California

California

 

We talked about life

We talked about love

We drank coffee and we drank beer

We listened to music and smoked cigarettes

We laughed out loud and we took selfies

We weren’t afraid to say I love you

We weren’t afraid to tell each other what we felt

We drank Diet Pepsi and we drank whisky

We ordered pizza

We sat outside under the desert sky

We watched the stars and wished

We drove around and took it all in

Nothing was more important than our friendship

Wild and free me

Orderly and grounded her

Reigning me in her

Helping her laugh me

Knowing we needed each other more than ever us

Friends to the end us

 

Always listen to your gut…

Always trust your gut…

I was 15 or 16 years old. I was in 9th or 10th grade. Athletes had to get a yearly sports physical done in order to be able to participate in sports. I missed the sports physical that year when they had them at the school, so I had to make an appointment to get one done at the clinic. No physical, no gymnastics. 

At that age, as most girls are, I was vulnerable and self-conscious about everything. I was self-conscious about everything, but mostly my body. I was very nervous about having to go to the clinic for the physical. They usually just put us in a line and we rolled through for the ones at the school. Super easy. Super chill. At that age everything mattered and everything was a big deal.

At that age adults were supposed to be on our side. They were supposed to protect us.

I was really upset I had missed the one at the school. I have no idea what I was doing that I missed it. But, there was nothing I could do about it and had to go to the clinic. 

I went to the clinic and was to see a Physician’s Assistant, or PA. I was nervous. My pits were drenched and I could feel sweat running down my sides. Awesome. I waited. I’m not sure what I thought was going to happen. I didn’t like going to the doctor anyway and now I was there to get a sports physical. Ugh. 

I felt like I had been waiting forever. It was finally my turn. The person called my name. I followed him down a short hallway. He told me to go in the room and take all my clothes off.  I made sure to ask about the physical itself. I specifically asked him, “You only check the same tings as what they do at the school, right?” He said, “Unless you want me to check something else.” I was mortified. I was even more nervous now. Why would I have to take off my clothes? My gut was warning me. It was telling me.  My thoughts were going crazy. I didn’t understand why I would need to take my clothes off. It didn’t make sense. The intuition was real. There would be no reason for me to have to take off my clothes. 

That day, I listened to my gut. I didn’t take off all my clothes. I didn’t take off any of my clothes. I sat there on the table waiting for him to come back. I wanted to run. I wanted to hide. It felt like forever. I was a huge rule follower and I felt like I was going to get in trouble. I thought maybe he wouldn’t sign the form and I wouldn’t be able to participate in the sport I loved. I was scared and nervous and I wanted to do the right thing. 

The right thing to me was not taking off my clothes. The right thing to me was having the courage and intuition to know something bad was going to happen to me if I did what I was told. The right thing to me was sticking up for myself. 

The wrong thing for him was thinking every young girl was going to take off all their clothes just because he said to. The wrong thing for him was abusing his position. The wrong thing for him was being so arrogant to think his motives couldn’t or shouldn’t be questioned. 

He came back in the room a few minutes later and never said one word about me not being undressed. At that point in time, I knew I made the right decision. I was right to listen to my gut. I was right to listen to my intuition. I was right to stick up for myself. I was right to question authority. 

I couldn’t wait to get out of that place. I couldn’t wait to get away from him. 

I think back about what happened. I think about it step by step. I think how it could have been a lot different. The thing is though, I shouldn’t have to think about how lucky I was. He never should have done that. He never should have said those things to me. He should have made me feel safe and he didn’t.

Always listen to your gut. If the voice is warning you, listen to it. 

And there will be haters who will say, well nothing happened to you, but that would be missing the whole damn point now, wouldn’t it?

If anything like this has ever happened to you, I’m sorry. 

Tattoos and Best Friends

I was 17. I thought I was 25. I thought I was a badass. My best friend and I and our best friend at the time, Jack Daniels, took a little road trip to Rapid City, from our hometown of Pierre. Tattoo time, because we were the epitome of cool. In our minds anyway. We were independent. We were wild and we were free. We grew up in a small town. We had big dreams and big attitudes. John Mellencamp rocking on the radio. Our favorite. 

At that time nobody was getting tattoos. It was not like it is now. Now pretty much everyone has a tattoo. We were trailblazers. LOL. In high school it was not uncommon for us to day drive to Rapid City or Sioux Falls, spend the day shopping and then drive home. This time it was tattoo shopping. 

We made the three hour trek to Rapid. At that time the speed limit was 55 miles per hour, so it took a while. We talked the whole way, as we always did. We were always together. Never apart. Best friends to the end and best friends with the tattoo gun and needle that day.

We found the tattoo shop and sat out in the car. A little liquid courage was in order. Nice to see you Jack, thanks for the shot. We each did a shot and got out of the car and walked up what seemed like 100 steps to the house. The tattoo shop was in a house. How weird. We wondered if we even had the right address. 

We were walk-ins, no appointments necessary and apparently IDs either. We looked at the posters of tattoos hung up on the wall. We had to choose. What life had we lived yet that would help us decide what tattoo we wanted to get? What had I done that would help me choose? I hadn’t. I didn’t. We hadn’t lived any life yet, so we didn’t really know what kind of tattoo we wanted to get. Really, how could we? We finally decided. I picked out a rose with a heart and Mary got a shooting star. She was a shooting star. She was going places. She did go places. 

The place was shady. We saw a gun in a drawer and it wasn’t a tattoo gun. The guys were kind of scary looking. My tattoo guy’s name was Mouse. Ummmm, okay. Seemed odd, but maybe because he was kind of small. He had long hair and ended up being really nice. It didn’t take that long. We were all done in less than a couple of hours. It wasn’t expensive either. We even left a tip. 

We got back in the car and sat there for a few minutes before we took off back to Pierre. We really felt badass after that experience. On the way home we stopped in Wall and went to the gas station restroom. We took off the bandages and looked at the handiwork. Wow! Soooo cool. So bright and shiny. And then we started laughing and couldn’t stop. We decided we had zits that hurt worse than the tattoos. We picked up some fountain pop and Bazooka Bubble Gum and headed home. 

Forever bonded. Forever friends. Forever firsts. And so began my obsession. I love the sound of the tattoo gun. Every time I hear it, I smile. Every time I hear it I relax. Every time I hear it I am taken back to that hot summer day and getting my first tattoo.

Burn It Down

I hit send. The email notifying my clients. It was time to burn it down. Bittersweet. Then I went and bought a necklace, a crystal stone. Time. I gave myself the gift of time. Time does not stand still. Time flies. We usually don’t get it back, but I am taking mine back. 

Citrine is the stone. It radiates positive energy. Citrine increases personal power. It is associated with the solar plexus chakra. It enhances the energy center and can help dissolve blocks and stagnation, resulting in higher energy levels and a boost in overall circulation. It fills the spirit with positivity and the highest vibrations. It provides sunny energy. Yellow energy. My energy. The light reflects beautifully. I am light. I radiate light. 

Another chapter over. Another chapter done. But when a chapter ends, a new one begins. I feel like this is just the beginning. I feel like I still have important work to do. I know I still have important work to do. I will definitely miss my clients. And I will miss Chris as well. She and they have been my heart and soul for the past 8.5 years. 

I spent a lot of years at the studio. A lot of hours. A lot of sweat. A lot of work. It’s time to move on. It’s time to take it a different direction. It’s time. I am going to explore the out there world. The online world. I already have a small nutrition coaching business going and I love it. I am going to look more into building that up and doing some online training. I am still working on a few certifications as well. 

I am excited and nervous and scared all at the same time. The feelings and emotions are real and I am feeling every single bit of it. I am not shying away from feeling anything. In fact, I am feeling everything more and more.

I am looking forward to making my schedule each day. I am looking forward to using all I have learned and helping people be better and helping people eat with more knowing and help them life better. 

It’s hard not to get burned out with the hours I was working. I didn’t get that perspective until we had to close because of the virus. Then it was like oh, this is the sleep I have been missing and oh this is the time just sitting with my husband I have been missing. Oh this is how it is if I just want to pick up and go. It helped me get that perspective. It gave me that perspective. It gave me the means to do the hard thing and to be grateful. 

On June 30, 2020, I will walk out of The Underground. I will walk into my new life. A new life I am excited to live. 

A glimpse, cemeteries and birthdays.

April 18, 2020

Coffee, thoughts, music and birthdays.

The coffee is strong this morning. 

The thoughts are coming fast and furious. 

The music is mixed.

The birthdays are happy and sad. 

The coffee has half and half

The thoughts are contemplative and disordered

The music is always on

The birthday is today (Garrett) and the other is Tuesday (Dad)

The coffee is doing its thing

The thoughts won’t stop

The music is helping

The birthday on Tuesday is a milestone

The coffee is strong

The thoughts are connecting – the emotions are flooding

The music is Prince – ironic 

The birthday is 80 — would have been 80

April 18, 2020

The sun is on my face, in and out through the clouds. I hear the chainsaw in the distance. The breeze is slight. The Boxer by Simon and Garfunkel is playing. I love that song. I can hear the faint voices of John and Rick off in the distance. The sun is surrounding me. I am soaking in it’s nurturing. My eyes fill with tears. The stress is real. I don’t want to eat. I have no appetite, even as I hear the growls in my stomach. The air smells clean and fresh. My skin is pale and my legs are dotted with freckles. I am still sweaty from my run. The chill is descending on me. Amie by Pure Prairie League is now playing. The honey locust pods still hanging on from winter are rattling from the breeze. The sun is in a cloud and now I’m cold. Three days to 80. 

April 18, 2020

The feeling isn’t shaking. It’s strong. It occupies my thoughts. It occupies my time. I know what it is. I’m denying a little. Not a lot. It’s painful. It’s sad. I still wonder. I wonder a lot. I don’t let that wonder occupy my thoughts and time for too long. What’s done is done. Most of the time these thoughts come twice a year. April and June, those months, the fourth month and the sixth month. Birth day and death day. Every single year for the past 20 years. Two big ones this year. Birth day = 80 and death day = 20. How is that even possible? I was thinking today and wondering why there are no pictures of us. There are pictures of you. There are pictures of me. There are no pictures of us. I’ve been waiting for signs from you. Signs to show me you are here. The cardinal let me know last week and again yesterday. I am keeping my ears and eyes open. I have been waiting for reminders and smells. I’m ready. Now playing is John Lennon – Watching The Wheels Go Round and Round. I’ve just been listening to music today. No TV. No books. Just music. Music heals everything. Music makes everything bearable. It always has. Tuesday I will be visiting and listening to Tabitha’s Secret. 

April 20, 2020

Walmart. The air felt weird. I felt watched. Like I was in a movie watching myself. The noise from the cart wheeling across the parking lot was loud. I heard a Mellencamp song in the distance. Jack and Diane. It was coming from a car that had seen its better days. It was riddled with dents and scratches and scrapes. I could hear the music all the way to my car. The whole day felt weird. 

The wind is howling, but at least the sun is shining. When I was at Walmart I noticed myself buying things I didn’t really need. Pens and Easter candy. The candy was 75 percent off, so a guess a bag of chocolate for 74 cents is a good deal. I will take them to work. I don’t need them here. I bought some bunny repellant since they seem to be eating my flowers that are coming up. The hard-earned flowers. 

April 21, 2020

It’s chilly this morning — 37 degrees. My way to the cemetery was deliberate. I took the long way. About six songs worth. 70s songs. Donna Summer; Magnet and Steel; Let It Ride – BTO; Still The One – Orleans; Don’t Look Back – Boston and Never Can Say Goodbye – Jackson 5. 

The sun is shining and the birds are chirping and singing. I hear traffic and a helicopter. I turned down the wrong lane at first. There is a headstone above his now. The person’s name was Otis something. It threw me off. 

My FB memories popped up and it was a picture, a picture of Dad. Young dad. Boy can I see my kids in that face. I love that picture. 

It’s peaceful here this morning as I sit and sip my coffee. I try to imagine what you would look like. You are still the same fixed in my memory. 60. Too young. 80 now. 

I’m sitting in the car, getting ready to take the ten steps to the headstone. The grass is wet with frost and dew. It’s crunchy beneath my feet. I gently brush off the grass clippings from the stone with my hand. It’s pretty here. I know you like it. The bluffs and the river close by. 

Happy Birthday to you, Dad. 

It seems like there are so many more headstones since I was here last. I saw Mabes McDorman. I saw Bonnie Baade. I saw classmate Bryan Pogany and I saw a good friend today. I saw Mike Hawkins. I stopped and talked to him, his birthday is Thursday.  I can’t believe he has been gone two years already. Miss you friend. 

I drove around several more minutes looking at the markers. So many people I know. 

This time of year always brings about the flood of emotions. It doesn’t get any easier, it just has a slight discoloration. 

I finished the puzzle today.

journal entry – april 16, 2020

Today’s random thoughts — April 16, 2020

The silence is loud. The only things I hear are the furnace, the birds and the words in my head. The words are formed but not in any readable order. They are just there, rolling around and banging into each other, waiting their turn to appear on the page. 

I’m at home lying on the couch, thinking I need a nap. The dogs are outside in their houses and the cat is beside me softly purring. 

It’s cold outside today. I walked up the driveway to the mailbox and the chill was obvious. My nose was cold when I got back in the house a minute later. 

I stopped to look at the tulips making their way out of the ground. They were covered in frost. I’m excited to see how they mature. 

My day is full, yet I don’t want to start. Procrastination equals stress. I am aware. 

It’s cloudy and dreary. I crave the sunshine. 

I worked on the puzzle that has been started on the dining room table. It’s been there since Saturday. Little by little, piece by piece, step by step. 

Also like life. Action gets things done. Also like a puzzle. Action creates momentum. Momentum creates consistency. Consistency creates results.

But are you really bored?

But are you really bored? 

It’s a crazy time for a lot of us right now. So many are working from home. So many are home schooling their kids. So many changes are taking place. It’s a new normal. It’s not what we are used to. 

Many of us are having a hard time not eating all the things. It’s hard right now. We are in this process of wanting to change our bodies or have been changing for a while, but now everything is different. 

It’s super easy to go about your day and all of a sudden find yourself in the kitchen with no recollection why you even walked in there. And then you’re in the fridge, or the pantry or the cupboards. Are you hungry? Most of the time, no. Are you bored? Yes, you think to yourself. 

But are you really?

Are you really bored or are you trying to fill the feelings space to avoid feeling them. Trying to numb those feelings. Trying to distract those feelings. Filling the feelings space with food. Filling the feelings space with your phone. Filling the feelings space with alcohol or cigs. 

We all have done it and many of us continue to do it. Instead of just hanging out with our feelings, we numb, we distract, we defer, so we don’t have to deal with whatever is there gnawing at us.. The reality of ourselves. The reality of figuring shit out. Why is it so hard for so many to do? Why is it so hard to stop numbing? 

The eating. The stress. The boredom. The fear. The anxiety. The eating (yes again). The baking. What are we looking for? We are looking for comfort. We think the food is going to comfort us. 

We need to eat. No question about that. Food is everywhere. Food is comfort. We have been conditioned since childhood. 

When you were little what was used for comfort?

When you were being naughty what was used to make you behave?

When your parents just wanted you to play away from them, what was used to make you go away?

When you felt sad, what was used to comfort you?

When you felt happy, what was used to comfort you?

Because of the unknown that is prevalent in our society right now, many of us are turning to food. We are looking for that comfort or that numbing. We are chasing the -make me feel better- feeling. We want it and we are doing anything to get it. The problem is, it is fleeting and then we feel like crap. We got that dopamine hit to our brains that made us feel good for a few minutes and then we come back down to the reality. The reality of knowing that wasn’t the answer. The reality of being pissed at ourselves because we ate all the things and now we feel like crap. The reality of not knowing how to feel better. The reality of not being able to just sit there in our feelings. It’s a harsh reality. 

This is where the work on ourselves can get really hard. It can be ugly and dirty and disgusting. It is hard to change and it’s hard to face that reality. 

Well okay, so how does a person feel their feelings? When you find yourself feeling like you are going to overeat or you find yourself trying to find something to “comfort” you or give you the “make me feel better”  hit or doing something else to numb the feelings hole, think of the Meatloaf song, Paradise By the Dashboard Light – this line: Stop Right There!! Stop and think about what you are doing. Why do you want to numb? Acknowledge those feelings – be it anxiety, or anger or boredom or whatever. Take a few breaths and then ask yourself if that is really how you want to treat yourself. Then do what you feel is the best thing for you at that time, in that moment, in that feelings space and do it. And then tell yourself thank you for showing up for yourself. (This is similar to a technique I learned through Kelly Coffey’s Pleasure Principles course.)

It takes time. It takes work. It takes grace and gratitude and it takes showing up for yourself.

How Was Your Saturday Night?

Oh, and what do we have here? 

So, if you didn’t know and you live under a rock – hey some of us might right now – but season 3 of Ozark was released on Netflix Friday. So, naturally we had to binge watch. Five episodes Friday night and 5 episodes Saturday night. So, yes, the whole season. Because that’s what everybody does, right? Thought so. 

Anyway, Saturday, as in last night, we were watching. I was sitting in my comfy TV watching chair and because we have been told not to touch our faces, I am constantly touching my face. Gah! Well, technically this was under my chin in the neck area. You know the area I am talking about. I know you do. 

It felt weird. Like something was attached  there. Something. Not sure exactly what yet. But I kept feeling for whatever it was. I would find it and then lose it and then find it again. Strange, I know. 

Then, the light bulb. The realization. The what the fuck is that? – set in. It was a fucking whisker. A hair. Yes, a hair. That sounds better, right? Women don’t get whiskers, geez. So anyway, here I am freaking out about this whisker. LOL

I ran to the bathroom trying to find it in the mirror. Shit. I can’t see anything. I ran to get my readers. Back to the bathroom. Man, the light sucks in there. I couldn’t see anything. But I could feel it. I could feel that coarse, disgusting piece of hair sticking out of my neck. 

In my best Ruth from Ozark voice – “John! Get your fucking ass in here and fucking help me find this fucking whisker in my neck?” Of course he came running. He’s such a good husband, so attentive to the needs of his wife. And of course, Ruth swears, A LOT. You really should be watching this series. 

Now we are both in the bathroom. The tweezers are out. The readers are on. He’s looking. He keeps cranking my head to get in the light. He spots it. It’s white. Thank God. No black whiskers on this neck. He keeps cranking and now can’t find it. I look at him and start laughing. He looks like a nutty professor with his thick reading glasses and the tweezer in his hand. I can’t help it. And, on top of it, I have to pee like crazy, because I have been drinking a shit ton of water trying to flush out the chocolate chip cookies I decided to bake in the midst of this quarantine crap. And who was I kidding? If I bake them, I’m eating them. Duh. When will I realize that’s what people do. That’s what we all do. So now I know at least I can’t bake during crises. See, there’s the positive. So I avoid peeing my pants, but I can’t stop laughing. By now we are both laughing so hard, the tears are rolling. Okay, I told him. I’m good. I won’t laugh. 

Back to the neck cranking. He told me to shut up. He does that sometimes. It’s not derogatory or anything. It’s what we do. We really do like each other. He found it again. He said he got it. I don’t think he got it. I can still feel it. “Shit,” he said. Now this time he tried to pluck it out with his fingers. Oh man that neck skin pinch felt awesome. NOT. We started laughing again. This time the tweezers came back into play. One more time. No laughing. For reals. I could feel the laughter bubbling up. I could feel my shoulders start moving. I could feel the tears in my eyes. I was dying. I couldn’t help it. Okay, again. Deep breath. Stillness. Here we go. 

FINALLY – the whisker was released. It’s gone. For good. Whatever, I’m sure it will be back. 

So, how was your Saturday night? 

Three Birds

I watched them. Three little birds. Chirping and making noise in the beautiful sunshine of the day. I thought about them. I thought about the situation going on in the world right now. Carefree and unscathed, they flitted around the small bush in front of the library window. I kept watching. The sounds they made carried me away from the real world. I got lost in the beauty. I got lost in the sound. I got lost in nature. Because that’s what nature does. It was wonderful. 

If only for a few minutes. 

56 Eve

56 eve.

Tomorrow is my birthday. Tomorrow is March 12th. Another year. Did I waste it? Did I use it wisely? We don’t get much time. We may feel like we do, but we don’t. 

As I sit here and look back on my year, I can’t help but think how hard I worked. I can’t help but think about how many people I have helped become better. It’s humbling. It’s a privilege. 

What did I learn? How did I change? Did I grow? I learned to meet people where they are. I learned how to meet myself where I am. That is growth. That is change. 

I want more. I want to learn new things. I am always searching. I asked a question in my nutrition group this morning. “What is one talent you wish you had?” The responses were interesting. Most people wanted to be able to sing!!! I wanted to be able to draw/paint and play guitar. Maybe in a few years that will be my next challenge.

Right now I am loving what I am doing. I love my training clients at the studio and I love my nutrition clients. I love the puzzles and the figuring out of things. Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes it’s frustrating. Sometimes I just want to quit. But, isn’t that life? It’s all time. t’s all life. 

Use it wisely. 

I’m sitting in my library looking out at the almost spring weather. I’m drinking a cup of decaf. My mug says, “I drink the tears of my haters.” It’s funny. I’m listening to Easy by the Commodores. Today is nice. Over 60 degrees. I feel out of sorts. I feel tired. I feel restless. Is it the time change? Maybe. It is the full moon? Maybe. It is my age? Maybe

Maybe it’s a little bit of everything. I feel strong and I feel confident. I preach this. The older you get, the more you need to stay focused on your health. Get rid of that asshole in your head telling you you aren’t important or telling you you don’t matter. Work through the self-sabotage that we all have had or do have. Start living. When we age we need to keep moving. We need to lift heaver weights. We need to learn about food and how it affects our body. We need to grab this opportunity and age gracefully. Age with health. Age with confidence. Age wisely. Do things. 

I accomplished a lot this year. 

I quit drinking – Over 500 days now. 

I built my business up. Slow and steady. 

I still continue to use the kettlebells and they are still my passion

I lost 40 pounds. 

I gained a crap ton of strength

I have been continuing my education through certifications.

I have read a lot of books this year. 

I have been able to change the channel in my own head the self-doubt creeps in or when that voice keeps trying to get me to do things that are going to derail my progress, but most importantly, I am still a work in progress! 

My thoughts are all over the place. Very scattered, torn and unorganized. Anxious even. Aging. The crux of my thoughts. Thinking of everything. Thinking of nothing. Thinking of something. And then here it comes. I can’t help it. 

Four more years and I will be 60. Four more years and I will be the age my dad was when he died. How is that even possible? It’s so weird to even let my mind go there. I want not to think about it. It creeps in ever so slightly, every so often. 

I look around. I think about how much I have to be thankful for. I am. I thank Him every single day for this beautiful, crazy thing called life. For this time called life. 

I will use it wisely. 

I will continue to grow. 

I will continue to set boundaries

I will continue to work on myself

I will continue

Happy 56 Eve to me…