Monday, August 31, 2009

The blogging world, Banff and an Ice Cream Truck

I recently saw the movie "Julie & Julia" which is about a young woman (about my age) who is an aspiring writer and she blogs about how she is working her way through Julia Child's book "Mastering the Art of French Cooking". While that is something I would NEVER conceive of doing (seeing as I would eat about 3 things made from that book and all of them without some ingredient or other) the idea struck me as wonderful. Why should a person who is putting their heart and soul on the line (and on the web) and not get some recognition!? God knows there are enough bloggers out there, and some REALLY great ones at that, that should get some recognition! Although my dreams of being one of those people is very limited (I am not sure what would make my writings stand out amongst the millions) I have to admit that I fancy the thought of one day being world renown for my writings, I will have to seriously re-evaluate this blog if that were to happen... as in, there is no topic that I write about ALL the time... it is, you have to admit, pretty random.

The past week I was in Banff for a couple days (one evening of which was spent in the movie theatre watching the aforementioned movie) visiting the husby (my new nickname for the husband) as he was working out there. I have realized, as I always do when I spend time out in the mountains, how much I love it out there... the air is so fresh, the views so inspiring, humbling and quiet. We are so incredibly lucky to live so close to the amazing mountains, and as I was saying to Derek, we don't spend enough time out there! I was thinking and chuckling to myself of how wonderful it is to be close to a place that people save YEARS to come and see... I mean, if it blows me away every time I see the mountains, and I live here... imagine what THEY must feel. The other day I was sitting down town having lunch with my sister-in-law and we saw some tourists posing like they had their hand on top of the Calgary tower... kind of like what you see people doing to the Pyramids of Giza or the Leaning tower of Pisa... and the thought came to me... Is that what we look like when we are in foreign lands? How different is it to look at tourists in your own country and appreciate what they are going through from what you have experienced in your own travels! This is what I was thinking about when I was in the mountains... could the feeling that I got when I did yoga on Manchu Picchu or saw the Eiffel Tower for the first time, could they be having the SAME feeling when they drive to the mountains? I have so many things on my bucket list, but how many people LONG to see the Rocky's and have them on THEIR lists... how lucky we are to have them in our back yard! And how we should enjoy them more... Derek and I really want to spend more time out there - and hopefully our schedule will oblige a bit in the fall (unlikely but somewhat possible!?)

While spending some quality time in the mountains, I went for a run on one of the mornings I was out there - a quick little 6K that had me begging for mercy by the time I was done. I am not sure if it was the altitude difference (2000 ft higher than home) or the cold that I was developing (and am still recovering from) or the fact that I had just worked a night shift, driven to Banff only to find out that we couldn't check in until 1pm (so the obvious thing to do was go for a run....) Anyway, this run that was supposed to be enjoyable and scenic has me worried to the maximum seeing as the race I am running is IN BANFF and is in 3.5 weeks (and .5 of those weeks we will be in Chicago!!!). I am worried, not that I won't finish... the bull will not be defeated, but that my time will suck, I will hurt myself and that it will be 2.25 of the most painful, death take me now, hours I have ever endured. SO... what am I doing about this you ask? Why... working nights, eating cereal, apples and popcorn and sleeping until the stupid ice cream truck's*** silly jingle wakes me up mid evening, all to do it over again! Yes, this bull may have to run through agonizing pain in a little over 3 weeks... but... I won't let one bad training program get me down! I will do better, starting... er... Wednesday? I am not busy Wednesday!!!

As I have said before in previous posts, it seems like we over plan our lives (there IS such a thing, and even I am saying it...) and we seem to want to do everything on our lists. Sometimes, we don't get to do everything we want due to finances, obligations like work or family, or the fact that there aren't enough hours in the day sometimes. Although this is the case, and we have to pick out the things that we REALLY must do and want to do, we can still do the things that we are passionate about - we can still do what motivates us and drives us... but these things have to be a priority. People spend holidays with their families because they make it a priority, athletes get gold medals because their training is a priority, sick people get better because their health becomes their priority. SO... what are my priorities? My husband, first and foremost... he is my family, my best friend and the person who helps make all my fears go away. Second, my family... they helped shape who I am today and I am pretty happy with the result, how could I abandon them now?! :o). Third, my running - and although this has been put on the back burner I need to re-light the front burner and get some serious training in before the big race in Banff!! Although I am on nights for the next 3 weeks, and I am really quite busy on top of that, I making a commitment and making it a priority to get some runs in - log some distance - and thus feel better about the upcoming 'doom-fest' that is Melissa's Run in Banff... wish me luck on the next 3.5 weeks, I am sure going to need it!

*** Just a note about the effing Ice Cream Truck... this guy drives around all day (and I mean ALL DAY) around our neighbourhood playing his high-pitched annoying-as-all-get-out anthem that makes all the kiddies come and run for ice cream. He drives by our house at LEAST 20 times a day on a hot Saturday or Sunday which makes it next to impossible to sleep when on nights. On the day that I actually decided to succumb to the ice cream anthem and ran up to meet and greet the man, he drove right past me, thus leaving my broken heart frustrated and ice cream-less. It is tragic... effing ice cream truck, he should be banned!!!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Summer is here, and almost gone

It is amazing to me how much faster time goes now that I am a big person. Seriously, time NEVER went this fast - especially during summer - when I was little. Sometimes, ok quite often, I long for those lazy summer days when I was a kid where I would ride my bike all over the place and play war with my brother and the neighbourhood boys. I recall how summer faded gently into fall and how not only the chill in the air would mark the change, but the smell of the air. Nothing makes me think of my youth like the smell of the air in fall... such good memories come to mind.

Looking at our calendar, fall will be here before we know it. We have the next 2 weeks fully booked (and Derek is away for most of it) and then we are off to Chicago for our first wedding anniversary (see what I mean about time moving so quickly!). Sometimes, I fear that we get so caught up in what we have to do, or what our schedule says and loose the moment that we are living in. I know this happens actually... we both (Derek and I) need to live in the moment more. I really felt this last week as Derek grew very busy with work and preparing for his week long course in BC. There was so much prep to do and so much that we had to organize, that we missed out on some quality time with eachother before he left. Sometimes this can't be helped... but I can't help but think that we could have MADE time... even if that means I didn't get the full 7 hours of sleep, or all the laundry didn't get done. Sometimes, we just have to make the time.

I have started my course via correspondence, and it is interesting and exciting. It is Mass Communication and the Media... should be a good time! :o) I am looking forward to diving into the whole process, so far I have unit 1 read... now for the questions! I hope that I will have the determination to stick to the courses and finish with a communications degree... but as I told myself when I went into this... every course I finish, they can't take back and I can eventually use it for something!

Five and a half weeks until the big race in Banff... yikes, I feel really un-prepared. I haven't been running as much as I should be, can't seem to get motivated this time around! I have revised my schedule to hopefully help me get to the finish line in around 2:10:00 but I have to stick to it to pull off a personal best! Right now, it is ALL about interval training and hills... it has to be... otherwise I think I would die on a hilly course! Exhibit A - the road from the Travelodge in Stoney Plain to Eden... HILLY and boy was it HOT... +26 C in the mid-day sun... 2.5 litres of water didn't hold out for the 2:45:00 it took me to run 20.6K... it was a LONG and HARD run - but I finished and although I wanted to curl up in a little ball and sleep for a year, I did it and know that if I need to I can pull out a 21.1K from sheer determination... the Bull will not be defeated as a friend of mine says when racing... determined like a bull!

I have also realized as time is passing that I have to get in gear and put together my fundraisers for the fall... I was hoping to have a comedy night or something along with another silent auction - I just hope this time people will show! I also want to do a "crave cupcake bake sale" or something in the office... and water bottles I think - I could make some serious money if I sold 200+ of those things... not sure I want to fork out the doe to begin with tho! SO much to think about and plan for, and if I want to make my goal of $12,000 then I have to kick it up and make sure I get my ducks in a row! As I said before... we get so lost in the things that we have to do - we need to take time to be in the moment!

So, friends, I will leave you with this thought... "The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases." - Carl Jung. I picked this quote for 2 very obvious reasons... one, it is about shoes and two, it is so incredibly true... what is good for one person isn't always true for another. One person may look at our life and the craziness it is (especally in summer) and say "you're crazy, I would never live like that" and then we look at it and think that we have a great little life going on. It is like fashion... not everyone wants to wear the same clothes, not everything fits and suits everyone... that is why there is so much selection! SO, my advice (like you need it) is to go with what you love, live the life you want... no one can tell you you're doing it wrong! As I have said so many times before... live the life you imagine! Be free, live in the moment and enjoy the beautiful life we were given... that is my goal for the remainder of the year!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Those rainy days...

It is those rainy days that make me feel all cozy and warm inside, desperately wanting to laze around during the day in my big woolen sweater with a cup of tea and read... it has been a rainy week and I get a little nostalgic about days when I used to be able to sit on my couch and watch days like today pass. It is days like today that make me thankful that I don't live in Seattle or Vancouver... not sure if I could handle days on end of this gloomy, hazy, damp drizzle. I know for certain that I couldn't run everyday in this... I would die I think!

Since last I wrote, we have been to the Family reunion. It was great to see the whole family again, but it is weird in that I never feel like I can sit and get to know any of them well... we all seem to be just skimming the surface of each others' lives and not knowing each other. I did get to chat about my up coming run in Iceland tho, as I was selling Calendars. It was a great icebreaker and I got some great advice because of it - apparently I need to focus on my core and upper body more as it more beneficial that I thought it was... who would have thunk it! :o)

I sold many Calendars, so that is great but I have a bit of work to do on it. It all seems to be going along just fine - I have some great photos that Derek and I took at the farm to use and I got most of the birthdays confirmed so they are accurate. It will be a great way to celebrate the centennial year of the farm. NOW... I should make something for the Hamilton family to purchase... fair is fair! :o) I am thinking of getting some metal water bottles made with "Heather's Road to Reykjavik" (or something) on them and selling them... not sure if I want to put out the coin to buy a whole bunch of them and have no one buy them... we shall see!

We are heading up to Edmonton this weekend... Derek is teaching a course and I am hoping to get in a 16K run and some reading... With any luck, my course package will be in and I can get some of THAT reading done (although I still have over 900 books on "The List" that need my attention... this weeks book "Captain Corelli's Mandolin"). Next week we will be hanging out and then Derek is off to Comox for his annual August jump camp with the SAR boys... I think he is looking forward to it, as I think he feels like he has been too busy to be a serious "skydiver" this year!

We are getting excited for our anniversary and have scheduled a get-away to Chicago... why Chicago? Because we have never been there before, I could get free accommodations and it is the 3rd largest, most densely populated city in the US... why would we NOT want to see it. There are so many things to do that we are going to have to narrow down the list... one thing is for sure - I want Chicago Deep Dish pizza and I would LOVE to see Wrigley Field... I am sure that I will fill you in with all the dirty details once we are back...

Until next time Mi Armoure... have a great day, enjoy the weather where ever you are... and live life to the fullest, you never know what this day will bring!