Life in the Fast Lane

I’m frustrated and have been somewhat impatient lately and I don’t like it. Technology is moving way too fast for me. I’ve yet to fully figure out Windows 8 how to add things to this blog and it’s irritating me.  I can poke a needle in someone’s vein with ease, as well as shove a catheter in their urethra or a naso-gastric tube down their nose into their stomach, but I can’t seem to figure out a simple (really)? computer system. Makes me feel out of control and I like to be in control-of myself anyway, and my circumstances.  Seems like I learn one thing well and two months down the road it changes again-fast, fast, fast. I feel like I can’t keep up and that is irritating me-so out of character.

I’ll tell you something else I can’t keep up with-junk! What does one do with all of the cookbooks they have accumulated over the years? I don’t even cook that much anymore, I mean not enough to feed the masses. I should probably just turn my head and pitch stuff but that is hard. That frustrates me. I wish I wasn’t like that. I will always keep Betty (you know, Betty Crocker) where everything was still cooked in lard. I have the new & revised edition (1979, lol) that I obtained when I was in the Doubleday book club at age 15. I loved books then, and I love books now, but I digress. Now where was I, oh yes -junk. I KNOW that I did not accumulate this crap over a mere few months, so where have the years gone? Life in the fast lane. I didn’t need most of it then, and certainly don’t need it now.

Some things are out of our control like the weather, the price of gas, traffic, and how people treat us. Let’s look at each, shall we? 1) The weather: Outdoor weddings-really, who would plan such an unpredictable thing? Maybe those folks like to live on the edge (or in the fast lane). The people in Joplin, Missouri sure weren’t planning on a tornado ripping half their town apart on May 22, 2011, but it happened (talk about fast). I like to run (shocking, I know). Training runs are no big deal, my treadmill is my cure-all for inclement weather but race day? A fee is paid, you have trained your guts out and in an instant a race can be cancelled-with no refund. Or- you run in the absolute worse conditions you can think of. That’s not all bad. It teaches you to toughen up and learn to push through those difficult times. Signing up for races is a gamble, but much of life is a gamble. 2) The price of gas…nah, not going there, I can’t compete with the oil tycoons. 3) Traffic-what are you really going to do? 4) How people treat us: Ah, there’s a good one-one of the ironies/risks/pitfalls of life. You can be the best friend, relative, co-worker ever and people still have the RIGHT to treat you as they will. It is their right. After all, they are the captain of their ship. Those who love/give much find it odd when others don’t reciprocate. This is a lesson I’ve learned the hard way. I would give someone the shirt off my back if I thought they needed it. Now let me get this straight, I am all for philanthropic deeds for the unfortunate in the world and expect nothing in return. The same with others. If I do something for a friend or relative it is because I love them and want what’s best for them. The betrayal comes with the Judas kiss . You may sometime need a ride somewhere, a babysitter, a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, and they’re not there and behave as if you are bothering them. Worse, they betray your confidence, usually to make themselves look better or to inflate their egos. That sucks, period. What you can control is your reaction to them. Unlike the weather, the price of gas, or sitting in traffic-your response to others is in your hands. You can throw a fit in those other circumstances but it won’t do any good, it’s not going to change it. You can throw a fit in dealing with people too and it’s just going to make you look stupid. BUT, you can start drawing boundary lines with others to protect your heart. Life in the fast lane… once you start changing it may get ugly but it is then that you discover who the true gems are. The rest? They aren’t worth your precious time anyway. You are the captain of your ship too. Don’t steer it in an opposing direction just to please others. I refuse to go down with others’ toxic ships.

Yesterday’s race- Maryville, Missouri. Why on earth would someone drive two hours away just to run 26.2 miles? Can’t you do that anywhere? Why yes you can! The issue is, when you are training for a key race and have weekly long runs, they can get very boring and let’s say difficult, to complete on your own unless you are fortunate to be part of a running club. With my oddball shifts, I am not. SO- originally I was just going to do the half, and try to improve on my previous half PR of 1:54:16 at Kansas City last year.  THEN, I thought well I needed to do a 20 miler this week and lo and behold there was a race that was reasonable and drivable. The great Hal Higdon says to use an official marathon as part of your long run training and have someone pick you up at said miles you are suppose to run (for me, 20 this week).  How could I possibly do that and get a big fat DNF (Did not finish) my ego said, NO, NO, NO! The experts also tell you to only increase your mileage by no more than 10% each week to avoid injury. My last long run was 18 miles on 6/1/14, which would have put me at 21.6 miles for this week even though the schedule just called for 20.  I chose to not run long last week and work on speed instead. Life in the fast lane– I was nailing my splits up until mile 22. My time at that point was 3:46, and I could just smell a marathon PR. The body did not want to cooperate and my right knee started rebelling (expert advice must be true), not to mention the 30 mph headwind for 10 of those miles. Long story short, I finished 4 minutes shy of my best marathon time of 4:32. Ironically I won first place in my age group, but no PR for me. I will post a separate race recap this week.

Father’s Day today, 6/15/14. Tough day for me. Lost my dad 7 years ago and he decided to go on…Father’s Day. Complications from a stroke left him partially paralyzed on his right side and without a swallow reflex so he had to have a feeding tube. This was four months after the initial stroke which included weeks in therapy, a rehabilitation hospital, and then – a nursing home. He knew what was going on and it frustrated him because he had expressive aphasia (fancy term for not being able to express or communicate). I know he thought we abandoned him. I would go see him after work and he would be lying there in his bed looking so sad. The day he died I was at work and one of the nurses called me and said he wasn’t doing too well.  Since my place of employment is an hour commute from the place he was in, I didn’t make it. He died five minutes before I got there. I still beat myself up over that. Work-that necessary evil. I was taking care of other folks’ dads while mine was dying. Life in the fast lane, but I wish I would have driven faster.  Ironically, I have had the last several Father’s Days off.  I have made it a ritual of sorts the last few years to honor my dad by going out to the cemetery and eating an oatmeal raisin cookie in his honor (his fave), as well as listening to Johnny Cash (his fave) on the way there. I did that today, and told him once again how sorry I am that I didn’t make it in time. He was a kind man who never knew a stranger. He didn’t have a lot as far as earthly goods were concerned, but he was rich in loving people. I blame him for giving me his dry sense of humor. He loved to make people laugh.  The daughter is a mirror image in that regard and she has her father’s eyes- not only in color, but seeing people lovingly. I do have my daddy’s disposition.  Below: me at age 8, 1972 and my dad at age 8, 1936.

My Daddy's Disposition
My Daddy’s Disposition

The days go by fast don’t they? Hard to believe we are half way through June and the year as a whole. Don’t let life in the fast lane distract you from what’s truly important (or it may surely make you lose your mind). What’s better at the end of your life- a handful of invoices and pay stubs from all the overtime you work or precious memories? No one can ever take your memories from you. Live, laugh, love and dare to dream…big. Don’t live life so fast that you miss the best thing that might have happened to you along the way.  The finish line will come eventually, don’t rush it…breathe.

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.” -Benjamin Franklin

Until we meet again,


P.S. I started this blog as much for me as for helping other people along the way and I don’t profess to maintain grammatical accuracy. I had to follow APA format enough in college and I HATED it. When I become more concerned about commas and the proper use of the ellipsis than I do about content and the message, then I may as well quit (cause I’m somewhat rebellious, remember)?


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