Sunday, March 31, 2013

finding balance

If I ever have a child - and please note that as long as the major tenants of physics and chemistry continue to hold, I will not be doing so - but if I did drop out a sprog, I would wield one of my parental rights and enroll it in piano lessons and force it to be on the swim team from the time it could talk until it finally was arrested moved out.
Piano lessons I've found to be maybe the single most useful thing I did from age 7-16 (other than learning how to fold notes into crazy oragami shapes and curl my bangs under without blow-drying my hair), and not just because I studied music in college.  I feel like that and swimming are the two things that force your brain to grow differently, and it's tough to learn these skills as an adult because your brain is busy making snarky Facebook comments and reading hetexted.com and trying to keep the vodka from destroying the brain cells you have left.  While I sat through year after year of piano lessons, I was not on the swim team.  Unless you count the half of a summer that I swam with one hand pinching my nose closed and the other drunkenly paddling me across the pool until my parents mercifully let me quit, which I do not.  And every time my alarm clock goes off at 5:15am for masters, I grumble about this fact.
I did, however, spend a great deal of time on skis growing up.  I have a dim memory of skiing between my dad's legs on tiny little 18" skis.  I recall Monday night ski lessons and hundreds of weekends at Blue Mountain, eating peanut butter sandwiches in the van to save money, and I remember MANY MANY hours spent in the car driving to winter vacations in extremely cold places to ski some more.  
(How's that for the saddest snowman you've ever seen?)  Except for the mini-vacation the poet and I took after the worst kept secret ever our wedding, I haven't spent much time skiing since I was in high school.  This weekend I got to tack it onto the never-ending list of reasons why I'm so glad that we live here now.
No, it is not possible for someone to point a camera at me without my instinctive response being to pose like an asshole, but thank you for asking.  I learned how to ski on the east coast, which means I could probably make it down the side of a mountain covered in pebbles and ice chunks instead of actual snow.  Strapping on my skis and swishing around in the powder here - even the sloppy spring powder - is basically my idea of heaven.  
I spent Saturday sliding down the side of a mountain with a good training friend (I know we look 80 years old but the sun was pretty squinty).  While we did have some training-related conversations, most notably her recent marathon domination, I did not for one single second worry about the swimming, biking, or running I "should" have been doing instead of the eating, drinking, skiing triathlon that we completed.  And we didn't just complete it.  We were dream crushers of eat drink ski.  BBQ beer DOWN THE MOUNTAIN AHOY!!
My perspective is changing, and I imagine that what generally happens when your perspective changes is that you can't believe it was any other way.  I think about where my mind was a year ago, and I probably would have spun myself into a complete tizzy about missing an entire day of training - especially a weekend day of 65º weather following an entire weekend of trainer time (more on this in a second) - so close to a race.  Even if I wasn't fussing outwardly, I would have been fretting on the inside, I wouldn't have been able to enjoy the day because missed-training anxiety.  And why?  For what reason?  Who does that help?  Winning triathlons is not my job.  Training and racing is a hobby.  It's one that I enjoy tremendously and work pretty hard at, but that's all it is.  
That's not to say that I have been living a crazy life of sex, drugs, rock & roll.  Most of my TrainingPeaks boxes have been turning green (stupid sit-ups).  Here and there, a few are yellow, and even though I didn't worry on Saturday doesn't mean I don't occasionally fall off the ledge, but if I take a step back and look at the big picture, I'm getting the work done.  The other things that matter, those have been getting done too.  I am a professional sleeper, I get 8-10 hours every night.  Except for The Great Peep & Potato Chip PMS incident of last week, my nutrition has been solid.  I've lost the 12lbs that I put on during the off-season and a couple more on top of that.  I spend time in the recovery boots playing Tetris and looking at Instagram on my phone.  Stress can't be micromanaged like food and sleep, but I'm working on that, too.  
The flip side of taking a day off to go ski happened the weekend before, when Yasi came out for a big training weekend.  Our original plan was to spend several hours a day, several days in a row, riding our bikes.  All over Boulder, up and down mountains, around lakes, everywhere our two wheels could take us.  That went well.
So instead we shipped the bicycle work inside, and I only had one freakout about the riding I was missing (please see: I'm a work-in-progress).  We made the complete round of my personal Boulder triathlon training stomping grounds.  First up was masters while the blizzard was still blizzard-ing (we took this picture a few days later, it was too cold that morning). I love being in the warm pool while snow is falling, especially when I swim under the flags just as a giant snowball falls off and nails me in the back of the swim cap.  Love.
We spent a big chunk of the weekend in the pain cave at work for trainer time mixed with cartoons and gossip.  Pretty heavy on the gossip the first day, pretty heavy on the pain every day after that.
We made it outside for lots of slipping, sliding, leaping, squishing - otherwise known as running in calf-deep fresh snow.  My ankles were sore for days.
The tiny part of our weekend not spent training was spent eating and sleeping (no pictures of the sleeping because I'm not a weirdo who photographs you in the night).
Training is essentially the same as it's been for a while now, easy stuff here, hard stuff here, long stuff here, more easy stuff here.  What's different is what is going on between my ears.  I spend less time worrying, fussing, procrastinating.  There is less anxiety about the things I need to get done; instead there is just dead space.  I'm not fully there yet - there are still mornings when I dick around and check Twitter an extra ten times before getting on the bike - but there's a lot more get up and go happening this year than last.  
And outside of training, there is more living.  There are less conversations about what my pace was at MAF today and there are more conversations about what color should we paint the dining room and where should we go on vacation if we ever decide to/can afford to fly somewhere not associated with a race.  It's almost ironic to me, when I think about it.  Five years ago I needed to eat less pizza and do less staying up until 2am reading and drink less beer and do more worrying about eating the right things like maybe a vegetable every couple of weeks and getting in exercise and sleeping enough and at the right time.  I won't say that the life I'm living now needs the opposite of all of those things, but part of finding balance for me is not having an on/off switch for a healthy lifestyle (please refer to last October through December for the "off" part of the switch).  Instead, it's being able to moderate on a daily basis.  Last week I had a great MAF test.  I ate way too many Peeps, I completely didn't even see a box of sit-ups on one day of my schedule until three minutes ago, I ate an entire bag of snap peas in one sitting.  I got at least eight hours of sleep every night, I drank two beers, the box said "easy spin" but what I did was "barely get sweaty pushing the pedals around while watching old Private Practice episodes," one night I had granola and whipped cream for dinner, every single day I got in at least 6-8 servings of fruits and veggies.  I feel like quoting a different part of my favorite Al Pacino speech, where he says, "That's football, guys.  That's all it is."  That's my life, guys, my actual day-in-day-out life.  That's all it is.  And I think I'm doing okay.  

Thursday, March 21, 2013

little tweaks & awesome peeps

Last year I was lucky enough to race for SOAS Racing.  They make some pretty baller kits for women, and if you have a vagina and haven't heard of them (or read any of my blog posts before, um, this one), you should check them out.  Their tri shorts got me through every race I did last year without a single chafed spot or saddle sore.


This year I'm pretty thrilled to be back on the SOAS party wagon, which is chock-full of awesome women from all over the US, quite a few of which are new and I can't wait to get to know better.

When I came out to visit Colorado last spring, I was fortunate enough to meet all the people that make up Kompetitive Edge, which is hands-down the single best tri shop I have ever wandered into.  So when they put out an application in the late summer for their racing team, I filled it out as fast as my little fingers could type and sent it right back in, along with a bribe for Jared and Ryan.  
I was ALL CAPS excited to find out in December that I had been selected to join the ranks of some ridiculously awesome athletes here in Colorado, ranks that include my own coach.  
I'm lucky to have these great people in my life, Kebby and Steph and Jared and Ryan, to be a part of what they do, I know that, I am lucky.  And Sonja should probably get a post of her very own except that I don't want to spill all her secrets to the universe.  She keeps me moving forward in the right direction, mostly in a straight line, although sometimes I will dive into the bushes or off the cliff when she isn't looking (she is probably rolling her eyes at me right now like I envision she must do at least once a day).  But I couldn't do any of this without her, I wouldn't even know where to start, she's been a big part of figuring out how to get rid of my shit and make my life the joyful place I want it to be.  
While visiting KE last spring to start my current trend of trying on every single pair of sunglasses in the shop and then buying none, I did a bike fit with mastermind Scott Geffre.  He fixed my pinched adductor and got me on a saddle that I love and just in general contributed to the overall happiness of my 2012 crotch.  At the end of last season, a couple of tweaks popped up but since I was done being in aero for three months, I instead focused on my Oreo-eating and put my bicycle worries away.  
However, now it's March and time to start remembering how to get into aero without dumping into a ditch, which means it was time to get my fit checked up on.  I made an appointment with Scott and only tried to reschedule eight times was ten minutes late thanks to traffic we got down to it.  Here's the before:
And here's a picture of Scott on his own bicycle for no reason at all, because he's got it going ON.
All of the issues I had been having were relatively minor.  My shoes were squashing my toes on the foot that has the bunion and making my fifth metatarsal feel scrunched after about an hour on the bike.  My lower traps were getting pissed when I spent uninterrupted time in aero.  My fussy SI joint was popping out every time I rode.  I spent the few days before the fit hunting down several different pairs of shoes to try, because I knew that my shiny red slippers from last year were definitely getting the boot (HA HA....ha.).  
Scott, of course, was able to throw a dart in my hips and pin down the single thing that was making everything twitchy and weird.  He moved my cleats over to a new pair of shoes (the winners?  Specialized Tri Vent), moved my seat forward and up a centimeter, and suddenly I'm in a whole new world of comfort (yes, I am completely incapable of getting my picture taken on the bike without making a weird face).
I went out yesterday at lunch for a spin and can tell that these tiny tweaks have made a huge difference.  They was much less wiggling around on the seat, back and forth, and while I only spent a few minutes here and there down in aero, my back feels opened up and more relaxed and I'm ready for the many many MANY hours of cycling that are in my very near future.
I feel like this post turned a bit into a commercial, which I hate, but I don't often talk about this stuff so hopefully the ass pictures distracted you from getting too cranky.  I feel strongly about the people in my life who make it happier and support me despite the fact that I will never actually run an 18:07 5K and all I do is post pictures of my ass and/or myself looking like an idiot on the internet wearing their brand.   So with that, I'm saying thanks.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Lucky Lousiville 5K: race report

A lot of people think the 10K is the worst race distance.  I used to agree, but that was before I had to properly race a 5K.  It hurts, a lot, and it doesn't stop hurting and it goes on forever and when you're done you have to go run ten more miles or get on the bike for three hours because, um, you only ran three miles.
Rude.

I hadn't even planned to run a 5K when my schedule was written, and because it's only a 5K, it just got kind of... wedged into the weekend.  My sister was coming into town to visit and we decided that it would be fun to do a St. Patrick's Day themed race, and since the 5K is the shortest one we picked that.  By Thursday night I was deep in a grumpy tired hole of training and regretting the minute I emailed Sonja to ask about "the hurting thing" and had no idea how I was going to try and run miles that started with a 7 when it made me exhausted to run miles that started with a 9 in my long run earlier that day.

Fortunately the race didn't start until 10am, so I slept in and we took our time moseying over to the race.  It was extremely low key.  There was no course map on the website and it wasn't going to be chip-timed, so when I picked up my packet I made sure to ask if it was a certified course.  I was more concerned that it was going to be long than short (this is called foreshadowing) but all the people working packet pick-up reassured me that it was carefully measured and marked.
I did my warm-up on the course, noting that it was relatively flat and on dirt except for the first/last half mile, then climbed back in the car to put my armwarmers on and take them off over and over until it was time to line up.  
There was a girl at the starting line wearing tri shorts and Newtons (Hi!  ....Hannah??) so I chatted with her a bit while we waited to get started.  The announcer said something about a unicorn (?) and then had us all count down from 10 and we were off.

My race plan, if you could call it that, was to not sploodge my juice in the first mile but save a bit for the last two, and to just see how badly I could fucking hurt myself, no matter what the clock said.  The first mile felt brisk but not actually hard, if that makes sense, which I am sure it does not.  I counted five women ahead of me from the start and decided that I didn't want to get passed by any more.  I glanced down a few times in the first mile only to note that my lap pace was starting with a 7, and otherwise ignored it.  The first mile beeped somewhere on the trail and then, all too soon, we were turning around to head back.  This made me pretty cranky, because when a turn-around is early, it usually means you run past the finish line and around the block a few times before actually crossing the line.  (More foreshadowing).

The second mile had the teeny-tiniest incline in it near the end, but in a 5K that feels like a mountain and that's when it started to hurt a bit.  I heard my watch beep for the second mile and thought to myself, "Okay, worst-case scenario, you have ten more minutes of running."  I passed a few people in here and a guy dressed as a leprachaun pushing a stroller passed me, but I really just remember gritting my teeth and trying to tighten up my form and all too soon, I hear my start-line-friend yelling, "the course is short!" and then, suddenly, I crossed the finish line.
As much fun as it is for a course to be short so the suffering ends, I'm actually really disappointed.  I felt like I was still holding back a bit and was waiting for the last half-mile to really dig into the hurt, and I didn't get the chance to do that.  (Discussion and Garmin-comparing at the finish line had it roughly a half-mile short, if not a bit more).  There was no making friends with the pain, there was no having a cup of tea with suffering, I wasn't even making animal sounds yet, it was just fast and over.  (I have no idea why there are so many stupid flexing photos recently, maybe they have replaced ass shots).
The guy with the clipboard doing the results let me know that I was the fourth woman over the line, but someone forgot to turn the clock on (that was sitting at the finish line) so there aren't any times or anything official.  Which is fine, because having a piece of the internet somewhere saying that I ran an 18:07 5K would haunt me until I could actually do it, which is likely to be never ever ever.
So project go find the pain got derailed a bit, but it's still pretty high up on the list of stuff I want to be working on.  I was more anxious about running this distance than when I stood at the start line for IMCdA last summer, and that tells me I need to be doing it more.  And the fact that this didn't even hurt all that much tells me that like most fears, the thing that I'm afraid of is rather ridiculous.  Which I'm pretty sure is exactly how life works.

Monday, March 11, 2013

it is our light, not our darkness

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

I bought a hot pink jacket on eBay last week.

I've been selling stuff on eBay recently, just cleaning out a bit and trying to round up some extra cash, but it's a slippery slope from selling to buying.  And of course I just happened to see a jacket, in exactly my size, that I didn't need in the slightest.  Hot pink, purple stripes inside.  Instant lust.

I almost didn't buy it, you see, because I have a lot of guilt about buying stuff I don't need, still, and also because I'm 32 years old.  I'm not a sticky three-year-old, I don't need a hot pink jacket with purple stripey insides.  I need vegetables and oil changes and that little metal thing that holds the water heater to the wall, and even when I have all of those things, I need to squirrel away every dime I can scratch together.  

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

I need to be able to protect my family.  I failed at this, before.  Everything I had done to prepare for the worst, everything I had saved, it wasn't enough.  

It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

Until everything happened with Graham, me and my quirky little blog mostly flew under the radar.  I'm not a full-time lifestyle blogger, I'm not a professional triathlete breathlessly reporting victory after victory, I'm just a runner who happened to get injured and decide to start yapping about it while cooped up in bed after shoulder surgery with a full battery on my laptop.  That's it.  That's what I will tell you when you ask me about this space on the internet that I've spray-painted purple and hung up pictures of my dogs, that is all the credit I ever give myself.  I am the blogging equivalent of someone telling me that they liked my pants, and instead of saying, "thank you," I say, "these old things?  I'm so fat, they look horrible, don't even mention my thighs, I can't believe I'm even out in public dressed like the marshmallow man that crushed New York."

We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?

I would tell you then - I would still tell you now - I am not brilliant.  Gorgeous.  Talented.  Fabulous.  I am regular, less than regular, even, a nothing-special girl.

Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.

The snarky self-deprecation worked for a while, the swipes at my own mediocrity got me by.  And then Graham got sick.  I was overwhelmed by the graciousness of the human spirit, I will probably never stop bringing it up, only now is the weather starting to change because of the wings that flapped last summer.  But the flip side is that situation dragged me out from under my rock and pinned me to the wall, naked, an apple on my head and a bulls-eye taped square over the softest part of my heart.

Your playing small does not serve the world. 

I have been playing, small.  I own this, I am not a victim, I am in charge of my own actions and reactions.  Everything that has been said is no worse than the ugliest and angriest things that I have ever thought about myself.  I have spent months trying to make myself very, very tiny, hoping that I could crawl back behind the bushes where I wouldn't be noticed.  And when I couldn't, I only sucked in more, got quieter, curled up in a ball in a dark corner and held my breath.  

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. 

I let myself believe, I turned cruelty into truth.  It's seeped into every thought I have about myself.  Friday morning, when I was done warming up at master's and still alone in my lane, instead of just thinking, "Wow, everyone sure is running late this morning," I beat myself up with thoughts of "No one wants to swim with you because you are wearing ear plugs.  A ridiculous bathing suit.  Because you are too slow, because you can't keep up, because you won't make the intervals, because you just aren't fun to be around."  It didn't even occur to me how awful I was treating myself.  The same thing happens, in my brain, if someone bails on plans I thought we had.  It can't be because my friend is an idiot or a flake, it has to be because I'm not worthy of friendship.  If a group rolls out to ride without me and I had no idea it was going on, it must be because everyone tip-toed around to leave without me, not because boys are generally too dumb to understand the concept of "invite."  It's a lot of what was behind my running meltdown from a few weeks ago.  It's why I've barely been blogging, I'm been so afraid to put any thoughts out there just in case someone feels the need, yet again, to knock me on my ass.  Because I have nothing to say that I think is worthwhile.  I've been shrinking.  

We are all meant to shine, as children do. 

And I'm not sure why it's today, but that stops.  Now.  That bullshit is over.  I am meant to shine.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. 

I have spent so much time making sure that I point out my imperfections to the world.  I constantly feel the need to emphasize over and over that I know how flawed I am.  I am short.  I am never going to be the fastest in the water, on the bike, or in the run shoes.  NEVER.  I am awkward.  I have no filter at all.  I can never seem to buy jeans that are the right length and don't let my crack hang out the back and are exactly the right color.  I don't make small mistakes, I make enormous, embarrassing, eeks-face mistakes.  I can dead-lift my own body weight but continue to horrify centuries of women by asking men to pick up the heavy things for me so I don't break a nail.  I will always put two spaces after a sentence.  I have big hips and mismatched feet and I massively over-share and can't ever just send only one text message and let's not even talk about what happens when I drink too much and, my God, have you met me?  So awkward.

It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. 

But I am also pretty fucking fabulous.  I'm going to own that.  I'm saying, out loud, here in writing, that I am awesome.  And even writing it - even thinking it - makes me want to follow it immediately with a slam, makes me want to qualify it with a negative.  Not gonna do it.  I have gigantic blue eyes and a fantastic ass.  You can park your bike in it, I'm still proud.  And I am loud.  Not just noisy or bubbly but straight-up loud.  I am passionate; madly, deeply, explosively so.  I can quote every line of Ghostbusters, Office Space, Caddyshack, and Spaceballs.  I rock the hell out of a karaoke microphone.  You will never have as much fun riding your bike as you will with me sucking off your wheel.  You will never eat as well as when I drag you into my house and force-feed you things that I have cooked.  I am completely uncoordinated but shake my groove thang and dance it out anyway.  I have an overwhelming sense of fairness.  I HAVE NO FILTER AT ALL.  My Unreal Tournament skill level was "Godlike."  There are things that I do that I am GOOD at.  I am a good coach, I am a good wife, I would never steal paper from the work office closet.  I am fiercely loyal once I have decided that you are my friend, although I will give you so much shit that you won't be sure for a while if you have enough ego to be mine.  

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

And I want to be a better person.  I am working towards it, I am only 32 years old.  Best-case scenario, I've got 70 more years of putting my foot in my mouth and winking at strangers and tripping on invisible shoelaces and doing all the things that I do that make me human.  Not a failure, not worthless, not inadequate, not small.  Human.  I am 32 years old, I am going to sing at the top of my lungs, I am going to ruin cookies by not measuring any ingredients and I am going to wear the fuck out of that hot pink jacket.  

-Marianne Williamson

Saturday, March 2, 2013

oh the places you'll go

I feel the desire to yap about my life, even if no one really cares but me.  The heart and soul of blogging, indeed.
I went to California, did I mention that?
It was a while ago now, for vaguely workish reasons, and for some coachish reasons, and also to do mile repeats at sea level (THE AIR IS SO BIG)(nope, still not adjusted) with Katie my soul sister who runs almost exactly twice as fast as I do and can drink twice as much tequila as I can.  But now that I know this pool exists, I'm already planning a return visit.  
I'm not sure when I became such a whore for steamy outdoor swimming pools, but it got me from DC all the way to Boulder, and if I had know about the one in Santa Monica, well, we might have just kept on driving.  I guess I'll just have to keep watching the sun rise from this one here, instead.
I know I mentioned at some point that I finally found a tiny scoop of MTFU and went to masters.  I'm having a good time, I've met some groovy people that call me wonder woman (because of my supergirl suit, not because of my prowess in the water, obviously) and don't make me lead the lane all that often.  It might be making me faster, I don't really know because I barely look at the clock especially when I'm not in charge of when we leave, but it gets my ass out of bed at 5:00am twice a week and I laugh.  A lot.  
At some point my parents came to visit.  
I think they had actually purchased plane tickets to come out here before we even had a house to live in, but it was a blast having them here for a while (I think we're pretending to ski but I honestly have no idea what is going on)(where did you THINK I got it from?).
We did a little hiking and a little driving (and a LOT of eating).  At some point I realized that the twisty steep road that my dad was driving up, so quickly that we all wanted to barf, was the ride that the work people did fairly regularly.  On their bicycles.  And it only took another month before I managed to drag my mismatched neon spandex-clad bicycle backside up that same climb.  I don't think I cussed at the hill even one time.  (For the record, I am wearing a matching kit under my many obnoxious layers).
The first few outdoor rides after a lot of trainer time are always a wild overstimulating circus of remembering how to balance and steer and that you can't stop pedaling to change the channel without falling over.  Also, climbing a mountain when it's 42º out is no big deal, but descending several miles requires a full-length down jacket and a personal radiator mounted on the handlebars, neither of which I had in my bento box.  But my toes eventually turned pink again, and now that we've had a single cloudy day we can go back to the endless brilliance of perfect sunshine for a while.
My lovely longish run from the other day happened in that kind of weather.
I actually have no idea how far I ran that day, but I went and found an unplowed trail and spent over an hour stomping through mud and calf-deep snow and singing Sugarland and Train and Fun songs at the absolute top of my lungs.  (To scare off coyotes, no?)
Amy came to visit.  We working on convincing her to transplant out here as well.  I don't think it will be hard.  I don't miss much about DC, but I miss my girlfriends a hell of a lot.  (HINT TO THE REST: COME VISIT K THANKS).
A few months have gone by, already, in 2013, in case you haven't looked at a calendar for a while.  As of a few days ago, we've been in our house two months.
Life is starting to make sense again.  
Austin was the only thing I had planned - like really planned, buying plane tickets and all - thing being race-related event - other than IMLP - great grief that's a lot of hyphens, maybe I should fix them - out for this year.  I made a big map back in November with Sonja about all the races I wanted to do this year, and now I've changed my mind.  And it's okay that I've changed my mind (thank goodness I didn't register for any)(yes, I wear a lot of pink and this hoodie in particular almost every day, who cares).  
The poet wants to run the Chicago Marathon, it's his dream, so that's going to happen and he managed to register in the midst of the everyone-losing-their-goddamn-mind madness.  We're going back to visit family in upstate NY in a few months and maybe do a little running while we're there.  I've planned out a couple of training weekends that I am really excited about, more because of the people I'm going to spend time with and the places I will go and visit on my bicycle and the fun I will have and less because of the OMG how fast I will run at what HR and how far and how many calories and JUST NEVER MIND ALREADY.  And people are stacking up our weekends with visits here.  Which I love, and not just because we spend our time in the historical institutions of Colorado.
I don't know that I want a theme, or a word or a thought or a mantra or anything for this year.  I've been thinking about getting a second tattoo for several months now but that's a story for another day, and has really nothing to do with any of this except it involves words.  I said at the beginning of the year that I needed to find my happy life again.  I have good days and bad days, like anyone I have ups and downs.  I think that I thought (follow that?) for a while that my life needed to be solemn and thoughtful, like everything needed to matter and I needed to stop being so ridiculous all the time.  But now, today, I just want to laugh.  I want to stamp a big, red, drippy "WHY SO SERIOUS?" stamp on the face of that Katie.  It doesn't mean I want to be irresponsible, it doesn't mean I don't want to get shit done, but for pete's sake it doesn't need to be nuclear physics with a frowny face on either.  So I think I'm figuring it out, I think I'm headed in the right direction, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to be just fine.