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Category Archives: growing up is hard to do

Quads on Fire

Once, a long time ago, I ran for the sheer joy of it.  To feel the wind in my hair and to hear the rhythmic pounding of my feet.  It made me feel good and even powerful.  And it came easily – just pull on the shoes and go.  It got away from me for awhile, and then after the birth of #1 I picked it up again briefly.  Cooper, our beloved golden retriever, was my partner and he’d do the happy dance every time I opened the closet door and grabbed the shoes.  Then I turned an ankle, and then was pregnant with #2, and it went away again.

A couple of years after #3 I discovered ballet (read all about it and also really got into weightlifting.  And I mean really.  I lifted five or six times a week and the results were pretty dramatic.  I was feeling pretty good about myself – especially my nicely sculpted arms and legs.  This too went away after a couple of years.  I plateaued and it just wasn’t as fun anymore.  Once a week ballet class was pretty much my only exercise for many more years.

Enter Boomer, our highly energetic Airedale.  We quickly discovered that walking him daily made everyone much happier.  I worked up to about three miles a day and usually we went every single day, rain or shine, freezing or sweltering.  Developed a nice little walking club with some of the neighbors.  Hubby bought me these rubber spikey things to put on my boots in the winter so I didn’t slip on the ice (they are awesome!).  Good for Boomer, good for me.  But walking is only walking, and I was noticing more sag and jiggle than I liked.  So I made the decision to add running back in, at least three days a week.

Took Boomer with me for the first time yesterday.  Did my 2.5 – 3 mile walking loop (the distance depends on if you go around every court or not – I did NOT do any courts yesterday) and alternated walking briskly and jogging every couple of minutes, starting and ending with walking to warm up and cool down.  Made several decisions: 1.  I am definitely going to stick with this; 2. get better shoes immediately; and 3. Boomer is a great walking partner but a poor running one.  He likes to stop way too much, and randomly crosses in front of me.  We will stick to walking.

Upon posting to my FB page that I was resuming running I received lots of positive feedback.  One gave me a link to a great website (  It gives you weekly schedules for running, 3x a week, that works you up to 5K (approx. 3 miles) in 8 weeks.  Another friend recommended doing an actual 5K race, saying it really brought her a sense of accomplishment.

Last night I was ready to take on the world, but this morning I am barely moving – the quads are not yet on board.  But they’ll get there.  Oh yes they will.


The Big Squeeze

Finally got around to having my first mammogram.  Yes, I’m aware that I’m more than a few years overdue for a baseline – save your lectures.  Chalk it up to laziness for the most part.  I only see my primary care physician once a year because the husband’s health insurance requires it.  So when she would hand me a sheet saying call for yet another appointment, it was very easy to set it aside and forget about.

Did the same thing this year, but apparently they’re on to me.  Last week got a call saying your doctor wants you to have this done and can you come in next week?  See, if you make it that easy for me, of course I’ll come in!  And I did.

Initial thoughts:

1. Owie!

2. There has got be a better way.

3. These thoughts then repeated on a loop until …

4. Whew – it’s over.  And not THAT bad, just – uncomfortable.

So if you haven’t gone in yet, just do it.  It really isn’t that bad and took only a few minutes.  That being said, since #3 wants to go into biomedical engineering, I need to steer her in the correct direction to invent a better mammogram.  Because there really ought to be a better way, don’t you think?

In The Middle

Why “musings from the middle?”  Oh, for so many reasons:  Middle age.  Middle class.  Pretty much middle politics.  I like the show “The Middle.”  And I like the alliteration of it.

Middle age.  I’m in my early 40s, so technically I guess I’m there, or at least getting very close to it.  Had my kids on the young side (3 before 30) for this generation, so I’m quite a bit further along then many of my contemporaries.  I don’t really think of myself as middle aged, though.  More of a label that has been slapped on me without my permission.  After all, in my head I’m about 33.  Oooh, note to self – good topic for another blog entry.

Middle class.  I live in a nice home in a nice suburb.  I do not drive a nice car, but that has more to do with the fact that it still runs, is paid for and, as a minivan, infinitely useful for hauling kids and gear.  We enjoy a comfortable existence for the most part, and while there will always be additional comforts I would like to have, I have never gone to bed hungry or cold.  Well I have, but it was due to sheer laziness – not quite the same.  There is always food in the house – not filet mignon and champagne every day, but not hot dogs and mac-n-cheese either.  Can’t – or at least shouldn’t – complain.

Middle politics – Isn’t this where most of us are most of the time?  And in the immortal words of Rodney King, can’t we all just get along?  Wag more, bark less.  I would like to see a political party whose main plank is tolerance.  People are different from each other – that’s what makes things interesting.  Accept this and move on.  The main agenda of this party would be to work together with respect and dignity to solve problems and increase the quality of life for all citizens.  Note to the current political parties – yes, I mean both of you – automatically saying “no” to the other side’s ideas is NOT conducive to solving problems.  Perhaps showing a little willingness to at least listen and then having a thoughtful discussion would result in actually getting things done.  Have I preached enough?  Well it is MY blog afterall.  If you disagree feel free to start your own.  I promise to read it with an open mind.

The Middle – funny show.  If you haven’t watched it, check it out.  My third favorite sitcom right now after #1 – Modern Family and #2 – Raising Hope.

Alliteration – it’s kind of funny.  I took every advanced language course in high school, nearly minored in English literature (needed one more 400 level) in college, and I didn’t learn what the word meant until post-grad.  If you don’t know what it means, look it up.  It will be the new thing you learned today.  Use it in a sentence tomorrow.  I used to teach English, can you tell?

Finally, I like the image that “musing” evokes of having a little muse perched on my shoulder as I write.  The 20 lb. cat currently purring in my lap does not count or all this would say would be “food, food, food, food, food, food.”  However, my muse appears to have left for more coffee, so I think I’ll join her.

When I Grow Up

#2 was having a crisis awhile back.  While we were talking it through, he exploded, “I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up!”  Although it was my first reaction, I knew better than to laugh.  Instead, I tried to reassure him that as a high school sophomore he had all the time in the world to decide what he wanted to do with his life.  Hardly anyone knows what they want to be when they’re only 15.

My reassurances were only partly successful.  He’s at a crossroads right now, all part of growing up, and will come out on the other side eventually – stronger, more mature, more thoughtful.  The childhood dream of playing professional hockey is still there, but I think he’s beginning to worry it may only be a dream and considering other options.  In some ways this is heartbreaking for me.  He has always been happiest on the ice – confident in his abilities and a natural leader.  This confidence is not as evident off the ice – I don’t know why.  He’s not a one sport kid either, but the other ones are only activities, serving as a distraction until he can return to the ice.

I see nothing wrong with encouraging his dreams.  I’ve told him I completely believe in him – that if he wants it badly enough and is willing to work his butt off there is no limit to how far he can go.  What’s the point of having dreams if you don’t try and pursue them?  I caution him though:  “Believing in you does not mean a blank check for you to screw around in juniors until you’re 30.  In any sport, you’re one bad injury away from being done.  Hopefully it won’t be your brain, and you’ll be able to enjoy a long productive life.  Make sure you put just as much work into your brain as you do the rest of your training so it can support you later.”

I don’t know how much of this did sink in.  Time will tell.  I can only hope that whatever he ends up doing, he’ll have good enough insurance to pay for therapy.

I know I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to be at 15.  No, wait.  I lie.  I wanted to be a veterinarian – had wanted to be that most of my life.  Then I took a couple of advanced biology classes – yes, dissections – and the dream was over.  I was also taking psychology at the time, and that became my new goal.  I entered college as a psych major, but it only lasted a semester or two.  I was also an MIS major, secondary education major, something else I’ve since forgotten but I know there were five, and finally, a communications major.  And that was probably because I was running out of time and had to graduate with something.

Pretty fickle, eh?  And not horribly atypical.  Lots of my friends changed majors, or even changed careers.  After working in marketing for several years I went back to school and picked up a secondary teaching certificate.  Actually taught for a bit.  Got a better offer back in the corporate world (or so it seemed at the time, but that’s another post) and changed yet again.  My husband, in contrast, went to college as a co-op student and has worked more or less for the same company since he graduated.  My best friend in elementary school announced as a 9-year-old that she would be a nurse, and she still is.

What does this mean for #2?  We all find our way in life.  Sometimes the path is fairly straight, sometimes it meanders all over.  What matters is, in the end, you enjoyed the journey.

15 there’s still time for you
Time to buy and time to choose
Hey 15, there’s never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

~from 100 Years, Five for Fighting~

Pretty in Pink

Watched Pretty in Pink the other night with #3.   Takeaways:

  • James Spader – wow
  • #3: “Hey, that girl (Molly Ringwald) is on Secret Life of American Teenager.  She’s old.”  Me: “Wha-???  She’s MY age.”  #3: smiles
  • Andrew McCarthy has a tiny mouth and does not move it when he talks.
  • Note to self:  show #3 pictures of James Spader from Pretty in Pink AND from Boston Legal.  Discuss.
  •  Me, to #3 and #2 who has walked in: “You recognize Ducky, don’t you?  Well, don’t you?  He sounds exactly the same.”  #2 and #3, after listening and watching intently: “We give up.”  Me: “He’s on Two and a Half Men – Charlie Sheen’s brother.”  #2 and #3:  “No, that’s not him.”
  • #3: “Mom, tell me everyone in this movie that’s in the bratty bunch.”  Me:  “You mean the brat pack.”  #3:  “Whatever, same thing.”
  • What is up with the creepy stare Andrew McCarthy does when he’s being intense?  Is that some kind of method acting?
  • Loving the music!  Kids are unimpressed.  I tell them I had this TAPE and listened to it non-stop.  Even less impressed.
  • Still a classic!