8 January 2007 884 miles. A day to do a little catch up. My sister gave me the change sheíd collected during my scheduled Quest time, and after depositing it at the CU, I made another donation to the Lance Armstrong Foundation, in Sandyís dadís name.
9 January 2007 907 miles. Not focusing well today.
10 January 2007 915 miles. Why do I make things so difficult? Iíve been trying to figure out how I know animals have feelings, despite some scientific studies that declare otherwise. Iíve examples of some of the more complicated emotions, like embarrassment; however, it has occurred to me that an animal is capable of feeling fear. As there is opposition in all things, then it stands to reason that they are also capable of feeling love. I cannot and will not conceive a God so cruel to allow fear without also allowing love.
11 January 2007 940 miles. Wow, two days in a row I finished all my work the same day.
12 January 2007 949 miles. Alas, no home alone day, today. Thereís something I remember and have to tell Kevin.
13 January 2007 Iím feeling terribly clever. My mom hadnít planned to go to the center today, but I carefully talked her into going. Almost gives me the chills. Ruth and I had a good walk this morning. When I talk to Kevin about pets, my sister helped me to understand that I need to first understand what his perspective is, as it is not like mine. If Iím to help him understand, Iíll have to lead him from his point of view. I made cookies today; it was that kind of day, all cloudy and cold.
14 January 2007 I read and dozed most of the night. I donít know how long I can keep this up. I would say that Iím punishing myself, and yet I sense there is something else... I think it has more to do with what I have remembered. Some odd part of me worries Iíll forget to tell Kevin or brush it off by the time I see him and not tell him... God have mercy. Mom is being extra nice and lovey-dovey, and I freely admit that it rattles me when she gets like this because I know whatís coming next. She gets mean. I woke with a cough and a headache, though thatís probably from the congestion Iím feeling. This always happens when the weather changes abruptly, from warm to cold, and it is burrrrr cold out there.
15 January 2007 The problem with getting a good nightís sleep is that the next day I find myself crying. If Iím overtired, crying takes too much energy, too much work to feel that deeply. The day isnít even half over, and itís been quite productive. I was blessed with the opportunity to sleep in and took it. I baked cookies, ate fish and rice for lunch, early, and made myself some tea. Iíve put away laundry and written to Carrie Weaver; she doesnít actually have an email addy, so I wrote a note to her. She actually lives around here. I checked the meeting time for Desert Rose, a romance writers group here in the Valley. They meet the last Tuesday of the month at a restaurant around the corner from me. I think I may go this month. I pulled out some material for making myself a skirt. Nothing fancy, but it will be new and I hope pretty. Iím going to try and not get perfectionistic about it, but Iím as much of a stickler about my sewing as I am about my cooking. It was too cold to go out cycling today, and I think it will be again tomorrow, so I think that tomorrow Iíll use the excuse to drive to also mail some things from the post office on the way home. It should be warm either to bike again Wednesday morning. I started Toxic Parents, the book Kevin assigned to me last time. She has a test to determine your relationship with your parents. And I failed the very first question. I told myself no. The question was ďDo your parents tell you you were bad or worthless? Did they call you insulting names? Did they constantly criticize you?Ē My first reaction was, no they didnít tell me I was bad or worthless, I just felt that way. And they never used insulting names. It wasnít allowed. Yes, they criticized, but they were only trying to help me improve. I had to close the book. Iím 44 years old and still canít seem to be honest with myself. I was bad for waking my dad from a nap. I was bad for waking my mother from a nap. I was bad for wetting the bed. I was bad for being too noisy. I was bad for not doing all my chores. I was bad for being a picky eater. I was bad for eating too much or not eating everything on my plate. My father nicknamed me Crabby-Appleton Rotten to the Core, and my mother let him. My mom nicknamed me hermit the summer I spent alone in my room working on puzzles after my two best friends dumped me because hanging out with me wasnít popular. Imagine that. My brothers called me shrew because Iíd shriek at them for harassing me. No matter what I did it wasnít good enough. I didnít read enough. I wasnít efficient enough. I could always do better. If I made a mistake, no matter how small, (forgetting to close a cupboard door) mom would require we brainstorm about how I could do better next time and not make the same mistake again. I know all this, and I still answered that question with the lie first.
16 January 2007 Burrrrrrr!!!! Iím feeling the not biking, but it truly was too cold. Tomorrow should be warmer, a little, and the bike ride will be a short one, only 9 miles. Doable. Short tape from Dr.R today, so done quickly. Read mostly.
17 January 2007 958 miles. Found myself wondering how I managed not to become a man-hater with my growing up experiences. How funny to realize from whence the influence came: some of the boys I knew in school, elementary school. In second grade, Ned and Ricky were best friends and frequently picked on me. It escalated. Theyíd kick me, and Iíd kick them back, until the day I wore my best shoes. Ned complained to the teacher, and I reported he started it. The two of us decided it wasnít worth all the trouble, so Ned and Rick decided to share me as their girlfriend. Iíd go over to their street to play, outside, just running around, nothing serious at all, but they thought me worthwhile. Throughout elementary school there was always Frank and John. They loved dinosaurs as much as I loved horses, and we respected each others passions. They would listen to me rhapsodize about horses, and I learned what I could about dinosaurs. Jay, Iíd known since kindergarten, and he could always make me laugh. I remember bringing him home one day to play, and my mother situating herself between us and made us look at the encyclopedia. I was mortified and Jay never came to play again. She embarrassed me a lot. None of my friends wanted to come over. Then there was Cole. He was in Pop Warner. A definite black mark against in, as far as my parents were concerned. Smart people didnít play football. Actually, Cole was a good player but wasnít into school. In fact, he was one of the ďbad boys.Ē He got into trouble on a regular basis, swore talked tough. I wonder what his home life was like now. Regardless, I can remember some of the popular kids, frequently girls, teasing me about still playing horses (yes, I played like I was a horse... Frankly, I wanted to be a horse). Be that as it may, Iíll never forget Cole looking at me seriously and stating, as though heíd just realized the fact that my play helped me to run faster. Heíd quietly and without offending anyone stood up for me. Things changed between us in that me, at least for me. Iíd let Cole tease me because I knew he wasnít being hurtful; he respected me. Heíd let me tease him back. I was in science with him in middle school, and still felt a closeness that I did not feel with anyone else. Then we went to different high schools, and I didnít see him anymore, but Iíve never forgotten how his bad-boy image slipped away when we interacted. I cannot help but find myself praying for him, and hoping he is well.
18 January 2007 981 miles. Not as cold has it has been, but the wind is a bear, peddling against it that is. Feeling quite tired. I cannot help but wonder if the 23-mile rides are simply too long, but there is no other choice.
19 January 2007 989 miles. Got caught in my first ďrain stormĒ today. Fortunately, the soaking rain waited until after I was home and bringing my bike inside. The other had been that cold biting sprinkle. Warm tea, cookies, and cocoa today. :-) And woohoo!!! The next Diane Gaston book arrived in the mail today. Iím using it as a reward for getting my work done today.
20 January 2007 Cold!! Iíve been thinking about something I read in my porcupine book. The author states that before entering a porcupineís lair, so to speak, there are things one must do first. Among those things is to know who you are. I realized I didnít. Then I thought about it. Why? Why didnít I know? I am capable of being so certain about so many things. Why am I so unsure of this? Perhaps it is that I have held an image in my mind of what I should be, and Ií m not that person. If I am honest with myself, I donít really want to be that austere, irreproachable woman. Who I am is so very different from her, and I realize that she was the image created for me by others who did not care enough to learn about me. I do like who I am now, but I still struggle with ďThe Image.Ē However, I am also very aware that Kevin is teaching me to be aware of myself. And I am gradually releasing the lies. I just wish, sometimes, that I could do it a little faster.
21 January 2007 Family dinner, today. Interesting. Unexpected. It has just occurred to me that I have now been on this Quest for over a year. I hope this year brings more good changes.... itís begun....