Thursday, February 4, 2010

Would you do it again?

I have had a year and a half of gut issues that probably originated when I lived in Nepal. The lack of diagnosis makes the invasive medical tests difficult medicine to swallow, but we know what the problem isn't. It isn't celiac, but if I avoid wheat I feel mostly normal. It isn't a giardia infection. I'm hoping it's not lactose or sugar replacements intolerance, but I'm humoring the GI doc and cutting them out for now, too.

This evening I was discussing said gut issues with my boyfriend who has been with me through the invasive diagnostics but didn't know me prior to January (yes, a little awkward to discuss one's bowels with a new partner, but now I know he's a keeper, right?) He commented that, though he admires the spirit with which I undertook my international volunteer work, he doesn't think he'd ever do such a thing given my and another friend's experience with gut issues after living abroad.

Then he asked if I'd do it again.

And I would, even knowing that I may come home with a completely different gut than when I left, which would preclude me eating staple foods - no pasta for a runner? Blasphemy! - participating in social events - no beer for me - and refreshing my breath after a meal of garlic - well, I am hoping to be able to chew gum again...

I try not to regret decisions I've made or experiences I've had, and this one is no different, even given how many changes I've had to make to my life as a result. If we are afforded experiences that change us forever for the good, then we have to also accept the experiences that change us forever for the bad.

Photos from the last (for now) Durango Snowdown Hash

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Thinking about blogging is not the same as actually writing a post

I have been *thinking* about blogging, but clearly have not been doing so. Rather than give a run-down of that which I want to blog about I'll just do it in the up coming weeks.

For the moment, I am going to continue to put off writing a post of substance because I am in the process of reflecting on 2009 and what's to come in 2010; I am using the questions found in this post. I encourage you to do the same.

Photo take at the Palm Springs airport at the conclusion of my visit to see my sister and nephews in November.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Rock Canyon Half

Ran the Rock Canyon half marathon yesterday. For this, my first half marathon, my goals were lofty; I a) wanted to finish and b) wanted to finish in less than 2:30:00. I achieved both of my goals although, by the end, I felt like I was shuffling more than running. Results here.

I got home at 2pm, about two hours after I left Pueblo, and immediately fell asleep on the couch until 5:45p. Then I went dancing. I think the dancing was a good recovery activity; not taxing, but still actively moving that lactic acid out of my muscles. I am sore this morning, but not nearly as sore as I had anticipated.

Now that I have proven to myself I can run 13.1 miles, look for additional race results, including the Colfax Marathon in May!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Saw Vox Feminista this evening with mostly Planned Parenthood folks I met while volunteering (which I no longer do because I have a full-time job that's a handful for the moment).

It's the second of their shows I've seen and, as it was last year, seeing the show is exhausting, but also energizing and empowering.

With the tag line that reads, "To comfort the disturbed and to disturb the comfortable" this is definitely worth a look-see if you're in the Denver, Boulder or Fort Collins areas in the next week.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Passion (maybe a redux?)

I was recently asked about my experience in Nepal by a complete stranger. Specifically 'What was my experience like in Nepal?' I came up with a disjointed summary of some of the Nepal realizations I continue to mull over whilst participating in this American life...

In response to 'What was my experience like in Nepal?':

Amazing. Unsettling, in a good way. Refreshing.

Comfortable (I had never met so many people [Americans & foreigners doing mostly aid work] so passionate about their work before!) I don't like that so many people do (or have to do) jobs they don't feel passionate about. For some it's a choice (that I don't understand) for others it's necessity, which I do understand. But it was so comfortable and encouraging to hang out with crowds of folks who all *want* to be doing the work they're doing. The same can't be said for the locals, but the foreigners are a passionate bunch.

Also Nepal + meditation course = heightened self-awareness. I returned to the States feeling more independent and self-reliant than when I left. I think it was partially discovering that I was able to negotiate life in a completely foreign country by myself, but also that I don't *need* another person or any of the stuff I have accumulated.

I then purged 3/4 of the possessions that I paid to store for 4 months, packed the UHaul, and moved to Colorado. I still have stuff and I still like and want friends, but I feel more comfortable going my own way more often than not. Not 'needing' to stay up late because others are. Not 'needing' someone to accompany me in new experiences.

I was happier than I had been in a year, and happier than I have since been, while living in that developing country with dreadful water sanitation, blackouts for 17 hours per day, and no creature comforts.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A bit of a fanatic

I come from a short line of crossword puzzlers and, though it was not solely my grandparents who inspired my becoming a crossword fanatic, I'll give credit (or blame, depending upon how you view this hobby) where credit is due.

In addition to, or perhaps because of, the grand 'rent's influence, I enjoy word games - Scrabble, crossword puzzles, Apples to Apples, etc. But since Michael and I started getting together to do the Denver Posts' daily crossword puzzle offerings - NEA and New York Times - I have become a fanatic. But I do try to tread lightly on the reading material of others.

One of my first days at the county health department I had noticed the newspaper on the lunch room table, but didn't take the crossword puzzle page until 4:30pm, long after anyone cared about the paper. This led me to believe that, of those who read the paper, none were crossword puzzlers. And I've been snatching the crossword puzzle page(s) out of the paper at lunch ever since.

Perhaps this behavior doesn't smack of fanaticism, but when I tell you that I work the puzzle while sitting (in the driver's seat) at red lights on my commute home and then save the week's puzzles in order to work on them a bit before falling asleep, you might be more convinced of the appropriateness of the adjective I've assigned myself.

I tell this tale not only to share yet another aspect of my personality with you, but also to brag that today, November 2, 2009, I completed the New York Times Crossword ALL BY MYSELF (and only looked at the answers four times. Four times out of 136 clues! I only looked up 2.9% of the answers!) In the words of Julie, I'm darn tootin' proud of myself. And now to conquer Tuesday - Sunday.

Monday, October 26, 2009


As I have moved from 'unemployed' to 'employed' and soon 'credit card debt free' I am looking towards the long-term future. A future filled with home ownership, a second cat, and a garden to call my own. But where?

Where I want to live and where I can afford to do so are turning out to be two very different parts of town. So I am working through what's most important - close to social life versus close to work, driving versus walking or biking, proximity to a grocery, proximity to friends. And it is the latter that is foremost on my mind currently. Specifically the friends I've made through my local coffee shop.

They are entertaining, caring folks, but how do they factor into my decision? And what else needs to factor into this decision (besides money)? Proximity to my hair dresser? A grocery? Distance from a fire station (I currently live 3 blocks from the busiest station in town; I need some distance from the sirens!) Distance from a busy street so Max can go outside? The school district for the children who aren't even a twinkle in my eye? Proximity to Julie? Michael? Chloe? Running folks?

I like the community with which I have surrounded myself in Capitol Hill. It is friendly. It is open minded. It is convenient. But it is expensive! Indeed, I want a room of my own, but I don't want to be a slave to the mortgage for it when I get to that point.