At a Crossroads.

Not too long ago, I was feeling my age. Then I was temporarily out of commission. Now I’m at a crossroads of sorts. Something in me is changing. I have less patience for what I do not care to do. I have less patience for things that feel unproductive to me. And I have less patience with my own willingness at times to be less than whole-hearted in whatever I am doing. I feel like my moments matter, and I do not want to waste them. Continue reading

12:25 a.m.

Tonight I found Dave’s secret stash of M&M’s. It’s not a secret really. He’s not hiding them so I won’t know he has them. He just puts them out of my sight because he knows that I want to be lean and that I have absolutely no ability to moderate my intake of something I enjoy. That’s true for most things, actually. Moderation is not my strong suit. Continue reading

Out of the Overflow of His Heart.

It’s been a busy day, but in the midst of the frenzy, I found a few moments here and there to settle more into my new office. Here is a picture:

OfficeIs it pretty? I really like it. It feels good to me. It will feel even better when I move my couch in this weekend.

The hard part of the day came when I unpacked two boxes from my old office that had been sitting in my living room for the last two years and then some because I didn’t have a permanent office to call my own. Continue reading

Happy New Year!

I am celebrating my personal new year today.

The day began perfectly with a fun run with Kerry and Jenny on the trails. Jenny just ran the Marathon 2 Marathon in West Texas, so we got to hear all about it. She had a wonderful run where her mind felt loose and happy. Like my experience in Portland, she never hit a wall. A success! I am always inspired by the successes of my friends.

Then, as I enjoyed my post-workout smoothie at the gym, I happened upon an article by Garrison Cohen that upped my peace of mind. The article appeared in an online journal called elephantI recommend reading the article in full here.

The gist of it is that life at its richest is found “in the pits.” The analogy the article makes is in reference to a peach. There’s the juicy fruit and then there is a pit. Some people love relationships as long as they are enjoying the juicy fruit, but when they reach the pit, they quit and, as a result, miss the really good stuff. Here is part of the article:

In relationships we all enjoy the fun, light, playful, juicy exterior of knowing someone. And then when we come to a breakdown (the pit) we want to throw it away, ignore it, treat it as worthless. The majority of the time we see “the pit” of relationship as a waste of our time, not what we want, not fun anymore.

I believe we’re missing the point.

Just as the pit is the source of life for the fruit, breakdowns are the source of life for the relationship. Not just your relationship with him or her—but your relationship with everything and everyone, including yourself.

If we run from the breakdowns, we simply stay on the surface where we can only have light, fun experiences. When we allow ourselves to really experience the breakdowns, we start to see the core of who we really are. This can feel scary and vulnerable and yet, only by embracing the source of life can we continue to grow.

I’ve learned a great deal this past year, including that I am not someone who throws a relationship away when it experiences a breakdown. That doesn’t mean I’ve figured out how to successfully navigate through breakdowns. I haven’t. But I don’t expect light and fun all the time. In fact, going forward, I’m committed to “fighting” earlier in a relationship rather than later because challenges reveal how committed someone is to making the relationship work. Today, this article felt like the universe telling me that I’m okay, that I did my part this past year, and that I learned something from it.

Then – not that I needed anything else to make today a good one – I also moved offices today! After more than two years of being in temporary, somewhat make-shift office space, I now have a home. I can unpack and fully settle in. The timing could not be sweeter to make today feel like a new beginning.

Not a bad start to my new year, huh?

13 Mile High Club.

Since I’m leaving town this weekend, I did my Sunday long run today. I ran 13 miles around Lady Bird Lake. It was awesome.

The first loop, I ran with my friend, Kerry. We’ve been running together for over two years now, and though I’ve worked with her many, many years before that, our friendship really developed through our running. I’m grateful. She’s an incredible friend to have – loving, accepting, thoughtful, a good listener and really funny. And she makes me show up for my runs, which is always helpful. Even this morning, I was tempted to sleep, but I knew Kerry was expecting me.

After our loop together, I ran a second loop alone. I found myself singing (in my head, of course) various country songs on the loop alone.

It’s over when it’s over
Ain’t it, baby, ain’t it?
Rips ya like a dagger,
Can’t it baby, Can’t it
Wish we could do it over
Damn it, baby, Damn it
We had it in the air, we just couldn’t land it

Love me a little Eric Church at times.

I also found myself thinking about how lucky I am that I can run until 9 a.m. and get to work at 10:00 a.m. I know not everyone can do that. The flexibility I have in my work is astonishing sometimes. I’m completely supported by a wonderful office and completely independent to manage my schedule and do other work, like the writing I love. How many people have that kind of flexibility?

It’s been a while since I did a long run that I really enjoyed. I’m so glad I showed up for it, and I’m glad I got my long run in for the week. I have the Portland Marathon coming up in about four weeks, and I want a personal best. I think I can do it. Plus, I’m glad I get to visit Portland again soon. I’m glad about lots of things today.

Yesterday, I wasn’t so glad. But the ups and downs of life happen, no? The rough days make me appreciate the really good ones. Like today.

Setting the Tone.

I’m a big believer in the power of New Year’s Day. I believe it sets the tone for the year – who you are with, what you are doing, and how you feel. I tried not to focus on that too much this year because I was spending New Year’s Eve at home alone, rather than in California where I really wanted to be. But looking back on today, I realize that I set a damn good tone for the coming year.

I got up early this morning and met Kerry and Jenny on the trails for a run. The three of us ran the five-mile loop on Lady Bird Lake. Then Jenny and I ran the three-mile loop. I had hoped we would run the seven-mile loop, so I was pleasantly surprised to actually run more than planned. That doesn’t happen very often.

After running, I cleaned up at the gym and went to see “Argo” at the Violet Crown. I went alone. It was a 10:25 a.m. movie, so the theater wasn’t terribly full, and I didn’t have to sit near any of the many couples in the theater. I enjoyed the avocado spring rolls and a warm cup of coffee.  The movie was fantastic. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time even though I knew how it ended. And I loved the scene where Ben Affleck’s character went to see his estranged wife. I loved what happened between them. Just loved it.

After the movie, I decided to call my mom on a whim to see if she’d meet me at the LBJ Library and Museum to see the new permanent exhibit. It opened on December 22, and I’ve been wanting to go. I thought I might go last week, but work was busy. Mom came, and she brought my niece with her. Bonus! We had a wonderful time walking through the exhibit. I especially enjoyed listening to the recorded phone calls between President Johnson and others made available throughout the exhibit.

When we left the museum, we decided to get some food. I took Mom and Armineh to Mother’s Cafe, which I love. Armineh and I talked movies, and we all laughed a good bit. I so love that kid, and I love how joyful my mom is around her.

After the meal, we walked across the street for some gelato. I had mango and coconut, two of my favorites.

While we were enjoying our gelato, I got an email from my boss about the brief I turned in to him yesterday. He praised my work, not just to me, but to my co-counsel and the client. I work hard, and I worked hard this holiday weekend to get the draft written. I so appreciate his appreciation for my effort and my work product. In the professional world especially, compliments mean the world to me.

After gelato, we drove Armineh home. I drove Mom back to her car at the library, and I came home.

At home, I wrote in my journal and read a memoir. Now I’m writing. When I’m done, I’ll head to bed for a little Words With Friends and hopefully some good sleep.

Running, a movie, a museum, a shared meal, an indulgence with two people I love, praise from my boss, writing, reading and time for reflection. All in all, I’d say I had an amazing day.

Happy New Year’s to me. And to you, too.