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Everything you need to know about running and life and any other random crap I find bouncing through my mind like a ping pong ball. And always be sure your shoes are happy.

Archive for the tag “resolution”

WHERE have you BEEN??

Ah, wait.  That’s me that’s been missing.

Sorry there, Boy and Girl, deepest heartfelt apologies and all that blather.  Kinda lost focus and direction for a while.

Wait.  Let’s look at this another way.  I refocused and recommitted.  Rather than New Year “Resolutions” I prefer the term New Year “Recommitments”.  Like many, as the year wanes I look back:  what I hoped to achieve, how I went about it, were the goals met?  If so, how?  If not, why?

I started 2013 the same way I am starting 2014 – injured.  My goals for the year were a marathon and a 50K, working up to 58K spring 2014.  Hubs wisely refrained from arguing with a brick wall and said nothing of the loftiness of those goals in view of the fact I’d run about three times in the past three months.

The goal should probably have been to get healthy, but I didn’t know how since I didn’t know what was wrong, I only knew pain.  And I was trying to get better, I just didn’t know how.  BRFF “Becky” found Dr. W who was a huge help on the journey, and I kept moving in the right direction, albeit with a few side jaunts.  As I repeatedly discover, you do learn something new nearly every day.  It may only be that you were wrong again, but, heck – learned, right?  A year later I know that it was not a matter of doing things wrong, it was a matter of time for things to come together.  I’m very hopeful that what I’ve learned and the places and people I’ve been led to are a solid part of the solution.  That, and a bit more time.  Thank God I’m at peace, for today, at taking a bit more time.

Two days ago I ran a total of 25 minutes easy, with walk breaks and adding 5 minute walking w/u c/d for a total of 35 minutes/3 miles – the first time I’d run outside exactly 10 weeks.  I’d done a mile or two on the treadmill a couple times earlier in the week.  I figured that was safest, if anything happened I wouldn’t be half a mile from home.  Well, actually I would, I’d be further – at the Center – but I’d have the car, right?  I can hop to the car.  I’d look like an idiot, of course.

“Oh, look at that lady hoping down the hallway on one foot.”

“Well, Madge, maybe it’s a new fitness routine.  Let’s check the schedule.”

“I don’t think we should, Maude, the ‘girls’ would be flopping mightily.”

“True, Madge, true.  We could get a concussion.”

So, I ran.  It was glorious.  Bright shiny day, cold, breezy, I ran my favorite route looking at the skeletal trees, leaves thick on the ground, the drainage stream crisply frozen on the edges.  Running slowly I looked up at the beautifully twisted bare branches making sculpture against the bright sky, sharp curling grey-ish shapes against the dazzling blue.  This is really why I do it.  All those horrible hot days, the runs that feel like I’m slogging through mud, the days I feel like my head and body are not even connected, there is no communication, legs or lungs go on strike singly or in unison, those days are for this day, completely aware of life surrounding me, enveloping me, fully alive in this living breathing world.

Pride goeth before a fall. And after.

I was really pretty proud of myself.  I’m disappointed now, of course, but then I disappoint myself more than I make myself proud so I’m used to that.

But, then I considered the fact that I’d lasted much longer than I expected so I felt rather proud again.  Not really, really proud like, Oh, Look, I did an Ironman.  Or like Oh, Look, I invented something that will save lives.  More like, Oh, Look, I managed to not kick a kitten.

JUST KIDDING I would not kick a kitten.  You know, unless it got right in front of my foot when I was walking and I didn’t see it and it sailed through the air by accident, so I think that should not count.  Plus she’s just fine.  She’s like three years old now and still shows no adverse effects and also she was so damn tiny, I really did not see her.

I was so committed to being rational and patient, too.  I practiced thinking patient rational things.  I said them out loud to other people.  “Well, I’m just going to look at this as my reset button.”  “I’ll just wait until January and go back to the beginning.”  “This is probably a good thing to happen.  Maybe I’ve finally figured out the cause of all the issues.”

And I meant it.  I really did.  I listened to me talking and watched my brain, and brain was nodding in agreement.  Brain was all zen and calm and agreeing with everything we said.  I thought, wow, I’m actually calm.  I’m being calm and focused and not letting this upset me, and I felt proud of myself.

The thing that frustrates me, among about 10,000,000 other things, is that I suspect there are some people out there that never threw their boot across the room mentioning its very questionable parentage.

Pride goeth before a fall.

Yesterday  morning I thought, Oh, look, I’ve had this @#$%& – @#&(‘ing boot since Thursday and it’s Monday which is going on five days and I didn’t throw it across the room yet.

Just in case you ever need to know, the damn things don’t break easily.  This is probably a good thing, though, since I don’t want to have to call the grumpy receptionist at the podiatrist’s and tell her I broke my foot and my boot, please ma’am may I have another? because the way she sighs on the phone the papers on the other lady’s desk probably blow all over in a whirlwind and you know that would be my fault also.  

Pride goeth after the fall too.

Monday Musings

I’m up and sitting here with nothing to do but mess around on the computer.   Actually, I’m lying.  I have plenty to do.  I could fold the clothes in the dryer.  AHAHAHAHAHA not.  Or vacuum.  At 5:30am hubs would love that, he can’t stand the sound of the vacuum at any time, I bet he’d really hate it as an alarm clock.  Load the dishwasher, but I’m kind of on strike with the dishwasher.  Actually I should probably load and run it about 5 times a day so it will break down faster and I can get a new one.  I hate this dishwasher – first world problem.  Finish the mess I started at 4pm yesterday – on a Sunday, WTH? – when I decided to clean both closets in my office.  I’ll post a pic, it’s not pretty.  I’m afraid I could lose a whole person in the mess.   But, no, here I sit, with my handmade mug from our trip to Telluride about, OMG, I think 16 years ago, full of hot steaming coffee, proof that God loves us and wants my family safe, to paraphrase Ben.

Chunker is a new girl.  We got home late Saturday and she was so sweet, not upset at all about our being gone.  She jumped on the counter and had to sniff my nose.  She’s so cute, she puts her little nose to mine so softly.  I  think it helped that #4 (the traitor) stayed here so she wasn’t alone 24/7.  She’s not good at that, I’ve been with her since she weighed 6.5 ounces and she kinda depends on the company.  Guess whenever I go out of town from now on Traitor, I mean, #4 child, will just have to take vacation days and come back to Memphis.  Murph T. Dog had to get a bath yesterday, either Traitor and his friends took him out on the boat or he rolled in something fine, either way he stank.  It’s so pathetic, he ran away from hubs, around the yard to the kitchen door, looking at me, face sad, ears drooping, tail tucked.  “Mom!  Save me!” but no, I turned him in to the Bath Police.  Afterward he’s so happy he literally bounces.  “I’m ALIVE!  I’m ALIVE!  Praise Jayzuss, I lived!”  Near Death Experience:  Flea Shampoo.

Every time I mention to one of my running buds that I’m on a goal to shave off a few pounds they do the whole big eyeball thing, Why do YOU want to lose weight??  Because I’m well over 40, in fact I was probably 40 when I got that coffee cup, and I’ve packed on a few pounds.  “They” say you put on 8-10 per decade if you don’t watch it.  I’m watching it, all right, and it’s getting easier to see.  At this rate, at 70, I’m going to be 30 pounds overweight and I’m not going to do it, this post explains why.  Anyway, I ordered one of those body fat scales from Amazon.  Looking into them and reading reviews online, you have to admit they are not perfect.  But using the scale every day at the same time will be a tool I can use.  It’s almost against my religion to use a scale, so this is a big step for me.  I’m anti-scale, I’m sorry, I’ve tried to be open minded but I hate the nasty lying little buggers.

Since I also love to eat food of nearly any kind other that Brussel Sprouts – and don’t either of you Faithful Followers Of My World Famous Blog try telling me you have a recipe that is so awesome I will turn into a Brussel Sprouts Lover, because it cannot happen, many have tried and many have failed, Brussel Sprouts and scales, I’m close minded – I mean, I LOVE to eat, just ask my trainer Cheryl, AKA Killer, who stares at me in wonder as I discuss at every session what I ate yesterday, what I’m going to eat tomorrow and maybe the next day, stopping only to be distracted by whatever speciality they are making on the morning news show on the TV on the wall.

The solution is trying to eat cleaner, and spending more calories.  I’m trying to limit impact from running right now, so I’ve turned to the bike, or spin class.  I’m a bike wimp. I use sissy pedals on a nice bike.  I can’t even find my bike shorts, but really those things are useless anyway, that little bit of padding is worthless as far as saving your butt from hurting.  They’re pretty good at making you walk funny and look like you have a full diaper, tho, if you’re into that.  So this morning I’m meeting some buds, we’re planning to do 10 slow and then ride.  We have a Greenline now and it’s all nearly connected.  Circling and then going out and back we can get in 27 miles.  Of course, we love to stop at a little place on the way and eat; I love this place, they have a Cuban sandwich on pannini that I dream about.  In fact I think I just started salivating.  I knew this all along, but didn’t implement it; biking is a fantastic compliment to running.  If I used the clips it would be even better, but after I fell off the bike – actually, I didn’t fall OFF the bike, I fell with the bike still attached to me – and found myself lying on the pavement looking at the truck tire that, had I fallen about three seconds earlier the passing truck would have driven over my head but was now safely a couple feet past me, I just can’t do it.  Too scared.  Chicken chicken chicken.  Lately I actually thought about riding in the front yard with clips and practicing falling on the grass.  Then it occurred to me what an idiot I would look like, an old lady riding her bike in circles in the front yard, falling over.  In daylight.  Sober.

So I’m off to load the bike, poor thing, humbled by its sissy pedals, silently and jealously watching all the other bikes with real, clip-in pedals, into Babs (my car has a name, it’s Babs) and head to the Farms.  HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY TO YOU ALL!

And to all who have served our country in any way, to their family and loved ones:  Thank you very much for all you’ve done so I can sit here and complain about my dishwasher in safety.  I mean that very sincerely.  You make our world safe.  Thank you.

Should I really have started this?  And – I put the Telluride mug on top of the box so you can see it :-)  HAPPY TRAILS -

Use it or Lose it – Really.

In March of this year MRTC hosted the 54th Annual RRCA Convention (Road Runners Club of America,  http://www.rrca.org/)  One feature of the annual convention is break-out sessions spread out over the two days of the event, with CE’s for certified coaches, information on timing systems, club communication, directing races, injury prevention, etc.  As co-director of the convention it was my goal to stop in at all 12 of the break-out sessions at some point for at least a few minutes.  I stepped into one session, however, and never left.  It was led by Ashley Hofeditz (a Memphis-based registered, licensed dietitian).  I never left and I ended up scribbling notes furiously on the back of my name tag, which I then, unfortunately, lost.  Since that session I’ve intended to try to contact Ashley and ask her for further information but had not gotten that done yet.

This morning I opened the paper and on the front page of the M Section was an article by Ms. Hofeditz about the very same subject.  It is incredibly fascinating and, I think, vitally important to everyone – not just runners or bikers or swimmers or whatever type athlete you might be – but even more vitally and life-sustaining  for anyone who is sedentary.

What stunned me about Ms. Hofeditz’s presentation at the convention was the information on lean muscle mass loss over the age of 30 and, much more importantly, the effect it has on the elderly who get sick.  I will link the entire article at the end of this blog, which I highly recommend everyone read, print, re-read and keep in their journal or wherever they put the information they want to review.  First, however, some highlights from the article (all italics mine):

- “Once we get into our 40s, we lose about 8 percent of our muscle mass every 10 years”

- “By age 70 this loss speeds up dramatically to around 15 percent loss of muscle every 10 years.”

- “…healthy elderly people were studied.  After 28 days of bed rest…the elderly…lost muscle fast, losing 10% of their muscle, and it took them only about 10 days to do so.”

- “Sickness and injury can accelerate muscle loss…the elderly, when hospitalized, can lose 10% or more of their muscle in only three days”

- “Half of all women over age 65 who fall and break a hip never walk again.” (how many of you are closer to 65 than 21??)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Ms. Hofeditz and Dr. Jonathan Ellen, stroke director at HealthSouth Rehab, then go on to explain the best ways to maintain the greatest possible lean muscle mass as we age, with proper nutrition and strength training being essential.  The article also explains in greater detail the types of exercise and dietary changes that will have the greatest effect on our health and strength as we age.

If we’re ‘lucky’ we’ve already implemented a fitness routine and are committed to eating healthy, no matter our current age.  Hearing Ms. Hofeditz speak, however, I realized that there are many tweaks I could make to be much more effective in my efforts and to make the time I spend working out more beneficial, in addition to making some changes to my diet (yuck.  Can we please, really, just eat coffee cake for breakfast?  please??  I put blueberries in it).  The earlier in life we get started, the better the foundation.  However — we must not use our age as an excuse.  No matter your age getting fit is commitment; it’s sweat and effort and time.  Of course as you age it gets a bit more difficult, a bit more uncomfortable and we can fall, perhaps even more easily, into using that as an excuse to do it tomorrow.

As I wrote just yesterday (here) it’s hard to keep going.  We get older, the kids grow up and leave home and we think we’re done.  Golden years.  Time to chillax.  Implement those changes in lifestyle we always intended but were too busy for.  Start walking.  Get a bike.  Go to that class at the gym.  But, no.  Along come the aging parents, the grandkids :-), work continues, and we stay just as busy.  Our resolutions to Get Fit once we “have time” never get realized.  And then we’re 55, and then we’re getting close to 60 – and now it’s not any fun at all.  Getting fit hurts at any age, but at 55 and 60 and definitely past that, the body starts to hurt even when you do nothing to it.  Your knee nags you.  Your back has that one kink in it that always flairs up.  You don’t want to sweat and breathe hard.  It’s uncomfortable.  You’re a bit more tired in the morning.  You decide just to sleep in today.

I will tell you what’s uncomfortable:  lying in a bed all day long every day for a year, daily losing whatever little bit you had until you cannot sit unaided, cannot lift your leg more than 6 inches, cannot brush your own hair.  And this can happen to any of us; not to be Debbydowner here, but it’s going to happen to some of us.

And the ramifications echo throughout your world and the world of your loved ones.  Care like that is expensive.  Your spouse or your family struggles to figure the best way to care for you on the income they have.  Their life revolves around visiting you, worrying about you, trying to be sure every day that ‘they’ did change your ‘briefs’ in a timely manner, ‘they’ did turn you so you don’t get a bedsore … because as much as you might like to think, right now, that the medical personnel will be there for that – ‘they’ won’t be.  Not all the time, and not for lack of wanting to help you.  Instead, they’ll be down the hallway with the guy who just fell out of his wheelchair, or they’re changing someone else’s soiled bed and you’re 3rd on the list right now.  The actual caregivers truly do care, but when an RN has 20 patients in a ward and two CRN’s where maybe 2-3 patients are mobile, you’re on the list as soon as they can get to you.  Corporate, in their glass castle in upper Podunk, is not looking at your tired face.  They are looking at The. Bottom. Line. and they are not going to approve a 2nd RN or 3rd CRN on that floor for that shift.

We all need to think about what we can do now – today – to offset that to the greatest possible degree.  If we read Ashley’s article and we put it to heart, if we add lean protein to (most) every meal in the proper amounts, if we do aerobic AND resistance training, maybe we won’t be the one who falls and breaks the hip.  Maybe our muscles and bones will be denser and stronger.  Maybe if we do have a stroke, we’ll be fit enough to get out of the hospital sooner and do that physical therapy and return to a more meaningful life.  I don’t know.  No one knows if that can and will happen in our individual life.  But apparently we can be pretty certain that whatever does happen to each of us in our future can be affected by the choice we make today.

Please review all the information in the article at this link:  http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2012/may/07/muscle-matters/

Happy Trails -

Positively Positive

While I would describe myself as a realist rather than a pessimist, I do think it’s fair to say that most realists are probably a bit pessimistic just by nature of realizing that things are pretty much as they appear – which means, sometimes, pretty crappy.

The hubs, however, always thought I was a pessimist.  For example, if you have four-year-old twin boys in the middle of the den floor playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with empty papertowel-tube swords in a fort made of all the couch cushions (which, by the way, if you have any children in your home under the age of, oh – 16 – and you buy a couch with unattached cushions, it’s your own damn fault and don’t come crying to me because I learned the hard way and I guess you’re just gonna have to, too), and you put your cup of diet coke in the middle of the coffee table, and your wife says, “that cup is going to get knocked over” maybe the husband thinks the wife is being negative, while the wife is simply and fully aware of the fact that the beverage is not long for this Ninja Turtle-inhabited world.  And also that the husband has done the same thing in the same situation 8 times already which is why the supply of cups in the house is rapidly dwindling since four year old boys can destroy plastic as easily as glass.

Anyway, I’ve decided this Lent to try adding instead of subtracting.  I’m going to try to add a more positive outlook on things.  I’ll pay more attention to the positive realistic things and try to ignore the negative realistic things.  I’m going to add healthier food.  I’m going to keep working on adding more miles – altho I do wish I could subtract the fascist plantars in my feet.

This morning was a great chance to add some positivity in my day since it was supposed to be 15-25 mph winds with tornado watches.  Watches are different than warnings.  It’s like Code Yellow vs. Code Red.  One thing I’m positive of:  Memphis weather is psycho, and Code Nothing can go to Code We’re All Gonna Die in about a minute.  Also I’m still having relationship issues with weather.com, as you both know.  We broke up early last week and then on Sunday weather.com was so nice to me, gave me a beautiful sunny, slightly breezy, not-too-warm not-too-cold day and you know how it is when they bring you candy and look so remorseful; we were back together although I did state emphatically that This. Is. The. Last. Time.

I was positive that Cat was using my undercover toes as batting practice at 5:15 this morning so I got up and decided to be happy about the fact that God made coffee as I visited the Shrine of Glorious Coffee Making Perfection, pouring dark steaming nectar into my favorite mug *sip* *sip* *sigh* now I don’t have to kill anyone, you can all come back into the house.   I’ve got an hour on the books with Cheryl, aka The Exorcist, Jr.  Despite the fact she insists she’s just a trainer I am convinced she does not sleep and spends the dark hours of the night dreaming up new tortures.  Something about the way her eyes glow and spin when she thinks I’m not looking, I don’t know, it doesn’t seem right.  After the reign of terror I’ll do 5 easy miles.

Weather.com gaily informed me that today I am looking at:

Scattered strong thunderstorms. Damaging winds and large hail with some storms. High 73F. Winds SW at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 60%.

This does not sound like weather I want to do 5 easy miles in, but I’m willing to wait and give things a chance (see how positive that was?)

I worked out with Cheryl and she didn’t seem to want to kill me completely dead, so that  would be a positive thing.

She has a gym in her garage and we worked out with the door open.  That was positive.  It’s also probably the reason she didn’t seem to want to kill me completely dead.  The neighbors might notice.  That would be a good thing – another score for positveness.

Plus it was pretty funny watching her chase the recylcing down the road when the wind blew it out of the recylcing bucket.  That was defnitely positive.  Made even more positive by the fact that she was running in a pair of Danskos instead of running shoes.

The wind kept blowing and the clouds kept growing larger and darker and I wavered – should I chance a run outside or stick with the treadmill?  (I didn’t call it the *D*readmill – Positiveness)

I did a mile on the *T*readmill and decided to chance running outside before my brain fell out from boredom.  I wasn’t hearing any sirens, there were no end-of-the-world warnings screaming across the bottom of the TV screen and the rain hadn’t shown up yet.  See how this positivity thing is really falling into place for me?  This is getting encouraging.

I headed out and the wind wasn’t too bad until I turned the corner.  Then the wind managed to be blowing against me when I ran south.  Then it blew against me when I ran west.  Then it blew against me when I ran north.  But just think, it was like doing speed work without having to actually run fast.  My HR was 156 at a pace that should have been about 140.  Positively positivness.

And when I was finally headed east on the final 1/2 mile, the wind was at my back.  Suddenly I was running what should have been a 165HR pace at 136HR.  Honestly, this positivitiy-ness thing is working pretty good!  I’m not even too mad at weather.com that the promised damaging winds and large hail haven’t shown up while I sit here with the window open and the sun occassionally peeping out of the clouds and a warm kitten sleeping on my lap.

The Sweet Spot

You don’t hit the sweet spot on runs most of the time, or at least I don’t. Usually something hurts or is at least uncomfortable, or it’s hot or cold or dry or wet weather, or your sock has a lump or your brain decided to be totally mental — you know how it goes.

I expect most runners feel the way I do: few runs are horrid and most runs are good; you feel good that you did it, you were happy with the pace or it accomplished a training goal, but the perfect run seldom happens – and doesn’t need to. I run to run, not to find perfection in myself, my run or the world. If I got up and ran then it was a good run. For me the perfect run is not the one I PR’d or which had no pain, for me the perfect run is the run that feels like I am flying floating in a world of golden sunshine, running without effort in a world with which I feel at one, completely present to each moment because I let go of the run and just began to be. Last time I had a run like that was last November so it’s not something that happens often.

I’ve also been putting on some extra miles in my training and most runs lately have been on legs that are tiring out pretty quickly, which means I’m really not expecting Nirvana to come knocking. Yesterday I putzed a bit in the house, got a little work done while waiting for the sun to come up and then headed out in the pretty day — and immediately I was in the sweet spot. I was at a mile before I felt I’d even touched pavement. I knew where I was on my course but stared at my Garmin in disbelief, it felt I’d been running for a minute. My feet seemed to have feathers, floating just off the ground; I felt calm and centered, my form felt great and my stride was good; it was sweet head to toe, and it was sweet the entire run. It was the run we all pursue but only occasionally catch.

Since everything about the run was perfect I found that I had plenty of time to think of things besides pace, pain and gasping for air.

~ Uranus. Does anyone in the scientific world really think that kids are going to start pronouncing it yur’-uh-ness? I bet kids still giggle at he-she-it too.

~ how dumb was I that I never understood why he-she-it was funny until I was in my 20’s?

~ for that matter, how dumb was I that I never understood why Uranus was funny until I was in my 20’s?

~ 2, 4 & 5. When I was little some numbers had colors and personalities. Two was my favorite. It was strong, self-composed and secure. It was blue. Five was like the star of an old movie, the strong silent type that always looked out for the underdog. I can’t remember what color it was. Maybe brown or green. Four, however, was just a red bitch. Plain and simple, she hated two and liked five and that was the end of the story. I never did figure out why.

~ the teacher had no clue either

~ and why did the teacher look at me like that when I asked?

~ how bad does something have to smell before a dog is offended?

~ why, when my cat finds a smell offensive, does she look at me? Has she been anywhere near her litter box lately? I know who should be offended and it’s not her.

~ and what is a smell anyway? Is it atoms that stink?

~ baby carrots at the grocery. Did someone really pick all those itty-bitty carrots? And then did they peel every single one of them? Or did they pick bigger carrots, shave off the excess, put that in the bag of coleslaw mix and just pretend the remaining part is baby carrots?

~ and, yet, I continue to pay extra for the baby carrots

~ if you can’t put metal in a microwave then how is it that they all come with a metal wire rack in the middle?

~ do the waves really stay inside the microwave? Do they see the door and say – oops, that’s it, end of the line?

~ if so, then why do radio waves get a free pass?

~ I bet someone in the world CAN touch their nose with their elbow.

~ if people do spontaneously combust, does Karma take nominations?

~ when I was in kindergarten and the Vietnam war was escalating and we had bomb drills (oh, yeah, now you know I’m old) did the teachers really think if I hid under that itty-bitty desk and the bomb landed on the school building and then the bomb, the floor above me and the roof above that floor all came down through the ceiling, that somehow that itty-bitty desk was going to remain intact and protect me?

~ if the teacher did believe that, why was I being taught by idiots?

~ Two was me. Four was also me.

If I were a month I would be any month but January.

I think being January would be kinda like being the kid in 5th grade whose mom wouldn’t let them shave their legs and made them still wear bobby socks with their Keds and wouldn’t buy them a bra because why would you spend good money on something you don’t need?  Not that I know what that would be like.  I’m just guessing.  From books I read.  About nerds like Harry Potter.

No one looks forward to January except moms, and that’s only because the winter holidays are finally over thank gawd and the kids are going back to school.  No one runs around shouting  YAY!  January!  Picnics!  Vacations!  Holidays!   The only holiday in January is Martin Luther King Day, and no offense to a great man but do you want the only famous day in your month to be a dead guy?  February – which has the same identical crappy weather as January – at least gets Valentine’s Day.  And the Super Bowl.  Even the Super Bowl doesn’t like January.

If January were a color it would be grey.  Steel grey, molten grey, heather grey, blue grey, grey grey.  The trees are kinda grey, even the last few dead leaves are brown grey, hanging there, taunting homeowners, “Nanner Nanner I’m not going to fall!  HAHAHAHA!  Rake those other leaves!  Shake your fist at me!  I’m not leaving!”  Not that I ever feel that way, that leaves are taunting me.

January has about 6 hours of daylight per day.  Sure, ‘they’ say the shortest day is in December (SEE?  January doesn’t get that, either) but – and who are ‘they’ anyway?  Did you ever see a picture of ‘they’?  Where do ‘they’ live?  Who put ‘they’ in charge?  Huh? – but anyway I’d like to see anyone prove it.  It’s dark when I get up, it’s dark when I get dressed, it’s still dark when I make coffee.  It’s dark in the afternoon and every day I think, OMGosh where did the time go I have to make dinner it must be 6pm and it’s only 4:20.  And there I was all panicked because maybe I thought I’d been playing that crossword game for four hours but really it was only 1-1/2 hours and it’s not 6pm yet so I still have time to make dinner before the hubs thinks I’m a slug.  Not that I actually play crossword games for four hours.  I’m just guessing that some people do.

I feel sorry for January.  Probably what happened when God decided to make months is that during Story Time January was just sitting there minding it’s own business when suddenly the kid in front of him was like talktalktalk and January said Hush, and the kid said talktalktalk and January said Be Quiet, and the kid said talktalktalk and January said HUSH up! and then the teacher made January sit in the corner for talking.  So that made January late and it was last in line and that was the only month left by then.  And January probably didn’t tell his mom he got set in the corner until he was like 23 years old.  Altho I’m just guessing.

Also January is the month that all the people who ate way too much food since mid-November decided they would quit eating food and join the gym and swim and run and cycle and go to yoga and lose 43 pounds.  So by the end of the month all anyone remembers about January is that they are so sore they cannot stand, sit, lie or walk and they didn’t lose a damn pound and they spent $399.99 for the mutherdamn gym membership.  Altho I did not do that.  I’m just guessing.

So anyway, when you’re sitting at the desk paying bills in January thinking about all the damn money someone spent on something they don’t need and keep writing 2011 instead of 2012 and having to cross out the damn check and start over, just take a minute to think about January and how sad it would be if you were January.

I am a realist. A pragmatist.

For me, the glass is half full because someone drank part of it.  And left it on the counter.  Where it will sit until the end of time unless I (which I capitalized to emphasize that it’s ME, but I is always capitalized so the emphasis is not visible.  Just pretend.) throw the rest out and put the dirty cup in the invisible dishwasher.

As a realist I have mediocre expectations that I (this time I is just capitalized for being I, I’m not emphasizing it this time.  Just so you know.  In case you wanted to keep track.) or anyone else including the cup leaver behinder will exhibit drastic changes in their personalities and habits.  As a pramatist I have come to this philosophy by observing in my own life that nothing much changes which I express frequently by saying “Oh, well” and sometimes “Oh, well h*ll”.  Exhibit A:  the cup.

Which is why I am confused this morning.

I awoke with a feeling of ennui.  (I had to look up how to spell ennui which was kinda hard to do because I only knew it started with an ‘e’ and somewhere in it has an ‘i’, which is not capitalized.  Thank God google knows me well and immediately offered helpful suggestions.  It did not, however, put the dirty cup in the invisible dishwasher.  Not that I’m bitter.)

Why, I pondered in bed while curled sadly around Mushy Pillow, do I feel vaguely dissatisfied?  Why this feeling of ennui?

Yesterday I woke:  bright world, sunny day, going for a run!  Seeing the peeps!  Hugging the Brettster!  Happy Happy Joy Joy!

This morning: darkness.  Grey, all encompassing black darkness.

Then I remembered I should  turn on the light since it was 5:30am which is almost midnight so that helped a lot.

Yet it followed me like a little grey puppy, nipping at my heels, yip yip yip dissatisfied yip yip sad yip yip something is missing yip.

Pondering.  Sipping coffee and pondering, glassy-eyed staring out the window.  What am I missing?  What did I forget?  I wandered through the house checking that everything was as it should be.  Dog sleeping on bed, cat locked in bathroom until Petco opens, furniture not stolen in the night which the dog, in his 23 hours a day sleep-induced coma would not have heard, hubs awake at oh my god in the morning and already exercising for 13 hours: all check.  What do I have planned for today?  Did I forget something yesterday?

And then…I remembered.  I remembered the joy, the golden glow of potential, the shimmering possibilities of the New Year.  The promise of new beginnings … RESOLUTIONS

A pragmatic realist should know better than to make resolutions.

And this is what happened that shining, promise-filled first day of 2012:

~ I did not run 87 miles

~ I did not lose 12 pounds

~ I did not eat granola with greek yogurt and fruits and berries high in antioxidants followed by a lunch of dark leafy greens and chopped veggies in a low-fat balsamic vinaigrette reduction and a dinner of 4 ounces of skinless chicken breast and oven roasted eggplant.

~ I did not even open the Drawer of Terror, much less attempt to clean it out.

~ I did not leap tall buildings in a single bound

~ I did not win the lottery

~ I did not sprout wings and run a 6 minute mile.  Or 7.  Or 8…or 9…or…10…

~ And while most of you do not know this, the largest disappointment of all:  I failed to trim the cat’s claws.

All of it:  gone.  Dust.  Disillusionment.  Shattered dreams, lost hope.  Deep hole of darkness.

Oh, well h*ll.  At least I can put the cup in the dishwasher.

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