It Runs In The Family

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It’s true. It runs in the family. We look like contortionists when we sleep. And it’s not just the females in the family. My father does it, too. Maybe my daughter & I got this unusual flexibility from him. When I was a kid, I remember watching Saturday morning cartoons like this except my left leg was bent too with my left foot propped up against my right hip bone.

When we sit on the couch or at the kitchen table, instead of sitting with our feet flat on the floor, we’re sitting sort of Indian style but our right leg is flipped over the left instead of both feet tucked under. My father, my daughter and I all do this without giving it a thought. Maybe we should have tried out for Cirque du Soleil?

Daily Prompt: Tardypants and the Pickle Guy

via Daily Prompt: Tardy

When my daughter and I walked through the doors of the gymnasium, the kids were warming up, practicing their serves and laughing. We were ten minutes early for volleyball clinic. Parents and their children kept trickling in after the designated start time of 6pm.  I was happy to be early. There were plenty of seats to choose from which was much better than arriving even ten minutes late and having to sit on the hard floor.  I don’t have much of a butt anymore with my diet change and training for a half marathon. It’s kind of strange for someone who’s never been lacking in that department.

As I was watching the girls do sprints and run around the gym, my eyes scanned the room. Where was my neighbor friend Gina? She bailed on me. When she shows up tardy for volleyball practice, I’ll have to ask her if she got caught up talking to The Pickle Guy at the grocery store. That guy was unusually passionate about selling pickles. Don’t get me wrong… We enjoy pickles with our chips and sandwiches but he liked them so much he talked abt them everyday, all day for a living. It kind of makes me wonder if he secretly despises them at this point.  Or if he’s sick of being referred to as “The Pickle Guy” like I am when people call me “The Signing Lady”.

 

 

Why Do You Run?

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I run because it makes me feel alive

Because I love proving to myself that I can beat my personal time

Because I like to sweat

And I like to feel sore from the hard work

And I like to succeed at doing something that wasn’t easy

Because it feels so exhilarating that I didn’t quit

Because it beats out the stress

And it helps me to enjoy the simpler things when it’s time to rest

And I need that tangible success

I run because it helps me believe I can make it through anything

Because I’m a warrior when I run

Because I prove to myself the fight is still in me when I’m sick

And I believe I can be cured if I live life with a healthy frame of mind

And I know that God is by my side giving me strength to persevere as I unwind

I run because it makes me feel alive

Because He died so I could live life abundantly, not like something in me has died.

 

 

Having Fun And Staying Active In The Winter Months

 

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Every year, during the winter season, I feel that pull to start staying indoors more and go out less.  Especially when the short days of winter begin.  Most of us are effected by it.  Right around 5 o’clock, it’s so dark outside my body feels like it’s almost time for bed and it shocks me that all I want to do is put on pajamas and curl up on the couch. I’m typically a pretty active person. All summer long and into the fall, I’m out and about either working or taking my daughter on fun excursions and in search of new adventures.  Suddenly it begins getting dark at 4 and my body physiologically feels the difference.  It’s kind of an amazing phenomenon when you think about it. So what do you do when you feel this way? Do you succumb to the overwhelming urge to just lay down and do nothing?  Do you force yourself to do a few odds and ends around the house and then lay down to relax? Maybe you do that in the beginning and then decide you have to fight this slothful feeling and find ways to energize yourself despite the lack of sunlight.

This year, the time change really seemed to hit me worse than other years.  I was really feeling unmotivated by the time I got home from work.  I decided to leave things where they were instead of making the place immaculate.  I started liking the way it looked to leave my projects out with balls of lacing thread lined up on my bookshelf in varying colors, a pair of scissors, a yarn needle, pencils and crochet hooks popping out the tops of the thread like it was a pin cushion. My handwritten snowflake and earring patterns could be found stuffed underneath.  All of our scrapbooking supplies with a Shutterfly envelope stuffed full of pictures sat stacked on top of a small table near the couch. I’d leave the dishes in the sink for a couple days or put off getting to all of the mail at once.  These weren’t things I’d do as much before the time change, but I realized I just needed to ease into the season and rest more than usual until I got used to it.  I’ve talked to other people about the effects of the time change and a lot of people have said they feel more tired than previous years. Maybe we’re getting old?

Now, that I’ve had time to adjust, I’ve been finding more exciting ways to get out to do new things and make fun memories with my daughter, family & friends.  Before Christmas, we made plans to go to NYC with a close friend and explore the city during Christmas time.  Occasionally, I work out there and I love walking back to Grand Central Station at night after work.  I have a new appreciation for Christmas window displays at Macy’s and just how beautifully decorated everything is. I love the Christmas lights, the wreaths and walking through Bryant Park at night to watch the ice skaters and to just take in the view of happy people enjoying themselves. For all those reasons, I decided this year that I wanted to wander around and share these special things with people I loved. It was cold out and somehow that made it even more fun. We went to Saks Fifth Avenue, saw St. Patrick’s Cathedral all decorated for Christmas–it was the first time seeing that for each of us, we accidentally walked passed Trump Towers–not realizing until we saw a female police officer dressed in full riot gear with a huge gun almost the same height as her.  We milled around the inside of the Rockefeller Center, not knowing NBC records the news & the Today Show there or that it was built like a mall with lots of interesting stores and places to eat.  Really, we saw and did so much while we were there and it was all a blast.  Even stopping at a Starbucks to get coffee and a lemonade for my daughter was so much more fun to do than in upstate NY because it was different than our everyday routines.  Really, going out to try different things or to share things you love with people who are important to you breathes more life into your soul. So, what else have I gone out to do that may help you to think of things that you can do to get more into that happy frame of mind?

Exercise, especially running or cardio strength training, helps me to get a little spunk back.  I started tracking my runs with an app called Runtopia last July.  Again, since the dark days of winter started, I’ve been feeling less desire to workout.  Yesterday, I was feeling apprehensive and I knew I needed to get back on my treadmill to pound out the stress. Part of what got me on that treadmill was remembering the endorphin release when I run and part of it was that I thought it would be really cool to do one last run for 2017 and record it with Runtopia.  Let me tell you, it helped me to feel so much better. God knows what we need and He gave us exercise to keep us healthy mentally & physically.  Did you know that exercise is the most potent and underutilized antidepressant? And it’s free… I read this meme posted on Instagram and I said to myself, “Amen! That is so true!”

Something else that helps is starting new traditions that you love so much you would rather do them than sit on the couch. Particularly, something that challenges you in a way that you enjoy because you have fun, you impress yourself with your ability to do it and it comes with a great reward that is healthy for your mind, body and soul.  Last, New Year’s Day, my daughter and I bundled ourselves up to go hiking up a mountain that was mostly vertical.  This year, we made a tradition out of it and went back again to start our year out with an adventure. Wow, we forgot how breathless this climb would be!  We invited someone special to come with us this time and we got the cardio endurance work out of the year.  This time we went with ice cleats on our boots and made it to the top much faster.  The view, the feat and the fact that we made it to the top was so uplifting.  We were all smiling despite our sore legs.  And we learned some great things from that hike like how to work as a team, to look out for each other in order to keep each other safe, outdoor survival skills, how to have fun in the cold and to be prepared for anything.  Traditions like this build great relationships and give us more things we can look forward to doing as a family.  They make great memories and definitely help me to stay active in the winter.  If you want to chase away the winter blues and start laughing more again, I encourage you to try out some of these ideas.

 

Disheveled

I woke up this morning to the screaming of my house phone.  I didn’t know what was happening as my dreams were fighting with reality and I was struggling to figure out which was which.  As I scrambled off the couch, I worked hard to figure out where the phone was as I simultaneously tried to keep my balance.  I was so sick I thought I was going fall over.  My body was wet with perspiration, my head & face hurt, I was coughing like an old woman with emphysema and I still had body aches.  When I found the phone, I was more happy to stop the ringing than I was to find out who was calling.

It turned out to be my father on the other line, checking in to see how I was doing and if I was going to work today.  It was 8 o’clock. Why hadn’t my alarm gone off? The night before, I had asked my daughter to turn my alarm on. She had some trouble with it so I went in to check that the right time was set for it to wail.  It wasn’t the right time so I fixed it but I didn’t look to see if she had mistakenly changed the current time.. Ahhh…that’s what went wrong.  Note to self, I need to teach my 10 year old how to use an alarm clock. Preferably when I’m not deliriously sick.  Thank God, her Grandpa was willing to drop her off at school.  Thank God, I have such supportive parents.

As I started making her sandwich, Makayla told me in her chipper way, “I thought I wanted to stay home to take care of you today, but I’m really happy I’m going to school! I’m really happy I’m going to school for 2 reasons! Do you wanna know what they are?! One, it’s Manny Monday, that means my class gets to see a new picture of baby Manny on the Classroom Dojo that Mrs. Ruiz sends. Also, I won’t miss the next chapter in Wonder that Mrs. Pelaz is going to read and on Monday we do a craft. OH! And we have PE today!”

“I’m so glad you have such great teachers and that you love the things you’re doing in school.  You’re kinda making me wish I was in the fifth grade again, ” I chuckled, not mentioning that she actually gave me 4 fantastic reasons to go to school.  Her joy and excitement was so contagious, I couldn’t help but give her a kiss on her forehead and a side-ways hug. She has the amazing ability to make me smile and remember the lovable things about life even when I’m sick.