Office Life / Cold Front

My office has a serious Crumbl cookie addiction. As well as donut addiction. If you want to get something into the hands of leadership quickly, we can be bribed. Everyone has a price!

Speaking of office stuff, when the going gets tough, I remind myself of an instance where I helped a stranger get into their master’s program. Well, it was a miniscule part but I played it. Seeing as how it was several years ago, I imagine they have since graduated. Pretty proud!

Again, on the office theme, I have encountered some really beautiful sunrises lately. The only problem is I’m usually driving and too lazy to pull over. Being punctual is my thing. Although my phone doesn’t take the best sun photos, you get the idea. I adore the mornings. There’s just something about a new day, waking up before others, the quiet stillness of the world early in the day. Before life gets crazy. Before the sun starts boiling me alive. The days are getting shorter hence the darkness is lasting longer. Bring on Fall!

We’re getting closer to the closing of Hell’s Gate aka end of summer in Tejas. Not close enough. Sadly I missed the opportunity to run last week when it was a blizzard-like 59°. Break out the parkas, folks. I’ll get my cold weather running gear. It’s a party!

Alas, a day later, it was 99° outside and 78° in the office. Have I mentioned I miss teleworking?

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I ask you –

Does your office have a particular addiction?

What are the average daily temperatures where you live?

Tell me an office skill you’re not proud to be good at! I’m getting good at work order requests.

Fall Training Schedule

Considering this upcoming race. Coincidentally – or is it? – a trip to TN would enable mini to see her dad and family during the Thanksgiving timeframe.

No word yet on Morgan from Oregon’s plans to attend Run the Rail mid-October. Since I got the plague from hell in August, discontinued my run streak, and had to remember how to breathe properly, anything long distance before November is probably a no go.

There’s also Rock ‘n Roll San Antonio. The Stars at Night Half isn’t a viable option this year because it will be the same weekend mini heads back to TN for Christmas break.

Speaking of, I was a few paragraphs back, there was a week in there where I went to the doctor or was on the phone with a doctor at least once a day. They are nice and all, but I try to avoid, know what I mean? Anyway, I began to notice a troubling pattern. They don’t measure how tall adults are anymore. Yes, they ask how tall you are, but they don’t physically verify. Two problems: 1) I could be lying when I say I’m 6 ft (yet she didn’t even blink an eye) and 2) hearing the words “You’ve grown” isn’t exactly a compliment as an adult. Bet she didn’t really write down 6ft on my chart. Hmmmppphhh.

Relatedly, sort of, in the Navy they called shoes “go fasters”. The more I think about it, I realize that was the ‘kind, new Navy’ saying something positive about passing a PRT, etc. because I have never called my new running shoes “go fasters”. Instead, I internally refer to them as the shoes that will kick someone’s a**. I will outrun a cheetah in my new shoes! I am faster than Olympians in my new shoes! There’s a meme circulating on social media that says something like…why doesn’t anyone ask me (as an adult) how fast I can run in my new shoes…and I totally agree. It’s BS. You better ask me!! And I’ll be happy to demonstrate. But sometimes I just ask my shoes to get me home. You know what? That’s ok, too!

Hotter’n Hell Hundred went off without a hitch, to my understanding. More like best guess, Kel. I went to my usual viewing spot and didn’t see a single thing. Not one kit-clad cyclist was located. For a minute, I thought I got the date wrong. Alas, my final thought was since the annual bicyclist event was not held last year, they had an extra year to work on speed and sped through the course in record time. It could also be because I slept in and was approximately 2 hours late to the location. Or I read the map wrong. Really, it’s anyone’s guess what happened. I’m going with extraordinarily fast cyclists though. Just pretend there’s a super awesome photo here of thousands of cyclists.

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I ask you –

Any race suggestions? Or know of something I’m missing? Preferably early December.

Does your doctor ask how tall you are or take a measurement?

Participants in Hotter’n Hell Hundred next year – leave your name below so I can get insider information. I need an accountability partner!

I Wasn’t Ready!

Well, it happened. I don’t know yet how I feel about it, but it didn’t wait on me to decide. Kindergarten just sprang up, like a sudden slap in the face. You’re overly dramatic, Kel. Yesterday she was a baby, today is Day 3 of the beginning of her not needing me anymore. Sigh. If she’d just sleep in her own bed, I might not complain so much. Fat chance.

“Remember when you won Bluejacket of the Quarter?” No, actually, I didn’t remember that until you mentioned it. Reminiscing on my time in the Navy can be something else. The Air Force does an event called a Release Party when Airmen promote. I find this interesting because the Navy celebrates everything with cake. I don’t know about you, but I prefer cake to a party any day. I love cake!

So I’ve been sick for weeks now it seems. And as soon as I get well, then someone else in our house gets sick. If we could all just be well at the same time I’d really appreciate it.

My run streak is broken. A tragedy. See above sickness. I could have ran, I know I could have. But I didn’t. I just wanted to get well! In other related news, my running friend, Morgan from Oregon, has an interest in running Run the Rail. In the late 1990’s, two railroads, the Union Pacific and the Chaparral, decided to cease active service and “railbanked” this stretch of rail bed making it available for non-motorized activities, hence the 6th annual Run the Rail Half Marathon. This year will be the first time a marathon distance is offered. I’m considering running with Morgan, but the decision needs to be made like…NOW…because there’s only 6 weeks until this race and I’m currently training at a max 5k distance.

Day 2

First day of school takeaway: lunch is the best part of the day. Can’t argue. I guess it was so great she left her thermos in the cafeteria and decided to eat school-offered lunch vice taking her own on the second day. In her defense, Friday was pizza day.

Anybody else remember school pizza? It was amazing!

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I ask you –

What year did you graduate high school?

Do you have little people in school? What grades?

Tell me your favorite school meal!

Is this the…Tipping Point?

Podcast debut! The Modern Idiot (affectionately acronym’ed TMI) graciously invited me as a guest onto their pod. What a fun night! Spoiler alert: one half of the dynamic duo who hosts this podcast was a US Navy classmate. We have history, you could say.

In the same weekend, an old article I wrote for a different blog, Pregnant and Perfect, was reposted by a surgeon in Beverly Hills, California. This may not sound like a celebratory moment for anyone else, but the fact it’s still relevant information is astounding. When I mentioned this article to my sister, even she said she didn’t remember anyone using or sharing info on maternity belts when she was pregnant with her children, 16 and 14 years ago, respectively. Don’t ask me how I they’re so old. I don’t know. Granted it may not help with all pregnancy-related issues, but my personal belief is using a maternity belt regularly during the workday and when I expected to be on my feet for prolonged periods of time was key to a lack of stretch marks and ligament pain during my own pregnancy because it lifted my belly up and back which helps with posture and pain. Much like a girdle, it’s not sexy by any means but it gets the job done!

“It was not the perspective of the painting that had been wrong all these years, it was the perspective of the people looking at it.” I fully realize this post is behind in the publishing process because the above events happened nearly a month ago. For those that don’t know, I make it a practice to wait a few weeks to post, if possible, to protect mine and my family’s privacy. And it helps me to disconnect.  So I waited on this post for one reason: I needed to step back in order to not get consumed with doing too much at once. Granted, it took me how many weeks to get a merchandise page going (nearly 2 years of weeks). But anyway…

About the painting? I don’t know. I don’t paint. I can barely walk and chew gum. You get the idea.

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I ask you –

Have you listened to my podcast episode yet? Your thoughts?

Do you paint? Draw? Chew gum?

Other bloggers: tell me how much time typically passes between writing and publishing your posts.

Buckets of Lists!

(pt 2 of my bucket series)

I could have my very own Cool Runnings experience. Check it out!

Always wanted to learn how to curl. Curling is like shuffleboard meets bowling. Since I’m not too bad at bowling and shuffleboard is fun, too, then I think I’d be a natural. Who knows. Maybe I missed my Olympic calling!

Volleyball season is….errrr, was…upon us; specifically, mud volleyball. In true Texas fashion. But I kind of got my feelings hurt when I went to sign up and the lady I’ve been communicating with for over a year suddenly forgot who I was and told me if a team was looking for a player, she’d call me. Rather dismissively. I was supposed to be her teammate. Sigh. What can you do? Spectatorship is my new position.

Winner, winner!

Spoiler alert…I killed the first game. The second game killed me. Way to be humble, Kel. I also golfed a few days prior to the bowling excursion! It did not go well at all. And the bugs kept attacking us. I don’t like bugs. The good news is I didn’t break any clubs, windows, or body parts. Never mind that one time my golf ball hit the golf cart. Minor.

Then I found myself at a change of command ceremony humming “Anchors Aweigh”. Whoopsies! What do you mean the Air Force doesn’t sing Anchors Aweigh?! Couldn’t have been as bad as everyone looking at each other, lips moving, no sound coming forth. Pretty sure they didn’t know the words. Calamity of errors!

Weirdly, I haven’t heard one Navy song yet on this base. Troubling. And where’s the reveille tunes? What about Sailors in their dress whites? You know, the little things. P.S. while you’re reading this, I am on vacation enjoying the sun and sounds of the ocean. Scheduling programs really are lifesavers!

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I ask you –

Have you seen the movie Cool Runnings? If not, why not?

Have you been bowling lately?

Tell me your favorite winter sport! Drinking coffee haHA

The ‘A’ Words

Working with a youth group, it’s expected to encounter a gamut of topics. No limits. But when awkwardness came up, I stumbled a bit. Seems our next generations think life gets less awkward as one ages. Haha I wouldn’t know.

For example, twice in just one day, I encountered cringe-worthy situations. The first was about another person’s finances; the second pertaining to a divorced couple where I’m friends with each party and have known them since pre-wedding. It can get tricky. But the truth of the matter is this: it definitely doesn’t get easier. Perhaps the level of awkward is easier to manage (my sound advice is avoid, avoid, avoid!). Yet somehow it continues to happen. Oh lucky me.

Side note – there’s nothing I dislike more than observing other’s awkwardness situations. Except maybe a root canal. Seeing as how I haven’t had one of those, I’ll take my chances.

Edit: a previous Monday’s post detailing the face I make when told I should walk the stairs – a few days later, the same person began to laugh when they saw me walking my usual lunch time route and stated “You are amusing to me!” Insert sweet smile. Another “A” word.

I love the innocence of youth, the belief things won’t change so quickly, how honest and open our young people can be about topics considered taboo by older beings. We have two ears to hear and one mouth to listen. In boot camp, there was this one word that began as a call to action; however, it developed into a word of curse-like variety. The word was “ears”. Essentially it meant close your mouth and listen to this important message. But, in the hands of nearly every female in our unit vying for attention on whatever was life-threatening at the moment, it became loathed and dirty. My favorite memory was a young woman attempting to go to sleep one night who, after having had enough of hearing “Ears!” every 6 seconds, yelled out “No more ears! Just shut up!” Couldn’t agree more. I’ve never looked at, or heard rather, the word ears again without thinking back on that memory. I wonder what they use now? Masks?!

Assumptions is another “A” word with negative connotations. You don’t need me to mention the old adage regarding assuming one thing or the other. I believe perception and assumption fit unwell together…basically like perception is reality and seeing is believing…both phrases I firmly disagree with. A lot like “if it smells clean, it is clean” and we all know that isn’t true!

The title? Awkwardness and Avoidance. With a sprinkling of other words.

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I ask you –

What’s your favorite “A” word? Only PG-rated in the comments, please.

Do you consider yourself awkward? I’m not awkward. I’m just plain weird!

Tell me your best cringe-worthy memory!

Movin’ On Up + End of an Era

The last time I wore a uniform, circa 2017

With the end of my Navy career coming to a close in T-minus, oh, 4 days or so, but who’s counting?!, I jumped off the deep end by deciding to “make some big moves” as those young people say. I’m not old. Yet. I’d be lying if I said the thought of wearing those uniforms again wasn’t enough to make me cringe. Now I have a closet full of gear I don’t necessarily have to keep in waiting for a call to action. Recently someone told me it was now acceptable to stop taking care of myself, working to stay in shape, and refraining from anything that could land me a few steps in front of the UCMJ. I laughed good-naturedly, but tuned out the rest of the conversation because it felt beyond short-sighted and, frankly, was offensive. I’ve known many who subscribe to this way of thinking, but it won’t be me.

Privacy is ingrained in me. Never will I willingly disclose enough to be dangerous, but I’ve come to realize I typically live in fear of what could happen. And now I’m saying enough. If I want my blog to grow, then I have to take some risks. Risk management is kind of my thing.

So as I set the privacy icon to public and changed a few things to promote status, a little thrill and some happy feelings embarked upon me. But I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t hard to press complete. What’s the worse that could happen?! A stalker, a weird knock at the door? Good news! Been there, done that.

Now we wait! And reorganize my closet space.

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I ask you –

Biggest fear?

Are you a risk taker or do you consider yourself more conservative?

Tell me your blog-growing ideas!

Never Too Old to Learn

Around mid-February, I became involved in a “group project”, if you will. Typically held 2x/month, we would meet and discuss very important subjects related to life, military, and anything else that came up. Our host served as a mediator of sorts, but there was no syllabus nor direction to our meetings. Throughout the past 6 months, give or take, we battled our group being involuntarily disbanded, technology issues once reunited, and an assortment of other small decisions impacting our ability to meet in person vs remotely. Shaky at best.

Looks different under bright lights

Now we’ve come to the end of our project. We tacked on a few extra months because the world went crazy. The question was posed what will we each do with the time we’ve spent devoted to attending? Suddenly we all have 90 mins back in our life – decisions, decisions. Perhaps I’ll write more or include an extra workout per week or solve world peace. The options are unlimited! Each of us has our own answer, but I think I might continue to make this date with myself. It’s already on my calendar. I could work; who does that? This time has already been carved out and I’m my best project anyway.

Now the sappy stuff. Without this project, I feel confident I would have eventually gotten to where I needed to be, but it wouldn’t have happened as efficiently. I certainly wouldn’t have made new friends. Although they may balk at my use of the word “friend”, I consider them such. Believe me, it’s almost impossible to share very intimate and uncomfortable details of my life with strangers and not consider them friends at the end.

K, a seat just for you

Dear K – Thank you for being raw and unapologetic. From day 1, your candor was refreshing. I will never know what it’s like to walk in your shoes, but you wear them so well. The work you’ve done in your life, the self reflection you employ, and the take-no-shit attitude you developed drove our group forward. The path your life has taken put you in this moment, I believe, for many reasons. Your heart is so big. The rescuer in me wants to take away the pain you experienced, the unfairness of giving many years to the military that eventually took so much, but you are strong and brave and I am honored to have met you.

DW, this sign led you here

Dear DW – Thank you for having the courage to join us. I have met many strong individuals, but you represent this project for those who often don’t come forward. There’s a deep appreciation of your work in recovery and the lessons you’ve shared with us. I’ve heard your stories of overcoming loss and navigating anger. These experiences paved the way for my own self-understanding. When you speak, I know I’m not alone. I have appreciated from afar what you stand up for, the grace you give your children, and the listening ear you provide to us. We began as strangers; I will never forget you.

Because of the two of you, I owe you each so much of me. My heart will continue to heal, my soul can sleep in safety, and the uniforms we served in will stand up for what we, and others, deserve. We are not victims; we are survivors.

In a turn of events, there will be no asking of you, my dear readers, for feedback on this post. I welcome your comments, but I choose to honor some amazing individuals in this moment. There is no question I have met some of the bravest our country has ever seen. For this, I am truly thankful.