Normal.

So, the MRI results were totally normal. No worries, my head is fine. Strictly by medical standards.

ha. hahaha. Oh man. My head is so not fine.

Not much else going on. Just kicking back in my corner office –er, office corner at home. I always forget how nice I can make it feel if I light a few candles and turn off the lights. It’s very relaxing over here. I’m sure the wine is helping.

I’m trying to get myself writing again, which explains why I’m sitting here writing a whole lot of nothing. I often avoid sitting down to write because I don’t have anything on my mind or I think I don’t have a good way to say what might be on my mind. The problem with that approach is that I never, and I mean never, write. So, I’m not writing much now, but at least words are coming out of my brain and turning into type.

It’s a start.

Advertisements

What’s going right.

I found myself kind of cranky and out of it earlier in the day. I was stressed out and mad at something unidentifiable, so I decided to scrawl out a list of everything that was getting under my skin at the moment.

Not two hours later, I received an e-mail form my husband, who was in a similar mood, except had decided to make a list of all the good things he could think of at the moment.

Lesson learned. I decided to try to keep track of what’s going right today.

In no particular order:

I was browsing on archive.org and decided on a whim to listen to a John Mayer concert without looking at the set list. I was actually enjoying the show and then the band started in on a totally rippin’ cover of Tom Petty’s “You Don’t Know How it Feels.” Joy ensued.

The $100 amazon gift card that I had sent to the wrong e-mail address yesterday was able to be returned/refunded to my amazon account, which is what I was trying to do in the first place. Whenever I get Visa or MC giftcards, I turn them into Amazon gift cards so I never have to worry about using up weird amounts on the card.

The blessed City of Corning picked up my recycling for the second time in a ROW. I usually have to call the nice lady at the work order center at noonish every other Wednesday to complain that my recycling is still outside.

This is a 4-day week for me – tomorrow is my “Friday.”

I have a great job.

I have a wonderful husband.

I am in good health, with 100% working parts.

I have a place to live, and am even so hopeful as to be looking at buying a house this year.

I have enough good music to keep my earbuds happy for a long, long time.

I am going on a sewing retreat this weekend with some super-cool quilters.

I actually spoke to a stranger in the elevator this morning, which is a very rare occurrence in these parts.

My magical musical year

I was going to write a long post talking about how amazing 2013 was, how I learned to move through grief and loss of a friend and a job to another life that aligns more with who I am and where I want to go. How I chopped off all my hair and started a business and then got a better job than the one I lost and finally went to Colorado and decided to learn to play the banjo and decided to stop being afraid all the time.

But, instead, I’ll show you my show recap for the year. This includes concerts and festivals. I think I saw Railroad Earth and The Infamous Stringdusters 11 times each this year.

There is no medicine quite like music.

February

Keller Williams – The Haunt, Ithaca, NY

March

Railroad Earth – Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA
Cabinet/Hot Buttered Rum – The Haunt, Ithaca, NY

April

Greensky Bluegrass – Westcott Theater, Syracuse, NY

May

DelFest – Cumberland, MD
Railroad Earth – Chameleon Club, Lancaster, NY
Railroad Earth – Ram’s Head Live, Baltimore, MD

July

Railroad Earth – Red Rocks, Morrison, CO
Railroad Earth – Boulder Theater, Boulder, CO
Railroad Earth – Belly Up, Aspen, CO

August

Railroad Earth – Saranac Brewery, Utica, NY
Cabinet – Cyber Cafe West, Binghamton, NY

September

Infamous Stringdusters/Leftover Salmon/Assembly of Dust, Capitol Theater, Port Chester, NY
FreshGrass, Mass MoCA, North Adams, MA
Railroad Earth – Capitol Theater, Port Chester, NY

October

The Festy Experience, Roseland, VA

November

Della Mae – La Tourelle, Ithaca, NY
Horn O’Plenty, Sherman Theater, East Stroudsburg, PA

December

The Infamous Stringdusters – Boulder Theater, Boulder, CO
The Infamous Stringdusters – Boulder Theater, Boulder, CO
The Infamous Stringdusters – Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA
The Infamous Stringdusters – The National, Richmond, VA
The Infamous Stringdusters – The National, Richmond, VA

Resurrection.

It’s coming up on three months since my last post. I haven’t thought about the blog much. I actually stopped reading other people’s blogs at some point this year, because without Google reader, I just had a hard time getting into blogs again. I think it has been a good thing for me, not looking into other people’s lives. I also pretty much stopped watching, listening to, or reading the news. Because the news depresses me. No matter what’s up, you can just assume that something awful is being done to someone by someone else.

I’ve kicked around the thought of pulling the plug on the blog and just not blogging anymore. I’m not sure that I’m ready to do that.

I’m considering a recap series, kind of a 2013-in-review. I was a very sporadic blogger this year. I had a lot going on that I didn’t feel like blogging about while I was going through it.

I spent the first half of the year underneath a cloud of grief after the death of my friend Anthony last Christmas Eve. I tore down the Christmas decorations like they were poisonous. I had a hard time getting in the car and driving anywhere – it almost always made me cry. I took my husband to the park where Anthony and I used to walk before things started screaming downhill with the cancer. We walked the route that Anthony walked 21 times last year. Moving through it helped, but I think it was moving through my life that helped me more. Starting in May, Mr. Thor and I went to lots and lots of live shows. I swung hard in the opposite direction, toward action, and travel, and go-go-going…and I may have over-corrected a bit. I need some balance, and some perspective, and I tend to find that through blogging.

So I guess this is me, tentatively resurrecting this thing.

Hiya.

A few things have changed around the blog. Nothing much. I switched hosting plans. I switched the layout a little bit, and added mobile settings.

I haven’t been writing with any regularity… in all honesty I am just trying to decide if I have any more blog material in me.

See you soon – maybe?

I am not a quitter.

image
Not quitting.

Today I came super-duper close to quitting P90X. Seriously, rolling up my yoga mat, putting my weights in the closet, good riddance Tony Horton, slam-the-door, quitting.

Today was the first day of Phase 2. For those of you who don’t know what that means, basically it goes a little something like this: 30 days down, 60 more to go, weakling.

The last few times I have done the Core Synergistics workout, I have really struggled for some reason. Two times ago, I felt like I was going to throw up about halfway through. Last time, I felt like I was going to throw up about halfway through, and I actually skipped 12 minutes of the workout because I seriously needed to keep myself from throwing up.

I was super frustrated, because…well, shouldn’t I be getting more and more in shape, over here?

Then it hit me. I AM getting more and more in shape, and therefore I am doing the exercises with fewer modifications, and in many cases, no modifications. I am doing the exercises with greater intensity, and really working myself hard.

But I still wanted to quit P90X.

What made me put my shoes on tonight and decide to stay on this road? I am not sure. Maybe it’s thinking about my increased flexibility. In that photo above, I am standing comfortably with one leg on the foot board of my bed and the other leg on the floor. I can basically fold myself in half at the waist, I can control my movements when I sit up and sit down, when I get out of bed or off the couch there is no groaning or repositioning or pushing off. I just sit up and get up. I just go, now, where I used to kind of creak and lumber around.

I don’t want to creak and lumber anymore. Not now, that I know what it’s like to have a little bit of balance and a lot more muscle control.

I don’t want to do P90X anymore. But lots of life is about doing things we don’t want to do, right? Anything that gets you to a massive goal is probably going to take a lot of work, a lot of hours of dedication, a lot of saying no to the couch.

I don’t want to be on this road. But what other road is there, now that I’m here? I’m not hurting myself, I’m just working hard, many days a week. What’s so bad about that?

So I did Core Synergistics tonight. I gave my inner perfectionist the cold shoulder and I paused the workout quite a few times to catch my breath and lower my heart rate so I could keep going to the end. And I finished.

Because it’s not enough to just start it, is it? Some things are only worth starting if you are going to finish them.

Losing.

I am up early today. I have a drive to make alone, and what faces me at the end of that drive is something I hoped I would never see in this life, at this age.

I know this time of year is complicated. Around the holidays, I vacillate between childlike giddiness and grinch-like crankiness.

Maybe you do, too. Maybe today, you would like to burn your Christmas tree to the ground.

But do this:

Take stock of what you have. Remember how much you have, how much you have had, the richness and fullness of your life.

Think about your relationships and appreciate what each of them adds to your life.

Sit back, take a deep breath, sip some coffee, tea, or cocoa, look at some twinkly lights, and remember what you have.

DelFest 2012 Recap – Day 2

Wakey wakey…

On Saturday morning, I woke up at 7 and decided to try out the showers. I was so tired that I forgot to grab my towel! I wound up drying myself off with a tank top and a fistful of paper towels. The showers were just fine for what they were – cement stalls with a small curtain and a barely-there soap shelf that was almost too high to use.

I went back to the tent and back to sleep after my shower. We both woke up a few hours later to the sound of stoned people talking loudly about nothing much right outside our tent. We decided to get going for the day. I really wanted to see Sleepy Man Banjo Boys at 11:35. Mr. Thor decided to try his luck with the showers while I stood in the unbelievable line for coffee.

The coffee problem

This is pretty much the only semi-negative about DelFest. The fairgrounds has a permanent concession stand that can make all kinds of food as well as coffee – but they don’t make it during the festival. Instead, a coffee truck comes in that serves lattes, iced coffee, smoothies, and frappes. A cup of regular coffee was $3. Sure, it was organic, fair trade, but honestly? When you are already covered in sweat at 10:30 am, the last thing you want to do it stand your exhausted self in a slow-moving line of 20 people and wait for $3 iced coffee that is going to last about 20 seconds because you’re so hot you barely taste it on the way down. Eventually, they did make a sort of “express line” for just hot coffee, but maybe in the future that could include iced coffee. I would have wasted way more money on iced coffee if I didn’t have to stand in line for 25 minutes to get it!

Music

We were so hot by the time we got the coffee and Mr. Thor bought some breakfast that we didn’t make it into the main music stage. Instead, we sat in a large, open-air grandstand that overlooked the stage from a distance and had speakers. After our experience in the heat the previous day, we decided to pace ourselves in the sun to make sure we could last the entire day. We caught the very end of the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys and then Greensky Bluegrass. We decided to stay in the grandstand as long as we could.

Lunch

Lunch was amazing, and we both ate the same thing every day: lamb gyros. The Mediterranean booth served what I thought was the best food there. The first day, we carried the gyros 15 minutes back to our campsite to eat them.

More music, and Thunderstorm #1

We started watching Keller Williams and the Travelin’ McCourys but quickly started to overheat and decided to head to the car for a few minutes of A/C. While we were there, I tuned into the DelFest radio station so that we could catch more of that set. A few minutes after we watched some nasty clouds roll in, the MC, Joe Craven, made an announcement to take cover because storms were coming. He actually said, “looks like there is a spritzer heading our way.” We decided to stay in the car and wait out the storm. After a storm and a trip back to the tent, we headed back to the music meadow to catch a Keller Williams solo set followed by another Del McCoury band set.

I admit, I was completely exhausted and I was ready to skip the Keller Williams set. I was so hot, tired, and cranky that I picked a fight with my husband. I accused him of disregarding my needs (he pretty much had to force me to go to the KW set). He asked what my needs were, and I snapped at him that I really needed to be pushed off a cliff at that particular moment. He, frustrated, snapped back, “ok, fine! where’s the nearest cliff?!” hee hee. I can laugh about it now, but I was a holy terror in the moment.

My mood perked up instantly upon hearing “Kidney in a Cooler” coming from the music meadow, and I practically ran to see the remainder of Keller’s set. Fun, fun stuff!

The last of it… for now

My last musical set of the night was Del McCoury band. I was completely exhausted, but my love for Del is strong. The first thing he said when he came on stage was something like, “Don’t worry now – it won’t rain… it won’t.” It was just what I needed to hear, and he was right. At some point they welcomed Doyle Lawson out as a guest… the man can wear a jacket, let me tell you. The bedazzler has nothing on this guy’s jacket. Or, maybe it has everything on this guy’s jacket.

Leftover Salmon closed out the evening, but I was asleep before the set ended. I left a flashlight with Mr. Thor and headed back to camp to get some sleep.

Only one more day!

Party Animal

Last night, at a dear friend’s birthday party, I drank one beer and smoked one cigarette. The beer was a Nugget Nectar and the cigarette was a Camel Light.

Before you think, “woah, way to party, lightweight” or even, “ew, gross, you had a cigarette” – calm down.

What I did last night is a big deal to me because I don’t drink anymore and I don’t smoke anymore. I spent about seven years of my life drinking and smoking pretty much whenever I could get away with it. I don’t consider myself an alcoholic – but I definitely consider myself someone whose life is infinitely better and WAY less complicated and dramatic without alcohol. At the end of the day, what I got out of alcohol (first a nice confident buzzy feeling, then feeling out of control, then headaches the next day, then “did I really say that” syndrome) just didn’t add up. It just didn’t make sense for me to continue to drink. And then I met my husband, who just does not drink. Not a drop. So that made the choice very easy – I chose sobriety.

I like sobriety. I really enjoy not going to bars on a weekly (ok, not even monthly. semi-annually, at best) basis. I like not having wine around the house, because then sitting on the couch and drinking a bottle isn’t a possibility.

The last time I had a drink before this was probably on New Year’s Day – my cousin is a very talented brewer and he made some amazing apple something, and I had a glass of that.

Last night, I just had a taste for beer. My hostess picked me out one of her favorite beers, and it was cold and delicious. It went down easily, and I liked it. Then I smoked a cigarette. Almost from the first puff, I regretted it. It tasted terrible. It felt terrible. It smelled terrible. By the time I finished it, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I will never start smoking again. It’s tempting, once you have smoked and quit, to toy with the thought of picking it back up again. That’s out of the question for me.

The beer was good, but I had no desire for a second one. Actually, I didn’t even enjoy it so much to be able to say that, I if I could do it over again, I’d have the beer again.

Last night, I drank one beer and I smoked one cigarette. It was kind of a bridge to my younger self, and she sent me a message: “I don’t really like this, so let’s not do it anymore.” I’m glad that we’re on the same page. I wish I could have realized it sooner – but everything happens for a reason.