Another Year Older & A Trip Around the Sun

I made it another year.  Go me!

I’m two years into my forties. I’m training a woman at work that is old enough to be considered a woman and also old enough to be my daughter. It. Is. So. Weird.  I am technically old enough to be someone’s grandmother without other people doing the math in their head.  I nearly gave a “Thank you” card to someone who claimed that they thought I was still in my twenties.  They were probably kissing my ass, but what a nice thing to say!

The title of this post comes from one of my favorite Jimmy Buffet songs, in collaboration with Martina McBride  “Trip Around the Sun”. The song is a birthday themed ballad where two people contemplate another year gone by as they remember their failed resolutions while wondering if they made the right choices in their lives.  They finally realize that the world will keep on spinning no matter what they do.  They decide to discard the yearly resolutions except for one final one “That I’ll never make another one. Just enjoy this ride on my trip around the sun.”

This is where I finally am. I let it all go.  I have finally come to the conclusion that nothing is in control and that I am doing everything right even when I feel like I’m not. There are things that are just out of my hands.

Do things bother me? Sure. The difference now is that I have learned to let go of a lot of the people, emotions and problems that were stifling me.  There is no reason to mull over or rehash anything that I can’t do anything about or is in the past.

Breathe in, breathe out.

I celebrated the day by traveling to Chicago. I attended a presentation, at the House of Blues, for the podcast of Making A Murderer.  It was a conversation involving Laura Nirider and Steven Drizen about their involvement in the Netflix Documentary while representing Brendan Dassey. The pair are Dassey’s post conviction defense attorneys.  This was a neat experience and I will write about it in a future blog entry.  If you aren’t familiar with Nirider and Drizen, you can read an article about them by clicking here.

We then went to a Chicago Wolves hockey game at the Allstate Arena.  The Wolves played the San Antonio Rampage. The Wolves lost but it was a great game! i enjoyed seats next to the bench and the most entertaining fans ( they couldn’t have been older than 4 years old ) in front of me. It was a great time.

Afterwards, we went home and I was surprised with a birthday cake and knowledge that I was seeing my favorite rock band, Tesla,  in concert at the House Of Blues in February.  I am really looking forward to that!

It was a great birthday full of fun, surprises and happiness.  It has been a few days since my birthday but I am still thinking about how fast time flies and it’s hard to believe that I am this old. I can’t help but contradict myself about life and if I’m making the right decisions or if I’ve spent my time wisely.

I know in all reality, there’s nothing to do but enjoy this ride on my trip around the sun..

Until it’s done..

 

 

Chicago Police Memorial Foundation Run To Remember 2017

On the morning of May 6, 2017, I traveled to Chicago to participate in the 13th annual Chicago Police Memorial Foundation Run To Remember 5k and walk.  The Run To Remember is a 5K USATF certified chip-timed 5K Run combined with a noncompetitive 5K walk sponsored by the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation. The event also features a junior jog, and a family friendly after party with children’s activities. You can participate as a team or as an individual.

This was my fifth year participating.

The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation provides assistance to the families of police officers that have been killed in the line of duty and also for the officers who have been catastrophically injured in the line of duty.  They have also assisted in the purchase of ballistic vests for officers and aid the families of officers with seriously ill children.  They have been able to offer over 8 million dollars in assistance.

You can learn more about that HERE

The event starts at the Gold Families Memorial Park that is located next to Soldier Field. Soldier Field is home to the Chicago Bears. The event goes from the park along Lakeshore Dr. and then circles around along the shore of Lake Michigan. You pass by the Shedd Aquarium and also the Field Museum of Natural History.  During the last stretch of the race you pass by photographs of some of the fallen officers. It gives me goose bumps every single time. I am honored to be a part of this.

The race ends near the memorial wall in the Gold Star Families Memorial and Park.  Participants gather for a few hours to enjoy new friendships and refreshments at the after party. It’s a lot of fun and such a worth cause.

The 2018 event takes place on Saturday, May 5.  Rain or shine.  You can find more information about how to participate or volunteer for the the Run To Remember HERE

Want to help the foundation but you’re not really into running or walking? Check out their website HERE for more information about other events or opportunities that may fit your interests. Or just consider making a donation.

Chicago Police Memorial Foundation Run To Remember 2016

On the morning of April 30, 2016,  I traveled to the city of Chicago to participate in the 12th annual Chicago Police Memorial Foundation Run To Remember 5K & walk. This was my fourth year participating in the event.

The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation provides assistance to the families of police officers that have been killed in the line of duty and also for the officers who have been catastrophically injured in the line of duty.  They have also assisted in the purchase of ballistic vests for officers and aid the families of officers with seriously ill children.  They have been able to offer over 7.4 million dollars in assistance.  I am delighted to be a part of this every year.

You can learn more about that here.

The event starts at the Gold Families Memorial Park that is located next to Soldier Field. Soldier Field is home to the Chicago Bears. The event goes from the park along Lakeshore Dr. and then circles around along the shore of Lake Michigan. You pass by the Shedd Aquarium and also the Field Museum of Natural History.  During the last stretch of the race you pass by photographs of some of the fallen officers. It gives me goose bumps every single time. I am honored to be a part of this.

The race ends near the memorial wall in the Gold Star Families Memorial and Park.  Participants gather for a few hours to enjoy new friendships and refreshments at the after party. It’s a lot of fun and such a worth cause.

The goal for this year was $175,000 with $190,834.92 raised!!

The Annual Run to Remember is a 5K USATF certified chip-timed 5K Run combined with a noncompetitive 5K walk sponsored by the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation. The event also features a junior jog, and a family friendly after party with children’s activities. You can participate as a team or as an individual.

You can find out more on the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation’s website http://www.cpdmemorial.org/

The event next year is on May 6, 2017.  Save the date!

 

My Personal Shenanigans

I realized a long time ago how utterly ridiculous I can be with myself. While it’s true what they say about people being their own worst enemy, no matter how many times I’ve gone up against myself, I’ve learned nothing.

What’s bugging me the most about my own quirkiness is how I  know that I don’t have enough time to get my own business handled and I don’t have the time to be doing extra things for other people.  I also don’t have the cash to go along with it. Not saying no or my willingness to volunteer for things also sets me up for people to expect me to do things.

I have two examples of how I have let myself down as far as personal space and setting boundaries.  Take a moment to stretch your eyes for the rolling that they’re about to do.  These are perfect examples of how I have no one to blame but myself for being so far behind.

For the past four years, I have participated in the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation’s Run To Remember 5k.  This is a charity event that benefits not only the families of fallen Chicago Police Officers, but also those who have been catastrophically injured in the line of duty.

This is a great cause and I am delighted that I discovered this and that I live close enough to participate.  Interested?  You can check out the foundation at http://www.cpdmemorial.org/ for more information.

In the past, a friend and I have traveled up to Chicago to pick up our race packets (event t-shirt and bib with your number on it) together. We both live outside of the city so it’s just easier to car pool and we’ve picked up other participants race packets for them.  Knowing this was going to be a huge feat for me to accomplish, I volunteered to pick up people’s stuff for them again after I encouraged people to sign up for the event.

I had to go it alone this year because my friend had to work. I  also had to jump through hoops to make this happen. I ended up getting temporarily mandated to work on Friday morning when I was originally planning to go. I had to do a time exchange with a co worker for two hours. I came in early for her, on my day off, and she stayed late for me on Thursday. Then I didn’t have to work early on Friday. Go figure.

I needed that extra two hours. I got up to Chicago and my GPS decided that it wasn’t going to work. I tried two different apps on my iPhone and nothing. I determined that there was so much construction going on that it was confused and honestly didn’t know where to send me.

I was running out of time to be handling this. It was noon. I had to be to work by 4pm and I had a 2.5 hour drive back home. I was starting to get worried on top of my annoyance. I seriously didn’t have time to figure it out. The frustrating part was knowing that I was close to where I needed to be.

After an hour of putting forth an honest effort I decided to park in the garage at Navy Pier and take a cab to the training academy, where people were gathering to pick up their stuff. I figured if anyone could get me there it was a city of Chicago cab driver.

I hailed a cab and about fifteen minutes later I was on Jackson Blvd to get our stuff and back in the cab to take me back to Navy Pier to get my car and head back out of the city to go home. I was furious with myself for not being well prepared. Normally, I print out my directions and have an atlas in my car.

This adventure cost me approximately $60 between the cab and the parking garage. This doesn’t include the cost of gas to drive up there and back. I had to rearrange my time significantly and it stressed me the heck out. By the time I dropped off race packets I was ready to murder somebody and I was hungry. I made it back to town with about twenty minutes to spare.

Of course I never expected anyone to say thanks for even offer me gas money. At least I got it handled even if it cost me time and money and was probably the closest I’ve come to having a stroke recently.

My next example of foolishness occurred today.

A co-worker has for me to do a time exchange for them today for four hours. I work for them tomorrow. I got off at 6pm. Guess what I did? I volunteered to go to this same co-workers house to mow their lawn for them because their own mower is broken and the grass was so tall that they were in danger of being ticketed by the city.

I really need to know my own yard. I have to work long shifts the next two days and it’s supposed to rain. I would have preferred to  have gone to the gym and then picked up my son early and spent some time at home. I love being home in the evening. Nope. Not this lady. I went home and loaded up my mower so I could drive clear across town to mow down the jungle.

I also refused to accept payment for my services. Or accept money for gas.

I’m always happy to help and she really needed the help. However, I could have done this another time when it wasn’t interfering with the things that needed attention.  I also should have accepted the money she tried to give me.

Seriously, I could’ve put it towards that Thursday morning Chicago debacle.

 

Happy Belated St. Patrick’s Day And Other Stuff

Happy Belated St. Patrick's Day

Happy Belated St. Patrick’s Day

I love St Patrick’s Day, but unfortunately, depending on what day of the week it falls, you may be celebrating a week before the actual holiday. That’s what happened this year. The holiday was on Thursday, March 17th. Most cities celebrated the weekend before. On the actual day, it almost felt as if the holiday had already past. I guess technically it had.  The rivers had already been dyed green and all of the cool pub crawls, parades and other festivities had already been done.

On St. Patrick’s Day, I went up to Chicago to enjoy the city for a couple of hours. I was attending a performance of the Blue Man Group at the Briar Street Theatre later in the evening. The initial plan after my arrival was to visit the Shedd Aquarium. It had been awhile since my last visit. The place is really big and it can literally take all day to get through all of it.

When we got there, the line was all the way out to the street. We stood in that line for almost an hour. When we were finally allowed to have access to the building to buy the tickets, the line for that was probably also an hour long.

You know the line is long when you measure it in hours.

I checked the time on my phone and saw that the aquarium closed in three hours and that there wasn’t enough time to get in and then to be able to see even half of it.  Tickets are fairly pricey at around $50.00 just to only see a very small portion.  So, we decided to go and do something else.

I ended up at the Willis Tower ( formerly the Sears Tower ) to go up to the Sky Deck. The day was gorgeous and the skies were blue and clear. This means that the view from the top of the building would be phenomenal.

I stood in that line for almost three hours. Ugh.  I also kept watching the time because I had to be at the Briar Street Theatre by 8pm. When it was getting close to 5:30 pm and I was about to pass out from the heat and hunger, I started to get worried that we would be late.

We all stood in line to go up to the Sky Deck so we could walk around for less than 15 minutes, snap some photo’s and then get into another line to get on the elevator to go back down.  Time well spent. *hard eye roll*

It was still fun though. Had a blast that day. One of my taxi drivers was simply hilarious. I had the best burger I’ve eaten recently at  Clark Street Dog. This place is amazing. If you’re in the area, be sure to stop in for a bite to eat.

This was the second time I have seen the Blue Man Group perform at the Briar Street Theatre and as expected, they were awesome. The show is so much fun! I recommend seeing a performance if you get the chance. Check out their website at blueman.com

I couldn’t have asked for a better day. The weather was perfect. I snapped a few photo’s and placed them in the gallery below, I hope that you will check them out.