Thursday, February 26, 2015

#tbt - a reprieve.

Winter, yo. It just won't quit. I'm starting to lose my grip just a little bit. My hands are dry and my knuckles are cracking. It is becoming an uphill battle to face the elements and get out to run. I am so effin' sick of tights I could knot them all up into little balls and throw them into some strange nylon bonfire. I haven't been totally and completely warm in ages.

And yet.

Today, in the form of photographic magic, I was transported back to days when there was green stuff on the ground. I think we used to call it grass?

Today's throwback was to this past October. Buddy Walk, 2014. Team L. All the glory.

Um. Quite possibly the greatest picture ever taken of these two silly boys. 


And I mean...seriously. Look at him. 


All of Team L. 

And then L. As uncooperative as she wants to be. 

What. on. earth??

And may the gods always bless our gem of a photographer*, as he has the patience of a saint.


It was nice to be reminded of sunshine and buddies and warm hearts and lovely days. It may have been just what I needed to persevere through the last bits of winter. 


*all photos courtesy of Andy Cox Photography 


Thursday, February 19, 2015

unconcerned.

"I could easily say L is L, but that would be an injustice to all she is. L has made tremendous strides to conform to the rules school has put upon her. She is rarely in the cubby or on the floor. She is gently defiant when she cannot or will not perform school tasks. I can't properly assess her because she is unconcerned with my opinion of her ability." ~Mrs. C.

***********

These words left me sobbing at my desk. Second grade has been challenging for my sweet girl. Not the work, but the expectations and her ability to navigate the MORE of everything. In November, things hit a critical point and one of the administrators initiated the possibility of a program review. I chose not to blog about it because I believe in maintaining positive relationships. I was hurt and angry and scared about how things had so quickly deteriorated between the school and Team L, and I did not trust myself to keep all negativity out of what I would write in this space. Instead, I reached out to all of my available resources and we convened just before Thanksgiving to discuss the best ways to help L be successful. During those discussions and meetings I began to learn that her classroom teacher is an ally. It wasn’t until report cards this week, and the statement above, that I began to truly realize to what extent.

Nothing that Mrs. C said above is flowers and rainbows. It is true and it is coming from a place of working hard with my girl this year on these issues. It is not blind gushing. It is real. But what I took from that statement is that this teacher GETS my kid. She sees her, understands her, and if I am reading the tone properly, applauds her. After the stress of the past few months, this knowledge came at me like a flood of relief and solace. And so much appreciation.

As for the pride I feel for my daughter based on this commentary…I posted Mrs. C’s words to my Facebook yesterday with the hashtag #audacityandsunlight.

That’s my girl. 



Sunday, February 8, 2015

40 hours.

Weeks ago, we sat in a restaurant. Our last lunch out before the holidays. I was in a very "woe-is-me" place. One year into this new life. Impending holidays. Changing dynamics of so many relationships. 2015. My 40th birthday. I was feeling adrift and lost and no longer sure of "who my people" were. 

She listened. To every word, and she felt my sadness. She decided to respond to it the best way she knew how. She found my people and she put them all in one place. Forty hours to celebrate my fortieth birthday. 


5pm Friday. It begins. Happy hour at our favorite table in our favorite pub. Colleagues. Friends. A cross section of my life. And the first shot I've done in about 15 years. 








8am Saturday. She knows me. And so my actual birthday began with The Runner and me at Mohonk Mountain House getting six brisk miles in before the full festivities. After he and I finished with the fitness, she and I would have a girls' day at the spa, enjoying the bliss. Mineral hot tub during a bit of a flurry. Steam room. Sauna. Resting by the fire place. Pedicures. Cheese platter and wine.



5pm Saturday. Most of the weekend, she kept a surprise. I knew there would be dinner with a few of my closest friends. I strongly suspected there would be sushi. I'm generally impossible to surprise but she/they managed. We stopped at The Penthouse post spa day so I could change for dinner. And as I was trying to figure out how my balloons from happy hour ended up in my entry way, they yelled "surprise". My favorite people. In my living room. With sushi platters and wine in the fridge. I thought my heart would burst. 




10am Sunday. Four miles to start the day {solo this time}, and then she and I were joined by a few of my favorite ladies to brunch at one of my favorite restaurants. We discussed every topic of intimacy under the sun. We drank mimosas, and bloody marys, and champagne with cranberry juice. I had filet mignon for breakfast. It did not suck. 



And this dude has come to live with me. My new housemate courtesy of my college roommate. 




Forty hours. There was so much food and more Moxie cupcakes than my tummy could handle. Over the course of this birthday there has been new running kicks, words that bring a smile to my heart and life to The Penthouse, beautiful/insightful/thoughtful, love filled gifts, and so much fucking laughter.



When I look back on this weekend I will remember...

...standing for one perfect moment at the bar watching the people I love intermingle, dance, and laugh with each other.

...my tiara(s). 



...Uptown Funk. 

...morning running with him. 

...watching the snow flakes accumulate in her hair as we laughed.

...sighing in contentment. 

...the moment of surprise. 

...lounging in my chair, wine in hand, and smiling so much my cheeks hurt. 

...listening to my oldest friend tell embarrassing teen-age stories to my newest friends. 

...whispering with her way past bedtime. 

...feeling, giving, receiving love. 



Happy birthday to me. Luckiest chick I know. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

a strength I didn't know existed.

I always say that running has made me stronger. That I didn't know I could be this strong. But that isn't entirely true. 

Could I have even started my running journey if not for L and her tiny heart? 

If I had never had to hold her while a doctor altered my entire future?

If I never had to stand in the face of fear?

If I never had to walk her down that corridor?

Let's face it, my first "pacing" occurred on the 8th floor of Columbia Presbyterian hospital. 

She changed me on a molecular level. I couldn't be strong if she hadn't first taught me how. 


Happy 7th Heart Day, kiddo. You're the toughest chick I know. Thanks for the lessons. 


Thursday, January 15, 2015

my path.

Today I needed to run in that way that has nothing to do with calories or fitness or cardio, and everything to do with stretching out my soul and stomping the demons underneath each footfall. It's been a battle to run lately - partly because it's been a balmy 2 degrees in my particular corner of the world, but more because it's been a challenge to find a safe space to do so. Everything is frozen, and cars, quite frankly, are assholes.

Today, however, I insisted. And it felt like release.

As I was circling back toward my car, I was running on a residential road that runs alongside the campus where I work. Through the space between academic buildings I could just catch glimpses of the setting sun playing on the snow covered quad and I thought to myself "Something beautiful is happening over there and I am missing it."

And then a voice returned, "No. If it were meant for you, your path would have gone that way."

Sweet mercy, what a metaphor. Because with that first statement a thousand "what ifs" ran through my head as quickly as my feet traversed the pavement. But within the response stood the truth.

There will be beautiful things; many of which I will come in close contact. It doesn't mean that they were meant for me. My path is my path and it is the only one with which I need concern myself. And if I am lucky, I may just stumble across some beautiful things along the way. 



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

dmb15

Yesterday was one of the best days of the year: Dave Matthews Band Summer Tour Announcement Day. Since the dawning of 2015 I've been patiently waiting, as this is usually the time of year they do it {as confirmed by my TimeHop app today!}.

As with the 2014 tour, they are not returning to Bethel Woods, which sucks giant monkey balls. I'm not sure whose fault this is but if I ever find out I'm taking names. AND I am going to go ahead and assume it's BW's fault and not go to any additional concerts there. Ever. *stomps foot*

However. I made the mistake of not seeing DMB last summer because...well, for because of a lot of reasons. And then tortured myself by following AntsMarching.org on Twitter as they lived Tweeted the entire fucking tour. Ugh. Talk about masochism. {Wait? Were we talking about masochism? No? Oh. My bad. Carry on.}

So yeah. Saratoga for July 4th anyone? Looks like I will be returning, for the first time in 17 years, to the place where I first danced under the stars. Drunk frat boys from the Albany area be warned. I do not take kindly to vomit on my shoes. K, thanks.


I am hoping to put together a little road trip. I am also seeking applications for baby sitting because I figure fate will make this concert occur on my weekend. And there is much rocking out to do. 

Who's in? 

And I'll be back round again
Yes, I'll walk in time with you old friend
And we'll find that place
That we had danced in so long ago. ~The Song That Jane Likes 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

untethered.

Since 2008, this place has been my sanctuary. My outlet. My soul purge. And for most of 2014, I left it largely neglected because I was too afraid to say what I needed to say for fear it would hurt people that I care about. But I'm slowly coming to realize that by social media standards, perhaps I've been overly concerned with everybody else. Overly sensitive to how my words may impact others. I've let my voice fade out by showing a restraint that may not have been necessary in the first place.

I'm still not going to air all the business here. I never have, and I'm not about to start now because I'm nothing if not a classy broad. But I'm taking my voice back.

On December 15 I marked one year out of Casa McD. On December 31 I watched the first year I spent on my own come to a close. On February 7 I will turn 40 years old. In these weeks between I am taking inventory of the journey. It's a lot of head space, I will tell you and I need to say my words. I need to purge. I need to process and I am going to do it here because that's where I do. I don't know any other way and I'm tired of tip-toeing.

Looking back over the year that was, I think I was tripping on some sort of euphoria. I had been unhappy for a long time and I had struggled with the choice to separate. It took a long, long time for me to admit to myself that it was what I needed to do and it took an even longer long time to admit to anyone else. And then to actually do it. What may have looked to the outside world like a sudden transition was actually ages in coming. And when it finally happened, my soul felt something akin to soaring. Dancing with reckless abandon.

As I mark these significant benchmarks I find it's like when your vision adjusts to coming into a darkened room from the afternoon sunshine. As my eyes adjust, as my heart and soul adjust, to this new reality I am seeing only the shadows of what it will ultimately look like. And I am realizing that euphoria and free fall aren't so far apart.

There are moments when I look back on that day in December of last year, and it is as if I jumped from a very high place. And there was much soaring and my soul laughed out loud in the face of all of it. And now. Well, now it's time to come in for a landing right? I'd like to think I'll be all Felix Baumgartner about it and land right on my feet even though I fell from outer space, but I've never been quite that graceful.

Truth be told. It's terrifying. Everything in my life looks completely different than it did twelve and a half months ago. It almost totally very often feels wonderful and perfect but it very much as often feels like walking on slippery rocks. Every fiber of my being reassures me that I've done the right thing. But the uncertainty of where, when, how I will land, who will still be in my life when I do, what will the lasting impact of this time be...well those questions are always in the back of my mind.

But if I have learned anything about myself over the past couple of years it is that I will land. I will maybe fall flat on my face as I do so. I may end up bruised and bloodied and it may take some minutes to catch my breath. But I'll do it. Because now I've got wings. Alis Volat Propriis.