Friday. Looking forward to the century tomorrow. I had so much fun last year riding with the NBC Blur riders. Bed early tonight. I suppose normal people are thinking about beer and fireworks and things like that. I guess this is my way of being social ... and getting that huge endorphin rush I so crave all at once.
I’ve been thinking of why I haven’t been writing. I could easily say it is because I have been so busy, which is true. I have been thinking about so many things to write about. I was thinking about how what some of what I have been reading in other people’s blogs reflect this idea of intimidation of somehow writing something that will be embarrassing or how difficult it is for them to put themselves and their thoughts out into the world for this thing called judgement. Then I started to think about exposure and vulnerability and how there are actually so many different types of exposure and vulnerabilities. Maybe to be judged, yeah, this is a thing. Some people are still afraid of communal or societal judgement or are just shy for whatever reason.
But what about privacy? What and why is privacy?
Interesting isn’t it?
And all of us have this need on different levels for different reasons.
Some people just don’t want to be bothered. Some are hiding things. Some are strategic. Some are protective. Some people are private ... for private reasons.
I struggled with all the things I wasn’t going to write about. Choosing privacy.
I am not usually a private person. And I had taught myself not to be shy a long long time ago. I used to be horribly shy. Side effect of being an only child of my upbringing, I suppose. Not being shy was definitely a learned effort. But it doesn’t mean I lost the natural tendency to be introverted, nor does it mean I have any less desire to have privacy.
So I wondered why. Why now all of a sudden do I have this overwhelming desire for privacy.
I’d tell you, but then I would have to kill you ... and I’m just not in the mood today for killing. Will have to wait for tomorrow’s ride I guess.. for the killing, I mean.
In the meanwhile, I have climbing. I tend to choose the oddest ways of being social. Even when climbing, I will have a tendency to go off and just play with some routes or exercises on my own. It’s not to be antisocial. It’s really just to make myself better so when I am off doing things with others who share a passion, I can keep up. Nothing worse, for example, when a group is riding and someone falls behind and feels bad for holding up a group - or when you’re out in the mountains and someone breaks a leg because they had a panic attack. Yea - It’s happened. Helicoptered out.
Just realizing how many stories I have to tell. And how I just distracted you from what I didn’t want to tell you.
Fading fast though... over n out.
If I were to redefine how to love for myself, I would include ways to respect and be kind to the ones I love. I do and have made sacrifices - so not to harbor resentment. Sacrifices for my kids - No problem. Other grown ups.... maybe sometimes a glimmer of a problem. Probably why I have weighed the outcomes and always chose experience and let the other person deal with the resentment no matter how minor or major it may be. Have you ever noticed how friends will take it differently that, say, people who are more than friends?
Lately I have wanted and tried very hard to just not go outside that boundary as it causes so many problems.
So, say, you tell a friend, “Hey I can’t go to blah blah blah with you because there’s this race I really want to go to.”
They just accept it and usually respond with, “Cool - no problem! Luck, man - Let me know how it goes!” And they’re maybe even happy for you.
Same situation with a boyfriend or girlfriend type and everything gets shot to hell and it becomes this personal thing. And probably for good reason. I mean, we end up spending so much of our free time with the significant other, a cancellation last minute can leave someone hanging. What’s worse is I notice what I do is I wait around for that person - like if they say, ‘oh wait for me I want food too’ and then take forever while I wait I can get a little frustrated. I suppose I’d wait around for anyone, but I would probably just leave if, say, was just a friend who was lollygaggin’. So, see, I do it too. Fall into the trap of dependence.
Shouldn’t we though?
I remember seeing a funny meme that said something like, “Hey! Want to be codependent?” or “Wow - I’d really like to be codependent with you”. Great pick up lines. Pick up lines of the 90’s and 2000’s for sure with all the psycho babble that flies around.
On a serious note, having people to trust and being trustworthy for people so that you can depend upon them and they can depend upon you IS amazing. I am actually a pretty reliable person. I will do what I say.... and ignore the question if I can’t.
Just kidding - I’ll respond... most of the time. Recently I was accused of omitting ... funny thing to be accused of really. Do we accuse this of our friends? Usually just for those who we care about most for one reason or another. Interesting dynamic, isn’t it? I try to stand back and look at things objectively - but it can be difficult if it’s one sided.
So I have just written almost 1600 words on the subject and have not really even answered my own questions or defined anything clearly.... I guess it is no wonder so many chase happiness and only some find it. Especially if love has anything to do with it.
I think I will redefine loving as just something as simple as a smile and being happy for everyone and as giving as I can be especially to the ones I know depend on me most - depend on me as a mom, as a friend or as more than a friend. And all those are relative. There is a mutual respect aspect to these of course as I must care for and have self love if I want to have anything left to give of myself; and there is forgiveness.
So, finding a way to create a life that supports love ... But how can one properly argue with a boy friend or girl friend or husband, wife, sister, brother or child if you have to do it in an environment that supports love and doesn’t push it away?
I’ve found that some people just really don’t need to fight.
Strange concept, I know. A person who has no need for power struggles? Unreal.
What if - just what if that person actually just has different ways of winning? Maybe even redefining the idea of what it is to win.
I personally have redefined the definition of what it is to win several times over my short lifetime. Currently it revolves around having children that grow and learn and are in a fairly safe environment with managed risk. That’s a good place to use the word “manage”: preceding the word “risk”. Especially with regard to our loved ones like our children. Teaching managed risk is important - I have never believed in protecting the kids and putting them in a bubble - how can they grow and learn to challenge themselves or overcome obstacles?
Back to the win.
Once upon a time I opened a studio. My kids were pretty little at the time. I opened the studio to be able to have something that didn’t exist locally and also to have a place where I could work and have more time for my family. The studio took up so much time I found myself in higher and higher demand outside family life. Was I winning?
Once upon a time I got a degree as an accountant and found a great job as a governmental auditor. I made more money than my husband, but my boss was an ass and his twins loved to destructively run around the office and when they found me at my desk they would throw my files and say, “go fetch!” and run off. Was I winning?
Here’s the crazy part - I may not have been winning, but I wasn’t losing either. The experiences those days gave me are invaluable. All the experiences are. Collector of experiences? Winning there a tad for sure. Some folks are more extreme - but we do the best with what we have.
How does that relate to creating a lifestyle that is conducive to love and not pushing it away?
Well, I guess it depends on how you define loving.
I think I would be the first person to admit that I can be inpatient. With our limited daylight, I don’t like to waste time. I mean I do - but as I want it. I don’t think I’m alone here. However, the point being, what would I give up or be willing to give up or alter in order to accommodate love? I have been in my past really bad at not pursuing a passion... meaning an interest such as painting or reading or traveling. I have in the past not listened to people I have been “involved” with - or married to - in order to truck along on my merry way.
Here’s the killer - It isn’t so much me pursuing a passion that gets in the way, it’s the feeling of disrespect the other person feels when I blatantly do what I want. It’s not often - maybe once every five years, but it’s that significant to them.
Collector of experiences 1: Relationship 0.
Everyone wants to be happy. Sort of. It’s complicated, right? I mean, we all think we want to be happy ... until we sabotage the happiness, that is. Probably because we’re either A. shortsighted or B. undecided about how to define happiness for ourselves.
Taking a cue from a Harvard Grant study, which followed 268 male undergraduates for 75 years, collecting data along the away. The study found that the two pillars of happiness are love and “finding a way of coping with life that does not push love away,” according to director George Vaillant.
Vaillant is an interesting study himself as well. Ambitious. Married 4 times at last count. Complicated. Thinker. Respectful. Disrespectful. A contradiction. A manipulator. A hurt boy. A student and expert in psychiatry and psychology.
I could go on. For a while there I felt like I may have been describing myself. Isn’t that what happens to us when we get older and live through more experiences though? I mean... if we’re lucky. I’m not manipulative, however. Not smart enough. And I’m obviously not a hurt boy. But we all do have that kid inside us - some of those kids more traumatized than others. His was pretty traumatized. And I would never want to trivialize the subject.
The interesting thing about the study result is that second part: “finding a way of coping with life that does not push love away.” A friend of mine said “coping” made it sound like work, like it wasn’t really a very happy thing.
Granted the economy of words is typical of the field of research reporting. Taking that with a grain of salt and expanding on it by unpacking what that really means is where the heart of it is, however.
If we were to take a barebones definition of the word ‘cope’, we would sense the emotionless word to convey to us that it is to manage, to survive. Add that to a sentence regarding the concept of ‘love’ and it seems, well, lacking. Reposition the definition slightly to have it mean, ‘to have the capacity to deal successfully with’, and the whole feeling of the word to ‘cope’ changes. Words become ideas: to have the capacity; successfully. These are concepts we can get closer to emotionally. They create desire. Sounds way better than mere survival and management. Who wants to merely manage love?
If I were to unpack the idea of coping a tad further, making it really a personal interpretation, I would say it is exactly the right word to use in the report. After all, this is indeed what we do. Every day. We find ways to cope. Imagine a sliding dynamic multidimensional scale. On some ends, life is easy. On some ends life is difficult. The difficult end is going to be the more interesting end. An array of challenges get thrown at us - even if we were to gear this diagram only to focus on the subject of love. For some, challenge number one could just accepting that they are lovable. For others, it could be balancing personal ambitions with holding onto and protecting the love they found. For others, it could be that they haven’t really even unpacked the word love for themselves yet in the first place. And yet for most, maybe, it is how to get over power struggles in an interpersonal relationship.
Okay, time to write.
What to write....
I don’t know what to write today, although I guess I feel that way every day. My head is focused on making my list for the weekend: Bread, peanut butter, jelly, instant starbucks, drinks, water, veggies.... And what to pack: Climbing gear, swim suit, gym shoes, dog food, and on and on. Excited and nervous about the weekend of course there never seems like there is enough time to do anything and so time is running out for me right now. I want to get this done though and so I will pluck away until it’s done. Just like if I’m on a run and am just plodding away. I used to put my head phones on and dance around in the street just to entertain myself. I am certain I looked like a royal fool. It did keep me going though and that is what matters. Now I don’t need to go to such measures, I just run. Strangely enough, it feels great. Odd, I know.
This weekend we will be up in one of my favorite locals and were lucky enough to get a farm to stay in which is 22 miles outside of the lake. Perfect riding area and my son is a rock climber so after my ride when they wake up, we hit the rocks. Hopefully there is wifi ... otherwise the following two posts will be after we return. (I know, you will be just sitting on the edge of your seat waiting!)
Devil’s lake is just outside Baraboo, Wisconsin and it is a hilly, tree lined area with nice Quartzite cliffs that are a climber’s delight. Speaking of delight, there is also a crazy two or three mile piece of road called Devil’s Delight that ends in a wall called Solum.
Because I have crazy friends, when I road out that way they made sure I would not miss such a wonderful little roll up the 10% grade 500 foot climb. Thank you, friends. What would I do without you. The whole time the guy I was riding with kept saying, “Who are these people you know?!?” As if they were nuts or something.
All in all the ride was very fun as I got to hit 45 mph going downhill and I ate weird Clif foods like sweet potato and beet and mango baby food lookin stuff. What’s particularly sweet is I got to drive home while my riding buddy snored away merrily which kept me bright eyed the whole time (I can’t sleep when someone is snoring so it worked out). Plus I got to get a snap of him with his mouth hanging open which helped me stay entertained. Whatever you do, be sure it keeps you entertained.
So here we go again. And it is a good thing because I have been carbing up the past few days in preparation (read: I’ve been eating a lot of pizza and drinking a lot of beer - all of which.... were awesome!).
reprinted from : https://etherealbeings.wordpress.com/2015/06/26/packin-unpackin/
Quick brick and quick write before heading off to work.
Sammy did the whole feign aggressiveness again while on leash while on the way home from our run. I wish he would cut that out. It only bothers me to the point that people get afraid when I know how cool he is actually. Back to the dog trainer. This is going to lead me to say that sometimes people need people trainers as well. I question the things we teach each other sometimes. But hey, it takes all types to make the world go ‘round. So live and let live.
I find that I’m so independent I’m drawn to strong willed people. Somewhere down the road sometimes I see that it’s not so much strength as it is ego. Then of course I question my own. I put myself in check. Comes with age and experience I suppose.
Have you ever read the Janell Cannon’s children’s picture book, Verdi? It was one of my favorites - I used to read it to the kids along with her other books, but Verdi I could relate to and always softly made me laugh at myself and to myself in my heart. It’s a story about a whippersnapper adolescent python who loved to leap and bound and dive into the mud. He would always look at the long, heavy older pythons and say, “Hey! Why are you wasting your time just laying around? There’s so much life to live!” And, in turn, they would look at him and think, “You’re going to poke an eye out, kid!” He would scoff.
You can guess how the story goes, but I will let you seek out this story and peruse it as looking at the illustrations alone make it worth seeking out.
All her books are like that. Find them.
So the question to ego is, is it worth it? Is it worth it to lose relationships? Is it worth it to put yourself in the line of fire? Is it worth it to be uncompromising or always defending?
Some people defend even when they don’t have to. And some cannot take what they dish out. Not at all. They are unable to cooperate. And, yet, they don’t want to be left alone even if they say they do or are okay with it. It’s just not true. Not really.
Here’s the thing - I would never really call anyone crazy, not for real. I’m sure there are plenty of people that call me crazy for the things I do and the ways I do them - ways in which only another aquarian could understand... if I believed in that sort of thing, that is.
Crazy people, people that sacrifice all and rack up the awards need the validation. And, it’s important. You can physically show people your award and say, hey, I’ve done this and here is the evidence. They build credibility this way and either they become stronger for it or, if it is a collaborative project, others (friends, partners, the little league, society, etc.) become stronger for it. This is progress. There are many crazy people we must thank for our progress - flip side is, there are a lot of crazy people that progressed in the wrong direction as well. Ego feels good, check.
Sometimes, often times, there is collateral damage. Is it worth it? An internal battlefield can occur in intense situations. Everyone (read: alphas) will think their right. So I want to soften. Follow the way of the water and not the rock.
It’s really a philosophical question and the answer will change with each endeavor, sometimes within moments while the endeavor is in process. So no need for an answer now. And we have to be able to sit with that. Store that away, but make sure it is there when we need it.
This sort of thing is isolating, as well. So, dear reader, pick and choose what you want to be crazy over well.
If I were to put my crazy into something deliberately, I’d say I’d want to make people happy and feel good. Honestly, I’m not so sure I am doing a very good job at that right now. Time to re-evaluate. How to balance personal goals, team goals and be cheery all at the same time. Never been my strong suit I guess so I am constantly honing and withdrawing and trying again.
Verdi, the little spry yellow snake, one day finds himself growing green. Much to his dismay he tries to cover it in mud which flakes off and he tries to scrub it off with leaves which of course doesn’t work. He finds himself resting lazily and heavily in the sun one day when he spies a few babes coming through whipping themselves about in the trees. He musters up the energy to show them a cool trick they may like flinging himself up into the air proving also to his own self he still can and does so with joy.
“Leaping and looping with his little striped friends, verdi laughed and said ‘I may be big and very green, but I'm still me!’” - Janell Cannon, Verdi
“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” -Charles W. Eliot
reprinted from https://etherealbeings.wordpress.com/2015/06/25/verdi/
Time to get up.
I lift my sore, stiff self out of bed and throw on my sarong so I can let the dog out hitting the coffee maker on the way to the door. He’s got this big ol’ noggin and fat feet and big ol’ smile - he just makes me happy in a warm, safe and cuddly kind of way. Sounds weird and is hard to explain so I’ll just stop with the sappy stuff now. Anyway, I let him out and the neighbor is out, he looks but when I call him he comes by me no issue. Usually it’s when he is on a leash he is more aggressive or threatening sounding with his guttural barks.
My friend Jim came to get me yesterday with his dog Akahana around lunchtime - we drove around, went to Whole Foods for lunch and shopping and finally came to pick up Sammy, my puppy. (Sammy, by the way, is a 60 pound, 3 years old pit bull mix.)
I told him Blackwell was closed last time I drove by, but we can try it. They must have widened the trail and taken out some brush. It looked good. It was Sammy’s first time there and I was a little nervous. I communicated with the only person who happened to be there as we approached since she had a German Shepard. Two big dogs who don’t know each other. A risk, I thought.
Now I had seen Sammy around Akahana, a 6 week old puppy, a group of dogs at the shelter, my friend’s pit bull and some randoms at Herrick Lake who were off leash during our run. He had always been well behaved. When we walk around the neighborhood and he is on leash, he seems like he is going to chomp you to bits sometimes. Again, there’s a metaphor or something here, but I’m still looking for it.
She said her dog was fine and hello and all that so we walked in. Sammy and Aka acknowledged the German Shepard briefly from a distance and then pretty much ignored him. After some sniffing around, the German Shepard approached - they all smelled each other and went about their business. It was totally anti-climactic.
We walked along the new trail and encountered other walkers. The dogs all peacefully did their thing. I tested Sammy a little asking him to come by me when I knew he was busy sniffing around. He paused and slowly made his way to me with such a begrudging look on his face like, ‘really, lady, I just got here. you gonna put me back on a leash, c’mon, ugh’. I gave him a great shake and hug and told him he was good and sent him back out to sniff and play and explore. He galloped off.
When we circled back around there was another pit mix who was slender with hefty haunches just like Sammy except a little smaller. His name was Toby. Toby immediately took to Sammy and they raced across the limestone end to end.
Love this dog. Cheers to a long, happy life full of dog parks and chasing toys and butt scratches and guttural funny noises as we roll around upside down scratching our backs on the carpet.
"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself." —Josh Billings
"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." —Roger Caras
“Dogs are wise. They crawl away into a quiet corner and lick their wounds and do not rejoin the world until they are whole once more.” —Agatha Christie
“The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.” ―M.K. Clinton
“The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs.” —Charles de Gaulle
“The only creatures that are evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants.” —Johnny Depp
“What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight; it's the size of the fight in the dog.” —Dwight D. Eisenhower
"Why does watching a dog be a dog fill one with happiness?" —Jonathan Safran Foer
“When an eighty-five pound mammal licks your tears away, then tries to sit on your lap, it's hard to feel sad.” ―Kristan Higgins
“There are times when even the best manager is like the little boy with the big dog — waiting to see where the dog wants to go so he can take him there.” —Lee Iacocca
"Anybody who doesn't know what soap tastes like never washed a dog." —Franklin P. Jones
“A dog can’t think that much about what he’s doing, he just does what feels right.” ―Barbara Kingsolver
"When the Man waked up he said, 'What is Wild Dog doing here?' And the Woman said, 'His name is not Wild Dog any more, but the First Friend, because he will be our friend for always and always and always.'" —Rudyard Kipling
“Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one, is a life diminished.” —Dean Koontz
"I care not for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it." —Abraham Lincoln
“Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.” —Groucho Marx
“Dogs don't rationalize. They don't hold anything against a person. They don't see the outside of a human but the inside of a human.” —Cesar Millan
“Dogs never bite me. Just humans.” —Marilyn Monroe
"If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them." —Phil Pastoret
“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive.” —Gilda Radner
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." —Will Rogers
"The average dog is a nicer person than the average person." —Andy Rooney
"I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult." —Rita Rudner
"Happiness is a warm puppy." —Charles M. Schulz
“If you eliminate smoking and gambling, you will be amazed to find that almost all an Englishman's (and a girl’s... says I...) pleasures can be, and mostly are, shared by his dog.” —George Bernard Shaw
"I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts." —John Steinbeck
"You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us." —Robert Louis Stevenson
reprinted from https://etherealbeings.wordpress.com/2015/06/24/dog-park/