Five Things Friday Vol. 57

Five Things Friday: just five things I’m thinking about or things that made my week, or things that I otherwise feel like sharing.

Sometimes, 6000 miles are 6000 miles. Sometimes, FaceTime can bridge the distance and make it feel a little shorter. Sometimes, 6000 miles can feel a lot farther.
Sometimes, a week feels like a week. Sometimes, a week can stretch like it’s never going to end. Sometimes, you blink and a whole week just disappeared. 

In case you follow my private account on Instagram, I am sorry for the cryptic post from last Friday. I usually hate those, but I wasn’t quite ready to share. My aunt, my mom’s younger sister, passed away last Friday. Even though she hadn’t been well for a while, it was a bit of a shock. I am still processing the news. It’s a very strange thing to grieve from afar. While I am removed from the “direct impact”, I am also somewhat alone in navigating these emotions. Thanks to everyone who left a kind and thoughtful comment.

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My half marathon training is ramping up and let’s just say, it feels good to be getting more miles on my legs again (like, 4-5 runs per week). Also, the time outside is really good for my headspace right now. It doesn’t hurt that the rain has stopped and we had some chilly, but sunny days this week. Well, and to be honest, any exercise/sweat session is good for my head. I realize that when I process emotions (see point above), I either sleep (and deep! I fell asleep on the couch at 7:30 pm on Wednesday) or I need to sweat it out. What’s your coping mechanism? 

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This weekend, I’ll be participating in my third PeloFondo. I shared my experiences with my first and second events last year. I will take it easy though (as I also have a long run on my training plan), but it’s always a lot of fun to participate in a ‘team event’ and I hope to catch some rides with Tanja and fellow teammates from our Streakers365 group.

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I scheduled my Covid booster and a mammogram today. I also have a (preventive) colonoscopy and a follow-up endoscopy (after last year’s scope) coming up in a few weeks. Getting older is fun, y’all. (But really, the message is: just make these damn appointments!) 

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I am taking down the Christmas tree this weekend. (If you’re laughing right now – or if you’re shocked, haha  – I understand.) I do keep it up longer than most people. I was still enjoying it though and why would I take it down, if it brings me joy? But I think I am finally ready now to pack it away. How long did you keep your tree up?

How was your week?

  1. My week was definitely sweet and sour. I don’t write about work on my blog, so I will write here instead. My company had a round of layoffs, which I cannot see a reason for (they did not grow too much during the pandemic, as many of the tech companies that are laying off have done). It’s frustrating and painful. My job is fine, as far as I know, but the woman who founded our department and built it from the ground up, and has been there for 15 years, was let go. She would have retired in a year or so, and we would have gotten knowledge transfer and training. Instead, she’s just gone. Very painful.

    On the sweet side, I went to see my 98 year old great aunt today. I haven’t seen her in awhile, it’s about 2 hours each way, and it was really nice to spend some time together.

    I’m so sorry about your aunt. Long distance grief is really difficult. My aunt died when I was pregnant and could not fly home for the funeral. It was very strange. More horrible was my dad, who died suddenly while on vacation in Italy. He lived in Portland, along with my sisters and my step-mom. It was very strange to be so far away from all of them, disorienting and confusing. Of course I went up for the funeral, but that’s not the same as being with your family at such a difficult time.

    Again, so very sorry for your aunt. That’s so hard!

    Congrats on scheduling your appointments. I tend to put those things off, but am glad when I finally get around to doing it, and of course always a relief when things turn out OK.

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words and for sharing your experiences, Julie. I remember reading about your dad’s passing on your blog and how strange it was to be far away. You understand!
      I love that you got to see your 98 (!) year old great aunt last week. These get-togethers become more and more precious and I am glad you were able to see her.

  2. I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your aunt. Grieving “alone” is no fun. I am sorry you don’t have the hugs and comfort of family. Hope you find your way in it.

    I am rather good at scheduling all those appointments. I pay so freakin much for my insurance you can bet I take what ever I can in return.

    1. Thanks so much, Tobia. I appreciate your kind words.
      And good for you for scheduling your appointments. You’re right – you’re practically paying for them, so you’d better take advantage!

  3. I’m sorry for your loss, San; not only are you navigating grief from a distance, I’m sure you’re also helping other families in their grief too – again all at a distance. I’m glad you were able to get some time to process the range of emotions through restorative activities like sleep and runs. Take care, my friend.

    Our main tree came down right after New Year’s, but our artificial tree in the basement is still up AND I converted it into a Valentine’s-themed tree.

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Elisabeth. I just learned that you’re navigating grief yourself right now. It’s a strange emotion.

      It makes me smile to hear that your tree in the basement is still up and that you converted it into a Valentine’s-themed tree :)

  4. I’m so sorry about your aunt. I think it is very hard to grieve from afar because it’s so lonely.

    I get a mammogram yearly and have since I found a (not important) lump when I was 38. I am apparently a “dense and lumpy” person and so I am really good about scheduling the mammogram. It’s so important to “know your baseline!”

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Nicole. Means a lot.
      I had to chuckle about the “dense and lumpy” because I was told something similar when I got my first mammogram a couple of years ago.

  5. My week was complicated [house issues] and never-ending with its unpredictable weather temps. Is it winter or spring? That being said, I did manage to write a few blog posts and if not make, at least buy the ingredients for, granola. I take the small victories where I find them.

    1. Small victories FTW!

  6. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    After taking a COVID hiatus from routine medical appointments, I’m finally caught up! Got a clean bill of health from the eye doc, dentist, and regular doc. The hardest part was truly getting off my butt and making the calls to set up the appointments. Adulting is hard.

    I’m Team Leave ‘Em Up for all seasonal decorations. One of the joys of being a dog owner this time of year is making a nightly neighborhood survey of who still has their decorations up. My husband and I like to make bets on which house will be the last house standing for decorations. Right now there are four houses on our street with outside decorations up and two of those houses still have their Christmas trees inside.

    1. Thanks, Birchie.

      I truly agree that the hardest part about these appointments is MAKING them. I am glad to hear everything checked out well for you. And yay for keeping up decorations :)

  7. I’m so sorry about your aunt, San. That is so hard, especially at such a distance. Sending you and your family love.

  8. I’m sorry to hear about your aunt. It must be so hard not to be near family at this time. I’m glad you are managing to prioritise some sleep and running to help as you process your loss.

    I had a few of those medical screening things come up last year, and they were all clear so I’ve got a few years until next time, although I have to get my skin check done every year, which is usually the only time I go to the doctor.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Melissa. I appreciate them.

      I am glad to hear that all your medical screenings came back clear! It’s a good feeling to get that checked off your list.

  9. I am so sorry about your aunt. Grief and distance is a hard pair.

    Thanks for the reminder to make the darn appointments– just got a colonoscopy referral myself.

    1. Thank you, Sarah. I appreciate it.

  10. I am really sorry to hear about your aunt. It is hard to handle and especially hard when you are so far away from your loved ones. Thank goodness for phones and video calls; I can only imagine what it was like when you were waiting on a letter to arrive to process things! I also use exercise to work through emotions and to sweat them out. I love that feeling of just being completely physically drained so I don’t have to focus on my mental state as much.

    1. Thanks, Kyria. Oh my, phone and video calls truly are lifesavers. And I am glad to hear you’re also using exercise to process emotions. It’s a great tool.

  11. I’m sorry to hear about your aunt. I know how hard it can be to be far away from family when you and they are grieving. Hugs to you and hopefully your training can give you something positive to focus on while you’re recovering.

    1. Thanks so much, friend.

  12. So sorry about your aunt! It’s especially hard if you can’t be there. I am thinking of you.
    My tree goes down the weekend after January 6th – it would not have lasted much longer anyway.

    1. Thank you Meike. I appreciate it.
      You’re very “German” – haha – when it comes to taking down the tree. Jan, 6 is usually when I take it down too… but my rule has been loosened a bit over the years.

  13. I am really sorry to hear about your aunt, San. It must be so, so hard to grieve from afar like this. Thoughts and prayers to you and your family. <3

    My Christmas tree was down and my entire apartment de-Christmased by Dec 27th, ha. I was READY for things to get back to normal.

    1. Thanks so much, friend. I appreciate it.

      It’s funny that you take down the tree on the 27th, although maybe you’re all Christmas-ed out because you live and breathe it all of December ;)

  14. I’m so sorry for your loss. Grieving from afar is tough. I feel like I always get so much closure from being able to attend the prayer service/funeral but that’s not possible when you are far away. Sending you lots of love and hugs.

    Last week ended on a sour note. I worked through the frustration with workouts/running. And I did not sleep well over the weekend due to what happened. :(

    My tree was down on January 2nd! I often take it down on 12/26! I am usually soooo ready to have our house back in order as we have to shift things around a bit to make room for the tree. But we celebrated Christmas with my MIL over NYE weekend so I kept it up for that.

    1. Thank you, Lisa. I appreciate your thoughts. Yes, I agree that being able to attend the funeral really helps with processing emotions and getting closer. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it home for that but I hope to go in the spring.

      I am sorry to hear you had a bad weekend and I hope you feel better. I am glad you were able to work through your frustrations with some physical activity. It does always help! Hugs!

  15. SO sorry to hear about your Aunt!! Aunts are so special, and I know it must be very difficult to be away from the rest of your family. Being together has always helped me during loss, so I can’t imagine how tough it’s been. Hang in there!!

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