Feel It


I’ve been ruminating on a few conversations as of late.  My daughter and I have discussed at length recently certain behavior patterns.  What is it that makes us revert to habits and mannerisms that are not good for us?

I had a great day yesterday.  Got out and shopped and fixed the car.  Had a stellar workout and focused on getting my home in order.  If I can get the space that I call home organized then this will reflect in my being.  I am certain of this.

Memories of an article that I read a few years back comes to mind.  It was about the psychology of clutter.  When we hang onto things that are of no apparent value or sentiment (i.e. magazines, newspapers, old bills and pay stubs, etc.) and these are just a few examples of what may be accumulated. It is actually a good indicator that you are suffering from an emotional or mental disorder.  In many cases you are holding and trying to stifle certain thoughts, emotions. There is an odd comfort in clutter it would seem.  Then of course, there are several more clues into your mental state with regard to how you manage your clutter.


When I was going through this period of my life I can say that my clutter was very organized.  I would go through the stacks of magazines and organize each pile accordingly.  I got better with the old bills and would sit down every six months or so with a green garbage bag and tear them up if they were really old.  I’m now making it a point to get as many bills e-mailed to me as possible.

The day that I decided to get rid of the stacks of magazines was quite remarkable. The lightness of being that I experienced in that moment was truly surprising.

I had not read the article at that point as the purge of clutter began approximately ten years ago now.  Silly knick knacks covered bookshelves, coffee tables, etc. but always clean and placed just so.  In fact I had to have the coffee table placed a certain way as I found it incredibly annoying if the wood grain was running up down rather than left to right while sitting on the sofa.

Friends and family found this rather quirky behavior funny.

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These behavior patterns, however, spoke to how out of control I felt at times.  The thing about clutter though is that I could control the piles of magazine and the way the coffee table was centered.  My behavior was at times a little compulsive.

In 1994 I was engulfed in one of the darkest years of my life.  Repressed memories were surfacing in a heartbreaking manner and depression wound its tendrils tightly round me and in that year my home looked like a bomb fell on it most of the time.  Doing the simplest of tasks seemed to take a monumental amount of energy.  Clothes were washed when there were no clean ones available.  This applied to the dishes, the housework…pretty much everything.

I was lost.  During that year I read about two hundred romance novels. I found just attending to my own personal hygiene extraordinarily cumbersome.  Emerging from that year long hell, I was committed to finding a way to manage this condition.  And I’ve done very well at managing it.

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These days when I find myself wanting to partake in something that won’t be beneficial to my health, I often talk out loud to myself.

For example, last night at about 10 PM I felt like a snack.  I wasn’t hungry at all.  Yet I wanted to order a Pizza.  And if I did this, then I would likely eat way too much.

The conversation I had with self went down like this.

“I want Pizza.”

“Why do you want Pizza?”

“I just do.”

“Are you hungry?:


“Then why do you want Pizza?”

“I deserve it.  I’ve been so good with my diet lately.”

And this was the statement that, as it slipped from lips, I jumped on. 

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“Deserve it? Why do you want to stuff your face with crap?  What type of reward is that?”

And it’s not a reward.  It is a conditioned response.

Growing up I was rewarded with food for completing chores or just behaving myself.  Cakes or cookies were the norm. I would imagine this may be the case for many children.  I did this with my child as well.  My daughter having been very good would be taken for ice cream or the like.

Unfortunately should things not be so great during the formative years rewarding oneself can morph into rather destructive behavior.  Eating can become a psychological manifestation of trying to comfort or fill an emotional void.  Furthermore it can become a punishment of sorts.

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And it can be learned behavior as well.

As I move through these moments I am always amazed at the intricacies of the brain.  What is it that keeps coming back to insist that I’m being too good and must ‘reward’ myself with things that are not good for me?

What I have come to understand is that I really need to be in the moment, experience it fully and release it.  And with this ideology comes the notion of dealing with what I’m feeling at any given time as it occurs.

Not as easy as it sounds but I shall persevere.

Thanks for stopping by.








At the Finish Line Through My Eyes

Sun Run 2014


This is what approximately 45,000 people looks like.

Yesterday I completed my 5th Sun Run.  I didn’t go into this looking for a fantastic time.  In the next few years I will set a few goals.  I would like to come in under an hour at least once in this lifetime and this is doable.  My best time in this run was 1:03 two years back.





Eye Candy & a Potassium rich fruit

I have been recovering and the process has been slow.  I am rebuilding.

My daughter and I had a great discussion about the psychology of running yesterday afternoon.  My girl finished the race in 58 minutes.

She’s never done a 1/2 marathon but is considering it so she asked me about my experience last year as I trained and then ran it.

I told her that if you want to find out about yourself, train for a 1/2 marathon and keep a journal.  Your goals for wanting to do it will certainly be a different when you finish the race.  I told her about the race itself, how many emotions I experienced.

At times I would have a steady pace going and I’d just be in a trance like state.  I love it when I am in the ‘zone’.  I had a knot in my calf muscle that made the run a bit more of a challenge.

There were points in the race where I seriously questioned why I was doing this thing.  At times in my delirium I was chastising and condemning all that I was doing only to follow the line of though with positive re-inforcement.

As each kilometer slipped behind me it came down to dogged determination.

The single thought ‘I can do this.  I am doing this.  I will finish this.’

Okay, maybe that’s more than one thought but that became the focus as the legs began to feel like rubber and the body emptied itself of all the fluids it ever held yet still I was ringing out ever pour and the body was parched and wanting.

The final leg of the 1/2 Marathon is along Pender Street.  The last kilometer you can see the finish line.  And man, at times it seemed elusive.  I dug down a little deeper as people called out my name ‘Go Nancy!’

And I wondered how they knew my name forgetting that it was printed on my bib.

A weird smile that may have appeared as more of grimace graced my lips.  I dug down a little deeper.

‘You’re almost there.’ I assured myself.

The last 50 metres I felt as if I was running through quick sand.  And you know the funny thing is that as soon as I crossed the finish line last year, a rush of energy infused me and I felt a rebirth.

It is a remarkable thing to experience.

This year as I approached the finish line of the Sun Run I thought of how far I’ve come in the last 5 years since I began running again.  It has changed my life, literally.  It has saved my life, literally.

Several times yesterday I moments where tears pushed forward.

When I was running across the Burrard St. bridge I was reminded of the first run with my running clinic back in February 2010.  That I continued on with the program really is remarkable to me and what I’ve learned about self is that when I make up my mind to do something….when I make that committment…you’ll be hardpressed to try and persuade me otherwise.

And five years ago I had excessive weight still on my person and yesterday I knew that I would be able to shed the pounds accumulated during treatment.

It’s time to refocus.  Time to rebuild.  Time to carry on and live.




Strange This Life…

It is closing in on the witching hour of midnight.  I have had a rather eventful week, yes?

On the rise of the day I got up and did my 5 KM run. Now I had hoped that I would feel strong enough to do the 6 KM route, but such was not the case.  I am coming off of an illness, so I will listen to the body.

From there I attended my session with the specialist (a.k.a. gynecologist).  I always wondered why someone decides to specialize in vaginas.  Not that I am complaining…just curious.  I showed for my appointment and the good doctor had an intern in training.  Quite GQ in appearance I must say.  He took my family history and  background info. Then he and the good doctor appeared telling me that they would hopefully be able to tell me my condition upon leaving the office.  Now this I liked.  And the doctor didn’t think my condition ‘sinister’.  Most likely a polyp on the inside of my uterus, but I would likely have to kiss an ovary goodbye.

Okay, I thought.  I can dig it. With the speculum in place I smiled and said “I’m ready for my close-up.” With that a camera was fed up my vaginal corridor and as it passed the cervix a rude awakening…yes, they already were aware at this point I have a tilted uterus…I like to think of it as crooked.  Just born that way you see.

He attempted to feed the camera into the uterus, but this just was not going to happen.  Pain..though mild occurred and so I will go back in  month and take cervix relaxants.  No biopsy possible.  But I am feeling much better about this process.

I am to run 16 km on Sunday morning.  Oye!

I am gaining in strength…I know this…I hope I am well enough.  And all these odd little ramblings working this head of mine.  I am reviewing a book by a member of writing group.  It is about zombies.  They have become quite popular as of late, though in truth I am don’t know why.  I am not one for trends and following them.  If anything they make me curious as to our humanities state of mind.

Gareth is a good writer though.  I would not typically go out and purchase books in this genre.  But I must say, if this group has taught me anything it is good writing.  He tells a good story.  The writing is solid and engaging.

I think about my own writing.  I hope that I am developing my craft.  Becoming better.

Things have been strange lately.  I feel like I am all over the map then so isolated.  While I want to zero in on certain things they at times seem abstract and minimal.  A million things slip through my head and I am standing still wondering which direction to take.

I think about this Twitter thing.  Wonder about it’s  validity.  How strange this life at times becomes.  I am releasing some of my intimate thoughts to people who don’t know a thing about me otherwise.  All they know is of the words I have parlayed in this blog of mine.

Are any of you really curious about me?  Do you wonder what it would be like to sit in that obsolete notion of conversation with me?

I engage in conversation regularly.  It feeds me.  I need to touch  base with other humans regularly.  And as I  ramble about the physical body that seemingly sometimes falls apart on me, I divine that will not be the case and push it forward.

Bucket lists.  I have heard much of these in the past while.  All the things that we want to do before passing from this life.  Can I tell you what I want?  It may sound odd, unimportant…but I just want to be.

I want to live in each moment as I am blessed with and feel it to its core.  Hold it so close for that moment. Experience that truth.

I want to see something of this world.  But I am not one to lay on a beach to be baked by the  sun.  Is there an ideal ‘vacation’ for me?  I don’t know.  I just like to touch base with my fellow beings on this planet of ours.

And so I think about these little oddities.  I will go home.  Slip into my bed and ponder many abstract things before entering the sleep realm.

As of late a dream that I had in the early 1990’s has been afforded some attention.

Briefly in the early 1990’s I read a book called ‘Awakenings’  It was a book about dreams and lucid dreaming.  The premise was to keep a dream journal.  Focus on what the dream made you feel and to later re-occurring people, place and things and how they made me feel.

Now you see from a  very early age I  had night terrors.  (You will have to buy the book once published to fined out why 🙂 )   In any case, this one dream I had found me on a hill encased naked in a glass box.

Men could reach in and do what they wanted.  They could poke, prod, punch, jab, etc.  I  cried and sobbed while encased in this glass like casket unable to get away.  Then I heard the sound of the horse as it approached.  My old friend, from childhood, who always entered my dreams thundered down the hill and rearing up screamed a warning to the men who now scattered angrily.  I curled in a ball and listened as the hooves came down repeatedly smashing the encasement.  The men now were tossing ropes over the head of the horse to restrain it.  “Go!  I will find you !”  the horse expressed to me.  And I ran down the hill.

I found myself in New Westminster.  Now I had never lived in New West in my early years.  My brother had been housed our here in a home for the mentally disabled.  Not a nice place.  But I digress.

I found myself wandering the streets of New Westminster looking for my spirit horse.  At the bottom of a hill I found a compound of horses looking as though they were all close to death.  My horse was there.  I discovered they were going to make the animals into glue and dog food.  I felt shattered.

I went to a café across the street and announced my dismay at this.  The regulars there agreed to help me and created a diversion so that I could open the gate and free the horses. And my horse came to me and I sent him off smiling and said “I will find you.”

Why is this dream from the 1990’s significant, you ask?

For many years after this dream I shut down.  Found movement an effort.

When I bought my condo in New West an odd awakening occurred…and yes, as I began to run again…I found my  beautiful sprit horse that has walked with me since childhood.  For me there is such a strong connection.  It is just crazy.  I am finding my freedom.  I am reconnecting… I am finding self.

I kept these dream journals, as obscure as they may be….and now, I see the a truth they projected.

Take nothing for granted.  We have this moment, nothing more.  Do I need to fall from a plane…do I need to ski  down a mountain?  Do I need a rush on white rapids to feel alive?

No.  I don’t need to touch death to feel alive.

All I  need is to feel love. To feel the energy that surrounds me.

I will feel afraid at times, as I have in the past few weeks.  Reminded always of my mortality.  I am human. Nothing more.  I will die. But before that happens… no bucket list.   Not really. I just want to live.  To know that I have opened myself fully to this miracle I was given as tragic as it may have started.  Perhaps that is the thing of it.  The lesson.

To take the gift of life and truly appreciate it.

In Training (Day 48)….Milestones

The alarm sounded and I hit the snooze button then rolled toward the window and listened to the falling rain.  I smiled.  I was going to get wet this morning.  I slipped from my bed and prepared for my run.  Man, what a fabulous jaunt this one was.  I got soaked!  I pushed it to about 6.3 km this morning.  I don’t think what I added on is a half kilometer, but I will check that later.  And you know, I feel so blessed.

I am celebrating my 55th year on this planet today.  I am celebrating this motion, this expansion, this growing childlike wonder and this wisdom that I have been granted.  I am celebrating this heart that seemingly grows more compassionate with each passing day.  It teaches me lessons daily and all I have to do is listen to it.

My step was light this morning.  There  was an eagerness to get out there and run.  Lately I have been worrying about injuries.  If I feel a tendon tightening up, a muscle locking, a ligament tweaking, well, that funny little thing called paranoia kicks in.  I was thinking about that during my run today and I can’t get too strung out about this.  I just have to listen to what my body is telling me.  If a tendon is feeling a bit too tight, then I will ease up working out in the at area.  Give it a good rub with a topical cream or oil always helps as well.

For the first forty or so days of training I found the concept of running 22 km rather daunting.  I admit that I was feeling intimidated.  A growing acceptance is now taking hold.  I can and will do this.  The distance no longer seems quite as far as when I first signed on.

One of the things I love about running is that is links you to every aspect of yourself.  You have to go deep inside at times in order to keep going.  And it is in those moments when I dig into my essence that I release and uncover the bad and the beautiful.  Running is as much an exercise in psychology as it is a physical manifestation.

The challenge for me was to deal with all the bad things that came to the surface rather than just pushing them off to the side which I have been doing.  There is an awareness that is growing.  I think my fear of injury relates to other ‘hurts’ in my life.  When you believe you will be hurt then automatically you will avoid the antagonist.   Accepting this morning that getting aches and pains in this kind of training regime is to be expected and is due process made me look a little deeper at the question.

Was I trying to give myself an out?  Find an excuse?

As I stated yesterday I am very good at doing that and it would be justified as well.  I could easily convince myself and everyone around me of the dangers of a serious running injury.   I am changing my thinking now and it is and will likely remain an ongoing challenge.

What came to mind as I pondered my many hurts (real and imagined, physical and emotional) was the runner, Derek Redmond,  in the Barcelona Summer Olympics in the 400 m. (you can find this video on You Tube)   He pulled his hamstring and collapsed.  But Derek  got back up and with tears streaming down his face he began limping toward the finish line.  His father ran out onto the field and slipped his arm around him assisting him in his quest and told him he didn’t have to do this. But Derek said that he did.  Just prior to the finish line his father let go and let his son cross the finish line on his own.  As you might imagine he received a standing ovation and moved everyone to tears.

This is something that speaks so powerfully to me.  When the injury occurred it was no longer about winning.  It was just about finishing. Derek Redmond came to this race and was favoured to win.  When that option was no longer viable and because he was still capable, he needed to finish it.  And I understand that so much now.

When I did my first Sun Run(10 km) and crossed the finish line the impact was so profound.  A thousand doors opened for me when I crossed that line, so yes, I understand why he needed to finish the race regardless of the injury and regardless of placement.

So today I recognized the fear of pain, the fear of hurt for what it was.  Just those little emotional echoes that still reach out and try to hold me back.

Enjoy your day everyone.  🙂