Some wonderful reminders and messages here .. thoughts I often share with my daughter, especially as some of the same rules apply to friendships and making new friends. Which can be tough at the age she is at .. especially for girls.

I specifically appreciate ..
The comments under, “Your power:”
The most powerful thing about you is your story. But don’t talk about yourself all the time; you’ll be a bore.

It is a lesson and a conversation I was also part of long ago, as a journalist just starting out in my career. We were in a roundtable with 3 newsrooms and a consultant from AR&D. I’ll never forget the words out of our particular consultant’s mouth that day ..
‘The news isn’t about those who write or read it. While it’s fine to personalize some things once in awhile, don’t insert yourself. It’s not about you.’

These are words I have tried, for a very long time it seems now, to live by. And as I work to maintain this journal, for now .. which is personal, I’m wanting to still try and find that balance.

Sharing stories is what I so enjoy doing.
And the attached blog has some great reminders/food for thought .. especially now. Thanks for the post, Leadership Freak.

Girls (minus one) On The Run ..

Not going to do it.

That’s the final answer from my ten year old about taking part in this springs Girls on the Run race here in Madison.

We’ve gone through the spring program.  She has done relatively well.  Given running more of a try.  Made some new friends.  I’m just happy she continues to try new things that have her staying active, involved and getting some exercise.  But after telling me the past few weeks she wants to do the run while telling her father no she wants nothing to do with it, we’ve made a decision.  There will be no running the 5k this weekend, the race that is supposed to be the culmination of a spring of training..

While I feel sad about that and feel strongly she should finish out the program, because the feeling of crossing a finish line and the rush of having done a race, no matter the pace or how much pain you may be in, is wonderful and inspiring ..

Or while I worry that instead of digging deep when the going gets tough, she instead on many occasions chooses to, I believe, give up or act like she isn’t interested ..

While it gives me one more reason to be concerned she often defaults to what she feels mom or dad want her to do versus what she feels she wants to do ..

I’m happy that she signed up and went through the last few months of an incredible program.

That she chose to participate twice a week in a program that had her not only exercising, but also in a social setting where adults and kids have a safe environment to discuss some of the challenges that come with being in that age group, 3rd-5th grade.  That she felt at times, stronger for trying something she wasn’t sure she could do.  And still isn’t.  But that she may be more apt to give a shot in the future.  That there is such a program out there to help families and communities build strong young women, who could very well go on to become leaders.  Who run.  Or who don’t.  But who know the value of working hard toward a goal and that feeling of crossing a finish line on any project one sets their mind to.    That she got her feet wet in a/another sport that teaches individual hard work is just as important to a team .. as a team working together to get things done.

She may not be running the race this weekend .. but that’s okay.  I’m hoping, if nothing else, the lessons GOTR also offers each practice will give her more confidence all around, a better feel for path she is on in life, and the pace in which she wants to run it.

Stuck in my head ..

I have sincerely had this song stuck in my head now for days.

Sit in that six lane backed up traffic
Honks are honking, I’ve about had it
I’m looking for an exit sign
Gotta get out of here, get it all off my mind
And like a memory from your grandpa’s attic
A song comes slippin’ through the radio static
Changing my mood, a little George Strait 1982

And it makes me wanna take a back road
Makes me wanna take the long way home
Put a little gravel in my travel
Unwind, unravel all night long
Makes me wanna grab my honey
Tear down some two-lane country, who knows
Get lost and get right with my soul
Makes me wanna take, makes me wanna
Take a back road. 

– Rodney Atkins, Take a Backroad

I’m thinking the fact this has been just spinning in my head must be a sign.  That, at the very least, I need a vacation.

It’s a few years old now ..

But as I was looking back through photos for something that might go with yesterdays post, I came across this one of my daughter at our friends ranch near Dillon, Montana.

And just want my daughter to know, it will always be one of my favorites of her.  A reminder of a simpler time and place in our lives.  But also just a simple, wonderful place we go as often as we can.  Where the pace is as fast as you want to go.  Where it’s tough to be in cell range.  But you can be as connected as you want to be.  Where neighbors can be found in each other’s  small shops sipping coffee, grabbing a beer .. or with the whole family and a dish to pass at the fairgrounds .. everyone keeping an eye on each others kids, keeping them honest, but allowing room for a lot of fun, where people work hard but say they wouldn’t have it any other way.

I love the city.  Big cities.  Small cities.  I love the culture.  I love the food.  I’m a huge fan of people watching.  I love the hustle and bustle.  The buzz.  The Cowboy, when we first met, worried a bit about the fact I rarely sit still.

‘Sure’, I’ve told him.  ‘I love this – on one level.  There is always somewhere to go, something to do or family and friends to see .. ‘

But there is a lot to be said, for taking a backroad.

And at some point, only God knows when, I’m looking forward to that being more a part of my daily commute.

Need a dirt road.

Need a dirt road.

Not to be confused with Makes Me Want to Take a Backroad.  Which is a great song and true to.  Can relate to that as well.  But for now …

When I wrote this it was about 1am and I was trying to unwind.  Had been a long day.  Have had a lot of them lately.  So was listening to music late at night.  And dreaming about how wonderful it would be to just get in the car and take a road trip to one of my favorite places on the face of this earth, Big Sky Country.

Some random thoughts:

Am loving right now, the Band Perry (along with throngs of others, I know).  Have been working on learning All Your Life on the guitar and Backroad from above (but not sure how that song sounds with a chick singing it) along with a bunch of others including a few from one of my favorite bands, Little Jane and the Pistol Whips who I believe are out of Bozeman, MT ..

Talked with the Cowboy for just a few minutes tonight on the video phone.  He was wiped out and was falling asleep as he was also playing guitar.  He figured he better call it a night before it was lights out either way in the armchair.

It’s Rodeo Bible Camp week in SD.  Heard some fun stories last night and was only the first day of camp.  Already done with school, the kids are with him for their first full week – he’s bummed they don’t have more down time together, but they seem to be having run regardless.  The four of them seem so happy to all be together for an extended period of time, and the kids that they are getting to go to camp with their dad.  One of the twins, who until now, has had a tough time getting his rope going in the right direction, gave us a demonstration this morning that he’s got it down and can now do it the way he’s supposed to.  Nothing like the look on a kids face when they realize they’ve learned something and really got it down, and they can now work on improving that skill.  Priceless.

Talked with my own daughter for a bit.  She’s still in school but excited there is now officially less than a week left for the 2012 academic year.  They had picnic lunch today and a presentation of poster boards they put together on a state.  Remember doing those?  She, no surprise, had Montana.  She really wanted me to see a couple others, including the boy’s that she has a crush on and her friend who had South Dakota.  To which she excitedly made some comments about the state, the Cowboy and possible life changes.  I gave her a squeeze, smiled and told the sweet girl who’s project we were looking at great job, and we moved onto the next.

As if I don’t have enough to do .. my workouts are suffering over getting other things that ‘need to get done, done.’  Think I need to find a triathlon this summer and start training.   That usually helps, but I’m not motivated.  Wanted to go to the gym for a swim tonight (last night).  Feeling like schlep that I chose not to and had glass of wine instead while going through paperwork and watching Wisconsin’s historic recall election results and speeches come in.

Feels like trying to get caught up is a never-ending battle.  Or trying to fit everything in, between family, friends, work, each other, etc etc etc .. is never possible without disappointing someone.  The Cowboy and I are trying to figure that out .. as we have events, graduations and various other commitments in towns hours apart this weekend for family and good friends, all of whom are important to us.  But that we know we can’t spend enough time with.  How do you juggle successfully?  Or, do you even try?

Is that ever possible anymore?  Feeling caught up?  Fitting everything in.  Getting things done?  Feeling like the important thing are taken care of so that you can take care of yourself, or your/our family in this case?  We know we could be so much better if we could all be under one roof.

But because for now, that’s not the case ..

Spent awhile last night trying to find the comfort of a dirt road or a small town in the middle of, if not South Dakota with the Cowboy .. Big Sky country (Even Bayfield will do, where I took the photo of my daughter and the Cowboy, below.) .. in my mind at the very least, since it’s the best I can do at the moment.  Looking at a big open sky.  Feeling the gravel and dirt below my feet.  Not seeing anyone or anything for miles.  Feels like there’s room to again breathe.

That whatever it is on the to-do list or that has me stressed isn’t all that big a deal, in fact, it’s small in the grand scheme of things.  And the busyness of the day-to-day is my/our choice.

Maybe I just need a good session of yoga or a massage.  But I like the dirt road theory.

Dirt roads usually take you somewhere more simple.  More quiet.  Calm.  It all re-grounds me.  And has me coming back at it all again today, refreshed.

“People are saying ..”

(From Thursday.  A bit behind but I’m pretty certain no one gives a dang but me.)

I keep getting this direct message on Twitter:

“Yo.  That person has been saying nasty things about you.”

Besides worrying I might click on the wrong thing and give my computer a virus versus blocking the source, it makes me laugh.


Maybe someone, somewhere is saying nasty things about me.

Actually, I’ve come to realize it’s not a maybe.  It’s a most likely.  Chances are, if you are active, involved, stick your neck out, take risks, go through a divorce, climb the ladder, heck, even if all you do is sit at home, don’t work, complain, freeload or just try to be a good person, you get the drift .. someone’s p&m-ing about you at any given time.

Do we care?  Should we care?

Don’t care what others think of what you do.  Care very much about what you think you do.”  – St. Frances Desalles

My daughter said to me yesterday as I was about to drop her off at school that she and one of her best friends were still having issues.  There’s been a third girl in the mix since the beginning of the school year who, to say the least, has been doing her best to drum up drama between them and hurtful words are being said.

“How are you handling that?  Are things going better,” I asked her.  I try and at least check in with her on that weekly because it seems the dynamic is always changing.  (Of course it is.)

We talked about it for a few minutes.  She seems to be handling it fairly well from what I can tell and not getting too overly lost in 5th grade turmoil.  Good to hear because if experience tells us anything, it’s that things don’t get any easier in that department for girls especially, heading into middle school.

But bullying and drama don’t stop once we pass through our school age years.  Any of us, I’m sure, continue to see a ridiculous amount of it as adults.  Both socially and in the workplace.  We just hope we’ve better learned to let things roll off our back.

Not always easy.

And .. some are far better at it than others.  Time and life experience (and helpful advice like some of what’s mentioned in the link above) help us all .. well, let me rephrase that, many of us realize it’s both not worth our time or energy to speak ill of others.  Or, to worry about what others – who seem to take pleasure in putting others down in order to build themselves up – say at all.

The Cowboy and I were talking about that this weekend.  There are a lot of people who seem to just watch and wait for you to mess up and then they can’t wait to be the first to point it out.  In fact, there are a few that I know read this blog who are just waiting for something good they might get me on or use against me, I’m quite certain.  When those people have to be a big part of your life, how does one handle it?  Or .. can you?  Should we care?  One of my biggest challenges over the years has been learning to minimize and let go, remove myself from the drama, because I have the choice to let it become my drama as well or let it slide.  I’ve got a long way to go, but getting there ..

In the meantime ..

I try to instill best I can in my daughter, to treat others the way she wants to be treated, really know the type of person she wants to be and live that way everyday.  That way she can hold her head high.  No matter who says what about her.  A friend, or that mean person on Twitter.

(And if all else fails:  I also wish I were a better with a witty comeback, that might stop someone in their tracks.  While many here are terrible, there are a few that had me rolling on the floor I’m going to keep close to the vest.)