Good Natured Mom

We are all just walking each other home. -Ram Dass

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Thinking out loud

Triathlon training requires lots of time.
Lots of alone time.
And when I’m alone, I think about stuff.

“I can’t believe I’m doing this.” I say that before every race.

…about how selfish I become with my time
during triathlon training and racing season…

…about how much I talk about triathlon…

Stop talking, Joan!

Stop talking, Joan!

…about the fact that not many people care about triathlon…
…and that I probably bore them with my random musings…

…about how many times I used the words,
never, can’t, or won’t
because I was afraid to try something
and most certainly fail…

And then I rode up this nasty hill.

And then I rode up this nasty hill.

…about the fact that I do not use those words any longer…

…about my kids
and what they are doing with their lives
and how proud I am to be their mom…

kids with melissa and eddie 2013

Kids plus Eddie and Melissa…I consider them all my kids.

 …about turning hours of lap swimming
into hours of  prayer time…

Photo by Michael Verostek

Photo by Michael Verostek

…about what a cool guy my husband is
for supporting me in my triathlon adventures…

This was how we spent our anniversary...on a 10 mile trail run.

This was how we spent our anniversary…on a 10 mile trail run.

…about some of the inspirational folks I’ve met
in workouts, races and through fundraising events…

Team Isaac

Team Isaac 2013

…about the positive way this 56 year old body
has responded
to more exercise
than it has ever
experienced before…

Old Forge 2015

… and mostly about how
grateful and blessed
I am to be able to participate in triathlon.



Captain Obvious

Andrew needs glasses. No big deal, everyone else in the family has them. Glasses are the norm around here. We planned to take care of the details when he came home from college for fall break.

So as soon as Andrew got home, we hit the Warby Parker website and picked out five pair of frames for the at home try on. Super cool, super easy…now he just needs the exam prescription and in two weeks he’ll have his glasses.

So later that day we all head out to pick up Captain Obvious from the train station. Casey’s home on break too, which is awesome. Andrew is excited to share his big news about the glasses with his sister.

“Hey Case-face, I ordered 5 pair of frames to try on from Warby Parker. I’m getting glasses”

“So how does this work? They send you glasses to try on and then what?”

You send back the pairs you tried on and your prescription and tell them which frame you want. Then they send you your glasses.”

“So, did you have an eye exam?”

“No, not yet. This weekend.”

“Wait, you ordered 5 pair of glasses and you don’t even know if you need them? I went to the eye doctor one time when I thought I needed glasses and they told my my eyes were tired. I didn’t need glasses.”

There is a moment of silence…realization that she has pointed out the one, major gaff in this plan. We don’t even know for sure if Andrew needs glasses.


Thank God Captain Obvious has come home. I have no idea how we get through life without her.Casey 09042015


On joy and mindfulness…

Joy is not an emotion. Joy is a deep sense of well being. Joy comes from within.

Happiness is not the same thing as joy. Happiness is short lived and is event or experience driven.

Mindfulness has something to do with the here and now and helps to expand joy. Mindfulness can be trans-formative.

Dealing with stuff, ….anything…broken dishwashers, sick kids, snowstorms, is how we get through life everyday. I was slow in coming to this realization. I worried instead of dealing.

How we deal with stuff enables us to experience joy. For example:

When my three year old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia, the nurse practitioner assigned to her case went over a loooong list of potential side effects from the chemotherapy and other procedures. Already shell shocked from hearing the diagnosis, I asked the NP how we would manage if something else “bad” happened. She replied, “We will deal with it.”

As it happened, those side effects occurred. All on the same day. Collapsed lung from improper port placement in her chest, deep vein thrombosis in her femoral artery from one of the meds…the kid was a mess! And I was clueless about what was going on and what needed to be done. Even so, there was no time to stress because the good people at the hospital knew how to deal. They saved her. They stayed in the present, moved quickly and decisively and dealt with the challenges at hand. And my child survived, and I survived and all crises were averted.

You would think this majorly serious life experience would have transformed me in some way and I would have learned that life is meant to be lived moment to moment – not in the past or the future. Things happen and problems arise and we can get through them if we deal….that life, in a good way, is about crisis management. And that alone makes a crisis not be a crisis. I didn’t get it. I’m a slow learner.

So, for decades, I  stressed over the what-ifs. I worried about how things (everything) would turn out. I constantly compared myself to others to try and get a gauge on how I stacked up, to see if I was okay. I was stuck in the what-happened (past) or what’s-going-to-happen (future) and I worried about past and future outcomes.  I never learned to deal and stay in the present moment. My ability to experience joy was seriously limited by my over thinking.

And then, these past few weeks I invested some quiet time thinking about staying in the here and now in hopes of finding joy.

I learned to pay attention and stay focused on the moment. I learned to keep my mind on what I was doing or reading or who I was talking to instead of wandering from thought to thought, into the future or past.

I learned that I have great resources to help me deal with just about anything. I won’t give in to worry or stress about the things I cannot change and will find a way to take care of things I can.

I learned that excuses are easy to come by and keep me from moving forward. I’ll be mindful to hear them when they creep into my consciousness.

Joy comes when you stay, body and soul, in the moment. That if, right now, things are good….then they are good. That’s my reality…that is my joy.