STUBBORN

DOWN YES, BUT NEVER OUT AND NEVER FOR LONG…

DATE: ANY GIVEN DAY

I am known for many qualities, stubbornness being perhaps the most prominent. If I’m not especially pleased by this singular trait being so prominently in play, I am definitely proud of it. Like everyone I have so many great days where the world and almost everyone in it (baring the ones on my “list”) make me absolutely believe in intelligent design, a perfect plan, the wonder of tiny, average things. Regarding the aforementioned “list”, I am human after all and there are maybe 3 or 4, or 30 persons/things who have the dubious ill honor of being on “my list”. Hey, no ones perfect. Certainly not the ornery girl stabbing away at this keyboard. Nope. There are no trophies or angelic wings waiting at this end. I’ll get to heaven, probably, but it’ll be a total 11th hour Hail Mary pass, head to toe muddied slide into home. Yeah, I realize that’s two different sports references in my game theory metaphor, but you get the picture. If you don’t get the Hail Mary pass reference, then you are likely one, or two, or all of three things:

1. Not a Boston College football fan. Egregious flaw on your part.

2. Too young to get Doug Flutie’s awesomeness. Here, again, nothing personal, but you suck. I’m sorry, I know the truth hurts, but I like keep it real.

3. Never heard of college ball. Seriously? Never? What the hell do you do in the Fall for fun? Are you unamerican?

If you are all three, then my friend, there is no hope for you. Lock yourself in a closet. We’ll come back to you later. Maybe. Probably not. Bring snacks and a bucket, you could be in there a while.

Anyway, back to those moments of unmitigated joy, sincere pleasure at just being alive and on a beautiful planet with people you love, hurtling through time and space. Good times. They make my heart warm and fuzzy, and being a Lebanese girl, fuzzy is something I just naturally am, but on the outside. The inside fuzzies? All happy thoughts. Don’t be too busy everyday to stop and look around and take it all in. This is the good stuff old people are always taking about when they’re dropping a little wisdom on you. Stop squirming when they talk, sit up straight and pay attention. There will be a test. Ok, there won’t be a test, but relationships and life are richer for the attention. As a wise person once said (I know, you’re all thinking it was me. I get that a lot, but I didn’t author the following gem) “life isn’t greener on the other side of the fence. It’s greener where you water it.”  Water your life.

Sunsets and loved ones

….and then there are the other days…the days we also each have, the ones that really feel like an uphill-all-day-blazing-heat-choking-humidity run. Moments that sap your spirit, challenge your soul. Times that leave you bloodied and beaten and down for the count. Down, yes, but never, NEVER out. At least not for long. I’m a fighter by nature. I am ill equipped to take no for an answer. I refuse to accept my limitations even as I run up against them time and again, taking swings and still falling down. Sometimes I can get up and back in the fight right away. Some days, like today, I can’t and I lay here, telling myself that I’ll bide my time. I’ll rest and rebuild my strength both body and mind. Pain is an effective equalizer. It is also an effective teacher. While pain is one of the things on that “list” I mentioned earlier, I have definitely learned to use it to see life differently. I notice more things. I notice there are others down and in some kind of pain too and it makes me want to lessen theirs. Mine is manageable. Mine I can live with. My amazing and faithless body, in all its fickle wonder, has made me aware of how loved I am. When it lets me down, others lift me up, carry me, sometimes they simply lay with me, letting their closeness comfort me.


Love heals all wounds

This morning, in full defiance of my physical pain and knowing the next several days would be hard and have me in bed, fighting nausea, waiting for the aching to ease and the medications injected every three months into inflammation at the base of my spine, inflammation that likes to play games with the reliability of my feet, I went for a run. I chose a flat route, a favorite. One that passes under breeze filled trees, past a small creek, around playing fields and playgrounds with children. Past benches where very old friends sit and talk and people-watch every morning. It was hard, my legs did not want to cooperate, I dragged my right foot for the last mile wanting to just give in and stop. But whenever I feel like that, which is a lot, I like to always take one step more than I am positive I can manage, just to prove to myself that I can, that I am capable of even more than I believe.


Down but never out.

#closertocrazy

Love is an action word

  For Mom and Dad.
49 years. My parents anniversary is today and I am at a loss as to how to express what they mean to me. Just before Dale and I were to marry, my parents talked to us about love. About REAL love. They explained that true love was more than a feeling, more than the inconstancy of wild passion, more than mere words. Love is a verb, an action word. Love is the active choice to be there for another person everyday. It is the decision made every moment to love the other even when it is a challenge. Love is knowing, beyond any doubts, that you are loved by another even when you feel unlovable and difficult. It is the deep commitment to link arms with your partner and face the world, and everything the world has to throw at you, together. Love is freeing. Love is encouraging. Love is lifting and love is sustaining. Love is inspiring. Love can come easily and love can be hard at times, but love is constant. For 49 years they have chosen to actively love one another through all things. They have been love itself to each other and to those blessed enough to encounter them. Happy anniversary to the people who taught me to love. 

For Dave

  
There are just minutes to go and you will be twenty one. Twenty one years seems pretty far away when you are looking at a newborn. So much potential. Such wonderful adventures in store. There just seem to be endless hours in each minute when life begins. Minutes. That’s what it feels like to me now. It’s all happened in just minuets and suddenly you’re this impossibly tall, brilliant and beautiful man. You were a gift. An unexpected, and priceless gift. A blurry shape on a screen at the doctors office with a digital arrow pointing out your heart to us. And a heartbeat. A heartbeat that changed the world the moment I heard it beating. You are a gift. That lovely, unknowable shape on the screen came into focus over the years with such a force, and a purpose, and such joy in the amazing man you have grown into. I often pressed my ear to your tiny chest while you slept, listening to your little heart. If love has a sound, it is the sound of a heart beating. Happy birthday to my cherished first born son. Be blessed and hear heart beats wherever life takes you. ❤️ 

Boobs for the win 

Boobs for the win  

I’m admittedly super impulsive when it comes to just about everything and I’m not one to complain so if I see something that needs to get done, I just…do it. Usually dive in without bothering with the details and as you can guess, that leads to spectacular really great surprises, and some epic fails….for instance, well, the last time I took the initiative to add gas to our mower just before vacation, apparently I added diesel and hubby and one of our sons had to spend a day draining it and cleaning it…It is what it is. This defining part of my nature has led my brother in law to say of me that he thinks I’m past needing a staff. He thinks I need minions.

So this brings me to what happened today. First: I have a question for you (and this is TOTALLY hypothetical) how mad would you be at your partner if she/he (and again, completely a “what if” situation) while she/he was trying to be so very helpful mind you, how upset with your partner would you be if she/he ACCIDENTALLY cut through the power cord while she/he was cutting the hedges?

Because I “accidentally-hypothetically-what- if” did that and found myself standing alone in the rubble and smoldering remains, knowing my husbands return was inevitable but at least an hour or two off. What to do…what to do….I decided on a tried and true method that had never failed me in the past: Give him a couple beers and present the information topless. It’s the only play I have at this moment….The thing is, if I hadn’t (hypothetically of course) already cut/mowed/snowblower mauled so MANY cords…I think my play might work. It’s dicey with my track record though….I’m not completely confident, I think I’ve had to whip these out too many times….but really, I was tired, covered in clippings, in need of a shower, and out of workable options and solid problem solving skills. I decided to text him parts of the story, interspersed with strategic pictures, and hide. When he tracked me down, he was too busy laughing at me to care….he headed out to survey and fix the damage. I’ll say this: the “girls” may be 45, dangle dangerously close to my waistband, are lopsided and never looking anyone straight in the eye, but they haven’t failed me yet.

Boobs for the win 

Boobs for the win  

I’m admittedly super impulsive when it comes to just about everything and I’m not one to complain so if I see something that needs to get done, I just…do it. Usually dive in without bothering with the details and as you can guess, that leads to spectacular really great surprises, and some epic fails….for instance, well, the last time I took the initiative to add gas to our mower just before vacation, apparently I added diesel and hubby and one of our sons had to spend a day draining it and cleaning it…It is what it is. This defining part of my nature has led my brother in law to say of me that he thinks I’m past needing a staff. He thinks I need minions.

So this brings me to what happened today. First: I have a question for you (and this is TOTALLY hypothetical) how mad would you be at your partner if she/he (and again, completely a “what if” situation m…) while she/he was trying to be so very helpful mind you, how upset with your partner would you be if she/he ACCIDENTALLY cut through the power cord while she/he was cutting the hedges?

Because I “accidentally-hypothetically-what- if” did that and Found myself standing alone in the rubble and smoldering remains, knowing my husbands return was inevitable but at least an hour or two off. What to do…what to do….I decided on a tried and true method that had never failed me in the past: Give him a couple beers and present the information topless. It’s the only play I have at this moment….The thing is, if I hadn’t (hypothetically of course) already cut/mowed/snowblower mauled so MANY cords…I think my play might work. It’s dicey with my track record though….I’m not completely confident, I think I’ve had to whip these out too many times….but really, I was tired, covered in clippings, in need of a shower, and out of workable options and solid problem solving skills. I decided to text him parts of the story, interspersed with strategic pictures, and hide. When he tracked me down, he was too busy laughing at me to care….he headed out to survey and fix the damage. I’ll say this: the “girls” may be 45, dangle dangerously close to my waistband, are lopsided and never looking anyone straight in the eye, but they haven’t failed me yet.

The body electric

image

I like cross training and adding different things into the mix to challenge myself when I start to feel complacent in my running. I’ll swap in piyo, swimming (not free style, I’m just not made for that kind of coordinated breathing/arms/legs/rotation while not drowning technique. Nope. I’m a breast stroke girl. I can breast stroke for an hour at a snails pace without stopping. Anything jazzier and your just watching me worry the lifeguards. So I’m trying jump roping. It’s supposed to be this basic and yet epic whole body work out. Build up some nice bone density, strengthen my heart and lungs (yes, after 40, and I’m 45 staring down the barrel of 46, you find yourself admiring people’s landscaping, laughing at the “senior moments” jokes in the local paper, and referring to everyone younger than you (even by a day) as “honey”. It stands to reason that my approach to being healthy is constantly viewed through the lens of how each activity can hold of the ravages of time. So, my cardio strengthening /bone densityworkout, here I come!
It turns out that jump roping is NOT my thing. I want it to BE my thing, but it just is not my thing. It’s like having a seizure while navigating an obstacle course of your own arms and legs. I am not one to surrender so easily and pull on the depends, but this jump roping thing has me rethinking the merits of adult diapers and how good it might feel just to let it all go. I mean, if jump roping feels like going tubing at high speeds, minus the tube, is it really worth it? I realize I am being overly dramatic. Those of you who know me will probably sit back in shock at that revelation and shake your head in disbelief. “Overly dramatic? Elizabeth? Nooooooo.” I know, I know, it shocks me too. I’ll stick with the jump roping a few minutes a day and see if I can get myself to the point where I’m not lying in spasm on the ground, hog tied by the jump rope, a fete I accomplish without any outside help at the moment. If I can’t nail this down in a week or two, then I’m heading to Walmart for orthotics and those diapers we spoke of earlier. I won’t use them just yet, probably try a few other exercises first, but I’ll put them away for that day I will need them. That’s if I still know my name. Until that time comes, BRING IT ON!

To pig, or not to pig?

To pig, or not to pig? That is the question before us. I admit to a deep infatuation with the little oinkers, a love of round, snuffly noses and adorably squat bodies. I love a good mud bath. I’m more than a little partial to high jinks and tomfoolery precipitated by their clever little minds. I’m a sucker for a good escape artist and things that finish everything on their plate because those are the kind of compliments my children showered on me, affirming that I was in fact, image

both suffocating them to the point of escape with my affections, and feeding them good food (strong indications of parenting success no Lebanese mother can survive without). HOWEVER, that being said, I complied with hubby’s plea for reason and restraint and agreed to research just what I was dying to jump into. I had a willing accomplice in my sister in law. A woman I adore, as impulsive and enthusiastic as I am, ready to bankroll my impetuous flight of fancy. Not an easy thing to resist…But in a marriage, terms must be mostly agreeable to both parties (mostly to me) in order for harmony (and the participation of the household “builder”, aka: said hubby) and peace to abide. Research had both my sister in law and I thinking it might be more work than anticipated, which hardened into a definite resolve not to add other…oder producing pets…after a hot days breeze carried unholy fragrances over to our research area. Nope, nope, NOPE. As fate would have it, yesterday’s 2 1/2 hours spent clearing and leveling our chicken yard enclosure, covered in mud and…not mud…sealed the deal for me. No pigs. The universe does NOT want me to have pigs. The universe wants me to visit pigs that OTHER people have, and then go home.