Time for a New Year’s Cocktail with a Shot of Perspective

Well kiddos, here we go again. Time for the annual “this year is going to be different” nonsense. Because let’s face it – how much do we really have control over?

Silly blog readers…

I know I may be sounding like a pessimist right now, which if any of you dear readers know me, you know it is definitely NOT in my wheelhouse to be that way.  Once in a while though, life just smacks you in the face.

HARD.

And you have no choice but to take it like Humpty Dumpty falling off that stupid wall.

Did he just not know about gravity?  Stupid egg.

Remember this?  Yeah, 2018 was definitely not a banner year in the Black Dog crib.  That being said, it was infinitely worse for a lot of others.  Worse to the point that the pain of life’s crap being thrown at you at the speed of light could in no way ever be lessened, much less have it go away completely.  And yet, the planet keeps spinning and everyone’s life right along with it.  That thought alone is enough to always drag me kicking and screaming out of whatever funk I may be in and realize one thing.

My life is pretty. freaking. awesome.

And guess what?  I bet, so is yours.

I have this habit of every time things feel like they are going down the proverbial toilet, of doing everything I can to keep things in perspective.  My body hurts, but at least I can still run when so many others can’t.  I may have been in a nearly lifelong battle with my weight, but so too are many, many others, and they’re in much worse shape than I am.  My bank account may look pretty damn pathetic, but at least I have a decent job and can pay my bills.  I may miss my dad, especially around this time of year, but at least he wasn’t taken from me by a sick, twisted teen-aged murderer who thought the world revolved around him.  That one alone can smack you right up side the head.  HARD.

I got the idea for this post after hearing the story of Tyler Trent, a 20 year-old Purdue student and football superfan, who had contracted a very rare form of bone cancer at 15.  His outlook on life – knowing his days were numbered – was always one of staying positive and gratefulness.  Talk about a dose of reality.  Here is this kid, knowing his death could come any day, and instead of crawling under a rock to feel sorry for himself, he lived each day knowing it could be his last.  How many of us do that?  I know I always get so wrapped up in life’s little stupid things like paces, the number on the scale, the lack of numbers on my bank balance, that I sometimes to forget to LIVE.

As we kick off another new year, once again promising ourselves to make yet ANOTHER fresh start, just keep this in mind.  We really never know when this crazy life of ours may come to an end.  So when the boss is up your dupa, or the pooch has chewed up your favorite pair of running shoes, or the significant other has once again thrown in the red socks in with the white sheets, try to keep it in perspective.  At least you have that significant other in your life to turn the sheets pink.  Besides, who doesn’t need a little more color in their life anyway?

May we start off the New Year with a heartfelt very, very Happy New Year from the Black Dog family to you and those who matter in your lives.  May the year bring you nothing but health, wealth, happiness and most importantly, love and laughter.  Otherwise, what’s the point?

 

Enjoy the ride.

 

What are your biggest hopes for the New Year?  Do you find you sometimes get lost in the minutiae of life and forget to stop and appreciate what you have?

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You Do You – The Kid/No Kid Version

Ahhhhhhh, life stuff.  That invisible line all bloggers face when trying to decide how much of their personal crap they want to divulge in their writing.  Being the strong-minded, opinionated, occasionally quite vocally opinionated female that I am – or as Grouper likes to call me “concrete-headed” – I try to keep my opinions somewhat under control here in my little corner of the world.  We are all well aware of how much we seem to be living in the Land of Negativity and the Easily Offended these days, so I try to keep things light-hearted and humorous here.  Besides who can’t crack a smile over this silliness?

blech

               Blech!

All that being said, take it as a warning that I’m going to touch on a subject that many find not only offensive, but get truly puzzled over, and at times, outright angry and demeaning in their wonderfully judgmental ways that so many human beings have.

I have not, nor have I ever wanted to, have kids.

There.  I said it.

I’d love to see everyone’s faces right now to see the emotions written all over them.  And believe me, I have seen – and been subjected to – ALL of them.

Let me start by saying I have no problem with people who make what is supposed to be a very personal decision one way or the other.  You do you and I’ll do me.  I completely respect how you choose to live your life and I simply ask the same from you.  But holy dogpoop Batman – it never ceases to amaze me how:

  1. People find it completely acceptable to ask – “so when are you going to have kids?”  I’ve always wanted to respond with “would you like to also know how often and in what positions we plan on making said kids”?  Personal is personal people and it is not alright in my book to get so personal, especially when you barely know the person you’re speaking to.
  2. People make their kid/no kid decisions for their own reasons.  Those decisions are for no one to judge, comment on, or my personal fave, try to change their mind about.  Again, you do you.  That right there in my opinion, earns you all the respect in the world.
  3. Everyone has their opinions on the subject.  Everyone.  AND THAT IS PERFECTLY OK.  You now what else is perfectly ok?  Not voicing said opinion unless asked for it.  Being the type that often likes to keep things close to the vest, and having no desire back in the day to discuss said subject with hardly anyone, I was always amazed, and yes, at times pretty freaking shocked, how someone would literally go off on a rant about how –  a) I was the most selfish person they had ever met, b) I didn’t know what I was missing and would regret my choice one day, 3) who did I expect to take care of me someday, (uh, me perhaps?), and my personal favorite, 4) why bother getting married then?

   I’m sorry. What??

At this point I’m pretty sure you’ve either exited this blog in disgust, screamed at whatever device you’re reading this on, or thrown a high five in my general direction.  And you know what?  Those reactions are all totally okay with me.  Why?

Because you do you.

One thing I do have to mention here.  Whether or not people choose to have kids, both sides have to understand one basic concept.  Whatever your choice is, it’s just that – YOUR choice.  It’s nobody else’s business why you made that decision, nor is it anyone else’s place to judge that decision.  If someone chooses to not have them, it does not mean they are missing out on anything.  All it means is their life is different.  For what it’s worth, I LOVE my life and I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on anything.  I wake up every damn day thankful for the people I have in my life, the life I am living, how I’m living that life, and I wouldn’t change a damn thing about it

That’s me doing me by the way.

I know plenty of parents who feel they would have missed out if the didn’t have kids.  Guess what?  THAT’S OK TOO.

You do you.

One thing I have begun to notice more and more these days?  People are much less likely to ask about something so personal, and, if the conversation does take place and opinions differ, those decisions are much more accepted – and respected – by both sides. (Don’t be mistaken, I think this only applies to such personal subjects.  Everything else?  Well, that just turns into a Twitter free-for-all.) The whole concept of “you do you” seems to actually mean something every so often.  And moments like that?  Well, suffice it to say my faith in humanity is momentarily restored.

And that is all anyone can ask for.

 

Enjoy the ride.

Do you find people are asking more or less personal questions these days?  What subjects get you fired up?  Do you feel like you need to say something to people who believe the opposite of you on touchy subjects?

 

 

Come Sit By Me

As things were pretty non-existent for a while around these parts, I figured it would be a good time to catch up on life.  So pull up a pool chair, order a margarita, and let’s chat a bit.

Salut!

I WANNA DO-OVER

Let’s just say 2018 has been a total poop show.  It’s always tricky deciding how much we want to reveal of our personal details in the blogosphere, and it’s no exception here.  Let’s just say, the Black Dog staff had some MAJOR medical issues come up, but thankfully, all pulled through and the recovery process is moving along nicely.  Word to the wise: when you have a bellyache for a week, don’t give your significant other grief when the doc says to get your dupa to the hospital.  And once you’re there, thank your lucky stars said significant other is too stubborn to let you leave.  2018 could have ended a whole lot worse than it started, so we are happy to leave it in the dust.

THE WONDER MUTT STILL REIGNS SUPREME

This girl.

Beware the snoot……

Still just as silly, still a splash queen, still the BESTEST WONDER MUTT EVER, even if she has gotten a little more “sun exposure”.  She is the love of my life, my confidant, my fashion consultant, my workout buddy, bestie and running partner.  And yes, her Daddy gets it and makes sure to occasionally give me grief about it.  Maybe if he met me at the door at night wiggling his butt with a hedgehog in his muzzle, he’d rate right up there beside her too. 🙂

Do you like my hedgehog?

AGING SHOULD ONLY APPLY TO FINE WINE 

Have I ever told you I’m the youngest of five kids?  Yup, FIVE.  How the heck my parents did it is completely beyond my comprehension, especially since I have enough trouble with a husband a dog.  I hit another decade last year and fighting Mother Nature with everything I’ve got.  As much as I despise admitting it, all those articles about your metabolism slowing down each decade are absolutely true.  Mine however, has decided to just plain check out.  I swear I just LOOK at a mini peanut butter cup – LOOK – and POOF!  That’ll cost you another five pounds lady.  I know I did not do well when I was recovering from my two knee surgeries, but dammit Mother Nature, can you cut me a bit of a break here??  I turned half my garage into a gym, tuned up the bike, and kick my own dupa six days a week.  And still.

Nothing.

Nada.

I’m coming for your hips lady….

Hello Jabba the Black Dog.

There is nothing more frustrating than forcing your muscles to lift more, run faster (well try to anyway), pedal away the miles, eat enough veggies that you swear you’re turning green, and still nothing.  The hubs tells me I look great and there’s only so much I can do.  But this is ME.  Stubborn, concrete-headed, determined, refusing to give up, and just plain pissed off.

Ladies?  Ya see what I’m sayin’??

I understand everything is a balancing act.  I cannot obsess about calories in/out, but I do pay some attention to what I shove in my yap.  If only there weren’t so many amazing tastes out there!  Drink half my weight in water most days, but then…..WINE.  Sweat my dupa off in the Island Time Sweat Box then find that creating cocktails is kind of fun.  What’s a girl to do?  If any ladies out there suffering from a slowing metabolism and uncooperative genetics have any ideas, by all means – feel free to share.

Then we can down those margaritas. 😉

PRIORITIES MOVE LIKE THE TIDES

There’s nothing like a good old life scare to make you step back and re-evaluate what’s important.  For all my metabolism bitching, in the big picture it means nothing.  The love and health of family and friends, the health and happiness of your critters, slowing down life for a minute and enjoying a sunset with a special someone and a good glass of cabernet, traveling outside your comfort zone and embracing adventure, that’s what life should be all about.  Not making enough money?  Live within your means and be happy you have a job when so many others don’t.  Angry the man of the house keeps forgetting to put the toilet seat down?  At least he’s there to forget to do it.  Living with what seems to be a case of a permanent bad attitude?  Make the effort to do something nice for someone else and then try to fight that smile that’s tugging at the corners of your mouth.  Without question what was important to me 20 years ago is nowhere near what it is now.  We all have personal trials we go through and times in our lives when it seems like everything is a big pile of dog poop.  Then something happens to make you realize your poop amounts to nothing.  NOTHING.

LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT

Races. Travel. Laughter.  Great friends and great times.  Funny how the simplest things have the biggest impact on your life.  Some of the best times I’ve ever had included a glass of wine, music, friends, dogs, and a simple backyard fire at this great little tiki bar I know.  It’s easy to find things to be grateful for each and every day, if you just take the time to stop and notice.  A helpful coworker, a smile from a stranger, a funny joke made by a passing runner at a race – all good things.  So my advice to you as I bring this recap of sorts to a close, is to appreciate the life you’ve been given and everything that makes it awesome.  You only get out of life what you put into it, so make that little extra effort, especially this time of year, when so many feel so lonely.  It costs nothing to thank a veteran or first responder for their service (dispatchers too!), or to help a senior citizen load groceries in their car.  Little things go a long way and people always remember the little things.

My challenge to you this day is to do some little thing for someone else.  Pay for their coffee, hold a door open, give their dog a biscuit (after making sure it’s ok of course!), then come back here and share what you did.  I guarantee you will feel a bit better about yourself and life in general.  Perhaps if we all do a little something for someone else, this tide of animosity that seems to be overtaking our lives will turn back just a little bit.

And little bits can change the world.

 

Enjoy the ride.

What little thing makes you smile?

What? Who’s This?

The time has come for change my dear blogaverse friends.

close up of coins on table

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

No, not that kind.

As we all know, the only constant in the universe is change, and our lives right along with it.  I am and forever shall be in love with all things Disney.  That being said, upon deciding to revive my sad little corner of the internet, I decided I needed to expand my options and not just keep things centered on the Mouse.  Not that I didn’t do that before.  It’s just now I feel shaking things up a little bit, which is always a good thing in my book.

So as I get ready to jump on this blogging roller coaster – AGAIN – I would advise all you fine peeps to once again hang on for the ride.  Hopefully it will be entertaining, thought-provoking, and maybe even find you shedding a tear every so often.

Good tears.  That’s the only kind we like around here.

adult alone anxious black and white

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

As any blogger will tell you, audience participation is always encouraged.  If there is anything you’d like to get my thoughts on, feel free to leave them in the comments.  All I ask if we keep things positive.  You have to have been living under a rock to not know the negativity in this world has gotten out of control, so I like to keep things in a better light.  That’s not to say I won’t tackle controversial subjects head on, I just prefer to keep the somewhat mature conversation train rolling along the tracks.

Time to once again hang on and…..

Enjoy the ride.

The Anti-New Year’s Resolution Post

Ahhhhhh, New Year’s……..that magical time of the year when one can look back at everything they feel they effed up in the previous 364 days and say “no freaking more.” (Note my paws are raised too.)

Well, 2016, I’m tapping out.

Is it just because they were celebrities that it seemed like more than the normal amount of peeps were lost to this world this year?  I know of family, friends, pets, friendships, and even marriages that were lost this year and wonder if they don’t count on that emotional roller coaster scale too.

emotional-roller-coaster

 

BUT…..

Instead of getting caught up in the inevitable “I’m going to do this and that and not to do this and that and get all ticked off because The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones continue to take those STUPIDASS MID-SEASON BREAKS“, we’re going to take a little side trip down the less-traveled road of……..

 

…..dare I say it…….

 

OPTIMISM.

Yes, the election sucked on ALL counts.  Yes, my friend’s daughter continues to have seizures.  Yes, another friend continues to battle to keep her beloved dog alive, and yes, my oldest friend in the world kicked her ex to the curb.  All bad stuff.  However, being a true believer in that irritating old saying of everything happens for a reason, (even if the reason completely stinks moosepoo), somehow the human race always seems to come out on the other side victorious.

I really do believe at the heart of it all, we can’t help but be good to each other, even if at our worst times, we tend to forget that.  Holidays tend to bring out both the best – and the worst – in many of us.  In the end though, love and compassion always seem to win out.  Every. Damn. Time.  We just have to get out of our own damn way and let the good in us just pop on out of there.

puppy-kisses

“Well, this is awkward.”

As we head into 2017, let’s try something new.  Forget the weight loss resolutions, the promises to finally get the closets cleaned out, the efforts to try and spend less money, and focus on what really matters….

Kindness.

Compassion.

Patience.

Positivity.

Love.

Belly rubs. (Wonder Mutt wanted to make sure that was on the list. Just roll with it.)

belly rubs

As 2016 draws to a close (none too soon), from our humble abode to yours, we wish a very, very, happy, healthy, loving, and incredible New Year.  Life truly is what you make of it, and it’s time we make it simply amazing. Felice Anno Nuovo!

 

Enjoy the ride.

Was 2016 a bad year for you?  Are you glad it’s over?  Are you looking forward to 2017?  What do you think is the most important thing you can do for one another?

 

 

 

Full Circle. Almost. Again.

In the last installment of Black Dog shenanigans here, we left you on the edge of your seats, (just work with me here people), waiting to see how the latest attempt at post-surgical recovery/rehab shenanigans was moving along.  My angel-winged running neighbor had recommended this GUY, who, as it turns out, has proven to be the man.  As in THE Man.  As in, after more than two years since all of this #brokeknee crap started, has actually been able to, ya know – FIX MY SHIT – and get me running kind of like a normal running person does.

elmo dance.gif

I’ll make this short as I know your attention span isn’t any better than mine.

Wait.

What?

Was I saying you something?

Oh yeah.  Running rehab shenanigans.

Anywho, this GUY, not only shoved a finger in that lovely area known as the piriformis, which was immediately followed by a string of cursing the like has never emitted from my goody two shoes yap –

incredulous-owls

Lady, you’re not fooling anyone.  Stop embarrassing yourself.

– but within about 10 seconds had figured out what was actually broken THIS TIME.  Say it along with me kids…

“Since you’ve got a completely shut down broke ass on your right side, your left side has stepped up to the plate, tried to do the work for both sides, and has now decided it’s had enough of this malarky.  It’s sending you the message, with all due respect, to go eff yourself, it’s tapping out.”

Well now.  That’s pretty…..specific.

What’s a frustrated runner idiot girl to do?  Get to work of course.  On BOTH sides of dear ol’ broke ass.

get back to work.jpg

The next few weeks consisted of such insanity as hip and glute strength building, cursing at my new BFF Torture Tony, Elastigirl-like stretching sessions, more cursing, zapping, icing, resistance band exercises I have to determine the validity of or if Torture Tony was just effing with me, more cursing, and oh yes….running.  Remember running?  That bastard of a sport that started all this nonsense in the first place?  That activity over which us runner idiots types have no power to ignore, like a mythological siren’s song?   Yeah, that one.

Jackass.

crying runner.png

After sweating and swearing through four weeks of visits to the GUY and Torture Tony, I was as ready as I could be.  I tried to ignore the knots in my gut that kept telling me…

Too bad you didn’t find these guys a year ago.”

You haven’t run further than 9.5 miles before your leg implodes, you know.”

“You’re an idiot.”

“There’s a big, fat Ghiradelli sea salt dark chocolate bar in the freezer.”

“Could you possibly be any more undertrained for this if you tried?”

“You’re an idiot.”

“You’re going to have so much kinesio tape on your leg you may get mistaken for a mummy.”

“Have I mentioned you’re an idiot?”

Next up, the final chapter.  Thrilled this painful journey is almost over aren’t ya?  It’s okay.  I understand.

resting-bitch-face-dog-3

Seriously. Killing me.

Enjoy the ride.

How long have you given a new type of therapy before giving up on it?  Have you ever had to apologize for swearing at your doctor?  Did you find the therapy got a bit more “intense” after unleashing on him/her?  Do you have cute pet names for him/her?

Full Circle…Almost

We came, we saw, we conquered.  Sort of.

wine and dine

So.  We meet again.

If your attention span is in any way even minutely better than mine, then you would know what a big deal this year’s adventure to the Wine and Dine was going to be.  This is going to take a while – and a few episodes – so sit back, grab yourself a nice fat ‘rita, a couple of ice packs, and maybe hook up that TENS unit for a bit.  Because gawd knows my attention-deficient brain won’t be able to hang in there long enough to get through the entire adventure in one shot.  Besides, cliffhangers are more fun anyway.

After #brokeknees Part 1 and 2 finally came to an end – almost – it was time to get on that training train again and start pulling on the whistle.  ‘Cause DAMN, those miles weren’t going to run themselves.  It was time to grab those pretty new pink ASICS and get to work.

After having my “less damaged” knee parts fixed a year ago, (for those of you new to the nonsense, that’s #brokeknee Part 1 in last April AND #brokeknee Part 2 last November.  Because just one knee surgery is never enough), I was over the whole –

a.   You’re not getting any younger so it may take longer to heal

b.   Can’t you just do something else?

c.   You really shouldn’t run, it’s bad for your knees

d.  You need to stop running immediately  kind of moose poop.

(Thank you runner friends for completely GETTING me on this crap).

hug10

Every time I’d think I was FINALLY getting somewhere, something else would go to total crap.  Lessons learned?  Hoka One One’s are NOT knee friendly for this girl.  Next one?  Never settle for just one opinion.  Lesson three:  sometimes being a concrete head (as the hubs often calls me:), can come in damn handy when you have no intention of throwing in the towel.  The biggest lessons I learned?  Husbands and Wonder Mutts can be your biggest supporters, and chiropractors fluent in the language of Active Release Therapy are worth their weight in GOLD.

After what was yet even MOREIAMSOSICKOFTHISDAMNFRIGGINPAININMYKNEES setbacks with my training, I was at my wit’s end.  I had gone back to embracing the Galloway run-walk-run method, was only training two days a week, and fully acknowledged the fact this race would have to be all about finishing the distance and not about the time.  (Or so I at least tried to convince myself. #concretehead).

Then an angel happened to flap her wings in my general direction.

I have a neighbor friend who is as obsessed about running as I am.  The difference is she is actually really good at it.  REALLY good.  She’s a few years older, (falls into that dreaded Masters category), and has consistently finished in the top three at every event she’s competed in.  She’s fast, strong, and could pull off the cover of any fitness magazine WITHOUT any photoshopping needed.

And suddenly found herself riding the injury train right alongside me.

Did I mention we’re good friends and like to share?chagrined_chimp

As my neighbor buddy didn’t really blame me for my need to overshare on the injury front, she did the kind neighborly thing and told me about THIS GUY she had been going to who was doing some really cool stuff to fix her very own case of #brokeknee, including such neat stuff as TENS acupuncture, gua sha, and compression icing.  Photo updates from her visits quickly became a source of “holy crap, that looks….interesting”, “he’s doing WHAT?!”, and a few “what the hell is THAT?!” comments.

Now, being a complete victim of FOMO, I had to get in on this out-of-the-norm rehab action.  The bad thing?  The doc’s office was entirely too geographically undesirable.  As in an entire county and way too much traffic insanity away.  However, said doc worked with another awesome GUY who did the same kind of stuff and had an office in a much more geographically desirable location.  (Insert happy Black Dog dance here.)

seinfeld happy dance

Stay tuned for the next chapter of “WTF is Really Wrong With the Parts and How We’re Finally Going to Fix Them”.  It’s a nail biter.

Seriously.

My literary non-talent has Wonder Mutt gnawing hers off as we speak…..

resting-bitch-face-dog-3

You’re killing me lady.

Enjoy the ride.

 

Have you ever refused to give up when injured?  Have you ever explored “alternative” forms of injury rehab/recovery?  What were they and did they work for you?