"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

20 years is a long f-ing time

Let us escape to the 4th dimension so I can jump around wildly in time.

*shaky camera focuses on lame spiral while the hallmark 1960's-going-back-in-time-'doooo dooo dooo' music plays* 

It is March 31, 2011 

OK, I will give you that it is lame to go back in time for just a few days, but I had NO time to write and you, dear reader, got to dust off your white go-go boots and hear the 1960's time machine 'doooo dooo doooo' music, so quit your bitching. 

In my ten year old mind I looked like Nancy Sinatra in my go-go boots,... 

 but in reality I had more of a Miss Piggy thing going on. Whatevs.

It is important that this post be written on that exact date because March 31, 2011 is the day I celebrate 20 years clean and sober.

Side Note: Feel free to skip my self-congratulatory, mental vomitus and go to the end of this post. There is an announcement that you  DO NOT WANT TO MISS.

I will not go into a long, sappy monologue about how my life used to be and how much it changed over the time I have been clean (I did that last year for my 19 years if you are really interested) instead, I wanted to contrast my life today to the last time I celebrated this particular birthday.

Yes,that means you have to get back in the time machine. Get a move on, please...

 Time Machine from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, circa 1989. This came out two years before I got clean so, yes, I was high as hell when I watched it. That is pretty much the required mental condition to endure any Keanu Reeves film anyway. 

So March 31, 2010...

My husband had recently been diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer, he had just started on hormone deprivation therapy (essentially chemical castration to stop the progression of the cancer cells), he was depressed and scared, and I was so terrified I thought I would lose my fucking mind. 

Then 2010 started to throw me curve ball after curve ball. The one downside to having wonderful people in your life that you love so much it makes you feel like your heart will stop is that when something bad happens to them you actually give a shit. That is painful and I am not a fan of feeling pain or most of the emotions associated with fearing for a loved one.   

 I would love to tell you that I trudged bravely through all of the events of the last year with warrior-like stoicism, but, truthfully, I was a mess. Just a hot, fucking mess. I was closer to throwing it all away this time last year than I had ever been in the 19 years prior.  

I have many people, including many that read this blog, to thank for helping me scoop up that hot mess, put it in a bag, and keep moving forward. Through this we both found that we had been taking a lot of things for granted and recommitted to both each other and the thing  that made all of the rest of our life possible and eventually, and yes, I am sorry to say it, but 'one day at a time', (it is ok for you to roll your eyes. I do when I hear that cornball cliche) I got to today. Today is pretty goddamn good. It ain't perfect, but it is pretty goddamn good.

Today on March 31, 2011, hubby has completed treatment, is doing well, and is slowly getting back to where he feels like his old self.  The rest of my friends and family are healthy and happy. My best friend in all the world is going to have a baby sometime very, very soon. 

And me? I feel like the 6-ton elephant that was sitting on my chest has finally moved off. He will occasionally stand in the middle of the room as a reminder that we have still some major stuff going on, but at least I feel like I can breathe again. 

I searched for images of 'elephant on my chest' and this came up. It never ceases to amaze me what idiots will have permanently inked on their skin. 
"Give me a call in 15 years, Sweetie, when that elephant looks more like a giraffe."

All in all, I had a great birthday and celebrated with friends. They even got me my favorite cake (Yes, Jo Lynn, I know owe you one of these cakes. I swear someday I will get you one!) 

From Aki's Bakery in San Jose. It is white cake with whipped cream frosting and fresh strawberries and whip cream in the center. It does not sounds like the over-the-top decadent you have grown accustomed to on Run Bitch Run, but believe me it is SCREAMIN' !! 

Ok, back in the time machine for the for the BIG news...

Now we are back at Tuesday, March 29, 2011. 

I would like to introduce the newest member of our family

 This was taken about 15 minutes after we adopted her. I look like shit on a stick. Taking pictures of a nervous, wiggling puppy with piece of shit Palm Pixie cell phone camera, was harder than you would think and I imagine you think it would be pretty hard. I had to kind of squish her and it is still blurry. I have lots of shots of the car seat and the side of her body if you want to see those.

She is a ~1 year old chihuahua mix that we adopted from STAR Rescue. (I found her by searching on Petfinder.com. An easily searchable website that rescue organizations and shelters from all over the country can advertise their pets available for adoption on for free.) We do not know much about her life before she ended up in rescue, but she was on the street and did not do well in the shelter and a very kind woman named Elizabeth from STAR Rescue came to foster her.

Steppin' out at the park this morning. 

She is tiny (MUCH smaller than I ever thought I would have. 5.25 lbs.) she is a little shy, but I will make a trail dog out of her. This weekend I focused on letting her settle in and we went to the park twice a day, and to an event held at Downtown Dogs called a Small Dog Social(yes, I am one of THOSE people. When anyone asks, "Who spends money on shit like that for their dog?" I am that 'who'.)

 Hanging with her big sister, Lucy. I LOVE Lucy's body language in this picture. I put her in a stay and that stance is how she could technically be in a stay to get her treat and still be as far away from the puppy as possible.

The Small Dog Social was a lot of fun and I was really proud of how well Lola did. We will go back next weekend. I am also going to take her out on the trails either this week or next weekend and start getting her used to running with me. So expect puppy pictures ad nauseum. I am also checking out different dog trainers and we will start puppy classes on April 20th.

I had minor surgery last week, but it was enough to keep me off the treadmill. I am going to try my first run tomorrow and see how I am feeling. The next run I am planning on right now is the WildCat 1/2 Marathon on April 30.


Pam @ herbieontherun.com said...

Congrats on the 20-year mark! If you could make it through the year you've had sober, you've got this shit licked.

Lola is absolutely beautiful. :) If you're into the ankle biter type. lol I like my critters bigger. I found both of my dogs (and my sister found her rabbit and dog) on Petfinder also. It's an awesome site!

Bob said...

Congratulations doesn't seem like enough. It's awesome and inspiring the way you've dealt with the things life can throw at us! Cute dogs too.

Kate Geisen said...

That dog picture is hilarious.

Congratulations to you, and how wonderful both that you made it through this year and that your husband is finished with treatment. Best wishes to you both in the future. It's a little ridiculous how happy I am for you right now, considering I've never met you, but I've thought of you and your husband often and hoped that things were going well with his treatment. Yea! :)

And congrats on your new baby. BTW, I think you look very cute in the picture with her.

Diana said...

Big Congrats on your 20 years! You should be very proud of yourself!
Congrats to your hubs also for making it through what I'm sure was a year from hell. Working in health care I see people go through tons of shit, hard shit. When it hits home, it's a different story. As my years in age increase I am thankful for them being as healthy as they are. Things can change in a second.
Love that little puppy. I am NOT a dog fan, but I love that little guy! Of course, I am thrilled that you have a pet named "Lucy"....best name out there. Please read my latest post and join me......:)
Big congrats again for your 20!

joyRuN said...

It sounds almost trite & definitely insufficient, but congratulations!

Lola's cute! Tiny for sure. 5.25lbs? Don't worry making a trail dog out of her. Just stick her in a backpack already.

MJ said...

I have to agree - it's not enough, sounds trite, and weird to be happy for you tho we've never met, but still.....Congratulations on your 20 (an accomplishment I can barely grasp, day to day effort that such a thing must be), on your husband's recovery, and on Lola! So much good stuff, glad to see things improving for you and yours in this year. BTW, the cake does look awesome even if it's not chocolate (mm, frosting and strawberries). Hope your first run back goes well.

trailturtle said...

Great milestone.
So happy for you.
So happy for you, hubby, & animal family.
So happy for me 'cause I've met you.
OK, 'nuf of this happy shit. Time for both of us to get to work on our running/fitness.
Hubby & I will be out your way late April/early May. Maybe I can get my ass in shape and you can get your ass in shape so I can follow your ass for more than 10K this time. That's one smart ass following another. Actually, you're just smart, and I'm being an ass.
Happy 20th BD.

Georgia Snail said...


Congrats RBR, thank you for showing me how it's done.

funderson said...

Congrats...you are a badass and that Lola! So cute.

SteveQ said...

I'll be back with more thoughtful comments later, but for now: Lola is WAY cuter than your neighbor's dog that you were fawning over.

Congrats on 20 years. More than half a lifetime!

Jessie said...

My sister just celebrated her 2 years of sobriety this past August! 20 years is AMAZING and you should be very very very proud! My sister and her GF are both recovering addicts and they are each others best support system! Your doggies are super cute!

Lindsay said...

Oh the things you can find on YouTube.

It kind of sucks having loved ones -- now when Josh gets sick I worry and feel bad and wish I could take his place. What the heck happened to me!

LOLA is awesome. And no shame in spoiling your kids.

Jo Lynn said...

Yeah, about that cake!!
Congrats on the 20 years. That's a LONG ass time, whew.
I think I will be seeing you on April 30th, one way or another. (I'm doing the 10k). ;)

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

ZOMG!1! Your dog has a famous Kinks song tranny name and I bet you had NO IDEA I was gonna go there! Does she bark in "a dark brown voice"? Or just leave "dark brown" presents around the house?

But congrats on the 20 years and on getting the new doggie.

Maybe 2011 will FINALLY be a better year for you!

SteveQ said...

and now I have to look up the lyrics to "Lola," because I didn't think it was "dark brown voice."

The ears on that dog - Papillon mix?

Sadly, I was wrong when I said I'd have more thoughtful things to say. The best I can do is to mention I kept my 3 year sobriety chip (longest I went) and my 24 hour one - never know but what I might need to hand that one out to someone else some day.

Jennifer Spadafora said...

Coming out of lurking to say Congrats RBR! I did go back and read last years' 19 yr post........fantastic! And a big congrats to your hubby. And Lola is precious!!

Missy said...

I love cake. I'm a whore for cake. SO very glad to hear about hubs. That is the best news all day, fo reals. I realize I haven't been around but yes, that's just stellar news. The pup...HIGHlarious.

o2bhiking said...

Hi - congratulations to your husband for finishing cancer treatment and to you on 20 years. Enjoy your new puppy - so cute - and good luck with the races.

Jill said...

Yay for 20 years! Congtulations and good lord that puppy is adorable! Enjoy him.

The Original MAJ said...

The thing I admire, love, and am constantly amazed by is your unabashed frankness. The past few years have served me a pile of steaming poo myself and I am absolutely inspired by how you've dealt with it and realistically approach the next day.

Also, Lola is AWESOME. I am a big doggy girl myself, but she's precious!!

Rad Runner said...

Thank you for the hysterical readings....

Herself, the GeekGirl said...

I love your shaggy little rat and yes, congratulations on your 20 years!

2010 sucked in so many ways for so many people. I'm beginning to find out about friends who were in rehab, had major breakups, all during 2010. 2010 was an evil fucker I am not sorry to see go, and I know you aren't either.

Having said that, we are going to Wyoming in June to do some crazy 50 m (me) and 100 m (him). I fully expect to suffer, suffer suffer as I am not trained for this at all.

Write me and tell me you are going to have a glorious restful summer.