Not bad for a fat girl


To Swamp It or Not to Swamp It

427723 PARADE

I’m going on a trip in a few weeks with some amazing people. This trip offers me the opportunity to celebrate half a century on this planet in style. I’m so excited I can hardly stand myself.

We’re going to New Orleans (or NOLA, or N’walins, or the Big Easy, or whatever other fun nickname you’d like to give it). I was there for a wedding years ago, long before Katrina hit. It was a quick weekend with a side trips to LSU, a Civil War battlefield, and a walk down Bourbon Street. It was short, but it left a lasting impression.

This time I’m going with people who are PLANNERS! I love it, because really, at heart this isn’t me. Oh sure, I can make hotel reservations and look stuff up online, but these girls are way out of my league. There are maps and schedules and plenty of time for naps and downtime. I love this! They know where they want to go and what they want to see. I’m going along for the ride and that’s just fine with me. Well, except for the tattoo part, I’ll pass on that.

One of the big events is the kayak swamp tour. Wowza! Swimming-Alligator-closeup-of-head-with-eyes-sticking-out-above-water-surface-in-lake-at-Brazos-Bend-State-Park-Needville-near-Richmond-TX-USAIt takes place in the swamp, as in the place where alligators live. I’ve watched Swamp People and Gator Boys, and as a result I have a healthy respect for alligators and anything else that lives in that murky water. And yet… I have to do it.

But it’s a kayak tour. I haven’t been in a kayak since I was about ten years old. My fitness level is below zero, and I’m not even totally convinced that I’ll actually FIT in the kayak. I voiced my concerns to my travel group (via this crazy long messenger thread that I can barely keep up with) and immediately my fears were quelled. I’m breathing a little easier now that my main concern has become not falling out of the kayak. I’m pretty sure I can handle that.

It’s no longer a question of whether or not to kayak, it’s a matter of building up some stamina. I still have a little time before the trip. If I take a walk each day, that couldn’t hurt, right? So maybe that’s what I need to do. After all, this is about celebrating, not holding anyone back. Time to lace up those shoes and get going. New Orleans, here I come!

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Growing Up

My son is in the throes of the whole transition from high school to college process, and by that I mean he’s scrambling to apply for scholarships while simultaneously working on finishing his IB high school diploma. He’s also waiting to hear whether he’s been accepted to three more universities and from there it will be time to make some decisions. It feels like it’s all happening so fast, yet parts of it (the waiting) feel like slow motion. Still, I think he’s ready (more or less). I’m the one who isn’t quite prepared for what’s coming.

The amazing thing about this kid is that he’s pretty sure he knows exactly what he wants to do. Whether he does it or something completely different isn’t really the point, just the idea that he knows what he wants is mind-blowing to me. I didn’t know what I wanted when I was seventeen, and I’m not entirely sure I know what I want today. Yes, I’m a teacher, and I love teaching, but will I teach forever? And in the same capacity that I do now? Or will I move on to become some type of coach or trainer or workshop provider or something different altogether?

I’m also a writer, but what exactly does that mean? Will BulgingButtons go viral? Hit the big time? Will I become a features writer? Will my pearls of wisdom translate into magazine articles, guest blog spots, short stories, or more? Will the manuscript I penned a while back turn into something? A best seller, even?

When I envision my future, I’m not clear on what I picture. I picture contentment, financial security, and my loving family. Those are the things that I desperately want in the future, but the means to achieving and maintaining them are less clear. I often wish I had the clarity of my teenage son. I know he lacks wisdom, but he makes up for it in enthusiasm. He’s young enough to not care about what he doesn’t know. He doesn’t worry about obstacles, and therefore he doesn’t put any in his own way. I’m the opposite. I’m usually my own worst enemy when it comes to success. I understand this intellectually, but I’m not sure how to combat it, practically.

Maybe I just need to finally make the vision board I’ve been thinking about for so long. I suppose the main reason I haven’t done it yet is that, like I said, my vision isn’t quite clear. It may become clearer as I get to work, though. I know there are certain images I want to include, such as a peaceful writing nook, a stack of books, and my happy family. I think I’ll throw in a stack of money (gotta pay the bills, right?), some healthy foods, and some workout gear too. They say if you can see it, you can be it, so why not?

I think tomorrow I’ll get out the glue stick and start going to town on this project. I love arts and crafts, and this project has been calling my name for a long time. It’s time to get it done and start inviting more success into my life.