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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Flying being kinder to me

I find myself needing to be kinder to myself. I ran my 8th marathon a few days ago. It was probably my worst time. I got it done and that should be enough. My medal looks just like everyone else's. I have a finisher's jacket. It shouldn't matter that somewhere on the trip I lost a silver hoop earring that my mother gave me for Christmas. The earrings that I wear every single day. I lost one, I did not take it off and throw it somewhere. Stuff happens.

What should matter is that I was in New Orleans. It should matter that after salivating from afar I finally got to eat real beignets, twice. I ate them twice. What should also matter is that I took a cruise on the mighty Mississippi River (which somehow I forgot or did not know is the largest river in the country and that the water from 31 states and 2 Canadian provinces drain into it along with their mud). What should also matter is that I was amongst friends. And what should definitely matter is that I had my first bourbon tasting at the Bourbon House on Bourbon Street and than I now have a favorite Bourbon (Jefferson Ocean). I walked through the French quarter, saw the ninth ward, bought some voodoo dolls (which I later discovered were made in China), got my mom her shot glass, postcard, and magnet (which she will probably not see until Christmas since the post office and I have a thing).

Most importantly what should matter is that I did not give up. I wanted to. I almost switched over to the half marathon. And when things felt really bad, I wished I had. Let me tell you the encouragement from strangers can do wonders. No one along the race (participators or spectators) told me to stop. Not even they saw the pain etched in my face and the tears flowing down my cheeks. Yes, I cried. This was hard. And all along the route I tried to figure out what was going wrong. As if it mattered. Yes, I know that I should critically evaluate things in an effort to not repeat them. But we all get to have a bad race or two. And I am taking good care of my knee now, self diagnosis is over.

But it really wasn't a bad race. I limped at the end and damn near crawled. But guess what? I got it done. It wasn't pretty, it wasn't a PR, but it was a marathon. My 8th marathon. My friends where there, random strangers were there, and I need to be incredibly proud of myself. It is easy to be proud when things are wonderful. It takes a bit more to recognize and realize that accomplishment does not have to be so exquisite. I need to remember this next month when I run marathon #9.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Flying when you got nothing

No picture today. I just got nothing right now. Okay, that is not exactly true. I have a lot of things. But right now I am witnessing a whole new era. There are days when I am shocked and dismayed. Maybe we all are. However for the first time in a very long time I am questioning friendships. I am questioning how people really see me. It's fine to sing kumbyah  in front of me. I like that song. Not such where I learned it, but whatever.

I have issues when I see Facebook posts or when someone says to me, 'that march after the inauguration shouldn't have been called a woman's march because it wasn't for me'. Yes, stop the freaking presses. Finally something that isn't about YOU. Hallelujah, it's about damn time. I keep saying AIN'T I A WOMAN? Thank you Sojourner Truth. March for someone else or better yet, think about someone else every now and then.

These are polarizing times. If you don't like me I really don't care. Just be real about it. We do not pay each others' bills so it is all good. I promise. Stop pretending to be what you are not. And please stop saying that you have black friends. And yes, I know that I speak very well. Thank you, mom. And I am highly educated. So don't act surprised.

The claws have come out. The sheets have come off. I can see folks clearly now. So clearly that I am almost sad. Fake friends hurt and are a complete waste of time. Pretty smile just keep on walking. I am trying to finesse the art of professional respect with the knowledge that I now know who you really are. It takes a lot of energy and frankly I am pissed. I wish you would have proud to show your truths BEFORE the election. Before I liked you. Before I felt betrayed.

Oh well, life goes on. I will be just fine.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Flying into a new era

It has been a busy week and even busier weekend. We have a new president. Many, many, many women joined together to march for women's rights all over the world Saturday. It was estimated that at least 470,000 people were at the women’s march in Washington in the areas on and near the mall at about 2 p.m. Saturday. My Facebook feed was full of pictures from numerous countries like Malawi, New Zealand, Australia, Myanmar, Lebanon, France, England, Germany, and Serbia. Amazing.

The attendance for this march was compared to the attendance of the inauguration. But honestly who cares? The march stood on its own merit. Never before have we witnessed such magnitude of protest immediately after a new president. I hope the new administration is taking note and not simply dismissing this.

While this was mostly broadcasted as an anti-Trump rally. I hope that it was more of a banning together of women to support each other. I hope that it was not just a march of convenience. I hope it was truly a march for everyone and that going forward people will continue to march with and for others. Someone held up a sign wondering if the white women were going to show up at the next Black Lives Matter march. And that is what I want to see. I want to see (and sometimes you just don't know) people who are not the people the march is for coming out to march. I also want to see more of those who the march is for coming out to march.

There is no time to sit back and rely on others to hand you your civil rights. We all must band together for the good of all of us. We can no longer afford to be silent. And many of us never had that luxury to begin with. Being complacent is exactly why we are where we are right now.

This is new era. There will be some good to come from this, there are always untended blessings even in the worst of times. We must pay attention. We must be diligent in taking care of the rights of others. I do not have to agree with you or your choices. I will support your right to choose how to live your life and I expect you to do the same for me.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Flying with a loss

It happened last night. The Crimson Tide lost. It had to happen. I knew that. We all knew that, but it still stung a tiny bit. Okay, maybe more than a tiny bit. We have much to be proud of. I mean the team went 14-0 for the season. It can boast 16 national championships. Not too shabby. And the team will come back stronger and wiser next season.

We all have seasons of greatness. And then we have seasons when it is very difficult to remember anything good that happened. Finding or remembering the good can be incredibly difficult when major catastrophes happen. If you the roof blows off of your house you may not remember that you got a new puppy. Or that A on your final.

Anyway, nothing lasts forever including winning streaks and losing streaks. The seasons do change. This year make an extra effort to count the great things that happen in your life so that when the not-so-good or bad things happen you can (even if only for a hot second) reflect on something good. That just might take the sting out of the other stuff. Bad things happen to good people. I would be happy if the bad and good in my life were equal. Okay, of course I would love to have many more good things happen in my life, but I would be content with them being equal.

Alabama lost last night. There are many lessons to be learned. They will spend countless hours watching the footage. There will be many tears. (Sounds like my life minus the actual game footage). The team will come back stronger and can we all.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Flying into the New Year

Jamison McCandie
Happy New Year. No matter what happened or didn't happen to you last year, let's agree to make this year much better. Start off with positive thinking. One of my friends posted a great idea on Facebook. Take an empty jar and every day write something good that happened to you on a piece of paper. Put that piece of paper in the jar. Then when things get ugly (and we know they will) look at all of the good that has happened. This will be especially poignant at the end of the year when it is very hard to remember anything.

I am going to do that. I am already behind so I will make an effort to do that today. It will be sort of a visual gratitude journal. And we all need one of those.

This year I want to eat less meat and more vegetables. I plan to stop running marathons after I get into the New York City one. I want to read more books. I plan to start my yoga teacher training. And hopefully I will focus on the good in my life and spend much less time on the other crap.

I hope that I can be a much better person and perhaps use my voice to speak a bit louder for those who need me. That means figuring out to get involved in my new community of Savannah. I need to stop looking at this place as a layover. I mean, it may be a place to rest before moving on. But I must remember that I now live here. I am no longer commuting. I need to make this my home for as long as I am here. I need a new attitude.

So this year be grateful, be humble, be positive, and be true to yourself.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Flying with permission

David Everett Strickler

This holiday season I am giving myself permission to not be frantic over not finding the 'perfect' anything. Not the perfect dress, shoes, food, purse, time to leave, card, or even gift. I am just not going to do it. I am relying on my instincts to guide me. I will not second guess myself. I will not question whether or not someone will like something. If something is unliked, regift it or something. Not my issue. I did my best and now it is up to the receiver to receive.

It's not that I am not going to do my best. I am and I have. I am just not going to drive myself crazy (okay, crazier than I already am). I am going to be kinder and gentler to me right now. The way I should have been to myself all year.

I am almost done with my Christmas shopping. I have one more gift to find. I will brave the mall. I am not a mall person, but since moving the mall is the place. For right now anyway.

Truth be told I am a little bit on edge about the gift I bought my secret Santa. But it has been delivered and I gave her what she asked for, something local. Okay, now that I put that out there I am going to relax. She can hate it if she wants to. I wouldn't hate it. Anyway, I have just derailed myself. See how easy that happened?

Back on track. One present to go. I will pick something spectacular. Maybe shoes, maybe jewelry, or maybe...Honestly I am just going to look in windows and hope something jumps out at me. Something that I can afford. It's just one gift out of many that I have given this person. It will be fine. And it isn't Christmas eve so I have a bit more time. Right?

Monday, December 12, 2016

Flying with equality

Lately there has been so much in the news and on social media about racism. In Charleston two high profile cases were in court. One did not end the way most of us had hoped and the other...well let's just say it won't be easy regardless of the outcome. The recent election has made me question the motives of people in my circle. I had not stopped being friends with anyone, I have just been a lot more cautious around people who never gave me pause before. And I am sure the same can be said about me. There may be people who question my morals and values.

Anyway, I have done my best not to allow any of that to color (no pun intended) my outlook of the world. I have never only had one type of friend. I have been blessed to have an amazingly diverse group. And as silly as it seems Sunday night one of those friends texted me that she was wearing 'our dress' to work. So I replied that I would, too. I did not have to wear 'our dress'. But I was trying to figure out what to wear and she solved my problem. Plus I don't mind wearing the same dress to work at the same time. We have similar tastes and wear the same size. I told her to wear black ankle boots, but you can see she did not.

It was interesting to see how many people realized we were dressed alike. We do not work in the same department so we are not together much. It was a fun thing to do. Neither one of us thought about anything other wearing the dress. We were not trying to send any message. We are friends, plain and simple. And since we bought that dress last year, I think it is time we buy a new one. And yes we will wear them at the same time. It makes us smile and others get a chuckle as well.