What Is Life, Without A Little Death?

Here death strikes again.

So many people, such a short time.

It has happened since long before any of us, and will continue with us and way after us.

Death

It’s inevitable.

We all live our lives. We go and go. Some of us are moving so quickly through life, that we are missing out on the things that really are the more important things.

I was guilty of this. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I have since figured out a better balance, though.

I love my family.

I love my friends.

I love racing, and birthdays, and listening to my people talk about their lives, and the things that they are passionate about.

I’m not very good at asking the questions, or initiating conversation, but that’s because I will listen to you tell me about your passions, your grief, your day at work.

When Mitch died, in January of 2017, I was confused. I wasn’t angry, I didn’t really wonder why, so much as “What the Fuck?” It wasn’t an angry wtf, so much as a confused, how could this have happened type question. Once we knew the science and biology behind, I stopped asking. I knew.

That question was answered.

You hear people say, all of the time, “god only gives you what he knows you can handle.” If you believe in God, this has to be true.

You may not know you have it in you, until LIFE (or death really), slaps you in the face.

Wednesday, after I ran 10 miles and was in my car, headed to get some food, I received a phone call. My father in law lost his girlfriend. (They might as well had been married. They had that connection, and that unconditional love. They were only missing the legal documentation).

Let me throw out a little back story on this man, without going too deep into details, or anything.

This man was married to my husband’s biological mother. He adopted my husband, and had 2 more children with his wife, Megan.

When Megan was in her early-mid twenties (I don’t want to screw up on the details), she was murdered in a bar, by a crazy man.

This man, Mike, became a widower father to 3 children, one of which was a tiny baby girl.

He did not handle that well. I mean, who could blame him, right? His wife was murdered. What was he supposed to do?

Fast forward through some addictions and runaways, some verbal fights, and a bit of time in jail, a couple of marriages, divorces and a couple more kids, grandbabies and sobriety.

Here we are, he’s the father of 5 now. He’s gotten his head together, he’s trying very hard to be a good man.

His eldest son dies. The son he adopted, when the son was just a boy, and had his mother ripped from him. The father who may have had his problems surviving this life, lost his son.

He had an amazing woman by his side, to help keep him together. She was there to keep him steady, and remind him that he would be okay. He would make it through this.

Fast forward a little over 2 years, and his girlfriend is now with his first wife, and eldest son.

If god is real, and only gives people what they can handle, he sees something heroic in Mike.

I’m so devastated, for him, and can’t even begin to imagine how his mind is processing.

I’ve been told I’ve handled all of my adversity with grace, and I don’t know. It’s what everyone on the outside sees, when my insides are a screaming and tangled and threatening escape.

But death. Death is one thing we are all going to face.

Death is inevitable, and I don’t think we should fear it. I’m not afraid. I don’t want to die, and I’d never do anything to speed up the process, or invite it sooner. I want to live into my old age, maybe meet a second soulmate, and grow old together with them. I want to have grandbabies and a son-in-law (or daughter-in-law. I’m not picky)

I want to watch my daughter grow into a woman, and watch her find her soulmate, fall madly in love, marry, and grow into her adulthood.

I really love living. I think that Mike is realizing that he loves living as well. Even through the grief that seems to keep being added to his plate, he becomes just a little bit stronger, each round.

I wanted to share his story, because many people judge. Many people do not KNOW. People will never truly understand. But, just the briefest summary of the shot hand this man was felt, and he’s still here. He’s still standing. He is STILL putting one foot in front of the other.

The world we are on is still spinning.

The bills still need to be paid.

Our work here isn’t done, yet.

Death: The only thing guaranteed of life.

Live while you can!

Find happiness!

Be who you are!

Never stop saying their name!

Mary. Megan. Mitch. Sandra. Annie. Gramma and Grandpa McAnany.

Only their bodies are gone. We are forever able to remember them through our pictures, and our memories. We have videos, and voices recorded, now.

On the days we miss them the most, I think their spirits are the closest. Our human form cannot process their presence without their human form, so we interpret their spiritual presence as sadness, and yearning, and missing them.

We FEEL them, but we cannot touch or see them.

May all of our loved ones be partying like rock-stars.

Annie.

Has.

Arrived!

We will miss her, of course. But she is definitely in good hands now.

I Want Something Real.

I know I’ve said a million times, before that I’m not interested in relationships, or having a boyfriend or whatever terminology I had used.

My reasoning for not wanting this type of relationship in my life is to avoid the possibility of heartache, that can accompany such a relationship.

Does anyone trust anymore?

Is there anyone out there who still believes that monogamy is important, not only for your mental health, but for your sexual health as well?

I can’t and I can believe how I got myself into feeling like I wasn’t worthy of being a second half of another relationship. “I’m broken.” “It wouldn’t be fair to you, to date me.” Etc etc etc.

To be fair, to myself, I AM worthy. I am more worthy than I have ever given myself credit for. My life experiences have taught me how to care deeper, and love stronger than I ever have. I’ve learned to appreciate the little things, and enjoy the happy moments.

The life I was given is one of many, MANY ups and downs. I’m talking about all the back, since I was a small child. Foster care. High school drop out. Mentally and physically abused by my mom’s husband. Always living as if I weren’t sure if we were going to be able to pay the bills. Losing my husband, then losing my job.

Luckily, I have survived, and I have grown, and I am thriving. I am learning.

It’s hard to admit that. It hurts to admit that the horrible, awful things that have happened to me, have all made me a better human. I don’t know why it hurts me to admit it. I feel like, admitting how I’ve grown, is like saying “it’s a good thing all these bad things happened!” And it feels like I’m asking the world to throw me what It’s got, like I’m trying to prove to the world, or to god, or the goddess, or gods that I can’t be broken. And that’s not what I want. I’m not looking for more pain and agony. I don’t need to prove myself to anyone or anything. I just need to keep moving, progressively forward.

I mean, I am a better person today, than I was 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 5 years ago.

Being forced to find myself has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.

But, finding me, and finding my worth, and knowing what I have to offer makes me like me.

I’m content being alone, and avoiding the people who only want one thing. I’m not sorry that I had my phase of hooking up with people, or having friends with benefits. Without that step in my life, I don’t think I would have realized how much it really does suck to go on, as if I don’t want someone around. Something real. Something with substance.

I do. I want substance. I want all the feels. I want the love that I know I deserve, and I want to find someone who I can trust and fall in love with.

I use the term “find someone” loosely. I’m not looking, but I’m not closed to the idea anymore.

I feel, as I write this, that I am opening myself up to so much criticism, and possibly questions.

I also feel as though, some parts of this may sound like a conceited princess. I get that. But, what I say is true.

I deserve more than hookups and friends with benefits.

Let me get into “friends with benefits” for just a second, while I am thinking about it.

Benefits.

Sex?

What about compassion, and love, and support, and having someone by your side, for the duration?

What about sharing your life?

What benefits are there, when you have sex with a friend?

None. I can tell you this from experience. Someone gets attached, and the other doesn’t. The one who becomes attached, or begins to have expectations ends up hurt, while the other friend just goes on about their life.

It happens.

That doesn’t seem too beneficial to me.

It sounds like the mindset of people who are too afraid to commit and too afraid to get hurt, and too afraid to FEEL!

I know.

I was there.

I’m no longer afraid to feel.

I’m no longer scared of being hurt, scared so deeply that I’d rather not feel the good things, too.

I’m no longer afraid of the things that I once had, and in my mind, I will always have.

Love.

Love is the scariest feeling.

It’s a feeling where you become so vulnerable, and you lay your heart out there, but not just out there. You’re placing your heart into the hands of someone else, and trusting them to keep it going strong.

You’re trusting someone to not drop it, or squeeze it. You’re trusting them to nurture it, and allow it to flourish, to grow and become bigger, and to create this bond, as you, too, hold their heart in the palms of your hands, not crushing or dropping it, also nurturing their heart, allowing it to flourish and become larger and able to take the love between one another and allow it to grow deeper and deeper.

Love is infinite, and unconditional.

Love isn’t on days you pick and choose. It’s on all of the days.

It’s on the days that you are sick or they are sick. It’s on the days when you’re being an asshole or she’s being a bitch.

Love is always.

Love is forever.

Love is work.

Love is pain.

Love is bliss.

Love is the very best of friendships.

Love is something I’m no longer afraid of.

No more fear.

That Voice In My Head

There’s this voice in my head. It’s been there for about 3 or so years. It talks to me, only when I need it most. It says only one phrase.

But it’s not what you think. Someone spoke these words to me, at the beginning of my health and fitness journey.

I was running at Shawnee mission Park, and someone came up behind me, and said “just keep moving. Just keep moving.” As we were running up the hill, all I wanted to do was stop, walk, or just sit.

This voice has been a constant in my mind, urging me to ”just keep moving.”

From losing weight, working out, or running up hills, the voice plays when I need it.

When Mitch died, the voice was silent for a few days.

After day three, when my brother insisted I figure out my bills and make a budget, the voice started again. It was quiet, like a whisper, and slowly became a prevalent part of my everyday mindset.

“Just keep moving. Just keep moving.”

The person who spoke those words has no idea how he’s stuck with me, encouraging me to keep moving. Don’t stop. Progress. When life gets hard, get tougher than life.

Just.

Keep.

Moving.

Sure, stop and rest, but keep a forward movement. Keep going, even when you want to quit, or when things get hard. When you think you can’t move any farther, take one more step. Put that foot right in front of the other, and keep moving!

You’ll get through, if you push.

Don’t. Stop!

Don’t give up.

You will Survive!

You will grow stronger.

You will become better.

I See So Much Mitch, in My Daughter’s Face.

The other day, my daughter says “Mom, you should check your photo album, because there are some pretty sweet pics I took for you.”

I knew it was going to be a ton of selfies. It’s what she does. I finished my workout, and checked my phone, and there were 30-ish photos, of her, most in black and white.

I’ve always known Mitch’s traits were stronger in her, than mine. But, seeing these particular photos, really REALLY proves it.

I may or may not have cried, looking at these photos. My little (who is clearly taller than me) is absolutely beautiful, inside and out, with a LOT of her father’s sense of humor.

Looking at her does NOT make me sad, like I’ve seen it does to other people in our situation. Looking at her, and seeing him live through her brings tears of joy to my eyes. Absolute, joy, that he will live on, through her.

There are things that make me miss Mitch more than other things. Like all this snow we’ve had recently. He would have been BEGGING me to go sledding.

I would have said no, and suggested he take a friend, and kids.

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with snow. I hate when it touches my skin, but I think it’s absolutely beautiful! I’m about to sound like one of THOSE kind of women, but seeing all the glistening snow reminds me of all the happiest Christmas, and romance movies. I love standing outside and spinning in circles, taking in the beauty of the snow covered tree branches and rooftops. I feel a bit of hope, when I look at it. The smell of snow, is the smell of happiness, and purity, innocence, and clarity. If all of those could be smell, it’d be the smell of fresh snow.

I do love sunshine and beaches more, because, well, I enjoy outdoor activities that don’t involve snow touching my skin. Sand is a welcome touch though. Sunshine, and ocean water, bbqs at the park, and trail running on mountain bike trails. Most of my races are in the warmer climates, and traveling is easier.

But, none of those summer things give the feeling if hope. Maybe that’s why there’s been all this snow. Maybe it gives a lot of people hope, and whoever is in charge of snowfall, (god, goddess, Mother Nature, whatever you believe) decided “It’s time!” And has been dumping on us, consistently for 2 months now.

Every time the snow melts completely, it snows again. This is our spring snow. It doesn’t look too bad, today.

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I feel as though my posts are fewer and fewer theses days, but I realize, maybe it’s because I talk about Mitch every single day. I make social media updates, see all the pictures, and have accepted my fate, as the woman widowed at 34. The widowed mother of a teenage daughter, who couldn’t be any easier to have a child, than she is exactly how she is.

I think, daily, about how proud I am of myself, for fighting to get paid what I was worth, in October of 2016, because if I didn’t, I’d be making $10/hr less than what I make now, and most likely be living the roommate life, or living in a tiny, uncomfortable apartment, somewhere that I don’t want to live. Megan even mentions it, once in a while.

Well, it is time for me to get my day started, so until next time, friends and family.

Much love to you all. And may anyone suffering from such a loss, find hope of happiness, and laughter, in things around you. Remember, there’s always a silver lining, and if we focus on the beauty, rather than the ugly, we can keep on putting

One foot in front of the other.

And always remember, you aren’t moving on, or forgetting anything. You are only moving forward, and making progressive movement.

3 Valentine’s Days, Without My Regular Horror Movie Date

I mentioned before, how I have made it through this holiday, because we didn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, like most people do.

Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays between holidays to make people feel the need to spend money.

We never fell for that crap. However, we would always go see whatever scary movie was in theaters, on the weekend before or after the holiday.

This year, I feel like, the tradition continues, only, my new “horror movie date” will be my daughter. We are going to see Happy Death Day 2, tomorrow night, after dress shopping for my sister’s wedding.

That’s just something else that popped into my head. Now, for the more thoughtful, stuff that’s been going through my mind since Super Bowl Sunday.

I have an acquaintance, who’s mother lost her husband (of 30+ years!), and he brought her to my brother’s Super Bowl party. I didn’t realize who she was, until the end of the night, and I introduced myself to her, and we chatted.

It’s so funny, really. And by funny I mean odd, weird, crazy.

Where I have a lot of people who think I SHOULDN’T date, she has people asking her, regularly “are you dating anyone? Are you seeing someone? Etc” She doesn’t want to. She has zero desire to have an intimate relationship with anyone, like she had with her late husband.

I admire her strength, and her ability to speak those words out loud, and NOT feel ashamed! Her husband died a couple of months after mine did. She had double the years with him, than I had with Mitch.

Our love for our men is strong, individualized, like a thumbprint. Similar in many ways, yet, each uniquely our own.

Our widow journeys the same in the way that we lost our best friends, livers, other halves of ourselves, but, that’s where the similarities end.

And that, THAT is beautiful! We are still both strong, independent widows, living this life we NEVER thought possible.

Her husband was substantially younger than she was. She mentioned words I will never forget. I felt them too. I know this thought.

“It wasn’t supposed to happen like this!”

They were too young.

Hers 10 or so years younger than her, mine, only 34 years old.

Too young.

Not the way it was planned in either of our heads.

But this is our life now.

We make the best of it.

We continue to speak their name.

We continue to show people their pictures.

I wish I would have gotten a picture with her, and permission to post it on here, but I did not do either. I was too interested in talking with her, hearing her story.

(👆🏼With their permission, of course👆🏼)

2 Years: Loss Through the Eyes of a 14 Year Old Girl

So, I’ve been asked, multiple times, by multiple people how Megan is doing, when is she going to start writing, etc.

She wrote something, today.

I leave you with this.

two years ago, my whole life changed. Well close to it. I was at school one day, just enjoying myself, having fun, and talking with friends. I was going to go to a mathletics party that day, instead one of my closest’s friend’s mom picked me up. I was extremely confused, and she didn’t tell me what was going on. I realized she was driving me to Brady’s house, now I was really confused. I got inside and said to my mom “I was at a PARTY and I liked it” or something along the lines of that. Everyone in the room (Brady, Katy, and my mom I think) looked extremely sad. I immediately stopped laughing and was even more confused. My mom told me to sit down and pointed to my smsd pin I got from school that said “kindness matters” or something like that. Me, still confused, didn’t say anything. My mom started crying again, and told me that my dad has passed. I shut down, and started crying. Crying harder than I EVER can remember. I’ve had nightmares about this kind of stuff happening before, but never did I ever think it would actually happen. Katy Wood (his sister) was also there, she was crying. I remember telling her “it’ll be okay” (something like that) and I hugged her. Everyone was at Brady’s house, I stayed in their guest room because I don’t like being around so many people, especially when they’re sad. I was in a group chat on my iPad for school, and I told them about it. My friend Triniti stayed home from school to stay with me, because I’m not a big fan of being alone.

These past 2 years have been stressful, sad, adventurous, and exciting. Me and my mom have went out of the state many times, and poured beer on my dad’s ash, because he always wanted to drink a beer in every state, so we’re letting him do that. To this day, I miss him still, I’ll have nights where I still cry about it.

In the past (around a year, a year and a half ago) I used to be like “hey when’s dad gonna come home” and then I would get sad, realizing that he wouldn’t. I’m nearly crying in my third hour class typing all of this out, but it was worth it.

Dating, Alcohol, Sex, and the not so Average Widow.

I mentioned before, about how a majority of men are either scared to date a widow, or they are all about it. I talked about how they are scared, because a widow will be attached too quickly, because she is used to being married. And I talked about the ideas that a lot of men have, about widows and being horny, or “thirsty” is the term I’ve heard.

For me, I dated a bit, because I wanted to have fun. I am still young. I am still a sexually functioning human, and I do quite enjoy having sex. However, I am not “thirsty”. I can live without it, for a while. Sex isn’t a necessary thing.

Now, I know, I may turn some heads, or upset people, or I may have people say things along the lines of “OMG! Yes, girl!” With this blog. I have to make it known.

I went into the dating scene, with my head on, a little askew. I was fine with that, though. I wasn’t looking for a replacement for my husband (I never will), I wasn’t looking a boyfriend, (so much work involved with that), and I wasn’t trying to keep any one guy for very long. I wasn’t interested in “catching feelings”, so the way to avoid that, was to not sleeping with the same guy for a long time.

Now, I had a “young one”, who was good at keeping things separate, for sure. He was around for about 7 months. Then, one day, my feelings were hurt, when he paid no attention to me. *GASP* right? I had to remove that situation from my life.

I met another man. A very sweet, very dorky man. I liked him. A lot. He, quite literally, was the opposite of everything I look for, physically, in a man. We met at a race. We all met up after a race, at a brewery, and had a few drinks. I had 2 and needed to sit a little while longer, before driving home. Everyone left, except him. He said he would stay with me, so I could drink my water and get home safely.

I should have never started anything with him. I knew it would be a bad idea. It was fun, while it lasted, though.

I honestly remember laying in bed with him, with my head on his chest, thinking, “I should call it off, right now. RIGHT NOW!”

I didn’t listen to my inner voice. Sometimes, I am not very bright. That’s okay, though.

One night, we were texting (because that’s the only way anyone every communicates these days), and he told me that he met a couple online, and they wanted to meet him… And he was seriously thinking about doing it.

I was hurt. I couldn’t understand why, if a person tells you that you’re great, fantastic, perfect, love spending time with you, etc, someone would continue looking elsewhere for sex. I still don’t understand that. After I told him he could go to them, or he could continue with me, but he couldn’t have both, he swore I was enough, and he’d rather just chill with me anyway.  We hung out, one more time, and I knew were weren’t going to continue the benefits part of our friendship. He was weird, like I trapped him or guilted him into hanging out with me. (how I felt he behaved) He didn’t answer his texts like he normally did, and when he would answer, they were 1-4 word responses (not normal for him). I called it off. I said no more and told him to go live his life, and not to let me hold him back. (there’s more to this story, but it’s getting too long). So, I chose to end the benefits part of that friendship, before he did something stupid, and we are still friends.

I felt a bit unworthy after that happened, simply because I was made to feel like I wasn’t enough for someone. I really started to feel down about it. Like, I even cried a couple times. Ugh. I hate admitting that.

So, the point to the very long story was this. I came to a realization. I realized I have a part of me back, that I didn’t think would come back. I didn’t think I would ever want to be in a relationship again. Not after losing Mitch. Not after having my heart shattered into millions upon millions of pieces, with his death.

But I do. One day, I do. Coming into this realization, I decided to stop seeing people, at all. I deleted the dating apps from my phone and  I am not pushing the dating scene. I am just focusing on my health and my family, and my career.

Sex is great, but sex with someone who cares so very deeply for you, and wants to be with you, regularly (and the feeling is mutual) is so much more satisfying.

I know, I put alcohol in the title. I had gotten to a point where I was drinking every weekend, and sometimes during the week. Not because I felt like I needed to be drunk or anything, but just because I had someone to drink with. It had become so frequent, though. I felt like it was a bit much.

I quit drinking so regularly. My last alcoholic beverage was at midnight New Year’s eve/New year’s celebratory champagne. I may have a couple at bigger events, like our big KCOCR season kickoff party next weekend. But, I’ll only have one because I found spiked sparkling water! (low sugar, low carbs, low everything!) Since I am focusing more on my health and ocr training, alcohol isn’t a thing I feel like I need. It hinders the ability to become a better athlete, so, as little as possible is best.

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Feeling Like You’re Not Enough

We have all been there. There are times in our lives, when we feel broken down, or like we aren’t enough for someone.

We need to remind ourselves that we are enough. We are absolutely enough, and we don’t need the approval of others.

Recently I was in a situation, in which I didn’t want to do certain things and the person who was asking, decided I wasn’t enough.

I’m not going to lie.

It hurt.

I woke up, every night, for 5 nights straight, in a panic, wondering why I wasn’t enough. What have I don’t wrong? What could I do to be enough?

Reality is this: I don’t want to do ANYTHING to “become enough” for anyone. If I’m not what you’re looking for, as a friend, a lover, girlfriend, or future wife, that is OKAY! There’s someone out there for you!

I decided to actually end things, so that no one was truly hurt, in the long run. It would have really sucked to have lost a friend, as well.

No, I don’t want to have orgies. I’m not into that. (Just exaggerating here) No, I do not share my partner. I will not compromise.

I will not allow my friends to make stupid choices, like getting that cookie dough when you’re on a very strict weight loss path.

I’m helpful and forceful like that. If that’s not what you want as a friend, that’s okay. (Don’t let unhealthy YOU win! 😉)

I am a big cheerleader, when it comes to my friends and family hitting their goals. I will cheer for you, and I will call you out. I won’t let you fail.

With all of that said, I came across this blog, this morning, that had me in tears.

It’s titled “An Open Letter To The Future Man Dating my Wife.”

I read it through the voice of my husband, and I cried. It really took every doubt I had, about myself and who I am as a prospective girlfriend/lover/wife, and wiped them out. I was absolutely, 100% ENOUGH for the most amazing man that I’ve ever met, for SIXTEEN AND A HALF YEARS! There’s nothing wrong with me. And I don’t mean this as a bad thing on anyone else, but I am sorry, for you, if I am not enough for you. Mitch thought I was worth it, and that’s what keeps me going.

One day, I’ll meet someone new, who will find me to be “enough.”

I am not looking. I have deleted my dating apps. I have decided to focus more on NOT seeing guys, and NOT dating, and putting all myself into my child and me, along with my family and friends.

Dating me won’t be easy. I come with a lot of “baggage”. Can I call it Luggage? Luggage is more of a happy word. Because my marriage was wonderful. My daughter is my favorite human, in the whole world. Those two will forever be an amazing part of me. The two major parts that sculpted me into who I have become, and I will be forever grateful for their presence in my life. Even when I wanted to choke them!

A Year in Review:2018 Goals:2019

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This year has been amazing. Megan and I started the traveling year out, by flying (for the first time ever!) to Atlanta for a Savage race, and a long, touristy fun filled weekend. We visited many film sites and ate local foods/restaurants. We had so much fun, and decided that we absolutely loved flying! 

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We drove a lot, through the year, many states, many friends, maaaaany races. Every time was a lot of fun, and a lot of crazy! I think our worst fun trip was Chicago! I was speeding, (of course…) and was pulled over and acquired a ticket for $111… Then! THEN!! On our last full day in Chicago, the hotel manager saw Dog, and lost his shit! He tacked on a $30/night charge, for my dog that weighs less than most newborn babies. But, whatever. I was mad when it happened, but we were being sneaky, and got caught. Good lesson for Megan, I guess. Ha. Chicago ended up costing me $200 more than I had budgeted for, and I was quite pissy about it, at the time. Now, I think about it and laugh, because I was the one doing the wrong, and I got upset when I was called on it. I can readily admit that the Chicago trip has made me drive MUCH slower, and I quit taking Dog with us, everywhere. 

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With every great year, comes some bad. In October, I was fired, from the job I loved very much. Luckily, I have found myself in a place that cares more about their staff. I feel EXTREEEEEMELY lucky about that. As much as I miss the family I made, with the coworkers I had before, I know I can see them, whenever. I don’t have to work with them to see them. 

Megan, this year, had a class in Design and Modeling, which seemed to set the basic foundation for architectural design and all the computer basics for that. Nothing in school, this year, has been worthy of mention, without incessant probing for information. Except this class. Meg was pretty stoked when she “built and wired a wall”.  Amazing! She talked about all the stuff she did in that class, and you could tell she had enjoyed herself.  I hope her 2nd semester finds her in classes worthy of mention, as well. 

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This year, we visited California, Florida, Georgia (twice), Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Texas (a million times!), Oklahoma, east Missouri, and a short stop in Tennessee, to show Meg the Grand Ole Opry. 

Next year, we plan to travel less (shorter distances), plan more at home, and around town, and focus on family and friends. 

 

I’m not sure what Megan’s goals are but I’d go with get her grades up and stay out of the middle school/soon to be HIGH SCHOOL drama! So far, so good. 

My goals for Meg are to get her to walk through ONE, at least ONE Conquer the Gauntlet with me! 

My goals for me… through 2019, I plan to get my eating habits under control and at a naturally occurring place. My goals for 2019, are to prepare for my big 2020 goals. I’ve only shared with a few people, and most of them don’t understand the entirety of the situation. 

Short term goals: run a lot, keep working out, with better focus and discipline. 

BIG goal: I want to do a 24 hour race, at the end of 2020. I’m lucky enough to know people that I can ask questions, and learn from. 😉

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I’m sure, physically, I could be ready by the end of 2019, but financially, and mentally are another thing, completely. This is something I’m going to have to save for, become mentally ready for, and really train for. Becoming mentally ready for it will probably be the hardest part for me. It gets COLD. Like really cold, icicles falling off your body/clothes, cold. That fucks my brain up a bit. Lol! Those of you who really know me, will understand. I hate being cold. A lot!

So, all through 2019, I plan to acquire all the material things I’ll need, to do this crazy, endurance race, in 2020. 

I’ll be doing stupid shit, like swimming in cold lakes at night, with friends… never alone! Gotta test the wetsuits. 😂 

Long distance running, lots of training, for endurance style stuff. It’s going to be so annoying, that I’m going to create another Facebook page, to allow those who care to follow, a chance to do so, without clogging my regular Facebook page. Or maybe I’ll just clog my social media’s with my ridiculous training. Ha! 

So, that’s it. 

2018 had its ups and downs, just like any other year, but we survived, and will be blasting into 2019 with goals intact! 

Be happy. Be healthy. Stay strong! 

Widowed life… Nearly 2 Years

It’s been almost 2 years since my husband has passed.

We’ve been through our share of trials, and hardships, heartaches and surprises of the “not-great” quality.

We’ve survived. We have strived for more. I haven’t allowed any of the crap that life has thrown at me, to knock me down.

I’m standing. I am standing tall, and stronger than I have ever been.

As I sit here, and type these words, I think “people may think I’m bragging, or gloating.” That’s not it, at all. I say these things because people need to know, it IS possible to become a stronger person, after every swing of the bat, that’s aimed for your chest, and your head.

This life? This life as a widow, is not for the weak-hearted. It’s not for the thin skinned. This life? It’s really fucking hard sometimes.

I started my new job, and I’ve been there since December 4th, in their OR. I’m used to everyone knowing that my husband passed. I’m not used to the look of shock, when I say “my late husband”, or “when my husband passed…”

I have to remember to pause, then answer when they say “oh my god! I’m so sorry!”

It’s okay though. Because once I respond, the immediate question asked is ALWAYS “WOW, he was so young, though, right?”

I answer with a “yep. He was only 34! Crazy, right?”

I can’t imagine being “weak” in this life. I’d never get anything done. I’d cry every time someone asked me about Mitch. Or I wouldn’t talk about him at all.

I talk about him daily. I mention Mitch’s name every single day. I can’t imagine a world where he isn’t talked about, or remembered for the amazing human he was.

I see Facebook posts, friends and family make, talking about how much they miss Mitchell John. I feel like a prick, because I forget that so many other people loved him, too. Well, I don’t forget, I just don’t think about it, and I am sorry. He was a pretty amazing man.

I can’t say that life has been all bad, though. I was so lucky, soooooooo lucky, after being fired for reasons that weren’t actually true, I landed a pretty sweet gig at a new location, and I am happy there. I was only out of work for a month and a week. That’s pretty amazing, and I believe lucky. Every place that called for the prescreening interviews asked why I was no longer with the last place of employment. I’m a terrible liar, and didn’t know how to answer. “I was fired”, was my response. The phone calls ended almost immediately after.

Everywhere but one place.

I went on my already planned and paid for vacations, and I even went to Tulsa, for a workout and a ninja competition, this month.

I love living. I love life. I hate that I’m spending my life without my soulmate, but, will shall meet again, at some point. Until then, I am going to live. Meg is going to live. We are going to live happy, and try to stay healthy.

Speaking of living healthy, I rehired my personal trainer, and have started LIFTING! Ugh! I hate lifting. Like, a lot. I’m getting better at it, slowly, but surely. I’m sure I won’t hate lifting, forever. I am training for another half marathon, and am using the heart rate method to train. Enough about working out, though!

I signed up, to make mashed potatoes, for our work potluck. I made 10lbs of potatoes. I whipped them up, and put garlic and salt and butter and milk, in them. I made 2lbs of bacon, too, so people can make loaded potatoes! (Because I don’t believe in gravy! Haha!)

Any widows out there, I want to tell you, right now, that it IS okay to be happy! Your husband/wife wouldn’t want you to be sad, forever. They wouldn’t want you sad at all. I know when I was sad, during the time before Mitch died, he hated it. My sadness made him sad for me. He did everything he could think of, to cheer me up. So remember the times, during your spouses living years, when you were sad, or upset. Did they buy you flowers? Make you dinner? Draw you a hot bubble bath? Make you a drink? Kiss you, rapid fire, so that you laugh? But you jewelry? Or anything at all to bring your happiness level up?

They don’t want us depressed. They’re probably making silly faces, hoping that we catch the slightest glimpse, and laugh.

So, when life tries to beat you with all it’s got, stand on your two feet, and don’t let it take you down.

Be the strongest version of you, that you can be.

💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼