Tunnel Vision

What is it called when you go down the path of not feeling good enough, strong enough, just enough?

light at the end of the tunnel

a. Slippery slope of self-doubt

b. Tidal wave of turmoil

It doesn’t happen often but sometimes those intrusive thoughts take over the mind. Not one to wallow in self pity, I’m just curious about how others handle this. Where do they come from? Where do they go?

As the longest long long semester is now over, I believe I’ve grown through it. Not only as a writer but also where my writing is going. I try to spend some time reflecting on what went well and what didn’t – and attempt not to overinflate my role in the process. For awhile, I doubted that I could meet the requirements of writing lengthy, topic-specific papers. Sometimes I still doubt it. But with every page, it seems more possible. One, in particular, I thought was actual garbage. I told anyone that would listen how awful it was. No flow, too wordy without saying anything, it was a mess. I stepped away from it on several occasions to try to figure out my mind – still, nothing. Eventually I gave up and submitted it. Grade: A. Now, this isn’t saying I’m a good writer. Fairly certain he got tired of grading papers and gave up. Nonetheless, it was done but it’s still on my mind. Overthinking much?

mid-day knee PT

There was a month – ok, 6 weeks at least – of no office phone. I put my personal number on the out of office message and continued about my business. Many times, I was either asked why would I give out my personal number or questioned if I was being bothered outside of work hours. Of course I’m bothered! Welcome to the supervisor world. But that’s not really true. If I’m busy, I don’t answer. We all do our best to separate work from our personal lives. Occasionally it’s actually successful! Example: using my time wisely to engage in the physical therapy exercises I paid a lot of money for.

That’s how self-doubt works, too. Sometimes it builds us up because of our ability to overcome, but, other times, it’s just a nagging feeling sheltered inside insecurity and lack of confidence. Pry apart the layers and you’ll easily find the nutshell: there’s no really no space for self-doubt in life. Play and pray.


I ask you –

Do you have any catchy phrases for intrusive thoughts?

How leery of handing out your personal number are you?

Lucky Number 13!!!!

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

© 2023 Running on Fumes

Allow a Girl to Daydream

By the time you’re reading this, I’ll be 2 days away from course end! We made it! Two classes was extremely ambitious and borderline stupid. I’m certain without a supportive family, awesome coworkers, and snow days I wouldn’t have survived with what little sanity I have remaining. Not much!

The upcoming Blue Bell Fun Run is on my bucket list. Maybe in 2025.

Speaking of 2025 – we were, were we not? – I received the commencement date if all plans go well and I’m done when I plan to be. May 10, 2025. Otherwise, I guess I wait until the following year? I couldn’t find information for multiple ceremonies so I guess they only hold graduation once a year. Either way, it was exciting to read about the upcoming graduation ceremony and the information to help students order their regalia, etc. Turns out you can rent or buy doctoral regalia. Probably for other degrees, too. I’m leaning towards buying it so I can wear it around the house as a robe, or a winter coat, or to very formal events at work, like change of command. I’ll just sashay in waving the robe hem around like royalty, yelling THE DOCTOR HAS ARRIVED. This should go over well.

While I’m daydreaming about my own gloriousness, let’s take it one step further and commit to running 3 destination runs post-graduation. I’m not very interested in the half marathon distance at the moment, but perhaps I will be then. Or I could just run to run. Or take 3 vacations. I’m on it today!

Lastly, on the topic of daydreaming, mini is set on getting a dog. Nevermind that she has one in Tennessee. She believes she absolutely needs one in Texas, too. I told her to wait until her dad moves here but she didn’t like that answer. For now, I’ve placated her with we’ll discuss it more next Valentine’s Day. Why Valentine’s Day? I don’t have an answer. I was just desperate to say something noncommittal and here we are.

I’d like to return to my non-anxiety inducing daydreams now. Please excuse me. Where was I? Oh yes, vacations.


I ask you –

Have you run any races lately? Do tell!

How often do you daydream?

Tell me about your bucket list!

(The post Allow a Girl to Daydream first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

What Frustration Looks Like + A Moment of Joy

Some days just suck the life right out of you. It’s like the universe has found a way to keep you humble. I probably go through this cycle at least twice a week. Hello, humility, my old friend. But it really puts a damper on my faith in humanity, especially when it becomes so laden with negativity and completely ridiculous requests. We’re a needy, selfish society. We’re human. But, sometimes … I just want to slap some sense into people!

Nonetheless, I take a long walk, ponder, pray, consider throat punching a few folks, keep walking until it passes, and then reach my destination with a big smile because they have no idea I wanted to kick them in the shins. If only they’d let me sit closer in that meeting…

My muse explained how moments where you can just “be” are vital to strong mental health and staying grounded when life gets out of control. Just be. But what does that look like exactly? In a changing perspective of how to get to yes, it feels almost impossible. And why do I have to get to yes? Yes is hard and has responsibilities. I don’t want to get to yes. I want to say no! Alas, bending whilst not breaking is an art I have yet to perfect.

You know who does have life figured out? That beautiful woman above. In my eyes, she walks on water. She probably has wings hidden beneath her blouse. Her smile is everything to me. And I’m pretty partial to the mini me standing beside her, too. It was a short visit but one that my heart remembers long after we’ve left. What’s to be frustrated about at 95 yrs old?

Which reminds me of sitting at a restaurant some nights ago. A lovely older woman walked in with cash in her hand and a big smile on her face. For whatever reason, I looked up, made eye contact, and smiled back. Because the world needs more happy people. She walked directly over to me and said “He wants a burger and look at how I’m dressed!” I assumed she meant her spouse or someone who had driven her. As she opened her coat and showed me her wrinkled attire, I smiled and told her she looked beautiful. She replied, “Well, at 94, I don’t think anyone will notice!” She waved as she left with her to-go order.

I’ll probably never see her again but it’s a joy when someone comes along and brightens your day without any ulterior motives. Maybe it is possible to just be.


I ask you –

Is there a phrase that resonates with you?

How often do you want to kick someone in the shin?

Tell me your thoughts on being 94/95 years old! I hope I have a false cane to whack people with!

(The post What Frustration Looks Like + A Moment of Joy first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

Miss Big Mouth

Let’s overcomplicate things, shall we? Most definitely rhetorical sarcasm. I inquired about some training I need to satisfy an additional duty at work. The answer I received was this: it should only be an hour or two. Well, which is it?! And what do you mean by “only”?

In referencing additional duties – the Navy calls them collateral duties – an argument ensued between my team and an individual over the concept of additional duty vs primary duty. I thought it was self-explanatory but I was wrong. You see, everyone has additional duties. Military, civilian, contractors, all of us. So when someone uses the phrase this is my additional duty, it hits me wrong because we all have them, aka it’s not an excuse to disregard the duty. Next time, I’ll draw pictures.

How to make a corsage. Step 1: don’t. Hire your sister. Or mother. Depends. But this is what she gets for volunteering to make my niece’s prom corsage. Hope she’s keeping notes. Her additional duty.

When I wake up at the butt crack of dawn to finish a paper and discussion post so I can focus on a different paper of a million words and a gazillion pages – that’s a primary duty. Does this require any further explanation?

No questions please. The demonstration is over.


I ask you –

What is the civilian terminology for additional or collateral duties?

Are you creative enough to make a corsage? Definitely not.

Tell me the page length of the longest document you’ve ever written!

(The post Miss Big Mouth first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

On a Lighter Note

The unofficial holiday nicknamed take your child to work day happened recently. I do believe it is a holiday.

From party time to petting the de facto fitness mascot to playing a rousing game of racquetball, I think the day was a success. She also acquired some new relatives. Meet Aunt Tim. It’s hard to find good help so I guess she’s hired.

My new boss

She also added 3 extra days to my calendar which I didn’t notice until the following morning. When does February have 31 days?! It makes sense – she adds gray hair to my head, eternal sighs of weariness, and calendar days. Why not. To me, it felt like the longest day ever but as she was falling asleep that night, she exclaimed it was her favorite day ever and when could we do it again.

I’m just thankful my office phone hasn’t worked in …going on… 18 days now. Because if it had been, good grief.


I ask you –

Have you ever taken your child(ren) to work? How did that work out?

Is having an inoperable office phone really a bad thing? Rhetorical, of course.

Tell me a few things the people in your life give you! example, a hard time

(The post On a Lighter Note first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

I Take My Chances

Anything shorter than 10 pages is a break. I’m just counting down the days until spring break. For me, that’s 10 whole days of no due dates. For mini, it’s a vacation from school and a trip to Tennessee.

First, we have to navigate parent-teacher conferences, class parties, and probably something else I’m forgetting. Book fair. That’s what it was. I wrote a post last year on the quality of book fairs and how they are definitely not what I remember. It was sad. But like any good parent with a short memory and dumbfounded hope, I will attend the book fair again and most likely be talked into $50 worth of easily lost erasers and a book that interests neither of us. Remind me of this conversation later.

I often forget to take care of myself but lately – just the last week, really – I’ve attempted to fill my bucket, so to speak. First, a coffee date with an amazing mentor who reminds me we’re fighting the good fight and we have each other. Then, a phone call with the one and only Aunt Mary Catherine who I can hear smile through the speakers. We’re visiting soon and just the thought of seeing her gives me renewed joy and hope.

Seems I have a problem haha

Finally, a mad dash to course completion in the hopes that I can read a book other than required readings. Possibility? I might have a better chance at running more than once per week. And that’s saying something because I haven’t managed this successfully in weeks. Right now, I’m just living for the tiny zing I get when I realize I’ve written another page in a long line of pages.

Details, you know.


I ask you –

Any upcoming vacation plans?

How much will I spend at the book fair?

Tell me some chances you’ve taken lately!

(The post I Take My Chances first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

Adult Life

Three easy things that reinforce to me I can be an adult:

  • Full tank of gas
  • Clean car
  • Fully charged phone

I’m 2 for 3. But that’s not the point right now.

It’s funny how I thought I was sooooooo busy the previous semesters with my one little classes. How cute. Now I’m overwhelmed yet trying to remember to take it day by day. Much like just trying to stay afloat. There’s no getting ahead – you keep paddling so you don’t drown.

she gets me

Being someone who places efficiency in the highest regard, it really really really sucks when around others who do not. I said it. In fact, I’d venture to say it’s the most frustrating, most angry version of myself whom encounters it. Disclaimer – I do appreciate the strolling, take-it-easy form of life. At times. But when something needs to be done, I want it done. Now. Not later. Not when you feel like it. Now. Typically it’s the mundane things, like recognizing something should be done. But it’s exhausting when adults have to remind, console, beg, ultimatum, or some version of the previous to get a simple task completed.

I just need people to act like adults. Take your helpless, inefficient, ineffective, immature self somewhere else. Last time I checked, there is only one person in this world I’m responsible for raising. And, truthfully, she could put some people I deal with to shame.

Get it together. Sincerely, an overwhelmed, exhausted mom of one.


I ask you –

Do you place efficiency high on your list?

What things make you feel like an adult?

Advice? …throat punching sounds fun…

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

© 2023 Running on Fumes

I’m a Plant

This puzzle represents a project I am undertaking at the encouragement of my life advisor. Not to be cryptic but it isn’t what it may seem. As always, I will surely share the culmination. Disregard the unicorns. Trust me.

I need sunlight! After all the ice, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to be outside. It also prevents my butt from conforming to my desk chair. (Ode to the post title. Keep reading.)

As I hadn’t run since mid-January, I fully expected it to be the toughest thing to do that morning. Instead, I have zero complaints. Just what I needed. There was this incredible tail wind pushing me along at first and by the time I turned around, running into the wind, it was warming up and just what I needed.

The following day(s) I could definitely tell I hadn’t run in awhile because my quads were super sore. No matter how hard I try, that’s the area that always gets sore. Mehhhh. I could really use a few more snow/ice days to get things done but I dislike being stuck inside.

This week’s goal: run a few more times and seek sunlight. I’m basically a houseplant.


I ask you –

Are you working on any projects?

For my runner friends, are you quad-dominant? Any tips?

If you were a plant, what would you be? Elephant ears. Majestic and green and takes up a lot of space!

(The post I’m a Plant first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes


Confession: I get anxiety when I don’t have chapstick. Or maybe it’s just panic. Is there a difference? Anyway, I have chapstick in the most random places just in case I need it. Which is always.

Such a great book suggestion!

On one of the icy days, mini woke up, looked me in the eye, and said, “I have a question. Do you breathe when you sleep?” As any good parent, I proceeded to laugh in her face. Shining moment. You just never know what she’ll say upon the sleepy haze of waking up. I may be repeating myself but once she told me, as I was trying to get her up for school, that she was a pink highlighter and to put the lid on her. Cue more laughing.

Additionally, it took me 3 days to write a paper because my focus was that of a small child suffering from ADD and I kept procrastinating. It was rough. I found every excuse to get out of writing. Finally, I realized I was placing too much pressure on myself, took a mid-day shower, and resumed. It seems to have worked.

Credit: historyinmemes via Instagram

I have a terrible habit of refusing to research questions that Dr. Google can easily answer for me. In my mind, I justify it by telling myself that I would rather consider the answer or outcome based on my own knowledge than actually find out if it’s real. So, according to the above meme, this really happened. And I’m ok with not knowing if it’s true.

Do not spoil this for me!


I ask you –

Do you love chapstick, too?

What are you reading?

Tell me one bad habit of your own!

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

© 2023 Running on Fumes

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