Sunday, January 02, 2011


I’m betting at least a few of you have been directed here because you made a New Year’s resolution to start running. So:

Looking for inspiration? Read this post and the comments following it.

Looking for how to get started? Look here, and then at the other “Running” posts down on the right sidebar.

And then send some encouragement in the direction of Loretta, a once and future Maggot. You may note that she tries to flatter me, I believe in a misguided attempt to get me to go easy on her. Sorry, Loretta, but I must say: you did it wrong before, and I suspect you’re doing it wrong again. Do you recall the time I said you were running too often? It sounds like you’re doing it again. You must run every OTHER day, Maggot. Also remember: while you may very well get skinnier by running, it should not be your focus.

[Re: that flattery. I will cop to being kind (to Loretta I am being cruel to be kind, see), but if I were granted three wishes that could be spent only on entirely frivolous things, one would be to be funnier. (Another, to have thick hair. As for the third—not sure … probably to not have bunions.) Non-frivolous things—I can think of a slew of those. (And come to think of it, making people laugh is not a frivolous thing either.)]

And if you’re here for tips on finding your Happy Place, you can start here, but I warn you it’s not as easy as becoming runner, on which I offer a money-back guarantee. (Now you know why I don’t have any ads here …)

Updates on other stuff—HB’s fashion sense, Nana’s attempts to escalate tensions, etc.—soon, I hope.

What would be your three frivolous wishes? (If I can’t count being funnier, I think I’ll pick being a better singer as a third.)


MFA Mama said...

Frivolous? Perkier tits, no surgical or wound scars AT ALL, and maybe a naturally tidier bikini line?

leslie said...

1. Not being allergic to hair dye.

2. The creaking sound in my knee would go away.

3. The really awful man from the organization we have to deal with will give a speech to a national audience and have his pants seams split up the back and everyone but him notice.

Anonymous said...

1. insanely curly hair. Not just curly, the crazy insane kind where I have to turn sideways to get through a door frame. I'm not even kidding.
2. money.
3. time.

Over several months I've been thinking long and hard about your *happiness project* that seems to be more of a contentment project.

Not to be negative, but there are a couple of problems with being rabidly morbidly optimistic (I'm not sure that's what you are prescribing anyway). I'm going to point to 2 links that highlight the trouble with wanting to be *happy*.

The first one is a review of Barbara Ehrenreich’s Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking has Undermined America.

"the opposite of positive thinking is not just being a huge bummer all the time.” She points out that relentlessly negative, pessimistic thinking can be just as delusional and destructive as the reverse." However, the antidote to delusional morbid positivity is to constantly try to see things AS THEY ARE, not as we wish they would be. This involves critical thinking. Critical thinking is "inherently skeptical."

The second is a thoughtful but anecdotal analysis about how it is impossible to have an interesting AND happy life.

I'm trying really hard to have contrarian eudaimonia (happiness in the face of reality), but I've not reached your happy place, and after thinking about it, not sure I want to, completely. I'd like to have interesting and challenging and fulfilling. But I'd also like the blues and anger to begone and be *happy*. Maybe I need to redefine happy with a lower expectations.

What say ye DM? Your entire series on happiness has been an interesting existential exercise. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Ok nothing to do with frivolous wishes but a question re running seeking your advice/opinion both medically and as a runner. Don't worry, I'm seeking medical advice from my own doc in person later this week! I'm 33, recently started on a total body transformation: losing weight, getting fitter. Have achieved a lot in ten weeks or so with a great personal trainer, but he's pushing me to jog/run. I want to, desperately, but I have a hip replacement and not sure if it's wise. Any thoughts?


Loretta said...

Thanks for soliciting encouragement my way, Doctor Mama. I took a day off today, just to suck up to you.

Frivolous wishes? Oh boy, do I got 'em:

1. That people would take me seriously. Also, that they would realize that I am female.

2. That my husband would buy furniture. Or at least, give me free rein in buying furniture.

3. That I could lose some F**ing weight! OK, there, I said it! I run to lose weight! I need my vanity to get my ass in gear and out on the streets! The other maggots, with higher aspirations, like health, clear minds, etc.etc? I salute you. Why else do I torture myself but for a smaller waistline? I ask you?

Ahem. Carry on.

My word verifiction is "splontonl" which sounds like the sound of the things I hack on the sidewalk while I am LOSE WEIGHT!

E. said...

r3, time and money are *not* frivolous. Especially time. That's serious. I seriously wish I had much, much more.

Me? Hmmm.... 1. No spider veins on my otherwise great gams. 2. Eyes as big and eyelashes as long as those of my two children, whose eyes get wows everywhere we go. 3. The ability to cook a great meal without making a giant mess in the kitchen. (My husband cleans up as he cooks, I have no idea how that works.)

Anonymous said...

Hi E,
I did not mean to offend about time and money, it's just that recently I've been given some perspective on both. I'm helping (financially and emotionally) a new Mom of twins who was thrown on the streets and abandoned by her husband. They are from Africa, and he is a local physician/educator at Meharry. Upon normal prenatal testing the couple discovered 1)twins and 2) she is HIV positive. He threw her out and threatened to kill her if she comes around. She is young, he is old, this is his second wife. Anyway, to make a long story short--two gorgeous perfect twins born in October--just finished AZT therapy and still HIV negative. They are healthy and great. Mom barely coping--no money, no family, no nada. Her twin girls have colic. She has no time to herself. So that's where I was comin' from when I said time and money are frivolous. They are a privilege.

I hope there comes a day when this dear lady (who is lovely and educated but extremely young and naive) can have a little of both.

OMDG said...

Frivolous wishes, eh?

1) Prettier nose
2) That my dog would stop yapping at the other dogs at the park (to their irritation) to get them to play with her.
3) That I could swim fast enough not to have to swim with the male-menopause uber-competitive triathletes.

monicac2 said...

Three wishes?


2. Wash n' wear hair to my mid-back

3. Someone to shave 20 minutes off my marathon PR for a BQ!

Anonymous said...

1) Smaller boobs
2) To be able to eat whatever I want without it counting against my figure.
3) A special Nap Capsule that I could enter any time I wanted, nap in for as long as I wanted and come out to find that the moment I entered was the same moment I exited and no time had been lost while I slept at all. Oh the magic of that Nap Capsule!!!


Anonymous said...

Oh sweet baby Ganesh, a reader has introduced me to the idea of a magical Nap Capsule that I now must possess. I am haunted ...

OMDG said...

OMG the nap capsule is BRILLIANT!! You really must invent one.

Anonymous said...

Holy cow, DM, this, THIS IS FOR YOU:
(it's about running and it is awesome).

E. said...

Hi r3! No offense whatsoever. I appreciate the story you share, and you're right. From a privileged middle-class American POV, time and money are not frivolous, but from many other global and socioeconomic perspectives, they are luxuries to be fantasized about.

Also, thanks for the two links above. I actually currently have a quandry marinating in my brain about sociality and happiness and the way they sometimes conflict with honesty and artful living (for lack of a better term - intensity, edginess, interesting stuff, the opposite of boring). I'm contemplating a blog post about this, actually, and if I actually end up writing it, I'll try to remember to ask DoctorMama to send you over there.

I think happiness is pretty damn great, but pretend or superficial happiness isn't my idea of happiness. But then again, a certain amount of smiling-can-lift-your-mood and fake-it-til-you-make-it attitude can actually lead to more genuine happiness. Sometimes the balance is hard to strike. And I'm married to a man who has a big curmudgeonly streak and absolutely will not pretend to be happy when he's not, and I love him like crazy (even though I'm more inclined to smile in the face of adversity).

Anonymous said...

I gave birth to my third son in August. So I decided this is the year I will run a 5K. I began by walking fast on a treadmill 3x per week on my lunch hour for three weeks. Today I jogged intermitently during my 30 minutes and was horrified to discover that apparently I pee when I run. Help!


Jo said...

1) Long thick wavy hair. On my head and not, you know, all the other places.

2) I don't wish to be thinner, but I do wish that the skin on my voluptuous thighs &c. was of the creamy-smooth, unblemished variety.

3) Perfect vision.

(My captcha is "I cudd". That's perfect.)

Maryjean said...

Frivolous wishes. Hmmm.

1. Figuring out how to knit and read a book at the same time. Why are my two favourite hobbies incompatible?

2. Hair that instantly styles itself and makes me look 10 years younger and 10 lbs thinner.

3. An organized house.

But, on to running. I started running spurred on by my amazing runner friend (half marathon time = 1 hr. 30 mins) and now I'm running 2 km. But. But. I hurt my back. Pulled muscle, I suspect. I'm going to see a physiotherapist this week but am soliciting your opinion on whether this is something I can run with. I did run a few days after I hurt my back and it was fine, but my back seems to not be improving.

winecat said...

1. curly hair

2. not having chicken legs

3. to be able to own any book I want no matter the cost.

ps, thanks for telling me about Zenni, I went a little crazy and bought 3 pair of frames.