Saturday, February 14, 2009

Perfectly Picked Playlists and Smooth Elbows

During a particularly difficult interval on the bike today, the song I was listening to kept repeating the line, "you've got me begging you for mercy."
It made me smile and think how wonderfully appropriate my playlist sometimes is.
[aside: if you want a song to get your legs pumping, try running to "Walk Like An Egyptian." That song has a seriously fast beat.]

I went to Bath Goddess today with Nicole, and got a fabulously scented body butter. You can choose one of their pre-mixed scents, or you can put together your own custom scent from something like 150 different choices. The combo I settled on, (with some help from one of the sales associates,) is Bamboo/Green Tea/Lemongrass. It is wonderfully fresh and light. And the body butter concoction is oh-so-creamy! I will have the smoothest elbows in town!

A Guilty Response

Getting the mail.
Yay! A letter!
oh's from my sponsor child.

This is definitely not the way I should feel when I get a letter from my sponsor child, Gustavo. I've been his sponsor for approximately 8 years. He turned 16 this past September, and I wonder at how the time has gone so fast. My first photo had him in a spider man shirt and jeans; in a recent snapshot, he was sitting around a campfire with his ball cap on backwards, his slouched posture exuding teenage attitude.
I truly love his letters, love hearing how he is doing and what he's been learning. My guilt (and subsequent perplexing response to his letter) stems from the fact that he has sent me way more letters than I have sent him. I think about him often, and pray that he will be a strong Christian and an honorable man; that he will put forth his best effort in everything he does. I often pray that he will have a reason to smile. What I don't do often enough is put these thoughts into words.
In a couple of years he will graduate from the Compassion program, and I hope it will be with fond memories (as much as is possible through letters and infrequent photos) of me as his sponsor.
I guess that means I should start writing more often, and begin to make a concerted effort to let this boy from Honduras know that there is someone who thinks of him often, prays for him, and feels blessed to have been a part of his life, if only from a distance.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Confessions/Affirmations Part 1, or 16 Things About Me

1. I have loved photography ever since my high school photography class. However, I don't believe I possess an extraordinary measure of talent in this particular art. This year, I would like to learn how to see, how to compose, how to wrangle the meaning out of a scene that appears mundane and drab.

2. I grew up in a very clean and tidy house. My house is usually quite the opposite.

3. I love books. Usually to read, but sometimes just to hold or look at.

4. My sister and I have always been friends. (She can correct me, if I'm wrong.)

5. I used to dislike cats and was mildly afraid of them, until my roommate brought home the cutest little kitten several years ago, with the caveat that we could always send her back to the farm if it didn't work out. Now I have 3 cats.

6. I am not a dressy girl. I love jeans, t-shirts, and sweatshirts.

7. I don't have children, but I have 2 nieces and 1 nephew that I love dearly. I consider myself blessed.

8. I can be stubborn, and sometimes bossy.

9. I like to make plans, and am secretly thrilled when I manage to carry them out.

10. I love big, loud concerts.

11. I would not be a runner if not for my sister. Two weeks into our learn-to-run program I announced that it was too hard and I was going to quit. I'm not sure what happened, but we made it to 20 minutes and I just kept on going.

12. Things can be more than just things. I have several kitchen items that used to be my grandma's, and I often think of her when I use them.

13. I am a very emotional person. I can cry at the drop of a hat, lose my temper over something completely insignificant, and feel so excited that my teeth chatter. I like to think this helps me experience life more fully.

14. I've only had 2 cars in the past 13 years.

15. The first song on the running playlist on my ipod is called "I Am a Gummy Bear."

16. If I could learn to play one instrument, right now, it would be the drums.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

A Movie Moment

I had a moment today on the treadmill when I felt like pulling a Brad Pitt move, from his movie Burn After Reading. You can see it in the preview here - it's a very quick clip where he's running and waving his arms in the air.
I was listening to my ipod and a great song came on, and I felt like doing a few little fist pumps in the air. I had the good sense to restrain myself and calmly keep running like a nice, normal person.
But you know I was rockin' it out in my head!

Friday, February 06, 2009


"Being an adult is knowing who you are and having the courage to be that person." - Erica Strange from the TV show Being Erica

There is an ambiguousness to becoming an adult. While it would seem that the transition from "young adult" to "adult" should happen in one's early 20's, I have yet to reach the point where I feel completely grown up.

I have a job, a car and a mortgage. I make plans and carry on more or less as I wish. I do not get asked for ID when I go to the liquor store. The young cashiers working in the grocery store call me "ma'am." I have RRSPs and a pension plan. Occasionally my hips hurt. By all outward appearances, I am an adult.

So often, though, I feel as though some piece of the puzzle is missing; I am almost an adult, but not quite.

Will it happen when I am disciplined enough to do the dishes every night? When I learn to file my mail as soon as it enters my house, thus avoiding the need for a 3-hour sorting session every few months? When I quit procrastinating and do some of the things that have been on my to-do list for a long time, like getting in touch with a financial planner?

Would I feel grown up if I was married and had children?

I don't know. But I was watching TV last night and the above line stuck with me. It seems like a good definition of what it means to be an adult.

I feel like I'm on the road to discovering who I am, and not just who I think I should be. One of the ways I'm doing that is attempting to write more transparently here on my blog. The writers I most admire are those that present themselves openly and honestly, "warts and all" if you will.

I took a one-day writing class awhile back, and the writer who was leading it stressed that you have to be truthful in your writing, because as soon as you're not, people will know and your writing will lose its impact.

So here's me, taking one more step toward adulthood.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

New Record

I set a new personal record for myself at the gym tonight. I ran 4 miles in 39 min, 42 sec. After accidentally pulling the emergency stop cord at 2.42 miles, I had to work hard to keep motivated for the last 1.58 miles.
It's quite common for me to start an internal pep talk near the end of a run, when I would give anything just to stop and take a walking break. Today I ran out of steam with 4 minutes left, and so my mini-me motivational speaker kicked in. It's strange the things I say to myself to keep going. Usually it's along the lines of "just 4 more minutes, you can do that," or I distract myself with whatever else is going on around me. Today the phrase "I eat 4 minutes for breakfast" popped into my head.
Really? What is that? I eat 4 minutes for breakfast? The phrase was sufficiently distracting that I was able to finish the distance in my goal time.
I'm thinking of having that emblazoned on a t-shirt for my next race - I eat 4 minutes for breakfast.
What do you think?