Underpants and Responsibilities

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If you’ve been keeping up with me, this week was rough. Oh who are we kidding, they’re ALL rough! ­čÖé Today is a better day, but lets not get ahead of ourselves. Let me go back 24…

Emotionally destructive day. Questioning where I fit in and who I belong to and how I stack up in this crazy broken family we have. Emotional outbursts. Unresponsive at work. Just down right down, all day. I came home last night, very late as work went late and there was nothing I could do to motivate my team. There was nothing I could do to motivate me, let alone 25 of them! So we got out pretty late. I drove the hour and a half home without ever turning on my music. I just zoned out. At one point I realized I was confused as to which road I was on! Not that I was falling asleep or not paying attention, just not connected to the present in a normal way. I was safely connected to the road and my steering, but my thoughts were flipping past the days events. I walked in the door to find Peanut was sound asleep like a good little girl (She better be at 10PM!). Bacon gave me a hug hello and just smiled when I said, “I’m gonna go put on sweatpants.” I walked to the bedroom and found a surprise waiting for me.

The thing about this surprise is that it made me cry. I never let anyone take care of me. If you want to take care of me, you pretty much have to ninja your way in there, surprise me or catch me off guard, and just take control and do it. So to have someone just take charge and take care of me in a way that was taking-no-prisoners, was the “straw” so to speak on this overworked over-stressed exhausted camel.

It wasn’t the bubbles in the bath quietly popping and fizzing and emanating a soft sensual smell. It wasn’t the bucket, yes bucket, of my favorite beer on ice stacked on the foot stool next to the fizzing bubble bath. It wasn’t the 100 candles giving off a soft welcoming glow, lighting the room just enough so that I could read my book lovingly set by the bathtub. It wasn’t even the soft ocean sounds playing on the iPad propped up on the sink or the sign on the bathroom door declaring “Night spa”. I started to cry when I saw all of these things, to the point where my nose was so stuffy I couldn’t smell the spa smell anymore. It was after I relaxed in the warmth and quiet for a while. After I had enough time to actually get into my new book and start to attach to it. Once I had (I’ll admit) started in on my second beer. After I could start to feel myself let go of all of my self-judgment and frustration, my insecurities and unfounded fears. It was after all of this that I decided I was ready to get out and rejoin my family (well half of it anyway). And as I went to retrieve my sweatpants and sleepy shirt, lovingly folded and stacked on top of two fresh towels. As I dried myself off and thought, ah I’ll just go commando tonight. It wasn’t all of this swirled together in a little brief ball of love and care and affection in a way I can understand and relate to. No, it wasn’t all of these loving and thoughtful and carefully planned touches to make my evening relaxing that made me feel truly special and loved and taken care of.

It was clean underwear folded in the stack of towels and sweatpants that made me feel truly cared for. That of all these big shows of affection, I fell for the most basic need being thought of, and put out for me before I knew I needed it.

Sometimes I’m so good at all of this stuff. I’m so great at managing multiple schedules in multiple families. Controlling and overseeing a┬ámulti-milllion dollar project. Balancing emotions and outburst and inappropriate behavior. Planning meals, shopping for food, managing my own budget while saving for the future. ┬áStressing and worrying over a misspoken word or a poorly written email. I’m keeping up with everything on a couple of hours of sleep a night.┬áSometimes, I just need somebody to get my underwear before even realize I need it.

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This one is angry, and I’m just venting….don’t lose faith in me

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I apologize in advance. I just need to vent and be real. I have no sugar to coat the way I feel right now. There’s no silver in my storm cloud.

I’ve reached my limit of BS. Call me naive, call me stupid, delusional, hell I accept the term crazy willingly. But the last time I checked, if you aren’t 16-and-breaking-up-with-your-high-school-boyfriend-but-can’t-really-let-go-so-you-cling-on-to-family-and-friends-of-your-ex-hoping-against-hope-that-you-can-stick-around-that-way, then when it’s over, its freaking over. The only “actual” family that you share now, is the child you created. Unless you are in some unbelievably unrealistic awesome co-parenting friendship situation, then you live your lives. She does not get to dictate and direct your life with your family, nor do you get a say in what she does with her family. And under NO CIRCUMSTANCES do you show up at the birth, the actual freaking birth, of a child in the other persons family. Uninvited. Show up. Sit through 5 hours of labor with your ex’s parents and sibling, and await this wonderful FAMILY moment. And then blame the child you share as your excuse for interrupting and invading this PRIVATE family moment. Your “logical” reason for just planting yourself firmly, like a Goddamn idol, in the middle of this family that is just trying to move on without you, and without pissing you off, is selfish and down right bullshit. Seriously. Move on. You wanted nothing to do with them when you shared a name. Why the sudden interest?

Again, I apologize to you awesome people who support me. This is just really, really, really depressing day. I’m looking at the future and accepting that this, will never be better. This will never be different. This will never change. So where do I fit in? I did not birth this wonderful little thing that we all have in common, so when she shows up with her, I’m automatically put to the back, out of sight. I know this isn’t true. But it is how I feel. I don’t want to make waves. I don’t want to upset people who are already upset by her presence. They didn’t ask for this life. Nor did I. We didn’t earn this little slice of hell we call home, but yet we struggle through it together. Just trying to find my place in this broken family.

We just communicated effectively

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I really don’t want to be passive aggressive, but I feel sometimes that my opinion might literally kill someone with words. Instead of, “Ya know, I absolutely loathe that you don’t care to pick up dog poop in the yard and assume that I will because I just tend to take care of everything so why should you care you son of a…”

woah.

Instead I do this. “Ya know, we’ll get a fine with all that dog poo in the yard. That’s really not a great impression of the Yellers to our neighbors. I picked it all up last time.” Hint Hint. Wink. Wink. Pick up the damn POO you son of a……

woah.

So one might say, I’m not the best at expressing my disappointment in things not being taken care of, especially when I have very vaguely and repeatedly directly but not directly asked you to do it. I like to let it fester and build. I like to see it every morning on my way to work and chew on it for the hour and a half drive. Then I like to work my tail off and expend all of my patience and energy at work. Then I like to drive home the hour and a half contemplating whether it will be there to greet me. Then I sit in my car. And stare at it. And think about it. And know in my heart that if one more day goes by….

And that’s how I escalate the poop in my mind.

So the other morning, I was trying to get my stuff together for a race. And of course this was just a typical race, but since the Packers were playing, it instantly became a themed race with lots of flair because I just can’t do anything at a normal pace/state/attire. So I’m searching for my green and gold leg warmers, because it was cold as blazes out and I want to be safe in my running attire. And I knew they were in my bin in the garage. My LABELLED bin in the garage. My LABELLED Packer bin in the garage. My LABELLED Packer bin of flair….in the garage. It’s early. I’m not the nicest in the morning because I don’t get sleep anymore between work and Peanut, and now the damn dog. So I really try not to speak before leaving the house, in general. I asked Bacon to help me get the bin down, because it’s early and I knew struggling with that was probably going to set me off. We go out to the garage to look for my LABELLED bin. And to my horror, we can’t find it. Not just because there are massive piles of BS thrown everywhere in this garage. Piles of xmas lights, boxes, bins, tools, who knows what thrown everywhere in this “shared” space we have. Bags of recycling piled up by the door to the house. Mid-progress projects abandoned in the middle of the floor. Summer clothes piled on top of the bins they should be piled INSIDE of. So I am pretty sure my huffs and puffs were audible at this point, as I am struggling to contain my frustration and not lash out….rationally or not. (Yes I’m aware I have organization/control/panic/lets-just-stop-the-list-now issues) And I finally give up in a boiling angry state of silence. And then I spot it, in the corner of the garage, I’m pretty sure there was a beam of light shining on it, or the light was merely a reflection of the lasers shooting from my eyeballs, but either way, problem solved. He helps me get it down, all nice, all quiet, don’t poke the bear just give it its leg warmers nice. I frantically shove my stuff in a bag, hugs and kisses goodbye, mutter some passive aggressive comment about dog poop and I’m on my way.

My run was, well just awful. Terrible performance on my end, but it was an amazing opportunity for ma and my sister (Whiskey Shots as I like to call her ­čśë) to really just lift my spirits after a tremendously dark and difficult week. I was happy as headed to work after the race. I was nice to my staff at work after the race. And then Bacon called.

And he asked if I was ok, because I seemed (pause for audible tension in his voice) “edgy” this morning. When I say I had no intention of getting into any sort of serious heartfelt conversation on the phone at work, I mean it. But he asked, and when he asks something, even though he may not totally absorb the answer, he really wants to at least hear it. So I started with some lame calm response that was passive about the garage. But, as we talked more, just talking got me to the root of why the garage bothered me so much. And what it ultimately came down to was an agreement that had been broken. The garage started off as a sacred space for both of us to share, me with my painting and he with his projects. But through lack of care or priority and excuse after excuse, I had been violently shoved out of my space (my own passive aggressive statement of defiance) and was now resentful, bitter, and down right ticked off. (That’s putting it nicely)

So in the end, a timid question, I’m certain he was terrified to hear the answer to, helped me express my honest feelings, that I didn’t even understand until that moment, and helped him understand how to more effectively ease my stress.

And…..there’s no poop in the yard ­čśëIMG_7575.JPG

Hello God, its me

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Are you there? Of course you are. Have you seen my performance lately? Is it part of something. Of course it is. Will I become a better person because of what I endure now? Probably. If I can pull myself out of this hole. I’m feeling defeated. Which is absurd given the high high I had with the success of this past weekend. Nothing like a work week to kick you in the teeth and make you want to run for the hills with your tail between your legs. My stupidity and frantic brain have cost me trust this week. I’ve been labelled a liar and a thief. All because I couldn’t remember what happened 4 days ago. In the span of 4 days so many things have changed. So many good. Some not so good. Some chaotic and intense. So many things I had to defend myself against. I have electrodes taped to my person monitoring my heart! And I am supposed to remember the chaos of 4 days ago accurately? Of course, by the time I remembered what really happened, it was too late. The tape had been played back. The fat lady sang. And there is nothing I can do or say at this point to force continued faith in me. And I’m angry now. Angry I’ve been betrayed by the people I’ve fought for. Angry that assumptions were made without ever speaking to me. Not that speaking to me helped matters much anyway, clearly as exhibited by my stumbling response of “I’m certain I was here, I think….I’m pretty sure”. Stupid. The unbelievable dedication I’ve had to this project for 8 months now, washed away in a poor review, all because I’ve been sick for 30 days which has affected my performance and my concentration. The sickness broke my defenses and my life just swallowed me whole. I’m feeling judged solely on 30 days out of 180. And that is a crappy place to be.

So here’s your take-away for today. If at any moment in time you could have your entire life, or career, or friendship judged on a single moment or even a single day, no option to explain or defend: do you feel confident you’ll rate well at any given instant?

So you’re tellin me there’s a chance!

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Thank God the holidays are over. As much as I love 5 rounds of Christmas, two new years, and a couple double time birthday parties chucked in at the end; I’m happy to wave goodbye to that round of chaos.

Things escalated quite rapidly around here last week. I believe it was the illness plaguing everyone in our house for the last 30 days, making its rounds from one to the next and then back again, a flu that never really had to retire. Or maybe it was the stress of all of the planning and shopping and wrapping and strategizing and stressing and showering….at least I’m pretty sure I took a couple of showers last month. Regardless of the reason, my typically controlled, stoic, calm facade cracked in two pieces without warning. We went from a calm discussion to me nearly throwing my phone through a front window, only to be followed by a couple of framed pictures shortly after. Imagine the silent thud in the new fallen snow of both communication and history landing together in a perfect juxtaposition to the volume of my voice in that moment. I snapped. I knew in that moment I had snapped, I heard my inner voice frantically pulling back on the leash, flailing about and whispering “no! NO! NO!”. I didn’t care. In that tiny 2 second window of argument between me and me, I won with a simple, “I don’t care, what do we have to lose?!”

So I lost it, in the verbal attack sense. It ended with a demand to face the past and set out some boundaries and ground rules. To apologize and offer insight into history. To smooth the road so that I have a fair chance in this life I’ve chosen. It ended with an ultimatum.

I don’t believe in ultimatums. I don’t believe any true relationship should ever come to that. It should always be give and take, take and give. Never should one have to demand something from the other….or else. It’s not a great moment in our history, but I don’t regret it. In the end, the reason for my snap, my loss of control, my demands and ultimatum, was due to my own insecurity. In a previous post I mentioned how we do not have time for our own work, our own needs, our own insecurities and they pile up behind us. Well, this was the avalanche. My own insecurities won out against sanity and brains and took over. And it turns out…..I was wrong. Damn. I do not like being wrong. I don’t do well with being wrong, BUT I can find the silver lining in being wrong. I was wrong, but look what came of it!

Because of my temporary loss of control over my emotions we are now looking down the barrel of a long life that is just starting to build itself. Their relationship has been taped together through communication and honesty, for the time being. My relationship with her is new, fragile, and uncomfortable for both of us. I feel that we both want to dive in head first and skip all of the steps we need to take to build and establish trust in one another and start swapping recipes and Peanut stories like old chums. My sanity has returned enough to put the leash on this at least. I’ve stopped myself from unnecessary texts to try to force a relationship, but at least for now there are two new key elements to this awkward family dynamic:

1. They can talk to each other honestly, at least for now.

2. She knows now I have no intention of taking her place as Mommy, and will even go so far as to defend her role to people she doesn’t know.

I think that we have a chance. I am caustically optimistic as I’ve been burned by blind faith before. But if nothing else, it’s a start. I’m a good person, and maybe one day she will know me well enough to believe that.

Jealousy, and letting go

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The past is in the past. Unless its your past. Then I want to talk about it. I want to analyze it. I want to stress over it. Cry over it. Wonder why I missed out on the biggest firsts of all time. (At least of my all time) I don’t understand why milestones are so important to me. I know when I was younger I always had this fantasy dream about forever. That it was all cupcakes and roses and freaking teddy bears.

Then life punches you in the throat.

You think you’re smart. You think you learn. You feel like, yea, I’ve made some pretty dumb choices, but they’ve all led me to here, and I’m learning dammit! you hear a song on the radio about all the heartache leading to you and it calms your spirit just a little. You decide, I can muddle through.

In all the patience and dealing and analyzing and reacting that we do as step mothers to manage the chaos of being a step mother, when do we have time for our own regular insecurities that we’ve been working on for decades? When do we get to “freak out” over the stupid stuff again? There’s no time! There’s no room in your brain! And eventually all of that “stupid stuff” you were working on to improve yourself as a functional human in today’s society, gets piled up behind you and starts to blur with today’s “normal step mom stuff” and you really aren’t sure if you’re letting go when you should “Let it gooooooo” or holding on to a mole hill that somehow looks like a freakin mountain. So then it becomes all or nothing.

I’ve been consistently demonstrating multiple attitudes towards all of the drama and chaos. I want to know everything. So I know everything, I’m involved in everything, I do everything. Then that gets too emotionally overwhelming, so I chuck the towel at someone’s head, throw my arms up, yell “Uncle” and bail. Informational blackout. Emotional shut down. I don’t want to know anything, I refuse to plan, be involved, learn, adapt, assist, etc. And then it all goes sideways. So I’m back in like a referee planning, adapting, avoiding, and prepping for doomsday.

Does this sound like a full time salaried job that you work 80 hours a week at? Can I hire an assistant? Can I get an event planner? A judge? Jury? How about someone to just clean the windows and give me a brighter view of the rest of the world. Being a parent is hard, nobody tells you being a step mom with her own issues, her own fears, her own concept of understanding ruling her world, is going to be one hell of a handful on your psyche.

Everyone Breaks

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I am a machine.

Because I don’t know how to stop.

I am indestructible.

Because I was hardened against pain young.

I will always win.

Because I was raised to win.

I am the best. 

Because I know that I am so far from perfect.

I’ve taken 2 sick days from work in the past week. That’s in addition to the 2 scheduled off days. I haven’t called off of work in roughly 7 years. And here I am. Incapacitated. I’ve apparently developed sinus problems, as well as a potential heart problem. Numerous appointments to come. What is making me fall apart?

I informed my doctor that my life is no more stressful than it was 6 months ago, in fact it might be less! That I couldn’t understand why the attacks were escalating. And after being up late into the morning last night, mostly crying and struggling to understand and accept the current round of chaos, that I realized I’m not ok. My life is not less stressful. My life has hit turbo on the insanity button.

There are arguments over the dog. (That I started). Arguments over the schedule (That she started). Arguments over the future (I maintain that it’s hopeless). Bitter snipes about bad decisions in the past. (That I throw like candy at the 4th of July parade). And there are fireworks. And tears. And stress. And pain. And attacks to my heart on an ever escalating scale.

Something has to change. Today, I told him I am out of the process for Xmas. Whatever he comes up with, he manages the fallout. I can’t control this situation, so I will spend the next 8 days finding peace in knowing I can control my acceptance. I can control if I bake the cookies. I can control my preparations for our family Xmas party. I cannot control what happens on Christmas Eve. And really, no matter what, there’s no positive outcome.

So I’m going to rest in bed. And pray. And make my appointments. Everyone else can wait. I need to pray for sanity and strength and peace. (And for this migraine/heart problem/sinus chaos to go away quickly!)

I am tired.

I am loving.

I am weak. 

I am loved.

I think I’m the invisible grinch

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Well this is the stuff of nightmares. I have Christmas lights, we’re going to get our tree, there are stockings hung by the fire with care. And my heart is heavy with anger and sadness. It is overwhelming my favorite type of cheer. I can’t seem to get out from under it. It’s a constant uphill battle and I’m losing. I’m losing badly, not graciously or in some sort of movie star classy way, I am flat-out getting my ass handed to me by anger.
I have logic. My brain knows. My brain says, “you become entrenched in what you scheme about”. And I can’t stop it. I just, I want to knock people off their illusioned pedestals.

And you thought this was about Christmas cheer. Christmas is my number one favorite holiday, and I am struggling through it. This is our first “real” Christmas together, and I already have so much anxiety over how it’s going to get jacked up. Will we have Peanut for Christmas? Will we have enough time to finish making all of her presents for my family and his? Will I be able to get all of the cookies made? Will we have time to shop for our family Christmas party? Yes, the one we are having a week early just to ensure some of my holiday tradition remains steadily intact. ┬áWill we this? Will we that? Will we? Will we? Will we?

Will I?

I recently got to experience my first official “non-existent” moment in this whole step parenting game. Due to circumstances beyond my control I had to leave an event for Peanut early, which resulted in her getting her picture taken with all sides of the families, all the while she was asking where I was. When she got home and I got home we took pictures together to make up for it. It was then that I was informed of the mommy/daddy photo-op that had taken place in my absence. Poof. As though I never existed. Feel free to judge me on this one. I make no excuses for the hurt I felt and that horrible left-out feeling I got from it. I don’t even deny the jealousy that tore through my heart as I realized while I was taking care of everyone else, everyone but Peanut pretended I didn’t exist. I don’t know how to explain the combination of frustration, rage, sadness, and isolation that moment gave me. I keep having these moments, in escalating order, that make me want to throw my hands in the air and call “Uncle”.

I read a well written paper on the dangers of social media which referenced the term FOMO, “feelings of missing out”. The idea is that social media, among other things, has become such an addiction of “staying informed” and “included” that people are having strong reactions to missing out. This was my FOMO moment. As seems to be typical for us, here I was once again running all over God’s creation trying to make sure everything was done, everyone’s needs were met, and I was missing out on something important. I was missing the opportunity to be recognized as an involved human. As a thing that actually exists in this messed up family dynamic we are struggling to develop. And I missed it. Poof. I didn’t exist to anyone in that moment.

Did I need to?

I existed to Peanut. Granted, I disappointed her by not being there in that moment. But I existed to her. I realize that I need to dig deep and be a stronger person, and that much of this anxiety and sadness comes from a lack of confidence in who I am and my place in my world, our world. I should not need to be recognized by everyone. I should not need to be accepted by those who I do not seek a bond with. But I do. And I don’t know another way to be right now. And that’s the simple truth. I’m a different kind of Grinch. My heart isn’t two sizes too small, it’s much too big and trying to love everyone as much as it can. As a result, my heart is over worked and poorly rested and daily conking out on me. How do we fit self-love into all the other loving we need to do? Can I do this in my sleep?

 

I’m not strong enough

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I’m uncertain as I start this, if there will be a happy finish; if there is to be a moral to the story, or uplifting message in the end. As of yet, I have not intended my writing to go the direction it has gone, it just sort of, happened.

I believe I’ve lost my connection and relationship with God. Not severed or destroyed, just drifted away. I’ve been angry for a long time, and I remember the last two times I was feeling as I have lately, and I had weakened my relationship with God. The first time, I was young and very angry with him. I chose to separate from him. What resulted was a very long and very dark year of my life, that ended in a very harsh and awful lesson. What became of that year, is the strength you see now. I still carry that time with me, ashamed, hurt, guilty, and saddened by it. But, I am incredibly strong and capable because of it.

The second time I lost my way, was not on purpose. It casually slipped away in the chaos of life. I was busy with work, with a home, with family, with friends, with my own emotional turmoil in trying to believe and trust in another human being. I lost my way. What resulted was an inability to trust and communicate with my partner. A passive aggressive relationship that ultimately spiralled downward into its own shrapnel loaded explosion.

And here I am now, feeling hopeless and inadequate. Wondering how do I continue? How do I find my way through this heartbreaking scenario day in and day out for the rest of my life? How do I manage to stay calm, level-headed, and rise above the pettiness of others on a daily basis? How do I accept that things will not improve? They will just change their shape and present in a new format. I cannot change others. I struggle to believe when they say they want to change. I try to have faith in human ability to self improve. I am struggling to believe in the wrong thing first.

I was given advice on a particularly difficult night of stress and frustration with this┬áperson. I was told that above all else, as humans, we are called to love. How do you love someone who continues to hurt you? How do you love someone who goes after your family? How do you love someone in spite of everything they’ve become, when you know nothing of who they were? How do you do this for the rest of your life? I’m not strong enough to do this!

And to all of these questions came this response:

You may not be able to love this person yourself, you may struggle to be civil. So love them as God would, because they are one of his own.

This is not easy. It is not easy for me to repair my relationship with God. It is not easy for me to ask anyone for help. So today, as I sipped my coffee and thought about doing nothing really all day at work, unmotivated and uninterested, a thought popped into my head: I should pray and ask for motivation to do what is best today. I sat down at my desk and had a timid conversation with God before starting work. I asked him ultimately for strength to be a better version of me today. I turned on my music and hit shuffle on nearly 600 songs, and this one played the moment I came back in my office and sat down:

“I know I’m not strong enough to be everything I’m supposed to be. I give up. I’m not strong enough. Hands of mercy won’t you cover me. Lord right now I’m asking you to be strong enough, for the both of us.”

I haven’t had a real conversation with Him in a very long time, and without argument or blame or judgement, He responds. Perhaps if I let Him love me, I can learn to love as he does; without expectation.

“Strong Enough” -Matthew West

I left my shoes in San Francisco….it’s not always serious :)

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For all of you wanna-be runners out there (And I say that with the utmost respect, as I am one of you). A word of caution: If it’s been awhile since you laced up, might I recommend not lacing up on 60 degree inclines.

I recently had to opportunity to go on a “Freedom Fest” in San Francisco. I cashed in my miles and booked a solo trip for some much-needed rest and recuperation. I was all sorts of jacked up to see the city, explore, eat, wander aimlessly, and kick-start my running career. (Did I mention in a moment of panic and sheer aimlessness I signed up for a half marathon in less than 6 months?!!!) I flew in late in the afternoon, found my way around the city on the BART, had a lovely sushi meal, explored a little, and promptly fell asleep early.

I awoke the next morning before 6AM, lets face it, old habits die-hard even on vacation. I sprang out of bed, dusted off my running pants, and laced up; fresh-faced, bright-eyed, and bushy-tailed, ready to seize the run! I went down to the hotel lobby where they were rocking (loudly) some GaGa song, and felt renewed energy I haven’t felt in a long time. I was pretty darn motivated. I walked out the front door and stopped. People were passing by the hotel, clutching their collars around their necks, holding fiercely to their umbrellas, and gawking at me with my running shoes on and headphones in, as if to say “She can’t be serious.” I stood there a moment, both taking them in and allowing them to take me in. By God it was raining in San Fran, and these people thought I was bananas! I flipped to the next song on my playlist and took off running in the rain. I don’t know if you’ve run in the rain or snow before, but where I’m from, if it’s not a freezing rain, it’s a blast to run in! I quickly passed the “huddle walkers” and started off on my laced up adventure.

I made it 1.5 miles. Up hill. Both ways. I thought my legs were going to just break off and walk away, possibly middle-toe me on their exit. My lungs were burning for oxygen, my head was dizzy. It was an impossible run. And it was my first since August.

Fool.

But I was proud of myself. I was alone in a new city. I was out on a run in the rain. I was rocking 15 minute miles up hill the whole way. I deserved a Starbucks for this! I stopped in at the nearest SB, ordered my traditional, and walked confidently out the front door. It was here that I realized, holy biscuits, I’m totally lost in this city. Up is down and right is left in SF. So much of the city is surrounded by water, so if you can see over the hill to know there’s water there, depending on where exactly you might be in the city, that could be west….that could be south. Or was it North?

No sweat I thought, I’ll wander. Maybe do some Christmas shopping along the way. Maybe I’ll even stop in and disturb the Prada people with my sweaty, rain-soaked mess of an excuse for a human. I wandered aimlessly, fully believing my direction would right itself in the end, and sipped my SB happily. Eventually, my venti was gone, and I was starting to recognize where I was. I was feeling so upbeat and positive that I thought, “Why not run again?”

Let me just point out this obvious flaw for you: Do not have a Starbucks after a run, then decide to run again once it is gone.

This was a fatal flaw, lets just say by the time I ran through the front door of the hotel I must have been a sight to see: Dripping wet, red-faced, bent in half, near dead. The broken elevator could not get there fast enough, and there was no way I was running another 6 flights of stairs.  Needless to say, I made it to my room, and spent the next few hours recovering.

Always be motivated and excited by the newness of your situation and be certain that your coffee intake is situationally appropriate.