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"Live life in such a way that every day when your feet hit the floor the devil says 'OH SHIT SHE'S UP!'"

Thursday, July 5, 2012

SPQ - BE in the moment.

Dare I write twice in one week? Gasp! That could only mean one thing - I am on vacation. Yes. Yes I am. Thankfully. Sleeping in. Some sunshine. Quiet surroundings.
I am resting and resetting. Life has become so chaotic and utterly insane, there were days where I even forgot my first name.
I was able to read and am happy to say, complete a book. (Granted I started it in May, but hey - I finished. Yes, Amy B. & Julie G. I finished the latest SPQ installment!) For you non-SPQ fans out there, SPQ is the Jill Conner Browne non-fiction and insanely hi-larious series: The Sweet Potato Queens. [Trust me: You just have to read it to understand the whole gist of it. I guarantee you won't regret it.]
Anyway. The Queen herownself wrote 'nother book: "Fat Is the New 30: The Sweet Potato Queens' Guide to Coping with (the crappy parts of) Life." [Again, trust me on this one...]
While she is the Queen of humorous writing, she does get down to the icky part of life and reality. I apologize here and now- I'm totally going to ruin the ending for you. I was so struck by it, that well, I have to share and have to write about it. Here goes:
   "If you keep one foot in yesterday and one foot in tomorrow ALL you can DO is make a very unfortunate mess all over today. And today is all ANY-body has ever got. Let go of yesterday, quit worrying about tomorrow - grab hold of today and get your money's worth out of it. See if you can make only NEW mistakes today and be grateful for the goodness of the moment."
~ Jill Conner Browne

Yes. Breathe. Is it just me or does that lend itself very well to the BEing part of my New Year's Resolution? Halfway through the year. Full or empty - doesn't matter to me - time marches on - like it or lump it. "grab hold of today..." Oh how many times I feel I came up short on that one, but the beauty of this whole idea is that it doesn't matter now. What matters is today. Is the here and now. Granted that might be a tad conflicting with my Dream part of my resolution, but I can sort that one out later. Don't think it is as complicated as one might expect. 
"Grab hold of today..." What did you do today to grab hold of the moment? Did you contact a friend? Did you smile when you reeeaaallllyyy wanted to scream? Did you pause because that ladybug landed on your arm while you were basking in the sunshine poolside? (Yep, that'd be me.) Did you remember to put out the trash, pick up the mail, send the payment? Sometimes those things are important too. 
Where do you struggle? Where do you succeed? Have you thought about how you might straddle both worlds of the past and the future leaving you no choice but to 'mess all over today'? I do like how she gently says what you really did - squandered and shat upon today? 
I make no qualms about me struggling with BEing - it is and continues to be my biggest challenge and struggle for my personal growth. But if you know me - you know I don't back down from a challenge. I want to learn to BE in the moment. To BE present in today. To not worry about tomorrow. "Worry is the thief of joy." A quote I saw one day and immediately wrote it down. Six simple words, but poignant and true.
I am grateful for the pause that vacation affords me. The opportunity to truly be one with myself and seek strength from within. Sunshine helps tremendously. I can assure you of that. Oh yeah and a good book too. 
I truly wish I could commit to continued writing when I return from vacation. Who knows. Perhaps I will surprise myself. I won't worry about that now. What I will focus on is today. Is now. Is here. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Death, life and everything in between

First. We are not, I repeat not going to discuss the lapse of time in between my postings. I have no excuse. Reasons, yes. Excuse, no.
Let me start recent and back up a bit. It will make the title make far more sense.
My 24 year old cousin Erik was killed in a car accident on his way to work last week. Horrendous week for my family. And made me feel a million miles away from them. While Erik and I weren't exactly close, I do have some fond memories of him. Well mostly me babysitting him. He was a good, sweet kid always was. And will forever be in my heart.
His untimely death does make you stop and realize we are not guaranteed a single moment, a single hour, a single day.
Yesterday was the 5th anniversary of the passing of my Uncle Bert. He was like a dad to me and there are moments when I deeply miss him. From a tender age he molded me and shaped me. And yes it involves claustrophobia, a Datsun and going through underwater tunnels. And learning how to take a joke, get picked on and being loved fiercely. For now, just know that while a double rainbow was his sign during his fight with cancer, I always feel him with me when I see even the slightest bit of a rainbow. In fact, when I was driving with my daughter to Spokane a few weeks ago I swear I drove through the arc or arch of the rainbow 4 different times. I experienced these magical and mysterious moments along the passes of the Cascade Mountains.
Again, his death reminds us we are not guaranteed a single month, a single year.

My cat Rocky was very ill two weeks ago. It was looking as if he was going to need to be put down at the age of 7. I wasn't convinced or ready that it was his time to leave this earth. I fought for him - a 'stay of execution' if you will. I stopped to see him in the animal ER by myself. I looked at him and in my best stern mommy voice said "look dude you have to tell me what to do here." He looked at me with those big green eyes. I knew in my heart it truly was not his time to go. Call it 'mamma instincts'. I listened to the doctors and waited and hoped and prayed. I even brought the family to see him to see his response. There was a magical moment between him and my daughter that I knew he was going to be fine. He is my baby in every sense of the word. Well barring the truest form of baby-ness. His own mamma abandoned his litter when he was 3 weeks old. The babysitter brought what was left of his family to our house. I couldn't say no. I didn't have a chance to even try. Not when I saw that little black fuzz ball who truly fit in my small palm, mewing and shaking. I fed him with a dropper. Mixed his gruel for him. Made sure the kids didn't bug him. Kept the pissed off 8 year old cat away from him. I was his mamma and thankfully I still am. He is well. Still getting better. But the other day he did his signature roll on to his back and look so damn adorable you just want to go over and pet him. And true to form when I stuck my toes out to rub his back and belly he pounced on my flesh. Turd. But I love him.

Everything in between.
I am very proud to say that my New Year's Resolution is back on track. Or well at least the ship is upright. Run. Write. Dream. BE. Run is back! After I got my 'matching feet' back, I eased into running again with the goal of still racing in the North Olympic Discovery 1/2 Marathon. Nearly 7 weeks after I started back to running I am proud to say I crossed the finish line. While I truly expected it to be an emotional moment for me filled with happy tears and yelps of joy, my stupid IT Band tightened up and made me just grateful to get across that line. However, there is that inner sense of pride that no one nor any thing can take ever away. I started, ran and finished. I did it. On my terms. In my own unique Heather way. (Hmmm that sounds like a blog entry unto itself - the unique Heather way... stay tuned.)

I watched my kids continue to strive and thrive and kick some butt in the water. They are my inspiration. When my day or my run gets tough - I think of them. They never give up. It isn't in their vocabulary nor mine. I have two pretty terrific kids. How is still a mystery. But sometimes you just don't question it and you go on.

I say that the ship is righted in terms of my resolution, but it is in no way back on course. The Write is up to me. And I take full responsibility. I am working to gain better control of my life to write more. I do Dream - so don't you worry your pretty little head about that. The BE part - while still not my strong point I continue to work at it. Some days BE is as basic as pausing in the moment and feel that sunshine a little longer on my skin. Obviously I'm back to the Run part. And I speak not only for myself, but my whole family when I say that is a very good thing.

Run. Write. Dream. BE. Take 2... (to be continued.)