Friday, April 30, 2010

Just Do It. Really.

We all know the Nike saying, Just Do It. Billions of advertising dollars aside, those three little words truly are a phrase to live by.

I've never been an athlete. I've windsurfed and scuba dived, even attempted tennis and baseball, until I injured myself falling over my own two feet and got bonked in the head by a very hard softball in my teenage years. I was never part of a sports team. Or had any talent in any athletic endeavor. But I always wanted it.

I had marveled at a dear friend of mine who completed the MORE magazine Half Marathon in New York twice over the last two years. She was an inspiration. I tried last year to train for it, but didn't really follow a proper plan and kept hearing that voice in the back of my mind telling me I wasn't an athlete so what the heck was I doing? And then, crack, stress fracture in my right knee.

Fast forward to January of this year, time to start training again. This being the year I turned 40, I decided, as the saying goes, to Just Do It. I told that unathletic voice to go away and replaced it with one that said You Can Do It. And so I did. I followed a plan. Sure, it didn't always work out - sick kids and life in general can get in the way sometimes. But I never said quit. There were mornings that I didn't want to get up and go to the gym, windy cold and rainy days that I didn't want to run outside. But I kept telling myself, Just Do It. Just Do It.

And I Did It.

I wasn't fast. But I Did It. And I will Do It Again.

Those three little words can apply to all aspects of life. There's always an excuse for not doing something. For months I've tried to get going with this blog, but there's always been an excuse for why I couldn't sit down and spend 15 minutes writing. So now, I just sit down and do it - the laundry, dirty kitchen floor and kids can wait for 15 minutes. It's not perfect. But it doesn't have to be. It just has to get done.

I don't have to be a perfect writer. I just have to write.
I don't have to be a fast runner. I just have to run.

So forget the excuses.

Just Do It.

Friday, April 9, 2010

What if?

As a parent - heck, as a human - there's a phrase that pops up time and time again, usually in a negative sense...

What if...?

What if my child gets sick?
What if we get in an accident?
What if I lose my job?
What if...? Just fill in the blank and worry instantly follows.

From the mind of an adult, the What if...?'s are usually negative questions about all the bad things that can happen. But my 7-year old son Collin asks plenty of What if...'s from a much better place.

What if I drank the biggest bottle of olive oil and then I grew to be 3000 years old and then I grew to be 6000 years old and I was so tall that I took the Empire State Building to be my walking stick and I grew a beard that went around the world 3 times and then I burped and it was so big that it crushed the earth and then I went back to being 7 again?

While I don't like to think of my 6000 year old son's burp crushing the earth, kudos to him for the big smile on his face as he thought of his latest "What if...?"

What if, indeed?

What if, as adults, we stopped worrying about all the things that can go wrong and started thinking about all the things that go right?

What if we started thinking about the fun things instead of the bad things?

What if, indeed? The world might be a much happier place.

Oh, and what if you hear a huge rumbling in the air? Don't worry, that's just my 6000 year old son burping.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin

You know those moments of motherhood that you dream of? The ones bathed in the pure delight of your children, with them gazing up at you, love in their eyes, straight out of some sappy commercial? Well, I thought I was having one of those the other day.

Picture it. The sun is streaming through the front window, gloriously filling the room with light following days of rain and darkness. I have two of my three boys with me, one on either side, with my arms around them, feeling the love that only a mother has, feeling the gratitude for these blessings in my life.

Collin looks up at me, smiling. I imagine the words coming out of his mouth...Mom, I love you. I'm so glad you are my mom. I'll never hit my brother again. Can we read a book together?


Instead, I get...Mom, you have a beard.

Yeah, you heard right. Mom, you have a beard.

To which his two year old brother immediately, gleefully, responds...Mommy have a beard! Mommy have a beard!

Now I may be 40, that magical decade of middle age, hormonal changes, rapidly graying hair and bifocals, but please. A beard?

Yeah mom, when the sun shines on your chin, I see all the hair you have there. You have a beard.

Thank god he did not see the mole that I do indeed have on my chin. You know, the one that has a hair growing out of it. The hair that would grow to a foot in length over the course of a week if I did not pluck it regularly. Gross, I know. But doesn't everyone have one of those somewhere?

I called my BFF. I told her about the beard. And the mole.

And then she laughed. I have a mole too! she said. On my chin too!! she said. With a hair!!! she said.

Well, I felt a bit better about the whole mole thing.

But not about the beard thing. She doesn't have a beard. That is something that is all mine. After all, she's only 37. Something to look forward to, I guess.