Incorrigible — A Runner Celebrates 61 Years of Life

It is the eve of my 61st birthday. I just spent 90 minutes walking up the steep treadmill hill with a 10 pound backpack. It snowed today and it is very cold, not worth going outside wearing snow cleats on my shoes.

My first purchase of 2020 was a race entry. My second purchase was another pair of running shoes. How many 61 year olds do you know who spend the morning thinking about where they should run and how far? That day, I got in 10.2 miles in just under 2 hours. That is awesome! I love that I can go out for a 10 mile run anytime I feel like it. I am incorrigible in that regard.

My year was highlighted by several successful races. At the Kansas City marathon, I ran 4:49 and got second place in my age group. In November, I completed 50 miles in a race. This ultra was such an experience of the zone. It was amazing.

I have been working on a book for 3 years. I can say that during 2019, I finished typing all the notes, did a great deal of neuro science and addiction research, finally got the introductions to each chapter completed. I learned about self publishing. I\’m certain that in the first half of 2020, I\’ll find an editor. I have a sketch of the cover which I may ask one of my barista buddies to draw for me. After another round of my own editing, I have a couple of people willing to read the book and comment on it for me.

I\’ve become a proficient barista and I like working at my current store. I went to alot of AA meetings, culminating with speaking at an alcathon on New Year\’s Eve. I got two sinus infections. During the first one, I learned that doctors can\’t help you. During the second one, I learned that several natural remedies are very helpful. I listened to many Abraham Hicks YouTube videos. As a result of practicing what Abraham discusses, my attitudes and emotional states improved dramatically for what seems like the first time in my life. I wrote alot (aside from my book). I thought alot, and my ponderings are what I write down. I\’m one of those rare persons who prioritizes sitting and thinking as an important activity. 

2019 was successful and I think 2020 will be even more wonderful.

Happy Holidays

Christmas has come, and almost gone. Yesterday, I had a smashing good and hilarious time working a shift at Starbucks. The mostly bitchy shift supervisor wasn\’t there. The fun cool one was. So we had a fun cool time.

Now, Christmas day itself. I slept in, not having to be at Starbucks at 4:30 am. Then I spent 2.5 hours multi-tasking: laundry, cook the squash, study my latest neuro science book and make notes for my own book.  Run 15.5 miles in Parkville, along the Missouri river. Today is very warm, in the 60s and I ran pretty energetically. On the way home, I got my usual favorite meal: grilled cheese and diet cherry Coke from Quick Trip. Shower. Green smoothie.

This evening, I will join some long term friends for an AA meeting and pot luck. My contribution, see\’ns how I don\’t cook, is a bag of Starbucks coffee.

I guess I love Starbucks. I see that the partners have been putting jokes on our group-me all day. I mean, we communicate with each other with funny things even when not at work. That never happened when I was a serious corporate person.

Memories > Inner Being

Early in life, maybe more than 35 years ago, I saw \”Cats\” in London. I can still sing some of the songs. This afternoon, I found myself singing \”Memories\” ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gd_ohoPzYc  ).

It is a mournful song, appropriate for and old lady; but not a dead lady. \”I was beautiful then…and a new day has begun.\”

Yet here I am. This morning, I was at Starbucks opening the store at 4:30 am. Then, a decent noon meal,and then book reading while laying on my bed something inside me called me to get up and be present, work on my writing. Now, my brain and body are awake, ready for writing and exercise. It is a moment of feeling great, purposeful, connected to something greater than myself. The song from Cats only added power to my physical being. But the energy came originally from Source. Source called me to get off my bed and come be creative.

Isn\’t that wonderful? An old lady feels energy and gets busy creating. Some would say this means I\’m connected to my Inner Being. I appreciate that knowledge. But I can\’t prove I have an Inner Being. But I am able to ride the positive, ride the creation energy. I know for sure, for sure, that the creation energy came from inside somewhere. A human amount of energy would have stayed on the bed.

Wait! I\’m an old lady? How did that happen? Maybe I am not an old lady. What is an old lady? What is old? What does old mean? I bring this up because I want to go deeper into the meaning of a person who has been alive a long time. I won\’t go into long discussions of living in Berkeley CA during the Vietnam war. I won\’t talk about how television arrived when I was a small child and I used a slide rule my freshman year at college.

What is the depth of long years on this planet? It is more than wrinkled skin or grey hear. I don\’t have any health issues. I ran 15 mile just yesterday.

The only time I ever snuck out of the house as a teenager was to go to midnight Mass. My family had a ski cabin and we were there for Christmas. I went out the window of my bed room and walked half a block down a hill to the church. It was a cold but clear night with many stars. My mother had talked forever about midnight Mass, but we weren\’t Catholic. We were unchurched. Yet that one time, it was important to me to go to church. Who was God?

That girl who wondered about God. That is the true core of my being.

A new day, has begun.

On Thinking

I recently made some changes to my life. The change was to reduce the number of shifts I was working at my part time gig. The reason I made this change was that I realized that my brain was spending more time thinking about the gig than on my personal projects. I was losing my capacity for thinking deeply and writing. Also, the gig required that I be there at 4:30 am 4 days a week, which means that prime thinking time was compromised. When I got home from the gig, I was tired, needed a nap. My brain was shut down for most of the rest of the day, being willing only to read other people\’s books. I realized that the plan for my retirement, to build phase 3 of my life out of creative writing and addiction studies was being sidelined.

Now, this morning, I was able to focus. Thinking is a brain activity, with a spiritual component. Your brain requires energy, so I still need to sleep. I had a subtle under current of self disrespect: aren\’t you worthless just sitting here thinking? Well, I always wanted to be a great thinker. This morning I thought about how great thinkers spent their time doing just that, thinking. They may have had a seed idea but then they sat and thought and wrote down the thoughts. Media changes the way you think. For me that is scrolling through Youtube or news feeds.

Nicolas Carr wrote a book about how the Net changes the way you think, \”The Shallows\”. Page 8, \”…media aren\’t just channels of information.They supply the stuff of thought, but they also shape the process of thought. And what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation…my mind now expects to take in information…in a swiftly moving stream of particles.\”

Honestly, I quit watching TV decades ago because I didn\’t want to be Programmed by it. Now, I face that same challenge with the Net. Unfortunately, the Net is far more addictive to the human brain. If I want to be a thinker, I need to maintain longer periods of concentrated thought and abstaining from shallow non-thinking activities. This is a tough challenge because the brain does get dopamine hits from scrolling. I need to continue to find longer piece of work, like a long blog or a book or an article, which cause me to concentrate and spend time reading and thinking. Writing then helps keep the focus of the thoughts.

Thinking is also different from just letting my default node network spin around to where ever from my past history it wants to, unguided by my conscious mind. Thinking should have a focus, a path and a conclusion or a progression. Thinking has a subject, but also thinking is objective. The process of thinking should achieve an objective end. Thinking is different from unconsciously seeking dopamine hits.

A Valley

Here is more of my story. Writing it on this blog might help me figure it out. It relates to Law of Attraction, alignment with my inner being, and finding my way to a new vibration.
Being in a spiritual valley can be a good thing as it causes you to look at what you have been doing and make changes for the future.
Nov 8/9, I ran a 50 mile race. The race it self was an experience of being in the zone. It was so easy to accomplish. And the drive home featured a magnificent sunset which seemed like the Universe winking at me in joy. I mention this because it was the top of a mountain experience. I\’ve since fallen off. 
I took off work the day after the race (Sunday). Monday and Tuesday I had shifts at Starbucks. These turned out to be difficult as my physical resources were largely depleted, and I had a couple of blisters which made time on my feet painful. Also, after a conversation with one of the shift managers, I made my decision to quit working at Starbucks. 
When I talked to the store manager about quitting, she didn\’t want me to quit, especially for my reasons: feeling disrespected and worn out. So, I didn\’t quit, only reduced the number of hours by more than half. But I also had two more weeks of survival mode. Survival mode is how I\’ve survived getting to work at 4:30 am four days a week for the past year. I sort of knew I was in it, but didn\’t consciously ask myself about it. I just did it. Well, survival mode had been feeling worse and worse. Like everyday asking myself, \”How am I going to get through today?\”  As I looked at Thanksgiving week, coming off 4 days of work in a row and going into 3 more days after Thanksgiving, plus going to the monastery for Thanksgiving, I knew I dreaded the whole thing. So I got a cold. Trying to manage the cold and go to work (after Thanksgiving) meant overdosing on cold medicine. Bad mistake. I got a sinus infection.
Now, this week (Dec 2) is the first week of reduced hours, only two shifts of 5.5 hours. I felt free the moment I got out of the last long shift (Tuesday). I felt my focus move from Starbucks to writing and conscious creation. That was yesterday (Wednesday) morning. But, God, my head was still full of gunk, bad gunk. However, the guidance I got from my inner being, since I was meditating instead of going to work, was to look on google for remedies for a sinus infection (since doctors are powerless over virus\’s). I learned about sinus rinsing, and apple cider vinegar. Wild horses could not have stopped me from enacting sinus rinsing. I felt that push of alignment with my inner being. I know, I felt it over an unspiritual thing like a  sinus infection but it really felt like spiritual alignment. I obtained the materials at CVS and have tried it 3 times. Now at least the mucus is fluid and clear.
This morning (Thursday), I finished another chapter of my spiritual writing, four now done. Then I looked at the title page, which I have not looked at for months. I realized that I like the title alot. \”A THOUSAND MEDITATIONS — For Addicts and Other Humans\” I have 3 more chapters to edit and write introductions. That is a bit of work. I feel good about getting it done.
I still think that phase 3 of my life is in a valley, not yet climbing very far up the mountain. I feel much happier with Starbucks off my mind and not a focus. Being sick has caused me to pause. I ask for guidance for each next step. Abraham says,\”I\’ll never get it done.\” This saying means, I am an extension of Source energy, an eternal being, and so there is always more. I want to understand more about being a vibrational being. I have the space in my life to focus on my inner being.
So, I am in a valley but looking forward to climbing another mountain. I don\’t know what the next mountain is, but I know it is there.