It happens all the time. You know that moment when you start to tell someone something big, and deep, and raw. It might be how you really feel about them, or a story from your past, or it might be advice you have been holding back from telling them. At times you hold it in and later, as you walk away from them, you think inside: “I should have said it, I should have told them, I missed my moment.” You might even go back to that moment days and weeks later wondering if you will ever have an opportunity to share it with them. I was reminded of those moments when I read this on David Kanigan’s blog: “There’s that split second moment.”
“you know when someone asks you a general question like “how are you” or jokingly says something like “do you ever even sleep” and there’s that split-second moment where you consider actually telling them things like whether they’re good or bad things whether they’re sad or happy or anything at all you just think about telling them everything but you don’t” -jackfrost.co
It happens when you are out to drinks with a good friend, or a new friend, or maybe even a colleague. You start to tell them some part of you that you may not share with many, and you start to tell them about you, and then you stop. Often it might be hard to know why. Maybe it is an intuition that you feel, and other times it might just be bad timing, but you feel that moment, you feel that urge, and it stays with you. How often do you have these split second ponderings? They happen fast.
Other times you look back and realize how grateful you are that you kept your mouth shut. You are not ready to share that specific story. You breathe a sigh of relief for that potential slip, as you are not ready for the rest of the world to know just yet what you have been through, or what you are still going through. It is still too raw, too new. Did you stop yourself because you were afraid, or did you stop because you heard a small little voice inside that said. Not yet, not now?
We all have those split second moments. How often do they happen for you?
Three things that are constants in my life on an almost daily basis are: exercise, vegetables, and writing. An odd amalgamation of things, but all critical for a bit of balance and inspiration in my life. You might wonder how these three have anything remotely in common. Their only commonality is that they ground me. On the days when I have the opportunity to run, eat a good amount of vegetables, and take the time to write, life just feels better. It may not mean that I have had an amazing day. Lots of shit could have happened, but these three stable aspects of my life help me to get through the shitty days and make the good days even better. Call me crazy, but it is true.
The ironic thing is that all three require discipline and none of them happened for me overnight. Consistent exercise was a gradual habit that happened over many years. My craving to run each day is the euphoria of pushing myself to the limits, having an hour that is just for myself, and the feeling at the end of a run when I am dripping in sweat and knowing I got through it. There is nothing else in my life that gives me that feeling and my day does not feel complete without my run.
How I feel when I run matters and, often, I can tell that if I feel horrible while running it has to do with some crap I ate earlier in the day. I am usually an evening/after work runner, so what I had for lunch and any snacks or junk food I ingest during the day matters. Which is why I have become a fanatic of eating vegetables. I have them in my green smoothie in the morning (usually spinach, kale, carrots), a salad for lunch, then for dinner, a vegetable, protein, and brown rice. Some sort of yummy concoction, but there is always a vegetable go with it. How far I have come from trying to get away with no vegetables as a kid and little to none in high school and college. Why have I become such an addict? I can now tell the difference in my body when I do not have these natural nutrients. More sugar + less vegetables and my body shuts down earlier in the day. More sugar = more exhausted. Since I know this about myself I do all I can to eat my veggies.
Writing. The final aspect to balance in my life. I write five blog posts each week and used to write in a journal too. My journal writing has waned in the past few months. It felt like work and I was not inspired to do it so I stopped. I know I will pick it up again, as that has been the ebb and flow of my life. There have been times when I needed to write, and write, and write to figure out my thoughts and unravel my world. Writing random olio keeps my mind open and aware. When you know that you are going to write a blog five days in a row you look at the world differently. It makes me more creative, have more wonder, and investigate the world.
What is not to love about my three life disciplines? A random olio of balance that is the core of who I am today.
I am not a fan of walking into a mall before Thanksgiving and seeing Christmas decorations or hearing Christmas music on the radio. You know the drill. One holiday at a time. I know each year they start earlier and earlier and this year, because Thanksgiving falls so late, it means there is a short three-week window between Thanksgiving and Christmas. So I am the LAST person to talk about Christmas before Thanksgiving. However…
…yes, I am breaking my own hardcore rules. I could not resist sharing some laughter and Christmas hilarity before Thanksgiving. About a year ago I wrote a blog on “Poo-pourri.” Well, I have a Christmas update for you. Father Christmas, Santa, whatever you call him. You grow up leaving him a plate of cookies and milk or egg nog. Over the years you start to wonder how does he get into my house if we have no chimney? How does he carry all those toys on his back on a sleigh and still be able to fly all over the world — that would be too many toys. Did you ever ask yourself if he ever made a pit stop that night? After all those milk and cookies did you ever think that he might have had to take a poo?
There are clever lines galore inside this three-minute masterpiece, not to mention all the sound effects and extremely clever lines like: “The ghost of Christmas ass; Gingerbread Manslaughter; I have been holding this since Dubai; So you can keep sneaking without reeking; Your dingleberries will smell like jingleberries.” I am still laughing…
All day Wednesday I thought it was Thursday. All day Thursday I wished it was Friday. It is not that I do not enjoy my days and nights but for some reason I was just off by a day and somehow that just made the week different. Now that it is Friday, I am ecstatic. I am ready for a weekend. I need some time to rest, reflect, relax, and recharge. Why is it the words that help us to replenish start with re? Alas, it has just been a full ass week.
Last night I was frustrated. There are times in life when I see those close to me (friends, family, Chris) struggle with situations they encounter in life. It is my nature to want to listen, help, synthesize the information and then try to fix or help find a solution for the situation. In recent months I have struggled a bit as there is someone close to me that has been struggling and there is not a solution that has surfaced. At times I find that I get frustrated because this individual is an amazing person, dedicated, does their best at all they do, and somehow they still get the shitty end of the deal.
I struggle because while I want to think that there are others looking out for each of us, the cards they continue to get dealt seem to show that no one is looking out for them, and they are on their own. Everything they try to do they find roadblocks along the way. Some are large and hard to imagine getting around, and others are numerous small roadblocks that gradually erode self-esteem and passion for life. It reminds me of the question: “Why do bad things repetitively happen to good people?” I know we all have lessons we have to learn, and while I am not sure what the lesson is for them, I am ready for a change to happen.
As humans we usually tend to balk at change happening. We struggle with it, but what happens when all we want is change and it never happens? Of course we could quickly rip the massive band aid off, but what if that is not really what needs to happen? I start with thinking that patience is the first step. What if you have been patient for months and months? What happens next?
I miss Shanghai. There are definitely parts of it I would never miss, but of the cities I have been to in the past few years, there was something very endearing about it. Last night Chris flew back from Memphis, Tennessee and due to his late night return I decided to be the horrible wife and not make the drive out to the airport to pick him up. While I am always exuberant to see him after he is gone (regardless of how long he is away), I am exhausted that late at night, and it is best to keep me in my pajamas on the couch then driving in the rain. So — he took a cab. Which reminded me of taxi’s in Shanghai.
There is one thing that is the complete opposite in Shanghai than Portland (and many cities in the United States). Pedestrians do not come first. Cars do, and taxis can be aggressive. If you are on foot, beware. Even if you have the right of way at a cross walk, do not trust that it is truly your turn. It was something that I had to constantly remember, as it is so different from the United States. Taxi’s can range from chill and quiet, to loud and maniac drivers. I guess the same could be said for cabbies in New York City. In Shanghai they honk all the time and especially if a pedestrian or cyclist is in their way, and often yell at everyone and everything in their vicinity. (Not that I could understand what they are saying, but you can tell by the tone). The exact moment the stoplight changes from red to green the horn is blaring, not giving anyone a second to be distracted.
While I never saw a single accident, there were quite a few times when I saw near misses. Somehow though they glide through the streets and dodge people and cyclists left and right without any harm done. They have a poise and agility about them. In some ways they make cabbies in New York City look like they are little league in comparison. There must be some unwritten rules for how people drive because somehow (and I could never explain it) it all works out.
Since some foreigners cannot rent cars while visiting China (probably a good thing) they are reliant on public transportation, car services, or taxis to be transported to each destination. Or, as we often did, walk. I cannot imagine if you added drivers from the rest of the world into the mix. What chaos that would be. Now, what it does make me ponder is why the United States lets almost anyone with a driver’s license in the rest of the world rent a car and navigate our roads. Does that make sense? It makes you think. I will say one more thing: