Outrunning my worries of the day

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It was a beautiful day to go outside for a run in Wisconsin. I had to take a picture with my phone to show you.

Today it was sunny with a high of 50. There was a brisk 20 mph wind, but I can’t complain because it wasn’t too cold.

Now before you pack up all of your belongings and head north…I’m sure it will snow soon and I will be forced to run on the treadmill like I have been doing the past month.

I went for a 5 mile run today and I did it relatively pain free. I stopped a few times to stretch out. My foot isn’t 100% yet but it is feeling a lot better. I did switch up my exercise routine in the last month, so my body might be protesting the change. I started going to a kickboxing/defense class and running 15 miles a week really focusing on increasing my pace. I really don’t think my body likes it as much as my mind does..

Lately my legs have been feeling like lead. I’ve been feeling really exhausted too…Maybe it is from the tryptophan from eating turkey for the last 5 days straight! Guess what we are having for supper tonight?? Turkey! Yippee!!

Before I sign up for any races, I will see how the next couple weeks go…I am hoping and thinking at this point that it is a small problem…one step at a time.

P.S. I haven’t received any calls from the school about my son getting in any fights..so things are looking up.

The long run

I have been thinking about next year’s racing season.

This past week I decided that I wanted to do the Tough Mudder and a trail marathon next summer. The trail marathon is on my birthday. What could be better than getting up at the crack of dawn and spending your birthday in complete and total agony?? Not to mention feeling sore, sick, and exhausted after the fact.

Do I really want to run another marathon?? Do I really want to torment myself on my birthday?? I could be out spending the day having fun…getting a massage…drinking champagne…sailing…

But I love the challenge..the satisfaction of completing a goal…

Successfully overcoming obstacles is more pleasurable to me than unearned self-indulgence.

So I decided to go for it.

I almost signed up..

Then I went to the gym for a run.

My ankle started to hurt. It felt like my foot bones were twisted and grinding together. It wasn’t very painful, but the pounding on my foot mile after mile…

I ran while in pain like this several times now. It wasn’t bad enough to stop. It is like running with a small pebble in your shoe versus a sharp rock.

Friday morning I ran 10 painful miles. After I got off of the treadmill, I sat in the sauna a few minutes. While I was in the sauna, a stranger sat down next to me. She said that she saw me out on the treadmill and wanted to know if I was okay.

Are you feeling okay??

A stranger coming up to me and asking if I am okay??

Could this be a problem?

What am I doing to myself?

The pain made me more determined to fight the pain. I was, in essence, fighting with myself and someone was going to lose. I berated myself for the mile I had to walk. The physical pain seemed to even trigger emotions of other painful times in my life.

I am never a gentle taskmaster to myself. I crack the whip and get it done regardless of whether I want to or not…whether I am in pain or not.

My greatest strength is my greatest weakness. Self-discipline is a great super power to have, but…and you know that a but is coming, sometimes I need to take a chill pill and relax a little.

I am not good at relaxing. I want to push it to the limit which conflicts with my desire to do this for the long run.

If I push myself too hard, end up getting seriously injured, and have to quit running…What good is my determination??

Sometimes it is easier to show you my medals than to tell you about my struggles and weaknesses. I want to make running a marathon look easy.

I took today off, but tomorrow I am thinking about running. My ankle/foot only hurts for the most part when I am running. I have been trying to solve the problem with my foot. I think the pain is coming from bad sitting habits. I like to curl my leg under my body and sit on my foot. I want to see if it helps if I stop doing this.

So far I am still planning on signing up for the races. In the meantime, I have to be smart. I have to learn to take better care of myself. I have to recognize when exercising and being too healthy is unhealthy without a few words from a stranger in the gym. Somehow I need to develop that inner voice of reason.

I want to be in this for the long run…

 

 

Thanksgiving break..

This morning as I was leaving for church, I noticed a letter on the ground in my driveway. I drove back towards my house to grab the letter. But it was just a receipt for glue. Glue?? Next to the receipt, there were pills strewn across the ground. What were the pills??

I started my cycle of worry for the day. Unfortunately, I spent a lot of time worrying over the holiday.

Since we last talked, Angel came home from college. I’m amazed we made it this long living in a small house. Angel’s things cluttered the family room. We ran out of hot water one morning from showers. The girls bickered about sharing a room…one liked it quiet and dark to sleep…the other liked to go to sleep with light and noise…

I worried about Thanksgiving. I was afraid of how Matt would respond to Luke’s kids…but Luke and his family didn’t show up. They stayed home sick. The day was relatively uneventful except for a clogged kitchen sink.

Over the weekend, we found out that Alex’s ex-girlfriend Baylee started going out with Alex’s good friend Jake. This has caused a social media war. Horrible things were said online that shouldn’t have been said. People are choosing sides. Jake was the drummer in the garage band Alex was in. The band has been disbanded. I am terribly afraid that there will be a fight in school tomorrow. I have been really stressing about it and am trying to let it go. I tried to talk to Alex about it but he wants me to leave him alone.

I am struggling with the desire to let my kids go yet at the same time still wanting to hold on to them tight. Although I get along great with my son normally, he causes me so much stress that I want him to go to school far away.

This weekend we had a school choir tree lighting ceremony that Arabella sang for. As I watched the choir sing, I was reminded of the times that it was Angel performing. It was like time fast forwarded. I was reminded of other things that we did together when she was young and felt sad that those times went by so fast. I want to grab on to those moments while they last for all of my kids, but can’t.

Paul and I took a walk around to look at the lit trees. We were surrounded by young parents with small children fascinated by the wonder of the Christmas season starting. How did we get so old? I felt happy and sad at the same time. We are coming to the end of a long season of our life and soon will be starting another..

We did enjoy our time with Angel. Paul brought home a Christmas tree that Angel did most of the work decorating. Our cat found his warm snugly spot under the tree. It is very calming.

Angel is on her way back to school as I type these words. She is driving my car back. While she was here, the brakes started going out on her car. We didn’t feel that it was safe for her to drive it back. Alex’s car broke down this past week as well. What are the odds that two cars break down in the same week?? My kids are driving around cars that are as old as they are…At least they have cars to drive.

As soon as I got home from church, I googled the pills that I found in my yard. They were extra strength Tylenol…Whew! I also checked the receipt for the glue. It was purchased at a time when my kids were home..There were so many people in and out of the driveway the past few days…probably more cars than we had all summer. It could belong to anybody. The receipt could have blown over from the neighbors yard. Why do I waste my time in worry?

 

Narcissistic worry

Last week I read a wonderful post about narcissism. Then I got to worrying…Oh my, am I a narcissist??

Growing up my life revolved around my autistic brother Matt. It was all about Matt…Matt…MATT all of the time. I wanted it to be all about me. ME! ME! ME!
Aren’t I great??

I was on my own for a very short period of time. I graduated from college, got married 2 months later, and got pregnant 2 months after that. I have been a mother since my mid-20’s.

Right after I was out of my parents house (taking care of my brother)…I ended up having three children. Since then it has been pregnancy, having C-sections, breastfeeding, diapers, sick kids, lost teeth, sibling warfare, birthday parties, braces…to today where I have 3 teenagers. My life involves taxiing my kids around, dealing with difficult issues such as sex, drugs, and lets throw rock and roll in there too. Why not?? I have to deal with underage drinking, bad grades, messy rooms, rebellious attitudes…all the normal issues of dealing with teenagers…plus cooking, cleaning, and laundry.

I secretly fantasize about being an empty nester. I want it to be all about me. I don’t want to have to worry about anyone else…I don’t even want to have to take care of pets anymore. I am sick of having to get a pet sitter every time we want to leave. I hate it when the pets bring fleas into my house…or when the dog gets into the garbage…or puke on the carpet…the constant crying for food the minute I wake up in the morning or right when I get home from work…the poop on the floor right outside of the litter box.

Last month my brother Luke and his family lost their family dog. The were heartbroken at the death of a member of their family. Last week they got a new puppy. I feel guilty for not wanting any responsibilities. I will gladly take care of the pets I have until they are gone…but after that…I don’t even want a fish!

I am also a completely vain person. I envision myself always looking great in a bikini while I gaze at my reflection in the pool. I want to tell my classmates that I was carded this year. I am getting younger while my classmates are so old and weathered that I don’t recognize them anymore. I couldn’t possibly look as old as they do, right??

I also have Mary Poppins syndrome. I think that I am practically perfect in every way. I never admit to having any faults. I strive for perfection.

On a side note**I wouldn’t recommend making deviled eggs for Thanksgiving if you are a perfectionist! Grrrr..

As a child I was punished for making mistakes. One bad grade in elementary school and all of my dolls were taken away for a semester. I was so afraid of making mistakes and not being good enough.

Sometimes I think that harshest judges have been most harshly judged.

I’m working on it, okay?

Yesterday I just realized that my criticism and annoyance with others could be viewed as annoying..

As I sit here gazing in self reflection…I realize that I am probably not a narcissist. I just need a little responsibility free time to myself. I love my family and pets, but sometimes taking care of them all the time can be overwhelming. In a few years I probably won’t know what to do with all of the ‘me’ time.

I figure if I am so worried about being a narcissist, that I am probably not one. Narcissists don’t worry that they are narcissists…Do they?? No, just anxious people worry…Boy, do I feel better..

To think…for a few minutes I thought it was all about me!

Annoying annoyances

Today I got annoyed with myself for being so easily annoyed.

I am very hypersensitive. Other people in my family have the same traits. My autistic brother has this to the extreme.

I have extremely good hearing. When people told me that cranking my radio would make me hard of hearing, they lied. I think I will be like my aunt Grace. She couldn’t see a damn thing, but she could hear a pin drop. When I was her caregiver at the end, the noise of having my family around would bother her. She demanded the silence that a young family could not give.

I understand now. I practically wake up during the night when I hear my neighbors down the road fart. Seriously, how annoying is that?? I can hear conversations across the room. I am so distracted by the noise of someone chewing that I have a hard time focusing on what they are saying. I make faces like I am disgusted with them for chewing because I am. I hear noise frequencies that only teenagers and small children are supposed to hear. It drives me insane!

It doesn’t end there…I am also hypersensitive to bright lights. I prefer a dark house. Bright lights in the morning slice through my eyes causing my eyes to squint and water.

I am hypersensitive to touch. I feel the tags scratching my skin. I can feel the slightest mosquito touch. Touch is generally uncomfortable. Aunt Grace was like that too. She didn’t even like the touch of animals.

I am hypersensitive to textures. I will not eat coconut although I like the flavor. Forget mushrooms, onions, and shrimp.

I find it annoying to be annoyed all of the time. It really makes it hard to have relationships with other people. Everything is okay if people don’t touch me or make any noise. Maybe that is why I enjoy my blogging friends so much..

I am thankful I already lost my mind..

Things have been crazy busy around here. I have been running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Or should I say turkey? Would that be more seasonal?

I am getting ready to have Thanksgiving at my house.

Tomorrow Angel is coming home from college. This has been the first time she has been home since August.

The guys just got back from deer hunting. My son Alex shot his first deer. He also played a trick on me. I asked him to send me a picture of his buck and he sent me a picture of a Bambi. Horrible thing to do. Then he told me it was too little to keep. He said he was going to throw it into the woods for the wolves. I was mortified.

He was just kidding. He found a picture of a Bambi online. Real funny! Not…He has my awful sense of humor…Oh deer..

I knew that they would get a deer because last month we got a quarter cow and this week we are getting a half a pig. The freezer is full…so of course the guys wouldn’t come home empty handed.

Alex wants his new girlfriend to come over for Thanksgiving. I feel like it is too soon since he just broke things off with Baylee. I wanted some explanation to why they broke up. Alex told me that Baylee was fake. He said that she was lying to us the whole time. He asked me if I really believed that Baylee didn’t drink at the underage drinking party at the cabin. She portrayed herself as a reluctant party goer…almost like a mother hen…or a nun. Paul and I wanted Alex to pay her share of the party damage fees. All this time he was covering for her lies..

The new girlfriend looks a little like Baylee…so the family we haven’t seen in months might think it is her..

Paul’s step-dad, Darryl, will be here. This year his wife passed away. Lately Darryl has become obsessed with online dating.

My uncle Rick will be in attendance as well. He is newly divorced for the holidays and has nowhere to go. On a side note, uncle Rick and his ex go to the same gym as I do…I have to budget an extra 20 minutes into my workout now to listen to them bitch about each other..

Then my mom will be here…my brother Matt…my brother Luke and his family. My antisocial dad will stay home and my brother Mark is not coming. This will be the first time that Matt is around Luke’s girls since he went off of his anti-psychotic meds and wanted to kill them.

Thanksgiving will be the test to see if Matt will be okay around Luke’s daughters again. I think things will be okay. His hallucinations are gone and so is his fixation with the girls since he is medicated again. We have been dealing with this for so many decades now, but it doesn’t make things easier.

So, I will be hosting Thanksgiving at my house.

Last month I had my daughter Arabella’s confirmation at my house.

Next month I will be hosting Christmas and New Year’s. Time to buy a bigger house if I have to do all of this party hosting..We are crammed in this cracker box house tighter than ten boxes of stuffing in a small turkey..

If you don’t hear from me for a few days…I am cleaning, I am cooking, I am party hosting…

Hopefully I am not prying my brother Matt off of my nieces, explaining how Alex’s girlfriend is not Baylee although she looks like her, wiping away tears for the first holiday without my MIL Martha, talking with Darryl for hours about online dating, or commiserating with Rick on how much his ex sucks..

Oh, did I mention that almost everyone has a special diet??

Have a happy Thanksgiving! Gotta love my crazy family! Thank God I already lost my mind or I wouldn’t be able to deal with all of this!! There is never a dull moment.

Maybe you are lucky to have a prim and proper boring family. That was never my lot in life…

You will hear from me in a few days, unless I have the nervous breakdown I so rightly deserve…or maybe a midlife crisis…I just can’t decide!

 

Parenting in a different language

I have been following quite a few parenting posts lately and wanted to share my thoughts..

Imagine if your child was born speaking a different language. Perhaps you would feel frustrated that you didn’t understand. In fact, the child you should be teaching ended up teaching you. They made you feel like a complete idiot that you don’t understand. When you do learn a few words, your pronunciation is all wrong.

When I was graduating from college, a new technology came out called the internet. Along with it came something called email. I really didn’t know how to use it, but it really didn’t matter. I would be graduating soon. Maybe it was a fad. I used articles I found online to write papers, but there really wasn’t a way to document the sources. No one really knew how.

This year I asked my kids what a gif was. I showed my husband how to take a selfie.

We get criticized as parents for everything we do. There is no guidance. No one knows. How much time should we allow our children to spend online?? Should there be a limit or will they end up being behind?

The people older than us have no advice to give. We never had to deal with this, they say.

So we stumble along. We have our children teach us how to set up parental controls that they can get around.

We should be watching everything they do online…but we are still living in the 1980’s where we would be mortified if our parents listened in to every phone conversation. Is it really necessary to invade their privacy?

They is a good ten year gap of us parents out there that have never grown up with the internet having to parent children that have never lived without the internet. It is incredibly difficult.

Most of my closest friends aren’t even on Facebook.

I tried to have a conversation with my daughter last night about sexting. Seriously mom, I learned about that in grade school. You are so out of touch.

I thought my parents were out of touch because they didn’t know anything about MTV.

I consider myself having average computer literacy for my age. I can’t keep up.

How am I supposed to be fluent in a language that I don’t speak with my native tongue?

I have hope that the next generation of parents will be so much better than we are. We are doing the best we can, yet are failing miserably. The gap is too wide to cross. We are judged harshly by others that don’t understand our struggle.

Thankfully the next generation of parents will be able to speak the same language.

Widows weekend at home

Is it sad that I would rather stay home and clean my house instead of going out with friends? Is something wrong with me? Or am I just getting old??

This is the traditional widows weekend in Wisconsin. Tomorrow is the opening day for deer hunting. Tonight is the night that the girls go out whether their husbands hunt or not.

Tonight I am staying home and cleaning my house.

Growing up I lived in isolation and most of the time I enjoyed that lifestyle. I grew up in a house filled with introverts.

Now I am surrounded by a family of extroverts. There are always people coming and going. My kids constantly ask if friends can come over for the weekend. It is busy, bustling, and loud.

Is it wrong to want silence??

The last couple of times out with friends, I was completely bored. I had to yell over the crappy music of an untalented band. People ran into me and spilled their drinks on me. I have a hard time dancing and having fun if the music sucks. I get hit on, grabbed, and groped by guys that I would have no interest in dating even if I was single.

Even the best of friends sober are annoying when they are drunk and the non-drinkers are a drag to hang out with.

Yesterday I ran into an old friend at the grocery store. I don’t know if she recognized me. I pretended that I didn’t know her. I was in a hurry and didn’t want to waste time talking about superficial things. I hate small talk.

If you are going to be my friend, you will be there in the good times and the bad times.

But frankly, I will probably push you away in the bad times because I don’t like to talk to anyone about my life. I am a very private person although you wouldn’t know it here. It seems safer talking to you folks, all complete strangers, that I have no chance of running into in real life.

Then during the good times, I will be upset that you weren’t there for me in the bad times even though I probably pushed you away.

It’s not that I have social anxiety or poor social skills. Sometimes I just want to be alone. Maybe I am not a good friend.

The nursery

A few days ago, I posted about trees. Sounds boring, I know. Sometimes I have an idea that scratches around my mind that I want to write about that leads to more ideas, and yet more until it takes root.

Today I am going to write about trees again and family roots.

I just want to be upfront with you right away…I do not have a green thumb. I’ve killed every house plant that I’ve ever had. Once I got a chia pet for Christmas. I ended up regifting it because it was too much pressure.

My grandpa had a nursery located on the edge of my parents property when I was growing up. Most of the trees in the photos that I posted the other day were of trees that came from my grandpa’s nursery. My grandma came to my house and helped me plant those trees. My grandpa passed away the year we bought our house. Even my grandma has been gone for almost a decade now.

We are thinking about moving in the next year. It seems silly to say that one of the things I will miss the most is my trees. It is one of the last connections I have left to my grandparents now. I remember painstakingly deciding where to plant the trees with my grandma.

Thinking about the trees again made me think about growing up. Oftentimes my grandpa would remove the trees that weren’t thriving. He would put them on a pile to discard. When I was a young girl, I decided I would rescue one of the dead trees. It was a little pine tree with brown needles. I planted it in my parents backyard. I watered the tree everyday, but it still looked dead.

Then one morning I went outside to check on my tree and it was alive with leaves of brilliant green. I did it! I saved my tree. Things went downhill after that with my green thumb. I don’t know who replaced the tree. It probably was my grandma, but I will never know for sure..

Then my memories started taking me down a darker path.

Strangers stopping by to buy trees. Grandpa coming over in his truck. The smell of fresh dirt. Fertilizer. The musty smelling plastic bags the trees were sent home in.

Strangers in our yard. We must be alert. We worry. Are there children? Are there little girls? I give my mother a report. Keep an eye on Matt while I walk over. We could prevent Matt from going places where he could hurt someone, but we could never warn the strangers that came into our yard unaware.

I never felt safe. It would probably shock you if you knew how many times we had to worry about the safety of outsiders. My brother Matt is violently autistic/schizophrenic. We couldn’t control Matt but we did our best to push other people away to protect them.

Today I sit in public places with my back to the wall…always watching. I notice when patterns are off. I do everything I can to be a protector although I am never needed anymore.

It is strange how thinking about something neutral like trees could take me back.

Out on a limb

A couple of weeks back I became strangely fascinated by the trees in my yard. It was well into fall and some of my trees were bare and some of the leaves were yet to change color. How could this be??

I decided to go out on a limb. I traipsed around my yard with my phone in hand to snap a couple pics of my trees as the neighbor came out of her house. I think that she thought I was coming over for a visit. How odd to be hanging around the property line. Awkward!

I wondered how all of these trees could exist in the same environment of my yard but be so different..How could it be possible that some of the trees lost all of their leaves right away and some didn’t even change colors?

I spent a little too much time thinking about it…I thought, and thought, and thought…until I thought I figured it out.

Maybe it was because some of the trees were in the front of the yard and some of the trees were in the back. Maybe they had more water or less sun.

But, no, that wasn’t it.

How could it make sense?

Then I thought some more…

Maybe the trees were like my kids..They all grew up in the same environment, but turned out differently.

I wonder why that is…

I can understand why different types of trees are different…But how do you explain variations in the same kind of trees?

How can siblings that grew up with the same parents in the same environment be so different from each other??