Oh it was a good day!

19 Mar

I didn’t even have to use my A-K! Sorry, I couldn’t help the Ice Cube reference.

Lately, I have been weighed down with stress and anxiety.

I’ve been struggling to get a grip on my finances. That’s a pretty big worry sometimes, among all my other worries.

The global catastrophes, assaults on peaceful protesters  and systematic stripping away of workers’ rights in my own country have multiplied my distress. You know I’m very passionate about such things, so I get really emotionally affected by the news.

And to top it off, I’ve fallen behind on updating this blog, as well as my other one (God Bless The Grass, about green living and compassionate eating, if you’re interested) and my church’s website (Liberty Universalist). It is so difficult to keep up with my online responsibilities when I’m working with an outdated, slow laptop with an electrical taped cord (required since the battery is shot) and missing keys (noteably the “s” and “d” keys, which are reduced to small rubbery bulbs that must be carefully pressed), but those “responsibilities” are the ones that keep my life sane and balanced. I love writing, and I love you all for reading and responding to me. I need that in my life, so when I neglect it for other duties, I feel both stressed and guilty.

But today I started something that turned my whole thought process around. I started theCouch to 5K program, and the first walk/jog I took was up and down my old driveway. That may sound kinda lame, but it’s rather long and very hilly:

The hills are killer after a few laps!

I have many of you to thank for this! I saw the link to C25K on Amanda’s blog. And my dear friend Lindsey Lemmons is an amazing woman and an amazing runner, and when I expressed to her my desire to start running a few months ago she was very supportive and, as she has helped people train for marathons, said she would help motivate and encourage me along the way. I believe in Lindsey, so her belief in me means a lot. This is a woman who will wake up after a night of drinking and run ten miles! I also channeled my lovely girlfriend Marie while walking, as she has always been an inspiration to me, being so beautiful and strong and athletic. And when I thought a hill was too challenging, I thought about how Dar walks all the time, even though she’s a busy pregnant mom! And I can’t leave Beth out – not only did she inspire me to get in shape, but nearly every “green” change I’ve made was a direct result of Beth’s suggestions. In that respect, she has had more influence on the person I am today than anyone I know. You all helped me through the day. I want to make you girls proud!

As I was writing this I got a really positive and encouraging email from Lindsey, so yay!

Other things happened today that made it a good day. Chris is going to help me pay off the car – AWESOME – and hopefully I’ll have that taken care of by Monday! My friend Scott called and asked if I’d like to go to a movie and out to eat tomorrow and my parents said they’d keep the kids, so I’m happy and excited to be getting out of the house. And my sweet, sweet friend Bonnie made me a Rescue Remedy (a flower essence thing) to help with my nervousness about writing and delivering the sermon. She also loaned me some books to get me started with my own flower-essence-mixing, so I’m excited about that!

My church also decided to pay the registration fees for any of us who want to attend the Universalist Convocation in South Carolina in late May, and Danny said he had some free nights’ hotel stays he will donate, so all it will cost is what it will take to pitch in on gas and a van rental. That’s SO AWESOME, because I would really love to go. The bad thing about it is that if I get a job soon (FINGERS: CROSSED!) then I may not be able to take off the Friday and Monday I would need to take off to go. And if I was able to, Bonnaroo would definitely be out because I couldn’t take off a couple weeks later too (of course I don’t have money for that – Chris was taking me). But I’m trying to focus on the positive – if I get a job that will be more fantastic than anything, but if I don’t or if I just find something part time, I still have a lot to look forward to. If I have to choose between the UU Convocation and Bonnaroo, I’m going to have to go with the Convocation. I’ve thought a lot about that, and as much as I would just DIE to hear the lineup they have this year, I am really passionate about my church and I can’t pass up the opportunity to grow and be of more service to it.

So, that brings me to the sermon. Back when the church asked if I’d volunteer for a couple Sundays this year (our lay minister only comes every other 4th Sunday, and we only have forums on 2nd Sundays – no service at all on 1st and 3rd), I started writing a sermon on reconciling scientific knowledge and religious faith. And I think it’s pretty good, but as this date approached I began getting really, really nervous about it. I remembered my minister in Cordova, Rev. Bill Neely, and how amazing and poetic he was. One thing I always loved about his sermons was that he never failed to personalize it, weave in a personal story or experience. My science/religion sermon sounded more like a college lecture (starting with the two conflicting stories in Genesis and how we don’t take the Bible literally, going through the negative effects of letting someone else define God for you and how neglecting the spiritual aspect of your life can have negative consequences, about balancing both), and I’m not sure how to weave something personal and meaningful into it.

So on my walk/jog today, it hit me: there is SO MUCH going on in my life right now, so much going on in the world right now, that I could talk about maintaining a positive attitude and radiating love, and not letting all the negative news get you down, ya know? Like, how to use your concern for the positive instead of letting it make you hostile or fearful. I struggle with this myself, but I don’t think that should stop me from exploring the topic. I’m actually so much more excited about it now that, during a moment of bravery today, I emailed my friends in Starkville and invited them! (Those would be the ones mentioned in the previous post.) I do hope they’ll come. Not to hear me speak, but because I really think they’d enjoy what we have going on, and if me speaking will get them to check it out, GREAT! I guess it’d also be nice to feel all loved and stuff too, to know they support me and believe in me the way I believe in them.

So I’ll be up all night, sermon-writin’. If anyone has anything they’d like to add or contribute, FEEL FREE! And know that you all mean so much to me. I don’t have a lot of girlfriends in this small town, and this network that we have is what keeps me going, you all keep me going, and I am so very grateful for each and every one of you.

Lindsey, after the sermon on Sunday lets go to the Refuge and talk about God and do yoga. With a bottle of red wine. ;)

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4 Responses to “Oh it was a good day!”

  1. Amanda March 20, 2011 at 12:39 am #

    talking about God & doing yoga with red wine on the refuge sounds amaaaazing, I must say. I envy you ladies already!

    Couch to 5k is awesome! I want to get started back now. Maybe if I’m blessed with a few more days of not waking up certain I’m bleeding to death I will….

    I envy Dar & her friend Collette who walk the beach every other day or so in the morning while I have to work.

    Oh, wait, I’m on maternity leave for 3 more weeks… :)

    • Brandi March 20, 2011 at 4:00 am #

      One thing Linds is doing to help me out is teaching me some breathing exercises and yoga poses to help deal with the pains I’ll surely experience as a result of my newfound hobby. I’m stoked! And yes, the Refuge idea does sound amazing… I hope she can stay long enough to make that happen.

      I didn’t know you were still bleeding!! I hope that stops soon. I don’t remember that being a problem for me. But one thing I do remember is that delivering the afterbirth was excrutiatingly painful for me, and you didn’t mention it in your blog (the doc pushing on your belly with force, etc – it wasn’t as bad as the birth itself, but a close runner up). I’ve never heard anyone who got an epidural (luckyyyyy!) complain about it. Not to say that what is happening is some leftover afterbirth, I’m just sayin’. I felt like those Nazi nurses wrung me out of blood before I left!

      I hope you go walking some before you start back to work! Gandhi was a big walker. People often ask him, what with all the pressure he was under and all the things he was involved in, how he made time to walk. He responded by saying that when the pressure and stress was at its highest he walked “twice as much” because his walks were what kept him sane and centered and able to deal with everything. I try to keep that in mind. Plus, the more you do, the more you feel like doing – a huge benefit to all moms, new and not so new.

  2. LaLaLemmons March 20, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    Um, YAAAAY! Yoga, wine, and good company?? I’m all in.

    BTW, Winston County…their hills are deceptive…they’re so looooooong…there’s one hill I used to run in Louisville that is a solid mile long.

  3. Marie March 20, 2011 at 10:18 am #

    Brandi, I am so flattered that you see me as an inspiration! I honestly never knew that, and of course find it to be such a compliment! I think it’s wonderful that you are starting the C25K program! I’ve thought about doing it myself, but recently comitted to getting back in the gym and lifting weights again….so I’ve got 1 week down! I wish I could be there to hear your sermon! I know that it will be great, because I’ve been reading your writings for years and you never cease to amaze me. Have someone video it and then post it! So glad you’re posting again….looking forward to reading your newest one that I prompted you to write :) Haha

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