Half Complete


This past weekend, in 60 hours, I drove 16 so that I could run for 2.

I completed my first 13.1-mile race.

I’m still processing that. I’ve worked towards this goal for over a year and finally realized it.

And like much that is going on in my life right now, the people who supposedly love and know me best don’t seem to appreciate how much it means to me.

Yes, I got some very nice kudos on FB which mean a lot to me (thank you friends). Yet, despite talking about the race for weeks (the distance, my disappointment at missing my intended race two weeks ago and switching to this one, working up my endurance, carboloading, etc.), I had this quite telling conversation:

“Congrats on your race… yeah… I didn’t realize it was a half-marathon.”
<choke back flippant retort>
Me: “Thanks. Yeah. 13.1 miles.”
“Was it hard?”
“Does it make you consider running a full marathon?”
“No.” <bite tongue hard> “I really don’t have the time or inclination right now to train for that distance.”

Here is my big accomplishment — a year in the making — and I am: Stung. Hurt. Devalued. Insulted.

There are two takeaways:

1. A “Half-Marathon” needs a new name. It is 13.1 miles of running. It is fully, completely, absolutely hard.

Somewhat prepared for this by the questions by friends, relatives and relative strangers alike over the last months of training I decided to do something about that.

I give you: tredecem.

I’ll be writing more on this but you heard it here first folks.

2. Your goals are profoundly personal. Only you can fully appreciate them. So do just that.

Call it what you will, I finished something really challenging for me.


I had 457 miles of back roads, fall leaves, cotton fields and the most beautiful sunset I have seen in quite a while to think about that… and I’m still internalizing and trying to fully appreciate what it means to me.

I am committing to belly-button-gazing on that a while longer because it is a much better use of time and energy then my usual constant internal barrage of “should” and “need to” dos. (I wish I had been faster, less droopy in miles 10 and 11, beat my goal-goal time and not just my goal time, finished stronger…etc.) I’m wishing away my achievement and all the while I’m doing myself an incredible injustice.

There are enough people who will try, unintentionally or not, to undervalue and depreciate your successes. You and I shouldn’t do it to ourselves.

When you accomplish something important, don’t give anyone the power to lessen it, cheapen it, or try to take it away. “Anyone” includes you.

Remember one thing: I completed what I set out to do.

I’m still working on this. I’m trying to remind myself that I have control over how much or little I let the behavior of others effect me. I’m trying to fully honor my accomplishments.

As a step in that ongoing process: without apology, qualification, deprecation or (much) embarrassment I say: I finished my first tredecem.

FirstTredecemIt was difficult and I did it.

Yay me.




What are you proud of completing? Affirm it for yourself here (and let me give you some kudos too). It can be recent or just something that you’d like to remember in this space to self-congratulate. You deserve it.



I wanted this.

I worked for it.

I achieved it.

Simple right?

Last Friday I was offered an internship as the librarian for my University’s Study Center in Florence. As in Italy.

After quite literally falling on the floor when I got the email I thought about it for oh about 20 seconds… Um they are supporting me living a year in effing Tuscany? Not only a “hell yeah” I think this qualifies as a hell-damn-your-sweet-skippy-arse YES!

I penned my (more eloquent) “yes” with great, wild, crazy, joy and trembling hands… before they could change their minds. Then I was literally running around chasing my niece and smiling like an idiot in laughing, gleeful, abandon.

Relief. Release. Disbelief.   

I don’t know how many times I can express pure dumbfoundedness at where my life is and where it is going without sounding completely rudderless. I promise I’m in control. I might not plan things through A-B-C but I worked for this with intention and purpose.

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I like beer… an intro to Tales from My Local

I love the idea of having a pub. My “local.”

A casual, comfortable, decent-brew serving place where maybe even a few people, yes, know your name.

The German tradition. The Irish tradition. Where people gather, drink (but not to too excess) and enjoy each other.

Just so we are clear: I’m not a girl who just likes boys who like beer…

I like beer.

Terrapin Side Project #14: Tomfoolery Fall 2011.

I like boys too but that it is a different blog post.

I can tell countless stories of the Ex ordering a gin and tonic, me a stout, and 9 times out of 10 they would be delivered reversed. Even by the waitress that took our orders.

I wish it wasn’t so very eye-brow raising for a gal (me) to say “I was down at the pub the other night taking to this guy…” Which maybe I do say a mite too often.

But my pint companion could be pushing 70 (usually is actually) or 50 or 21. He’s an interesting person to talk to. A kind face with a ready laugh through which I can see a different life and perspective for a while.

He could easily be a she. But I don’t find a whole lot of solo women in bars. Or, if I do, they often aren’t interested in just chatting with me.

So I talk to Dave the bartender down the street about his family back in Ireland while he sips a (no lie) bud and says that the Guinness over here tastes terrible.

I hear about a couple’s recent trip to Europe, their desire to escape the south even though it means leaving their chickens.

The environmentalist tells me about his agriculture research and his daughter’s love woes.

“Get Down” Brown and I share jibes and life advice in equal measure.

That is what I love about a local and beer: it is a communal experience. A pint is poured to be toasted and shared. Kinda like wine but (for me at least) not headache inducing.

My Local

In New York I had my place where I could sit and watch and taste and just be. Surrounded by people yet alone if I wanted. The game(s) would be on and I could read or talk or just take some time to think.

Comfortable and confident. Sipping something yummy.

I’m still searching for my local in Athens. I’ve found some good prospects including a fantastic coffeeshop that has some decent brews on tap regularly and Rasputin by the bottle where I camp out for the weekend to work. But I haven’t found the right place yet.

I’ll keep looking. I hope you find your place. A place. Be it coffeeshop, bar, or bench outside of a store.

A place to enjoy the scenery. Reflect. Laugh, smile or frown at things you see and hear. And, most importantly, to be able to chat with strangers who part as friends.

To me a good local — a good beer — means finding new friends whose names I might never know but whose stories I never forget.

This is all by way of introducing a new passing fancy: Tales from the Local Corner.

The @write_practice the other day was to write about your surroundings. I was sitting staring at my wall at the time and not inspired so instead of writing something fresh I found the first one in my notes and polished it up a bit. So here is the first in a series.

Bumbling through one blog post at a time…

That probably isn’t a very good tagline or article title. Cheeky and cute if attempting “ironical” but not so much if true.

Yet, I AM still learning. I’m not even close to a Michelangelo so my work looks/feels/is like the smash-spattering of a 2 year old fingerpainting.

This is of course, might not be a news flash to you my dear reader, but I want you to know that I know it. This is a new world for me and I’m putting my big-beer-drinking-girl-pants on to admit that I am fallible and way over my head here.

The only way out is through?

Apparently that quotation is about writing. Ha!

Finding my way

My way through has always been gathering information and figuring it out. A fair amount of what I’ve been reading these last weeks have been talking about theme: finding your voice, honing your message, creating your brand… Not to mention my Marketing class with endless circle-back to value proposition and mission.

Great. Here I jumped in before I solidly, completely grasped or even imagined the whole picture. Now what?

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