No Delusions About Aging


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I have no delusions about aging. I’ve accepted that I’m no longer young enough to warrant even the fake, “Is your mother home,” kiss-up line from wily door-to-door salesmen. But I’m fairly certain I’m not “horse-and-buggy” old.

I’m in my mid thirties but still pass for twenty-something on a good hair day, thank you very much. I’m convinced it’s my mop of red curls and fair skin that still turns heads. It has nothing to do with the crazed and harried expression that paints my face while trudging through grocery isles, waiting in pick-up lanes at school or running from one extracurricular activity to another. Just trust me on this, ok? I understand that Tyra won’t be calling my name as the next top model, but I can still give plain Jane a run for her money. I tell you all this so you can understand why it was such a huge slam to my ego when my kids began firing questions that all led to one horrible revelation. They thought I was OLD. No, not just old. They believed I was ancient!

It all started with cell phones. They wanted one and I told them to kiss the idea goodbye. I started explaining that when I was a kid we had two phones in the house: one in the kitchen attached to the wall with a cord, and the other in my dad’s office. That was the phone you NEVER touched unless there was a fire or a death…and then, maybe. After all, there was just one phone line, anyway. Want to know the big kicker? No one NEEDED to talk on it, ever. It was a privilege, not a right. And texting? There was no such thing as texting (gasp!). That led to an explanation about the absence of answering machines. If you weren’t home when a call came in (HUGE gasp!), you missed the call! Yes, really! They had to keep calling until they got you!

Of course, this trip through ancient history piqued their curiosity. “What else was different, Mom?” Well, computers always sat on your desk or under it, but NEVER on your lap. They were the size of dorm room refrigerators and made for work, not play. I paused for effect before hitting them with the fact that there was no Internet. NO! WAIT! No Internet?? Horror movies can’t produce the look they gave me. It’s true, I told them. You had to read words on paper instead of a monitor if you wanted to learn. You were the search engine, not Google, and Wikipedia was the set of encyclopedias in the living room. They looked at me as if I had lost my mind with a mixture of pity and horror on their faces.

Now I was a woman inspired. I knew they’d soon be overfilled with gratefulness for how good their childhoods are in comparison to mine. Cassette tapes versus iPods, VHS tapes that took minutes to rewind versus BlueRay and DVD’s. Then the big one: the one that would shake their very foundation. No On-Demand for TV. As if that weren’t enough, I casually tossed in that microwaves and dishwashers were luxuries, NOT standard fair, and my family didn’t own either one for a long time.

I could almost hear them processing all this new information when they came back with the ego-killing question. “So…like, you had horses and buggies instead of cars, right?” What?? You jumped from no Internet to horses and buggies? How did you just skip from the ‘70’s to the early 1900?’s? My great grandfather was around for the horse-drawn ice carts, morning milk wagons and homes without electricity. But he’d be 110 this month. I’m no spring chick, but 110? Come on!

Simmer down self, I said. After all, kids are here to keep you humble, keep you on your toes. I have three, and they range in age from 7 to 11…and I still laugh when I think of the serious looks on their faces. Horse-and-buggy old? Really?

It’s just further proof that my Mom’s prayer for payback has finally been answered. Gee, thanks, Mom! Touché!

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Couch Spud to a 5K girl…


        wpid-alliandmom-2010-09-27-12-44.jpg Allison and I – Spring Break 2010

I think I am officially nuts! Don’t say you’ve known that for a while now…be nice will ya?

A girlfriend from High School challenged me to run a 5K race with her on Thanksgiving day. My knee jerk reaction was to say, “Are you nuts? Who in their right mind runs a race on Thanksgiving?” It’s the official pig out day of the year! I started thinking, and whining, and finding lots of excuses why I couldn’t do it. Then none of those excuses held water… so I was forced to admit I either say yes or say no, but I had no reason to give other than the one i wanted to give.

So that left, “why not?” The only thing I could come up with was that I was simply a lazy-ass-couch-potato. Jen solved that for me by giving me the link http://www.c25k.com/ which is “Couch potato to 5k in 9 weeks”. There are exactly the number of weeks needed to train for this thing left before the race begins. So now i had zero hard and secure excuses to give…

So I faced up to the challenge, put on my brave face, and said with hesitating gusto that I would do it.

Something tugged at my insides after i ran my first leg of the training sessions. Alli tugged at me. I don’t know why, but i felt like I should ask if she wanted to run with me. So I asked her. Alli – well – she simply puts me to shame. She approached the same race with enthusiasm and as if I was asking if she wanted to go out for ice cream with me. I was ashamed of myself. So still hesitantly, i began to allow myself to absorb her excitement and to own it for myself.

So yeah – guess what? Alli and I are going to run a 4 mile race – a bit more than a 5K race, still a small race by a runner’s standards – but a marathon according to ours. We are going to train to run our hearts out the same day some people train to eat more than any other day of the year. It’s called the Galloping Gobbler. After three training sessions together, Alli and I are becoming a team. We are learning to stride together and fight side cramps together. We use a program downloaded to my phone that tells us when to speed walk, when to do spurts of running then walking, and when to cool down. The goal is to learn to run for 30 solid minutes. We will get there by the end of 9 weeks. I know we can do it! Can you believe I just said that? Yeah, Ms Wimp has confidence she can do this thing! Actually, I know we can do it because I believe in Alli, her infectious enthusiasm, and in my accountability to both Alli and Jen. I don’t want to disappoint Alli, and I don’t back down from a dare well, thank you, Jen, very much – so here we go!

Week one – Done! Tomorrow begins Week 2! It’s gonna be great! (Keep telling me that okay!) HA!

CC-

To let go… Hang on Tight!


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I never thought I would be the kind of mom who would worry over every little thing, but then I brought home this little bundle of pink all wrapped up in my arms and my world shifted and spun off kilter. I stopped being so laid back and began being cautious and careful. I made calculated decisions instead of spontaneous ones. I researched instead of reacted. I planned instead of playing.

My first born is Lindsey. In so many ways, in the theoretical and in a very literal way, Lindsey has stretched and pulled me as I have learned to parent… especially where to let go and let her grow. The silly side of this is her need to climb everything she can get her hands and toes on. She shimmies up walls, door frames and any playground equipment nearby. I used to freak out. The reality is I can’t be around 24 hours a day, and no matter how much i forbid it, she will find a way to do it because she is hardwired to test herself. I have begged her to hang on tight, because that’s what mom’s do. Only God knows why He made her this way. Someday I am going to ask him point blank this very question, and probably He will say it is because I needed to learn to let go and let Him be big enough to handle it. The other side of it is the heart side. I want to protect her from the falls and bumps of life, and I can’t be there 24 hours a day either. I watched her walk off to the bus today knowing it was a hard day for her and she left with tears in her eyes, brimming, ready to spill. Oh how i wanted to run over and relieve her burden and stress. I wanted to take it all away. But I had to believe God was big enough to handle this too. Who knew my kids growing up was going to grow me too?

Ever have trouble letting go? It holds us back from victory.

Kids come by it naturally. They want to succeed, and will try and try till they do. They finally achieve what they set out to do and they raise their arms in victory and shout out to the world their awesomeness! When did I stop doing that? I used to do it. I remember…

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I remember sitting in a swing, talking to God, arms outstretched, and telling Him all the ways I was gonna make it! I was awesome and nothing in the world could stop me. It was like the momentum from the swing was pushing me forward, through the tough stuff, and head on toward victory.

I dont know about you, but i need a good dose of momentum right now. There are challenges on my plate that seem overwhelming. But I will hang on tight to the ropes holding me up so I can let go and let God swing me to new heights, on towards victory. I know He’s smiling at me, waiting for me to believe He is big enough to handle whatever it is I have… If only I’d let go, so I could hang on tight to the promises He has waiting for me to claim.

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Life should be lived at a turtle’s pace


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Oh why, I ask you, why can’t i just learn this lesson and be done with it? I am a jackrabbit in a world where the faster you go and the more you fit into your day is the measure of how successful you are. So in a sense I fit in. I am spot on. Is there any chance that this will change soon? No? Yeah, that’s what I figured. That’s why I cant seem to learn this lesson and have it stick.

Jackrabbits miss out on a lot. They miss out on the incessant giggling in the backseat by being annoyed instead of joining in. They miss out on spontaneous walks around the block with the family dog, the bike rides begged for, the books that wish they’d be read, and the dances that cant jig without a partner.

What do i really want to remember 10 years from now? *GULP* No – seriously? My kids will be 17, 20, and 21 in a mere 10 years. Wait! Hold the phone! I will nearly be an empty nester! Stop! I mean it! I am trembling in my seat here, barely able to put fingers to keys because what I will remember is what i WISH i would have done. I wish i said yes to the bike ride, the walk, the book, the whatever!

I come back to this over and over. I learn the lesson in one area – on one front – and then a week later I get slammed again from behind, realizing I am doing it again somewhere else.

The girls wanted to go on a bike ride the other day. I had a ton to do. I just simply ditched it. I cant for the life of me remember what was so huge i needed to get done. But what i do remember is Alli’s “throw your head back laugh” as we raced down the street – them against me. I won, almost. I am ashamed to say I have longer legs but much less gusto than those two growing girls do. We dropped the bikes and swang and ran around to all the playground equipment like little 5 year olds. We laughed till we were breathless. And we did what all girls do these days, we set the timer on our camera and ran into the frame to preserve the moments for all time.

Please God, Please… can you make this lesson stick for me this time? I want to remember the turtle top moment and the sunset that night. I dont ever want to look back on these next ten years and wish i had done anything different. Keep my heart raw and real – make it prime and ready to hear the truth so I never miss these moments. They happen just once in a lifetime. Thank you for giving me this beautiful time of life, regardless how hard it often is week in and week out. It is a gift I cherish, even if i dont say so enough…

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