Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination

I am a wee bit behind in posting and reading blogs……at least it feels that way.

I don’t have an excuse. I just get distracted very easily. Sometimes, my attention is here, then it is there. I just go with the flow. It makes my life less chaotic. If I tried to over-analyze it, I’d probably end up with a diagnosis of ADD or bi-polarism.

The truth of it is……I just lack organization and planning skills.

Plus, I’m interested in too many things and can’t fit them all in.

Oh, but I try……and there’s the rub.

What does this have to do with illumination? Well, understanding myself and trying to get where I want to be. It is illuminating.

Accepting myself – flaws and all – gives me a sense of peace.

Resolve was the theme for Project 52 last week.

Fitting for this time of year. My resolve is to be more positive. So, I took a photograph of our wind chime outside.

© Angelia's Photography

Happy, sunny, smiley, and all glowey. It’s perfect, no?

But it wasn’t. It wasn’t perfect at all. Something was distinctly off about that representation.

I stared and stared at the image. Trying to pinpoint what didn’t fit. I wanted to be happier, right? But happier didn’t seem to ring true.

I am happier. Even depressed, I am happy. I am very laid-back and easy-going. Oh, there are certain times of the month I get wound up, most especially, if I have just taken a dose of steroids for my gigantic hives. But mostly, I am content.

I love my life. The good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful.

But there are times, when the darkness of my past….when the sting of bad decisions…..and all the wrongs of the world…..threaten to take me down.

Sometimes, I let them.

And it is not a pretty place.

So my resolve, the one that fit the most, and called to my heart…is to always shine, even when the days are dark.

Just like my Christmas Cactus….

This flower is engineered to come alive when the nights get longer. See, it only blooms when it has so many hours of darkness – about 12. That happens to coincide with the time change, and the winter months. When our days get shorter….and darker.

Click on any image to display a larger slide show of images.

Not only are they gorgeous blooms from a dry old cacti plant, but there is something special about them.

An inner glow. An illumination. Do you see it?

That is what I strive for.

No matter how dark it is…..open despite the darkness and shine from within.

© Angelia's Photography
The photo above I submitted for Week Two of Project 52. It was chosen as a top ten artist of the week. You can view the feature on Daphne’s blog: Ellenburgh’s Photography.

Maybe, just maybe….I’m on the right path here.

In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present. -Francis Bacon

For more illumination, check out The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge.

Half Marathon Training for the Beginner

This is a walk/run training program.

I typed up my training plan and I thought……why not post it here? Maybe, I can get some “virtual” support. Maybe there are a few of you out there that think……NO WAY could I do something like this.

That is when I step in and say YES, YOU CAN! If I can, you can.

A month ago, I weighed over 200lbs and started exercising for the first time in four years (at least regular exercise).

I am now under 200lbs and I can finally feel my stomach muscles again. I can run three minutes without stopping and recover in a minute walking. I am not even having to push myself too hard (not saying it’s easy).

I’m slightly ahead of this training plan, but I am still going to start at the beginning.

The numbers represent run/walk time. So, week one is running 2 mins and walking 1 minute until you complete the mileage.

As you can see, the progression covers 12 weeks to gradually build you up to a half-marathon. I do NOT run fast. It is slow and steady (so I don’t get winded).

You will know your pace when you start, it’s the one where you can talk (or sing) without dying (sorta).

Can I encourage you? Do you need a plan?

This week starts week 1….

Jan. 23-29
Week 1-

    Tues- 2 miles – 2/1 run/walk intervals
    Thurs- 2.5 miles – 2/1 run/walk intervals.
    Sat- (long run) This is our Frosty Frog 5K
    Sun – 2 mile recovery walk

Jan 30-Feb 5
Week 2-

    Tues- 2 miles- 2/1 run/walk intervals
    Thurs-3 miles- 2/1 run/walk intervals
    Friday- Cross training (elliptical) or rest
    Saturday-(long run) 3.50 or 4 miles – 2/1 run/walk intervals
    Sunday- 2.5 mile recovery walk

Feb.6-12
Week 3-

    Tues- 2.5 miles – 2/1 run/walk intervals
    Wed- Cross training (elliptical)
    Thurs- 3 miles – 2/1 run/walk intervals
    Saturday- (long run) 4 miles – 2/1 run/walk interval
    Sunday – 2 miles recovery walk

Feb. 13-19
Week 4-

    Tues- 2.5 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Wed- Cross training
    Thurs- 3 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Saturday- (long run) 5 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Sunday- 2 miles recovery walk

Feb. 20-26
Week 5-

    Tues- 3 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Wed- Cross training
    Thurs- 3 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Saturday (long run) – Cowtown 10K (6.2miles) 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Sunday – 3 miles recovery walk

Feb. 27-Mar. 4
Week 6 –

    Tues – 4 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Wed- Cross- training
    Thurs- 4 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Saturday (long run) – 7 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Sunday – 3 miles recovery walk

Mar 5-11
Week 7 –

    Tues – 4 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Wed- Cross training
    Thurs- 4 miles 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Saturday (long run) 8 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Sunday – 3 miles recovery walk

Mar. 12-18
Week 8 –

    Tues- 4 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Wed- Cross training
    Thurs-3 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Saturday- (long run) 9 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Sunday – 3 miles recovery walk

Mar. 19-25
Week 9 –

    Tues- 5 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Wed- Cross training
    Thurs- 4 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Saturday (long run) – 10 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Sunday – 3 mile recovery walk

Mar. 26-Apr. 1
Week 10 –

    Tues- 4 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Wed- Cross training
    Thurs- 3 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Saturday (long run) – 11 miles 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Sunday – 3 mile recovery walk

April 2-8
Week 11 –

    Tues- Cross Training
    Wed- 3 miles 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Thur- Cross Training
    Saturday (long run) – 5 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Sunday – 2.5 mile recovery walk

April 9-15
Week 12-

    Tues- 2 miles – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Thurs- 20 mins – 3/1 run/walk intervals
    Saturday (day before race) – Walk 20 mins.
    Sunday – RACE DAY — Big D HALF MARATHON (13.1mile)

I’m ready. I’ve set my goal (without fear).

What about you?

Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement.
Brian Tracy, Eat that Frog

Running With My Shadow

Sometimes she runs beside me….

Sometimes she runs behind me….

Sometimes she runs before me….

Each step I take, I follow her.

Pondering her every motion and appearance.

For where she is and what is she doing.

How much longer can my shadow keep up….

Is she falling behind or getting in front?

It’s a close race.

I hear the crush of shoes scuffing the sidewalk. The light moves and my shadow disappears.

I run without her.

In the quiet.

In the dark.

I wait.

And she appears as I pass under the next beam of fluorescent.

She looks more confident than me. Like she could run forever.

But I know I can’t. I have another minute.

I wish for her strength.

Two more shadows emerge from the front and the back.

There are three of us running in sync.

Our own little club.

In time, they drop away and it’s just the two of us again.

Running….. and ……breathing.

Breathing….. and ……running.

Into the night.

Under the lights.

With one goal in mind.

To finish what we started.

My 5K is Saturday….I have trained three out of the five weeks I had to prepare. Considering that, I am pretty happy with where I am at. My biggest success was leaving the treadmill and running with my shadow in the evening. It is my peace, my time, and my sanity. I hope to keep night running until I *do* finish my goal of a marathon. Looks like me, and my shadow will log a lot of miles. I can’t wait…..

Mid-Summer Life Crisis

At the beginning of this year, I chose the word flourish. I was going to FLOURISH (and rule the world!)….err….something like that.

My goals:

And do all this while working 40 + hours a week as a corporate travel agent, plus a newlywed wife to my husband, mom to one teenager, and step-mom of two younger daughters.

I. Can. Do. It. All.

NOT.

One by, by one, these goals have slipped from my grasp. One by one, I have given up (yet) another thing I pledged to do, just to keep up with my normal life, much less the hyped up flourished version.

Swimming, swimming, and swimming……you know what, ya’ll?

I’m tired.

It’s not even that this – the list – the promises – the goals – are all I have tried to keep up with. I have, also, had to dog paddle through a husband diagnosed with Lupus this year (to add to his type 1 diabetes, and hypothyroidism). A pretty horrific car crash my family survived. Plus, the new dynamics of co-parenting, me being on the “other” side of custody, than I previously was (this side is MUCH harder).

Everyone said I couldn’t do it all. And???

They were right. :clap clap clap:

I have, officially, burnt out.

Late last week, I wanted to pull the plug. No more Twitter, Facebook, or the Blog. Just shut down. My iphone makes that near impossible to do. But, alas! I would do it. Lights out (except for Words With Friends. I must have my WWF!).

In the end, I decided, going dark was not the answer, but putting the photography business on hold would be. No more sessions for now. I will have “fun”. It will be my hobby (again)(when I have time). It won’t be work and it won’t feel like work. Yay!

I started photography classes in January to boost my confidence. I learned about the technical side of the camera. I, also, learned some of the business side. But it’s pretty hefty in marketing, networking – not to mention – time.

I still lack LOADS of knowledge in everything.

Ultimately, I just don’t think I have the talent, or the vision. Maybe that will change, I just don’t know.

My confidence hasn’t boosted like I hoped, and it’s draining me. I just need to study longer and wait for that elusive confidence factor.

The battle of wills and hopes has been bloody.

The drive to succeed, to learn, to know, to do – while applaudable – is not doable (for me), and it’s making me crazy.

I don’t like crazy. My thyroid makes me crazy because of my Grave’s Disease. I take a hormone pill and it gets better.

So today, I take a chill pill. I acknowledge, I can’t do it all. I won’t do it all. And I’ll do what I can when I can.

Technology is a such a curse, and a blessing.

A friend told me she heard, due to technology overload, the world was on the brink of nervous breakdown. Our brains are not equipped to handle all the information accessible today.

So true.

I think I have overachiever overload.

So this month, I am putting another thing to the side.

And I’m having fun too.

MY GIRLS are back!

The little girls are with us FULL-TIME (squeee!!) for the month of July.

There is nothing like morning hugs around my legs.

And yes, they get loud.

And yes, they fight.

And noise constantly streams from their mouths.

But I wouldn’t trade this month for anything!

Best of all…..Sydney is back from her vacay at Dad’s in Mississippi.

Sydney!!

I have missed her sooooo much!

Mid-summer life crisis? I think I got a handle on you.