Monday, June 29, 2015

Sweetness and awesomeness and bullshit

The other night I was in the cereal aisle at Wegmans and I overheard a couple fighting rather heatedly over cereal. I had two immediate thoughts. First: I am lucky, cereal is plentiful, life is good. Second: Please let me never be a person who fights over cereal.

Of course the fight isn't really about cereal. It's about feelings or issues far bigger and less Grrrreat! than Frosted Flakes. And that's the point. I hope I can maintain an open-minded attitude towards all kinds of people and cereals and the self awareness to articulate and deal with whatever I'm actually upset about. I'm lucky that most of the time my brain is all Life is awesome. Be excellent to each other and party on, dudes. But sometimes I get overtired or overwhelmed with too many feelings. So this was an opportune reminder that my life is an abundantly stocked cereal aisle, all sweetness and awesomeness. No point getting upset over the small stuff.

The small stuff I'm currently trying not to sweat is this: it's looking more and more like Finger Lakes 50K is going to be a wet, sloppy, muddy mess of a race. I'm finding it very hard to silence the creeping dread and doubt. I don't feel ready for that distance on dry trails. I really don't feel ready to slog through 31 miles of bullshit. (I mean that literally. The race goes through cow fields and one of the race instructions is "Don't let the cows out.") But I've run a 50K before, so I suppose in theory I am capable of doing it again. The challenge will be finding a way to embrace the muck-and-suck and actually enjoy it. If you're alive, you've probably experienced one of those moments where you hate everything and you just.can't.even for one more step. If you're a runner, I know you've experienced one of those moments. I try not to let myself get to that place. There are lots of things I can't change, weather being a prime example, but I can always change my attitude. I can always choose to make the best of any situation. Like when there is a severe shortage of frozen yogurt in your freezer so you and your awesome roommate Danielle go on a 9:30pm frozen yogurt quest. Or when it pours rain all weekend so you spend it inside Laura's family's awesome cabin in Bristol playing games and laughing and braving the rain to make s'mores (in pairs for s'moral support).

So Finger Lakes Fifties, I will see you on Saturday. Please take it easy on me. I'm freaking out a little over here. But the truth is that every day I'm alive and I have legs for running and friends for hugging is a good day. And even if I finish last or don't finish at all, there is nowhere I'd rather be than here. There is nothing I'd rather be doing than getting dirty with my favorite people.   

Lyric of the moment: "It’s the magic hour in the middle of the park. When it’s not quite daylight and not quite dark. The edge of the water is where it all starts. We might never get back here again...Come on open your heart. The night loves us and loves us as we are. Oh, c’mon show me your scars. The night loves us and loves us as we are..." ~Alan Doyle "The Night Loves Us"

Friday, June 26, 2015

Love and awesomeness for all

Love had a big win today. The Supreme Court made same sex marriage legal in all 50 states. Well done, America. Ridiculously, painfully overdue. But well done, nonetheless. I know we can do even better. We can live up to the ideals upon which this country was founded, but hasn't always practiced. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. For all. Regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or any of the other arbitrary differences that divide us. Love and awesomeness for all living things. What are we here for if not for that?

Give someone a hug today. And every day. Fill your life and the world up with so much love there is no more room for hate.

Lyric of the moment: "The book of love is long and boring. No one can lift the damn thing. It's full of charts and facts and figures. And instructions for dancing. But I, I love it when you read to me. And you, you can read me anything. The book of love has music in it. In fact that's where music comes from. Some of it is just transcendental. Some of it is just really dumb. But I, I love it when you sing to me. And you, you can sing me anything. The book of love is long and boring. And written very long ago. It's full of flowers and heart-shaped boxes. And things we're all too young to know. But I, I love it when you give me things. And you, you ought to give me wedding rings...." Magnetic Fields "The Book of Love" (I have a Mike Doughty cover of this song on my iPod that is one of my most favorite things ever.)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Taper tantrum

Thanks to Mike for the bridge photos
Possibly time travel is real because suddenly, Finger Lakes 50K is in 2 weeks and I'm not sure how that happened. I don't feel ready. But maybe I will never feel "ready" for anything. I've been on a year and a half long lucky streak of running, where I've felt good and remained injury free despite increased mileage, so here's hoping that trend continues. Ideally, indefinitely. I haven't been following a formal training plan, which could be a bad thing. We'll find out in a couple of weeks I guess. But I think, in running and in life, I fare better when I have a loose outline and then just go with the flow. For me, success is more a result of consistent effort and adaptability than planning or talent.

On Tuesday night, I had this moment of panic, a taper tantrum, if you will. We had been up late over the weekend, then did a hard strength workout at the gym on Monday and at Tuesday's run my legs felt like they were made of lead (mmmm....Pb). I can embrace the running on tired legs thing. It's great for conditioning the mind to be all, ok I can do this. I'm tired but I'm fine. I can still keep going. But I started to worry that maybe I was overtrained or undertrained or something wasn't quite right. Then, Thursday night, Pete and I ran the Tryon-Lucien Morin loop. I felt a little better, which is to say I felt about as tired as I normally do whenever I go up against my nemesis park. Saturday morning, I was back to feeling 100% during our 20 mile run. Granted, long slow distance is my jam, plus I love the River Chase course (it's on roads and flat trails which are way easier for me), but it was still a relief to feel some lightness in my limbs again.

Photo thanks to Ron
After the run, we went to Medved to pick up my race packet for the Medved 5K for ALS. I love going to Medved because of the awesome people who work there. Mort always asks me what my next off-road adventure is and this time he joked "You know this is a road race, right?" I don't usually run 5Ks or road races anymore, but I will do one or two a year for good causes. Plus it's a way of tricking my body into doing some speed work. When I woke up Sunday morning, I debated going on a slow recovery run or taking a rest day instead, but I decided that I wanted to run the race. I warmed up for 2 miles, then figured I would just aim for a comfortably hard pace throughout the race. My time wasn't great but I don't care about that. I was happy that I felt good and my legs still had some pickup in them after the previous day's long run. I'm not into the data aspect of running at all. I don't care about pace or times. My main goals are to enjoy running and to be able to run until I die (hopefully a non-running related death). So I'm trying to get better at listening to my body and running by feel, a process that would be much easier if my body would just learn to speak in English instead of in unintelligible aches and pains.

This is the part where I should just relax. The hay is in the barn. Or something. I don't know. I'm not a farmer. But hey, there now exists a picture of me running with Spiderman. So there's that.

Lyric of the moment: "With eternal love, the stars above. All there is and ever was. I want it all, I want it all. A blade of grass, a grain of sand. The moonlit sea, to hold your hand. I want it all, I want it all..." ~Metric "The Shade"

Friday, June 19, 2015

Wibbly wobbly, timey wimey, happy sad stuff

I love Doctor Who for the adventure, the humor, the ridiculous shenanigans. But there's something about it that always makes me sad. I think it's the same thing about life that always makes me sad: the departure of the companions. Sometimes I feel like I have two hearts and they want different things, but the one that wants adventure always wins. And that means inevitably losing some people along the way. I miss Rory. I still miss Donna. And they are just fictional characters.

In a few months, Pete and I will move in together and sadly, Mozzie can't come with me because Pete is allergic to him. The beginning of what will hopefully be a lifetime of adventures with Pete is also the end of my adventures with Mozzie. I don't think I have ever felt so many feelings all at once. Excitement and elation and hope, tinged with sadness and loss and guilt. My heart hurts knowing that soon I will have to say goodbye to my sweet, cuddly Mozzie bear. Caring for him and helping him try new things and be less afraid of the world has been one of the best and most human things I've ever done. I feel sad that my days of watching Mozzie wagging his stubby little tail and running around like a bunny and being so curious about everything are numbered. I feel sadder that it wasn't even a choice. As much as I love Mozzie like he's a person, he's not a person. And Pete is my forever person (or for however long he wants to be).

So my final act as Mozzie's human will be to find an amazing new home for him, where he will feel happy and safe and loved for the rest of his doggy days. I think that's actually the hardest part for me, knowing that he'll be better off at another home, with people who have less wanderlust and more time to spend with him, people with more nurturing, parental instincts. Love and patience and humor, I can do. If you want a partner in adventure, I'm your robot. But I've never been good at the nurturing/caretaking thing.

Not gonna lie, I cried while writing this. Saddest of sad faces. But when I'm sad, I remind myself what a gift it is to feel things deeply, to love something so much as to feel a serious loss at its absence. I like to think of that loss as a commendation of someone's profound impact on my life and of how lucky I am to have had the immense pleasure of knowing them.

Lyric of the moment: "Sooner or later in life, the things you love you lose. But you've got the love I need to see me through..." ~Florence + The Machine "You've Got The Love"

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

It's not the number of years in your life, it's the awesomeness in your years

Every time I read or hear anything about ticks, I get a panicky feeling, like if I ever find a tick on me I will be so creeped out I will never run trails again. Which is just ridiculous. I would no sooner choose to stop running than I would choose to stop breathing. I am really hoping to beat the odds, but chances are that someday I will encounter a tick in my wilderness adventures. I feel like throwing up just thinking about it. So I'm going to have to stop thinking about it. That's just the price of adventure, of this whole being alive thing. There are inherent risks to living with your heart and arms wide open. You may suffer an injury, to your heart or your muscles or your ego. But only one thing will end up killing you. You will survive everything else. Though there are risks to going all in and taking chances and living boldly, bravely, bodaciously, I would argue that there is even more risk in not doing those things, in playing it safe and staying in your comfort zone. You risk never having fully experienced the immense awesomeness of being alive. And that is a risk I cannot abide.

Last night we were running at Seneca Park and Pete and I stopped to see the elephants. I wondered why they never tried to escape and Pete said they're safe there and they have no predators. Probably they were born into captivity and so they don't know any other way of life. But me, I would try to escape. I cannot thrive in captivity. I would choose freedom over safety every time. Safety is just an illusion anyway. Shit happens. Hurt happens. Such is life. Instead of closing yourself off, trying to avoid the pain, I think it's better to open yourself up and embrace it. Feel all the things. It's part of being alive. Let your experiences make you stronger, wiser, more compassionate. Let your struggles lead you to your successes. Let your hurts open you up to receive future joys.

In a few weeks, I'm running another 50K trail race. In a few months, I'm getting married. I never thought I would do either of those things. I'm afraid of failing. I'm afraid that I don't have what it takes to do those things well. But I have to tell those fears to shut the hell up. Maybe I'll fail. Maybe I'll get hurt. So what? Life will go on, I will go on. I can accept risk and hurt. I can't accept missing out on all the best things because I let fear trap me in the safety zone.

I don't know what happens after we die. Maybe it's another great adventure. But in case this is my one and only shot at life, I'm going to get the most out of it. Because in the end, it's not the number of years in your life that count, it's the awesomeness in your years.

Lyric of the moment: "You've been reading some old letters. You smile and think how much you've changed. All the money in the world couldn't buy back those days. You pull back the curtains, and the sun burns into your eyes. You watch a plane flying across a clear blue sky. This is the day your life will surely change. This is the day when things fall into place..." ~The The "This Is The Day"

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Avett Brothers / Cooperstown

This weekend we went to Cooperstown to see the Avett Brothers concert at Ommegang Brewery. Alison and Bob were gracious enough to let us stay with them at the cabin they had rented in Betty and Wilbur Davis State Park. The cabin was fantastic, very roomy and open with a great porch and fire pit. It was the fanciest cabin I've ever seen, though the Madagascar puzzle was missing 5 pieces.
Friday night we checked into the cabin, took a walk around the park and then headed into Cooperstown for dinner. First we tried to go to Origins Café, which we thought was a restaurant because it was listed on the town website under restaurants. It was very cute looking with a greenhouse and tree nursery. We walked in and asked for a table for four. The woman at the counter looked at us like we were aliens and said "We started serving at 6:00 and it's now 7:30." Alison said "Oh do you only serve at certain times?" and the woman looked at us oddly, mouth agape and then told us they were doing a church benefit that night. Pete said "So are you not serving food?" and she said "We were serving food at 6:00." It was the strangest interaction, like something out of the Twilight Zone. Later we found out that the café is only open from 11am-4pm and for private events. I suppose it was for the best. Origins had a booth at the concert venue and, while their ginger ale was good, their oatmeal chocolate chip cookies were only mediocre. We ended up going to The Blue Mingo for dinner and got to eat outside while watching a spectacular downpour/lightning storm over the water. I almost sat down on the side of the table closest to the water, but Pete asked to switch with me so he could have more leg room. I happily agreed and was even happier I had once it started pouring rain and that side of the table got a little wet. Also, there was a giant spider on the awning above Pete's head and I would not have wanted to sit underneath that.
Saturday morning we ran about 12 miles in Betty and Wilbur's Park, including 2 clockwise and 2 counterclockwise loops of Andy's trail. The trail, just steps from our cabin, was nice doubletrack with some rolling hills, one section of little roller-coaster like hills and a few orange newts. From a park employee, we learned that Andy was Wilbur's friend and that once, while hunting, he killed a deer and while trying to drag it out, ended up going around in a circle. I guess they decided Andy's Trail was a better name than Trail of Deer Tears. The dead deer story harshed my trail zen, though on the last long uphill, which Pete challenged us all to run without stopping, I kind of wished someone was dragging me. It was worth it though because after the run Alison made us some delicious strawberry pancakes. Then we walked around Cooperstown for a bit, watched an inning of a baseball game at Doubleday field, and played catch with a football and frisbee at Glimmerglass State Park. Cooperstown is an adorable little lakeside town, though there is not much there other than baseball related shops and it smelled like ketchup. The ice cream situation was a little disappointing too, as we couldn't find any non-dairy ice cream for Alison.
We arrived at Ommegang Brewery around 4pm, waited in line to park and then waited in line to get into the concert. Ommegang is a great outdoor venue, with a huge field in front of the stage, some food and beer tents and plenty of port-o-potties (with handwashing stations complete with warm water and soap instead of just hand sanitizer). Despite the storm the night before, the field was dry and we set up our chairs, got some food and enjoyed the sunshine. John Prine was the opening act. I didn't know any of his songs but his voice reminded me of Johnny Cash. I started to get a little impatient for the main event, but it was totally worth the wait. The Avett Brothers are amazing live and played most of my favorites, including "Head Full Of Doubt/Road Full Of Promise," "Live And Die," "The Perfect Space" and of course "I And Love And You." I was hoping to hear "The Ballad Of Love And Hate" too but they didn't play that one. Oh well, maybe next time! Just once I would like to go to an outdoor concert that doesn't reek of pot, but I can't complain. It was a beautiful night with great music and even better company.
Sunday morning, Pete and I went to the Baseball Hall of Fame. It was pretty interesting, though for some reason I thought it would be bigger. Also, I thought the Hall of Fame was just for players. I didn't know that umpires and managers can be inducted too. It's a myth that Abner Doubleday invented baseball in Cooperstown, but the story was perpetuated to drum up tourism for the area because, with The Great Depression and Prohibition, there wasn't much else going on. But "America's Pastime," baseball, is actually a variation of the British game Rounders. Sometimes history is more fiction than fact.
I was having such a good time just enjoying the experience this weekend that I didn't take any pictures. Well, I took one picture, of The Hotel Pratt and a funny Chinese food sign in downtown Cooperstown. Everyone loves FooKin. I can't thank Alison and Bob enough for inviting us to join their weekend adventures. This is what summer, and life, is for. Good friends, good music, good times running through the woods and staying up late playing euchre and laughing.
Lyric of the moment: "If you're loved by someone, you're never rejected. Decide what to be and go be it. There was a dream and one day I could see it. Like a bird in a cage I broke in and demanded that somebody free it..." ~The Avett Brothers "Head Full Of Doubt / Road Full Of Promise"

Friday, June 12, 2015

The bat signal

Yesterday I learned an important lesson: you can't judge an exterminator by its ringtone. You might think, as I did, that if you call a bat removal company and hear the Nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana Batman! song, it's a good sign. And that you should hire these people to come and do a "thorough investigation" in your house to find the bat you saw and tried to catch but it somehow wedged itself into the space between the bottom of the pantry cupboard and the floor (you didn't even know there was any space there but bats are tricky, man) and you couldn't get to it so you went to sleep (uneasily I might add) and in the morning it was gone. But you were still afraid it could be lurking somewhere in your house and that thought alone was so creepy you just wanted someone else to deal with it while you went to work somewhere there are no bats.

I thought that, but I was very wrong. Because the company sent this guy in a fancy looking bat-catcher truck, but all he had was 2 nets and a flashlight and his investigation didn't seem very thorough at all. He claimed not to have found the bat and I had to pay $135 for a big fat nothing. I should have known this would not end well when he asked me what county this was. How can you find a bat that can get into the tiniest of spaces if you don't even know where you are? Annoying! But it's my own fault. If you want something done the way you want it done, you have to do it yourself. So, last night I was doing laundry and lo and behold, the bat was being all creepy on the floor under the basement steps. In plain sight. It started hissing at me and, even though I know it was probably just scared, I couldn't help but think about every vampire movie ever. Creepy shudders to the max. In a moment of horror-induced genius, I grabbed my 2 snow shovels, scooped the bat up in one and put the other over the top to keep him confined, then released him outside and ran back inside. I was home alone, except for Mozzie who was upstairs sleeping through the whole thing. I called Pete and I was all like "I found the bat under the basement stairs and it was so creepy and I shoveled it up and put it outside but what if it comes back and I am so creeped out right now." I'm pretty sure that Pete was way impressed by my bat catching skills because he said something like "Bats come in pairs. Did you get the other one? I'm sure it's not mad that you took away its friend." Which I took as a joke because the alternative is too unnerving to consider. Luckily, then Danielle got home and commiserated with me over the complete creepiness of the situation. When we first saw the bat on Wednesday night, Danielle had said "I don't like this adventure." I couldn't agree more.

 On the upside, Danielle's coworker, who is into this kind of stuff, said that a bat flying into your house is a good thing. According to, it signifies rebirth, the end of one way of life and the beginning of another. Yeah sure, as long as that new beginning is not more bats. Or rabies. Seriously, Universe, if you're trying to tell me something, maybe you could send a postcard or a candy gram next time. I don't need a bat signal to tell me that it's a time of new beginnings. Over the next couple of months, a lot of exciting and happy changes are taking place. My address will change, my name will change. Somehow I have to run a 50K on July 4th. Eek! Hopefully I will change (for the better) and rise to these new occasions in which I find myself. Not gonna lie, I'm a little nervous. Change, especially happy change, is scary. Sometimes it's tempting to want to stay where you are. It's comfortable, you're used to it. But you have to leave behind who you were to become who you are. You have to risk your heart for love to find you. So don't be lured in by the false promises of the past. Don't get stuck being anything less than the full explosion of awesomeness that you are.

Lyric of the moment: "Run away with me. Lost souls and reverie. Running wild and running free. Two kids, you and me. It's our time to make a move. It's our time to make amends. It's our time to break the rules. Let's begin..." ~ X Ambassadors "Renegades"

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Poison Oak Diaries: Day 10

Sometimes the cost of adventure is poison oak. I first noticed it on Sunday and it has since taken over the better part of both thighs and my sanity. Sometimes life is a real itch. It will go away eventually. I hope. Until then, nothing to do except sing "That oak is poison!" to the tune of Bel Biv DeVoe's "Poison" and laugh. And try not to scratch.

In the past 10 days I've progressed through the five stages of poison oak:

Stage 1: Denial. That's a sunburn, right? Just a tiny little sunburn. It doesn't itch. That much. It will go away. Maybe it will even turn into a tan. Yeah, that's totally going to happen. I'm not going to scratch it. Ok, maybe just a little scratch.

Stage 2: Infernal Itching. Ahhhhhh! My skin is on fire! Stupid plants always touching me and poisoning me. That's it, plants. I'm super mad at you and you're not getting any Brawndo: The Thirst Mutilator, even though it's what plants crave.

Stage 3: Bargaining. So does this work the other way around? Can I give poison oak back to the plants and get it off of me? I think it should totally be a two way street.

Stage 4: Acceptance. This is my life now. Might as well buy stock in Calamine lotion and Benadryl spray since I'm going to single-handedly keep them in business until the end of time.

Stage 5: Acceptance? Screw That. This has gone on long enough. I mean, it's nice to be so popular and all, but this is getting ridiculous. Mr. Internet told me there is no poison oak, ivy or sumac in Hawaii. Yet another reason I should move there. I guess it's not all bad. If I hadn't gotten poison oak I wouldn't have stumbled across this hilarious gem from the web:

"On April 4, 1892, former U.S. president Rutherford B. Hayes was pruning some Japanese trees on his Spiegel Grove estate in Fremont, Ohio, when he accidentally got poison ivy resin on his hands and face. The next day he arrived as scheduled to make a speech at the University of Wooster. He was not only in discomfort from his red, swollen face, but he was also embarrassed as he felt that his bloodshot eyes made him appear as if he was "just coming out of a spree." The staunchly anti-alcohol Hayes assured his audience that "I have not forsaken my temperance principles and practice. Appearances, I admit, are against me. But, in truth, it is not whiskey but poison ivy that did it." (

So you can thank President Hayes for the innovative "I'm not drunk, it's just poison ivy" excuse.

Here's hoping that Stage 6: Sweet Relief (Also known as: I got 99 problems but an itch ain't one) is just around the corner. The corner of Right Now and This Very Minute.

Lyric of the moment: "And I never thought this life was possible..." ~Bright Eyes "Poison Oak"

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Webster Trail Classic

Thanks to Eric for the pictures!
Yesterday was the inaugural Webster Trail Classic, a 9ish mile trail run through Webster, Whiting Road and Gosnell Parks, put on by Flour City Raceworks. The weather was perfect for running: sunny and 60 degrees. I ran a couple of pre-miles with Jeff and Michael, which I think really helped because then I wasn't standing around thinking about the race and getting nervous. I don't really get nervous anymore, per se. Now I consider races just more fun on feet. But there's always an element of uncertainty. How will I feel today? Will something hurt? Will I fall? Anything can happen.

The course was fantastic, primarily single track with some roots, bridges and fields. There were no huge hills and I ran most of them, except for a few spots that were muddy and slick from last night's rainstorm. I had to walk a little at the start because there was a bottleneck getting onto the trail. I don't like scrambling to try and pass people on narrow trails, but I also don't like to start out near the front and then inadvertently be in someone else's way. I went out at a comfortable pace, getting into a good rhythm. Sometimes I sing the chorus of Ani Difranco's "Joyful Girl" in my head while I run because it simultaneously relaxes my breathing and my brain. I feel so much more comfortable on the trails now than I did when I first made the roads-to-trails switch 2 years ago. I'm not holding myself back on the downhills anymore. I'm not holding myself back in a lot of ways anymore. It is a nice feeling.

I knew a lot of people at the race and it was the first time I'd seen many of them since Pete and I got back from Oregon, so a bunch of people were congratulating me on the engagement. Every race or run these days puts me in the best mood because I'm surrounded by this amazing community of awesomeness. But today I felt especially lucky. Is there such a thing as being totally overcome with happiness? I think that is my life now.

I didn't feel like I was, but I must have been speeding up because I caught up to Steve and then Alison, the superstar of the womens 50-59 age group. The three of us ran the rest of the way together and I was talking and not paying attention to my watch, when one of the volunteers told us we only had one mile to go. I looked at my watch then and it only said 8 miles. I was under the impression the course was 10 miles but it turned out to be about only 9 and half or so. At that point Alison turned on the speed and I just tried to keep up with her until the finish.

My favorite part of races is cheering for others at the end, though a lot of my friends are too fast for me to ever see them finish. The faces of people finishing are priceless. Because even if, or maybe especially if, you've had the most anguishing race, once you see the finish line you are suddenly the happiest ever. Because you get to stop. And there is pizza. At this race, there was so much pizza they were giving away whole pizzas to people to take home. Trail race + free takeout = win.

Another awesome day. I feel like I say that a lot. But it's true. I felt great during the race, but I even enjoy the runs where I feel so much less than great. I often wonder how I got here. And now I think it was just having the ability to love everything.

That ability came in handy on Sunday morning. I had agreed to a run on the Crescent trail at 6:30am which is no big deal in itself. I need to put in miles before Finger Lakes 50K next month. But when I realized it was going to be Jeff, Todd and Prem (who I never see in races because they're so far ahead of me), Mike (who came in second at Webster Trail Classic) and Jason (who came in second in yesterday's Mendon Mauler), and then so-much-slower me, I had this oh shit moment where I was like what have I gotten myself into. But it's those moments where you know you're in the right place. Lucky for me the guys were going an easy pace and, even though I got a side cramp at mile 8 that never really went away, I felt good otherwise and it was a fun 14 miles on a part of Crescent that I haven't run before, so that was neat. And two run weekends are my favorite.

Lyric of the moment: "I do it for the joy it brings, because I'm a joyful girl. Because the world owes me nothing. And we owe each other the world. I do it because it's the least I can do. I do it because I learned it from you. I do it just because I want to..." ~Ani DiFranco "Joyful Girl"

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Do what rings true for you

If you're a woman and you get engaged, the first thing people will ask you is "Where's the ring?" It is so, so tempting to say "Mordor." Because I don't want to offend anyone by saying that the modern tradition of the engagement ring is just a clever marketing ploy created by DeBeers to boost diamond sales after the Great Depression and WWI. Or that I'd rather not waste adventure moneys on jewelry. Or that the only reason I'd get a ring is because everyone else does. And that's a terrible reason to do anything. All those things are true, but when you say them out loud people give you that look that says "What are you, some kind of robot?" I get that look a lot. The thing people don't understand is that I get it. I've oohed and ahhed over other women's rings. Not because I care about rings. Because I care about the people wearing them. They are so happy about it and I'm so happy for them. So by all means, get an engagement ring if you want to. Partake in those traditions that you enjoy and that make you happy. All I'm saying is that they are optional. You don't have to do the things that everyone else does or that society pressures you to do. It's your life. Live it your way.
I will get a wedding ring and I will change my last name, because those things feel right to me. But I'm not getting an engagement ring. It just doesn't ring true for me. I don't want people to mistake my lack of enthusiasm for the ring thing as a lack of enthusiasm for the engagement. It is all I can do to keep from exploding with excitement and happiness over here. It's just that the only wedding detail I care about is the choice of groom. Nailed that one! I don't care about flowers or centerpieces or colors. All I care about is celebrating with all the people I love. I don't care about the details of the wedding. I care about the marriage, about going all in and doing my absolute best to make it an awesome one.
Honestly, I'm a little nervous about the whole thing. I would love nothing more than to spend the rest of my life and all my adventures with Pete. It's just that so many people end up getting divorced and who am I to think I'll be any different? But I'm not going to worry about that. I'm going to focus on being the best life/adventure partner I can be. I hope that will be enough. Because Pete and all of you are the best things that ever happened to me. And why are we here if not to love each other and make each other's lives more awesome?
I don't think that love is all you need. You also need food and water and oxygen and to find the ways to make yourself happy. But I do think that love makes everything so much better. Evidence: I was at Pete's house and there was a used plate balanced precariously on top of a pillow on his couch. And I laughed! Me, the diehard A-Place-For-Everything-And-Everything-In-Its-Place fanatic. Because it's funny. It's so Pete. And I love everything about him. I mean, of course I washed the plate right away because I am determined to win the fight against entropy. But I laughed at a dirty plate on a couch where it so obviously does not belong. Because that's love. That's what love does. It makes you realize that kind of stuff is small potatoes. And you can turn small potatoes into tater tots. Which are delicious.
Lyric of the moment: "If you need a friend, don't look to a stranger. You know in the end I'll always be there. And when you're in doubt. And when you're in danger. Take a look all around. And I'll be there. I'm sorry, but I'm just thinking of the right words to say. I know they don't sound the way I planned them to be. But if I have to walk the world and make you fall for me, I promise you, I promise you I will..." ~Depeche Mode "I Promise You I Will"