Learning How to Behave

As we grow up, we learn how to behave in public.  What is normal, what is allowed and how to successfully interact with others to get our needs met.

I have to say, now is a new time.  Learning how to behave during this event is strange, difficult and very unsettling.

Let’s just start with the grocery store… Usually I smile at people, interact a little bit, and when at the checkout I usually joke around with the cashier and those bagging my groceries.  But now, I find myself unable to smile at others (due to the mask over my face), and making eye contact just feels invasive to others.  If I walk past someone, I find myself turning my back towards the person to keep them safe as well as me.  It feels so odd.  And at the checkout, it feels like we shouldn’t be joking around, making small talk.  Just get in and get out.  I’m learning how to behave while shopping.

Last week, I met my daughter to give her some toliet paper (she was out and couldn’t find any).  When we met up in a parking lot, we weren’t sure how to greet each other.  Sit in the car, she get the prize possession out the back of my car and then drive away or could I get out and greet her like I wanted to do.  Hug my baby girl?!  It felt weird.

Mack and TP

Mack and her Charmin and a little chocolate.  🙂

 

Me being me, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to hug by daughter’s neck but it definitely felt odd and it felt like others in the parking lot were staring, judging.  I hate that feeling.  The feeling I am doing something wrong especially when it involves my family.  I’m learning how to behave when seeing my family.

None of us know when this is going to end.  We are all altering our behavior, learning how to behave.  My hope is that when this is over, our behavior during this time has not become our new normal.  We are able to greet each other face to face, joke around with a cashier, make small talk with a smile and most importantly hug the necks of the ones we love.

A Day of Remembrance

Twenty five years ago today (April 19), Oklahoma City changed forever.  This is the day of terror that struck the city with the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building.

bombing

Although I was not in downtown OKC when the bomb went off, I was at home with a very young baby.  It shook my house and I knew right away something was wrong.

Today as I went for my morning run, I was brought back to that day.  I was telling my running friend all about where I was and what was going on.  I was also reminded that I would normally be preparing for the Run to Remember which is held at the end of April to commemorate this day.  Instead I was out for a normal Sunday run because during this time of social distancing, all races/runs have been postponed.  I was thinking instead about how lucky I was to be only minimally impacted by that event as well as this one.  How grateful I am that we made it through that challenging time and how we will make it through this one.

OKC-Memorial-Overview

The memorial is beautiful at night and during the day.

I am no longer in Oklahoma but I have family and friends who still live there.  Today I was able to watch a live stream broadcast of the memorial tribute which in years past has not been available, which again is something to be grateful for.

In 168 days (10/4/20) the Run to Remember will happen.  We will run to remember the 168 lives lost on that day as well as the many, many lives effected that changed this nation.  I am grateful and hopeful that we will be able to celebrate how far we have come as well.

Marathon

What are you grateful for today?

I’m not okay

IMG_7763Today, I’m not okay. Yesterday I was okay, last week I was doing pretty well, heck 6 weeks ago I was planning my wedding, working hard at my job, enjoying my runs and relaxing at home after a day at work.

But you know what, today I’m not okay. I thought I was when I went to work. I thought I was doing just fine. Another day of this new normal or new Norma (that is what we call it at office because when I introduced the new plan via email, I forgot the “l”. Hence the new Norma!). Anyway, it was just going to be another day at the office. I’m only there 2 days a week right now and then I’m working from home the rest of the time. But in the middle of the day something happened, something that made the day not my new Norma but a new, new Norma! I hope that makes sense.

Well what happened you ask?

It was something simple, something that others are already doing but to me it was something new.

I was asked to wear a mask while at the office. All of a sudden I felt off. I was confused. How did this safe space I have worked in through all of this, suddenly become unsafe now?! How did what I did 5 minutes ago become, not okay right now?!

I feel like that is what is happening each day. Each day we are asked to change something about our behaviors that will help to keep us safe. But it doesn’t feel that way.

It feels…. I don’t know uncomfortable….. bizarre…. weird.

I understand the logic behind it all. Believe me, as a Director of a program, I understand the desire to keep both my employees and my clients safe. I spend most of my days right now planning, brainstorming, and figuring out how we can be safe, yet still meet the needs of the population we work with.

But today…

Today I struggled and continue to struggle over making one more step on this safety protocol.

I don’t think any of us like to live in fear and today I think that is where I am. I’m questioning about whether I’m doing enough to keep my family safe. I’m questioning about whether I’m doing enough to keep my employees and clients safe. I’m questioning how long this will continue and when we will be able to resume living life. Also what will that life look like when we resume it?

I remember reading something recently, probably on Facebook because really that is where the best information comes from (just kidding) but it went something like this.

If you were diagnosed with Covid 19 and had to tell someone all the places you have been and who you might have exposed this to, would you be ashamed or okay with it?

Or as another friend put it, did you “do your part in this”?

Part me wants to go screaming into the world and just pick up life where it left off but then there is the smarter part that says; this is only a small sacrifice for an amount of time, the length of time we don’t know yet, but for a small amount of time compared to the larger picture and the larger amount of time I have lived (almost 48yrs to be exact). Don’t be a drama queen!  Go use some skills and move past this moment of fear. Go out and enjoy the fresh spring air. Look outside later tonight and see the full moon, look at the stars. Enjoy your dinner this evening, don’t rush through it to be on to the next thing. Play with your cats, spend time listening to music, maybe even figure out what this Tiger King show is that everyone is watching. (Really, I have no idea and I am from Oklahoma.)

We are in a time of slowing down, a time we can grow if we do it right. A time of reflection and maybe even deciding who we want to be when this is over.

For me, I think I want to be less fearful of situations like these but instead find how I can grow when being tested. In the end, that is what this is. A test, pass or fail, we will get through it and let’s help others get through it as well. “Do your part”, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable because through that uncomfortableness we grow!

Oh, by the way, I think I’m okay again.  Thanks for listening.  🙂

Escaping

escapeI don’t know about you but I need one, an escape!  A time to get away from the world and just be.  I find myself right now just feeling extremely overwhelmed, whether it’s by life in general, political and media overload, work, or just the fact that we are leaving on vacation on Saturday and there is so much to do, it’s all a little much right now!

So how do you escape?  I run.  I know, shocker right?!  But really I think that is the only way I am keeping it together right now.  I am very thankful for my training plan.  It’s a constant.  The one thing that I don’t have to question, I can just read what it says and do it.  I unplug, put on my warm clothes, because hey we still are in New England and it’s cold, lace up the shoes and I’m off.  My long slow recovery runs are a pleasure instead of a curse.  It means more time outside and away!

Last night we tried something new because I had just had enough.  We didn’t turn on the television at all.  We just listened to music (the new alexa by amazon, love her), read and relaxed.  I have to say it was one of the most relaxing evenings I have had in a long time.  I’m starting to think maybe staying unplugged from the world could be a good thing.

I keep threatening to not come back from vacation.  One of the good things about being a therapist is that you can do it almost anywhere.  However, not sure that people who live in Grand Cayman (our vacation get away for 8 days very soon) need a therapist because what struggles do you have when you live in such a beautiful place?!

img_5421

Monday is over!

As much as I love my life, love my work, I think we all have those moments when we just need to escape!  I’m feeling it pretty strong and hopefully a week away from normal will help me escape.  Now to make it through the week, look outside, because I might be running by!

Ever felt like this?  What do you do to escape? 

Never gets easier….

So let’s try to get back into this blogging thing…

Tuesdays are kind of a dreaded day.  That’s positive and really makes me look forward to it each week (she says with much sarcasm!).  Well really it’s not the whole Tuesday, it’s the run on Tuesday (phew, you thought this would be a moan about the whole dreaded day, good thing I narrowed it down).  Anyway, Tuesday is Sprint day and most times it’s at the gym on the treadmill because until spring comes around, it gets dark early around here.

superwoman-1All I can say, is that it never gets easier.  I always think it is funny that when I am in a race holding a speed for a long amount of time seems doable but when you crank up that treadmill to an 8 and try to run for .25, I feel like I’m gonna die and I can’t stop looking at those numbers, which by the way seem to count slower when you look at them, so don’t do it!  I can tell you though at the end of speedwork, I feel like a badass!

So today I’m a 6 miles worth of sprints Superwoman!

Now to  collapse because, Phew, that was hard!

Is there a run or something you do that makes you dread but when you are done you feel stronger?

Motivated, not skinny!

Hi!  I didn’t forget about you even if you were thinking I did.  I just have been doing a lot and not had a lot to say but today I finally was motivated to blog because something was really getting under my skin and wondered if anyone else had the same issue or experience.

Let’s start with, let’s be nicer to each other.  I say this not directing it at anyone in particular but most of us have battles going on that no one else knows about or can see especially when it looks like we have it all together.  Sometimes that is just an illusion.

Now to what got under my skin….

I am skinny, I know it, but still have my own issues with areas of my body that I don’t like, especially with my abs.  I work hard on my core and for all the work I do, I want to see it better.  (But that is a talk for another day)  My main beef is that I get lots of people, women especially, say things like “I could never be skinny like you” or “of course you can eat anything, you are skinny.” dsc_0325

Well guess what peeps, I’m skinny because I dedicate a large part of my life trying to grow old gracefully.  For me this includes spending 5, 6, or even 7 days a week at the gym or running outside.  And these days are not just 20 mins on the treadmill, we are talking hours devoted at each session doing these things.

Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy it and I do see results which keeps me motivated to keeping doing it but I feel each time someone makes one of these comments to me it just puts me on the defensive trying to justify why I look the way I do and really makes me feel self-conscious.  I work hard to look this way because I want to.  I am motivated and driven to do these things because of how they make me feel and the results.  I love to set goals and achieve them, surpass them or even fail at them because that is when I learn the best.  I run races because I like the bling but they are also very motivating.  I have a wall in my house that is not out in the public spaces that is dedicated to “living Large”  (a play on my last name “Large).  It’s a place where I hang all my medals and bibs and I can see it every day to motivate me to go that extra mile or extra miles! img_5283

In 2016 I ran 2075 miles which is more than twice as many miles as I did in 2015 and this year I have set a goal to run 2017 miles in 2017 (that number is even scary after I ran all the miles I ran this year).  Also this past year, I was able to complete two marathons (Vermont City and NYC Marathon) and half marathons number 13, 14, 15, and 16.  I set a new half PR and a new 10K PR.  These are huge accomplishments but I got them not from being skinny.  I got them from being motivated and dedicated. motivational139

So if you want to say “of course you did that because you are dedicated or motivated and I could never do that” then say it but don’t say it’s because I’m skinny.  I can help you with motivation!

My body is a result of how I live my life not because of some blessing of waking up daily and being skinny.  Believe me if that was the answer and all it took,  I would take it (but I would probably still run because I like the bling!)  🙂

motivational138