Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A little lost

When at a loss for words, I call on Thoreau:
"It is so mild and moist as I saunter along by the wall east of the Hill that I remember, or anticipate, one of those warm rain-storms in the spring, when the earth is just laid bare, the wind is south, and the cladonia lichens are swollen and lusty with moisture, your foot sinking into them and pressing the water out as from a sponge, and the sandy places also are drinking it in. You wander indefinitely in a beaded coat, wet to the skin of your legs, sit on moss-clad rocks and stumps, and hear the lisping of migrating sparrows flitting amid the shrub oaks, sit long at a time, still, and have your thoughts. A rain which is as serene as fair weather, suggesting fairer weather than was ever seen. You could hug the clods that defile you. You feel the fertilizing influence of the rain in your mind. The part of you that is wettest is fullest of life, like the lichens. You discover evidences of immortality not known to divines. You cease to die. You detect some buds and sprouts of life. Every step in the old rye-field is on virgin soil."
Strange how today's entry echos the thoughts of my mind. Serendipitous to find exactly what I needed at this moment.

Oh how rain is comforting in sorrow. How it soothes the turmoil.

My year has not started sweetly. Papa passed. Our apartment is moldy. Little Monster may have a social/learning disability (do not yet jump to conclusions or call me concerned, I'll let you know if there's any cause for concern. Right now I'd rather not talk about it, just write it out to ease my mind).

The trip to visit Papa was bitter-sweet. I was so glad that I decided to go and make it for my grandparent's 70th anniversary, but it was hard to see Granny cry the following day as Papa told her he was ready to go. I had never seen her cry before. That was the last day he was awake. Tuesday night he slept and did not wake. Friday night he left this life. Perhaps to a better one? It's hard for me to say one way or another about what happens once we leave this earth. Do we cease to exist? Do we continue on in another realm? Do we return as another life? Every religion has a different belief. My grandparents believe in life after death. Of eternal glory in heaven. This made his passing easier, for sure. But I really don't know what I think about life after death. Does there have to be anything else? Why do we have to have something else? Why can't this be it?
During my visit I was able to connect with various members of my family. I've felt so disconnected from my family for so long, it was nice to feel like I belonged again.

The last day of my trip I spent driving around to old familiar places. The perfect song played as I drove up to my grandparent's old house. I took my time to cry, took a picture, and moved on. I decided to visit the last place I remember spending time with my grandmother before she died when I was 8. It was rainy, the ground was moist (similar to Thoreau's description), and it was beautiful.

I returned from my trip and went dress-shopping for Jenn's wedding. I needed the distraction. Jenn's dress is fabulous and it's so perfect for her. All of us gasped when she walked out, it really is perfect for her. All of us bride's maids ended up with the same style dress, and for a fantastic price. I'll need mine fitted a bit, but I like it.

Three days later I returned home from work to find mold in my apartment. This apartment has been one problem after another. We're moving. Mr. B is putting in our notice tomorrow and we'll be out by the 1st. I'm terrified. We've been staying with some good friends about 20 minutes out of town, they've been very generous and it's worked out perfectly since their car died the night after we got here and we've been coordinating cars. I am very thankful that they have allowed us a place to stay and glad that we're able to do something for them in return.

Mr. B & I started school yesterday/today. We each have 3 online classes, 2 of which we're taking together, and Mr. B has 2 additional classes. I'm excited. I'm nervous. But mostly excited.

This next week is going to be extremely stressful and busy with school, work, and moving so quickly.

I am proud to report that I have been sticking with my gluten-free diet, and I have tried to spend at least 5 minutes every day completely to myself in relaxation. My other goals? Well, now that school has started I've learned something new every day. And I REALLY need to get to work on my exercising and training for that marathon. I need to talk to the girls, I think we planned to meet every Thursday after work for a walk. I'll have to verify that. I sure could use the exercise and company. After things settle down I'll work on finding out what kind of carbs I can get from a GF diet.

To be perfectly honest, now that school has started I don't know if I will update this very frequently. I feel bad for my fellow "Resolution Project" members, but I need to keep my goals in check. I will continue on, but I may not publish all of my endeavors.

Until next time...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lie is Death

death /dɛθ/ Show Spelled Pronunciation      [deth]  (Show IPA) 

  • the act of dying; the end of life; the total and permanent cessation of all the vital functions of an organism 
  • an instance of this: a death in the family; letters published after his death. 
  • the state of being dead: to lie still in death.
  • extinction; destruction: It will mean the death of our hopes.

Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation.  For they are us, our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life.  ~Albert Einstein

Death never takes the wise man by surprise; He is always ready to go.  ~Jean de La Fontaine

He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man.  ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Death is beautiful when seen to be a law, and not an accident - It is as common as life.  ~Henry David Thoreau, 11 March 1842, letter to Ralph Waldo Emerson

And my two personal favorites:

As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well used brings happy death.  ~Leonardo da Vinci

Death is the only pure, beautiful conclusion of a great passion.
- D. H. Lawrence

Papa passed away last night.
I'll miss him... but it is a relief that it's over.
No more waiting. No more nights at the hospital.

Tomorrow I make the long drive home. Back to the real world.

Just thinking about life and death.
Death is easier to handle when you remember that it's just a part of life.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Re: Morningstar's Blog "About Me"

Morningstar posed a fantastic question: "How does one write a 'about me'?"

I always get stuck with that as well. What do you say?
You try to make yourself sound interesting (at least, interesting enough to read) and try to leave out all your bad qualities--remember the proverb "don't cry stinking fish"?

(click to view larger, or... you can look at the whole book here)

So, following Jenn's formula, here is a list of words/phrases that I feel best describes me.

Quiet. Not-quite-young-but-not-quite-old. Slender. Big eyes. Big smile. Awkward. Surprising. Random. Flexible. Emotional. Obsessive. Anxious. Busy. P.M. (Perpetual Motion). Quick. Bright. Patient. Soft spoken. Recoils from criticism, even constructive criticism, but willing to learn. Over achiever (but I only compete against myself). Determined. Compassionate. Attentive. Wife. Mother. Sister. Daughter. Funny. Retrained. Loves art & nature. Happy? Loves music & books. Withdrawn/alienated, but desires to feel connected. Loves words. Loves learning. Loves new things. Apprehensive.

How would you describe me?

Looking back and moving forward...

2009 was a rough year for me.
I started it thinking "anything has to be better than 2008," and while 2009 was full of turbulence, I feel a lot of good was accomplished.

I'm not going to go month by month in detail, but here are a few highlights from the year (positive only, the negative is left behind):
  •  Became friends with my baby sister.
  • Little Monster started Kindergarten.
  • Mr B's graduation!!! (seeing each other after 5 months was HUGE for all of us)
  • Trip to St Louis & Denver.
  • Financial Recovery.
  • Personal independence/confidence.

2010 has a lot in store for me. I'll just have to wait and see exactly how it will all work out.

Here's a brief list of things that are happening or that I'd like to happen this year:
  • Switch to a completely gluten-free diet.
  • Go back to school (Mr B & I both)- January 2010.
  • March for Babies - April 2010. (anyone with me?)
  • Little Monster graduates kindergarten - June 2010.
  • Trip to Panama - Summer 2010.
  • San Francisco Marathon with Mr B - July 2010.
  • MR B's & My 8 Year Anniversary - July 19, 2010.
  • Little Monster starts 1st Grade - July or August 2010.

What are your plans/goals for 2010?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Day #3, #4, #5

With the news about my grandfather I haven't done much towards the Resolution Project.
The extent of my participation has been limited to meditation/relaxation.

Today I spent most of my lunch hour journaling.
It occurred to me that I have limited experiences with death. My grandparents (on dad's side) when I was young, my uncle when I was in my teens. That's it.

Last Saturday I was listening to NPR; they were talking about death. The commentator was telling his story and how he was dealing with death. It seems most people have difficulty figuring out how to deal with someone passing.
Yesterday I started watching the first season of "Dead Like Me" yesterday, which was a different perspective.

I'm not quite sure what I believe happens when someone dies, but that's not really important to me. I mean, when they're dead they're dead--nothing can change that. But it's those left behind.

When I called my mom this evening she told me that the hospital was working on moving Papa to a bigger bed so that Granny could stay with him. I can't imagine how she must feel right now. My grandparents' 70th anniversary is on Monday. She knows he's ready to go, but her heart must ache. I remember watching 'Up' and weeping at the beginning, not crying, but weeping. When I finally had Mr. B watch it last week, he reacted the same way.

Mr. B & I made a plan when we first got married that when we got old we would die together in his sleep. He'd be driving us somewhere and fall asleep and then we'd run off the road and die together. It sounds horrible, but I'd rather we went together than to have to live without each other. We've actually had quite a few conversations about how to accomplish this together. Morbid, but you have to plan ahead. But this pact is only valid when we get old. If one of us die before we're old the other is stuck. We joke, but it's how we deal with hard situations like this. I remember my parents used to joke about who the other would marry when the other died (usually celebrities).

An old man recently said that after years of marriage the passion dies down, but that the passion is replaced by a love and a need for the other person that keeps you together. I'd like to think though that it's not just a need, but a desire. I'd like to think that it's not just a fear of being alone, but because you have excelled at being married. After all, the dictionary definition of 'married' states that to be married is to be "interconnected or joined; united" (check the Thesaurus).

I feel like this entry and my last entry were disjointed.
I apologize. It's late and I don't sleep well.
And with that... I'm off to sleep.

Monday, January 4, 2010


Yesterday I didn't do as much as I had hoped. I'm already behind today as well.
I managed to get sick and it's really kicking my butt (after I took Little Monster to school this morning I went back to bed and slept until noon), but also last night I got a downer email from my mom.

In April my grandfather (Papa) was diagnosed with lymphoma... Mr B & I were on our way to visit the family when we got the news. He's had chemo since then, which I thought was going well, but I'll be honest and say I really don't know if the cancer was progressing or dying from the chemo.

My mom said that my grandmother had to call 9-1-1 and have an ambulance take him to the hospital. He's been getting confused and having problems speaking, but they're not sure how much of that is related to a sleeping aid that they gave him. He asked for all of my aunts to come and be with him... so the last of them arrived yesterday. I wish I could take off and go, but in some ways I guess I just want to wait and see what happens... especially since I'd have to take a couple days off work and take Little Monster out of school. I also don't want to see Papa the way he is now... maybe that's selfish, I just don't know if I could handle that. He's always been very strong, lively, and together and I don't know if I could see him so weak and disoriented. So here I am, conflicted about whether I should just go... or just wait and see what happens. I wish these kind of decisions were easier.

I've been putting off today's items long enough... time to go get busy.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Day #2

Today was my work-out rest day.
Eventually I will figure out how to work Cross-Fit into my everyday routine.

Today I made myself something pretty:

It took 2 hours... but that was because I kept changing my mind about the pattern.
The exciting part is that this perfectly matches two dresses that I bought at the beginning of November. When I wore them I was a little disappointed that I had nothing to wear with them, and now I do! I just don't know when I'll wear the dresses again.

Oh crap. I just realized I made a mistake in the pattern. Do you see the bars towards the top of the necklace? Those should be the next section down. *sigh*

Take 5...

I think I can sleep now.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Day #1

I went to the gym for a half hour.

10 minutes on the StairMaster/Bike thing...
10 minutes on the treadmill...

I need to remember to hydrate all week so that I can work on keeping my heart rate down.
If I could keep my heart rate down I think I could run all day.

I spent 2 minutes before, 2 minutes in-between, and 2 minutes after stretching.

Time to scale it down a bit...

I was a little over ambitious when I wrote my goals.

Being gluten-free is a must, I can't skimp on that. Reflection/meditation time is a must as well.
The other two? Those are interchangeable. I only need to do ONE of those each day.

Today... my goal is to go down to the gym and run on the treadmill for a half hour. I'll just have Little Monster bring something to do.

Originally Mr. B & I were planning to run in a marathon this year, but I kept getting sick, and Mr. B's work schedule kept changing and we haven't had time to train. So I figure if I start by running on the Treadmill I should be good. I need to work on keeping my heart rate down. I think I could run all day once I figure that out.
Last night one of my friends reminded me that there is supposed to be a half marathon in May this year, and the marathon Mr. B wants us to run is July 25th.

This will be my new exercise program. Eventually I hope to work-out every day.

This last week has been pretty amazing. I've gotten to spend a lot of extra time with Mr. B & Little Monster. We had a quiet Christmas at home, Little Monster & I went ice-skating with some friends on Saturday, Mr. B & I saw Avatar in 3D on Sunday, last night we went out with friends and then came home and put Little Monster to bed... then we stayed up until 5 am looking at pictures of when he was a baby as well as photos from when Mr. B was gone this summer. It was nice. Then today Little Monster & I went for a walk at our favorite park.

I couldn't have asked for a better week.

But now I'm off to get some lunch for my boy and I... I think we're having peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.