Blog Posts

Prison Sounds Like a Vacation

Disclaimer: I am not making fun of anyone who is/has been/knows someone who is/has been incarcerated. I recognize my humor is not everyone’s cup of tea. If it comes across as offensive, I truly mean no harm.

It can be fun when you find out new things about yourself. Or terrifying. Nonetheless, I found out I run faster when I have an idea. Some psychoanalytic might think this is because the brain cells are firing so the legs turn over faster. Or a dream interpreter could say it’s because I’m running towards something. Or none of the above. But, I did realize that when I’m thinking of something while running and a great idea strikes me, then suddenly I start running much faster. Maybe it’s so I can get to my phone to write it down before the thought disappears. If I was in prison, then I’d always have easy access to pen and paper.

On the rare occasion, I do stupid things with very clear consequences. Like go off the rails with sugar intake. My cycle is pretty consistent so I know when the mood shifts and my body needs extra food to make it through the week. However, sometimes the sugar cravings are out of control and I indulge. Payback is a sweet, kind, caring old lady. Then, I spend several days lamenting my very existence with horrible GI issues, headaches, and a general disregard for living. It’s really quite exciting. If I was in prison, I would be forced to eat whatever is provided to me.

And along the lines of vacations, I’m very ready for another 10 days of no typing. Don’t get me wrong – this past course has been a breeze compared to the previous double undertaking. I think I’ve actually managed to maintain my sanity, routines, and streak of completing assignments early. But, if I was in prison, I would have nothing but time. No pun intended.


I ask you –

Do you run faster when an idea pops into your head?

Does sugar pose problems for you?

Tell me if you have an upcoming vacation!

(The post Prison Sounds Like a Vacation first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

People. Not Programs.

Sometimes we need a reminder that many (most) of us are surrounded by people and the importance of being a leader is one not to be taken lightly. As it is appraisal season in the fairytale land of federal government employment, it’s time for me to administer them. While my own was a pleasant experience and nearly always has been, predecessors have royally convoluted the process and make it seem like a dirty word. It can be disheartening to build trust and camaraderie when employees are fearful, distrustful, and generally blah (which is definitely a scientific word). Often I find myself correcting others when I’m referred to as a manager. That’s not me. I strive to be a leader of people and a manager of programs. People are our mission; programs are our resource.

All this being said – work has posed some challenges lately. Seems this course on human resources and the legalities surrounding it have taken a toll on my decision-making skills. Not necessarily in a bad way; just that I’ve repeatedly questioned whether or not I’m doing the right thing. Turns out I think I have. But still.

So far, these are my (and by “my” I mean I didn’t do much…the team did) shining moments: hosted a staff meeting that included a rousing game of volleyball of which I am (ongoing) healing from; established 24/7 access to a gym that did not previously have this amenity, and completed a 3 week streak of consistent call-ins yet managed to recover. I can’t understand why my award-writing skills aren’t cutting it. Just another example of how supervising people and managing programs can be rewarding in itself.

this photo really helps the abused look

As for the volleyball part of this post, we’ve decided to develop a team complete with custom shirts, wildly inappropriate shorts, and substantially-lacking coach mentorship. At this point in the proverbial game, we have about 11 months to start practicing. Nothing can stand in our way!

I’m leaning toward these shorts

Until I receive the phone call asking if someone can bring in their inflatable gymnastics mat. Do what?


I ask you –

Do you supervise anyone in your workplace?

Have you ever played volleyball?

Tell me your thoughts on leadership versus management.

(The post People. Not Programs. first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

It Reminds Me of Childhood

I love sights or posts that tell a great story! Like this one about cookie jars. Speaking of chocolate (because we are), the photo below is of my newest addiction. These are literally the best sugar free chocolate snacks I’ve ever had. 1 carb per two pieces. Amazing! I was hesitant to use the word Bombs in my post because…well, you know.

Or this other article about my childhood favorite author, Judy Blume. And now I’ve exceeded the number of free articles available so I have to wait some unknown amount of time.

tastes exactly like fruity pebbles

Further, I believe I’ve truly reached the pinnacle of adulthood. Introducing…car snacks! Running again makes me so hungry!

Definitely unrelated to adulthood – mini’s “friends”, as she calls them. The collection continues to amass more victims as birthdays and other holidays contribute to her stuffy hoarding. As she sneaks into my bed each night, she attempts to bring her friends with her but quickly realizes there is nary enough space to accommodate. As seen above.

Alas, I once had the same issues. A line of stuffed animals I couldn’t sleep without. My “best friends”. In the essence of preserving her innocence as long as possible, I guess we’ll keep all the stuffies for a while longer. Until I can’t roll over.


I ask you –

What’s your favorite snack?

At what age did you stop sleeping with stuffed animals? Or do you still?

Tell me if I should insist on reducing the amount of “friends”.

(The post It Reminds Me of Childhood first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

I’m Not That Mom

…that creates elaborate birthday parties

…that can do more than two basic hairstyles

…that allows sleepovers outside of immediate family

…that has much patience with simple directions

…who is more focused on grades than kindness

…that believes in yelling or spanking

But I am that mom who –

…wakes up worrying

…over plans a weekend then accomplishes one thing

…enjoys watching my baby sleep beside me because I have no boundaries

…insists on the application of sunscreen

…prefers clothes to match

…can be overcome with laughter and forget to be mad

…asks for kisses and hugs

A polarizing topic, at best, is the way I was raised and the relationship, or lack thereof, I have with my own mother. As a parent, I know she was probably doing the best she could. But it has impacted our ability to relate and connect. As much as I love mini, I don’t believe we were ever designed to be best friends, as some parents refer to their children. I think the idea of being friends with your children is dangerous and potentially damaging due to expectations that will never be met. I’m her mom and that’s a big enough task, in my opinion. Friendships should be what she cultivates on her own, according to her own terms, and in different seasons in life. I want her to always be able to come to me with anything, yet not as a friend but as a woman who gives advice, hugs, and proper discipline.

The mom life is tough. I’m certainly not discounting dad life, grandparent life, parenting in general. Mini is never far from my mind – it’s hard raising a decent human being while attempting to set a good example because that attempt is often thwarted.

Especially when it comes to sleeping in her own bed.


I ask you –

Are you a gentle parent or a structured one?

What type of childhood did you have?

Take a guess: what are the odds she’ll sleep in her own bed now that she’s seven? 1 in 7.

(The post I’m Not That Mom first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

Peaceful Moments & Planning to Run

Early AM runs

Somehow I’ve completed the past 3 weeks’ assignments significantly early and been able to focus on upcoming papers, assignments, discussions, etc. Either a course on human resource management is easier than expected or I’m doing something wrong. The grades are good so I’ll just keep riding this wave. When there’s time to sit outside in the evenings and watch the hummingbirds – if the word balance truly exists, this is what I imagine it looks like.

In the spirit of healthy competition, I started a 10k training plan with no clear race or run in sight. Granted, it will conclude mid-June so there’s nooooooo way I’m racing anything then, but it’s fun having a scheduled training run to look forward to. If only the weather would cooperate. I’ve also been using the Garmin workout/training builder. Wow. Those workouts are no joke. Even the 15 min ones will have you questioning your life decisions. Perhaps I should have been using this tool much longer.

Even though I have textbooks a plenty, I went a little overboard with reading/desiring to read just-for-fun books. So now I have 3 sitting nearby that I can’t wait to complete and I might have ordered another. Whoopsies! Non-fiction has really drawn me in lately. Typically, (previously) I only read fiction but something about true or historically-based real life stories just hits me. And who can overlook an incredible woman’s journey to the Boston starting line.

Finally, I probably say this each year, I don’t know how my baby is celebrating another birthday. I swear she was a newborn yesterday. She’s bright, talented, loving, hilarious, and well-spoken. She outsmarts people so skillfully I don’t believe its normal. She argues like an accomplished law team. And, occasionally, she still calls me mommy instead of mom. Time flies.


I ask you –

What books(s) are you reading right now?

Are you training for anything? Just survival.

Tell me if your birthday has passed yet or if it’s upcoming!

(The post Peaceful Moments & Planning to Run first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

Merchandise Pages!

Coffee Mugs – because YES!

Shirts – t-shirts, hoodies, and tanks (adult + youth sizes)

Tote Bags

Written long ago: Good morning everyone! I finally have the merch campaign live. Obviously this is a special post for a variety of reasons. One being I pulled the trigger and set up a merchandise page, period. Truth be told, my sister was a huge (read: main) part in getting this done because I would’ve drug my feet even longer.

Click on the links above (Coffee Mugs, Shirts, and Tote Bags) to check out the pages. For now, I have limited options but eventually I will be adding stickers, etc. Let me know if there’s something specific you’d like to see! I’m not trying to retire on merchandise sales (big laugh here)…just looking to spread the word about what I’m accomplishing and, one day, when I open my shoe store/coffee shop/wine bar/library I’ll be ahead of the game! And then I’ll retire.

Please note: I chose to use a third party for the time being so you don’t have to wait forever for me to ship things and so I don’t have access to your personal or financial information. I fully realize many of you don’t know me outside of posting here; trust me, that’s a win!

Thank you! -Running on Fumes

A Few Proclamations

  • Going from 2 classes to 1 has been an eye-opener. I’m not stressing completing papers or posts; I have more time to research and find what I’m searching for. This is the life.
  • I’ve known it was time to increase the weight on my strength training program. No excuse; I’m lazy. So when I did…everything hurts so good. Except when my back itched. I needed help.
  • Anyone else still struggling with time change? This sucks. My routine has not changed but my sleep quality surely has.
  • Nothing like some friendly competition to get me back into a running routine. It doesn’t matter if they know/don’t know we’re in a competition. We absolutely are.
  • I saw a hummingbird!!! All the beautiful flowers make me happy. It’s time to plant them. And watch them die in 2 months when Texas mimics the fires of hell.
  • At the time of posting, we may have had at least one 90° day. My body is in no way ready for this.


I ask you –

How much do you enjoy research?

Have you seen any hummingbirds yet?

Tell me who you are in competition with! Self definitely counts.

(The post A Few Proclamations first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

Stumper and Stumpee

As soon as I saw the email solicitation to attend a visit by a two-star General, admittedly I got a little excited. Not only is she a wonderful speaker but she has made waves as a pioneering female with a knack for telling it how it is. The day finally arrived, amidst lots of venue changes and confusion on the attendee list. I had my ticket and I was ready.

Let me preface the remainder of this post: upholding my unofficial call sign was not my intention. However, this was designed to be a dialogue-forum type of event. With at least 150 people. Right. The facilitator had a list of questions she asked, then the floor opened for other questions. My hand instinctively shot up.

My original question had already been asked by the facilitator. I switched on the fly. Then something unexpected happened. Maj Gen Edmondson turned on me! Instead of answering, she posed the question to me. Again, I was forced to think on the fly. That’s not my forte. I’m a planner. Fortunately, the rephrased question was met with a heartfelt and genuine response about how such a successful and ambitious woman is able to stay connected with her children while navigating a fast-paced, highly visible, demanding job. She spoke of being present at home and carving out time to connect with her teenage daughter. She mentioned being a “gymnastics mom” which she stated is unlike anything she is comfortable with. For me, it was important to be reminded that all moms, no matter where or what they do, struggle with the same issues…missing events, getting home late, having to choose between what is attainable and what is not.

As the audience was heavily military, maybe civilians didn’t feel she was relatable. However, having once worn a uniform, she and I are alike. I suspect many others in the audience are, as well, even if no question was asked. I feel I represented my squadron well, but, more importantly, her answer united many people in what we are capable of, as mothers, as people, as part of the military.

Perhaps I did not showcase “Stumper” this time. But, I did take an opportunity to be seen by a woman whom I admire from afar. And she said the word balance is total BS. I couldn’t agree more.


I ask you –

Do you attend work functions deemed “forum-type”?

Are you the first to ask a question?

Planner vs. Spontaneous: tell me about you!

(The post Stumper and Stumpee first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

A Quote –

From @clearairturbulence: “A good writer is a good listener. What you need to listen to is your subconscious. You allow what comes forward to dicate the terms. You’re not suppose to write with your head. Writing – good truthful writing – must come from the heart. It must comes from the gut. To do that you need to let go, listen and then type.

The quote above was pasted on this post with no specific expectation of how I would incorporate it. I just liked it. But, as I returned to my morning date with an office chair – we have a solid relationship – and began researching for a paper, I realized how relevant the quote was. Some get their information from television news sources. Others enjoy the video perspective of YouTube and the varied opinions or commentary it offers. Me? I read thousands of scholarly articles on such a huge range of topics that I could probably never accurately retain them. As I’m most certainly not a numbers person, spreadsheets don’t interest me. But you give me a database full of words and I’m like a child with their favorite candy. I could sit here (and I do!) for hours whilst researching the next paper. People are so weird.

I expected a coffee-scented candle. Nope. Plain vanilla.

Interestingly, each semester I have been able to incorporate what I learned into my daily tasks. The next 7 weeks is all about human resource management. Welcome to my day! Unsolicited and unmanipulated conversations have already begun. It’s truly fascinating to incorporate what I’m exposed to into the research I find. Again, these are organic conversations I’m having with the people I supervise and/or work with. Remember the budgeting semester? I feel nauseous recalling it. For whatever reason, that was also the time period I was creating, updating, or attempting to correct several work-related budgets. Applicability? Check!

So, to tie this post back to the quote at the beginning, listening to others tell their story or perspective – I have no idea where I’m going with this. It’s just fascinating to me, ok?!


I ask you –

When was the last time a quote hit you and made you reconsider?

What medium(s) do you use for events or dialogue?

Tell me how often you get distracted!

(The post A Quote – first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

Busy is not a Badge

Backstory: the position above me has been vacant since I accepted my current job. Not a big deal. Sure, the workload has been maximized because those job tasks fell on me and another manager. Really – the entire workload fell to everyone. Nonetheless, hiring for that position has been much needed. Typical of the federal workforce, I could churn butter faster than expecting a decision to be made.

Of course I applied for that job, even though I’d only been in my position for 4 months. Because, why not. So when I found out I didn’t get the job, I was a little disappointed for a moment. Now, writing and reflecting on it in the days after, I’m actually very thankful. Prioritizing my own health, fitness, to-do list, school, and a million other tasks has been challenging. Don’t get me wrong: I have an incredible wingwoman and staff that make it all worth it. I enjoy responsibility. However, it sure will be nice when I can unload a few things off my plate.

Minus the week away from school and the return to 124 emails, I was feeling stressed about not “jumping back in” to everything. I found myself leisurely writing the first assignment, forgetting to prioritize my workouts, and generally not trying very hard. Then, I read an article about how society places being busy as a value everyone should strive to obtain. News flash. Even I was guilty of portraying this value to others, specifically my staff. How many times have I said just look busy? Perhaps it’s not the same as to look busy vs be busy but I said it nonetheless.

That week away refreshed me, gave me renewed purpose, and reconnected me to someone I love beyond words. I needed it. Needed. My soul needed it. However, as a type A, it can be so difficult to embrace not being busy.

Often, I must remind myself: the badge of being busy does not equate to value, to actually accomplishing anything, and it certainly shouldn’t define a life with purpose. If busy is indeed a badge, then it’s time to rethink how often I wear it. Maybe just special occasions.


I ask you –

Is being busy also your badge of honor?

Are you a type A? B? Is there a C?

Share with me how you prioritize yourself!

(The post Busy is not a Badge first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes