Is THIS Bliss?!

Lorina's Blog

flood

For Sale: Karma – $1.00

I went grocery shopping yesterday, and the store (Wegmans) was having a checkout donation program, as they often do, this time for the Red Cross. Add a dollar to your bill, and it goes to help those affected by the flooding in our area.

As I stood in line, I heard my clerk and those around ask over and over, “Would you like to donate one dollar to the Red Cross?” Most customers said no. And I don’t want to judge, because I don’t know their circumstances. They might have been in the flood themselves. They might have just donated ten bucks with their Text 2 Help program. They might be doing a lot more than donating a buck. Or they might think, “What good will a dollar do?”

There was at least 500 cars in the parking lot last night. If everyone who was in that store during that hour gave one dollar, there’s $500. Multiply that by how many hours per day that store is open, and by the 18 days this particular fund-raiser is going on, and you’re talking about a seriously good chunk of change.

Is that dollar going to make a difference to you? I doubt it. Heck, I’m pinching pennies like crazy, but I spent a dollar extra to buy a name brand, rather than store brand, frozen pizza. (But honestly, if the store brand had the Buffalo Chicken flavor like DiGiorno has, I so would have gone for generic!)

Driving through the valley, it’s heartbreaking to see the piles of debris in front of houses. What’s been reduced to mud-covered garbage was once useful, even treasured, personal items. Completely destroyed. Lots of clothes, furniture, appliances… things that at one time, someone was excited about buying. Alright, maybe no one is ever excited about buying a new water heater, but you still want it to last as long as possible before you have to replace it.

I’m not saying, “I’m wonderful! I donated a dollar!” I know it’s a tiny drop in a colossal bucket. I know others are doing a lot more to help. But it’s a little way that each and every one of us can do something that will make a difference to those in need.

And now… I’m going to weed through my closet to find clothes to donate.

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What?! Me? An optimist?!

For the longest time, I’ve considered myself cynical, jaded and skeptical, in just about every way. I accept that politicians will screw us over, the weather will suck every time I have an outdoor event planned, and if a cat pukes on the floor, I will find it with my bare feet. That’s just the way life goes.

But recently, I’ve come to realized that I am a pie-eyed optimist. At least compared to some folks.

Take a simple compliment, such as, “You look great, did you lose weight?” That does not mean, “You were looking really bovine for a while there!” It just means you look nice. Accept it. Thank them. Even if you’ve gained weight. Just take the frickin’ compliment.

On the flip side, another common complaint is when people, especially those close to you, don’t notice any changes you’ve made to yourself. Or if someone says, “Oh, you don’t need to lose weight!” Some folks think it’s a form of sabotage. But, for the most part, friends and family just plain don’t judge us the way we judge ourselves. They see the total package, which includes the rose-colored glasses we wear when we look at someone we care about. It’s the same thing that makes us not notice when our husband’s hairline starts to thin, or when our parents start to age.

For instance, my mental image of my Dad was with his pitch black hair and silver sideburns. Very distinguished. Very handsome. One year for Christmas, someone got him one of those joke baseball hats with the fake ponytail. The ponytail was grey. I thought, “That’s not going to match Dad’s hair!” But it did. An exact match. I never noticed that his hair wasn’t black anymore. It was a “holy shit!” moment.

Maybe I’m just oblivious, but I didn’t notice when my niece lost weight for her wedding, either. It was a dramatic change, going from a size 12 to a size 4. But she was always gorgeous to me, and I wasn’t scrutinizing the size of her ass to say whether it was bigger or smaller or the same size. She was just My Niece. Beautiful. Smart. Funny. Kind. No matter what size she wore.

Following Facebook and news coverage during the flooding showed even more how much people want to believe the worst. “Why is no one talking about the break in the levee in my town?!” Because there wasn’t a break in the levee. “The news is lying to us! It’s a conspiracy!” No, it’s not. They’re finding this stuff out a second before they broadcast it. “I spoke to someone who spoke to someone who spoke to someone who overheard a fireman say that the flood walls are going to break in six hours!” I heard the same thing, ten hours prior. The wall was still holding. People didn’t want to believe what engineering and flood experts were telling them, but they’d believe some anonymous rumor started on the interwebs.

If the worst is going to happen, it will happen. Hand-ringing won’t prevent it. Why not choose a little bit of peace? Why not take things at face value? Why not assume the best instead of the worst? Given the choice between being miserable now or later, I’ll choose later.

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First Post-Flood Jog!

With rain, earthquakes, hurricanes, more rain, tropical storm remnants, more rain, flooding, evacuations and curfews affecting our area in the past few weeks, I’ve been slacking big time on my running. I’m not quite so addicted to endorphins that I’ll run in bad weather, and I was entirely too glued to Facebook and the news during the flooding to leave the house.

This was my first time getting near the river since all that started. It was amazing to be jogging in areas that were under about 20 feet of water just a few days ago. It was much cleaner than I expected… until I went through the walkway tunnel under the Pierce St. Bridge and hit thick, slick, mud, the likes of which I haven’t seen since the Warrior Dash. Except smellier. With toxic waste and raw sewage in it. Raw sewage. Gross. But is the alternative cooked sewage? Because that’s certainly not any more appealing.

After being splattered with the mud literally to my eyebrows (so glad I was wearing sunglasses so nothing got in my eyes!) I stopped running to walk around a bit, marvel at the debris high up in trees and under the bridge, give a silent thanks to the levee system for going above and beyond the call of duty, take a deep breath of air and think, “I should probably be wearing a mask if I’m breathing this shit.”

Alas, the tunnel under the Pierce St. Bridge wasn't quite so clean. My poor sneakers!!!!

Alas, the tunnel under the Pierce St. Bridge wasn't quite so clean. My poor sneakers!!!!

All those trees? They were completely submerged.

All those trees? They were completely submerged.

POPLAR DOWN! We've got a poplar down!!!

POPLAR DOWN! We've got a poplar down!!!

So THAT'S why it smelled like dead fish. This sucker was huge... at least 20 inches!

So THAT'S why it smelled like dead fish. This sucker was huge... at least 20 inches!

All in all, about seven a half miles traveled this morning. Enough calories burned that I can eat whatever the hell I want the rest of the day. I’m thinking pizza for dinner. DiGiorno Garlic Bread with Pepperoni sounds about perfect! I cringe when I see someone say that they want pizza, and people suggest getting thin crust, no cheese and loaded with veggies. That is NOT a pizza! That’s a cracker with vegetables on it.

Work hard enough, and you can eat whatever you damn well want, too. Working hard isn’t fun. It isn’t pretty. And it’s not glamorous. It means wearing clothes for function, not fashion, like moisture wicking fabric and lycra. It means not caring that you look like you’re wearing either a diaper or giant jock strap with your hydration pack with a water bottle strapped on your waist. It means getting drenched in sweat, soaking your shirt, dripping into your eyes, and leaving you look like you wet your pants.

Yeah, it looks like a great big jock strap. And let me tell you, if I did have to wear a jock strap, it would be GINORMOUS!

Yeah, it looks like a great big jock strap. And let me tell you, if I did have to wear a jock strap, it would be GINORMOUS!

I usually glam it up for my photos on here, but this is the reality. If horses sweat, men perspire, and women glow, I am most definitely a horse.

I overload moisture-wicking fabric.

I overload moisture-wicking fabric.

But it’s all worth it when you can have thick crust pizza and still get results.

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