My musings on life

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Words of Wisdom

senior picture 2

my senior picture

So, recently I’ve been trying to be a bit more organized at home. I’ve made huge strides in purging quite a bit of old crap including paperwork, magazines, every paycheck I’ve ever had, etc. To my credit, there have been multiple trash bags of shredded stuff
disposed of already, but it is a work in progress still.

In the course of this overhaul, I’ve stumbled upon quite a few gems from my past and thought I’d take a moment to stroll down memory lane. I found a journal I received as a high school graduation gift with some entries from that day and the beginnings of my freshman year in college. Some of the things I read today I’d forgotten about for over a decade, almost two now, but others I read were as fresh as that day. I won’t bore you with the details or entertain you with the sordid tales, but I thought I’d share some words of wisdom that I collected and entered into the journal along with some of my ambitions.

I will say that some of these are not exactly how I still feel or what I believe, but keep in mind that this was more than a half-life ago for me and these are the things my 17 year old self thought were important enough to write down. I hope you enjoy and maybe even find some inspiration in these words put together by this kid.

at my graduation party

at my graduation party

QUOTES:

  1. NEVER ASSUME.
  2. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
  3. Row as if there is no God. Pray as if there are no oars.
  4. Parents aren’t always right.
  5. Things will happen in your life that you can’t stop, but it isn’t a reason to shut out the world.
  6. It’s normal for things to be shitty.
  7. Don’t be so afraid of the bad things in life that you miss out on all the good things.
  8. You can run from the disappointments you’re trying to forget, but it’s only when you embrace your past that you truly move forward.
  9. There’s a purpose for the good and for the bad.
  10. Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something and has lost something.
  11. The greatest reward for your toil is not what you get out of it, but what you become by it.
  12. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
  13. Be what you are and become what you are capable of becoming.
  14. The trouble with being a good sport is that you have to lose to prove it.
  15. The most wasted day of all is that on which we have not laughed.
  16. In three words I can sum up what I’ve learned about life. It goes on.
  17. Take your time, think a lot, think of everything you’ve got. You will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not.
  18. True friends are hard to find, hard to leave, and impossible to forget.
  19. The more difficult the victory, the greater the happiness in winning.
  20. It is easy to smile when there is no cause for frown, but the person worth knowing is the one who smiles when his sandwich falls jelly side down.

I also wrote down a few of my ambitions:

  1. To dream as if I’ll live forever and live as if I’ll die tomorrow
  2. To always be able to smile at the sun and laugh at the rain
  3. To help Kevin Arnold finally get Winnie Cooper and to bring the “Little Shirley Beans” album home to Phoebe without breaking it.

🙂 BB

Progress Report

So, a few months ago I posted about some goals for this new year. Since then, I have not written a single post. I thought I’d take a few minutes and give myself a bit of a progress report before we reach the mid year in a month and a half.

As far as my reading goal, I am way behind schedule. Part of this was due to work and mandatory overtime stretching into mid April and even some in May. The rest is simply I haven’t made the time. I should watch less tv and fewer movies, but they are mindless activities that help me unwind. I have read the first two Harry Potter books, so I am 2 books into my goal of reading 10 by the end of the year. New goal: start a new book this week.

Writing on here, as I’ve already mentioned, hasn’t happened at all in the last four to five months. Over at onthegoinmco.com, I have been a bit more successful in writing with more regularity than in the past. I would like to continue this trend to write 1-2 posts here and there each week, but I think I’ll be easing back in the waters slowly here.

Relaxing more hasn’t really happened to be honest with you. I have still been going to Orlando 2-3 times per month and not staying home as often as I should. I have taken it down a notch as far as not running around like crazy when I am in Orlando. I really haven’t been to the parks much at all this year and think I am a bit overdue for some fun time, even if it is just a few hours here or there since we are now entering the crazy hot months. I am still hoping to get on a cruise, and to facilitate this effort, I have taken off almost the entire month of November from work. This time off will also include a trip to Disneyland with friends.

I have been doing okay with the saving money for a bit this year, but then life happens. A laptop dies, you get sick and miss some work, doctor’s visits cost money, so on and so forth. There is a potential change coming up in my life in the next few months that will negatively impact me financially, but would probably be for the best overall, so I am starting to think about additional ways to save ahead of time. Cutting costs preemptively may not be a bad idea. If I save more and don’t need it, that is either less debt I’m in or more money for vacation month of November.

Running has not been happening at all since the beginning of March. I hurt my back mid February and was in physical therapy and undergoing pain management treatment for a couple months. It is somewhat better, so I hope to start back to walking at the gym before the end of this month. I am registered for an Avengers themed 5K at Disneyland in November, but that is the only race on the slate for the rest of this year so far.

I would say overall I am doing okay, maybe a B- or a C+ as far as grades would go. I have definite room for improvement, but I’ve also taken strides to make some changes for the better. Work, despite being crazy busy most of the time, has been going well and not much to complain about there. I try to look forward to what’s ahead, which may include a staycation to the beach, a long weekend to Hilton Head, soccer, baseball, perhaps a concert, hard work, but some play time too. Things are moving in the right direction and I hope they continue to do so because goodness knows almost everyone I know has not had the best of years so far and could use some damn good news and good luck coming their way. I have some pretty amazing friends and great family and I couldn’t ask for much more.

Peace out cub scouts! But, before I go, I thought I’d share a few pictures of cool shit I’ve seen and done this year so far.

Goals for the New Year

So, I’m not really big on resolutions for the New Year, but I thought I’d start out with some goals. I have a few things that I have planned that are specific goals I’d like to accomplish, like running my second 10K next weekend or going on a Disney Cruise before the year is over. Other things are just more generic areas of my life I’d like to improve.

2014 I hope will bring a bit more stability. This year has been a rocky one and there were a lot of things that I would care not to repeat. There was some great stuff too, but definitely more dark than light.

I would like to read more in the next year. I am ashamed to admit that I only completed four books, two fiction and two non in all of 2013. For someone who loves to read, was a lit major, and is certified to teach English (fun fact), this is pathetic. I know the beginning of the year is typically beyond crazy, at least through March, so I’ll try to set the bar at a realistic 10 book minimum. This should be doable with a book between now and March and then one per month for the rest of the year. I will make this happen. I just need to shift some things around.

Writing is another thing that I love that I have put on the back burner. Yes, I blog semi-regularly over at http://www.onthegoinmco.com, but I would like to be more consistent in my writing both there and here. I’d also like to get back into more creative writing, which I miss dearly. I don’t think I want to put a quantitative measurement on my writing, but just do better at it than I did this year.

Along these same lines, I want to relax more. Whether that is traveling to Orlando less than the usual 2 – 3 weekends a month I currently do, or just not running around like a crazy person when I do travel I’m not sure. I need to take more time to focus on me and recharging my batteries. Tonight is a good example. I’d love to have spent New Year’s Eve with friends at a party or in the parks as I have the last couple of years, but it just doesn’t make sense. I need to listen to my body and rest more. Go to the beach more often. It is ten minutes from my house for god’s sake and I maybe get there three or four times a year. I could save a ton of time and energy and money if I didn’t travel every other weekend and maybe that’s what I need to do. Sure, I’ll miss my friends, but maybe they can come to visit me for a change.

Speaking of saving, I want, no, need, to get back on track. I can’t say how much stress comes from not having money when I need it, but let’s just say it is a lot. I can work harder to get out of debt and pay off some of those stupid bills that cause me headaches. Again, maybe not going away as often might help here.

Running for me is a bone of contention right now. I enjoy the bling, and the 5Ks are fun, but they can add up money-wise, especially for some of the Disney races. I don’t want to completely give up on running, but maybe shift away from races after February and focus more on doing it for myself and to try to get healthier. I need to not focus on how others are doing and compare myself to them when it comes to running. I’m overweight, have had major knee surgery and have asthma. These aren’t excuses, but realizations. I need to working on being a better me, not running against my friends and their accomplishments.

I want to be a better person all around. A better friend, sister, daughter, granddaughter and just a better human being. I will try to stress less over the small stuff. Focus on the good stuff. Live in the present, but respect the past while not dwelling on it. I hope we all are in for a happier and healthier 2014. Happy New Year!

Boston, You’re My Home

The tragic events of Patriot’s Day at the Boston Marathon have hit home for so many people. It was an act of terrorism, and of cowardice, directed at innocent civilians at a celebratory event. I don’t know if it is hitting me so hard because I used to live in New England for 11 years and have always had family and friends there as long as I can remember, if it is because I am a runner (albeit a slow one, but I do it), or if it is because of the continuing stream of shock and awe we are exposed to these days.

I remember exactly where I was on September 11th. Sitting at home in my room on my day off, I was in a Yahoo trivia chatroom and someone announced the news of the first plane hitting the World Trade Center. I turned the tv on just in time to see the second plane hit. For me, this was a jarring occurrence. Yes, I was in high school and remember too well the bombing in Oklahoma City, but this was different. New York City to us and often to the world acts as a symbolic home for our country. They hit us where it hurt more than ever before. This is not to dismiss Pearl Harbor, or OKC, or any other previous tragedies, but only to say this was in a place where more people travel and live on a daily basis and more people know.

For whatever reason, I feel even more connected to the attack on the Boston Marathon. It could be because I didn’t really know anyone immediately impacted by 9/11 at the time it happened. Not so much with Boston. I know literally dozens upon dozens of former classmates from elementary, middle, high school and college who live in and around the city. Newer friends in the Disney community, as well as friends from here in Florida currently attending college in Boston. This was a place where I traveled often to during my formative years.

I used to live about 20 minutes outside of Boston in Wellesley and would hop on the green line of the T and head into the city to explore the Aquarium, Children’s Museum, Science Musuem, Museum of Fine Arts, catch a Red Sox game, go to Fanueil Hall to go shopping. The cultural experiences, the food and the people of Boston are fantastic. I miss having that richness at my fingertips and someone tried to shatter the innocence of my memories of childhood yesterday. I had friends who were across the street from the second explosion only a couple hours before and decided to move a mile away. Another friend who had previously competed was running late with his family and didn’t make it to cheer. Other friends were nearby, but thankfully escaped the horror.

I can only imagine the 8 year old boy who was killed in the attack as he watched his dad cross the finish line just minutes before. The training and preparation that goes into running, even just 5Ks, is a commitment of body, mind and soul. To come so close to accomplishing for many a lifelong dream by finishing the Boston Marathon and to have that hard work destroyed by a villainous act is disgusting.

Having only been a “runner” for the past three years, I know the ups and downs of race preparations, cheering, travel and that amazing feeling of setting a goal and reaching it. My goal to start out was simple, to run a 5K two years after I had major knee surgery. With the encouragement of friends on twitter and facebook, I attained that first medal (okay, made of rubbery plastic, but still) in October of 2010. I didn’t die. I finished upright and under my own power, my only two goals for that first race. In 2011, I decided I would do all of the 5Ks that Walt Disney World had to offer, and I did that too, even a couple not knowing I had bronchitis at the time. 2012 I slacked off a bit, only completing on race in May.

This year is going to be different. I already did one 5K in February, but this is the year I am going to step it up and out of my comfort zone. Do I think I will ever run a marathon? I don’t know. I never had a desire to before the events of this week. Am I going to do my best to continue to improve to honor all of those runners out there who weren’t able to finish? You bet you ass I am! I have already signed up for my first 10K, Beach2Beacon, one of the largest races in New England behind the Boston Marathon. It seems only fitting. In January, I am also registered for the inaugural Walt Disney World 10K during marathon weekend.

The bastards who did this will not keep us from participating in races. If nothing else, they will motivate even more of us to get out there and to run and cheer in spite of their actions. We are a strong and resilient nation of people who will come together to support each other through our darkest moments and we will come out even tougher despite this.

I’m sure I will probably cram some other races in there too, and eventually would like to complete the Princess Half Marathon at WDW in February, but we will see if 2014 is that year. There are a lot of miles down the road, and each one of them will be dedicated to Boston, all the runners out there, and in the continued American spirit to not let these terrorists, whether foreign grown or domestic keep us down. We will always keep moving forward! I hope you all will keep those affected by this directly and indirectly in your thoughts and will do what you can to help by either giving blood regularly, donating to the Red Cross, or even signing up for a charity race. Do good to show the bad guys out there they will never win!

By the way, I’m wanting to start a new playlist with Boston themed songs and would appreciate any suggestions. I’ve already got Dirty Water by the Standells (from which the title of the post comes), Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond, Boston by Augustana and then maybe some songs from Aerosmith, Boston, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Let me know if you’ve got any other ideas as I’d like to add these to my running mix. Thanks!

Inspiration

One of my favorite t-shirts features this word above a mascot of my favorite band: INSPIRATION. Every once in a while you a struck by it, and in the strangest of places. So here I am, inspired to write. It is not often that you go somewhere as inane as to the movie theater and expect to come out transformed in some way. The film that affected me so was the latest release from Walt Disney Pictures, The Odd Life of Timothy Green.

Going in to the movie, I knew very loosely the premise was centered around family and a couple that couldn’t have children. I won’t delve too much in to the plot of the movie, but it should not come as a surprise to anyone that this is about a void, fulfillment, loss and being a Disney movie, has a happy ending. Part of what struck a chord with anyone who is a parent, or anyone who wants to be one, is the sense of not living to your full potential. This can be in your personal life in not being married or having children, your professional life in not doing what you are destined to do, or in many other facets.

What this film showed me is that although you aren’t quite there yet, maybe you aren’t ready to be. Maybe you need to experience a few more bumps and bruises along the way. You may be feeling like you are pushed beneath the surface, only to later, when you are more prepared, to triumphantly and brilliantly succeed by breaking through. I don’t know, maybe it is just a film that was meant to tell a story and to entertain, but I think this time it was meant to affect each and every one of us that emerged from that theater.

I came out those doors, still drying tears from my face, trying to decide what to do and where to go next in a larger sense. It was one of those moments where I found myself thinking and feeling throughout the whole film. Sure, the subject matter may have resonated with me a little more than others due to some personal ties, but I don’t believe there was anyone who walked out just thinking this was any other afternoon matinee.

To take away nothing from this movie would be an injustice to the story. It inspires you to do your absolute best. Maybe you don’t have a clue what the hell you are doing. You may be thrust into a situation that you couldn’t have even imagined just moments before when you were at one of your deepest and darkest places of sadness and regret. But maybe, just maybe, you come through on the other side molded into a better person than you ever hoped you could have been.

Many have said being a parent is the most important job in the world, and I agree. You shape and mold this little person into who they will one day be. You have ideals and dreams that you want to share with them, but you always want better for them than you ever had for yourself. Becoming a parent means always putting someone else first, and this isn’t a bad thing. I am fortunate to have some amazing friends who are some of the most incredible parents. Some have children of their own and some don’t. Some of us, for one reason or another, are given the privilege of having kids in our lives that look up to us as additional parents, aunts, uncles, foster parents or just role models.

Not only should we all strive to do our best, but we should try to help others do so as well. Try and forget the petty stuff that can bring you down. Look at life through the eyes of a child. Embrace humor, music, sports, art, whatever, as long as it inspires you. Do something that you are passionate about. Seek out the good in people, and don’t be afraid or intimidated. Stand up for what you know is right. Love unconditionally. Communicate. Do good for others whenever you can. Sometimes even children can mold their parents into who they need to be by inspiring them to believe in themselves as much as the child believes in them.

For anyone who hasn’t yet, I implore you to go see this movie. I didn’t find it to be treacly or condescending in its messages. There is a happy ending, I promise you, but you have to get through the rest to get there. If we could all live our lives more like Timothy Green, I think the world would be a better place for it. Also, bring a box of tissues. You’ve been warned.

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