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Writing

There’s Something About the Olympics

There’s something about the Olympics.

They’ve been on consistently, save for a random afternoon binge on The Office, since the Opening Ceremonies. I’ve cried more times than I can count. I was crying by 8:01 PM on that first night. It doesn’t matter which country wins the gold; I cry. The commercials make me cry, especially that peanut butter and jelly one. I’m a sucker for a story.

But there’s something else about the Olympics.

Maybe it’s the teenager who overslept because he stayed up too late watching a comedy, won gold, and then dropped the f-bomb on a national network. Maybe it’s all the teenagers. Maybe, even more, it’s the 30-something athletes accomplishing all these big things while I sit on my couch, jaw dropped, mouth agape.

In my late 20s, a woman I respect for many different reasons marveled at my success. “Look at all you’ve done! And you’re so young.”

I’m just over two months away from 37, my late 30s. Taking most things into consideration, I’m okay with that age. I have accomplished a lot. I’ve won awards. I’ve stood on stages. I’ve done things I couldn’t have imagined doing even in my late 20s, let alone my teens.

But, I’m also not where I thought I would be by now.

I haven’t written the book.
I’m running a lot slower than I was running just two years ago.
My daughter no longer speaks to me.

To boot, my high school decided to have a multi-class reunion this coming fall, thus moving up my 20th reunion by one year. I thought I had one full year to get into the physical shape I wanted to be in upon seeing these people for the first time since our 10th. Nope. Seven months. Sigh.

These athletes, all at the very top of their game, both inspire me and leave me feeling like I’m lacking on eleven different levels. Oh? You just accomplished the top of your game at the age of 17? Cool, cool. I’m more than twice your age and I’m not really sure what I want to be when I grow up. I’m not sure I want to tell the stories I need to tell to write the story that needs to be written. I’m not sure I can do this, not sure I can stand up to the pressure.

But then, those USA women fight and fight and fight, not just in that amazing game but for years against the other equally amazing team. They lost. And they lost. And they lost. And they lost. And then they fought as hard as they could. Two shootouts. And the gold. The winner. The best.

The truth is that I don’t need to the best, the winner. I just need to do the thing. To write the book. It doesn’t need to be a best seller; it just needs to be written. And I’m okay with that when it comes to my running: I know I’m never going to win a marathon, a half marathon, not even a 5K. I’m teetering on not even beating my previous course record for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon which was my only goal for this year’s race. But I’m still going to do it.

So why not the book?

I don’t know.

But there’s something about the Olympics that make me believe. I opened the file the other day. I deleted some words. I added some other words. I’ve been here before. I might be here again.

But I know this: These athletes are doing more than winning medals. They’re inspiring us all.

Categories
blogging Mental Health Writing

Oh Hey, May

That moment when you blink and some months have passed.

I’m now 36. My husband is now 35.

I’ve now gone on my first cruise and we’ve decided that, yeah, we’re “cruise people.”

We’re in the middle of baseball season which means I’m simultaneously loving it, praying for rain, cursing the fact that I’m missing Penguins playoff games, sweating, freezing, mumbling under my breath, clapping, holding babies, and eating soft pretzels with cheese.

I love soft pretzels with cheese.

School ends on Friday. On Monday, our oldest son went to the middle school for a tour while I cried into my coffee at home. Today Marley went to school so our oldest son could do a presentation for “Teach the Teachers” on White German Shepherd Dogs. I have no pictures because children swarmed us. Marley thought it was the best thing ever while I practiced deep breathing. Tomorrow that same kid goes to Akron to watch a minor league baseball game. He’s so excited he could burst. Thursday brings the Awards Ceremony and Friday is Fun Day.

AND THEN IT’S SUMMER VACATION!

Remember in past years when I was all, “blah, blah, we don’t do summer bucket lists or any bucket lists,” or something anti-whatever-is-currently-popular because I’m sometimes a jagoff? Well, this summer I want to do all of the things. My bucket list bucket is so deep I’m not sure how we’ll do all the things, but we’re gonna give it our best.

I sit on my front porch a lot lately, mainly because I planted all of the flowers, including our first every Fairy Garden which ended up in two big pots because I over-purchased. I still have a few things I want to purchase for the front porch, but it’s slowly becoming the porch I imagined when we bought the house five years ago.

Five. Years. Ago.

I’m hoping to get the new deck built by the end of summer. We’re, SURPRISE!, going on vacation with my family to the beach this summer. The boys got to go last summer while the parental units (us) stayed home and worked. Life is different now, so we get to go, but that involved moving money from our Early Summer Deck Rebuild Fund to the June Vacation Fund. The Late Summer Deck Rebuild will be just fine.

I’m back in yoga. Which means my arms and shoulders and abs and FEMURS kind of hate me. But I needed yoga in about eight different ways. A new studio opened in Zanesville, and I’ve fallen back in love with my body and the weirdly strong things it can do even though it’s been over a year since I regularly practiced yoga. I assume my arms will stop aching right about the time we go to build the new deck which will, yes, cause them to ache again.

It’s a cycle, this life.

I mentioned on Twitter (which, btw, is still alive and kicking and where you can keep up with the complete downfall of our current government) that I receieved my first rejection letter of 2017. Which means, yes, I’m writing again. It feels good. It feels right. Now is the time to do so. And so I am.

I can still do hard things.

I still have hard days, but I’m allowing them to be solitary and not take over entire weeks or months. Mother’s Day and the dreaded day before felt really hard this year for so many reasons. Then I woke up on Monday, went to yoga, and allowed myself the grace of starting again. In short: My medication, therapy, and positive affirmations seem to be working. I’ll stick with them and thank everyone and thing that brought this current state into my life—some of whom are you, so thank you.

I have pieces for this blog rattling around in my head and on various pieces of Post-Its and journal pages. They’re coming, all the words. I move a little slower with them now, think a little more, weigh the words before and as I type them, but oh, they’re there. It’s a really, really great feeling to move from black nothingness in my head to the creative space I prefer to dwell. I like it here.

All this to say: I’m here. I’m okay. I’m a blonde now. And most days, save for Hallmark holidays, I am happy.

Who would’ve thunk it?