I needed to run so badly this morning that had I not gone I would have ended up in the Whole Foods parking lot bingeing on a dozen of their mini cupcakes while crying and blowing my nose on brown paper napkins. Mad can do this to me.
My mad always makes me run faster and so I wore my Garmin to monitor my pace.
My index finger scrolled the iPhone past Britney and Colbie, landing on Eminem. His aggression mixed with my mood made for even faster running and release of negative energies.
Sweating out the mad made room for the glad.
The glad and the happy started to flow as fresh blood was pushed through my heart. It was released through a toothy smile, flying hands and some serious public rear end shaking.
4.73 miles later and I almost felt totally better.
I went to my afternoon meet up with the pre-school moms I love. Sitting on a sunny playground and sharing our lives with honesty and compassion made my hurt feelings dissipate. Shared experiences will do that.
Though the cause of my mad is currently working in his office around the corner from the dining room, unaware that he still must be careful with his words or I might just bite him, my frown has actually been turned upside down.
I still might bite that big meanie if he can’t grab hold of that wicked tongue fighting from inside his mouth, but thus far I have not done any biting of husbands or real cake.
It’s easy to write what you know, but what about the things you don’t? What about the things that confuse you?
Journaling is supposed to be a way to figure stuff out. Blogging is like journaling, except when you finish, you don’t hide your words in a drawer.
There is one subject I can’t write about; food. I have spent my entire morning writing and trashing posts about it. I went back to look over the three food posts I’d written before, and without a doubt, I like them the least.
My relationship with food is complicated. This I know.
A little while ago I went upstairs to make sure Brian was awake. He asked me where his cords were, since I am in charge of laundry in this house. I had folded them in the closet when I couldn’t find a hangar, so I pointed them out and came back downstairs.
When he appeared just now, in his khaki pants, I asked what happened to the cords.
Sucking in his gut he said, “They’re too small, I’m getting fat.”
I think it’s amusing that I’ve been pondering the issue of weight and food all morning and this is my first adult conversation of the day.
I told him that it’s Winter. I always put on some weight this time of year and it always comes off in the Spring. Whether it’s because of the foods we choose to eat, or our bodies holding onto excess weight (in the cold) like cavemen used to do, I’m not sure. That’s a lie, the cake and ice cream I ate during last night’s (DVR’d) Boardwalk Empire surely has something to do with it.
My relationship with food may never be understood and I may never be able to write an inspired piece about it. I may wake every morning for the rest of my life committing to making good food choices, but only succeed some of the time.
It’s possible that this might be the most inspired I ever get on the subject. Since I know it, I can live with it, which makes it all okay.
You know the party has been successful when you can’t stop thinking about it, replaying the moments over and over again and wishing it could go on forever. I spent the five-hour drive home from Virginia trying to comprehend all of the information I’d gathered. The bright young faces of the cousins and their resemblance to my own kids, my grandparents sitting in the kitchen watching the whirlwind of their family circling around them, my mom in quiet conversation with this new family (that will now be hers too), the buzz of the kitchen during cleanup, the music at the dance party the day after Thanksgiving. The list and the visions are endless and so it’s been decided, I will write a book. Maybe two. There is far too much to cover on a blog.
I also spent the drive home thinking about which story I would cover first, because my birth mother and my grandmother lived extraordinary lives. My mind kept coming back to my sister Gabby, though, whose own story is one of true survival, persistence, and love. My most important goal will be to share my beautiful sister with the world so that they know of her strength, her heart, and the gift that she’s given me; the gift of my biological family.
Back to running! I hadn’t run since that almost ten miler, five days before. On Thanksgiving day, Uncle Donny (the oldest child of my grandparents) and I planned to run on Friday.
I had trepidations. Planning a run with a partner can be daunting. If said partner runs too fast, you burn out too quickly, and what could have been a bonding experience turns out to be sheer speed work. If a partner runs too slowly, then the activity is less about personal training and more about gauging the others’ enjoyment and comfort. It’s rude to push someone too quickly when they run a little more slowly than you. A faster runner should always try to encourage anyone who runs more slowly. It is true what they say, “No matter how slowly you go, you are lapping all those people sitting on the couch!”
Finally, running with men is a different experience altogether. Venus and Mars and such.
Uncle Donny and I decided to set off in the area surrounding our hotel. The weather was perfect, sunny and brisk. I wore my Lululemon speed skirt, which Uncle Chucky (who saw me in the hotel lobby that morning) told me later was quite impressive. Running in a skirt is still a new idea.
We began our run at the first stop sign out of the parking lot and I tried to gauge Uncle Don’s pace. To my surprise, we were perfectly matched. I felt good and we were able to talk.
The first thing he asked me was how I was feeling about all of, “this,” meaning the reunion with Gabby and the family. I told him the story of the night Gabby called mom (Peachie) and how as soon as I was told that my sister had found me, I looked her up on facebook, and called her minutes later.
Uncle Donny wanted me to fill in the blanks; fill in the parts that my sister didn’t know. We spent the next hour running and talking, and I learned more about my birth mom and her mother, Clara. I gained new insight about my grandfather, who up to this point in my trip had spent a lot of our time together looking at me (and the girls), but left the personal questioning to Clara.
I could have kept running forever. After a while we got a little turned around, but since my uncle is a pilot, I knew he’d get me back home, so I felt safe. I internally giggled when he spit on the side of the road, while I was blowing my nose. Runners do gross stuff when they’re on a roll, and I don’t know why, but I love it. I know that makes zero sense to non-runners. Maybe it’s just me, but I have a feeling all runners get a little kick out of that kind of stuff too.
I needed to run during this Thanksgiving experience. Out of the 32 family members and other friends who celebrated with us, I found it amusing that there was only one runner in the bunch. Uncle Chucky used to run, but had hurt his back in an accident. Maybe one day he’ll feel better and run along with us. As the fourth (?) child of Clara and Don, I’m sure he has his own unique perspective.
When our excursion was finished we walked a lap around the hotel to cool down. We talked a bit more and said, “Goodbye,” as the elevator doors opened on his floor (the second). I made my way up to the fourth where my girls were waiting with Peach and Brian.
To say that I was happy is too simplistic. Discovering my family, who was all welcoming and loving was more than I could have ever expected. Being included into a group that claimed me as their own without even knowing me was super cool. Loving people I don’t even know is strange and wonderful. It’s the whole blood-relative thing I’d always wondered about. It should be noted, however, that this wasn’t really my first experience with that kind of love and acceptance. My adopted family did the same for me when my parents brought me home. The difference is that I was a baby and was oblivious to the fact that my entry into the Feldman family was different. To them I was just Martha, and I know they love me too.
Running with Uncle Donny was like the icing on the cake to it all.
Speaking of cake, last night I finished off the chocolate one we left in the fridge before the trip. Funny how some things never change.