Monday, October 29, 2012

Mother Nature

So here is a thing that is sort of surreal....Saturday night I started seeing all kinds of tweets and Facebook postings from friends in Hawaii obeying an island-wide evacuation order due to an approaching tsunami. As I was reading up on the news they kept mentioning that the last such order was March of 2011 on the heels of the earthquake in Japan.

That's right, the same tsunami warning that sent my pals and I to spend the night in our rental car in the parking lot of the Honolulu Temple. It was crazy to be watching all the reports and seeing their updates and remembering the backseat of that Ford Focus lighting up with all kinds of messages and updates from our friends and families making sure we were OK.

Flash forward to today and the constant checking of the internet to see what was happening on the East Coast and thinking back just a few months to my coworker Julie and I sobbing in a hotel room in Eugene because our houses were being evacuated in the face of an unpredictable fire.

It is a bizarre thing when the place you are, or the place you aren't but your house IS, takes up the 24 hour news cycle. When your phone explodes because people know where you are and want to check on you. It's not like you WANT to have those experiences and heaven knows I was pretty freaked out both times, but there is something to be said for the reminders of how much we are loved.

One of my all-time favorite movies is Lars and the Real Girl and there is a point where one of the characters asks the doctor Lars is seeing if she misses the husband she lost. She responds with, "sometimes I get so lonely I forget what day it is and how to spell my name." It may sound strange if you read this blog or follow me elsewhere on the internet but I find myself feeling that way more often the older and singler (I know that is not a word, sorry mom.) I get. I am lucky lucky to have a big wide net of people to love but when you live far away from most of them, and when you go to bed alone, it's easy for the daily grind to make you forget.

This big wide net of a life means that if something bad happens in a big place, I probably have a bestie who is in the thick of it. So this weekend and today, I made sure to reach out to all of those people I adore in Hawaii and New York to make sure their phones were blowing up too.

And then maybe I'll just try to be better in general about staying in touch. The last few months I have laid low while I try to get back into a normal life and I'm starting to feel like connecting again. It probably shouldn't take a hurricane to get me to check in eh?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Come Clean

I do this thing-and maybe you do it too-where I have unrealistic expectation for myself that I would never demand from someone else. OK I might demand it just a liiiiitle bit from someone else.

I expect that I can recover from 5 Games in 11 months with a couple of weekends of sleeping in.
I expect that I should be able to go for a few long runs and a hot yoga class and I won't think about a boy who broke my heart anymore.
I expect that I shouldn't feel disappointed. Ever. Disappointment is for complainers.

If you think this is an exhausting way to live you are right. I don't have an answer for this yet except to note that 3.5 days of nephews was not enough. And sometimes even years later something dumb can rip open a wound you thought was closed and you cry your way through an episode of Glee. And I think maybe it's OK to admit that on both counts. It's OK if I'm still worn down after this wacko year. It's OK if maybe an old breakup still stings now and then.

In the meantime, here are some pretty great photos of a pretty perfect weekend.

Luke. His eyes will melt you. 

Best way to carry a kid. Hands down. 

Bonus grandpa visit

Kids on a pole

St. George's cutest family

I can beat Wyatt

But Morgan cheats

I didn't know Christopher was taking pictures but this one kills me.  I love this kid so much. 

Birthday bike ride with brother. So perfect. 

Was THAT Aunt and gave Wyo an entire cinnamon roll of his own. 

Training up little future climbers
Good trip. Not nearly long enough. Slept 12 hours today. Still figuring this all out.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Cooking Class

Thirty-six is probably a meaningless birthday to most people but it's had a little circle around it on my calendar for a very long time.  I discovered somewhere in my mid-twenties that Julia Child didn't go to culinary school until she was 36. Julia. Child. Julia Child who basically brought french cooking to America, revolutionized cook books and pioneered televised cooking shows, did not discover what she really wanted to do with her life until she was 36! That knowledge has simmered in the back of my head as a comfort and an inspiration whenever I feel panicked about the state of my own life's purpose. One Christmas visit to Washington D.C. I even dragged my sister-in-law to the Smithsonian so we could go look at Julia's kitchen. 

Well. I turn 36 on Sunday. And I think I have as many questions about "what I want to be when I grow up" as I did when I was 26. I turned 30 with a big party, a whirlwind work trip to New York, a college girlfriend reunion in San Francisco and a half marathon that ended in fire fighters in tuxedos giving us Tiffany necklaces. And guys-it's been uphill since then. But to be perfectly candid, I'm struggling a bit with this particular birthday. 

Some of it is science. The baby years are closing. And I know-I have heard ALLLLLL the stories about your aunt or cousin or lady in your ward who managed to have a baby IN HER FORTIES. I know. It can be done. Old maids get married. Elderly women have kids. And I know that people tell you those things to make you feel better. They are great stories. They do not make single women feel better. 

Some of it is career. And again-I know. The Olympics. Remember how they were insane and amazing? Nobody wants to peak at 35. It's way, way exciting to think that I have to come up with some entirely new dreams but it's also way, way scary. "Summer Games" have been on the list for just about as long as "Eiffel Tower with sister" and I knocked them both out in a six week span this year. The problem with big goals is that as you meet them, you discover you have developed something of an appetite for crossing things off. I don't want to get stuck, I don't want to stop growing, I don't want to get left behind. 

All of that said-I can't let this birthday kill the nice "2012 is awesome" buzz I have going and I owe it to the 27 and 32 and 34 year old versions of me who were so comforted not to freak out just because we hit the Julia year and we don't have the Cordon Bleu lined up. So for the first time in my whole life, I'm swallowing my discomfort about making a big deal over my birthday and I'm kind of not shutting up about it. I decided to celebrate Birthday Week this year. I even started a hashtag on Twitter so I can be annoying about it there too. 

Last night I went to a concert. On a Monday. Today I ate ice cream THREE TIMES and donated money to a charity. Tomorrow I have a date with a hot 27 year old who is likely not marriage material but he's got beautiful eyes and has a way of calling me "woman" that makes me forget I'm a feminist. And thursday I fly to Utah to spend the rest of birthday week chasing nephews, riding bikes with my brother, going to hot yoga and drinking gigantic sodas with my sister-in-law, and eating a lot of things I will have to sweat way too hard to work off because I am getting old. 

And then. Thirty-six. I'm going to channel Julia every day and let this be a year of trying new things and hanging onto the right old things and being brave and being generous and remembering the advice I gave an anxious friend tonight which is this...Find your happy right now, whatever your circumstance and life will be hard pressed to take it from you.

Monday, October 01, 2012

She's a Libra

Today is October 1-the beginning of Q4 and the day I restart all those good healthy habits that the summer shot to hell.

September was ridiculous-Washington DC, Portland, and a whirlwind trip to Munich to look at spots for Sochi Team Processing. I'm in love with Germany (more on that later) and fired up about the next Games but I'm more fired up about the rest of 2012. I have a trip to St. George to celebrate my birthday with brother bike rides, sister-in-law hot yoga classes and plenty of chasing my nephews around the yard. It looks like Thanksgiving might see all the Clifflets in once place and our magnificently awesome CEO is shutting us down between Christmas and New Year's so I will spending a few glorious weeks relaxing in the SLC which is pretty much my favorite way to wrap up any year, but especially this totally off the wall one.

I want to finish 2012 strong so I'm back to my Insanity workout regimen and trying to see if I can bring some balance back into my life. We'll see how it goes but I'm turning 36 in two weeks and I'm pretty determined that if I have to get older, I'm going to take advantage of the wiser too.