Gratitude. Friendship. Love.

In what was perhaps not the smartest move given how bad my plantar fasciitis has been, I went for a six mile run this morning after my son was gone with his Dad for his custody week. I needed this run though, in a lot of ways. First, the Turkey Trot is next week, and I feel somehow like I should at least run once a week or so to keep myself in shape enough to complete the thing, as it is 5 miles. Last year’s run was fueled on a mixture of adrenaline, inexperience, frustration with things in my personal life and my disbelief that the weather was really that bad and yet people still came out by the thousands, literally, to run in the freezing sleet and snow. Though we have had truly unseasonably warm temperatures, a high of 64 today and pretty good most of this week, it looks like we are tracking a return to normalcy by Thanksgiving. It will be in the low 30s, and so I’d better be ready. I was not really ready in terms of layers last year, and ended up wearing my race shirt on top of everything, which is as gauche as wearing a concert t-shirt you just bought from the merch stand to a concert you’re at for the evening.

A very caring friend called me last night to give me some detailed instruction in my inahler that I’d never been given before. This not only FINALLY killed the wheeze I’ve had for two weeks, it enabled me to do the run this morning, so that was another reason to go.

My continued sanity and general function as a human is another reason. So I went.

I went to a different part of the metroparks today, and learned that I need a bathroom at about the 3 mile mark. I had to tromp deep into the woods and hover over a dry creek to pee, hoping nobody would peer that deeply into the really bare woods to see my really bare ass. I don’t care about the privacy so much as avoiding a charge of public indecency. So there’s that.

When I got home after the 6-mile sojourn, my Mom had just pulled in. She was going to instruct me, one more time, on how to make the homemade noodles for Thanksgiving. She’s done them with me a few times, shown me how, and yet I still haven’t mastered it. If you only play the piano once a year, you’re not going to be good at it for a long time, I suppose. But this time she was almost completely hands-off, and coached me through each step, feeling the dough to see if I’d rolled the sheets out thin enough, testing to see if they had dried long enough for cutting. With the waiting, the whole process took three hours. I go out to my kitchen periodically and fluff them up so they turn over and will dry evenly. Then I’ll put them in a canvas or paper bag to wait until turkey day. Which I’m not celebrating on Thursday, as after the Turkey Trot about all I will want to do is eat cheese and drink bourbon. So I am having my meal on Friday.

My son drew all over the bloodmobile-at-school sign-up form, and I am contemplating whether or not this is a sign I shouldn’t do it. I have actually (rarely) passed out before, and at other times had such robust blood it went shooting out like a sliced jugular when they took the thick donation needle out of my arm, ruining a white dress shirt of mine (yes, I know, what dumb fuck donates blood in a white shirt, but I forgot it was that day) and freaking out the tech in the process. But most of the time it goes smoothly, and can actually lower your cholesterol. Since I am actively trying to lower mine just a tiny bit, I may go ahead and just sign up online since D ruined the form.

It will be a busy week. In addition to the usual complexities at work, the people involved with a staged reading I’m doing of a new play are coming over tomorrow night, so I had to make the place look somewhat presentable. After a week with my little Tasmanian Devil, always a challenge. But it’s decent enough now. Tuesday night is PTA. Wednesday I am meeting an old, weird friend who has come back to town. Am not sure what said friend wants in meeting with me, but it’s supposedly to discuss the theater scene, which I am woefully underinformed about these days. Thursday I’ve been invited to a “mixer” with a bunch of literary/writerly types, which should be fun. Friday I will be grateful for the evening off, and Saturday is the reading at a local wine bar. I expect a decent sized crowd. It should be fun. And then, before you know it, Thanksgiving will be here. I need to figure out what I’m doing for dessert. I was going to make a pie as usual but then I got these ramekins and feel like I should use them. I’m still waiting to see who all is coming, as well. If it ends up just being me, my kid and my Mom, that will be festive enough. Other people just cannot be counted on to come to things like this even when they say they will come, I have learned. People get sick, things come up. I’ll plan for whatever and whomever shows, we will give thanks for what we have, which is each other.

Reading the reports from Paris, I’m glad to have had today, and hope to have tomorrow. Not much is guaranteed, to be sure. I’ll take my really owie foot and the small hole in my heart as I pass by the empty room in my son’s bed for the week and simply work harder to be grateful to be alive, and to have people who love me, who help me, who celebrate life with me, who are there for me. I hope to be a better friend to these people in 2016.

And that is my first goal for the new year.

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