Monthly Archives: April 2015

RAH RAH FULL CIRCLE

NEXT week my daughter tries out for HIGH SCHOOL Cheerleader. There are all kinds of wrong things with that sentence. But basically it means I double up on Prozac, Xanax, whatever it takes to get me through the next week and a half. Because you know- its all about me of course.

OK the first and foremost WRONG thing with this scenario is that I have a child old enough to go to High School….what the shit? How did THAT happen. Wasn’t I cheering on the sidelines just yesterday. Damn time flying. So Im TRYING to settle with that fact…you know…that Im OLD. And for some reason my picture in my head is of my mother standing in the waiting area with the other parents getting violently ill with nerves. For four consecutive years. And now I am her.

When I was EXACTLY Maddie’s age I remember the 8th grade pep squad teacher telling us about tryouts at the High School. She told us how to sign up and the ONLY reason I did it was because all of my friends were. I had never had a day of tumbling or anything in my life! And yes I am old but not old enough that this was some popularity contest. There were actual professional judges…you know…because they’d given up their “amateur cheerleader status” after they cheered in the Olympics. (Eye roll). Whatever- they didn’t know any of us. I walked out there with my #11 pinned to my shirt and did what I do. Danced, flipped, cheered, jumped and gave it my all. And what do you know—I was one of 12 selected. And it changed my life. And that is NOT dramatic. Not at all. Ha.

Honestly now that I look back it DID change my life. I became very interested in exercise and health and weights and staying fit WAAAAAY back then. It also was the beginning of some amazing life long friendships. And four years of fun! I loved it. I took a lot from cheering. And it wasn’t “rah rah go team” days. It was the beginning of a time when Cheerleading became a legit sport and we competed at a National level.

And now she is about to walk out in that gym with a number pinned to her and I cannot even explain my nerves. She isn’t that nervous. Her attitude (or so she says) is that “if I make it, great- if I don’t then thats ok and Ill continue with competitive cheer that I love”. Im not quite sure what my nerves are about. Other than just being Mom. I am nervous because “what if she fails, what if she gets hurt, what if she succeeds, what if it changes her life, what if, what if….”. She is not me. Not by a long shot. OK she has just a few of my personality quirks- poor kid. But this is HER path. Her journey. The beginning of HER High School years. Not mine. Letting go and losing control is not my strong point. But Im learning. Its just these dreams and hopes we have for our kids aren’t quietly simmering inside they are SCREAMING and you just want to fix it all and make it all ok for them. But you can’t.

And Im so grateful that my journey played out as it was meant to be. That it all happened the way it should. It literally made me who I am today and I kinda like me….I kinda like her too. And her path will be just as formative for her as mine was for me. I am swelling with pride no matter what the outcome is. Because she is smarter than me, prettier than me, more talented than me, more mature than me…and that is how is it supposed to be, right?

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I DONT HAVE TIME

I remember my Dad getting more teary-eyed as he got older. Shit he didn’t get to get that old…I mean 53 is pretty damn young to die. But he became a more “emotional” guy as he got older. I remember the same thing about his Dad. My Pawpa. I wondered why they teared up so easily. I figured it was a side effect of aging….you know cuz when you’re 29 you think 53 is old! Moron.

I think I was partly right. I think tears come more easily the older you get. I think a lot of good things come with aging to make up for the crappy bags under your eyes, wrinkles and need to pee every 20 minutes. And one of those good things is an ability to ACTUALLY appreciate things. Appreciate people and time. Time. So funny none of us think we have enough of it. I guess we don’t.

In my line of work as a “coach” I encourage people to get healthy and eat right. I get to harass them every day to make sure they did their workout. And Im also the leader of a team of coaches. I have to find clever ways to motivate them in building their businesses. The very most common thing I hear…ok its not a thing lets call it what it is…its an EXCUSE. The very most common excuse I hear is “I don’t have time”. I hear it MANY MANY times a day. “I didn’t have time to get my workout in” “I didn’t have time to read any new training” “I didn’t have time to make my Shake” “I didn’t have time to cook so I ran through a drive through”. I DONT HAVE TIME”. I know. I know.

I am not trying to be an asshole. I know you have 4 kids and laundry and a job and after school meetings and work crap and your kid is sick and your head hurts and you injured your knee and the store doesn’t have the right fruit selection and your son has soccer and your daughter has swim and your kids come first and you are tired. I. Know.

When my husband was diagnosed with Brain Rot we had to seriously sit down and think about TIME. Headaches and carpools and stress of getting to swim practice or soccer or school functions kind of blow right out of your thoughts when REAL shit happens. I used to never be late to anything. I used to never let my kids miss school. I used to make every single class party and school PTA meeting and I don’t regret any of it. I MADE the time for those things at that time because that is what I wanted to do. When the shit hits the fan. When you are faced with illness and a questionable amount of time you tend to re-evaluate. Re-prioritize. And you realize you may not have time. I think I came to terms with that when my Dad died.

Not one single one of us knows how long we will physically be on this Earth. None of us. The piece we have in common is none of us are getting out of this ride alive. None of us. So when a few smart neurologists tell you “hey sorry we don’t really know what this will do to you or how long it will take” you stop making sense and you stop making plans and stop making spreadsheets and stop being on time and making sure to never miss a dental cleaning. You move to Colorado. Because…why not? And you don’t wear a watch anymore. And that Type A shit kind of falls by the wayside. And you cry more. And thats ok.

I workout for several reason. It is my anti depressant. It gives me energy. It makes me happy. It is my job. And it will make me live longer. Also- I can. I can move my arms and legs and body so I should. Its a gift that I can. Its a gift that Im able to. And if I CHOOSE not to I am an asshole. Many want to. Many can’t.

Same with my business. There are days I don’t WANT to work a lot. There are days we all don’t want to work a lot. I love my job. I do. But Id rather hike all day everyday on mountain with no cell service. I cannot. I have kids and a questionable job future for my husband so I work. I envy those that have choices. I hope you know how lucky you are. But I guess we all have CHOICES. I couldn’t be happier with the ones we’ve made in the past 2 years.

I usually have a plan when I write these blogs. Not today. Just rambling. Feeling nostalgic and teary-eyed I guess. And happy. And lucky. Despite Brain Rot and my autoimmune disease and my daughter’s illness I am so lucky. So fucking unbelievably lucky. I CHOOSE to make time for the things that matter. My health, my happiness, my friends, my family, and ME! Nobody HAS time. They MAKE time. There’s a quote I love that I found when I moved to Colorado. “The trouble is you think you have time” – Buddha.

So if you want to run a marathon- do it. If you want to make a career change- do it. If you want to tell someone something and are afraid- TELL THEM. Do all of the things you want to do. Your soul NEEDS you to do them. Make the time for that. Live with no regrets. Live like there IS not time. Its a fucking great way to live!

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A DIFFERENT KIND OF EASTER

I grew up a few miles from both sets of my grandparents. I had both parents in my house growing up. My parents stayed married. To each other. In fact I don’t think there was one divorce anywhere in my immediate or non-immediate family. I grew up in the middle class suburbs with two awesome parents and great neighbors and wanted for nothing. Norman Rockwell shit. Seriously.

Every Holiday we spent together. Both sets of grandparents and the occasional cousin or aunt or uncle and their family if they were in town. We had a “formal dining room”, You know…the one you are not allowed to go in. My Mom and grandmas made all of the big southern meals at Holidays. Be it Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, there was always a house full of people and hot rolls and salad and ham and green bean casserole on the table. And very often football in the background….Cowboys of course. I loved all of that. We stuffed ourselves and then all fell asleep scattered like full-bellied bears across the floor, couch & Lazy Boy recliner. Papaw even snored sometimes.

I think I just assumed at the time that all families were this way. That every kid had this life. The security of food and a house and family. I knew I wanted that for my own family one day. I imagined living near my parents and having most Holidays spread out across a large formal dining room table and ham and rolls and kids running around and football.

And until my daughter was 5 I had that. We had that. Bikes and trikes in the driveway and music blaring through the garage and sometimes a picnic table in the garage to accommodate extra cousins or aunts or whomever showed up. Bliss. Happy. Crawfish boils were introduced to the mix once I introduced a Cajun boy into the mix. My Dad loved that. My Dad loved him. My parents had an acre of land and my Dad would take turns giving the kids rides on the riding lawn mower. In Texas you could wear shorts on Thanksgiving. We had a dirt bike that even I would drive around the property. I recall (kind of) tying rope and shovels to the back of the horses that the neighbor owned and riding the shovel while the horse would run full speed. OK just a tad WT here but whatever it was fun. And stupid. And fun.

And I think I just assumed it would always be that way. Living a few miles from my parents and always having them there. That my kids would have the same experience with there grandparents as I did. You know what they say about assuming though…

And shit happens. And Dad dies. And brain rot starts. And things change and worlds are turned upside down and inside out and good God its shitty and not fair. And you stop. And you decide you can cry and be sad forever and bitch about how NOTHING is the same and your life is not turning out like you expected and where the hell are all the Norman Rockwell paintings now? OR…..

You can change too. You can pick up your family and move across the country where you know NO ONE! NO ONE. And have no family. And you’ve never baked a ham in your life. And your house has no formal dining room. And you wake up on Easter morning and go shopping for clothes and hang out on your deck staring at the mountains because football is not on and you take your almost 15 year old daughter to learn to drive your Jeep with music blaring…and it ain’t so bad. Its NOT in anyway how you thought it would be. At all. And there are a few moments that is sad. And you get a group text from your brother in Dallas, your Mom in Washington, your sister in Austin…all saying Happy Easter. And maybe the table and the hot rolls and the physical proximity of them is not there….but the memories are. And instead of mourning what your kids WONT have you look around at them giggling in the parking lot trying not to drive into a pole and you think….”this is ok”.

New memories, new traditions, new acceptance, new stages of life. I still get sad at what might’ve been. But I don’t want to be so sad that I miss what IS!

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