Where I’ve Been

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I feel like I should be putting up a “Hello World” post as I have been away from this space for so long.

I’m writing in here now to summarize a week that has been rather mind blowing which is also a culmination of the past 18 months or so which required my full attention in more ways than I could imagine, but which meant that blogging was no longer an option.

So here’s the things I’ve been doing really since about the summer of 2013 which was the beginning of Alex’s senior year – a deep dive into ME and sorting out what it is I want to do with myself as an Empty Nester (aka: the rest of my adult life):

  • yoga
  • mindful meditation
  • chi gong
  • visualizations
  • affirmations
  • journal writing – some deep dives (over on my Torrey Pines Reflections site at one point + nightly gratitude and/or moments of fun + joy
  • working in a group with a coach who specializes primarily in mindful weight loss, but who has become a friend and life coach for me
  • re-opening myself to spirituality – still quite secure in my non-belief in any one God who must be worshiped, but completely open to the unexplained energies of the universe. It’s a faith in the connectivity of all people that thrives on sharing love.
  • Decided to treat a current moderately annoying health issue naturally – no hormones or surgery for 6 months. Herbal solutions and acupuncture instead. I just want to get to menopause as non invasive as possible!
  • stopped being paid to write
  • started a bookkeeping business
  • both boys moved out (youngest off to college so intermittently temporary, but still…)
  • bought tap shoes, an instructional dvd and a portable dance floor and started practicing again
  • invited a roommate to move in – no rent – just because I believe in her, in what she does, and because she was in a really shitty place that was preventing her from reaching her goals. One year plan. She’ll be on her feet again next summer.
  • pulled away so many layers of decades long frustration & insecurity around my ability to have and keep peer related friends
  • completely shifted my mindset about wealth – no longer working from a position of scarcity, but instead from a position of abundance. I now know I can generate it and I am learning to trust myself on how best to use it to reach my dreams
  • For the first time ever this week, I was asked what my Big Dream is – then I was told to cross that out and dream bigger!
  • My Big Dream is to stop working at my day job when I turn 60. That’s nine years from now folks!
  • I’ve learned that I CAN make that happen
  • I’ve *finally* identified when I know to be my purpose in life (coming shortly)
  • Through all of this I’ve learned that my partner is the exactly who I need him to be and I am amazed and grateful beyond belief that NONE of these rather big shifts in my mindset have intimidated him in any way. HE recently commented on how much he loves what I’ve done.
  • I am no longer Crabby Lucy who would rather *not* deal with people.
  • I’ve *loved* meeting each new small business client.
  • I believe in the possibilities – all of them! I started this second business with the idea to have 3-5 clients and maybe make ab extra $500/mo.I have 11 right now. I should have 14 by the end of the month. That’s $2,200/mo right now. Mind=blown! I feel like I still have room to add those other 3 (in contacts with them currently) and one more for sure.
  • I’ve read more self-help/spiritual books than even in my life and I soak them UP!
  • I’ve learned to love myself. I mean it. Yeah, there are still times when one of those nagging Inner Mean Girl (great book!) voices pops up, but I’ve gotten pretty good and re-directing those.
  • I’m working now on truly hearing and listening to my intuition. I do need to trust it more, and I will!

So – my purpose: In my mind one of the reasons that I was often perplexed at why I so often flailed and failed at making friends is because I knew in my HEART that I am the best damn friend you would ever want. Really. During one of my journal writing sessions I just completely took ownership of that. NOTHING makes me happier or fills me with more joy than seeing the people who I love achieve their dreams. Cheering them on brings chills up my spine and tears to my eyes every single time. The same joy I felt rooting for my sons translates over to my friends at the same level. So I will do *whatever* I can to help them cross their own personal finish line. If THEY are committed, then I will look at what they want and figure out how I can help – small or big it doesn’t matter. It takes a village and I am IN IT with everyone with all my heart. It’s why I have the roommate that I do. And now I understand completely that it’s why I am loving every aspect of the bookkeeping business. It’s why I have always loved my day job at the non-profit university (our product is educated people – totally on board with that mission!) I’m supposed to be using my talents in stewarding wealth for entrepreneurs so that their flow of wealth has a clear path so that they can reach their Big Dreams. I work WITH them, not FOR them and they know I am there to lift them up. I tell their story with numbers 🙂 I was already kind of articulating that in my Getting To Know You phone calls or face to face meetings, but now I absolutely get the whole picture. The bottom line is that both my Material Wealth AND my Spiritual wealth are filled in this process. When I lift YOU up, I am lifting myself up as well. I cannot do any of this alone – so why should you?

Where you can find me

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After a lot of years juggling many different things that I both wanted, and needed to do in addition to my day job, now that the high school years are over, I am taking a break.

While a few other opportunities to fill the time that was released when my volunteering & sport shuttling/school nagging ended, I am letting them pass.

It’s time for me to give myself permission to simply be. No guilt. No pressure. I cleaned up my patio & bought some chairs and a small table and I intend to sit out here doing whatever I want. Listen to podcasts, read books, read twitter, facebook, write, bird watch, nap – whatever!

I give up!

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Seriously, wasn’t it supposed to get easier once football season and the holidays and the race were all over?

Sure, but then I forgot about it being a new year and so there’s preparing for taxes, and that rugby thing 17 decided to try out and then that whole college admission thing and oh maybe I might want to keep up with being in such good shape and look around for other races & fitness challenges.

And then, the rebound illness hit (as properly identified by my high school friend Stacey). You know, that thing that happens after some sort of either positive or negative Big Deal is done? The one when your body says “Hold up now! It’s time to REST!” Yeah – that hit me last week.

Perfectly timed of course – both boys were out of town so I had the house to myself. We had done the big holiday decoration clean up already and about all I had planned for the time was a run with Audrey to catch up with her and maybe some preliminary tax paperwork sorting and the annual side closet clean out (how does that one closet manage to multiply its contents every damn year?)

Thankfully, all that hit me was a head cold and not the dreaded flu so I actually did get some of the sorting and clean up done, but I did have to stay home the whole time and forgo running. Which may have been my body’s whole goal anyway eh?

In the meantime – those of you who followed my race prep and final results would enjoy reading this race report written by my most excellent (Best Ever) pacer – here’s an excerpt:

As our legs warmed up, I inched us up to around a 10:30 min/mile pace. This is what I was shooting for initially. But as the miles ticked away, our speed kept creeping up. We were consistently running closer to 10 minute pace, sometimes even faster.

Christina didn’t know how fast we were going, but she looked completely comfortable. She was working hard, but it didn’t appear to be stressing her too badly. I was pretty sure she could keep it up so I decided to go with it. 10 min/mile, here we come!

I told you I suspected she had some nefarious schemes up her sleeve! Read the rest HERE.

I do have plans for more events in 2014. I’m signing up for an event on 2/16 that is a local 10 mile run complete with 20 bands along the route! That sounds pretty awesome. Then there’s a series of trail races that start with a 5k and build up to a 1/2 marathon. Those *really* appeal to me since I do love trail running, and a friend from work wants to do that set so I think I’ll do those too. I’m pretty sure I will sign up for the 2nd annual Holiday Half in December 2014 as well – maybe see if I can improve that time 🙂

Somehow I have managed to keep up with one challenge I found on Tribe Sports called the 30 Day Squat Challenge. I started it on Jan 1 as Day 1 and even with the attack of the killer head cold, I managed to keep it up. I thought this would be a good one to tackle since I know that I need to improve my hill climbing strength if I want to keep running *anywhere* in San Diego, but especially on trails.

30 day squat challengeI can tell you that Days 1-3 are the WORST. I could barely even get through them, and that was with splitting up the squats into sets of 20 each. I literally fell on my ass after the very first twenty! I walked around, did some quick stretches and then went to start the next set of 20, and my quads quivered and then GAVE OUT. *Splat!* On the floor. OK then….I waited about an hour and managed to eke out 20 more and then finally the last 10. And then the next 3 days I was in agony with every step! Forget how much those 55 and then 60 squats each day hurt – simple use of my legs in any capacity was brutal!

But – after that blissful day of rest (which also happened to be the day we took down all the holiday decorations so, rest was not entirely accurate!) I was amazed to be feeling completely fine. Not only fine, but measurably stronger. The runs I had done before I got the cold were easier and faster than ever even with hills. At this point the biggest problem I will have getting the challenge done is simply time and boredom. I do them in sets of 50 now, and I might feel a little tight at the end, but proper stretching and walking it off and I back to normal.

That’s it from here – the rest of the week will be all about rugby – a mid-week game tomorrow and then a trip up to UCLA on Saturday to play two games against high school teams from Northern California – college scouts are expected there. Not sure what impact that could have on 17’s prospects given his relative newbie player status and that he is a senior already and college apps are supposed to be done, but…one never knows I guess! He’s willing to talk to anyone at this point to have as many options as possible before he truly has to make a decision. I know if he has a chance to play a sport, ANY sport, while in college that he will leap at the chance.

 

 

So yeah, that running thing…..

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It’s been awhile since an update on anything other than football, so let’s remedy that! I did mention that I was convinced to sign up for a ½ marathon at the end of the year. That means running jumped up in the priority list as of October 1. Renee found a great training plan that was the perfect length at that time to get me ready for the 12/29 event. I’ve managed to follow it pretty closely. The challenge as I expected is squeezing in time for the mid week runs. Once we lost the after work evening daylight it has really been difficult. I’ve been alternating between running before work on weeks when I don’t have to take 17 to school, and leaving early from work to catch at least partial daylight for an evening run. I bought a headlamp so running at night at least on the sidewalk routes around me or up at the middle school track are quite possible. I just haven’t come up with a routine that I like so far. But at least not following the mid-week planned runs perfectly does not seem to be impacting my progress.

Weekends are much better. I started with 5-6 mile runs on Sunday mornings and then have been adding a mile each week. Today was my 11 mile run. I’ve felt FANTASTIC during these long runs! So much better than the last time I ramped up the mileage earlier this year. Not a single twinge in my IT bands. My toes feel “hot” after about 7 miles, but proper pre-run wrapping has held off any full scale blistering. My hope is to complete the event in 2 hours 45 mins which is between a 12-13 min mile pace. So far, my long runs have been spot on at around a 12:20-12:30 pace. My shorter 3-5 mile mid week runs are even faster and without really trying all that hard. So it seems as if I have settled in nicely at 12 min miles being very comfortable for me. Renee is doing the race with me and will act as my pacer to keep me on track. Frankly I think we will both have to resist going TOO fast early on since I can run a 10-11 mile pretty easily now & we all know she is a rabbit who tends to “settle” in at 8 min miles 🙂

The best part is just getting out there and enjoying the beautiful spaces around me.

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Video Interview from San Jose

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Last week, just a few minutes after I arrived in San Jose for Netroots Nation, I ran into a young man who describes himself on his business cards as an “Apprentice Troublemaker”. I think that is a very accurate description 🙂 I also think I was some pretty darn good company to have been interviewed by him – click on his site www.HenryBurner.com to see for yourself. Right after the interview he told me the tale of the FIRST walk out he led at his day care center. I’d say this kid has a pretty bright future ahead of him!

Netroots Interview

The results of carrying a camera (phone) at all times

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Pictures from my iPhone taken within the last week – starting with Sunday as I flew home from San Jose. Tales of that trip will begin dribbling out on my PP site over the next week or two. Meanwhile, the north San Diego coast line was sort of awesome from the air.

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The coastal foothills were kind of pretty too.

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Darn car windows made this one all blurry, but as I sat in traffic on the coast highway heading home from work this week, I decided to temp my friend with the beauty of the California coast. San Jose was his first trip to the state and he was declaring his love for the Golden State from day 1. I told him to start researching jobs and get his ass out here before the next Michigan winter kicks him around again – and I decided to motivate him further with pics of my part of the state. Though, not always as blurry!

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Kind of impossible to get it both in focus AND straight as you can see 🙂 Even though I was sitting in traffic, there was still a challenge to balance the phone in one hand, maintain contact with the steering wheel, and also hit the shutter button.

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Hey – straight and in focus!

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Meanwhile, back at home, the cats have let me know they did NOT approve of me leaving them for three nights. The way they have shown their displeasure is by sticking as close to me as possible at all times. Amber is particularly unhappy right now because I took her to the vet before my trip for a much needed checkup. She was officially declared overweight tipping the scales at 21 pounds! YIPES!! She needs to get back down to her running weight of 15-16 pounds and the way that will happen is by food rationing. That means that I take away their food at night and only put in 1/3 of a cup at a time to reduce her calorie intake. Sigh – NOT HAPPY I tell you!

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My self portraits may be even worse than my in car photos! This one was a toast I raised in honor of the Supreme Court striking down DOMA this week. A group of moms organized a toast to the occasion one night. I happened to have pink lemonade in my glass. I thought that was rather apropos.

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THIS in car shot came out pretty cool – the only thing I couldn’t quite coordinate (because the light up ahead turned green!) was to zoom in more on my rear view mirror, but you can still see the La Jolla shoreline pretty clearly defined in it. As I’ve tweeted this week – my commute does not suck, even with traffic, but especially in these months with longer days and stunning weather.

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Another horrid self portrait when I hoped to show the surrounding area more than my sweaty face, but the light was all wrong. I haven’t run in weeks. I’ve mentioned my task list previously, but as I anticipated, June has been brutal with the day job and football. That was particularly true since I took a week off work last week and traveled to San Jose. I’ve only submitted 13 posts to Blogmutt (prior months were 25-30), and other than a couple of yoga sessions and Saturday boot camps, my fitness routine has been non-existent. It’s literally been all football or NU all the time except for the 3.5 days out of town. ANYWAY – yesterday I committed to twitter that I would MAKE time to run after work today and run I did. Which felt AWESOME. It only took a few minutes for the muscle memory to kick in and even with the usual ass kicker hills (twice around), I was in a groove. Hoping to get out on the trails for a longer run Sunday.

It sure is fun having a camera at the ready at all times!