Sunday, March 28, 2010

my day is a fortress and my night is a shark

In my former line of work, I used to pride myself in knowing a little about a lot of things.  I was an account manager at a high profile ad agency and was told when I was first hired that we were the “Drew Bledsoes” of the Ad Game; learning the plays, taking marching orders onto the field, calling the shots, making use of other people’s skills...and that’s about where the analogy stopped. 
I think in life we can be experts in our particular field, but in general, we all (hopefully) know a few more things.  Maybe not much more, but some basic structure about how things are supposed to be versus how things really are.  
Here are a few things i know in no particular order:
3am is the witching hour.  It is the absolute scariest time to wake up and feel like the only one in the whole world who’s awake.  unfortunately, I wake up at 3am almost every night.  I wish I liked being afraid.
you can do anything for one minute.  I reminded myself of this on my 3rd of 8 hill reps whilst battling a headwind that was so sasha FIERCE it should have a song named after it.  seriously, you can do anything for exactly 60 seconds:  hold your breath, make out, devour a cake, do pushups, throw up, stand on your head.  maybe all in that order!  I mean, people have died for one minute and have lived to tell about it.  whenever i’m scared, I think: just do it for a minute and then decide if you can keep doing it.
despite popular opinion, you don’t need to wash the following items after the first wear:
sports bra
running pants/shorts 
layer #2
actually, unless it’s covered in stains or smells like b.o., the only thing you really need to wash after you’ve worn it once is underwear.  
integrity can be annoying.  especially when the thing that tempts you doesn’t feel wrong. we’ve all heard the siren calls: “just this once” , or “only a little”, “nobody will know”, “it’s no big deal”, “everybody has”, “take the easy road, that’s why it’s there” so when integrity puts the shine on, pricks the conscience, stirs the soul, it’s like the dj stopped the music and all you want to do is dance.  integrity i love your persistence.  keep me on your side because it’s flippn hard to earn you back once you’re gone.
people like to complain about the weather.  it is and always will be a people-unifier.
no matter how many good men come into your life, you will always remember your first love.  That time in your life has got like a teleporter attached to it and all you need sometimes is the smell of an old car or flannel shirts or old spice after-shave to bring you back.  it kind of sucks in a good way.
you don’t get warm by piling on sweatshirts or sweatpants or long-sleeve cotton shirts.  silk underwear may seem like a joke but it’s the bomb-dizzle and so is thin merino wool.  but really the best way to get warm is to get naked.  take camping, for instance.  just jump into your sleeping bag buck bare as a baby’s butt.  you’ll warm up like nobody’s business.  unless you make it somebody’s business.  and that’s a whole other story.
nother isn’t a word.  i was about to use it in that last sentence.
Hard work pays off.  
Cliches are cliche and that’s not fair because we could really learn from them except they feel too cliche and therefore a stigma is attached.  Cliches are like songs that are overplayed on the radio (Example: “You Found Me” by The Fray).  I’m going to re-listen to all the cliches I know and write them down so they feel different.
Hugs are good.
Finally, a true friend recently told me to “Choose faith, not fear.”  I like this because all over the radioTVinternetsairwaves there is so much that just makes my heart ache: death, destruction, people cheating on their spouses, greed...the list goes on forever.  How easy it would be to throw our hands up.  Everyday we simply make the choice to give up.  Or everyday we choose not to.  I know that faith has a lot more going for it than fear.  And the branches give way just enough for me to take the next step in this world.  Like today, for instance.  I was walking out of the grocery store and two boys employed at the Market Basket - no more than 12 years old I swear - were racing a whole line of carts towards the store when they happened upon an older woman getting ready to load her car with groceries.  No one else was around.  The boys stopped and without hesitation, offered to help her load her trunk.  I’m not sure anyone else witnessed these tiny little men help someone who is so far out of their hemisphere of coolness.  I’m not gonna lie, I sat in my car with tears in my eyes thanking God for allowing me to see that transaction.  For some reason today, I needed to see that.
Which reminds me of one more!  the kindness of strangers is a beautiful thing to behold.   I always thought it was a cool feeling to be the giver of a gift.  And of course, being the receiver is awesome, too.   But what’s surprisingly awesomer is being witness to it - especially when you least expect to see it happen.  It’s like coming face-to-face with a huge animal in the forest.  You have a moment.
That’s it for tonight!  Now off to bed with Pad Thai, my herbal-stuffed Panda I bought in Boulder at the Whole Foods.  That’s another thing - naming things makes them funner to own.

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