Monthly Archives: June 2013

If a pregnant woman passes me when I’m running, is that bad?

running womanI went for a run yesterday morning. I was “home” – in New York City for business (New York will always be home), staying at my friend’s house on the Upper West Side. (The Upper West Side will never be home – I learned at an early age that there is no life above 14th Street.  That being said, it’s a nice place to stay and Central Park is a nice place to run.)

So I was in Central Park running.  I didn’t feel like running, but without my brother to walk with, I feel guilty if I don’t run. And I know I have to work on that guilt, but still it’s there. And my favorite part of running is the high I get when I’m done, so for that I love running. I don’t get that high from walking.

So, I was in Central Park running. Slowly possibly. Knowing that I need to get faster to keep up with my daughter when I run with her in a few weeks, but still plodding away, proud of myself for at least running…when a pregnant woman caught up with me and passed me. And I couldn’t keep up with her.

Now, I wouldn’t swear she was pregnant. I certainly wouldn’t ask her if she was. I had someone ask me twice if I was pregnant – and both times I wasn’t (was I just fat?) and both times I was “trying.” So I would never ask anyone that. But she certainly looked pregnant.

And she certainly passed me. And I couldn’t keep up. And I’m not proud to say that at one point I saw her veer off the path and start walking and I thought “Well, she may be faster than I am but I have more endurance.” Until I saw her again later running towards me after I had turned around to head home

So is it bad if she passed me while I was running? I’m not pregnant, though I’m sure I’m older than her (and my legs are shorter, in my defense). Is it bad that I couldn’t catch up to her, until she stopped? Part of me could feel completely embarrassed – but I guess not embarrassed enough not to tell anyone because I’m putting it out in public here. Part of me could realize what a loser runner I am. I could easily go that route.

Would you believe I’m not? Instead I think it’s kinda funny. And I’m proud of myself for running at all. I hated it for years, and only started so that I could run with my daughter. And I’m still at it. Three times this week. Sure my daughter could run circles around me, blindfolded and with her legs tied together. But I’m still at it. And sure a pregnant woman is faster than me. But I can pass the people who are walking.

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I hate asking for help

help 2Many of you know that I’m asking for help. I’m emailing each and every friend I have (at least nearly). I’m working my way through family emails, reaching out one-by-one. I’m thumbing through neighborhood directories figuring out who I know well enough to ask.

And I hate to ask. I hate to ask for help. There’s part of me, my husband would share, that totally wants to be taken care of. That’s operates like a huge black hole, sucking in care and attention, to make up for all that was missing (or at least all I thought was missing).

But I hate to ask for help. There’s also a part of me that learned to be completely self-sufficient. To read the room, assess the situation, and carry on and make things okay. For myself and for everyone else. Actually, probably for everyone else first.

I don’t want to seem weak. “Only wimps eat creamy peanut butter” Danny told me when I was little. I eat chunky to this day. I like chunky – but who knows, would I still like creamy if he hadn’t inadvertently called me a wimp? I certainly don’t want to be a wimp. Never did. Never do. I certainly don’t want to seem needy. My mother never cried when she left us. She didn’t cry each time we said goodbye. I cried, but I tried to hide it. I knew I was wrong to cry. I was wrong not to be strong.

I cared for my brother and grandfather when my mother left. Eleven years old and handling the shopping and cooking and cleaning. I knew not to ask for help. I knew not to tell anyone she was gone. She was gone for God. That was good.

So, it’s hard to ask for help. I worry that people will think I’m too self-focused. Or self-centered. Or bragging about my book. Or something. But I’m asking for help anyway. I’m asking for help because I need help (as much as I hate to admit it) in getting this book birthed. And I’m asking for help because it’s (probably) okay to do so. I teach that it’s okay to do so. I know it’s okay to do so. But the voices scream loud in my head when I do so. They question me. They challenge me. The call to mind all the lessons I learned about not asking for help

But I’m asking for help. And thanking you for it. Thanks for reading my blog, signing up for my blog, and commenting on my blog. Thanks for liking my Facebook page. Thanks for thinking I have a story to tell. What gets me past not liking asking for help? Thinking I have a story to tell. I am excited to tell my story. I hope it can bring some good and joy to others. I hope it can bring a smile to someone’s face, and ease to someone’s heart. I hope it can remind us all that it’s okay, it’s fine, it’s good to ask for help.

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I told Danny I was writing a memoir

dannyI told Danny I was writing a memoir. In My Humble Opinion that took guts. Maybe it was even stupid. We were sitting on the outside porch at my house, having a nice conversation about I don’t remember what, and I tried to off-handedly mention the book and my agent.

Why, you ask? Why did I risk telling him? Why would I do that when I’m afraid of what he will think when and if he reads it? I don’t even think he can or will read it. He doesn’t read anything anymore, not since his stroke – except for French books on the iPad we got him, because they’re backlit and he can make the type huge. He says it’s not fun to read with only one arm and one eye that work. So why did I tell him?

It’s not like the stories make him look good. It’s not like I tried to make him look bad. I wrote my memories, and, of course, the things we recollect, the things that stick out, are the more poignant things. Or the more traumatic things. So what I’ve written about might not be the things he’d want to read about.

We were having a nice time together. One of the first simple, pleasurable conversations we’d had in a while. I was enjoying his company and I think he was enjoying mine. Why did I risk that? And he truly believes (I think) that the worst thing that happened to me because of him is that he left us to live with my mom when we were little. That it was only the Church that made life tough for me. That everything with him was fine.

So, why did I tell him? Because I didn’t want him to hear from someone else. I didn’t want to hide it from him, as much as I wanted to hide it from him. I didn’t want him to not know. And, I thought, maybe, just maybe, he could be excited and happy for me.

“So Danny,” I started. “Do you remember that I was writing a memoir?”

“No,” he answered.

“Well you knew at one time,” I continued.

“Oh.”

“And I got an agent,” I stammered.

“Oh. Well when you get me glasses (I had just promised to buy him new glasses as he had lost all his pairs), I’ll read it.

“Oh,” I answered.

That was it. Then he mentioned how amazing it was that I came out of my experience in the Church so relatively unscathed. It was a simple conversation. A quick one. And it left me with questions. How would I handle it if he read it? I didn’t expect, didn’t want, him to actually read it. How would I handle it if he asked to read it? I couldn’t pretend it didn’t exist. That I hadn’t written it. I couldn’t just not give it to him. Well, I could. It’s not like he could get it himself. But I wouldn’t

No, I had decided to tell him about it and I would therefore give it to him if he asked me for it. In fact, I might just print it out and give it to him whether or not he asks me for it. I don’t want to hurt him – and reading the book might hurt him. But I don’t want to hide it.

I love my father. I feel blessed for that. I don’t need him to understand my perspective of what happened. I don’t need him to apologize – although maybe it would be nice. I just can’t lie to him and pretend I’m not doing this. I’m proud of and excited about doing this. Maybe he’ll respond as well as my mother did. Maybe we’ll talk about some of what occurred to and around me, and how it seemed to me. Maybe we won’t. But I told him about my memoir and my agent. Now we’ll see what happens next.

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