Sunday, June 29, 2014

what a week

Two extended family weddings, a 5k run, and a visit from the Californians.

These girls spent a lot of time together:

And then there was the race.  Several months ago, Stu was diagnosed with diabetes and decided he needed to incorporate more exercise into his life.  He started a couch-to-5k program.  Jack soon joined him, jogging on a treadmill at the gym, and Jessie and Cory decided they would come visit so they could participate in the Lehi 5k.  Herschel and Whitney have done some running together, so they signed up as well.

The race was yesterday morning at 7:30 a.m. This is the start:

They all finished the race and no one place slower than sixth in his or her age group.  I had somewhat mixed feelings about this running business--but this race wasn't about me.  It was about all of them putting in the effort to prepare and complete the race.

Here is the cheering section.

 These two crossed the line close to each other:

This might be my favorite shot--Jack crossing and Stu cheering him on:

And this girl--running not at an altitude she's used to, but still kicking the race's butt:

I cannot describe how emotional I felt as they each crossed the finish line.  How do people who have never run a race just decide one day that they're going to run over three miles in a race that is in a few months?  When they've carried and delivered babies or undergone surgery to lose 100 pounds or had multiple surgeries to remove/replace major organs? 

My heart swelled and my eyes leaked watching them.  Some people around here might have the running bug.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

sunny rain

Today was another in a long line of dreary days at work, during which I seriously considered crawling under my desk to hide out for a while.

Today was also weight watchers meeting day, and when I left my house to go weigh in, it was cold and wet outside.  I was pretty sure I hadn't lost any weight and had likely gained.  But off I went.

I am so grateful for the people I see every Tuesday night.  It feels good to be supported by them and feels good to support them.  One of my co-losers was down six pounds this week.  Six pounds in one week.  I was so proud of her, but that is not how I lose weight.  I'm a pound-a-week girl.  And true to form, I was down another 1.2 pounds. And she was proud of me.  We talked and laughed and gave each other great ideas and lifted each other up and then went out to live another week.

Outside it was a downpour.  But the sun was shining.  It was so, so beautiful, and then I saw this (which was actually much more intense than my iPhone camera could capture):

The only way to describe how I felt is blessed.  The combination of friendship and support with those steady raindrops lit up by clear bright sunshine was simply a gift.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

a couple of things

First, thank you dear friends for your wise comments (including Jr who is one of my best friends).

And second, I can't remember what was second.

Oh wait.  I remember.  I got all of my clean laundry moved into the bedroom, all of the clothes that don't fit anymore out of my closet, and all of my new things hung in the closet, sorted by color.  (Thank you Danielle for that great idea!)

I did a little more shopping last weekend--Banana Republic because who doesn't love their pencil skirts (on sale!)--and also yard sailing with Sugar where I found a pair of jeans, two pairs of capris, and five pairs of shorts, all in my newly discovered size. 

 Are these sweet capris or what?  And just $2!!!

I don't know which I was more excited about, the sales at Kohls, the discount at Banana Republic, or the sweet score at that yard sail. 

Or maybe it's feeling good about being able to move my body more easily now and remembering to appreciate all my body still does for me.  It is pretty amazing.  Thanks for the reminder.

ps  Those are Jack's shirts behind me.  They are not sorted by color.  But maybe soon.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

on aging (part ii)

I just reread my post from yesterday and I sound so shallow.  

I guess what I was really trying to document is that while I know everybody is getting older all of the time, I never realized it was happening to me.  It seems so obvious when I look in the mirror, because, duh, I'm nearly 56, but inside my mind, I still feel like I'm in my 20's, and I'm stunned regularly to realize how skewed my perception is.  Obviously, I'm not talking about the big, death-is-right-around-the-corner things like cancer or heart disease or stroke...I'm just more aware of the small changes that are happening gradually, over time, that suddenly become obvious.  This mindset of mine, that I can still do whatever I want to because I'm still 23 helps me understand people who parachute out of planes at 85 (George Bush) or ride motorcycles at 74 (my gramma) or take long road trips at 80 (my mom).  They still feel capable and young at heart.  This must be a good thing.  Like zumba at 55.

Also, to continue with my shallow nature, I forgot to mention the changes in my skin--the new wrinkles, the old lady pores, and the spots.  Oh my the spots.  I've always had freckles that I thought of as cute little bits of color from the sun.  But now all of that healthy sunshine has led to all kinds of skin damage.  And by the time I realized it was causing damage, it was too late. 

I heard a story on the radio yesterday about the oldest living creatures and about how some living things are much better at healing themselves than we humans are.  The storyteller pointed out that really that is what aging is all about--our bodies not being able to totally heal themselves and eventually failing.  And while one of those major ailments is what will probably kills us all eventually, right now, subtle changes are happening all of the time that I didn't expect and am surprised to learn about.

That's all I was trying to post about.  The gradual, subtle changes that come on so slowly that I'm not even aware they're happening until they are staring at me in the mirror, and the confusion about what might happen next.  Maybe that's being shallow, or maybe it's just feeling more aware.


Friday, June 6, 2014

on aging

Sometimes I can be somewhat shallow I suppose.  Clothes, losing weight, zumba dancing...

I've been reading various stories and books by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  Just finished Love in the Time of Cholera.  Such a passionate, intense book.  I had a hard time putting it down each night and seriously considered taking it to work with me because it was so good.  Parts of it left me in tears, other parts caused a feeling of melancholy, and most left me feeling and thinking about how different my life is than that of so many other people in the world. 

The book follows the lives of several characters, and I was particularly interested in reading Marquez' descriptions of their thoughts as their bodies changed with age.  I remember years ago finding my first grey hair and for a time simply plucking them as they appeared.  Eventually I started coloring my hair--it was fun to be a redhead especially with a red-headed granddaughter, but at some point, I decided I didn't want to be bothered with it anymore.  I had blonde and brunette grandkids too, but mostly, there just came a time when I decided I kind of liked my grey hair.  There's a lot more of it now, but I'm really okay with it.  It is part of who I am.  It isn't like I think no one should color their hair.  It is just that I'm okay with my hair color.  Who knows, that could change, but for now, it's all good.

A few years ago, I was startled one morning while putting on my makeup, to discover that the shape of my cheeks had changed.  I no longer had those 'apples' for my blush to color.  They seemed to have dropped to my chin.  I couldn't figure it out, but then learned while reading a magazine at the hair salon that collagen disappears from your face as you age.  I wondered why no one had ever explained this to me and why I had never noticed it on anyone else's face.  It was so puzzling and yet so obvious then to me.  Sometimes I still miss my cheeks and certainly I took them for granted and never even considered they might change over time.

One of my friends has been telling me for years that eventually I'd get whiskers.  She was certain that all women grew them in time and I'd have to resort to plucking or shaving.  I was certain she was wrong about this.  I'd never seen hair on my face.  But then, a few months ago, I found a hair attached to my cheek, not just a little fuzz, but an inch-long wiry wildass hair.  And when I pulled on it, thinking it was a cat hair that had somehow become attached to me in a bit of some sticky food or drool on my cheek, I realized it was attached to me and my pulling on it just plucked it out. 

I was so irritated to see a whisker that it kind of spoiled my morning and I was pretty cranky that day.

I've pulled it out a couple of times since, or at least I assume it is from the same hair follicle, although as I type that I realize it is probably not the same hair at all but there have likely been three different hairs.  And more to come.

A few months ago I read another book about an older woman, someone in her 70's.  At one point in the book, her son asks her to come stay with his family for a visit and she says she will stay for three days but no longer because she will start to smell if she stays longer.  The idea that people smell different at different ages had never occurred to me, but yesterday as I finished the Love in the Time of Cholera book, it described a time when two older people--in their 70's--were falling in love and when the man tried to kiss the woman, she pushed him away, telling him she smelled like an old woman.  There is a lot more to the book than this scene, but reading it made me wonder what do old women smell like?  Will there come a time when daily showers with delightful products from Bath & Body Works will not be enough to keep me from smelling old--whatever that scent is? 

All of this has made me recognize that I too am aging.  The grey hair feels okay now, but the missing cheeks and the wild hairs on my face have been more difficult to accept.  And now, reading these books, I keep wondering what other changes in my body I should be prepared for and why hasn't anybody warned me about all of this? 

Does this make me shallow?  I don't think so.  More likely a bit clueless or non-observant.  It isn't like I'm freaking out about it, just puzzled and a little surprised that I never saw any of it coming.  I don't mean for this post to be a downer, it's just what I've been thinking about.

Mostly, lately, I think of my parents who are a couple of decades older than I am, and I feel like I'm starting to appreciate a little more how odd and surprising it must be to be unable to do all of the things you've always done, to lose the ability to talk to your lifelong partner because his mind is going, and mostly to realize that you're obviously getting so much closer to the end than ever before.  Bodies all fail eventually, or maybe bit by bit, and we really don't live forever.  That seems so obvious, yet it isn't something I'd really felt so personally until recently.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

ohhh shopping

Every morning last week as I tried to get dressed for work, I realized none of my favorite skirts or pants fit any more.

Yes, wah me.

I've been postponing shopping for I don't know what, but on Saturday morning, I went to Kohls.

Pause and think about how much I love a good deal.

Kohls had its clearance racks full and I had a couple of hours to kill.

And kill it I did.

Spent $268.  Saved $732.  (Jack pointed out that is 70% off.  Seventy!) Seriously great when the person who rang up my purchase offered me a 15% discount even though I didn't have any coupons with me.

Oh my gosh it was so satisfying.

Three new dresses.  Three new skirts.  Two new tops.  Two new cardigans.  A new pair of black flats (because who doesn't need those for summer?)  A new top for zumba.  A couple of henleys and a perfect fit tee shirt.  And four new jackets for work.

And all of them at least two sizes smaller than anything I've bought in a long, long time.  Thank you weight watchers and zumba.

Oh, and one new nightgown that is so stylish it could be a dress.  Thank you, Vera Wang.  And thank you for the adorable periwinkle blue purse that changes to a lovely shade of purple in just the right light.

Now I just need to go through my closet and pull out all of the things that no longer fit or that I haven't worn for a while and take them to the DI where someone else can find them and love them, and while sorting it all out, I can also figure out the replacement things I need to keep an eye out for.  Like slacks.  And capris.

I really love a super shopping deal.   

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

pet me

She will stand by my feet all day long if it means I'll rub them against her.