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.






Thursday, January 1, 2015

on the right foot.

New Year's Eve. The first one of this millennium that I would not be spending with M and our collection of friends. But also an opportunity to do something I've never done before: NYC. Despite spending five years in the larger NY metropolitan area, I always had the good sense to get out of town before the ball dropped. As it is I don't go near Times Square from the week after Halloween until February 1st. But this year a friend cooked up some plans and I was on my way to ringing in 2015 in my big beautiful city.

The entire best part of this plan was running my first run of this new year along the West Side. 

Of course, plans fall apart, right? And last night, they did. But the thought that kept running through my head as I dined on filet mignon and sipped Cabernet Sauvignon at my all-time favorite Hudson Valley restaurant was: It's not always about where you were going, but about where you end up. 

And it turns out, I did make it into Manhattan before turning into a pumpkin. I laughed at drunk people. I watched a dude pass out standing up {and subsequently begged the universe not to let him get in the elevator with me}. And I woke up in the city that feeds my soul. I ran 6.4 stunning sunshine miles along the Hudson {from Canal St to Chelsea Piers down to Battery Park back up to Canal}. I ran faster than I've ever run. 





It's not about where you were going but about where you end up. 


And this is the face of a chick who ended up lunching at a badass burger joint in SoHo, cruising on endorphins, and beginning 2015 on exactly the right foot. 


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 review spectacular.

Oh, Twenty-fourteen. You will go down in history as The Year. It's almost too much to quantify. Big and small. Personal and national. It was all just...much. But here are some of the best pieces I've snatched from this big year that was.

For starters, 2014, you were the year of sushi.


When a friend asked "Do you eat sushi" and I responded "yes" because I occasionally ate California roll, I had no idea I was about to embark on a culinary journey of divinity such as I have ever known. I've had so much sushi since that day in September that I might possibly be radioactive...but it's all been so good. So very, very good. And yellow tail sashimi? Proof that Poseidon loves us and wants to see us happy.

=//=

And 2014, you were the year of all the long hair.


=//=

You were also the year of American Authors.



B and I agree that this was the best new band to come across our Spotify in some time.

=//=

This was the year of hiking.


Once upon a time, I was the girl who eschewed both outside and physical activity.  Basking outside meant reading a book in front of an open window. Now upon a time, I am the girl who thinks a six hour hike through Mohonk Preserve is quite possibly the single greatest day of 2014.







=//=

Like many of us across the country, 2014 was the year of Frozen.

And while many of you are quite sick of "Let It Go", I've adopted it as a bit of a fight song. It came about quite serendipitously, actually. I had opened my own bank account and when I went in to purchase the song for the kids on iTunes realized I needed to update my account with the new info. And so, "Let It Go" was the first tune I purchased for myself and it is so very apt in many ways.

=//=

You were the year of nose rings.



=//=

This was the year of Roger Clyne.


TWENTY YEARS AGO, I spent the summer rocking out to The Refreshments' "Bandito". And subsequently became  one of their two biggest fans and a one-woman proponent of their album Fizzy Fuzzy Big and Buzzy. In 2014, a delight of a new friend turned out to be the other of the two biggest fans and together we made the trek down to NJ to see the new incarnation, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, making all our musical dreams come true.

As cliche as it may sound, I'd like to raise another round.
And if your bottle's empty help yourself to mine. 
Thank you for your time, and here's to life. {Mekong}

=//=

As always, this was yet another year of book reading. And re-reading, as the case may be.

I read 30 novels in 2014, and several were favorites that I decided to dust off and read from a new perspective {The Color Purple, The Awakening, The Red Tent}. I also found some wonderful works of contemporary fiction that didn't make me want to vomit {The History of Love, The Hundred Year House, I Called Him Necktie},  stellar works of non-fiction {Bad Feminist, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running}. And a few works from my favorites: Hemingway, Salinger, Coehlo. The absolute highlight of my literary year, though, was Fahrenheit 451. See all of it on my goodreads Year in Books.

=//=

Also, the year of amazing feats of strength! 





As you can see...they come in many shapes and forms.

=//=

You were a tremendous year of things too big to catalogue here. Generosity and the Penthouse and new beginnings. And of course: Motherhood. This may be the year I became a mama. And, it's been sublime.





A year like no other. So much to reflect upon. So much to look forward to. On to 2015.

{designate a driver}


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

running '14.

I've tracked my runs for ages. You all know this. BUT THEN...I found the web-based version of both my Nike + app and my Garmin app and you know what I found? NUMBERS. DATA! So much information about my runs. Just in time for a year-in-review. You lucky duck readers.

The Basics:
In 2014 I ran 170 runs, at an average of 4.5 miles per run, totaling 769 miles.
{This compares to 105 runs at a 3.5 mile average per run totaling 374.2 miles in 2013.}
{This translates, roughly, to STFU and more than double my total.}

In 2014 I ran 125:29:38.  I lowered my average pace from 10'57" per mile to 9'50" per mile.

I ran 46 of 52 Saturdays in 2014 but only 11 Mondays. Though Saturday and Sunday were the busiest run days, I am pretty well distributed over the rest of the week. And most of my runs occur in the morning or afternoon. I kicked ass with May with 86.6 miles that month, and completely slacked off during the partially injured October with only 45.4 miles.

Speaking of injuries: there were two. The sprained ankle of February and then the late summer joy of plantar fasciitis. I think this makes me legit now, though.

Perhaps my favorite stat, however is that in the final month of 2014 I ran 52.8 miles, compared to the 21.3 {average} by other female users of the Nike + app in the 30-39 year age range.

My longest run was the Bethel Woods Half Marathon in October, which, incidentally also had the highest elevation gain {860 ft}.

Personal Stats:
Fastest Mile: 8:04
Fastest 5K: 27:32
Fastest 10K: 56:02

Races:
West Point Half Marathon
Orange Classic 10K
Run4Downtown 4 miler
Bethel Woods Half Marathon

I'm already looking forward to 2015. My first race is likely to be in February to celebrate my 40th. A well-established 5K in the next county over will be expanded to include a half and full marathon option and so that's on my calendar. {And yes, there is a nugget of interest in a full marathon. We'll see what happens.} If all goes to plan, I will be attending NDSC in Phoenix, AZ in June and will happily be enjoying my first desert run, as well...because destination runs are now a thing.



But for now, it's all about moving forward. One step at a time. Run this mile first


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

all the merry.

As I mentioned in a very recent post, I moved out of Casa McD just ten days prior to Christmas last year. We were still calling it "Mommy's going to sleep in her own apartment" and I was spending a lot of time - including the entire Christmas holiday - at the house. This year, though, it's a different game. They know that M and I are separated. Daddy has a house, Mommy has a house. And Christmas will be split down the middle.

Sort of.

Christmas eve tradition, for the past five years, has included Indian take out. We continued that this year...a fact of which I am beyond-words-grateful. M came over and we opened the kids special Christmas eve gift of matching pajamas and played games and planned Santa's treats. (Chocolate chip cookies that the kids made this weekend, orange juice [wtf??], and almonds [one for each reindeer, as per B]}.



Tomorrow they will wake in our little space and open the gifts Santa has left here for them. My parents will join us for breakfast {french toast casserole; also a tradition}, and then they will rejoin their daddy at his house for a day with the McDs. They honestly seem to be down with all of this and my heart sighs a sigh of relief that this "first" holiday season has come together with a feeling of peace and warmth and love.


And so, my friends. Merry Christmas. Happy Yuletide. Namaste. From our house to yours.