant work in progress, that we are always striving (most days) to do better, connect more, set goals, finish projects, feel deeply, think profoundly.  Part of that is the nature of marriage, and part of it is the combination of what is important to us as individuals. Except the days when we’re hungover, obviously.  For Christmas, my stepmom gave us a book called The Book of Awakening.  Its 365 short passages and meditations on life and self and all that good stuff.   We’ve been making a point of reading a passage each night before bed.  Sometimes the passages lead to deeper conversation, sometimes not.  But it is a nice way to connect each day, in a way that is a tiny bit more meaningful than “how was your day?” and “what do you want for dinner?”

This year, and all years forthcoming, I want to really focus on being present.  I get so distracted (because its basically impossible not to) with work, emails, the internet, errands, family, pets, commitments, that I don’t really ever take time to stop and smell the roses.  I’m always rushing.  And when I rush, I fall or get hurt, or run into things.  Its a really great metaphor, actually, for me.  The more I rush, the longer it ends up taking me to do things in the long run.  If I take the time to consider my moves, my strategy, my game plan…and perhaps if I didn’t procrastinate so much (who said that?), I might not NEED to rush.

And I think its a good thing to be overall: present.  I’d hate to look back and realize all the things I didn’t take the time to stop and enojy. 

We are all blessed.  All of us, in different ways.  Even those among us who struggle the most, who are homeless or poor or hungry, can still point to their blessings.  My hope is that as you (we) tackle this new year and all the challenges and excitement that will come with it, we remember to be present.  And to not just acknowledge our blessings, but to USE them in gratitude.


Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.
W. T. Purkiser

We are very fortunate, indeed.

Happy 2011, friends!