Slow Down, Butterfly

Photo by Mathias Reding on Pexels.com

Within the past few weeks, there has been a ton of movement in my area of the governmental workplace. Not only have many chosen to retire, but there is now an ability to ramp up hiring. Truly I’m thankful my leadership understands my desire to lead and further my career goals. But I remember a time where I was hesitant to share what my actual goals were lest I seem unappreciative of the opportunity I had initially been given or it taken as a slight against their leadership. Crazy, right? Yet how often do we as employees think that way? Too many I suspect.

Sometimes I think the glass ceiling is real; other time it feels like a construct, an excuse why we don’t make changes. Hey, that’s the world we live in: every new phenomenon has a catchy name created by some whackadoo computer warrior wearing socks and sandals. No offense. As I’m always on the lookout for originality, I feel frustrated. What’s more frustrating is I totally forgot where I was going with this thought. Glass ceiling. Right. Poof. The moment has passed.

Anyway…as there’s never a right time to change jobs I hope the next few months prove fruitful for me. More responsibility, more opportunity, more people! For someone as introverted as myself, I sure do gravitate towards positions where the masses congregate. Back to my boss – he keeps me grounded (as best he can). Surely I am not the only social butterfly he’s ever lead; often he restrains me from becoming completely burnt out on how many activities I take on. It’s a full time job just dealing with me. Bless his heart.

I’ve realized there’s no true theme to this post. Typically I’m able to tie all my thoughts together at the end. Not this time. So I’ll close it with this truth – you never what someone else is going through. Be kind yet bold; be firm yet flexible; be what you are called to be. And we are all called to make a difference.

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I ask you –

What are your thoughts on the glass ceiling?

Do you usually have a post theme?

Share your favorite saying!

(The post Slow Down, Butterfly 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

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

Double Trouble

For being a smart person, I really am quite dumb sometimes. Well, not like a dumdum. It just takes me longer than the average smart person to really come to grips with things. For example…

stock photo via photo library

An email arrived with the sentence “Thank you for your persistence.” which probably meant please stop bothering me. A co-worker told someone else in front of me: (paraphrased only mildly) “We love Kelly. She has a way of being mean but she does it with a smile and it makes it ok.” I’m not sure it was a compliment but it is true.

M’s – money, marriages, and messes. The radio show advised these are three things we should stay out of, as in other people’s. This radio show predominantly deals with other people’s messes so pot…kettle.

Not every email requires a reply. As I’m almost constantly (now) dealing with people from all walks of life, there are many different approaches: kind, understanding, firm, rude, hateful, dismissive, etc. You get the idea. This week I’m neck deep in an inspection that hasn’t happened since 2019. Read: before me. Somehow I tend to find myself in positions where once I’ve got my bearings, there’s a huge inspection or program audit and here I am with my hands in the air and a huge shrug. I shall prevail! Occasionally I have too much to do to reply. Other times it is best I don’t because angry Kel can only be quiet for so long. And I’m being pushed to the brink.

My sister accepted a job on the same installation where I’m employed. In fact, we’re in the same squadron. I should feel bad the base is now saturated with two people like us, but this could be fun. Someone asked if she is as wonderful as I am; her reply was “I’m better!” She’s got jokes.

Now we’re off to find the boss and explain in no uncertain terms why the grass is brown. Hello. Drought. Texas. Seriously?

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I ask you –

Thoughts on the three M’s? Do you agree?

Have you been inspected or audited at work lately?

On a scale of 1 to You’re Fired, how much trouble will my twin and I get into? 5. We have humor going for us.

How Friendships Flourish

There’s an element of sisterhood I find so very appealing presumably because I always had an instant friend in my own sister. Womb mates. Generational friendships are special and life giving when, like flowers, they are kept watered and tended.

Life change: my twin made a huge change and moved to N. TX. Specifically…moved in with me. We haven’t lived together since age 16. Did I ever mention how we would fight constantly? Probably for the best I don’t share those stories. As we are now much older and can communicate like adults, I don’t foresee fighting but the day is young. Jokes! Perhaps our opposite personalities do attract. Or else we just know we’re stuck with each other and that’s that. Nonetheless, she is here now and it’s been a welcomed change. I recall the first time I left my “hometown” – it was a little scary and unknown but one tends to get used to it. She most certainly will, as well.

Next up is a special visit from our neighbors when living in Norfolk, VA. It took some time but we developed a friendship with them mostly due to the fact we have a social butterfly mini and they had two beautiful, social dogs. The running joke was mini would refer to the dog’s owner as “Dog Dog”. She was not amused. It took awhile but mini eventually learned our neighbor’s names and referred to them by such. The real star of the show is our neighbor’s daughter, Jordan. Jordan and mini became fast friends; Jordan being an only child, as well, took to mini like the sister she never had. We’ve watched Jordan graduate from high school, then college, and now she’s on her way to PT school. Time flies. They braved the nearly 24 hour road trip to visit before Jordan returns to school. The highlight of the trip was our impromptu photo shoot at the Wichita Falls.

Lastly (not leastly), is a rekindling of the relationship between my best friend and I. We are a work in progress. I have prayed for her and us to find our way through this season in life – small steps. Granted I understand we will never be the same as we were but who says it is such a bad thing? We have reconnected over our love for similar television shows, notably the upcoming release of Hocus Pocus 2. Because YES! We take us day by day. It’s the only way we can.

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I ask you –

What is your city’s “notable” icon? I’ve only seen in photos, but I hear from a reputable source the Superman statue in Metropolis, IL is quite a sight to see.

Are there any relationships you’d like to rekindle?

Hocus Pocus 2: yay or nay?

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.

Island Life in Photos

Back to South Padre Island we went! It’s sad I had to go to the beach to see any measurable rain. Speaking of rain, all of Texas is so dry. We encountered no less than a dozen burnt patches of land between N. TX and the island. Also a full-blown fire in progress. Send rain.

We spent a lot of time at the pool and a similar amount of time in the ocean. 7 bottles of sunscreen later…

Landshark is my go-to. No idea why I like it but I only drink it at the beach. South Padre’s proximity to Mexico is an invitation for the spiciest, most authentic tacos in the world. And since I can’t resist cilantro, I purchased some Cilantro Sauce at the local Farmer’s Market then proceeded to eat it at every meal. I’m on vacation.

Speaking of food, I also ate my weight in fish and limes. Oh, and gelato. I ate a lot of that, too. Really I only ate a lot of gelato because I was the designated driver on vacation and responsible for picking up our meals. So when asked to deliver gelato, I charged adequate tax on my Uber eats-esque services. One bite for me, one bite for you. Fair is fair. It was 90°, as well, so there’s that.

When in Rome… seeing as how it was quite cooler than North Texas, I took everyone’s advice and brought my running shoes! Somehow I only had to look at the sand and suddenly it was inside my socks. Magic. Between early morning runs and coffee 2-3x a day, I’m the most relaxed I’ve been all year.

I would share more, but there’s a stack of laundry to be done and I still have to de-sand our beach accessories. I feel a procrastinap coming on.

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I ask you –

Did you vacation this year? Where?

Have you encountered an extra dry season?

Tell me how much laundry you do when you return from a trip. Avg 3 loads.

REPOST!! I’m a Pioneer!

The post below was originally published June 7, 2021. At this moment, I’m probably basking unashamedly on the beach with a cup of coffee. Hope you’re having a wonderful day, as well!

I need friends. Running friends. Running friends who only run when it’s incredibly hot outside and I can’t go out there to run. Too much? So I joined Strava.

Find me on Strava!

Then I decided to channel my inner woman of the wild and become a canning master! Next up: living in a hut and churning my own butter. Right. I know.

As a writer, grammar and spelling are important to me, as well as consistent fonts across a document. It’s my job. I appreciate when someone’s email signature line is short, concise, and, most importantly, legible! You may be asking how an email could possibly be anything other than legible; rest assured, I’ve seen it all. It’s not pretty.

Full disclosure: I don’t believe everything I read on the internet. Tell me you don’t either. So I did my own research. Turns out it is true!

My dreamer mindset got a little excited, to tell the truth. But as for adding it to the bucket list? No thanks. The part that negated all my dreams was “The real-life walk would be grueling, filled with scary animals and diversely bad weather.” Nope, nope, and nope. Next, please.

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I ask you –

What’s your Strava information? Please comment below. I need friends!

Have you ever canned anything? What should I can next?

Tell me something on your bucket list!

A Weekend Away

My good friend Dan sends me some of the most thought provoking articles.

“I Tried Slow Living in a Remote Welsh Cottage, and This Is What I Learned” by Kayleigh Dray was just what I needed. It was truly perfect timing because I was already fielding questions from mini regarding our trip to NE Texas to visit my parents, aunt, and sister. Her actual words were “What will we do?” Answer: just be. I spent my time wandering around a giant field and watching dozens of hummingbirds. They’re so fun!

In preparation for the visit, I had to move around a run scheduled for Saturday because I knew the humidity would be brutal and incompatible with any running plans. I started a 5k training plan – probably forgot to mention it. Not for a race though. I quickly realized if I’m not training for something, then my tendency to “get around to it” doesn’t motivate me well enough to actually “get around to it” especially where the treadmill is concerned.

Fortunately I have been able to accomplish two outdoor runs, both involving random rain. This is me not complaining. Except for the one that included lightning which made me run faster, it’s been good. Also, it was suggested I try graham crackers before a run. Quick carbs, easy to eat early in the morning before my stomach wakes up – simple, right? Well, my grocery store was out of cinnamon teddy grahams (my preferred alternative to graham crackers). I bought the store brand instead thinking there probably isn’t much difference. Wow. So wrong. Now I need to eat these individual packages of awful, pseudo-teddy grahams. Oh yay.

Thank goodness I can wash it down with ice cream which is exactly what I needed after a weekend of decidedly cooler temperatures (only 95°!) but with much higher humidity. Running out there would have never been a good idea. And it definitely didn’t epitomize the concept of slow living.

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I ask you –

Any interest visiting remote places?

Have you ever bought a food that didn’t taste like expected?

I’m on vacation next week. Should I bring my running shoes this time? I’m thinking yes.