I can't believe I haven't blogged in almost a month. Trust me, it wasn't intentional. Life has just been going full throttle lately and every time I think, "I should blog about that..." I tend to end the thought with, "...later." And, like many things we put off in life, later never comes. Since I haven't said much lately, you'll find this blog to be somewhat long and very "stream of consciousness."
I'm still not sure I've come to terms with the fact that we're already in May. At the same time, I'm ready for a break from some things and the summer will give me a chance to catch my breath (check back with me in August or September to see how silly that ends up sounding).
Over the past weekend, I was able to share in an awesome experience. I attended a beach retreat with 13 other women from our church. While I knew some of the women really well before the retreat, there were others I had never met. But, by the end of our 2.5 day adventure, I felt closer to everyone and totally blessed to have shared in such a fabulous journey with each of them. I was especially touched to discover how others see me through God's eyes. Being my own worst critic (especially true of those of us who are somewhat lacking in the self-confidence department), I've always been extremely hard on myself in all areas of my life. But this weekend, I was completely blown away by the kind words of a friend who I totally look up to and consider a wonderful peer-mentor. That one experience alone will be enough to carry me through until next year's retreat.
I'm very excited that we've rejoined the Y. I've realized over the past 10 months or so that I'm lousy at motivating myself to workout when I don't have a dedicated (air-conditioned/heated) place. Yes, I know I could go for a walk around the neighborhood anytime I want to. Problem is, I never really want to, except those 4 days a year when there is a slight breeze, no humidity, the temperature is 68 degrees and there is no pollen. I'm high maintenance and I admit it. And, my backside is visual proof (as are my front-side and side-sides). Plus, it's just hard to convince myself to get up at the c.r.a.c.k. of dawn (pre-5:30am) to exercise. Darn-it, I'm tired and getting up at 4:30 or 4:45 just doesn't fill me with joy or happiness. And, by the time I get home in the afternoons, I'm overwhelmed with the laundry, dishes, dog, cooking, homework, planning, etc. Once the shoes come off, it's likely you'll only see flip-flops on my tootsies again until morning. As if those reasons weren't deterrent enough, if I decide to exercise during hours that Abby is awake, she inevitably wants to join me. While this isn't a bad thing and I should embrace it, I just can't. For that 30 or 45 minutes, I'd like the opportunity to clear my head and not think about how dirty my house is or how quickly a deadline is looming at work or how many checks I need to write to pay for field trips, lunch money, yearbooks, class photos, summer camp, drama lessons, etc. That's right, I want to roll my porcine self around in responsibility free mud for a little while. I want to enjoy just a few minutes of silence with background music of my choice. (And I admit, some of that background music isn't meant for 7-year-old ears...but sometimes you just need something a little more hard core.) I find it much easier to stop on the way home from work and carpool. So, after this week, I hope to be a regular fixture at the Y in the afternoons, at least a few times a week. Why, you ask, am I not going this week? Because "the laundry, dishes, dog, cooking, homework, planning, etc." require a little more TLC and some time management before I can dive back in.
Grandparents can be fun & cool. I honestly never knew this little tidbit. My father's parents passed away before I can remember. There are pictures, but I don't actually recall them. While I have memories of my mother's parents, they lived far away (like 13+ hours of driving) and weren't really the happy-go-lucky type. I'm certain they loved all of their grandchildren, but we didn't really *do* a lot together. Now Mike, on the other hand, has awesome memories with his grandparents. It probably helped that they lived nearby (actually, I'm certain of that). We're super lucky that Abby's experience with her grandparents is more like Mike's. She loves spending time with them and I'm thankful for that blessing. Abby's class was going on a field trip today to the NC Museum of Art. I will totally admit that I have never been there and I've lived in Raleigh for almost 15 years. I actually lived about 5 miles from the museum for almost 7 years. But, art museums have never really interested me and I've been to my fair share. Within the last few months, Abby enjoyed an excursion with my dad (Papaw) to the art museum and she LOVED it. I figured she'd be really excited about the field trip. Instead, she informed me today that it wouldn't be any fun without Papaw because he's "cool" and would let her look at what she wanted to. Also, we've been coordinating Abby's summer. Last summer, she enjoyed a week at Grandma & Grandpa's Summer Camp with three of her cousins. She had a wonderful time. As soon as we started talking about camps, she said she'd like to go to Grandma & Grandpa's Summer Camp for at least 3 weeks this summer. She said she wanted more, but thought they might want a break. I was a little sad to break it to her that she'd have to settle for just 1 week.
Why can't people be sincere? I know there are plenty of people in my life who are totally and completely sincere. You never question their words or actions. You know they are genuine. And then, there's the small group of people that seem so insincere and fake that you wish you could just avoid them entirely. Sometimes, I wish they had faux stamped across their forehead. It would make avoidance much easier.
There have been times over the past 13 years or so that I regret that I didn't finish college. Sometimes, the regret is huge. Other times, it's just a momentary blip on my radar. But, I've never really concerned myself with it enough to buckle down and do anything about it. Yes, I've taken class here or there. But, I've never felt compelled to follow through. Mike, however, has been such a trooper over the past couple of years. Instead of dwelling on what he didn't finish "back in the day," he's focused on reaching this goal for himself. I'm so proud of him for being willing to make the sacrifices he needs to achieve his goal. I'm not even fully aware of all the time he must commit to his education, because I'm usually in bed snoring (loudly) while he reads another chapter, write another discussion posting, or drafts another paper. And, through all that, he finds the time to support his family in a multitude of ways. Honestly, it's amazing.
If you've survived reading through all of that, you deserve a pat on the back. I'm tired just writing it :-)