Sunday, July 26, 2020

Ripping Off The Band Aid

Do you ever realize that the more you put things off, the bigger the snowball becomes and the harder it is to just start?

I've missed blogging and this community. But, there has been a part of me that is simply shut down to blogging and to this type of writing. It's not really because I don't want to. I just think my creative juices (sounds dirty) and motivation have been stalled. I could blame it on Covid because Covid sucks ass and it's become easy to make it the scapegoat for everything that is not right. Because honestly, no part of life is not affected by this beast of a virus that has cancelled races and weddings, sidelined vacations, sent countless people into fear-based living and mask wearing. I don't think it's a hoax. And I do have a mild crush on Fauci, although I'm pretty sure I can throw a baseball better than he does.

Side note: Did you know he used to be a marathoner, and now at age 79 power walks 3.5 miles a day?

But, let's be real. I stopped blogging long before Covid stole the show. I've asked myself many times, "What happened that girl who was so tuned into writing that she did it with fervor every day for so long?" Truly I'm not sure. Maybe I burned out. Maybe I thought no one really cared anymore about what I did. Maybe I felt blogging had lost its touch and was slowly fading away. So many bloggers I know don't blog anymore but a have become podcasters and Instagram stars. I am neither (although I do think I could put on a hell of a podcast if I could find the time. It could be all fart noises, hot flashes and swearing). Whatever the case, I just felt BLAH about it all. And, if I'm honest, becoming apathetic and complacent and in a place where I let life just happen to me scares me the most.

So THANK YOU to a few of you have who reached out to ask "Where the hell are you?" (I'm here in the same chair at the same desk) and to those who have showed concern, wondering if I am still running and shitting my pants (yes, occasional sharts), curious if I still like my Sleep Number bed (no, just traded it in for a king-sized bed - a Casper) and if I'm healthy (yes, aside from being 53 and dealing with the beginnings of menopause and a few more aches and pains).

It was you guys giving me a slight kick in the ass that made me want to rip off the band aid and say "hi" after not posting since early December 2019.

The truth is, I miss the blogging world and the days when I connected with so many people that way. I looked forward to reading several blogs a day because it felt like checking in with friends and now I hardly read any. I'm not a big fan of the blogs that want to tell me the best foods to eat for runners or how to prevent injuries. I can read that shit on any running site. What I love about blogs are the personal peeks into a person's daily life beyond the superficiality and abbreviated blurbs of Instagram. What I've also missed is the chance to write freely, unedited content where I am writing solely what is true and honest for me and not trying to impress a certain audience.

Here is what I look like now in case you forgot.

Taken in June in Tabernash, Colorado on our 25th wedding anniversary
And now a few updates:

What has changed in my life since Covid?

Everything. Emma (age 19! If you've been reading forever you met her when she was 9!) came home from San Diego State mid March and is still here. She had online school through May and has been working at a kids summer camp. She is returning to San Diego for online school and is moving into a ridiculously expensive apartment with there others. I don't love paying out of state tuition for online (WTF! stupid), but we are really trying to make sure she continues to have somewhat of a college experience. Nothing is normal right now and we are all doing things we would not normally do or find acceptable!

Sam (age 22! If you've been reading forever you met him when he was 12!) graduated in December, got a really cool job then lost it a couple of weeks after Covid started. He was unemployed for a few months, but started a job remotely thee weeks ago. He came home for a bit from Phoenix when the cases started to get really high there. He's been here for a month and probably going back next week. Ken's got a new job, thankfully, cause he hated his past job. I am still doing my same social work job but it is now 100% remote, at least for now. No one has been sick and w don't know anyone who has been. My parents are 81 years old, and are doing well. Fingers crossed.

The fam - ASU 12/2019 - before shit hit fan

Am I still running?

I started running way more when Covid hit because it was all I could do. It was the mental and physical release I needed. But, I got sidelined with some weird ankle pain and it even hurt to walk. I didn't see a doc because our insurance sucks right now and if they ordered an MRI, etc it wouldn't be covered. So I took three weeks off and now I'm fine. Go figure. I self-diagnosed on Google and it is either the Bubonic plague or peroneal tendinitis (No, not perineum tendinitis - that's your TAINT people, not your ankle). Anyway, I've been putting lots of miles on my bike and swimming too, so, you know, forced cross training.

How's my mental health been through all of this?

Up and down. The ups are having my kids home, still having a job, being healthy and still getting outside a lot. The downs are the obvious things like - all the unknowns about life as we know it, all the negativity and divisiveness out there right now, not being able to be with friends like normal, no races to look forward to and our cancelled 25 year anniversary trip to Greece (with no refunds! No, I don't want a voucher, I want my f$cking money).

What I'm doing with my time beyond exercise:

- Netflix/Amazon Prime - The Imposters, Ozark (omg the ending of Season 3!!), Jeffrey Epstein (low life scum), Babysitters Club (makes me feel happy, that is all), The Wall (best game show ever), Tiger King (don't judge me), Little Fires Everywhere, Waco, Too Hot to Handle (don't judge me again) and many more.

-Books - American Dirt, My Dark Vanessa, Big Summer, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, The Dutch House to name a few

-Cooking new recipes - Gnocchi with Vodka Sauce, Fresh Spring Rolls, Instant Pot Mac and Cheese, Coconut Curry Ramen, Shrimp Enchiladas

-Cruising - as a gift for our anniversary, I got Ken and I cruiser bikes (see below from Retrospec). Free shipping and only $199. We've been cruising around town to breweries, lakes, etc. So fun.

Definitely doing my next Ironman on this baby

So, this is a good start. I've had fun. Have you?

I'd like to know:

-One word to describe your Covid experience? Mine is shit-fest (is that a word?)
-Have you are anyone you know been sick? No
-Best book you've read lately/best show you've watched - see above
-What is your best advice for these times?

My advice?

Keep a positive mindset and know that this situation is temporary, but also know life will likely feel pretty different for a long time. But, does that have to be bad? No. We just have to adjust expectations and make do what you CAN do. Don't give yourself permission to totally check out, eat Fritos all day and die a slow death while watching Too Hot to Handle (<oh, wait, that's me). But seriously, keep your head up and do the best you can. That's all.

I've also found it helpful to drink


PS: And I've kept up on Instagram, follow here for the most fun you've ever had