Friday, September 25, 2009

Back in the Game

Ahhhh. It's so nice to be over feeling awful. I so seldom get sick that when I do I feel really horrible. I usually don't get down for too long, though, which is always nice. I've bounced back pretty good from being sick last week. I did take more time off from running than I wanted to, but I figured I'd be better off by taking a few more days than pushing it and not getting better quicker. I got back at it this morning, only two miles, but that's okay. I'll work my way back to where I was.

My favorite season began a couple of days ago. I love fall. The trees changing, the temps falling, the air taking on a musky smell urge me to just sit back and relax. I find I do seem to slow down, pay more attention to what's going on around me. The pumpkins are ready to be set on the front porch. The yellow mums are bright in the gray light of the rainy days. Doesn't get much better than this.

I'm getting things ready for my second charity dinner. My first dinner was last fall, when the priest of our church challenged us to take a hundred dollars and make it multiply, with all the proceeds going to those in need in Appalachia. I took on the challenge and found I love doing this kind of thing. My friends and family joined us for an evening of soup, bread, and wine, and when it was all over, we had raised over $800 to send to Appalachia. This year, since the dinner isn't directly connected to church, we're asking our guests to bring a bag of groceries that we will deliver to Clare House, an organization that helps feed those in need right here in our community. I have a little over a month to get everything in place for the dinner, which I hope is even better than last year's. This go around, a good friend is going to sing for us. She has the most beautiful voice. Another friend is painting a watercolor for me, and we'll raffle this off, with the proceeds going to Clare House. I hope to convince another friend to play his guitar for us, allowing us to enjoy his music. Hopefully the dinner will be as successful as last year's.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I need to get on the invitations. I already sent out the save the date, so everyone invited knows about the dinner. I just need to send out the official invitations. Since I'm making them myself, I need to get on it. I have parts of them finished. Today would be a good day to complete them all the way around. I could then get them in the mail by Monday.

Sounds like a plan.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Down and Out

A nasty cold took hold of me on Sunday and hasn't let go since. I've been going to work until today, when I was on my way but could barely keep my eyes open to drive. I figured it was time to cave and just stay home. The world certainly isn't going to stop because I can't make one day of classes. And I certainly wasn't doing myself any favors by trying to go on like I'm 100%. I tell my students to stay home if they are coughing and sneezing, so I took my own advice and confined myself to bed for the day. I slept until almost 2. When I woke up and saw what time it was, I was stunned. I knew I was feeling completely worn down, and I knew I hadn't been sleeping much at all for the last three nights, but I didn't expect to go back to bed this morning and sleep for six hours straight. It's amazing to me how our bodies try to tell us, but we don't listen most of the time. I'm feeling quite a bit better now, thanks to uninterrupted sleep.

Maybe I'm now on the mend. I sure hope so. I don't like not having the energy to do the things I love to do. I haven't run since Saturday, and now I'm beating myself up for not getting some mileage in. It's going to be a long road back to where I was before getting this bug. At least it looks like I don't have the dreaded H1N1 flu, or just the flu in general, but maybe I should knock on wood just to have a little extra magical protection.

Now, I think I'll go read the book I downloaded onto my kindle the other day. I saw Thirty Days of Night recently and saw that it was originally a graphic novel. I enjoyed the movie very much, and since I'm waiting very impatiently for the next Sookie Stackhouse book, I thought I'd check out the Thirty Days of Night books. The first one, which isn't the book the movie is based on, starts after the end of Thirty Days of Night. So far it's good and I'm enjoying it. I think I've found a series to keep me interested until the new Sookie book comes out in May.

I guess one good thing comes from feeling puny--being able to sit back and enjoy a good read.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Working on My Mind

I finally did it. I ran three whole miles without walking at all. And I've done this more than once now. I even ran five miles the other day. I'm finding that once I get the first half mile in I sort of fall into a zone. It may be a slow zone, but I get there and keep going for the three miles. I know I can now complete a 5k, and this makes me want to go to work on bettering my time. My friends laugh at my time--12 minute miles--but it's a start. By November, when the 5k is, hopefully I can bring it down to around 30 minutes. I know my daughter will push me since she's faster, so maybe I could even get lower than 30. That would be great.

Being able to get my mind into the mix has been a long time coming. I'm getting there, though, and for that I'm happy.

Updated mileage ticker:

Monday, September 7, 2009


Only three yards separate him from the goal line
where if he can get the ball across,
his team will gain two points, and be in a fine
position to hand the other team their second loss
of the yet still young season.

He's called The Beast by his teammates, being
taller, heavier, a mostly-grown bull amongst calves.
His usual position is on the line, right guard, steaming
foward when he hears the call, cutting in halves
two defenders double teaming.

But on this play, this very special play known
as Jumbolicious, he's off the line, now a fullback
who receives the ball, hopefully carrying it to the endzone,
battling enemies determined to crack
his armour, tear him down, leave him prone.

His comrades crouch low, ready to spring to action,
pushing, shoving, opening a hole
for The Beast to crash through; his cleats find traction
on the close-cut grass, and he rolls
toward the white line, seeking satisfaction.

Fingers clutch at his jersey, pulling him
left, pulling him right, but head down,
ball tight to his chest, face grim,
he moves foward, focused on the crown
that will be his.

He is The Beast working Jumbolicious.

This is for my son who plays football. Initially I was hesitant to let him play, but now that he is in his second season and I see the positives that have come from him playing, I see the value of being a part of this sport. Yes, it is somewhat violent, but my son is still the easy-going, gentle giant we've always known. He's found out he's pretty good at this game, and I love the confidence that's grown in him from being good. This confidence has carried over into other parts of his life, and for that I am grateful.

An Almost Insatiable Desire

That's what I've been feeling for some time now about writing. The problem? I'm not writing. Why? Everytime I sit down to try and churn something out, nothing actually comes out. How can it be that the kind of want I'm feeling exists but nothing comes of it?

So, instead, I've been reading lots of different works: Emerson, Whitman, Tolle and others. I feel like there is so much out there to learn about and not near enough time to learn it all. Part of me thinks perhaps I'm not meant to be a writer. After all, I am forty-five years old now, and if it were meant to be, wouldn't I have already written something worthwhile? Another part of me says age shouldn't be a factor; lots of successful writers didn't make it until after mid-life. It comes down to persistance. Which is it?

I'm not ready to give up, which I think is a good sign. I'm going to keep chipping away at it until I either write something that is deemed worthy or another five years goes by with nothing being the end result. Maybe at that point I'll admit I'm not a writer. Maybe.

Until then, I'm going to yield to the insatiable desire I'm feeling and look at it as yielding to a beautiful, persistant lover.