Held at the nearby Eagle Brook Saloon this low key, no-frills (other than the great breakfast buffet and raffle) is quickly becoming a personal tradition and a favorite way to kick off the new year. A field that tops 100 would be a big turnout. This is one of the those small races held in the middle of the New England winter where it might be -30 or 60 and you are quite happy if it’s just 30 above zero.
Everyone that comes out is there because they love running or support the race and it’s Lion’s Club charity. That sense of excitement and generosity comes through in both the runners and the volunteers. Even you show up nursing a little hangover from the prior night, I guarantee you’re more than likely to leave smiling. The power of running!
There was a moment driving down after Christmas, somewhere around exit 9 on the turnpike, when we were snarled in another traffic jam, that I felt the frustration of being stuck almost boil over. I just wanted to get out of the car and get there as fast as possible. Then I stopped. Maybe it was the time of year. Maybe it was the stream of seemingly endless bad news even during Christmas. Maybe it was just the north Jersey fumes.
But I wondered why? What am I rushing to? What am I rushing from? Chances are it’s not as good as right now. At best, it’s uncertain. We are almost through the Santa magic years. Heck, we only have less than ten summers now where we are guaranteed to be together. What’s the rush?
So that has become my goal this week in the hinterlands between Christmas and New Years. Just slow down. Don’t rush through everything. Savor it. Whether it’s a traffic jam, a cookie, family drama, or the crankiness of kids staying up too late. Some day, someday soon probably, I’ll want it all back.
Only one more year until middle school. I might be okay with rushing through that.
I wrote fewer posts in 2019 (149 v. 123) versus the previous year but page visits and views both increased over 25% as older posts continued to perform well and some new content caught on. The drop in posts doesn’t mean I was writing less overall, just writing less on the blog. Turns out writing two books and blogging and doing all the associated indie author things takes up a lot of time. The blog has always been a personal hobby and I’ll continue to do it as long as it’s fun.
I started blogging (on and off) almost 15 years ago now and I like to think of this blog as a throwback to those early pre-blogger days where everyone’s site was sort of a distorted reflection of their personal interests. That’s still what I typically write about. Books, reading, baking, running, weekends with the kids. Turns out people mostly want help with cooking and recipes. Especially recipes from marathon-winning athletes.
We are at an interesting point in the homework journey. No, this isn’t about new math. Cecilia has run that gauntlet and we are back on the safer footing of long division and I’m hoping the second time through it makes more sense with Allison. I’m referring to how to help them find answers. Ally is still at the point where if she hits a roadblock we just need to tell her. There’s no easy way for her to discover how to spell ‘vegetarian’ short of asking me or Alexa.
Cecilia is on the opposite end of that spectrum. When she hits a roadblock we’ve been working on asking the right questions and then helping her find the answer. This often leads to slumping, sighing and eye rolls. I’m trying to teach her to love the process. To really get excited about it. Learning new things is something I love almost as much as carbs and reading. I want to pass that on.
In this on-demand society learning things the slow way is…an adjustment for a ten year old but I’m hoping it eventually leads to her helping herself figure things out. I really do love learning new things but I can’t go through trigonometry again.
There is no better feeling that being the first person to crack a new library book’s spine. Here are the mysteries and thrillers that I’ve already requested from the library and mentally slotted into my always growing TBR pile for 2020.
I’m slowly learning to accept that selective ignorance is a necessary parenting skill. Not all the time, of course, but sometimes it becomes very necessary to retain your sanity and enjoy being a parent without needing medicinal Merlot.
It was an up and down week as the holiday spirit drove some roller coaster emotions. As they grow up and life gets more complicated, I’m finding it more and more necessary to let go and accept that I cannot control or answer everything. One of the worst possible parenting instincts is probably to latch on and never let go. The worst, and also the hardest to break.
If I’m constantly worried about every vocab word, every assignment, every social drama, every potential catastrophe then I am going to miss out on the joy and fun of being with my kids. If you are always trying to manage the future you are missing the present. There are some problems we’ll just have to figure out on the fly. And I’m okay with that. Most days.
There’s no way you’ll get the big decisions right if you’re sweating every tiny decision.
If I was appointed to a position where I could promote and influence running throughout the country (heck, the world!), the Angel Run 5k is the type of race I’d wish for every local community. It’s a family-oriented day built around a great cause and celebrates being active as a family. Yes, there is a competitive portion to the run (more on that in a second) but the vast majority of the race is kids, and moms, and dads, and dogs, and strollers, and costumes getting out running or walking the course. It’s a small, local race but it’s one of my favorite days of the year.