Monday Mantra & Some Random Thoughts

No cool graphic this week.  We’re keeping things basic. 

Monday Mantra:

Stay the course. 

That is all.  That’s the important thing to focus on right now. 

Now for some other thoughts:

– I have a love-hate relationship with owning a car.  I have at various times tried to convince Homie to sell our car.  Recently I’ve  been off that kick and on an appreciation kick.  I have a nice car.  I have a comfortable car.  I have a safe car.  There is something phenomenally luxurious about sitting on your butt in the car letting it do all the work after biking.  But I found out on Saturday that it has some significant rust and technically needs a $900 repair. Ugh. Eff cars. Eff snow and rust and GMs crappy inability to make cars for the Northeast. 

– My peace lily from my cousin’s funeral has bloomed like crazy the past two weeks. That makes me happy. 

  
– My cousin just got out of the hospital.  He’s been there since July.  I face timed with him a few weeks ago and he looked about like I expected.  A few days after we talked he had a feeding tube put in.  I saw a picture of him yesterday and he looks horrible.  He’s even thinner than a few weeks ago and my uncle shaved his head because he had lost so much of his hair from chemo.   His mom is parading him around like a trophy.  It makes me sick to my stomach to see.  It’s awful.  Seeing him like that yesterday made me doubt my  “I’m not going to borrow trouble, technically his chances of survival are about 50/50 right now. Maybe 60/40 but those are still good odds” mentality.

– My other cousin was telling me about a conversation with her boss.  She let her boss know about our cousin J in case she needs to take time off.  She told her boss that she’ll be fine, she just needs to go home to be there for the rest of the family and her brother.  She said “I’ll probably cry for a day and then I’ll be fine and then I’ll take a week or two to make sure everyone else is okay.”  And I wasn’t upset with her for thinking that but I realized how little she is prepared for this.  I think it will be much worse for her than just a day of crying.  But she’s never lost anyone close to her before.  

– I’ve had trouble sleeping through the night for the last 5-6 years at least with other periods for as long as I can remember.  It’s annoying. It has gotten really bad recently.  Last week I tried a couple of things and had 3 or 4 nights where I slept through the night.  It was amazing!  This morning I woke up at 4 and never fully fell back to sleep.  Lame. 

– I’m glad I have a husband who is totally accepting of the fact that my schedule for the entire week revolves around the fact that Georgia has a big game on Saturday and I wil do nothing except watch the pre-game, game, and post-game coverage all day. 

– I’ve been on a purging kick in our apartment.  I suck at managing stuff and I don’t enjoy it.  So I’m just getting rid of it.  Homie has been inspired and after a week of sorting we donated 3 bags of clothes, 3 bags of household items, and over 200 books.  

A New Addition

I started writing a status update on my current projects.  That got me thinking and even though I had come to the decision not to buy another bike right now I decided to check into what a brand new bike would cost for comparisons sake.

As I looked I found myself  disappointed because no one (that I could find or that wouldn’t be worth more than my car) is manufacturing a bike that is similar to my current bike, just new.

I was disappointed because I love my bike. So much. Too much.  I just want my current bike to be my fast bike.  I don’t really want to load it down with accessories for commuting/trips.

  
I fully recognize that there is something outrageous about not wanting to “load down” a 44 pound steel frame bike.  I get that.  But it feels fast to me.

I didn’t realize how ridiculously heavy my bike is until this summer.  A friend was working on it for me and he referred to my bike as “a tank” and mentioned that were I to get into a collision with a SmartCar my bike would win.

Since I haven’t been able to find a used bike for a reasonable price I decided I would just move forward with making some changes to my current bike to make it more suitable for commuting.

As I was pondering where I am in all my current endeavors, I decided just to take a look at what a new bike might cost.  When I found myself less than thrilled at what’s on the market I decided to take another peek at Craigslist in case there were any new posts that I might be interested in.

And then I saw it…

   
   
I knew we had to be friends and this bike needed to come be a part of my family. 

I’m so excited to work on it and get it decked out.  Homie and I have been tossing around the idea of doing a long ride Columbus Day weekend so I’m hoping I can get everything tweaked to ride this one. 

For now it’s in the living room where it belongs. 

   
 

Complicated Feelings on My Birthday

I was supposed to be born in September.  I was a little late (maybe more than a little) and since it was the hottest summer on record my mom is still a bit perturbed about that.

I used to celebrate my birthday countdown from my due date until my actual birth date every year.

Then my cousin died the day before my countdown always begins.  That year I wanted nothing more than to completely ignore my birthday.

There was (and still is) something incredibly painful about knowing that my cousin who is (I want to say “was” because that’s correct, but I can’t actually bring myself to) seven years younger than me will never have another birthday.  His body is lying in the ground in a beautiful well-kept cemetery.  He’ll never grow up.  He’ll never have another birthday.  He’ll never graduate high school or go to college or attend medical school like he planned.  His brother will be an only child for the rest of his life.  We’ll never get together as adults.  We’ll never have a closer relationship than what we had at that moment, because he’s gone.

I think it makes it more complicated because his birthday is in October as well.  My dad is one of three and he and each of his siblings had their firstborn children all in October.  My grandma always made a big deal for each of us about how as the oldest in our respective families we share a birth month.  It was like a special club just for the three of us.

When I think of my birthday, all of that is tied in to my thoughts as well.  I can’t separate it completely.  The year my cousin died I wanted nothing more than for time to tick as far away from the day of his death as possible and I wanted to skip October.  I just wanted all the reminders to be past us as fast as possible.

My family made me celebrate but my heart wasn’t in it.  I went to lunch with a couple of my sisters and my mom and took a nap.  Then I called my favorite aunt and talked to her for a few hours on the phone.

Last year I wanted to shake off all the memories tied to my birthday.  I wanted to do something so big that I couldn’t help but be distracted.  I hated those days between my cousin’s death and my actual birthday.  Instead of a countdown from when I was supposed to be born until I was actually born it felt like I was counting the days since the anniversary of his death.

I had to work on my actual birthday and I was sick, but the weekend after Homie had an amazing trip planned for me.  It was the best.

This year I have been doing much better.  I want to have my birthday countdown.  I just have to get through the day before…

A Hard Week

This week has been a hard week.  Last week was a little bit harder than I thought it would be as well.

The second anniversary of my cousin’s death is Saturday.  It somehow simultaneously feels like it just happened yesterday and I can’t believe that he’s gone and I sort of half expect to see him again and also like it happened forever ago.

It feels like this year the anniversary is harder than last year.

Monday I felt horrible all day.  I felt physically sick and just wanted to leave work and come home.  I had a horrible headache, I think from the rain, I had a sore throat, and my whole body ached.  I couldn’t leave work though until I talked with someone regarding problems with my software on my computer.  I had a can of soup in my desk and I decided to have that for lunch, but with it I just wanted a grilled cheese sandwich.

Soup and a grilled cheese is the ultimate comfort food for a rainy day when you are also sick.  I went to the grocery store near my office planning to buy some bread and cheese.  I knew that at this store the cheese would be outrageously expensive but I didn’t care.  The store didn’t sell one single cheese without cow’s milk.  No goat cheese, no sheep cheese, nothing, so no sandwich.

By the time I came home I just wanted normal.

Homie tried to be helpful and take over dinner.  I felt like a terrible person, but all I wanted was for him to get the freak out of my kitchen and stop interrupting my normal evening routine and go back to his.  I always get home before him, I unwind, then I start dinner and it’s usually pretty close to being ready by the time he gets home.  Or I get home, unwind, do something, then when he arrives home I start cooking and while he unpacks his bag, showers, etc I finish dinner.

But on Monday he got home before me, went for a run, pulled out a recipe, and then when he came back was chatting and discussing dinner options.  All I wanted was to quietly go through my normal routine.

This week being the anniversary of one cousin’s death while another cousin is still in the hospital with cancer nearly 3 months after being diagnosed is too much.

True Love

I encountered this man and his dog while I was working out the other day.


It took me a few minutes to figure out what was going on. Mostly because I’m not used to seeing dogs in strollers… As I watched the dog I realized he was even more unsteady on his feet than the man and each step was slow and shaky.


The man shuffled along and using a gait belt just like nurses use for their unsteady human patients, he helped the dog out of the stroller, to his feet, and let the dog sniff around before selecting a spot.  When the dog had his spot picked out the man took the belt off and helped the dog lay down.  Then the man went back to the stroller and pulled out treats, a water bowl, and a bottle of water.  He gave the dog a few treats, poured a big bowl of water, and only once the dog was done did he sit down on the bench.  As long as I could see them the dog and the man sat watching the river pass.  What a precious sight to see this man who looked like he could have used a hand of his own going to such lengths to bring his companion outside to enjoy the cool morning.

Dear DC,

I love you. 

I was waffling on whether or not I wanted to go to a remembrance ceremony on Friday.  I opted not to, but decided to mark the day on my own by going on a bike ride before I rode to work.  

I decided just to bask in the beauty of this city and take pictures as I went.