Hail, Friday!

Hello-Friday

Is it just me, or did this 4-day work week seem like it lasted 8?!

I ran four miles this morning. I had not planned to run so many. But I got moving, and things just clicked. I felt really good. We did the kettlebell challenge last night. I figured I’d be moving slow today, aching and tired, legs unwilling. I’m not. That says to me I need to go up in weight, exchanging 18 lbs. for 26 and sometimes 35 for 26 lbs. Eek!

Running today felt like a natural thing, a heartbeat of sorts. It doesn’t always. Some days, it seems like uphill both ways through the snow, with lead weights on my back. Today, I breezed up the hill. This, non-running folks, is why runners run. Days like these make it all worthwhile. I did not stop, finding the pace while breathing in the scent of honeysuckle blossoms and damp earth from yesterday’s rain. We’ve got another little slice of summer on tap this weekend, with temps soaring into the 90s.

I’ve given up sugar in my coffee, the last holdout. Not so terrible with half and half in it. Could that be the culprit holding me back, all this time? I wonder.

Or maybe it’s just that I’ve decided to keep on, no matter what.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. – 1 Timothy 4:7

 

 

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Coffee Connection

black coffee

Yesterday, my boss and I were trying to attend a meeting. I say trying because when we arrived at the main office, the person we hoped to corral was about to head into another meeting.

“Hey, how about I buy you a coffee?” my boss asked as we left.

My kind of consolation prize.

“Sure,” I said.

The spring sun shone. The golden-green pear trees lining Cota Street bloomed in glorious splendor. A skinny older man in sunglasses, high-waisted jeans and a safety orange sweatshirt hailed my companion.

“Hey, how’s it going?”

The stranger-to-me hurried over, pushing an ancient 10-speed in front of him. They exchanged greetings and chewed the fat together, man to man, for a few minutes.

“Hey, can you buy me a drip coffee?” the man asked. He put a cigarette to his lips. “Just black, no sweet stuff.”

“Sure, I can do that,” the boss said.

I learned that this guy – let’s call him Joe – has been “bugging” my boss for years. He hangs out at the construction projects and offers advice. He’s a groupie of sorts. He lives with his mom and she gives him money to gamble with at the local casino.

“Joe’s a character,” he told me, shaking his head, as we left the coffee shop. The grin on his face told me how much he loved him. The gift of a coffee told me, too.

Dreamworld

“Last night I had the strangest dream…”

Picasso's "Le Reve".

Picasso’s “Le Reve”.

Ever have those dreams where you start in the middle of a story?  You can’t remember how you got there or what you were doing before.  Suddenly, people and sometimes animals swirl around you. You feel a sense of deja-vu, but can’t quite summon the backstory.

Last night, I dreamed myself into Scotland.  I sat in the booth of a coffee shop, looking out over the sea.  The suns sparkled on the choppy blue waves.

The coffee shop belonged to me.

I won it with my mad rollerskating skillz.

And I’ve been there before, in a previous dream.

I picked up mid-conversation last night.

A tall lady with brown hair, tightly permed, addressed the motley crew in the shop.

“Oh, remember when Susan won this place?  Angus was so upset!”

A white-haired man with glasses and a cap nodded.

“Oh, he was.  Who knew she could skate like that?  And a Yank to boot!”

Murmurs filled the room.  Nothing of interest had happened in this sleepy little place since, oh, the 1600s.

I’m afraid I had nothing to add to this conversation.  I still have no knowledge of how to run a business.  I am no barista. I can barely make correct change. I looked out at the beautiful water and listened to all the discussions going on around me.

I woke up thinking, What? I like roller skating.  I do okay.  Still can’t skate backwards or any tricks.  I’m a bit more wary about any of that now that I’m past 9 years old. I would like to avoid broken bones, if possible. I’ve never been to Scotland, though my family is Scottish. I have a good relationship with coffee and can make it in a drip machine just fine.

This dream, though based on fantasy only, fascinates me. Is it prophetic?  Is it fallout from all the times I watched “Xanadu”, longing to be Olivia Newton-John? Or maybe it’s too much coffee during the day.

What do you dream about?

Jesus, Coffee, Donuts and Friends

coffee

This morning, I dragged myself into work.  I know.  Not very inspiring, Susan!  Everyone does that on the first day back after a long weekend.  True.  But the flu fatigue tried to linger. It hung on, an invisible mental and physical fog. I slogged through the morning.  My brain, despite many pleadings and Jonathon’s rocket coffee, didn’t stir out of second gear.

“Susan, why don’t you work on this assignment?  We need to combine the project file ideas and the electronic version of project documents.”

She might as well have said, “Susan, make a nuclear bomb out of a paper clip, a snail shell and glitter.” Same result. Spin, spin, half-baked ideas, spin, lose train of thought. Wait…squirrel!

At lunch time, I trudged home. Jonathon had bought donuts while I was away. I needed one.  So with my lunch of cassoulet, a meager half serving of java and two luscious halves of once-whole donuts (hey, less calories, right?), I fortified myself for the second 4-hour chunk of work. Jonathon and I finished out the lunch hour with a sunny stroll.

But wait. Later on in the afternoon, it got really good.

My boss and I took a brisk walk outside, chatting all the while. The sun warmed our backs. As we marched down Cota, I spotted an old friend of mine from out of town.

“Hey!” I greeted her.  I forgot to tell her how great she looked, but we embraced and I introduced my friend to my boss.

This happened again, on the end of our loop.  We passed “Better on You,” and glimpsed another gal I knew, this one an artist and fellow writer.

We hugged and I got to catch up with another friend. We walked into the gallery and my supervisor lexplored the paintings, clothing and jewelry. She told me she’d always wanted to go in there.

I can’t believe how much the day improved. I started out with no energy and very low expectations.  Now, I can’t stop smiling. I didn’t have to just survive the day; I got surprises. I don’t believe in coincidences. I know Who orchestrated those connections and all I have to say is thank you. Between the sunshine, coffee, donuts and good friends, Jesus made it a pretty good day.

Monday Mutterings

It’s raining.  It’s cold.  My foot hurts, the result of wearing girlie shoes on Saturday and Sunday.  Ruby claims her ear aches when she burps. Zac doesn’t want to put his clean clothes away.

In short, it’s Monday.

I’ve had coffee and *coffee* , but am still dragging.

But the show must go on. Laundry chugs away in the background.  Rex snoozes on the couch, snuggling his special wine-colored fleece blanky.  Zac finished his schoolwork by 9:00 today – a small miracle. He continues to craft the perfect birthday/Christmas list, rewriting it in layman terms for us non-techies.

Today’s bright spot came as coffee date with a good friend of mine.  We had hoped to walk, but the rain…

“How is everything?” she asked me.

Things need tweaking, definitely, I thought.  How do I sum up?  I get a little restless at home sometimes, but having more free time now that I don’t work is sorta awesome. I’m learning so much lately about loving people their way and not mine. Small acts of kindness bring life to others and set off a chain reaction.  Letting go of control lets me embrace the people around me, no strings attached.

It took me a minute. I tend to listen more than talk. I peered outside at the damp morning as I cupped my warm cup of joe.

“Things are good,” I said.

And they are. Thanks for asking.

Wednesday Whirring

Random bits of space dust careen around in my head. Must share.

As Ruby and I sat down to breakfast in front of our cereal bowls, I drank my coffee.  I probably got down two or three sips.  Ahh, the synapses perked up. I happened to glance down into my mug, not looking for anything in particular. But then I noticed something floating in my coffee.  A flat, black, triangular something with…wings.  I used my spoon to fish out a drowned bug.  Awesome!  I plopped the bug on a napkin.  Then I finished my coffee.

What?!  I had the proportions  just right – molasses, half-and-half, and coffee.  I wasn’t about to give that up for some stupid insect.

Yes, I’m a mom.  Over the years, I’ve been barfed on, pooped on and bled on.  I clean up fresh cat vomit fortnightly.  I am the cats’ designated pooper-scooper.  So, given all that, perhaps I’ve lost my edge on grossness.  It simply doesn’t faze me anymore. I’m less refined than I used to be.  I guess I’ve become desensitized to it all.

So what else am I desensitized to?

I’m not sure desensitization is a bad thing.  Humans have an inherent knack for survival.  We get over things in order to get on with it.  Like when I had a crazy boss at Aspen.  I needed the job – we needed the job.  I dragged myself to work every morning, wondering which version of my boss would show up.  I persevered. The boss got removed and repositioned within the company.  Everything doesn’t have to be perfect for us to thrive.

Obviously, there’s a down side to becoming desensitized.  You stop caring about your responsibilities.  You lose touch with your family and friends, stop hearing their hearts and needs.  Usually this kind of thing happens in the wake of a great change or in the grip of an addiction. You’re on autopilot, somnambulant in your own life. Hopefully, you get help and it’s a temporary situation.

I guess I want to be careful I’m not desensitized to important problems like pain and suffering.  People suffering need help, not my powers of ignoring. Lord, help me to see and to be part of the solution.

 

 

Haikus and True Confessions

I was having a hard time coming up with a topic for today’s blog.  My husband, bless his heart, thought I should write a haiku based on the words in my tagline. But I thought you, dear reader, might need more than that from me today.  Seeing as how it’s Tuesday and all.  Hence the confessions to follow.

My tagline reads Christianity.  Coffee. Chocolate.

Ok.

Christianity
Learning to die daily, we
arise to love now.

Coffee:  black, sweetened,
with cream, iced, blended, strong, mild
How don’t I love thee?

Chocolate, dusky joy
On my tongue. Siren song of
sweet bliss.  Marry me!

Whew!  Hey, I never said they were good. Now that’s out of the way, on to the meat of the matter.

Despite my best intentions, I have not been able to live life sugar-free.  I’m living with less sugar.  But I’m not avidly reading every label anymore. I try to eat with more intention. I don’t want an adversarial relationship with any food, except maybe lima beans.  That being said, I have never, ever forgotten to eat.  I have several friends who tell me they do on a regular basis.

I simply found life much less fun without the occasional cookie, pie or slice of cake.  No, I don’t eat them all the time.  But Cookie Monster is on to something.

The other confession I must make is that I stopped my 8-month Professor Horner Bible reading plan.  It simply made no sense to me.  I started out reading Matthew 1, Joshua 1, Job 1, Proverbs 1, Psalm 1, Acts 1, Matthew 1, 1 Corinthians 1, Romans 1, Genesis 1.  I found myself unable to concentrate reading such a disjointed plan.  I didn’t remember from day to day what happened or what truths lay in the previous chapter. I kept dropping the thread of the story or theme.  I found myself simply going through the motions, making notches on my invisible belt.  Ten chapters a day is nothing to sneeze at.  I think I would have gotten more out of ten contiguous chapters, like in the 3-month Bible reading plan.  Now that I’ve quit, it’s as if a great weight rolled off my shoulders.

My alternative is to read as I feel led.  Doing it this way feels like free-falling to me; I’m excited and wee bit terrified at the same time.  Won’t you join me?