Breaking The Age Boundary

socs-badge

This was written for Stream of Consciousness Saturday hosted by Linda G Hill where today’s prompt was to write about anything to do with age.  I’ve been in a pretty dark, emotional place since I came back from North Carolina and my writing has definitely reflected it.  I feel I have finally made it out of the darkness and I was very happy to write something today that made me smile and made me feel inspired.  I hope you have a similar experience with it.

Breaking The Age Boundary

I believe the saying “You’re only as old as you feel”; in fact, I don’t believe a number defines anything about me except for how many years it has been since the day I was born.  I think there is far too much significance given to that pesky little number.

I’ve struggled almost my entire life with self-worth and feeling like I wasn’t as pretty or as skinny as other people.  Those thoughts have led me down some dark paths.  After my last child was born, I actually gained weight to the point that I was over 200 pounds – in fact I weighed more than I did when I was pregnant with all of my children.  There were reasons I subconsciously added weight, but I couldn’t see it at the time.  All I could see was that I was ugly.

In high school when I was at my smallest, I looked around me and felt inadequate.  I always felt like other girls were prettier, smaller, better at life.  It was a really poor self-image time in my life.

Today, I am 39 years old; I’m the happiest I think I’ve ever been in my life; I’m probably also the healthiest, most physically fit I’ve ever been in my life.  There are still times I look at my body and think it doesn’t quite cut it, but then, by whose standards am I judging it?  Should I judge it by the unrealistic ads we are bombarded with?  Should I judge it by what I think others think, or how others view me?  The best way I’ve found to judge it, for me, is to remember back when I was over 200 pounds and the one thought I had over and over:  “I just want to be a size 12 again.  If I could be a size 12, that would make me happy.”  Any time I start thinking I’m “fat” or “ugly” I remember that thought.

To get back to age after my slight detour into weight, I love breaking the unseen boundary that exists in society around age.  “You can’t do that, you’re too old.”  “You can’t do that, you’re too young.”  I think many of the issues parents have with teenagers centers around that pesky number and how a number defines adulthood in our society.  I think it is entirely ass backwards.  There are some grown “adults” I’ve know who acted exactly like ten year olds and there are some twelve year olds who are wise beyond their years.  So, how do we break out of it?  How do we stop seeing people with an imaginary number over their head that defines them for us in so many ways?

I’ve always tried to see beyond the number.  If my kid acts like a two year old, I will treat him or her that way.  If he acts like a twenty year old, I will treat him or her that way.  I don’t just assume because my son is 14 that he couldn’t possibly know more than me because I’ve lived so many more years than him.  Does that help?  Yes.  Have I gained life experience and just plain experienced more than he has?  Absolutely!  But that doesn’t mean he is any less just because he’s 14.  He has feelings and dreams and aspirations.  He is learning more in school right now than I’ve probably learned in the past year.  To put it into perspective, when I was his age, I remember thinking my parents were stupid.  I actually thought I was smarter than they were.  Now, whether that was the case or not, I don’t know, but I remember thinking that and it helps guide my actions in caring for my teenagers.   Our children are human beings.  They aren’t just a number.  I think it would serve us all well to remember that when dealing with them.

What I truly set out to say is that I am happier and more grounded in my life in this moment than I ever have been.  I have so many things to be grateful for.  I have three beautiful children who love me and interact with me.  I am in a loving, healthy relationship with an amazing man.  I have a job that pays the bills and a roof over my head.  I am also free to do the things I love – running, yoga, writing and reading a fabulous book.  I’m in a really good place and it’s only taken me 39 years to get here.  I’m hoping for more, but honestly, we aren’t guaranteed another day.  Life really is too short to spend it worried about age or weight or if I’m prettier or not prettier than that woman over there.

Before I started writing this post, I was washing my hands in the bathroom and I looked in the mirror and truly honestly felt that I was beautiful.  I feel like there was a light shining through my eyes that I haven’t seen for much of my life, but I’m so grateful I’ve found it and it shines through.

Age doesn’t have any bearing on happiness or giving love and respect to yourself.  It doesn’t have any bearing on how you treat other people.  Or at least it shouldn’t.  And that is my message for today.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend and remember that you are beautiful, no matter how old you are; no matter how many pounds the scale shows you; no matter where you are at in life, life is beautiful and absolutely worth living!

 

Advertisements

The Voices In Her Head

I am jumping on the band wagon of a new flash fiction challenge.  As soon as I read the stories from last week’s prompt, I knew I wanted to participate.  It’s music, after all, and if you know me, you know how much I am drawn to music.  So, the challenge was put forth by Naomi Harvey to write a piece of flash fiction up to 1500 words inspired by song lyrics.  The lyrics this week are:

I’m the voice inside your head
You refuse to hear
I’m the face that you have to face
Mirrored in your stare

I don’t normally explain much about my flash fiction, but I feel this week’s story pretty much requires it.  It started with the devastating news of Robin Williams but was firmly cemented by a close family member who is thankfully still with us.  Both brought up memories of times in my life when I’ve been in a similar dark place and while I haven’t been able to write openly about suicide and depression and the devastating impact of the thoughts we think, I was able to write some flash fiction that I hope conveys my thoughts to some degree.  While I realize it is a bit fanciful and the understanding comes quicker in the story then it does in real life, I think all who suffer from depression have a spark of hope that wars with their despair.  I only hope it wins every time, but for those who fall victim to it, I for one, don’t blame you.  I know what it’s like to stare it in the face and not see any outcome other than an end.  I’m grateful every day that I’m still here, that I’ve been able to watch my children grow.  Some days are harder than others, but I’m a living example that it can get better.

The story is a little over 1100 words.

The Voices In Her Head

“It’s time.  You know it and I know it.”  He was the cold hand of logic, all smooth, sharp angled planes.

“I know no such thing,” she answered in her usually brightly colored voice, now dragging at the edges with sadness.

“She’ll be better off.”

“And what about those she’ll leave behind?  Will they be better off?”  A single tear crept down her face, its fluorescence leaving a radiating trail behind.

“They will.  Time heals all wounds.  They will learn to adjust.  It’s better that than her constant emotional outbursts.  Do you think that’s any better for them?  You can see for yourself the damage she causes.”

“I see it, but I also know they love her.  They forgive her each and every time.”

“Do they?  Will they, when they realize the scars her toxicity has caused them?”

“She’ll find a way to do better.  She has it in her.  I can feel it.”

“How can you still have hope after so long?”  The once gossamer threads of the web he weaved began to strengthen, fusing and melding into nooks and crannies, blotting out the shining colors she was emitting.

“Hope heals.  Hope strengthens.  Hope is time and space and everything in between.”

“You are the fanciful one.”

“You can’t do this to her.”  Her bright, crisp voice came out muffled, his grey mesh clotting at sounds, twisting and turning her sideways, each color dampened by creeping darkness and fraying at the edges.

“I’m not doing anything to her.  I’m actually helping her.  She’s done it to herself, after all, and she just isn’t strong enough to take any more.  She’s in so much pain.  Can’t you see that?  How can you stand by and let her continue in so much pain?  What she needs is peace, rest.  Things will be better for everyone once it’s done.  You’ll see.”

“I can’t let you do this.  I won’t just stand by and let it happen.”

“Do what you must, but realize, I will do what I must.  We will see whose voice is loudest, in the end.”

Silvery threads danced and tangled with yellow-orange hues as if the sun and moon had met at dusk, a brilliant tango filled with alternating bright light and dark shadows; a prism of colors slowly fading as the moon in all its glory tried to outshine the sun.

**

Gray-strangled colors danced around her as she poured a bottle of pills into one hand and picked up an almost empty bottle of whiskey with the other.  She was blinded by the tears welling in her eyes and seeping down her face to land unchecked where they fell.  She hesitated in the last second and a tiny light spilled through the almost impenetrable darkness.  Shaking, her hand tilted slightly sideways on its way to her mouth, depositing some of its contents onto the ground.  The rest made their way into her mouth and down her throat, sizzling and burning with the whiskey that followed.

She was shaking even harder once it was done and panic started to settle in.  What have I done?

His words echoed in her head.

It’s better this way.  It will be over soon and everyone will be better off, happier without you.

She took the comforting words and wrapped them around her, a steel gray blanket of smooth ice; lies and half-truths wrapped up in self-doubt and self-loathing.

She made her way slowly to the couch, the room growing fuzzy around the edges.  As she sat there slowly fading, noises erupted around her and flashing lights burst in staccato beats across her eyes.  She couldn’t grasp it, couldn’t hold onto it, confusion and doubt warring with oblivion.  Soon, peace overwhelmed her and she let the cold, comforting hand of darkness consume her.

**

She was openly crying now, silky tear drops pooling in bright colors all around them.  “She dropped enough on the ground, didn’t she?  She’ll be okay, won’t she?”

“There was enough in her hand to do the trick and the whiskey will only add to the maelstrom.”  He was ice cold composure, steel gray and hard.

“But, they found her and the ambulance arrived quickly.  They should be able to pump her stomach, get out whatever didn’t seep into her blood stream.”

He raised an eyebrow at her illogical reasoning.  “You think you’ve helped her, but you haven’t.  If she wakes up from this, she’ll be left with the shame of trying.  That will only add to her burden and she’ll end up right back where she started.  You should have left well enough alone.”

“I am what I am.  It isn’t in my nature to sit back and let despair take over.”

“You’ve condemned her to a worse fate.”

“I’ve given her a chance; a second chance at life.”  Even in her grief, she managed to emanate the joy she felt in hope.  It seeped through the cobwebs creating rainbows of color in the silky strands.

**

She opened her eyes to the sterile white hospital room, deathly quiet except for the steady, rhythmic beeping that announced she was still alive.

I’m still here.

Relief flooded through her, seeping out of her eyes and down her face.  She didn’t know how she was going to live, but for some reason she couldn’t quite grasp, she didn’t want to die.  Not yet, anyway.

The doom was still threatening, looming at the edges, but she held onto the hope that she had something to live for; many things, actually.  And as she thought of each one, they caressed her heart and the blackness started to inch slowly away, replaced by tentative light.  She wasn’t sure how she would face them; how they could possibly forgive her; how she could possibly forgive herself.  She didn’t have any answers; didn’t feel much better than when she swallowed a handful of pills in complete despair, thinking it was better.  But she knew she had to keep trying.

She noticed a mirror on her bedside table.  She wasn’t sure why it was sitting there and couldn’t fathom why she even wanted to look, but she picked it up anyway and stared at the image.  She didn’t recognize the face; didn’t want to think that she was the ugly creature reflected in the glass.  But she kept looking; stared into those dark, sorrowful eyes and made a silent vow.

I choose to live. I choose to accept who I am at this moment and what I’ve done. 

The brilliant light that had furiously fought the sticky, dark cobwebs of doubt and despair finally burst through and surrounded her, pulsing with warmth; love; hope.

The Lie

I said I would have a story up soon and I didn’t lie.  I’m feeling more myself today, for the first time in over a week.  This story was written for Chuck’s challenge over at terribleminds where the prompt was to write a 1,000 word story full of action.  This story definitely reflects the dark spaces my mind has found itself in over the past week, but it was screaming to be told.   My small warning for those it could offend: It is dark and there is some swearing and other things.

Note: I made a few edits to the last paragraph as it was pointed out in the comments that it was a bit unclear.  I agreed.  I thought the same thing before posting it and I should have made the changes; you know, actually followed my instincts rather than letting it go. 🙂

Coming in at 1,001 words I give you:

The Lie

My shoes pound on the pavement as I run, oblivious of my gasping breath echoing in the air. It’s after midnight and darkness envelops me, holding me in its deathly embrace. I wish for death. I long for it. I’m running, hoping to find a way to end it all, hoping to find someone who will do it for me.

The images of only moments ago haunt me.

“Please, Ian. We belong together. I love you!” I’m crying, begging for things to be like they always used to be. I don’t understand why he wants it to be over and I asked to see him tonight so I could understand, maybe help him realize or even remember that he loves me too.

I’m running harder, trying to escape the memory, but it won’t let go; continues its dark litany inside my head.

We’re parked in the driveway of my house but I can’t bring myself to open the door, somehow knowing this will be the last time. I look at him and lean over, silently asking with my eyes for acceptance, approval. I lean into him and lay my lips on his, expecting for him to turn me away, but he doesn’t. I continue and feel him respond. He grabs me and we are tearing at each other, drowning in emotion. He leans back and tells me he loves me, finally, and my heart soars. Everything is okay. We’re going to be okay.

I don’t know how long I’ve been running or even where I am. I don’t even care. I look at the empty street and wish for the bright light of day and cars speeding by. I see myself stepping into them, letting it all float away in dark steel and shattered glass.

My face is wet and I realize I’m crying just as I did when he said the words. Said he wanted me back and that everything would be okay. He said it. Made me believe he meant it.

For such a small space, we manage to remove just enough clothing and finally, unbearably, he’s inside me and I cry out “I love you”, my tears falling on his neck, his shirt, combining with sweat and the sticky moist air we’ve created. We reach our peak only moments apart and freeze. I’m staring into his eyes, trying to see what I’m feeling reflected there, but suddenly I feel something else. I see it in his eyes, know what he’s going to say before it comes out of his mouth as he’s still inside me, spent. “Carrie, this wasn’t a good idea. I don’t know what I was thinking, but it doesn’t change anything.”

I see two men walking on the other side of the street. My heart speeds up, thumping in my ears. I’m scared, but hopeful. I’m scared they’ll cross the street. I want them to cross the street. I’m daring them, screaming in the silent recesses of my mind. They pass, glancing briefly sideways at what must be the manic girl running up the street. Isn’t it supposed to be scary for a girl to be alone in the middle of the night, walking the streets? Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe I should be walking.

I slow my pace to a walk. It allows me to wrap my arms around myself, huddling into the pain that tears at my heart. Tears well in my eyes but they hover, resisting gravity and the chance to spill down my face, following the caked lines from tears already spilled. My breath is hitching, coming out as small cries that I hate myself for making. They sound so weak. I’m weak. How could I possibly think that someone would love me?

I stare at him in horror, realizing he only said words he thought I would want to hear. Only wanted to fuck me, what, one last time? Did he think that by lying to me it would make it easier? I don’t know, but the anger builds in me as I stare into his now cold eyes. Before I know it, my hand hits his face hard and words are wrenched out of my mouth, words I don’t plan to say. “You son of a bitch!”

I hear footsteps behind me and my heart picks up speed, beating in time to them as they drift closer. Is it finally happening? Am I going to be mugged? Kidnapped? Killed on the street like the dog I am? I decide to keep walking, even slow my pace slightly, hoping it will be over before I can change my mind.

My voice echoes in the car and I kick my legs and punch out as hard as I can to get out from under him and out of the car. I open the door and fall out, stickers and rocks digging into my palms. I stand up and slam the door as hard as I can. I turn and start walking. I hear the window rolling down, hear him calling after me, but I ignore him. I feel used, dirty. How could this be happening. How could I love someone who would use me like that? Before I know it, I’m running, trying to outrun the pain and the demonic thoughts that threaten to take control.

It’s taking too long. The footsteps should have caught me by now. I finally stop and turn. Nothing. An empty sidewalk, an empty street, the light turning from yellow to red, so quiet I actually hear it clicking. Relief floods my being along with disappointment. Nothing seems to be going my way.

I look around, realize where I am and make my way slowly, inevitably toward safety, warmth. And even though I know its a lie, I knock on the door and wait for it to open. Wait for the loving arms that will reinforce the lie that everything is okay.

I fall into those arms, let them surround me, knowing I’ll never feel loved again.

Fighting For Words That Slip Away

socs-badge

This was written for Stream of Consciousness Saturday hosted by Linda G Hill where the prompt was to start out with a preposition, but everything else was open.  If I could have done this tomorrow, I probably should have, but it’s Saturday and I haven’t posted in a while, so it’s today.  I hope you enjoy the pictures as words were pretty scarce for me today.

Fighting For Words That Slip Away

Between this post and my last one, it has been exactly one week.  Life definitely happened to me this week and even though I had every intention of writing while I was on my vacation, it just never happened.  I also had every intention of writing something when I got home, but I was hit simultaneously with extreme exhaustion and some news that knocked me out emotionally.  After the emotionally charged weekend I experienced, it was like throwing kerosene on an already burning building.

I’m not sure if I’m ready to talk about any of it.  I sat down intending to write something noteworthy, but my brain is fried.  I’m thinking this is what writers call “writers block” but I know it is just too many emotions all trying to fight for room in my head.  The more I try to fight for words, the more they slip away.

So, I will just say that I enjoyed North Carolina immensely.  I didn’t even mind the humidity all that much, although that could be coming from someone who is currently sitting in sixty degree weather and can’t quite remember the humidity and how terrible it really was.  Instead of mountains on the horizon, there is a tree line, green, dense and truly lovely.  There is a bridge behind my daughter’s dorm room that looks over a river of green.  I told her I would be there every single day if I lived there.

View from the bridge behind her dorm.

View from the bridge behind her dorm.

View from the bridge.

View from the bridge.

We had some free time on Monday so we did this crazy thing where we drove four hours to Wilmington and Carolina Beach.  I’m so happy we decided to do it, even though we didn’t make it back until one in the morning and we had to be up at six for Adelle’s orientation.  Who can resist the beach, after all?  After hanging out for a while at the beach, we found a restaurant by Cape Fear River.  I almost think the river was more beautiful than the ocean.  After dinner, we got caught in a magnificent rain storm with lightning and thunder and rain coming so hard we were soaked through before we made it back to our car.  Unfortunately, I was supposed to drive home but after a few miles on the freeway, I had to pull over.  I couldn’t even see the lines and I was scared!

At the beach with the sun in my face.

At the beach with the sun in my face.

Carolina Beach and our shadows.

Carolina Beach and our shadows.

Cape Fear River

Cape Fear River

Cape Fear River and the storm rolling in.

Cape Fear River and the storm rolling in.

I kept thinking that I understand the whole vampires in the South scenario.  Everything had an air of mystery to it.  Maybe that sounds a bit romantic, or just plain stupid, but I could definitely see a vampire in a mansion hidden deep in the trees somewhere off the highway.

I’m not sure I have much else to say.  I think the experience will seep into my writing in some ways and I’m not sad about it at all.  I am going to include some of the pictures from my trip since words just aren’t happening as well as I’d like them to today.

I hope you all have an amazing weekend.  I promise I will have some stories coming your way soon.  My dreams are starting to show my lack of writing and I was literally exhausted when I woke up this morning.

My last goodbye with my baby girl!

My last goodbye with my baby girl!

 

Eighteen Years In A Blink

socs-badge

This post was written for Stream of Consciousness Saturday.  This week, Linda prompted us to write about time.

Eighteen Years In A Blink

Time.  There’s always so little and at times, far too much.  Like when you’re pregnant and everyone else around you says the pregnancy has gone by so fast but you are seriously ONLY in week 28 and there are still 12 weeks to go and you already feel huge.  Those are probably the longest weeks I can remember.  The last two or three months of pregnancy.  Then there’s the interminable dark hours in the middle of the night when, no matter what you do, you can’t get the screaming baby to sleep or to even just settle down.  But honestly, looking back on those times, I wonder how it all came to this point so quickly.

18 years and I feel like there just isn’t enough time.  I need more time to tell her how much I love her and to impart my motherly wisdom on her.  I need more time to just spend with her and be with her, laughing and listening to music.  I need more time to cry with her over flighty friend issues that come and go quicker than I can blink, but when she’s devastated by it, I’m sure it seems like her world will end.  I need more time with my baby girl before she flies three thousand miles away.  But the time has flown and we are now on the very day where we fly away and within a short span of four days, I will board another plane on my return trip home, leaving her behind.  (I posted a while back that we were going to drive to North Carolina, but after some serious consideration, we decided that flying was the best option.  I’m somewhat sad that we won’t have three days in the car together, filling up space in our hearts and minds with each other’s company, but we do have the next four days and a long-ass plane ride! Well, the longest one I’ve ever been on anyway, which tells you a little something about my travelling experience, or lack thereof.)

In all honesty, I am so happy for her.  So excited to witness her growth and maturity.  We went to dinner a few days ago and I told her we all had it backwards.  She wasn’t going to call every day and she wasn’t going to freak out and want to come home in a month.  No, most likely I will be the one calling her every day and bugging the shit out of her until she yells at me to leave her alone.  She really is far more ready for this than I must admit I am.

It helps me to cling to this moment right now.  It is truly the only one that matters.  Be present every moment and enjoy the person you are with immensely and immeasurably.  Give everything you have to the present.  The next four days, I know they will fly by as time is wont to do, but I will make each and every moment I have with my daughter the best they can be.  (It sounds like I’m saying goodbye to her for the last time, which I’m not, but it sure as hell feels like it in this moment!)

One of my favorite movies is Meet Joe Black and this post and the subject of time made me think of a quote from the movie.  So, I will leave you with that because it seems so fitting.  It is William Parrish giving his birthday speech, his final speech.

“I thought I was going to sneak away tonight. What a glorious night. Every face I see is a memory. It may not be a perfectly perfect memory. Sometimes we had our ups and downs. But we’re all together, and you’re mine for a night. And I’m going to break precedent and tell you my one candle wish: that you would have a life as lucky as mine, where you can wake up one morning and say, ‘I don’t want anything more.’ Sixty-five years. Don’t they go by in a blink?”

Zit-Faced Idiots

This is what happens when I actually trust my process.  I bang out a story the day after the challenge is posted.  In case you couldn’t tell, I’m rather stoked about it!  Can’t say it will happen every time, but it was nice this time.

Turn-a-trope Tuesday has been hauled over, redefined and renamed.  It is now Trope-Tastic Thursday in which we are still using tropes, it’s just up to the author to either play it straight or turn it on it’s head.  This week’s Trope is Vocal Dissonance (Mike Tyson, anyone?).  I definitely think I played it straight, maybe even a little loosely, but it’s in there.  It’s the first thing I thought of, since my son is about that age.

The story is about teenage boys, so there is some swearing involved.  (If you think your teenagers don’t swear when you’re not around, think again!)  Anyway, just a heads up for those who don’t like that sort of thing.

Coming in slightly over 1,000 words, I hope you enjoy!

Zit-Faced Idiots

The final bell rang and Ben jumped up, his desk sliding sideways in his haste. He was the first one to the door. He hadn’t planned it, he just wanted to get the hell out of this dung hole.

Stepping into the chaos-filled hallway, he shoved and pushed his way to his locker. Jerking it open, he unceremoniously threw his books in. He might have homework in a few classes, but meh. He had better things to do. He slammed the door shut, leaving the mangled books and crushed papers behind.

“Hey, Ben! We still hanging out after school?” Josh walked up and punched him in the arm.

“Sure.”

“Cool. Freddie’s gonna come. That okay?”

“Whatever. Not like we have solid plans.”

Josh leered at him and grinned. “We do now!”

“Huh?”

“You’ll see. It’s gonna be awesome.” Josh took off down the hall.

Ben caught up with him outside where he was bent over, apparently laughing at Freddie. “What’s so funny?”

“Oh my God, dude. You should’ve heard it. He walks up all deep, growly voice and the next instant it’s like someone grabbed his balls!”

“Fuck you, Josh.” Freddie was looking slightly red around the edges.

Ben sympathized. Junior high was like a death pit of deep voices turning to squeaks in seconds, zit-faced idiots and boners. Just one more year, he thought. By then, he could only hope his face was more clear and his voice was more settled into its tone, whatever that was going to be. Right now, he couldn’t count on either.

He cleared his throat, a little leery of the squeak himself. As it turned out, his voice came out even deeper than normal.

“Hey, Josh, didn’t your sister kick you in the sack last night? And weren’t you curled up on the floor balling like a baby for a good five minutes?”

Josh immediately stopped laughing and his face turned a few different shades of red. “Fuck you, Ben.”

“Now that we’ve got that out of the way…” Ben started walking down the street and the others followed, sulking. Ben let them, knowing it wouldn’t last. Some teenage sulks could last for days, he knew. He was currently in the middle of one directed right at his dad. He couldn’t quite remember what for, but he wasn’t about to let it go. Friends were different, though.

“So, what’s this thing we’re gonna do?”

Freddie and Josh had finally caught up.

“We need to stop at my house first. But, you know that house with the old lady who yells at us all the time?”

“Yeah…”

“Well, we’re gonna give her something she’ll never forget!” Josh high-fived Freddie and they both laughed.

Ben raised an eyebrow at Josh. “Uh, what do you mean?”

“Promise you’ll do it?”

“No. I gotta know what it is.”

“Why do you always have to be the asshole of the group?”

“I don’t know. Why do you smell like dog shit?”

Freddie burst out in a laugh that ended in a high-pitched squeal. He clamped his hands on his mouth, his eyes bugging out of his face. Ben and Josh laughed so hard they had to stop walking and ended up doubled over.

“Fuck! I hate it when that happens.” Freddie kept walking. It happened to all of them at least ten times a day. They all got a good laugh in before letting it go and moving on.

They reached Josh’s house and Ben and Freddie loitered on the grass out front while Josh ran inside. He was back within minutes, holding a carton of eggs.

Ben took one look and started walking home. “Count me out.”

“Come on, dude! It’ll be fun.” Josh ran in front of Ben and turned so he was walking backwards. “Just, I don’t know, come hang out. You don’t have to throw any.”

“What if you get caught? Did you think of that?” Ben kept walking.

“We’re not gonna get caught. This neighborhood is a ghost town this time of day.” Freddie put out his hand and stopped walking, forcing Ben to stop. “I thought we were friends, dude. Besides, that old lady is a cow. She deserves what she gets. You were bitching about it harder than anyone the last time she kicked us off her street.”

“Well, yeah, but that doesn’t mean I wanna egg her house!”

“Come on! Just come with us! Stop being such a pansy!”

Ben looked at Josh, then down at the eggs. “Fine. Whatever. But I’m not throwing any.”

“Fine. Cool. Whatever. Let’s Go!”

The old lady’s house was on the next street over and it didn’t take long before they were standing in front of it. The street was deserted except for a few younger kids playing in their front yard. They waited for a lone car to drive by, but once it turned the corner, Josh and Freddie unloaded on the house, laughing and yelling like idiots. Ben took a seat on the grass a few houses down and watched as the eggs splattered on the door, slithering to a puddle on the porch. They landed a few good ones on the window that surprisingly didn’t break it.

Once all the eggs had been dispensed, Freddie and Josh turned to each other, high-fiving and chest bumping. Soon, they were on the ground, wrestling and hollering. Ben watched, thinking he was gonna go home and play some video games when he heard the siren.

“Oh shit!”

Ben was the first one off the ground, running like hell down the street. It didn’t take the others long to catch up and they all high-tailed it to Josh’s house, running inside and slamming the door. Freddie collapsed against the living room wall, heaving.

“Do you think they were coming for us?”

“I didn’t think anyone saw us.”

“Uh, guys?  We’re in deep shit.” Ben’s squeaky voice went unnoticed.

They all watched through the window as the police car stopped in front of Josh’s house.

Tough Mudder Postponed

This really cool thing happened today where we found out we could transfer our registration for Tough Mudder to next year.  I was so relieved, happy, joyous… there are so many happy words I could use to describe the smile that lit up my face when I realized I wouldn’t in fact have to do it alone.

Hopefully no one will think I’m copping out.  I’m not!  I was so ready to take on Tough Mudder!  I’m not sure if I can explain but I will try…  From what I’ve seen of the course, it is WAY more of a team thing than an individual thing and there were obstacles I was counting on my brother to help me with, dangit!  I’m actually pretty shy (blog notwithstanding) and the thought of asking a stranger for help in that type of situation was, um, daunting.  I was gearing up for it, though.  Honest, I was!  “Hey, you, strong man I don’t know, can you please help me up over this here wall?”  What if he said no?  What if he looked at me and decided I was just a wimp, or too heavy, or…?  I don’t know… the scenarios were mind numbing.  For me, anyway.  Don’t even get me started on seeing all the teams doing their team thing and me being the sole person in my “team” just running along BY MYSELF!  Who knows.  Maybe it would have been a blast.  Maybe it would have exceeded all my expectations and all my fears would have been for naught.

But honestly, I’m happy we’re postponing it.  This way, we all win.  My sister doesn’t have to feel bad and wonder how she’s going to even be there, and both of them have plenty of time to heal and get back to fighting positions and ready for the challenge next year.  We might even add a few members to the team…

In the mean time, I have set aside my cross training and taken up some yoga.  I didn’t even realize how amazing it was.  You hear people talk about it and you see people doing it and you think “that could be awesome, I should totally do it” but you don’t and there isn’t really a reason other than, I don’t know… it takes time and work.  So, I’m just using the time I was spending on cross training for some yoga.  I’m still going to run three days a week and do the yoga on the off days.  I will also keep some of the weight lifting aspects of what I was doing, because I do not mind the shapes happening in places on my body.  At some point next year, I will have to pick the cross training back up in order to prepare, but for now, I’m going to breathe and be easy.

On another positive note, my running is still improving.  After my last post, I have clocked a new time, I don’t know, like three times!  I’m closer to my sister’s time than I was the last time I mentioned it and my new goal is to run three miles at an 11 minute pace.  Right now, I am doing about 11:30.  Just before the thing happened that took her out of commission, my sister called me and talked me into training for a half-marathon.  I must be insane!  But running is like a drug.  Once you start, you just can’t seem to stop and three miles is just not enough!  It’s fun to push past boundaries you think you have, just to see if you can.  I always surprise myself in running and I’m sure I will continue to do so.

While Tough Mudder is still a thing, it’s a thing a ways off.  The running thing is much more present and will most likely be taking up more space in my thoughts and on the blog.  I need to start adding miles instead of hills and pace, although both of those will help with miles.  Just the thought of running for two hours is both exhausting and exciting!  (For those of you ready to slap me, I understand.  I used to feel that way when my sister trained for her last half…)  The races most likely won’t happen until early next year because I don’t think she’ll be up for it until then.  She will also need to basically start from scratch with her training, which is a bitch!  That was how I used to run!  Go two or three months not running at all then start again and pretend you are actually ready to run that 5k in two months!  It’s rough work to start over.  Part of me wishes I could make that better for her, but she is a fighter and a survivor.  She will be back before either of us realizes it.

Tough Mudder, 5ks, 10ks  and half marathons are waiting for us in the near future.  For now, we can take a few breaths and just let life be what it is.