Sing it, Johnny!

Don’t you want to enjoy whatever Christmas means to you?

You guys. Don’t tell my husband but… I am listening to Christmas music. I know. I know. Its early. Thanksgiving is 2.5 weeks away. I am usually “allowed” to start breaking out my Frank Sinatra Christmas CD the evening that we are decorating the Christmas tree.  Now, I am a sucker for some traditions, so ole blue eyes will remain in the dusty CD storage until the Coleman Christmas tree enters. For now, I am using Pandora ( which still blows my mind that you can get free amazing music).

Before you know it, I will be losing my ever loving mind trying to clean and get ready for us to have Thanksgiving.  We took on this tradition a few years ago and I do love it! Husband is a bad ass cook and I love to bake ( and drink wine!).  Usually I head downtown to do the 5 mile Turkey Trot but this year I may just run with some of my favorite running buddies local.  This is also the time that GG ( my grandma but the kids call her GG for Great Grandma) comes up and then stays with us during the winter months! We also started a family tradition of playing Apples to Apples were one of my BFFs ( S) comes over after her family dinner to have just ” a little bit” of wine and some laughs! Its usually a long fun night ending in more wine by the fireplace.

What I don’t love is what happens the day after. Now, I am not referrering to Black Friday where people much braver and motived than me ( and maybe a tad crazier) go stand in line for hours upon hours to get a pair of pajama pants for $5.  What I am taking about is the text, phone calls and emails from the family asking what my darling little angels would like this year for Christmas. I am forced to copy and paste some bullshit that I find on toyrus. com just to make the texts and emails stop. As I am giving them these ideas, my mind is focused on the fact that this is just more stuff. More mind numbing toys that my kids will like for maybe 5 minutes and then they will be off doing what they love most- asking me for snacks and refining the definition of fight club for our home with  the “hockey stick” addition sprinked in with “hula hoops can also be used as a weapon”.

Here’s the thing… I LOVE the family ( welp. most of them.) and they are all so very generous when it comes to Christmas and the kids but we do not need more stuff. In fact, I am in a scurry just to try to declutter the house now before GG arrives and before the holidays. This includes all toys, clothes, books, etc.

What I want my kids to have our memories and experiences. Come and take Madeline out to a play and lunch. Grant is obsessed with trains. Take him somewhere we would never take him to have an adventure. Don’t want to spend 1-1 time… then gift cards to movies, the aquarium, Disney on Ice ( shoot me, now) , an Indians game next spring, or a day pass to go tobogganing. Money towards monthly gymnastics fees or swim lessons. Let’s think outside the box, here. Teach my children something I can’t.  Can you sew?  Great. Teach my daughter. Master Lego builder?  Awesome. I will drop Grant off for 2 hours with snacks.  In fact, I want to do the “4 things for Christmas” for the kids ( want, need, wear and read) along with a few fun stocking stuffers.

And while I am at- I am done this year. Done. Done with doing brunches and dinners and breakfasts just so we can cross it ( as well as so you can cross us) off the “Holiday To Do” lists. Everyone can feel how forced, awkward and awful it is. No one wants to be there. Everyone is counting down the minutes until its over. Why?  Why are we doing this year after year after year?  I want to spend this time with my darling friends. I want to have a Christmas Holiday pajama party with hot cocoa, yummy food and fun holiday movies with my kiddos and some friends. I want to use this time to reconnect with friends that I have lost touch with over marathon training and “momming”. I want to sit by the Christmas tree with husband drinking an amazing red while Frank belts out all of my favorite songs. I want to bake cookies with my MIL, SIL and daughter.

Its time to Coleman this Christmas.  I encourage you to do the same.  Hate mailing out Christmas cards? Stop. Got to travel all day long for Christmas just to be in the car more than someones house? Stop. Buying pointless gifts for someone just because that is how it is always been done? Stop.

What if this is your last Christmas?  Your last holiday season with those that you love. Don’t you want to enjoy whatever Christmas means to you?

Finding the flowers amongst the weeds.

To say that the last two months the Universe has been testing me is an understatement. Now, I am aware that many other humans are suffering and going through shit storms that do not even compare to what I feel has been a trying time. Please note, that my perspective and disposition is typically Positive Polly although I do (sometimes) show my old  “waiting for the bottom to fall out” circa embryo to about 5 years ago.

I will not go through the entire list that keeps circulating in my head when I think back to the beginning of May to the present.  That will only make this time stay with me longer. Reliving and giving these events more energy is just like feeding a Gremlin after midnight.

Earlier this week, I met my yoga teacher/gal pal E for a short 3 mile run, dinner and drinks. E is my safe zone. I am my authentic self. Sometimes 100% crazy oversharing me. Sometimes the positive polly. Sometimes negative nancy. Sometimes quiet. One of the several traits that I admire about E is that she “gets on my level”. She listens with no judging when needed and sometimes judging when I ask her too. E and I were talking about how much we love “Hands Free Mama”. After we read this blog, while wiping the tears from our eyes and snot from our nose, this blogger gives us the motivation to become a little bit more. More patient. More loving. More real.  E sent me the link to one of her favorite “Hands Free Mama”posts.  It came at a perfect time. My new mantra after reading this is to find the flowers amongst the weeds.

 

Weed: My Uncle Gary took his final breath May 9th. He was 59 years old.

Flower: Besides no more suffering ( severe depression, CHF, COPD, diabetes), my cousin has returned to our hometown to live  in order to handle the path of destruction that my Uncle left behind. J, cousin that returned, was not doing so hot. Drinking to numbness became a daily (not nightly) occurrence.  J recognized this and took himself to AA. The strength to do this is admirable. I am not sure J would have came home without his passing. J would have stayed in his current situation and the spiral would have continued.

Weed: My Grandmother took her final breath June 4th. She was 89 years old.

Flower: Again, beside no more suffering ( Alzheimers, renal failure) and living in a nursing home that she despised, this side of my family has re-united after not much contact for the past 5-30 years ( depending on which family members/ different relationships). We all look older but the same personalities still shine through. Personalities and dispositions are timeless. Sharing what life has been like ( marriage, kids, divorce, marriage again, more kids, troubles with the law, getting clean from meth, retiring, moving, grandchildren) were just some of the lives that we have lived that none of us knew about. My hope is that this death has now brought life to our family again.

Weed: Earlier mornings. Later nights. Less “fun” ( I am being very picky with who I spend my time with and the events I attend).

Flower: I am training for my first marathon.( Eek. Gulp.OMG.) 4:30am is my alarm for tomorrow. Yes it is a Saturday and the Cavs are playing. I am finishing this post ( and my beer) and hitting the hay. Training for this marathon will keep me disciplined and I am only choose events that I truly want to go too. My BRFs are telling me that this training will be life altering. I can see this already. If it was not for running right now, I think I would be a hotter mess. Thank you to my body for holding me up when all I want to do is lay down.

Some more weeds have occurred in my flower bed but from now on, I am only admiring the growing, prospering and beautiful blooms.

 

 

Written in Ink

I am not running away from you, I am running towards the next page.

The picture posted is my daughter, M (6), running last week at a local reservation we love to go too.  It was 60 degrees in Ohio in February. The day sounded and felt like Spring. This reservation has something called Storybook Trail.  Our library puts a children’s book one page at a time along a path on a wooden covered post to encourage reading while being active.  The book is usually 15 pages long.  M and I look forward to this very much. The books are changed out the first of the month.  (Have I mentioned how grateful I am for our community and library?  They are always coming up with new ideas to keep the kiddos engaged in reading.)

M was running ahead and I said to her ” Hey you!!!  Why are you running away from me!??!” M’s response ” I am not running away from you, I am running towards the next page”.  Wow.  That simple phrase made me stop, take out my phone to capture this moment.  That’s it.  Right there.  What M said.  Running towards the next page.

Being a runner, I love to run TO something. I often run to the lake. The treadmill feels like someone is locking me up in a small room with no windows.  To be running and going nowhere is an awful feeling for me.  I will brave almost all elements just to avoid the dreadmill.  I know this about myself so why do I continue to ” lock myself in a small room with no windows” about things in my past that I need to move on from?  Why can’t I just run towards the next page? I have already read that page ( time and time and time again).  The words never change.  The image is imprinted. Its part of my story.

I am living “running and going nowhere” when I obsessively dwell on events that occurred years ago. No matter how many times I hash it out- think it through- make up different or happier endings, the page will not change. It is set in ink.

And it’s just as it should be.  My story is being written with times of sorrow, depression, anger, hate, and innocence.  Just as well, my story includes joy, humor, love, happiness and hope.

I will run to the next page with the same excitement, adventure and enthusiasm as M did last Wednesday. Now… if I could just find a pair on pink glittery cowgirl boots in my size….

mads

Ok Universe. I will listen.

That silent voice that keeps getting louder… maybe it is time to listen.

This week has been filled with a repetitive message that the universe is trying to teach me (as well as some of my dearest friends and family)… When to let go.  Often, we hold on to expectations, beliefs, situations and even people, when deep down the voice inside of us is screaming “NO. GO”. Is it fear of giving up on someone or something?  Is it that this person or expectation defines who we are?  Is it that we feel obligated? Are we “what if’ing” ourselves into the possibility of a better future?

I have not ran since last Friday  This left leg thing is really stubborn and hurts like a mother.  I am supposed to be training for a half marathon in April.  Sunday, husband and I attempted to run a few miles ( and for the record, husband only runs with me maybe 1-2 a year with much, much persistence).  The pain was intense.  I had to stop. I had to let go of the fact that running was not going to happen. I was in pain and upset because all I wanted to do is enjoy a nice sunny Sunday run with my soul man. In fact, I was having such a hard time letting go, I attempted to run 2 more times even when the tears were washing my cheeks.  It was time to face reality. My body was screaming NOOO and I was responding back GOOOO. I know that I will heal and will be hitting the streets very soon. I had to let go of that run and my expectations.

The Uncle situation is a hot mess. After multiple phone calls and attempts to try to help him to help himself, I finally needed to let go of this.  I can not want to live his life more than he does.  The love and support is here but Uncle doesn’t want it.

Morning routines need to be followed in order for M to successfully get out the door fed, read, brushed and trussed in time for the bus.  Letting this idea go has made me a less insane mommy in the mornings.  Worse case scenario…if we are running behind… I take her to school( a mere 7 minute car ride). Best case scenario… no tears or screaming from anyone in the wee hours of the morning.

A hard area for me, that I am always trying to let go or balance ( damn Libra’s), is cleaning the house.  It needs to be done but I don’t want it to take away time from the kiddos or from my “me” time.  I am working on the fact that the house does not need to be this or that. Growing up, cleaning or having a clean room, was the only way that I was shown love.  To me, clean = worthy of love or that I was not a good child because of this “mess”.  Saturday mornings were spent trying to make the house spotless while at the same time praying that this would be the day that I did enough or that the house was clean enough, so I would be loved by my parents.  This day never came. And I know it never will.

let go