Friday, February 26, 2010

Perception and Unsolicited Racing Advice...

I received this message in an e-mail this morning thought it was worth passing along...

"PERCEPTION. . . Something To Think About.. . .
Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007.

The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later: The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes: A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes:A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.

45 minutes:The musician played continuously.
Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while.
About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace.
The man collected a total of $32.

1 hour:He finished playing and silence took over.

No one noticed.. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition. No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities.

The questions raised:
*In a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?
*Do we stop to appreciate it?
*Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made. How many other things are we missing?"

Unsolicited advice on running a race from an old dog (unless you are planning on being first, or close to first, to cross the finish line):

  • Start at the back of the pack. You won't get caught up in someone else's folly... you may have to dodge strollers and walkers... but, you will be able to choose your own pace.
  • Run your first mile slower than your desired race pace.
  • Run your first mile slower than your desired race pace... yes, it is that important.
  • Don't let yourself get sucked into or pushed out too fast. Find your own pace... listen to your body. If you can give it that first mile, it will give you the rest of the race.
  • Enjoy every minute!! You'll be running negative splits and passing others all the way to the finish line! I am sooooo looking forward to hearing about some of these runs! Vicarious fun!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


It is the last Thursday of the month and I am dashing through here to keep good on my commitment. Last month, my goals were:

I'm going to focus on paying attention to the paths that open to me and to enjoy (or at least give thanks for) all that God sends. Keep up the moving. Exercise is critical for me. Focus on connections to God and to my loved ones.

I'm reporting that I have been so busy following some very interesting paths that I have hardly had time to blog at all! It has been great fun though. I have met some of the most interesting people and enjoyed some new activities. My creative projects are running me wild! I have hit full thrive mode.

The most interesting thing I can share about last month's commitment to enjoy or at least give thanks for all that God sends is that the alchemy of gratitude is amazing. I have reminded myself countless times over the month to give thanks for ALL things... the annoying, the dreaded, the downright irritating... and, amazingly, almost every time I ended up enjoying whatever the situation! Just by giving thanks... not by trying to convince myself that I liked or enjoyed the situation... but, by giving thanks.

And, because this has worked so well for me this month, I will continue with the same goals I had last month. Right now I am struggling to give thanks for my left knee pain... but, I am determined to trust that for whatever reason, this is right for now. God is good.

Hope my other little thrivers are enjoying the successes of an intention to thrive! I'd love to hear all about it! Happy Thriving!

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Benefit of Experience...

Yep, that's me a couple of weeks ago... running with three layers on the bottom and five on top. Brrrrr... I am so ready for the warm... and, I will so appreciate warmth after this cold.

I always "say" I started running when I was twenty. Truth is, I started running as a child. It was play then... I imagined that I was a horse galloping along free and strong... No matter the "start date," running has had a part in most of my life.

I read Running for Health and Beauty during the first year of Amanda's life. I can't remember the author's name, but she convinced me that running 1.5 miles three times a week would change my life. It did. Of course, it took me a whole year to run the entire 1.5 miles. I was so excited to make that milestone!

Looking back to those days, I was a new mother in a marriage that was not the fairy tale I had signed up for... overwhelmed, fearful, and filled with a love that scared me in its intensity... for this tiny creature who was totally dependent on me. I was young. I was stupid. I was terrified. And, I needed to feel the successes of making it from one telephone pole to the next. Running gave me an area that I could push myself to keep going... and succeed. It made me feel stronger. It made me feel like I could cope; like I could make it; like I could raise this child to be a survivor, too.

Fast forward three years. I still celebrated every successful mile and a half. I still fed off the beauty of nature; the gift of a body that could run; and the gratitude I would feel while making my run. I met a new friend, a little older... a little wiser than me. She ran, too. Her runs were three miles long. My one point five mile adventure didn't sound so good anymore. My balloon felt a bit deflated. I told her I didn't think I could ever run that far. She said sure I could. I joined her on several three milers over time. I learned the secret of pacing myself. I learned that my limitations were only in my mind.

It didn't take long after that barrier was broken for me to extend my runs to include 10ks (6.2 miles). My regular runs would be three to five miles. More years pass. Making a long story short, I celebrated my fortieth birthday by running my first marathon (26.2 mi.) and would enjoy four more marathons over the next few years. Those were my peak running days.

More years passed. I lost my desire to do marathons... yet, it became harder and harder to be satisfied with running "normal" amounts... if I wasn't doing long runs on the weekend, did it really count? Adjustment to decreased mileage was difficult.

Then, I hit the menopause button along with some other life changes. I sat on my butt. I thought running was over for me. I didn't really care. Until, a few months ago I realized that life just wasn't as good and I wanted that to change! At 53, I started running again... the biggest difference between 53 y/o Tanna and 20 y/o Tanna is that I knew I could run. I started back running two miles at a time and quickly progressed to three. I started back running two miles. I smile to realize how long it took me at twenty to make it to a mile and a half. There are a few things to be said for age and experience.

It's all in the knowing. The voice I coach myself along with now knows... it is encouraging... it does not doubt. My pace was very slow to start... slow, but sure. I so often wonder how very much we keep ourselves from doing, accomplishing, enjoying, being... just because we doubt ourselves.

I'm so grateful for my friend, who because she knew she could run three miles, taught me that I could too. Thank you, Milha. =)

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Emergence of a Bunny Belly

Who in the world ever imagined that from sticks like enlarged toothpicks, spun cotton blended with merino wool and a recipe (pattern) a bunny's belly would indeed begin to emerge? Don't you just wonder why anyone ever thought this would work in the first place? Who did think of how to knit?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Olympic Antics...

I have, excuse me, had four projects working in my knitting baskets... this one, a sweater for Little Man. The colors light my heart! Almost as much as knowing each stitch is just for him.

The afghan from h---! Passed this pattern up three times before taking it home with me. It just kept calling me back... Mercy me... a learning experience for sure! I'm still well within the novice ranking! My success with Little Man's last sweater obviously made me feel a bit too big for my britches! I am persevering... and being humbled.

And, occasionally, I celebrate making it through one repeat of the pattern without having to start over!! And, I do mean celebrate!

This is my calming piece... a prayer shawl that requires nothing of me, but to show up and move in rhythm... I need a piece like this to keep me going.

Then along came this! Friday night I was hopping through my favorite blogs and there on the Yarn Harlot was the post about the Knitting Olympics. Over two thousand folks had signed up to cast on a project with the lighting of the Olympic Flame and finish it in seventeen days... before the flame is put out. I mulled it over... and then, could not resist.

So early Saturday found me seeking yarn for Little Man's Easter Bunny! I have pledged to finish it before the flames go out. Geepers... how do you work four toothpicks at a time?? As you can see, I had to take a break from the toothpicks in order not to snap them in two and cast them into the fireplace!!

I will get to the bottom of running the toothpicks! Oh, what Little Man and blogging gets his Noni into! LOL!

Happy Valentine's to all! My Valentine sent me this most gorgeous bouquet. If the light ever gets better here (more cloudy, cold days), I'll get a better photo to share. This just does NOT do these beauties justice! LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Swiss Mocha Morning...

We woke to a landscape covered in a fluffy blanket of white this morning. I told myself as I dressed to go for my morning run that I would NOT take pictures of the snow and post on this blog.

After all... we have all seen a TON of snow photos lately... and why would we want more???

Clearly, I could not resist. I was hardly able to gobble down breakfast quick enough to enlist Evan on a morning hike for photos.

There is something about the snow that brings out a childlike wonder...

The footsteps going away... they are mine. I was the first one through this beautiful archway earlier on my run. It was magical. First footsteps... so quiet... so clean... so perfect...

I'm thinkin' the furs need to be out of storage for today.
I met an old friend along the way. It was so good to get a hug.

Old Glory had snow over each star when I ran past. The snow must have hung on the seams... by the time we returned on our walk, the breeze had cleared away much of the snow... it was still beautiful... flying free.

Cute cottages...

Snow surrounded porches...

The Fish Boys' pond...

Yep, the wonderland walk ended with a hot, steaming cup of Swiss Mocha with whipped cream on top (sugar-free and light, of course! LOL!).

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Theme Thursday... Mirror

The only mirror that really matters... the eyes of your children... grandchildren...

The most flattering mirror... no wrinkles... no droopy eyelids... no jowls...

Only love... and joy... and hope for the future... Happy Theme Thursday!

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Colours of Happiness...

This has been a wonderful week. I have enjoyed:

  • An organized desk! =)
  • Skyping with Little Man and his Mom... I do have to admit Skyping has caused the sad but true realization of apparently needing a face lift! There is a small screen in the bottom corner where you can see yourself while the person you are talking to is on the big part of the screen. Who knew how hooded and droopy my eyelids had gotten! I have discovered that I raise my eyebrows when I am looking in the mirror... eyelids/wrinkles-bad. But, not nearly so bad as they are when I am not raising those eyebrows (must have learned this trick putting on make-up)! Hrmphhh... Who knew? Everyone else. Ah, the things we learn about ourselves at the most unexpected moments. Why does this aging thing just keep getting worse?! Ha!
  • Running well... even in the rain and cold. This morning I came within ten feet of a female hawk as she landed on a limb just in front of my path. I stopped... We gazed... She flew... I ran. Exquisite treat! Big smile.
  • First round of golf for 2010. It was 41 degrees with a chill factor in the thirties. Gray. Dreary. Stinkin' cold. Our noses were red; our hands were numb; our cheeks got chapped. And, I enjoyed every minute of it! These ladies are so gracious and fun. We played some good, some bad and some just plain ugly golf; and, we laughed all along the way.
  • Lunch with two women who are earnest and passionate about our historic neighborhoods! Sandy's home has been the first one chosen for the 2011 Historic Tyler on Tour! Gorgeous and exciting!
  • Coffee with Bonnie, who is an amazing woman with so many varied interests and stories. She inspires me!
  • And, I am about to be off to Lindale to the Rose Path Weaving shop for the last two skeins of yarn for a new sweater project for Little Man!! Can't wait!

When I saw this yarn, it felt like the colour of happiness... =)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Theme Thursday... Red

Decided to play along on Theme Thursday with my friends Nanny and California Girl. Love California Girl's exposition on red!! Love Nanny's choice for red! =)

Red was my favorite color for years and years... Now, I'm more into serene colors... LOL.

This one is a play on red (read... lol). Have a fabulous red letter day!
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Numbers 6:24-26

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.