Monday, July 29, 2013


I have the joy and pleasure of seeing 3am fairly often, although to be honest, I've been going through a stint where I haven't seen it that much.

I have had this honor for most of my adult life, I don't remember it in college or in high school, but certainly since I have been a Mom.

I had a friend a few years ago who told me I should be happy that I am up at that time of the day, it is one of the most spiritual times in the day, there are monks who wake at that time to pray each day. It is an interesting concept, not sure it makes me enjoy it anymore, but I am more conscious about doing some heavy duty thinking and processing when I wake up at 3am, rather than getting up and doing chores which is what I did for a few years.

The other day we are driving and one of Sunshine's favorite songs on the new P!nk album comes on and I notice for the first time since we've had the album that it mentions 3 am.

"The Truth About Love"= P!nk
The truth about love comes at 3am
You wake up f*&@ed up and you grab a pen
And you say to yourself
I'm gonna figure it out, I'm gonna crack that code
Gonna break it break it down
I'm tired of all these questions 

So I started wondering how many other songs on my ipod mention 3 am.. After compiling this list, I feel like my connection with 3am is in good company. (There may be more, but these are the ones I came up with last night, I will be paying more attention though!)

"3am"- Matchbox Twenty
She says baby
It's 3 am I must be lonely
When she says baby
Well I can't help but be scared of it all sometimes
Says the rain's gonna wash away I believe it

She's got a little bit of something, God it's better than nothing
And in her color portrait world she believes that she's got it all
She swears the moon don't hang quite as high as it used to
And she only sleeps when it's raining
And she screams and her voice is straining 

"Home"- Goo Goo Dolls
It's 3 A.M. and I can't sleep without you
I think I've found the perfect words to say
The shattered light transmits my voice
Sometimes we don't have a choice
I'd wake you up from half a world away

And I tried so hard
Tried to be so strong
But you see the crash
My defense is gone 

"Closer to Fine" - Indigo Girls  
I stopped by the bar at 3 a.m.
To seek solace in a bottle or possibly a friend
I woke up with a headache like my head against a board
Twice as cloudy as I'd been the night before
I went in seeking clarity. 

"Hello City"- Barenaked Ladies
It's three o'clock in the morning,
and I'm hungry so let's eat.
Climb down three flights to the streetlights
and the bar-fights, we're just taking in the sights.
I hope tomorrow that I wake up in my own bed.

"Unusual Kiss"- Melissa Etheridge 
The smell the taste the touch is so brand new
The thrill of the eyes that capture this forbidden view
It's 2:45 and you'll have some explaining to do

It's 3:17 a.m. please let me into your eyes
It's 4:23 and I try to hold on as you rise
I'll give you all that I have if that's what you want me to try

And not quite 3am

"Breathe"- Anna Nalick
2 AM and she calls me 'cause I'm still awake,
"Can you help me unravel my latest mistake?,
I don't love him. Winter just wasn't my season"
Yeah we walk through the doors, so accusing their eyes
Like they have any right at all to criticize,
Hypocrites. You're all here for the very same reason

"Better Man"- Pearl Jam
Waitin', watchin' the clock, it's four o'clock, it's got to stop
Tell him, take no more, she practices her speech
As he opens the door, she rolls over...
Pretends to sleep as he looks her over

She lies and says she's in love with him, can't find a better man...
She dreams in color, she dreams in red, can't find a better man...
Can't find a better man
Can't find a better man

I am sure this will shock few, but a search of the interwebs finds that there are people who make lists of songs that include time and have done this for every hour on the clock. I was rather surprised at how many songs include 3am, some I've heard of, some I haven't.

Oh, and don't judge my taste in music.. it's mine, you have yours, we can happily co-exist. Really.

Friday, July 26, 2013



Today after I dropped you off at sailing camp (yes, I said sailing camp), I started thinking how amazing you are. I think this often... because you are, but today, I thought she isn't just awesome, she is fierce.

As a parent, I think we all want the best for our children, we want better for you than we had. That's not to say I had it bad, believe me I didn't. You have many more opportunities than I had as a child, partly because of where we live, and partly because of how times have changed.

I think about you working toward your black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I watch you do your Bo form, and sometimes I hold my breath, okay- I almost always hold my breath.. but the confidence you have is breath-taking. I remember a tournament this year when one of your classmates was there- one of your fairly athletic classmates, he watched the first 10 seconds of your form and he just went "wow".. and he stood there and couldn't take his eyes off of you doing it.

And I watch you play lacrosse, you are a natural. One thing for sure, unlike you, I was not born an athlete, I have had to work at it- and I've worked at it for several years now, and finally feel like I can call myself one. You have such amazing body awareness. I was standing next to one of the Dads at one of the games, he had coached the year before and it was a close game and we all were on pins and needles and the ball was loose.. and he very quietly and confidently said about you- don't worry- she'll get it- she always comes up with it! And you did.

And sailing. I have to tell you it is odd as a parent to think you are sending your kid off to the ocean to sail a boat by herself. But you do it and you love it.. I can see your love for it in your eyes when you talk about it.

There are many amazing things about it, and I have only touched on some of your physical achievements- I don't need to remind you how you got high honors all 3 trimesters of your 6th grade year, or how you went to Space Camp with your classmates and adult chaperones who you didn't really know, and roomed with someone that you sort of knew, but not your best friend who was also on the trip.

How you asked your crush to dance at the social. And how you asked your friend's crushes (with their permission) to dance with your friends.

A parent worries.. okay, maybe not all, this parent worries, about all the things parents worry about, the things out of our control- the bad people in the world or the accidents that can happen and I am sure I probably always will worry about those things. But I look at you and I think of who you are becoming and I know why Beyonce calls herself Sasha Fierce... Sunshine, you are fierce, you are a human who will take on the world, a young lady who will become such a strong women that you will knock down walls, whatever they are that get in your way, and I will sit and watch you and I'll worry and be your biggest cheerleader.. but I will know how incredibly fierce you are and how successful you will be.. Sunshine Fierce!



Saturday, July 20, 2013

Where in, I Continue to Search for Inner Peace.

I had many mixed emotions about going to Alaska. It has always been a dream for me to go there- so much about it appealed to me, the outdoors, the geography, the geomorphology.  I was nervous about being away from my home for so long, I am by nature a home body.

I really couldn't actually believe it was happening. Even after a couple of days in Seattle. I think it finally hit me the first morning I ran on the ships deck.. and this was my view.

There were many things I was looking forward to on the trip, time with Sunshine and my Mom, the outdoors, being away, new adventures. I think a part of me hoped somewhere up there I would find some answers to some of the questions I have bouncing around in my head.

I don't know if I got answers to the questions but I do feel like I came back with a different kind of peace.

I am a New Yorker, I've lived in Maine for almost 2 decades- almost longer than I lived in New York, but I will always identify as a New Yorker. I have the lazy upstate NY accent where I say mi'in rather than mitten. I play mini golf, not putt putt, I know good pizza and good chicken wings and have killed black flies the size of small seagulls with my bare hands. At the same time, Maine and I get along quite nicely. I like the slightly slower pace with an under tone of stick to-it-iveness- you have to here- one never knows what the winters will bring, so you need to be prepared (don't get me wrong NY has winters- with lots of snow- but Maine's winters last for a good 6 weeks longer.- the Tulip Festival in Albany, NY is going on and we still have snow on the ground.)

One of the things I noticed about AK is that same sort of contact with the Earth, slow paced mojo going on, but you know everyone is thinking of the weeks until Winter arrives and what needs to be done to be prepared. But a raw ruggedness- I can think of no other way to say it than that it strikes me as an innate connection with the Earth.

Back in 2009, I wrote this. I think about that post every now and again. I think about finding that inner peace, that savor every moment mentality. Grab life by the horns and hold on. Which reminds me of this quote

 “Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the
intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well
preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways,
chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body
thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming
“WOO HOO what a ride!”

So, I don't know if I've found savor every moment inner peace yet. I do think I'm closer than I've ever been. And that feels really awesome, to be getting rid of stuff (people and things) that don't make me feel content and in the moment. I probably will always struggle with this, because, as I recently said- I am a planner by nature.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


I’ve talked about this before, probably many times. I don’t see myself as a goal setter. In reality, I am. But not the kind of goal setter I think of when people ask are you a goal setter? I don’t have a 5 year or a 10 year plan. I’m a planner. Don’t get me wrong, my friends will attest to my Olympic Gold Medal winning planning abilities. I don’t see that as goal setting. I think of goals, as- I have this many widgets to get through this week (widgets= white papers, reports, actual widgets etc). So how do I chunk that- how do I get through X widgets in a week and meet that goal.

I set goals for races- I want to finish this race faster than the last one, or this course is hillier than the last one, so I only want to be 3 minutes slower. I also think that my propensity to be a planner can, at times, keep me from 'living in the moment' and enjoying it before I move on to the next thing.

Yet, every year I take on the New Years Resolution challenge many of us chose to present ourselves. I learned years ago not to turn this into a- I’m going to exercise every day or I’m giving up chocolate- as a Catholic- I can do the give up thing for Lent- 40 days is one thing.. a whole year.. heck no!

I am also the type of person who can easily fall prey to helping other people achieve their goals. This year, I think, was the first year I realized that I had inadvertently made my goals what someone else’s were. I am one to help out and be a cheer leader- but I realized my goals needed to be my goals, not tag along goals to help someone else. I needed to define my own goals.

Okay, let’s step back a second.. I know that it isn’t December 31st (although at this moment temperatures in the 30s sounds lovely!), and I’m not looking back on a year of how did I do? It is just past the middle of the year and I am taking an assessment.

So back to the News Years Resolutions.  I came up with 3 tangibles, 3 items that I could check off a list- what they are isn’t really important, what I realized about the goals I had chosen is important… what I realized about those 3 items was that in some way there was something about them that scared me.. they were a stretch for me because they were scary. It was in that moment that I realized my goal for 2013 would be to do as many things as possible outside of my comfort zone.

Somewhere in March, I think it was, I started to feel like this year held epic possibilities for me.. that stretching outside my comfort zone, doing things even when my feet were sweaty and my hands were clammy was laying out epic moments for me.

So to recap 2013 so far...

I ran a race I swore I would never run because it is in the middle of winter in Maine, it is 10 miles and is hilly. And did I say outside, in Maine in February?!?

I ran a 10k course that I have been afraid to run for 3 years because it is trail and it is hilly. I ran this trail race after days of rain, while it torrential down poured. At one point, my shoe got stuck in the mud and only my foot came back up.

I said no. Saying no is hard for me. (See taking on other people's goals above). I can so easily overbook myself with too many 'things' I feel obligated to do out of fear that I will disappoint someone, with little regard for what all the commitments mean to my life and my schedule. I can think of 3 times that I said, no, I can't do that, I don't want to do that. Each time was hard, but the freedom I felt when I was done was enough of a carrot that I will become less and less afraid of saying no.

I ran my first obstacle course race.

I fell in love. I had my heart broken. And for the first time, I didn’t doubt myself, I didn’t doubt my love (or his), I was sad, very sad, but I didn’t think of all the things I must have done wrong to end it. I sat uncomfortably in my sadness for awhile and took a deep breath.

I went on a trip with my daughter and my Mom to a place I have always wanted to visit. I touched water melting from a glacier; I touched ice from a glacier. I remembered in my heart why I loved my chosen major, why I loved geomorphology classes and why I could talk to you for hours about adiabatic heating and cooling.

I stood and looked in the mirror at my naked body, at my stretch marks, and my saggy breasts, at my muscles and at the sexy dents in my shoulders, and I thought how hard I have worked to have this saggy skin that no longer covers fat, to have the muscles that can run miles, and break boards and carry me through my day.

I ran 100 miles in a month. On day 15.. the remaining 50 miles seemed like 1000, and the 2nd to last day was one of the worst runs of my running life... and the last 3 miles were quiet and fast and perfect.

I ran a half marathon in sun that was unrelenting and heat that felt like it was 100 degrees. I ran a half marathon in wind gusts that topped 50 mph.

I ran at sea. I ran 18 miles at sea on a boat, 9 stories above the water. I watched the sunrise over the Alaska mountains while I ran. 

I have some other plans (funny there is that plan vs. goal thing) in store for the next few months. Not sure if I will get to all 3 of my original goals for this year, I am enjoying just being epic in my own moments… Can’t say I will ever learn to not be a planner.. but I think I am slowly learning how to find those moments of epicness and enjoy them.

Here is to being epic-ly awesome.