It is hard to believe that my day yesterday was so crazy that I missed the entire Boston Marathon coverage. After living in Boston for 4 years, I got addicted to the camaraderie and dedication of Bostonians for those running the marathon. In Boston they have an entire holiday (Patriots Day) where you actually get paid to take the day off and if you feel so inspired go and watch the marathon. Of course Patriot’s Day has nothing to do with the Boston Marathon, but it does have a nice way of working out for Bostonians. We did it a few times. If you get there early enough there are actually restaurants on Boylston Street (where the finish line is) and you can have food and drinks and sit on the sidewalk patio of a restaurant and watch the race in style. I can remember in the early days of Chris and my life together (maybe before we ever really knew where we would end up) we sat together, had brunch and watched the race.
Regardless of whether you are in Boston or not, or whether you watched the race or not, there is a charged excitement and energy around races like the Boston or New York Marathon. Just as there is with the Olympics or World Cup. These are races that show the triumph, drive, and legacy of professional and everyday runners that give it their all either year around as they train to medal in such races, or for those that are trying for their personal best. For me there is something gratifying about someone who works so hard to compete or even try to finish running 26.2 miles. When I saw that the man who placed first was just over 2 hours, I was reminded that he ran 26.2 miles in just over the time it took me to run 13.1 miles. He can run the same amount of miles in half the time that I can – AMAZING!
What inspires me about races like the Boston Marathon is the amount of hours of dedication it takes for these runners (elite or not) to prepare for such a race. Hours, days, weeks, months, maybe even a year back to last year’s race. It might mean giving up on drinks with friends, time with children or other family members. Possibly it means very early mornings to get in those long runs, or being outside in rain, snow, or sleet, or maybe if you live in a warmer climate dealing with extreme heats and dryness. Whatever the weather situation, the time of day, or the toll it takes on your body, training for a marathon is a dedication that not everyone can or wants to do. We are all capable of more than we do, but sometimes there are moments in life when we show that we can push ourselves beyond limits we never were thought were possible. There is also a kindness that other runners spread during a race – see this link for stories of how runners went above and beyond during or after the Boston Marathon.
Running is a sport like no other. This year’s race was cold and rainy. It shows how many people will come out and support you rain or shine while you spend from 2 (elite athletes) to 6 hours to finish running 26.2 miles. Dedication. Perseverance. Friendship. I admire everyone that ran Boston yesterday.
Yesterday was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. It started as I was getting dressed in the morning. I was talking to Chris in the bathroom and I proceeded to rinse my contacts with my contact cleaner, not my saline solution. I scream in absolute pain, and Chris had to help me try to get the contact out of my eye (my eye shut completely and I had to pry the contact out). Eventually I was able to get the contact out, and flush my eye, but then it closed completely again. Ugh. What a way to start the day.
This event makes me incredibly late for my first meeting. I am frustrated and cranky that selecting the wrong bottle means for a painful and late morning. I go to a few meetings, and meet a friend for lunch. As I am telling her about my morning I look down and find a bug nestled in my salad. Yes, it was in my first bite too. I am starving and I do not have much time, so I pull out the piece of lettuce move it aside and proceed to eat the rest of my salad. Over our lunch conversation we talk about the days where there is a domino effect where one aspect is off and it continues throughout the rest of our day. She says: “It takes energy to be angry.” What an ah-ha moment for me. At the moment I do not have time and space for lost moments.
After lunch we walk back to our building. It is absolutely pouring down rain. She is trying to steer me away from a puddle I do not see. Yep, just like the rest of my day (contacts, bug) I do not see a puddle that is a foot or two deep and I walk through it and there is no way out. I was all in. So frustrated and discombobulated I think: “maybe I should just go home.” I do not. I move on and go to my next meeting and the one after that and proceed to maneuver through the rest of my day, slightly grumpy, slightly frustrated. I still remember my lunch and her reminder: “It takes energy to be angry.” I have to laugh it off and let it go.
It is hard though. While the events of my day are “first world” problems, these are the days when I think: “why me” or “why do I even try?” The good news is today is a new day. It is fresh, different, and I get to try it all over again. I will be more aware about my contacts and the puddles from this crazy amount of rain we are getting. As for bugs, well I am not even sure what to say. More protein?
For some reason the thought of bickering three-year olds is making me laugh. This showed up on my Facebook feed. Maybe because it is not too different from squabbling that happens at work, in meetings, or a bunch of folks at a bar – drunk. First watch the video, then we can discuss.
It is hilarious to me, because when I am tired, or wiped out I often cut words out of my sentences, and somehow Chris understands what I mean. Such as: “I hungry” or “I not child” (which means do not treat my like a baby). My favorites from this video are: “Say sorry.” “You poked my eye.” “Oow! You poked my heart.” “You are not real. I am real.” Maybe by real he means right? I think the one I want to take with me is, “Say sorry.” I may just have to use that with Chris when I am mad or sad at him: “Say sorry.” It is cute and endearing right?
And… to think that they are only talking about the rain… while one looks like she is picking her nose, the other is whispering to try to get the boy to listen. I wonder if we were all able to see ourselves in meetings, or interactions throughout our day and we saw how we acted, would we laugh just the same?
There have been many moments over the last few days and months where I get a craving, or a deep desire to be mom. Whether it was a moment I witnessed with a parent at a store, or a restaurant, a colleague with their children, or a precious video online that creates the awe and wonder of what it will be like to begin the chapter of my life for motherhood. Everyone tells me that you will never truly be ready, and I am sure that is true.
However, when I see a video such as “Kayden + Rain” [click to view full article + video]. I think “I want that.” I want those moments of watching the complete and absolute excitement and wonder of life. Last week I was holding a colleague’s baby while walking from one building to another. It was snowing outside and this little one was looking at the snow and smiling. Most likely one of the first times he encountered snow, it was so precious to watch.
Watching Kayden makes me want to bring more adventure into my life. I may wait until April when the Portland rain is warmer, but she just makes me want to just go and play in the rain. I live in Portland, and yet when was the last time I just stood out in the rain and jumped in puddles? It has been ages. I know it is not just me, we all need to stop, let go, and live life just a bit more.
Portland has my heart. Other than the small Indiana town I grew up in, Portland is the only other place I have lived for at least a decade of my life. From the ages of 15 to 25 I lived in a few different states while living away from home in high school, college, and my first few professional years. I never had a gut instinct of where I wanted to live my life, there was no city or town that captivated me. I can remember friends in college that could not wait to move to Seattle, LA, or New York. Not me, there was no place that I knew I would call home.
Portland is home now. Every time Chris and I travel, we exhale and breathe ahhh when we arrive back on NW soil. We are endeared by the creative food (not that we always partake, ahem, bone marrow on toast, elk tongue with beetroot, blue rabbit with acorn dumplings), the interesting people, the weather. Yes, we even do not mind the nine months of rain. One of our favorite things about Portland is the art. Last week I learned about a cool event called: Forest for the Trees, which is coming to PDX August 19 – 25, and includes artists from all over the world. It is a public mural project, allowing artists to collaborate for a week via outdoor murals. I am all for it. I can think of quite a few buildings that could use some lovin!
Be sure to check out the blog on their website. The artists have teamed up with a variety of companies to showcase their art. You’ll see videos from the artists mentioning creative sustainability, energy in old wood, and being conscious of your social environment. Another check mark on my list of all the things I love about Portland. I am looking forward to checking out the work that comes out of this week!