Stop Judging The Selfie.

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Do you know me?  I’m the girl that spends the first 15 minutes of our time together taking selfies.  No.  Not with one of those annoying selfie sticks.  The slightly off center, often out of focus and fixed up ones.  You know your selfie game is strong when the two of you knows who has the longer arm.  You try to edit out the needed botoxed places, and you never ever post anything without the approval of your girlfriends.

You edit and tag the photo, and spend a few minutes or 15 trying to decide which filter makes you look not crazy or pale or whatever it is you’re looking for.  You want to bask in the sun?  There’s a filter for that.  Use it.

You could do the selfie game.

Or, you could pretend to have someone take your picture and then they beg you to tag them (I’ve done that too).  Or you could be the guy that hates having his picture taken, hates selfies, refuses to be in any pictures.  Either way, they are all on the spectrum of narcissism, yet your selfie taking friend takes the hit, because she seemingly loves her pics on the internet. I have one friend who constantly changes her profile picture, and I love it because she just looks more beautiful today than yesterday.  It’s good.  Because I love her.

So, you may wonder what exactly is the benefit of this selfie deal?  It comes with the tags.  I put it on instagram, and when it goes to every social media account I have (except Tumblr, that’s 13th & J, mofo), I have the ability to tag.  And here’s the beauty of the tag on Facebook.

First, if you go to your tagged friends profile page, you see these little 3 dots.

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After you click on those, this box comes up.  Pick “See Friendship”.  Facebook will then filter everywhere you and your friend have been.  All of your selfies, check ins, music shared, tag status updates.  It’s maybe my most favorite reason to selfie.  It’s not for you.  I mean, it is, look, here I am at Starbucks again (don’t judge).  But, here I am with my bff, my kids, my man.  And much later when I look at our relationship, I use this tool to peruse our history.

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I love the selfie, because I love you, and I love our friendship, our relationship, our love.  I want to catalogue all of it, and this is the best way to do it.  Today, I took a selfie filled with eyes that are in desperate need of work.  But this wasn’t that selfie.  I stayed up late with 2 of my favorite girlfriends, eating pie and drinking coffee, and talking about  love and romance, and how exactly any of us can risk getting hurt.  Yet there we are talking about doing it anyway.  So, my picture today was a 2am bedtime, no makeup, throw on a scarf and a Huskers shirt selfie.

And, when I look at this picture, I look at 2 girls who were college roommates almost 40 years ago, talking to these college girls at the next table who were in our sorority.  I see two girls laughing over and fixing phone apps, talking about men and sex  and college for our kids, and all of it.  I don’t look good.  Not even.  But the selfie I was going for captured the moment of pure fun and joy, because I had much to discuss with her regarding this week.  And when those college girls looked away from us, we were giggling with the common understanding of how many lives we’ve lived since we lived in Room 2 or 15 or wherever it was, and how even after all this time, I’m the one who lost the keys and banged on the window, and drank too much at Jim’s Place, and how now I can fix her phone because my ADHD world has it’s advantages.

Stop judging the selfie.  Just hand me the camera.  In 5 years, you can look back on this day and remember how much fun we had 🙂

old friendships new again.

I have this beautiful friend.

I knew her for many years on Twitter…We talked every morning, and all throughout the day.  She held my hand when things got ugly with the ex husband.  She talked me through letting go of the angst of that relationship.

And then something happened that would forever change the course of our friendship.  In my holier than thou state, I left our friendship.  I’m not willing to share the details here for two reasons:  One, I love her, and would never do that.  And Two:  Well, I ended up walking down a similar path…

I started trying to reconnect with her about a year ago.  Short one liners.  No more Twitter, no more Facebook, we weren’t texting or calling or anything.  I knew that I would have to have a demonstration of integrity in our friendship in order for her to re-connect with me.  And, little by little, the one liners became sentences, and soon we were having a smallish reconnection.

Truth was, I missed her madly.  We played music with each other 3 states away, we called each other during our marathon journeys, and I knew as much about her family as she did mine.

However, we had never met.  Until last week.

And the reason I am having difficulty talking about it, is because I am so in awe of this person…and the fact that again THIS Summer when I was down for the count, and had no one to lean on…THIS girl was the one who started again sending me positive, motivational, get-up-off-your-ass types of messages.  This was the girl who helped me see the good in me, when all I could see was how much I screwed up.  Again.

I met her at Niketown in San Francisco when she was coming in for a week long conference.  I was standing there taking pictures and she says in her southern accent:  “Would y’all stop lookin’ like a tourist?”  And there she was.  This beautiful, smart, amazing old friend of mine.

And we went to dinner, and to Chinatown, and to the Top of the Mark.  And we ate and talked and it suddenly felt like 2009 all over.  We had some patching up to do.  And it was evident to me that this woman…  This woman was the same woman, but different.  So, I left her that night on the BART, and all the way home, I just couldn’t believe that I had never met her until that night.

We took pictures.  Lots of pictures.  But, not of each other.  We took pictures of the city, Chinatown, sunsets, food.  We never once got a picture together.  But let me tell you.  She?  She is real.

And it got me to thinking of all the people that I’ve met on Social Media over the years.  And how out of 800 followers on Twitter, and 300 friends on Facebook…the ones that I’ve met in person, and kept?  Very few.  And even when I would go to bed thinking of what race someone was running in Illinois, and got up wondering what my friend in New Jersey was doing, it never has satisfied me as meeting and connecting in person.

Sometimes these things…if you’re lucky?  They work out.  And this proves that when something starts feeling bumpy on the track, you actually need to stop the ride and get out the interfering jam.  You can’t just stay on, hoping it will go away.  Because, it doesn’t.  It will always be there until you and the other person become willing to fix the ride together.

And this.  This was the lesson, and continues to be.

Happy Sunday everyone.

 

power. nap.

No day is so bad it can’t be fixed with a nap.

~Carrie P. Snow~

is there anything so delicious as a nap?  

it’s 2:30 in the afternoon.  i’ve just come back from taking chet to the dog park.  if not for him, i would have stayed in the fetal position all day today.   i’m in that tunnel.  the one you absolutely must to through in order to get to the other side, or so i’m told.  i’ve texted and talked with my posse.  the ones that know it all.  i talk to my old pal hoss because i’m absolutely tired.  he reminds me that i’m grieving and that it’s all gonna be okay.  he reminds me daily that i can get through this.  my bff sits quietly on the sidelines watching me go through this again, and i know that she is there…though i’ve been through this so many times that she’s not really certain she can trust…that this is it.  i don’t even really know myself.  my texas gal reminds me that i have the resolve to do this.  the girlfriends…the ones all over the country, they remind me that i’m a half glass full, lemonade out of lemons kind of girl.  and it makes me giggle.

but.  i’m tired.  i’ve just spent the morning in quiet.  exhaustion.  grief and sadness wash over me at regular intervals.  like, i’ll be driving and see something reminding me , and tears briefly appear.  then go away again.  then rational thought, then a song takes me over the edge as i try to change the channel.  quickly.  i made the decision.  swiftly, and with great self care.  and now, i’m simply walking.  and i’m actually pretty happy about this path.

so.  i lay down on my bed, my book by my side.  the breeze is blowing, and i’ve just discovered that birds are building a nest on my porch, which brings me immense happiness.  neighborhood children are playing two yards over, and my wind chimes are jangling.  i close my eyes, and allow myself to have a nap.  just however long it takes to shake the weariness.

i wake with exhaling.  satisfaction at this pause in the day.  i go see my favorite friends tonight.  but for now, i’m here on the bed, watching my beloved seinfeld,  fielding texts and gchats and facebook messages…a journal and an unfinished novel.  with chet snoring below…and i know.  that this nap, while not particularly special or unique, has refreshed me for just one more day.  and for that, i am grateful.

  If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.

~Napolean Hill~


I Tend To Disappear.

I am not a people person.

My #xa sponsor in another program pointed this out.  That when there’s conflict, I tend to disappear.  Except you wouldn’t think that if you know me.  You would say, “Man, you really say what’s on your mind, don’t you?”  Well, yeah.  I do.  And, it’s usually the wrong thing.

In the 90s, I left the teaching profession because I simply could not STAND the people in education.  I’m not talking about the healthy ones.  I’m talking about the “back of the hand to the forehead I’m so important” posed ones.  The secretaries who try to make you feel small because you forgot to bubble in one item on a set of tests.  The ones who roll their eyes at you and criticize and then bring donuts to the staff room with a big smile on their faces.  Yeah.  Those, and the teachers who work tirelessly until 10 at night and come and complain about it in the staff room, then raise their eyebrows at you because you went to the movies with your husband.  All this unnecessary drama and belittling.  I always spoke my mind, and they didn’t like it, and I got in trouble for pointing these things out.  I shoulda just kept my mouth shut.  Because this did not bode well for my career.  I hate liars and work drama queens, and I simply cannot NOT say something when they put someone on the spot to answer some stupid educational question, one they should know, and say something like, “Well, did you read your materials?  I sent them to your inbox last week.”  I’m ridiculous.  I have no interlocketer.  Like Tony Soprano’s mother.  What comes in my brain, comes out my mouth.  Have left jobs because of it…grateful…but yeah, there I am again at the next job with the same situation, and yo.  It’s me.  When I came back to the teaching profession in 2002, guess what?  Those emotionally sick dishonest people?  They were still there.  Add the word “standards” to the description.  That’s the only thing that really changed.

You would think I am mouthy and get my way in relationships.  You could look at my two marriages and think, “Wow, that is one forceful woman…she wears the pants in that family.”  I spoke my mind, and thought I was being honest, but actually, I was being controlling and pushy, and did not consider what the other felt.  This is not forceful.  I was not telling the truth about how I felt about the hurts they imposed.  My second marriage was so full of this, that we simply could not get ahead of the last fight before the next one came along.  I was watching Mad Men the other night, where Roger says to his wife, “Shut up!”, and it felt like taking a bullet.  So familiar.

Stay with me here.  The title of this post isn’t really fleshing out just yet.

So, I start noticing this pattern of late.  Someone gets mad at me, or says something insulting, or crosses my boundaries and I let them, and I just…go mute.  And here’s the reason.  For so long I just agree with you, and let you say what you want and not challenge what you’ve said about me…that I simply cannot.  No.  Will not speak.  Because it’s somehow scary to my psyche.  This is completely opposite of my old reaction.

Recently a friend said some pretty mean things to me.  I told her she was being mean.  And what ended up happening was that I simply had not told her the truth about what I believed, and I allowed her insanity to run unchallenged, and she ran her spiritual truck right into the mud.  Me.  The truth teller, did not tell her that no, that “the way to get over a man is to get under another one” is not a healthy credo.  That line made me so sick, yet I went…mute.  Finally, I was able to speak my truth.  But, it took a while.

So, when she spoke her truth about me, my dormant opinion came boiling over.  Right out.  A similar incident happened when I was recently directed to tell a woman the truth…that I simply could not go on with what we were doing in the program.  By the time I did that, I was so freaked out and texting back and forth.  I looked mute, but actually…I simply did not tell her the truth in the beginning…when I should have.  I end up saying sorry, because you cannot text your feelings…and then the whole issue becomes your texting behavior… but it’s not the issue…  Clear as mud?  I offended someone with my blatant honesty recently, and she wasn’t even a friend, but a new acquaintance.  And now…well, I just stepped in a pile of shit with that one.

Sidenote:  I love the women who love me.  Who get me.  Who know I disappear.  The ones I’ve blurted out stuff to…that they nod and appreciate me and wait for me to stop my ramblings.  I love the ones who’ve forgiven my judgy attitude, and have been good friends.  A long time.  And, you know who you are.  I love you.

Mute:  You wouldn’t think this of me.  But it’s true.  I just disappear.  In order not to ruffle feathers, I simply do not weigh in.  But I stockpile the truth deep inside of me…and it comes out all at once…and inappropriate…I’ve pissed off more than my share of women’s groups, friends, etc.  Because my muteness.  It’s dishonest as hell.

I’ve just recently become awake to this.  You may be aware of that, because this post seems neurotic.  I’m working on it.  Please be patient with me.

Oh, and I’m starting taper next week.  Just in case this makes no sense to you.  You should see it on the inside of my head.

Yeah. I changed my mind.

A year ago, I wrote this post  about banditing a race.  I was very all high horse about it …

Oh, how much can change in a year. I had Shiloh & Glenn both running with me for portions of LA, and I didn’t seem to mind!  And now, this!

Who would have guessed that after the 2011 LA Marathon, that I would have hit the proverbial skid row of running.  All throughout the summer, I’ve run little 5K and 10K races, just to keep the juices flowing…but I ran out of gas.

I started the 40 day challenge for myself, after reading about it on ChicRunner’s site.  I thought, you know what? You better get moving!!  (i’m on day 17, having run 3 miles this morning)

I miss racing.  I miss the yelling, the cheering, the FUN of the run.  Races are really the icing on the cake of weeks of training.

A few weeks ago, my good friend Penny asked me if I would run the last 3 miles of the San Francisco Half Marathon with her.  I ignored her.  I asked Harley Guy if we had any plans that weekend …and he says NOPE.  I ignored again, thinking that she surely found someone who could run decently.  Who could at least keep up with her.  Didn’t she know that I wasn’t even really a runner anymore?

I got another message from her last week.  I couldn’t avoid it any longer.  Yes.  I said yes.

And now?  I’m totally freaking serious.  Like I have myself on a running schedule all week.  I cannot let her down.  This girl is an amazing supportive runner, and a great friend.  And she has asked me for help.

I’m banditing 3 miles.  AND…I promise NOT to drink or eat or get in anyone’s way.

But, I’m helping my girl to the finish.  Try to catch us!

The Best Is Yet To Come

It all started for me in the fall of 2003.  I happened to go on a Weight Watchers Message Board, and hook up with what were then, 40 year olds.  Every day, several times a day, many women talked about their trials and tribulations and men and children and work.

I think two of us are still 40.  Three of us have landed in the 50 year old category.

That fall, an idea was born that we would all meet in Morehead.  I was the furthest east in California, and there were women coming from all over.  Now, mind you a few had met, but most had not.  We were going to spend a weekend in a condominium.  Together.

However, there was one woman…L, who shared a sleeping area on the floor with me.  The minute I met her, I thought, yeah.  This one and I will be lifelong friends.  She continues to be someone I count as a true friend, always there for me…K and I had a laugh over phallic bread.  S. I met while she was munching on a box of cereal, which would prove to be dinner.  M. stayed up late with all of us talking about our men.  Oh, that night.  And some of us met other women with whom we immediately connected…but those did not last.  In fact, if you had told me that the five of us would have ended up together at the end, I would have said you were wrong.

Summer 2004.  Morehead.  13 women.

That fall, we broke in half … 6 went one way, 7 the other.  And we embraced each other, and dealt with the ending of the 13…We had a yahoo group.  A message board.  I remember a 2004 phone conversation that shocked everyone, and then next day, the one who missed it said “Did I miss anything?”  Uh yeah.  You did.

Summer 2005 in Virginia.  7 of us.  In a salt water pool, lounging all weekend.  Sushi.  I had pink hair.  It was soon after, that we lost 1 more in our happy fest.

Summer 2006 in Nebraska.  One of us getting so drunk she passed out right there in the middle of our game 🙂 And I love her.  Laughing.  We went to a lake. We visited museums, one of us being really crafty…I got some Big Red pajamas.

Summer 2007 in New Hampshire.  Rocking on a porch, celebrating our first 50 year old in the group, K.  We hit a fabulous dessert restaurant…We had the new blog here (June 2007) and still had our Yahoo board which held all our recipes!!  On this trip back, I was stuck in Atlanta for the night.

Summer 2008 we skipped.  One of us had breast cancer.  I taught Summer School.  I was thick in the beginning of house saving and being a single mom.  I don’t remember all the details.  We just couldn’t do it. But we vowed not to let it happen again.

Summer 2009 in my hood.  Just 4 of us.  San Francisco.  Yoga.

Summer 2010 North Carolina.  I didn’t make this one, sadly.

And then there were five of us.

Five of us from New Hampshire, Florida, Kentucky, Nebraska, California.  Marathons and Breast Cancer and Divorce and pounds lost and gained and non-stop broken appliances and new jobs and medical lingo and a new boyfriend and children on the honor roll.  The Reds and The Dodgers.  Religious discussions and Liberals and Republicans.  Meat and still points counting.  Gym teachers and tennis. Patient mothers of teens.  Obsessions granted and lifted.  Clean and dirty houses.  Gifted children.  From gifted mothers.  And yeah, just life.  We’ve talked about everything under the sun, and then some.

This is one of my favorite posts from M.  It was the year we couldn’t get together.  From October 2008

So, when do we start talking about all of us getting together again? Do we have to wait until next summer? Is there a possibility of doing something any sooner? Where, When, I think we know the why.

And we are all headed to the east again.  To sit, relax, share stories of men and children and work…and what it’s like for us on year 8.  And this I know:  The best is yet to come.  Can’t wait to see my girls.  🙂

hope is the dream of a soul awake.

Tuesday, I ran a sluggish and sad 3 miles, at a 11:52 pace. 

Today, I ran a less sluggish and less sad 3 miles at a 11:27 pace.

This gives me hope.

Hope that, even though I’ve not really trained for 2 months, that I can run.  That I can still run.  Even though I’ve gained and lost 5 pounds and stayed up late and ate cake and pie and homemade strawberry sauce, I can still run.

Even though I am facing maybe the scariest time in my life, I can run.  Less than 2 weeks away from saying goodbye to my students…and my career for the time being.  Waiting for the house to foreclose, for PG&E to come knocking at my door, for hot dogs and beans…

And yet, I have hope… People look at me and say things like, man if I were in your shoes I’d be so scared, and what are you going to do, and where are you going to live?  Harley Guy tells me it will all be okay…and I believe him.

My first race of the season is Saturday, the Dala Horse Trot 10K in Kingsburg.  Then I meet fellow friends Penny, Row and Kristy at Five Restaurant and cheer support the next day at the Fresno Half Marathon.

Putting a race on my schedule.  This gives me hope.  And, I carry on.