August 2009

My mom asked me the other night when we spoke on the phone, “when are you going to write on the internet so I know what’s going on?” 🙂  So, Mom, this one’s for you…

Here’s what today looked like (and given how early I got up, I’m going to bed very soon. I’m exhausted.)

3:30 – start waking up before the alarm. No, I’m not a fan of that. Felt awake.

4 a.m. – alarm goes off. Now, I’m tired. Hit snooze.

4:10 a.m. Ok, time to get my ass out of bed, without waking up Bill, or Callie the cat, who I cover up with my fleece bathrobe since Bill likes to keep the room very cold. Good sleeping weather, he says.

Next hour – eat breakfast, wake up with an infusion of caffeine. Feed Ruthie, who’s sleepy. Pack lunch.

5:10 a.m. – Get Ruthie ready for a walk. She hears the rumbling of plastic grocery store bags,which we call “poop bags” and she goes insane.

Get back from our short walk about 5:30. Bill’s just coming downstairs and can’t believe we’ve already gone. By the way, there are some people already leaving for work by this time, I found. I had my headlamp on my head to see exactly where she did her “business.”

5:45ish, getting ready for my own run. Talk to Bill, drink more water and head out finally around 6 after doing a bit of stretching and taking some Sports Beans with Caffeine.

Run for 4.59 miles.  All of my miles were under 10 minute pace (phew, I was beginning to feel like I couldn’t do it anymore. I’ve been doing a lot of “easy” running in the heat and humidity we’ve had of late.)  I didn’t see any triathletes swimming in Silver Lake this morning but I did see some beautiful sights.  It was a lot cooler this morning than it has been. Only about 53 degrees so I actually pulled out my arm warmers.  In August!! 

At the beginning of my run, I found myself crying. From stress, exhaustion, or exhilaration at being able to get out there and run in such cool weather, for taking time out for “me,” or from a combination of all those things, I am not sure what caused it.  I am sure, however, that anyone driving by probably thought I was either a nut or hurt (if they could think coherently that early), but I didn’t really care.  That doesn’t happen often but when it does, I know I have some things to work through and a run is a good way to do so.  I was listening to this song on my iPod, Falling by Mindy Smith. I think she has an awesome voice. Very mellow.

We have a lot of wetlands and marshes in my area. It was cool enough that the water in the closest wetland on Rte. 129 had some fog/mist rising from the water.  I know that it’s invasive, but the purple lupine weed does look really pretty in the mornings.

When I ran past Silver Lake, the sun was hitting it “just so.”  The water had a goldish glow to it, and the sun hit one of the docks and the house behind it in a way that made it look like  a painting.  I should say that one dock in particular has actually been converted into a floating bar. My husband, Bill, keeps wondering aloud what he can do to be able to take a ride on it one night.  It’s been out on the water in the daytime and at night in the dark. It just yells “summer and relaxation” to me every time I see it. I automatically feel more relaxed.   Anyway, it was at about this time that I realized my legs just continued to feel strong today the whole run through.

We are extremely busy at work as our LLM students have already arrived. LLMs are foreign-trained lawyers who come to our school for a Masters in law.  Igave two tours which are an hour long, and met with a student in between. So I talked basically nonstop for about 3 hours.  Because our library is so large, it really does take a while to get through it, and many students commented that it is really unlike anything they’ve ever seen. And it is.

Anyway, the student with whom I met in between is one I hope to meet with several times over the course of the year.  This is somewhat rare, but always appreciated. She gave me a thank you card for meeting with her and said how wonderful it was to have a reference librarian with subject expertise meet with her.  I don’t know if I’m an expert in much, but it was nice just the same. I keep all cards like that one with me in my office, taped or attached to my wall. I keep them from faculty and from students and coworkers alike. That way when I am having a bad or really long day, I look at the notes and it reminds me why I do what I do.  I really needed something like that.

So all in all, today was a good day. It’s funny but when I first drove into work, I thought to myself, “well, even if the rest of the day turns all to hell, at least I have this morning under my belt.”

Here’s hoping the rest of you reading this out there have a workout or run again soon where it makes you feel the same way. Glad to be alive and have two legs that can propel you forward and through so much, not just the physical, but also the mental part of life.

Thanks for reading.


I really have, over the past few weeks. And I’ve missed reading everyone else’s. I have been feeling a bit disconnected. But over the past few days, I ran again, in the morning, as was my usual routine, and felt more like myself. May not do so tomorrow morning, not sure yet, as I know tomorrow will be a very long day.  After the usual work day, there is a reception for new foreign students that I need to go to. I just don’t plan on staying until the end.  I’m trying to draw boundaries between my work and my home life. If you don’t, I find that work can swallow you whole if you let it. For some people, obsessing about work might be alright but for me, it’s not. I am now past that point in my career. It’s not like I am a clock watcher, but hey, I have a life. Or at least I try to sometimes.

I feel like I’ve been in a weird funk lately. I have not been in the mood to go back to work after my vacations. Usually I tend to feel somewhat motivated at that point, but not lately. Work has been weird. Lots of change going on, and don’t get me wrong, I think some change can be good. But if I hear the word “team” used again in an insincere manner, I think I’m going to hurl. Really.  I wish people would just say things like they mean it, and get on with life.   And I wish I could stop wondering if I’ve chosen the wrong field, or the wrong place, sometimes.  Like I said, I’ve been in a funk lately.

However, there are a few bright spots, like the other folks that I am working with, regarding my new specialty, and the fact that one of my friends at work now also has an office space on my floor. I have to remind myself to think of those good things, and not get bogged down in all the other crap.

My run yesterday was not the fastest but it felt good. As I was about halfway on a 4 mile loop, I ran past Silver Lake, near my house. There were a few triathletes swimming in the lake, and it just gave me this needed jolt of energy. I also saw another runner. This is somewhat unusual – usually I only see people out walking their dogs, or walking, but not too many runners in the 6 a.m. hour, for some reason. I think a lot of people who live in my suburb tend to run in the evenings.

Yesterday morning was quite humid – about 95%, I think, but the temperature felt relatively cool, about 70 degrees. We are in the middle of a heat wave here, and today it reached 97. And it was humid, so I stayed inside and rode the exercise bike while reading a copy of Mother Earth News that I had checked out from my library. I didn’t even bother to take my headphones with me to the gym and I didn’t really miss them. Don’t worry, though, Alien, if I’m out there running tomorrow morning, I’ll be sure to wear them.

Wow, even this post feels like I am all over the place. I think I need to get back into more of a groove where running and blogging are concerned, and hopefully be able to successfully get through this freelance research crunch I am operating under.  We are hoping to give the book chapters to some critiquers somewhat early in September, so that’s why there’s a rush. I’m a bit nervous those readers won’t feel like it’s been researched enough. I guess a little part of it will always feel like my work is not good enough.

Anyway, sorry to be such a downer this evening. I will leave you with a picture (taken from above) of the munchkin who has been laying behind my chair in my dining room/home office filled with the books of half my library at work (it feels like it anyway.)  She just sighed, in boredom, I think. (As in “Mom, I need some attention, it’s been minutes since someone petted me!”)   🙂  Notice the Red Sox collar. It matches her very fashionable Red Sox leash that my husband insisted on getting for her. He said “just because she’s a girl doesn’t mean she has to wear pink.”  But I like pink!

Ruthie sleeping and sighing

Ruthie sleeping and sighing

I’ve just been extremely busy this past week since coming back from vacation. And I’ve taken a short break from running. Just for a few days because I was feeling burnt out. Now I don’t feel like I have the same energy level. And my mood has not been that great. I’ve been stressed at work.   Having problems focusing on things.  Trying to spend lots of time walking Ruthie who we call a politician, because she’s never met a person who has petted her that she’s ever forgotten.  (She’s been one of the few bright spots this week.)  Guess I should get back to running, huh?

I’ve been very busy with my freelance research to keep up with M’s goals, before the fall semester gets completely insane for the two of us. Actually, the fall semester is already going to start getting underway for me, in a week or two. I have felt like a tsunami is approaching now, for several days. I moved offices, and that always takes a while to get settled in.

My mom and I did have a good vacation together down in PA.  I am not saying I want to be Amish or anything, but I think there is something to be said for not living life at such a frenetic pace, where you constantly feel like you have to be doing a million things at one time.  The countryside down there is just gorgeous.  Lots and lots of rolling hills, a few of which I actually ran up and down, too.  I did take picture and promise to post them for you.   

I did promise pictures of Ruthie.  She really is adorable and we’ve taken to call her our Yellow Shadow as she follows us from room to room and as I write this, she is napping behind my chair in the dining room.   She has made herself quite at home on our couch upstairs, as you can see.

Anyway, sorry for the absence, but I’ve just been finding it hard to get all things done, every day, and still keep some sense of sanity.  I hope you’re still out there reading!

As if you couldn’t tell by the fact that I have not blogged in over a week, or been able to read many of your other blogs, I’ve been busy!! Getting up some mornings and sitting at my computer by 5:15 and doing research.  Thursday night, had a vet appointment and ate dinner at about 8:30 or 9, to get to bed by a little after 10.  Oh yeah, the vet appointment cost over $450!! So, my freelance work will really come in handy now, as Bill and I are rapidly finding out just how expensive it is to own a dog. Not complaining, just shocked…  (and luckily the research is really coming along now.  I really get into legal historical stuff. I know, I’m a super dork.)

Ran 5 miles this morning – we are finally getting real summer weather here in Boston – it’s about time! This was our first week where the temps were over 80 every day.  So, I’m finally acclimatizing – I can’t believe I just said that and it’s August 1st!

Anyway, I’m off to PA for a few days with my mom. We have family and one of her oldest friends is down in southeastern PA. Actually, that’s where I was born, in Reading, PA.  It’s a very beautiful area, one that many associate with the Amish. 

So, I will likely not be posting on the blog much (had a hard time with the iPhone app, maybe I”m just stupid or something), but if you follow me on Twitter – my name is “middlepackgirl,” I’ll try to tweet and include pics when I can.  I’ll miss my husband and our pets, especially since we just got Ruthie last week. She’s acclimating to us and we to her. She’s slowly getting over her fear of walking up a lot of stairs, with lots of love and encouragement from her mom.  Ahem, that’s me. Will post pics of her on here if you’re curious. She’s a beautiful, sweet, 3 year old yellow lab.

I’ll be back  posting and reading blogs on Thursday!