Mileage Recap ~ 20 – 26 May – The Hard Death of My Vivoactive

Hello my friends…yes I know my blogging is sucking…majorly.  Just call it Hooverville.  I promise, I’m slowly getting my creative juices flowing.  Many times I have all these words in my head, but a hard time getting them out on this electronic paper.  They are slowly manifesting from thoughts into words.  Taking some time off had benefits and some certain realities.  One, I just allowed myself to be for a while.  Think about what I was doing without taking it too seriously.  The question I hear you asking…“so you took it seriously?”.  Uh, well think about it…I keep a spreadsheet…lists…photos ~ crazy baby!  Hell yeah!  But yes, I do take it seriously.

Two, it was hard recapping the miles I did complete.  I was doing a lot of miles inside because of the weather.  I would do my miles then take a picture of the machine.  I was doing about 17 miles a day for a while on the stationary.  As I was looking through all the pictures I said screw this I’m not counting these.  Screw it.  Let it go.  I can hear my Dad saying, yeah those miles aren’t real miles. LOL!!!  I love it.  I love my Dad.  He is hard core.  So, I’m living in the light and like most things wondering how I could possibly make this more difficult?  Hmmm, so glad you asked ~ from this point I will only count miles I do out.  Challenge accepted!  No more treadmill or stationary bike miles counted.  Take a deep breath…let it out.  Good.  No?  Oui, so, so good.  Sometimes you just have to let it go.  See it for what it is and what you need.  I needed to just keep moving forward and enjoy what I was doing.  I was in transition from becoming less of a runner and more of a cyclist.  Processing what all these miles mean and next steps.

I’ve lost a good and trusty friend.  Yes, my Garmin Vivoactive has bought the farm; is six feet under; iced; or what other descriptor you would like to give.  She gone.  She was a good lady.  Tracking all those miles for four years.  But she slowly began to tell me, she was ready to move on, join the other GPS tracking devices in the sky.  Just like that, she breathed her last…..  Wow, I’m almost getting a little broken up about an electronic device.  But before she breathed her last she gave me a big middle finger and left me hanging on last weeks ride.  Just sayin’.  If you think about it, what better way to go then just say, smell you later!  That added to my mileage count frustration.  I tried to use my iWatch, but it wasn’t the same.  It was like a drunk girlfriend.  I constantly had to tend to her and never knew when she was going to blow.  Sooooo…

I sauntered down to Best Buy and bought the Vivoactive3. It was the last one they had on the shelf.

Old vs. new

I had to laugh at this picture.  Look how far the design has come.  This was one of the first ones and looks like a mini tablet!  LOL!!!  It still has power too!  But just not tracking.  I haven’t even charged the new one.  Looking forward to testing it out.

Went to Prince William park for this weeks long ride.  Most weeks I have been riding out on the W&OD trail.  Beginning to end it is close to 100 miles.  You can pick up the trail at various points along the way and it ends in Purceville, VA.  Good ride, but lots of people which makes it difficult to run full out on the bike.

Prince William park is much better.  Not crowded and a good course to train with both flat and hilly areas.  This was the first time I road out there and I will be honest, it was a little difficult.  The loop was 10 miles.  The last two miles are three steep hills.  I was good the first two loops, the third I couldn’t complete the hills.  I will admit, it was a hard challenge.  This is a good thing, because I have found a good area to train ~ both beautiful and challenging.  A few shots:

Rider

 

 

Steam coming off the road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I captured some of my miles from March and logging what I did this week.  I will keep going back until I recapture all the outside miles I did until I’m finally caught up.  Total miles this time around came to 49.82 with 4761.41 gratefully remaining.  Letting it go, breathing deep and moving on…so very on…it’s all good.  Perspective.

You’re welcome 😐

Continue reading

Mileage Recap ~ 19 – 24 Feb…Shake It Off and Learning How to Cut Bait

Happy Sunday my 11315 friends!  There is nothing better than the second half…am I right?  The first half (whatever your half may be:  life, school, or miles 🙂 always seems to be a learning experience.  It always seems after you’ve been doing a task after a while you really learn it and become proficient.  Once you become proficient you can learn to improve and eventually enjoy!  At 51 (OMG really) I seem to still be learning this lesson not only for miles but in life as well.  But every step I take is wonderful in its own way and I am grateful that I can take those steps.

That’s the way I feel about my mileage journey and of course life itself.  If there is something I can say about myself, I have a very strong will in all things.  I don’t like to fail.  Some life events have been easy and others not so much.  But I have always looked at things from a glass half full type perspective and strive to do my best and be positive.  Today is the first day in a while there was a break in the temperature ~ 66 degrees.  I see people out running and realize that I can’t run long distances because of my back.  Well I can, but the repercussions will speak for themselves.   Kinda sucks to be honest.  Matter of fact the other day I saw people out running and in my mind I said “screw it”  I’m going to run that marathon ~ “whateves”.  Then I pull myself back and realize that for my health, I can’t and I have to find other ways to get those miles.  All is well, I have a beautiful bike and there are so many other ways to get those miles that will be filled with adventure.

Tomorrow I go and get the cortisone shots in my spine.  Hmmm.  My Dad had them and said he didn’t feel anything.  Again I say hmmm!  I had cortisone shots in my knee after my surgery.  All I can tell you (sorry men) but this was worse than a labor pang.  It was a different kind of pain than being in labor.  But it hurt sooo bad.  Let’s hope tomorrow goes somewhat smooth with little pain.

Mileage this week was done on the trainer resulting in 37.33 miles.  When I’m on the trainer I usually go for an hour and can max about 16 miles and some change.  This time I was able to get over 17!  Looking forward to some warmer weather so I can get the bike out more.   I have completed 6503.77 miles in my journey with 4811.23 miles remaining.  I hope this post finds you with a burning desire for life and love.  Is there anything else?  Happy Miles to You!!

Saw this fitting…. “that’s what people say…”  LOL only if you really knew….

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 28 Jan – 3 Feb….Unbreakable…Yes, I’m Going Down Swinging

Happy Sunday everyone!  Wow, January seemed to have blown by and now we are into the month of love or not depending on your take on things.  You know how the song goes…”If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with”.

As you might have recalled from last week, my car was broken into and therefore, the blog post I wanted to write had to wait until this week.  I just didn’t have the mental energy last Sunday.  Good news Safelite™ came out and repaired my window and I’m back in the car business.  Bad news, according to my friends this will happen again.  Welcome to DC.

2019 has started of with a bang.  I was furloughed for the better part of January and I finally went in for my MRI of my back.  I knew going in that something wasn’t quite right.  I have been experiencing a very directed pain in my lower right back for a while.  Did I ever mention I really hate going to the doctor…yeah well, not always the best thing, but yes I don’t like going to the doctor.  After waiting for a week…the diagnosis is in!  I’m going to look at this from a glass half full perspective.  I’m not upset, no defeated (quite the opposite)…I am unbreakable.

Have you ever seen the Netflix™ show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt?  It is the life Kimmy after her rescue from a doomsday like cult.  She and the other “mole women” are trapped in an underground bunker for years, rescued and released out into the modern world.  It’s quirky and funny and Kimmy Schmidt learns to put a positive spin on not so positive situations.

Courtesy of Netflix

Courtesy of Netflix

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been diagnosed with spondylolisthesis in L1 – L5 of my spine which is causing degenerative arthritis.  The doctor also thinks it is congenital issue that worsened with age.  You can’t spell it without LOL in the middle.  Get it?  Hell, I still can’t even pronounce it correctly yet.  “Spondylolisthesis is a slipping of vertebra that occurs, in most cases, at the base of the spine. Spondylolysis, which is a defect or fracture of one or both wing-shaped parts of a vertebra, can result in vertebrae slipping backward, forward, or over a bone below”.  Thank you, WebMD.  In some places I have bone on bone.  What does this mean for me?  I know what you’re thinking…settle down, breathe and don’t get carried away…it ain’t over.  It means the running part of my journey is over.  Yes, you read that right the rest of my mileage journey will be earned cycling or walking/hiking.  Say hello to cycling Laurel.

When Dr. Cherrick, told me the news I was a little put out and then became a bit defiant.  I mentioned to him that all of this would just have to wait because I have already begun training for the Shamrock Marathon in March.  He just let me prattle on for about two minutes looking at me with annoyed eyes, mentioning that he can’t stop me from running, but then added…I wouldn’t do the race.  He left the office to bring up my images and then I saw the arthritis in my back and then the places where there was no cushion.  He continued on that I was close to needing surgery, but wasn’t that far gone if I changed my habits and committed to cycling which is low impact.  The fix is facet injection and more physical therapy if I so chose.  The other option is fusing the vertebra together.  Uh, no…nada, nein.  Not.Going.To.Happen.

As we used to say in the Army, if the path to the target has changed, adjust fire.  That’s all this is…the target moved, I am adjusting fire.  The goal remains, I just need to get there in a different manner.  I haven’t run since the diagnosis and I haven’t had the pain I’ve been experiencing. Literally, non-existent.

I am excited and more determined than ever.  Cycling gear is so much cooler than running gear.  I absolutely love cycling and I fully intend to keep the energy high.  I never do things small manner.  My first ride was a century – lol.  I also bought my first carbon frame bike – 2018 Fuji Grand Fondo.  Sweet ride:

Now I just need better weather.  My response to this diagnosis is 234.72 miles for the month of January with running (before diagnosis), walking and trainer rides.  I also have broken the 5,000 mark in my mileage journey with 4958.98 miles gratefully remaining.

I remain with much gratitude in my heart and an unbreakable determination.  It’s time to get road ready and conquer the rest of these miles.  Life is good.  When life gives you lemons…make lemonade.  Adjust fire.  Happy Miles to You!!

I thought this song was appropriate…”sugar I’m going down swingin'”.

am I more than you bargained for yet 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 14 Jan – 27 Jan…The Theft Post

Happy Sunday my friends.  I meant to spend some time and write a really well thought out post, but unfortunately it will have to wait until another day.  Today was one of those days where you just say ~ really?  My gusto for blogging was cut off at the knees today because someone broke into my car.  Sigh.  I drove to the Mt. Vernon trail to have a Sunday jaunt and when I came back the right back window on the passenger side was shattered and the contents of my vehicle stolen.

Lovely isn’t it?  The funny thing was I wasn’t gone long, but then these things don’t take long.  Whoever it was got me and someone else.  Timing is everything.  So today was spent on canceling things and police reports.

In better news the furlough as been suspended until February 15th.  Back to work I go tomorrow!

Mileage was #killer these past two weeks.  I road/ran/walked 134.53 miles.  I remain grateful to continue on my journey.  Whoever has my stuff ~ I hope it brings you as much happiness as it brought me.  Just a bit of advice though, maybe work hard so you can earn your own stuff!  I hope this post finds your heart joyful and your mind at ease.

I thought this song was appropriate.  Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 31 Dec – 6 Jan… By Crikey I’ve Been Furloughed!

Happy Furlough Monday my friends.  That’s right, I’m part of this big furlough funding mess.  Going on week three here in the big DC.

Without getting too political I will just say ~ enough already!  I’m ready to go back to work.  I’m a bit of a workaholic.  Yes…I’m one of those.  I love to work.  Of course it helps to love your job, but I’m getting very annoyed.  I mean how many mandalas can I draw to relive stress?  It would be nice if they would leave the working folks out of the funding mess – let’s keep the big projects (AKA the Wall) out of normal every day life funding shall we?  Please fight on someone else’s dime, preferably our senators and representatives.  I overheard someone saying, wow, I wish I could get a paid vacation.  First of all, I’m not getting paid right now.  Will I get back pay, yes that is the plan, but just think of all the work that is piling up right now?  That is the downside and no that isn’t fun….at all.  It is going to be a real ass-kicker when I return.  Mentally and figuratively I’m sure!  The upside… I’m getting some mad miles in… oh and I did get a pedicure today too.  Funny thing is there were other ladies in the salon on furlough!  Should have served wine.

In better news my training for the Shamrock Marathon in March has begun.  I started on Saturday and not too much to report but I kicked it off with a five-mile run.  My goal for this marathon is to have an average pace in the 10s.  Normally, I’m rocking an average 11, but my goal is to eventually run a marathon with an average pace in the 9s.  Mind over matter, mind over matter, mind over matter….yes Dorthy, mind over matter.

I need shoes like that…oooh maybe some running shoes….yaaassss!

I will have a nontraditional training plan this time around because I want to keep cycling.  Meaning…I don’t want to lose my momentum on the bike, so something has to give.  I have been getting miles in every day if possible.  A combination of walking, running, and cycling.  Throw in about three (four because I’m on furlough)  days of strength training and I’m a busy girl.  Getting it done.

Pain level is at a steady 3 – 4 out of 10.  Still in the right lower side.  MRI and X Ray are on Friday and will see where we go from there.  No, get that thought out of your head.  I will continue on.

Of course my long run was on a rainy day.  Sometimes I think, hmmm should I just go inside?  Nah, not always.  It wasn’t bad and normally on those days, no one is on the trail.  This is what my run looked like:

I kept it in the 10s!  It wasn’t a bad run and I felt okay.  Some slowing down on the hills to ensure footing.

My week was a good one ~ I completed 51.33 miles.  I have 5185.49 miles gratefully remaining.  I hope this post finds you in good spirits for the new year.  Remember, nothing lasts forever – even a government furlough.  Happy Miles to You!!

This came up on my playlist this weekend and was appropriate.  Absolutely love Annie Lennox and the acoustic version is awesome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change Is Hard…Doing Nothing is Harder – My Ode to 2018…May She Rest in Peace.

What would you do to be happier?  That my friends is a very loaded question.

I wish I could say 2018 was a banner year.  Let’s just say I am looking forward to 2019.  I just got around to “updating” my working status on Facebook (not that it’s necessary) to living in the DC area and working at the National Archives and Records Administration.  Those in my inner circle laughed a bit and yelled “old news”!  I kept it on the low burner because it was a major change and upheaval. This isn’t a negative post but a post about growth, change, uplifting myself and somewhere down the line winning.

After serving in the Army as a logistician, Army wife, mother and eventually a civilian which totaled about 20 years I decided that I needed a “change”.  From there I moved to Phoenix, AZ and went to esthetician school to, how can I say this, entertain my more artistic side.  I have always played a balancing act with my technical side and my artistic side.  I decorated cakes for many years and found being an esthetician to be artistic but on another level.  Unfortunately, there were many things about it that just didn’t fit and so I moved on to work for a private business.

I have never publicly written about my time at this place of business.  It was the first time out of college that I had worked for a private company and not the government.  I worked directly for the CEO/owner and all I can tell you it was 9 months of pure hell.  I have no sympathy for the devil of which he must have been related.  Sitting on the couch with him during my third interview I knew taking this job was a mistake.  There is something in trusting your gut.  But me, being who I am, I was willing to give it a go.  Worst.Decision.Ever.  He ran me ragged and was prone to changing his mind constantly, not in a good way, and wanted to be treated like a king.  The only task I will bring up just to give you insight was stocking the personal fridge with Perrier™.  He drank massive amounts of Perrier™ and required his personal refrigerator to be stocked daily.  He drank the lemon and lime flavor and I would place the bottles lined up with labels facing the front.  They had to be perfectly in order by flavor…. yeah think about that for a moment.  I mean I can be type A, but damn.

I decided that I needed another change, but most of all I needed to make myself happy and take control of my happiness.  Believe me, this is a hard tasks for Catholics.  Guilt anyone?  I felt for the three years I was in Arizona I was just floating through a fog. Arizona was pretty…in parts, but it just wasn’t for me.  That’s right class, at 50 you can decide to change – and change I did.  Daunting.Scary.Unpredicable.  Yes, all of those words and a whole lot more.

I started feverishly applying to other jobs ~ everywhere.  I prayed.  I cried.  From time to time I felt sorry for myself.  Oh, and I flew to Dublin, Ireland and ran a marathon in between this mayhem.  I would wake up early in the morning and apply for jobs all day long.  Sometimes even on weekends.  I was relentless.  I can remember starting my day with this saying:

“Help me find the right job, the right place, I’m ready for the good stuff”.

Everyday.  Day after day, for nine months (no symbolism here – lol) until I finally got a call from the National Archives and Records Administration.  I had been wanting to get out of the logistics field and I applied for an Executive Assistant job to the Archivist of the United States of America in DC.  After three interviews, I got the job.  It was one of the happiest and scariest days of my life.  I had no apartment and only one friend in the area.  I packed up my Subaru and drove across country to my new life in DC.

I was extremely lucky for my friend Rajni who lived and worked in the area.  It was like she was there at the right place and time.  I owe her a debt of gratitude I will never be able to repay.  I stayed with her for a few weeks and eventually found my own apartment.  The transition was mentally hard.  I hadn’t lived in an apartment since my 20s.  Making that move from a big house to a small apartment wasn’t easy.  All the things I had I left behind ~ I only took the necessities.  Again mental, but necessary for change.  Sometimes you throw things out to the Universe.  You taunt it by saying – “only if”.  Then the Universe throws it back and says “put up or shut up”.  So then you have a choice to take the “red or blue” pill.

“You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I’m offering is the truth.” ~ The Matrix

I took the red pill.  I wanted to find my truth – and so I did.  I left with what I could fit in my car and drove across country, by myself, in search of better.  Change is so hard.

There were times I would walk through my apartment looking at all the nothing.  I would sit in the silence on some days and just think about what was next.  I would get up each day and push a little further, grow a little larger, and eventually smile a little wider.  When I think back at the first time I stepped into this apartment there was a sense of despair and laughter.  There were days I would cry and days I would walk through laughing that this was mine.  I did it.

The job, what can I say.  I work for the Archivist of the United States in downtown DC.  He is amazing and the people I work with equally amazing and talented.  An academic atmosphere.  Even better, I like everything about the place and what we do for the country.  I can say I’m very happy.  I’m happy living in DC and with my job.  It has been a little over 10 months and I love my truth, my little red pill.

I am learning to embrace my future.  I continue to expand and grow.  In order to move forward you can’t dwell on the past.  Study it.  Accept it. Challenge it.  If a little 50 year old female can do it, so can you.  Change is so damn hard, mentally, physically and spiritually.  If you find yourself contemplating about 2018 and where your going, might I suggest taking that red pill?  Open wide and wash it down with your favorite beverage.

I hope this post finds you with a hot crazy determination for life.  The kind that burns the soul, makes you cry and shake and demand you do whatever it takes, however hard it may seem, to stay the course and find your truth.  Yeah, there’s going to be plenty of dead bodies along the way ~ so bring the body bags and a big ass shovel to bury that shit.  Six feet down – three feet wide –  cover it all nice and pretty, dust off those hands and make a sign of the Cross if you have too.  It’s over.  Happy Miles to You!

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 10 – 16 Dec…Running In The Rain

Hello happy readers!  Rain has the power to renew.  Take the dirtiest of days, give it a good rain storm, and the result is a feeling of invigorating renewal.  The landscape looks and smells refreshed.  This weekend was a wet one in the D.C. area and the temperatures were somewhat mild.  I wasn’t going to let something like a little water stop me especially when I feel there are demons that need to be exercised.  Running in the rain is the perfect medicine.

I made it to the trail around 0830 on Saturday and it was about 52 degrees and raining moderately hard.  There is always a moment of self-induced suck, while sitting in the car telling myself, yeah you can turn off the engine now and step outside.  The water is fine!  I make sure I have everything, scarf, gloves, and music….check.  Open the door and get hit with a blast of cool (not cold) water pelting my face.  Either way, I’m sure everyone has experienced leaving a nice warm car, only to be accosted by cold temps.  A shock to the body for sure…add rain ~ yeah not the best feeling in the world.  But, I needed to make a concerted effort to get outside when I can…even if it’s raining.

Believe it or not, it wasn’t that bad.  You could make the argument if it were colder….obviously it would be snowing, but 52 wasn’t too bad a deal.  My biggest threat were decaying leaves and wet pavement.  I wanted to hit three non-stop and walk three back.  Even with the weather the pace was decent:

10:25 pace with side-stepping leaves and puddles of water.  I felt good on the run and ran a straight three then walked three back for a total of 6.02.

I did stop to take pictures on the way….

A holly tree on the path.

The Potomac

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes I was there…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This weeks miles were bella totaling 63.09!  On Sunday I road 15 then, in the rain again, I walked two.

Indoor bike – 55.06

Running – 3.02

Walking – 5.01

This 51-year-old body is feeling strong.  I have completed 5943.53 with 5371.47 gratefully remaining.  I hope this post finds you slaying those demons that disrupt and keep you from living the life you were meant to live.  Just remember it’s never too late to learn to fly….. Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 3 – 9 Dec…I’m Tracking

Happy Sunday everyone!  As I run through my calculations of miles completed it’s always a pleasure to see the “miles remaining” is less than the “miles completed”.  Although the journey is still a long one and there are plenty of adventures to be had, it is positive.

I have an Instagram friend, Dr. Linda Sinnott, who went on a big life transformation to loss weight.  It’s funny because she and I are very similar; both in our 50s, yoga instructors and love fitness.  She worked out for 365 days straight, making a commitment to herself to live healthier.  It’s been fun watching her progress.  As with anything that is worth fighting for, you have to make a commitment and work at your goal.  You have to be consistent.  Make an effort to be present and show up for whatever it is you are attempting.  Some days the results are pretty and other days just butt ugly.  Eventually, the effort will pay off…at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I decided to take a page out of her play book and complete some miles every day.  I was in the gym some days and then decided to time myself on Saturday with a two-mile run.  I have been continuing with strength and endurance training with hopes of getting a better pace during the winter months.  Happy to report:

Not too bad if I do say so..lol.  I walked a mile after then ran a final mile for a total of 4 miles on Saturday.  The week was a good one.  I rode the indoor bike 10.5 (11 on one day) each day with the exception of 5 miles on Friday for a total of 62 miles for the week.  I love the morning when the sun is just up on the trail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have completed 5880.44 with 5434.56 miles gratefully remaining.  I’m still tracking, still working and still earning every mile.  I hope this post finds you in a great state of mind; present, full of hope and still tracking.  Happy Miles to You!!

This song came on for the second mile on Saturday and is great for the pace….

 

Day 6 of Gratitude ~ Heroines

Happy Tuesday my friends!  I hope the start of your week is a good one.  I am getting excited about this weeks race and it looks to be a clear but cold day.  Better than rainy and cold.  Planning for two miles today and some strength exercises.

Something to think about….

“Above all be the heroine of your life, not the victim”.

~ Nora Ephron

Happy Miles to You!!!

Day 4 of Gratitude ~ Mileage Recap 22 Oct – 4 Nov… In The Arms of The Angels

Happy Sunday everyone.  I usually do my mileage recaps every Sunday, but every now and again, time and circumstances get the best of me.

First, let me give a shout out to all my friends who ran the New York City Marathon today!  They say there was 50,000 runners.  Unbelievable!  I was reading an article about a teacher who experienced one of the major school shootings and she had a quote that running “heals the soul”.  I agree with that statement. That will be one of my last races I do in my mileage journey.

Training is steady as she goes for next week’s 2018 Veteran’s Day 10k Race.  Not a long race, but the beneficiaries of the race will be Team Red, White & Blue, a group that helps veterans around the area.  There are chapters all around the country.  I’m just happy to be running.

Running

I continue to improve my pace on the shorter runs.  My breathing is good and my stamina is slowly building.  It has been a bit of a struggle trying to get back to what I consider an optimum pace for my age ~ lol!  I still maintain my goal to beat my PR marathon goal of 4:41 and keeping my average pace in the 9:00 min range. I finished October with 58.65 miles ~ about 10 shy of last month.

This weeks long run was okay.  I was a little winded from lack of sleep (excuses I know) but I got it done.  The trail was covered in leaves in a lot of places which made running difficult because I was looking at the ground so I wouldn’t slip and fall!  Plus I was taking pictures!  I think my pace would have been in the 10 minute range.  It was just so pretty!

You can see the leaves falling in the video!!!

I have completed 5734.82 miles in my journey with 5580.18 gratefully remaining.

Cycling

Not much to update here, after the 10k I look forward to focusing on my cycling.

You might be wondering why I titled this post in the arms of the angels.  It is one of the reasons I’m calling November my month of gratitude.  Not only does it have to do with my birth month and that I want to scream from the hills every day isn’t promised and is a gift.  Let’s face it, soon I will be 51 and although that is young these days, I do look at it as a time to be thankful and grateful for each day that I am given.  I recently found out a friend of mine committed suicide last month.  I was notified by Facebook© IM of all things.  This would have been the only way this person could have notified me and I don’t hold it against her because I didn’t know her personally.  I have a love/hate relationship with IM.  Technology is awesome.  We can find old friends, share ideas and pictures and converse instantaneously from around the world.  I have a few friends that ONLY use this method of communication.  Needless to say I find it rude and a little cowardly.  People who only IM are lazy and frankly if someone doesn’t take the time to call you ~ they’re letting you know that, yeah you just don’t mean that much to me or I can communicate only when things are convenient for me.  I know not everyone will agree with my assessment, but think about a person who only converses electronically ~ you may begin to see that person in a new light and agree with me on certain points.

The individual that died was a big part of my life for about five years.  She was a step-sister in a marriage that didn’t work out.  We were all young during that time.  It was a difficult time in my life and when she contacted me about six years ago I had reservations about starting up a conversation.  We became online friends and kept in touch with each other through the years.  She had experienced a lot of ups and downs, but I always kept a line open and offered my telephone number many times in case she wanted to call, but she never offered hers.  I hadn’t heard from her for a while and then a couple of months ago she contacted me to tell me her mother had passed from pancreatic cancer, again I offered her my number.  I had checked up on her a couple of times insisting she give me a call.  I got her address and sent her a sympathy card which she acknowledged she received and that she would respond.  During our conversations she had told me how she was working hard ~ studying for a Spanish test and how things were going well.  She had missed her Mother, but that life was moving forward.  Then I heard the news that she had hung herself.  As I write this, I can’t put into words what I’m really feeling.  Bewilderment, sadness, and sympathy for a life cut short.  I was dumbfounded as to why she would do this until I went on her Facebook page and saw how she had been battling depression for a long time.  It’s sad for me to hear and I often find myself thinking about her even though I hadn’t seen her since she was a little girl.  I guess I feel she just didn’t get a fair shake.  Life isn’t fair, no doubt.  So, if you’re following me in this month of gratitude ~ I ask for a gift gentle reader.  Reach out to someone – by voice.  A short call or a meeting for coffee.  Talk to them and let them know you care.  It doesn’t have to be sappy.  Sometimes just sitting there, together, sipping wine or drinking coffee is enough.  Pick up the phone and say hello.  That might be all it takes.  I firmly believe we have allowed ourselves to become too dependent on communication through social media programs as primary communication.  We are forgetting the art of conversation and interaction with other people.  My thoughts only…

Rachel was a beautiful woman:

 

She leaves behind two children and will be missed.  Even though we separated under strenuous circumstances, life is about forgiveness and growth.  Rachel is in the arms of the angels and free from the pain she experienced on this beautiful earth.  May she rest in peace.

I feel I should post this to help anyone in need:

National Suicide Hotline:  Call 1-800-273-8255

I hope this Sunday finds you in a peaceful state of mind.  Happy Miles to You.  “in this sweet madness, this sweet glorious sadness”….