This Onion Called Life

Here it is the last day of 2015 according to the Gregorian calendar. What a year this has been! I don’t really make “New Year’s” resolutions since a resolution is defined as “a firm decision to do or not do something” (Google search). I feel that saying I will or will not do something for 365 days is to set myself up for a fall. I prefer daily resolutions, those being different than commitments (Google Search).

Commitment: The state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.

I can commit to things months down the road and “Lord willing and the creek don’t rise,” and I’m still breathing, or don’t have a family emergency, I will be there, do whatever. We’ve all had those disappointments when someone said they were going to be there for us and they let us down. Which brings me to the topic of de-cluttering.

My oh my how I have accumulated stuff over the years-and STUFFED it! Finding stuff I forgot I had is almost like Christmas. So I resolute on a daily basis to throw away/give away SOMETHING. I have read articles that state a de-cluttered living space helps to de-clutter your mind.

I have also committed to, and resolute on a daily basis to de-clutter my life of negativity and of those people who choose to live there. Yes, I realize that everything cannot always be sunshine & roses, but I am speaking more of a constant state of being that some have that has become a way of life. If it/they, does/do not grow me, lift me up, or make me a better person, I have no place for it/them in my life. Life is too short to be spent wallowing in the mire with others and their stinkin’ thinkin’!

les-brown-quotes-3

I looked back at my photos from this past year and realized that I have a lot of phenomenal people in my life. A lot of them I just recently met the last quarter of the year. I love taking photos because to me it is “capturing life.” I must confess that I was at a really low point at the end of the summer because I allowed one or two people to wreak havoc on my emotions. Notice I said allowed.

We teach people how to treat us by what we allow. I have made a commitment to myself that I will never allow myself to be mistreated again-by friends, family, co-workers, or acquaintances. Some may call it selfish/harsh/unfriendly, whatever. They are generally the offenders who will always come up with excuses for their actions. They can all wallow in the pig pen together and share their filth. I choose to not be a part of it. 12369111_1364475893657340_8365204582981999199_nThat being said, old habits die hard. When one has bad habits, they have to learn how to replace them with good ones to be successful. One such good habit I have acquired is embracing the power of community. I cannot state enough how making a commitment to be a part of a running group has made me a better person. I hate having to miss it at times due to work obligations.

There truly is power in numbers and having others to do those long runs with has been a wonderful thing. It has also brought me out of my comfort zone of running in cold weather since I am a cold weather weenie. Being uncomfortable is the only way we grow. PLUS, I am around like minded people who share the love of running and are great encouragers. They aren’t there to judge me or find fault. Runners are some of the most upbeat/positive people on the planet! We may fall down in our goals (or in my case literally, lol), but we get back in the game and keep on truckin’!

12360215_10153556885787949_775324991576755863_n
Just a “few” of the awesome run group

 

Another great community is my work family. They are some of the BEST group of RNs/CNAs that I have EVER worked with. Such professionalism, fortitude & a great team. We are not out to “eat” each other, but to help each other and do what is best for our patients. I couldn’t have made a better move than when I moved to my current unit. Love those gals!

I will be the first to admit that there are daily resolutions that I fall short-I am human after all. Such as the 10  day no sugar challenge between Thanksgiving & Christmas. I made it 5 days and decided that I missed my chocolate milk a little too much. I may try it again at some point, but not any time soon. I also fell just 50 miles short of my goal of 1,500 miles ran for the year, and that’s okay too.

On The Horizon

Goal to run 2,016 miles in 2016. That is entirely attainable, I just need to make a plan.

Training for and completing my first 100 miler. I have committed to this, so I will do it.

More trail runs. Knock off a few more states in my quest for a 1/2 or full  marathon in each state.

Meet more amazing people and be that person for others.

Continue to learn and grow as a person and find the beauty in every day.

I know people may get tired of hearing about my running, but how can one not talk about the thing that has made such a difference in one’s life? I often wonder what I would have been like if I had never made this incredible sport part of my life. I can honestly say in some regards, that running has saved my life. It has definitely saved my sanity. I hope everyone can find that sweet spot-whatever it may be, that helps them in their quest for health & happiness in 2016.1390564_1007135702687562_1264012081973904938_n

Until We Meet Again,

Stephanie

Life is like an onion, you peel off one layer at a time, and sometimes you cry – Les Brown

 

 

 

Into the Bowels of Life

Whew! How can Christmas be only two days away? Time really does seem to accelerate the older I get. It seems that I have entered into the bowels of life.

Bowel (noun): a. The part of the alimentary canal below the stomach; the intestine. b. The parts deep inside something large-interior, inside, core, belly (Google search).

I speak of the second meaning as my life & perspective are always evolving into something bigger than myself. I see that as a positive as the last thing that I want to do is stagnate. We all know those kinds of people don’t we? Those who haven’t evolved with the times and are living in a 70’s, 80’s, 90’s mindset and whose perspective is stuck in tradition.

Tradition: The transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way (Google search).

Tradition is not necessarily a bad thing-fond memories are sometimes built around tradition. It’s when one is dead set on something happening a certain way at a certain time with certain people to the point that it can’t be enjoyed. It is sometimes made less enjoyable because it becomes a “have to” thing.

1917030_984113628299192_1980428750416983558_n

I have lost the wonder & the magical feeling of Christmas-that is at THIS time of year. It seems that society has done it’s best to make it a commercialized date on a calendar. Go shopping anywhere and one can almost not discern what holiday season we are in! It seems we here in America live/plan our lives from holiday to holiday instead of enjoying every day.

69094_10208330033154587_5464421426959947430_n
In a store 4 days before Christmas

My new perspective on life is that we have the opportunity to have the spirit of Christmas in our hearts every day of the year. Jesus wasn’t even born in December for goodness sake! December 25 was declared a federal holiday in the U.S. in 1870. Now before you get your bowels in an uproar, I am not dissing the celebration of Christmas. Because it IS a federal holiday, it may be the only time of year that family members can all synchronize a get together-that’s wonderful. It can also be a very depressing time of year for some because they can’t afford to “buy into” the commercialization of Christmas.

So where am I going with this you ask? Seize every opportunity every day to be giving and appreciative. If you see something someone would like on ANY day of the year and it is within your means to get it for them-do it! They may not be around next Christmas! Give to charities of your choice, help feed the homeless, lend a helping hand when the opportunity presents itself! Happiness/joy/celebration/being a blessing is not dependent on a date on a calendar. 12047171_1221730747840728_7611271852260605797_n

Where do I see the spirit of Christmas at work? I see it in the faces of my patients when I get them a warm blanket. I see it in my co-workers when we work together as a team to do what’s best for the patient. I see it in the wound care RN who selflessly works many hours until all of her consults are seen. I see it in the innocence of childhood. I see it in my fellow runners after completing a race. I see it in the volunteers at races. I see it in the leaders of my running groups who selflessly chart a course every week & in those who help set things up. I see it in my 90 year old neighbor who walks four times a day and cooks dinner for her family every Sunday. I see it in my local animal shelter staff. I hear it in the birds chirping outside my window. I see it in the smiling grocery clerk’s face. I see it in those who hold the door open for others and I have mini celebrations & joy in my heart. You get the picture.

Life is full of opportunities to celebrate, we just have to be cognizant and stop living our lives based on the dates on a calendar.

I will end with the traditional, “Merry Christmas.”

1456075_602915556424183_1818478058_n
For “Traditions” sake

 

Until We Meet Again,

Stephanie

I Must Confess…

They say confession is good for the soul, so here I go:


I must confess that I buy things I really don’t need, simply because someone else thinks I need them. I am a grinder (another confession)-that is, as in teeth at night. My dentist convinced me that I really needed a custom made mouth guard to be worn on the upper teeth-only at night. I could get the molds, a custom made guard & professional fitting appointment all for the bargain price of $160.00. This would help tremendously with my gum recession, he said. So I acquiesced, made my two appointments (molds & fitting), and tried this thing. I said I tried- more than once. It made me gag. I kept having to swallow which made me gag even more. Epic fail all for the bargain price of $160.00. I could have gotten an awesome pair of running shoes for that price! Oh well, can’t take it back. Hey-who else can boast that they have a plaster cast of their chompers on their shelf as an awesome conversation piece (that will up the value I’m sure)!

I must confess that I am a sucker for dogs-all dogs, especially if they need homes-and someone is giving one away-for free. It just so happens that these little balls of unconditional love come into my life at precisely the right time. I have taken in strays & find them homes when I feel/know the time is not right for me to keep them. Rex came into my life at a difficult emotional time 3 months ago and I must say that pet therapy works. What also worked is that he fit right in with my other dogs from the outset. They took him in & accepted him. A win/win for me. I think it was a win for Rex as well. I even bought furniture covers & allowed them up on my new items (I am a pushover).

I must confess that I love chocolate, especially when wrapped around a strawberry and cannot resist the urge to go into chocolate shops this time of year. Thanksgiving eve was no exception while walking around Zona Rosa in Kansas City. A wonderful indulgence indeed (I must confess that the company was pretty wonderful too)!

12316509_10208186922016898_2451960812051362018_n
Guilty Pleasure

I must confess that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It is the only holiday that I request off from work. Perhaps it is because it is one without so much hoopla and commercialism. In fact, retailers barely mention it as they seem to jump from Halloween to Christmas. Maybe it’s because I love food and the smells of Thanksgiving bring back fond memories. Actually, the greatest reason is that it is the one day I can get my kids together. Since both boys are married now, I have gained two more daughters. I also must confess that I’m not afraid to NOT “act my age.” I like to have fun.

12291849_10208158772553179_6101232323948424748_o
Not Acting My Age & Kids Make a Comfy Bed

I must confess That I am a sucker for a 5k if it means running with awesome people. I admittedly do not care for 5k races that much. Mostly because they can be crowded, are over too soon, and I feel like I have to give it my “all out” effort. I usually just use these runs as speed work training. This one was not exception. The “Giving Thanks” 5k was held Thanksgiving morning at Liberty, MO. The weather was perfect with a light drizzle. Met up with my “Sunday Runday” peeps and a great friend from the past. He is the one who “turned me on” to trail racing where I beat him by 4 min. on his turf. Well the joke was on me as he beat me by 31 seconds on mine! He’s also very witty. When I told him to be careful on the slick spots, he quickly retorted, “I’m not the one who has trouble staying on my feet.” A cute reference to my trail race (read “Holy Rocks & Tree Roots). At any rate, we BOTH won age group awards and it was a very fun morning.

12278821_10208157875570755_9104934554171719830_n
Age Group Award Winners

I must confess that I am a terrible procrastinator with some things. Like finishing projects-at work-with a November 30 at midnight deadline. Having been on vacation (or STAYcation) since 11/18, I had every intention to get it done WAY before the due date. Well, the days came and went and I found myself racking my brain on Sunday, November 29. They (whoever they are), say that procrastination is anxiety over doing something perfect. I would have to agree somewhat as I procrastinated over all of my scholarly papers in college and always made an A. Anyhow, I started it on Sunday, literally worked on it ALL day on Monday 11/30 & had to go into work on my day off to turn it in and do the write up in the computer system. My manager loved it. We’ll see what the system coordinator says. It was not as good as I could have done if I had not waited until the pressure was on.

12311196_10208186917776792_7075388717063358894_n
Not My Best Work

Finally, I must confess that some things cannot be procrastinated over (like bills, gas for the car, & training for a 100 mile race). I guess one can procrastinate to their detriment (I’ve only ran out of gas once-not fun)! Since the race is in April, it gives me 4 full months, or 16 weeks to prepare. I have started getting myself into the best shape possible starting with a 10 day, totally sugar free (except fruit) detox. I have a good running base, so I’m not worried so much about that (did I just confess to worry)? What is mainly a concern, is endurance. So I am also preparing by gleaning everything I can from books, #ultrachat, videos, podcasts, & local runners. I am adding core work/weight training and putting myself on a strict sleep/wake cycle so I can get on the treadmill every morning on work days. Truly this is a labor of love. Some have called me insane. That’s ok. I did the 50 miler last year with not near as much preparation. I want to finish strong & who doesn’t want a belt buckle?

11037104_10208140592738695_1919119044194962776_n
My Life, My Choices

Thoughts?

Until We Meet Again,

Stephanie