Sunday, July 11, 2010
Today was a kind of sobering day. I went to visit my grandmother in the nursing home at which she now resides. She has Alzheimer's, so, frankly, these are never fun trips. It's not that I don't enjoy in a way my time with her. I just hate to see her in her current condition. I think back to when I was growing up and how different things were. She helped to raise me; there are a lot of memories of things that will never be again. I mourn the condition that erects a more solid wall between us as time goes on. I mourn the fact that my children will never know the woman that she really is. I think it's one factor that kept me from visiting her like I should. Not having to see it made it easier to not think about.
I finally got my act together and realized that, even though our time together is not as I would wish it to be, it's time for us to be together, and that is, in itself, a precious gift. My children may not ever know the woman Grandmother really is, but they will see glimpses of her through the cracks of this disease. I make visiting her a priority now.
Today was an off day for her. She seemed hazy, sleepy and just not there. She didn't remember our names. I thought that she might go to sleep right there in her wheelchair in front of us, but for the baby making her loud noises. Days like today just make visiting hard. She can't hear well, and, when she's not really there, it makes solid, meaningful communication impossible.
I came home, always glad for the time with her, but saddened at the lack of time with the real her, if that makes sense. I hate that our time together has to be spent in that facility. I hate seeing the lack of independence that people in my grandmother's condition have. There's so much about it that I hate.
But I'll tell you one thing. It made me appreciate that much more the freedom, the opportunities, the possibilities that I have as an individual at this point in my life. Some people may look at something like Alzheimer's and say, how could a loving God allow it to happen. I suppose when we're faced with such awful circumstances, that's human to wonder. But perhaps God, in his everlasting mercy, specifically allowed Alzheimer's to be a disease for the elderly; this way, people have a chance to do some living before so much of their freedom, opportunities and possibilities are taken away. Just a thought.
When I got home from the nursing home, I went for a long, hot run in the NC heat and humidity. I ran until my lungs hurt, and my side cramped, and I didn't think I could go another step. And then I ran some more. Because I could.
And, while I still can, I will.
Let's live life while we have it to live, every single monotonous, glorious minute of it. Perhaps that will enable us to be a spark to those who have a little less of it to live right now.
Sunday, July 04, 2010
Happy Fourth of July! Hope you all are celebrating wisely. My mom's birthday is on the 4th, so we had double the reason to celebrate today at our little cookout. Now, we really aimed to take the high route today. We made turkey burgers, pasta salad with whole wheat pasta and low-cal. dressing, toasted veggies. The only thing that was really not very nutritious was the birthday cake I made and the Cokes we drank. Not so bad at all. In fact, my husband and I were musing in the midst of our cooking about the twists of life that brought us to the point where we were snacking on rice cakes while we made turkey burgers.
Well, then tonight came, and we were still in the celebrating mood. Put the little ones to bed and watched a movie. So of course that involved snacks. I confess, mindless snacking. Was I hungry? Certainly not, after all that food. Was I even snacky? No, not really. Just wanted to eat because in the back of my mind was the thought that this is our "off" day, so we're supposed to be "off". Even if we don't want to be. The upshot is, I snacked too much and felt almost kinda sick. We retired to our bedroom, and I brushed and flossed, as much to wipe away the memories of all that mindless snacking as to clean my teeth. Feel so much better now.
Isn't it funny how it becomes a lifestyle? Eating just to eat was once our lifestyle, and it took its toll on my fitness. I'm really happier eating well and not overindulging, and I feel better, all in all.
So tomorrow, it's back on the healthy living bandwagon, my husband says. Only neither of us managed to look very sad about that.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Just a quick thought today. I got up late this morning but still went out for a morning jog this morning. I haven't gone for a run in a while, and it showed. It was a real effort. I didn't bring any music, and that made me even more aware of what my body was doing. The whole thing was a challenge. But I really enjoyed it. Just being out early with all of the fresh smells and that whole it's-a-brand-new-day feel was wonderful. I feel ready to tackle this day.
Let's have a great one!
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Had to title today's blog as such as today is my little girl's birthday--not her real once-a-year birthday, of course, but she is 8mo. today...and already crawling well and pulling up on things. She's got my laid-back little boy (who's now 2) beaten. He was probably 8mo. when he was sitting up well (he had a huge head!).
Well, it was a looooong day today. Saturdays usually are. I try to get up as early as is humanly possible for some mommy time. I get in and out of the grocery store before the Saturday crowds arrive, get home and put it all away, then get out for my run. I look forward to this run all week.
So guess what I didn't have time for. I'm still just so disappointed. I got up late, and then grocery shopping took forever, and, by the time I got back home, it was time to get the 2-year-old up. Sigh.
Well, my mom (who lives with us) just got a poor report on her cholesterol, and her doctor is giving her a chance to improve it by changing her diet. I have no idea how she'll accomplish this. We eat pretty clean here already, so I don't know too much she can do to make big, solid gains.
So, anyway, she's gotten more on-board with mine and my husband's healthy-living lifestyle. She made her own trip to the grocery store today and got some really yummy, healthy snacks. I got a few of my own. I thought I'd be one of those pre-washer-and-cutter types who gets their veggies and fruits all ready to eat for the week--neatly filed away in containers.
OK, and I had so much clutter in the fridge that I basically had to do some major consolidating to even get everything to fit.
It took forever!! You people that do that on a weekly basis are my heroes. I just do not possess the stamina, time or energy to do that again. I guess I probably could focus and do it if I didn't have my attention pulled in a thousand different directions by my little ones constantly. But that's just not a likelihood for a long time in this household.
So. I was so bushed by the time I finished. And it was getting on in the day. The kids went down for their naps (more blessed mommy time!), and I was all set to try to squeeze in that run. But I was so tired from being on my feet all morning. I just couldn't. I fell asleep on the bed and woke up maybe half an hour or 45 minutes later. I definitely wanted to do something; I love my cardio days. So I went up to the 3rd floor where we keep our exercise bike and went biking indoors with the Blackeyed Peas. Not the fun my morning runs are, but still fun.
After the run, had to get the kids up and start moving toward the nighttime routine--baths, dinner and all. So here I sit, typing this up, having put John Thomas to bed not too long ago. Trying to work up the energy to get to the shower. Sigh.
Still going to try to squeeze in 15 minutes of strength-training and yoga. Why, you ask, at this time of night on a Saturday night? Because it would frustrate me to no end to meet all of my exercise goals for the week, except for 15 minutes of strength-training and yoga. Might be silly or perfectionist of me, but that's how it goes.
Maybe I can schedule a little sleep in tonight too...
Goodnight! Hope everyone finds a good church to be in tomorrow.
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Do you know how long it would take/takes you to run a mile? Well, for me, that number has always been between 12 and 14. Which is cool. Really, I'm just happy to be running.
Rewind 13 years to the high school days. I was probably 101 soaking wet. But I was most definitely not nearly as fit as I am now in my 30s and a few pounds heavier. I've always had asthma, and, when I was growing up, I was encouraged to avoid exercise in the hopes that I wouldn't aggravate the condition.
Of course now I realize that that thinking is actually counter-intuitive. But then, I didn't have much say in the matter. I couldn't very well participate in extracurricular sports without a ride from practices and games. I didn't have really many exercise options at all.
I remember being one of the last ones to finish simple one- or two-mile runs in physical ed classes. Yeah, that's a great feeling--being the last one in and huffing and puffing at that. I would look enviously at the top runners and wish so much that I were half the athlete they were.
Fast-forward those 13 years to Saturday. Early morning speed run--just a couple miles. Started in really sluggishly. Got up much later than I'd planned, and, with my two little ones and a full docket of didn't-get-done-during-the-work-week chores, that's a bigger deal than it sounds. So I was kinda pulling myself along during my warm-up. After I'd lightly jogged a mile, my legs and lungs said, "Hey, we still feel pretty darn good." So I thought, what the heck, might as well go for it. Turned up both music and speed for the next mile.
I felt like I was flying, the wind pushing me on, my legs stretching out and lengthening my gait, my arms pumping, every muscle in me pushing me on toward that invisible finish line. The sun beat down, and pretty soon, my legs and lungs were singing a different tune: "Hey, lighten up here. You're killing us!"
No way. Almost there. You're both just going to have to buckle in for the ride.
Started that mile at 8:10am. Finish time: 8:18!
What?!?! No way. My piece-of-junk cell phone must be acting up again. Maybe I'm so winded, I'm just reading the numbers wrong. Or maybe I'm so high on those physical activity endorphins that I'm delusional.
The wheezy girl from high school looked on as the new me pumped a fist triumphantly in the air. I had run the elusive eight-minute mile. I had set out that day not to break any personal records--just to have fun, to squeeze in my "me" time before mommy time took over. But along the way, I found a little extra encouragement, a little wake-up call.
Hey, you're a runner now!
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