Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Reflection is Important!

Last week I had a horrible toothache.  I was a good girl and called for an appointment to get it checked.  They could get me in on Monday (I called Wednesday).  Not ideal but I thought I would be able to manage.  By the next afternoon I knew I would not make it until Monday and called again.  I was able to get an appointment for first thing the next morning if I was willing to drive to another town.  Yes!  I had an infection in a root canal.  They loaded me up with antibiotics and Vicodin and sent me home with an appointment to consult with a specialist in a month.  Again, not ideal but I thought I could live with it.  After all, I have antibiotics for the infection so that should start getting better soon and pain meds.

Not so much.  The next morning I woke up and the entire side of my face was swollen.  It was extremely painful and it totally freaked me out.  I called the dentist.  I had to hear multiple recordings reminding me that it was a holiday (4th of July, not good timing).  I finally got through to the answering service told them (through some tears, I admit) what was going on and she said she would have the dentist on call get a hold of me immediately.  He called right away which was appreciated.  I explained how the week had progressed and he promptly told me to go to the ER.  The infection and gotten worse and if I didn't get it under control I would risk damage to my teeth and face not to mention the possibility of the infection turning into Sepsis.  That properly freaked me out.  My dad had a Sepsis infection a few years ago and it was scary.  I did NOT want to go down that road.  I went to the ER and they got me hooked up with an even stronger antibiotic.  I was to keep taking the original and add in the new one.  Ugh.  Every pill I get increases in size, these are huge!  Face/tooth did not get better on Sunday.  If anything the swelling was worse Sunday morning because my eye started to swell shut.  It was frustrating to be in so much pain.  All I did was lay around and watch TV and sleep.  I couldn't even concentrate enough to read!  Sunday night it was starting to maybe look a little better.  Monday I woke up and it was significantly better which was a relief.  I called the specialist office and asked if it would be possible to move up my consultation based on how quickly things got out of hand.  They agreed and got me in that afternoon.
Chipmunk face.  Ouch!
We now have a plan to fix the root canal in a couple of weeks after the infection has died down.  Every day the swelling gets better.  I'm able to stay ahead of the tooth pain with Advil.  I have learned that Vicodin does NOTHING for pain for me.  All it does is make me drowsy but I still hurt.  

Yesterday I decided to try and run.  I went in the middle of the afternoon.  It started out great and then just fell apart.  It was hot.  I got dizzy and my stomach got all upset.  It wasn't pretty.  I did a little research and it seems that antibiotics have a big impact on running.  Ugh.  I need to be training for Cascade Lakes Relay and I need to get rid of this infection.  Not a great combination.  I think I will back off trying to be fast and running in the hot for a bit and just work on getting up in the mornings and getting some longer distances in.  Learning how to cut myself some slack has been good.  When I start to get frustrated because life gets in the way of me getting to my goals I remember that it's life in the way and not me.  As long as I'm doing everything I can to move forward than I have to roll with things not always working out the way I had planned or worked for.  

So looking at the bright side of my run yesterday, even though it was short and yucky.  The first mile was 12'09".  Which for me in the heat of the day, after not running for a week, with a throbbing tooth is pretty damn good.  :-)

A friend on Facebook asked this question this week:
I'm writing a paper on spiritual "calling". Do you believe that God has given you a unique calling/vocation? Why or why not? If yes, how did you know?
This of course, does not include that to which we are called to do: love your neighbor, bear fruit, make disciples, etc...
It got me thinking about my job as a teacher and the journey to becoming a teacher.  I sent him this message this morning:
Hey Caleb. Saw your post earlier in the week about whether we have been given a calling and how we know. It has been percolating in my head for a few days. I'm teaching now, 7th and 8th graders. I just finished my 5th year and I'm 45 years old. I totally know that I was called to do this job. I also work in a school with huge poverty issues and behavior issues. I am called to work with these kids. What made me hesitate to write on your post initially was that I got to thinking. Did I not listen to God when I was younger? Was I meant to be a teacher all along and I missed it because I was too busy doing other things or not paying attention. But looking back over my life I realize that I have always been called to work with kids. Camp counselor, youth leader, volunteer at my kids school, team mom for lots of sports, etc. And all of those experiences, combined with my childhood experiences have put me in a place where I was ready to do the really hard work God has called me to do right now. Working with these kids sometimes is hard and heartbreaking. It is the most rewarding thing, besides being a mom/wife, that I have ever done. I think that sometimes we need to remember that we need to follow God's call and what that is at any time in our life could be different. Where Joe and I are now is vastly different than where we thought we would be when we got married. Fabulous but different. Without those changes I wouldn't have had the opportunities that helped guide me to where I am now. As for the how did I know part of your question. I don't like change. Change is really hard for me because it is uncomfortable and scary and takes a huge amount of faith on my part. But every time I have prayed and taken that step of faith because it felt like the right choice I have been blessed abundantly. While change is scary, when done because you are following God's call it is also exciting. I recently was asked to change my position at my school. An exciting opportunity for my career and endless possibilities for the future. I prayed about it and my answer was no. I didn't get that "I'm scared but excited" feeling. I got the "Oh crap, that's a lot of work" feeling. But when I prayed about my current job and what I'll be doing next year the excitement was there. God let me know and I feel good about the choice. Advantage of being older, I recognize those "feelings" as the moving of the Holy Spirit. smile emoticon Sorry this is so long. A short response didn't seem enough. lol Sometimes you need to be careful what you ask for on Facebook. smile emoticon On a side note. I may not be able to share my faith with my students. But I know completely that they know they are loved by me and see God's love through me every day. I'm planting seeds. It's pretty amazing. 
Reflection is an interesting process.  I find it difficult to reflect on one aspect of my life without examining all of it.  When you are sitting around with a fat face and a throbbing tooth it leave you lots of time to reflect, believe me!

Here are some of the things that I thought about.


Family is messy.  Sometimes family is frustrating.  Sometimes family is hard.  There are hurt feelings and long memories and difficult relationships.  But my family is there.  All of my family.  I have parents and step-parents and siblings and their spouses, nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles.  Not just my two families but the addition to my husband's family who have always made me a part of the family from day one.  Some family I see or talk to often and some only occasionally.  But they are mine and I love them.  My families, the ones I grew up with, the one I married into and the one I helped create when I got married, are a part of me and who I am.  Since I like who I am, I am grateful for this crazy mix that has to claim me.  Thank you for making me who I am today.

My husband and my kids are my heart.  I am the wife and mother and that comes with the expectation that I am the support system.  But wow!  My husband and kids have been my biggest cheerleaders and support system as I have gone to school, began to be healthy, got my masters degree and work at a job I love.  We are a team!!  LOVE THAT!!!


I have a friend that I have known since Jr. High and then our group of high school friends, aka "The Gang".  We have kept in contact over the years, yes, even before social media.  Although social media makes it way easier to see what they are up to.  We had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs growing up together.  Thank you to my gang for making the journey through high school fun and safe.  As I watch my kids go through their high school experiences I realize that is a pretty incredible combination to get.

I have a friend that has been the sister of my heart since I was 17.  We don't see each other as often as I would like (we are both too busy) but I know if I needed anything, even if it was just a shoulder to cry on, she would be here in a flash.  Twenty-eight years of friendship has only shown me how blessed I am to have this person as an important part of my life!

Moving to Albany was hard.  We moved 10 years ago this summer.  We left a community where Joe had grown up and we knew everyone.  We moved to a town where we knew nobody.  Over the last 10 years we have found some amazing people that have made the quality of our lives better.  Not because they do anything for us but because of who they are.  Friends we met through our kids, thank you Taylor and Cody!  Friends we met through running and triathlons.  Friends that cheer us when we are being badass and support us when we are struggling (or kick our ass if needed).  As I have watched some people enter and leave my life the last few years it has made me appreciate the friends that stick.  Because of my personailty and who I am I tend to think that friends leave me because of me and something I am lacking.  That's insecurity on my part.  Friends leave because they move, move on or maybe it just isn't the right time for a friendship with me.  (Doesn't make it easy sometimes, I tend to want to hang on tightly when I love people.  Hurts when they go, even if it probably for the best.)  So for my awesome group of people that make me laugh, I get to cheer on during epic doings and just in general are great people, I value your friendship more than you can possibly know.


Five years ago I laced up my running shoes (lol that had NEVER been on a run!) and attempted to become a runner.  As I have worked at becoming a faster runner who can get it done in the heat I have lost focus on how far I have come.  Facebook has this new memory feature that has been reminding me the last few weeks of the excitement of reaching new milestones when I first got started.  I remember when I ran an entire mile without stopping!  It was huge!  It was amazing!  Well, if I could run one without stopping then maybe, just maybe I could run two without stopping.  Less than a year later I ran 13.1 without stopping.  Speed didn't matter.  Not stopping was what kept me chugging.  In the last five years I have logged 1,932 miles in runs, walks and hikes.  That doesn't include bike rides and swims that have been happening the last couple of years.  Check me out, I'm an active person!  Who would have thought it?

Here are the posts about running I put on Facebook five years ago.

I have come so far!  And I haven't given myself credit for that.  I'm not an Ironman or an Ultrarunner. But run, bike, swim, hike, enter races, and challenge myself to try new things and to get better all the time.

Weight loss:

I thought running would lead to weight loss.  Which it has but not as fast as I want.  I thought running and exercising would help me feel less tired.  Which it hasn't.  I have been frustrated and discouraged.  I have compared myself to others who do have tremendous success running and losing weight.  I have changed my eating habits and drink more water.  I do a lot of things really right.  I have lost weight.  I just wanted it to be faster and more significant.  But I lost weight.  And I'm still losing weight.  So I'm learning to adjust to the idea that I may not get to my weight loss goal for another five years.  But hey, no better way to start my 50's than being slim, trim and badass healthy.  Right?  That's a good goal to have.

I have lost 50 pounds in the last five years.  There have been a few times where I gained quite a bit back but then worked at getting it off again.  But just measuring from my heaviest to today, the total is 50 pounds.  That's a chunk.  And a win.  I still look in the mirror and see a heavy person.  Maybe I will always see that because that's an issue for me.  I'm trying to look in the mirror and see the progress.  Pictures help.

Here are some pictures from 2010.  
My beautiful daughter and I on her 8th grade trip.  Standing in front of the home of Thomas Jeffereson.  My heaviest. 
At the wedding of my friend who pushed me toward teaching with a former student.  
Family trip to Disney World.  Had started losing some weight but still had a long way to go.  
Here are some pictures from 2015:
Black Butte hike with besties.  Couldn't have even thought of doing this hike five years ago.  
My fabulous daughter five years later.  Proud of this girls journey!
My running partner.  The only one who willingly runs at my pace every time.  :-)
Short run in the heat.  :-)
I can see a lot of changes in my face.  And I can feel a lot of changes in my clothes.  So that's what I'm focusing on.  Progress is progress and my journey is my journey.  Do I wish I could have the faster success people around me have had?  Of course!  But I am not letting that overshadow or dim the light on how far I have come in my journey anymore.  50 pounds!  That is not a small amount.  So yay me.  :-)

So my overall reflection is this.  I have a pretty stinking awesome life!  A job a love, with co-workers who are amazing.  I have family that loves and supports me through all the ups and downs.  I have amazing friends that actually enjoying hanging out with me.  And my journey is ongoing.  I'm not where I want to be but it sure has been a kick in the pants so far.  I'm suddenly really, really, really excited to see what the next five years is going to bring.  

So here are some inspirational quotes I found on Pinterest.  Have a fantastic day! I know I will.  First swim lesson with my daughter.  She is going to teach me to be a better swimmer.  Isn't that a kick in the pants?  :-)