In a World Full of Maids, Choose to Be a MerMaid – A Running Update

I am a runner who loves FREE stuff so when I heard about a FREE race, I was all, “Where do I sign up?” When I heard that the race was a 24 hour relay hosted by the Mermaid Running Series (one of my favorite races when I was in San Jose, CA), I was even more excited! I am a night owl and now my nighttime wakefulness superpower can finally be put to good use!

Thank you to my friend and fellow MRTT/SRTT Chapter Leader, Katie for telling me about this run. Katie has run numerous Mermaid races out in CA. She also introduced me to the Taji 100. She doesn’t even have to “triple dog dare” me to get me to sign up for these awesome physical challenges. (Do you guys remember that TV show?)

I signed up for a slot after my friend, Kristi (who also completed the Taji 100 with me this past February). We’re going to run our miles “together”, meaning running separately in our own houses on our own treadmills while we video chat. I’ll be joining her for her “fin” (aka, leg) of the relay and she will be joining for my “fin”. We chose the 11:30-midnight, midnight-12:30 “fins” as we’ve never run “over two days” before! Haha! I’m so thankful for friends who are willing to join me on these crazy adventures!

I am also very appreciative of the 3rd hand treadmill we have at home. It is loud and it shakes if you run between 3.2-4.7 miles per hour. but it’s been keeping me moving during these days of shelter in place.

So, 1 hour of running at midnight…and maybe more, as they still need people for the slots between 12:30 AM – 6 AM EST….oh gosh, my brain is saying, “You’ll be awake anyway…” Should I sign up for another slot??

I’ll be back to give an update on this run! If you’re one of my readers who runs (especially if you’re international), please consider signing up and let me know if you do!

The relay starts at 8 AM PST (so 11 AM EST for me)…you can follow the race on their Facebook page and also check out other cool races they have including their FREE virtual on June 20th.

© 2020 iido

Gesundheit – A Kyoka

The empty bench sighed

Emergent greens cried

Spring’s promise implied

Whisper-soft steps hide

Tissues beside

image
Image credit- Pixabay– Majaranda
(For the visually challenged reader, the image shows a young girl standing next to an old sprawling tree in a park. There is an empty bench in front of her)

This is the first kyoka that I have written, in fact, I hadn’t heard of a kyoka until reading Frank’s Meet the Bar post on dVerse about 5 line Japanese poetry. Frank (not to be confused with this Frank Tassone), who is an expert in English-language, Japanese style poetry, writes that a kyoka like a tanka except the focus is on human nature. He also explains that in order to follow more closely, the Japanese linguistic unit called “mora”, that the syllable count should be between 20-24 and not 31. Challenge accepted!

Did I succeed in taking a lovely picture offered by Sadje’s What do you see Picture Prompt #30 and turning it into a satirical take on human nature? My allergies say, YES! Especially since I was also able to include Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #232 – Emergent into this piece. (I’m still on a streak and it was Patrick’s birthday last weekend!) Do I get bonus points for the unintentional rhyming? The kyoka doesn’t have that requirement but this poem seemed to think it was the “elbow nudge, nudge” it needed.

Spring is definitely here and summer is fast on her heels. School has ended for my kids so we are taking a break from academics and focusing on….nothing for now. This has been hard for me as it seems we “devolve” when we don’t have some sort of structure…however, my kids are not big fans of schedules or “being told what to do”. Of course, they’re not….they are big fans of video games, eating brownies for breakfast, eating breakfast food for any meal other than breakfast, talking to friends on the latest app for hours and seeing how many days can they not shower or brush their teeth before they’re able to smell themselves.

With shelter in place is still in effect, there no summer camps available, the play grounds are still off-limits and our usual summer activities (pool, museums, travel) are all still closed. I worry about how the next two months will go, as I don’t think being in front of electronic screens while eating sugar in all it’s forms is the best idea.

So, I’m giving them through the weekend, then, we’re going to start having suggestions for things to do during the day that needs to be done by a certain time.

A schedule by any other name…is still structure that is needed by children and welcome by mothers!

©️ 2020 iido

Flushed – A Quadrille and April Runfession #9

My face flushed from this furious run 

My eyes reddened by saline streaming south 

My tongue tastes salt from sweaty tears or tearful sweat 

My shoulders alternate between tensely touching my ears and depressingly drooping

Hamster wheel running provides the only approved escape route

img_4889

April is coming to an end. It’s been a month since the shelter in place order has been in effect in our area. That’s a month of not being able to physically be in school, get together with friends, go on a group run. That’s a month of virtual learning or cyber learning or distancing learning or not learning. That’s a month of missed birthdays, missed trips to the play ground, missed races.  April is coming to an end when it seems like it never even got started. 

Forgive me, Nike, for I have sinned….

Ma Irma

 

I runfess…I have not been “just doing it”. If you look at my mileage for March and April, it is quite pitiful compared to the strong start I had in January and February. I think I’ve been in “shock” even though everyone else in the family seems to have adjusted to the shelter in place order.  I was trying really hard to get the kids to do their school work, make home made healthy meals every day, stay on top of laundry and cleaning  – basically, being all “Little House on the Prairie” . I never saw Ma needing a run because she needed a break from Pa and Laura and Mary and Baby Carrie and the cooking and cleaning on the farmstead.

I runfess…I’m no Ma Ingalls! I need to workout to keep my sanity while doing all those other things. So, I’ve slowly been getting back into a regular running schedule. Since I’m not morning person, this has meant going to bed really, really, really late. By the time the kids are in bed, the dishes done, the house cleaned up and things prepped for the next day (plus logging onto WordPress and getting some writing in), I’m not heading down to the treadmill until around 11 PM.  I don’t think I’ve been able to get to bed before 1 AM the past few days!

(This picture on the right is from when I visited the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Walnut Grove, MN.  I loved watching Little House on the Prairie growing up so this was a highlight on our cross-country trip. But as you can see, frontier life is not for me! If the bonnet doesn’t fit….)

 

On the positive side though – I’ve reached 200 miles this year for the Run The Year Challenge! Realistically, I probably won’t be able to finish 2020 miles this year, but I’m going to see how many miles I can get in. Not having my SRTT/MRTT group to run with has been so hard…but seeing their posts about their sola runs have continued to be inspiring and motivating! IMG_5821

I runfess…I’ve been crying after my runs (the inspiration for my poem which was written for Mish at dVerse Quadrille #102 – Flush). I’ve been keeping it together during the day with the kids but these nightly runs and crying sessions have been very cathartic. It’s like the feeling I get after I’ve finished a particularly grueling race or run. This shelter in place has felt like running a marathon very day for the last 35 days…except my butt seems to be growing instead of shrinking….

Not a very upbeat or inspirational runfession for this month but an honest one – isn’t that what runfessions are for? Thanks for this forum, Marcia at Marcia’s Healthy Slice!

Until next time….I’m still writing and running and raising these kids the best I can…plus, my jeans do still fit….

 

© 2020 iido

Playtime – Four Connected Senryu

Being, Doing – BOING!

Keep up with life’s rhythmic bounce

Now the ball has dropped

 

Pushed and pulled now – PUFF!

In a cough, the order’s gone

Chaos! Tag, you’re it!

 

Now we sit, stay – RUFF!

Yet still, there’s a need to fetch

Wait for it – steady 

 

Being, staying, here

My eyes reflect what’s in yours

Let’s go build a fort

IMG_5689

I originally wrote this connected senryu just to get down some thoughts I’ve had this week. Serendipitously,  Laura at dVerse asked for poems about our relationship with “order” and with a few word changes, this poem fit right in.  I do like using a poetry form  – it helps me to not be too wordy and makes me focus on showing not telling (I hope you can see that in my poetry!).  I also do love order – not to be confused with a love of cleaning, though! I love the order of knowing what to expect, which is why I don’t love our current coronavirus situation.

The poem starts with this inspiration:

IMG_5660

Yes, that is a basketball and a foam tennis ball in the branches of a tree. I don’t know what the kids were doing outside but they swear it was not intentional…

The middle part (I’m pretty sure) came from my subconscious acceptance that my kids really, really, really want a dog  (yes, “Ruff” = “Rough” in the poem). They are doing everything in their power to show how responsible they will be if we got one (including daily vacuuming). My older daughter even made a powerpoint presentation about why we should get a dog.   My conscious answer is still, “We’ll see…” (meaning “no”) but the fact that a dog made it into a poem….

It ends with the first picture – my kids building with these large lego blocks and other materials (chairs, picnic blankets, boxes, bikes, cones). Obviously, this was a week where minimum school work was accomplished yet there was still lots of learning and problem solving opportunities.

I go back and forth between how much to enforce schoolwork and our daily schedule versus allowing the kids to do what they want. Some days (OK, most days), I am pretty strict with staying on schedule and making sure the kids are productive in an academic way. Prior to the coronavirus shut down, our lives were full with activities and things to do. We had a schedule, an order, a rhythm to our day and week that didn’t waver and was usually pretty consistent once it was set. (Yes, I have read the articles about how kids thrive in consistent environments.)  And I thought the kids liked doing all these activities.

I think they still do, but I think they also enjoy this slower pace of life that allows them the freedom to be more spontaneous with their time. Despite the inevitable chaos of having some days with less structure, having more time together to just be with each other to play, talk, connect – it really is a positive outcome of having to “shelter-in-place” to “flatten the curve” of this pandemic. Kids really don’t need all that much – well, besides a dog….

 

 

(c) 2020 iido

 

You Are Here – A Rhyming Poem

“Mama! Where are you?” 

My little boy cried

Standing by the toilet, 

At least he tried.

“I am here,” I say,

With mop in hand

Doing the job 

That I can’t stand.

“Honey! Where are you?” 

My love seeks me out

“I’m back from fishing 

With some huge trout!”

“I’m here,” I say, 

Fingers newly manicured

They’ll be chipped by dinner

That’s now ensured.

“Sweetie, where are you?” 

My mom’s on the line

“If you don’t call, 

How do I know you’re fine?”

“I’m here,” I sigh, 

On my errand drive.

Now, another stop, 

Will I be done by five?

“Oh, there, you are!”

My friend, from the school

Holding signs to fundraise

For the new pool

“I’m here,” I offer,

Accepting the task

I draw smiley faces,

That match my mask.

“I’m tired, I need rest,”

I hide in the shower

“Being there is so draining,”

My energy dips lower.

“I am here,” a voice whispers

“And you are here, too.

I can help you through this.

I’m here for you.”

I raise my eyes

To the Light from above

And feel myself

Wrapped up in His love

My strength renewed,

I cried without fear.

My heart knew the truth:

Alleluia! You are here!

IMG_5628

I’ve been missing the deadlines for Sadje’s “What Do You See?” picture prompts the past few weeks. Saturday was coming up so fast! But maybe that was because I was losing track of the days…

This week’s picture prompt for Sadje’s “What Do You See?” #24 is a photo with a neon sign that reads “You are here” against a blurred city background. It immediately made me think of the Catholic hymn, “Here I Am, Lord,” and one of my favorite stories from the Bible.

It also made me think of how often I am called every day – not by God (at least, I don’t think it’s Him, although, maybe it is…) but by my children, my hubby, my parents, my siblings, my friends, people who aren’t my friends.  Especially now, being home all day, every day – I can’t escape the “needs” (because “demands” seem too harsh) of the people and situations arounds me.  FYI – the hiding in the bathroom part of the poem is based on  a true story.

The hearing of God’s voice is also true, although not as dramatic. I haven’t actually heard His voice, but I have gone to mass (so much easier to do now that all it entails is just turning on the TV) and have come across several serendipitous articles that speak to God’s role as Compassionate Comforter.  With all the uncertainty and fear in the world, I have found myself turning to the One Constant in this world.  Indeed, nothing has changed with mass since I was child – the order of sitting, standing, kneeling is still the same; what the Priest says during the consecration is the same; the hymns are the same; that message of unconditional love is the same.

I know many people have rightful concerns and issues about the Catholic Church. I was even thinking of putting a trigger warning at the start of this post because I know some of my readers feel very strongly about the corruption in the Catholic Church especially with regards to the cover-up of child sexual abuse (please let me know if I should have).

And I agree – the part of the Church that is made by man is terribly flawed. But the spiritual part is not (at least in my opinion). The consistent message of hope and love is not.

And right now, it’s that message of hope and love, that is helping me through this shelter in place.

Happy Easter to my Christian readers! Chag Pesach Sameach to my Jewish readers!

 

(c) 2020 iido