Thursday, September 27, 2012


To love someone unconditionally, flaws and all is difficult.   Our flaws can bring negative attention to us.  Perhaps make someone think they know how we really tick, when they simply can't look past the flaws to see the real person beneath.   This brings to mind several Seinfeld episodes, in which ladies with "man hands", "close talkers" or "sidlers'" were not eligible candidates for a relationship.  We see flaws and run.   We all have an image, or an idea of our perfect mate.  But is this attainable?

Flaws can be good I think.  Wouldn't a perfect partner be boring?  Don't our flaws make us individuals?
Let's be realistic, to be human is to have flaws.   Perfection is logically unattainable.  So isn't striving for perfection really just a waste of time?  Making mistakes enables growth.

Flaws give us character.  Part of my journey in this blog is to bring my flaws to light, poke fun at them and myself and learn.  Improve my utter imperfection so to speak.  I'm dealing with a flaw right now, and that is impatience.  A prime example of my impatience rearing it's ugly head is my rush to get myself back to "normal" after my bike accident and subsequent concussion.  Rushing back to work, and resuming my typical daily activities brought me to my knees today.  Literally.  Another reminder for Michelle how important it is to be patient and listen to what the doctor told me four days ago.

I want what I want when I want it.  Flaw.  Not realistic.  Ugh....there's the reality factor again.

If I wasn't working on my flaws and trying to improve myself, then I would be flat.  Uninteresting.  And the funny thing about working on myself is I'm not getting it right the first time.  I'm falling down, catching myself and starting again.  Life is really a practice.  A constant state of change.  I can't imagine how terribly dull life would be if everything just went my way and I conformed to the mold people have set for me.  I like being a work in progress.

I think that one of the things I'm discovering most about myself, is that I'm not always going to get it right.  And that's OK.  The point is I'm aware, I'm trying and I'm moving forward.  Picking interesting experiences along the way.

I have one perfect partner in my life.  He's uncouth, has excess body hair, has terrible breath and is extremely lazy.  He's crazy, impulsive, messy, needy and can be annoying.  However, he is funny, cute,  loyal,  reliable,  trustworthy and a great friend.  Sure, he has flaws, but I accept him for what he is.  Most of all, he never complains about my flaws.  He knows them all (I don't have enough room in this blog to recount all of them, however in due time I'm sure I'll get to them) and loves me regardless.  He's always happy to see me, and I always get to pick what we do for fun.   He doesn't even care if I don't brush my teeth before we chat in the morning over coffee.  In short, the perfect friend.  I'm so lucky!

Couldn't we all learn a little from Frank?        Humans are so much more complicated...

What's Your Name Again?

I have been told there are two types of cyclists.  The ones who have crashed, and the ones who have not crashed yet.  I have been an avid cyclist for several years now, and I have been in the "not yet" category.  Until Saturday.

The ride started as most do in late summer/early fall, we were all bundled up chatting and shivering.  It was a beautiful, sunny, crisp 49 degrees. The only thing darkening the day was a forecast of high winds.   A small group of us met as the sun came up.   It was a fun bunch of cyclists I ride with every week.  I was excited, as I was taking my new Specialized Amira road bike for it's maiden voyage.  I was literally giddy.   If it's possible to be in love with an inanimate object, well then I'm in love with this bike.  It's a dream, weighs almost nothing, and is fast!  Just the way I like it!

We completed the warm up, joined a larger group and set out on the main ride.  The temperature had warmed, and the sun was starting to climb into the sky.   I was one in a group of 50 cyclists,  one of my happiest places to be.  A smile played across my lips.

We rode single file at 20+mph each taking turns pulling the group.  The wind had picked up significantly, and drafting was a must.  The wind made it difficult when it was my turn to lead.  After about an hour, several of us broke from the group, and started to make our way back to the start.  We had busy days ahead, and opted for a shorter distance than the pack.   I was the last in the line and I took in the scenery, the countryside and the chance to draft.

I'm not exactly sure how it happened.  The section of road we were on had been recently paved and was smooth.   I felt relaxed and was enjoying being lost in my thoughts, as we were not far from the end of the ride.  It was still very windy.  The last thing I remember was looking down at my computer to check speed and mileage, and when I looked up I went off the road.  I hadn't noticed the drop-off before.  I remember yelling "oh no!!!" then darkness.

I didn't feel pain, but blood was pouring down my face.    I'm pretty sure I was lying on the road.  I couldn't remember anything.  It was a blur.....then I heard sirens.  I remember being very confused, and frustrated that I couldn't remember what day it was or what was going on.  I knew there was something I had to do that day but I couldn't remember what it was.   My friend Lisa told me what happened, that I had crashed and they had called 911.  She held my hand as paramedics circled me.  I was lifted onto a gurney and couldn't move (I was told they immobilized me due to head trauma.)  Apparently my sunglasses punctured my temple because I heard one of them say "she's got a hole in her head".  Oops.  I don't remember anything until I was on a hospital bed.   I couldn't make myself remember where my family was.  It hurt trying to force memories.  Lisa had gotten my phone from my bike and had given it to me in the ambulance.  I vaguely recall thinking it was strange that I was allowed to have my phone.  While waiting for the doctor, I called my daughter to let her know what happened, and she filled me in on things I couldn't remember.   My husband was in Michigan golfing and my son had spent the night at a friend's house and had a football game that day.   I was he going to get there?  Even though I was confused I contacted people who are closest to me while we waited for the doctor.  I don't know what I said to them, but I contacted them.  It seemed familiar to be doing so, which I think gave me comfort.  The hours in the ER were a blur.  I remember getting a CAT scan.   I remember the ER doctor was a triathlete (and an Ironman).   I remembered him numbing my head and suturing me, and I vaguely remember the nurse who cleaned my face, shoulder and hair.   (All of the blood had turned my blond hair red.)  I always wanted to be a redhead, but I don't recommend this route.

I was diagnosed with a concussion, a hematoma on my left temple that resembled a large goose egg, a hole (a.k.a. contusion) in the same temple which required the stitches and painful road rash on my face, head, shoulder and knees.  Bruises everywhere.  And a enormous headache.  I am so thankful, it could have been so much worse.

Lisa and her husband got me home safely, and my daughter appeared traumatized when she saw me.  I hadn't seen what I looked like yet.  It couldn't be good judging from the terrified look on her face.  She said "Mom, your hair is pink".  I said "Cool!"  Then she said "ewww your face"!  Fantastic.  She got me into the shower (very awkward) and stayed with me because I was completely out of it and the room kept spinning.  She got me into bed, and turned out the light.  I don't remember much about the rest of the night.

Over the next few days,  I noticed symptoms appearing that were troubling.  I was forgetful.  I was irritable, and very emotional.  I couldn't sleep, and seemed to be acting impulsively and even irrationally.  I would lash out.  I didn't want to talk to anyone, and the people I did want to talk to I couldn't reach.  I remember being overly irritated by this.   I felt reduced to the equivalent of a sniffling, emotional little girl.   By Tuesday afternoon, I was isolating and I was not myself.   Old behavior which I had thought was gone for good was creeping back.  I was a wreck.  My normally calm demeanor appeared to be gone.

Had my usual outlets been available to me I may not have gotten so nuts.  But they were off-limits.  No exercise.  No TV.  No computer.  No phone (well I clearly broke that rule).  I tried writing with a pen and paper but I couldn't stream a set of thoughts together.  I could literally not concentrate and I was so frustrated.  I had never felt like this before.  To top it off, when I tried to stand up the room would spin.  And my head throbbed.

This morning I had an easier time getting out of bed.  The room didn't spin and I didn't have to hold on to anything in order to stand.  But I was still irritable and emotional.  On a whim I cleaned up the basement and reorganized all of my work files.  I felt productive at least.

I wasn't planning to leave the house today, as I had a deadline.  By noon I was so restless I decided to get out of the house to meet with friends.  Women who always seem to ground me,  and bring me back to reality.  I needed a dose of reality and some honesty.   I needed to be quiet and listen.  I also needed to be with other people.  When I talked I was honest, I cried, but it felt good.   They reminded me to be gentle with myself.  I was being overly critical, this time of myself.  I felt renewed, as I always do when I'm with them.   I left, went home and made some phone calls.  I gathered facts so I could take action.

I spoke to my primary care doctor and expressed my concern over my change in behavior since the accident.  She gave me a possible explanation, Post Concussion Syndrome, or PCS.   What gave me comfort and made me laugh for the first time all week is that these symptoms of emotional distress are particularly common in higher functioning individuals.   This made me laugh.  A much-needed laugh.   She said that typically many PCS symptoms will clear within a few days to a week.  She said that since my headaches are tolerable I am most likely on the mend.  We scheduled an appointment for tomorrow for a re-check and suture removal.

It made me feel lighter knowing what might be wrong with me,  and being given an explanation that makes sense for why I've been acting like a crazy woman.  I'm full of hope tonight.  My mood is lifting and I'm not dizzy (well, not any more than I was before the crash).   Friday I pick up my new helmet, and hopefully I'll have an opportunity to wear it soon.  I'm thinking group ride Saturday?  Call me crazy.   I know one thing for certain....I am not afraid to get back in the saddle.

If I called you or texted you in the last day or so, please accept my apology.

I hope this post was semi readable...if not blame it on the head injury.  :)

P.S.  The bike, a.k.a. Lover,  fared better than my helmet or me.  Some good news came out of the crash.  It's as tough as I hope to be.

Stay tuned.....

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Where did these muscles come from?!

Ouch!!  It hurts to walk.  My poor body!  After only two workouts with a personal trainer this is what I get?  Ow, where did these muscles come from?  I have not been sore like this for quite some time.  Getting out of my car a few minutes ago was comical.  I winced.  The trainer just laughed when I expressed my pain.   He said "ha ha, it's only going to get worse, just wait!" He sounded almost excited at the prospect.  I just stared at him.  I'm a little afraid, got to admit.

I am a bit of a fitness freak.  I love to work out and test my body's limits.  But my workouts for the last 8 months have been in the pool, on my bike, or on the running trail.  I competed in several triathlons this summer (including two half Ironman distance races) and am currently training for a 100 mile bike race and a half marathon.  I honestly have to force myself to take a rest day once a week.  For the longer races I would put in an average of 20 hours a week training.

I think of myself as being in pretty decent shape.

Until I walked into Andre's House of Pain, that is.  I have not trained anaerobically in quite some time.  Andre had me going non-stop from one instrument of torment to the next for over an hour.  My heart rate was up and I was sweating, which surprised me!   I was not doing cardio.  What gives?

After the torture session,  I wrote Andre a check, and signed up with him to train me.  (Apparently I enjoy pain.)  He gleefully predicted my future and said that in 2013 I was going to tear up the triathlon courses!  Well, that sounds awesome, but in the meantime I predict I'm in for a lot of work.  And pain.  No pain, no gain right?  Yikes.

We then talked nutrition.  Until today I fancied myself a nutrition expert.  I am an athlete for crying out loud.  Well Andre' took that notion and squashed it like a bug.  Apparently I don't know much about anything related to nutrition.  Whole wheat?  No.  Sodium?  No.  What are the ingredients to good nutrition?  Well, I'm quite sure that if I share his secrets I might be in for added torture, so I'll just say that everything I was doing was wrong.  Low sugar, fat free....No.  I am supposed to use....gasp....real butter?!  (Yes, I am one of "those people" who says "no butter please" when I order my egg white omelette.)  Which reminds me, I'm to eat the whole egg.  Low-fat salad dressing?  No.  Use real salad dressing just less of it.  After he explained the thought process behind his recommended nutrition guidelines it kind of made sense to me.  That's not to say it will be easy.  I am a creature of habit, and as I'm learning (and have said before) old habits are hard to break.

So I'm left with this......change everything.  Well, not completely everything, I will still swim, bike, run (or I'll go mad).  But I'm going to work on my other muscles too.  The ones that have been hiding.  He's hoping to strengthen and make me smaller, leaner.  My goal is to lose 12 lbs.  Yay!  I take that to mean I'll be faster, of course.  Nutrition is going to be the game changer, so that will mean a mindset shift for it to work.  So, while I'm not eating cookies, cake, pie, candy or flour (or anything processed), I will be eating butter and full-on-fat salad dressing.   And I'm told ice cream (the real stuff) is allowed.

So if you need me, I'll be nursing my pain with some Haagen-Daaz.  See you soon.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Make Up Your Mind!

The saying "it's a woman's prerogative to change her mind" seems to be holding true for me these days.  I am in a constant state of flux.  This is described as "a state of uncertainty about what should be done (especially following some important event)."  While there has been no earth changing event recently, there certainly has been in the recent past.  I am making modifications in my life.  Trying new things.  With growth naturally does come change.  Lately it seems as if I'm trying to figure out who Michelle really is.

It's interesting to me that recently, through writing, I am able to delve into these things where as before I would just bury them or ignore them.  I think perhaps I was just going through the motions until now.  Miserable.  It is a good thing to have the presence of mind today to welcome change.

All of this struck me this morning when I changed my Facebook profile picture for like the fifth time this week.  I would post a picture, sit on it for awhile, and decide the picture wasn't right.  Then I would do it again. And again. You probably wondered what the hell?!  Has Michelle finally lost it?  (Ha ha, not yet.)  Or maybe you didn't even notice, it could be my ego talking here.  I finally settled on a picture that I feel shows the "real Michelle" I am today.  It is a picture taken about a month ago.  In it I am relaxed and happy.  My exuberance and silliness of spirit shows.  It's true that a picture speaks a thousand words and this one does me justice..  I am evolving, and I truly believe I am finally becoming the person I want to be (my true self).  I joke about finally "growing up", but for years I was stagnant.

 I was given a new chance at life four years ago.  I almost died.  Not an exaggeration.  I survived and am running with my second chance.  Through my thoughts and actions in the last few years I have broken free.  I feel as though I'm the girl I was 20+ years ago starting again. My personality and my youthful approach to my life have been restored.  I am the healthiest I have ever been!  It's never too late to start over!  I have a few more wrinkles and some wisdom gained through the years,  but I feel very optimistic about the future.

So this is where I am today. Happily embracing a perfect day, enjoying the sunshine and a day of (almost) rest.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Am I a Priority or Just an Option?

I saw something on a social media site yesterday that caught my eye.   "Don't make someone a priority if they only make you an option". This really struck a chord with me.

It made me wonder.  Do I do that?

Do I hold certain people close to me and put them in an important place in my heart when they may not feel the same way?  Do I hold on when I should let go?  Am I being careless with my heart? It prompted me to really look at the relationships I have in my life.

It made me wonder if I could be investing my thoughts, energy and time in some friendships when the other person could take it or leave it. The thought of that was a little unsettling and I suddenly felt vulnerable. For me, to give myself to another person, to really let go and trust that person is a big deal.  If I've let you into my heart, you must be pretty special.

Someone told me recently that she admired how I dealt with conflict and pain squarely and with strength.  I suppose this is true.  I have certainly been through quite a bit in my life.  I've learned to face difficulties, deal with them and move on.

I'll get deeper into my story later....but I've learned a lot in recent years and have done a lot of work on myself.  I do not run from pain or sadness today, but let myself feel it.  Same with love and happiness.  After all, life is too short to be numb.  We have emotions for a reason....we should let ourselves feel them. Sometimes it's euphoric happiness, and sometimes it's sadness.  Better to face them head on then run from them.

"Don't make someone a priority if they only make you an option." It sounds so cold and callous the more I think about it.  It almost sounds like a warning.

I'm wondering why a random post could give me such pause. Why I am suddenly doubting myself and my relationships?  We are all protective of our hearts and we are all vulnerable.  To give and not be given the same in return...that is potentially devastating.  It makes me wonder if I should be more careful with my heart and not trust so easily.  Hold back. Just how vulnerable am I willing to be? Am I willing to risk being hurt?

Honestly, I am willing.  I want to feel.  I am a happy person today down to my core. I believe that if I treat people with love and respect it will be reciprocated.  After all, isn't that how it works?  To love and be loved?  To trust and be trustworthy?  To put myself out there and be genuine at the risk of getting hurt?   Hell yes!

People that I've developed a bond with and that are important to me are my priority.  Love and friendships are the cornerstone of life. To give of myself freely is how I am. I suppose I am a risk taker.

I really have to wonder what life would be like if I held everyone at arms length. If I didn't let myself trust others and love people at the risk of being foolish or getting hurt. If there was no closeness in my relationships with friends. My first thought is, it would be very lonely. The bond that holds others dear  is a lifeline to happiness.

The road I am on is paved with life experiences. Through these experiences, good or bad, happy or sad I grow. To fall down and then get back up again and move forward, that is how I approach life today.

I have choices today, remember?

Today I choose to be the person I've grown into.  The girl who gives freely of her heart.  The girl who looks for a smile and happiness around every corner.  Positive rather than negative.

I am willing....but I will also be smart about it.   That is honesty.  That is what this blog about.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Early Bird Gets the Worm?

It's Thursday.  I haven't posted in awhile, and there is a lot of material dancing around in my head.

I woke up at 5:32am (snooze much?) and got to the gym at 6 to work out with a personal trainer.  I spent the summer doing workouts which involved mostly swimming, biking and running, so I thought I'd mix it up with something new.  (Sniff) triathlon season is over for 2012.   It is now what's known as "the off season".  But like most of my triathlete friends, I don't like being "off".  I'm already thinking about 2013.

It was a great workout.  I found out I have muscles that I hadn't used in awhile!  That's always an exciting way to start the day.  And here I thought I'd worked all of my muscles to the point of exhaustion.  Surprise!!  This should be good.  He thinks I should come in to work out with him six days a week.  I'm trying not to take that personally.  Not sure I can make that big of a commitment.  Plus, I love my triathlon workouts.  I've got to swim, bike and run or I'll go mad.  I suppose I'll have to apply balance here.  And patience.  And we all know how patient I am (still a work in progress, but I am making headway.)  Muscle sculpting does have it's place, certainly.  I'm already picturing myself rocking the bikini next summer.  With work, anything is possible!

I am not accustomed to getting up early.  I have never have been a morning person.  I would like to be.... I've heard that most successful people accomplish more before 9am than most "regular" folks do all day.  But when the alarm went off at 5:00am, then 5:10am, then 5:20am (yes, a four snooze button morning) I was not having it.  I finally dragged myself out of bed at 5:32 (after contemplating another round).  Yikes.  However, once up, dressed, and in the car I felt pretty good.  It was dark and I didn't pass any other cars on the road.  The bright lights of the gym were a beacon.  I enjoyed the workout, and after explaining why I couldn't come back for more that evening or tomorrow (I have a good excuse for daughter is having all four impacted wisdom teeth removed) I promised him I would return Monday morning.  6am sharp.  Early.  Fantastic.

I got to my office at 8, after running a few errands.  I have a cushy corner office (corner of my bedroom actually).  I have the privilege of working from home.   I spend a lot of time at my desk, so I've made it a welcoming place.  It's home within a home with a comfortable chair, artwork I love (most of which done by my children), flowers, and my various race paraphernalia.    It's where I write.  I'm balancing blogging/writing professionally, working on a book (yes a book), and writing my random thoughts (a.k.a. venting) in this little blog from time to time.  In addition, I do some of the accounting work for my husband's restaurant (more about that joy later).    I also manage the household,  juggle two kids' schedules, volunteer, and dabble in fitness activities (OK, I admit it....I am a full-blown fitness freak, I mean enthusiast).   In a nutshell, I'm a professional Mom who writes, does chores and races triathlons.  And I love it.

It's almost one o'clock and I haven't stopped working since eight am.  I've gotten quite a bit completed, and now have time for a break for some fun blogging.   I rather like this feeling of early to rise, get the workout in, early to work, still have most of the day ahead.  In my mind I've formulated a plan that I'm going to start every day going forward this same way.  I would get up at dawn and get out of the bad habit of hitting the snooze button.  Imagine how productive I would be!

But wait....that would mean going to bed early, and that will be a tough one.  I like ending my day late.  I get a couple hours of peace and quiet, usually all to myself, after the kids go to bed.  I always watch Chelsea Lately before turning out the light.  Am I willing to forego that?  I'm not sure.  Old habits are hard to break.

It comes down to what my priorities are.  It's all about priorities, right?  My main focus right now is to establish myself and get my career moving.  So there might be something to this idea of starting the day early, being productive and ending the day with a feeling of accomplishment in my heart.  Pride in time well spent.  

I'm going to have to give this some serious thought.

I think I'll take my bike for a spin, as the day is bright and sunny and a comfortable 80 degrees.  In short, perfect.   The saddle of my bike is my favorite place to sort out random thoughts and possibly life-changing alterations in my schedule.  (I'm quite sure I'm repeating myself from an earlier post.)

Depending on how this goes, I guess I could DVR Chelsea Lately and go to bed before midnight tonight.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Stay Tuned!!! More to come....

It's been quite a week!!!  A week of joys and strength.  I've been swamped but hope to have several posts up soon!  Thanks for checking in :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Taper Time! Look out.....

I am tapering for a 70.3 distance triathlon that is coming up on Sunday, Sept 9.  The idea of tapering is to slow down workouts and rest to gear up for the big race.  Theoretically, according to my coach, I should be itchy and sluggish this week, then explode with speed on race day.  I don't like to slow down workouts, so I am indeed itchy, twitchy and BITCHY.  I miss my usual adrenaline rush that I have most days.  I admit, I am an adrenaline junkie!  Today's workout was a measly 45 minute run.  I may have fallen asleep at mile 2....not sure.  I was definitely day dreaming at least.

The thing that I need to taper the most after this 3 day holiday weekend is eating.  I am normally extremely careful about the fuel I put into my body.  I eat too carefully, according to my family.  But in training, it goes with the territory.  I did not fuel properly prior to my last race, and was rewarded by a very "bonked" run.

But during these past 2 1/2 days it was like I was on a feeding frenzy.  (I ate sensibly most of the day Saturday until we stopped at Qdoba on our way to the Lake Sat evening).   I ate cookies (yes plural), a humongous burrito, real bearnaise sauce on my filet Sunday night, (I typically do not eat red meat and definitely not red meat with cream sauce!)  I ate bagels and real butter  (usually if I eat bread, it is dry).  I even had an ice cream Oreo Cookie Blizzard (and by the way Oreos, which my daughter pointed out as I was eating the Blizzard, contain....OMG.... lard!!).  Last night I had 2 pieces of my son's pepperoni/sausage/mushroom/extra cheese pizza.  Eek!  I let myself go for two days!  Everyone congratulated me saying "good for you!!  How does REAL food taste?!"  Well, it tasted pretty damn good!

Surprisingly, when I slowly stepped on the scale this morning I had lost 2 pounds.  (Could there be something to this theory I've heard in which you can "cheat" once in awhile to trick your body out of starvation mode?!)  I might actually eat something a real chef prepares and not ask him to omit butter?  Interesting.

This morning I was back to reality.  Back to my egg white omelette, side of blueberries breakfast, salad for lunch, protein bar for an afternoon snack.  Glass after glass of water.  Red Bull (it's my only vice, so don't judge).   Tonight chicken breast and asparagus.  And I feel energized.

Now, if I can get through the rest of this week's taper without killing anyone, I'll be all set!  And, perhaps after the race next Sunday, I'll grab a cheeseburger (of the cow variety) and fries.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Ah I love you.

Labor Day....the traditional last weekend of the summer. We are spending it as we customarily do, at Lake Wawasee in northern Indiana.

The lakehouse has been in the family since the 1940's. It sits on the waterfront of the south shore of Lake Wawasee or "The Lake", as we fondly call it. The Lake is a popular upscale summer destination for Indianapolis and Chicago populates. A welcoming home away from home, where the pace slows and the stress of everyday life seems far away. I never take it for granted and The Lake is always on my gratitude list in the summer. It's a place where a smile is usually on my face and I seem to always want an iced tea.

We hadn't expected much from the weekend. As it is the last time we will be here for the year, we were mainly anticipating a weekend of end-of-the-season work and closing up for the winter (it is an old house and is not insulated against the cold...a summer home it has always been.) In addition, Hurricane Isaac had impacted much of the country with heavy rain. Today's forecast was not promising. We had completed the bulk of the work yesterday, so today was going to be a slow day of indoor fun. However, when I opened my eyes at 6:30am and went outside for my morning run, the sun was beginning its ascent into a clear sky. I couldn't help but smile.

By 10:00am the sky was bright blue and only a few white puffy clouds dotted the sky. The kids departed on the wave runner to enjoy the last day on the water. As they jetted off I slipped on my earphones, put on my favorite playlist and relaxed on a pink towel spread on a lounge chair on the pier. The sun was warm on my skin, and a gentle breeze blew. I wore my favorite white swimsuit. The water sparkled in the sunshine. It was perfect. This is my happy place. The sunny day was a most welcome surprise.

I immediately got into gratitude and reflected on my many blessings. It has been a really good summer overall. I had lots of opportunities for personal growth. I finished my first half Ironman triathlon. I spent a lot of quality time with family and friends. I solidified my relationship with myself and with God. I had made the decision to get back to writing, which brings me great joy. It's what I've always wanted to do....yet had put on hold. The summer of 2012 is behind me, yet it is not finished since it has been life-changing. It's as if I was able to rewind and start over. I can see what is truly important to me very clearly. Thoughts and feelings that have been dormant for many years have been re-awakened.

As I lie here, basking in the sun's rays, I am reminded how blessed I am. A whole new chance at life has emerged and taken shape for me. My future is at hand and I am intensely optimistic.

It is now 1:00pm, and almost time to head back to Indianapolis. I am feeling melancholy about leaving, yet am going to have a new spring in my step.

I've had a lot of time to reflect, and it's time to move into Fall with newly charged batteries and a feeling of hope in my soul. The wind in my sails has shifted and it's going to be a great season!

Until next year, "Summer at Lake Wawasee.". Thank you, it's been grand.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Call me Nimsy

For a couple of years one of my friends has called me Nimsy. Nimsy is a nickname she came up with to signify the new and improved Michelle that has emerged after a life altering change four years ago. I've tried to get it to spread to my other friends, but thus far it has not taken off.

But I feel that I am Nimsy. The nickname just sort of fits me.

I have become quite spiritual in the past couple of years. That's not to say I suddenly "found God", I've always believed in a greater power...but as a result of a spiritual awakening four years ago I have become more centered and more serene. In short, a different person than I had been the bulk of my adult life. A grown up? Gasp.

I set out on a journey to change what was wrong in my life. To find the "real Michelle" (or Nimsy as it were). I have a long way to go, but I truly have a firm grasp on who I am today. Now I'm continuing on trying to be the best person I can be.

So the next time you see me, please call me Nimsy.