Daring to be Great

Recently I set a December writing goal for myself. It’s a bit lofty and perhaps a more than a little bit unrealistic, but not impossible. (Because, you know, an offensive orange Cheeto is thisclose to holding holding the highest office in the land, so anything’s possible.)

I shared the goal with my writing group, one of my best friends, and my husband, but I am not ready to share it with you.

You’d think it’s silly. Or maybe you wouldn’t, but you’d definitely think it was lofty, more than a little bit unrealistic, and thisclose to impossible. When it happens I’ll tell you. Or if it doesn’t happen I’ll tell you then. (If I’m brave.)

Two weeks ago my friend Kim received a pitch for her blog. It wasn’t a good fit for her, but it was a perfect fit for me, especially if I want to achieve this goal I’ve set for myself.

“Does this interest you?” she asked me.

“Bleep yeah, it interests me!” I answered immediately. (Only I didn’t say bleep.)

I contacted the person who reached out to her and he was receptive to me writing the piece.

Coincidentally (or perhaps it’s serendipitously) two similar opportunities have been placed right in front of my face from different avenues, waving at me, as if they were saying, “Hello, here I am. Come and get me. All you have to do is ask.” And I know if I capitalize on these opportunities they will help me achieve my goal.

But I have to tell you something.

I’m scared.

What if I get shot down? My goal isn’t reliant upon doing these two things, but they will help. A lot.

So if I don’t ask for these things (that theoretically should be easy to get) and then don’t reach my goal, I still fail, but not in a scary way. In an “I didn’t even try way,” because really, who am I to think that I am good enough to get that thing that I want.

It’s silly. Too lofty. Too unrealistic. Not thisclose to impossible. Impossible.

And then Saturday I went for a three mile run. Talk about thisclose to impossible. I haven’t run since May, except for around the building in boot camp where every step is torture and I curse my trainer’s name with every painful breath I take and I hate it so much and am so glad I stopped running.

But I’ve been eating and drinking too much lately (because food: yum! and drinking: fun!) and I didn’t have time to take a class at the gym and I needed to do something and as sucktastic as running is, it’s efficient. A three mile run is a lofty goal for a 51-year-old woman who hasn’t run in five months, perhaps even unrealistic. Thisclose to impossible.

Plus my phone was charged and the weather was perfect. The only excuse I had for not running is that I didn’t really want to because it’s so hard (except that I sort of did).

To keep myself motivated I set Spotify to my running mix and open my Runkeeper app so it would alert me of my time and mileage every five minutes.

Time: five minutes. Distance: zero-point-four-two-miles. Average pace eleven minutes, fifty-four seconds per mile. (Translation: damn, you’re slow)

Time: ten minutes. Distance: zero-point-eight-two-miles. Average pace: twelve minutes, eleven seconds per mile. (Translation: you might want to figure out another form of exercise, you really suck at this.)

That lady is mean to me, sure. But she keeps me going. Every five minutes I tell myself, just five minutes more.

At the 15 minute mark the mean Runkeeper lady tells me how poorly I’m doing (one-point-two miles at a twelve-minute-thirty-second pace) my phone shuts down. Shit. This is so hard. I’m at the steepest part of my run and two minutes away from reaching my turnaround point and I have no music. No mean lady. Only me. My legs. My feet. My heart. Everything I need. And so, I keep going.

I run to the turnaround spot, smack the light pole and head back. It is (both literally and figuratively) downhill all the way home.

When I hit a flat(ish) part I start to walk and fiddle with my phone to get my music and that mean Runkeeper lady back. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis cheer me on.

“Ey ey, ey
Good to see you, c’mon let’s go
Yeah, let’s go”

And I start to run again. When the song ends the music stop. Dammit! Stupid phone. But I don’t want to walk again so I run to the beat of my panting breath and my feet hitting the pavement. Huh step step step. Huh step step step. Huh step step step.

My mind begins to wander with the rhythm I’m creating. I think about how easy it would be to stop running because I don’t have my Runkeeper and my music. And I think about that goal I’ve set for myself and how the biggest obstacles in my way are the ones I’m creating for myself.

My goal my be lofty. Unrealistic. Thisclose to impossible.

But I’ve got  everything I need. I just need to make proper use out of it.

 

How I Can Be a Good Mom and a Bad Mom at the Same Time

Last week I was offered two last minute tickets to KIIS FM’s Jingle Ball. Now most of the acts at Jingle Ball aren’t really my beatbox jam (that sounds way hipper than “cup of tea” right?) – Selena Gomez… Ariana Grande… Austin Mahone (who?)… Fifth Harmony (again, who?)… Miley Cyrus.

Jingle-Ball-2013
Jingle Ball 2013

Actually most of the artists aren’t Marley’s beatbox jam either, but she likes Travie McCoy and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and she looooves Miley Cyrus. (God help me.)

Oh what a mother will do to bring joy to her child.

(Plus Enrique Iglesias was going to be there. And he’s super-hot.)

Enrique-Iglesias
Enrique – you can wrap those buff arms around me any time!

 

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “That Charlene is such good mom to drive 90 minutes in traffic on a Friday night to go to downtown LA and sacrifice her poor eardrums to a nightful of banal pop music.”

And you’d be right.

Except you’re wrong. I am a bad mom. A very very bad mom.

Oh, don’t worry, I took her. But I probably shouldn’t have.

Marley had to be on the soccer field the next day at 7AM to play three (THREE!) soccer games at 8:00, 10:30 and 1:00 in her very first post-season championship soccer tournament.

Even with a full night’s sleep I was anticipating an “I’m too tired, I can’t run anymore” Marley meltdown around the third quarter of the second game. (She’s a rather lazy athlete.)

And all week long we’d been getting reminder emails from the (waaaay too enthusiastic) team mom and coach.

“Please make sure your girls are rested, fed and hydrated.  They’ll need all their energy on Saturday!!!”

“For our Saturday games, we need to arrive no later than 7:00am in order to check in all the players.  Please have an early night folks, and be sure to give the girls a good breakfast!”

(Like I, an adult woman, need to be reminded to put my kid to bed on time and feed her a proper breakfast before a very early morning three game soccer tournament.)

Well, apparently I do, because I’m sure that a good mother would have realized that as fun as the concert would be for her daughter, her daughter made a commitment to soccer and it was important that she get a good night’s rest before her tournament. She owed that to her teammates. Marley didn’t even have to know that we were offered the tickets, so she wouldn’t even have to be upset about it.

But I’m not a good mother. I’m a bad mother who wants my daughter to think I’m a good mother and love me for just five minutes of her miserable tortured angst-ridden hormonal teenage life.

(Plus did I mention that Enrique Iglesias was going to be there? And that he’s super hot?)

Enrique-Iglesias-concert
Look at that smile – so cute!

We had a talk. I told her that if I took her she would have to suck it up and over-perform on the soccer field no matter how tired she was. She nodded her head in agreement. She promised she would not complain and play her very very best.

And I was right. She was happy. And so sweet. And she loved me the most for five minutes. (Even though it was her father’s connection that got us the tickets.) She didn’t even complain when she ate dinner at home instead of paying double for the she-knows-how-bad-it-is-for-you-but-doesn’t-care-it’s-still-her-favorite-because-it’s-so-delicious McDonald’s at the Staples Center.

And we had a great time. I got through the lip syncing. And the bad music. The supposed war between Selena Gomez and Ariana Grande went right over my head. I very much enjoyed Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. (They rocked the house.) Enrique Iglesias did not disappoint. (I’m pretty sure he was singing only to me.) But I was not very impressed with Robin Thicke.

Neither was Marley.

thumbs down
Marley says Robin Thicke degrades women and she is not down with that!

I was incredibly impressed with New Politics. In fact, they were freaking amazing. (And super cute – Enrique who?) I’m definitely going to have to see them in concert for real. (Meaning where they play a full set instead of just two songs.) In the first place they are a real band who actually plays instruments and does not sing to track or pre-recorded music (a rarity in the Jingle Ball world). And secondly, the lead singer break dances! And is crazy good at it. Seriously, check this out (I promise it will put a smile on your face.)

Oh, and in case you haven’t heard, Miley did indeed twerk Santa Clause. (I love and want to keep my readers, so I will spare you a picture.)

We had a great time.

mom and daughter at concert
So much fun!

And got home at 12:45AM. I got to bed at 1:00. And got my ass out of bed four and a half hours later. I gave Marley an extra half hour. I’m sure that when the coach (and over enthusiastic team mom) said get “a good night’s sleep,” five hours wasn’t exactly what they had in mind.

But Marley got up without complaint. And totally stepped it up on the soccer field. (Even though the first game it was raining – hard. And the second and third games were just cold. Like 40 degree cold. And we’re from California so that’s like 20 degrees to us.)

She actually played better than she’s ever played before.

Maybe I’m not such a bad mom after all.

Oh… and one last thing. Can the owner of this camera get in touch with me immediately? (Please!)

Enrique-Iglesias-in-concert

Enrique Iglesias photos credit: Eva Rinaldi via Creative Commons.