Mid-life Without the Crisis

It really isn't the destination, but the journey. May be cliche, but it's true.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

100 Followers Giveaway!

I know, lots of bloggers do giveaways, it's been done before, blah, blah, blah.  But isn't winning stuff fun?!  I think it is.  So in that spirit, I'm announcing my first giveaway!

The giveaway will actually happen when I reach 100 followers and/or members.  37 current Facebook group members +7 current blog followers + 56 newbies = Giveaway Time!

How do you enter, you ask?  You have several options.
  1. One entry for being a Facebook group member.
  2. One entry for being a ThrivingAfter40 blog follower. 
  3. Two additional entries for blogging about my giveaway (you need to provide me with the link).
  4. One additional entry for posting this story's link to your Facebook status (let me know).
  5. One additional entry for each comment you post on my blog (other than as "Anonymous").
Even more importantly, what will you win?  I don't exactly know yet, but I'm thinking of the following items:
  • ThrivingAfter40 book bag
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman by Elizabeth Buchan
  • Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy
  • The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Other Poems by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • Amazon gift card
  • Other stuff I can stick in the bag
So join the Facebook group, follow this blog, tell other people about the giveaway, and in no time at all, you could win a bag full of goodies!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Pet Peeve

This ain't NASCAR, baby!
You know how tailgating is so annoying when you're driving?  Believe me, it's just as bad when you're shopping.

My hubby, for reasons I don't need to go into, cannot walk quickly, so we go pretty slowly through the stores.  If you find yourself behind someone in a similar situation, might I make a few suggestions?

  1. Enjoy this short time of moving slowly through what is otherwise most likely a very busy day.
  2. Be thankful you don't have any mobility issues that cause you to need to move slower than the average person.
Good grief, people.  If you're so busy you don't really have time to slow down for 2 minutes in a store, then why the heck don't you go do your mui importante crap and leave the store for those who have time to shop?  Someone's eventually going to catch me on a bad day and get an ear full.  For now, I feel better having done my rant here.

Thanks to Pat (Two Photos and A Rant) and Lydia (Just Standin' On My Soapbox) for reminding me of the freedom to say whatever I want.  It is my blog, after all.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Busy Week

I started teaching 3 classes for the local community college this week.  I am so out of the habit of working!!  It was all I could do to get ready for these classes, when in the past I could throw together a lesson plan in nothing flat.  Oh well, I'll get back in the swing of things and be able to accomplish other stuff, too.

If you're having a busy week, too, don't forget to do something nice for yourself.  Get your hair done, take a walk with your partner, dog, or cat (if you have crazy cats like mine), watch your favorite show and don't think at all about all the cleaning and laundry that needs to be done, call your mom to let her know you love her, email your best friend and tell her how much you miss hanging out with her like you did in high school, drink lots of water, eat your favorite meal and don't even think about the calories for once, turn up the music and clean and/or dance around the house...whatever you do, just enjoy it.  You've had a busy week - you deserve it!

Have a great weekend!
P.S.  I like to crank up either Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin/Robert Plant/Jimmy Page when cleaning the house.  Here are 2 versions of a great Floyd song for you to enjoy.  Let me know which version you like the most.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Change is Good

My New Shoes!
They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.  ~Confucius

It's hard to get back into a running program when you've been out for a long time.  Back in November of 2009, I was helping my mom put together a new computer desk.  I knelt down to get at some hard-to-reach spot, and my knee popped.  It kinda hurt, but not much, so I didn't think much of it.  By the time I got home, my knee was swollen and I could barely walk.  This weird knee "injury" kept me side-lined for months.  It was only in the spring of this year that I was able to run without a brace or pain.

This summer has been hot.  I mean HOT, as you probably well know.  I've never run in heat like this because I've only been running since October of 2008.  

So you could say I've had a really hard time getting back in the swing of things.  I'm still super slow and I'm still having lots of lung and leg issues.  So I decided to analyze my lack of progress and make some changes.  Here's what I found:

1.  I was running on empty.  In order to beat the heat, I'm getting up early to run.  I wasn't hungry, so I just threw on my gear and headed out.  But I just didn't seem to have any energy.  Now I get up earlier so I can have a little something to eat.  I have found that a bit of cereal does the trick for me.  Now I don't feel like an engine that has run out of steam during my first mile.

2.  My body was out of shape.  I gained back 10 pounds from when I ran my half-marathon last year.  So I've started doing the P90X exercise program to try to lose those 10 pounds, and another 10 as well.  Honestly, I really struggle to get in all the workouts.  Runners sometimes don't like other kinds of exercise - I know I don't!  But I keep trying and I keep tweaking my diet in an effort to get my body in better shape.

3.  My shoes had too many miles on them.  Most experts and runners will tell you that one pair of running shoes should last 300-500 miles.  That sounds like a lot, but is actually only a few months, depending on your mileage.  I had been running in the same shoes for a year!!  So I got some new shoes!  There they are at the top.  Aren't they pretty?  They feel great, too, which is the most important part.

So have these changes helped?  Yes!  Granted, I'm not running 20 miles at a time yet.  I'm not even doing 5 at a time yet.  But I can feel the difference.  My times are slowly creeping downward and my recovery time is getting shorter. 

Are you struggling with your weight/exercise issues?  Do a little self-analysis, be brutally honest with yourself, and make the changes where you can.  You might be surprised with how much you can change.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Little Def Leppard

No particular reason on today's post.  I just felt like sharing a little Def Leppard with you.  This is one of my favorite running songs as it is upbeat and melodic.  Hope you enjoy and have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

For Carrie

Twenty one years ago today, my life changed forever.  I headed down a path I could never have imagined.  

Sure, some of the things on the path were not fun for any of us, like sickness, trips to the emergency room, silly arguments over things I don't even remember anymore, the pain of losing a pet, disappointment over not going on that road trip, and the stress of middle school.  

But there were so many more things on the path that were great, and fun, and funny, and lovely.  Things that were fun for you, but we enjoyed because we never would have had them in our lives in exactly the same way if not for you.

Laughter when playing in the rain, softball games on a summer evening, Kitty and Serendipity and Tommy, Michelangelo, a captured duck, sleepovers with friends, sleepovers with "the girls", camping in the back yard with Amanda, church camp, Six Flags with "the boys", frilly little dresses, prom dresses, green beans as a present, Barbies, more Barbies, Barbie houses and clothes and cars and toys, Legos by the bucketful, painting a room teal, re-painting a room pink, being way too young to watch Nightmare on Elm Street, being stronger than the average girl, Tae Kwon Do, sticking up for friends, theater productions, choir concerts, track meets, track meets all the way across the state after staying up so late playing games that "some" adults might have been a little miffed, taking 2nd in that track meet anyway  ; ), Girl Scouts, Girl Scout cookies and yard sales and chili suppers and pork butt sales, Memphis Zoo, St. Louis Zoo, NAMM show in Nashville, Dave Mustaine, Aerosmith in Carbondale, Geoff Tate and Mike Stone, Queensryche and Alice Cooper and Heaven & Hell in St. Louis, Styx and Def Leppard in St. Louis, the Art Museum in St. Louis, portfolio review and the Arch and getting lost in St. Louis, walking in the snow, sledding with Jess, getting stuck in the pool with Jess, Pimp My Ride with Jess and Lydia, Misconduct in the Corps of Discovery with Sarah and Jared, scary movie Dad-Daughter Date nights, haunted houses, costumes made from old bridesmaid dresses, flying kites in the park, playing on every single piece of equipment in the park, photography contest, pictures of Dad downtown, senior pictures downtown, graduation, Sweden.

I could never have guessed what was on the path I started down 21 years ago today, but it has been wonderful and though a lot of what I see on the path is now seen from a distance, I still love every second of it.  I wouldn't have traded this journey for the world.  Happy birthday, baby.  I love you.

Monday, August 2, 2010

August's Book of the Month

The August Book of the Month is The Puppet Masters by Robert Heinlein.  Heinlein was a popular and sometimes controversial science fiction writer.  This particular novel was written in 1951 and was Heinlein's only novel with an alien invasion plot.

Alien invasion, you say?  I thought you were reading post-apocalyptic and dystopian novels, Davis!  Ah, but this novel is also post-apocalyptic.  Since it was written in the 1950's, the fear of Communism and the Cold War were upon the American public.  This novel takes place sometime after the Cold War turned hot, and the world the aliens invade is much different from what we know now.  This should be an interesting foray into how fear plays into the plot of such novels.

Though Heinlein was popular, this book may be difficult to find.  (There was only one copy at my library.)  Here is a link where you can download the audio book for $7.49, if you want to go that route.  I hope you enjoy this sci-fi adventure and I'll see you in a month to discuss it.