Hard Conversations

As many of my most loyal readers know, I have this bizarre reaction to death which makes me funnier than usual. However, this time around, I couldn’t find much to laugh about.

My sweet mini’s grandmother passed, then 3 days later her great-grandfather passed away, too. Both had been struggling for some time, but it doesn’t make it any easier. Holding your child while they cry knowing there’s nothing you can do to mend a broken heart is awful. Though it sounds odd to put it this way, I’m thankful I have experienced the loss of a parent because there’s a piece of numbness I’ve developed. Sounds bad, right? It’s taken more than 25 years to really delve into all the emotions but it’s been useful. I am incredibly thankful for friends and family who walked me through the what to say’s of this experience – people who know so much more than I do about life.

As I held my little mini, I watched her go through the textbook feelings and reactions of anyone who experiences grief. Anger, bargaining, acceptance, etc. That psychology background came in handy. And I’m proud of myself for being there for her in all the ways I believe my siblings and I didn’t receive. No offense intended.

In other news, my sister is feeling the gravity of working with me.

Me: Hey, how many treadmills do you have over there?

Me: Is the A/C working today? Do you have a fan facing the treadmills?

Her: I have this super important training to go to today – where is it?

Me: *responds with a recipe* What? Sorry. Can we make these for dessert this weekend? What were you saying? Oh, training, right?

This is so much fun. For me!

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I ask you –

Do you shy away from tough conversations or tackle them head on?

Have you ever worked with a family member?

Tell me how annoyed you think my sister is with me! Probably a 4. She’s used to it by now.

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

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Playing Catch Up

It’s currently Friday night, I’ve been suffering all week with ridiculous allergies, and I realized I haven’t written one word for a post. 23 words now. I’m on a roll! Let me catch you up on my week.

Still Friday. What a crazy day. From 5 miles to start the day to being able to log into my very first doctoral course – it’s been a rollercoaster of emotion. The twin and I were able to honor our grandfather during the POW/MIA run at oh-dark-thirty. Seriously the mosquitoes are brutal. Then we did another hour of walking as part of the Run to Remember for our fallen SAFB service members. Sister wanted to kick me. A bazillion steps later, I finally showed up to work.

I’ve been anxious about this “first look” for school. We can log in and look around, print some things etc, but can’t officially get started. There was a moment where I thought ‘is it too early to quit?’ Surely this will get better with time. Surely. By the time you’re reading this, class will have officially started. Here we go!

Mini has been sick, as well. Poor baby. I blame her. From the few days of rain we received some time back, the ragweed decided to make its grand appearance. Then the city decided to mow because why not. Hello, sneezes! Hello, Zyrtec! Anyway, this has been fun.

I also attended my first ever Air Force Ball. Despite the lack of, well, many things during the preparation phase, the night was a lot of fun. As expected…it literally took a village to put my outfit together. As it’s been an extremely long time since heels were required, I solicited amazing friends and family for a curling iron – because why would I need one of those – and a purse. Which I swear I have one, but couldn’t locate. The accessory du jour was a sparkly tiara because how often does one have an opportunity to wear that?!

Now I must return to my rather boring life punctuated with football, word counts, and a run or two.

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I ask you –

How was your weekend?

Have you ever worn a tiara?

Tell me how often you rely on others to make things happen? All the times!

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

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Day in Photos, pt 90

The week came and went and I didn’t realize I had written nothing. Here I rely on my ability to throw together a post created entirely of short sentences and photos.

Hocus Pocus season is upon us! Just a few more weeks until the long awaited sequel!

Mini and I when we realized we hadn’t really made any big plans yet for our Hocus Pocus Watch Party!

Throwback to my very first half marathon – Rock n Roll VA Beach. So glad it wasn’t my first and only!

Losing weight is hard. Making good food isn’t. My compromise is I will eat what I want – carbs, desserts, etc – in moderate amounts. I dusted off My Fitness Pal and have been religiously monitoring my plate. So far, things are going well. And I feel really good, too. Win!

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I ask you –

Have you seen any funny sun visors lately?

Do you have a throwback photo of your first sporting event?

Tell me your least favorite vegetable!

(The post Day in Photos, pt 90 first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

From Issues to Tissues

Anybody else having issues scheduling posts on Word Press? It’s not really the scheduling that has become an issue – it’s Word Press not posting them at the scheduled time, specifically when I schedule them using the app on my phone. When I use my laptop, no issues. Phone = issues. It forces me to stop my day, manually publish the post, then return to business. No time for that. I pay for this platform so I expect it to work properly. Christina, I know you know how to fix this. Help me!

Finally – football is back! Accidentally skipped over preseason. Peacock is my friend. That funny little bird streaming service has everything I need. Random note: mini calls it a pea-hock. No se. If you’re looking for me the reminder of the season, I’ll be keeping my couch company and demanding popcorn. Just kidding. That’s my mini. I’ll be demanding silence, hiding in the bedroom whilst working on bibliographies and papers. Send headphones. I have a grand total of 2 weekends to watch football. Silence!

It’s still hot outside, but I’ve been making it out there to run. The 7am-ish hour is simply the best. There is the slight undertone of fall peaking around the bend… patience is not my friend. If only we could get some rain. Sigh. Mini has been pestering me about riding her bike “a long way”. We did complete two long rides though!

Speaking of long rides, I was fortunate to witness a piece of the World Trade Center arrive on Shepard AFB to be displayed at a later date. Firefighters and other emergency personnel from NYFD transported it. I was in awe. It was strange to think how many of the Airmen dutifully saluting while the truck and its precious cargo passed by were not even born when 9/11 took place. Seems unreal it’s been 21 years. May we never forget.

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I ask you –

What is your favorite part of WordPress?

What NFL team are you cheering for?

Tell me a time you witnessed an event honoring something historical.

(The post From Issues to Tissues first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Finding Joy + Important Question

Sep 1st I’m starting a half marathon training plan. Not because I have a race in mind, but because it’s fall and that’s what I do. I train. I am the driver. I must drive! Also because running is my escape and with school starting mid-Sep then I’m going to need to escape from my laptop. And running brings me joy so why not.

A radio caller posed a question: “Should I let my 12 yr old wear makeup?” Nearly everyone on the show stated no. I didn’t see the problem. Mini has been wearing makeup since she was 2. No, she doesn’t wear it anywhere except to church. My reasoning has always been when you make something mysterious, when it becomes a big secret, that’s when it develops into forbidden fruit. She’s been watching me do my own makeup her whole life; naturally she wanted to participate. Putting makeup on brings her joy. Truthfully, she’s really great at eyeliner. She should give me lessons because mine sucks. For her, makeup isn’t about covering an insecurity or for attention…she genuinely loves blending colors and watching it transform to the finished product. Makeup artists are, in my opinion, creators on a living canvas. Joyful.

A lovely friend often uses the phrase ‘finding joy’. One day she stated she saw a cabinet of candles in her home and silently asked herself why she wasn’t using them. She recognized unlit candles were not bringing her joy so she made a change. Hello, fire! I, too, have a host of candles I never light. Sounds like I need to do something about it pronto. My “Is this bringing me joy?” moment revolves around perfume. I noticed I own several bottles of the same scent of expensive, glorious perfume, but rarely do I wear it. Not anymore. Mini has her own makeup and body spray I encourage her to wear – it’s about time I take my own advice.

Minus the dramatic, winged eyeliner. I’m not there yet.

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I ask you –

What brings you joy?

How would you have answered the question of a 12 yr old wearing makeup?

Tell me how many candles you currently have in your home! At least 6.

(The post Finding Joy + Important Question first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© Running on Fumes 2022

Day in Photos, island edition

Let’s talk about my two favorite things: coffee and running.

Cafe Padre at Yummies Bistro

Perfectly cinnamony, any artisan-level coffee is just right for me. Yummies makes fantasticly fancy coffees for every taste. I’ve never ordered anything bad from there. They also have food, but who cares. More coffee, please!

Too bad I’ll be writing papers during this event because it sounds like everything I love in one weekend. Post-doctorate plans are already being made. Note to self: research how many times you’ll have to run the island because it’s not 13 miles long.

(not pictured) broken Keurig. Apparently it is an issue the company is well aware of because I have called in twice just on my own machines. There’s a particular model with a faulty mechanism which pops the heat sensor rendering the machine kaput. Or something like that. I bring my own Keurig on vacation and didn’t even get one cup of coffee before it broke. Hmmpphh.

Hoka running shoes seem to be the shoe du jour on the island. I never saw one runner in Brooks the entire week. Maybe they just don’t know what great shoes feel like. Or else they prefer their sandy toes in a different brand. Whatever works. I did see one sponsored cyclist mid-week. He had a fancy kit. Perhaps I should have asked if he would be participating in the HHH at the end of the month. But since I was dying from the humidity there was no way I was chasing him down.

Overall, I ran three times that week and walked dozens of miles…beach to condo, shop to shop, vehicle to restaurant. You know the drill. I won’t miss the humidity, but I do envy 80° days and nights. And fried fish. I adore fried fish. It’s practically healthy! For those of you sick of my island recaps, I’ll be back to regularly scheduled silliness soon. Right now, I’m still basking in my tan lines. Mini goes back to school this week. Standby.

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I ask you –

On a scale of 1 to I-would-literally-die-without-it, how much do you love coffee?

Do you find yourself walking more while away from home?

Please comment your bets on how tired mini will be after the first 3 days of school! Mine: she asks to go to bed after dinner.

I Am Woman!

Not many might find it appropriate or desirable to discuss sensitive, personal topics in such a public forum as blogging. I’m not many though. As my gray hairs seem to be increasing and my realization that other bodily changes happen/will happen over time, why not go ahead and write about it now? Clearly rhetorical.

Photo by kat wilcox on Pexels.com; Anybody seen the movie “Bridesmaids”?

Warning: if you have no interest in feminine psyche or issues, you may close this post now. If still reading, you’re on your own.

I’ve had a menstrual cycle for over 25 years. It’s been a learning lesson, to say the least. Every few years, there are small changes but nothing dramatic. Yet, as I’ve aged, I’m able to recognize what I need during the different parts of my cycle. Of course I knew what the cycle names were and most of the symptoms (for me), but I didn’t fully embrace how to prepare for these changes especially in terms of exercise and “self care”. (I don’t love the words self care because, in my opinion, it’s just another buzzword.) Self love is nice though. Anyway, I’m fascinated by my mind and body and its capabilities.

I remember being a young girl who felt like all the responsibility of adulthood snuck up on me so quickly. The birds and the bees conversation never really happened so I was stuck figuring it out as I went. From cramps and tampons to reproduction and birth control and how this all tied into life – what a chore. But I owe it to my own daughter to help her navigate it all. In order to do so I must find what works best for me. Before she peppers me with questions.

Forgotten where I was going with this. Please hold.

Oh yes, exercise and cycle syncing. Thankfully, our bodies tend to follow some intrinsic patterns. For the most part. It does get a little wonky at times, as does most everything in life; however, I know when I feel my best, when I feel like something is “missing”, and when it’s time to throw in the towel. Kidding. I don’t know that. Learning to practice more self love during certain parts of the month is an endeavor I’m embarking on. There are many other athletes who practice nurturing themselves when the going gets tough and it has been a true eye awakening experience to watch it unfold. I love when women cheer on other women. So, for now, I intend to attempt a form of cycle syncing to see where it takes me. It can’t be too wrong because any opportunity to drink tea and take it easy when in the throes of the cramps from hell is my game.

As my best friend Sam says, “Throw chocolate at me and run!”

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I ask you –

Any insight into syncing the menstrual cycle with exercise or athletic goals?

Did you even know this was a thing?

Name the last thing you threw at someone! Socks at mini.

Day in Photos, pt 6

The long weekend of mini’s return to midsummer Texas finally arrived! In probably not chronological order –

First, beautify the nails. Sure, ballet shoes cover her toes but it’s proven women who wake up and see their toenails painted experience higher levels of YAY hormones. Totally made that up, but it’s true for me so why not.

Maj Aaron Green & I

Prior to mini’s homecoming, I said see you later to someone with the biggest heart and passion for Airmen. It’s been an incredible few months working with Maj Green – I will miss him and his huge family. Key Spouse life.

Without further ado – I present to you my little ballerina. She rocked her performance and is such a helper to the other young ladies.

It wouldn’t be a weekend without my sister visiting. We have too much fun together.

see the little face?

Overall, the weekend was a success. Nevermind the outdoor temps of 112°. I believe mini had an incredible time. And I’m thankful mini’s dad made the very long trip to support her dance dreams. Everything went by so quickly; before you know it, school will be starting again and we’ll be in another loop of school, dance, repeat.

I feel the heart palpitations returning already.

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I ask you –

What plans do you have for the upcoming holiday weekend?

Do any ballerinas read my blog?

Large crowds: yay or nay? Mostly a nay for me.

Pirouettes and Parking

Dentist appointment last week went well! Post-meal flossing albeit a dedicated task is worth it. As I’ve never had a cavity or filling, the nice dental hygienist told me I was 1 in 10,000. Nice as it sounds, I doubt I’m 1 in anything because…really.

I’ve been rewatching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It was several years back when I started the show – I had no idea there are now 7 seasons. Clearly I don’t watch much television.

Not sure if I should put this on my blog, but I’m doing it anyway. Some weird things are happening at a neighbor’s house. Not the naked neighbor’s home. Cars without license plates, other random vehicles early in the mornings. This also happens to be the house I always find spare change near. One week I collected 31 cents. What a bargain for me!

task 1 is complete

Mini’s dance performance debut is at the end of the week which means…she’ll be home for a few days!!!!! I’m so excited to see her and hug her and kiss her and call her George – I mean mine. Jokes. We just have to make it through rehearsal, nail polish, lip gloss, hair buns, and other diva-ish things I know little about. I need coffee just contemplating it. Unfortunately, her dad’s family is unable to come like originally planned but thanks to technological advances I feel confident she can wow them with her abilities.

Public service announcement: it costs nothing to be a decent human. All that’s required is don’t be an asshole. Believe it or not, there was a car parked to the truck’s right prior to this photo. If it had been my car, a photo might have not been my first choice. Decent humans can suffer from distress.

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I ask you –

What shows are you currently watching or rewatching?

Is the weirdness at that house illicit substance related or am I being paranoid?

Tell me your kindest words for people who park like I’ve shown!

Yes, I’m Still Thinking

As I continue to traverse the stages of shock within utter humility, my mind is blown that I’m attempting to get a doctorate. You know the Journey song “Don’t Stop Believin”? Yeah, that’s me. Perhaps a doctorate isn’t the wildest idea in my history – I did join the military at age 28 which is still almost incomprehensible. But the smokescreen of doubt lingers. Do I have what it takes? Funny thing is I don’t worry about failure. Once I get started, I know I’ve got this. It’s the getting started part that worries me. When I look back on the moment I received the phone call stating I had passed my master’s capstone (essentially the final mountain), I was speechless. I looked around my big empty gym and took in the silence. Then I smiled the biggest smile I’d ever had until that point. I’d done it.

Shortly after I shared the good news with anyone who would listen, someone asked what’s next? I recall answering something to the affect of this is it for me. When the thought of a higher degree crossed my mind, I told myself ‘that’s not me’. Why not? Because it can be me. In time that passes so quickly, it will be me. In the meantime, much work remains.

I haven’t shared the news with mini yet. Perhaps the scope of it will be lost on her; that’s ok, too. But I did speak with her on the phone a few nights ago. Typically we video chat but she was with other relatives and it was late, etc. I had a tough time grasping how old she sounds on the phone. Not “age old” but “mature old”. She’s very matter of fact and wise in all her 6 years. She was also exhausted so anything she could do to stay awake was fair game. She had been struggling that night with a headache – when I asked questions related to how it came about, her answers were child-like, then I remembered she’s still my baby.

Proof

Me: Have you been drinking enough water?

Her: No, I haven’t drank any.

Me: Well, that may be part of the problem, honey. Did you hit your head on something while playing?

Her: Maybe!

Nothing like a conversation like that to bring life into perspective. I can hear the conversation in my head right now. “Mom, why is (this, this, and this) happening?” Me: I don’t know. “Well, you’re a doctor!” Leave it to a child (my child) to make you question your education.

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I ask you –

What song resonates with a journey (no pun intended) in your life?

Have you ever limited yourself with the phrase or mindset of ‘that’s not me’?

Share a moment where a child put you in your place. If you dare.