If you don’t know already, birthdays are a pretty big deal to me. My mom died on February 22, 1993 a few weeks after her 43rd birthday and last Thursday I turned 44. It’s scary and weird and liberating and also a complete mind fuck.
Luckily, I have these two to keep me grounded…
Since the age of 17 I haven’t taken my health or life for granted. Whenever I see one of those memes like “live life to the fullest because you never know what tomorrow brings” I’m like – I know tomorrow might bring death so I’m going balls out today! And, no better time to blow it out then when you survive another year, right?
WEEK OF MARCH 18, 2019
Running has always been a way for me to process things. Lately my runs have been more like death marches. I had a few bad ones last week but all it took was one great one (on the treadmill even!) to turn it all around. It just happened to come when I needed it most – on my birthday.
Monday – treadmill running | 3.69 miles | 8:11 average pace < – – I had to squeeze this one in between cleaning up my son’s puke. It was a great way to start my birthday week.
Tuesday – bike/run brick | 2.18 miles | 7:46 pace
Wednesday – easy after strength training | 6.79 miles | 8:49 pace
Thursday – bike/run brick | 3.22 miles | 7:48 pace
Total = 12.19 miles
I’m still trying to get outside but I’m not crazy enough to do it yet with this weather. I’m riding just fine in my basement, thank you very much, and enjoying some good news shows while I’m at it.
Tuesday – bike/run brick | 52:16 | 15 miles
Thursday – bike/run brick | 1:15:03 | 21.1 miles
Total = 36 miles
STRENGTH + SNOWBOARDING
That’s right, I didn’t get to swim this week but my trainer kicked my ass and I was sore for days! I feel like that made up for it in a weird way.
I spent my birthday weekend doing what I love most these days – drinking. I mean, snowboarding and hanging in Vermont with friends and family.
THINGS I LOVE
Obviously I had the best time celebrating my birthday but I had a really hard time in the days leading up to it. Since outliving my mom, I take stock of each year and try to truly live as if I were dying. I know it sounds super corny but I’m not sure what other way I can put it and I refuse to use #blessed or #grateful but I am both of those things. Damnit! #lookwhatyoumademedo
Things I have changed or done differently in the past two years:
I say no even when it feels uncomfortable and I really want to say yes to make someone else happy.
I’m an advocate for my kids and get to the bottom of every issue they have instead of just believing the “authority” and yelling before listening.
I get out more with other women and force myself into social situations even though they can make me extremely uncomfortable. #introvert
Being okay with not having a paying job, not taking some freelance jobs and exploring my writing for fun or for myself or for my kids…segue…
I started a journal for my kids because I wish my mom had written so much more in hers before she died. I’m hoping my kids can read mine while I’m still alive.
Going places on my own like the yoga weekend I took with my bestie and the Florida triathlon training camp…although I did have LambChop.
Realizing we should probably never have a dog since our first one was insane.
MORE THINGS I LOVE
That’s right, this post is all about love and frankly, I’m tired of listening to myself bitch when there’s so much to love. Don’t worry, I’m sure the hate section will be extra long next week. #somethingtolookforwardto
My Aunt baked my absolute favorite Italian cookies for my birthday and hated every minute. I know because she told me and vowed to basically never do it again. This is true, unconditional love people! The best part was her hand delivering them to my door so I got to hug and kiss her and chat for a while.
Being on the treadmill and catching the perfect moments of Rocky IV and then Karate Kid! Of course it didn’t happen in the same day – I mean lightening doesn’t strike twice – but each was equally awesome.
At the end of the Rocky montage, when he’s training though the Russian winter and scales the mountain, I started yelling with him “DRAGO! DRAGO!” and my kids did not even blink. Nothing. They just kept doing what they were doing. Is it possible they are used to my crazy?
As if we weren’t already talking about that, right? Well, there’s more! You’re welcome.
Since I’m trying not to feel guilty about being lazy and sitting on the couch watching TV, I decided to really up my game last week while I was pondering the meaning of my life.
Why is it there’s no guilt in sitting and reading but I feel a rush of it when I sit in the same spot and turn on the tv? Well, I ignored it and was rewarded with this…
After Life | Ricky Gervais | Netflix
After reading this article in the NY Times about Gervais, I was intrigued and starting watching the series. It’s dark but it’s hilarious. It’s a decidedly British comedy (all the actors are British and it’s set in England), Gervais’ character’s (Tony) wife just died and he’s coming to terms with it in the roughest possible way. He also writes for the local free paper which his brother-in-law runs so that’s just a bonus for any writer who is watching.
The Good Lie | Reese Witherspoon | Amazon Prime
Although this movie was made in 2014 I just became aware of it from a book club friend. It’s amazing and I had my kids watch it too. Not only did they learn a lot, it really opened their eyes to how privileged they are, simply because they were born in the United States.
The story is about Sudanese refugees who lose everything and walk over 800 miles to a camp in Kenya where they stay for 13 years before they are able to be hosted in Kansas City, MO. I’ve never seen anyone more excited to go to Kansas City.
There is so much to the story and the ending will break your heart but also give a tremendous amount of perspective.
RANDOM QUOTE OF THE WEEK
I just happened to catch this on Twitter. My triathlon team is ROCKET SCIENCE since my coach is an actual rocket scientist. I sent this to her and one of my teammates because hell yessssssss…
Here’s to a lifetime of living like you were dying and running like you have rocket fuel!
Do you reflect on your birthday? Do anything different this year?
Do you ever feel guilty watching tv? Reading a book?
So Ron and I watched the first 2 episodes and found it super depressing. Funny at times but mostly depressing and sad. Pass on that one! Excited to see you this weekend and to cheers to another year of living!
Oh that is funny!! I mean, it’s super depressing but I kind of took that part in stride.
Cannot wait to see you this weekend – YAY!!!
Happy birthday and I love how much you enjoy life and take it to it’s fullest. I don’t usually feel guilty for watching TV because I don’t spend hours doing so. I don’t like a quiet house so I always have something in the background.
PS Happy birthday (again!)
Thank you!!! And my husband is the same with noise so the tv is usually on and if, not that, then music is playing so I get it. Thanks Hollie 🙂
Ok, that rocketship tweet just made my day! Someone made a rude comment on my IG deadlift post from last week–and it isn’t the first time said commenter did that. Asshole. I guess he thinks (because it’s a man) the little lady should just starve herself and stay skinny. Guess he didn’t like my response. #toobadsosad
Happy birthday! Stay sassy!
Right? Isn’t that awesome? And I cannot fathom someone was fat shaming YOU!? Has everyone lost their minds??? When I see those posts from you I first think how strong you are (because wow!) and I always think “how does she stay so thin AND strong?” And that is the truth. Total asshole and you should just delete his worthless comments.
I love your perspective on life and birthdays. I am glad to read that your birthday week ended up better than you expected. That is a great quote! Have a fantastic week
Thank you so much and the weekend was truly amazing. I felt infinitely better on Monday 😉
I love everything you’ve changed/incorporated in the last two years. Happiest of birthdays and to many more ahead… the 40’s are so great, I’m wondering (and hoping) to make the 50’s even better..
Yes and YES!! And congratulations again on finishing the L.A. marathon for the second time. You did it!!!! Hope you are still celebrating 🙂
Well at 69 I reflected on my birthday this month, thinking of all my friends the same age that have already died. So many were parents, my classmates, and friends. I being single all these years wonder why God has left me here and taken others that have families. I think of all of them,they all were wonderful human beings and they all suffered a lot. God said that we need to suffer in this life to go to heaven. I have yet to suffer the way these strong loving people have.
Reflecting changes as we get older…. just have faith that someday we will understand. I pray for/to your mom daily. Ask ask her to watch her family and I know she does. I also pray for myself that she will help me in this life. She sends me so many memories that make me smile for having been graced to know her.
Sending hugs,love, and peace for your 44 th year. Janie
Thanks so much Janie and I definitely know mom is watching over us – helping and guiding us along and that is so comforting. And there are SO many fantastic memories of being with you AND her at the Cape – so much laughter. She loved being with you 🙂 Thank you for the hugs and hope to see you again soon!!
Happy happy birthday! We will have to continue the celebration this weekend. I love that you are keeping a journal for your kids. What a special thing for them to have of yours with all of your thoughts.
Yes we will!! Can’t wait to see you my friend!!
Happy birthday – it sounds like you had a wonderful celebration!
Sometimes I feel guilty about watching TV and not reading a book or doing more housework, but it helps me shut my brain off at the end of the day. My husband and I binge watch shows together and finally just started Game of Thrones.
That’s exactly it – the brain shut off – and it’s much needed!
I still have not watched GOT and I actually started once and was like “meh” but I may try it again. My husband loved it but he goes in and out of shows and I’m fully committed or not interested – LOL!
Happy Birthday week! I love all that you are doing to celebrate. As kids we watch and absorb so much and the best we can do is learn from it and go forward, like you are.
Oh to be Sly so young and fit. Seems like a billion years ago but I remember that movie like it was yesterday. Haha!
That is one of my all time favorite movies and it’s kind of sad to see Sly SO young and fit! Thanks for the birthday wishes – it was AWESOME!
Happy Birthday week to you! Are you an Aries? If so, I am too (April 1) 🙂
I have a confession to make..I’ve never seen any of the Rocky movies. I know, I know..crazy. I’m planning on watching them this summer though!
Yes I am!!…and my boys are too. Can you imagine a house full of Aries? Whew!
You must stop what you’re doing and watch!!! OMG woman!! They are super motivating too so I suggest watching before a workout or race when you’re not really feeling it.
Happy birthday!! Did I know you were an introvert? I can definitely relate. I also love that your aunt let you know how much she did not enjoy making those cookies- it’s completely opposite of most of my family and refreshingly honest!