Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It is what it is. Ie: Ode to low-maintenance.

There is a "friend" of mine who is driving me f-ing batty.
We were never close. Our kids are very different ages and... lots of other reasons.
She is so over-the-top ADD that she cannot hold a conversation longer than 45 seconds before it careens off onto some unintelligible path. She is inconsistant. She makes plans, asks to get together and has never once followed through without a reschedule. She is depressed. She is insecure. Under other circumstances, all of those things would be fine. I mean, I accept that I am not, actually, perfect either. I like friends who are different and real and tend toward melancholy.
But, I am a counselor and she treats our "friendship" like a session instead of a mutual exchange of life.

I decided years ago (when son #1 was born), that I do not have time for friendships that are not mutually giving anymore. I understand that friendships ebb and flow. I know that there are times I am very needy and times that others will be. But, I do not have the time or energy to be a dumping ground.

About a month ago this woman texted me- texted me- this: "I never hear from you. You never said you missed me when we moved away. (1.3miles away, by the way.) I don't know if you even consider me a friend."
Maybe it's just me, but, if I am having serious concerns over a friendship I sit down with the person and talk. At the very least, I call them. If I were absolutely scared of confrontation then maybe, maybe, I would write them an email. But a text? In less than 160 characters? I would have thought it was a joke because it is so absurd, but I knew better.

I wasn't sure what to do so I thought about it and talked to a mutual friend. Her advice? "You don't reply to crazy." I had to agree. After all, her passive aggressive self hadn't even asked a question. I didn't reply. I thought maybe she was just having a bad day.

The next day she followed up with another, similar text. I was fed up and rashly replied, "I am on vacation with my family. When I return I will be glad to talk about this with you. Until then I will not be replying to any more texts. Sometimes, ______, everything isn't about you." Ouch. Harsh, huh.

My husband said that I should tell her that our friendship "is what it is." I plan to. He says she is constantly over analyzing and wanting it to be something else or feeling guilty that she isn't a "better friend". I think he has hit the nail on the head. It is what it is. How much more content would I be with so many relationships and things in life if I accepted that simple idea. They are what they are. It is what it is.

In counseling chemical dependent clients we talk a lot about living "life on life's terms." Stopping the madness about always wishing and shoulding and why canting. Accepting. Being a low maintenance being. That is my goal for myself.

As for my "friend"? Her life is up to her. It is what it is.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Why do dogs run?

No. Seriously.

Why do dogs like to run so much? I mean, go on runs. Not chasing bunnies or squirrels but rather, on the other end of a short leash + choke collar trying to keep up for 4 or so miles while their owner runs.

When I run, I am running to think and NOT to think. Running to clear my head completely and then let WHATEVER needs to come back into it and be dealt with.

I am also running to look better. I like the way my butt looks when I've been running regularly and I like that my pants do not strangle my stomach like a boa constrictor. I like running and thinking as I pass people... "Yeah, I've had two kids. Top this." Just being honest.

Finally, I run because of what it does for my emotional stability. I told my MD recently that a little zoloft and 10-20 miles/week is all I need to stay out of depression and (major) anxiety's grip. He said I should be a commercial for Pfizer. Maybe I should call them and then use the money I make to buy more running shoes. They're freakin ridiculous.

So back to my dog. Does he get any of those benefits and does he care? I mean, surely he's not concerned about his depression/anxiety level. Obviously, there's not enough going on in his mind that he needs to clear it. Honestly, I don't think he looks any different running 15M a week with me than he did laying around and eating kibbles. He's not chasing bunnies and he's not free to go wherever he wants.

And yet. When I get out my running clothes he will not leave my side. When I finally put on my shoes... it's a full out frenzy. And so I am left to think that maybe he loves to run because that's what he was made to do.

Just like I was made to love and be loved.

It's sweet really. He likes to be with me and just run. He doesn't pull. He doesn't talk. He certainly doesn't stop. I think if I followed his lead... I would be better at running. And loving.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Giving up the good for the better

I am very tired.

Last night my older son ended up having asthma problems and so I was up numerous times giving him breathing treatments. In between the neb treatments, I decided to sleep in his (single) bed with him to keep an ear out for his breathing and coughing.

It is true to say I was awake more than I was asleep.

But, when I finally dragged it out of bed at 6:30 (ish) I felt better than I have in a long time. I was dying for coffee but I also had a weird "all is right" feeling about things. That was surprising to me.

I am by nature (and nurture) a very selfish person. I am 10 years younger than my sister and so was basically an only child growing up. I have always been bossy and independent and REALLY like to be in control. So... to give up a night's sleep would normally be a real, um, challenge. When the boys were young I would be bitter, frustrated and throw my very own pity-party over "sleepless nights".

Last night was different because I chose for it to be. My son didn't ask for me to stay with him. In fact, he is very independent and didn't let on whether he needed or wanted me there at all. But as I stroked my 6 year-old's hair and listened to him cough I was so glad that I chose to be there.

Just being there was choosing to actively LOVE my son.

I chose to have an attitude of care, concern and peace. I chose to be a presence for him so that he would not be scared or lonely, whether he would have been or not. I chose to feel and express all of that love instead of get a good night's sleep.

I chose the better over the good.
In return, I got precious quiet moments with my child. I got to assure him that in asthma, and in life, he will not be alone. I got to care for him before he even knew he needed care. I got to feel his breath on my face when he slept. I felt the warmth of his legs next to mine when he stirred. I felt his love simply because I was there to feel it.

I got the best thing a mother can get: to love the one she was blessed with.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Take 2. And "take two..."

So. I have been putting this off for about a year now, I think. Maybe a little longer.

In March 2008 a dear college roommate of mine died unexpectedly. Around that time was also Lent and I had given up desserts (which I will never do again). The combination of the two things pushed me to look for something to do with myself. (What with all that free time not-eating-chocolate and all the emotions of losing someone.)

I started to run.

I became a runner.

I had no idea what it would do for me.

Hence the "Trying to run" part of the title of this little blog.

Freeze. Stop. Rewind.

6 Years ago, September of 2003, I had my first child. Two and a half years later I had my second boy. As I am not a "baby person" I spent the first year or so of each of their lives waiting for it to get easier. Hoping for them to become little people so that I could see what they would be like. Wishing away time.

When my friend died in '08 my perspective changed.

I began to understand that capturing the moments of life as they are today and this week and this year is the BEST way for me to live.

Loving my children, my husband, my friends and myself they way we are RIGHT NOW is crucial... and joyful.

Recognizing the sun shining down or the sweet smell of crayons or the laughter of the kids is Life. My Life. And I don't want it to slip by.

Hence the "not" part of the title.

I look forward to sharing the moment-by-moment journey with you.

Running and not.

hmmm. what have a started?

testing? testing...