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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Flying in full support

Saturday I did something that I had never done before. I went to a marathon as a spectator. Now I have more mad respect for those who do it a lot. It was nice not having to get up and out at the crack of dawn or worry about race stuff. All I had to do was get to mile 19 and wait. Yeah, mile 19 was the best place to be because the race was in a gated community in the Savannah area.

We had signs. My friend Star had a friend and his daughter make signs. Hey, if you are going to watch and cheer you need signs. Plus my runner friend Barbara (who has run about 24 or 25 marathons) has never ever ever had a cheering section or signs. We gave her both. Other runners were jealous. They wanted the signs. They wanted the cheering squad. So we compromised. We cheered for EVERYBODY! We told some that they could pretend to be Barbara and that the signs were for them. Honestly, there were very few signs and cheering sections. It was a small race.

So we endured getting eaten alive by gnats, the heat, and the anticipation of Barbara's arrival. I think it was much harder than running. Okay, maybe not but it sure takes a lot of dedication and amusement in between runners. I wish we had some generic signs. I just did not think about it. In the races I have done there were more signs for everybody and just a few personal ones. I wish we had a Random stranger I'm proud of you, Run like you stole something, Touch here for turbo power, or some other sign to go with the Barbara ones. Lesson learned.

And we moved along the race route which surprised a few people. So we told them that we were stalking them. That made them smile. We got several 'thank yous'. It was certainly an honor to be out there witnessing the fruits of others' hard work and training. We saw tears. We saw sighs of relief when the finish line was spotted. The triumph of the human spirit. Each one had a story, each one had a challenge, each one had the victory at the end. And all of us had a few too many gnat bites.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Flying catching my breath

Lemuel Butler
It has been a while since I have written. I moved my domain name and that took more time, effort, and fortitude than I could ever imagine. Hats off to the tech people out there. And I really appreciate the folks at GoDaddy for not blocking my calls because I called A LOT!

So after the successful domain name transfer, I did not think about reconnecting the blog. And yes, I procrastinated. I kept thinking that I would do it later. Well, later turned out to be when my mother asked me if I was still blogging. The answer is yes and no. I just said yes. I mean, I had not really abandoned the blog. I still own the domain name. It was parked waiting to be activated. I still wanted to blog. I just hadn't.

So today I sent the SOS flag to a dear friend who always pulls me out of these technology black holes where I often find myself. And what should have been an easy fix turned out not to be so easy. Big surprise there. But she is patient and she is kind and she has mad skills that I completely do not understand.

And those are the kinds of friends we should all be lucky to have. The ones who can do the things we cannot, or that love to do the things that we do not. Those are the people that complete my life. Not complete me because I am freaking fabulous. They complete my life because they add fullness to it. They add more dimension. They add more laughter. They add more adventure. They add more wine.

So, I have caught my breath for a little bit. I am off to run my 9th marathon. I promised to stop at number 10.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Flying with permission

I bought a newish car on Saturday. I say newish because it is a 2014. My current car is a 2004, so I am in a bit of a car culture shock. I had to convince myself to buy the car. It's not like I did not need one. Well, I guess I technically did not need one. Mine is running fine with slightly over 241,100 miles on it. It has a slight oil leak, but other than nothing major is wrong with it. So I could have driven it until it dropped. (This is part of the conversation that I was having with myself).

For some reason I felt that I really did not deserve another car. I wonder if I would have had the same issue if I wanted another 2004 car with a lower mileage. But this is not what I wanted. I wanted a grown-up car. The car salesman said that my level of 'refinement' had risen from the 2004 Jeep Liberty that I bought 12 years ago. And that is not a bad thing. So why do I feel that it is? Would I have felt differently if my husband (if I had one) had bought it for me? Or if my parents had? Is there something unsavory about me buying this car for me? I mean, shouldn't I feel empowered that I could buy this for myself? That I did not need a co-signer and that I got approved for three separate car loans? Exactly what is my problem? Whatever it is Viola Davis said almost the same thing during her Oscar interview after winning. She said something like she felt like a hack and that people would find out that she wasn't that good. And then she said that she was going to allow herself to be proud of herself. That is what I need to do.

This time I did not settle. Well, I sort of did. I bought a black car with leather interior. That is not something I would have ever bought new. But I wanted the best 'refinement' I could comfortably afford in the car that I wanted. And that is what I got. Now that means that I will have to actually wash my car (I may have washed the Liberty five times, maybe). And since this car is black I can pretend that I am in the secret service.

This car has a lot of bells and whistles including a sunroof. I have not had one of those since my 1990 BMW. The sunroof was on my 'nice to have' list and it will be nice to have.

I bought this and all of my other cars with my own money. And it is perfectly acceptable for me to upgrade as I see fit. For now the struggle is over and I am grateful. I deserve to spend my money on what I want as long as it is not hurting anyone. But if my new car hurts you, too freaking bad!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Flying being kinder to me

I find myself needing to be kinder to myself. I ran my 8th marathon a few days ago. It was probably my worst time. I got it done and that should be enough. My medal looks just like everyone else's. I have a finisher's jacket. It shouldn't matter that somewhere on the trip I lost a silver hoop earring that my mother gave me for Christmas. The earrings that I wear every single day. I lost one, I did not take it off and throw it somewhere. Stuff happens.

What should matter is that I was in New Orleans. It should matter that after salivating from afar I finally got to eat real beignets, twice. I ate them twice. What should also matter is that I took a cruise on the mighty Mississippi River (which somehow I forgot or did not know is the largest river in the country and that the water from 31 states and 2 Canadian provinces drain into it along with their mud). What should also matter is that I was amongst friends. And what should definitely matter is that I had my first bourbon tasting at the Bourbon House on Bourbon Street and than I now have a favorite Bourbon (Jefferson Ocean). I walked through the French quarter, saw the ninth ward, bought some voodoo dolls (which I later discovered were made in China), got my mom her shot glass, postcard, and magnet (which she will probably not see until Christmas since the post office and I have a thing).

Most importantly what should matter is that I did not give up. I wanted to. I almost switched over to the half marathon. And when things felt really bad, I wished I had. Let me tell you the encouragement from strangers can do wonders. No one along the race (participators or spectators) told me to stop. Not even they saw the pain etched in my face and the tears flowing down my cheeks. Yes, I cried. This was hard. And all along the route I tried to figure out what was going wrong. As if it mattered. Yes, I know that I should critically evaluate things in an effort to not repeat them. But we all get to have a bad race or two. And I am taking good care of my knee now, self diagnosis is over.

But it really wasn't a bad race. I limped at the end and damn near crawled. But guess what? I got it done. It wasn't pretty, it wasn't a PR, but it was a marathon. My 8th marathon. My friends where there, random strangers were there, and I need to be incredibly proud of myself. It is easy to be proud when things are wonderful. It takes a bit more to recognize and realize that accomplishment does not have to be so exquisite. I need to remember this next month when I run marathon #9.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Flying when you got nothing

No picture today. I just got nothing right now. Okay, that is not exactly true. I have a lot of things. But right now I am witnessing a whole new era. There are days when I am shocked and dismayed. Maybe we all are. However for the first time in a very long time I am questioning friendships. I am questioning how people really see me. It's fine to sing kumbyah  in front of me. I like that song. Not such where I learned it, but whatever.

I have issues when I see Facebook posts or when someone says to me, 'that march after the inauguration shouldn't have been called a woman's march because it wasn't for me'. Yes, stop the freaking presses. Finally something that isn't about YOU. Hallelujah, it's about damn time. I keep saying AIN'T I A WOMAN? Thank you Sojourner Truth. March for someone else or better yet, think about someone else every now and then.

These are polarizing times. If you don't like me I really don't care. Just be real about it. We do not pay each others' bills so it is all good. I promise. Stop pretending to be what you are not. And please stop saying that you have black friends. And yes, I know that I speak very well. Thank you, mom. And I am highly educated. So don't act surprised.

The claws have come out. The sheets have come off. I can see folks clearly now. So clearly that I am almost sad. Fake friends hurt and are a complete waste of time. Pretty smile just keep on walking. I am trying to finesse the art of professional respect with the knowledge that I now know who you really are. It takes a lot of energy and frankly I am pissed. I wish you would have proud to show your truths BEFORE the election. Before I liked you. Before I felt betrayed.

Oh well, life goes on. I will be just fine.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Flying into a new era

It has been a busy week and even busier weekend. We have a new president. Many, many, many women joined together to march for women's rights all over the world Saturday. It was estimated that at least 470,000 people were at the women’s march in Washington in the areas on and near the mall at about 2 p.m. Saturday. My Facebook feed was full of pictures from numerous countries like Malawi, New Zealand, Australia, Myanmar, Lebanon, France, England, Germany, and Serbia. Amazing.

The attendance for this march was compared to the attendance of the inauguration. But honestly who cares? The march stood on its own merit. Never before have we witnessed such magnitude of protest immediately after a new president. I hope the new administration is taking note and not simply dismissing this.

While this was mostly broadcasted as an anti-Trump rally. I hope that it was more of a banning together of women to support each other. I hope that it was not just a march of convenience. I hope it was truly a march for everyone and that going forward people will continue to march with and for others. Someone held up a sign wondering if the white women were going to show up at the next Black Lives Matter march. And that is what I want to see. I want to see (and sometimes you just don't know) people who are not the people the march is for coming out to march. I also want to see more of those who the march is for coming out to march.

There is no time to sit back and rely on others to hand you your civil rights. We all must band together for the good of all of us. We can no longer afford to be silent. And many of us never had that luxury to begin with. Being complacent is exactly why we are where we are right now.

This is new era. There will be some good to come from this, there are always untended blessings even in the worst of times. We must pay attention. We must be diligent in taking care of the rights of others. I do not have to agree with you or your choices. I will support your right to choose how to live your life and I expect you to do the same for me.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Flying with a loss

It happened last night. The Crimson Tide lost. It had to happen. I knew that. We all knew that, but it still stung a tiny bit. Okay, maybe more than a tiny bit. We have much to be proud of. I mean the team went 14-0 for the season. It can boast 16 national championships. Not too shabby. And the team will come back stronger and wiser next season.

We all have seasons of greatness. And then we have seasons when it is very difficult to remember anything good that happened. Finding or remembering the good can be incredibly difficult when major catastrophes happen. If you the roof blows off of your house you may not remember that you got a new puppy. Or that A on your final.

Anyway, nothing lasts forever including winning streaks and losing streaks. The seasons do change. This year make an extra effort to count the great things that happen in your life so that when the not-so-good or bad things happen you can (even if only for a hot second) reflect on something good. That just might take the sting out of the other stuff. Bad things happen to good people. I would be happy if the bad and good in my life were equal. Okay, of course I would love to have many more good things happen in my life, but I would be content with them being equal.

Alabama lost last night. There are many lessons to be learned. They will spend countless hours watching the footage. There will be many tears. (Sounds like my life minus the actual game footage). The team will come back stronger and can we all.