Oh, dear

It is far too late for me to be awake right now. Especially considering that, not only do I have to get up at my regular time tomorrow, but I then have things back-to-back until 8:30 PM. Remember that my morning wake-up time is 4:20 AM, and my regular bedtime is 8:30 PM. It is currently 12:38 AM.

But I saw the nutritionist and chiropractor tonight, and it just happened to be a terrible week to have that happen. Today was already rather booked, from rising to 7:00 PM. But add onto that the sitting around and waiting in the office, until I finally have and finish my appointment just before midnight – I could have gone home after work, slept three hours, and then gone to the office, really. This is just a tad absurd.

Man.

Okay, deep breaths. Tomorrow will be beautiful. And I will sleep fantastically tomorrow night, for sure. Perhaps this is why I never signed up for be volunteering at the park for Wednesday morning – the Universe knew that I might need the rest then. Depending on how tomorrow goes, I might see about still signing up tomorrow night for Wednesday morning. But we shall see. Fingers crossed, and goddesses bless!! 😉

Post-a-day 2021

Brunch

I had brunch with a girl from my high school today. We weren’t friends in high school, but I had wanted to be. I told her today how she had mostly just seemed so angry in high school, and like she needed (or wanted) space, so I had mostly just let her be. She laughed and smiled a lot at that, but agreed with me, for the most part – she had been frustrated and angry quite a lot back then.

Being with her today, though, I saw clearly what I had glimpsed and guessed at back in school together: fear. I think she might be afraid of her own self, somehow, the same as we all seem to be, at least at some point in life. It just affects us all in different ways, some more different than others. Being with her today, I felt a pull to make it clear to her that she is loved and wanted; she, exactly who and how she is.

I had a wonderful time with her today. As we were leaving – four hours after we’d first arrived – I commented that our combined conversations throughout the four years of high school didn’t amount to as much as we had just talked with one anther. She laughed and agreed fully. They probably didn’t even amount to half the time of today’s brunch conversation.

But we weren’t meant to be friends back then. Perhaps it was merely a means to set a foundation upon which to build a true friendship later in life, now.

I do hope so.

Certainly, we shall see. 🙂

Post-a-day 2021

Timing

I was considering tonight how, even if I had worn my retainers to work, no one would have even known. And that isn’t because they are from Smile Direct Club, and so they are clear solid plastic, and, therefore, practically invisible when on my teeth, but because we wear masks, and so no one even sees my mouth, let alone my teeth at work. At the gym, sure I smile all the time during the tough workouts, but any other time people are nearby, masks are covering our mouths.

Which had it occur to me that this past year would have been the perfect time for people to get braces, both teenagers/pre-teens and adults alike! Think about it. Most people have either been going in to work or school with everyone in masks – teeth not seen – or have done video conferencing in which the video quality is not high enough for people to notice something so small on their screens, especially in group meetings, where even faces are quite small on the screen. 99% of one’s interactions would end without anyone being the wiser regarding the braces.

How cool is that? Same deal with having a baby, I suppose. Work from home, get pregnant, produce a baby, and wait until seeing people in person after it all, and suddenly start showing off this baby that you never mentioned to anyone outside the family. Totally bizarre, sure, but also hilariously reminiscent of high end people formerly sent away on extended visits to aunts or the likes in order to conceal pregnancy. But with a super happy ending instead, of course. Mom keeps baby.

As a note, my cousin actually kind of did that. I, of course, was in favor of her saying nothing about her pregnancy; just announcing the baby itself via a fun-themed party that no one would have guessed was about a baby (especially considering that no one would have known that she was pregnant in the first place). However, she did not do that. Naturally… haha.

Anyway, so, those are my thoughts this evening. Fix teeth. Have a baby. Get super fit! Re-enter society like nothing is new. What a fun way to spend a year of shut-downs…

Post-a-day 2021

Intentionally Picky

I do not claim not to be picky. Indeed, on the important things, I will not settle – I accept only exactly what is perfect, and what is perfect happens also to be exactly what I want.

For example, when I want an apple, there is an image in my mind, on my taste buds, on my teeth of exactly what I want. If it is a deep pink, small apple, with hints of yellow and near-red, then I simply will deny any other apple available to me. It is not snobbery. It is merely being aware of what it is I want – and why I want it, specifically – and being conscious enough to acknowledge that anything else is superfluous. For whatever reason, my body wants that apple. Not a green one; not a red one; not an underripe pink one… that one. Consider the idea of needing a bunch of protein, and someone offers a handful of grass to eat. It just doesn’t make sense to consider the grass as an answer to the need for protein. Whatever is in that apple is only in that apple and in the right amounts.

Now, that might be a somewhat terrible comparison, but it was meant well. ;P

Today, I spent some… time… on Bumble, the dating application. Recall my pickiness with apples and just about anything else in life – I’ve gone years in search of the right shirt and skirt combination, never settling (though, I did recently find the skirt!). Men are no different. What I am seeing in a partner, in a mate in life follows the same guidelines and criteria of either being exactly what I seek or superfluous.

And I think I broke Bumble.

It just kind of… ran out. Of options, I mean. When I had swiped “no” after the who-knows-how-many-hundreth person, the application seemed just to give up, saying, ‘Nope. We don’t have anyone for you right now. Check back again soon.’

Note the following screen:

Yeah. So, that happened. And, even when I closed the application and relaunched it, the screen happened again… and again and again and again.

And so, i accepted Bumble’s quiet yet oh-so-loud message, and closed it up, not even the least bit of concern in my mind. When it is time, it is time. And right now is the time not to bother with the online dating application. Perhaps it never will be again. And perhaps it will be one day. For now, however, my message was clear: Be here, in person, and life will meet me where I follow my heart.

I guess I am signing up for that volunteering next week after all. 🙂

Post-a-day 2021

^Had to think about it again… and I was doing so well! Haha

When I stay out late…

Tonight, I jumped into an American Karate class… for children. It’s technically a joint class for children and adults, but I was the only adult. It was simultaneously adorable and frustrating, a true test of my own love and patience. I learned various facts about American Karate and Karate – karate originates from India in 500AD, means “empty hand” from Japanese; modern-day karate was founded by Funikoshi; American Karate was founded in 1970(?) by Ed Parker; American Society of Karate was founded in 1970 by Bill Gray, who began karate in 1958, and received his black belt in Judou and Shotokan in 1967; and some other stuff – and had fun with the kids who, mostly, remembered the various facts rather well. We even got easter eggs for answering correctly at the end. (I gave mine away, of course, and the boys were delighted.) Most of the information was not actually new to me, but it had been a long while – roughly 20 years – since I had really considered most any of it beyond the actual word “karate”.

I think I need to let them know, however, that their translation of “kata” is not quite correct. Hmm… what an odd feeling. I even remember learning the translation as a child, and yet, it turns out the translation is not quite right. Is it better to leave it be, or to help them potentially correct such an error? I’m leaning strongly (like 99%) towards the latter, but I’ll give it a day to figure out how to approach it comfortably for all parties.

Nonetheless, I had a wonderful time, stupid frog jumps for their mis-answered questions and all. I loved doing the drills, the kicking, the punching, even the kiai, the shout to end a series. Oddly enough, I was afraid of that kiwi as a child, embarrassed by it. Tonight, however, I was comfortable and confident with it. And, now that I’ve thought some more about that, I’m wondering if that is not an oddity that happened when karate was give its “American” prefix. 😛 Haha. Traditionally, it looks like kiai were vowel starts. American karate actually says “Kia!” for the kiai… so, yeah… Haha

I’m not concerned about it. I don’t much care, really. Haha

Anyway, I think I’m going to do these classes. They are very much affordable, and I loved being in it and using my body that way, feeling how strong and agile I am… and in a way I never was growing up. I’m even more flexible now than I was back, then, I think. I know, actually. I was never able to put my head to my knees with straight legs, grab my feet with straight legs in front of me and a straight back. So, yeah… I’m able to do so much more now. Hopefully, I can find a group of adults at some point in the near-sh future. For now, though, I have these adorable kiddos, and dedicated teachers.

And I have lots and lots of gratitude.

Thank you, Universe, God, Bill Gray, and all the others… I thank you all. <3<3<3

Post-a-day 2021

A day of rest

My weighted vest arrived yesterday. I went to bed last night, considering that I actually might not be going to the workout this morning, but still leaning more towards going. When I awoke this morning, around two hours before my alarm, I was almost certain I would not be going to the workout. I felt terrible, utterly exhausted. When my alarm later sounded, it was confirmed: I was going back to bed, because I needed some serious rest. I slept an extra three and a half hours before waking for real. I didn’t actually get up until another half hour later, listening to an audiobook as I lay curled on my side under the comforter, eyes closed.

I eventually got up and made breakfast, though. After eating, I went and unpacked the vest with delight. I was super excited. As soon as I unpacked it, I put it on and wore it around the house for a while. It was certainly heavy, and would take some major adjusting, if ever I were intending to run two miles with this thing. I’m still not sure that I’ll ever do it, but I’m not giving up the idea so easily. Slow and steady, were my thoughts. We still have time.

By 10:00, I was barely staying awake, however, and so I lay down comfortably on the floor… and passed out… hard. I woke only once, and fell right back asleep, adding yet another additional three hours to my sleep tank for the day. I really was wiped, I thought. I had needed this day of rest, for more than just resting my muscles – so much of me was tired. Last week and the weekend and start of this week had been, well, a lot. And being behind on sleep with all of that only made things harder, both then and now.

And so I truly rested today, swapping between a new book on the kindle – got the notification this morning that it was now available from the library! – and the audiobook on my phone (also from the library, of course), and even spent close to an hour just stretching while reading, and half an hour swinging on the front porch, despite the heat and humidity (once the mosquitos arrived, however, I was done sitting out there).

Around 5:00pm, I was unsure as to what to do. I had rested much today, but didn’t want to rest too much. I also didn’t want to exert myself when I actually just needed rest. But I could feel it within myself that I needed to move. Not intensely or hard, but truly to move. So, I donned the weighted vest, though only with 10lbs now, instead fo 20, and went on a long walk. Two and a half miles in the heat, I walked at a mostly brisk pace, experiencing moving with the vest on me. It was simultaneously rough and easy.

Now, it is 9:00pm, and I can hardly stand up, I am so sleepy and tired. Therefore, I bid you all a wonderful night. 😉

P.S. Tomorrow is my anniversary of first beginning as a member at the gym. I had reached 55 workouts so far this calendar year yesterday, and so was comfortable not going today. Last year, at this point, I had done only 51 workouts. I still considered going at noon or in the afternoon today, just to round out the year’s total, but my body went into sleep mode for the noon class, and was too exhausted to fathom doing such work by late afternoon.

Post-a-day 2021

Gym

Remember how I mentioned that Katy Perry song last night, “Teenage Dream”? Well, guess what song played at the gym this morning! It was so fun to have that happen, especially considering how that song does not usually play at the gym – nothing of its genre, even. So, that was a delightful start to the day for me.

However, speaking of the gym, I totally cried during the workout today. We were doing these deltoid press-downs with stretchy bands looped over the pull-up bars. I had attempted my left arm first. I always ask which muscles are managing movements (if I am not already sure), so that I can do the movement correctly and at all. (I’ve definitely been unable to do something simply because I was using, say, my arm muscles, when it should have been shoulder and back muscles, and then it totally worked when I got the right muscle group going.)

But something just didn’t click for me this morning – I couldn’t make the band go down. As soon as I hit the point of the band’s genuine resistance, I just could not make it go any farther. And yet, that was hardly half the distance to my body. I looked around, and saw everyone else doing it with somewhat ease. I took a step closer to the bar, to lessen the tension on the band. And then another. And I still couldn’t get my arm all the way down to my body, as we were supposed to be doing – as everyone else was doing. I was bordering on tears… from embarrassment, perhaps? I was also quite low on my sleep from the past couple nights – nightmares had plagued Sunday night, giving me minimal rest then, and last night hadn’t been much more restful, though the nightmares had mostly all gone.

The coach saw me and told me to move away from the bar. I moved a bit, and he said with more emphasis and volume for me to move, suggesting that I needed to take a huge step away. And I did, but I was beginning to panic. It is not a comfortable feeling when the body does not do as we wish it to do for something that it, by all means, ought to be able to do. Nor is it comfortable to feel oneself beginning to cry over such a simple little movement in a gym workout.

But I reminded myself that I was behind on sleep, which always seems to affect my ability to remain calm and not crying in situations. And so, I struggled and mostly failed, and then switched to the right arm, just to see if it would be any different. The band went right down. It was easy like how I had seen everyone else doing it… So something is wrong with my left side, I thought. Even more stress.

I moved on to the other activity for that round, and aimed to take a mental breather from the fact that I was supposed to do that four more rounds, and yet I hadn’t even been able to do it one time out of the 20 repetitions with my left side.

When I returned for the start of my second round, I tried again, aiming truly to figure out if there were a way that I could do it, despite my body’s not being able to do it fully as intended. A modification would be fine, if I could find one. The coach saw me again, standing too close to the bar as I attempting the modification. The earlier process had repeated, and the taunting tears from before no longer taunted, but fell forth. He was immediately in front of me, standing very close, talking calmly and gently to me, asking me what was going on, what was happening in that moment. I told him that – after a solid ten seconds of being unable to speak, for my tears – I was frustrated because I couldn’t do it. He evaluated, looking to the bar where I was, and the bar I had used the first round. This one was higher, which increased the tension, he pointed out. And I said I hadn’t been able to do it before either. The bands, too, were new, and so were harder to use than the ones we had had until recently. I told him that it was just my left side that I just couldn’t seem to make do the movement. He aligned everything for me, adjusting exactly the angle of my arm and elbow, and altering my handhold to decrease resistance.

And then I did it. I was still crying and, even, shaking, somewhat, but now there was relief in my tears, not merely stress and embarrassment. And I did it again. And I kept going. I nodded, making it clear that I was okay to continue on my own now. Before he walked away, he said to me, “You don’t need to be frustrated. You’re doing f***ing pull-ups,” and it made me laugh through my tears. He was right, after all. I was crying from stress at a tiny movement that I hadn’t been able to do, thinking I was too weak – I could do it, now that he had helped me figure it out, so it hadn’t been that I was too weak at all. And yet, after the workout today, I did three pull-ups, and attempted a fourth five or so times (making it about 90-95% of the way up each time on that fourth), wanting to get in one more than I had done after yesterday’s workout. I most certainly was not too weak.

I took one deep breathe, let it go, and I was breathing fully and easily again. I’m sure my face and eyes were still rather cry-looking for a while after that, but everyone was busy working, so I doubt anyone else even noticed. By the time I started the next round, which I was able to do with ease – relative ease, that it, as it was still hard work, but I could do that hard work now – I was fully calm and focused. While doing my left side, the coach caught my eye from across the room and gave me a visual clapping with his hands (because it was meant to be seen and not heard – there was loud music playing, after all).

I smiled sheepishly, but with immense gratitude. He is always there to encourage us to push ourselves beyond mental barriers (But he is extremely careful to keep us always safe, especially regarding physical abilities. Once, he told me, after I had cried at some back squats, never to do something that actually scared me or made me uncomfortable, where I didn’t feel safe doing it. He wants us safe, but not lazy cowards. That’s why he pushes us.), but, if ever his push of encouragement does not land as intended, he is at our side to help us how specifically we need in that moment. There was no hesitation when I started crying this morning – he saw that something was not okay for me, and his full focus was on helping me clear up whatever it was. And he did exactly that. And today was just one of the many reasons that I love this gym and its owner (today’s coach). Both because of the ridiculous song choices for the morning and for his clear love and care for me when I hit a roadblock.

Post-a-day 2021

Tuesdays for me

I am a boss at getting the silliest of things wrong and just rolling with it, even totally embracing it despite (or because of?) the error. For example, I thought the song lyrics were, “Let’s go out into the night; no regrets, just love.” As I sang that while walking with a friend down a hallway one day, he commented on ‘Aww, how cute. Hannah editing the song to make it more appropriate to sing out loud.’ We then discovered that, no, I had not been editing to make it a PG song – I had genuinely thought those were the lyrics. Though I learned the actual lyrics then and there, I have, to this day, years later, stuck to my version. I just liked it better, anyway, plus, it was hilarious that I had heard something so utterly PG in the first place.

Tonight, as I mentioned that I could wear my new pink taffy pants, as I call them, tomorrow, because, “On Tuesdays, we wear pink,” a friend commented, after I clarified that it wasn’t actually a thing, but was just “the royal ‘we'” who wore pink on Tuesdays, she said, ‘Isn’t it Wednesdays?’ I told her that I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it were. Tuesday is what had stuck in my head for some reason, – though I remember October third easily enough – probably because it rolls off the tongue more fluidly, really. I looked it up a bit later for verification, and, yes, it was Wednesdays. However, I determined that I am fully happy to continue with my Tuesdays, because 1) I’ve already been doing it for so long, and 2) obviously no one else would be doing it, so it gets to be my own absurd little trend – I get to be a part while also doing it my own way, both while being totally ridiculous in the first place. After all, who uses a quote from a movie to determine what to wear every Tuesday?

I do. That’s who. 😛

Post-a-day 2021

^Yes! Easy!

Just breathe

“I’m proud of you… everything that you do… Remember that.”

As far back as I can remember, it has been a bit difficult for me to be around very old people. If they are old and alone, that hurts me already, but , once they have reached a point that their bodies are beginning to fail them openly, it is as though a switch flips in my mind, and I suddenly struggle to breathe, to function, to focus.

My grandfather is at this point. Actually, he is much beyond it. As we talked today, I had to clear myself continuously in order to remain present with him. I have begun missing him more and more in recent years, as there has been less and less of him to see, with whom to speak and interact. I have seen him grow more and more frustrated with his own brain, his own body as a whole, as he has lost ability after ability… ones which he had is such intense abundance. Indeed, he was one of the smartest and most learned people I have ever known. And he didn’t even attend college. Nonetheless, he was the best resource we had growing up – even better than our teachers on most subjects, and more efficient and detailed in his answers than an encyclopedia. He was one of my greatest inspirations as a child and young adult, and I think so much of me longed to be most like he was. And he always made it so clear that we were loved by him. In almost very action, every phrase or look, every article or comic strip he saved for us or television program or clip he recorded for us, it was clear that he loved us.

He, every so often, would call me “Honah Lee” (from “Puff, the Magic Dragon”), and still does. He’s always played around with pronunciations of words, both of English nature and foreign (e.g. jalapeños with a hard j and firm n). So, it was an easy step to get to calling me Honah Lee. After I had learned German, and we had long since begun to use it with one another (college and onward for me), he called me one day, and said that he wanted to share what he’d figured out so far. He then sang to me “Puff, the Magin Dragon”… in German. He had done his best to translate the lyrics. I think I might actually have cried while he sang to me over the phone. There was just something about it, I was quite overwhelmed with the expression of pure delight and love in that act. Indeed, any time he used German, I always noticed how he sparked to life, as though becoming, just for a few moments or minutes, a young child, excited for the unexpected adventure that life could and would unfold. He hadn’t been allowed to use German in school as a boy – it was forbidden by the school. It was his language of home, fun, love, and self-expression. But he hadn’t used it much beyond his childhood. And, by the time I was born he had almost never used German at all; not until I had begun learning and using it with him. And so, every time we used German together, it was like I got to know him as a child, free from the many pressures and stresses that naturally arise from adulthood, from aging. I just got to be with him. And I reveled in that.

And I still do.

However, talking with him today, discussing how, though he is to turn 91 years old in a few months, he hopes yet is not sure he will make it there, it was somewhat terrifying how easy it was to be with him. He was 100% present as we spoke about that, though is isn’t always these days. He said that he has lived a wonderful life, that he is grateful, and that he is not afraid of dying (despite the fact, as he said, that people say not to say that). I merely nodded, and cried as I said that we very much would miss having him here with us. I held his hand for a bit, and we shared multiple kisses on the cheeks and I love yous and Hab’ dich lieb’s before I had to leave.

And then, just before I had to leave, he said to me, slowly and intentionally, looking me directly in the eyes, – something he has struggled to do lately – “I’m proud of you… everything that you do… Remember that.”

And I will.

And I would not be surprised if today was the last time the two of us see one another in his life. We might see one another again, but it is not very likely. He cannot seem to eat almost anything anymore, and his body is, frankly, falling apart and shutting down on him. A could be causing B, and B could be causing A, but both are contributing to the other, and the result is the same: he does not have much likelihood of living in his physical body on this Earth for much longer.

And it’s terrifying for me.

My paternal grandfather died when I was in middle school. It was expected and not. And it was difficult yet not. The same was true of my paternal grandmother. I was in college when she died, but I was still very much in the child mentality, much more so than the adult mentality. Now, I am very much more on the adult side of life than I am on the child side, and it is an entirely different kind of experience to have this happening now. I suppose that, since my maternal grandparents had survived my childhood, something in me had felt that they would be forever present in this life. They had made it to adulthood with me, so to speak, so they were here to stay.

But they aren’t. No one is, really. But they are more obviously likely not to be here for that much longer. A small part of me had felt disappointed in myself for not providing them with what feels like would have been some of the greatest gifts I could have given them. I do not have a stable career. I do not have a partner in life. I have no children. I don’t even have a pet. I know they do not need those things for me. But that is why they would be gifts.

However, when Opa said that to me today, that he is proud of me… of everything I do…, it reminded me of why those other things have always seemed to matter. They are most often expression of success in living one’s life fully. At least, they are mostly seen that way. But, when the ultimate goal is that we live life fully… that we be true to ourselves and fully self-expressed…, I cannot say that I have failed my grandparents or that I have let them down. Indeed, I have fulfilled every wish they could have for me in relation to success in my life. All the other stuff – the marriage, the children, the house, the career – are tiny details by comparison.

I do not say this lightly nor boastingly when I say that I am one of the most loving people I know. I do not do well with keeping people at the standard ‘comfortable distance’ in life. I do not chat about the weather easily. Either I do not know you at all, or I want to know you, embrace you fully. Like Ender Wiggin said, the moment I get to know you, I get to love you. And I love loving people. It is terribly difficult and stressful for me to ‘try to get to know someone’. Just be yourself with me, let go of whatever you are hiding, let me see you, be with you…. let me love you. That’s all I want from the people around me. And that’s how I want them to see me, too – see all of me now, so that you can love me for me. Let us not waste time on pleasantries and weather. Let us dive right in, and have an absolute blast together. Indeed, that is exactly why dating is so difficult for me, why I cannot seem to ‘figure out’ how to interact with this guy with whom I went on a date recently. I don’t do surface level. I do the real you, the real me. And when people avoid that, turn or step away from it, usually in fear, it is so hard for me… it only makes me want to come even closer, that I might love you even deeper. And though this might sound like I am socially awkward, I truly am not. I can be quite quiet in certain circumstances, but I probably am the only person at the party who will know everyone else by the end of it.

And I am grateful for that. So much of who I am is love. And I have no idea what comes next for me in life. (Like… genuinely, I have no idea… please, grasp that for a moment…) But I know exactly who I am stepping forward into that unknown. And I love her and I am grateful every moment for her and for all that she is and for all that she is not. And I learned today that, more than I ever saw, my Opa feels the same way about her. He knows I’m not married, not settled in any way, not career-stable or financially stable. But he knows that I am stable, and that I am ready for whatever is through that next threshold as I step forward into it. And he is proud of that, and all that it involves. He is proud of me, of who I am, of all that he knows I will create out of who I am in this life, even though he will not be here in person to see most of it with me.

I pray only that his love, his support, his guidance help me to move forward confidently and comfortably throughout the rest of my life. I am grateful for him always. And I love him dearly, deeply, truly. Thank you, God, for allowing us the opportunity to spend so much wonderful time together in this life.

In the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Danke, Gott.

Post-a-day 2021

P.S. Frohe Ostern, folks!! Happy Easter, allen!! (Not to deny the weight of all of that ^, but it was because of Easter that I was able to spend the time with my Opa today at all. And I am grateful for that. And the Easter Egg Hunt in which I got to partake. Today really was a great day, filled with silliness and love and fun. But it also was very real one, in which, I believe, God was helping me to prepare for part of what comes next.)