Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Serenity NOW!

First of all: Thank you to all of my readers. I truly appreciate and value every one's thoughtful comments after yesterday's blog. I usually try to maintain a happy-go-lucky kind of approach to life. Sometimes this is realistic, and life seems effortless, almost easy. Workouts are going well, relationships are great, the grass is greener, and my glass is full. Other times, this simply isn't the case. Through and through, I'm learning that you can't always put on a "happy face." Let's face it - that simply isn't real. And I'm not fooling anyone, lest of all myself.

I set out to write this blog, because I wanted to be true to myself, true to my beliefs. And if I say that I'm happy "all the time" - then what good is that? Not good for me! So with that, I pledge to write about the good, the bad, the ugly, the funny, the real, the surreal, and everything else in between. And I thank you for your support. (And patience!)

And by the way: I don't in any way mean to suggest that I haven't been true to myself up to this point. I have. Things just haven't been tough the way they were two days ago. (Thank goodness!) And you know what? That's life. C'est la vie!

Thinking about the events from a few days ago, it made me contemplate the human psyche, (more importantly, my psyche!) and how the seemingly littlest of things can set off an "uncontrollable" chain of events. Take the "Butterfly Effect" for example. A butterfly flaps its wings in South America which leads to a windstorm in Nepal. That kind of thing, but just not quite so extreme.

Its the combination of bad timing, a dower mood, and several grim things (again - news, politics, bad conversation, stress, fatigue) that all happened to hit at exactly the same moment, and caused the "perfect storm" for me. Great!

So what have I learned?

Well, first of all - that there are a lot of great people out there in blogger land that care about me - thank you again!

Second, that I can handle myself pretty well, but when lots of stuff builds up, stressors reach the "boiling" point, I tend to retreat into myself. Okay - now we're getting somewhere. So next time when I feel this occurring, there are several steps I can take.

1) Write! My blog, my journal, email, you-get-the-point!

2) Do something! Get out of the house! Do a workout, meet a friend for lunch, go to the beach - be active!

3) Figure out what's bothering me, acknowledge it, and then do what I can to combat it. (Again, writing works really well for me).

I'm laughing as I write this - it seems so easy, so elemental! Man, oh man, if I could have only followed these instructions 48 hours ago.

Then again - that's life. And that's totally okay. It's all good: because this whole life-thing is a learning experience. And through the struggle, through the good times, the tough times, we learn (hopefully), take the lessons, the knowledge that we've gained, and move - boldly - forward. Hurrah!

So why Serenity NOW! Good question.

It's what Frank Costanza, George's Dad on Seinfeld, yelled during the Final Season when he wanted to de-stress. It was later revealed that this did nothing, but lead to mental instability further down the line. My point being - yell Serenity NOW, and then DEAL with whatever it is. Yup, it's tough - but that's life. Just keeping moving forward, one step at a time, and it'll pass.

(And when I think about moving one step at a time forward, I think of Ironman, and the true spirit of Ironman. That race itself, those athletes - all face challenges I have only dreamed of. If it was easy, everyone would do the race. But it's not. And I can only imagine the courage that it takes to plod, silently along the road, in the setting sun only half way through a full marathon, after completing a 2.4 mile swim and 112 mile bike. That's the true testament to taking things "one step at a time").

So Serenity NOW! was my mantra for this afternoon and tonight (after figuring out what the deal was and why it was so...I don't, after all, want to go insane later on. NO, that'll be saved for after my first IM...:). And I thought about how lucky I am: in part, due to present company - you! But Nathaniel made an extra special effort to be nice today (his flight was cancelled because of the torrents of RAIN... by the way - it rained ALL day today. Yuck. Kind of hard to be "sunny" and "cheerful" when its raining cats and dogs outside!) - and brought home lots of Sushi for dinner. Yea - my favorite.

So the two of us cuddled up on the couch together, rain lashing against the window, eating lots of good sushi, and watching Seinfeld.

So my mood is a lot better, and I feel like I've turned the bend. I'm looking forward to tomorrow - I've got my favorite most challenging bike workout ahead, and I can't wait to test my new bike position.(Another great thing about today - I went to the bike shop and played around with bike setup versus power output. It seems that my seat has been about 2 cm too low for the past 2 years. Go figure. So I gained 10 watts, pedaling at 90 rpm holding a 115 hr just by raising the seat! Hurrah! Free power! More about that later!) I hope that everyone out there is having a great day, is surrounded by people they love, and is grateful for the wonderful things they have.

It's not always easy, and I empathize. But hang in there, know that we're all in this together. And you never know - turning your "challenge" into an "opportunity", may just be the way to go. Serenity NOW!

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