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Chapter XVII

because you never know someone from the very beginning

Month

August 2014

Vacation Response

Almost vacation time! 

I cannot wait.  It’s been a while, a good year and now it’s time to recharge, unplug and gear up for autumn by powering down in August.  I will set an email auto-response that says something like “I am away through blah blah and if you need to talk to someone urgently please contact blah blah blah.”

This is factual and directive, but not that much fun. I am considering a few alternate responses:

“GO AWAY”** Tempting

“Out smelling roses. It’s the end of August. I suggest you do the same.” Too preachy?

“LOOK! Over there!” The art of distraction

“Got your email.  Maybe just hug it out.” Peace

“Sorry I missed you.  I am on the beach building sand castles with my kids who are three and six and if asked, think Mommy and Daddy spend too much time on our phones. In fact, they (and we) have decided that since we are away digging in sand, eating messy ice cream, playing chase and star gazing that phones/screens are a distraction and we will only be looking at them twice a day.  Consider switching places with us right now.  Would you like to take a call from me and interrupt your time with your three year old who’s experiencing mint chocolate chip for the first time?” GUILT

“I am away right now.  Everything will be fine.  There are very few actual emergencies and truly urgent situations.  Please review your emails from the last year.  In what percent of them did you use the word Urgent, include ALL CAPS in your subject line or choose the red exclamation point?  If you did any of the above in more than 5% of your communications, please go HERE.”

“I am on vacation. If the word ‘vacation’ is hard for you and you think less of me for taking time away please read THIS ARTICLE.  And let me rephrase, I am in the middle of task-negative pursuits. Talk to you in September.”

🙂

** An idea from my mother-in-law, a very direct and wise individual who, while maintaining a very active life, is also a master of all things non-screen and comfort-oriented.

What’s New?

What’s new? Well it’s hot and muggy and August – none of that is new but it is current. New? My three year old resists bedtime now every night. Guess that’s not new either. Most three year olds resist bedtime. A friend of mine told me her three year has been acting like a “punk bitch” lately. That is new. And funny.

Robin Williams’ death is new and so sad. He must have felt so alone. To take your own life ever…but to take your life when so much of it is behind you and less in front of you and you’ve been through and accomplished and lived so much. We need a different lens on depression.

Because we always have two or three screens going at once, on my other screen I just sent a text saying that I don’t go to church much (ever) because I cry every time. That’s not new either.

I don’t know.

Today was an important day at work so I wore eye shadow. New.

There is one other thing that’s new. I joined a cult and that has been kind of nice. Good people. Very welcoming. Super supportive. Push me to do things I think are crazy. I pay them. At times I feel trapped.

Crossfit! Ha! Yes. I don’t care if it sounds like a cult – it’s new to me and I love it. Yes indeed.

I am a runner. I can just run and run and run. Not fast. But for quite a while. But see, what’s new is all of a sudden I stopped finding that satisfying. And it wasn’t doing anything for my double chins (yes) and I’m just weak as can be. So in a twist of fate, I broke my toe in May, had to skip the Brooklyn Half Marathon, totally stopped running, hobbled by a Crossfit and said “Yep. I am going to try that once this foot heals.”

Don’t ask me about it if you don’t want to hear about it. I freaking love it. It’s really hard, very daunting and really fun. And I hate group things – HATE. I am a loner (runner) and an introvert (hate people) and even I love groupy Crossfit.

It is hard.   I am definitely not The Little Engine in there saying “I think I can!” I’m more The Little Engine that sees the workout on the board and says “No freaking way.” Others who go have told me they “can’t wait” to get to the gym (BOX – whatever) and do the workout. This is not my reaction. Mine is more like this “holy fuck I can’t do any of that, what a joke.” But I still go.

People ask me what it’s all about. It’s about squats. A lot of squats. Lift a bar with weight over your head! Squat. Throw a 20 lb. ball against a wall! Squat. Rack a 35 lb. kettle bell at your chest and guess what…squat. It’s a LOT of squatting. There’s also a surprising amount of jumping around. Crossfitters hop on and over things. I generally do not. Picture me hopping around – it’s ridiculous. I am more of a stepper at this point. When’s the last time you jumped rope? I couldn’t remember either but they teach you and then say “Great you can jump with a rope…now repeat 899 times.” We did a warmup the other day (totally exhausting) called Junkyard Dog (PGCounty!) where you jump over a partner. Please. No wonder Crossfit is criticized for being dangerous. I jumped kind of near and above her. I am not planning to add to the injury rep.

The cool thing is that even scaled down, every workout makes you feel like a badass. Yeah, it’s a little about ego.

Take pull-ups for instance. I can’t even begin to do a real pull-up. So I use resistance bands to scale them. I use so many bands that I look like an art project. One false move and someone (me) is getting an ugly slap in the face by those bands. But they help me get the movement and one day – ONE DAY – I will start removing those bands.

So every day I do it I start my day with a “no way” and then a tired hour later I end with a “holy crap I did it.” Every time.

So that’s new. Starting a day with a seemingly impossible challenge and then a win. That’s new. And I will take it.

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