Monday, November 24, 2014

Topic 10: Getting up in the Morning....

I don't like it.

But now that I've written that I realize that I should adjust my frame of mind, my negative thinking....I should be grateful for another beautiful morning that I get to rise and shine and live life.

But sometimes I feel like my life could be complete if I got to spend the entire morning in my bed, wrapped in my warm down comforter, snuggled up with Crazy Puppy and sometimes LB (he's almost too good of a cuddle bug, smothers me and somehow gets arms and legs all over the place all at once).

I've set my thermostat to be very low during the night and then warms to 70 at 6:30 AM. This helps me get up. I start to get pretty hot under all my blankets and then eventually I find myself rolling out of bed, grumbling.  I've always had a pretty comfortable bed but two years ago I got a new mattress, a cooling gel memory foam mattress, and it is Ahhhhhhhhhmaaaaaaaazzzzzzziiiiiing. Really it put an end to any early morning runs I have dreams of doing. Nothing it happing in the early morning except me laying, no more wallowing, in my bed, loving life....loving life snuggled in my bed.

Then.....BAM. The alarm.


I have to get up. I have to get LB up and around and ready for school. I have to get ready for work. And then I spend th rest of my day thinking about bed time. Wow. Maybe I have a problem? I bet if I had a rock hard bed I would be much more productive. I'd get up earlier and not go to bed so early.

But sleep is good. It is really important for a healthy lifestyle. Sleep hygiene is one of the most important factors for good mental health.  So yeah, never mind.....I'm going back to bed.....

Look at that face....

He's right in my spot....

Friday, November 21, 2014

Topic 9: Going to the Movies with Friends.... fun.

This is a boring topic.

I like going to the movies. The big screen captivates my attention. I LOVE the previews almost as much as the movie. So I really enjoy getting there and eating ALL my Twizlers before the previews are even over.

I have a very hard time sitting through movies at home. I get up and walk around, do things, get side-tracked and distracted. At home I rarely can sit through an entire movie without getting up and missing a big part of it. But in a theater I refuse to get up and go anywhere. I will not get up to go the bathroom unless it's an absolute emergency. I am captivated and thoroughly sucked in. Or just stubborn.

So I am much more likely to go to the movies than to watch one at home. In fact I don't have anything that even plays a DVD. My computer doesn't have a disc drive, neither does LB's. I don't have any gaming systems, other that the WiiFit and that doesn't take a DVD. If I do want to watch something I use Amazon Prime or Hulu and then I pause it or get distracted or fall asleep.

I do want to go to the movies to see the new Hunger Games. I saw the last one on New Year's Eve. Hopefully since I have a kid-free week I'll be able to make ti to a movie!

How about you? Heading to the movies this weekend?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Day 8: Getting a New Phone...

Yes. I want one.

No. I'm not getting one.

Remember a few post back? The one about the impotent things in life? Yeah, the one where I discovered that the important things aren't actually things? Yeah, I still feel that way. Of course I think the new iPhone is awesome! And of course I'd love to get my grubby little paws on one! But no, I am not going to spend hundreds of dollars on the newest gadget just because it's new and cool. My iPhone 4G is still working just fine. In fact when the iPhone 5 came out I still had the 3G, not even the 3GS, the first generation iPhone is what I had, I think....finally I upgraded about a week after the 5 came out. I was at a race and when I pulled my phone out of my arm band my hands were cold, sweaty, and not functioning and my phone went flying through the air and slammed into the pavement, shattering the screen into a thousand shards. I have to admit I was pretty excited! I left the race and drove straight to the AT&T store where I immediately upgraded to the 4G. They tried to get me to spend more on the 5 but I told them the 4G was so much better than the 3G that it would be awesome to me.

So here I am, at least 3 models behind the newest iPhone. And I'm OK with that...because it's just not important. As long as I can call my friends and family, FaceTime, text, and use the map to get where I'm going then I am happy.....

...and happy and content is a good way to be.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Finding my Soul Mate....

Is there such a thing?

Is a soul mate real?

Does anyone ever find their one and only true soul mate?

Once upon a time I believed in the romantic notion of a soul mate, and if you are lucky enough to really truly honestly be able to say you have found your should mate....then congratulations. No, really, not being sarcastic, congratulations to you. There are 7.125 BILLION, so maybe 3.2 billion men, people in this world and you have managed to find THE one.

Wow. That sounds somewhat condescending. Doesn't it? Believe me when I say I don't mean it to be rude, I truly am happy for you. But really the idea of one person in this whole entire world that is meant for me, to be my lover, my partner, my other half is quite honestly depressing. I mean in the scheme of the world I haven't traveled near enough to be able to sift through 7.125 billion people to find my Mr. Soul Mate. I'd say on average I meet 300 new people in a year. And most likely 70% of those are off-limits due to meeting them in my office--ethics prevent me from being friends with clients, so they are automatically off the possibility list. I'm no math whiz but I can certainly crunch some numbers in my mind's eye and know that I haven't even begun to scratch the surface of the earths humans.

So have I found my soul mate? No. I don't think so. Will I? If I am lucky....then maybe in that case I should also start playing the lottery.  Hmm......

Have I met a few who could become my soul mate? Become my other half, my better half, a part of me, complete me, make me happy, hold my hand to death do us part...I think so, maybe. But then if that is true then what happened? Can he be my soul mate while I am not his? Oh bother.....and then it becomes even more difficult.

So you see, I have decided that I am my own soul mate. I complete me. I make me happy. I will be by my side, through thick and thin, sick and health, good times and bad. I can count on me to never leave me, never walk away when times are tough, when the grass is greener over yonder. I can trust myself to take care of myself, to make choices that are in my own best interest....I am my own soul mate.

And on a separate note, I do believe I have found a number of platonic soul mates. Friends who will last a lifetime and who have proven time and time again that they are here to a soul mate doesn't have to be a romantic soul mate. I am so grateful for the friends I have made that will without a doubt span the lifetime.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Things I Wish I Had....

I have too much. Too much STUFF.  One perk of the military lifestyle is purging every time you move. Since 2002 I have moved  8 times, central USA to coast to coast to coast. That's a lot of packing.  A lot of boxes. A lot of STUFF.  And every single time I'd wonder, "Where does all this stuff come from?!" And I'd vow to not let it happen again.

It has become clear to me that the things in life that I need, that I want, that I long for, are not in fact things

Some things are necessary; food, clothes (unless I move to a nudist colony-not gonna happen), shelter. But most everything else is just extra. It's Life Fluff. Life Fluff can get out of control and begin to feel stifling, overwhelming.  It starts to make the walls close in, the bank account seem too empty, and the clutter just slowly takes over. Minimizing is hard. I have had years that are better than others. I am currently starting to feel a bit overwhelmed with my stuff again. I got rid of a lot when I moved to OK and again it seems to slowly seep back in....I have been trying to do better and practice more mindful spending. I have realized over the past 4 months that I can live much more frugally than I had been. I have realized that I don't really need those new boots or that super cute shirt. I have really begun to evaluate what is important in life and I continue to find myself thinking about all the stuff I have.....and the annoyance it brings to my life; digging through my kitchen cabinets, through all the random things I NEVER use to find the ONE thing I do use, squeezing past the junk in my garage to get inside, searching through loads and loads of laundry for my favorite Saturday lounging outfit, dumping out my hair tie basket to find the only hair tie I ever use, digging through my basket under my bathroom sink to find my deodorant....buried under a million bottles of get the idea.

I need to once again minimize.

I have realized that the things I wish I had are not actually things. I wish I had more stamps on my passport. I wish I had a garden....ok, so maybe that is a thing, but it's a different kind of thing. I wish I had a good long run with some of my favorite running buddies (J-Ninja, RED, Mel....). I wish I had a Friday night at Roland's, the dancing studio in Fayetteville, waltzing, swinging, and foxtrotting the night away. I wish I had a weekend on the beach, to sit and watch the sun rise with the sand and salt water rushing up over my legs. I wish I had an afternoon to sit on my porch, in my rocking chairs catching up with old friends. I wish I had a night to set up my camera and tripod to take time lapse photos of the stars with an old friend. I wish I had one more day with my dad, just to sit beside him and hear his voice.  I wish I had a week to spend in the mountains of Colorado, to hike the trails where I went as a kid. I wish I had a Saturday afternoon coffee date with The Sailor's Wife. I wish I had the means to help more people, to give to charities, the poor, hungry, and sick. I wish I had more memories playing on the trampoline with LB in the back yard. I wish I had shot the bow and arrow at the hay bail more often. I wish I had swam out into to ocean with him more than just sitting and watching him play....I could go on and on. What I have realized is that moments are so brief. my iPhone, computer, blog, will all be there later. But right now, this moment, is here only for right now....and want to live it fully!  I am working to collect memories, not things.

So there you have it....the things I wish I had.....

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

My Ever-Changing Life Goals....

Does anyone ever know their life really KNOW them and keep them? Maybe so. Maybe some people do...but for me, I don't. Mine seem to be ever-changing. From one day to the next they change. Some parts of the life goals stay the same. Like being a good, kind human being. That will never change. But what do I want to do with my life. Like REALLY want to DO with my life?

As I was driving to work this morning it hit me. I want to be great. I want to do great things. I don't want to be ordinary. I want to be EXTRAordinary.  I want to make a mark on the world. I think I currently do make a mark, a little one. But to the people I work with I am sure my mark isn't so little. As a mental health professional I see people's lives change and move forward every day . I also see people stay stuck, but those I can't do anything about. I can't work harder than my clients. If they don't want to change then I cannot help them. But the ones who want to change, want to make life better...those I can help. And it is those people that make my job so awesome! I love to see people move from the depths of deep, dark despair to seeing the sunlight, the beauty of the world around them, despite the hardships of life. It is those hardships that make up our life, they remind us that we are LIVING, and make us ever so grateful for the good times.

Am I living? Yes. I am living. But I have recently realized that I don't want to just sit around and let life happen. I want to MAKE my life happen. I moved to Oklahoma with a 5 year plan. I love being here and being near family. I love that LB is getting to hang out with his cousins and they are becoming like siblings. You see, it wasn't my life goal to be a single mom with one kid. I always wanted 5 kids. Five boys to be exact. But now I am accepting that may not happen. It might, but time is not on my side and the thought of having four more little humans kinda scares me these days. So that is one life plan that has drastically changed. I planned to be a doting wife, a super mom, and a part-time therapist. Wow, how those plans have changed. Now I am a single mid-thirties mom working by bootie off full-time, being as good of a mom as I can, with hardly any time to date. And if I with a kid is hard.

So my life plan, as it stands today:

Own my own private practice, working no more than 30 hours a week, in a small beach town. This business will address the whole person; mind, body, and spirit. It will address nutrition, fitness, and mental well-being. It will be awesome. Going to work every single day will not feel like work. I will have an awesome building surrounded by a beautiful garden where we can sit outside for sessions of therapy, nutrition consultation, or yoga, if we'd like.

Own a home within blocks of the beach and my office so I can walk to work, or ride by beach cruiser, or Vespa. Sit on my porch and drink my morning coffee, enjoying the beauty of God's handy And eat from my garden. Year round.

Live frugally. Purge unnecessary clutter from my life. Save, invest, and pay off debt so that I can travel and enjoy life.

Invest fully in relationships. Build strong friendships and maintain connections so that my life is fulfilled, even without a husband and five rowdy boys ransacking my life (and I mean that lovingly).

So there is it. My ever-changing life goal. Is this within reach on a 5 year scale? Maybe. I'm not sure. It all depends on how dedicated I am to the parts of my life that will get me to my goal. I am starting to make my plan. How do I get from Point A to point B? That I am not sure....but rest assured it will happen. Someday 5 Miles Past Empty will be 5 Miles Round Trip: House, Beach, Work....Life. 

And I cannot wait!

So what is your ever-changing life goal?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Day 4 Topic: Going to the movies...ALONE.

Dun, dun, dunnnnn.....

Have you ever done it?  I have. I think if I had to chose, a movie or dinner alone on a Friday night, I'd rather go to a movie alone....well I'd probably be hungry too, so I'd do both.

It doesn't really bother me to do things by myself. Over the past 9 years I have found myself doing a lot of things alone. In my days as a military spouse if I wanted to see a movie that wasn't rated G I pretty much had to go during the day when all my friends were at work and LB was in pre-school or school, or pay even more money for a babysitter. So I would to go alone usually to a matinee. As a matter of fact I think I saw the first Twilight movie alone at one in the afternoon in Lakewood, WA. When I went in I felt strange at first. Then I realized that I don't know these people. They don't know me. And hey look! There are a lot of people sitting alone in here....yep, this isn't so bad at all. And not only that but I don't care what they think.

Here are a few other things I have done alone:

-Gone to and ran a race, without knowing a single person.
-Gone out to eat....a hundred and 57 times, at least.
-Traveled by airplane-that is glorious-to a city, alone, where I know no one.
-Shopping (I'm pretty sure everyone has done that one).
-Gone to church, gone to a new church.
-Joined a new team or club and attended.
-Lived. Like actually had my own place, mine only, circa college.
-Driven halfway across the country, at least 4 times.
-Sat on a beach and watched a sunset...sat on a beach and watched a sunrise. West coast to east....
-Sat on a rock and listened to a river.
-Eaten a box on Girl Scout Thin Mints......not proud of that one.

I'm sure there are more but those just kind of stick out as clear memories with me, myself, and I. So how about you? Ever gone to a movie alone? What is your favorite thing to do by yourself? Anything I should try?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Day 3 Topic: Getting a Divorce. It's Stupid.

So todays topic is Getting A Divorce. Wow, a doozie for a running and fitness blog. But I think it is actually quite appropriate. I don't recall if I ever went into my experience with divorce in detail or not.  I will spare many of the personal details out of respect for myself, ex-husband, our families, and LB. But getting a divorce is tough....all around awful. Regardless of the circumstance. There is nothing easy about it.

In 2010 I began running a LOT. That year alone I ran three marathons and countless half marathons. I was running away, trying to escape. I was trying to survive the most painful time of my life. I was coping with the loss of a pregnancy, my husband in Afghanistan, divorce on the table, and my dad's cancer diagnosis (#worstyeareverinthehistoryofever). I could not run fast enough. I could not run far enough. I could not run away. I could not get away from all the painful emotions boiling inside me, killing me. But I did know that when I ran the pain was less, or at least different. It wasn't so much psychological in those miles, it was physical. My legs ached, my lungs burned, my ribs screamed at times, my ankles hurt, my feet burned with callouses and blisters....It was nothing in comparison to the emotional pain. I felt alive when I otherwise, and at other times, felt dead. I know I haven't talked too openly about how psychologically difficult this time was but it was awful. Even now when I think about it I want to go back to that time and hug myself, just hold me and tell myself I will be ok, not only OK but great. Not only great but HAPPY. I will be happy again. 

My actual separation did not take place until 2012. For many years we tired to make it work, tried to put our lives back together, fix it. We couldn't, for many reason, and it wasn't for a lack of trying. Looking back I think the last 3 years of the marriage were the most damaging. Dragging it out and trying to save a marriage that was not salvageable was.....detrimental to my core, changed me as a person, it almost seems like it damaged my spirit. But when it actually happened, when I came home to find the house cleared of any sign that my husband had once lived there, it was like a gut punch. I felt alone. Lost. Confused. Afraid. Worried. Sick....I felt a million feelings at once. I was spitting mad. The anger from years of trying. Years of pouring my heart and soul into something. Years of sacrificing and moving a lll over the place, years of worry and anxiety that accompanies being a military wife. Years of unrealized dreams, years of putting myself last, his career and needs first. You bet I was angry. 

I was angry for quite some time but I feel the breaking point came about 6 months after we separated. I slowly began to heal. I began to find myself again. Of course I was changed, I was a new person, but I began to have my own dreams and hopes. I became hopeful and excited about single life. I began to feel happiness for the first time is years. I began enjoying my freedom, my ability to make decisions for myself and not worry about what someone else wanted or needed (obviously not talking about LB here, he is always a priority and a factor in my choices). I took time to grieve, to heal, and to process everything.  I got in good shape, I ate healthy, I exercised. I smiled! 

All this to say divorce is awful but the pain and hurt won't kill you, kinda like a gun won't kill you. The person shooting the gun might, the actual gun won't.  One thing I remember being told, and I cannot for the life of me remember WHO said this, "This won't last forever. It will get better." And that stuck in my mind, like a broken record. It will get better. It will get better. I clung to that. It gave me hope. Of course it has been tough and new challenges arise, but it has gotten better. I am stronger and happier. I have worked very hard, I have put in many hours of my own therapy to work through this and to do identify my role in the dissolution of the marriage, because as much as I would love to poke a finger and place blame, I must also take responsibility for my part. The self-work I have done has been an important part of letting go...not holding the anger and resentment. One thing I realized is that in the end I am glad my husband moved out. I know it was hard, the hardest thing to do. He had to pack his stuff and leave his son, his wife, his dog, his home. I know that was hard and I know this because I myself could not do it. I wanted to. Trust me I wanted to leave so bad and so many times. But I couldn't. Him leaving allowed us both to heal our wounds and opened the door for us to live the life we dream of.....which I am still working on.

So there you have it, my thoughts on divorce. While I am an advocate for marriage and know it can be beautiful and so fulfilling, sometimes it is the opposite. It can be unhealthy, stifling, hurtful, damaging. Sometimes letting go is the best choice. How do you know if it is the best choice? The right choice? How do you know choosing divorce is not the biggest mistake of your life? Well the truth don't.  

A note on anger. Anger makes everything worse, more difficult. I'm not talking about in divorce only. I mean in life. Anger does not help and certainly makes things harder on yourself. Anger takes so much energy. It is exhausting.  I am not saying my ex and I are best friends, we aren't. We have certainly had our difficult moments, weeks, months. but in the end there is a mutual respect, after all we both have been through one of the most difficult times in our life. It is just easier to get along and get over it. 

And there it is, my thoughts of Getting a Divorce. Ugh... I'm ready for a run.


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