Look closely at the shoulders…
Five years ago I bought a super cool motorcycle style jacket. It was beautifully broken in with a patina that mimicked years of wear and I found that it went with everything from jeans and boots to velvet and heels. It was probably the best article of clothing I ever bought at Marshall’s and it only set me back about $40.
I originally bought it to complete an outfit for a fall wedding. As sometimes happens, my ensemble for that occasion began from the bottom up with a pair of open toe booties with which I had been obsessed. I think I ultimately wore them a half dozen times before consigning them, they weren’t really for me. But that jacket? I wore it all the time. It went to at least 5 different countries in Europe as well as NOLA, NYC and Boston. That jacket got around.
It looks better on than it does on a hanger.
A couple of weeks ago, as the weather started to cool, I reached for my trusty moto jacket and was dismayed to see that the (p)leather had started to peel. I put it on anyway. Knowing that my jacket was living on borrowed time, I started looking for a replacement. The days of my actually visiting Marshall’s and elbowing my way through the racks are on a hiatus with my current schedule, so I was limited to online shopping and, while I’m sure I could have found another quality (p)leather jacket, I decided to step up my game and open my wallet for a genuine leather coat.
I really love my new coat, but the only way I’ll ever love it more than I loved that Marshall’s moto jacket is if it lasts 6 times longer. Seems only reasonable since it cost 6 times more, right? Do you have a favorite bargain item of clothing?
The first time I remember wanting to be a runner I was about 12 or 13. It seemed like such a cool thing to do – put your sneakers on and a pair of nylon, fluorescent colored shorts (it was the 80s) and just GO. I was infatuated with the idea, but, as I’ve come to learn about romantic infatuations, the reality didn’t measure up to the fantasy.
It was early fall and dark in the morning when I left my house to run down the dirt road we lived on. The air was fresh, but my gasping made my lungs feel tight not wonderfully expanded as I had imagined. The distance I attempted, perhaps a third of a mile, felt endless and I found myself walking, not running. I gave up. Obviously, running was not going to be my sport.
35 years later, I’m registered to run a trail half marathon this weekend. How did that happen?
- I learned that sometimes small steps, be it at a walking stride or a running pace, are the way to make progress.
- I realized that running is a challenge that I find satisfying. It feels good to push myself.
- I’ve accepted that there are some runs that turn into walks and that that’s ok. Life isn’t a race and I am committed to enjoying the journey.
- I have a posse of running friends who inspire and encourage me.
- I now know that for every step which feels difficult, there are 10 steps that feel amazing. I’m no mathematical genius, but that adds up for me in a positive way.
- Most importantly, while I didn’t initially know how hard running was going to be, I also had no idea how incredibly happy a good run would make me feel.
- I know now. I’m a runner.
Filed under aging, beauty, Exercise, friends, girlhood, musings, Observations, road trips, running, Uncategorized, upstate New York
Stress is a weird thing, don’t you think? I mean the way it presents itself can be so insidious. During my waking hours, I think I deal with it pretty well – the meltdown the other evening after arriving home after an hour in the dentist’s chair only to find the trash cans still at the curb, the dishwasher filled with the clean dishes and the sink filled with dirty ones, aside. But, the nights are a different story. As a matter of fact, the nights are what landed me in the dentist’s chair to begin with.
I’ve been grinding my teeth – intensely enough for me to find myself waking up with headaches. The waking up can be painful, particularly when it occurs at 4:00 a.m. I’ve been doing a number on my teeth and was at the dentist to have a small old filling replaced as well as getting fit for a nighttime mouth guard. That’s hot, huh?
When I find myself in times of trouble, I do my best to get as much time outdoors as possible. Fresh air really helps, whether I’m running or walking or even just sitting still. Maybe you do the same?
The other thing I find myself doing is reaching into my jewelry box for a medallion I received many years ago from one of my aunts, Sister Maria Pia. She’s my mother’s youngest sister and, along with two of my Opa’s now deceased sisters, she is a Roman Catholic nun. The medallion I wear is of the Virgin Mary and was purchased in Lourdes, France. While I don’t consider myself to be incredibly religious, there’s something about Mary that I find comforting and inspiring. When she’s around my neck, I somehow feel safer.
Do you have a talisman?
Filed under musings, stress
- What do you think is more likely to change – a person or a situation?
- Do people get run over every day on Troy’s Hoosick Street? Why aren’t there more pedestrian crosswalks? Why don’t people use the ones which are there?
- Is it uncommon to alternate between feeling feel ultra calm and on the verge of hyperventilating?
- Are you registered to vote? Have you seen the Republican candidates? Don’t they make you want to vote?
- How fun does this look? Who else is in?
- Is it easier for you to remember or to forget?
- Any advice on how to score tickets for a soccer match in Barcelona? Lisbon?
- Did you make any resolutions for 2015? How’s that going?
- Do you agree that most people would be more pleasant if we had a 3-day weekend every week?
- If you could only have one flavor of ice cream for the rest of your life, what would it be?
- What scares you more – things never changing or the fact that they might not stay the same?
Mock up of shingle – Laura Glazer and Lori Hansen
I think it’s easy to believe that making decisions constantly is an exhausting exercise. From the outside it may seem like the choices necessary when starting a business, which are required constantly – what products to buy, who to buy from, where to buy them, would be completely draining. Pillows and paint samples, ingredients and beverages, paper and fonts, menu backs and rubber bands, services and utilities – it is dizzying at times, but, not necessarily exhausting.
Actually, it’s kind of more elating. With every choice made the individual pieces come together and the big picture starts to become more focused. The decisions feel like definitive steps in the “right” direction. It’s productive and good.
Making decisions in reality, though, it is far less taxing than it is to be continually placed in situations where you are not in charge of making the decisions. Instead, you are in a position where you are being intensely examined and documented and vetted. You’re filling out paper after paper and, if you’re anything like me, wondering why there isn’t a Common App for restaurant supply company credit since every form is pretty much exactly the same. And you wait – for paperwork and phone calls and emails and certificates.
Now that shit is truly exhausting.
But, we’re getting closer every day. When all the necessary paperwork has been printed and mailed and signed, you’ll all know. Keep yours eyes peeled. Lark + Lily is coming.
A couple of months ago when I was in NYC with the girls, I received a text message with a photo attached. While it was hot and humid in the city, Albany was getting pummeled by a storm complete with wind and intense rain. The picture perfectly captured the severity of the storm including the tree in my neighbor’s yard which, I’m convinced, will one day fall on my house.
My immediate response was panic – Oh, no! What can I do?! I quickly concluded: nothing. My next thought was “at least there isn’t anyone at home to get hurt and stuff is just stuff.” With that realization, I picked up my glass of rose and carried on with living.
This morning Jeter become possessed by a squirrel he spotted on the front porch. He ran from window to door to window before finally jumping up to slam himself against the door window, shattering it, of course, into a million pieces. Miraculously, unlike when I put my hand through a door’s glass window, Jeter came through completely unscathed.
I shooed him out and got to work cleaning up the larger
shanks shards of glass by hand before busting out the vacuum to get the finer pieces. It took some time. During the day I got an estimate for the repair. I considered calling for help with the removal of the door (by the hinges) and lugging it down the steps to load into my car to bring to the glass shop. I didn’t. I figured out how to take the hinge pins out myself and carefully somehow got the door off and into my car.
Reflecting on the morning, I was appreciative that I had been home when Jeter finally went through the window. It was only a matter of time before it happened and it would have been awful if I hadn’t been there to clean up the glass. He could have gotten hurt. It could have been so much worse.
So many potential perils – wind and rain and broken glass and all I have is a splinter or two in my hands. Lucky.
While my focus these days is on looking forward, I want to take a moment to reflect upon my success in achieving some intentions I stated months ago when 10 weeks of summer loomed on the horizon. So, let’s see…how did I do?
Well, 4 of the items I didn’t even come close to. I don’t know where the time went, but I never got down to Nine-Pin, nor to a Soul Kitchen dinner. I do hope to feature Nine-Pin at Lark + Lily, though, and now that there’s been a schedule change and the boys are at my house Mondays, maybe we can all go to dinner together. Let’s call it a work in progress.
The Catskills day hike is still a possibility. I’m sure it will be lovely in the fall and I could probably redefine that slightly into a trail run with my iPhone, right? I didn’t have dinner at 15 Church, but I did have a lovely glass of wine paired with some tasty tuna tacos on their gorgeous patio. It’s a start. Another A for effort situation would be my attendance at the summer trail run series. I didn’t quite make it to half of them (5 of 14), but I did do a Monday evening group run, bringing me up nearly to my goal of 50%. I can live with that.
Paddle boarding, a small party on the deck and destination Hudson all were achieved. I’m working my way through The Sopranos and made it through season one of Girls, so I’m catching up with the rest of the universe culturally, I suppose. There was an excellent, albeit scorching hot, getaway with the girls to the city and I most definitely enjoyed this last summer of having all three of my children around. Success!
The backyard became my middle son’s opus and he did a remarkable job cutting down overgrown weeds and vines and filled bags and bags with the evidence of his labor. We now have a clean slate to work with – next summer. It s a similar situation inside my house in the spare room. I’ve eliminated some items and can now repurpose the room as a true guest room/office, but it really still lacks an identity or any style.
My biggest fail is the lack of effort on my part to help with a meal at the Ronald McDonald house. This is something I really want to participate in, but I just haven’t put any attention into it. Not to make excuses, but, my focus for the last 2 months was on an item which wasn’t even on my list – putting together a restaurant. That’s getting closer every day. I hope your intention is to come and enjoy a glass of wine and a bite to eat!