Sorry to start off a blog post with a cliche, but it’s an accurate way to describe me over the past few weeks, or last couple of months. Anyway, I am happy nowadays. Yes, occasionally I have lapses, where everything is not 100% wonderful. [I think it’d be kinda weird if I were to walk around with a constant smile on my face, don’t you?  In Boston, that sort of thing  can get you killed! Especially in the grey days of winter! :-)] But for the most part I’m happy.

A friend recently wrote me on email and observed that twice recently I’d referred to myself as immature, and he wondered why. When I thought about it, I realized it’s because sometimes I don’t feel like I have the right to be happy, or that I was selfish making the decision I did last summer.   Yes, I tend to have an inner voice that can be severe or judgmental sometimes.  But luckily it’s a voice that is getting a lot quieter.

I know that some of you who read my blog also take anti-depressants. I think a lot of people don’t quite understand how they work. I’m still learning about them myself, but this is what I can say about them. Whereas in the past, emotions would sometimes hit me very hard, and I wouldn’t be able to think rationally about them, now I can. Depression can make you think lots of things, you can project ideas of what you think other people are thinking about you, and they seem real, although they are completely not the case. Anti-depressants allow you time to actually think about things, so you’re not just automatically reacting to things. At least where I am concerned, they have allowed me to return to more of the person I used to be.

And I think it’s a good thing. Clearly, it shows, because a female coworker who has been with us for about a year now said to me today “you seem happy. how are things?” When I asked her if she knew I was getting divorced, she said “yes, that’s why I said something. You really do seem happier lately.”  Later on, someone saw me after a long time and said how much they liked my hair. It brought another smile to my face.

Before, I probably would be wondering when the proverbial other shoe would be dropped. Now, I try to not go there mentally and I’m trying to go with the flow of things as much as possible. If something bothers me, I look at it for what it is, and try to think about it a little instead of just reacting.

On the running front, things aer also improving. I’ve met with a personal trainer 3 times now, and still have a couple appointments left to go. I’ve been doing most of what he suggests, with the time I have. The strength work and especially the core work have made a huge difference. Normally I’ve kept my pace on the treadmill to 6.7 mph, and it was starting to feel really easy. The other day I did the “random” (read: HILLY) workout, on level 6, so I was going up to inclines as high as 5, and I found I could keep my pace just about between 6.6 and 6.8.  The incline would very rarely dip down below 1, and even then only for a short period of time.

And my best piece of news, some of you may have already seen on Twitter. I have been focusing on doing a lot of planks lately. Yes, my name is Terri, and I’m a plankaholic. 🙂   I used to just do them straight-armed on the floor, with one foot held on top of the other.  My record used to be 8 minutes. Lately, on my trainer’s advice, I’ve been holding planks with my feet on a bench, and my arms on a big stability ball. My record for that is 4:45. (Yep, so close but yet so far from 5 minutes, LOL.)

My record for one-footed planks, on the floor is now ELEVEN MINUTES! Yesterday, I started out with the goal of making it to 9, but I felt pretty strong still at 8-8:30, so I just decided, “ok, let’s see how long I can go.”  I was so happy to see my stopwatch hit 10, and I was like “I can still hold onto this!!”  I am also happy with how my strength, abs, and all around training is affecting my overall health, both physical and mental. My stomach is now flatter than it’s ever been! And I weigh about the same as last year, when I was so stressed, except that now, it’s muscle, or becoming muscle.

Being able to hold that pose for that long inspired me to run faster on the treadmill, so I did 3.1 at 7.0, level 1.0 incline. And it felt EASY/comfy.  And it also inspired me to get the process rolling to get my name changed in as many places as I possibly can, before it gets changed officially. So if you’re on facebook and connected to me, you’ll see my last name has changed. So has my Twitter account.  It’s my way of reclaiming who I am, for me.

Now my goal for this weekend is to run really well in the An Ras Mor 5K, that is run by my running group, the Somerville Road Runners.  I figure, if I start to feel like I’m failing during the race, I will remind myself I just did an 11 minute plank this week, and if I can do that, I can do anything I set my mind to.   Nothing or no one can take that achievement away from me.

Nothing can take away your happiness, either, unless you let it/him/her do so. That is something I am going to try to remind myself of more often, going forward.

Still trying to keep  in line with my blog’s tagline: Moving Forward with Optimism.