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~

my goal.

a long tribute to my sweet girl.

About a million years ago, I walked into the shelter, looking for a chocolate Lab.  We had seen Chet on their website, and thought, well…it’s time.  Actually, my thoughts were to get dogs to save my failing, faltering marriage.  This is not a good plan, by the way.  He left the following February.

We saw Chet jumping, and I told the boys, just let me go look around.  I saw Princess in the back of her kennel.  I asked the girl to let me see this dog.  She opened the gate, and Princess walked over to me, and immediately sat at my feet.  Her eyes begged “Rescue Me”, and she was so sweet and docile, and well…she loved me.  We heard that she had come to the shelter pregnant, and all puppies were euthanized.  The last family that had her had a lot of noisy children, and Princess hid behind their couch, so the family brought her back, and in bringing her back, gave me the biggest gift of all.

This picture is the first night we brought her home in the Spring of 2006.  As I sit here typing, I remember that first night.  She didn’t come in, but sat outside my bedroom door with her head up looking around the yard.  Every time I woke, there she was, surveying her new surroundings.She sat there a lot.

We soon realized that the pink ribbon wasn’t really her.  In fact, she quickly became the dominant dog, and I pictured her name being Ginger or something.  Cigar in paw, glass of wine, ordering people around.

She has neuroses.  The first Fourth of July, I left the dogs home, and when I had come home, the screens were off of my window, and she had taken down my glass to get herself into the house.  She hated wind and weather, climbing into the smallest space by my desk.  She has chewed off door jambs, gotten out of the tiniest places, and literally has been in jail at least 8 times.  There was time I tried to set up one of those electric fence thingys and just as I was teaching her this, she looked at me with the collar on, and jumped right over the fence.  That was a short lived experiment, but I was desperate.  In any case, this $35 shelter dog cost me somewhere in the neighborhood of $1000.  At least.  Even after she is gone, I’m still paying the umpteenth ticket on time.

The last few years, the Police would call my cell, and say…We have Princess.  Who can come and get her.  She simply needed to run free.  Her issues were fireworks, loud noises and cameras.  I have had the iPhone text on silent for so long, because she simply would leave the room in a panic.  This is a dog who did not respond well when the ex husband and I argued.  Still today, loud voices scared her.  Reluctantly at times, I would get in my car and drive down to the shelter to get her AGAIN.  I would be mad at her.  Frustrated.  Get her in the car, to the vet, to the dog groomer.  Again and again.  I stopped trusting that she would stay.  I accepted she was a runner.

Last month, she was diagnosed with an ugly rectal cancer that was starting to invade her pelvis.  Our doctor told us she had about a month.  Well, today it was a month.  The boys told me she couldn’t poop on the walks, and I had been watching her daily.  She still barked at the mailman, the pool man, anyone who came to my door.  Today, she was barking like crazy at someone…This dog howled at fire trucks and in the end, could barely get out a weak growl.

But.  We didn’t want her to suffer.  The tumor was getting bigger, and I knew it was only a matter of time.  The boys and I discussed it last night, and decided that today was the day.  We were to take her to the vet and assess the tumor.  The vet said it was a matter of time, that there was the alternative of stool softeners, etc.  However, I knew my children, my lovely young men who had spent hours walking these dogs, could not take more of saying goodbye.  We had decided as a family that this was the right thing to do.  That we simply did not want her to hurt.  Not one more day.  The inevitable was here.

She was not happy.  Agitated.  I laid on her blanket.  The one where she would take her last breath.  We were all petting her and telling her we loved her.  The shot was quick.  Her eyes simply closed.  We kissed and hugged her and told her we loved her…again and again.  I can’t tell you that that 10 seconds was quick.  It was forever and fast at the same time.

And then she was gone.

In the last days, she let Chet lay with her, and this was unheard of.  He walked around and around, and laid under the table all day…he knew.  He comes by my chair all day today, after she left…his buddy gone.

We talked a lot today how we rescued her from the shelter.  But it was the other way around.  She would go put her head on the boys’ beds and give them comfort when I had no more words for what was happening to their world.  She would lay by my feet while I cried buckets of tears.  She loved her morning walks, and sat by the window precisely at 3:15pm when the bus would deliver her charges from school.  In the morning, she would help me go from door to door getting up the sleepy teenagers, but at night.  At night, she was on her spot right by my bed.

We knew she needed to run away.  Perhaps she needed to know that we would never take her back to the shelter…maybe she tested the waters to see if I would come back for her.  And I always did.   Because that’s how I love.

She saved me.  And I will miss her for a long time.

Valentine’s Day Redux

Early 20th century Valentine's Day card, showi...
Image via Wikipedia

Looks like I can stop avoiding Valentine’s Day. 

In 2007, my world was all shook up, and my marriage ended, three days before my 48th birthday.

On Feb 14, 2008 on this blog, I wrote about The Hat

2009 and 2010, there were no Valentine’s Day Posts.

I simply did not have a Valentine.  Not that I didn’t want one.  Everyone wants to feel loved and cared for, and yes, it was great getting my Dad’s Valentine card  like I have gotten every year since I was born… and because I knew I could count on that card, each Valentine Day had some type of promise in it…but…  I had no one to love, and no one was on the horizon.

Then I met Harley Guy who swept me off my feet.  He tells me he loves me, that he won’t cheat, and because I’m hardwired now for a man to lie to me, he knows that I don’t believe him.  Not all the way.  Like, I keep looking under this or that bush, wondering when the truth about him will surface.  Because, there’s gotta be something.  And it turns out, that I just have to trust in God and have faith that he is honest and good.

I used to be freaked out that I fell in love with him so fast.  I was engaged within 2 weeks with my first husband, but was engaged in a year and a half with the 2nd one…I’ve fallen fast, and I’ve fallen slow.  So, there’s really no “Look, she does that all the time” point to make here.

With Harley Guy, I get to rub out the record.  Each time I’m with him, I get to be new and fresh and feel like a young girl…when you have a catch in your breath, and your heart skips a beat when you see him walking down the street.

Yesterday, we met in the town where we fell in love.  Halfway between both of our homes.  Today, I received the best gift ever. 

This great experience that released me from the bondage of hatred and replaced it with love is really just another affirmation of the truth I know: I get everything I need in Alcoholics Anonymous-everything I need I get–and when I get what I need I invariably find that it was just what I wanted all the time. . [Big Book, page 552] 

“Both An Art & A Fortunate Accident”

It suddenly occurred to me as I sat here looking at WordPress themes, and widgets, and fancy blog-like things, that I am spending much more time looking at how this blog looks than actually writing on it.  I’ve been looking at other blogs, looking at your memes, your run schedules, your fancy add-ons, and wondering how, if anyway, I can start writing an actual blog post.

It all started in December when I was swept off my emotional footing with having real actual feelings for a man I knew many years ago…He is a Facebooker, I am a Tweeter.  We both Foursquared, and that’s how we tried to stay connected in the social media world.  We had fun.  We talked.  We fell in love.

And…in this relationship, it turns out, I am called on to be fully present.  There is no more shoving stuff under the rug or being sarcastic or criticizing outloud or non-verbally.  I’ve been challenged to be real and truthful and PRESENT.  And that my friends, is very difficult for this girl. 

Months ago if you had asked me what kind of man I was looking for, I would have told you someone who is honest, won’t cheat on me, won’t lie to me, won’t hurt me.  All of my criteria started with the word “won’t”…I didn’t know what I wanted, but I knew what I didn’t want…And, this list kept me a victim to all of my past relationships.   Please don’t use cocaine, and please don’t sleep with my baby-sitter and please don’t lie to me and tell me yes when you absolutely mean NO.  Please give me money and let me spend how much I want, and don’t ever call me on my spending habits.  If I get cranky, please give me a LOT of room, while I will give you very little.  If you walk out on an argument, make sure that you know you will at the very least have to suffer substantially in order for me to allow you even a kiss.  However, if I need to go, I will claim it is because I am being healthy and wise, and don’t want to injure anyone.

If you had asked me what I wanted before, it would be a man with all the trappings.  That somehow it would fit my profile, and we would gaze into each others’ eyes and walk off into the sunset and you would say, “My, they look good together.”  And I would have been repeating every past relationship I had ever had.  And I would eventually have picked apart every last detail of you and your stupid cowboy boots that I actually loved in the beginning. 

And now…this brings me to the blog.  Now I have this blog, which looks like yours sort of.  There are running things and teaching things and stuff in my head…and every time my life changes, the blog changes.  So I look at your blog and I can’t replicate it.  I have to figure out what to write about.  What’s good to write about in the virtual community.  To not write for my readers, but to be honest, and claim my absolute truth.

And it strikes me.  My relationship with the man cannot be explained, even to myself.  Every day, I am in a psychic re-arrangement.  Like a new pair of running shoes, it starts out uncomfortable, then I am absolutely wanting to feel the fit, to experience the off-centeredness.  It’s good.  New shoes are good.  I feel love, and am loved.  I feel as though being in love with this man has nothing to do with this man, but the spiritual connectedness of who I am.  Am I Linda E? Linda M? Linda V? teacher, friend of Bill W? mother? ex wife of 2 so and sos?

I know this.  Like old running shoes that have been worn down to nubs, the old thinking has to be tossed.  Love is in the air.  In my soul.  When I say “I can’t”, it’s because “I won’t”…Like attacking a marathon plan, I simply must do the training, do the work.  Because, at the end of the day, I want the bling…the feeling of accomplishment…the feeling of joy and wonder that I could actually do this thing called Love.

Time will tell…Do I stay stuck, or do I try something new and wonderful? 

“Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.”
-St. Augustine