Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Perfect Practice Makes Perfect.

It’s storming out.   It sounds like a freight train is running circles around my house.  Oliver has left the foot of my bed for the safer rug in the hallway should one of the four trees outside my window uproot itself and crash into the side of the house.  Smart dog.  I stopped writing this blog for a minute because I just got a text from the twin.  A quote we share between us glowed on my phone screen, "I carry your heart, I carry it in my heart.  xx".  Oh, Moo.

I’ve been up since 6AM helping Mary get ready for her journey to Australia.  We made eggs.  I photocopied a prayer by John Wesley and snuck it into her backpack for her to find later.  The coffee was steeping and I was swallowing my eggs along with the very familiar lump in my throat.  A sister’s leaving.  There would be no crying about this. This is what we do.  We spread time out in colorful threads against life’s loom and we weave a beautiful tapestry of everything twin sisters could possibly be to each other and then sew our favorite bits carefully to our forms and we live in them for a while wherever we are.  She to Australia for ten weeks, me to Maine and beyond for as long.  

I’m convinced that Australia is where fit people go for the winter months.  It’s 18 degrees Fahrenheit here in New England, and 77 degrees in Oz.  A difficult choice.  But aside from the balmy, sunny skies Down Under, Mary Miller will ramp up her hardcore triathlon training to create a solid base for her 2010 season.  Sweating a lot, probably non-Miller swearing (which technically is not swearing since in it’s original form, rather, made up words sounding like exclamations found on the back of cereal boxes).  And while she covers land and sea by arm-stroke, foot or pedal, I, too will be covering ground on my quest for the Next Great Adventure.  And by “Great Adventure” I am referring specifically to a career move that feels right and exciting, takes me out west (maybe?), stretches me professionally, comes complete with a handful of really great humans, is nestled in a cool city with trails and mountains and oceans and good coffee and great vibes.  It’s got flavor and passion and potential and my name all over it.  It’s out there, right?

Whatever it is, it’s unknown for the moment.  But three days before we ring in the New Year I am starting to turn over rocks.  This gets me motivated and equally, anxious, scared and timid.  But it’s as much a part of the process as those early morning 6k swims or the Sunday 14-milers.  They prep you for when it counts.  And when it counts, we are challenged to step outside of our comfort zone and hit it.  So hit it hard.

I am SO excited about the year’s potential! I see Mary doing her thing and I am so proud of that girl.  And then i look in the mirror and I am so proud of this girl.  We are SO individual but SO blessed to have each other.  To quote my fabulous friend, Annie, “Let me break it down for you on a cellular level...”  Two egg, two sperm, two embryos, two baby girls, two best friends, two different paths, two forces of nature, two incredible adventures.  Each one cheering in the other’s corner.
The wind is positively going to smash through the windows.  I'm convinced my comforter will shield me from the glass if it does.  I hit reply on the phone.  I let  ee cummings finish his beautiful words, "anywhere I go, you go, my dear..."  

And so begins two journeys.


we're the girls standing on the porch. I'm about to squish my brother's head between my knobby knees and mary goes rogue vogue (clearly her fashion sense started when we were young, i mean who tucks in shirts when you're a kid?!)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I passed a truck on my way around the Giant Loop this deceptively brisk afternoon and on the window was the sticker, "Smile, it's Today!"

It IS today and today my family celebrates many things.  The birth of Jesus, the blessings we've received over the last year, our family near and far, friendships and our love and gratefulness for all these things.  This Christmas was special in that it took place at our house with the core family.  With only 5 of us, it was still a whirlwind of delish food and wrapped gifts and "flourishing!" and lights and we're brewing coffee and drinking it like it's kool-aid as we annihilate Mary's now-famous-gluten-free pancakes and then head out for a long run and holy COW it's freezing and now we're taking turns in the shower and WHERE IS THE HOT WATER and let's go work on the most demanding 2,000 piece puzzle we have ever seen and when the h-bomb are we Skyping with the cousins?!?  

Ah, a Miller Family Christmas:)

So now I am happy to be right where I am right at this moment: by the fire, with my siblings watching Elf (Will Ferrell, enough said), chilling with a big glass of wine, an even bigger glass of water and a whole belly full of food in my new sweatpants that were unwrapped with glee this morning because my mom knew that I-loved-but-needed-to-part-with my verrrrrry hole-y men's sweatpants, men's size XL (I often make sacrifices in this department in order to get pants that hit past my ankles.  I'm every inch of 5'10") and so now these great big fleece ones will be mine and I love them but not as much as I love the thought behind them.    

It's today.  And I hope you each had a very Merry Christmas as perfectly imperfect as it is and as imperfectly perfect as we are:)  

Here's an excerpt from the Mad Libs I got in my stocking.  The words my bro came up with are in CAPS.  I also leave you with a pic of the light organization taking place in the northeast wing of the Miller Home.  It's a big deal.

"Good vacations are worth their weight in BANANAS.  A SLICK summer vacation for you and your SNOWY family is to visit the Rocky CROWNS in Colorado.  The first time you see these PURPLE-Y mountains, your WANKER will thump ANGRILY..."


Monday, December 14, 2009


I stood in the shower and tried to thaw the almost-six-foot-iceberg otherwise known as Kay Miller (well technically 5'10").  I'd just run an 11-miler and not more than 10 minutes into it, the sun dropped from the sky and the orchestra of the winter wind and a real-feel temp of 19 degrees began to play the ballad, "You Never Saw Us Coming".  Sunday was flippn COLD.  

As I stood there letting the hot water work it's magic on my aches, I replayed the last two hours and I couldn't help but smile, because Sunday my best friend and I laced up and ran all the roads we grew up on together and my best friend would run these roads with me for the next 15 days.  

My twin sister, Mary Miller, lovingly nicknamed "Moo" is home for the holidays and this holiday is so different for me in many ways for which I am grateful.  The best way being that I am not spending it working 70 hour weeks up until Christmas Eve.  I am right where I always wished I was during those grueling nights; home, for weeks before the holiday:)  So I can spend as much time with my best friend as possible.  

And this run was no exception.    

Oh it was a typical Miller run in that we alternately picked up pace, slowed it down, challenged a hill, encouraged the other, etc.  But it was intimately a sister run.  The kind where you can unwind your heart and show it to your Same-but-Different-Person and they can tell you what they see or offer a perspective you haven't thought of before.  It's so special to run with Moo because we get each other's lives so easily and therefore there is little need for explanation and a lot more time for gut-checking and heart celebration in the areas of our lives that we put on "hold" or forget to think about or are afraid to look at alone.  Fears.  Insecurities.  The "Am I Capable of This?" and the "Look What I've Overcome!" revelations.  More or less, these are the deep pockets of our daily lives that are "frozen" and we shockingly realize how frozen they've become once we start to actively pick them up and play with them.  We use our words to thaw them.  And then we place them in our pockets and by Grace we learn from them and move on.  This is reason #194 that I love runs. They start off stripped of everything but breath and legs churning and evolve into so much more.

Stepping out of the shower, I could finally feel my legs and my toes.  My cheeks were red and my nose had the sensation of being ben-gay'd or tiger-balm'd.  A warm ball of breath settled in deep.  It felt good to feel.  It's been a day since the epic run and I'm amused at how intrinsically our bodies and our minds receive lessons that are the same but so very different; how when we thaw, we feel.  And when we feel, we have the opportunity to give thanks for what we have and are given the grace to move forward.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Mistaken for Strangers

i shuffled onto the train, luggage hanging off me not unlike my great grandmother's Christmas ornaments: heavy and overdone.  I tucked my coffee between my knees and lowered the seat tray with one hand, shook off my jacket with the other all while staring intently at my lap so as not to inadvertently crush the corn-made vessel with my knees and spill the hot java down my front, or worse, lose a single drop of the liquid gold so early this morning when i desperately needed all the energy i could get.  the sky rolled steel clouds over the city as we, the inhabitants of this concrete jungle, braced for the wintry mix that had already begun to fall.  

i made it by the skin of my teeth.  if i had missed this train, it was another five hours till the next one.  If I had to, I could probably make a house with the eight million pounds of luggage (it felt like) I was carrying. I might have said eff it and pitched a luggage house right in the park for the night, and maybe I would have tried to find Tammy, the disturbed woman I'd met (or rather, was amoeba'd by) on the B-Line earlier that day.  She was doing just fine arguing with herself until i breathed and interrupted her tirade.  She had turned to me and screamed that NO she wasn't going back to that "fat bastard" and No I couldn't make her and Did I like her earrings, hm? and finally, as she exited to meet her lady friend in the Park, she informed me that YOU SHOULD REALLY JUST GO GET A PERSONALITY!  So I went to the store and I got a coffee.

Now, sitting safely on the Downeaster and far, far away from her, I mulled my options over what i could have done.  What would my Do-Over look like?  Hmmm.  I suppose if I hadn't been fuh-reaked out by this woman who was clearly unstable, it would've been interesting to actually talk to her.  To listen.  To take her burden, whatever it was that seriously bothered her, and lighten her load in some way.  Like when she laughed lightly at the girl sitting across from her, saying that her smile reminded her of her own daughter, to hear what that meant to her.  Because I think the reason she spun wildly and left the train crying was because she tried in her own way to feel validated.  And we the people averted eyes and pushed out small sympathetic smiles and politely chuckled to appease her but really?  We were totally uncomfortable all of us not knowing or wanting or feeling that we should look at her directly and say something nice.  Because then we're the ones who are vulnerable.  Because then she would direct all her attention to me.  And what would that be like?  If I had smiled and not looked away.  If I had said, "I'm so sorry." or laughed with her and asked her about the ring on her hand.  Maybe it would've felt good - even if she cussed me out - to remind her in a small way that she existed and deserved to be acknowledged; not as a stranger with issues, but as a person who is alive and living.  

Instead I sunk into the green plastic seat and became invisible.  No Do Overs.  I wasn't going to be Tammy's best friend, but Tammy had a point.  My person needed a gut check.  There's a time and a place to be cautious and a time and a place for acceptance and always, always time to show Love.  

Oh Boston, your skyline disappears as we head north and now we're overtaken by trees and farmland and the white cold snow that shapes each familiar thing into strangers.  And my head goes back and Bon Iver is playing and I reach for my coffee and I wish for Tammy a safe night, wherever she goes.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

One Big Smile...

Friends. I'm excited.  Not just because of this day or the illimitable potential of today.  But I'm excited for tomorrow.  And the next day.  Tomorrow I'll head into Boston to get dolled up and get my dance on.  What a great way to end a busy week!  First, to L'Espalier for a networking soiree and then off to Friendly Fires where I (finally) get to kick off the heels, throw on the converse and bring good energy!  Never got to see Cut Copy when they came in the spring but these fellas sound like a brit version them.  I hear they'll be in London next week for an all-nighter and I so wish I had money to burn on a flight.  Ah, well.  I ride wish-horses.

This entry has really nothing to do with my growth, my sanity, or my lack of either.  I'm just excited to be with friends.  Just gathering together, having a toast and laughing at some random miscellany that's bound to happen....

It's gonna be just great!

(found this and thought i'd put it to good use...) xokay