author moments

You Are Beautiful

I recently met the sweetest little four year old girl. A petite little thing. An extremely polite young lady. As cute as she could be. She was enjoying a day at the playground where I played tennis nearby with her mom.

She was climbing the steps of the slide ladder over and over this day just to enjoy the air blowing in her face as she swept down the slide. Up. Down. Up. Down. Giggles galore. She played a little with her brother but also enjoyed her solo rides on the slide while we played tennis. Took a break or two to enjoy her sucker as well.

After her play time we had our brief introduction. My first time meeting her. She was a sweet little girl in a flowered dress and barefoot skipping around the play area. Pausing to say hi to me.

She taught me a little something about beauty on this day. She whispered to me in her soft and shy voice. I’m beautiful because my heart is so big. What a simple statement full of so much power. All this power and beauty was beaming from this sweet little four year old.

When I picked her up and gave her a hug. She squeezed back like no other. She is full of so much love and to see her share it was so amazing. This was a chance encounter but one I was grateful for.

Sometimes it’s nice to visit with little people. They are brutally honest and can lighten the craziness of a day. I don’t have little ones under my roof currently so this was a sweet moment to savor.

Just a tidbit for today. A little clip of sunshine for the world from the mouth of a innocent 4 year old girl wise beyond her years.red heart

adventure

It’s in the Details

A surprise picnic. The weather wasn’t great. We didn’t even really know the area. The option to hike it in would have been too much to carry.

A friend scouted a park with a pavilion. We wandered in tandem with the vague directions we had, then finally stumbled on the spot.

The coolers, tucked in the back of the jeep for hours, and boxes and bags were ported out. Then the spoiling began.

A white tablecloth was the foundation. Topped by a fall-themed tablecloth with muted hues. Draped with care over the metal picnic table. Then, fancy bamboo plates and utensils. Yellow napkins folded at each place. Then, the finishing touches…jewel-colored velvet pumpkins that later doubled as party favors / remembrances for each of the women there. A fall candle bought brand new for the occasion, glowing and sharing a hint of apple scent. A table worthy of special guests. Even out in the middle of the soccer fields and playgrounds. Then, a build-your-own lunch spread courtesy of Trader Joe’s. Nothing too fussy. Just nibbles to try.

In recent years, I have grown to love surprising people…not in the sense of surprise parties, but more about delighting people with over-the-top unique details. Whether it be decorations, unexpected custom cookies that match their party theme, party favors that make people giggle, artist-created invitations, or a meal fit for a queen, it feeds my soul to make people feel special and make occasions memorable. People are worth celebrating.

This also extends to presents I may drop on porches on a random Tuesday. Life is a challenge for many. Why not make people smile?

I hope when they pull out that pumpkin each fall they smile and remember a great day, and someone who cared about them enough to plan something special. Spoil people a little sometimes. They are worth it.

fitness and nutrition

The Countdown

I am less than ten days from my next CrossFit competition and I may be the least prepared of any comps, even my very first Comp years ago. Surprise!

Why? I have been battling a nagging foot injury for weeks limiting my movements. I have missed a few days of training due to life being lifey. And finally my eating hasn’t been fine tuned for a few months meaning I have extra fluff I’m toting around each day. Big sigh.

Not enough time to fix a, b and c. However, I can put my best “good” foot forward and perform as best I can in the shape I’m in today. Good thing I’m in the Masters division this time around. “Old” or Masters Division means lighter weights and scaled movements which equates to easier in some aspects. Thank goodness for that positive note.

I’ll be working on my endurance the next several days to condition my body for the shock of the competition day stress it will endure. What’s fun about this competition is a the diverse group of workout buddies who will huddle up at this event. Many of us have changed up training locations, partners and coaches over the past few months and this will be a reunion of sorts.

Although we will compete, we will also be cheering for each and every one of our workout buddies despite where or how they train. That’s what I love about CrossFit. The bonds you build with people live outside the box. The strong bonds continue beyond the four walls of the CrossFit box. 

Coffee meet ups. Dinner dates. Text updates. Phone calls. Porch drops. Note cards. Group hikes. Long weekend getaways. Competitions. There isn’t much a group of crazy CrossFitters won’t do together if it might even remotely sound fun or adventurous.

Some may even say it’s a bad idea, but follow up with when do we leave?! I have the best group of fitness pals out there. From teens to 20 somethings to maturing in their 30’s all the way up there to the 50’s and 60’s. That’s some range of age but we all get along. We all sweat the same. In a competition we all do the same movements in each division. We all have our own crazy gym attire as well. And we all love to take pictures to document our crazy life.

Some fall into the bougie category. Some fall into the fancy sock category. Some are shoe fanatics. Some like revealing booty shorts. Other prefer to be topless. The list goes on. All different but all sync together because of fitness. Everyone needs a fit family like mine.

What a beautiful life I live. What a great group of people I am lucky enough to engage with. Surround yourself with greatness. You will rise to your own level of greatness.

Wish me luck in the coming days. I’m sure I’ll write about my event day at some point.

Teddie Bear Adventures

Sunday Silence

It’s rest day! Well it’s the one day that I allow the most rest and the least scheduling for most parts of the year. I’ve missed my rest day the past being gone so for many reasons and time was catching up with others me.

Generally speaking it’s a day off of gym training. If I missed a day I may add it in but generally I’m not at the gym before 6am. For that reason alone it’s a rest day. A hike in the fall. Some farm chores. A walk. A bike ride may all fill in rest day but nothing too strenuous.

I generally like to have breakfast on Sunday. Some fresh eggs or whatever is available. Today was a hot tea kind of morning. A little peach tranquility and jade mint topped with honey for a fall morning. A little lounging. Some cleaning. Usually some laundry. But it seems everyone rests on Sunday too. The dogs. The family. Thus the Sunday silence. I’m awake usually as my body clock knows the time. However i purposely rest and relax.

Today I’m drifting in/out of sleepiness listening to pup one breathe. A restful breathing pattern with an occasional lip smacking. Oh how I wonder what she is dreaming about. Nestled at the foot of the bed. On guard of her baby sister sleeping in her crate at the foot of the bed. An anchored view of sorts. The puppy breathes a little heavier. The puppy tosses and turns some where, you hear her nails touching the bottom of the crate. These sounds are soothing to me. Like a mom listening to her human baby sleep. It’s a peaceful state.

The pups got a little morning treat today. Some cold milk and a sampling of bacon. This is just to hold them over before I run to the store to get them some treats for the week. Yes they are spoiled.

Motherhood is motherhood. Whether a pet mom or human mom. A mom’s worry or wonder is never far. For this morning I cheer silently for all the moms out there doing the best they can with what they have under the circumstances around them. It’s never easy.

perspective

You Can’t Make Me

Parenting and life lessons. My youngest is a senior in high school. With two twenty-somethings, I have had some practice letting go of the reins with my kids. I might be a little more chill about their decisions these days, but that hasn’t come without a lot of years of frustration.

I remember when one of my kids was talking to someone on social media that they shouldn’t be. Waking up at all hours, endlessly glued to the screen. This was many years ago, when it wasn’t quite so usual for everyone to be attached to their screens all the time. After trying so many things, taking away the phone, taking away other privileges, and talking until I was out of talk, I still caught that child up at 3 am, on an old “lost” device, talking to this person they shouldn’t be. Again.

I remember my rage and frustration so clearly, in the middle of that night, and the wide eyes of my kid, completely unmoved by my temper. The look said “you can’t make me.”

There may be few things as frustrating to a parent than the realization that no, you really can’t make them do anything. Not without mental / physical injury or breaking the law. Oh, I wanted to wring that child’s neck that day, but I didn’t. And I remember that “you can’t make me” moment so well.

I remember the time I gave it to my own parents, too. I was running around with a much older crowd, lying about where I was. They went to the place where I said I was one night, I wasn’t there, and then confronted me when I arrived home. I got the lecture, and the “promise you won’t do that again” ultimatum. But I looked straight at my father and told him I couldn’t promise him that. And I am sure, in that moment, when I was supposed to promise, whether or not I meant it, he must have wanted to wring my sassy teenage neck as well. (Sorry, Mom and Dad! Wish you were here so I could apologize to your faces.)

In my adult life, this lesson has smacked me in the face many times. No matter what, you really can’t make people do anything. When you’re left out of a social gathering. When people make decisions that you disagree with or take you further from each other. So many little daily things that happen that may seem puzzling or even hurtful. Here’s what I’ve come to realize:

You can’t make people spend time with you. You can’t even make them want to. People are fickle and messy and unpredictable. You can’t make people thoughtful or considerate. They are or they aren’t, and this changes from one day to the next. Most people aren’t sitting around thinking about how they can make me feel left out or unwanted. Most people are too self-centered to even have that thought. (Or maybe they do, but I’ve realized it’s not productive for me to obsess over other people’s hurtful actions.)

If you have someone who cares about you and thinks of you, cherish that in the moment it happens. Thoughtful moments are rare and to be treasured. If someone thinks of you repeatedly, that is truly special. Enjoy it. Relish it.

In the end it is all just data. I just know what I’ve learned from what I observe.

Everything and everyone is optional. Most people and things will eventually move on. When you change your circumstances, it’s inevitable that things and people change. That probably sounds callous. Maybe it’s the stoic reading I’ve done that makes it a little less personal.

Change doesn’t make the people you’ve moved on from less important. Life takes us all kinds of places and there are only so many hours in a day, a month, a year, a lifetime. It just makes every present moment more special. Time and attention are finite resources for each of us. If we can’t make anyone do anything, how are we spending those precious fleeting moments?