Saturday, February 25, 2012

Thanks, Treadmill.

I love the treadmill.  I hate how my body feels right now, but I know it's for all the right reasons.  My joints and muscles feel like they are made out of wood.  I don't know any better way to say it.  Splintered, old, creaky wood.  Hopefully after a week or so I'll feel loosened up.  But I love the treadmill because there's something about getting on it again that has made me feel more positive, and I've had a great few days.  Not just because of the treadmill, but I'm positive that's a huge part of it.

The other day I took the brother out for lunch for his birthday.  Man, he's old.  Ha!  We went out and ate Thai food, and it took more than a couple hours, as lunch with him usually does.  How many people can say they're lucky enough to go out for a bite with a sibling and conversation is that great that you can't believe you've been sitting there that long!  It's like that with all of us siblings, and I know I am very blessed.  It's so great to be able to get lunch with him pretty regularly, since he works out of his home, and can pretty much make his own schedule.

And then later that day I went out to dinner with the MOH.  Ahhhh.  We haven't connected in WAY too long.  It's inexcusable, really.  But we made a pact to get together regularly, even if in order to make that happen he has to type me into his iPad schedule (which looks like a nightmare, I might add).  But our lives have been through some trauma in the past several months, and I knew that since it had been so long since we've hung out, there would be much to say.  And there was.  And by the end of the night, I was reminded again that he's like comfy jammies to me.  And y'all know how I love my comfy jammies.  We went out to this awesome supper club, and since we were at a supper club, of course there were martinis, shrimp cocktail, and prime rib.  And he ordered his prime rib rare.  That was significant to me, because we grew up together in Wyoming, where people know how to eat their meat, and I'm usually the only one at the table that likes my beef to be red like beef should be.  It was strangely soothing to see him order it like that. A sign that he's still mine, that we are still the same people that we were when we were little kids.  Anyway, we talked for hours, then when we finally got kicked out--we had this really irritating waiter with a gross mustache who kept prodding us to pay up and get out--it was hard to get out of the parking lot because we were chatting out there.  Obviously we don't hang out enough.  But even though we don't, it's amazing to know that when we do get together, we're always the same.

Yesterday hubby and I surprised the kids (and us--very spur of the moment) by picking them up from school and hauling them out to the local ski hill and going tubing.  It was three hours of awesome, silly fun.  The kids were so happy, and so were we.  Up and down the hill countless times.  It was a beautiful night, cold enough to feel like winter, warm enough to never feel uncomfortable.  When we were done tubing, we had hot chocolate by the outdoor fire pit, and then walked around the ski chalet while hubby reminisced about his days in ski club when he was a kid.  It was a really perfect night.

That's me in the "Bert"hat.  Hot.
But getting back to my wooden body, tubing is harder physical work than you might think.  And now I feel like I worked out about four times yesterday!  I'm so old and out of shape.  And my (not rock-hard) abs are so sore, partly from being in such strange positions on that tube, and partly from laughing at myself.  Folks, getting in and out of that tube is hilarious when you are a slightly puffy 40-year old woman.  I had to basically tip backwards to "fall" into it ass first when getting in.  My knees and legs were sore from the treadmill anyway, so that made it even more challenging.  Then you get towed up the hill, and at the top you have this 4-foot window where you have to get out of your tube before the attendant grabs it to unhook it from the rope.  You literally have to ROLL out of the tube (the sign at the top of the hill even says "roll"!).  So I had to ROLL out of the tube at the top of the hill, then get myself, in my giant parka and snowpants and Sorel boots, into a standing position again, somehow without slipping and tumbling right back down the hill, trudge over to my tube, fall into the tube and fly down the hill again.  Then at the bottom, roll out again and get out of the way so the next pile of tubers can fly down.  And once I crashed into the hubby at the bottom of the hill and rolled over onto him.  Thank GOD it was him and not some poor stranger.  Or even worse, a defenseless little kid.  Then I laid on the ground laughing like a lunatic, making it even more difficult to get up.  Sexy.

But it's been a nice few days, and I'm going to chalk it up to the treadmill.  So now I have to go get back on it, and we'll see how it affects today's task of working with the 9-year old on his Science Fair project. What hilarity will ensue today?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Back on Track

Holy cow I just did a session on the treadmill!  Yay me!  And yay hubby for getting the thing running again!  It has been sitting sad, lonely, and broken in our basement for years.  Now that we have the new room down there, we moved it in there and hubby figured out what was wrong with it, ordered a part, and fixed it last night!  Woohoo!

So this morning I was so excited to get the kids on the bus.  Before the bus came, I ran upstairs and put on my sweats, the right kind of socks (not slippers), and a sports bra.  I was relieved that I could still wriggle into one.  Phew!  Then after the bus left Freddy and I hurried back in the house where I put my tennis shoes on, got some water, and went down to get myself back on track.  I turned on the TV and started up!  I decided that what I would do to get myself going was to pick out a series I hadn't watched before that was an hour long show, and start watching, so I picked Parenthood (one of my favorite movies, so...).  They have them all on Netflix.

People, it was awesome!!!!  It feels so great to just absorb into a TV show with no commercials, that helps you forget that you're working out.  The 45 minutes that it takes to play an episode is the perfect length of time, and now I'm looking forward to my next episode!  I decided that I won't allow myself to watch that show unless I'm on the treadmill, and when that one's done, I'll pick another series.  I'm going to make my passion for television work for me and my larger-than-it-should-be ass.

It was pretty funny for the first few minutes watching Freddy freak out about the treadmill.  He runs around in circles, running up to the treadmill and then running away, with crazy eyes.  He does the same thing to the vacuum.  Hopefully he'll get used to it and won't feel like doing that anymore.

My goal is to do this at least once a day, and maybe sometimes once in the morning and once in the evening!  Hopefully things will start falling into place for me--I never feel like making as bad food choices after I've worked out, since I don't want to waste my hard work.

I'm taking my brother out to lunch today to celebrate his birthday.  I'd better go de-stinkify.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hang in There.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.  Thanks Kelly Clarkson, and thanks to last night's Glee episode, that song is stuck in my head.

This is going to be a very short post.  I have written several paragraphs, several times, and deleted them.  I know some people who are going through some tough stuff right now, and I cannot intrude on their privacy, so I won't.  But today they are all I am thinking about, so I can't think of anything else to write about.

For anyone out there who is struggling, for whom time seems to have stopped or stalled in a dark place, or for whom joy feels so far away--The clock ticks again.  You will rise up and out of this, stronger than you were before.  You will learn what's important in this life.  You will feel sheer joy again, you will stop feeling guilty about laughing.  You have people in your life who love you and are pulling for you at every moment.  Hang in there.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

I Need My Own Soundtrack

Yesterday I had some fun with my iPad.  I figured out how to use AirPlay to stream whatever is on my iPad to the Apple TV.  This was a pretty big accomplishment for me, considering how technologically challenged I am.  So now I can listen to Pandora on the big living room speakers, I can watch YouTube stuff on the big TV, I can do whatever the iPad does on the TV.  It's way cool.

So I spent a long time with that yesterday, and then wound up with a lovely chunk of time where I sat at my dining room table with a glass of wine and a couple of my magazines that have been waiting for me, listening to Pandora, and occasionally jotting down songs that I don't have yet that I need to get.  Yes, need.  Music is very important to me, and I love growing my library and finding new bands to love.  Right now I'm getting into Bon Iver.  Love them.  If you have 25 minutes to spare (I know--who does?) you should check this out on YouTube: Amazing Bon Iver recording session.  Just click over to it and have it playing in the background.  Soothing and way different.

Music is so great.  I have written about it before, but it's in my brain right now, so I'm going to write about it again.  Several months ago, I wrote about my secret love for the Twilight series.  Well, the first installment of Breaking Dawn is out on DVD now, but I have to say that I LOVE the soundtrack.  It's the best soundtrack of all the movies in the series so far.  Even if you're not a Twilight fan, I highly recommend it.  I love soundtracks because it's almost like having a mini iPod shuffle playlist, but most of the songs have a similar feel.  And if you love the movie, they can take you back to the feelings you had when you watched the movie.

One of my favorite soundtracks in my collection is from Hope Floats.  It's sort of country, and it holds up really well, even though I guess it's sort of old now (1998 was 14 years ago. sigh).  There's a GREAT song in there, a duet with Martina McBride and Bob Seger, titled "Chances Are".  I also love "Smile" by Lyle Lovett.  Both songs take me to different parts of my life.  That's my favorite thing about music.  The way it can transport you from the right now to somewhere else.  Music can make you remember feelings, events, even tastes and smells.  It's magic.

The soundtrack from Practical Magic is awesome too.  Some Stevie Nicks, Joni Mitchell, and a couple pieces from the score that make great background music.  It's a nice list to have on during the fall and Halloween season.

I love the Harry Potter music.  I know, I'm nuts about Harry Potter, so this probably won't apply to many of you, but I can have the iPod set to my "Harry Potter" list where I have stashed all the soundtracks, and just play it while I dork around the house, and it sets such a nice mood.  But then I always end up having to watch a couple of the movies.  That and the Pirates of the Caribbean music.

Every year for my kids' birthday parties I have these themed parties.  They pick what kind of party they want, and I decorate and go nutty about it.  My time is limited with these, since I'm certain that soon they will inform me that they are too old for this stuff, so I have to enjoy it while I can.  Anyway, I've done both a Harry Potter party (my all-time favorite one) and two different kinds of pirate parties (one Pirates of the Caribbean and one "dead pirate party") and the soundtracks came in handy then.  Great background music for entertaining.

Some soundtracks can take you back to a different part of your life, especially if the movie meant something to your past.  For me, the soundtracks for Top Gun, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Breakfast Club, and Beverly Hills Cop are like looking through yearbooks or old love letters.  The soundtrack from Curious George makes me think of my kids when they were adorable pre-kindergartners.

Oh, and there's Glee.  Yes, I have all the Glee music.  One of my favorite things to do is have both the Glee version and the original version of the song they do.  It has really expanded my library.  And whether you are a Gleek or not, you cannot deny the talent of those people.  Seriously--listen to "Mercedes" sing "I Will Always Love You."  Chills.

And currently, there are of course some new and relatively new artists that I'm falling in love with, even without the help of soundtracks.  Other than Bon Iver, I do love Adele and One Republic and Pink.  And I still love my country music.  And 80's stuff.  There is not enough time in my life to listen to everything I like to listen to, but I sure like to have it behind me.  It fills up the cracks in my life.

Having such instant and diverse access to music has got to be one of the best things about the technologic times we are right now.  (Hey--there's a song called Technologic!  It drives me nuts but my J loves it.)  I hate to sound like an old fogey, but the kids that are growing up now will never understand not being able to just click on any song you want and own it.  And then click on it to listen to it.  No tapes to rewind, no entire albums to buy just because you love one song.  No tapes or CDs or albums to store (unless you want to).  They're pretty lucky.

So anyway, sorry if this post was kind of strange and boring.  It's just what's in my head and heart at this very second.  Go surf around for some music now, and expand your library.  And if you can think of any soundtracks I need to have, or any other music for that matter, let me know!  I could always use more music!  This goes out especially to my brother, who has always introduced me to new stuff.  What have you got for me lately?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I Love You.

Happy Valentine's Day people!

I've already posted on reflections of Valentine's Day Past.  Today is just a day.  It's Valentine's Day.  But hubby works, and we haven't worked out the kid situation yet so we can go on our date.  Still working on it, but until we go, we won't really feel like it's V-Day.  So it's just a day.  The kiddos got on the bus with their bags of valentines with candies stapled to them, and they're having little celebrations at school, but that's about it.  Pretty sad.

But there is something important today.  I believe we should use this day as a day to celebrate love in general.  Tell at least one person today that you love them.  And how sad is it that sometimes that's so difficult to do?  I tell my kids I love them about a hundred times a day.  It falls out of my mouth so easily, and I say it so much that I wonder if they even hear it.  I pray they do.  They say it back to me, too.  And sometimes they even say it first.  Ahhh.  I tell the hubby that I love him so easily.  I even say it to the dog.  And I can say it to my nephews and my niece.  But that's about it.  I don't really say it to anyone else.  But they're not the only people I love.

I love my mom.  She is a firecracker.  She is a great listener.  I can drone on and on about mundane parenting things or household things to her, and she listens to every word, offering insight when she can.  She enjoys many of the same things as me--going out for a bite to eat and a movie.  Shopping.  She really is the best shopping partner ever.  My mom says what she feels without any sort of a filter, which is horrifying sometimes and refreshing other times.  But she is what she is, and I know where I stand with her.  She loves my kids fiercely, and I know when they're with her they are loved and safe.  That is a great feeling.

I love my siblings and their spouses.  And my hubby's siblings, cousins, and spouses.  They are like a built-in network of very close friends, and together we are like a club.  A club of people who have so much in common, but are so different from one another.  And we all hang out comfortably, with lots of laughter and noise.  Being with any of them is one of my favorite things to do.

I love my extended family, particularly my Minnetonka bunch.  You know who you are.  You guys are part of us, and we're not whole without you.  You bring me so much love and laughter, and I feel blessed that we have remained close generation after generation.

I love my friends.  The people who I spend time with (not often enough) because we like to.  Not even because there are family functions or holidays, but just because we enjoy each other's company.  That is a special and necessary relationship.  My old friends are like a web of people out there in cyber-land (thank you, Facebook) that I know are out there, still caring, still keeping up with me.  They are the people that were my safety net during the dark days of my younger life, and my sunshine during the bright days.  My newer friends are my network of moms and wives that I can commiserate with about parenting, school, family, and aging.  They are like a breath of fresh air to me.  I love them all no matter how frequently or infrequently we spend time together.

I love all you readers.  I love even the idea of you, that you are out there, caring enough to take the time out of your day to read my random ramblings.  Caring enough to occasionally send me a note telling me you're reading or that you are thinking about me, and supporting me when I need it.  You're all like an invisible hug to me, and I have grown to appreciate that feeling more and more all the time.  I love having this outlet, and knowing that I am not alone.  Thank you!

And Happy Valentine's Day.  Now go say "I LOVE YOU" to someone.  And not just your pet.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentine Reflecting

Ahhhhh.  I'm like a new woman.  I got out last night with SIL1 and had a lovely meal and some lovely wine, and I'm feeling refreshed and renewed.  It was so great to just sit and talk for a while.  Highly effective therapy for my rut, too.

And speaking of my little rut, I want to thank you all for the kind words yesterday and the night before about my most recent post.  That one was a toughie, and it means so much to me to be able to put that kind of stuff out there and have it met with such compassion.  Thank you thank you thank you.

So Valentine's Day is coming up, folks.  And whether you love it or hate it, you can't help but have some kind of feeling about it.  I'm fortunate to have a pretty groovy hubby, so I like it.  But I remember hating it sometimes in the past.

When I was in grade school, it caused me a lot of angst.  I always had major crushes, and the object of those crushes usually did not know that I existed.  We would decorate our valentine boxes and hope for a lot of valentines on the big day at school.  Decorating the valentines box was something I took very seriously, and something I miss.  I can't even make up for it much with my kids, since they're boys and they have very little patience for doilies or the color pink, much less glitter.  But oh, the boxes I made when I was a kid!  I remember going through my valentines very seriously.  First, addressing my own ones to give out--I remember picking out what I thought were the best, most lovey-dovey ones from the package, and addressing them so carefully for the cutest boys.  Then I would give the ones that I thought were lame to the mean girls or to the boys who picked on me.  And I was much less careful with my penmanship on those ones.  So there!  But back then I don't recall that it was required that you give one to every kid in the class, and I remember vividly not getting them from everyone.  If I did get some from the cute boys, I treasured them, and I imagined that they absolutely meant the sentiment that was written on the card.  I am half proud and half embarrassed to admit that I still have some of those goofy little valentines.

Then in Junior High it was just painful.  But everything in junior high was painful.  Around Valentine's Day back then, there were no valentine boxes.  And we were too young to really go to dances.  They did try to put on a "dance" in the cafeteria around V-day, but it ended up something where I probably dressed up way too much, and snuck into the girls' bathroom to apply some contraband blue eyeshadow, and then went to the dance where it was just big groups of kids standing around and some music playing but everyone generally feeling uncomfortable until their parents came to pick them up.  Then you walk outside and carefully dodge the creepy smokers to climb into the car and go home.  The other way kids celebrated Valentine's Day in junior high was to take out these weird little things with the student council where you could have someone in the student council deliver a candy with a note or something to your girlfriend or boyfriend or even the object of your crush.  I would see them come in to classes during the day with their candygrams, and hope hope hope, all to no avail.  I was always one of the candiless kids.  Awww.  Or, you could be really bold and call the radio station and request a song!  Remember that?  The big one at the time was "You're the Inspiration" by Chicago.  I remember at Valentine's Day when they'd play that song on the top40 station, I'd listen so carefully to the list (that took like 15 minutes to read off) of all the dedications they received for it, hoping that I'd be there, but never was.  Of course, I was never brave enough to call and dedicate one either....

And High School.  This is when it gets serious.  There's usually a big dance.  Whether it's a winter formal, a turnabout, or a Sadie Hawkins, it was a big one.  There's dates.  There's flowers.  The student council did the candy gram thing again, but this time it was with roses.  At least these years weren't painful.  I still had unrequited love, of course, but by this time I had girlfriends who also had unrequited loves.  That makes it way easier.  We would watch all the flower grams, not receiving one, not sending one.  We would listen to the radio still, but mostly it was the junior high kids doing the dedications.  We would see all the couples holding hands in the hall, making out at their lockers.  Sometimes we would sort of have boyfriends, but Valentine's Day was always stressful.  We would go to the highschool parties together, and drive home giggling about the boys we were crushing on.  Overall, it wasn't bad back then.  I did have a boyfriend my senior year of highschool, so I had a date to the dance.  Phew!

College.  I remember Valentine's Days in college.  If I had a boyfriend, I was with him.  I was dumped right before a Valentine's Day one year, but I remember a sweet friend of mine who took me out on a date and gave me roses to make me feel better.  He's probably the one I should have dated back then.  If I only knew then what I know now...  I had wilder girlfriends in college, so a few Valentine's Days were spent in bars, raging about ex-boyfriends or trying to find new ones, and getting loud and silly the whole time.  Those were sad but fun ones.

And then I got together with the hubby.  Our first Valentine's Day was 18 years ago, and he took me to this place called Murray's in downtown Minneapolis, an old fancy steak place that his grandma used to go to when she was young.  We LOVED it, and have been going there for Valentine's Day every year since.  As I get older, I look forward to that night so much.  A night where we get out, without the kids, gorge ourselves on amazing steak and garlic toasts, chat about everything and nothing, and toast another year of us and of Murray's.  I can't wait!  Even though that's all we do.  We don't exchange gifts.  We don't always even do cards.  But every Valentine's Day with him is better than any of the ones I had before him.  And that makes me love this silly time of year.  And look back at the ones from the past and feel nostalgic for my youth, but so grateful that I survived all that crap!  Now I get to watch my kids address their valentines.  They don't care who gets which ones, they just want to get them done in a hurry.  That makes me feel a little more understanding about the 4th grade boys in my past.  They just grab a shoebox and draw some hearts on it with a red sharpie.  They do NOT want to talk about girls, and certainly don't want to notice them yet.  Those poor little girls at their school.  I know exactly what they're going through.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My Dark Passenger

People, life is hard.  It's beautiful, but it's hard and messy.  And sometimes, even when nothing's going on, it's hard.

I wrote my last post about finding more time for myself and my friends.  And I'm happy to report that I have a girl date tomorrow!  Yes, SIL1 and I are going out for some fine food and drink, and more importantly, some much needed girlie conversation.  We are both in homes filled with men, so it's very necessary to connect once in a while, so we don't forget why we like being girls.  I'm really looking forward to it.  It's been way too long.  Seriously.  We live within 30 minutes from each other (which is saying something, since I pretty much live that far from anyone), she's married to my brother, her kids are two of my favorite people in the universe, and I LOVE hanging out with her.  So it's ridiculous that we don't get together at LEAST once a month.  But like I said in my last post, life gets away from all of us sometimes.

But in the last few months, I've been slowly realizing that I'm in a dump.  It's been creeping up on me slowly, and I have not been very aware of it, since I have been busying myself with kids, basement, dog, cleaning, and whatever else.  Laundry and my ever-important TV shows.  So here I am.  In this mental darkness, and I need to climb out if it. 

I have been completely letting myself hide.  From everything and everyone.  I don't even look in a mirror, if I can avoid it.  If you watch Dexter (yes, I watch too much TV), it's sort of like my own Dark Passenger. I lost my dad this fall.  I don't talk about it.  I don't write about it.  I have such conflicted emotions about the whole thing, and really, I know I haven't let myself deal with any of them.  So right here, with my fingers doing the talking so my mouth doesn't have to, I'm going to list my emotions about that.  Maybe that will help me come out of my darkness.

I am sad.  I am sad that I have lost my dad, my father, the man who helped to raise me.  I am at an age where I am certainly not alone in this loss, but it is a sad fact that my dad is no longer here on earth.  I cannot sit across a table from him.  I can't hear his voice in the room at family gatherings.  I can't shop for him for his birthday or Christmas.  I am sad that my kids no longer have him here to be their Papa.  

I am sad for my mom.  I know she aches for him, she feels alone, she struggles sometimes.  She hates to eat alone, and she has to do it most of the time now.  She's a diabetic, so it's critical that she eats regularly, and she has to consciously force herself to have her meals.  I am sad that she didn't feel like decorating her place for Christmas, and how hard holidays are for her in general now.  

I am hopeful for my mom.  Her marriage to my dad was absolutely not an easy one.  He had many problems, and made her life extremely difficult much of the time.  She loved him very much, but her life was never easy.  Now, his parting gift to her was financial stability.  Her life can be easy now.  I am hopeful she will find a new path, new habits, and new freedom.

I am angry at cancer.  Cancer has stolen not only my dad, but my mother-in-law and her sister, two ladies who were amazing people, amazing women, taken far before their time.  I am angry that there is this insidious disease that can just strike at will, cause such suffering, such devastation.

I am fearful of losing my husband.  He has cancer in his family.  But even if he didn't, it doesn't mean he's safe from of it.  None of us are.  But he could get hit by a car or any other horrible tragedy.  None of us are immune.  And losing loved ones makes us hyper-aware of the mortality of the people we treasure.  And I can't picture my life without him.  I cannot fathom how I would survive.  I cannot imagine my kids surviving something like that.  I don't want that in my head, but I cannot get it out.  If he's five minutes late from work, that's where my imagination goes.  Not to anything reasonable, but right to that.  Every time.  I fight it every time, but it wins.  Every time.  But he's fine.  He is fine.

I am riddled with guilt.  Guilt that I wasn't a better daughter.  That I didn't tell my dad that I loved him.  But even worse, guilt that I didn't know if I loved him.  I would tell myself that I loved him because he was my dad, but I never knew if I really believed it, deep down.  There were things that he had done in my life that left deep, dark scars.  Wounds that I don't think will ever really heal.  But he was a flawed man.  And I know now, as an adult, that he honestly did the best he could.  Considering the childhood he had, it's amazing he did as fine a job as he did, really.  I should forgive him his mistakes.  Maybe then I could let them go.  But I don't know how to do that.  

I feel numb.  I feel like I was too prepared for him leaving this earth, too ready.  I feel like maybe I had already let him go in so many ways.  I had such a wall built up between us, that my emotion during his illness and his final days were reserved for my mom, my kids, the situation as a whole.  Not just for the man that was dying.  It terrifies me that I can feel this cold.

I feel regret.  My dad was a really good guy, in a lot of ways.  His co-workers adored him.  I know he was an inspirational man at his work.  He always was very good at his profession.  In many ways, it's what kept him going, kept him feeling alive.  I missed out on that side of him.  I didn't allow him to get close enough to me to enjoy that side of him.  He was funny.  He was passionate about food, music, and his wife.  We actually had a lot in common.  He was wise, street smart.  He'd had a tough life, and learned a lot because of it.  He was a Vietnam Veteran.  I am proud of his service, and I know he wanted to share his experiences from that time of his life.  For some reason, it was usually too difficult for me to hear.  I wish I would have sat longer, listened longer.

I feel relief.  This is the darkest part of me.  I carried so much pain associated with my dad.  I had convinced myself that I could let it go when I let him go.  Well, he is gone now.  I have let some of the darkness go.  It has been replaced with other kinds of darkness, though.  The relief I feel from his absence comes hand in hand with shame.

During this time, I have let myself go.  And it's time to reclaim my happiness, my pride.  I need to take care of myself--I am my kids' mom, and my husband's wife.  They deserve the best me I can give them, and that certainly is not what they've been getting lately.  It's time to put my big-girl panties on.  Shake some weight off, and find a reason to get out in the world and smile at people every day.

I just went back and read what I have written on this post, which is something I almost never do.  I try to make this blog be as real and natural as I can, and one way I do that is to write quickly and then post before I can give it too much thought or editing.  This one's so raw that I'm tempted not to post it.  Maybe that means it's more important to post this one.  Reading it has been sort of freeing for me.  Maybe I will post it.  

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Little Help from My Friends

I wrote a long post the day before yesterday.  Then when I was about to put it up, I accidentally deleted the whole thing!  Augh!  It was very frustrating, especially because I actually had a lot to say that day.  And once it was gone, I couldn't get it back.  Bummer.

Today is Superbowl Sunday.  I don't know why, but I love the Superbowl.  I'm a football fan, but mostly for my home team.  I couldn't tell you more than a couple names of players on most of the other NFL teams, but still.  I love the atmosphere of football, and today is really the big show.  I love the cheesy pregame and half-time shows, I love the commercials, and I do love the game.  I also love having an excuse to eat football food.  We're not doing anything special for it today, but it's going to be fun for just the four of us to park in our (new) basement room in front of the (new) TV.  Very exciting.

So my post the other day was about making time for myself and for friends.  I had run into a friend of mine that I see occasionally at a function at the kids' school.  She looks amazing.  She has recently lost a bunch of weight and has started taking really good care of herself.  She was telling me that since she has made time to put herself more as a priority, she is feeling happier and more confident.  And she looked it.  It made me think, first of all, that I don't see my friends enough.  I mean, this person isn't someone I have socialized with outside of our kids' school things and the occasional birthday party, but we enjoy chatting, and there's no reason we shouldn't meet for coffee or lunch once in a while.  And for her to go through such a change in between times that I've seen her, well, either she's a miracle worker or time flies.  Or maybe a little bit of both.  I also haven't seen my other friends in way too long.  I allow my life to carry me away and before I know it, I'm living like a shut-in.

I'm still stewing about all this, so it must be important.  I am a mom, but that's really not all I am, and I forget that.  All the time.  I'm a wife.  And Valentine's Day is coming up.  I have a date night to plan with my cute hubby.  I'm a 40-year old woman.  And my oldest kid has kindly reminded me that "women over 40 need to exercise every day."  So I guess I need to start taking that more seriously.  I'm a sister and sister-in-law.  I want to get lunch with my brother more often, and chat with my sister more.  We've both been so busy.  And I'm lucky enough that all my SIL's are very dear friends of mine, who I haven't been spending NEARLY enough time with lately.  I think a couple cocktail outings are long overdue.  I'm a friend.  And I have got to get out more with my other mom-buddies.  They are my therapy.  I am a dog-owner.  I need to take my Freddy out for some long walks, which would be great for both of us.  Although he's very strong and it would be more like him taking me out for some very brisk "pulls".  Ha!  I am a crafter.  And I have a LOT of projects in my house that need some attention!

Funny how bumping into someone can do this stuff to you.  I have to wonder if I ever have some strange effect on people I run into.  Like I see someone at Target and say hello, and they walk away thinking, "man, that girl is amazing.  I really need to start wearing yoga pants more, and maybe stop combing my hair."  Wouldn't it be nice to be that inspiring?

Anyway, there's some football to prepare for.  And I need to find someone who wants to meet for a drink this week.