Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sitting Still

I have had a lot of time on my hands lately, what with the inability to get off of my ass due to the florescent pink cast on my right ankle. True I have enjoyed a variety of narcotics and spent some mindless hours surfing Yahoo news, but I have been generally uninspired to do anything meaningful.

Seems I'm in a bit of a slump. This time a year ago I was training for my first (and last) half marathon. I was full of motivation and spent my weekend mornings putting in 8 to 10 miles. Living in Oakland, I would bus into the city once a week in big-girl clothes and spend eight hours in real office. I had drinks and dinners with girlfriends in the fancy financial district restaurants.

Flash-forward 12 months, four injuries and one move later and here I am. My tush is either firmly planted on an office chair in the basement or on the sofa in my living room. I won't run again. I will never have the thrill of pushing myself to the finish line. That part of my life is over. Removed from San Francisco, my days of office life and happy hours are gone as well.

So you would think with all of this time sitting around I would embrace my other hobbies and interests. Well as it turns out with the exception of blogging I have no other real sedentary hobbies and it's gotten me fairly... BLUE.  Unlike song writers and poets, I don't seem to be inspired to write when I'm.... "blue."

I hoped that the pure act of pulling up a blank screen and moving my fingers would have sparked *something* but unfortunately I'm coming up... blank.

I'm wondering how to find my spark again. In the wake of this newest injury I have felt isolated and let down. Let down by my body, by people, by life. All of the sudden I feel I have to revaluate my goals. My goals of being an athlete, my dream of returning to Denver with hopes of reclaiming an amazing support network, even my career goals.

Things haven't turned out quiet the way I hoped and expected them to this past year. I am starting to realize that I have to take a long hard look at my life and develop a whole new set of standards, a whole new set of goals. It isn't easy. As much as I would like to gracefully accept my losses and disappointments and move on to whatever is next, I don't feel I'm ready quiet yet. Perhaps that is what this period of sitting still is all about, maybe it's my time to grieve lost dreams and wallow in my sadness. Maybe I need to experience this first before moving on to what is next.

And maybe with some space to mourn and revaluate my life, in time I will find that missing spark once again.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Dear Abby

Dear Abby,

I have a problem. My mom is a big old liar! And when I told her so, she sent me to time out-so she is also a mean poopy-head.

Here is what happened. We went on a vacation to Florida and she said she broke her ankle while jogging with my dad. Instead of going to the beach my mom spent the whole morning at the doctor's office drinking coffee.  When she got back her leg was all bandaged up so I couldn't even see if there was anything wrong. Then all she wanted to do was lie on the sofa. I know she just wanted to sleep more. She always complains about not getting enough sleep anyway.

Since we have been home she has been sitting around on the sofa and won't do anything for me! She is so lazy. Every now and then she gets up to the bathroom and does this fake crying thing like Phoebe in my Kindergarten class does when she doesn't get her way. FAKER.  My mom wouldn't even help me clean my room. I told her that even if her ankle was broken, her arms still work so she should help me pick up all of my Legos and dirty underwear. And anyways I know she is just faking her stupid  broken ankle so she doesn't have to clean and drive me to soccer practice.

I got mad when she told me not to hit my bratty baby brother in the head with Fischer Price dump truck so I told her that I hoped she would die soon and that I was going to steal her crutches and her cast because I know she is faking the whole thing. Then I got in trouble for that!

Abby, I heard you help people with their problems. Can you help me get a nicer mom? (and a less bratty brother while you are at it?)

Thanks,
Evan (Age 5)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Vacation Report

 So. Has everyone been anxiously awaiting a vacation report? Did the Kargas family survive? Was there any fun to be had? Well. You asked for it.

Let's start at the beginning. The airport heading out to Florida on an early evening flight. Our youngest munchkin Julian was getting over a cold which seemed to get exponentially worse while waiting to pass through security. We were a good 45 minutes behind "my"schedule, putting us in an already stressful situation. There may be nothing  that strikes fear into my heart like the threat of missing a flight. Just as we were approaching the TSA dude to check our tickets and Driver's License, Julian started in on a whopper of a coughing fit. Enough to turn heads, and enough to induce vomiting in the little guy, which in turn lead to wailing.  Happy vacation indeed.

The next two days the weather was cool and windy and Julian slept like a newborn waking up every two hours during the night. The boys were anxious to check out the pool, so they braved the water with their dad as I sat and watched, promising to join them in the warmer days ahead.

Tuesday morning the sun was shining and we were planning a trip to Siesta Key, the prettiest beach in the area. But first... a morning jog with the husband. A short run. I didn't want to aggravate anything- just wanted to get the old heart rate up. Big. Mistake. A mile and a half in, a twist of the ankle, the sound of a "snap" (no that was not a branch) and I knew that the only trip I would be making that day was to urgent care. As if the snapping sound of my ankle and the purple tennis ball which instantly appeared above my foot wasn't enough confirmation the x-ray sealed the deal. Broken ankle.

I spent the next five days of "vacation" on the sofa in a Vicodin induced haze. I did attempt a few piggy backs onto the beach and spent some time at the pool and ate a fair amount of seafood-but overall folks it was the worst vacation EVER. EVER.

Luckily there was no puking on the plane ride home.-I did however have to wear my Hello Kitty pajamas all day. I had selected a pair of skinny jeans for our journey home *genius* and instructed my husband to strap the suitcase on top of the car. Didn't take me long to realize at 5am the next morning that no skinny jean was fitting over my splint. So I spent the my time at the Tampa airport being pushed around in my pajamas. I felt a lot like a toddler actually. The experience wasn't all bad. I didn't have to do a damn thing. I even got to ride in one of those carts while the driver screamed at all the able bodied folks to "MOVE OUT OF THE WAY"

And now I'm home and in my hard florescent pink cast with orders to stay put for most of the next 2.5 weeks. L
ater, I will graduate to a boot.

Needless to say I feel entitled to a REAL vacation now. You know.. the kind without puking children, and broken ankles. Maybe like Hawaii? Like without the monkeys? And maybe a suit of bubble wrap just incase.....

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spring Break "Vacation": Pray For Us

You are packing too much.
Why didn't you pack any underwear?
The sun is too hot.
The water is too cold.
I left my favorite Hot Wheel, the one I got from my very best friend on my seventh birthday at the McDonald's where we ate before we got on the plane. Can we PLEASE GO BACK FOR IT?
I dropped my sandwich in the sand and now I have nothing to eat.
I have to go to the bathroom.
Now I do.
Mom, Julian smells, I think he had an accident.
Why does he get the window seat?
I'm hungry
I'm not hungry
Are those the only snacks you packed?
This place is for babies.
This Children's Museum is boring. Mom, we only do stuff that you want to do.
But it doesn't feel like 11PM
Not this kind of macaroni & cheese.
The beach is boring.
We have to leave now? We have only been at the beach for 8.25 hours. That's not fair! You are mean.
I have sunscreen in my eye. I'm going blind. I'm dying.
You forgot to pack Mr. Brown Doggy!
My bed is too hard, can I sleep in yours?
I'm not tired!
I hate you!
I said I'm NOT TIRED!
I'm bored.
I don't want to go home.
Do we have to leave?
I hate school.
Don't make us go home.
I want to stay on vacation!!


Yes folks, the Kargas family leaves for Spring Break "vacation" this Friday. Florida.... here we come!
Wish us luck.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Celebrate the wins: I'll drink to that

Okay. No brainer. I am not a woman with particularly high self-esteem. Ask anyone who has ever spent any real time with me and they will readily agree.

I don't know why that is. I have always been that this way. Over the course of my life I have had a difficult time acknowledging my strengths, and instead I have spent an exorbitant amount of energy studying my flaws. It has come to my attention that not everyone lives their lives this way (shocker!) My husband for example has fantastic self esteem and can shake off imperfections with grace. I, on the other hand, dwell. And dwell. And dwell on the negative. Whether it's a physical imperfection, my poor organizational skills, my sad sense of direction or inability to do simple multiplication, I am more than aware of my shortcomings and I give them great weight in defining who I am. I take every perceived slight to heart, every failure more important than success.

I suck at math.
My house is a disaster because I am disorganized and scatter brained.
I'm weak, unable to build muscle.
I made a mistake, I am terrible at my job.
People don't comment on my blog because it's boring and I'm an awful writer.

You get the idea.

And I wonder. I wonder what my life would be like if I were to focus on my strengths, if I celebrated the wins and spent as much time thinking about the feel-good stuff as I do the feel-crappy stuff. Because guys, it isn't as if I am without any redeeming qualities.

I do good stuff. Seriously I do. I swear, I once wrote a funny blog post. And seriously I just filled a senior level position, I'm a pretty okay recruiter!  So what if I celebrated my wins? Studied my strengths? Could I transform myself from a woman with poor self esteem, to one with confidence? Is it possible?

In a concentrated effort I will now publicly acknowledge some recent "wins." Celebrate my accomplishments that would otherwise go unrecognized, sing my own damn praises.

Let me begin.....

1. I successfully helped my five year old create a Leprechaun Trap for his Kindergarten class with essentially zero materials.
2. I have survived many a night as a single mama to three insane crazy boys. Nobody has died. Nobody has ran away. Nobody has overdosed on chocolate milk or Miralax.
3. Night after night I prepare healthy meals for my children, even when I am met with sneers and jeers: "You are the worst mom in the world! This is disgusting."
4. Everyone in my family generally has at least one clean pair of underwear and socks at any given time. That takes some organizational skills, right?
5. I make sure that every year each of my children has a kick-ass birthday party. That doesn't mean Pintrest-worthy, but kick-ass, little boy fun. That has to be worth something right?
6. I may not be super strong but through some damn hard work I have reduced my body fat percentage from 27% to 21%.
7. I have managed to sit through hundreds of hideously boring animated movies because my boys love it.
8. I have successful kicked my Real Housewives addiction without joining a formal program
9. I have mastered the art of Rice Krispie Bar making... at least according to the little folks in the family
10. I have created a life where I am surrounded by amazing people whom I love, and whom I'm quite sure love me back.

So a silly exercise yes, but hopefully I have made my point... to myself at the very least.

It's easy to see the bad stuff.
It's easy to dwell on the flaws.
But the good deserves attention too.
I have plenty of good when I look for it.
And once I see the good, perhaps the rest of the universe will to.

Cheers to me.
Cheers to what I do right.

I'll drink to that.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Aging Sucks

What I think of motivational posters
I turn forty this year. In 164 days to be exact. I have 164 days left as a thirty-something, and I still remember watching that T.V. drama and marveling at how old everyone was. And now.... I'm leaving my thirties behind and it scares the crap out of me.

I don't feel almost forty, with the exception of the two-day hangovers that have surfaced in the past few years. I still feel like a kid much of the time, but my body and the mirror reflect a different reality. I'm getting older. Fuck.

I know I am supposed to embrace it. I have read plenty of articles written by savvy, sophisticated, successful women forty plus, declaring the positive sides of aging. Some claim to feel "sexier than ever before" or that they are "finally comfortable in their own skin." Yet these articles are in magazines crowded with models half my age.

Truth is I am afraid of aging. I'm afraid of my fading beauty and my weakening bones. I cringe as I hear my doctor utter words like "mammogram." When my nurse recommended a multi-vitamin for women ages forty and above I nearly fell over in my chair, but caught myself before I broke a damn hip.

I never used to take much notice of wrinkle creams and I never used to worry if my bra had enough lift, now... I am a captive audience. I scan People Magazine's annual "beautiful at any age" for women in their early forties, looking for proof that I can still be attractive and vibrant.

I have talked to other women my age and while some have a harder time than others  the general consensus is that aging is fucking hard. It's sneaky and cunning and as hard as you try those laugh lines,  sagging bits,  are here to stay. There is no fighting the clock as it marches on.

As I'm sitting here typing these words I am wondering what the hell my point is. I have no neat conclusion and I don't intend to end with words of inspiration and wisdom which of course, is what every good blog author should do right?

Nah. If you are looking for inspiration go order some of those cheesy Successories. If you want a little bit of sass and honesty you can talk to me and I'm telling you turning forty blows.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Here Comes The Sun

Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It's all right
Little darling
It's been a long, cold lonely winter
Little darling
It feels like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It's all right
Little darling
The smiles returning to the faces
Little darling
It seems like years since it's been here
 
 
 
 
Moving from Oakland to Denver I knew one thing for sure, I would miss the year long mild weather. 

The January afternoons in shirt sleeves. The outdoor running year round. Hell yes. I have missed it, and perhaps I didn't realize how much until the sun returned today. That isn't to say that Denver is short on sunny days. Shortly after moving west from Minneapolis all those years ago,  I got a sun inked on my back to represent our new life in a much sunnier state. But after spending four years in California, I have come to realize that it can be awfully cold in Colorado. In fact, the past few weeks have seemed pretty grey and dark, the cold muted colors seeping through my skin chilling my insides and leaving me feeling as dull and tired as the leafless trees out my front window.
 
Today the sun was bright and warm. We ventured out in long sleeves and light jackets, but  were wishing for t-sthirts only a few minutes into our park visit. I turned my face towards the light and soaked up just as much vitamin D as I could stand. We played hoops, scaled the jungle gym, got ice cream cones and just basked in the blessed sunshine. And the world just seemed.... better.  My mood lifted, today's sun whispering of better days to come, days spent sitting on our front steps and chatting with our neighbors. Mornings in the mountains, afternoons at the pool, open windows, air and light kissing skin and lifting spirits.
 
Here come the sun,
and I say...it's alright