Running thoughts

I started this blog on Wednesday immediately after finishing my run. I had to drive N to soccer and prepare for Girl Scouts and was unable to finish it until today, Sunday.

On Wednesday, I blew off housework and cooking to enjoy the sun. After all the freedom I have had these years at home, I felt the need to catch time in the Indian summer sun.

I let my mind wander with the music. My iPod is full of memory music. Mostly from the 1980s. Most of the music I run to is sung by strong women - Beyonce starts me off:

"You must not know about me,
You must not know about me..."

Then Alanis Morissette's strong vulgarity - I wish I had her guts!

Gwen Stefanie's music takes me to the street where the Ms live. The road is a quiet, and I can even sing to myself. "If I can escape, and recreate a place that is my own world..."

Thinking about escape and "creating my own world" made me skip the next two songs to that 80's band, The Communards - "Don't leave me this way".

In my head I think thoughts of the clean slate I was granted at a time in my life where things were literally falling apart. Think the economy has got you down? This was much, much worse. My brother had died, I had trouble with my friends (a teenager's nightmare) and my love life was a mess, or well, in my head it was a mess, in reality it was non-existent. Then I was given a year to make a new world for myself. I treated it as a gift - every single day was an adventure and I took it to its full advantage. Running alone, iPod on overdrive, I let my mind wander to that wonderful place and time. I promise myself that I will live the Carpe Diem existence of that fateful year, but know that I'm not very good at it these days.

Next song brings us much closer to the present - but it raises the pace and my legs follow. I'm a survivor is the ultimate feminist song.

Strangely, as I hear this song, I think about discussions I wish I could have. The things I want to say, but don't. I remember an e-mail - how I diplomatically (well, for me) answered it, but how I really felt and what I was tempted to write.

My frustrated mind wanders and I catch myself walking! Change of song. Another sickly-sweet song. "You're it! You're the ultimate!" I remember my daughter and her friends singing and dancing to this song a few years ago. I raise my pace and smile.

My music slows as I get closer to home. Billy Joel - from the concert where my husband and I had one of our first dates - I have skip, half jog to River of Dreams. My cousin GC turned me on to Billy Joel in the late 1970s and I am forever grateful. (My favorites are still the Stranger and Glass Houses, but this is his best song from the last 20 years). T has never really grown fond of Billy Joel, but he did take me to see him again a while ago at The Garden. A token of his undying love?

"In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the jungle of doubt
TO the river so deep
I know I am searching for something
Something so undefined
It can only be seen,
by the eyes of the blind
In the middle of the night"

As I get closer to home, the music gets somewhat slower and inevitably I turn to U2. My feet need a slower pace, and U2's base on "With or Without You" keeps me going. I remember my friend MK who went off to Africa. We kept in touch for 15 years, then lost touch when we both became parents and moved multiple times. One fateful day, two years ago I ran into MK in a mall. I started to think about fate. MK and I never had a chance (he liked sickeningly thin, bleach-blonds who wore leather and I am none of those things - and I think he could have gone out with smarter girls) but as friends we just clicked.

This is not the first time I have had a fateful meeting. A classmate from Clean Slate Place came up to me on a train to Rome and asked if I was me. Turns out we had the same birthday and several other things in common. I ran into someone from High School (a boy who I had a terrible Freshman girl crush on) nine years later in Europe. This summer I ran into my brother's very successful friend in New York City (I was able to introduce my friend who studied fashion to one of America's most famous designers) . So my mind wanders to the place fate has played in my life.

I slow down on the last few houses listening to the Central New Jersey-appropriate Bon Jovi. My thoughts of fateful meetings, arguments that never happened and this blog distract me so that I forgot to stretch out. The words are quite appropriate for my existence as Mom:

"I'll be there for you
These 5 words I swear to you
When you breathe I want to be the air for you
I'll be there for you
I'll live and I'd die for you
Words can't say what love can do
."

I always thought of this song in terms of lovers, but the refrain really expresses my life as Mom (minus the first part about regrets).

***

And for a completely different reason, I am forced to remember this particular run. Every time I climb stairs for two days I remember that before I sit down to blog, always stretch after a 2.5 mile run!

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