Thursday, July 20, 2017

Walking the Wire

Life.  It's such a  balancing act, isn't it? Imagine Dragons said it best.

 I remember being sixteen years old, when life stood before me, unabashedly making plans for how I was going to take over the world.  Mind you, in my naive teenage mind, that consisted of besting my parents, getting my own way, telling my teachers to take a number, and doing what I wanted to.  Finally.

Eighteen years later, I realize that this whole "adulting" thing has larger ramifications than choosing to eat pop tarts and diet coke for breakfast (which are delicious, but you pay for it later).  And so it goes.  All of those wonderful things that were going to be mine for the taking...they have consequences.  And not exactly in the way I had thought it might.

For those wonderful friends that have followed me with any sense of regularity (what's that Rae, you never blog), you know I've been struggling lately.  Which, to be frank, has baffled me.  When I look back at my sixteen year old self, I see a teenager that took life by the horns.  That didn't give a shit what anyone thought.  That loved a boy with all her heart (even if he didn't know who she was).  Who had the best gang of six buddies who not only totally got her, but would beat the shit out of any guy that messed with her (all my "older brothers", if you will).  Who knew who she was, without reservation.

Who also dreamed of big things.  A great career, a beautiful family, two kids, a white picket fence, a funny, handsome and loving husband.  And undoubtedly a famous thespian or dancer.

Things change.  But not too much.  As I hit my mid thirties, I realize that I have everything I want right now, swapping out marathon for dance, triathlon for theatre.  I have such beautiful kids.  And my husband is undoubtedly the most perfect man for me.  I have a great career. A wonderful family.  Friends. And a basement full of Age Group medals that confirm that I am an athletic success - healthy, happy, and successful.  Everything but that picket fence.

So what's wrong?  Why am I mechanically attending to things?  Checking it off my list?  Missing the passion that I know my teenage self would be horrified to find missing?  I wanted to find out.  With the last few months a hectic and frustrating mish mosh of increasing stress at work, holding down the fort while Greg worked two jobs, and some health issues that are probably due to the first two, I have found myself becoming more and more annoyed with everything around me.  I am not a happy person to be around.  I've dusted off my resume and considered strongly the possibility of leaving a job I've loved for the last ten years.  I've even sat down and reconsidered base things that I am passionate about that don't seem to be so amazing any more.

With that, I knew I needed a reset.  I took the week off from work, and have re-connected.  With my kids.  With my husband.  And mostly, with myself.  Through some long, forgiving runs, a few naps, a pedicure, and even (gasp) retail therapy (yes, I went shopping for things other than running shoes.  If nothing else shocks you in this post, this should).  And I have thought.  And thought.  And thought some more.

And I've realized quite a bit.  Put simply, I've managed to let other people affect me way too much lately.  Energy vampires, if you will.  And I'm disgusted with myself for it.  I've listened when people criticize the way I parent. The way I work. The way I eat. The way I run.  The way I write.  And, no, I am not kidding, the way I send emails.  What in the actual eff is that all about?  I know.  I've sat there and taken a bunch of crap from people that are 100% pot calling the kettle black, and I've stewed in my own juices about it until I have emerged a bitter, resentful person.  Who not only took in their unnecessary, and not helpful words, but allowed them to define me.  And that's just sad.

When I was a kid, the famous phrase quite a few authority figures used on me was "Do as I say, not as I do".  Which we all know is just a shitty way to let an adult explain away bad behavior without feeling any of the consequences because, ya know, adulting, man.  When I became a parent and a boss, I swore I would never project that image to anyone that answered to me.  It creates an environment that fosters forced discipline, but never will foster respect or a good relationship.  Ever.

I managed to walk away from those "do as I say"  people for so long.  And now I find myself seeing it almost on a daily basis, either at work or in certain social circles.  And, much like a kid going through adolescence, it's set me back into a world of uncertainty, of faint dissatisfaction that festers, and lingers.

It's easy to point a finger.  To place the blame on someone else.  To let their insecurities and bad nature leech onto you and define you.  But I'm done with that.

The way I have been has been...safe.  Full of defined, easy actions that have been set forth by society and deemed appropriate.  Pay your bills.  Put in your forty hours. Do the laundry. Give the kids a bath.  Run for exactly the 60 minutes to fulfill your "10,000 steps".  Yada yada yada.  They are also boring.  And my sixteen year old self shakes her head at me.  So does my twenty five year old self, who stared at Mirror Lake in 2010, the morning her her first ironman, 3000 people strong, facing 140.6 miles of uncertainty and....jumped in.

Know what happened in 2010?  I crashed.  Yep.  Crashed my bike at mile 42.6.  I cried for 2 minutes, stood up, took inventory of body and bike parts, and rode the last 80 miles of that course with a bent frame.  And then ran the 26.2 mile marathon dirt streaked and bloody.  And I fucking finished with a smile on my face, having taken my own world by storm.

Take risks.  Be alive.  Be uncomfortable. Just DO IT.

This is my new mantra.  (With some help from Nike).

So look out down below!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Fantastic Four

Ok, I'm back.  You knew I would be.  But today, it's not about me (thank goodness, Rae, you're such a narcissist!).  It's about a boy.  Specifically, this boy that has my heart.  And always will.  He's funny.  He's a snuggle.  He gives the best hugs ever, and he likes chocolate the best (who doesn't?)  And, you got it, he calls me mom.

I can't call him a baby anymore cause...today he is 4!  What a kid.  It's wild to know that four years ago, this lil firecracker made an appearance, and that life has changed forever in the best way possible.  Today, we are celebrating with lots of cake, swinging (put together by the best team ever - Thanks EJ, Jeff, John, Drew, and Daddy!) and a Red Wings Game later.  What a day.  What a guy.

A blast from the past....when Rob was Born...One...Two...Three...

And 4!!!

 Size - 36 pounds.  Right smack where you should be.  You are 41" high, which is slightly taller than average, but of course, perfect.  You have long legs, a super strong tummy, and a big boy buzz cut.  Not a baby.  Not a toddler.  A little boy.  Be still, my heart.


Likes: You still love cars with a passion, and asked me for 10 Lamborghini's this year.  Real ones.  Ill get back to ya, bud.  You also are obsessed with "Secret Life of Pets" and also would like a mastiff, JRT, and Pomeranian for your birthday.  And while I am sure your Aunt Shel would help you out with the last one, Daddy would kill us both.  So, keep dreaming dreaming big, bud.  You also love playing car racing games, jumping in bounce houses, riding your big boy bike with training wheels, and playing in your pool. Seems like a pretty good life for a 4 year old!
  
Dislikes: Eating meat.  When things don't go your way.  Being told "NO".  And when Biz tries to play with your toys and you don't want to share.  Aside from the meat eating thing, I currently deal with these issues quite a bit at work, so I don't know what to tell ya, bud.  Suck it up, buttercup.  And enjoy the flinging yourself on the floor and screaming thing while you can.  It stops being acceptable when you turn about 6.  Well, maybe.  I might try it at my next staff meeting and see what happens.


Sleep: Aside from when you have bad dreams and need snugs (hey, not complaining), once we get you into bed, you sleep like a champ.  10-11 hours a night.  It's the 437 easy steps to get you there that we are working on....


Eating: Still adore fruit, pizza, anything chocolate, beans and rice, "golden cereal" and "talking cereal" (honey nut cheerios and rice krispies) and turkey dogs.  Sometimes it's a struggle to get you to eat, but you do well.


Milestones/Firsts:Preschool.  Riding a bike with training wheels.  Becoming fully potty trained.  Counting to 30.  And your use of astronomically grown up words like "transparency" and aerodynamic" (cause when you have triathletes for parents...) correctly.  You are pretty much off the charts in intelligence...now it's time to get your emotions there with ya.  Hang in there bud.  Equilibrium happens (see what I did there??)


Best Moment: I can't even improve on my 3 year old sentiments = Watching you and Biz.  Buddy, when you were born, I truly did not believe I had a bigger capacity for love.  I was wrong.  Watching my big boy and my baby....the two of you are just simpatico.  It is amazing.  I love you both to buts and pieces, and my life is so much better because you are in it!! 


Edited to add at 4.....the two of you are so amazing.  you teach your sister so much, and you are her biggest protector.  Watching my first baby grow into such a caring, intelligent, lovable boy is indescribable.  I love you so much, my ro-bear.

Looking Forward To: All the cool things we get to learn and do every day....the zoo, swimming, running together (you want to do a 5k!), riding bikes, swinging, reading, snuggling, a few upcoming vacations....everything.  From the mundane to the exceptional, my life with you in it is astronomically better then I ever could have dreamed.  I LOVE YOU SO MUCH BEAR (hands raised in the air)..  And that's a lotta muches!!!



Monday, June 19, 2017

Hitting the Wall (RDC 2017)

I'm not quite dead yet.  I swear.  For the last month, I keep opening blogger, readying to write a post about a race (yep, I've done 3 in the last 6 weeks, you heard it - a half marathon, a sprint tri, and a 5k), how much work sucks (no, I'm not outing myself on social media, it really legitly is pretty terrible right now, save a few people keeping me sane) or how my flippin 20 month old still won't sleep through the damn night.

Who needs to hear this?  No one.  No one at all.  You don't tune in to hear what you can hear around the dinner table, even if I tell it with colorful anecdotes and quite a few four letter words.  I also have in my "write dammit, rae" folder (no, I didn't stutter) quite a few healthy recipes to share, crock pot time savers, more "how to play for less" concepts, and some other gold star worthy pinterest shit.  That, you might want to check out.  But I have been blocked.  Just freaking blocked.  And every time I open up the blog, something else super important, like a school project, laundry, or tweezing my eyebrows, just seems to get in the way (no I don't tweeze.  Have you met me??).  Bllllazity blah.

Anyways.  Last week one of my faithful readers (actually, he might be the only one left - are you there god?  It's me, Rae) asked me if we put the blag to bed.

Nah.  He's just napping.  So it's time to just sit and let shit come out.  Just dedicate 15 minutes twice a week and do it, Rae.  DOOOO IT.  So fine. We will start small.  How about a race report?  We can go backwards......to Saturday.

My friend Jen (who bless her, has twin boys Rob's age) race directs a 5k each year to honor her older brother, who passed away from cancer in 2014.  She donates all the money to Wilmot Cancer society, and quite honestly, puts on one of the best 5ks I've done - in terms of course, amenities, and cost.  It's $18 to run, discount if you run with a team (which we did, even though we lost a few prior to the race!) and you get a nice (not flat) 5k in Mendon Ponds, a tech t, post race pizza and TONS of goodies, free kids race with ribbons, balloons and a DQ cone, and also entrance for tons of door prizes!  Whats not to love?

Team "SASS" (Stubborn and Spirited Sloggers)
Greg and I gathered a team of 10 (7 race morning) and decided to race for fun.  Race morning dawned with 82 degree temps by 9am (WHAT!) but hey, it's "only" 3 miles.  Right.  In 2016 I did the race in 26:20, but I pushed Biz in the jogging stroller, so I figured 24 something was about right, heat notwithstanding.  I missed placing in my AG but thhhismuch, so I was itching for some payback.  Grandma agreed to watch the kids on the playground (of course they were gonna do the kids race!) so Greg and I met up with her, got prepped, dumped ice water on our heads (you bet I did) and got ready to go!

Mile 1 (6:45 - WHAT??) So, clearly I went out way the hell too fast.  My usual pace for a 5k is 7:45ishish (I haven't run enough to know) but I haven't seen a 6:xx on my watch...ever.  So that was fun.  I sorta half cheered myself on and half grimaced when I thought about hanging on for 2 more miles but hey, embrace the suck.

Mile 2 (7:43) Much better.  There were a few uphill sections, but Nothing too bad - it was cool to see the fasties cruisin back, i counted out and I was 6th OA woman, which Greg also let me know when i passed him - earning a chuckle from the guy next to me about my pit crew! Saw the rest of my team on the way back, everyone looked great but...hot.  Heat was starting to climb.

Mile 3 (8:23) File this one under what the eff was i thinking at mile 1.  I actually stopped to walk - my legs felt ok but it was so damn hot out that my throat started to close.  I had almost caught #5 woman too but she was tougher than me today!

 Hit the top of the last hill and ran in the last nubbin for an overall time of 23:52 for 3.16 miles - 7:35 pace overall. Short of my PR (22:45) but it was a hilly course, hot as hades, and hey, two of the women in front of me were a Kenyan and an Olympic trials qualifier (seriously!)  Overall results - finished 27th out of 124, 6 out of 65 or 70 women, and won my age group, which netted a nice medal and a $15 med ved gift card - new shorts for me!

Post race we hung out, cooled off, watched the kids run (Rob came in 3rd and immediately threw a fit because he wanted to run the BIG race - next year, kid!) and stuck around for raffle prizes -which was good because I won an Attayne gift card for some more running gear - feeding the obsession :-)

Rob's Race!

Anyone interested in Running Down Cancer in 2018 - HIGHLY recommend this race!  I also put in a word with the RD to make it about 60 and cloudy next year.....

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Mileage and Blisters and Cheers, Oh My! Garmin Marathon 2017

Well, Dorothy, I don't think we are in Kansas anymore.

That's right.  But 5 days ago we were...that's me and Biz thank you very much.  And I took care of state #5 in my marathon maniacs quest.....at the Olathe Marathon, in the "Land of Oz".  I knew that this wasn't a PR marathon - I signed up 6 weeks prior, flew halfway across the country with a 19 month old, and my longest run clocked at 15 miles.  But I also knew that PR's aren't everything, I COULD run 26 miles (that other .2...who knows) and it was too good of a chance to pass up - I got to visit Greg's cousin Lisa C. (who I adore) and my cousin's Lisa V., Shel, Brian and Gage (the first two, i have basically idolized since I was in diapers, and who had never met the Biz) Whats the downside?  NONE!

Pre Race - Biz and I flew in mega late Wednesday, we spent a few days with Lisa C. picked up race packet (number 4:20 - good omen?  Or just a hungry one??), PB sammich goodies, and drove the course (Kansas is NOT flat) and tried to get a good night's sleep on Friday night.  Till Biz woke up at 2am and proceeded to have a girlfriend's chat fest every 10 minutes until my alarm went off at 4:30.  Biz, I love ya.  I'm also used to this.  No bigs.  I left her for some Auntie Lisa C. Snugs and headed off to drive the whole mile to shuttle pick up (I love the fact that race start was 4 miles from Lisa C.'s house!!)

Took the shuttle in to some god awful traffic, hit the porta, stretched, ate my sammich and banana, pinned my gu's, stuffed my gummies down my bra (it has a food pocket, I'm not THAT gross) and headed to the start.  I wasn't going to risk a Garmin malfunction (though this was the Garmin marathon so I would have taken them to task!) so I cut up some tube socks for arm warmers.  This race also had a costume contest, including a 10 TEAM tethered dragon who ran the whole marathon in costume tied together  Yikes.  (At least I did beat the dragon - spoiler alert!) 6:40.  Ready to go.  I met up with a few guys from TX who were on state #33 and we chatted for a bit until we heard thee almost worst words...delayed start.  Ugh.  And its 48 degrees.   The parking was a cluster eff, so basically half of the 2600 people running weren't there.  Damn.  So we waited.  And shivered.  For 30 minutes.  At this point I really had to pee, but of course I heard.....the gun!!

Miles 1-6:  I alternated between a cruising pace and the potty dance for the first six miles, tryng to ignore the latter.  The rollers were pretty decent - but at least KS has a downhill for every uphill, which I SWEAR NY doesn't!  I was clocking 8:45ish pace, a comfortable pace but obviously too fast for my overall goal, which was sub 4:15, a number that was picked out of a hat because it sounded good.  But I have found that negative splits will never work for me in a race this long, so I made peace with it.

Miles 7-12:  More rollers, more steep uphills.  And the wind was picking up, so much that it blew my visor off a few times.  I was still having fun, realizing that if I started only being half crazy and doing 25 halfs in 25 states it would probably be wiser and I would race much better.  Eh, life is short.  Bring on the pain.  At mile 12 a woman yelled out to us "You look Great!" at a particularly large hill.  What a (nice) liar.  I joked about it, and she heard me....and immediately downgraded her comment to "You look pretty good".  Bwahaha.  The truth hurts.  I ain't lyin'.  Youtube says so. (6:15 in - Thanks Jason!_




Miles 13-19: At this point, the marathon folks peeled off and headed into a few steep uphill/downhill sections before spitting us onto a canal like path.  I hit the halfway point in 1:58, which sounds good in theory, but I knew I wouldn't be able to hold.  The wind was picking up and I lost my visor twice in a matter of 15 minutes....considered chucking it at the aid station but it's a nice visor so buh bye 2 minutes of race time.  Oh wells.  I started to falter around mile 15, and took in some sugar.  It was obvious that out of the 2600 people.....only about 25% were marathoners.  I don't need a parade, but the path was pretty desolate, so I started playing mind games and zoning out, ignoring the inevitable pain of why in the hell do you run for 2.5 hours and half 10 miles to go thoughts....mile 19.5 turnaround.  I planned to hit it at 3:00 and was right on the nose, give or take 60 seconds.  We turned around and were at the "home" stretch.

Mile 25.  I am not lying.
Miles 20-26.2: Home stretch good in theory, but there was an hour plus to go.  I stopped at a port o potty, which I never do, but I'm not Ironman Florida guy, so I will leave it at that.  (Google it.  You'll die).  4 minute loss, well worth it.  I grabbed some high quality h2o and was back in the game.  I started my weird math gait.....since it was a turnaround, I could see the guys behind us.  I would count 10, then walk for 2, then do it again.  The dragon went running by and I counted that one as one...because being dragoned is sort of like being beaten by an 80 year old in a tri.  You will...but it sucks.  Iw as NOT getting dragoned.  Averaging 11 minute miles, which was fine with me because I knew 4:15 was mine.  At mile 24 (which was all the fuck up hill....what is it wih mile 24 and I??) I caught up with the 4:00 pacer....which made no sense, but he admitted he had an off day, so we ran in together.  Saw Lisa C, Shel and my baby girl at the finish cheering me on and I ran it in, good for a 4:13 finish with a smile on my face!

I don't recall specifics, but I rounded out in the top 25% overall and also for women, and top third in my AG, the first three placers being the overall first 3. 9:39 pace. I'll take it!

Post Race - Diet coke (I love you Lisa).  Biz and Mommy pics!  Then back to the house for some rest, feet up, and 5 guys greasy delish with Lisa's, Shel and the bizzle.

Overall, a highly recommended race with a cute medal, perfectly fitting tee, and a great race locale.  It's been real Kansas!










Friday, April 14, 2017

Waterworld

An interesting thing happened yesterday.  Amidst all the bullshit of late that is my life....I found calm.
It's funny how razzed up you cat get amongst the, quite frankly, meaningless rat race of minutia that can become all time consuming, isn't it??  I've found myself lately to be...for lack of a better term...a hit friggin mess.  High heart rate.  Exhaustion.  Headaches.  Grumpy.  And basically...a massive you know what.  Work stress.  Family stress.  Life stress.  All compounded by the fact that the one stress reliever I have...stresses my body out.  Last week,w hen I found myself with an 86 resting heart rate (its normally 45-50), I threw in the towel.  And rested for a few days.  And while my body thanked me, my mind did not.  I needed an outlet.

So yesterday, at the you know what crack of dawn, I did something I haven't done since election night.  I went swimming.  I know.  4 months without a friggin swim.  What is wrong with me??  And as luck would have it, my mp3 player died halfway through, so I spent a lovely (albeit  friggin sloooowwww) 45 minutes with...nothing in my head.  I solved no problems.  There were no crying toddlers.  No laundry to be done.  No bosses or co workers complaining.  Nothing.  And...I didn't want to get out!

I need to remember it's ok to step back and just relax.  That swimming and yoga are not the devil, and that I shouldn't have to be "on" 24/7.

Of course, it took me two days to type this, so there's that.  But one step at a time, right?

And someday, hopefully, we will focus on better things.  Like this.

Mmmmm...taco pasta.  I have about 2 dozen recipes, just waiting for a relaxing evening to post.

Or even better...

Which is probably why the former "better thing" will happen....in 2031 :-)  Happy Easter everyone.  I hope you have a wonderful holiday filled with family, friends, and of course, that big ole bunny!!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Awww.  I love you guys.  Despite the fact that its yet again been four freaking weeks since I checked in, no worries.  I'm not quite dead yet.  I feel fine!  I feel....HAPPY!  (Monty Python, you will never escape me).  Seriously, though, I really appreciated everyone's comments, emails, and facebook messages on my last gloomy gus post.  I know that everyone has days, weeks or months like this, and 99% of my issues were indeed first world problems, but still, it adds up.

After I finished penning that depressing post, I did what I do best - brushed off my pissiness, and got busy.  Greg and I planned out our 2017 race calendar (coming soon), which, for me, has both a spring and fall marathon, in two new states.  YESS.  It's also sprinkled with a few tris, a half marathon, and 3 5ks, one of which I am SUPER excited about and can't wait to tell you about - this week - not next month!

A marathon in 47 days??  ERMAHGERD!!!
My big leap for spring, though, is the Olathe Marathon, otherwise known as the Garmin Marathon in the land of Oz.  It's all Wizard of Oz themed, and the start line is literally 4 miles away from my cousins house, and 60 miles from my other two cousins, one of which is Biz's godmom.  Score.  Biz and I will travel to Kansas and MIssouri for a nice lng girls weekend and I cannot wait.

47 days till go time.  I have no illusions of PRing, not even trying.  we shall knock off state #6 and get a much needed reset.  And the best part?  I now have a training plan - and I'm not afraid to use it.  I'M BAAACCCCKKKK!!  

Sunday, February 12, 2017

You Can't Handle The Truth.

There are certain inevitable facts of life.  1:  The month of January, unless you have a birthday or an anniversary, is one of the lamest months around.  2:  With the crappy weather, new POTUS mess, and massive flu/sickness epidemic, January 2017 is on record, one of the crappiest January's ever.  3:  The Glaser household has been triply effected - Greg has pneumonia, Biz and Rob caught colds, and collectively, we have unfollowed about 50 people on facebook for increasingly head shaking insane posts about politics.  4:  As a result, I have been MIA from blogging - sickness and the increasing dislike of social media.
I have to say, in all honesty, I really haven't missed it.  I used to like sharing my thoughts on life, parenting, and running, along with an errant recipe or two.  And I could blame it on lack of time - I've been basically the parent for the last two weeks in our home, so it would be true.  But the real fact is, 2017 has just been a sucky year all around, and I'm highly unmotivated.
I won't get into politics, because its just a black hole.  I can sum it up in about one sentence and just say that I am just not proud to be an American lately (Sorry, Lee Greenwood).  I'm not proud of the new administration, and I'm not proud of those that oppose it.  With very few exceptions, most adults I know are acting less intelligently and tolerant than my toddler (and no, I don't mean Rob).  It's sad.  It's scary.  And it's done more to shut up my feelings of freedom of speech than I care to admit.  I thank my lucky stars, every day, that Greg and I can have a serious, non judgmental discussion about the state of the world.  Because I can't even count the number of times a friend has engaged me in conversation or vice versa and I've been totally judged on my thoughts.  The inability to have a debate and walk away with a new understanding and respect on both sides is not a theme in 2016/2017.  And that makes me sad.  I'm not sure what to do about it.  But it's a contributing factor of 2017 sucking.
The sickness.  I am so not down with it (and I need to quit quoting songs, I know, it's disturbing :-P).  It's just been a shit month, healthwise.  I am the only healthy member of our household (crossing crossables), which is good and bad.  Good in the fact that someone can function...bad that I am exhausted.  It's super frustrating to both Greg and I, and the kids are beyond stir crazy.  We all need a break.  Anyone offering a free vacation to the Bahamas? :-D
Lastly, I've been super struggling with workouts.  Greg and I are trying to plan our race calendar, but having little success.  First of all, he's sick and can't do much, which makes it tough to get excited about racing.  Second, our favorite tri, Sodus, has been cancelled indefinitely.  This was our first tri in 2005, and we have done it every year (I even did it virtually in 2015!) so it's a massive bummer to see it go.  I understand the business decision, but sentimentally, it sucks.  It's very strange to know it'll be the first year we won't be there!  Lastly, I am floundering without a real goal.  I heard that post Ironman blues were real in 2010, but I never felt them.  I signed up for another....then tried to break 4, then got pregnant....times two.  But I had two major PR's in 2016, and I am now done with babies (which, don't get me started) so...now what?  I have the vague goal of hitting 1:45 in the half, but it's not exciting me.  I'm not sure I want to go long, Ironman isn't feasible with two toddlers (IMO) and I'm not at a spot to BQ (take 20 minutes off my new marathon PR).  So, now what?
And those 3 words pretty much sum up my 2017 experience so far.  So....now what?  I don't know.  I do know it's not my style to wallow for long, so pretty soon we will all get healthy, I'll stop running the same damn 7 miles on the treadmill, and 'murica will take a turn (I hope!).  But for now....it is what it is.  And, no, I'm no sure I CAN handle that truth.
But I'm here.  Just wanted to let you know that.  I haven't thrown it in.  I promise!