I Have Learned

I’m over a half century old-an antique! During these 50+ years, I have learned a few things…

I have learned:

That life is best lived one moment at a time.

That things don’t always turn out like you thought- good or bad.

That some folks will change, and some will not,

And I am not in control of either.

That some people will come and others will go

And they all will/have taught me something.

That it’s good to have goals and dreams

And that some will support me and others won’t…

And that’s okay.

That time really does go faster as I get older

Or at least my perception of it does.

That children grow up fast

And they turned out good despite my failings.

That “things” don’t really mean too much to me anymore

But experiences do.

That some people will look me in the eye

And stab me in the back

But I will keep moving forward.

That in the end

The choices and responses I have are really

The only ones that matter.

That prejudice will always exist

And that I must check myself daily

To not get caught up in the fray.

That no matter how good I am to some people

Some are just incapable of reciprocation.

I must do good anyway.

That unlearning all of the preconceived notions

And judgmental doctrine about God & my worth

Will take a lifetime to completely get over.

That age and what society says about it

Are not in my favor as a woman.

I have learned

That I am free to be me

No matter what others think, no matter their opinion,

No matter their gossip.

It doesn’t matter.

The free me likes me the best.

The free me is able to look at others

More objectively and non judmentally

And love them in their freedom.

I have only to answer to me,

And to God.

I am without a shadow of a doubt

Convinced that He loves me

Despite the fallible me

I most often times see.

I have learned…

That rejection is survivable.

Even by a parent

Or child.

That dogs are just children with fur

Who love unconditionally.

This life is meant to be shared-

With those less fortunate,

And that includes animals.

That politics can divide people,

Sometimes irreparably-

And that is a travesty.

That running may not be the cure

Or answer for some people,

But it has kept me sane.

But most importantly

I have learned that

I have a contribution to make.

I matter to some

And for that

I will never apologize

For being me.

Older women don't follow the rules

 

I Yam What I Yam…(No Apologies)

I’ve been called lots of things-

A whore (my ex), Ms Aster (mother), a dog (classmates),

Among other (not so great) trappings.

Most recently a “braggart.”

Well, I suppose it’s so,

If to “brag” means the adjective

Of “excellent,” “first rate”

Holding myself to a higher level

Than the status quo.

You see, I’m no better than any other,

Not my sister, not my brother.

From dust we came and from dust

We will return,

The ground is level at the foot of the cross,

Six feet under or cremation and burn.

I only seek to demonstrate

That whatever point you are in life,

That it’s never too late.

If that is bragging, than I am guilty as charged.

Life is too short to squabble over semantics,

Whether I’m right and you’re wrong.

The world would be a much better place

If we would just stop and give each other grace.

For whether it’s you or it’s me,

We can work together if we

Agree to disagree.

I make no apologies for who I am

Or who I have become.

I respect your right to your opinion

For it is yours, and not the force of

Anyone.

Just be respectful of mine as well.

I will treat you with respect, be courteous to you,

Encourage you.

I may not understand where you have been or where

You are coming from.

I do try, and in the trying I do not hate you.

Hate me if you must, hate what I stand for,

Hate whom I trust.

I “Yam what I yam,” as Popeye would say.

Love me, or hate me…whore, Ms Aster, dog, braggart…

I know of no other way

Than to be who I am,

Carefree, FREE, unhindered, totally myself.

There was a time I lived in a shell.

My loyalty is to ME first,

For it is only THEN that I am capable

Of loving anyone else.

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Stephanie

 

 

 

Keepin’ It Short and Sweet

I appreciate all of you who took the time to respond here or on social media. It seems that I have gotten more positive feedback than negative-at least from those of you who dared to comment. There will always be naysayers, that is just life. I like to think that we are all adults who can agree to disagree and not take things personally.

The question was not “how can I change my blog,” It was “Is it worth continuing.” I like to read- a lot. Sometimes it’s nice to know that I am not alone in my thoughts. I will not change who I am. I spent too many years of my life trying to be a people pleaser. Take me or leave me at face value. I have to live with me, you don’t. That being said, I will now and forevermore be true to myself first. Nothing worse than living a lie and being fake with others.

We crazy runners are known to push the limits in running and in life. To me, that is living life to the fullest. If that offends you, don’t waste your time reading my blog. If you allow yourself to be offended, that is your problem, not mine. Perhaps there are bigger issues in your life that you need to work through.

With that being said, I have chosen to continue. For those of you who have been positive and encouraging, I thank you. If something has made you think beyond the box, it is all worth it!

“Adversity is often short lived. Giving up is what makes it permanent.”–Gail Pyne

Hope to see you out on the road or trail and encourage each other along the way!

Stephanie

 

 

The Unfettered Life

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”- Hans Hofmann (20th century painter)

Elimination-The process of getting rid of or removing something (Google search). Wow, I don’t know about you, but that can certainly apply to a LOT of things in my life. In fact, I have been on a demolition of sorts trying to get rid of clutter. It seems like it procreates as I sleep. All of the “stuff” seems to weigh me down in one way or another. If I don’t control it, it will control me in the form of moving it around, cleaning/maintaining it, or just “stuffing the stuff!” Out of sight, out of mind. It’s one thing to eliminate tangible items, but it is truly another to remove toxic attitudes & those associated with them when one’s character is attacked.

Disclaimer: I am NOT talking about opinion. Opinion (noun) 1. A view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge. 2. An estimation of the quality or worth of someone or something. Synonyms: belief, judgment, viewpoint, outlook, stance, position, perspective, persuasion, standpoint. EVERYONE has an opinion on EVERYTHING. We could debate this to infinity and beyond, but this is not a debate. Lest I get off on a rabbit trail, this does not cover obvious black & white things like an orange is orange or day versus night. If someone looked at one of my dogs and said it was a cat, then they are obviously crazy or blind! One’s perspective becomes their reality which eventually forms their opinion.

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We live in a constantly changing world system. Some things have changed for the better, others not so much. It has been my observation that in some instances, with some people, that the mindset of “women should be seen and not heard” still exists, especially when it comes to sports. Now before you start forming an opinion & think I am an uber feminist (shitty label), stick with me for just a few, um, er, paragraphs.

I do not understand the mindset that ANYONE has to like, favor, adore, the sports teams of their locale. This is America after all. I have pretty much lived in the Midwest all of my life with a few excursions to the East & West coasts. I like, favor, adore the Kansas City Royals because they were a significant part of my childhood & baseball is just a fun, family type of sport (my opinion). I really did not pay too much attention to football until adulthood and most recently over the past several years. I am not a Kansas City Chiefs fan and much to my dismay, shock, chagrin, I have been ostracized for it to a degree.

I shall explain: I started watching football a few years back when my youngest son for whatever reason became a Denver Broncos fan. The boy was all in and has never waivered. We associate and form bonds with those things that are great memories and make us feel all “warm and fuzzy.” Hence, my love for the KC Royals. His room was decked out in everything Broncos. I even made him a Broncos chair ’cause I’m crafty like that, lol. Whether they knew it or not, my kids opened up worlds to me that I would never have dreamed of before. Such was also the case with the Lord of the Rings and Narnia movies. So when people chastise me for something that holds deep meaning for me, it tends to start to get under my skin.

Enter social media: I have stated previously that social media can be a great tool or a weapon for “keyboard warriors” who would not dream of saying to someone’s face what they blab in cyber space. When Denver defeated Seattle securing their spot in the Super Bowl, I posted a lovely portrait of Peyton Manning. Some found it necessary to jump on MY timeline with rude statements. Then the hcg allegations came out and butt hurt fans of other teams felt it necessary to try to destroy a good man’s character. I don’t know any more than anyone else about the validity of all of that. When the accuser came out and said he made all of it up, I posted a pic of Peyton’s stats with the statement, “go ahead and hate all of you haters, win or lose, he is the man the legend.” (a statement of opinion, not bait).

Now some of my testosterone driven, butt hurt male classmates took it as an invitation to try to start an argument. I never once said anything demeaning about their team. In fact, I praised the contributions of Tom Brady. But, I guess they thought they needed to “shut the little woman up.” Enter this messenger notice at 0342 on January 26, 2016. Never mind that it woke me up as I leave my phone on due to an elderly mother!

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I woke up, briefly read it, texted, “thanks dad” and went back to sleep. When I awoke the next morning, I was able to see how contemptuous and oozing with testosterone and misogyny  it was. Would he dare say this to one of his male friends? And to get this straight, he was a classmate in high school who was at best, an acquaintance. We didn’t hang out, we didn’t date. We were in maybe one theatrical performance together & we all reconnected at the last class reunion. I value very few peoples’ OPINIONS and his is definitely not one of them! You’re dying to know my reply aren’t you? Well, okay…12717196_10208674073595383_7635110789316678936_n

Not really, but it is several paragraphs long. You’ll have to wait for another blog for the response. My point is this: In my OPINION, respect is so lacking in our society that it is sickening. We talk so much about tolerance that maybe team preference tolerance should be addressed.

Closing thoughts: I am not a “sheeple” I can think for myself. When you set boundaries, people don’t like it because they can’t control you anymore. I was once a shy, demure person who would never take up for myself. I am proud of my assertiveness. When you eliminate clutter, toxic material, and toxic people from your life, your perception changes & your mind clears. I have a lot of thinking time out on my long runs with just me and nature and my mind is becoming increasingly clear.

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“Time makes you bolder, children get older, I’m getting older too…” (Landslide-Stevie Nicks)

Until We Meet Again,

Stephanie