Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Friday, December 30, 2016

2016: The Year of The Donut

This year will go down in my mind as The Year of The Donut. It's a good way to put a sweeter spin on a year that rather sucked, in many ways, but also had a lot of good and great moments and was full of learning and experiences.

Death and History

In popular culture, of course, there was the fact that we lost many well-respected and loved celebrities in the entertainment business, David Bowie, Prince, Gene Wilder, George Michael, and Carrie Fisher, followed by Debbie Reynolds, among many others. I happened to like Prince, but David Bowie was an important icon in my life, I wrote about that in an earlier post.

It's a weird coincidence that I recently re-connected with my junior high friend on Facebook, the one with whom I went to the David Bowie concert in 1978 in Philadelphia.

Death has been nearby around here too, having said goodbye or in the process of saying goodbye to people who have been important in my life. Death is part of life, as I was telling a friend this morning on the run. We don't get to choose our time to exit this world, not most of us, anyway. But we can be happy when the person gets to choose comfort at the end of their life, because not everyone does. You can have a quality death as part of a quality life.

Donuts Saved Me

One of the things I struggled with this past year was getting back into a running routine, and I have to admit, if it were not for the Donut Friday runs, I wouldn't have gotten any momentum going. I also met new people or got to know several people better from the running community, and that would not have happened if I didn't start attending the Donut runs. Now I am being more consistent, although not running as often as I'd like, I am making progress.

The Dumpers

My friend Emma is training for her first ultra early in 2017 and I'm doing long runs with her. We had a couple of great runs at the bacon strip, I'll share some pics. We have done a 16 mile run and a 20 mile run in the past two weeks out at the Bacon Strip and got to see some interesting sights along the way. Namely, a TV, and a fridge.

The story behind the TV and fridge is that on our first long run, we found the TV that had been dumped on the roadside, it was screen down in the snow, and we turned it upright, there was dirt and grass stuck to the front of it.

We wondered how it got there, and as we ran that day, we fabricated elaborate stories about how it arrived at its dumping place. I guess you could say we found the remote.

Toward the end of our 16 miles that day, we were passed by a pickup truck hauling a fridge in the back of it. We joked about how they should dump the fridge next to the TV so it would be there for the Superbowl. Then all we'd need is some beer and a couch, and maybe a grill.

The next week we headed out there for a 20 miler. As we climbed the first hill, the TV was still there, with some fresh bullet holes! We laughed that it was still out there, no one had picked it up. As we proceeded on our run, we made a turn to do a small 4 mile loop before we went out for our big 10 mile loop.

When we made the turn at 2 miles, we were about the same distance into the road headed west, parallel to the road with the TV on it, and we saw a fridge lying at the roadside, in the snow. We went that way the previous week and there had been no fridge out there, so we're pretty certain that the people we saw driving with the fridge dumped it there, and were probably the same dumpers of the TV.

Trumpocalypse- The Gift That Keeps On Giving

OMG. I am freaking out daily on the Cabinet appointee recommendations coming out of Trump Tower, or from wherever he is making his edicts. I am trying not to think about it and just breathe for now. I am hoping this whole debacle sheds light on the mess that is Washington, and the mess that lies outside of Washington, namely the great masses of the uninformed, misinformed, and generally clueless.

I cannot go into a rant about that, too upsetting. I value the outdoors, the environment, peace, justice and equality and it's countering everything I value. If someone had some common sense, they would create a giant orange wind turbine, because we have a giant windbag about to run the country. Now that would be environmental stewardship.

The Reluctant Entrepreneur

Let me just say when it comes to the commonly accepted ways of doing things, I am not cut out for this business shit. I don't have the burning desire in the pit of my stomach to go balls out (okay, ovaries) and go after money. I am not motivated by the stuff. Especially when it takes me further away from who I am and I have to deal with people I'd rather not deal with, namely, people who are motivated by greed and/or function in that world that expects 24/7 focus on business and money.

It's not that I don't want to make money, I really do want to, but it is not the reason that drives me in what I love to do, and that conflicts with how the world of business operates. I like to do things at my pace, when it appeals to me, and what appeals to me, otherwise, I'm not happy. And I certainly have re-discovered that quality in myself, confirmed it, again. The lessons will be repeated until they are learned.

The online program for Cancer Harbors did not go as planned. And that's fine, you have to try things and they don't always work. I did learn a lot though, from the many people I've talked with and the clients I have. As a result I am redirecting my energies around my project, Cancer Harbors, into the publication of a book this coming year. It's going to be aimed not just at people with cancer, but everyone who has any dealing with cancer and healthcare. Namely, all of us.

Now THAT's something I can get excited about.

Returning to My Creative Roots

I am going to go back to where I feel happiest and most comfortable, which is, where I can write, paint, and create as the ideas come to me. That is where I belong. If you wipe clean the messy slate of all of the "career"-type pursuits: education, business, nursing, and look underneath, dig a little into the dirt and look at my roots, they harbor unlimited creative energy.

I've learned a lot, and I have a great collection of knowledge and skills to share if I allow myself to be creative and unencumbered by day-to-day bullshit that being in the business world dumps on top of you. Getting past the old wounds and traumas and moving forward. I see things differently, I do things differently, and I'm not going to make any more attempts to "fit" anywhere.

I just am. Alene. Gone Bad.

Allowing that energy to come back into my life and relieving myself of the burden of feeling tied to a business model has allowed some great opportunities to come along: a paid writing gig, an opportunity to get my artwork out there again, and putting a workshop together for runners, women runners, that a couple of friends suggested was needed. I will have a separate blogpost about that within the next week, and I'll post a link to allow people to sign up in the right-hand column of the blog. It's in Fort Collins, so you have to be local, or willing to travel to the Fort for it. If it goes well, I'll do more.

And running, dammit.

And did I mention running? I want to get back to doing long runs again. I miss them. Now that I got my ipod to work again, I'm loving the tunes, miles, and fresh air.

Despite Struggle, Gratitude

I am so fortunate to have experienced some great things this past year, my dad's improvement with his cancer, that is in remission now. He does have some other health problems, but he is doing well in terms of being able to stay active and busy and enjoying life. I am also thankful for our little family that has grown over the past two months with Velcro, and Gypsy, the newest member of The Buffalo Family.

I am healthy enough to be increasing the amount of running I'm doing, and have been able to take the time to do the necessary soul-searching to get myself back on track again with what I do with my energy when I'm not running.

Being a Stay-At-Home-Dogmom is pretty damn great.

And I'm thankful for donuts. Even though I can't eat them anymore because I'm trying to bring my cholesterol down again. Last time I quit eating wheat I dropped my cholesterol by 65 points and now it's creeping back up again, probably because I've been indulging in various wheat-containing foods too often. Menopause has a way of messing with every part of your body. Things you would never even imagine are related to hormones are affected. I just take one thing at a time. personal mission statement over the coming year as I write my book and move forward with reclaiming my enjoyment of life again will be something along the lines of fostering creativity, respect, authenticity and empathy and showing people the value of those qualities. Which are sorely missing from many things...

Let's see what 2017 has in store for us. I'm not sure I want to know, but some things like the earth's rotation are unavoidable.

And donuts are round too, sort of like the earth's path around the sun. Donuts revolve around the donut hole, like the earth revolves around the sun.

Even my puppy understands that, along with other concepts in physics, like gravity. She's not an elitist, she just values science and facts more than faith.

Someone needs to tell a certain orange windbag to share these small facts with his Cabinet. They might be small details, but they should prove helpful in 2017.

Happy New Year!

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