Chin up, not optional

I had a bad morning yesterday. I'm allowed. We're all allowed. I just try to keep it to a minimum and not wallow in sorrow.

Yesterday was a wallowing sort of day. There may have been tears.

Somedays I have no words. Today I have a lot of them. Bear with me while I try to sort sense. (I just had to look this up. Is it bear or bare? If I had said bare, that would be an invitation to undress. So bear, ok?)

Today, or at least for several hours this morning, I am kid free. They are all sitting somewhere else doing something I don't know about.

Today is me time.

I started by getting my son up for school a little late. He slept in. And today is running club day. He is not a sporty child but this is the one thing he accepts being forced to do. He reminded me yesterday that today was the day. When I woke him up, he groaned. When I told him it was running club day, he jumped out of bed. This kid. Who knows?

He had to sign a sheet saying he would follow all the rules and write down a goal. Running club will meet twice a week for the next two months. Sixteen times.

He wrote down thirty miles.

Last year he ran no less, no more, than exactly one mile every time they met. Today he tells me he's going to do two. He needs to do two in order to earn a medal at the end.

I say "That sounds hard. You have to do twice as much as last year."

He says "Fifteen minutes a mile. I can do it."

We snuck up to school to watch the last few minutes. It took me a minute to spot him from my super secret hiding place across the street, but there he was. Plugging away. Two miles. No more, no less. I'm certain of it.

So I decided to run today too. I did three miles, but I'm not competing.

I took my phone so I've got good music. And you know how somedays it seems like the music is actually talking to you? Once I started really listening I heard it.

"Slow it down" by the Lumineers.

I feel her filth in my bones
Wash off my hands til it’s gone
The walls they’re closing in
With velvet curtains

Some love was made for the lights
Some kiss your cheek and goodnight
Lift up a red high heel
Lock up your doors with steel

They’re makin noise in my street
My blinds are drawn i can’t see
Smashed in my car window
Didn’t touch the stereo

Slow it down, Angie come back to bed
Rest your arms, and rest your legs

Act like you’ve been here before
Smile less and dress up some more
Tie up your scarf real tight
These boys are out for blood tonight

Slow it down, Angie come back to bed
Rest your arms, and rest your legs

And when she stood she stood tall
She’ll make a fool of you all
Don’t ask for cigarettes
She ain’t got nothin left for you

I never, she never, we never looked back
That wasn’t what we were good at
And when it came to love
We were not good enough

Slow it down, Angie come back to bed
Rest your arms, and rest your legs
Don’t you frown when you’re feelin like that
Only love can dig you out of this


I started listening at "She ain't got nothing left for you." But "only love can dig you out of this" spoke to me as well. And "slow it down" and "when she stood tall she stood tall."

And I kid you not, I looked down at my feet and I felt something pushing my chin up and keeping it there. This is where I'm going to muddle this up, I know. I looked down and every time I saw a cricket and it jumped at that second. And it felt like there was a strong wire holding my head up and making me not look down.

And I'm thinking, this is nuts.

This is symbolic.

I am going to write about this.

And then I look over and I shit you not, there is a freaking donkey statue in someone's yard practically yelling the word "Ass!" at me. Ha ha. You got me. I'm an ass.

I've been an ass the last week or so.

Slow it down.

When she stood tall she stood tall.

Two miles. Fifteen minutes a piece. Because of a plastic medal. Because you can.

You're an ass.

Chin up.

No, seriously.

Chin the fuck up, you ass.