Another nightmare…

Last night I had another nightmare…

I dreamed that I was pregnant.

As a woman in my 40’s (AND the mother of 3 teenagers!!!!!!!), that is my worst nightmare.

My 13 year old daughter is currently going through a rebellious stage. She currently hates me. Yesterday she mentioned that she likes her brother more than me. Trust me, that is bad! Seriously, what did I do?? That’s right! I breathe. I’m annoying. I wouldn’t understand.

She told me this past weekend that she is a psychopath because of something she read on the internet. Of course, from a very reliable source.  Oh, and a few of her friends are psychopaths too. WTH??

Her worry over it tells me that there is zero possibility. That and my psychology degree. That, my psychology degree, and that she couldn’t hurt a flea. Trust me, I know THIS..

I only know one psychopath, my best friend Cindy’s ex-husband. He started another family while he was married to her. His oldest son was born a few months before their first son was born. He did crazy things like drive into a tree so he had an excuse not to visit his girlfriend after his wife gave birth.

Thankfully, I only had the pleasure of meeting her ex once!

Maybe she should start a blog.

Cindy is happy now. She married a wonderful man named Ted. They had teenagers in the house when she got pregnant in her 40’s. My nightmare is her dream come true.

I have to remember that this will pass..

Maybe someday I will even laugh about it.

Yes, I’m certain that I will….when my kids call me someday with teenager issues…while I am out traveling the world..


Dusting off my dancing shoes

Going out isn’t as exciting as it used to be.

I felt bored. I realized that small time bands in small towns suck. Just bringing live music in on the weekends creates a crowd. So I found myself in a bar that was packed beyond the capacity of 99. It was hard to get a drink. One of my companions drank too much and was telling me the same angry story over and over again an inch from my face. Loud angry words were spewed with spittle over the discordant clash of the band. My ears were ringing from the noise. I could feel the vibrations ripple through my hair down into my feet.

My companion talked louder and louder over the music, gesturing wildly almost hitting me while people bumped into me from behind and stepped on my feet. It was windy and cold outside but sweaty and dank inside. The smokers huddled outside the door bringing in a stream of cold steam and smoke as the the hordes of people came in.

I felt disconnected. My companion talked on and on and spilled her drink down my arm in an angry gesture. Some of my friends were dancing. Others were standing around bored like me. When was it time to leave?? Cori was planning on dancing all night. Then after the bar closed they were going out to eat. Her plan was to get home at 5 AM after being up for 24 hours straight. That Cori is a wild one. I had other plans.

The evening started out nice. We went to Cori’s house for a light dinner and games. I brought along the game Loaded Questions. It was fun until the question came up asking what was the worst thing you ever witnessed. Should I answer that honestly?? I did. I put down that the worst thing I witnessed was when my brother attacked my daughter. The guesser had no idea that was my answer.

They are or were some of my good friends and they know nothing about me.

I had a lot more fun Friday night with Cindy. We were going to go to a bar and grill. When we showed up the place was packed and a DJ was unloading his van. We decided to go to a hole in the wall in the middle of nowhere. The food wasn’t great. The drinks weren’t much better. There were only 10 people there. But we could have a conversation without screaming over crappy music.

I hate to say it, but sometimes I would rather just stay home. I can listen to the music I like. People don’t bump into me or spill drinks on me. My husband is a great cook. I can drink craft beer instead of unimaginative dribble. I can fall asleep when I’m tired. I don’t have to yell over loud bad bar music.

But every once in awhile, I have to be social and dust off my dancing shoes to get my required social time in for the year.. But to be honest, I had more fun wearing my running shoes yesterday and going for a 10 mile run than I did wearing my dancing shoes last night….

How messed up is that??!?

Sink, swim, or walk on water??

It has been a few days since we last spoke.

I haven’t lost interest in you. It just seems harder to find the time…

I did get some sleep since we last spoke. That just makes life better.

I really don’t mind the stresses of everyday life. I don’t, really! I would rather be busy than bored. I have no tolerance for boredom. I can’t handle it. But I also like routine and structure. Go figure?

But sometimes the pendulum swings too far to the side of busyness. Those are the times that I find myself at the fast end of a Tetris game. Things happen so fast that I can’t keep up and none of the pieces fit together. I have been living in this mode for the last couple of weeks now. Then add a couple of sleepless nights with nightmares and I am a completely miserable person to be around.

I have been getting a lot of comments this week from close friends and family. Are you okay?? You don’t seem like yourself lately.. Please try not to worry so much. Are you just tired or are you feeling depressed?? What’s wrong??

I don’t want to be so stressed out anymore. Everyone goes through rough patches in life. I want to be the person that has enough faith to walk on water. Not the person that is flailing around, drowning, barely able to keep my head above water…dragging down those around that notice and are trying to help me.

But through this I have found that I have a lot of people that care about me. Although their concern worries me, maybe I do need to take better care of myself.

I want to be me again.

I will be okay!

I grew up living most of my childhood in fight or flight mode. It was one big adrenaline rush. But the thing is that I can’t seem to turn it off. I don’t want to turn it off. I don’t know how to live any other way. I am like the dog that has been beat too many times, but prefers the harsh owner because that is what I know. It is hard to explain. It is also hard to find that same feeling in healthy ways. So I run marathons and hang out with exciting people.

Tonight I will be going out with my BFF Cindy for beers and burgers. Then tomorrow night the old gang will be getting back together for the first time in years for a night of dinner, games, cocktails, and dancing.

Wow, I will be going out two nights in a row! (It’s not like I have been sleeping all that great on my own after a night at home anyway!) Lol..

I will be hanging out with some very beautiful women that also have a great thirst for adventure which usually equates to some pretty interesting stories…


The weight of my world

I am having nightmares again..two last week and one this week so far..

Last night I dreamed my sister-in-law Emily died. It was right around 2 AM. I stayed up a few minutes and went back to sleep into the same nightmare again. Then for the next 2 hours I continued the dream. Emily died and her little girls were without a mom. It was shocking, unexpected, and tragic. Not only did Emily die, but whatever killed her was contagious and other family members were exposed and might die. I woke up crying and here I am typing a rough draft at 4 AM wanting to sleep, but not really wanting to sleep.

This is a stressful time in my life. I thought I was going to fall into a deep depression after my daughter Angel went back to college. It didn’t happen. Honestly, I have been too busy to notice her absence. 

Work has been crazy busy, but yesterday we hired our new employee. There is relief in sight.

My mother-in-law, still dying and getting weaker with each visit. We have been going to see her as much as possible. It is a depressing and hopeless situation. I feel a lot of guilt because I have been neglecting my own parents. 

All of this brings up guilt from when I was a caregiver for my Aunt Grace. She needed so much care that it took all of my time. I didn’t spend as much time with my grandma whom I was closer to. I often drove by grandma’s house without stopping because Grace needed me more. 

Is this how my mother felt all these years taking care of my autistic brother Matt? I think I am finally getting it. I wanted to spend time with you, but he needed me soooo much more. 

Matt still needs her more, will always need her more. He had a meltdown over Christmas. He went home from work one winter day with his boots on and forgot his shoes at work. He was so worked up that he needed to be medicated. My mom told me about this on Christmas Eve because someday she said I will be getting the phone calls.

The weight of my world is so suffocating some times. 

Outrunning, the first steps

I never intended to be a runner. I never considered myself to be an athlete. This journey began unintended as journeys often times do.

My friend Cori started running first. Then my husband Paul. They tried to talk me into running. I thought to myself that I would start (perhaps) when hell froze over. But I told them I would run once Cori convinced her husband to run (which at the time seemed VERY unlikely).

Sure enough, Cori’s husband started running. Since those first steps, Cori and her husband finished countless marathons and both finished the full Iron.

Being good to my word, I started running too. It was tough at first. I remember my first mile. I thought I was going to die. I didn’t have the proper equipment. I didn’t think I really needed to do anything but run. I ran in heavy cheap athletic shoes and didn’t even have an athletic bra.

Several years after taking my first steps into running, I signed up for my first race. It was a 10k. I was afraid, I never ran that far before. It was terrifying and exhilarating at the same time.

I remember the first time I ran 10 miles. I thought I was going to die. I felt light headed and sick. My whole body ached. My legs were on fire. I was out of breath.

Then I signed up for my first marathon at the age of 40. I was terrified. I tried to get any advice that I could. One book I read was actually someone’s blog that she turned into a book.

A marathon? A blog? Why couldn’t I do that too??

So I consulted with my cousin and my pastor (probably a good thing to do?) who are both runners and have a blog.

Then I started this blog. At first it was going to be about running, or more specifically, training for a marathon. Then it morphed into so much more…writing about my experience growing up with a severely autistic sibling, parenting teenagers, travel, working with my husband at our own business, adventures in sailing…and it will probably take me down other winding roads that I have no idea about yet..

This is where it all began…How I started outrunning my demons, one step at a time…And it was something that I (as a big time planner) never planned. If someone told me I would be doing this ten years ago, I would’ve laughed at them. You’re crazy! Maybe when hell freezes over..

It almost makes me wonder where my journey will take me in another 10 years.


I’ll probably worry about this

It was Friday night. I was hitting up a local bar that I never have been to but was close to home. I was surrounded by people, alone. There was a man outside. He was very large and scary looking. He also brandished a semi automatic weapon of some sort. He was telling people what to do. I was afraid, but I left my cell phone in the car.

Then it seemed like I went back in time to the 1980’s. The place seemed old and rather run down. No one had a cell phone, but the owner of the place had an old rotary phone that I called 911 on to try to get help. 911 said that it wasn’t in their jurisdiction. Sorry we can’t help you. I called my husband. He came inside the building with me along with faceless nameless other people I didn’t know who seemed oblivious to the threat. When he got there, I hid in the back room with a machete. I felt like a coward for hiding and leaving him out there to defend me.

They found me in the back room anyway. I had a knife fight with another person to defend myself. It was awkward because I was left handed. I got stabbed in the stomach. I was dying but felt no pain and wondered why.

I woke up at 3:43 AM.

On Friday night, we actually went to the nursing home to visit Martha. At the end of the visit, we watched the birds in the cages.

Last night I dreamed that I was going to be dropped off somewhere in the middle of nowhere to run at night. It was going to be dangerous. It might storm. I might have to seek shelter. I was excited until I got attacked by the nursing home birds. I woke up screaming NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Two nights with nightmares, two days without exercise. Maybe I really do need to run to outrun my demons.

Yesterday I thought a lot about worrying. It has been a life long struggle for me. I decided to keep a list of every worry that came across my mind. I gave up after already having at least a dozen before I left for work.

I realize that worry is not going to add an extra day to my life. Worrying and overthinking every possible scenario does not equate to having control. It takes away my joy and I really want to sever its hold on me.

Sometimes I also have anxiety, which is a lot different from worry. Sometimes I even panic about the things I tell you. Opening up. Being honest. But if I really (over)think about it, who cares? Probably not the 3 people that actually take the time to read my posts.

I hate it when people tell me I need to worry less. Don’t worry. Be happy. Don’t you think I’ve already worried about how I can worry less?

Or they tell me that I really don’t trust God because if I did I wouldn’t worry. That just plain hurts my feelings. Let go and let God. If it were only that easy. Obviously those people don’t have the same struggle. If they did they would realize that it is not a kind, compassionate, or caring thing to say. It actually gives me more to worry about.

Sometimes I want to slam people with ‘you really don’t trust God enough’ for every weakness or struggle they have.

Wow, guess who is feeling a little edgy today??

I am going to end this here and sit around for the next couple of hours worrying about what I just wrote.



Running on the last leg

I think my treadmill is on its last leg.

We bought it used almost 2,000 miles ago.

The liner under the belt is starting to unravel. It is coming off in big chunks that look like dust. It almost looks like I don’t use my treadmill or am bad at cleaning my house.

Every time I step on it, the treadmill growls. Seriously, I didn’t gain that much weight over the holidays!

Now I have to hang on to the hand rails when I run because sometimes it stops without warning or catches which might propel me into a wall.

Hey, at least it didn’t start to smoke!

So, I am faced with having to buy a new treadmill or join a gym.

If I join the gym I would actually have to drive a half an hour, share machines with strangers, and shave once in awhile.

But I could bike and swim in the winter. It has been hard to train outside when the lakes are frozen and the roads are icy.

Plus, it would get rid of an ugly piece of furniture(?) in my small house.

There are so many pros and cons to each scenario. I liked having a gym membership, but found it harder to make it work out with my busy schedule.

What do you do to make training easier over the winter??


Good note endings

For me, it is the anticipation of an event that causes excitement, apprehension, or foreboding. The planning of a vacation. Waiting for a special day. Saying good bye..

It is not always a bad thing to know that your loved one is dying. I think of a friend whose mother died unexpectedly right after an argument. We have been given this special time to mend relationships, to end things on a good note..

Friday night we took Angel to say good bye to her grandma before leaving for college. Friday my son Alex came down with strep, the second in our household. I didn’t want Angel to leave without saying good bye to her grandma. I admit I was worried that although Paul, Angel, and I weren’t symptomatic that we could be carriers of strep into a nursing home full of vulnerable people. It wasn’t a good feeling. I asked the nurse and pharmacist, but they didn’t give me a straight answer. We decided to go anyway, since this would probably be Angel’s final visit with her grandma.

We arrived at the nursing home late on Friday night. It was a big complex and we didn’t know where to go. The outside doors were locked and we ended up walking around outside in the bitter cold on icy sidewalks trying to find a way in. I felt exhausted and cold. I was so tired that I didn’t want to be there, but it wasn’t about me.

We were finally able to find the main entrance. It was warm, empty, and inviting. There was a video showing a happy elderly couple entering their new home. It pleasantly reminded me of a time share commercial. We were the only visitors there on a Friday night, with the exception of my mother-in-law’s husband Darryl.

It was quiet there. The employees talked about when they were going to take their cigarette breaks. Curious elderly people wandered over to Martha’s room to see the excitement of visitors on a Friday night.

Martha was in her bed hooked up to oxygen. She looked good. Darryl said that his mother was in the nursing home now because she can no longer take care of herself. The conversation got too close to the truth of Martha’s situation. We talked of funerals that we attended together of other family members and Darryl’s moms declining health.

Martha wondered why she was in the nursing home like her husband’s mother. She told us that she was going home soon. She said that they were going to start her on Chemo all over again. She was so convinced of this that I almost believed her. I wanted to.

Martha told us how great Darryl has been to her all of these years. She said that her only regret was that she didn’t meet Darryl sooner. She wished she could have given Paul a father when he was a child. Martha held Darryl’s hand and told him how much she loved and appreciated having him in her life.

When it was time to go, Angel sang a prayer. It was very peaceful and calming. There weren’t any tears or sad good byes like I was expecting.

Our visit ended on a good note..

Saying good bye?

I have often wondered why we say the words good bye. What is ever good about parting with someone that you care about?

This morning I said good bye to Angel as she left to go back to college. I won’t be seeing her again until March.

Last night Angel said good bye to her grandma, probably for the last time.

It was a rough week. Darryl called earlier this week very distraught. The doctor told him that Martha was never going to go back home again. She was going to be transferred from the hospital into a nursing home. They thought that she was going to beat this terminal stage 4 cancer thing. It is hard to blame them for feeling that way as they don’t have the internet at home and we are all new to this stage 4 cancer thing.

Living with her day to day, I’m sure that Darryl didn’t see how the cancer eroded her body like we did. Losing 100 lbs isn’t as noticeable if you lose it 1 lb a day. It broke Paul’s heart to see his step-dad break down and start talking about final wishes and funeral arrangements. We knew we had to arrange one last visit with Angel and her grandma before she left.

The night that Darryl called, Paul cried. Before all of this, in the 20+ years I’ve known Paul, he has only cried a handful of times. Mainly when his grandma, who helped raise him, died. Dealing with his mother dying has brought out a whole new range of emotions, some of them not very good. I want to fix things, but I can’t.

Sometimes I worry about Paul. He takes on too much responsibility. He is a great leader and everyone wants his help on this board, committee, or that. I find that most people care more about what he can do for them instead of him.

Besides Paul and my friend Cindy (who keeps calling and asking how I am doing), I have been pushing everyone in my life away. When things get difficult I shut everyone out. No personal Facebook statuses for me. I don’t want anyone to know. It surprises me that I even talk to you. Sorry, no offense, I’m sure you are a great person.

Instead of dealing with my emotions, I put more things on my plate. No, not food, if I’m really stressed I barely eat. Working long hours…yes…trying out for a part in the play…yes…signing up for an 18 mile trail run…yes…another marathon…yes, yes, yes….a half iron…yes, yes, oh yes!

Keeping very busy has always been a tactic of mine.

I’m not sure I can keep going at this pace. But I am afraid. If I stop juggling all of these busyness balls, I will surely drown.

I will keep going. I am determined to persevere. And I am going to keep writing (take you along on this journey with me)! Lucky you! XOXXO



My magic wand


When I was 34, I played the part of Glinda. I was given someone’s old ill fitting wedding dress to wear. I didn’t like it. So I dug out my wedding dress from the back closet and broke the vacuum pack seal that would forever preserve it. It still fit.

I was given a large magic wand, but the director did not like it although I did. The large wand was replaced with a smaller one and was held by some of the younger cast members.


One morning I awoke to find my first magic wand in the front yard with a note attached. I felt young to be the receiver of pranks from a youthful crowd.


Recently, I tried out for the part of a floozy at the local community theater. I didn’t get the part. The actor that was perfect to play the part of the floozy’s boyfriend is 18 years old, the same age as my daughter. Instead a young high school girl who never had a boyfriend was chosen to be the floozy.

What does she have that I don’t? Besides being 25 years younger?? Ha ha, oh well…hmm..

I was given the part of a homeless old bitchy hag.

I had to take a long hard look at myself in the mirror. I am not young anymore. I once was a beautiful flower, but now I’m at the end of my bloom. My petals are starting to droop…wrinkles…lines. My color is starting to fade…My hair a glistening gray…old hands…weird freckly dots..

I still like to think of myself as young. But I don’t glimpse much of that girl anymore in my self-reflection.

This past week I threw out my magic wand. It suddenly seemed a painful reminder of what I once was.

But if I could have my magic wand back and make one wish, it would be that I could feel young for just a little longer…

This year I will be 29 again…