05 January 2018

Word of the Year

I haven't done a word of the year in a couple years and I didn't really plan on doing one this year, but one word kept inserting itself into my life.

Zero. 




Zero: The number of fucks I give. Seriously, y'all. I have so much shit going on in my life that I literally just do got give a fuck about the little things. Like, at all. I've said this for years, but 2018 is the year when I literally live this attitude.

Zero: The number of pounds I have to lose. It's that time of year when dieting (or anti-dieting) is on the forefront of so many people's minds and it's not on mine. Because I do not have to lose any weight no matter what society or our culture or any of that bullshit tells us. Also, like I said the other day, I have bought my wedding dress already so I'm kind of locked in because even if I were to lose weight, they can only take those things in so much before it wrecks the dress. That said, I ALREADY BOUGHT MY WEDDING DRESS. So I can't be all lazy and gain weight either. I'm LOCKED IN to that really pricey garment so I DO have to, at the very least, maintain my current weight so I still fit into it come September 1st. That means employing mindful eating techniques and not eating crap all the time and, yes, watching what I eat. But not necessary so I lose weight, just to maintain.

The last two times I was a bridesmaid, it was a little touch and go there with the dress as we got closer to the wedding. In particular, for my BFF's wedding: It had very tiny spaghetti straps but I have very not-tiny bosom so I was going to wear one of those convertible bras with the clear straps. The day of the wedding, the top was so tight I didn't need the clear straps. It was like an unintentional corset.

Over the years, I have stressed enough about fitting into dresses the day of, I am not dealing with that when it comes to my big white poofy dress.

(NO YOU ARE STILL NOT GETTING PICTURES AND HAVE TO WAIT.)

Zero: The number of things I have to explain, defend, or justify. This kind of ties into the first one but for all my bravado, my anxiety makes me second guess myself and my choices often. But I want to be someone who carries herself through the world confident in herself and in her decisions and that means not apologizing when I'm right, or overusing soft language to make my point. (When correcting people, I am guilty of often saying "I think X and y" when I KNOW for a fact it's X and Y.) This doesn't mean I get to be an asshole about things, but it's important for me to speak in a way that affirms what I know and what I bring to the table. It also means I get to say No to things without explaining why I'm saying no. (I mean, obviously there are personal and professional elements at play with some of this but you get my point.)

So there you have it, by word of the year. Do you have a guiding word for 2018?

Use coupon code NEWYEAR2018 to save 18% on signed copies of my memoir Running With a Police Escort! Code is good for entire store, so pick up a matching Bondi Band, too, to wear on your runs.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

01 January 2018

New Year -- Do You



It's a new year and one of my resolutions / goals is to become a more consistent writer at this here ol' blog of mine. Admittedly, everything with the book and work and life has pushed this down the priority list but I'm hoping to correct that in 2018.

Given that it is New Years Day, I've been thinking a lot about resolutions, as I'm sure many of us are. Sometime I set them, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I set goals instead.

Over the years, my attitude towards setting weight loss resolutions / goals has shifted, obviously. I will say this though: I weigh the same this year as I did this time last year. I legitimately cannot remember the last time that happened. I'm not exaggerating, either. I spent decades of my life yo-yo dieting year to year. Up and down, 20-30 pounds in either direction. DECADES OF MY LIFE PEOPLE.

So, yes, I'm heavier now. Much heavier. That's evident if you look at any picture from this year and then go back far enough in my archives to when I was at my lowest. First, I spent a couple of years losing 30+ pounds a year, then I spent a few years gaining 30+ pounds a year. This is why the fact that I weigh the same now as I did a year ago is such a big fucking deal.

And the thing is, I'm not going to apologize or explain or defend anything. My body is my body and my choices and my decisions. I'm the one that has to live in it and if I'm okay with it, then just everyone else can shut the fuck up.

The thing about being a blogger is that while I put a lot of my life out there in the world, that doesn't mean I put all of my life out there in the world. There have been things happening in my personal life that I just don't feel like talking about but have given me an attitude where I am literally all out of fucks to give about anything whatsoever related to what anyone else thinks about me.

Plus, I already bought my wedding dress so I'm pretty much locked in.

Over the years, my attitude related to dieting and body image has shifted as I've grown comfortable in my body and taking up my space in the world. I was also, admittedly, super judgey.

Before, I was, obviously, super pro-diet and got all up on my high-horse about people who chose the surgery route. Now, I have friends who made that choice and have been very successful and put the fucking work in and good for them because that's a commitment in a totally different way. Then, when I wasn't dieting and was very anti-diet, I'd get all judgemental

My attitude now?

Do whatever the fuck you want.

Seriously. If you want to go on a diet, go on a diet. If you don't, then don't. If you want to take up an exercise routine, great. If you don't, great.

YOU DO YOU.

It's your life and it's your body and YOU and only YOU are the one that has to live in it. So make whatever resolutions or goals or decisions that YOU are comfortable with.

Because, honestly, we are all judgmental as fuck and it's exhausting. Remember all that bullshit when Starbucks released their stupid unicorn frap? Jesus Christ. Why the fuck do you, random person on the internet with a social media platform, care so fucking much if someone else orders a goddamn unicorn frap? Are they forcing YOU to drink one? No? Then shut the fuck up and let them drink their goddamn pink drink.

2018: The Year of Zero Fucks Given.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

04 December 2017

Race Recap: Christmas Story 5K

For the past few months, whenever I've done an author event for Running With a Police Escort, during the Q&A portion I inevitably am asked "Do you have any races coming up?"

I've always said the Turkey Trot (which, ooops, forgot to blog about!) and mention that I'm thinking about doing the Christmas Story Run, mostly because the medal this year is a spinner and magical and omg.

Right, so, a couple Thursdays okay I was doing the Turkey Trot 5K and near the finish line we passed the casino downtown which has this digital billboard thing outside. Right as I was going by there was an ad for the Christmas Story 5K/10K with the date being December 2, 2017.

OH. THAT'S NEXT WEEKEND. GUESS I SHOULD PROBABLY REGISTER FOR THAT, HUH?

(I waited until Cyber Monday, hoping there would be a registration coupon floating around 'cause it's a little pricey but there wasn't but I wanted that medal so whatever.)

Those that have been following this blog for awhile and / or read my book know that I love this race. When also asked during author events my favorite race, I usually mention this one in conjunction with the Shawshank Hustle. Both races are based on favorite films but after having done this one again, it might eek out ahead just because of it being filmed here in Cleveland.



The race offers a 5K and 10K option, after doing the 10K in 2013 and 2015, I opted for the 5K this year. (I didn't run last year because I had just gotten cleared post injury and I didn't run in 2014 because I didn't like the medal. True story.)

The course starts downtown Cleveland at Public Square near what used to be the old Higbees building. That scene with Ralphie visiting Santa and getting pushed down the slide? That was filmed there!


It's a casino now and I admittedly lost $20 while waiting for the race to start LOL. But I was hardly the only person hanging out there waiting. Lots of pink bunnies gambling, let me tell ya.

Speaking of, people really get into the costumes for this race. Oh, sure, there's lots of general Christmas / holiday outfits going on but there are also a gazillion pink bunnies and leg lamps and robbers in black and white striped tops. I went as a pink bunny the first year and this year I realized that with my black pants I could easily have gone as a robber if I had actually, y'know, thought about it and registered in advance.

From there, the course goes across the Lorain Carnegie bridge towards the Tremont neighborhood and through the streets there. The 5K ends at the house while the 10K turns around and goes back towards Public Square.

Because I've always done the 10K I never knew what the finish line at the 5K was like and it turns out, that's where the party is! Like, for real. There was a beer garden and your registration included a ticket to tour the house and there's the gift shop and all sorts of stuff. They also had an MC shouting out people's times and encouraging words as they were crossing the finish line which was so fun. So, yeah, 5K from here on out, yo.


This year's theme was I Triple Dog Dare You and the medal is a spinner: flick and the leg lamp spin in the middle and omg.

I can't believe I almost didn't sign up for this. Like, what the fuck were you thinking, Jill?

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

07 November 2017

Weekend in Wooster for Buckeye Book Fair

This past weekend I traveled to Wooster, Ohio, to attend the Buckeye Book Fair to promote Running with a Police Escort: Tales from the Back of the Pack! I've done lots of solo author events before, but this was my first book fair and I had no idea what to expect. I did pick up a lot of ideas for future book fairs, mostly things to bring with me like bookmarks and postcards with information for those people who didn't purchase that day. (I did at least have business cards with me.)

I drove down to Wooster Friday night after work and checked into the Market Street Inn, where I had a room reserved. Ohmygosh, y'all. Cutest bed & breakfast ever. I stayed in the Lewis Room and it was so quaint.


That evening there was a reception for all of the writers and it was fun chatting with all of the Ohio authors.

While the reception had some appetizers, it was not dinner level appetizers, so after leaving I started to scout out some restaurants. The owner of the B&B had recommended some restaurants near the inn but I took to Yelp and was looking to see what else was in the area when I found a restaurant called The Olde Jaol Restaurant.

Hmmm. Interesting name. Steakhouse, huh? Okay, I'm liking this. Wait -- a steakhouse in a former jail? 

Ummmm YES PLEASE.

Seriously, as a former prison librarian how could I say not to that? Also: steak was divine. Also also: everyone was super friendly. The former owner had recently sold it but he still comes in for dinner and drinks and we were chatting at the bar together while the new owner was behind the bar making drinks and I got to chat with all of the staff and, srsly. So friendly. (Plus good steaks.)

Saturday was Buckeye Book Fair Day! There were several of us staying at the inn so over breakfast we were all chatting about our books and where we live and it was just so much fun.


The book fair was a great success. I met lots of readers and runners. My favorite part of these events are when people see the cover of my book and read the title and that moment when THEY GET IT. It's always accompanied by a laugh and a knowing nod and they usually then come over and tell me their own back of the pack / police escort story. Best part of this gig, y'all.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

01 November 2017

Unmasking

Fall always gets me into a nostalgic mood. It's a struggle for my anxiety and depression, last year I even took an entire blogging break for the season. It always puts me in a reflective state of mind. So maybe it's because of that or maybe it's because it's right around Halloween but I've been thinking a lot about masks recently. Masks and personas.


For most of my life I've always talked about my walls. I have a lot of them. Walls are kinda my thing. But lately I've been thinking about it less as walls that I put up and more like masks that I put on.

It may seem like semantics but, to me at least, there is a difference. Walls keep people out and that's not my intention, not really. Walls also make me think of princesses locked in towers that need to be rescued and I definitely don't need that.

But masks. Masks are things within my control. Masks are things I can take on and off as necessary. And with a vast collection of masks, I can select the one that best fits the situation and circumstance.

Have you seen the dark 1980s film Return to Oz? It's one of my favorites and one scene in particular involves a queen that Dorothy meets. What Dorothy doesn't realize at first is that the queen has the ability to change her head. Literally. She keeps an entire gallery of heads and depending on her mood or need she'll change her head.


(Seriously, tho. How awesome would that be? Having a bad hair day? Just pick a head having a good one. Headache? Switch it out.)

The fact that I saw this when I was a kid probably explains why it resonates with me so much. Those films you see as a child dig in deep and I can certainly relate to wanting to be someone other than yourself at times.

But, really, watching the film you get the sense that each head serves a purpose or mood. Sometimes the queen needs to be the nice gentle ruler that everyone loves. She has a head for that. Other times she needs to be the heartless queen who takes no shit. That's a different head.

For me it's survival. Which sounds weird, but as someone who moves through life feeling anxious and overwhelmed, having masks let me adopt a persona other than myself to function. At least temporarily. I have the mask that can make polite small talk when necessary. The mask that will get me to work. The mask that will help me get through functions with lots of people.

I've had people tell me that it always surprises them that as a shy introvert who really doesn't like people I have zero issue getting up in front of an audience, sometimes upwards of 500 people, and giving a presentation or doing an interview with a huge bestselling author.

That? That's my I Like Being The Center of Attention mask. Or, as someone told me, I'm an introvert who can put on an extrovert shell.

I honestly have no idea what the point of this post is. It's just something that's been brewing in my brain for awhile that I needed to get out. I know this blog has gone through so many transitions over the past five years since I started and I don't nearly blog as often as I used to, so thanks for reading those rare times when I do.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus
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