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.

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The last few days have been quite hectic, to say the least. I moved on Sunday, and have been busy unpacking and trying to organize things over the last few days. At times I have felt like if anything can go wrong, it will.  My TV broke during the move (or maybe it broke before, who knows?) The recliner chair was never put back together by the movers, and they left behind a moving blanket whichI did NOT want to be charged for.  The painters didn’t get into the apartment until AFTER all of my stuff had been moved in. I came home Tuesday afternoon to find the painter hard at work, but all of my stuff which had finally gained a sense of normalcy, placement-wise, had been shoved into the middle of the room. I know the guy had to do it, and the place does look better painted, but I couldn’t find anything all over again!!

 The worst thing to happen, which I couldn’t do much about, was that none of my wall unit air conditioners fit in the windows of my building. It’s quite old, and they are just really weird to describe. When it hit 90 today with disgusting dew points, it felt pretty miserable in the apartment. I’ve since bought a portable AC to cool the place off, but again with the windows being so weird, it’s a whole ordeal to get it to exhaust to the outside, so right now, it’s sitting in my bedroom. I had turned it on earlier, and while it felt cool in the front of the unit, guess what was happening on the back end?  You guessed it, a ton of hot air was coming out, as is expected.  So it was like a vicious circle of energy, it would exhaust hot air just to cool it back down again.

At times over the past few days I’ve felt panicked.  Stuff I used to have help with, I don’t anymore. The “feeling helpless” side of me would start swearing out loud and get more pissed off by the minute. The rationale, independent side of me would say that I could do it and just needed to take a deep breath (as @ridgeley on Twitter so kindly reminded me to do. By the way, if you are not following her, you should. She always posts interesting photos, reads a lot about current events, and she is a real sweetheart of a person.)

Tonight, I realized all this negativity and insecurity is just feeding into itself and making things even worse.  I remember when I first changed my tagline on my blog to “moving forward with optimism.”  It was kind of a play on words, but now I think it has to become more of my motto for life again.  Training for the marathon in 2008, they drilled it into our heads that you had to have a positive attitude, and it needed to extend beyond just the race, otherwise the head games would do you in, and you’d never make it through.   Over the last few months, for various reasons, I’ve let that slip.

So, from now on, when I hit these hurdles, I’ll remind myself that I made this choice to go it all alone, knowing things would be difficult at times.  All the things that stressed me out over the past few days either worked themself out, or will over the next few days. I just need more patience, a whole lot more sleep, start writing again, and to get back into a routine. Oh, and remember that it’s ok for me to ask for help (which is something I don’t like doing).  The only thing I’ve been able to keep some semblance of a routine with is running. I’ve tried to not miss too many days over the past few weeks. It’s kept me (somewhat) sane.

I think this is a time when I’m going to learn a lot about myself – my friend and sister-in-law keeps reminding me that I’m not the same person I used to be when I first moved to this city. (Thankfully, she means it in a good way…)

So, these are the good things I can point to over the last few days:

  • Fresh coat of paint in the living room/hallway really does make the place look better.
  • I had some really good, generous friends give up their entire Sunday to help me move.
  • I’ve got some very good family close by with whom I was able to spend a lot of time recently, and I think that strengthened our relationship.
  • I’ve got my cats back, and one of them seems to be really flourishing, running all over  the place, rather than confining herself to just the bedroom. (They were even both on the couch with me for a few seconds! I should mention, they don’t get along.)
  • The older cat has stopped hissing and growling at me, finally. (She was not happy with being boarded at the vet temporarily.)
  • Work has been really understanding about my taking so many days off over the past week and a half.
  • Have been able to run the past few mornings at a relatively decent pace, even given the humidity. Runs have only been 4 miles or so, but I’ve not slept well either. 
  • Noticed this morning that if I want to run hills to get stronger, there is no shortage of them around me. Even scoped out a long  hill to do some hill workouts on with my friend, Meg.
  • I got to see this view below the last few mornings while out on a run (photo taken with zoom by Gorillacam app so it’s not as clear as otherwise would be.)   I will try to take more over the next few weeks. Should be really pretty in the fall when the leaves change.

 

View of Prudential and John Hancock Towers from the reservoir near Boston College

I know that thing are not perfect, and money will be tight for the foreseeable future, but I will make it through. My mom taught me how to make do.  And if worse comes to worse, I get a second job. I’m no stranger to working long hours or working hard.  (I’m actually glad to be going back tomorrow as we are starting to get into the busy time. I’m already talking in front of the new Law Review kids next week – they come back 2 weeks early. Talk about “August Tsunami.”)

If nothing else, I’ve got my running hobby to help me keep things in check. I’ve got plenty of running clothes and my sneakers are in good shape, so I should be set for a while where that’s concerned. If  do a few less races, it won’t kill me.  There are a lot of new places to run around here to keep things fresh and interesting.

Anyway, that’s it for now.