Out of Gas.

I ran out of gas today. I don’t mean that my energy fizzled and I took a nap or that I went running and couldn’t take another step. I mean that I ran out of gas driving down the highway. After a fun Green Bean Casserole Run and a lovely visit with two of my Kilimanjaro friends, I was driving home, and my car suddenly lost power. I could feel it coasting, so I turned on my hazards and navigated over to the right in the hopes that I could get to the shoulder before the car died completely. I did, but just barely. My driver side tires were pretty much on the line on the side of the road, so I crawled out the passenger side door and called for help. Then I waited. For over an hour, I waited. Continue reading

A Weighty Matter.

I got a stern talking to last night. Dave and I were talking via Facetime, and I told him that I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror at the gym during my trainer session last night. I’d done so well last year losing a bunch a weight, and these last few months, it’s been creeping back on. My pear shape is returning. Of course, since Dave’s a boy, I didn’t put it quite that way, but I did express my disapproval with my body, and he went off on me – in the most loving way – about loving myself and accepting myself as I am.  Continue reading

A Steely Resolve.

With my big race behind me for the year, I’ve been refocusing myself on training for the Portland marathon and getting ready for Dave to be in town. Overall, I’ve slowed down quite a bit. I’m resting more, have less on my calendar, and have even seen some movies this week – Begin Again and Obvious Child. Tonight I’ll see Tammy. It’s been lovely. I’m trying to use this period before Dave gets here as a reset of sorts – resetting my schedule, my goals and my mind. Continue reading

My Dinner With Coach.

The night before I flew out of town for Memorial Day weekend, I met one of my high school tennis coaches, his family, and another player and her mom for dinner. I played for this coach my sophomore year of high school. I played the number one spot for girls’ singles and doubles, but I did so under the shadow of the previous year’s number one player, who was a far better player than I and had a much better ranking in the state than I did. In short, the year hurt, partly because I had to change schools because my family moved and partly because I thought the coach didn’t like me. I found out at dinner the other night that he didn’t dislike me. In fact, he gifted me with one of the best compliments I’ve ever received. Continue reading

Sunday Delivery.

I stood in the locker room of my gym this morning, wrapped in a towel, when I realized that I had forgotten to pack my dopp kit. That meant no deodorant, no brush, no sweet smelling lotion, no moisturizer, no makeup, nothing. I had two options: put my dirty running clothes back on and head home to clean up or proceed to the shower and make a store run on my way to work. Continue reading

Wednesday List #26 – Things That Are Growing

I’m feeling positive as I approach my personal new year, so today’s list has an upbeat undertone to it. So much is growing in my life. Here are some things that I consider to be particularly fun.

  1. My Tree: At the finish line in Portland this weekend, I received a medal, a t-shirt, a charm, a coin and a tree. Yes, a tree. The tree came in a little paper cup like you would see by an office cooler. The tree is most certainly the most unusual finish line gift I have ever received, but I was in Portland, so perhaps I should not have been surprised. I flew the tree home with me and planted it. (Okay, Mom planted it, but whatever.) Cute, huh? Here’s to hoping that it stays with me.tree
  2. The Number of Books I Carry: I’ve always loved blank books. I carry a journal with me pretty much everywhere I go because I never know when I’ll find time to write. The same is true for my “to do” book. These are my fundamentals, but I have a number of other books I carry too. I have a book that I use for note-taking during writing workshops, Jeanne Guy gatherings, or lectures at the Seton Cove. I started a quote book a while back. I also have a book that I use for jotting down ideas for stories or articles. I have another book that I keep in my purse for thoughts, books suggestions, or notes about conversations with random people, like those I meet on the plane. I also carry a book for poems and lyric ideas. Finally, I carry what I call my Oregon book. My Oregon book is about more than Oregon. In it, I keep a list of my dreams – not the kind that come when I sleep, but the kind that come when I’m wide awake.Books
  3. The Number of Bags I Carry: I live in the country and work in town, so I often find myself “living” out of my car. This means I carry a number of bags. I carry my purse, my work bag, my lunch bag, my writing bag, my gym bag for getting ready for work after morning workouts, a running bag for my after-work trail runs, and most recently, a tennis bag. At times, I look pretty ridiculous, and my big boss calls me a bag lady, but my system of bags works for me.bags
  4. My List of Trips for 2014: I knew long ago that 2013 would be a year of travel. I thought 2014 would be a year of sitting my happy butt at home and restoring the coffers a bit, but that doesn’t seem to be where my year is headed. I’ve got Africa in December and the first half of January. I have races in St. George in May, Coeur d’Alene in June, and Portland in October.  I’d like to find one more marathon to run, so I can keep up my streak of three marathons in one year. I also want to go to British Columbia in July to see the new Ironman Canada venue. Then I have some personal trips I want to make. I want to see my Exeter roommate Karyn and her family. Jenny and I want to hit Chicago (after years of talking about it) for a Cubs game. I want to visit Gretchen in Washington in the summer so that she can take me to Mount Ranier. I want to visit Ann in New England so we can run a race together. I want to get back to DC since I missed my trip last year, so I can see Meghan and Anthony. I’d also like to plan a trip with my cousins Tina and Matt because the three of us are really liking one another in our old ages. And that’s what I know for now. So much for a planted 2014!
  5. My Hopefulness: I’m feeling really good about where I’m headed. Work is going well. My training is going well. I’m enjoying my old friends and making new ones. I’m writing more. And, perhaps most importantly, I’m getting excited about what a few people have separately described to me as the kindness that comes with turning 40. In the last few weeks, three different people have told me that turning 40 made them go easier on themselves. They became more accepting of who they are, less concerned about what other people think, and more forgiving of themselves when they either don’t want to do something or don’t do something exactly right. I’m ready, I think, to settle into myself more and do a little less “shoulding” on myself. Call me crazy, but I’m starting to feel pretty good about things, including turning 40.

It’s fun to think about the little joys – the ways things are happening in life that feel healthy and right. It’s also fun to think and write about them with a cute little critter staring at me from behind the computer screen, like this:Butter

That cute little critter is my Butter. My love for my Butter is also growing every day, but that’s a whole different story.

Happy Wednesday, y’all.

Wednesday List #23 – Kind Words

I’m an affirmation junkie. Nice things said about me fuel me. Here are some of the things I’ve heard in the last couple of days:

  1. On Tuesday, two of my friends posted something on Facebook where they included me in the same sentence as Diana Nyad, as though we are somehow woven of the same cloth. I have a hard time believing that, but the association means the world to me, as I adore Diana Nyad and am thrilled for her success.
  2. Today, a friend of mine from Toastmasters commented on my appearance and followed her comment up after the meeting with an email in which she said, “Taline, you look spectacular.” It does a broken heart good to hear those words. I can tell I’m losing weight but the acknowledgment from someone I haven’t seen in a while confirms for me that I’m doing the right things for myself.
  3. I acted as the Toastmaster for our contest today. After the meeting, our area governor sent an email saying that I was “efficient, organized and graceful.” I’m always nervous getting up in front of a room, so hooray for doing a good job.
  4. And speaking of good jobs, I circulated something I wrote to one of the lawyers in my firm. It’s something I worked hard on over the weekend. Today, he sent back some small edits with the note, “Reads well. Good job.” Does he have any idea how much those words mean to me, especially in the context of my work? don’t know that he does, but I appreciate them so much.
  5. I saw my big boss in the hallway, and he said, “Hello, little person.” I know that was a reference, not just to my height, but to my size. And since I’ve been around him since 1996, he knows my ups and downs in every respect. Again, hearing the compliment on my appearance meant something today.

For me, kind words make a huge difference in my spirit and my energy. When things aren’t perfect, something sweet said by someone I care about and respect can do wonders for my outlook. I don’t forget the nice things people say. In fact, I return to them again and again when I need a little boost.

So many times I wander through my days without telling people what’s really happening in my heart. I suspect others do the same. Maybe they’ve had a fight I don’t know about. Maybe they are worried about paying a bill that’s about to come due.  Maybe they’re feeling alone or unsure of themselves. Don’t we all sometimes?

Words are powerful. I appreciate those who pass kind words on to me. I hope I offer the same to others.