Saturday, December 31, 2011

30 things: Day 30

Day 30: Your favorite song. I don't have just one, but this one will do for now, for this year, and for the end of this year which is just about 5minutes away.

The lyrics:

Made a wrong turn once or twice
Dug my way out, blood and fire
Bad decisions, that's alright
Welcome to my silly life

Mistreated, misplaced, misunderstood
Miss 'No way, it's all good'
It didn't slow me down.
Mistaken, always second guessing
Underestimated, look I'm still around

Pretty, pretty please, don't you ever, ever feel
Like you're less than fucking perfect
Pretty, pretty please, if you ever, ever feel
Like you're nothing, you're fucking perfect to me

You're so mean when you talk
About yourself. You were wrong.
Change the voices in your head
Make them like you instead.

So complicated,
Look happy, You'll make it!
Filled with so much hatred
Such a tired game
It's enough, I've done all I could think of
Chased down all my demons
I've seen you do the same
(Ohh ohhhhhhh)

Pretty, pretty please, don't you ever, ever feel
Like you're less than fucking perfect
Pretty, pretty please, if you ever, ever feel
Like you're nothing, you're fucking perfect to me

The whole world's scared, so I swallow the fear
The only thing I should be drinking is an ice cold beer
So cool in line and we try try try but we try too hard
And it's a waste of my time.
Done looking for the critics, cause they're everywhere
They don't like my jeans, they don't get my hair
Exchange ourselves and we do it all the time
Why do we do that, why do I do that (why do I do that)?

and so I did it...with 3 mintues to spare...I wrote my 30 things.

Happy New Year to you and to me!!!

30 things: day 29

Day 29 - in this past month, what have you learned?

I love to sleep, more than ever. It's peaceful and it's quite. All the time.
The past is the past for a reason, even if it feels warm at night and it makes you smile when you least expect it.
My space is starting to feel more and more like my space.
The people who are the closest to you are the ones who can hurt you the most.
I hurt all around when I don't make my body move. (I know, it's in direct contradiction to my first learned lesson).
I have lofty goals.
I have a new vision of what I want and what I won't settle for any longer.
I am a good photographer. (with a lot to still learn, but I'm getting there).
I deserve to be happy and I'm going to change that in this next year.

30 things: day 28

Day 28: a picture of you from last year and now, how have you changed since then?

Another hard one to tackle. I found a picture from last Christmas and then one from a concert this last October. Yeah, I lost some weight, but I'm kind of the same. Interally, emotionally, mentally, I've changed a lot. People that were staples in my life are no longer there. It was painful to lose some relationships and a relief to lose others. I learned that I am not kind, patient, or giving enough to myself. I've learned that my capacity to give is much greater than my capacity to forgive. I've learned that I can do it, I can run a little longer, I can see results faster, I can put myself first for once and not feel bad about it. I'm learning to set boundaries. I'm learning what other people are made of. I'm learning to reset my priorities and be more cautious with my time and emotions. I'm mostly just learning all the time...the hard way, the easy way, quickly, and slowly...but I'm at least learning.

on 2012

New Years resolutions? I've had a few. I only have one this year: invest in myself. Whether that be going to the gym or yoga more, spending more time behind my camera, staying up all night crafting something fabulous, or just sleeping in. It's my time now. I've invested years in a house that I could not call my own, in other people's business and personal successes while ignoring my own, in miles and miles of travel just to visit, thousands of hours of phone calls, texts, and emails to keep in contact, and just ended up creating this existence where I both the constant welcoming committee and a doormat. I let myself get burned and then I burned the rest of myself out. It's hard to love other people when you don’t love yourself. So, that's my resolution this year: me. I'm my own resolution.

PS - from me to all of the rest of you: you know that person you always go to and always lean on when you're in need? Maybe they need a day off too. Find that person and tell them thank you and then take a step back and look at them as a person in whole, not just in the context that you know them. Learn to appreciate who you have in your life before it's too late.

Here's to Happy New Year's and happy lives for all.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

30 things: Day 27

Day 27: Why are you doing this 30-challenge?

I started this way back in February...of this year 2011. It is now about 72 hours from being 2012. I started this to challenge myself to write something new every day for a month. You see how well that went over. I'm now bound and determined to just finish this by the end of the year. I find that I give life to my thoughts when I write them down. I alleviate the heaviness of my heart. I clear my head. I just needed a list of things to push me in a writing direction. I think this challege has proven to be a great lesson in thinking and life.

30 things: day 26

Day 26 - what do you think about your friends.

I avoided this nearly as much as I avoided day 24. I used to count my wealth in the number of great friends I had. I was rich. I would now consider myself invested, but not wealthy.

You see, the pillars of some of my longest standing friendships, they crumbled this year. I could hem and haw about the reasons why or what could have been different, but I will reduce it down to a couple of things. People change. Grow. Grow up, grow apart, grow away. Where it was once the saddest day to see my childhood friends move states away and wonder how I could get by without them on a regular basis, it was years later a relief to cut off the tension and the doubt that had become our relationship. It wasn't overnight, it wasn't a snap decision, and we are both and all to blame. Too many hurt feelings, too many things unsaid but felt, too little consideration that friendship is a 2-way street. Friendship is a million little things, the little things are where you find your commonality, your kindred spirtness, your inside secrets, your laughs, your thoughts that count, your comfort. It's the little things that hold your friendship together. The little things fell away.

Enough crying over spilled friendships. It is what it is and what is meant to be will be. Maybe they'll come back around or maybe our curtain finally dropped after a slow fall.

But then...there are the new friends I've made in more recent years and more immediate times. The ones who don't know where I've come from or how I was when I was 8 or 17 or 25, but they know me now and they appreciate me now for what I am. In some ways, it's good to start fresh with someone who has a new perspective. They are the ones who see me in today's light despite my baggage. There are the few who are like family to me who still see me in light of my baggage. They have their own to carry, so they're not so worried about commenting on mine.

So what do I think about my friends? I think they are vast and different and I think they are always evolving and growing like we each are as people. As I typed, I checked my horoscope for today; 12/29/2011 and it read: "Don't worry about your friends misinterpreting you -- they always understand you." I believe that. I also believe that I will loose some more and gain some more and I think that I'll take it a day at a time.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

30 things: day 25

Day 25 - what is in your bag?

I'm not big on purses. I have a few, they always end up maxed out, full of stuff I never need, but they're a necessary evil. If I can get away with just a clutch, or a wallet, or just my essentials tucked into my pockets, I'm good to go!
But...there's always some kind of purse situation going on. This one contains my huge wallet, my favorite, slowly peeling away sunglasses, a bottle of echinacea, a baggie fo vitamins, some loose change, some loose cough drops, my call out phone from work, a loose checkbook (yeah, I still go to people who take those), a wedding invitation, some eye drops, my iPod, something for my lips, a starbucks cozy, and some mock-up business cards that I still have yet to order stock in. It's not quite the purse of a crazy lady, but it's certianly nothing you'd want to get lost in.

Now that wasn't so bad.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

waffle irons are the demise of our society

When its busy, its busy, but when it's slow it's really slow. It lends plenty of time to browse the news headlines, catch up on the latest YouTube clips, see what's happening in the entertainment world, and so on and so forth.

Here’s my conclusion = it's all a bunch of crap. Capital C, Crap. Really, with the minor few exceptions, it is rancid, disgusting, and self-absorbed.

Entertainment is all about women (and men) who are so caught up in their inflated egos, flawless faces, "enhanced" bodies, always making sure that they don’t have a blemish, a bump, a shred of being a normal person, that if/when they are like the "rest of us", they're propped up on a pedestal for showing a crack in their shallow armor. "OMG, she's so relatable, she likes cupcakes and picks up her doggies poop in plastic bags just like I do (gasp!!!)" We are talking about nobodies, no-damn-bodies, regular folk, turned celebutants - the Kate Gosselins & the Kim Kardashains and the other self-made YouTube celebrities, blah, blah, blah…I'm just totally disgusted. What are they actually doing in the world? Anything decent besides clogging up the internet with twitter feeds and other forms of lackluster abbreviated and shortened ways to "communicate"? No, but the masses are still buying their bullshit. Caveat: this is not the weekender YouTuber who still has a sense of humor, the musicians, or those who are making tutorials that are both free and worth the time it takes to watch them. It's not all bad…yet.

Speaking of YouTube, have you seen the Black Friday video clips? I have. We've graduated to a complete society of animals, worse than ever before. "We" is a term I use loosely, my ass was in bed asleep, which, in my shift-working opinion, is PRICELESS. Still there were blocks and miles of lines of "people" who would rather trample, push, shove, and beat someone out of a $3 waffle iron for what? I doubt that Uncle Andy, your niece, or your half-sister all wanted one for Christmas. Waffle irons…this is what's become of us.

Why, pray tell Lauren, is it that now everyone is so desperate for a deal or looking for another way to market themselves and earn a few extra bucks? Here's one for you. How about we just blame the recession we’re in on government employee pensions? Oh, yeeeaaah…that's what happened! Who ever sold the public on this huge farce should actually get some recognition. This is good SHIT. I mean really, good way to SHIFT the blame. How about we also blame the impending zombie apocalypse and the PIG flu while we're at it? Let's make sure of one thing though: let's NOT place any blame on the banks, the financial institutions, the mortgage companies, or God forbid, the individuals who lacked any shred of personal responsibility in this thing we call our financial demise. It's easier to attack government pensions, public safety, the prisons, the state parole system, your local police force…they did it. It's their fault. Damn them and their boats and their cars and their single family homes and their 40, 50, 60, and 70 hour mandatory work weeks. They're visible, they're out there every day and every night any time you call, it must be their fault. All that phone answering and driving in circles…how frivolous. However "we" (another loose using of the word) don't want to give the perception that "we" don’t care about safety, "we" want everyone to come when "we" call for help, BUT "we" don’t want to have to pay for it like "we" used to when there was less crime, more cops, better equipment, and fewer damn fights over damn waffle irons.

I'll tell you what I miss. I miss when not every single person I knew had some level of worry or sleeplessness about how they were going to pay the bills. I miss the time when you wanted to talk so someone and you picked up the phone and called them. No tweeting, no texting, no mass emailing, no Facebooking the really important things in life to the people who are supposed to mean the most to you. I miss when you heard someone else's voice on the other end of the line, you smiled and actually believed the words that were coming out of their mouth. I know, I get paid to talk, but here's a concept: call me. I would love to have a conversation with someone that I 1) know personally and 2) don't have to interrogate for officer safety. I miss being invited to weddings, funerals, and baby showers with an actual contact, paper invitation, or phone call. I'm not talking about your bachelorette parties, Glee premier get togethers, and Vegas trips, by all means, group invite away, but have a little decorum, recognize tradition, make the people in your life a priority again.
I know, there's a lot to bitch and moan about even in this Thanksgiving week. I’m not ungrateful, I’m just fed up with the excuses and the brush offs and the complete lack of decency. I'm ready for 2012. I'm already reflecting back on 2011 and it's had more downs than ups. It's been a Hell of a Year.

Happy Saturday & Happy Holidays,

Oh yeah, PS, the views and opinions expressed in this little tirade are those of the author and not her employer.

I just needed to get that all out.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

30 things: Day 24

day 24- a letter to your parents

I've been avoiding this. My relationship with my parents has been kind of a yo-yo in recent years. I'm, in fact, no longer talking to my father after my entire lifetime of being his daughter coupled with sharing a house with him as a joint tenant and co-owner for the last seven years. A decision made with an open heart that I regret frequently.

If I would have written this 3 months ago, it would have a different content, 3 years ago, even more different, 10 years ago, probably wouldn't even seem like the same writer.

I can chalk it up to this: at some point, at some age, for some reason, when you're an adult and no longer completely dependent on your parents, the playing field just evens out. They're and adult and so are you. Long ago, I came to realize that I made more than my mother ever did as as an adult and my father ever did as an adult and breadwinner for a family of five. Different times, different economy, but it made me think.

As I've gotten older, I've come to realize that my parents...well they're just people. People, who like me, just don't know what the fucking answer is sometimes and they're just trying to do the best thing they can. Yeah, there were a lot of mistakes and a lot of selfishness and a lot of just plain bad faith, but they did try to do the right thing. If I was going to write a letter to either one of them, it would go something like this:

Thank you for trying your hardest and trying to stay together for us kids. Dad, thanks for teaching us a strong work ethic, even when you couldn't make enough and had to ask others to help you support your family from time to time. I know that couldn't have been easy as a man. Mom, thanks for trying to keep it all together and doing the best you could with three kids who were "spirited", a husband who was working and/or at school and not as available as he should have been, and being creative to work around a very basic budget and an exhausting commitment that you stuck with as long as you could have.

I wish a lot of things. Mom, I wish you would have left a miserable marriage long before it got to the point it did. We would have survived. I don't know how you did it. At my age now, you were not happy, you were not heard, and you were raising two children with a third on the way. If I was your friend back then, I would have helped you get out and get on your own two feet. You deserved more. I'm glad you finally got out and found someone to love you the way you should be.

Dad, I wish you weren't so selfish to rob your wife and mother of your children of the support she needed for years. I wish you would have taught your son how to treat women and what respecting his mother was supposed to look like. I wish you would have learned to value your children for their relationships and not just the amount of money they could bring in to support you in your disabled, elderly years. I know some of this you can't help because you need help. I've seen the blank stare in your eyes when something sensible is said to you and it just washed over you like a wave. I wish that the handful of people that are still near and dear to you would really push you to get help so you can mend what is left of the shred of relationship that might be left between you and I. You always showed love in your own ways, it was constant, but you were not. I still love you, but I don't like you anymore. Please get some help before it's too late.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

30 things: day 23

day 23- something you crave for a lot

I crave laughter, cause it really is the best medicine...and I crave salsa. I love salsa. That's it...:) I'm really just a simple girl.

30 Things: Day 22

day 22- what makes you different from everyone else?

This Who song is playing in my head as I start to type out this blog.

WHAT makes me different? I know who made me, where I came from, where I am now, and where I want to be soon and in the not so near future. But what makes me so re markedly different? I worked really, really damn hard when I was a teenager and got a really, really good job when I was 21. That was 9 years ago, well 10 if you count the internship. I've been doing what I do for 10 years, 14 1/2 if you count the volunteer work. I think that's very notable. I signed my signature over and over and over again on documents to the title of a house when I was 23 years old. That's pretty damn cool. I walked on a car lot as a single woman at the ripe old age of 24, told the car salesman that I wanted to test drive a 50K brand new car that was sitting on his lot, and then I told him I wanted to buy it. No co-signer, just me and my proof of income. I drove home in that car about an hour later. Take that misogynistic car sales industry! Yeah, OK, those are things I've done, accomplished, have to show for some hard work and a lot of overtime, but it's not exactly WHO I am. Really WHO I am or was got me those things.

Now what makes me different? Sometimes I just feel like a girl still waiting to grow up, sometimes I feel like a woman who has it figured out, sometimes I feel sexy, sometimes I feel like I don't want anyone looking at me. I felt broken and lost just a few months ago. Shattered. A shell of someone who used to look forward to living. Someone who used to laugh and still carry other people's burdens. Someone who's door was always open for her friends and family. Then it all came crashing down. It was expected that I would continue to be the rescuer, the burden carrier, the one with the big heart and the dry shoulder. I clearly forgot who I was and what I needed, because I stopped putting myself first, I forgot how to say "no", "stop", "enough!" and then...I let all that baggage drag me down. I was drowning. Suffocating.

Luckily, I feel like there's been new life breathed into me lately, like someone came along and saw my lifeless, passionless, angry self that was desperately in need of a few big breaths of relief. peace, and hope to bring me back to life. I literally had to pull myself out from underneath some people to get where I am now. I had to extract myself physically, emotionally, and mentally from a few very close people's lives to feel like I wasn't suffocating and being stepped on. I got there because I lost track of who I was, what I needed, and what made me different amongst the crowd.

Despite the fact that I've spent quite a bit of time on my social experiment lately and writing the best "me" to find me the best "him", I honestly couldn't come up with a quick answer to this last week when I had the good intentions on writing this. So, I turned to the people. My Facebook friends. Sometimes you just need a different perspective. They said these things:

You care, genuinely care.
You travel more than most.
You have a low bullshit tolerance and you're not afraid to say it out loud when you're not buying it.
You won't let anyone step on your toes, you're in charge, and were when you were younger.
You're not afraid to step out of the box that society puts us all in.
You're fiercely loyal and commit 100%
You give big, laugh big, love big, and party big.
You stand for what you believe in.
You live by doing not by standing by and seeing what happens.
You believe in honesty, don't put on a show for others, you don't give expecting in return, you're genuine.
You admit that life is shitty but also amazing.

They said amazing things that I will be glad to claim and wouldn't be ashamed of if they ended up carved on my tombstone. Yes, I said tombstone, like in a Western. Tombstones belong to folks like me & Wyatt Earp...ya know (: inside joke :)

In the end, I'm just me, good, bad, or otherwise. I'm not perfect, but I'm not totally rotten. I won't back down but I won't put up a fight for something that I don't believe in. I can forgive, I will forgive, but I won't forget. I want the things that money can't buy. I want people to think well of me, but I don't care to be the center of attention, the object of men's desire, or the most popular. I want to be loved, I want to be happy, and I want to look back on my life without regrets and with a smile on my old wrinkled face. I want my smile lines, my callused hands, and my battle scars to tell their own stories.

I am the same as everyone else who wants to live a happy, full life and I'm different than everyone else because they will never have lived MY life, THIS life, full of my own successes and failures, my shattered expectations, my dreams that faded away, and all the moments, past and yet to come, that took my breath away.

To thine own self be true
- Shakespeare

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bootcamp: 10, 11, & 12

I fell off the bootcamp blogging bandwagon. I made it to 10 out of 12 classes, lost 10 lbs, and rediscovered some new curves. I looked forward to jumping on the scale to see the number drop rather than wince at the digits staring back at me. Coincidentally, I also got naked in front of a hot guy with muscles and tattoos right about the end of bootcamp. We'll just leave that story alone for now.

Day 10, it started to rain and before I even saw the rain, I felt it in my joints. I didn't go. End of story. I beat myself up over it a little, but then I fell asleep on the couch.

Day 11, Wednesday, Hump Day, the rain was still coming down so we had to go inside to the indoor soccer field. I used to play soccer there once upon a time. It was musty that morning, smelled like a sweat sock or a boy's room or a gym locker, or all of those combined. Yes, lovely. It was humid, like an armpit. Yes, lovely. We ran a lot and I sweat. A lot. I think if there was an award for who gets to sweat the most, I would win it. My glands are in it to win it. I remember feeling tired, but stronger than usual. I was wearing my "feel your boobies" tshirt. It was jiggling. Gotta get me a new sports bra, note to self.

Day 12, Friday, the last day that I had on the books, and I was a little bit sad. Sadness, aside, my body said NOOOOO! but my mind said GOOOOO!!! and so I went. Back to the sweaty, stinky, musty indoor soccer field. The routine for the last day was this: SPRINT(!!) to the middle of the line on the field, do 10 walking lunches, 10 some kind of football strength training exercise jumping in and out of a ladder thing, run around a cone, pick up another cone, read the exercise, and do 20 of those...finished? Ok, go do it again! This went on for an hour and sprint my chubby butt I did. I was having flashbacks of playing on an adult co-ed indoor soccer team a few years back. My first indoor soccer game, I got in the penalty box within 5 minutes. I was blue carded. Soccer is not my forte apparently.

I ran fast, long, and lean and made every step count. I really pushed myself to the limits. I was proud of myself, pretended like I was racing an imaginary someone and before an hour had passed by and I beat down another early morning AM workout.

I lost 10 lbs. 10 lbs in 4 weeks! My body still has a good metabolism and it takes well to the right kinds of exercise. I may have given up on my body temporarily, but it hasn't given up on me. I gained something too. A new found appreciation and desire to be fit, to move my body, to feel confident, to eat right, to walk the dog more often, to put myself first, to be unapologetically obsessed with being the best version of me that I can be, to accomplish #9 and fucking flaunt it, to be the center of attention and like it, to look like I feel, to be happy inside and out. I gained so much more than I lost really. Well, I gained and I lost at the exact same time and one was because of the other.

***Post bootcamp, 2 days after my last bootcamp, the usual soreness was lingering a little too long in my right knee. Come Monday afternoon, it was hot to the touch, Tuesday and some icing later, it was better when the Doc took a look at it, Wednesday, it started to make noise. Now today, more than 2 weeks after my last bootcamp, it sounds like a bowl of rice crispies, I feel a little old and a little broken. I didn't join up for the bootcamp that's in session now because I have been temporarily banned from a) running b) squatting and c) lunging = the bootcamp trifecta. I shed a small tear, I made a small sad face, but I'm just a little bent, my knee cartilage is a little bruised, but my fitness spirit is not broken. Not one bit. All this limping around is making me want to get out and move!!

I'm really glad my innervoice took over in the midst of an internal pity party and forced me to buy that bootcamp package. It was one of the best things I've done for me in a long, long time. Cheers to bootcamp. I'll be back!

Friday, October 21, 2011

don't you dare!

I just saw this tag line on the header for a dating profile and it strikes a chord with me: "Never chase love, affection, or attention. If it isn't freely given by another person, it isn't worth having."

Amen and amen.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

30 things: Day 21

Day 21, a picture of something that makes you happy.

Well, over the course of the last 7 years, I managed to whittle down the beings that share my house from my mom, my brother, my sister, my dad, 1 out of 3 cats, and 1 out of 2 dogs. Emma remains and she is a good roommate even if she barks too loud, farts too much, and eats the garbage.

Emma and I were not always friends. I was not her favorite, but I am now by default , by walks, and by car rides. There was the time she dug a hole in my new couch. There was the time when she was doing hurdles with the old dog in the backyard while I was trying to sleep during the day fresh off a graveyard shift. There was the time she puked all over the rug like she was trying out for the Exorcist. Emma is a big girl, but she's sweet. She'll bark at anything that dares to come to the door or make a noise on her turf, but she won't bite you (unless you're delivering some kind of mail related thing) and she uses her big, floppy lips to gently scoop up treats and snackies from anyone. She likes little kids and she wants to be friends with everything, even racoons. Emma does not like to be alone, so she sleeps on the floor while I watch TV, she follows me to the computer room to put her big, sloppy, wet nose on the back of my arm when I least expect it, she sniffs my face when I'm laying on the couch, she protects me from the little rodent things that are living under the house, and she is my bestest doorbell ever. Just ask the Brinks guy who tried to sell me the burglar alarm last week. Aww, Emma, Emmy, big ol' puppy thang you!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pretty Girl

Quote of the night: "Don't call me pretty if you can't even call me in the first place."

Wanderlust, unbridled creativity, cholesterol, and frustration run through my veins lately. I need to see something, make something, eat less animal, see someone, make out with someone, and then and maybe only then all my needs will be met. (OK, maybe not, but it would be nice to check those off the list for the day).

I don't know what it takes. I really an the anti-expert at what it takes for two people to be connected on some kind of serious level. I mean, I get far enough, have been there more than once, and I am a professional communicator by trade after all, but I just don't get it. I AM great at being single and fed up with this whole mess.

Who made these gawddamned rules anyways!? Who was it that said if you like someone, wait a couple of minutes before you respond back to them, don't want to seem desperate OR hold back, don't reveal too much of yourself right up front OR don't tell them how you feel too early, OR don't' sleep with them on the first date, OR, OR, OR, OR, OR...

Spinning top, stop spinning! I'm not. I'm really not spinning sideways or over thinking this. I just don't get it. I can't figure out the right formula and I know that there is no one answer for anyone because we are all different in so many ways, but I can't help to look around at the people who I know who are happy. Yes, I know more than a handful of those couples who are happy, despite their major ups and their major downs. Face it, life is a spinning top, it's a carnival ride, it's a frigging fight to get the things you want and keep the things you have and love.

As if "the rules" aren't enough, in this uber media driven land we live in, there are SO many friggin ways to get ahold of someone, email, wink, text, call, tweet, leave a post, BUT (and there's a big BUT), I don't know about all you, but I prefer to talk to someone, to hear their voice, to hear their laugh, to hear that smile or question or surprise in their tone...

This is how it goes in my head, but not outside of it. I have resolve, I have grit, I have a helluva lot of self esteem, I know what I want, I know what I won't settle for anymore, and most importantly I have friends, and they make up songs about my man-less situation. It goes a little like this:

Country version by C:

working on his cars
playing with his friends
maybe he should start working on his mind
I don't know why he plays with hearts
but he ain't playing with mine...

Rap version by G:

just cause you have tatts
that don't make you cool
get off your ass
stop acting like a tool
I'm a catch - u better believe
so get off your ass and start chasing me!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Big ol'...

Well, it's only been a week and perhaps in that week, I have found myself without tears. It's Monday night, I think it's time to tear up randomly about something. Ok, it's not random. None of this is random.

My door turned out to be a window.
My good intentions backfired again.
Alcohol and the truth have fatal consequences to friendship but sometimes there's just no need for recussitation.
I feel like a doormat.
"Crop" and "unfriend" are apparently the worst things you can do in this day and age.
Some parents have no sense of humor.
I love taking pictures of happy people, couples especially, but somehow I almost feel unqualified to tell them how to look at each other. (I know, I barely want to say that outloud, but I do feel like that sometimes).
It's another night in this house alone.
Online dating profiles make my head hurt.
I think I gained a couple of pounds.
Online dating profiles make my knee hurt.
My knee hurts and I can't go to bootcamp again until it stops.
Tomorrow is my last day off.
I'm definitely dehydrated.
The universe saw me.
I'm not that girl anymore even if I stayed all night.
I'm frustrated.
I don't get it.
I'm a catch.
I know that.
Some people just can't be saved from themselves no matter how much you love them.
I have a copy of He's Just Not That Into You on my bathroom counter and then I have a copy of What Men Really Want lying on the empty spot on my bed. Yeah, laugh, don't cry...that is pretty funny.
It occured to me that I want someone who is just on my team so that when this list starts to grow like it is today, someone can just say to me: it's ok, this too shall pass, I'm always there for you, to the end. 150%, madly, truly, deeply, undeniably Team Lauren no matter what kind of ridiculous bullshit it's about. Life IS a fight and we should all be so lucky to have someone in our corner no matter what.
I have this sinking suspicion that really genuine happiness is just around the corner, right out of reach, and I really, really, really want to just be there already. I've waited patiently for a long, long time.

(big sigh)...(big alligator tears)...(big ol' heart of mine)...(be a big girl)...(big girls don't cry)...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Yesterday he said my eyes
Were fading fast away
I said well what do you expect
You asked me not to stay and if it had all been for the best
I wouldn't feel this way
And he said

Oh he said it's crazy
How love stays with me
You know it hurts me
Cause I don't wanna fight this war
It's amazing to see me reading through this scene
Of love and fear and apologies

My love is like a blanket
That gets a little bit too warm sometimes
I wanna wrap somebody in it
Who can hold me in his arms
Cause when it got a little too hot in there
He was always stepping out for air and he froze
Oh he froze

He said it's crazy
How love stays with me
You know it hurts me
Cause I don't wanna fight this war
It's amazing to see me reading through this scene
Of love and fear and apologies

Yesterday he looked at me
With a tear in his eye and said
I'll always tell you you're my friend
I hope i don't have to lie
Cause it's clear you love another man
I said you're damn right

And he said
He said it's crazy
How love stays with me
You know it hurts me
Cause I don't wanna fight this war
It's amazing to see me reading through this scene
Of love and fear and apologies
He said it's crazy
How love stays with me
You know it hurts me
That i didn't figure it out before
And now it's too late for a soliloquy
It's way too late for dignity
It's time for apologies

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Seasons Change

I think sometimes I have emotional diabetes. Highs and lows, spiking out of control. It's not good. The di-a-beee-tus can damn near kill ya you know!?! Ask Bret Michaels!!! I am trying to be a better person. I have laughed more this week than I have in a loooong time. It was a damn funny week. There have been songs and voices and jokes and innuendo and impressions and tons of big smiles. A high, right? Yeah. The week before that, low.

I cleaned up most of the living room and I finally got the number to the gardener...oh sad, sorry, lawn!!! I've slept. Yes, slept peacefully with the bedroom door open and the dog sleeping on the floor. I feel comfortable in my house and not strangely alone. I like the sounds of nothing. In moderation, of course. It's good to invite someone over just because and not have to clear it with anyone else. I am getting back to being the leaned on instead of being the broken. Oddly enough, I still am trying to blame the current state of messy affairs in my house on other people...oy vey (yeah, keep believing that one, Lauren).

My current week's work in progress is trying to walk the line between attraction and confidence. What I mean by that is that when you find something you really like, some of us (and especially us ladies) tend to be all or nothing. Over thinking, analyzing, showing it off, talking about it, paring it with accessories. Like for instance, I'm notorious for finding some kind of well-fitting clothing item and buying it in every color, wearing it a couple of times a week, and then eventually figuring out that there's just really one shade that really suits me. I am wanting to, instead, look for pieces that will compliment my wardrobe for more than a trend's worth of time and if I have to shop around and pay a little bit more for those pieces, then so be it. How often does that find you've been looking for pop up in the most unexpected place? Kill the overkill. Intepret this as you will.

My self-speech for the time being: Don't over think it. Have fun. Be open to new ideas and people. Like clothes, realize why some come into your life and stay and some leave after they've served their purpose. Let them go, maybe you're making room for someone else fabulous. If you haven't worn it in a season and it just doesn't fit, get rid of it. Stop letting it clutter your life up. Clear your closet, clear your head. Granted there will always be those timeless, classic pieces/friends that never go out of style.

I read something somewhere that said "love finds you when you stop seeking it out and start doing the things you love." I read something else somewhere that said "supremacy of self" which was explained to me somewhere along the lines of having to own you, be in control of yourself or you're in control of nothing. At least that's how I interpretted how it was explained. Stop worrying about everything and everyone else out there and just focus on you. There are a lot of little messages out there in my universe that are being reinforced over and over.

I'm gonna do that and let the pieces fall as they may. I'm going to not look so hard for things that will show up when I least expect them.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

30 things: Day 20

Day 20- someone you see yourself marrying or being with in the future.

I was commiserating with myself last week and trying to figure out where the hell "I" went, it struck me that before I was doing this online blog thing for the entire world to see, I wrote in a journal on a regular basis for just me to see. Even though it sits next to my bed, I haven't cracked the cover of that thing in ages, but oh some things just haven't changed. I was 25 when I wrote all this down in this journal. 25 is a helluva lot different than 30...or so I think.

In the first few pages of this journal called "hope" I wrote down all my answers to a quiz that I found somewhere online. It was a writing exercise to list all the things you wanted in a partner. Five years later and nothing has changed. Nothing. I am actually so surprised to read back at how convicted I was about what I wrote then and how it is what I really, really still want now. Now more than ever.

To quote 25 year old Lauren from 03/24/2007:

"This is a good article. It reminded me to put my priorities in perspective and remember what I used to dream about before my dreams started turning into my emotional nightmares via late night phone calls and text messages. What I want is no more special than what a lot of people want. It's realistic. I want to be loved by someone who wants to be with me and only be just because we are meant to be..."

The "Musts"
want to get married
want to have children
have similar religious beliefs, understand it's impact, and believe in God
be financially stable or working towards it
be affectionate
be supportive with similar life goals

the "Very Importants"
knowing I'm happy is enough to make him happy
a homeowner or working on it
has some plans for retirement/future
remembers to say "I love you"
takes care physically
appreciates the small things in life
understands being educated - even if its mostly life experience and not from a textbook
appreciates my big family
doesn't put work first all the time
open to suggestion and able to communicate
has a sense of humor and makes me laugh and smile

the "wouldn't it be nice ifs"
he was mechanical and could fix it all
spoke another language
was the guy who knew a little bit about everything
had a big family too
his smile knocked me off my feet
his arms wrapped around me forever
was good to his mom, sisters, aunts, and all the women in his life without being told or feeling insecure about it
if he was the guy from this Trisha Yearwood song

That's it. That's not too much to ask is it? I didn't think so.

<3 <3 <3


Tuesday, October 4, 2011


The rain is pouring down on top of us now. I can just barely hear it over the clacking of this keyboard. I love the sound of the rain. It soothes me. I loose myself in day dreams when I listen to it at night in bed.

I spent the better part of the night looking at old pictures, burying small hatchets, and trying to not over think it all. I keep catching glimmers of this girl I know. Her life is coming back to the middle. She's the girl who is sarcastically funny and on her game all day and all night. She isn't afraid to face the world and can even go an entire month without crying in her pillow. She's the girl who needs more ink, not because she thinks it's cool or hip, but because she isn't afraid to put what she feels inside outside for the world to see. She's the girl who has wanderlust running through her veins, but desperately wants somewhere and someone that will always feel like home. She's the girl who can carry the world on her shoulders, some days in heels without tripping, batting an eyelash, or smudging her eyeliner.

I had this other glimpse...of this guy that could be the ideal or at minimum, he could just be the reminder that I desperately needed. I needed to remember that there is the rule, the common, the every day, the convenient, and then there' something else. That girl that I'm seeing glimpses of, I'll tell you who she believes in. The exceptional, the rare, the inconvenient, impossible to pass up. The guy that loves his family, adores his grandparents, isn't afraid to say what he's thinking, opens doors, does good things just because they're good and the way they should be, smiles with his eyes and not just his lips, the guy who says you're pretty when you feel ordinary.

Literally as soon as one door shut, another one opened. Maybe it's just a window or a screen door, but it was open long enough to let the other one shut permanently. That other door, it lead no where, she just couldn't see. She was standing too close inside the doorway.

My dearest gave me this advice this week, despite her own failings, and false beliefs, and second chances, she gives great advice: We all have false beliefs. but this is it! your chance to not believe it, but maybe, just maybe, you finally believe you deserve a NICE guy, an HONEST guy, and a good boyfriend. believe it. embrace it. fall hard. believe that you're not going to be hurt. it's in you, you just gotta go for it. no little nagging false beliefs. you got me?

Water lilies grow in muck and mire, water ponds, and they somehow manage to get through all that and when they blossom, it's like looking at the sun on a cloudy day. I have to believe that those water lilies believe in blooming bright and vibrant and full of life one sun shiny day. I wanna be like a water lily. I wanna get through all this and shine and have someone look at me and appreciate how beautiful I really am for waiting to blossom despite what it took for me to get there.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Nothing could be truer

"The people who want to stay in your life will always find a way."

Friday, September 30, 2011

Bootcamp: day 9

It was cool and dark and everything in my was saying, "turn around and get in bed!", but then some damn internal Scarlett O'Hara took over and drove me to the park at o'dark terrible for day 9 of bootcamp.

It was the same old early morning torture, BUT, alas, you see something has begun to work. My first lap around the park began as always, dragging my feet and groaning on the inside. I hate running, but I started, I picked up my feet, I remembered to try to control my breathing, make my strides count, and consciously watch my feet go one in front of the other. I rounded the first bend and saw the street light where I usually stop and start to walk, but it was coming up faster than usual. I got there and I kept going. "Don't stop, you can do it, just keep going, you're almost there." I repeated that over and over while listening to the footsteps keeping pace behind me and the ones that were just up in front of me in the distance. I was in the middle of the pack, not back in second to last like usual. The girls in front, the weekend half-marathoners, the "runners", were just ahead of me.

My aversion to running is ever so sligtly lessened by my ability to persevere through the endless repetitions of squats, flys, dead lifts, bicep curls, crunches, and the like. I can really knock those out. I figure the faster I get them done, the faster I can go to bed. Not so. The faster I got them done, the faster I was sent out to run the loop, and at this time, I was in the lead. Well until the near end, and then one of the runners caught up with me. But still, there for a few minutes of solitary hoofing it, I was the head of the pack, the grand poo bah, the and it felt gooood. As God is my witness, I shall never be at the back of the pack again!!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bootcamp: day 8

I didn't go. Yeah. Fuck!!! I missed one!!! I didn't even get to make up for it during the afternoon. But...I did make a reintroduction to yoga and despite the mid 90's temperature outside, I was stronger and had more endurance for the sweatfest that I became my last night. Even the instructor had to open the studio doors and turn on the was stupid hot. I persevered & I survived. I always get easily forgotten reminders and little nuggets of wisdom from yoga class:

*Search your heart and devote this time to something, to someone, give it meaning and purpose. (Imagine if we each did that everyday in some capacity. What kind of change we could collectively make in this world.)
*Where you are is right where you're supposed to be.
*Let go all all the things you're holding on to that are not serving you.
*Listen to your body, don't ignore what it's telling you.
*Don't forget to breath.

Yoga is just as mental and spiritual as it is physical. I really, truly have come to appreciate it and all that it forces me to be for 90 minutes at a time. The yoga studio has become a refuge for me.

Refuge and place of peace, aside, I cannot NOT share this though. It is brilliant and made me laugh until I cried. Please, if you ever do just one thing at my advice, read this!!!

Yoga mat for sale used 1 time.

Namaste, my friends.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dear Heart,

Dear Heart, when will you learn? 
That's my "info".  Front & center.  

I wrote this blog yesterday on the back of a "Dear ____" letter that's never going to be sent.  I just wrote the words down to get them out of my head,I was never going to send it to him. 
Yesterday, not in a letter, I spoke my mind...again. i used the word "done" three times.  Feeling the frustration & guilt over that and well, just the lonliness of saying "I'm done" to someone who's been there everyday for months, I found myself in the back room digging behind all the lovey Nicholas Sparks books to that "other" stack of books.  Yeah, I needed the He's Just Not That Into You slap upside my head. 

I could write the list of pros & cons and watch how they inevitably come unbalanced, but I still have this feeling that I have to be validated.  I want to be wanted even if it's not by the right person.  I keep thinking about the bad things to keep me from missing the good things.  It's how I make this work for me.  It's how I stop cold-turkey.  I can't wean off like I'm an addict, that just keeps me coming back for more.
There's some other things going on.  The loss of long term friendships & my relationship with my dad.  Lean on your friends to get you through is the advice...well, I think I need to lean on me too.  I forget that I am my own friend too.  I've never been this unsociable in my life. 

I've had my "own" place for just over three weeks.  I've never lived alone, but that's all I wanted for so long.  Now I'm here and I don't really like how it feels.  Not entirely.  It's quiet, too quiet sometimes.  It's open & void of voices.  It's still just a house & not my home.  It's missing... 
I think I'm conditioned for malfunction.  Like my health & my physicality, it's taking so much out of me to get back on track.  I've never been great at being proactive.  Breaking up all this scar tissue, it's so hard, but I'm doing it.  Now, to do this with my dear heart...break up all that scar tissue & get it moving in the right direction. 

Love is a verb not a noun. So is like, so is call, so is think about me, so is smile, so is wake up, so is take a chance...

I know I don't want to settle, but that is so easy to get sucked into.  I'm still learning the lines between not settling & being too picky.  I'm learning.  

It's nights like tonight that I just want to go outside and scream "Where is he already?!?". I know I won't get any answers shouted down from the heavens or trip over Mister Right, but I still want to scream.  

Dear Heart, when will we ever learn the answer to that question?   

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bootcamp: day 7

Before there was "blogging", there was this. You see, just writing.  Pen & paper.  I am still computer-less & so over it!!!  I need my laptop to be healed!  

Here I was standing at my kitchen counter, legs shaking, still sweating even though it was only 78* in the house, the gallon of milk might have been a bag of cement.  

Bootcamp, week 3.  What?!  I got through 2 weeks already?! AWOL this morning, the instuctor sent me a text to get to the afternoon class.  Yes ma'am!

I made the warm up loop at a fast jog without quitting.  That's a big deal for me, ya know?!  My weekend wedding in heels killed my baby toes but even those little guys tougher out the hour in booty camp today.  "oh my baby toe!!"

An easier warm up run was just that.  The next 50 minutes of 20 seconds of reps at a time was an ass kicker.  We did suicides, nuff said.  The great thing about this sweet torture is that I can't pull my mind away from it long enough to get fixated on the other things bringing me down this week.  It's a tourturous break, 30 seconds at a time. 

I'm still huffing & puffing & trying not to go down, but I am getting stronger & I am seeing little changes.  Mentally, I'm more in this game than I have been in a long, long time.  That counts for so much.  

The quote at the end of the hour did me in: "I am strong and know no limits. I can defy gravity and shatter stereotypes.  My curves are earned as my weakness is shed.  I trade soft for firm and tears for sweat.  I turn guilt into satisfaction and tomorrow's chore into today's opportunity. I am confident and I inspire to be great!" ~ author unknown 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bootcamp: day 6

Friday morning bootcamp. Ugh. I really don't like you at all. I just wanna go to sleeeepp!! I had added incentive. I had a guest come with me for the morning...a co-worker. I told her to be prepared. Cheap words compared to the torture that laid ahead. If I hadn't have shown up, she would have been on my front porch, banging on the door.

Morning bootcamp means lots of running. Lots and lots of damned running, and lots and lots of repetitions. So many of both, that I couldn't see where I was running through my eyelash sweat. As I stood, legs shaking, in the dim moonlight of the tennis court, and listened to Adam Lambert, I wanted to scream right along with him "what do you want from me!?!"

I was sweating like I was standing in the shower. But I wasn't. I was outside under the stars and my sports bra was forming a small puddle. There's not much more to report about the remainder of the repetitive torture. I'm down 6 lbs. Yeah, just 6, but that's 6 down...and they're down slowly but surely, which means they should stay down. I'm halfway done. What an accomplishment!

30 things: Day 19

Day 19- nicknames you have and why you have them:

Laurie - there's only one person who ever calls me this and when he first started, I balked at it. "I'm not Laurie, I'm Lauren!" Now, I rarely talk to him and I wish I heard that "Laurie" more often.

Lauuuurenah! - Mom's nickname, she says it with a little bit of a drone, a little bit of a lilt, usually with some exasperation or heavy laughter. It's Mom's nickname. 'Nuff said.

Lolo - This kind of just started one day. Someone at work used to call me on occasion, but then I started camping with a group that had a guy Loren and then there was the me Lauren and the children just could not keep up. So, from then on, I was Lolo. There are those that might actually think my name is Lolo, for that's how I'm introduced in that circle. It fits, it's fun. I like it.

Lo - one of my bestest friends calls me Lo with such affection, I can't help but smile at it. It is a nickname of a nickname, but it's short and sweet and I answer to this name as well.

LC - My initials and another work nickname. For the record, I was LC before that Hills girl and her fashion line were born. I think if I ever get married and change my last name, I will still use LC because I like it and it's always going to be part of me.

H2o - This one night I went drinking. I drank a lot. Then I walked to some one's house that lived downtown by the bars. When I got there, I drank a LOT..of water. I mean a TON of water. I was doing the quick flush before I ended up puking. It worked, but then I owed that girl a lot of bottled water. One day I repaid her. I went to Costco and bought her a case of water and left it on her porch when she wasn't home. I became H2o after that. :)

Karma - Well, this is my blog after all. My writing soul mate, Carly, my dear heart, started calling me that sometime in the last few years. I was new to this whole blogging thing and on an absolute whim, I don't even know how I found her, I read something brilliant that she read and then I told her and we have been friends ever since. I answer to Karma, literally and figuratively. It is an ironic flattery to have that as a nickname.

30 things: Day 18

Day 18: plans, dreams, goals you have

Seems redundant at first glance, but these are all so different from each other. Plans are immediate, dreams fuel your fire for a better life, goals are what you're already working towards.

I'm going off the cuff, not thinking too hard, speaking fromy heart.

I plan to go to the gym tomorrow, bootcamp
#8 on Wednesday, bootcamp #9 on Friday, and work 2 days this week. I plan on calling the exterminator, the phone company, and getting the oil changed. I plan on making pasta on Saturday and visiting my family to celebrate the loss of our dear cousin. That's it, I have those things planned out right now.

For continuity, let's go for goals next. It is my goal to loose 25 more pounds before the end of the year. It is my goal to take the plunge and email a few of the men who have sparked my interest online. You can't win if you never play the game. It is my goal to continue to pay my bills in the next few weeks and settle my some bad debt before the end of this year. It is my goal to stick to my guns. It is my goal to smile more.

I dream...of being a wife, mom, photographer, & happy. I dream of seeing the world & giving back as much as I can. I dream of waking up peaceful & going to bed the same way. I dream of a time in life when there's no worry, anger, or frustration, or bad debt. I dream about sunsets, lightning storms & wrap around porches. I dream about moving out of CA. I dream about the things that money can't buy. I dream a lot.

30 things: Day 17

Day 17- someone you would want to switch lives with for one day and why?

Wow...uhhh...ummm...well, I can tell you who I don't want to switch lives with. Sarah Palin, Oprah, Rosie O'Donnell, Adam Lambert, Gilbert Gottfried...the list could just go on for days, but celebrity, fame, recognition, and all the flattery and falsehood that goes with it has no appeal for me.

Who would I like to switch lives with? Well, I just don't know. I know that everyone has their fair share of grass in differing stages of greenness, but I don't envy anyone at the moment or wish I could have their life. I am always in the battle between greatful with what I have and wanting to better for something else that I want. Contentment is more of an adjective for my life than "happy." I have a want for "happy."

I guess if there was such a person out there with such a life where she woke up peacefully every morning, next to someone she loved that loved her back, in a house that felt like a home, that was filled with sunshine and good memories, maybe some little feet, had something she was passionate for, a place where she had a healthy outlet for creatvity, and lots of room around her big dinner table for friends and family in her cozy house on a farm somewhere, well...I think I would want her life. Even for a day, just to feel what it was like.

30 things: Day 16

Remember this? I do. I didn't forget. I just didn't care anymore. But now I do, and here it is.

Day 16: post another picture of yourself:

This was last week. I liked how my hair was shining in the sun. I liked how my glasses fit on my face. I liked how the sun feels on my skin. I liked driving my car. It's a simple as that.

PS -I wans't mad...just "serious" and driving and taking self-portraits.

Ciao Bellas!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I (heart) Racquetball

It is a ruckus.
It is a riot.
It is ridiculous.

I don't mean any harm to the reputation of the sport or the serious players out there. I was an avid tennis player for many, many years, so I can appreciate this sport. I quite enjoy it actually. It is my main reason for setting foot in the gym this week, but, Tuesday night was quite the hilarity and in my punch drunk state of mind, it occurred to me that racquetball is a lot like, *ahem* how do we say it "self-love."

Please, allow me to elaborate.

You see in self-love and in racquetball, there are quite a few similarities:

You can do it alone or with a partner(s).
But, if your partner doesn't know what they're doing, it might as well be an exercise in futility.
You can hit it hard or soft, fast or slow, but if you can't hit it right, you're just going to end up going aimlessly in circles.
Your focus and, usually your aim, is merely a spot on the wall.
Both can get rather hot and rather sweaty.
Both can leave you prone to wrist injuries and leave you with one arm stronger than the other.
The safety goggles they give you at the front desk? There's a reason. Oh yes, there IS a reason. There's really only one place that you can get hurt if you get hit. Yes, in the eye.
If you're not careful, there's always a chance of pulling a groin muscle.
It's such a simple concept, just hit it the right way, that it can make for hours, and hours, and hours of mindless fun.
Finally, the more you practice, well, the better you should get!


Bootcamp: day 5, I'm still alive

Wednesday morning 3am, still up from the night before, legs heavy from an hour of midnight racquetball, I just couldn't face the 4:45am day. I couldn't do it. Afternoon class was my fall back, even with the 100* weather prediction.

I weighed in today. I'm down 4 lbs. Slowly, but surely, something is working. It's not all curses, sweaty sports bras, and side cramps.

Wykoff Wednesday. Just when I thought we would remain on the grass in the shade doing plank push ups and tabletop crunches, she said "put your water in my backpack, we're running up Wykoff". I don't like Wykoff and it doesn't like me. "I don't wanna!!!" I wanted to yell, but I didn't. I just put my head down and looked at the ground and my feet. We had 10 minutes to get halfway up the hill all together before we would be disqualified and have to do it again.

Despite the sore muscles and the heaving in my chest, I made it up. Almost the last one, I found another asthma victim covered in tattoos crawling at a snail's pace. It's good not to be the most pathetic. Maybe it's the ink? It's like kryptonite for my stamina? Huh? Yeah? Good theory? No. Well, I tried.

Today just hurts and I just wanna cry. I wanna cry because it just shouldn't be this damn hard for me. Not at this age. I could cry, it would never show through the sunglasses. It would just look like more sweat pouring down my face.

But I'm almost halway through this month of bootcamp and I just won't give up. I won't. I can't. Five down, seven to go.

And PS, audience of the park today, I'm sorry about the large rip in the inner thigh of my stretchy pants.  In the words of Nacho Libre: "Sometimes...we wear stretchy pants."

Bootcamp: Four!!!

Bootcamp. It has not gone away, but my daily report has been halted by lack of: Internet and then by lack of laptop. The screen just plain burned out. My body feels like the screen, burned out.

Monday early AM, I was comfortably in my usual chair at work putting in some overtime, I did not join my regular group of ladies in the park after dark. A day off? Noooo, how silly of you to even think that! Afternoon bootcamp...yes, the non-early risers. Not until 5am did I realize that the afternoon temperature on this fine September day was going to be 96*. Oh morning coolness, how bittersweet you are.

An hour of torture is much different at 5:30pm than it is at 4:45am. There is light, there is heat, there is an audience. My ever present photographer's eye caught the light in the park, through the trees, the leaves, how it made the grass glow, and all the sweaty skin tones look amazing. It was that magical hour before sunset when everyone should have their picture taken. Sunshine that just makes everything more beautiful.

Now don't get me wrong. Sunshine or not, the torture continued. The usual squats and lunges, the flys and the bicep curls, the duck walks and the bear crawls. WTF? Yeah, they looked and felt just a ridiculous as they sound. It was a beautiful, sweaty mess, BUT, there was FAR less running. Much, much less running. As the instruction said "I just can't make you run in this heat." Oh afternoon heat, you are so good, so good.

My new exercise routine is not just limited to para-military torture. It's been peppered with dog walking and racket ball playing at the "new" gym. I've turned into one of those women who spends at least 8 hours a day in a sports bra.

Tuesday's shorts were appropriate for the beginning of the day when the 97* was in full effect as I walked the dog and the Uncle around the park loop twice, but by the time the midnight racquetball invitation rolled around, after sweating through bootcamp and cleaning house in this Indian Summer, my shorts and my hair were not at the peak of the day. It was then that I came to my darkest realization as of recent: I was channeling my inner Richard Simmons.

The sports bra. The shorts. The sweaty, frizzy hair.

It's all downhilll from here.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bootcamp: Day Threeeeeeeee

Day 3.

I almost have nothing left to give to you.

Post 12 hours of swing shift, pre one hour outdoor sweat fest, bootcamp, I wanna find yo mama and slap her for giving birth to you!!!

I was the first one there, only on account of just getting off work at 4 am and knowing that if I stayed in my kitchen killing any more time, I would either 1) fall asleep standing at the counter or b) fall asleep while eating oatmeal and choke to death.

As usual, the first order of the day to get that old ticker ticking which means, RUN, RUN like the wind ladies!!! (or fast walk she said), but I ran, (fast jogged maybe) my book, we call it running. I even managed to make it around the whole circle without feeling like the 4th of July was exploding out of my chest.
and then we got to it:
squat, lunge, reach for the sky, up, down, down to the ground, sideways, on your back, on your belly, stick that butt out like you're looking for a chair...we skied, we jumped rope, did some military thing...and then we did it again.

The sky was clear this morning and the moon was bright. Bright enough that I actually found myself squinting as I stared up at it, holding my hands behind my head and counting down crunches.

twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are
up above the world so high
like a diamond in the sky
twinkle, twinkle little star
how I wonder what you are...
I wish I may, I wish I might..

I wished on a star tonight.

I did, I made wishes. I made wishes that I can't tell you about. They say they wont come true if you say them out loud.

An hour seemed like eternity today, but there was determination in the air. One entire week. I made it...Monday, check, Wednesday, check, Friday, check. I'm 25% done and already a little better.

I made it home, dry, tired eyes pulled into the driveway and I closed them for a second while waiting for the garage door to open, and just like that, I think I fell asleep in that tiny pause.

It was work to reach and lift to get the blender, to open the protein powder, reach for the glass, but it had to be done.

I have a sweet, sexy love for all things coconut...say what?! Put the coconut oil in everything?! What is this glorious news? It's a good fat, that one that your heart needs, it burns faster and keeps your metabolism high. So you're telling me that it's an oil...that burns fat? You sexy coconutty thing, where have you been all my life?
Me, the coconut oil, my high protein dutch chocolate protein powder, it all went down the hatch with a couple of salmon oil pills for the inflammation creeping into my joints. I may qualify for a trip to Jiffy Lube after this, but not before I drag my sweaty carcass into a nice hot shower and limp my sore behind into bed to sleep and recover from this week.

I made it through week one. I wanted to give up, literally throw in the dirty, sweaty towel, but I stuck it out. Not just in bootcamp, but in everything this week.
I'm here and I survived... and I'm not as sore and beat up as I was. I'm maybe even a little bit stronger and I have a little more faith in myself(again) heart's beating and I'm still breathing.

Tomorrow is a new day and next week is a new week.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bootcamp: Numero Dos

Day 2:

8:40 pm the night before, listening to Party Rock! live and watching LMFAO in person, I got this text:
"Wycoff tomrw. Meet at street corner. Need mats only after we return from the walk run."
Wycoff? Why? Why? Whycoff!?
Wycoff is a hill, a paved street, that goes straight UP. The nice houses are on the hill with platforms that lead down to the houses that are perched on the side of the slope that we were going to conquer at the AM.

I got the text of when/where while in the belly of the beast, sweaty, spatially unaware teens with odor problems, leaking glitter and hormones. I couldn't wait for bootcamp after that!!!

4:45 came, and so did the listening to my lungs weep and wheeze out all the pathetic days of sitting on the couch and hitting the snooze button.
I didn't want to get out of bed this morning, I even tell you what compelled me to pull up my heavy legs again and lace up my shoes again.
Some small voice inside my head was louder than the moans and groans of my muscles, my core, and my left shoulder.

First one at the park in the dark, I waited in my car until more lined up behind me, and...then, no one got out, until the first person caved to the hour. I wont lie. It was me. I just wanted to start it so it could end.

Gathering on the corner, yawing and comparing uphill horror stories, the instructor asked where her runners were. Runners? Pssshawww! Uh huh. You crazy. I know this hill, we go way back, and we are not friends.

We started going up... and then came the breathing and the chanting and the self-talk..."its not asthma, its not asthma, its not asthma."
It got steeper, "imagine you're a mountain goat, Lauren, hoof it!"
"wait, what was that noise? Something is making noise in the grass! Keep going, just don't look."
"If Freddy was chasing me right now, I'd be dead...I literally could not run for my life. I could get slashed to death right here on this hill."

Watching ladies backsides as they huffed and puffed up the hill ahead of me, I started to run through the prearrival instructions from my emergency medical dispatch training:
Tightness in my chest, shortness of breath, the feeling that someone is snapping a rubber band on your sternum over and over again...heart attack? Could be, I've already ruled out he asthma.
Then I started to count steps, and imagine next summer and bikinis, this winter and leggings and hot boots, and yes, just wearing nothing at all and liking what stares back at me in the mirror when I get out of the shower.

On the downhill slope, I saw those familiar lights on the hills out in the distance. They looked like lighters in a crowd at a concert. Some of them were flickering, dotted across the hills that make this little valley I call home.
I've been up this hill a lot of times at night to clear my head...even with it being much easier behind the steering wheel, I could appreciate that I was able to linger a little longer and enjoy the view as I wandered back down.

Back in the tennis courts, minus the hand weights, I wondered what the duty belt looking thing was that was just laid at the end of my mat. Just bigger than a steering wheel with two padded grips it was called, wait for it, wait for it...the "magic circle"
You know what would really be magic? If I gave it a hard squeeze with these powerful inner thighs and it sent me back to my bed like I was being beamed up in an episode of star trek.

We did a lot of "magic" for the next 25 minutes
Squeezing it with our ankles while fake steering with my legs. The instruction in her sweet voice saying "its like a lazy Sunday, driving miss daisy."
Shit, I'd call shotgun if i was in that movie.
When we did the hip thing and all I thought of was that it's on my bucket list to look like Shakira. She's hot.
Sweating, cursing again at that streetlight from day one, I wondered if there was a possibility of getting moonburn?
arms. squats. pushups. half windmilll...

I'm not gonna lie...i can think of much better ways to work the inner thighs and it doesn't involve 14 other women and a tennis court. Ya picking up what I'm putting down? uuuhh hhhuuhh...

And then... it was over and I did it, once again. One more down, 10 more to go...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bootcamp: D-day

What was I thinking?

4am is meant for a lot of things: staying up, just getting in bed, activities that involve either pajamas or no clothes at all.

4am is not meant for other things: waking up, heating up oatmeal, finding your yoga pants in the garage laundry basket, letting the dog out cause she has diarrhea for the 5th time in 3 hours.

445am is meant for even less. Running around in the dark in a park you used to play in as a child with a group full of women you've never met and deer you hope wont spring its little Bambi self into you is not at the top of the 445 list.

445, we have been betrayed. This park and I are no strangers to exercise and fitness. High school tennis in the very court I was sitting in this morning. Round and round and round the jogging trail, year after year before I could even drink. The hopes and dreams we used to lay out on that track 10+ years ago. Oh, how things have changed.

I remember the old play structure that used to be there. I remember the rough beams that gave you splinters, the tire swing that swung a little to hard, and metal slide. The metal slide in the sun. That was before the ergonomic, fire retardant bark for little knees and the recycled plastic bottle slides that don't absorb heat.Metal slides. What genius thought that was an OK idea? What didn't sizzle got stuck on the hot metal and squeaked all.the.way.down...eek, eek, eek.

But back to the park this morning at 445. Why?


I signed up for an all ladies, out door, "adventure" bootcamp. 12 sessions. 4 weeks. "It's an adventure" says the website and it went like this:
run. run. run.

"OK, now run to the corner ladies!" peppy it sounded echoing in that dark park this morning.
In the dim light of the early morning, I found a streetlight to focus on to dull the pain. I cursed it 487 times this morning. "Fuck you street light, I don't want to squat anymore!"
Working on my abs, I found shapes in the clouds in the moonlight to distract from the shaking muscles. Yes, the moon. It was full and it was bright and should have been shining on my roof while I laid in bed snoring. It smiled at me like it had been waiting up to laugh at me all night!!"Its a bunny. It's an apple. That one looks like a big boob." I'm not making it up, there were boobs in the clouds at 510am.

I ran again, then I jogged, I finally gasped for air. I walked. I jogged some more. Then I saw the grass. I wanted to lay in it. Face first. I didn't even care that the sprinklers were on.

"Way to go Lauren! I won't kill you on the first day, I promise!" said the instructor"Hit me in the back of the neck with a shovel and just put me out," I wanted to say back at her, but the words got stuck in what may be early on set congestive heart failure. Or asthma. I really think it could be asthma.

Covered in gravel pathway dust and sweat, squatting, I wished to be in hot yoga class sweating like a cold glass on a hot day. At least there, when the heat gets too much to bear, you can sit in child's pose with your face in your sweaty mat and your ass up in the air and no one thinks less of you.

My knees are going to hate me. My quads already do.

But...and there is a butt. As I prayed and wished and willed my heavy lunged, squatted, and curled legs to keep the pace up, and keep going one over the other, I thought about my booty and how good its gonna look in 4 weeks. Yeeaaah, buddy!
I thought about that new dress I got last week and those hot boots that go with it.
I thought about Vegas and the tiny hemlines and the tall platforms.
I thought about wearing nothing at all.
I thought about bathing suits. I thought about the annual lake day.
I thought about 5K's, marathons, warrior dash, and tough mudder.
I thought about the fact that my brother got up for almost 5 months and put on his shoes and ran across this entire country. The entire country. On foot.
I thought about Catie whose body wont let her get up and Annie who might be able to run if she could see what was in front of her.
I thought about me and all the times I've just threw in the towel and went to bed.
Finally, I thought I can do this again.

And was over.1 session down. 11 to go.

And...guess what? I can breath again. It's not asthma.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I'm barely hanging on...

It all went to crap.

All of it. On all fronts. I let my words die too. I bottled them all up inside. I stopped putting them here for the world to see.

This week needs to be in the history books already. My heart hurts in so many ways.

I've been home alone in MY house for just about one week. I hear the creaks and the squeaks and the tiny noises in all the tiny spaces. I hear them when they're louder than my own sounds of crying into my pillow at night. I just wish there was someone there to hold me. THAT sounds so sad. I know. I have to say it though. I have to see it in writing. There's a big gap in my life where there should be some big arms to crawl into at the end of a long day.

I came back from vacation and work ate my soul. It's been nibbling away, slowly eroding it, but two nights ago, it took a big ol' bite. The worst call of my career. All twenty two minutes of it. This will scar over in time, but it will always be there.

The constants that I've had from childhood washed away like a sandy foundation hit by a big storm. People change. Feelings fade. True colors come out. I heard someone say once that no one would ever have any friends if they knew what other people said about them when they weren't there.

I even loathe the pavement on the every day traveled streets in this little town that's been my whole life.

I have an empty feeling in the pit of my stomach. My eyes are tired and swollen. My heart is tired.

I know today is a day reserved for reflecting back on "where were you when you found out?" and while I honor the events of that day and the lives lost, right now this moment is just for me.

10 years ago this day, I was awakened by my mother in the same house that just became mine today. I was just out of a relationship with someone that I had but geography made for us to let each other go. My heart hurt, my eyes would go on to be swollen from having so many images of terror and destruction flash before them for the next few days. I had a pit in my stomach like the rest of America. The interstate I travelled daily were e m p t y. It was eeerie as I took the twenty minute drive to the courthouse to drop of the morning paperwork. There was no one to be seen. I had far fewer scars 10 years ago and far more dreams & hopes.

Today, I am barley hanging on, but I'm still hanging in there.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

light my fire?

In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. ~Albert Schweitzer

I'm desperate to know why things fall apart and why everything seems to fall apart all at once. That's as much as I can seem to write tonight.

Friday, July 29, 2011

a {+} a + day + just + start + with + one +

Trying to find at least one postive a day...a day, one a day, just one thing a day...start with one, maybe they'll multiply like rabbits or like fungus or Old Navy 1-use tshirts that I keep, (keep!) buying.

Friday, July 29th...Starbucks drive-thru, you outdid yourself today. My Skinny Vanilla Latte was excellent! EXCELLENT this morning...I swallowed it along with the extra 4 hours tacked on to the end of my shift that were waiting for me at 0600 hours early on this Friday. Bring it on 14 hour day, my SKVL said so!

Thursday, July 28th...slept for 15 hours, didn't feel so +, but after I got up, I made dinner (yes cooking for 1), and even thought it took me twice as long as it should have, I managed to get everything on my to-do list done even though I had to go to 3 different red boxes to find one that was working and I had to go back to the post office with the addresses I forgot in the first place. Mmm...taco salad for dinner. Yes, I'll take it.

Wednesday, July baby came back after it's 5 month journey across the US. He came back mostly unscathed, kind of banged up, a little battered, a few more battle scars, but he's back. (also, there was a package from on my porch, but we will gloss over that one...)

Tuesday, July 26th...put a few extra last minute things in the huge bag of clothes to go for the curbside donation. I got rid of an entire garbage bag full of clothes that just needed to go! Yeah, ok, so it was at least 1/2 full of Old Navy t-shirts, but at least they went out before more came in. I'm one less bag to becoming and old maid that is found dead under a heap of clothes half eaten by her rescue cat. Old clothes = 0, Me = 1.

Monday, July 25th...nothing significant to report, but also...nothing terrible to report. I slept in. That's always a +. :)

Sunday, July 24th...Sundays are meant for BBQS and overeating. Minus smell-a-blogging, this simply must be a photo blog.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

feels like home

it rained buckets...then it cleared up
my hair stuck to my back in the humidty...i just pulled it up
the bugs loved me...i put on off
i wandered around a beautiful mess of a cemetary and could have stayed for hours
sat at the bar at Paula Deens, party of one, and talked to my dinner mates about travels far and wide
wandered down the sreeet close to midnight and found a new love in coconut gellato
it was Savannah and I loved it
as all things South, I suspected I would
there's a part of me that I think must have lived there in another life
it doesn't feel like a foreign place
it feels like home

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

5 for 5

I just read this article and I scored a big humdinger for all five of them.
Once upon a time, I used to write about dreams, bucket lists, favorites, hopes...I don't write about anything anymore.
I used to count my blessings by the number of good friends that I had...after this year and all the stress in life and all the reality of how people really, truly are, I don't have enough to count on one hand.
Up isn't up, down isn't down, nothing makes that much sense anymore.
I can actually pinpoint the rare moments that I've been happy recently...down to the location, the time of day, and the length of feeling happy and content before it gets washed away.
I've watched small tears turn into big cracks...once full of balance and juggling so many things, events, responsibilities, I just don't care anymore (but I do, a little).
Typically socialble, I find myself spending mroe and more time alone and isolated and planning more trips alone.
I need a new start. I really brand new start, but I don't know how to get there.
Like my co-worker just said..."I need to win the lottery, but I guess I have to start playing it first."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

One & Only

Prodigal blogger here with a song that is tied to one of my heartstrings. Another one of those songs. Near the top of the list as a matter of fact...*sigh*

Saturday, June 18, 2011

...these 3 things...

the 3 essentials to happiness:

something to do
someone to love
& something to look forward to

<3 <3 <3

Saturday, May 21, 2011

30 things: Day 15

Day 15 - put your iPod on shuffle and list the first 10 songs that come on.

I have to admit, I am excited and scared of this all at once. I <3 my iPod and I have a LOT of music on there, but you never know what might pop up. :) This might be funnay! Here we go...

99 Problems by Jay-Z (aaahahaha!!!)
If It Kills Me by Jason Mraz
Let's Make a Night to Remember by Bryan Adams (a favorite!)
I'm A Slave 4 U by Britney Spears (damnit!! I'm outted I was hoping she wouldn't show up)
Fortune Faded by the Red Hot Chili Peppers
San Francisco Bay Blues by Eric Clapton
Sun Will Rise by Edwin McCain
Chocolate High by India Arie
Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson
Early in the Morning by BB King & Van Morrison

Somehow, none of my country or Swiss Alps music turned up...ah, oh well.

30 things: Day 14

Day 14 - a picture of you and your family.

I'm at odds with a few of them now. Entitlement and selfishness are at the heart of the current conflict, but none the less, our picture(s) remain.

Friday, May 20, 2011

I must...

A musician must make music,
an artist must paint, a poet must write,
if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself.
What a man can be, he must be.

~ Abraham Maslow

I can be more. I must be. I'm not meant to just be this that I've settled into for the last few years. I can be happy. I must be. I can surrond myself by people who actually deserve my time, my energy, my effort, and my smiles. I can come home to a "home" where there is peace, and love, and comfort and not strife, hate, and discontent. I'm going to be more "selfish" and by that I mean that I am just going to love me more than I have before. I can. I must.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

May 5, 2011

Driving down a frontage road in between Big Spring, TX and Colorado City, TX, I was belting out this tune while peeling and orange with the windows down and the sunroof back. That's was Cinco De Mayo my lil' American style.

I thank god for my life
And for the stars and stripes
May freedom forever fly
Let it ring.
Salute the ones who died
The ones that give their lives so we
Dont have to sacrifice
All the things we love.

~ Zac Brown Band

Saturday, April 23, 2011

30 days: Day 13

Day 13- a letter to someone who has hurt you recently

Ok, it goes like this:

It wasn't long lived enough for me to pretend like you really hurt me, but I certainly didn't feel great standing on the corner with you standing across from me with your hands in your pockets like I was the garbage man and you were watching me work. Scratch that, you would have probably engaged him in some witty banter or at least acknowledged him, told him to have a good day, waved goodbye...

If you were trying to be coy, it came off as being an asshole. If you were trying to be cool, it came off as being a snob. If that was flirting, it was a fail. It is true what they say. People might forget what you say and what you do, but they won't forget how you made the feel. Disposable is what you to Styrofoam containers and diapers, not the girl who just spent the better part of the day with you. From 60 to zero in one cold, emotionless walk to the car.

I haven't thought about it much until this 30-day challenge just stared me in the face but you see the thing is just as easily as it's written, we're flipping to a new page.

Too Good for You, Your Corner, and Your Time

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

30 things: Day 12

Day 12- how you found out about blogger and why you have one.

Oh, Blogger. How did I find you? I think I just did.

Why did I seek you out? Because I needed to find my sanity.

I needed to find some peace of mind.
I needed to get "it" out of my head, my heart, my mind...
I needed to see the words to know that some of this was real and not just a series of disconnects floating around in my head.
I needed to feel.
I needed to breath life into my hopes, thoughts, wishes, desires, dreams.
I needed therapy.
I needed a place to look back to, to see if/when/how I have changed, grown and lived.
I needed to find me.
I needed my words to be a mirror.

Because for some, the eyes might be the window to the soul, and for others, I believe their words are.
Because I can write...even if I forgot I could. Mrs. Johnson told me that, with conviction, when I wasn't even in high school. I will always remember her for that.
Because I was meant to find my writing soulmate.
Because some of the stories, were way too damn good to keep to myself.
Because some day when I'm old, I'm not going to remember the details, and as they say, God is in the details.
Because...this is my story, my one and only story, and it's now or never.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Stretching forward, all the way forward, slight bend in my knees, hands planted flat on the ground, head hanging low, feeling EVERYthing stretch, stretching further and deeper with every inhale, knowing there was nothing to be done about the stream of sweat running literally running off my forehead, down my nose down into a puddle in front of me, I just had to give it all up. This was no little drip, this was impressive. I know it sounds gross, but it's nothing short of rewarding to walk into that room and feel the heat, literally and physically feel the heat, and know that I have managed to talk myself through the mental game of wanting to just give up and walk out half a dozen times already. But I don't. I don't want to walk out, despite the heat and the secondary lapses of feeling light headed. This is one of the most serious physical challenges I have ever put myself through and I'm loving it.

Tonight, sleep deprived, back already sore from life, lifting, moving, being on my feet all day, just doing my best to keep up and push my limits and work out some of that deep settled in scar tissue from years and years of bad posture and self-neglect, I find myself trying to dissect the playlist on sound alone...I instantly recognized this song by John Hiatt, more for myself than anyone else. A reminder to have a little faith in myself.

In the dim room, breathless, sweating beyond my control, shoulders burning, legs shaking, despite the fact that there was a room full of other people each concentrating on their own pose, nothing less than being forced to just concentrate on my breathing and let my mind wander into thinking about just me, there's a song (that for the life of me, I can't find online right now) that has gotten me twice now. No one any the wiser, lost in having to just give in and work through the challenge of, I started to cry, tears and sweat running down my face. No point in keeping it in or trying to ignore it.

From the instructor "Listen to your breath. Feel your heartbeat. Breathe in strength and beauty, release all the negative, it does not serve you now. It does not serve you in this moment."

I released the long, sleepless day, the previous weekend's feeling of being disposable, the feeling of being locked up and having no place to call home, the worry about not being good enough to capture the beauty I see all around me, the thought that I've wrecked my body in a few short years, that I'll never be able to get this pose, that I'll never find love, wondering how I'm going to pay for all of it, the bad feelings, the shitty things I've said, the shitty things I want to still say, the feelings of hopelessness and insecurity, I let it all out, sweat it out, exhaled it out, cried it out. Just let it out and in that last few moments of class, cooling down, eyes closed, legs crossed, focusing on the steady in and the steady out of air into my lungs, EVERYthing was peaceful. EVERYthing was calm. EVERYthing was right for me in that moment.

"Let it be."
"I bow to you."
"The spirit in me reflects the spirit in you."