September – Lost Time

I started this particular blog post back in September, yet here I am still trying to etch words for a timeframe I can’t remember. Ever have a moment when time just seems to have been misplaced; vanished without a trace? Have you had moments where you have no recollection of time? That is me, at this very moment, as look back into September and all that it had to offer. Maybe it had nothing to offer at all. Maybe that is why, for a few weeks now, I have not been able to discern September’s happenings.

I have sat with my Bucket List book staring back at me. What did I do to accomplish items in this book? Did I do anything? There is nothing coming to memory. How could an entire month just vanish into mind-space? My mind-space is a black hole where events are stored when they really had no true meaning or impact to my life. But why would I store an entire month in my mind-space? Was it really that uneventful?

I am sure of that! I know it started out with a Saturday Yoga event at MoMac Brewery. Other than that…there is nothing. I remember the yoga session being refreshing. I was having issues with tenderness in my Achilles tendon. The yoga session did wonders to relieve the pain I had. I remember thinking that I need to do this on a regular basis because, literally, my entire body felt more relaxed.

Anyways, maybe if I dig out my calendar it will jar my memory. Let’s see…Nope, only thing listed is Labor Day. What did I do on Labor Day? Did I do anything for Labor Day? Maybe Facebook will tell me. Small chance of that since I rarely interact with it but let’s see. There were things I wanted to do but did I do them?

Well, Facebook revealed that I enjoyed some time with my son, Brandon, while he was home on Leave. My surrogate son, Adam, joined us a few times. We enjoyed having a few brews at our local watering hole, MoMac Brewery. By happenstance, we ran into his old cross country coach, Ryan. I must add that Ryan also coached me through a series of races to include my first 50K Ultra Marathon. Under his guidance, I managed to exceed my personal record (PR) with each race I ran. It was a grueling time, a time of character testing, patience testing, and learning how to get out of my head and just run. It was hours and hours of running each Saturday and Sunday. It became a full time job; only I wasn’t getting paid for it. I questioned my sanity, clearly I was insane! That became obvious when I signed up to run the 50K Ultra Marathon followed by the Surf’n Santa 5 Miler the same day. It was a total of about 37 miles that day. Really, my first clue at insanity should have been when I ran a marathon with pneumonia. I don’t recommend it. However, the first 13.1 miles seems pretty easy. By mile 18 I felt like a brick was sitting on my chest, the coughing increased and my lungs felt on fire. Finally, mile 20 was in view but I was still asking myself if I was going to make the last 6.1 miles. I decided I would run and collapse at the finish line if I had too. I had trained way too hard to quit! Boy that last .2 was the worst because it felt like it was never going to end! Would I do it again? Yes, in a heartbeat! My ultimate goal is to run a 50 miler; the Skydive Ultra in Florida to be exact. I just need to get mentally and physically fit before I attempt such a feat. The only there’s one problem. Every time I think I am ready to hit payment hard and start training, I mentally shut down. I have it a wall at 3 miles. It’s almost as if my body remembers what it went through to train for the 50K Ultra and it’s telling me “NO! I’m not going through this again!” It’s a mental hurdle I have to overcome so how or another. But HOW is the question.

What else did Facebook reveal? It reminded me that I started clearing 25 years of accumulation from my home. It really began because my youngest son refused to keep his room clean. He had joined the military and after boot camp was stationed in his home state, his hometown actually. Therefore, he felt he could come and go as he pleased. I would find his clothes in the middle of the kitchen where he rushed home, changed clothing, and immediately left to meet up with whatever friend was on his calendar that day. After multiple times, with multiple warnings, I decided to take matters into my own hands. While my husband and I informed him that he no longer lived at our home after he joined the military, it didn’t really take affect. I could have had his father go the extreme route but that would not have solved anything. He would have just taken it as another disciplinary attempt from his father. No! It HAD to be ME! He would never expect MOM to draw the line. So, I rented a storage facility, packed up the belongings in his room, and moved them to the storage facility. This was hard for me but it was necessary! I had to get my point across and not rely on others to do it for me. If I had not been the one to draw the line, he would never take me serious. I believe, even now, he thinks it is temporary.

I have learned that I enjoy sharing the house with just my husband and three dogs. I have learned that I can maintain a solid relationship with my children and them not live with me. I actually prefer it. I think I appreciate our time together more. The time is more about us and not constantly nagging about what they did or didn’t do. The 25-year clearance is still not complete as I am taking it one room at a time. Let’s face it! That’s a long time to hoard a bunch of crap that you thought was valuable or at the very least, sentimental, only to realize it was just that…CRAP! The attic is my proof! It will take some time to go through the attic. I may just rent a big metal trash bin and through everything away. Only problem, the attic stairs is broken. I can’t even get up there to get my Christmas decorations.

The last thing, Facebook reminded me was the Neptune Festival. I was in the middle of clearing out the CRAP when Karen asked me to join her and the boys at the festival. I was reluctant, she was insistent! She is one tough cookie and relentless! While we were there, I did not see anything that really stood out to me. Good thing! After all, I am in the middle of a home sweep! The last thing I needed to do was bring in more junk. Besides, I could save that money to spend on renovating my bathrooms. They haven’t changed since the 70s. They look it too! I cleaned them but I never get that satisfying feeling that they are clean. It’s horrible!

We did discover Young Living Essential Oils at the festival though. I had been researching the use of oils lately. Mostly out of curiosity but I really wanted to see if they would work for some of the anxiety issues I have. It all started when I was having a really bad attack at work. One of my coworkers shared a concoction of DoTerra his wife had made up. Ironically, it worked within minutes to give me a calm sensation. Since that day, I had been looking for someone to explain to me how to use them and what each oil was used for. I was looking for more information to prove that it was real and not the next fad. Since it is not FDA approved, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t getting caught up in another MLM company. And I certainly wasn’t interested in selling it. I was immediately impressed with the young women demonstrating the products. They were extremely knowledgeable. They immediately offered us classes, explained the reasons for each oil, answered all our questions. We each signed up for their starter kit. They contacted me later to ensure I had no other questions. They sent information regarding their upcoming classes. This was exactly what I was looking for. I most impressed with the research the company did to take each oil back to the roots of our ancestors. I am not set to just one company. I want to gain knowledge and educate myself about the various avenues of oils. My big question is, if every company says their oils are 100% pure, then what sets them apart? How do I know they are, in fact, “100% pure”! So my journey continues…


March – Missed Opportunity, Meeting Celebrities, Autographed books.

Ever have those moments when you wish you could just go back and have a redo? Ever feel like you missed a great opportunity to do something unique and beyond your character? To do something that would even astound your friends because it is a “so unlike you” scenario? Well, I had one of those events recently.

Sometimes the challenges in the Ultimate Bucket List book really do not seem like very much of a challenge, rather it’s something just to do. For instance, donating money to a worthy cause (#87). It’s not hard, nor challenging, to donate to a cause that you are passionate about. However, getting people to help you in your fundraising efforts can be extremely difficult and tedious. Then there is Starting a Blog and Keep it Going for at Least a Year (#37). That doesn’t seem like much of a challenge but finding the perfect words and expressions to keep readers interested is extremely challenging. Then there is the idea of raising chickens (#40), doesn’t seem like a big deal. They are rather easy to care for. For me, it is just fun. I love having chickens around. I have had three sets of chickens to date and each set is unique in their own way. They are filled with character. They are curious creatures. Sometimes, they even want some attention from their human counterpart.

There are some challenges in the book that really put me on edge just thinking about it. Fear of Challenges gives some great examples of that. The most recent example of this came Easter weekend. I spent the weekend in Washington, DC with my husband at AwesomeCon. If you have never been to one and you are into comic books and characters, I highly suggest going to one. It is a whole new experience. You have the opportunity to meet people that you would never imagine! I have been to a few. I have met quite a few celebrities. Some were rather really cool and others were…let’s just say…meh!

We can save all those past adventures for another time. For now, let’s concentrate on AWESOMECON 2018. This was my real opportunity to achieve some of the items on my Life List. There were several opportunities available: Meet a Celebrity (#15), Dressed up in a Disguise for a Day (#72), Get an Autograph of Someone Famous (#68), Kiss a Stranger (#151), and Get a Book Autographed by It’s Author (#266).

I was able to mark No. 15 off my list. I met, at AwesomeCon 2018, Count Gore de Vol, John Barrowman, Carole Barrowman, and Stephen Amell. Count Gore de Vol was the most fascinating character. His birth name is Dick Dyszel but was in true character as The Count. He described some of his adventures as the The Count and how he would sleep in coffins on his breaks. I must say that was a little creepy to me. He explained how the shows operated and some of the people he would encounter.

Count Gore de Vol
Wes meeting Count Gore de Vol

Next up was John Barrowman and Carole Barrowman. Yes, they are brother and sister. You may know him best as Captain Jack Harness from Doctor Who. I know him best as Malcolm Merlyn in Green Arrow. This was actually a three-for-one write off on the Life List. I was able to meet a celebrityget an autograph by someone famous, and get a book autographed by it’s author! John and Carole co-authored several books but I got autographs on “Conjuror” and “Hollow Earth”.  John was extremely funny. His sister was just as funny. Her part was to sell the books written by her and John. I would have loved the opportunity to get to know her better and learn about her experiences with writing. I could have stood and watched how they interacted with crowd all day. They were so intriguing and unique!

The last celebrity I met was Stephen Amell! What do I say?! It was Stephen Amell! He was really down to Earth. I did not bother him with questions of his movies. Instead, I was more interested in his Nocking Point Wine company! Yes wine! I do not even like most wines. Yes, I am lame! All the while I was talking to him, I thought how cool would it be to cross off “Kiss a Stranger” from my Life List with a celebrity. Better yet how cool would it be if that kiss was with Steven Amell! I’m not talking locking lips or anything. I would have been satisfied with a kiss on the cheek. Although, I’m not sure that would have counted…but who cares about technicalities! Yes, I am even more lame for thinking this! I was just too shy and afraid to tell him about my Ultimate Bucket List Challenge. Then I had to consider his wife, too! I did not want to disrespect her in any way! I am sure he would not have gone along with it anyways! Besides, who goes around kissing strangers? This will forever gone done in my history as “Missed Opportunities”! In fact, I think this may be even harder than wearing a snake around my neck!

After I got home and was going over my list of accomplishments and missed opportunities, I realized that I also missed out on dressing up in a disguise for the day! I know there will be many more opportunities for that in the future so I won’t beat myself up too bad over that one!

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

January Challenge – Donate to a Worthy Cause

So time had gotten away from me. Before I knew, it was the last day of the month and I still had not completed my first challenge. The January Challenge was just waiting and looming over my head. It’s all I could think about the entire day. I had to choose an event that I could accomplish easily because I had to work one job and rush to the next with only 30 minutes between. All day, I pondered what challenges I could do before mid-night. I had to find something that was quick, yet stress-free! I thumbed through the book at various times throughout the day. The challenge consumed almost my every thought. I even discussed my options with my co-workers and friends.

I could not decide between setting up a blog (#37) that will run for one year (hopefully longer), quickly finding a snake to wear around my neck (#67), or donating to the Polar Plunge as a Worthy Donation (#87). The latter would have settled two activities because I would make a donation in January and participate in February.

Since I truly am computer illiterate, I decided it would take more time than I actually had to set up a website for a blog and then to actually create the blog. That activity was now off the table.  As for the snake, I am not mentally prepared to handle that just yet. The pure fear factor of that would leave me incapable of handling any situation that may arise while on duty at the YMCA. I am severely, in the most extreme way, terrified of ALL snakes. I always have been and truly do not know why. Then there was the Polar Plunge. I am so tired of being cold at this point in winter, the last thing I wanted to do was jump into the freezing cold ocean on a beach with even more freezing cold wind. The only thing I truly want to do, in the winter, is curl up in a nice warm blanket and hibernate until Spring.

So what challenge did I decide on?….I decided I would Donate to a Worthy Cause. So with little time to spare, I made the donation to the American Diabetes Associations for their Tour de Cure event being held on April 28, 2018. I must admit that I donated to an organization that I am already sponsoring. This would help me meet the $200 minimum to ride in the 100 mile event. I am giving back to an organization that promotes education on a disease that has afflicted members of my family. I had a great-grandmother that lost her limbs to diabetes, a neighbor that was so generous to our family by providing us a place to live for low rent when we had no money and no place to go, and an uncle that eventually succumbed to a heart attack at the young age of 45.

I encourage everyone to donate because it is a very worthy cause in which so many people are affected by this disease. That is why I am dedicated to a fundraising goal of $2500 for participating in the 100 mile event. That is just $25 per mile. I am confident that I will be successful because there are lots of generous people out there that believe in this cause as much as I do!

Charitable Donations

I have joined Team Portsmouth in the Tour de Cure fundraiser for diabetes awareness. This event will be held on April 28, 2018. I have elected the 100 mile ride. My goal is to raise $2500 of the $35,000 team goal. That is just $25 per mile! Please consider supporting me in this event. Select the PayPal Button below. Include your name and/or the name of someone you would like to dedicate your donation to. You will be sent an email with the deposit information so you can see your dedication.