Geared Up

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This morning I geared up to run in freezing temperatures, something I have never really gotten used to.  Part of my gearing up was putting on my amazing hat.  It’s not quite Jayne Cobb level of coolness, but I am still quite proud of it.

 I am quite aware that this is a cheap, promotional hat.  However I received it at a Christmas Market archery booth after popping one balloon.  I know it was a pity prize, as I was supposed to hit four balloons, but I am still proud to run wearing a hat I won in a sport-like competition.

Stay warm everyone!

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Hug a Runner

Tomorrow (or today depending on when you read this) is Globally Organized Hug A Runner Day, also known as GO HARD.  Now, I know I don’t post about my running much lately, partly because my running hasn’t been much lately.  However, encourage everyone to get out there for the day.  Put down your reading, your writing, your whatever and be a runner for someone to hug.  If you can’t be the runner, get out there and enjoy a sweaty hug of your own.

Hit the trails, and hug a runner!

Run It Out

A while back I wrote a post, talking about how I was starting my running over.  I had been fit-ish, but injury and laziness had set me back to the beginning.  I would like to say it went wonderfully, but that would be a lie.

I’m not sure if anyone knows this, but it is hard to start over.  Knowing I had once been much more advanced, and being sent back to the beginners circle sucked.  And running itself can be hard, particularly in the beginning.  I hurt, I was tired, and I felt slightly ridiculous.  I used to run marathons people!  Maybe not a lot, but two does allow me to make that plural, I’m certain of it.  I was a distance runner, slow as I was, and slogging through two miles was suddenly almost impossible.

Maybe it’s ridiculous, but yes, I quit again for a while.  You can judge here, I judge me too.

Last week I decided I needed to get it back.

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My feet look tiny from up here!

While talking with a friend, we were discussing how for some reason we both do great work on Sunday afternoons.  For both of us, it seemed to stem from the same thing; when we worked all week, Sunday was the time we could set aside to catch up on homework for the week before it was due.  She would go to church, then home for homework, I would take my long run for the week, then homework.  It seemed our brains had gotten used to thinking well at that time of the week.

I kept thinking on that later.  Lately it seemed I could only sit and write well on Sundays when I do my homework, but that was not always the case.  When we first moved here and I was not working, I wrote all the time.  Granted, looking back it was not some of my best work, but the words seemed to flow constantly.  Of course then I was running constantly too.

Why it did not occur to me before that my best writing comes after my runs I don’t know.  It is logical.  Exercise wakes up the mind, gets the blood moving, and gives you happy happy feel good chemicals.  (I’m pretty sure that is the scientific term.)  Naturally when you feel that great, even through the soreness and exhaustion, you are more productive.

So, I’m trying again.  I’m only three runs back in, but I already feel better.  Well, not the first time, but in retrospect, three mile run followed by two mile walk is not the best way to start back in.

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Looking real cool with my head torch.

I’d like to think this time it will stick, but I know me. I’ll fall back a little a few times again.  At least for now, I can enjoy the benefits.  My second run in I solved the problems with two stories almost as soon as I left the house.  Silly me, I didn’t realize they should have been the same story, but my running shoes knew.  I’m just glad I set out and let them share with me.

Happy Running everyone, I am out the door!

The More Things Stay the Same

 

I need to go for a run today, but I can’t seem to get out the door.

Ten minutes ago I managed to change from my pajamas into running clothes, but I haven’t managed my shoes yet.

I know every moment I spend sitting here writing this post is one more chance I have of not getting out the door to run at all today.  There is a limited window of time, after my daughters have left for school, after the local kids have biked through, and before the day becomes too hot for running.  That window is now, and it is going to close if I do not get my shoes on, and get out the door.

But I might stop and finish my coffee first.  I don’t want it to get cold.

And I should make a to do list for the day, so I don’t lose track of what I have to accomplish before the bus arrives again, bringing my little girl and her friend home for the afternoon.  As soon as I make that list, I suspect I am going to learn I don’t have time to run at all today.

I can’t say exactly why I am so reluctant to run today.  I know I am out of shape, but I am learning to love the wheezing sound I make as I trod along the road looking like the straggler from a heard of stampeding rhinos, the one who is most likely about to be picked off by the predator.  I know I haven’t gotten around to switching up my running playlist, but its not like I can’t run to the old list.

I know the reason I don’t want to run comes from a general feeling of restlessness that has been haunting me this week.

I had the week off from school, something I have not had since winter break, and something I will not have again until next winter break. I was absolutely certain I would be getting so much done this week, and all of my writing time could be spent on writing something I want to write instead of splitting the time with my homework.  Instead, I keep looking around as though I am forgetting something important.  It’s almost as if I don’t know what to do when I don’t have a homework assignment to put off until later.

This week is also my daughters last week of school.  As of tomorrow at about 1230, I have two girls home for the summer, both wanting something to do everyday.  We have a few things lined up, but in spite of the ample notice, I haven’t adjusted to the idea that my quiet writing time will be gone soon.  I think I am mostly in denial, hoping if I just ignore the issue it will go away.  It’s not working.

I have a pile of things to do in a corner of my mind right now that I can’t seem to break into.  I need to finish a going away present for one of my daughter’s girl scout troop leaders.  I have just begun making a new quilt for my bed, something that is a little more appropriate for the summer weather.  I recently found my old cross stitch supplies and am itching to try it out again.  I feel like I haven’t knit anything in forever, even though it has only been a couple of months.  I ran across some fabric I bought to make myself a dress almost two years ago, and really would love to get around to designing the stupid thing.  And these are just the projects popping up in my mind today.  I haven’t even scratched the surface of the projects that I know are down in my basement but I am not looking at every day.

All of this is punctuated with a little cabin fever.  I have so many things to do in my house, but I would rather be anywhere but home right now.  We haven’t traveled anywhere in a few months, not even a day trip and I am itching to see something new.  We’re taking a day trip this weekend, and an excursion to Edinburgh in a couple of weeks, but I just want to get out there now.  I want to take a train to Amsterdam, or maybe to London.  I want to take a long slow drive through the Netherlands to see the windmills and find this cheese shop I have heard about from other people around here.  I want to find a castle in Germany and buy a bottle of wine I might never drink just because the castle is on the bottle.  I want to get back out in the world instead of staying in my head.

It’s a crazy place in my mind lately.  There are so many changes happening for me right now, I can’t seem to focus on any of them.  I used to think I hated change.  It was a funny joke; the girl who hates change married to a military man making her pick up her life and move to new countries.  The truth is, I love those changes.  I love knowing we are going somewhere new, and looking up everything about that place.  I love making the plans for our new life.  I realized, I have no problem with big changes, as long as I have a little notice and I can plan for my new adventure.  I don’t even mind small changes sometimes, but I dislike surprises.  Tell me something is changing soon, don’t show up at my door and spring it on me.

What I struggle with are personal changes.  If I hate my new base, it’s not necessarily my fault.  I don’t get much of a say in where we go, or in many of the changes that occur when we get there.  I deal the best I can, but sometimes it just sucks.  When it does, I can blame someone else easily because it was not my choice to be there to begin with.  However, if I go out to train for a new race, and never get past the struggling and wheezing phase, it is all on me.  I didn’t push myself hard enough, or I didn’t fuel properly, or I drank three cups of coffee instead of water.  It’s all me and my choices.

When its all on me, I struggle to get out the door.  I put off running, because I can control my failure that way.   I might not be able to stop other changes from going bad, but I can stop this one by never starting.

They say you only find the power to change when it hurts more to stay the same, and maybe that is true.  I know there are things that hurt now, deep in the secret corners I try not to let anyone else see.  But I also know it will hurt so much more to be unable to change that pain.  I can live with the ache I currently have, but I’m not sure if I can live with the fact that I already am all I ever could be.  It’s as if I don’t fly because I am afraid I might actually leave the ground.  Instead, I stay the same.

Thoughts From My Run

I should have run yesterday.  Then I would have been done a while ago

Leap over the dead frog.  Haha.  Leap frog.

Am I holding my feet right?  They don’t hurt yet, so maybe.

Why is this song playing?  What playlist is this?  Did Lily mess with my phone?

Eh, screw it. Come and get it, na, na, na, na.

Okay, walk.

Avoid the dead bird, walk around the dead bird.

My armband is itchy.

Holy crap, is that a body?

No, just weirdly shaped hay.  Who would leave hay in the shape of a body on the side of the road?

I probably would.  Then I’d watch people jog by and laugh.

Running time.  Alright, let’s go.

Holy crap is my arm itchy.

Is this arm band held on by Velcro or tiny fire ants biting it onto my skin?

How is so much of my daughter’s music on my running playlist?  I need to fix that later.

Look at that army Humvee.  It totally looks like it could be a tank.

I would love to drive a tank around.  Just try to cut me off now punk.

I’d never have trouble finding a parking spot.

I wonder if a cop would give a tank a ticket.

Aww.  Squished hedgehog.  I like hedgehogs.

Is a tank manual or automatic?  If you have to shoot, automatic would probably be easier.  But then, I doubt the driver is shooting the big gun.  It might be manual to better go over weird terrain.

Eh, the gas mileage probably sucks.

Man, I have been running a long time.  Did I miss where it told me to walk?

Keep breathing.  Stop breathing and you’re dead.

Ugh, rabbit road kill.

Man, I am out of shape.

Don’t say that.  Negative comments like that are detrimental to your progress.  Round is a shape.

What was that cartoon with the round people?  Rolie Polie Olie.  I wonder what happened to that.

FINALLY, walking.

Ah, I can rest.  Cool off.

Running again already?

Alright, count it out.

One, two, one, two, one, two.  Just a little farther and I’ll be walking.

Yeah.  For like two fracking seconds.

Another Selena Gomez song?  How did three get onto my running playlist?

That dog is looking at me funny.  Does he know I’ve listened to three of her songs now?

Yeah, he knows.

I’m pretty sure he is judging me for it too.

Alright, last time running.

You can do this.

OW!  SHARP ROCK!  DAMN YOU MINIMILIST SHOES!!!

It is getting hot.  I should have run an hour ago.

I need to start waking up earlier to run.

Maybe I can survive another month until the girls are out of school.  Then I can get up at the same time and run instead of getting them ready for school.

It is really hot.

Alright, walk again.

Walk around the unidentifiable road kill.  Wait, that’s five, BINGO!

I need to use the bathroom.

If I was a guy, it would be socially acceptable for me to take care of this problem behind that tree over there.

Stupid gender discrimination.

Whoa!  I totally know how the next scene goes.

Run, got to get this down before it disappears forever.

Move, move, move, move.

Cooldown?  But I have to get home!  Please can I run a little longer?

Alright, power walk it in.  The house is in sight.

I love running!

Adding Up

It has been twenty-two days since the end of Lent.

Twenty-two days since I promised I would start a new challenge to follow my forty days without chocolate.  As I am now slightly over halfway done, it seems like a good time for an update.

I freely admitted during my deprivation that I wasn’t entirely certain I could make it.  Sometimes I wasn’t certain I even wanted to make it.  I wasn’t doing it for a religious reason, and there would be no technical ramifications for my failure.  The only one holding me accountable was me, and I was a cruel taskmaster.  I had to be; no one could see what I was doing, and there was no tangible benefits to life without chocolate.  I didn’t lose large amounts of weight, or gain the ability to fly.  It was a matter of will power.  While I have never had a large amount of will power, I am stubborn enough to not want to admit defeat.

I was counting on that same stubbornness to get me through an add in challenge.  I had taken something that was not good for me away, now it was time to add in something that was.

I wanted it to be something simple, easily taken with me if I needed to travel and not time consuming.  I considered promising to run a mile everyday, but as I was already having trouble there, it seemed a poor choice.

Instead I went with five easily done exercises, just a few reps of each.  Everyday now I jump rope for fifty jumps, do twenty squats, twenty-five crunches, ten push-ups, and twenty reps with a thigh master. Yes, I have a thigh master.  No, I’m not sure why.  The entire routine takes about two minutes.

I wasn’t entirely confident when I selected this routine.  I considered cutting the add in down to three weeks, in order to make sure I could do it.  It’s not because any of it is particularly hard on it’s own, but because I wasn’t sure I could keep pushing myself through exercises I was not any good at for forty days.  I could barely do one push up on my knees on day one, and I stopped halfway through my jump roping in order to use the ladies room for the first week. But I pushed through.

And I can see a difference already.  My pushups are still done on my knees, but the last one isn’t as difficult as it was to begin with.  I can feel the slight muscle definition on my arms, and the firming on my legs.  I can almost always get through my fifty jumps without missing a jump, and my crunches are something I easily zip through.  Overall, I am calling this a success.

I know I can’t attribute everything to this little add in.  It’s not the only thing I am doing, and I did miss a day.  (It was only one, but I completely forgot until I was in bed half asleep and I was not getting back up.)  All the other work I am doing is certainly adding to the success of this experiment.  But it’s nice to see results from hard work.

So many things I do are long term projects.  Writing, school, raising children, training for races; these all take years of my time.  Nothing is quick and easy, and nothing guarantees results.  To take on a project that is allowing me to feel the difference after three weeks is gratifying.  I’m not sure if I’ll keep it up after the forty days, or if I will try another challenge, but I can say I am happy I tried this.  Sometimes you need a win, and I feel like I am getting one.

If you challenged yourself to add something to your day, everyday, what would you add?

Back to Step One

Occasionally I speak about my past as a slow, slow, so very slow, distance runner.  I am not now, nor have a ever been a serious competitor.  See the over weight runner at the back of the pack, barely making it in before the time limit and pushing with all they have to get there?  I’m right behind them.

Don’t get me wrong,  I always make it in.  I’ve had the occasional race where it is a strong possibility of a Did Not Finish is following me the entire way.  I’ve even had several races where I should have probably stayed home, but I was not intelligent enough to do the smart thing.  No matter the challenge or the pain, I have always pushed through to the end.

At least, I used to.  I’ve told you the story of my horrible marathon in September.  The lack of training, the slight ankle twist nine miles in, the limping to the finish line with only a couple of people behind me.  While the race was beautiful and well done, I did not do as well as I had planned when I first started training.  Since then I have been pushing to get anywhere close to where I used to be, and failing horribly.  Let’s just be honest, at this point I would be happy to be back to the pitiful girl who crossed that finish line; at least she did it.  Now, I barely complete a mile on some days.

I finally decided it was time to admit I needed to step back.  I can’t train like the person who has run all those races.  A person can lose fitness with just a few weeks off from training.  I took six months.  My body might technically be the same one that crossed all those finish lines, but it no longer moves that way.

So, I decided to take it back to step one.  Instead of heading out of my house and just running like I used to, I’m back on a beginners training program.  I dusted off the old Couch to 5k running app, which will time my run/walk intervals for me as I slowly move towards more running again.  I started this program the first time almost 6 years ago.  After the first completion of the program, I deleted it from my ipod and moved on thinking I would never need it again.

It’s a little depressing to realize I am returning to step one.  No one wants to think they have been knocked down that far.  I’m trying to think of it in a positive light.  I’ve done it once, I can do it again.

With my step one, I’m taking it a little farther.  I suck at nutrition and weight training.  It takes so much more work than just lacing up and running out the door.  But my running, and well, my health need me to focus.  A friend turned me onto a new program, Tone It Up.  They are starting their Bikini Series this week, putting out workout programs, and motivation tips daily to keep you moving and get people bikini ready by the first day of summer.  Let’s be honest people, no matter how well I stick to this, no one will want to see me in a bikini in 8 weeks, but if I am never strangled by my athletic apparel again I will count it as a win.

Wish me luck!

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Quick disclaimer.  Tone It Up is not paying me to mention them.  I’m 99.99% certain they have no idea who I am and may never know.  While they might be responsible for me getting back in shape, I won’t blame them if I don’t get where I want to be either.  Anyone who chooses a workout program should remember I am not a doctor, and they need to consult their own physician before they choose a program. 

I also apologize if I have broken any delusions that I am in fact a tall, willowy, super model.  Feel free to pretend the picture is of someone else.  I do it occasionally too.

Stepping Up

I have an embarrassing confession.

Two nights ago, I was walking upstairs to tuck my children into bed. I frequently joke with my younger daughter that I cannot make it up the stairs. She enjoys coming to my rescue and pulling me up with her, turning it into a little game. Unfortunately, the game felt all too real.

I was winded trying to walk up my stairs.

I’ve been trying to return to my old running habits, but things have been going slowly. Some mornings I set out, and moving seems impossible. It’s almost as if I have forgotten that I am a runner. Maybe not a fast runner, or a strong runner, but I’d like to think my medal rack counts for something.

I knew I was out of shape. I didn’t realize I was too out of shape to walk up one flight of stairs.

Most of the time I try to get out for a run, my mind is thinking of the jeans that are a little too tight, or the extra fat that crept up when I wasn’t moving fast enough to escape. I’ve never really been a skinny person, but I was never as large as I am now. I don’t want to be worried about my looks, but it’s hard not to.

So much of the world is focused on being tiny, they forget to emphasize the need to be healthy. When I am feeling good, I want to run to feel healthy. I want to have the energy to run my miles in the morning, and then go out with my family for the rest of the day. I want to wake up knowing that I am slightly stronger than I was yesterday.

And yes, I want to wake up and know that my jeans will slide on easily instead of requiring a wrestling match, a pair of pliers, several pleas to higher powers, and a flowing shirt to cover up the muffin top created when I am done. I want to know that the clothing in my closet will fit and make me feel good.

Mostly I want my daughters to know the truth. Being healthy is difficult. It takes work, and dedication. You have to find something you love doing so that you can do it often.

I want them to know it doesn’t matter how you look, it matters how you feel.

I don’t want my daughters to grow up thinking daily about the diet they should be on. They are creative and intelligent girls, with goals and ambitions that reach higher than the desire to wear a size zero jeans. My older daughter would like to go to Oxford; my younger daughter wants to be a musician and an artist.

They already know themselves better than I ever knew myself.

I tell myself I want to be healthy to show them what is important. But I think in truth they are showing me what is important. Neither of them care what they look like. My younger daughter doesn’t have a concept of skinny; she likes to eat, but she also likes to run around and play.

I suppose I need to reevaluate how I approach my exercise and eating habits. Instead of trying to be an example for them, I need to let them be my example. Splurge a little, enjoy my fruit and vegetables, and then run around and play.

Forty Days

I feel like I should preface this posting with  an advanced apology.  I’m not a religious person, and I honestly have no desire to be.  I grew up in a religious household, and went through my own person transformation to become the person I am today.  Maybe someday that will happen again, but for now I’m good.  That being said, this year I decided to take part in an action that is traditionally religious.  I was not participating completely, not in any way that people might acknowledge with religious rights, or doing any of the praying and spiritual cleansing one might do during this time.  It was not to make less of the time, or to pretend it was not important to others.  I chose to do it because there was an area of my life I felt could use an improvement, and here was an opportunity to act on it.  I hope no one out there takes offence to my actions, and if they do, I am sorry you feel that way.

For anyone who has not figured it out, yes, I decided to participate in Lent this year.  I only had a vague idea of what Lent was.  My childhood home was religious, but in a different way.  Most of what I knew of Lent was from incidental knowledge (friends saying, “I can’t I gave that up for Lent) and from this movie.  Not exactly a lot.  There were little things I could assume, but as I wasn’t looking for a religious awakening, I wasn’t too worried.  (Though if you are, here is the always reliable Wikipedia entry.)

The decision to make a sacrifice for Lent this year was mostly due to my own knowledge that I had a problem.  I was eating too much chocolate.  I know, as far as problems go, it’s not that big of a deal.  But it was.  The chocolate was technically a symptom of a bigger problem.

I was slightly depressed.  I’m not a big fan of people, particularly in large groups, but I was also not used to always being alone.  I have been fighting foot pain that has kept me from the runs that I love, and provided happy inducing endorphins, for almost six months.  I went from teaching preschool, to sitting in front of a desk at home, and juggling my own self made schedule.  Things were not going well all the time, and chocolate was one way to compensate for a bad day.   When it began it was the small occasional piece.  Soon it began to seem as though I was quite dependent on that dopamine release I got from the delicious nibbles of chocolate.  And when you consider that living in Belgium, even the cheap chocolate is amazing?  It seems like it was inevitable I would develop a problem.

So I decided Lent would be my rehab.  I knew I could technically just decide to cut back on chocolate at any time.  But then, who hasn’t heard an addict say they could quit any time they wanted to?  If it was that easy for all of us, we wouldn’t develop a habit to begin with.  No, I needed something solid, a specific time period to focus my efforts on.  As this realization was occurring just before Mardi Gras, (or out here Carnival) it just seemed to fit.  I made the decision to go for it, and off I went.

I suppose a little more planning might have been in order, as things have not gone completely smoothly.  First off, I wasn’t sure exactly when Lent began.  I miraculously ended up starting right on time, as I decided to just start when we took our family trip to Disneyland.  I figured if I started when I was busy, I would let some of the chocolate work itself out of my system when I was too busy to even notice.  It worked great, as it took me almost a week to even miss it.  Once the trip was over and I was just at home, alone, it became a little more difficult, but I already had several days under my belt.  I wasn’t going to give up that easily.

The second largest mistake I made, was miscalculating exactly how long forty days was.  I didn’t do anything smart like count it out, or look it up.  I just figured, forty days, that’s just over a month.  No.  Not so much.  I really thought I would be done right about now, but there are over two weeks left.  Sure, forty days is just a little more than the 30 days of an average month.  However, it’s also just shy of six weeks.  Three weeks equals 21 days.  Six weeks would be 42 days.  That is not just over a month.  That’s about a month and a half.  I can’t say I would have quit knowing that in the beginning, but I can’t say I wouldn’t have.

Now, over halfway through, and still off the chocolate, I have to say I’m kind of glad I plunged in blindly.  If I had known I might not have started, and then I wouldn’t have gotten as far as I have.  I can’t say I no longer have any of the problems I had that helped to bring about my chocolate obsession.  I still have to fight the frustration and depression from unwanted changes (and the changes I want but haven’t happened yet).  But now I am fighting in a healthier way.

I’m actually considering another post Lent forty day challenge.  For Lent, you give something up.  Maybe a good follow up would be to add something in for forty days.  They say it takes one hundred days to create a habit.  Maybe forty days is as good a place to start as any.  I already write most days, and run several days a week.  Now I need a forty day challenge, something I want, that I work on everyday for forty days.

What would you add into your life, something you could do to improve your self, everyday for forty days?

Equal and Opposite

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Newton’s third law, a part of the physics classroom.  This is used to explain concepts that, while I find beautiful, are a bit beyond my understanding of the universe.  I understand the idea of forces matching each other; I sit on a chair, pushing down, but the solidity of the chair pushes back giving me an specific place where I find myself balanced.  As a person who desperately seeks balance, I find this comforting.  Unfortunately, equal and opposite occasionally feels more like one step forward, two steps back. 

A wonderful thing happened to me last week.  I set out for a normal run, knowing it would likely be more walking than running.  Something was different this time; maybe something was in the air.  I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something had changed.  It wasn’t enough to walk through my miles.  No matter the pain, I was determined to run.  I needed to feel the rush of movement, the bite of the cold air as I sped through.  So I ran. 

I ran at intervals at first, easing myself back in.  The first interval I had a twinge of pain, but I felt so exhilarated I didn’t care.  The second interval hurt a little more.  By the third interval I was limping as I walked, slightly brokenhearted at my inability to complete even a small run.  It was hard not to be angry at my foot; it had carried me so far before, it’s current refusal hurt deeper than the physical pain I was feeling.  I decided to push through until I had 15 minutes of intervals (my run/walk ratio was based on distance not time, so it was not a strict number of intervals), then turn around and walk home.  After I turned around, I changed my mind.  I was not going home defeated.  I might limp around the rest of the day, regretting my rash decision, but for now I was going to run.  And I did.  I took off at a run, bracing myself for the pain.

But the pain didn’t come.  In my determination to run, I had adjusted my form in a small way, and fixed the problem I had been fighting for five months.  Unfortunately, a short ways down the road, I found a new pain in my shins and my hip.  I may have lost one pain, but in things remaining equal, I gained a new one. The pain I had been experiencing was a reaction to something else.  Now, correcting it, I have fatigue and pain in the muscles that had not been used in months.  With a little, work on that, I am running almost pain free.  Of course today, I am instead home with a stomach virus. 

One step forward, two steps back.

I suppose equal and opposite applies to Karma as well.  You behave badly, someday you will realize consequences of your actions.  Even if it takes a while, there will be an equal and opposite reaction.  At least that is what I am telling myself today, after a night spent biting my tongue at the poor behavior of others.  No one is perfect, including myself, but at times I cannot help but wish for a more complicated time.  Maybe I have been reading too many historical novels lately, but there is something to be said for the manners and customs of a time not so long past.  Sure, the freedoms we have now are wonderful, but unfortunately there are people who do not seem to understand that just because you CAN behave anyway you wish, doesn’t mean you must. 

Saying hurtful things, simply because you can, does not mean there will not be any reaction.  Maybe the person you are insulting is too shy, or even just too well behaved to react to your comments.  It doesn’t mean they don’t have an effect.  Sometimes they create a pain in a person, something that seems small, something they can adjust themselves around.  But someday that pain will come back as words, long forgotten by the speaker, echoing in the mind of the person who has been hurt, and causing pain all over again. 

This is something I have experienced myself as words from my childhood come back to haunt me, and something I have seen happen with my daughters, as they fight within themselves to remember they are not made from the words of others.  The saddest moments come when you see adults, people who should know better, behaving cruelly to others.  Part of you wants someone to do the same to them one day, to show them how it feels.  The larger part of me though wishes instead they will see what they have done to people, to see how their careless words have hurt others. 

I can only hope when the pain comes, people can handle the truth of what has happened, and maybe make amends.