Monday, July 26, 2010

Perfect Moment - Finding My Stride

Last week my pal A. said she needed a run buddy for Saturday morning and asked if I'd like to join her. I said, maybe. Because I'm like that, and also because running for me has always been a solitary kind of thing. Earphones on. Route chosen for minimal interaction with people. I couldn't imagine having to adjust to the pace of someone next to me, or worse yet, struggle to keep up.

Saturday morning arrived and A. and I were texting each other from under the covers. You up? Barely. We going? I dunno. You want to? It's kind of hot. Yeah. Should we postpone? Screw it, let's go. Ok. Be there in 5.

And off we went. Chatting the whole way. About half way to the trees, A. wondered if we were really going as slow as it seemed. So we picked up the pace. A little. Because it was indeed turning out to be a scorcher. We stopped to say hi to the trees, a place A. had never known existed until that morning, and headed back. Still talking. Talking and walking - wow! I can do it. And we made it home in a pretty decent time.

While a pleasant morning spent with a friend might seem like no big deal, nice but no cause for a moment of reflection, it kind of is. Our morning signaled to me that my running is evolving from survival mode, a coping mechanism, a task to be accomplished alone with my own thoughts into something that can be social, can be fun, can be shared. And that feels like a perfect moment.


And while we're on the subject, I just have to share a Perfect Moment that I neglected to post last week:

You know M. playfully says that when I run its like watching someone try to wade through molasses, right? Well, last week, as we were heading across the country on a whim for a weekend trip to see his favorite sports team evah (thank you, frequent flier miles and price.line), we found ourselves in the Detroit airport with just 20 minutes to get from the tip of Coucourse C to the opposite end of Concourse A before plane doors closed and we missed the only available connection to our destination that day.

Through tunnels, up escalators, down looooong halls with people movers jammed with people.

And guess who made it to the gate without breaking a sweat? And guess who arrived panting? Aw yeah. Now if that's not a perfect moment, I'm not sure what is.


Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between. Go visit Lori from Weebles Wobblog, founder of Perfect Moment Mondays to read where she and others found their moments this week.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mental Health Hygeine - Kind of Like Brushing Your Teeth

We had the pleasure of spending 26 hours with a dear, dear friend from our Wroclaw days this weekend. Someone I haven't seen in ten years. One of the kindest, purest hearts I know, that just happens to be encased in a body that is fun, and funny and damn smart. A. who resides in Sydney, Australia these days, is in the States this month for an intensive course in dramatherapy, which I confess I knew nothing about until talking with A. this week.

My friendship and love of A. developed in our wilder days, when his English wasn't terribly good, my Polish was worse, and when our priorities consisted of finding the next party (not as easy as it sounds in an Eastern Europe where phones and internet access were still luxuries that few, certainly none of us, had), getting ourselves there, and getting each other safely home. To see this person again now, ten years later, both of us all growned up....the emotions, they're hard to describe. While A. and I stayed in touch over the years, correspondence was short and infrequent - basic info and updates, really - nothing like the marathon chat sessions that we would have practically every weekend. Tea steaming, eyelids flickering, resisting sleep as we tried to suck every last second of the weekend before work began again on Monday. To have another one of those reminded me how much I love and value this person and his friendship.

So much can happen in the course of a decade - we've both had our share of tragedies and circumstances we wish we never had to deal with. But there are joyful moments too, new relationships, new travels, new priorities that were there to be shared. And hugs. So many hugs. I just couldn't get enough. We talked about our experiences together in Poland, and our lives now. We assessed situations past and present. We talked of the future.

And the one thing I forgot about A. is that he has an advanced degree in Psychology and will be starting his PhD this fall. Um, bonus? Besides learning about so many new and experimental methodologies, he imparted some advice to M. that I believe he just might take.

"M., my darling, what you are describing to me is simply anxiety. And anxiety, this is a kind of a hygenic thing in your mental health. It's like brushing your teeth, yes? It is something you must address every day or it will become something hard to manage. You have to keep it in check. I know you have these skills. You have to remember to use them. Like brushing your teeth, ok?"

And while art therapy are dramatherapy are things I don't envision M. participating in, I did see his interest peak when A. discussed meditation, yoga and and the concept of narrative therapy. Ever hear of this?

It's a process in which you basically develop a story about yourself, and then pull yourself out of it. And then you and the therapist work together on the elements of that story, you as a detatched observer. As a cultural studies major, one who is used to deconstructing and finding meanings in the world around him, I could see that M.'s intellectual curiousity, if nothing else, was sparked by the idea of doing something similar to himself.

So, we'll see. And if none of those options help, we can always fall back on this method, also recommended by the lovely A.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Immobile. Unable to move or function properly. Useless. This is how I feel today.

Between the list of things that I keep trying to accomplish (none of which is impossibly hard) and sneaking peaks at agency fees for gestational carriers (which range from oh. my. fucking. god. to RUFKM!!! to pass the salts I am going to faint) I am frozen in front of my computer today. I see my hands fluttering across the keyboard, but nothing is getting done. I can feel the wheels and gears of my brain turning but I cannot see how to move beyond the point at which we are right now. And I don't want to be here right now.

So I am trying to grab at the low hanging fruit on the to do list. Make a phone call - check. Answer an email - check. Refill my stapler - done. Trying to stuff more activities into an already jam-packed summer so there are as few moments as possible to look at each other and quietly think about what we would rather be doing. Peace = no! Quiet = bad! I am trying to grasp that little spot of hope that usually hangs out someplace inside of me. Dammit, where did that little bugger go?

My heart is racing and I can't make it stop. I am in this heightened state of anxiousness that I can't define. Its like I am now paying for being able to Keep my Shit Together for the last few weeks. Ok, week. I look at M. and it seems like there is always an existential crisis looming just below the surface. He gets impatient with me sometimes because I never begin our conversations. "Don't you have anything to say?" he'll say. But the truth is, sometimes I just don't know what topics are safe. What words won't swirl like a flushed toilet and pull us both into the shit.

But maybe I am just projecting?

I wonder if I'm projecting. I wonder if its me that isn't sure who I am or what I want to be when I grow up. I wonder if I'm the one that assigns weight to words that don't have any, or sets the eggshells down in front of our paths.

Christ. That thought just locked me up completely. My neck is so tight I am making myself dizzy.

Ok. That's it. That decided it. I am going to the gym. I've been yelling at myself to do that even since I woke up this morning. Inertia has trumped impetus.

Until now.

I am putting clothes on.
I am putting a "back soon" message on skype (how we stalk each other at work)
I am walking out the door and to the gym and I will sweat and probably cry and this feeling of frozen will go away for just a little bit.


4:26 pm edit: Right.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Physically, at least. And not quite sure where to begin. The google reader, duh, says the part of my brain that wants to catch up with things that matter. You. And I confess, I took in a big gulp of blogs this morning, as much as I could swallow in 20 minutes before that part of my brain, the one that's tied to that place that pays me started yelling all kinds of obscenities in my inner ear.

So, it looks like I'll dig into some work email, the calendar, and other work-related things, all marked Urgent! Priority! Time dated! Thisemailisthemostimportantoneyouwilleverread-untilthenextone.


Please be patient with me today. It feels like my my brain missed the flight home and is in no hurry to catch the next one.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Routine**

Sleep late (contemplate an early morning run, do it once or twice) but generally, embrace the covers and the absence of an alarm, hug hubby.
Coffee, toast.
Apply sunscreen.
Obsessively check work email on phone until husband notices and protests.
Beach until afternoon thunderstorm arrives.
Food and libations.
Sit on the lanai with a book and a glass of wine and listen to the birds coming in to roost.
Retire to the couch when its too dark outside.
lather, rinse, repeat

**subtitled, "why you haven't heard from me this week"

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