Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I am a Runner. Still.

I don't know why it didn't occur to me that running by myself didn't have to be a lengthy affair. I guess when your normal is six to seven hilly miles, it's hard to remember that some people run just two, or to conceive of yourself doing that. Despite the fact that I ran seven miles at a time for years, I am not capable of that now. Not after a year (or more, I didn't keep track of when things tapered off for good last year) off, anyway. So I gave myself permission to just get started again. Even if it's 10pm, I can still spend thirty or forty-five minutes running. It's better than sitting on my rear in front of the computer.

On the first night, I ran a solid 1.5 miles. The second, I added another quarter mile, and I'm fairly certain that tonight will find me running the entire two mile out-and-back I have planned for myself. That feels good. I didn't realize how much I missed running, really and truly missed it, until I took off for those first few steps, and felt joy.

I never had a running partner or belonged to a running group. Two of my three Pikes Peak Marathons I was joined for part of the downhill stretch by someone surely sent by God himself, to keep me from just sitting down on the side of the trail. But my training and my usual runs were almost always alone, because I liked it that way. I like the cool quiet of night and nothing but my thoughts for company. Now that I am a mother, with more to do and another person to share space with, it turns out this is even more important to me. Just me, just a valet key slipped over my finger, just my own slightly labored breathing. No iPod or GPS or any other accoutrements. Even earrings are removed to make things light. And it's heaven.

I think that often I have to let go of things to find my way back to them. I wrote on our family blog about finding a way to work out with Zinashi along, having resigned myself to meeting my need for movement with her along for the ride. It didn't occur to me until after I wrote it that I could slip out while Jarod was rocking her to sleep, that I could go a shorter distance or accept a more sleepy morning the next day. But it turns out that it's possible, and now probable.

Unless something goes awry, tonight will be the third night of my return to running. I always said that I hoped I would always be a runner, and was beginning to fear that it just wouldn't happen. But here I am, and it feels good, and I look forward to every night Jarod is tucking Zinashi in. For now, three nights a week, guaranteed. Three nights of quiet, of my two feet merrily slapping the sidewalk. Three nights of thought and purpose and joy.


Thursday, May 26, 2011


I've been treating our family blog like it's my job, and that's been really satisfying. If you spend any time over there, you might notice that there are some ads hanging out at the top and on the sidebar. We're pretty excited about those, mostly because they came in conjunction with an invitation to be part of the publisher community at Daily Buzz Moms. And because we're making a little money. Not a ton, or even what might be considered reasonable for the amount of time I spend writing posts, but I would write regardless, so it's nice to be making enough for a cheapo pedicure or an evening of skipping cooking and having a little Jimmy John's out on our porch once a month. It's great to have the incentive of having my writing featured elsewhere along with making a little bit from ads if people like it and decide to come back to our site. It gives me that little extra push I need to write the posts I want to write and to produce quality content on a regular basis. Right now I require myself to post over there every week day, and if I've got something to say on the weekends, I'll post then, too. It's made me better at making notes when I think of something I want to share and prompted me to share even when I think, "Maybe no one will want to read this." Well, no one has to read anything, and maybe they will want to read some silly little thing I want to post. So that's all good.

It's funny, though, after blogging here for so long, to find that the blog that is doing well is the one that I started for the sole purpose of keeping people in the loop about our adoption. I guess there are surprises around every turn, and you either rise to meet the circumstances and opportunities or lose out on what could be really great because you have some idea of how it should have gone. I will continue to write here, as I still feel like it's a space that gives me an outlet for things I wouldn't necessarily think are a good fit for our family blog, but I will write more over there. Which is all to say: if you want to read more of what I'm writing and haven't made the trip over to Finding Magnolia, you might want to do it now.

Happy Thursday, remaining readers of my poor little personal blog.

Monday, May 23, 2011

I Need to Be Getting Things Done

But here I sit, blogging, reading other people's blogs, generally not getting things done. I guess I need something to do while I finish eating this banana that Zinashi did not finish eating at lunch. I get the majority of my midday calories from two sources: coffee drinks (I prefer the mocha variety, homemade from leftover morning coffee, or from a coffee shop if I'm lucky and feeling rich) and things Zinashi leaves on her plate. It is very rare that I make myself lunch. The morning's toast with nutella, minus one bite, and random fruit bits are my favorites, but I'll settle for some stale crackers and slightly warm cheese. I'm not picky.

The big excitement around here is that we are closer to moving than ever, and while it's not a guarantee, it does get us farther down that path than we've ever been, and that means that I must divulge our house of everything that we will not take with us if/when we move. My goal is to take a bag or box out every day and bring nothing new in. Not even if it's a good deal! Put down that adorable vintage lamp, Mary! No one cares that it only costs $8! This should actually be the narrative for my life, not just for my life when we might be moving. I so want to pass on good financial habits to Zinashi, and to live life more as a person and less as a consumer, but it's hard when things are so pretty.

The most difficult task is going through Zinashi's stash of stuff. There are two problems: 1) that she remembers every single thing that she is given, and 2) that a lot of the things I think are fabulous are not the things she thinks are fabulous. We need to find middle ground between Pillow Pets and wooden puzzles, giant plastic dollhouses and the IKEA abacus. Some things I'm sure she won't remember, and then I take them to Goodwill only to have her ask about them a week later. But I'm tired of having an extra room's worth of stuff that belongs to her, and we just can't keep it all. A lot of things will get "lost in the move," if you know what I'm saying.

I'm excited, no matter what happens. Even getting this far means that we are on our way towards something new, and so I'm going to take it as a good sign that we are closer to our goal every time we reach for it. It feels like we just keep waiting on the same things, and see little movement, but it's there. Little plants start growing beneath the surface of the earth before you see the green shoots, and I'm trusting that that's what's happening here. We're moving forward. We're growing. We're going to see things happen, and soon.


Which means I'd better get back to work in the basement.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Today at the mall I felt suddenly and inexplicably sad. Deeply, like someone had come in and placed the saddest, hardest bit of information inside my heart and said, "There. How's that?" But there was no reason. I was drinking an iced mocha and trying on shoes I wouldn't be buying. So I thought a lot about it and the conclusion I came to was that there is no conclusion. The last time I felt like this was when we were in the middle of Zinashi's adoption, before we'd seen her picture. Which is very strange because A) we are not in the middle of a second adoption, and B) we are not in the middle of a second adoption.

So. That's that.

On the home front, Zinashi has been having a hard time. Sleep regression, a little bit weepy, no definite reason except, you know, that she saw someone die and then her other someone had to leave her with strangers. People keep minimizing that, and saying that she's not sleeping because she doesn't want to miss anything, and I want to go, "Really?" Because I just can't get why anyone would minimize events so huge and terrifying. My baby, who was for all intents and purposes just a baby, yet old enough to be acutely aware of what was happening, went through a series of events that were traumatic to say the least. WTF, people? Can you not just allow that this might have lasting effects on her? That she isn't just like your ADHD neighbor's kid? Jeez Louise. Use a little common sense.

I really have nothing much else to say. Life rolls on. We're busy. We love our daughter. We feel like we're just waiting on a lot of things, so it leaves little to share in the way of news. But, you know, I do like these shoes. That I can tell you. Too bad it's not news.