A “New Normal”

Be Here Now

I don’t recommend getting used to having anything stay the same for long. Especially when you are someone like me who wants to be the best version of herself. Without question being a better version of myself involves constant change. And as I have been brutally reminded these past weeks. I need to ease into change. I need time to get used to the change(s). And then reorganize my day and/or my life so that the change(s) simply become my “new normal”.

Green Heart

The truth? It’s easy to reorganize my life. Or day. When the changes don’t happen all at once. That’s when rather than lose my sanity, I prioritize. My home. Family. Grad School. Work. And no. I am not a priority to myself when everyone and everything else needs to be my priority. Deadlines. Cooking dinner. Working. There isn’t enough time in the day for anything about me. Literally. Running can even become less of a priority if I am not careful. And I know. That you know. Exactly what I am talking about.
And that is where July and almost August went. Overtaken by change and my priorities. Big changes. And an overwhelming number of priorities. All at once.

Kokanee Goodbye

My old pup took a turn for the worse.

Heart Leaf

I adjusted to working at my new job. But my days didn’t get any longer. That when my prioritizing started working overtime.

I made it through finals and completing my final projects with my Summer courses. The pressure I put on myself to make the Dean’s List for a third term? Well. It paid off.

Quilt One

I made a quilt for my niece.

Quilt Two

I made another quilt for the Mr’s daughter’s baby on the way. Which will technically make me a grandmother soon. But I refuse to let that make me feel old. Okay. Refusing is a stretch. I am trying.

Geocache

Buckaroo and I found our first Geocache. Its safe to say, I am obsessed.

Heart Rock

The #100 happy challenge on Instagram I am doing really helped me look for the good in every day. Even on the horrible days. And its not to late for you to start the challenge. I would love you to join me!

Waiting for Bean

I went back and forth from the hospital for  waiting for my nephew to be born. My sister’s labor was high risk. The Mr. stayed home with old pup. My little pup wouldn’t leave her side. But its not the same. I knew I would never forgive myself if old pup passed away without me or the Mr being with her. 

Kokanee

Old pup passed away the same day my nephew was born. She was nearly 15 years old.  The Mr. didn’t tell me until after my nephew was born. So I left the hospital, picked up Princess and met the Mr. at the vet to have old pup cremated. Then Princess and I went back up to the hospital to see my nephew. I really don’t know how to put in words what those series of moments on that day felt like.

waiting for Olive

Less than three days later I headed to the hospital in the city and I waited for my niece to arrive.

Bean and Olive

I feel so blessed to be a part of both my amazing sister’s births. My nephew and niece are perfect.

White Heart

Today I am adjusting to having old pup gone. Starting my courses for Fall. And feeling like. This. Today. Everything that is on my plate at this moment. Is my “new normal”. And its manageable when I can make time for running more often.

Which means I can also come back to something that is about me. For me. Which is blogging. Running. And sharing my life with all of you. Seeing what all of you have been up too. With some form of consistency. In some ways I will be picking up where I left off. Stay tuned. I have some a-may-zing reviews to share with you. And so. So. Much more.

How is your Tuesday going?

What did you done today to be active?

I sure have missed all of you, thank you to those who have reached out to me!  Until next time, always be true to yourself and think like a boss!

The Flu Going Around Means F-ing Business

Beautifulness

Listen up.

As a runner I know what it means to push myself. To not give in when it starts to feel uncomfortable. Or impossible. To keep going when I think I need to stop.

As a runner I know that I use my body the most when I feel stressed. Overwhelmed. Or sad. Yes. Those are the days when I run hard. And fast. To outrun my mind. To outrun everything that feels like too much to bear.

Multicolored Heart

As a runner I know into order to do any of those things I need to take care of my body. And by take care of my body I mean eat wholesome. Green. Nutrient filled. Non-processed foods. Limit my sugar intake. Drink more than enough water. Plenty of Vitamin C. And get a reasonable amount sleep each night.

And even though I do my best to take care of my body. There are times when I don’t care of my body like I should. But you see, those are the times when my body needs it the most.

You know what I am talking about.

Blue Plastic Heart

I am talking about not giving my body what it needs to stay healthy. Nourished. And well rested. Which weakens my immune system. Not a good idea during flu season. Especially when the H1N1 flu is going around. And the H1N1 flu that is going around means f-ing business.

My friend of over 20 years lost her husband to the H1N1 flu yesterday morning. He was in his 50’s. A complete shock to her and everyone involved is an understatement. They have been together 17 years. He was given his angel wings too soon. And on her birthday no less. My heart breaks for her. It’s just not fair.

Cactus Heart

But even though it’s very sad, it’s also a harsh reminder that we all need to be mindful of taking care of our bodies the best we can. And for F-s sakes washing our hands. Maybe even washing our hands a little bit obsessively. Because let’s face it. Washing our hands is absolute best way we can stop spreading the H1N1 flu. And other nasty germs. How many times have you noticed someone in a public restroom just walk the F out without washing their hands?! And yes. I am that crazy lady calling them out on it. I am also a tad obsessive about having a clean/tidy house and washing my hands. But I am okay with that. Germs gross me the F out.

Heart Rock

So whether you get the flu shot. Or you don’t get the flu shot. I am not here to debate that. We just need to be mindful of the things we can do. Or frankly what we should all be doing already to stop the spread of the H1N1 flu. And yes. I am guilty of running myself down sometimes. We all are. And we most likely won’t be able to change that overnight. But we can be mindful of it. And we can make an effort to do better.

Leaf Heart

Today I am lying low. I am emotionally drained and tired, but I have a ton studying to do. And I am putting together a meal for my friend and her family. Frankly, I don’t know what else I can do for her. Or say, for that matter. I guess it comes down to taking things one thing and one step at a time. And we can collectively show the flu who is boss.

Heart Shadow

How is your week going?

Have you found a heart yet?

What’s for dinner? We are having homemade Calzones with salad. Its one of Buckaroo’s favorite meals!

Until next time, always be true to yourself and think like a boss!

Tootsie Tuesday

IMG_7468

For the past week have been trying to understand. Comprehend. Make sense of. Rationalize. Grasp. And Figure out why a 14 year old boy’s life was taken by a local Sheriffs Deputy.  I have been following the news, which honestly doesn’t begin to offer coverage that resembles what I know, I have read and I have heard.  For the past week I have been so confused and conflicted. I have relived every aspect of my training and asked myself over and over, again. And again. Would I have done the same? Would I have felt my life was being threatened enough to use excessive force? But each time my answer was the same. No. It was a young boy, wearing a hoody. A year younger than Buckaroo. Most likely wearing ear buds and not paying much attention to his any of surroundings. I know this because Buckaroo does the same. Yes the young boy was carrying an air-soft gun, a replica of an assault rifle. Buckaroo has a BB gun and a paintball gun. I wouldn’t allow him to walk to a friend’s house. That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t do it anywaysWe live in a “good” neighborhood, on a “good” part of town. But I don’t want to believe where we live is only difference?

The photo was from earlier today.  When I went on a run I saw the helicopters flying over the scheduled demonstration.  And I burst into tears. For the first time in a week I was able to make sense of the confusion I have been feeling. It doesn’t matter how I have been trained. It doesn’t matter where I choose to work. It doesn’t matter who I know or the opinion I am supposed to have. I am a mother first. So what would have been 8 miles in the books, turned out to be 4.2 miles. I made it home as fast as I possibly could, jumped in my truck and drove to the demonstration.

10-29-2013

I didn’t stay long. But long enough to pay my respects and show my support. As a mother who has a young boy. And nothing else.

So Sad

 I feel better. I understand why it took me a week to realize I am a mother first. And that’s okay it shows me I have been trained well. 

I will leave you with an article so very eloquently written about the tragedy. The author seems to have been inside my head for the past week.

Gullixson: A death that drives us to our knees

Did a little piece of orange plastic cost 13-year-old Andy Lopez of Santa Rosa his life?

Rather, was it a missing piece of plastic — one about the size of a fingertip — that was the difference?

You know what I’m talking about, those plastic “muzzle” caps that go on the ends of toy guns to make it clear that they are not the real deal. The caps have been required under federal law for 25 years, mandated since the late 1980s to stem a rising tide of crimes being committed with toy guns.

Thus, BB guns like the one Andy was carrying as he walked down a sidewalk toward a friend’s house in southwest Santa Rosa at 3:14 p.m. on Tuesday are required to come with plastic caps.

But it wasn’t there when the young man turned toward two sheriff’s deputies who had pulled up behind him.

And now Andy isn’t here either.

Whether it was a piece of plastic or something else, what we do know is that the difference in this life-or-death moment was something small.

A turn of the body. The raising of a gun barrel. A twitch of a finger on a trigger.

And it all happened in the course of 10 seconds. Ten tragic seconds.

That was all the time, according to a chronology of events released by Santa Rosa police Thursday, that elapsed between the moment the deputies called dispatch to report a suspicious person with a rifle to the time they called back to report shots being fired.

Ten seconds.

We seem to know so much about what happened in that span of time — about how the deputies called for Andy to “put down the gun” at least twice, about how he apparently didn’t obey and instead turned toward them, and about how one deputy, believing lives were in danger, fired eight rounds, striking him seven times.

And yet there’s so much we don’t know. For example, is it possible that Andy wasn’t aware that the two deputies had pulled up behind him? Is it possible that when they called, he didn’t know it was two members of law enforcement who were giving the order? Even so, is it possible he didn’t know they were talking to him? After all, in Andy’s mind he was carrying an airsoft rifle, a toy — not a gun.

I’m familiar with young teens. There are days I can look my 14-year-old straight in the eye and he not only doesn’t hear me, he seems oblivious to my whereabouts.

Furthermore, is it even possible that Andy didn’t hear them? Police say he was wearing a hoodie sweatshirt. But was the hood up? Did he have earbuds on and, like so many teenagers, was he unaware of what was happening around him?

As is evident, I’m struggling to understand why Andy Lopez didn’t put down the gun. I’m struggling to understand why companies make these stupid things in the first place.

These guns are so authentic looking they too often end up being held aloft at police news conferences, side by side with a real weapon, as part of an explanation as to why somebody is dead — and how the slim difference between real and fake is to blame struggle to understand why America has more gun-related deaths than any developed country in the world and why children and young adults (24 years of age and under) are involved in 38 percent of all firearm-related deaths and injuries.

It’s all enough to bring us to our knees.

But as with so many people who have been participating in vigils and marches in Santa Rosa since Tuesday, I’m also having a hard time understanding why the deputy felt so threatened that he had to pull the trigger — eight times.

After all, it was not as if they had evidence that this suspicious person with his back to them presented a clear and present danger. He was not walking toward a crowd of people. The

deputies were not responding to a report of a dangerous person firing an assault weapon in the area.

Residents of that area in fact are used to seeing young men with airsoft rifles roaming the open fields. Andy was killed beside a large undeveloped lot where, in the spring, the grass grows so tall that it’s a fun place for children to run and hide — and play with BB guns. Were the officers not familiar with that?

I certainly understand why the deputies stopped and called for the young man to put down his gun. What I don’t understand is why Andy is dead.

As police described it, the deputy fired because, as Andy turned “the barrel of the assault rifle was rising up and turning in (the deputy’s) direction.”

Was that enough to take a life? Why is it always “shoot-to-kill” anyway? Wouldn’t this have been a good time to show force that was less than lethal?

I know I shouldn’t second-guess. I’ve never worn a badge. I’ve never been in that situation. And given all the gun violence — and cable coverage of it — there’s good reason for police and the rest of us to be on edge. Yet, as I wonder why the one deputy fired his weapon, I also can’t help wondering why the other didn’t.

Maybe we will find out someday. Two investigations, one internal, one

being overseen by Santa Rosa and Petaluma police, are now underway. But knowing the history of these things, I’m

doubtful we will ever get the full story of what happened in those 10 seconds, primarily because the one person who has the most to say can’t speak for himself.

And we’re all struggling with that.

Paul Gullixson is editorial director for The Press Democrat.

Damaged Heart

Here is the link to the local paper if you are interested in reading more about the tragedy.

I am off to prepare dinner, we are having enchiladas, everyone’s favorite. Then go to be early. Its been a tough start to the week, but I do know, it will get better.

Until next time, always be true to yourself and think like a boss!