Saturday, January 21, 2012

Was this their decision?

We all influence other peoples lives.  Directly, indirectly, by accident, on purpose, intentionally, etc.  If you have children, you expose them to a multitude of activities.  But chances are, the only activities you expose your children to are the activities you like.

I realized the other day, my sons have never played a game of baseball.  I'm not a huge baseball fan (I do go to games though), their dad isn't into baseball either.  So, it's one of those sports that has just slipped by us.  My children haven't missed out on anything - they have exposure to other activities.

What I really want to know is:  what about the kids who only CAN play/do one activity?  Let's look at the Manning family.  You know, Archie Manning, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning...... Yes, there are two brothers who don't play football.  Can you imagine the pressure on those two boys?  What about the pressure on Eli and Peyton?  What if they had wanted to play another sport?  Did they LOVE to get up in the morning and go play football???

Rumor has it John Elway wouldn't let his son play Lacrosse in high school.  Thought it might take away from his football ability.  Of course, in the middle of his sophomore or junior year in college, Jack Elway walked off the football team.  Maybe he always wanted to be a Lacrosse player???

I could go on and on.  There are tons of famous examples of children and their activity choices.  Do you expose your children to everything and then see what piques their interest?  Do you pick an activity and they like it because you like it? 

When do you start making your own choices about what you like in life versus what your parents want you to like in life???

Reading back over this, there are more questions than answers.  There are no easy answers.  It takes a brave child to tell their parents they don't like something you want them to like.  If only we would listen.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I would flee


A dear, dear friend of mine and I were having a conversation one day - YEARS AGO.  She started the conversation with something close to the disclaimer above.  PLEASE - if you EVER think for EVEN a moment, someone you know is thinking of this, PLEASE, yes ask.  And it's okay if you ask me.  I would rather save one life than have you be shy about asking me.

It went something like this:  I want to ask you a question, but I don't want you to worry about me.  I'm just asking.  "Do you ever want to just get into your car and ram yourself into the rock wall?"   My IMMEDIATE response was "Oh no, I'm a "flee-er" not a "crash into the wall kinda gal".

Now as I reflect on that conversation, it makes me laugh.

She was having a rough day.  She wasn't thinking of driving into a wall - it was a "how do you cope/avoid/deal with it when you had enough situation".  With her personality type, she is a "drive into the wall kinda gal".  Work as hard as you can, be the best mom you can be, be the best wife you can be - and heck, when you are done:  drive into the wall to escape.  Escape might be TV; a book, staying at work late, etc.  Go harder and faster and what you are currently doing.

My response to the question?  NEVER.  I probably used to be that girl.  (maybe)  I'm more of a flee"er".  When I've had enough????  Get in my car, on my bike, in the pool/ocean, put my running shoes on, etc and GO...... As far as I can, as fast as I can.  And don't stop.   Get out of here, but not to hurt myself.  Are you kidding???  There is a WHOLE world waiting for me.  The wall would impede that process.

This conversation went on for a bit.  After a while, I viewed "fleeing" as something I WANTED to do.  NOT a bad thing.  I was excited.....

WAIT, I can't flee - I have kids, I have a business, I have a house, blah, blah blah.

 And THIS is the very best part of the whole story:  I can't flee right now, but say in 6 or 7 years (remember this was a few years ago) I can flee.  WOW!  What an empowering feeling.  I can go anywhere I want to go and do anything I want to do.  My kids will be in college, I can finally "FLEE"

Of course, I would have to call Carolyn and tell her where I was going.  I would have to let the boys know where I would be.  I would want to call my mom & dad and grandparents, so they wouldn't worry.  I would then send out a Christmas card to all my friends and relatives letting them know where to find me.......  Wait a minute.  That's not "fleeing", I said.

"That's what you call....... MOVING"......  We laughed.  We smiled. 

Not sure if I was supposed to laugh or cry.  It was very empowering to want to "just leave".  Wait, didn't I do that already????  I moved to Colorado.  I left my husband. I went to Hawaii for a summer.  I LEFT.  Didn't I already "flee"?

As you can see, I don't really want to "FLEE".  It's the thought that made me smile.  The empowerment that I could.

In 2010, I ran a marathon.  My first.  The first.  Athens, Greece - The 2500th anniversary of the ORIGINAL running from Marathon to Athens.  On my wrist, I wore a paper band, with names of people for every mile.  That way, for that ONE mile, you thought of that person and their influence in your life.  At mile 20 - that is where they said the uphill climb ends, I wrote down my friends name.

She said to think of her at mile 20 - and at that moment, I was to think of fleeing. I could "flee"  - from mile 20 to 21.  Sometimes, all we need is a mile......

Thursday, January 12, 2012


If you are lucky, you come into this world with a mom & dad awaiting your first breath.  You are even more lucky if you have grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings also anxiously awaiting.  It's bonus when all those people have other people waiting to meet you. 

If all of the above is true - consider yourself one of the fortunate ones in life and go buy a lottery ticket.  Although, you've already won the lottery.  Look at that start to your life.

Then family changes.  I'm not talking about divorce.  I'm talking about marriages.

You grow up, you fall in love, you get married.  (No need to discuss heartbreaks at the this junction of the story).  You now have more family.  It's funny a piece of paper determines that some stranger is now your family. And not only is this stranger your family, their family is now your family. 

Mom, Dad, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Siblings, Cousins, Husband/Wife.  Family.  Now let's add in the fact that divorce effects over 50% of all marriages.  Boom!  You just doubled your family.  Not halved - chances are mom/dad will get remarried.  You then have more 'family'. 

What about all the people along the way whom you have no "legal ties".  Nothing that officially states they are family?

Friends are the family you choose.

The first person you would call in the middle of the night when you have something good/bad/silly to share.  The person whom taught you how to drive a car.  Gave you your first drink.  Took you to your first concert.  R rated movie.  Held your hair back when you were throwing up.  Was at the hospital when you were born - or they were there when your first son was born, before anyone else. Picks you up at a train station in the middle of a foreign country.  And possibly even broke your heart.  The person whom loves your kids as if they were their own.  AND taught your kids how to drive a car. Or shoot a gun.

There are no titles for these people in our lives - we tell people "they are friends".  Aren't they family too?  Yes, they are also strangers whom we have changed into family.  We just don't have any blood or paper to tell us they are family

And life starts out with one family; then you add another.  THEN if you are really lucky, you add more people to your family  and it looks quite different from the family you thought you had.  In fact, it looks so much fuller.  What a great view.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Maybe the crab

The ultimate paradox in life.  Do you stay in your shell and risk suffocation or leave your shell and risk life and death?

Hermit crabs (and I believe most crabs) at some point in their existence must leave their shell or die.  Their body out grows the shell.  They must discard the old shell - go out and find a bigger shell or hide and wait for the new shell to grow.  While discarding the shell, they risk death.  Someone/something could eat them.  They could get stepped on or carried out to sea.

The risks are HUGE.

And our lives as people, are very much the same.  Although, with people, we don't all need to grow.  Some are very happy living in the same shell forever.  That's not a bad thing.  Most of us in life though, have to grow - or we will suffocate.  We need to take risks in order to find that new shell.

A few years ago, I was in Newport Beach, CA.  A friend's daughter and I were looking for shells, crabs, and sea creatures under rocks.  It's always fun to see what is living under a rock!  In fact, a few years before this same girl and I had found a squid!  Very cool.  (No wonder boys look under rocks - there is all sorts of interesting stuff there!)

We picked up a little hermit crab and it was crawling around on my hand.  Then the most amazing thing happened:  it walked right out of it's shell and kept going.  Off into the water - it never looked back.  We stood there amazed.  Neither one of us had ever seen anything like that.  A naked crab running away leaving a shell in my hand.  Shock.  We didn't know what to do or think.

Being the over-thinker I can be, I kept thinking about that crab.

Maybe the crab:
  • Gave me everything he had and that had to be enough
  • Knew I needed the protection more than him
  • Had to grow without his safety
  • Was sent to protect me, because my current shell wasn't strong enough
  • Thought I was the more powerful bigger crab
  • Thought it was better to surrender than to fight
  • Knew there a better, prettier, stronger shell waiting
  • Was about to suffocate and felt safe leaving his old life with me
  • Felt strong enough to go on
  • Wanted to get bigger
  • Had to leave his past behind
  • Knew that all you really need is on the inside anyway
  • Wanted me to follow him naked into the water
  • Didn't need a shell anymore
  • Knew sometimes you have to risk it all
I still have that shell.  I carry it in my purse.  

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I'm going to tri

I'm a list person.  LOVE how productive I can be and will be when I have a list.  The best lists are those I create and then shove into a drawer.  It's amazing what is accomplished if it is written down - then you pull that said list out of the drawer months later - and you can see what you did accomplish.

Of course, there are the lists you aren't supposed to put in a drawer:  Grocery List, Stuff to get to the boys school; places to stop on the way home.  (Wait, is this a list of lists??) 

I guess we could break lists down into a couple kinds:

Short term  (what I need to accomplish today)
Long term  (what I need to accomplish this week/month/year)
Really long term  (what I need to accomplish in my life)

Notice I don't say "I need to DO" or "I want to".  My lists are more facts.  This needs to be done - or better yet - This will be done.  I like that.

I'm not into resolutions.  I'm not going to change.  Have no intention of changing.  Yes, I can improve, I could lose weight, not drink so much wine, watch a few more movies, but chances are that's not going to happen.  (Goes back to you can't fail if your expectations are low!) :-) 

What I do for the year is make a list.  Sometimes it's a short list.  Sometimes it has a lot of goals on it.  Or things I need to do. 

For 2011 - and I laugh as I write this.  My goal for 2011 was to WORK more.  Yes, you read that right. And that was the only thing on my list.  Then in about February, I decided that WORK stood for World Opportunities R Knocking.  And no sooner than I made that acronym, well Hawaii came knocking on my door.  I thought there might be a few more "world adventures", but I accomplished my goal.  I did WORK more.  And here I thought I was talking about improving my financial situation. 

For 2012, I'm headed into 2012 - going with the 12 theme.  I'm starting out by saying - this is what it stands for:  12 months, 12 events, 12 non-profits and the 12 fascinating people I meet along the way.  And if past indicators are a predictive of future behavior, what I thought that this was going to mean, will end up meaning something completely different.  But for now, I'm going to tri........

Friday, December 16, 2011

Viva Las Vegas

It's all about the destination. 

We've all heard the quote "It's the journey, not the destination"  (or something like that).  In this case, it's about the destination.  The goal.  The journey is part of it.  Come on, I went to Athens, Greece to do a marathon!!!!

I receive an e-mail from my girlfriend whom I ran the marathon in Greece with.  Want to do a race??  Well, yes.  It's not about the race.  It's about WHERE the race is - WHERE the journey will take us - the DESTINATION.

Let's go to Vegas.  December.  Run the Strip at Night - the race starts at 5:30pm.  Yes, let's go.  Wait, I thought they said "Run and Strip", not "Run the Strip".  How cool will that be????  

I haven't trained, I'm broke (financially not physically), it's the holidays, it's my oldest sons birthday coming up - I REALLY shouldn't go.  And if you've been following my story or my life.  You know the ending. 

A good friend of mine was visiting over the Thanksgiving holiday.  A week before the race.  I've known this friend for 20 years.  And he tells the story of many years ago when I showed up at his parents house.  And his mom made them take me out with the group.  And I said, "sure, I'll go".  And the guys laugh - of course, they didn't want me to "tag along", but me, well, being the girl I've always been, goes along......  Oh, "she's pretty cool, she participates and doesn't really care that we are acting like fools".  Then 4 or 5 years ago, I show up again.  I haven't seen these guys in 15 years.  And most people play this 'what have you been doing game'.  No, she just shows up and asks where we are going and tells us she's coming too.  She doesn't need anything from us.  Just wants to go have fun with the people whom are having fun.

A little back-story there to explain part of my personality.  If you invite me, I show up.  Don't ask me just to be polite, because I WILL say yes.   Just ask our friends from Hawaii....

Of course, I went to Vegas.   I'm going to Vegas, if you come or not.  Okay, well I'm going.  Let's see how this goes.

I check into my flight on Friday night (not leaving until Saturday).  I was upgraded to First Class.  Maybe I was meant to go.  I've been a Premier Member on United all year - free bags, free upgrades.  In all my travels this year, yes, I was business class, but never first class.  My last trip of the year, and I receive the upgrade.

The race is Sunday night.  Cheap Trick the band, plays before the race.  ("I thought they said "RUM", that was a "cheap trick")  Although a race not starting until 5:30 pm leaves MANY HOURS during the day in Vegas.  Yes, we had cocktails.  (at noon???)

It was COLD, it was OVERSOLD, it was DISORGANIZED and it was INCREDIBLE.  Not because of the event company (in fact, I can honestly say, I won't do another "Rock N' Roll Marathon series" event. My third of their events, and the same thing EVERY TIME).

It was INCREDIBLE because, it was the Vegas Strip at Night.  45,000 participants.  10's of thousands of spectators.   The Strip was blocked off.  The crowd carried you the whole way.  If I can run 13.1 miles, off the couch (no training), and run 12 minute miles. - anyone can.  

There was no heat to fight.  Just crowds, bad water and a few Elvis'.  Oh, and the bride and grooms.  You could get married at mile marker TWO.  It was fun to see people running in their "just married shirts".

Another half-marathon?  ABSOLUTELY  Run the strip again?  NOPE  Checked it off the list.  On the fence if I would tell someone else to do it.  Great experience, not a great organizer.  Maybe there is a non-profit/charity out there whom can pull off something smaller on the strip.  It would still be worth doing.

Where is the destination upon which I will next journey?????  I have a feeling something big is coming soon........

Thursday, December 1, 2011

What did you pray for?

I'm not a religious woman, I'm a spiritual woman.  I don't know a lot about Christianity, but I consider myself a Christian. 

And TODAY, for the first time, I felt Christianity was abused.  All religions are abused.  For heaven's sake, why do you think we are at war?

I'm SICK of Tim Tebow and the arguments to follow.  He is a good leader.  Period.  He is use to winning.  And somehow, he has a team, a city and a nation behind him.

HOWEVER,  I was always taught it was wrong to pray for something we wanted.  Isn't that selfish?  Isn't that greed? Does the word "covet" sound familiar?

Last week, Tim Tebow tossed a passed (sorry, we know he can't throw) and we won the game - he knelt down.  What was he saying thank you for?  AND, why was it televised?  What if:

  • he was praying to Allah?
  • sending thanks to Buddha?
I'm sure there are great players out there, thanking God, Allah, Buddha, heck probably even thanking their mom.  What the sudden interest?

A connection between someone and their God is very personal.  I was taught it was wrong to ask for something personal. So, when Tim Tebow said "Thank you".  What do you think he was thankful for??

The completion of a pass?
Winning the game?
Playing to the best of his ability?

Unless it was the last thing, we will never know.  Actually, we will never know any of it.  In fact, what does it matter.  That is Tim's decision to make.   And we are not here to judge.

I do have to say THANK  YOU - for standing up and saying out loud what and whom you believe in.  It's a cruel world out there, and we should all be proud we live in a country where you can stand and tell the rest of the world how you believe.

Just don't want me to jump on the band-wagon to support you.  Yes, you Mr. Tebow.  I will support you.  You play for "several" of my teams.  And if, your beliefs help others, yes, that is great.  In this instance though, I was here to watch some football.