Thanksgiving has once again come and gone leaving behind a turkey carcass and the promise of homemade soup. The boys were with their dad and his large family on Thursday. I sent them off with a loaf of freshly baked bread, content to spend the morning tramping around the golf course with Jeter gathering bittersweet vines (and thorns in my hands) before having dinner with friends. It was a relaxing day.
Appreciation for all the blessings we are fortunate enough to enjoy shouldn’t be limited to a single day on the calendar. How different would the world be if each day, prior to climbing out of bed, we began by saying thank you to the universe for one or two of the gifts we have been lucky enough to be given? Simple things like heat on a cold morning, the promise of breakfast from a well stocked pantry or the ability to hear the rain falling. Do you think about these treasures?
My life isn’t perfect. I could spend my time itemizing all the different things I’ve never had – supportive and present parents, the ability to live without financial considerations, the means to completely indulge my creative interests, but what’s the point of that? I have so very much for which to be grateful.
The health of my children is the biggest gift I’ve ever received. While they may struggle at times, physically they are capable and strong. I so appreciate that. My brother, friends and extended family have given me their love and support across both years and miles. How lucky am I?
My days are busy and brimming with wonderful things. Would I like a steady someone special to share my life with? Sure. Am I appreciative of the fact that I know how to enjoy myself regardless of my relationship status? Without a doubt.
As the holiday season goes into its annual state of frenzy, think about taking a moment to consider all the gifts you do have instead of focusing on what isn’t (a) present. You just might find your own plate is pretty full, too.
It’s been awhile since I’ve admitted who I’m crushing on, but today seems like a good day to acknowledge a guy who I think is pretty awesome. The man I’m thinking about today is someone I find attractive for his commitment to the environment, international humanitarian causes and my candidate of choice for President, Bernie Sanders. Even though he’s not quite as tall as I would like at only 5’8”, Mark Ruffalo stands head and shoulders over men of far greater stature for his unfailing devotion to important domestic and world issues. His wife is a lucky woman.
A few recent Tweets which illustrate why I’m crushing on Mark:
Don’t allow this horrific act allow you to be drawn into the loss of your humanity or tolerance. That is the intended outcome. #ParisAttacks
I donated this Veterans Day to support #BernieSanders and everything he has done for our vets! #FeelTheBern http://thndr.me/e9QjTy
When it comes to women’s rights, we still have a lot to do. #hopeforourdaughters #suffragette https://youtu.be/XFu-pvdYsvs
You’ve got to love a guy who wants peace, supports Bernie Sanders and believes in women’s rights. Factor in sex appeal and great personal style and you’ve got my pick for Man Crush Monday. Who are you crushing on?
How many moments have you had in your life when you thought to yourself, “If I die right now, I’m ok with it.” One? A dozen? Somewhere in between? I hope you’ve had at least one because it is one of life’s most liberating and unforgettable moments.
I’ve been lucky enough to have had quite few, it seems, as I sit here gathering the memories. Those times I’ve had a complete sense of contentment generally involved being outdoors, probably divided equally between being alone and being with someone I loved. They’re sweet memories I cherish.
The recent events in Paris, a city I visited this past spring, have me thinking about life and living it. There’s no denying it, we exist in a world in which we could lose our life in an unexpected, never imagined, instant. Poof. Boom. Crash.
When I think about the human beings who died Friday night, my ultimate consolation is the thought that at least the now dead were living when they were killed by terrorists. They were dancing and nodding their heads to music, they were eating a meal and, perhaps, having a cocktail, they were cheering from the stands at soccer match on a Friday evening . They were living.
That’s all we can do.
Specifically, I’m sorry that I didn’t participate in getting the vote out. How sad is it that a decision as vital as whether to renovate and replace parts of the current high school could be decided by such a small percentage of the city’s population? Can’t we do better than that?
I’m also sorry that our city refused to grasp the opportunity to construct a single campus where all secondary programs could be administered. We could have provided a level playing field, one which would demonstrate our belief as a society that all areas of study, be they college or direct-to-career preparatory, are equally valid and important.
I’m sorry that the additional $5-10 a month in increased property taxes was a genuine consideration for so many home owners. I understand that taxes are a hardship for an awful lot of people and it is distressing. I, too, carefully weigh how to spend my income and am dismayed that such a disproportionate amount of the federal taxes I pay go to support military activities around the world which result in people dying. Of course, I don’t get to actually vote on that, though, right?
And lastly, I’m especially sorry that a city which has already demonstrated its desire to appeal to families by improving each of the elementary and middle schools, as well as expanding and updating the public library facilities, couldn’t find a way to finish the investment by correcting deficiencies in our one high school.
(For those of you who may not be aware of last week’s vote, read more about it here.)
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
Gold Dust Woman
I should start by admitting that the same dark green velvet dress has been the base of my Halloween costume for three consecutive years. Do not underestimate my ability to be creative when it comes to working a pretty gown into the plan! Last night I covered the top of the dress with a lace blouse, leaving the dress to look like a skirt as I attempted to channel Stevie Nicks.
I suppose I should confess right now that, beyond the glittery scarves, wig and tambourine, everything for my costume came directly from my own closet. That says something, doesn’t it?
As I get older, I find myself I’ve returning to my younger years when it comes to adopting a costume for a night. The Stevie Nicks thing was inspired by that biography I read a couple of months ago and, even though quite a few people thought I was a gypsy rather than a rock and roll goddess, I enjoyed last night’s adopted persona. Special points to those who detected the powdery residue on my nostrils.
The front of the house staff at Lark + Lily proved that they are indeed a family, specifically one with the last name of Ramone. They really rock.
Hope your Halloween was fun and filled with more treats than tricks!
I tried a new Pandora station for yesterday’s afternoon run – Alabama Shakes radio. It opened with an Amy Winehouse song and never looked back. Good stuff. When the first Alabama Shakes’ song, Always Alright, came on, it took me immediately back to Silver Linings Playbook, a movie (and book) I absolutely loved.
I started thinking about when I saw the Shakes back in June at Mountain Jam and how, as I was photographing the band for the Times Union, I was approached by a woman who requested that I share some of my photos with her. It turns out this woman, a hair stylist, had done the lead singer Brittany Howard’s hair that morning and was hoping to get some good images to help promote her business. Of course, I complied and emailed her a number of jpegs a few days later.
I wondered how I had ever created a life in which I occasionally get to take pictures of famous people. I mean, really? How friggin lucky am I? I thought about The Shakes, and the presence of their music in a Bradley Cooper/Jennifer Lawrence film, and considered how much I enjoy the talents of each of them. I shook my head in amazement that I could probably play Six Degrees of Separation and get to Bradley Cooper. It made me smile – despite the bag of dog poop I was toting.
Speaking of which, sometimes it feels like I’m closer to Bradley Cooper than I am to a trash receptacle when it comes to running my regular 5-mile loop. While I thoroughly enjoy the thought of having a connection to the very handsome Mr. Cooper, I think I’d be even happier if there were more trash cans available along Whitehall Road and New Scotland Avenue.