BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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9/11 Reflection

My exercise streak is still unbroken. I think I’m officially hooked. That time in the water jogging gives me a chance to do some thinking. Sometimes it’s about the dragonflies and hummingbirds that come to visit, sometimes it’s about what happened in school that day, and sometimes it’s just about K-pop or what I might like for dinner.

Yesterday, however, my head was full of 9/11. I couldn’t help but notice the planes overhead, and think about how it was just a normal day to go fly somewhere, just like it was on 9/11/01, until it wasn’t.

It seems that everyone over a certain age remembers where they were that day. I also remember the Oklahoma City bombing, and the snafu in Waco at the Branch Davidian complex. But of course 9/11 was in a class by itself. A horrific, difficult to grasp series of events that, until they happened, seemed impossible to most people. I saw what happened, but I couldn’t quite wrap my head around it.

Here we are, twenty years later, and the images are still gut-wrenching. The stories of the survivors, the stories of the heroes, and the stories of those they left behind stay with me. So many children lost a parent that day. So many parents lost a child.

I kept on jogging in place, taking in the quiet of my neighborhood, the sunny sky, and the planes that kept on flying, and I hoped for a peaceful future.


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Longest Movement Streak

That’s what my watch tells me every day after my workout. Wow, talk about a sentence I never thought I would write. It’s true though. I’m on a roll.

If you’ve been with me for any length of time at all, you know that exercise hasn’t exactly been something I’ve been keen on, but somehow that’s changed. Not ALL exercise. I haven’t completely changed my stripes. However, there’s a workout that I’ve been doing every day since May 27. Well, every day but one, and that couldn’t be helped. What is this magic workout, you ask. It’s jogging in the pool. Yes. Each day I put on my swimsuit and head out to the pool for at least 35 minutes of nonstop jogging. Occasionally I go twice in the same day.

I’ve always loved being in the water. I was once a lifeguard, and when I was little I swam like a fish. I have the faded construction paper “ribbons” from summer camp to prove it. One of my favorite baby pictures is of my mom standing over me, holding my hands up in the air while the rest of me is in the kiddie pool. I was clearly very happy at that moment.

This all came about entirely by accident. Let me explain. May 27, 2021 was the last day of the most challenging and exhausting school year I’ve ever experienced. I came home that afternoon tired. Not Friday tired. Not last day of school tired. More like relieved that I’d survived the school year tired. I sank into a chair, and promptly zoned out. I could have gone to sleep in a heartbeat. I would have slept for hours, maybe days, but I decided I didn’t want to do that.

I was on summer break, and I decided to reclaim my life. The 2020-2021 school year was not going to claim me as a casualty. I survived. I figured the best way to revive myself would be to jump into the pool. After all, late May in my part of the country is pretty warm, and a dip in the pool would be just the thing.

I hadn’t gotten into the pool yet this season, so I wasn’t even sure what the temperature would be, but it was terrific. I got in, I jumped around a little, I swam a few laps, and I felt great. That’s when I decided to challenge myself. I figured I have this pool (I insisted on it back when we were house hunting), so why not commit to using it each day of the summer? That’s how it started. Each day I got in, and when I did I spent some time jogging. It was all fun and games until I got my early birthday gift of an Apple Watch.

For at least 3 years my sweetheart has been wanting to gift me one, but I put him off and put him off. Then my supposedly waterproof Fitbit decided that it really wasn’t. Well, that watch has been a total game changer for me. It’s a game to me to “close my rings” each day (activity, exercise, and standing… which is a joke because it counts sleeping as standing). It also has pushed me to up my levels of activity and exercise.

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but during the year of Covid (not that it’s gone, but I do mean last school year), my daily step count averaged somewhere between 2,000-3,000. I’ve heard that 10,000 should be the minimum for most adults. Well, right now I’m averaging between 11,000-12,000 daily. I’m interested to see what my lab results will be the next time I go for my routine check up. I’m sleeping better, my appetite is pretty under control, and I’m feeling good about this whole movement thing. On top of all that, the time spent in the pool is time to clear my head and enjoy the dragonflies and occasional hummingbirds that fly by. If only summer could last forever.


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A New Mission for My Old Wedding Dress

The set made from my wedding dress.

This morning when I checked my email I found a beautiful note from a lady named Mary Lou. Rather than try to explain, I’ll just post the body of her note:

Thank you for donating the beautiful wedding dress to Gowns of Love and giving us the opportunity to turn your memories into blessings for a family that suffers the loss of a baby. 

As you can see, the set we made from your dress contains a blanket, a keepsake satchel, two hearts, and two identical gowns (one for photos & burial and a second for the family to take home as a keepsake).  The keepsake satchel will be used for hand prints, pictures, etc. that the hospital provides.

The hospitals requested some boy sets so one of our talented seamstresses added a vest to your set.  I pray that this picture brings you joy and makes your heart sing as you think of the gift of love that you made possible.

I cried. I’m still crying. I can only imagine how devastating that loss is. I never had to suffer that pain, but I feel for anyone who has.

I didn’t set out to donate my dress to this group; I didn’t even know about it. I was cleaning out my storage locker and there was the giant eyesore containing my carefully preserved gown. It had been sealed up for over 2 decades, and it was in a box/coffin roughly the size of a Buick. The marriage was long over, I don’t have any daughters, and even if I did I wouldn’t saddle them with something that was my taste when I was in my 20s, a million years ago. It was time to cut it loose. The problem was, nobody would take it. Not the thrift store, not the second-hand shop, not even Goodwill.

It was a beautiful dress and I couldn’t just throw it away, so It sat in my trunk while I tried to come up with a solution.

During that time period I had a meeting at an office I’d never visited before. As I waited for my appointment I noticed a framed article on the wall with a photo of a wedding dress. I read the article and found my solution. It turned out that the woman who ran Gowns of Love was also a client at this office. I left my contact information and the kind people at the office who shared it with her. Within a day or two someone picked up the gown from my home (pre-Covid). They thanked me very much, and that was that.

I was so relieved to finally have that thing out of my life. The dress was beautiful. The wedding was beautiful. The memories are beautiful. But the giant, dusty box? Nope. I soon forgot all about it. Until this morning.

I’m so sorry to the family whose child will be buried in this gown. I’m so terribly terribly sorry. I hope this beautiful set that the talented volunteer seamstresses have created will provide at least a tiny crumb of comfort. I’m so glad my old gown will cradle an infant with its love.