Friday, June 27, 2008

Baby's Gone - The Boy has Arrived

As I have only one child, each of his mildstones is unique to Beloved and me. Since I began baby sitting, I have always loved the way babies smell. Something about them is sweet and powdery. When Sniglet was born he smelled of baby and I had no reason to believe that my dear son would ever smell any other way.

However, late in the summer last year when he had been playing with friends, he stopped and walked over to me to get some water. He was hot, sweating and his face was glowing like a fresh picked apple, but something was different, that sweet smell of baby had been replaced by this odor. That odor immediately brought me back to the days of high school and how the boys smelled after a football game. I knew in that instant that any ruminates of baby had disappeared in Sniglet, as he now smelled like a boy.

I wondered when did that happen? Who stole my sweet baby smell and injected my son with that nasty worn one too many times tennis shoe smell?

Why doesn't anyone tell you that the smell is coming?


"There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy's life that he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure” -Mark Twain

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Epilogue of Attitude Is Everything

The first time I was published was in "Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work." At the time I was a professional speaker and business consultant. The two men who are brain child of the chicken soup books were acquaintances and asked if I would contribute one of my stories to their second book. I agreed and signed away any right to gain money from their book, which I was happy to do. Never, anywhere in my brain, did I think that someone would copy the story from the book and begin a chain mail that goes on to this day. In addition, this story is posted on the web at over 40,000 sites and in about 6 different languages. Amazing the web - amazing email...

The copyright is mine but unenforceable because once something is put out on email and mass produced it becomes public domain. For that I am grateful and I am thrilled to have had so many people read my work.

Alas, the banker in me wished I had a dollar from everyone around the world that has read the story. Sniglet would not have to worry about college - I could buy my mom a house near me - I could have a healthy retirement and give more money to my favorite charities, causes and political campaigns. I have resigned myself that in this life that is not my lesson to learn, but one of giving and letting go - allowing the universe to take it like the wind and relax in the breeze that comes my way...

So one more time for the blog - from the author
yes, this is true story - yes, I am the author -
and yes, I work every day to remember--

Attitude Is Everything...

Jerry was the kind of guy you love to hate. He was always in a good mood and always had something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!"

He was a unique manager because he had several waiters who had followed Him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Jerry Was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation. Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, "I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?" Jerry replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, Jerry, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.' I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life." "Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested. "Yes it is," Jerry said.

Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live life." I reflected on what Jerry said. Soon thereafter, I left the restaurant industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that Jerry did something you are never supposed to do in a restaurant business: he left the back door open one morning and was held up at gunpoint by three armed robbers. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found relatively quickly and rushed to the local trauma center. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body. I saw Jerry about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Wanna see my scars?"

I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place. "The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door," Jerry replied. "Then, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live, or I could choose to die. I chose to live. "Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked. Jerry continued, "The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the emergency room and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read, 'He's a dead man. "

I knew I needed to take action." "What did you do?" I asked. "Well, there was a big, burly nurse shouting questions at me," said Jerry. "She asked if I was allergic to anything. 'Yes,' I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Bullets!' Over their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead." Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Gotta Tri... a tale of the Danskin Triathlon

Last year my dear friend Pam and her friend Traci invited me to do the Danskin All Woman’s Triathlon – my response to the amazing women was – “with this body?” They both said “yes” I Said maybe “next year” I committed to Pam and she encouraged me to go for it – so in late March I started in earnest to train for this race – ½ mile swim – 12 mile bike ride – and 3.1 mile run/walk.

A week before the race, as a practice run, I completed the swim in the pool in 24 minutes – did the 12 miles in 52 minutes and the walk in 40 minutes – I did my triathlon – I was ready….

We drove to Austin on Saturday and checked-in, got our packets and numbers, racked our bikes and viewed the glass like water of the lake we would be swimming in – not bad – water temp was good.

Sunday morning we were up at 3:30 am to get to the transport area for the race so that we could set up our transition area and be ready for the elite athletes start and 7:00 am – I can officially say I was first at the Danskin – first at getting on the buses.

The weather had changed dramatically – the water was wavy from the 25 mile an hour wind – by the time I went into the water on the last wave of the day at 8:40 the lake look more like a white capping ocean than a beautiful lake… but I had my girlfriends with me – we were doing this…

At the Danskin they have Water Angels – these are women who volunteer to encourage women in the water and if a woman gets in trouble she is there to offer a water noodle (yes a floatation devise) – about 100 meters into the chopping surf I took in a large mouth of water and pretty much freaked out… the angels were the to calm me down offer me a noodle and keep my eye on the goal of finishing…

Sally Edwards – and amazing woman (Ironman masters winner – author and Danskin spokes person) swam up to me in the water and asked me if I had been training – yes I had – ask me if I knew the breast stroke – no did not learn that one – asked what my goal was – to finish this race – she said great and said this was the most extreme conditions that you can race in and got two kayaks to block the surf so that I could swim with my noodle – up current – she gave me a quick lesson on the breast stroke – and said before she left to help the next woman – I’ll see you at the finish line– when I got about 300 meters out from the exit – I gave up my noodle – release my kayaks – kept my two swim angels who guided me into the exit for the swim – first leg completed 45:37.

On to the bike – oh those winds I mentioned – still present and oh where I trained- flat, very flat – and Austin – they call it hilly – but I think they are Texas mountains – so off to the mountains on my bike with 25 mile an hour head wind – oh and it never turned to a tail wind – had to get off my bike two times to walk up the last part of two mountains - but after about 25 grueling hills I rolled into the transition area at 1 hour and 9 minutes…

Changed into my runners and off to a brisk walk I went – through the woods on rocky path with pot holes covered with grass – up hills then down hills then around a corner then up another hill then down – and into the final quarter mile a giant Texas mountain… at the top of this hill I could see the finish line – two friends met me on the course to bring me in – my friend Pam video taped me at the crossing the finish line –

Total time 3 hours – 10 minutes – 42 seconds…. I am now an official triathlon finisher –

When I crossed the finish line and crying from tears of joy… Sally Edwards was there to meet me and it was an amazing moment… she shouted “You finished, I knew you could do it”

With the exception of my wedding day to Beloved and the birth of Sniglet this was the happiest day of my life.

Over all I finished 2502 out of 2592 –

I had my sister-in-law's name – my friend Rima's name and my grandmother’s name was etched with sharpie on the back of my leg and on my camel back for the entire bike ride… You see the Danskin is more than personal accomplishment, its proceeds go toward breast cancer research – many women do this in honor of the women in their life who have battled breast cancer – these 3 women were at my back the entire race, and any thought of giving up quickly was erased by their struggle and that they never gave up.

It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life – I am a fluffy plus size woman – I never in my wildest dreams thought I could do this – in Triathlon language I am an Athena – in my own mind it was impossible. My friend Pam saw something in me that I did not see in myself, it was always there just didn’t see it… now I do…

Every woman I know that went to the Danskin finished. If you every dreamed of doing the impossible, the Danskin is the place to do it.

I am planning my next Triathlon for October…

Then the Danskin again next year –
Danskin Triathlon

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Debut of a Blog

Blogging is really an amazing phenomena... we have never had so many chances to connect with each other and yet be so isolated. I wish that I could tell you that there is some amazing reason to start a blog, but there's not... it's so individual and so personal... my reason... my friend Slapstick (see link below) created a blog and is loving posting - I love to write - I am - a mom - spouse - daughter - sister - female - woman - and professional photographer. I'm over 40 so I think that gives me a bit to chat about... now if anyone will read that's another story...

So I plan to use this blog to track musings of my life and the people I love... sometimes it may be funny - sometimes not... but all from the fire that lives in my heart. My passion for life... my love for my family... my desire to leave a lasting legacy...

So there needs to be a few introductions -

My Beloved - we met in college and were great friends for 18 years. I had to have a starter marriage for 10 years to know what real love and how to be cherished. Now married for 7 years to beloved I know what it's like to have a man in my life who thinks I shoot the moon and adores me.

The Sniglet - Beloved and I created an adorable sniglet - he's almost 5 and is of course the most amazing child in the world according to my mother... according to mom the Sniglet is even more amazing than me or my brother could have ever been. The Sniglet is our one and only - No, we don't plan on having any more - Yes, we know he is an only child - No, we don't think he has to have a sibling - Yes, we are socializing him - Yes, we are trying our best not to create an obnoxious only child - Yes, we are sure we will not have any more children.

Mom/Nonnie - My mom - we have a great and close relationship - she is a dynamo at 72 years old... more current on what's happening in the world than me and most of my friends... never stops learning and is a great grandmother to the Sniglet.

Those are the primary cast of player in my life - you occasionally may hear about other characters in my life - but that will be in passing as I fear as to what they might blog about me.

I love to take pictures of people and beautiful things - things in nature and view it from depths of my soul... so you will see those posted... and quotes too - love quotes that are unique and original...

So for my first blog I leave you with this quote from Maya Angelou.

"Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told, 'I'm with you kid. Let's go."