Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Hashtag No Excuses

I had the funniest dream last night. I was driving in a car with Gandhi. Well, he was named Gandhi but I think he might have actually been the Dalai Lama. He was driving. It was a stick shift. He had a question and answer session, and I stayed quiet. After he was done, and there was silence for awhile, I said "Actually, I have a question." He (Dalai Lama-Gandhi) sighed, and shifted down. "Yes, what is it?" "I would like to know how a parent can teach loving-kindness to an angry, stressed out teenager," said I.

When I awoke this morning, I was hoping I had the answer to all parenting dilemmas and thus could write a bestselling novel, retire and run ultra marathons between practicing Beethoven piano sonatas. But this is what happened in my dream: He (DL-G) took me to a room with some other people. We laid a multi-colored rug on a table and did incantation over it. We coaxed smoky puffs of incense to the ceiling. That was his answer to my question.

It occurs to me that this means both nothing and everything: loss of control, ridiculous ceremony around impossible quests, and just a touch of smoke and mirrors. What sticks with me from this dream though was the affect of Gandhi-Dalai Lama. This guy was no-nonsense, and he drove a stick shift like he was James Dean. There was no struggle in his demeanor. And our questions were partially annoying to him.  He was old and not old.

Lately I have become enamored with Twitter. I am approximately 7 centuries behind, because when twitter first started I saw it much the same as I saw the internet when it first started to catch on. Mainly, with both, I said to myself, "What the heck is the point of this? And who will ever use it?" Which largely explains why I am not a multimillionaire living in Silicon Valley. Anyway, I like to post random things, ranging from the political to the satirical to the runs I take. I find myself especially inspired by stories of athletes who can be classified as geriatric. Maybe because I am spending a lot of time as a doctor to the elderly lately. And maybe because I see what exercise can do for them.

Take this guy, for example. He set the 200meter record for 95 year olds. #noexcuses

This particular story was sent to me by a friend who is about as inspiring as they come. She is not old, and in fact I am the elder compared to her, but she is strong, solid, smart, and dealing with what life has thrown her with grace and wisdom. Also humor. And what blows me away, is she takes time to support others. #noexcuses

So in full disclosure, I am not running as much as I would like these days. The reason is (here comes some excuses):
10-12 hour work days
dark mornings
I am bald and unamused
with whatever causes this baldness comes fatigue
I am unhappy with my (lack of) speed, and therefore am considering quitting running altogether

Now, if one of my children (bless their hearts) started on such a monologue of excuses, I would be saying "Hold on, I need to get something out of my pocket", at which point they would roll their eyes and sigh loudly and histrionically. Click here to see why.

I do not know why I am a slower runner than I used to be.

But does it matter? I forgot to ask Gandhi-Dalai Lama this question, but I am figuring his answer would've been just as *useful* as the rug-incantation-incense thing about my parenting question. I think what he might have meant, ultimately, was #noexcuses

It is good to show up when G-DL is driving and answering questions. It is good to show up when a strong and wise friend offers their love and support. It is good to show up when you are desperate for a run, even if your pace is not what it used to be.

Growing old is not for sissies.

Not that I am old. But I am feeling old these days. I am wondering, at times, what it all means.

And I am still trying to figure out why hashtags are a thing. They will forever be, to me, the sharp sign. As in musical notation. I have not been playing enough piano lately, but that is another story.

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