Life’s LIMFACs

LIMFAC = limiting factors. So many acronyms.

Blooms in January

For the longest, and still today, I’m guilty of limiting myself via negative self talk. I think I thought it was humbling, but now I’m not sure. Saying things like “that’s not me” when exploring the possibility of doing something crazy or very self-serving. Not selfish, there’s a difference. For example, going back to school. Or, stating my name in a professional capacity.

Backstory. Recently I attended an awards ceremony where one of the nominees was introduced as Dr. (insert his name). I know him personally and credit him with encouraging me to get my doctorate. He’s always available for questions; in fact, when I asked him how crazy it was to take 2 courses simultaneously, he stated – paraphrasing – I didn’t do that but it can be done and you can do it, here’s how …

The empowerment and advice he provided was invaluable. So why don’t we empower ourselves in the same manner?

Back to the awards ceremony. I thought if that was my name up there, it would probably be read with my personal title, i.e., Ms. (insert my name). My thought was this: “The addition of Dr. My Name is just not me.”

WHAT? WHY NOT? Because that is me! Well, it will be. I earned every letter of that title and I should be proud of it. Humility or not be damned. The sacrifice, the tears, the brain power and dedication it takes to write until my eyes bleed – those things don’t just count for something, they count for ME! They are ME! How dare I limit myself by saying what is and isn’t me. I was created to do good things. I am empowered to do big things. I am and the highest I AM says so.

So when you think you’re humbling yourself by not speaking up for yourself or taking credit where credit is due, just remember the only LIMFACs are the ones you place on yourself. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

_____________________

I ask you –

Do you succumb to negative self talk?

What do you think isn’t you?

Forewarning: this will probably become a series as I have many LIMFACs to further discuss.

(The post Life’s LIMFACs first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

Deja Vu

It hasn’t happened yet, but I know it’s only a matter of time. I’ll probably be investigated again for my search history related to writing all these papers. Apparently information systems research is a hot topic. Haha who knew? As I plug in key words, even in well known journal publications, the message regarding tracking appears instantly. And these are university sources!

Snow #1

I keep writing all the words my manic brain throws at me and it seems to be working. As I approach week 3 of 8, occasionally I feel like I’ve got the hang of time management but then a potential snow day turns into a bust and I scramble for more hours in the day. Work is jam packed so there is absolutely no way I can even brainstorm words to lengthen the page count. Any takers? At first, I took great offense to the B I received on my initial assignment. Overachiever. I spent some time trying to prove the professor wrong, that his feedback was not correct. Spoiler: I made some mistakes. So a perspective shift was in order – I came to the grand conclusion he was right and just trying to make me a better writer. As he’s the program director, perhaps it’s a valuable lesson. Better to learn it now than later. Perspective. It’s everything.

Aside from that hellish course about advanced budgeting, this school stuff isn’t too difficult. Really, it just requires a nervous breakdown or ten, an insane drive to accomplish things, and where was I going with this? Oh right. Other ridiculous traits that indicate a real whackadoo. Me. I’m the whackadoo.

Did I mention I’m doomed to be investigated? Seriously. It’s coming. I was exploring nefarious terms for where the internet can take you and it hit me like a ton of subpoenas. All I could think was … If I end up on the cannot fly list, then this better get me another A!

__________________________

I ask you –

Have you searched anything suspicious lately?

How often do you try to prove someone else wrong? Be honest!

On a scale of 1 to Biden’s desk, how likely am I to survive this program unscathed? I realize how political I could take this, but it wasn’t my intention.

(The post Deja Vu first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

So Much in My Head

It’s fascinating to me when artists switch genres. It’s even more interesting to me when the period of time between hits is so extensive that many people don’t even remember they once had a hit.

For example –

Dallas Smith, Canadian lead singer of Default, recently released a country song. I never really know what prompts people to change music styles, but I guess music is music so it doesn’t matter. I will continue listening anyway.

Channeling my inner Anna Kendrick. …who some say I resemble which I take as an absolutely amazing compliment. Hello. Have you seen her? Come on! Or else they’re referring to my wild sense of humor and sarcasm which I still take as a compliment. Because she’s hilarious! To my point, it turns out not everyone has an inner monologue. I’m shocked, too. You know, the Jiminy Cricket inside your head that tells you ridiculous things, but also serves as your conscience. Right, some people have silence in their head. It’s very hard to believe.

I know for sure I have at least 3 competing voices in my head at all times. A dueling dialogue, if you will. A brain battle. A war of humor, curse words, and complete nonsense. Shall I continue? When asked, someone stated the lack of a monologue is why men can’t always answer the question “What are you thinking about?” If you ask me this question and I answer “nothing”, I’m obviously lying. My brain literally never stops. The record is always turning. And there’s no telling who inside is actually speaking. But, guaranteed, it’s someone.

Now that I sound like a real whackadoo, I shall finish this post and return to whatever else I was thinking about the whole time. Probably coffee. Or this paper that’s due.

__________________________

I ask you –

Do you have a monologue, dialogue, or something else?

Has anyone ever told you that you resemble someone? If so, who?

Name some other artists that switched genres.

(The post So Much in My Head first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

Give Me All the Flavors!

Seriously. Anything by Fa!rlife is addictive. Flavors I don’t even like – ahem, strawberry banana – taste so good! They’re filling and yummy and I can’t get enough. Believe me, I know the words ‘nutrition plan’ is not synonymous with ‘this tastes awesome’ but I guarantee it definitely does. Trust me.

I’ve returned to a keto style of eating. Seems my way of eating yet not running consistently (aka training for anything) is not the best for my waistline. Or else it was all the holiday treats. Nonetheless, my energy has reappeared, the bloating is gone, and my pants are starting to fit again. Win! This isn’t a forever diet; it’s just to get me restarted and back to where I want to be. But I am dreaming about that birthday sushi!

Some speak of the “keto flu” like it’s the worst possible outcome of starting keto. I’m certain I did not succumb to the keto flu this time; however, I did get hit by the bus o’ allergies. Probably some stress in there, too. And it all fell on the first week of class. Two is how many workouts I did. I tried to run one day, well, I did run, but the cough and congestion afterwards was awful. Maybe this week will be better. But there is a great chance for snow early in the week. Good thing I have two huge papers to write.

This is fun.

_________________________

I ask you –

What’s your favorite milk flavor? Loaded question, I know.

Are you dealing with allergies?

Tell me your favorite food!

(The post Give Me All the Flavors! first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

True Stories

In my line of work, I spend a large part of time examining footwear. No, you can’t wear flipflops in the gym. This prompted the following thought: have any studies been done on what footwear crime victims are wearing? Because I see many people wear footwear they can barely walk in let alone run, so there needs to be a standard established. Personally, I won’t wear anything I can’t run in. Because there’s no shortage of kidnapping attempts on my life.

In a bizarre string of events, the above photos tell a story of someone (someones) with a twisted sense of humor. I’m loving it. First, there was a dead hog on the side of the road. At least a week went by. Then, suddenly, there appeared a balloon stating “Feel Better” tied to its bloated carcass. No thank you. At least another week passed before mowers came through and I don’t want to speculate on what happened to the dead hog or its cheery balloon but both disappeared. Fast forward another week later. Now, there’s a homemade and painted cross with the inscription “RIP PIG”. I have no idea whose brilliant idea this was; however, I’m very much invested and feel as if maybe I should contribute with flowers or a rosary or some other memento. Why is this not a thing?

Ugh. It’s that time of year again. You know what I think? Oh, do tell, Kel. GS cookies should be sold before Christmas, before Thanksgiving even. So when we’re (I) am struggling to figure out what to gift, I can choose a simple option, like cookies. Sure, I can spend hours making treats and packaging them in cute bags, etc. but it would be awesome if I could give the gift of Girl Scouts!

I both loathe and adore Girl Scout cookie season. Send help. My willpower is garbage.

Last minute update, as of Monday:

I swear I didn’t do this! But I wanted to!

_________________________

I ask you –

Are you aware of any footwear-related true crime stories?

Should I pay my respects to the hog?

Tell me your favorite GS cookie(s)!! Caramel deLites and Lemonades!

(The post True Stories first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

A Few (More) of My Favorite Things

A previous post by the same name just didn’t encompass everything I had hoped to share so I decided to do another. Because that’s what I do.

The semicolon ring above was a Christmas gift from my spouse. I stopped wearing the one before it after it became completely bent out of shape due to my inherent ability to run into walls, get my hands stuck in weird places, and overall wear and tear. But mostly wear and tear.

The semicolon is significant because it symbolizes the continuation of a story, sentence, or thought. Many people have it tattooed as a reminder of suicide awareness which is also the reason I wear it. Some may know my dad died by suicide when I was a child so this is a reminder of a life gone too soon. I’m also very aware of Veteran suicide rates; thankfully I do not know anyone personally, but I do have friends who have either struggled or know others who succumbed to their struggles.

My sister gifted me the journal above. It has beautifully organized pages and helps me get my thoughts in order. A huge plus, in my book. No pun intended. Her faith journey is so intentional – I’m trying to follow her lead.

Lastly, no bake cookies. I’m addicted. In the past 3 weeks, I’ve made no less than 4 batches of these cookies. They’re so easy and that’s the problem! Friends have even requested them – for money. I was joking when I said $5/batch. But maybe I shouldn’t have been.

Why do you run, Kel? So I can eat cookies!

__________________

I ask you –

Do you have a symbolic piece of jewelry?

Are you a self-proclaimed cookie addict, too?

If you or anyone you know have thoughts of suicide or are struggling with mental health, please reach out to a trusted friend, coworker, significant other…anyone. There are also many organizations dedicated to helping you. You may also dial 988 for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Help is always available.

(The post A Few (More) of My Favorite Things first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

Labels

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

As a writer, a person really, it’s imperative that sometimes I show vulnerability. Or at least admit to it. But as a logical adult, it can be very uncomfortable to share with anyone, let alone the virtual universe, any issues related to medical or mental health, or even family stuff. Seeing as how I’ve been doing it for almost 4 years now, I’m pretty proud of the accomplishment.

All that being said – I take a medication with the label that reads “…for depression.” Every time I see that label, the emotions pour in. I’m not depressed. I struggle with a few things. Some days are better than others. My brain knows there’s a chemical balance that got a little wonky over the years because life happens. Not to mention the childhood disasters. Nonetheless, I don’t consider myself depressed. Again, I’m not depressed. Not in the commonly understood way, I guess. But I do get discouraged. No longer do I feel shame or condemnation in my struggles; if anything, I feel led to share the good, bad, and ugly so others won’t struggle alone. There was a time I would have never considered even for a second talking about medications and mental health and all the other taboo topics I’ve delved into especially on a publicly known source, like Running on Fumes. Absolutely not. Happily, now, this is my world and you get to read about it. Sorry not sorry.

Perhaps the labeling of people helps us fit them into proverbial boxes. Or makes diagnosis easier, more streamlined. Or something. But it can be damaging when we allow society – or well-meaning others – to label us a certain way. We’re each unique, special in our own weird way. It would be awful if we weren’t.

Which is why I think those who toy with others’ lives, their paychecks, their livelihood make it difficult for the remainder to ever establish trust. Work has proven to be a little like this. Regaining trust in the most basic way…by humanizing each person and getting to know them, personally and professionally, takes effort. Finding out their motivation, strengths, and weaknesses. Because they’ve become distrustful under a string of leadership who probably (initially) had their best interests in mind, then it went to hell in a hand basket. Time will do that to even the strongest leader. My goal is to be different, to make choices with the best of intentions but also with a plan in case the first, second, or third intention doesn’t work the way I envisioned. They deserve that from me and it should be expected.

They’re not depressed, they’re discouraged. And not all the time. Occasionally. Me, too.

__________________

I ask you –

If you were being brutally honest, how often do you feel discouraged?

Do you think people are quick to label others?

Tell me a time you overcame a tough situation.

(The post Labels first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

A Few of My Favorite Things

Mini’s family in Tennessee uttered the words “…she’s funny sometimes” in reference to my blog so basically I’m a celebrity now. bowing gracefully

The holidays certainly brought about travel woes for a huge part of the population. Mini did not escape unscathed either. As flights were delayed, then cancelled, the decision was made to drive instead. So, after another short delay, mini was on her way to a Tennessean Christmas, complete with snow!

In the meantime, I enjoyed a few of my own favorite things. Like, a gift card to Common Grounds, the base coffee shop, courtesy of my twin. As they no longer accept cash, gift cards are the currency of choice.

Hand created, in fact!

Also, this wonderful cup! Tis true.

Constant disclaimer

As I don’t drink milk, finding a suitable replacement has proven to be very difficult. I’m confident I get enough protein and vitamins from other sources, but milk is such a wonderful recovery option post-run/post-workout. Lucky for me, I discovered fa!rlife. I love each flavor, but chocolate is definitely my favorite.

I’m positive I could have found so many other favorite things to share here, but I probably shouldn’t overdo it. Not yet anyway.

____________________

I ask you –

Did you receive any gift cards for the holidays?

Do you have a constant disclaimer? Do tell!

Tell me about your favorite things!

(The post A Few of My Favorite Things first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

Word Play

2023. Somehow this is where we’re at. Don’t blink! As I’m not into resolutions – hello, failure! – I prefer to focus on a word or phrase. 2022 was Praise. This year, I think it’s Strengthen.

I want to be strong in faith. Strong in body. Strong in dedication to my education. Side note: is that a song title? Dedication to education. haHa Focus, Kel. Strong in presence.

Interestingly, running isn’t exactly on this list. Well, it is, but not what it has looked like the past 5 years. Wow. I raced for 5 years. Or maybe just 4. I didn’t run a single race in 2022. Perhaps this explains the body differences. My weight is up, things fit a little differently now. But it’s just a season. And most of the time I remember to strengthen (there’s that word again) my stupid meniscus with all the cool things I learned in physical therapy. Spiky donut, anyone?!

Not bad, if I do say so myself

I want to refocus on some smaller things in order to be stronger at the big things. Like my career. Walking back into the gym felt like being home again. Natural rhythms resumed, the excitement of supervising personnel, being a catalyst for change: those things make me feel strong inside. So now it’s time to be just as strong on the outside as I am on the inside.

Pause.

In related news, maybe if I had Moonwalkers then I could really accomplish something! Check out this article on the latest development to help people get where they need to be faster: Moonwalker Article.

And, if there’s one thing I want to accomplish this year, it’s this: I want to be able to do unassisted pullups again. Like my mini proudly says – welcome to the gun show!

________________________

I ask you –

What is your word or phrase or even resolution for 2023?

How many miles did you run the past year?

On a scale of 1 to spaghetti arms, how likely am I to reach my goal? 8!

(The post Word Play first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

Christmas Catch Up

Some Christmas magic happening in N Texas!

This mini of mine is so joyous. Her love of Christmas lights, fashion, and those lovely glasses of hers just make me smile. The world needs more mini!

You know what else it needs? More tea! I found this orange tea – so amazing! Granted, it’s not coffee. Because it’s tea! But it gets me through a long night of writing and researching.

Christmas candy is a tradition in my household and our extended family. Oreo truffles, Dr. Pepper truffles, and rum balls are my favorites. Others like coconut balls and peanut butter balls. Also good but not my favorite. It’s almost cathartic to roll the mixture into a small shape then carefully dip each one into melted chocolate. I like making extra to freeze so I can enjoy them all year long. Although they don’t usually last that long. To gift or to eat by myself – that’s a different story!

Whilest waiting for mini to finish dance practice the other night, I went to the local florist to peruse. Ta-da! I’ve become a collector of Cat-decorated items. For obvious reasons but also a bit of a private story. Anyway, anything related to Cat is the equivalent of a dad joke to me. My forever mom joke, if you will. Mini doesn’t think it’s as funny as me but I persevere! Hence, this pen is perfection!

Even the title of this post is symbolic. I bet you didn’t “catch” it.

______________________________

I ask you –

Do you drink tea?

Do you have any great mom or dad jokes?!

Tell me of a tradition in your life!

(The post Christmas Catch Up first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes