Home Alone!

Back in the day, I never appreciated being by myself. If I happened to be in this most unfortunate position,  I would spend the entire time wondering where everyone was and why I wasn’t invited. Oh, the waste of it all.

Now? A night alone is like winning the jackpot! Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with my boys (hubby and son). It’s just every once in awhile, there is a need to rebalance the energy around here with a little less testosterone and a little more fabulousness.  In other words:

  • hockey or football do not need to be playing on the ridiculous number of TV’s we apparently need;
  • making the dogs bark for the sheer entertainment of it all is not necessary or desirable;
  • ice cream every night is not essential to your survival; and
  • trying to outdo each other’s farts and burps does not  establish ownership over the household.

Last night, the boys went on a school camping trip and I got to be ALONE. In other words, I:

  • exercised out on the back deck (without any hecklers trying to disrupt my concentration);
  • ate half of a leftover burger and some salad followed by half a cookie, a tablespoon of peanut butter, a glass of wine and a cup of detox tea (without having to explain why this wasn’t weird or contradictory);
  • watched taped reruns of the Bachelorette and Housewives of who knows where (without any comments about how dumb these are);
  • had a bath (without anyone banging on the door telling me to hurry up); and
  • appreciated the silence (no one asked me where anything was).

It was a great night, the goal of doing absolutely nothing of substance was accomplished and I am ready for the crew to arrive home today with their dirty laundry in tow and fill the house back up with the bantering that makes it a home sweet home.

Music to Make You Run. FAST.

I love to run with music.  I blare it from my Ipod shuffle and change the songs like I change TV channels; fast and frequently (only difference is that I’m not shovelling chips into my mouth). My playlist is strategically comprised of what I think will push me farther or set a reasonable pace. Despite my efforts over the years, there is not one song out there that makes me go faster than SLOW. That is, until very recently.

Ipod

Yes, I know the headphones are tangled. Thanks. 

Picture this:

It’s a Spring day, light wind and the sun is shining. I don’t have to be anywhere any time soon so I can run for as long as I want! Fast or slow, it doesn’t matter. I pop my ear buds in, find my pace, relax and listen to my playlist. Here’s a sample:

  • Ho Hey: The Lumineers
  • Hall of Fame: The Script
  • Paradise: Coldplay
  • The Fighter: Gym Class Heroes
  • Levels :Avicii
  • Don’t Stop Believin’: Journey (AAAhhh, the 80’s!)
  • Lose Yourself : Eminem (doesn’t everyone have this on their playlist?)
  • Yeah!: Usher
  • Black and Yellow: Wiz Khalifa (I totally look like a badass running to this. Yes, even at 42)
  • Inner Ninja: Classified
  • Don’t You Worry Child: Swedish House Mafia

These songs drown out the lawn mowers and barking dogs. I can dodge slow walkers as I run down a long road towards the ocean. Running along the ocean side (I usually pause the music because I love the sound of the waves) I can climb up a winding hill to the very top. I am far away from home when I hear it. A new song. I must have grabbed it from my son’s playlist but hey, it sounds like Justin Timberlake and he’s a good singer right?

Now, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge that in seeing my playlist, you have in all likelihood, applied some judgement about who I am.  Let’s add some more fuel, shall we? But before I do, I will take a moment to slam a big fat WARNING EXPLICIT LANGUAGE WITH SEXUAL CONTENT into my story right now!

Yes, that was Justin Timberlake. Call me a prude. Ninny. I can handle the odd f-bomb or sexual innuendo but I was not expecting THIS (FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO OFFEND EASILY; SERIOUSLY-OPEN AT YOUR OWN RISK, DON’T SAY I DIDN’T TELL YOU):

Nope. I was not.  Oh yes, the more I listened to the lyrics, the faster a ran. I ran like a mother who is desperate to set her son straight on the meaning of appropriate in order to save him ASAP. I thought of all the things I would yell say to him when I got home.  I have never been so motivated to get there to tear a strip off that damn kid of mine. Half laughing (in disbelief), eyes bugged out and mumbling under my breathe, I don’t think I’ve actually ever run that fast before!!

Dare I ask…what’s on your playlist?

Running with a Broken Heart

You know those runs where everything falls into place; it’s a cool temperature with a slight breeze, your breath and pace align and you feel you could run forever? This is not that type of run.

shoes

When you have a broken heart, it feels like a sickness in your bloodstream

I am sitting on the front stoop, lacing my shoes around two cement blocks that will lead me aimlessly around this beautiful neighbourhood. I am so numb that I’m not sure how I managed to get this far. I stand and make my way to the curb. My breath, body and mind are not in synch. This moment is neither is here nor there because time has stopped. I am separated from Mother nature but I don’t want to be.  I want so badly for her to save me.  I start. Slow and methodical. I am on autopilot. The people I pass don’t see me. They have no idea. My sunglasses hide the tears streaming down my face.

Time passes unnoticed but at some point I feel myself catching up to the present moment. It feels good and I push faster. I am motivated to get there. To feel again. I end where I started but it feels just a bit different.  I am a little lighter.

Heading back to the front stoop, I notice the yard needs some maintenance. If I do a little bit everyday, then it won’t seem overwhelming and will eventually start to look the way I want it to again.

The Comfort of Routine

For someone who loves a good solid routine,  I often find myself off the beaten path. You know when you go for a stroll in the forest and see those little paths branching from the clear one with the well marked signs? I fall for those all the time. Sometimes they loop right back and other times they lead to some place interesting.

the main path

A very clearly marked path that leads to an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean

Now, I’m all for exploring but in terms of my eating healthy and exercising regime I went down a path that led me to a couch  with a monster size TV in front of it and a pantry filled with nachos, burgers and the occasional Strongbow. Sure, there were some Oxygen magazines on the coffee table. I did manage to flip through the pages on occasion while dipping the nacho chips in hot sauce. Frankly, it’s been AWESOME (I think that word dates me) but after spending a good hard livin’ month here, it’s time to loop back. To be honest? I am looking forward to it!

off the path 1

Isn’t this sweet? I found it on one of my strolls around the neighbourhood

off the path 2

I bet there’s a couch in this house, with a troll watching TV. Probably there’s some salt and vinegar chips in there too. 

Without further adieu, my short term goals are:

Running around the new neighbourhood at least three times a week for 30 minutes or more (this will end up looking like two 30 minute runs and one 45 minute run); and

Reintroducing vegetables and water (this is another way of saying DETOX).

These may not seem like a total re haul but they work for me 🙂

Have you strayed like this before? What do you do to get back?

Monday Memoirs

Oh! The things I’m thankful for…here’s three I would like to share with you from this past week (which has gone by way too fast):

1. The laundry mat. While undergoing renovations, we are without a washer and dryer. Luckily there is a laundry mat not far from us. It’s amazing how much less laundry we have when it has to be hauled a couple of kilometres away. I find this place quite fascinating for some reason. I wonder what the stories are for all the other people waiting, feeding machines quarters and folding. I’m such a snoop. For some reason there is an abundance of home decorating magazines there. Is that what people who do laundry at the laundry mat really need? Actually, for me it’s quite fitting at the moment.

laundry mat

2. Neighbours. Having just moved, we are meeting a whole new cast of characters. I really miss my friends from the old place but nonetheless, I am meeting a whole new set of sweethearts here. Just today, a woman from across the street came over bearing baked goods and apologizing for not introducing herself sooner. The nerve I tell you. I love her baking.

neighbours

Insanely tasty square with chocolate and walnuts. Thank you to my wonderful neighbours!

3. Football. ‘Tis the season to stand on the soggy sidelines yelling like banshees at our children. Sunday was the first game with ‘our’ new team. The coach hails from Florida and this is his first time coaching a Canadian team. I think he’s already figured out that it’s in fact hockey that rules around here.

football

First game of the season. Can you smell the newly cut grass?

Candy Detox

Leo Reynolds / Food Photos / CC BY-NC-SA

Generally, I am not a lover of candy. Well, maybe just a little but it’s usually controllable. That is, until I spend a weekend getaway in Whistler with a group of fabulous women who happen to love their candy. Yep, it happened. I got caught up in the rush of it all and the next thing you know, I have a bright blue tongue and I’m picking chewy bits out of my teeth. Dammit.

Someone mentioned they wanted candy and all of a sudden there I was, jockeying for position in front of about 100 bins of candy. Waiting for the kid in front of me to scoop some mango gummy bears into his plastic bag. I mean, ‘let me help you sweetheart, so we can get on with it’. I am impatient like that.

When the damage was done, I found myself standing in a circle of women outside the candy shop. We couldn’t even wait to get back to our shared condo. Each of us sampling our stash and mumbling a review with our mouths full. As if we were candy connoisseurs. I ended up with sour cola bottles, blackcurrant chewy candy of some sort, some hard candy in a wrapper that caught my eye. It sucked-no pun intended. Then there was my downfall. If there is one candy that I lose my mind over it is salty licorice. Most people I know can’t stand it. As for me? The saltier the better. Dear me, now I’m thinking about it again.

I enjoyed the binge for all of about 15 minutes and then reality set in. What have I done? What do I do now? I think I’m having a panic attack. No wait, that’s a sugar rush.

Needless to say, I can’t believe I did that. But you know what? I did. It was good. Don’t judge (yes, I am speaking to my inner self). Move on.

I have moved on. That is, to the basement, for this work out:

What’s your favourite candy?