coming home

Four years ago, I was biting my nails and saying my prayers as my firstborn prepared to ship out for boot camp. His 4 year commitment to the USAF felt eternally long — and I wasn’t sure how I would do always wondering if he was okay.

C & R on Seal Beach - 11.2014

Those 4 years are now behind us and we are in the process of making up for lost time: thankful to have him home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas after being  without him for the past many years. I feel so blessed that he has come home safe.

There is so much to tackle and, thankfully, much more time in which to do it.

While I am now adjusting to the extra boost of testosterone in the household, his waking hours that don’t line up well with my go-to-bed-early-wake-up-even-earlier schedule, and having to verify that the toilet seat is down before I sit…I am content in being able to open the door to his room and verify that he is safe in his bed,  happy that I can call or text him at anytime and generally receive a response back in a reasonable timeframe, and that I am able to say “I love you” in person.

It’s the little things and the BIG, the tough moments from the past in contrast to the ones in the here and now, that make you realize just how wonderful each moment is. My son has come home to me safe and sound!!! I am so blessed.

Shedding

This season of autumn, so they say, is a time for letting go of that which no longer serves you. I have always looked at this concept from more of a philosophical viewpoint rather than on the physical level. However, this year, I have decided to look at the concept as a time for shedding away the physical as well as the mental and emotional.

Believe it or not, I gained nearly 15 pounds since I stopped running in May of 2011. This is on top of the extra 10 pounds of “baby fat” that was never lost after my 2nd pregnancy. In general, I have felt healthy, strong, and vibrant in the past couple of years. Feeling good in my skin has always been more important to me than the number of the scale. And while nothing has changed, I have decided to explore if shedding a few of these extra pounds might improve my well being. Perhaps allow for me to feel even better, be in less pain, and maybe even return to running a little bit.

On some level, I recognize that running was so much a part of how I defined myself that my decision to take a break (aka quit) required me to isolate myself from the inquiry arose in doing so a level of insulation was built around me. Were these added pounds needed? I am certain they were not; they were more a byproduct of my metabolism changing and my cardiovascular fitness and caloric burn decreasing.  And although I did my best to eat a balanced meal, and to eat healthy & clean, I didn’t always do well to keep my portions down to size.

As the pounds begin to shed away, I am finding that I have more strength and energy than before. I’m excited to see what might come of letting go: I am eager to know what seed I might grow into some new creation that I didn’t have room for before.

Rain Dance (or Run)

This morning folks in the bay area rejoiced at the sprinkling of rainfall we were blessed with. Unfortunately, the rain did not last. I pulling on my long-abandoned running attire and slipped out for a run at lunch. The sky was cloudy but the sun was shining as usual.

Yet, something was far from the usual. After all, it’s been a L-O-N-G time since I last went out for a run. I started off at a brisk walking pace and continued until I hit the dirt paralleling the railroad tracks. Passing the dried up percolation pond, I searched for my happy pace. Of course, it was long gone – just like the ducks and turtles that used to swim in the pond. My hamstring immediately questioned my attempt to run. I tried to reassure it, and the rest of my body, by turning to attention to my breath. This feeling was no worse than when I make my hamstring work during my daily yoga practice. I continued running, maintaining ease in my breathing and mindfully aware of my body. And before long, my hamstring quit complaining!

I realize that this is just one run. In fact, I am hesitant to even post this. For just as a few sprinkles won’t end the draught, a single run does not mean I am back to running again. But I am hopeful.

…on both accounts.

Pneumonia: It happens

These days, when folks get sick, the norm is to continue keeping on with life-as-it-were until one is no longer able.  I don’t believe in following along with norm in this regard. For the benefit of getting healthy, and for protecting the rest from falling ill, I believe it is right to stay home and get well.

Not everyone agrees with me — especially when grades are at risk.

20140912- pneumonia again

YaYa just got his two lowest grades up to an acceptable level, when illness got the best of him. On Monday, I sent him to school anyway, urging him to try to get through the day. I told him, “…just call me to pick you up, if it gets too bad.” By the time I took my phone out of airplane-mode, after my morning yoga practice, there was a call from the school.

At that point, his lungs were clear and his temperature was normal. The worst was yet to come, and I intended to do what I could to minimize it. He needed to get back to school ASAP.  Immediately, I started pushing the fluids, medicating him with expectorants & the like, demanded deep breathing & coughing, and began percussion of his back & chest (just to be sure). Each day, however, I watched the progression of his illness. His temperature slowly climbed, and additional symptoms presented.

He did his best to keep up with school work, but was missing the teachings and in-class work. The number of tests he would have to make up was growing as well.  I began feeling the pressure to get him back in school ASAP.

Mid-week, each evening, we would plan for him to return to school… and each morning, the plan would be abandoned. My values of health & wellness competed with the virtues of keeping up with a rigorous academic load. I wondered if I was doing my son any favors by giving in to his insistence that he could not go to school.

By the week’s end, the mucous had settled into his chest.  The first hint of it, when he woke me up late last night to request some chest percussion (a process of opening up his airways which he resists, complaining that it is too painful).  By morning, I wasn’t surprised to hear the change in lung sounds — and later the diagnosis of pneumonia.

Once again, we have a Z-Pak (antibiotic: zithromax) to help his body fight off the infection. He should be able to return to school on Monday. Then we can all breath easy.

the journey continues…

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