Today is much better, thank you very much.
For many reasons, none of which are to be taken personally. Here goes:
* I have spent most of the day alone. Nothing recharges my batteries like some good old-fashioned solitude. Some people need noise, company, and conversation in order to feel energized. Not me; I need quiet, aloneness, and time to listen to the Spirit within. The sound of silence is glorious.
* I went on a very long walk/jog this morning. I have recently reconnected with interval training as a workout technique: walk for a while, jog for a while, sprint, jog, walk, in random order. On the last leg of my journey, there is a fairly steep incline just before I turn onto our road. Thanks to the torture imposed on me during several seasons of winter and spring track in college, I have been brainwashed into believing that I need to sprint up every hill I encounter. Heart racing, throat parched, appetite in overdrive, I jogged that last hundred yards home in triumph. Coach Farley would have been proud. An egg white omelet, a fresh peach, and a large glass of ice water was the perfect breakfast.
* Quick shower. Off to get the oil changed in the car. Across from me in the waiting room was the tallest man I've ever seen in person. I couldn't resist, so I asked; he is seven feet tall. I wish I'd stood up next to him to compare our heights. I asked if he plays for the Charlotte Bobcats; nope, he recently graduated from high school and is off to play hoops at the University of Florida, Miami-Dade. I wished him luck. Very polite young man.
* With the newly oiled and lubed car finely tuned, I drove to The Cheesecake Factory where I proceeded to have a glass of ice water, a cup of coffee, and a chucnk of Adam's Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake for lunch! That's right --> I had cheesecake as my noontime meal. When the waiter approached and began his rehearsed speech, I interrupted his description of the day's specials to inform him that all I needed was a cheesecake recommendation: Chocolate peanut butter cookie dough cheesecake, Snicker Bar chunk cheesecake or Adam's Peanut Butter Cup. With whipped cream, peanut butter cream frosting, and a chocolate cookie crust, that cake was the perfect antidote for what's been ailing me these past few days!
* I am proud to say that I turned a few heads in that restaurant when the only dish brought to my table was piled high with chocolate, peanut butter cups, sugar, whipped cream, and refined carbs of every sort! I smiled and nodded delightedly. I think I may do this once a month, or whenever life's trying to get the best of me. How many times have I read the email chain letter that says I should dance like nobody's watching, work like I don't need the money, and order dessert first because I never know which meal will be my last??? Well, today I did it; I ordered dessert first. I left that restaurant more satisfied than I ever imagined; I whispered to myself, "I did it. I did it." Three and a half hours later, I am still satiated. Yeah for me! Thank you ever so much, Leonie, for your "deep chocolate cake" wishes. You were the inspiration I needed.
If you think that having dessert instead of a meal isn't a big deal, I challenge you to do it sometime and then take your emotional temperature. Mine had dropped three or four degrees, easily.
* Steve is well on his way to full recovery after a difficult, time-consumptive weekend of taking care of his mother and admitting her to the hospital. I pray that she will be well enough to return to her home soon. I pray that he will have the patience and grace he needs to continue to be her guardian angel. I pray that his sisters will soon wake up to their responsibility to help care for their mother. Yup, he's doing all this alone - even though he has twin sisters who are five years older than he is! Boggles the mind, it truly does. There ought to be special honors paid to sons like Steve. I have attempted to thank him and praise his hard work as often as I think of it.
* Kristiana and Daniel are off to day camp at Discovery Place this week; it's the local children's science museum. From 9 am until 5 pm, they are participating in the Urban Explorers class in which they will explore museums, office buildings, a restaurant, Carolina Panther Stadium, and even a cemetery in the uptown Charlotte area. They are learning to use handheld GPS devices with compass coordinates, take digital photos of their discoveries, upload the images onto their Yahoo accounts, and they will put together a Power Point presentation for Friday. I love my children. I miss them when they are away. But I am THRILLED to have the break.
* Yes, today is much better, thank you very much. What on earth will I do with the rest of my week? Oh yeah - tomorrow I have a follow-up breast sonogram to keep an eye on a few cysts I can't seem to shake. Fun, fun, fun. Perhaps I should have saved my cheesecake treat until then. On Thursday however, I'll spend most of the day on a one-day reading/writing/study retreat with my dear friend Katie - which will more than make up for tomorrow's icky procedure. If I can't be alone, then hanging out with Katie is a fantastic alternative.
* Well, off I go to walk Maya - who seems to have recovered from the plum pit incident without incident. Then I'll bask in solitude for another hour and a half before Steve and the children get home.
Thanks to all of you who wrote to me, called me, and otherwise extended grace, love, and encouragement my way as I've gone through something of a rough patch this past week. Your presence in my life is invaluable.
PS. Congrats to Roger Federer for winning Wimbledon four times in a row!