Monthly Archives: June 2013

An Ode to Swimsuit shopping.


Twas the first day of summer and the sounds from upstairs

sounded a lot like pain and despair.

After digging through drawers I’d found last years suits…

the unfortunate news was they needed the boot.

The blue one had faded and now looked quite white,

I’m pretty sure wearing it wouldn’t be a good sight.

The purple and black one dissolved in my hands,

an evil swimsuit imp had ravaged these lands!

I took a deep breath and knew what was next –

Swimsuit Shopping! (I’d rather face death).

To the gods of the swimsuit I ask, “please be kind!”

All I request is the suit cover my behind!

I am not one strut, show off beauty or brawn,

I’m kindly entreating, “no floss and no thong!”

I am curvy and dimpled and not very busty,

I do not need a suit that is sexy or lusty.

Some spandex, some nylon, a practical cut –

for swimming and jumping it needs to stay up!

A color or pattern, maybe something bright??

Oh goddess of swimsuits, just don’t make it white!

I head now with hope to the stores to go roaming,

In hunt of a swimsuit I am proud to be owning.

I will enter the dressing rooms laden with choices,

and hopefully emerge triumphant and boisterous…

“Thank you,” I will cry to the god of swimsuits,

“the flourescent lights weren’t so bad or uncouth –

Even with emphasis on all of my dimples –

I still found a suit that is lovely and simple!”

I may on try on twenty or thirty or fifty,

but at the end of the day the fit will be nifty!

“So be gone now,” I say to despair and pain,

a swimsuit I need and so it shall be claimed.


Lingerie Superhero

***So you have probably heard something at some point in your life about using your “nice” things. The good china, the fancy silverware, the nice candles, the special table cloth, the linen napkins, the real pearls, the expensive leather purse and so on. Basically, it goes something to the effect of “use the good stuff on a regular basis because every day is good.” 

So on Sunday I woke up, puttered around the house, thought a bit about the day ahead, and finally decided to get dressed. I had already pulled out the basic blue jeans and the simple cotton t-shirt (my almost-every-day-of-the-week outfit of choice) when I got to the underwear drawer…

There they were – the black ones with lace on the edges and a simple white pin stripe. The ones I never wear. Because they are supposed to go with “good” clothes or special occasions. What the heck I thought?? It’s a Sunday. Now is as good a time as any. On went the special undies, followed by the everyday-perfectly-broken-in-couple-of-baby-food-stains-on-the-thighs-starting-to-rip-in-the-knees jeans. 

Next up – a bra. Hhhmm. There is the standard cotton work horse, maybe a hint of embellishment with 1mm of lace along the edge OR the matching black, pin stripe, lace around the whole thing camisole that goes with the fun-derwear I just pulled on. Hhhmmm. Why not?? On the camisole went, followed by the standard tee. 


And here’s the crazy thing now. The reason I am telling you about my underwear from yesterday (because normally I don’t think anyone, save myself, my husband, and the paramedics if something bad happens should know much about my undies) – I felt like a superhero. Like I had some sort of crazy super power secret, simply because I had fun, particularly nice underwear beneath my totally normal everyday run of the mill clothes. 

So today I challenge you to the do the same. Use the “good” stuff. Break out the special things and treat yourself to something nice. Today IS a special occasion – you just have to make it one! 

Feeling pain.

If I were my own best friend I would reflect quietly on a quote…


The sorrow which has no vent in tears may make other organs weep.

–Henry Maudsley, MD 1835-1918

***I am switching gears today to reflect on something a little more serious than the previous post. 

The above quote has haunted me ever since I read it a few months ago. Not in a creepy or frightening, keeps me up at night kind of way. Instead as a reflective, makes me think about life and pause before I find myself making assumptions about something or someone kind of way. 

I am intrigued by the idea of pain presenting in different ways. Pain is not just a physical sensation but an individual and very subjective reaction to that sensation. I spent some time working as a hospice nurse and I saw so many different types of pain and so many different ways it affected people. It may be emotional or physical or spiritual or psychological or some combination thereof. And it may not present in a way we are expecting it to – in ourselves or in others.  

I was curious about Henry Maudsley, the gentleman who wrote the quote, so I did a quick search on him (sometimes I just love the internet). He was a British psychiatrist and apparently quite a famous and influential one. I did not find a specific reference to this quote, but if I had to guess, I suspect during his time he saw a number of patients with unexplained physical symptoms that were actually related to psychological pain. He probably recognized that if certain mental pain is left untreated the body will find a way to make it known, perhaps through a completely different organ, like the heart or lungs or gut. 

I see a lot of ill people in my line of work. I see a lot of suffering. And sometimes I am left wondering if there is much much more to the story, then the physical report I am able to get. What else is going on in their lives? What else is causing them trouble or pain? Yes, they may be having chest pain, but is it really from their heart? Or could it be the death of a husband and the stress of living without him? Could a job change or a major move lead to a painful bowel? What about a messy divorce or a sick child – how much does that affect headaches? 

So what I want to say today is if you have some sort of pain, some sort of ache in your soul that needs healing, some kind of stress you are ignoring – then consider doing the hard work to heal it. The road will not be easy and the healing will take time, but based on Maudsley’s observations, that ache in your soul will eventually find an outlet elsewhere and perhaps not a good one. 

I wish you well in your journeys and hope if you are struggling with something that is causing you pain you are able to get the help you need to heal. Take care. 

Getting back on track


***Five years ago I completed an Ironman. And for 7 of the last 10 years I ran a marathon every year. I was a collegiate All-American athlete. And for the last decade I could run a 1/2 marathon with about one-month advanced notice and be relatively well trained within a month. I worked out regularly – daily even.  

Then I started graduate school. And had a baby. And moved states. And bought a house. And tried desperately to keep up on being a wife and a sister and a daughter and a friend. And make new friendships in a new place. And sleep. And work part time. And even do laundry. 

And in the midst of all this I had a sneaky feeling that all of this in combination was probably not so good for my overall health. And then that sneaky feeling was confirmed. 

Last week I got a phone call from the doctor telling me that things are fine now, but I really need to start exercising for my health. Because long term things might not be so fine. I knew this (but I never thought I would get a phone call about it). I tell other people to do this. I berated myself for letting life and my health get so out of control. I focused on what I used to be able to do. I focused on how far I have fallen. 

 And then I remembered I have this blog. 

 And now it is time to put my money where my mouth is so to speak…

If I were my own best friend I would:

  1. Be proud of myself for starting to work out again – even if it is only 20-30 minutes 3x a week
  2. Not look back at all I have done in the past and berate myself for not being able to do it now – life is different now
  3. Be grateful for the opportunity to start getting in shape again
  4. Enjoy the process
  5. Let go of the end goal (a nebulous “being in shape again” – what does that even mean???) and focus on small, short-term goals
  6. Not say “even if it is only” – that is defeating language – I AM working out 20-30 minutes 3x a week and that is WONDERFUL
  7. Get a new, fun, colorful workout top because I am a sucker for color and that is motivational for me

So there it is. In writing. For all to read. 

It is time to actually be my own best friend and tell myself all the things I would tell someone else who is just starting out again. Has anyone else been there or maybe even is there now?? If you are just getting back into it (whatever it may be) I just want to say “GOOD JOB FOR GOING AFTER IT!!” 

The last 10 weeks…


***Ah, the last 10 weeks. It has been an endless rush to jump through hoops and meet deadlines. Then more hoops and more deadlines. Then deadlines and hoops. And so on. 

I have survived and just recently emerged for a week and a half break before I dive back into the maze of hoops and deadlines that is known as graduate school. Hmmph.

Have you ever experienced this in your life? A time when you are just going from one task to the next to the next and you know that if you keep putting one foot in  front of the other you will get there, but in the middle there can be moments when it feels really overwhelming. 

That is why I added color to my hoops and deadlines. Sometimes a little splash of color makes all the difference! If you are caught in the maze or the hamster-wheel or the treadmill or whatever analogy you want to draw I just wanted to let you know you are not alone. Keep stringing those small tasks together and ultimately they result in something big! 

So in keeping with the theme of this blog – “if I were my own best friend I would remind myself to add a little color to the daily tasks of life and to keep going – it will pay off in the end!”