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I don’t start things, generally, that I think will be hard to complete.  Arranging for a year of long, long, vacation? Getting my masters while parenting a toddler and working full-time (and planning / doing long long vacation)?  I actually didn’t see those as things that would *hard* to complete.  Complex, or exhausting, or scary in spots – for sure – but *not* hard.


When John died my mom and I brainstormed doing a “Design Your own Logo” class at a library because he was an artist, his best tattoos (and the one that is mirrored on the back of my head) all had logo qualities to them, and it was a chance to connect with his heart in a different way.  Also, I raised money for the heart association for years and I’m eyeballing a Marfan walk in a month in Roswell because Marfan walks are hard to find.

**grasping at straws**

I haven’t run in almost 18 months.  I’ve never run for longer than a 5K and even those I never *really* felt prepared for.  In the last 5 years I’ve said with the quiet pride of someone who never even came close “I’d never do a full marathon, only a half and even then only the flying pig”.

I’m busy, I’m emotionally and physically drained most days.  I don’t feel like I have much energy to offer those around me and even less for myself.  I don’t have hobbies.  I don’t take time.  The nights that Dave & I watch movies on the couch together it is because he’s found something that he knows I’ll stop and watch.

Moving my body isn’t a priority and hasn’t been for awhile.

** the other nagging true things **

After dad died I got a massage and when my foot stopped hurting for a moment I thought “I’ll run the Marine Corps Marathon” it is beautiful, the finish line make me teary to think about even when he was alive.

I looked up the timeline (late October and not conflicting with Dave’s Ath Half) and the registration rules – a lottery that (at the time) was four months away and resolved seven months before the race.  I looked up if there were couch to marathon training programs (there are) and resolved that the idea would drift away I went on about my life.

Then I entered the lottery, because I remembered to, because I was sure that karma and dad’s good ghost like ghostliness would keep me out of the CONGRATULATIONS pool.  Because … it would be so easy to shrug and say “I would have but the lottery didn’t break my way” then I would sigh and it would be over.

I got an email on Wednesday morning that says, “CONGRATULATIONS”

I feel soft, and scared, and embarrassed for thinking that the time / energy / willpower is available for me to train for this.  I feel dumb.  I am also on my way for my first training run/walk/persevere.

I’m so scared.  Scared is not a reason to avoid something.

One day. One run.


Parents who fly – you know the drill … in the unlikely event of a change in cabin pressure masks will come from the ceiling and you should apply your own before assisting those around you.

The important part (and a relatively recent addition I think) is that oxygen will be flowing even if the bag does not appear to inflate.

… so yeah.

I haven’t felt this level of professional responsibility since 2002.  The difference is that then I was recently widowed and knew (mentally) my resignation date so I had ZERO fucks to give.  I wasn’t going to screw it up – but if the world burned I was going to be the one striding in front of the flames flicking a cigarette.

Now I have a wide circle of friends, a husband, a child, a mom, and an extended family who I adore like crazy.  I own Catie in Bhutan an email from three weeks ago (I SWEAR Catie, you are the perfect TOP of my personal email list I SWEAR).  My local circle of friends are having THINGS (good and tough) that I want to bear witness to.  My sista hasn’t heard from me in AWHILE y’all.  My husband, my son …. let’s just say my mom is super hero that made spring break amazing.  Even still, I bet my husband and son wish I was half the person I normally am.

I will be.  I just need 4 more days.  Or 4 more weeks – I’m not sure yet.

The love flows, even if the bag is not inflating.

Great things in the morning and then two distressing things at lunch. 

Up the Grand Staircase two at a time. People are waiting for me to correct things, to begin things, to bear witness. 

“The hardest working woman here today”

“My fav-o-rite” and a hug. 

My head on the desk for a split second of embarrassed self-pity. 

“We know what you’re doing”

I want to stay here even as we move forward. I am part of a magical time. I was hugged today, my hand was kissed today, I laughed out loud today, I was exhausted with tears in my eyes and scrambling to get away today. 

I went up the grand staircase two at a time.