Tuesday, February 14, 2012

are you in your 30s?

I took Friday off, a much needed break from work and headed up to Vermont for a little ladies weekend. The running joke of the weekend was shit 30 year olds say, which included some conversations about marriage, name changes, how to manage money, household labor, as well as food sourcing, buying Lands End dresses at Sears and how to make your hair voluminous. We did a wine tasting and bought eggs and meat at a local self serve farmstand. And butter, lots of sweet Vermont butter slathered on NYC bagels.

I thought about it compared to weekends spent together in our 20s, marathons of SATC, devouring gossip magazines, sunbathing. At one point, someone brought up a thing someone had posted about getting your body back after having a baby. Before it could get discussed, it was, let's put that away! It's not a healthy conversation, the person who posted that has serious body image issues! We're a fit group, of baby making age- but knowing how a post like that can create divisions and heightened insecurities- it just had no place, and we were at a point to recognize that.

So Vermont, you were lovely. Just the small bit of wide open spaces we needed to reconnect.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

my husband is rad. he built an iphone app.

One of the benefits of moving from NYC is more free time. Since we landed in Boston, Bryan bought himself a new laptop, a coding book and has been teaching himself how to make apps.

He recently finished his app, the NYC Graffiti app and entered it into the NYC BigApps contest. It combines public data from the Department of Sanitation regarding graffiti slated for removal with the camera function, allowing users to document this part of NYC.

Obviously, it's great, and you should download it and try it out. It's only for NYC and iphones, but he's working on something else right now. It's great.
And vote! His goal is to at least beat the bottle service app!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

January 2012 Running Recap

One of the fab things about the Garmin systems is the ability to set goals and watch your progress. I’ve wanted to hit 1000 miles in a year for awhile now, but haven’t quite gotten there. So, 2012 the year is happens. It’s about 83.3 miles a month or 2.7 a day. Less than a 5k, under a half hour. Doable.

So, I set up the yearly goal and would make a monthly goal as well. For Jan through March the plan was to hit at least 80, given the weather issue in Boston.
January saw only 43 miles in ten workouts, just over half of the goal of 85. Let’s call it the sickness that would not die, but miraculously, once I started running again, I felt great! Sore throat gone! All the cheese and wine I drank from Christmas to New Years melted away. Had I started off Jan 1 with a run out the door, I may have hit the goal. Not to fret, according to Garmin, I’m ahead of schedule? How this math works, I’m not sure. Does she know I’ll get more mileage as the weather warms and I start training for more half marathons? And compared to the measly two runs and 9.45 miles I clocked last January, I have no excuse. Remember last January? Holy snow storms. This year, at least 4 runs in a running skirt.

So, here we go, a new month, a new set of running goals. I'm challenging myself to reach 80 this month and to find an April half marathon to run.

Monday, December 19, 2011

christmas and growing pains.

Growing pains. Still happening at 30.

We moved to Boston in June and the transition has not been easy for me. I miss New York something fierce. Everything about it, even to the damn rats in the subway. I especially miss it during the holiday season: the tree seller on the corner of Jane and Hudson, the faux doors outside restaurants, walking down the streets and peeking in at trees in windows, midtown in all it’s holiday glory. I’m homesick for the city I love.

Our home is comfortable, and we have our first tree! First Tree! And a mantle decorated with pine branches, nutcrackers, candles and garland. It’s festive and warm. We've spent many nights cozy on the couch watching Christmas movies. The surface is holiday business as usual, but underneath is sadness. As we moved to Boston, Bryan’s sister moved to New Jersey and it was realized this was the year where we had to pick holidays. We decided to go to New Jersey for Christmas this year. I’ve felt sad about not seeing my family this year. I know they get it, but I feel guilty, and am trying to overcompensate.

Navigating this new baby family terrain is hard, really hard. Maddie over at APW was talking about family traditions and the importance of sharing those and participating as partners. I wrote a comment about how I never go to my dad’s grave, but I always drive past and wave high en route to my step-grandparents for Christmas Eve. He’s buried down the road from them. And then I burst into tears.

I came home the other night from a going away drinking thing for a friend, got into bed and burst into tears. I muddled through my emotions to Bryan and he got it, “It’s the first time you’ve been away from your family and it feels like a step farther away from your dad.”
Yes, more tears. Tears as I write.

Underneath it all, I feel like I’m going through the motions. The tree, the shopping for presents, listening to Christmas music. I’m just not into it. Maybe because work has been stressful, as I’m growing and learning so much, I’m exhausted at the end of the day. Or maybe because we did all of shopping online, with a heavy heart. (I hate shopping, for real. I don’t know Boston well enough yet to be efficient about it. I’m not even going to see my family open their gifts, so, there’s that. And it’s easy. Shipping is free. I did it in bed.)

Anyhow.... In the end, my heart is heavy for not having a connection to my family, which is the connection to my dad. We talk about making our own new traditions, but all of that just seems forced to me, and I feel sad about not being able to really remember traditions we had growing up. My folks were divorced, we didn’t have much money. I feel so incredibly alone and vulnerable, despite having an amazing husband who always listens and makes sure I’m taking care of myself, he’s taking care of me. Who makes time and space for me to talk about my feelings, and understands my somewhat snotty emails about “it’s a lot of family time.”

I’ve written many a times that the hardest part about grief was navigating a world in which my father was not a part of. And 8 years later, that is still very much true, especially as I’m learning how to navigate in a world with my own new family.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

i didn't meet a goal.

In 30 minutes it will be December 1. I should be in bed. I should be working on this grant instead of blogging and sweater shopping at J.Crew. I should be finishing my NaNoWriMo novel.

But instead, I'm writing a blog post about how I didn't writer 50,000 words this month. I only wrote about 10,000. Still more than I wrote last month, but not a NaNoWriMo winner.

What happened?
Well, I ran a marathon, and while that took me off course for four days, I did write a few after that, but somehow, never made it back. There was no momentum. I felt disorganized, it felt chaotic, and I never knew where things were going. I wasn't sure where I wanted my story to go. It was a stressful work month, and there were moments when coming home I couldn't sit in front of a computer anymore.

And, as I'm working on this grant, which is incredibly hard, and I want to stop because it's so hard and new and challenging... it's ok that I didn't reach this goal. In talking to another library patron, we decided we are giving ourselves Dec 31 deadlines to finish our novels. So, I put it out there. Hold me to it this time. And it's a gentle reminder that things that matter take time, as well as effort, dedication and hours locked in a room with the internet turned off.

A big congrats to all the winners! Especially to the woman who came to my library to write a few times: she had open heart surgery AND finished. Gold Stars all around!

Now excuse me, I'm going to bed.

on forgiveness.

A dear friend me an email the other day, with this quote, saying she was actively working on forgiveness in her life. I was touched by her candidness on the steps she was taking to cleanse anger out of her life, and felt proud of her. Put it out there in the world, I always believe in.

It's a scary place- an online, public forum to share one's life. When people have the ability to read it from behind screens, and family a chance to come across it. My mom found my wedding blog where I vented about how she was stressing me out, before I talked to her. And honestly, I probably wouldn't have, because the outcome would have been the same. And it was, she continued to stress me out up, culminating in a little chat on the wedding day. I tried so hard to avoid it, but you can't change someone. But you can change how you react, or interact.

Thanksgiving was a lovely holiday, but was still marked by hurt feelings and feeling unappreciated. It was also a moment to reflect on how it didn't just impact me, but my husband - my family. And so, forgiveness. It's a hard thing to grasp at the moment, when there is still so much anger and hurt, but it's a reminder- of gentleness and kindness.

The experience of forgiveness s profound and refreshing. When we do the gritty, methodical work that goes into healing and resolving an hold hurt, we dissolve the stagnant weight of resentment inside us. It mends our tattered personal boundaries, improves our health and relationships, and empowers us to move forward with hope and creativity. Forgiveness is a private process that we do for our own sakes. As we release the past, we also release ourselves into the richness of the present and the possibilities of the future.

Adapted from Unconditional Forgiveness by Mary Hayes Grieco

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Wednesday: the in-laws arrived, quickest commute home ever, manhattans with allspice dram, 2 and a half gallons of water in the largest ziplock bag, and our turkey, who remained nameless.

Thursday: The day went so fast, all structured into half hour segments, time lines and over temperatures. It all went so smoothly, a beautiful brown bird and a quick toast, a thank you that Boston brought up jobs, and a home to host our family, and for all that we've been given. And a special post dinner T ride with my niece.

Friday: We went bowling, I placed last and second to last. We ate mexican food and I slept in the car on the way home. I took a friend out for drinks that night.

Sunday: I awoke with a cold, and spent the day reading magazines. We vacation planned, dreaming of warmer temperatures and beached in January.