Monday, September 19, 2011

Books That Stick With Us, Letting Go of a Run Sometimes, and Baked Beth's Lazy Eye!

Reading a really great book right now.  The kind that touches and teaches to my heart, mind, and spirit!  Love books like this.  Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese is a book that will probably stick with me in some way for most of my life.  I've read many books like this...the kind of book that creeps into my mind at the most unexpected of moments, reminding me of a feeling or lesson that I learned....maybe a fact from history or a story about a custom in another country.  It was hard for me to put my book down today.  I just wanted to keep reading and reading.  I found myself marking in the margins, underlining key lines that "spoke" to me and folding the corners so I wouldn't lose these precious little nuggets of writing.  My favorite lines from today are about Ghosh, one of the main characters:  

"The bow tie told the world how pleased he was to be alive and how much he celebrated his profession, which he called "my romantic and passionate pursuit".  The way Ghosh practiced his profession, the way he lived his life, it was all that."

These were just a couple of the sentences that I loved from today.  This part in particular says so much about how I want and do live my life.  My profession is my "romantic and passionate pursuit".  Right now that is motherhood.  When I'm teaching, it is changing lives and learning about literacy instruction.  When I am student, it is learning and absorbing all that I can.  I love the character Ghosh...a man that lives his life with passion, purpose and intention.  I think we can be passionate and purposeful and many things in is up to us to find joy and meaning in our daily living.  

Still Fine Tuning My Life Balance

My Runninghood Facebook Status tonight:

Am I going to remember the 10 miles I run tonight (for a race I'm not even really seriously training for) or am I going to remember staying home and baking cookies with my daughters and jumping on the trampoline on this beautiful fall evening? Hmmm, sometimes you just don't run and that's okay too! Always finding that fine balance between dedication and letting go a little for the sake of experiencing the present moments.

I'm really glad that I stayed home and made cookies tonight.  As I was putting on my Garmin and lacing up my shoes to go on a 10 mile run, my little man came up to me with his two year old grin and asked me to jump on the trampoline with him and my daughter reminded me for the tenth time that we were going to make cookies today.  At that point I realized that this 10 miles that I had planned could wait.  It wasn't something that I HAD to do.  I am not training for anything serious...just training enough to keep a base and not fall on my face at the couple of races I have coming up.  I know that once my training picks up again for Boston (Yes, I got in!) then I will make sure I am focused and dedicated.  I think it is good for my kids to see both sides:

A.  That their Mom sets goals, works hard, and is dedicated and diligent when it comes to her training.
B.  That their Mom can let a run go sometimes and be okay with it.  Especially if it means that she did it to stay home and do something fun with them.  

I think both of these sides teach them something.  They learn that dedication, hard work and commitment to a goal is important to being successful in life.  They also learn that it is important to find balance, let go of control sometimes, and enjoy being spontaneous and living for the moment.  It is really easy for runners (anyone really) to get obsessive about something that is important to them.  Sometimes to the point of losing sight of some of the MORE important parts of life.  Just part of finding balance.

Creative Energy

I think it is pretty lame that I keep forgetting about my own contest.  You know, the one that challenges you all to get in touch with your "inner artist".  Asking you to paint, play with clay, draw a cartoon, arrange a vegetable collage perhaps, write a poem...whatever. Something just to see how being creative gives you energy in a way you might not have expected.  I've only had a few of you send me pictures and that's okay.  This really wasn't about seeing how many people could get to join some silly contest.  Some of you might not even like the prize.  It was more about having an urge to be more creative and try to do something outside my comfort box as a way to energize my life and I wanted to share the challenge with you.  Those of you who have done this, have mentioned or written to me to tell me how it has been fun, enlightening, relaxing, or energizing in some way. 

Julie from Finish Line Diaries just recently posted about her creative process.  Check it 
out.  Thanks Julie!  Love it! 

Jenn even baked SUAR in the oven and gave her a lazy eye to go with her green bikini. 

Those of you that still want to participate, You have a week to get down and dirty with your crayolas or tape.  Even band aid art!  Maybe some old running shoes? So, here's a link to the Contest:  Getting Back To Basics!  Have fun!     

What is one of your all-time favorite books and why?  

Are you Running the Boston Marathon or do you know of someone running?  

Do you write in the margins of your books and underline favorite lines??  


  1. Lovely art from lovely ladies!!

    So proud of you for being able to let the run go. I am often struggling with this and want to free myself by running, but being with my family will have a much better, and lasting, outcome.

    Looking forward to your race this weekend and YAY for Boston!!

  2. Yay! I've been thinking about you ever since you said you registered and hoping that you'd get in! Congrats!

  3. I've never written in or highlighted in books... even in college.

    I think I might do this art thing... hmmmm....

    yay for Boston! YOu are going to do so amazingly!

  4. i had the exact same feeling last weekend...i realized i was sacrificing spending time with my husband to get up early on a sunday to go meet someone i don't really know for a run and i'm not even training. i decided to stay home instead. and it was worth every second. good for you!

  5. I know this is crazy, but with all the books I read, I never write in them. I have so many books that I have loved over the years, but I would say These is My Words and Cold Mountain are two that are close to my heart.

    And I am so proud of you for getting in to Boston! Not only a great race, but a great mini-vacation for you.

  6. I say it all the time, but balance is SO important... and keeping things balanced is always changing and moving side to side, and we have to make a million small decisions every day on how to best keep life in balance. Glad you made the right choice tonight. Sounds like a wonderful night! :)

  7. Thanks for the book recommendation - I added it to my library list. I love reading books that have lines so eloquently written it forces you to pause, re-read, and let the words soak in. I'm a sucker for a well-written book, even if the story is so-so.

  8. I read this book and absolutely loved it too.
    Congrats on getting into Boston.
    I just wanted to say that I think you are such an amazing writer. I love coming to your blog and reading what you have to say.

  9. I love the artwork! I have been keeping my eye out for am
    Update from you on it -- glad others have dug into their creative side :) the cookie - what a good idea! Maybe a little chocolate icing on the backside?

  10. The Paris Wife is my favorite book of the year and I highly recommend it to anyone. Go out and get it. It was so good that I cried when it was over:(
    No Boston for me, but for some friends. I am so excited you got in Amanda!!

  11. OK-seriously I am not done with my art project. I am a bigtime procrastinator. I could write 15 page papers in college starting them at 2 am the morning before they were due....I always get it done-ha and I'm usually most creative when I'm on a timeline....or not....but either way I will finish it-ha!

    Glad you found a good book!!

    You won't fall on your face-ha! I think you will do quite well as a matter of fact!! You know what's right for you at this stage and you're listening. Totally respect that and dammit, now I want cookies....

    See you in Boston:)

  12. My unconventional Book Club (meaning we all read different books) absolutely raved about Cutting for Stone. If you give it a resounding thumbs up, then I am reading it!

    I really want to get in on your creative contest! keep forgetting to submit!

  13. I'm excited that you got into Boston. We really need to meet up there because I would love to meet you in person.

    I admire you for being able to know when to push for a workout and when to take a step back and remember what is more important in life. I know I have said this before but you are a great romodel for me. Thank you!

  14. Love this post. I have missed 4 runs over the past 4 days and I have had to tell myself not to feel guilty. I will always remember the times with my kids more. Thanks for posting this.

  15. I loved the book Gap Creek.

    I also love my lazy eye. Maybe that is an indication of things to come in my life.

    Yes, sometimes those runs need to be missed for more important stuff. I don't want to turn around in a few years and realized I missed "those" moments.

  16. I'm so glad you chose to bake cookies instead of running. I did the same thing recently. Ang works a ton and we rarely get to spend quality time together during the week. I was supposed to run but she suddenly had the night off so I ditched my run and we cooked dinner together instead. I definitely did not regret it. :)

    Our book club is reading Cutting for Stone this month. I haven't purchased it yet but if you love it then I know I will.

    I haven't heard about Boston yet, so does that mean I didn't get in? If I do get in, I am most excited to meet people like YOU! Even more than running the race. I know, weird.

  17. I can't choose just one all-time favourite book. I loved The Book Thief (Markus Zuzak) for the language he uses. His work choices paint such vivid pictures. I felt bereft when I finished Plain Truth (Jodi Piccoult) because her characters had come alive. And Five Quarters of an Orange (Joanne Harris) melded present day seamlessly with a past mystery.

  18. AMEN, my can obsessively run your guts out when those little ones grow up.

  19. That sounds like a must read!
    Good for you for trading the run for a go-round on the tramp and cookies. Those are things memories are made of.
    Love the artistic submissions and wow I love your header!
    No Boston for me next year. My cup runneth over with two...unless I change my mind one of these years.

  20. Hahah, loving the cookie from Jenn. Ya know, my crayons must have got lost in the mail...sorry I haven't been up on my creative side for ya! My daughter moved out this weekend :( and took all her art supplies, too, dammit. Otherwise, I'd be on top of that little project!

    You've talked about balance a lot and you are doing a fantastic job of being super mom and being super runner's so hard! I remember training for my first marathon when my twins weren't even two and had to squish in every run when they were napping and scrounging to find a neighbor to watch them. You do what works best for ya!!

    Hope all's well...haven't checked in with you in awhile!!

  21. That was a great post. It is so hard to balance spending quality time with the kids and spending quality time with our running shoes.

  22. Ahhh, the contest! My half-drawn pictures are on the counter. I may still make it...I keep thinking about it and darn life keeps getting in the way.

    I think you absolutely made the right choice tonight. Sometimes it's about the little moments with your kids and them knowing that, while your goals matter to you, THEY are your biggest goals.

    I know this girl who's running Boston. She's amazing. Super fast. Great momma. Writes a pretty popular blog. Lives in the Portland area (I think, lol). You might know her...

    I'm more one to type out the quotes that catch my eye onto a note on my phone for later. Often they make it into a blog, sometimes I just treasure them where they are or come across them way later when I've forgotten I wrote them down.

    I absolutely loved The Help, Born to Run, and Water for Elephants. Past favorites are Into Thin Air and The Stand.

  23. You are a gem! I love that you stayed home and made cookies instead:) You are always so intune with priorities and I love that about you. whenever I need a pep talk, i know who I'm coming to:):) love you A! xx

  24. Read that book last year! I found it a bit slow going at points, but loved the full circle of it. And the character development was great. My favorite read so far this year has been Freedom by Jonathon Franzen--go get it!

    I am in Boston. Still not running, but if I am by Nov, I plan to run Boston slowly!

  25. Great stuff! Love your love for learning! I have an "idea" for my "art", now I just need to find time to do it. HUGS!

    P.S. I would love to play with my mom and bake cookies anyday!

  26. Melt my heart! I love that you chose your sweet babes over 10 miles! Sometimes, that just has to happen. They will remember that! Congrats on getting into Boston!

  27. Loved seeing some of the creativity! I sent you my drawing a couple of days ago...hope you got it :)

    Congrats on Boston! I will live vicariously through you as you train and kick its butt!

  28. Jenn's rendition of SUAR was so lovely ;-)
    that lazy eye makes the cookie!