Thursday, January 31, 2013

Running on E

That was me last night. Actually, I was happier than this lady looks! I'll explain.

I hit a wall. First there was the stomach virus going through the house, then there was a *long* snow day with the kids on Monday, and then there were a few birthday parties. Some of this stuff (like the birthday parties) was actually pretty enjoyable. But, the end result was me last night.

I was standing in the kitchen after dinner (which was a disaster...I made the mistake AGAIN of buying a Hamburger Helper meal and thinking it would actually be edible!), and I just felt like I had nothing left to give to anyone. I hadn't had any time to myself in days and days...and everyone around me was paying for it!

I couldn't even smile back at my baby...that's when I knew it was bad! I just felt like I had no love left, no patience, no kind words for anyone...not even myself. Luckily, my husband saw the signs and sent me off to the gym.

I actually love working out. I know that it is torturous for some people, but endorphins do wonders for my state of mind. It was a very rainy and foggy night...the kind that I hate to drive in now that I'm getting old...ha! But, as soon as I stepped on that treadmill...everything was good again.

I was so glad that I had remembered to go back into the house to grab my walkman (yes, I still have a walkman!). I have three Harrisburg radio stations set...two that play loud, fast, popular music that keep me hyped up and motivated to run, and one that plays some 80's tunes.

I quickly got lost in a zone. Although I have not been to the gym in a long time (moving took all of my "free" time!), it was as if I never left. About two miles in, I heard the song Africa by Toto. It brought back instant memories of a good friend from college. I immediately wanted to talk to her. We lost touch after college, but we reconnected on facebook a few years ago.

There was one problem. This friend is in heaven. At least I can only hope and pray that she is in heaven. As Catholics, we KNOW that the canonized Saints are in heaven. But, we also believe that there are an untold number (hopefully millions and millions and millions!) of saints (small 's') in heaven too. Because we don't know for sure (until we hopefully arrive there ourselves), we should always remember to pray for the souls of those we loved (and the souls of those who are forgotten).

Anyway, Jen died last year of ovarian cancer. She was 35. I hadn't seen her in years before she died, but I have countless crazy memories of the two years that we were close friends (we drifted apart toward the end of college). When I was moving this month, I found tons of pictures and cards from her. The last time we communicated, she told me that my kids were beautiful and that she hoped to have kids soon too (she was married). She never mentioned that she was sick.

As I ran on the treadmill (faster than I had any right to actually...I'm paying for it now!), I realized that it was not a problem to talk to Jen at all! I told her that I had just yelled at my 6-year-old daughter for ruining dinner....although clearly I was the one who had forgotten to add the sauce to the hamburger helper (it probably would've been gross anyway!!).

And, I told her that I so desperately want to be a good wife, mother, sister, daughter, aunt, friend, etc...and that I constantly feel that I am failing on all fronts (letting myself get to 'E' didn't help, of course!). I asked her to intercede for me and my kids. Enjoying all the memories of a crazier, simpler time in life (most with beer in hand at Brads, our favorite bar!) made me feel so happy. It filled up my tank!

I was hoping the kids would be in bed when I got home. But, they weren't. And, this was okay. With my new full tank, I was the mother that they deserve again. time. I'm thinking that I need to head to the gym much more often...maybe at a quarter tank :).

All Souls, pray for us.

Jen's in the very sweater. I'm in the back right. Cheers, Jen! Rest in peace.

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