Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Everyday Struggle of Overcoming Persistent Vegetative Laziness

If you have come here looking for information about donating to the JDRF in support of my fund-raising campaign, please click here, and if you want to read my manifesto about why I'm running 12 half-marathons this year, click here. Thanks! 

Facebook is of questionable value for a person like me. It did (has done) wonders for me as far as keeping me from completely losing touch with what many of my friends have been doing with themselves during the last year-plus. It did this by creating humongously long lists (fancily referred to as "news feeds") of their career accomplishments, social summits, luxe vacations, massive celebrations, athletic feats, warm family moments and smart, witty political observations. Lots and lots of these news headlines were illustrated with photos of my gorgeous friends, wearing gorgeous clothes, standing with other gorgeous people in gorgeous places, being remarkably consistent in not having any ungorgeous wrinkles or zits or half-closed Forrest Gump eyes or any other indication that they are in fact ordinary human beings. Conveniently, I was able to access this list while my butt was glued to a glider in a dim room, hair unwashed, wearing the same pajama bottoms as I'd worn for most of the day before, a certain sensitive part of my anatomy blistered and bleeding thanks to my refluxy baby using it as a soothing mechanism, unsure of the last time I'd brushed my teeth.

Maybe there is a very fine line between a good thing and a bad thing. These days -- now that I'm a little better rested and more closely resemble the average Slightly Frazzled Mom of Young Children that you often see changing diapers on her tailgate in a parking lot or absentmindedly shoveling Cheddar Bunnies into her toddler's mouth while she stares at Ok! magazine headlines in the checkout line -- these reminders that everyone else's life is more impressive than mine are less searing. They generally don't make me long for things I don't have, because I'm pretty content with what I do have (a husband who is way too good for me, two continually heart-swelling children, loving parents and siblings, health insurance, a roof over my head and all the chocolate I could ever want). There is a part of me that wants to excel, that wants to be one of those moms you hear about who wrote a dissertation while her kids were toddlers, who wrote a bazillionaire-making novel while her kids slept, who became the head of the local nonprofit while also being a creative and loving and always-present parent. 

But the scandalous truth of my existence is that I am, by nature, lazy and perfectly satisfied with mediocrity. I won't lie: If I have an extra 30 minutes at night, I don't use it for anything productive. I make a beeline for the TV and catch up on Modern Family or Cougar Town. I do Words with Friends plays. I scroll through more gorgeous pictures of my gorgeous friends. Sometimes I do all of these things at once (is lame-ass multitasking an accomplishment?).

Sometimes Facebook's Handy List of All the Ways Everyone Else Is Better Than You causes me to have a brief spasm of wanting to be super-awesome too. But thanks to my persistent laziness, these spasms are generally short-lived, and before long I'm back to feeling grateful that my husband just filled my wine glass and that Trader Joe's chocolate non-pareils are so delicious. Last spring -- maybe we had exhausted our supply of wine and non-pareils, I really can't recall -- I was seized by an apparently tenacious case of motivation, which was not actually inspired by Facebook and which led to me making a somewhat out-of-character commitment to raising money (something I am historically dreadful at) while toying with the limits of my physical endurance (also antithetical to my established skill set of not-much-doing). I have to admit that I have so far not once regretted that decision -- I'm continually gratified by my little project. The one problem is that it has made it more challenging to find time to practice my impression of a terrestrial manatee, but I am bolstered by the knowledge that a year goes by quickly and I'll be back at it soon.

I ran my sixth race on October 21, the Bull City Race Fest half-marathon, and it was a blast. I had a personal best time, which was pleasing. A friend was doing it too, so I had a buddy to ride with early in the morning (though his cheetah-ish pace precluded any notion of us actually running within eyeshot of each other) and we had another family to goof off with at the impressively huge actual fest at the end. (There was a BEER TENT with a mind-boggling line. It was 10am. I stuck to the free water bottles and packs of pretzels.) I will be running my seventh this Sunday, the Raleigh City of Oaks half. I'm tickled to report that so far my feet, knees and hips are still game. My black toenails aren't pretty, but they aren't wildly painful, and I can just be grateful that sandal season is behind me.

My main goal is not awesomeness; I just want attention, and lots of it. I'm touched that people read these posts, and am at a loss for words to describe how all of those donations (59 so far, totaling just under $7,000) affect me. But I still have $3,000 to raise, which is a lot, and I generally ascribe to the theory of "throw enough stuff at the wall, and something will stick." If I get people to look, or read, or roll their eyes or laugh or whatever, they might decide to chuck a few dollars into my hat, or to let their (also generous) friends know that my hat is wanting. I hope each and every person who has donated has faith that a cure and prevention for Type 1 diabetes will be found, and that they have sprinkled a little awesomeness on themselves by being part of that.

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