Never Here, Never Again

I am in my fifties.  I have been out of high school for a long time, but I remember my history lessons.  In high school, college, in books, we learn about the lives of humans and how they lived in the past; the good and the bad.

The awful lessons of history always seem so long ago.  We often tell ourselves never again.  We often ask ourselves, “How could this happen?”.  The atrocities of the past were committed by horrible people, and we could not possibly be so unenlightened that it would happen again.

I will add to this by saying that we know that awful things happen today.  We have instantaneous news.  However, those dreadful things seem to happen far away.  Oppression, extremism, slavery, none of those exist in our clean and whitewashed world.  Right?

In a free and civilized world, slavery will never happen again.  The Holocaust, the Spanish Inquisition, Witches being burned, the Crusades, and the list goes on for as long as man has walked the earth.  We are far too evolved for this.  Right?

I never thought I would see it or say it, but it is happening, and it is happening where I live.  Liberals often say that Conservatives do not care unless it happens to them, I would say that could be said of just about every human.  You could argue with me, and probably come up with many examples, but I could probably counter with twice as many for my point.  I am just saying that I am watching something I never thought I would live to see; the dismantling of my country.

We are quickly rolling downhill and picking up hate and extremism, and distrust, and government oppression as we go.  All of those things from my history lessons, everything from far across the world, all of those horrors are now here.

I said to a very liberal friend the other day that idealism is a loser.  I do not want it to be, but it is.  It causes division and inaction.  If you do not believe and support everything that I do, then I do not want you to win.  If the real enemy wins, too bad, we deserve it because you did not think of everything for everyone.  It is paralyzing.  Our country is being lost to the opposite of idealism; it is being lost to extremists.  Extremists are people who will band together under one banner of hate and certainty that they are right.

I do not have the answer for the way out of this, but I believe that many more people will start to react and stand to oppose the extremism consuming our country.  Many of you will finally respond when it happens on your street, to someone who looks like you or worships like you.  Then, maybe then we will all pour into the streets.  But then, it will be too late.  There will be millions who have already been fighting with hate, and lies, and oppression.  Millions more that already won.

Take pause and give strength

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My blog, From Here to Me, is really just a journal where I keep my thoughts and experiences as I go through this journey called life.  I have made a lot of changes over the past year and a half, I have failed at some goals, and far exceeded my expectations for others.  When I fail I have become much better at getting back up and trying again; when I succeed I feel great.

My journey is personal and a choice I have made for my life.  During this journey I have become more aware of others life experiences; some are on a journey not of their choosing, and others, like me, have chosen change, but may be struggling in ways that I am not.  The strength in the human spirit is remarkable!

Since I truly believe that there is strength in numbers and strength in positive thoughts I am going to share with you some information on folks that I know need strength.  I am asking you to offer a brief positive thought, or if you are so inclined, a prayer, for each of these folks and anyone you may know that needs this strength.  You could even share and add my strength to your list of folks in need.

Right now I know someone who is –

  • Trying to bring hope and a new life to a child in a bad situation
  • Watching their child lose her battle with cancer
  • Struggling with her loss of physical well-being and her marriage
  • Mourning the loss of her husband
  • Hurting because a relationship has ended
  • Dealing with excessive pain
  • Putting her life in order after getting laid off a job she has had for over a decade
  • A couple overwhelmed with debt because of recent illness

These experiences and journeys are all very different from mine and likely from yours; yet they are still similar and very human.

Take a moment today, pause, and send positive thoughts.  I will do the same for you.

 

One week to go

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One week to go, two-thirds of the way there, almost done.  These are all things I am thinking today, I am tired today, not so tired that I am not going to keep doing this, but definitely tired.

Boot camp this morning was early and a tough workout, 60-minutes of any activity other than sleeping at 5:30 am is not easy.  It was good though, exciting, certainly much better than trudging to the gym to lift weights on my own or to get on the elliptical.  There is just something about being told what to do and sweating at the same time ;).

Two new habits I have formed out of all of this are getting my workout clothes ready the night before and putting my work outfit together as soon as I get home from the gym or from my run.  Those little steps of preparedness leave me far less frazzled in the morning and make the routine of getting ready much easier.

Something you may not know about me is that I am not very organized, so putting clothes out the night before is a big deal for me.  Normally I would be cursing about not being able to find a shoe, or a shirt, or something 5-minutes before I walk out the door, getting ready beforehand relieves me of worrying that this will happen.

“Organization is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it’s not all mixed up.”  ― A.A. Milne

Here’s to being less mixed up.

Until tomorrow…

Day 3 – for lack of a more clever title

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Is it too early for this quote?  It is not really LONG after I said I would do it, but it has been three days.

Actually it has been a good three days; still upright, have not really gotten mad at anyone, and I am here typing my blog.  I did not commit to a word count, so this may be short.

Got up this morning at 6 am and was excited for my run.  Well sort of, I had just finished boot camp 12 hours earlier, so excited is probably the wrong word.  But I did run, it was slow and easy, it felt good and surprisingly I am not very sore today from last night’s hellacious squat fest, aka – boot camp with The Vince.

The eating so far has been the toughest part, I have to get better at planning meals.  I am not eating junk or even eating a lot, I just feel like I do not know how to eat to keep myself full.  I am thinking about a nutritionist to help with this.  One of my problems is that I have a sort of addiction to Mexican restaurants, I really like Mexican food, and margaritas.  I will starve myself for the day if it means a good enchilada and some tequila; I have to satisfy this craving at least once a week or I get really cranky.

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Tonight Mexican, tomorrow morning yoga.

Three down 18 to go.

 

Fear The Vince

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Day Two – This is Day Two of the 21-day commitment to workout every day, blog every day, and eat right every day.  See how this “It takes 21-days to form a habit” is going to work for me.

Today was my second day of this commitment and my third boot camp class.  Here is the thing about boot camp, it does not get easier.  You just push yourself harder the more you do it, and some weeks the instructor may be feeling a little more bold than other weeks.

Less than a week ago I discovered a boot camp facility had opened near my home, this is something I have always wanted to try, but really with my commitment issues and all, I knew I would not drive across the city to get to one, so the new Body Evolution location is perfect!

My first class was tough, it was Saturday morning, and by Sunday morning sitting on anything lower than a bar stool was PAINFUL.  But that is the way it is supposed to be, right?  So, I went back for more on Monday, that proved beyond a reasonable doubt that even though I hated Fifty Shades of Grey, at least a tiny part of me is a masochist.

My first two classes were tough, the instructor was a very nice young man, but that does not mean he was easy.  At the end of my second class someone asked me if I had ever worked with Vince, well naturally I said no since my first two classes were with the same person.  Then I got one of the “WELL, wait until you have Vince.” grand statements.  I thought, “not sure I ever want to meet Vince”.

Tonight I go again, this time my daughter went with me, it was her first night, I spent the ride over teaching her to fear The Vince.  Guess who was our instructor tonight?  That is right, Vince.

He introduces himself, he is very nice, almost mild, and very kind to my daughter when he knew it was her first visit.  He does not look scary, and how could someone so kind and gentle be a tough instructor?

Ha! Kind and mild-mannered Vince had me sweating like a…well lets just say I was sweating a lot.  And he was not merciful, but he was also not mean, and he was helpful.  I have been really enjoying the boot camp classes, it includes folks of all different fitness levels and I do not feel intimidated even when I am the last one back from a run and Vince still makes me do a rotation of 30 squats :).

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Tomorrow morning, 30-minute run, which after today seems like a piece of cake.  Speaking of cake, I did well with my eating today, tracking points with Weight Watchers, and so far so good.

Until tomorrow…

One More Day with Charlie

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Hi everyone!  I have not posted recently, been pretty busy training for my next half in September.  I have not posted mostly because my running has not motivated me to post.  Not that I am not running, that is happening for sure; had one of my best runs ever last weekend.  It is just that I have not been motivated to post about running.

When I started this blog I did it with the intent of blogging mostly about my journey “From Here to Me” and right now involves a lot of running and lifestyle changes.  For some reason I have not been able to write about these things lately; so I am thinking maybe a change for a bit.

Maybe I will post what it is like to be a peri-menopausal 49-year old with the goal of sliding into fifty fit, fabulous, and sane :).

Today my post is going to be about Charlie.  Charlie is our 15-year old Russian Blue, he is affectionately known as Charlie Man around the house.  Charlie came to us about 4-years ago when a neighbor of ours passed away.  Timmons’ (our neighbor) family did not want him and asked if we would take him.  Being an animal rescue household, we were not going to say no; and every day since has been a joy.

I want to tell you first about Timmons, our fantastic neighbor.  Timmons was a WWII vet who had been a prisoner of war in Germany, as a career (he was long since retired when we met him) he was an Ad Man, you know in the 50s and 60s like on Madmen, after retirement he became a fixture in the Louisville area social scene.

Timmons was also married for over 30 years and had children.  30 years into his marriage he let everyone know that he preferred the company of a male partner and from that day forward was able to live his life with a man he loved; they were together for over 30 years.  We loved Timmons and miss him dearly.

Back to Charlie – when we first took Charlie we also took a chair from Timmons family and a pair of Timmons pants.  For a month Charlie laid in our bedroom on that chair and pair of pants.  It took my daughter visiting from college to bring him out of the room.  Since that time we have all fallen in love with Charlie and his charming ways.  A few days ago Charlie, who has been getting thinner, was showing distress in his breathing so we took him to the vet.  It turns out his lungs were full of fluid; so we had the vet drain the fluid and brought him home.  The vet said with medication, which we started that next day, and follow-up he could be fine.

Well, last night Charlie had a seizure, it was scary and sad.  My daughter works part-time at the local animal shelter and she was working today, so we thought we might decide to put him down.  She was working until 6 pm so she asked that we wait until the end of her shift.  But today Charlie had a good day.  He ate some, laid with me while I napped and laid with my husband a bit, this is pretty much his normal routine at 15-years old.  We decided not to take him to the shelter, and I took the day off tomorrow to see how he does tonight and tomorrow.

My daughter’s other job is at a Vets office, so she will talk to them on Monday and see what they say.

We never want to see him suffer, but we certainly do not want to take away his life if he is feeling better.  This is a really tough decision; how do we decide when quality of life is not good and it is time to end it?  I am really struggling with this decision.  We love our animals like family, so on one hand we do not want them to suffer, on the other, we do not want to lose them.

So, here we are, enjoying one more day with Charlie, and perhaps another, or maybe not.