Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Shape of Me

Why oh why is it so hard to get into shape, but so easy to fall out of it. It takes months and months of eating right and excercise for me to feel good in my own skin, but only a week of slacking to make me feel like a total slob.

And don't even get me started on motivation. It takes me forever to get to the point where I want to excercise every day. Once I'm there, I'm good. But it only takes a couple days to fall back out of that habit.

My goal was to be in the best shape of my life by the time I hit forty. I was almost there. And then came the cruise. The cruise destroyed my entire committment to my program. The drinking, the laying around, the gluttony, made it so easy to forget all about my goals and become lazy.

Of course, the week long illness after I returned from said trip did not help either. After that, I was totally and completely out of my routine. No more excercise.

Also before the cruise, I was not eating much meat. Now that barbecue season is upon us, I'm back to being a carnivore again, in a big way, like I'm making up for those months of not having it.

So now that I feel a little softer, and a little more sluggish, and feel I have done my body a great disservice, I'm finally getting motivated again, starting slowly, but I know I'll regain some speed. It's almost motivation enough to have my Wii fitness coach remind me that I haven't been getting to my work outs regularly (I hate her).

I guess there is always forty-one.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Why Clowns Are Scary.

Seriously, I mean, were clowns ever really the beloved pranksters of the circus that they were touted to be, or have they always been the scourge of children and adults alike.

Coulrophobia-an abnormal or exxagerated fear of clowns, according to wikipedia. I take issue with it being called an abnormal fear. What's abnormal about it? What's abnormal is grown men dressing up in brightly colored clothing, with oversized shoes and painted faces, prancing about like ballerinas. That's abnormal.

I don't like clowns. I have adult friends who are afraid of clowns, and my twelve year old daughter is deathly afraid of clowns. Why? Because they're scary. But why are they scary?

Part of it is the groteque way they obscure their faces. Stark white, eyebrows in an angry "v", the big red nose of a drunk, and a wide frightening grin that looks like it could gobble you up whole.

Perhaps some of us had a bad experience with a clown in our childhood. Um, I would say that just being near a clown during childhood would have been a bad experience in itself. But that's just me.

Of course the media only encourages this fear. We have the Joker, Pennywise, Killer Clowns from Outerspace, that scary clown doll from Poltergeist that comes to life and tries to strangle the little boy. Yep, not helping with that fear of clowns people.

I think clowns should be banned from the earth. That includes mimes. Then children (and adults) all over the world could sleep better at night.
Just my two cents.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Cyst Like Me

Did you know that the skin on your back is the thickest skin on your body? Neither did I until I was lying on my doctors table yesterday, anesthetized with Novocaine as she cut through mine. You see, I've had this lump on my back since high school. No big deal, right? Just a tiny little lump, no bigger than a huge pimple (which is what I thought it was for a few years, a perpetual pimple) in the middle of my back. I've asked around about it, my dad, who through his profession (not a doctor) if very knowledgeable when it comes to medical stuff. Also, my doctor. "It's just a cyst, no biggee. But if it ever changes, grows, or becomes painful, you'd better have it looked at." And, the fact that it was right on my spine was a little troublesome to boot.

So, I've lived with thing for approximately 28 years. Yes, 28. And though I didn't like it, and thought it was ugly, it never bothered me. Until Sunday.

Sunday I woke up with a horrible pain in my back. I reached back, felt it, and this lump, literally seemed to have grown at least three sizes overnight. Now, I'm sure it didn't happen overnight, but that's the way it seemed. I asked my husband, Rusty, if it looked weird. He said it had a funny white patch on it that he had never seen before.

I thought it was strange, and it hurt, but I went through my day, excercising, writing, cleaning, the normal stuff. I went to bed.

I woke up and the thing was aching. I had Rusty look at it again, and he said that now there was something on it that looks like a scab or mole. Needless to say, I was at that point, and excuse my language, scared shitless.

I made an appointment to get this thing checked out, and had to wait two more days. So for two days I was stewing, fretting, freaking out, really. Trying with all my might not to think about the "C" word.

That brings me to the beginning of my post, with me, lying on the table, back split open, my doctor tugging, pulling, ripping, cutting at this thing trying to dig it out. All of it. So it doesn't come back. Meanwhile, I pray she doesn't slip with the scalpel and paralyze me, avoid the question I should be asking because I'm not sure I want to hear the answer.

Finally she read my mind, "Oh, and by the way, this is benign." By the way. An afterthought for her, an obsession for me. Sigh. I could finally relax. Or maybe not? I mean, I just turned forty, what more is in store for me in this middle life and the years to come? What am I doing? Am I happy? Am I making others happy? Can I reach my goals? Am I making a difference? Or am I going to be like that cyst, unnoticed until it's almost too late, then taken out before I have the opportunity to impact the world around me?

Only time will tell, I guess.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Just a little writing blurb

Excerpt from a yet to be written novel.

It’s the worst pain there is. It’s worse than when my bike chains tore through my little toe, worse than breaking my arm falling off the uneven bars during gymnastics. My mom says it hurts even more than giving birth. It’s a pain that radiates throughout your entire body and drains you of all energy so you can barely move, barely breathe. It’s a pain that makes your eyes sting with tears. A pain that makes you feel every ounce of happiness within you has died. Or that your heart will surely implode. I’m sure you know the pain of which I speak. It’s the pain of lost love, a broken heart. And after that pain has been processed and becomes nothing more than a dull thud, a fading memory, you’re left hollow. Hollow like a cave, with a cold, empty, echoing silence. And though it may not feel like it at the time, that too shall pass, and your heart will once again begin to pump with life, slowly at first, then building speed until it’s whole once again.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Chronicles of an Aspiring Writer Part 10

The reality of being a writer.

Lock Down

The other day I received a text from my 12 year old at about 2:55. She normally gets out at 2:45, then walks to her sister's elementary, where I pick them both up. I was at the grocery store picking up a few things, then moving on to pick them up.

The text said, mom this is Mary we are in a lock down don't text me back.


It wasn't from her cell phone either, and she always has her cell phone on her.

What do you do?

I had another kid getting out of school shortly.

So, I head to the elementary and waited. I felt helpless. There was no sense going to the middle school, there was nothing I could do. I just hoped it would be over soon and I would hear from her and everything would be all right.

For 20 minutes I felt helpless. She called at 3:15. Once again not from her own phone. "It's over, I'm on my way."


An 8th grader had brought a gun to school. I don't know what his intentions were, but apparently other kids saw it, reported it, and things were handled quickly and expertly. Things could ended differently. Another Columbine, who knows?

I've always been open and honest with my kids about everything. And I think it's so important to talk to our kids about school violence, and the importance of reporting if they see a weapon on the school grounds. It could mean their life, or the lives of their teachers and friends.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Writing: Life's Laughing Gas

So, I'm at the dentist the other day for my annual cleaning. I've got the gas mask on and I'm drifting out to lala land. If you wonder why I need nitris for a simple cleaning, I will tell you, I absolutely love my dentist, but hate dental work, all of it. My mouth is very sensitive, and I have a very low tolerance for pain.

I love nitris oxide. That slow ease into semi-consciousness. Your mind drifting to places and ideas that it never would otherwise. Forgetting every stress, every problem, every tragedy in your life, if only for an hour.

So as I lay there, drifting, floating, forgetting, I realize that this nitris, this laughing gas, is not unlike writing for me. When I write, I travel outside my body, I dream, I forget, I escape. I feel a kind of peace that can maybe be equated to meditating, sitting down with a drink after a long, hard day at work, or watching your child sleep.

And only when I'm done for the day, and I can't seem to write another word, am I eased back in to life, to its bills, and its phone calls, its conflicts, and all its stresses.

So, there it is, writing is my laughing gas, and as I cannot take dental work without the nitris, I can not take life without the writing.

My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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