#Sub60 10k: 18 of 61 – Stepmoms Run

Personal Narrative, Running Buddha, Sub 60 10k
[caption id="attachment_3641" align="alignleft" width="225"] Blue & Lil Blue post 5k[/caption] Thursday morning, I ran with the youngest. He's 11 and likes a good adventure as much as the next kid. After a strong finish during a recent 5k race, he agreed with his father and I that running would be good summertime pursuit. He's athletic, with a determined heart, and was undaunted by my description of Thursday's running plan. Eleven (almost 12) is that interesting age where some are still open to public kisses from parents, but are pretty sure they've got this thing (life) all figured out. Or at least they want you to think so. As a veteran classroom  teacher turned new stepmom, it's an interesting tug-of-war watching this play out, even as you know what's going on. I know how kids…
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5 things a day

Zaimu Challenge
[caption id="attachment_3606" align="alignleft" width="285"] My Aunt Keet[/caption] My aunt is pretty awesome. I can say that about all of my family members really, but today's praise is for my maternal aunt, Keety. The youngest of three, she celebrates her 71st birthday later this year. I visited Orlando a few months ago and the two of us had lunch. She told me that once she got home, she was "off work" for the day. She's retired, but, she explained, she does five things every day to keep active. They're not necessarily five individual things, but you could think of it more as tasks worth points. For example, running a simple errand is one point. But a challenging errand, (traffic, or multiple stops) , is worth two. Attending exercise class with her neighbors…
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New Moon, New Start

Personal Narrative
It's been a long time. I shouldn't have left you... Keep going if you know the words. Meanwhile, I'll just bob my head and smile. It has been a while. And since I've last appeared in this space, I've been out and about in the world collecting experiences. My most recent one was a glorious trip to Sesimbra, Portugal with my cousins. I may write more about that later. [caption id="attachment_3311" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Brown beauties in Portugal.[/caption] Today I'm dusting off the blog to say hello. It's fall in the western hemisphere and it's a new moon. And y'all know I love a good reason any reason for a fresh start. After this hiatus, I've got a lot on my mind. Some of it I'll share here, but other things I may share…
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Goodbye 40. Hello 41.

Personal Narrative
On Mother’s Day I cried. I felt anxious most of the day. Irritable. Off-kilter. But I wasn’t sure why. Late afternoon I sat with Blue and he held my hands until I could say. I truly didn’t know until the words flew out: “I'm not a mother.” I buried my face, hiding tears. It felt strange to say. And really it was more that I felt in between. Displaced? Out of place? I dunno. I was coming to love his children, but who was I, really? Despite the growing relationship we all shared, there was no neat space for me. Not stepmom. Not stepmom-to-be. But there they were. And here I was. A lovely conundrum in the grand scheme of things, but one that confused my heart. Normally, I don’t look…
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Who presents this bride?

Personal Narrative
Today makes eight. For years I went to bed early. As an elementary school teacher, I had an extensive morning routine involving exercise, prayer, and a 30-minute commute. I arrived at work by 7 a.m. – well before the kiddos who often wanted to share household news as soon as they said good morning.
Because I require 7-8 hours of sleep to function well, I observed a strict bedtime of 9 p.m. My friends knew this and generally avoided calling past 8 or 8:30. From time to time an acquaintance would call too late, so I turned off my ringer at night just to play it safe. That is, until Daddy admitted his health was fading. It was shortly after Mama died. His prostate cancer wasn't a secret, yet he seemed to be…
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Sunshine, fog and love

Personal Narrative
I'm still waiting for the latest to sink in. Awareness comes in flashes, but it hasn't quite settled in. Maybe in a month? A season? I dunno. But seven days hasn't been enough. A week ago today Blue and I were married! I told him every day of our honeymoon it feels so surreal. I'm a wife now. And a stepmom. Wow. Perhaps I'll spend a few posts digging into these as I try these labels and responsibilities on for size. The ceremony was short, sweet and intimate, and remains quite hazy in my memory. I was in a fog most of the proceedings, despite the clear, sunshiny day. Dina, our photographer, offered suggestions for poses and she had to repeat them all. I could hear her, but somehow she was talking to… someone else. I didn't feel nervous…
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On living, aging and growing old.

Personal Narrative, Spirituality
It is important to remember that aging and growing old are not necessarily the same. ~Daisaku Ikeda  I cringe whenever my peers claim they're getting old. Of course years pass and we physically age, but a lot of what they are claiming is more about mindset than time. A friend argued that maybe those people are beaten down by life - they're getting weary, not getting old. Perhaps. My favorite models in life are my aunts and uncles. Three of them are active on social media and in real life. Here's a picture: [caption id="attachment_2741" align="aligncenter" width="614"] Uncle Grisby, Auntie Jessie, Cousin Big Sis, Me, Uncle Arnsel. 2011.[/caption] Auntie Jessie, who will be 85 this year, called to wish me a happy birthday Wednesday. When we spoke around 9:30 p.m.,…
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Who wears the pants?

Personal Narrative
For most of my adult life, I felt my best wearing jeans. Baggy jeans, fitted jeans, funky jeans. I loved them all. Once I entered the working world and jeans were only okay on Fridays, I still wore pants the majority of the time. From khakis to pants suits, I looked and felt great in pants. [caption id="attachment_2568" align="alignright" width="239"] Even when I dressed up, I often wore pants.[/caption] But one summer, I went to Paris. In preparation, I bought lots of clothes I felt would be comfortable for traveling to and fro and walking the city streets. There wasn't a dress in the bunch. It was a family trip - the girl cousins on my dad's side went. We each brought a large suitcase for the week-long affair. Well,…
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On family narratives. #NaBloPoMo

30 Day Blog Challenge
The single most important thing you can do for your family may be the simplest of all: develop a strong family narrative. This line comes from a recent New York Times piece about the importance of understanding from whence you came.  The more you know about the characters, settings, and other elements that contribute to your life story, the better prepared you are to make intentional choices about your own life. You can be a more sophisticated author of your life if you have a strong sense of your biography: Do you know where your grandparents grew up? Do you know where your mom and dad went to high school? Do you know where your parents met? Do you know an illness or something really terrible that happened in your…
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