Archive for September, 2010

“Procrastination, procrastinaay-tion…

It’s making me late…”

For those of you who don’t remember, that’s to this tune:

I sing my version of the chorus whenever I realize that I am procrastinating myself into a corner. This week, I should be working on my internship applications. I did do a bit of work on it yesterday, but not nearly enough. I have two days before I need to turn in a first draft – but I don’t have one.

Well, I do have a first draft of the first essay – but it is twice as long as it should be. Here’s the question:

1. Please provide an autobiographical statement. There is no “correct” format for this question. Answer this question as if someone had asked you “tell me something about yourself.” It is an opportunity for you to provide the internship site some information about yourself. It is entirely up to you to decide what information you wish to provide along with the format in which to represent it. 4000 characters

They’re kidding, right? Mamma mia. The worst thing, though, isn’t even the application. The worst thing is that it’s my dad I wish I could talk to about the application. For those of you who don’t know, my dad passed a few years ago. It’s kind of a nasty cycle, missing him. I get to working on my thing, then I think of something I’d like to ask him, then I feel sad and I can’t seem to get going again. Not that I’m blaming my dad for my procrastination – I’m an old pro at procrastinating. This just makes it sadder.

Bodhi gets out

In case you can’t tell, I am supposed to be writing something related to my internship application. I am not doing too well at that, so I have come here, to this blog, a place where I can write just what I want to. Yesterday was my “day off,” which essentially means I don’t see any clients. It seemed far from a day off, though, as I ran from appointment to appointment of my own. It seemed like I was late all day! By the time I got to dinner with choir folk (TCWC rocks!) I was kind of frazzled.

I mention this because I failed to give people any real updates on Bodhi – I’m sure people asked me and I am pretty sure I said something like, “Oh, he’s doing pretty well.” I completely forgot that he had a big day too!

Every time I get ready to run, he goes eagerly to the door. Any time I take him outside, he rushes towards the road. He goes a little nuts when I come in from a run, and stands panting when I jog on the treadmill. He really, really wants to go. But I was told that he couldn’t and further, I’m afraid that if I take him for a longer walk (we have been going one mile lately) what happens if he can’t make it back? I can’t just leave him on the sidewalk.

So yesterday I decided I would take him to the dog park near my house. I thought, who on earth will be there on a Wednesday at 10 AM?! At least he will get a chance to roam a little without the leash. Bodhi leapt into the car, and off we went.

Yeah, so there were 8 or 10 dogs there when I got there (don’t these people have jobs?!) and more arriving. But we were already there, so I decided we’d just stay 10 minutes. It didn’t seem fair to get him all the way there (and he knew where we were) and then take him home without every getting out. And who knows, maybe there won’t be any dogs for Bodhi to chase.

Right, right. Just keep telling yourself that, Martha. Of course Bodhi found a dog to chase right away, who was already being chased by another dog who decided Bodhi needed to be dominated right away. There were a couple of snapping and snarling incidents, but nothing major. Then the owner of the chased dog left the park to “empty out some coffee” down the street. Really?! I can’t believe people even do that! That dog then went to the corner of the park and watched his owner walk away. He stayed there in the corner, closely shadowed by Bodhi and the other dog till his owner came back.

Bodhi ran short distances but pretty fast for about 15 minutes, at which time I decided we had better go. He was drinking water and all that, but I had no idea how all that galloping about would affect him and I was starting to think that this was a bad idea. And then I started worrying about leaving him to go on my other appointments, how would I know if he had some ill effect from the running?

Well, as it turns out, so far there have been no visible ill effects at all. Hooray! Maybe he will be able to run with me again someday! For now I will stick to our walks, but I am hopeful again…

Bodhi update

Seems like I’ve written much more about running than Bodhi, lately, and that seems wrong, so today’s post will be all about him. No words wasted on how I am supposed to be working on my internship application right now, or how I carefully gave myself this 2 hours to do that but instead I am writing this. No, today, it is all about him.

Here he is, feeling feisty!

Yeah, a real action shot of Bodhi, taking apart the “feelings ball” from my office. I actually got it second hand and last week I decided it isn’t really in good enough shape for the office anymore, and I brought it home. Of course, I don’t need a feeelings ball at my house either – so I tossed it to Bodhi and he went right to work.

He has been doing pretty well – he usually has 4 or 5 good days and then some digestive trouble for a couple of days… He was doing so well last week I even started walking him every day again – a quarter mile a day. After 5 days, I decided to go all out (also because he was sooooo energetic it was making me crazy) and we went a whole mile! Here’s what he looked like when we got home:

Yeah, he crashed out within a couple of minutes of arriving home. I went back to the quarter mile walks after that.

With his digestion, I think that the whole heat stroke thing just weakened his system over all. At first I tried to connect the yarking and such with what he was eating, but he seems to just get sick randomly now. Even when he doesn’t eat Amy’s waffles or get into the trash. Today, I gave him a b-o-n-i-e after cutting away all the meat. I hate to have to take that away from him too, since he has so little to occupy him these days. We’ll see how he does. My goal was to try during the day so that instead of waking me up all night we can make those runs outside earlier in the evening..

All in all, I think he is doing better. He still gets sick much more easily and sleeps more deeply:

Yeah, HIS part is the ottoman, but I share

but over all I do think he is gaining ground.

I’ma Penguin

Here’s the thing. I am a runner. Well, more of a jogger, really. Or maybe I’ma Penguin. Penguins run for the joy of running, not to beat other runners or win races. I mostly do it as a meditative method. After running I always feel better. Less stressed, more free. I have been running since 1995. I was running within three weeks of my motorcycle accident. I used to run right through the Minnesota winters, too.

What’s my point? My point is I think I can honestly say I am a jogger. When I miss a run, however, like that day I tried to run on the treadmill (see it here) and couldn’t manage it, I forget all of that. I worry that I’m lazy, that I’m never going to run again, that I’m not really dedicated, that somehow I’m not a runner….Why do we do things like that to ourselves? I mean, really, what is the point of such negative self-talk?!

I’m writing this post so that next time I miss a run I can look back and remember that I am, in fact, a runner. Er, a Penguin. This is my affirmation to my Penguin self.

Back to the D’s

Yes, I know I still have an open post out there, hanging in limbo, waiting to be posted, but I won’t be finishing it today. Today, I woke up to The Big D, depression.

I have had the symptoms of depression for about 10 years now and some days are just better than others. Today it is likely that the weather is seriously influencing my mood. It is a grey day in Minnesota, and while that may not seem like a big deal to those of you who live in places where there are four seasons each year, Minnesota is “different.” I could do an entire blog of my use of the word “different” just there, but I will save that for another day. What you need to know about Minnesota is that once winter really comes on, the grey days stay and stay.

Long time Minnesotans will tell you how the weather isn’t as cold as it used to be and how the drifts used to close the highways. I have been here 10 years and even I have noticed that winters are not as cold now as they were when I first got here, but none of that changes the fact of the grey days.

Grey days in Minnesota can seriously go on for weeks, I am not kidding. The sky can get overcast and just stay that way. I mean, one grey day, ok, no problem. A couple of cloudy, rainy days, you can just cuddle up and stay inside. But a week of them? That’s  enough to kick the motive out of my vation.

So today, you say, is just one grey day, right? But it is September, remember, and for Minnesotans, that means winter is very close. When I went outside today around noon and looked up at that grey sky, something inside me wilted.

I am coming back to finish this after a couple of sunny days. After I thought I was all done with this post I realized that I never even get to the point of my post. The reason I started this post was to reiterate the idea that when you are feeling depressed, it is difficult to do things that will help you. After skipping my run I felt bad most of the day – partly because of the weather, yes – but also partly because I was feeling a bit guilty about not running, some old tape about being a lazy person. Also, I knew that if I had run, I would have probably felt better. Running is a great antidepressant for me, I usually feel good about myself and my day after a run. I feel strong and capable – even after a difficult run! So, I wake up on a grey day and am unable to make myself do something that I know will make myself feel better.

That’s what I came to say. But then I got completely fixated by the grey day. Weird, huh?

Getting Moving

Well, the time has come. My good friend and resident rumi is moving out at the end of this month. There are many ways that I will miss her – but I won’t go into any embarrassing details about it here – not today, anyway. What I want to talk about is much more mundane than that.

As my rumi begins the process of packing to go, I have begun the process as well, albeit internally. It’s true that I have quite a bit more time than she does – I won’t need to move before June of next year – but I have begun thinking about it just the same.

I have moved frequently in my life, first as an Army brat and later as an adult. While living in Colorado, my father joked about his address book and how many crossed out addresses he had for me – in 10 years, he had 9 addresses. That was just how I was living, and mostly it suited me. I was proud that I could get everything I owned into my Blazer.

In Colorado

And then, in September 2002, I bought a house.

My cute little house

It’s cute, right? It isn’t a very big house – when I first moved in I had two completely empty rooms and none of the other rooms were particularly full, either. That is how it started, anyway. The house has gone through a number of permutations since I moved in. My current roommate was also my ex-roommate – she and I lived together for about a year in 2004-2005, I think. Somehow it seemed a good idea to me at the time to give her the tiny downstairs room – although now that seems almost criminal to me. In my defense, I had never used it as a bedroom before she moved in and feel I can honestly say, I had no idea how small it was!

I moved my stuff out of that room into one of the empty-ish rooms upstairs and life was good (for me, anyway). Then, in 2006, I got married and out went the roommate and in came another adult and two teenagers. Woah. Things got somewhat cramped, but it was still pretty ok. While we were together we moved the bed downstairs, then upstairs as the teenagers moved about. Then, we got divorced and lots of stuff went out of the house. Next, the rumi moved back in and this time I took the downstairs room. Did I mention that it is small? I attempted to get all of my stuff into the downstairs – thinking of the time coming up when I would need to move again.

All those other times in my life that I was moving around, I really didn’t own much stuff. Really. The biggest thing I owned was my mattress and box springs, and that was only the last few years before I bought the house. Now, I own furniture. Big pieces. A chair and a half, a chaise lounge, a treadmill. What am I going to do with all this stuff?! Some of it I am ok with selling or donating. But there are some things that I really want to keep. And as I consider my trek across the country, I wonder about the U-haul, how big, how much will it cost? Can I tow something behind my car, or is it better to rent a truck? Of course, many of these questions remain totally unanswerable right now, mainly because I have no idea where I will be moving to. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t on my mind.

Yesterday as I managed the food from my CSA I headed out to the freezer to put up some lovely red onions I was freezing for the future – and stopped and stared.

My freezer is nearly full right now. Yes, it is true, a good section is taken up by the bags of ice I bought for my bonfire in August (who’s idea was that again?), but besides that there is quite a bit of food in there. And while I like to claim my inner She-ra as much as anyone…

…I’m pretty sure I cannot lift it. Let’s say I could move it. No matter where I go I will likely end up in a tiny, one-bedroom apartment (with a large dog). Where would the freezer live?!

The path ending?

When the weather is lovely, like today, I enjoy running outside far more than running on the treadmill. See my previous post for details on treadmill “running.” I run almost exclusively on sidewalks or the road, even though I have read many times that it is better to run on softer surfaces, trails and paths. Apparently that is easier on your knees and so on. The problem for me, though, is that every time I try to run on a path, I stumble. I haven’t fallen very many times (thank goodness) but I have twisted my ankle nearly every time I tried to run on a softer surface. Also, there aren’t many paths near my house. Luckily, there is a nice path that goes through a wooded area which is quite close.

It's a nice place to run...

I had an injury last year, my first real running injury ever and it grounded me for several months. I have spent the summer slowly increasing my milage. I know the paths around my house from previous years running as well as biking, but on Wednesday when I decided to add a quarter mile, I tried a path I hadn’t used before. I figured it looped back around into this wooded area. It went uphill briefly and then opened up here:

Hmmm, not very promising...

Upon arriving at this dismal end, I was saddened. I took the time before stretching to take a photo and send the picture to my Facebook account. Amy and I exchanged a few lines about it and her walking path. Her walking path ended suddenly in some grass. “What is up with dead end paths?” she asked, “I hope it isn’t symbolic!” As befits my tendency towards optimism, I looked for some positive possible meaning. Amy wrote, “Well…it did turn into grass. Grass is nice.” Which is true. And hey, in general, I prefer green growing things to asphalt covered nothingness. Which brings me back to my path ending.

Yeah, no grass there. And, as far as I can tell, the parking lot is kind of a deserted spot. Yes, there is a ball field at the far end, but it looks completely unused, bits of grass grown up in little cracks, the pavement itself cracked and crumbling. So, what is my “green lining?”

It bugged me for a couple of days, but when I arrived there today, I had a new thought. Maybe what I am looking at is a space, a place ready that is ready for new construction. Maybe the end of my path is really a new beginning.

Yeah. I kinda like that.

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