2015 Goals for Me

The past few years I have seen a lot of people who choose a word to embody their focus on the year ahead. I always wondered how they could pick just one word for 365 days and all the adventures in each of those 24 hours. The past couple of days I have been thinking about what I wanted to achieve in 2015. No real resolutions just goals to aim at. All this pensive planning has made one word in particular stand out.

EnjoyOriginal

My motivation behind all of the goals has been to enjoy life more. Sometimes the actions to get there aren’t the most fun choice, but in the end they will lead me to a place I can enjoy more.

Less stress. Less worry. Less letting myself go physically.

Time to enjoy the journey instead of constantly focusing on what is ahead and what I have left behind. Savor the seconds.

Some of my goals for the coming year are obvious to me – pass the certification exams to officially become a Certified Paralegal, keep lowering my A1c readings, lower my weight to my goal weight/size, get a job…

Others are more arbitrary – complete five 5Ks, read 50 books, try new things each week, attend at least one Panthers game (I was lucky enough to make it to TWO this year with great seats at both! Felt a bit spoiled!), finally clean out all the clothes that no longer fit or that I like.

What it all boils down to is becoming as healthy and as sustainable as I can be in order to enjoy my life.

Also would love to see my favorite team win the Super Bowl this year, but guessing I should stick with actions I actually have some control over. (BUT they are back to back division champions and have a real shot at Super Bowl rings this year! GO PANTHERS!)

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What should have been

It is one sad weekend around this house.

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Football season in my eyes ended this afternoon when referees saw to it that the 49ers got handed the lead over my beloved Panthers.  Still stand 100% behind the crew & I refuse to cheer on anyone else at this point.  To me NFL season is over today.

For once I was grateful not to be at the stadium.  Too say I didn’t keep my cool would be a nice way to put it.  Like I have said before, you mess with those I love & treat them unfairly & woe be you.  Time and chilling at home has calmed me down some but I still feel like we have been robbed of a great opportunity and I don’t understand why.  What I do know is there is nothing I can do about it other than start counting down the days until the draft party that starts the next Panthers preseason.

Acceptance of disappointments that I can not change is a theme this weekend.

Yesterday would have been Mom’s birthday & looking back I should have planned on it effecting me.  I thought I would have been better by now, but grief isn’t like that.  It truly is like waves that come and go.  I miss her & a lot lately I just want to call her up to vent or ask a question or relay a message in that way she had to other family members.  The gaps are still there and the pain still stings.

If I was still living solo I probably would have spent the day in bed not talking to a soul other than when my sister called to check in.  Dad was off camping with his cannon buddies, so I feel like he was taken care of.  My sister had friends coming in to visit, so she was good.  I didn’t think that maybe I would need the support too.  Luckily I had it by my side.  Thankfully he is a heavy sleeper & I did most of my “ugly cry” sobbing while he was still asleep.  Baxter however made sure to snuggle especially close.  Dogs just know.

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Reading also is helping me.  At one point before dawn I got up & made some tea & started a new book, Motherless Daughters by Hope Edelman.  Sometimes the right thing gets to you at just the right time.  This is one of those times for sure.  Just at the start but already relating very closely and I recommend this for woman who is struggling with the loss of their mother.  A lot of the information is about those who have lost their mothers at a young age, but in a lot of ways it doesn’t matter the age.  Support systems play a big role in healing and I found myself realizing that not having one certainly has made the impact of her passing feel bigger.

Thankfully I am working on that and having Mr Man here to hold me & comfort me was luxury.  Still not feeling entirely like we aren’t just having a long sleep over as best friends, but I guess that is how good relationships should feel.  I just have to get used to it & remember it is ok to enjoy it without worrying about when it will end.  Scary as it is I am grateful that while mourning the loss of one loved one I am able to feel loved and valued.

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Even if she wasn’t here to celebrate I made sure to have cake.  He last birthday cake was angel food, so I picked one up.  Got it just to feel the comfort and connection to that day a year ago when we celebrated by her bedside watching her determinedly feeding herself spoonfuls of cake, strawberries & whipped cream.  Thinking about it afterwards I have to laugh at the obvious pun of having ANGEL food cake.  Then again it very easily could be a simple new tradition of remembrance.

& yes of course I made a wish.

Pretty sure she would have & would have wanted me too.  Moms are just like that sometimes.

Home Again Home Again Jiggity Jig

The unthinkable happened.

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Got through Christmas with the family, without a fight and even after spending the vacation with the new man in tow, we still adore each other.  Thought that only happened in movies. hm.

Alas all did not go as planned.

Today is the Belk Bowl in Charlotte and for me that meant the December 5k.  Something the new guy, who needs a blog name stat, decided he wanted to join me in doing.  So we signed up.

Yesterday we enjoyed dreaming in IKEA, picked up our race bibs & I indulged in some time at my mecca…. Bank of America Stadium.

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The perfect spot to spend a little cash that landed in my lap for the holidays! Yes there are perks to people who do not enjoy shopping for others.

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Then we spent more time with the family and went to bed early because we knew that race time was coming bright and early.  Even laid out what I would wear knowing the temperatures were to be around 27 degrees.

Sadly that is where the going as planned stopped.

Around 7 am I heard my sister’s voice asking if we meant to sleep so late.  Nope.  Although I thought my alarm had been set in time for us to get up, eat, get ready & make it to downtown in plenty of time, it didn’t even go off.  AT ALL.  So we over slept.  Big time.

Bundled up, grabbed a couple of cinnamon buns we got the day before at IKEA & booked it downtown.  Due to the festivities and road construction navigating the maze of one way streets was a mess even if we hadn’t been pressed for time.   Finding parking turned into a complete ordeal when the machine refused to take our cash past $3, but wouldn’t open up for anything less than $6.  We wasted another 15 minutes at that damn machine.

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We gave up & passed up the overpriced lots finding a street spot several blocks away from the start line.  We hustled but sadly by the time we got there, we couldn’t even see the mass of runners.  They were gone.  The mascots and others there to cheer on everyone were getting their stuff together to wait until the first runner dashed their way back across the line.  Most were heading inside to grab warm cups of coffee, which was exactly all I wanted to do at the moment since I couldn’t even feel my ankles.

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We admitted defeat and laughed at the mess.  Thankfully we still got to see some beautiful scenes and had each other to enjoy our first DNF listings.

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Ended up walking a little around then heading back to spend a little more time with my Dad, eat lunch then pack up to drive back to the coast.

While at Dad’s it hit me.  Even with being together all week, with family & holiday expectations, even with the stress of the day and admission of defeat… we laughed.  We never once snapped at each other or shot one of “those looks”.  It is either a really great relationship or we just got lucky.  No matter what it warmed my heart & made me so thankful.

So perhaps Santa has brought me something I always wanted – a holiday season with as little stress and as much laughter and love as possible.

It is true it doesn’t come wrapped with a bow, but it truly is a wonderful thing to enjoy as long as it last.  At this point I am hoping for a repeat next year, except with the alarm getting us up in time to make it to the race and finally make it across the finish line, together.

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I feels wonderful being home again and happy.

Once a Month, no not THAT

Maybe I am nuts but there is something about having a goal that just makes life better.  I need something to look forward to and work towards.  Something that matters to me that I can make happen or get ready for.  A focus.

Sure the holidays are heading our way faster than a cheetah into a herd of zebras.  (or whatever it is they rush into)

This weekend I found myself going through the swag given to us at the Race for the Cure 5k and one item in particular peaked my interest.

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Yes the morning after, when I should be regretting it the most, I was longing to do it all again!

Which got me thinking.  Why not do one every month?

At least for a year.

So here goes!  Can’t wait til the next one and judging by what I had seen online, if you have the time and the cash for the entry fees you could do a 5k every week.

Hope Courage Resilence – Race for the Cure 5k

Today I certainly stepped out of my comfort zone & did something that at one point in my life, I never would have thought I could. I walked a 5k – WITH 24,000 other people!

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May not sound that exciting, but to someone that deals with anxiety & fights daily against agoraphobia…. this is a HUGE win for me. It wasn’t overnight, but I have been conditioning myself to be in larger groups for some time. My last event was a night 5k with around 20,000 people & I came extremely close to not making it through the starting gates on that one! Medication limits got tested & pushed. Thankfully I am one stubborn goddess & the cover of night helped me to pretend that there weren’t as many there. I HAD to do it. It was the first 5k I finished EVER.

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Today’s was pure daylight. It wasn’t the easiest day, but it was far from as hard as I worried it might be. So now I can say I have finished two events! Two large events.  The biggest thing for me was that I DID NOT panic – at all!  Did this one with my sister by my side & although I got nervous, I didn’t hit panic mode.

One big difference in the two events was the waiting to begin.  The first had us standing around just waiting without much to do but listen to the music.  This one had tons of swag tents!  There was a zumba group happening, food to tempt you into eating (yes I went for the free Krispy Kreme), lots of information and pink breast cancer themes freebies to pick up.  Both events people dressed festively but this one, HAD DOGS…. dogs IN costumes like pink tutus!  Animals make everything so much better.

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It was 6 years ago tomorrow that I found myself hiding outside at my sister’s wedding because I couldn’t handle being around the about 300 guests. It was a time in my life that being outside my house was enough to send me into major panic attacks. 15 minutes was about my maximum limit anywhere. After the wedding, I decided to get help. Now…. I am proud to say that although I didn’t come in first today or raise the most money for the cause, I know I am winning.

& yes. I chalked my hair various shades of pink for the occasion! Now I am going to relax the night away playing with my almost 5 month old nephew while my sister & her husband go out to celebrate.

Admittedly I wanted my next 5k to be a smaller event, I am grateful that I did this.  May have been just to be on the Williams Warriors team I had heard so much about, but this experience has meant so much more than just a chance to show support for a Carolina Panther.

In fact, one of my fondest memories will have to be of the party Monday night.  Not only did we get to hear why this cause means so much to DeAngelo Williams, but we also got to meet him.  Something I never thought I would do.  He has the reputation as being a great guy (unless you are on the opposing team) & this night absolutely held true.  When I went forward to get my picture with him, he immediately greeted me with a big smile & a hug.  I was nervous being in the group at the party & was shaking.  He noticed & asked if I was cold…. it was HOT in there so no playing it off that way.  I explained I was just nervous in crowds & he took time out to give a pep talk, right then & there.

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Yes there truly are still great people out there who care.

Luckily today I got to march with a whole lot of them.

The FIRST Panthers game

Yesterday was the stuff I dream of.

The Panthers official season started again!  So exciting! Not only was it the first game of the season, but I was honored to be able to watch it along side my nephew.  As he turned 4 months, we shared his first Panthers game. He was engrossed in watching everything on the screen.  I explained the games, we discussed the players and cheered when things happened.  Sure he has no clue what we were doing, but I have that memory & will always be able to say I was there by his side.  I am one proud aunt for sure.

We did enjoy doing frustrated Cam impressions!  But we had a blast.

We did enjoy doing frustrated Cam impressions! But we had a blast.

Also am one proud PANTHER fan.

No we didn’t win & there were some sloppy plays, but there were also some great plays – Steve Smith carrying that ball into the end zone for the first touch down of the season was simply beautiful to my eyes.

Gives me chills knowing once again we are back in football season.  The season of pumpkin spice everything, leaves, cozy sweaters being optional and in this house, birthdays.  Holidays are right around the corner but for now it is just a time to relax and enjoy without the added chaos.  A calm lull of cooler temperatures and reflection.

Of course with the first game, also returns one of my biggest pet peeves.  The know it all so called fans.  Those people who analyze the plans made like they would have known to do better and had the ability to do better had they been down on the field in uniform.  Seeing news teams bash their local team annoys me the worst.  Forget being objective or even thoughts based on reality, they seem to only see the negatives & never remember the good.  Sure we had one player get ejected from the game…. so did the other team.  There are also new rules and new team mates adjusting.

I wore my #34 Williams jersey ALL day.

Before the game.  During the game.  Even proudly after the game.

Was I disappointed we didn’t win the game? Sure.  But we played.  During many of those plays we were ahead score wise and we looked good.  Sure there were moments I wish had gone differently & I never like to see injuries on any team, but I LOVE game day!  The game is for entertainment.  People are risking life & limb for entertainment ultimately.  No wars will end with the win or lives saved.  We watch & they play.  Simple as that.  You choose how to enjoy the game.  You can let everything stress you out or you can accept what has happened & look forward to the next one.

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Celebrate or aggravate.

In the end, you effect yourself the most.

Something I posted this morning on facebook sums it up for me.

OK here is the deal:
YOU DON’T PLAY NFL FOOTBALL.
YOU DON’T COACH NFL FOOTBALL.
YOU DON’T OWN AN NFL TEAM.

You are a “fan”, or “news”caster, or someone typing crap on a screen… SHUT THE FUKUP ALREADY. or be realistic! It is ONE GAME. ONE. ONE OF MANY IN A SEASON. Only one team wins each game, it is a 50/50 shot for ANY team playing. Every team loses a few. This negative shittalking is annoying. You go play that game & do better.

OR better yet pick another team.

OTHERWISE – BE A FAN.
SUPPORT. Yesterday is over. You better believe that there are guys who wish they had played a play differently, but they played. Any game day is better than a day without a game. Look forward to the next game. Realize how awesome we truly are & know that NO ONE has won next week’s game yet. It is ours for the taking. Be PROUD.

I know I am.

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PROUD TO BE A PANTHERS FAN.
yesterday, today & tomorrow

In the end, I have a smile on my face knowing the season is back and extremely excited to see my nephew grow over the next few months.  Should be fun seeing him become more aware.  Never know we may be able to make it side by side to his first live game at Bank of America Stadium.

What day is it? GAME DAY!

What a difference a few days make.

This time last week I was off with my Dad exploring Blue Ridge mountains & listening to him relive day trips with Mom.  He always drove to let her look, so this time I drove (most of the time) & let him enjoy the view.  Last picture he took of her was on Mount Mitchell & it was calling him back for a visit.

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Following days were filled with family & football fun.

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Which brings me to today when the excitement really begins – time to kick off preseason PANTHERS football!

so ready!

so ready!

I am so happy I can’t stand it.

Course this is the true test of if ditching cable works for me.  So far there is a little bit of doubt. My antenna came yesterday & in hooking it up I discovered how ancient my TV sets are.  They don’t recognize the digital signals.  So I need a converter but that won’t be here til AFTER tonight’s game.  It is August.  Not so bad.  I’ve gone since January without cable.  Longer than I thought I would but this is the real test.

Thankful for friends who are going with me out to see the game.

Breaking the no games out rule this once.  Hopefully the people there won’t be too distracting from the plays & I will deal with not being able to hear much.   Test of my patience I’m sure.  All a new experience.

KEEP POUNDING!