Starting Over 

Starting in 2010, I got a wild hair…or maybe it was a midlife crisis.  Something.  I decided that I needed to try roller derby.  For folks that didn’t know me well, this was an EXCELLENT, COOL, BADASS idea.  For the people that did know me, it was a head scratcher.  After all…it’s not like I had spent any time at all on skates in the thirty-two years leading up to it.  And, it wasn’t like I particularly looked to be the roller derby “type.”  

I joined a gym, hired a trainer and set out to prove to people…my family, my friends, myself, that I was a badass.

I worked hard.  I got into shape, screwed up my courage, and I did it.  I was so scared.  It took everything to get my skates on and do it; but, I loved it!  I got hurt, though.  Turns out, breaking bones at forty-five is a lot harder to bounce back from than when you do it at ten.

That was one excuse.  Then, Dave got sick, and I went into survival mode.  I took care of everybody else, tried to keep my head above water at work, and guess what was last on the list?  Yep.  Me.

2013 and the first part of 2014 were rough.  Once Dave was on the road to recovery, he was still hesitant to push himself too hard physically…not that I blamed him…they cut him in half, for the love of Pete!  Isabel had her own coming of age crisis and threw us all for a loop.  It was a long, hot, stressful summer.  

Suddenly, it was September, and we’d been holding our breath to get a clean bill of health for Dave.  Plus, work had gone from zero to sixty and was gathering speed.  We realized that the gym membership that we’d been paying on every month hadn’t been used in more than a year.  All I wanted to do each day was come home, put on my favorite ratty nightgown and burrow into bed with a book.
All of this time, my days have been spent mostly at a desk.  I don’t move around much, unless I force myself to move.  Where I used to be able to do real push ups like a boss, or run the eliptical for an hour, now, I was huffing and puffing bringing the groceries in.  Not good.

About two weeks ago, we had a family get-together with aunts, uncles and cousins.  Pictures were taken, and it finally clicked.  That blond in the middle can’t even be called chubby.  Time to get to work.

Dave and I went down to the gym yesterday, and reinstated our membership.  We paid for a year, and then went to get some tshirts & shorts to work out in.  This morning was our first session, and I am not going to lie.  I was very frustrated, and quite angry within myself to find how much I have lost.  I know that it takes time.  I know that I have a lot of work ahead of me; but, to finally face myself was really hard.  Those gym mirrors are great if you’ve got something to flex.  It’s pretty impressive how many ways I can position myself not to look into the mirror.  For the last half hour, Ben worked with Dave and I on some of the weight machines.  It was time.  I picked up weights half the weight that I started with last time, and faced myself in the mirror.

I am sitting here tonight, with the almost forgotten ache of tired, sore muscles.  I am telling myself that today was the worst day.  That is the last I will see of myself like that.  I am also trying very hard to be a bit kinder to myself…why is it easier to encourage others and remind them how beautiful they are than it is to tell ourselves?
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#Reverb14 Day 11: Ritual & Routine

What tiny rituals: signal that your day is starting; help you ease into a creative project; give you closure from an intensive task; or mark other significant milestones in your day? What new rituals would you like to create in the new year?

I don’t know exactly how long ago I started this; but, I start each work day by preparing a To Do list.

I get to work early, before phones start ringing or emails start bubbling up. I have a little pad of paper and I write out the things that need to get done. They’re in no particular order, and the list serves more as a reminder or guideline than an actual demand. My job is such that multi-tasking is mandatory and no day is ever the same. If I get to cross off half of the items in a day, I consider the day to be extremely productive.

At the end of the afternoon, I typically put the phones to voicemail and set about clearing my email inbox. It allows me to complete little tasks, send out last emails and make sure that I haven’t missed anything.

I get pulled in a lot of different directions in a day. By using these rituals at the beginning and the end of my work day, I’m able to juggle several balls at once.

I am participating in Reverb 14. We are taking time to pause, reflect and release this year gently. If you’d like to join us, we would love to have you. Just go to I Saw You Dancing to sign up.

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#Reverb14 Day 8: Connections

The hectic pace of our lives can make it difficult to remain connected to the things and the people that matter the most to us. We get wrapped up in our work or our busyness and connection falls by the wayside.

How have you created and/or sustained connections in your life this year?

In high school, I had two BFFs, Karen and Lesley. Together, we were the Three Musketeers. We had our own jokes, nicknames for each other, and we’re inseparable. We were friends with a group of guys that went to another high school, and we spent a lot of time bowling, going to movies, and chasing around.

With college, we went different ways, and tried to stay in touch. Time, distance and changes big and small created a divide; but, there was always a place in my heart for those girls.

When our 20th high school reunion came around, we got to reconnect and reestablish our friendship.

This year, both Karen and Lesley happened to be in Arizona. Karen came down with her family in the spring for a wedding, and Lesley detoured here after a business seminar in Vegas.

I met up with Karen for lunch and got to meet her beautiful little girls and her husband as they played in the hotel pool. We talked non-stop and the time together was too short.

Lesley and my mom have become friends, too. Mom had us stay at her house for a girls’ weekend on Halloween weekend and it was wonderful. Our lives are so different, and we have such different experiences to share that the time flew by.

It sounds funny to say this, but I’m so proud of the women that they have become. Both are smart, funny, decent people . I’m so glad that they are still a part of my life.

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I am participating in Reverb 14. We are taking time to pause, reflect and release this year gently. If you’d like to join us, we would love to have you. Just go to I Saw You Dancing to sign up.

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