Author Archives: pkadams

About pkadams

Hi and thanks for checking out my blog! I'm not sure what direction this new venture will lead me but I'm pretty sure it will involve talking about running, food, family, faith, and friends, because those are my favorite topics. I'm a runner, about 7 years into this amazing journey. So far I have completed over 100 races , from 5ks to 100 miles . I prefer trail running but I enjoy an occasional fast paced road run . I live with my family in Texas where we home school and greatly enjoy freedom and wide open spaces. I am a Christian, somewhere between Conservative and Libertarian in my politics. My current goals in life are to raise my children to be happy, healthy, independent adults, continue to run and hopefully get faster, support my husband in his efforts to support our family on one income, be a good friend , always keep learning new things, and most importantly, to honor God in all that I do.

Don’t worry about being ‘NORMAL’

Being normal is overrated. What is normal? The first dictionary entry I found when I searched ‘define normal’ said this :

conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.
“it’s quite normal for puppies to bolt their food”
synonyms: usualstandardordinarycustomaryconventionalhabitualaccustomed, expected, 

I’m sorry for puppies, but I guess that is normal for them. But look at the other words.

USUAL. STANDARD. ORDINARY. CONVENTIONAL.

If you’re reading this, you probably don’t fit into those categories, by the sheer fact that not that many people read blogs at all and not that many people read blogs about being normal. Good for you! You are EXTRA-ordinary, non-conventional, unusual, non-standard. That’s great! That means you are special!

SPECIAL: Possessing unique qualities, rare, one of a kind, non-conforming.

And if you want to know more, the word normal comes from the word norm, so here is a link to a full definition of that word. Another way of looking at normal is with a bell curve graph of classroom grades. The norm would be the majority of the students grades in the middle of the graph and and the minority  on the  two ends. Thankfully I was in the middle most of the time, but not everyone is so blessed.

 http://teaching.monster.com/benefits/articles/5658-why-grading-on-the-curve-hurts

I have spent way too much of my life having anxiety over the fact that I’m NOT like other people and wishing I was , for some reason. We all know the reason. It’s because we are told that fitting in is best, in SO many ways. It’s the first thing you are taught in school , but even before that, just by watching TV, participating in daily life, listening to your parents, reading Children’s books. The message is clear. Follow these rules. Act like this. BE this person. But what if you’re not?

Children who don’t conform are subject to scrutiny and punishment. Loud children are told to be quiet. Active children are told to sit down and be still. Skinny kids are ‘fattened up’ and fat kids are put on diets. Eat these foods, wear these clothes, play with these toys, read these books, enjoy these activities, join these groups, have these goals, like this music, follow these trends , or something must be wrong with you. You develop the idea that you are not like everyone else. You are the only one who doesn’t fit in. Which is not true! Children are very intuitive and pick up on disapproval. If you are reading this and your child is the one who is not normal, please, I beg you, make sure to not transmit disappointment to your child. Love and appreciate and value  your special , unique, non-conformist child.

As a child I was not a conformist. I was ‘normal’ as far as the basics, not diagnosed with anything, at least. Thankfully my mother was not one to take us kids to the doctor a lot. If I had been born in this era, I’d probably have been put on some kind of medication for ADHD or labeled with something like Aspergers Syndrome or Social Anxiety Disorder. I also had undiagnosed food allergies that caused me a lot of digestive pain and problems as well as food cravings and emotional problems later on. But even now with a better diet, I’m still different.

As a child, I was different in that I didn’t want to go to school or participate in group activities. Those things gave me anxiety. I liked people and still do, but on my terms. Sometimes my unique way of looking at life meant that I was seen as difficult. In fourth grade I wrote a paper on how I wish I lived in France.  My teacher was disturbed and said I wasn’t patriotic ! My mom was not worried. I still want to go to France.

As an adult, I am still not a joiner, although I like groups of people , just not being forced into them or required to be there at certain times or days. I like to observe and take in the sights, which is about all I can do  because of my ADD. I can’t really focus that well when the scene is loud and busy. So when my oldest son turned out to be ‘different’ like me, I decided that home-school was the best option. And honestly, it was best for both of us. I tried putting him in a couple of schools and the pressure to make him fit in and follow rules was very stressful on both of us. I felt like a bad mother and he felt frustrated. Of course I think my son is wonderful and a genius, most adults did not like that he couldn’t sit still, shut up and do what everyone else was doing. He tried! Once he got in big trouble for cussing in a Little League game. Gimme a break.  I’m happy to report that my unique, gifted, musically talented son grew up to be a fully-functioning, self-supporting, completely home-schooled adult and he still cusses.

There are lots of unique people out there and now we can find each other, thanks to the wonders of the internet, the online world, social media, whatever you want to call it. I’m so thankful for America Online and Windows 3.1 ! I joined the online world back when desktop computers were huge and expensive and dial-up connections were super slow. My old Compaq computer had primitive graphics and a dot-matrix printer and almost no hard-drive compared to today’s offerings. But we loved it! My son was 2 years old when he first tried using a computer  and he took to it instantly playing all the Broderbund games and Learning Company software. Oh the fun hours spent playing Busytown , Reader Rabbit, and later The Oregon Trail and Carmen Sandiego. Computer games taught my kids reading and math and many skills.

Interesting article about the early world of computers

Meanwhile I spent hours creating my Geocities page ( later deleted by them, much to my eternal sadness) and discovering Yahoo Groups, an email forum. I am still friends with the women I met in those day, but now it’s on Facebook and Instagram. We are a unique bunch. None of us are ‘normal’. We have large families of children who were born at home, breastfed, not immunized, and homeschooled. Most of us are Christians and Bible-believers. And that is awesome! I also have a different network of friends who have special needs kids like my daughter. Some of them are ‘normal’ people, but they are still great folks who helped me adjust to life with a child with a rare condition and shared information that most doctors didn’t even have at that time. By normal, I mean, they fit the more standard ways of life in our American society, two kids, two incomes, suburban lifestyles. I also have my newest network of friends, my running friends that I have discovered are a mix of normal people and special people. A large number of runners are very special and have unique careers and lifestyles, but there are also many that have mostly regular lives, but escape them by running in the woods or even on roads.

Learn to appreciate your uniqueness, don’t fear it like I did. Scientifically, there is a very broad spectrum of normal behavior. As long as you’re not hurting another person or infringing on someone’s rights, do your thing! As a Christian, I do believe certain actions are prohibited, and most moral codes would include similar rules, such as do not kill, steal, lie, cheat, etc. But you can dress, talk, and do whatever makes you happy. Love yourself, love others, but that doesn’t mean you have to be super social or even go to parties. Or if you are super social, you don’t have to be an expert at it. It’s okay to be awkward. There are people who will be your friend anyway. I know because I’m social and socially awkward and I have friends. Ignore the rude people who truly think they are better than other people. Pity them. Pray for them. Because YOU are special !

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My life in pictures #2

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I’ve always loved Volkswagen Beetles . I had a copper colored one like that. 

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Enter a captionIphone 072Iphone 133Iphone 187Iphone 196Iphone 286Iphone 364Iphone 372Iphone 430Iphone 448My husband gives himself tattoos. This is my favorite.

I had some issues with this post and couldn’t get the captions under most of the photos. The group photo is a special one. It’s literally a group of moms who all have children with the same very rare condition that my daughter has, Lissencephaly.

The one of the motorcycle was me a few years back in my faster, fitter, younger days.

That’s my husband with a painting on a wall of Willie Nelson, a very famous singer and musician in America.

Your CR has been stolen! BAM!

It’s been a while since I’ve done this. What? Buzzed blogging!  Let’s just say that it’s been a good week with a few minor casualties. One , I had to buy tires and two, I had to buy snorkels for my kids. Those are two things that were not in my increasingly tight budget. But it’s all good ! God provides for us!

Some fun stuff happened. Today I set my mind on running a bit faster even though ( why doesn’t WordPress have auto-suggest?) it was still very hot, it was not as humid. And by not as humid, I mean instead of 77 degree dewpoint, it was 73. Google that and you will see that I live in a very bad place for running during the summer. Anyway, I had goals and I met them! I ran a 4 mile run with all sub-10 miles including some 8 something minute running up a short hill in which I attempted to take the course record of a Strava segment and succeeded! Yay me!  The town of Sealy is basically FLAT as a pancake but there are  a few little inclines where we try ourselves and I knew my friend had the CR so I wanted to beat her, lol! In case that sounds slow, let me see you run in southeast Texas in the summer. 🙂

Tonight I made some DE-licious chicken strips for dinner with a cream cheese sauce and onion and peppers. Super easy and low carb! I skipped the noodles or rice this time because I’m trying to lose the 7 pounds I’ve gained, 😥 , thanks to pre-menopause.  My hubby thought it was tasty. We were out of any green veggies so I had a rum and Fresca instead. That’s the same thing , right?

Okay, well, enough of this , gotta go. Happy almost Friday to everyone who’s reading this!

Skies, puppies and runners

Some photos that I always enjoy looking at when they come up on the screensaver. The captions are  underneath the photos. Hope you like them, too!

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Are ducks allowed to ride?

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Bat cat

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Pedernales Falls State Park in the beautiful hill country of Texas

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The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in Reliant Stadium

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In the starting corral of the Chevron Houston Marathon

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Puppy days 

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Summer Sky

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Texas Gulf Coast

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Before the Chicago Marathon

SSDD? Facebook memories tell the story.

Same shit, different day. It was a saying when I was younger,  I’m not sure if it is still being used. It means that you had a typical , boring day. But in my case, I think SSDD is not a negative thing. One thing I’ve noticed through the magic of social media, especially Facebook memories, is that my life has been pretty routine, repetitive and predictable over the years, at least since the internet has been keeping track for me.  At first I was bothered by that . I thought, Wow, I am a boring person! I did the exact same thing last year on this day! But then I realized that there is a good reason for the sameness.  I know what I like!

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A memory from two years ago. Sadly I won’t be repeating it this year, but it was a great race!

 

I do what I like, travel, running, hiking , over and over, based on the season, and based on what is offered at various times of year.  I would do those things even more often if had the chance, but I think God made seasons to force us to mix it up. In fact, I’m so bad about falling in love with something and wanting to do it ALL THE TIME, that I get sad when I can’t. So it is actually helpful for me to see these memories and remember that I have had a lot of fun times in my life and I will probably have more fun times, even if this day, week , or month is kinda boring.

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I posted this photo two years ago. I ate the same thing yesterday. I like it! I love avocados in season. I try to eat a whole one every day.

 

Another good thing about these social media reminders is that I tend to live in the moment and I also have a very bad memory. These two things can tend to make me forget the good times and the happy times when I am having a bad day. I love it that other people can remember things better and they tell stories that include me or my kids having fun, good times I’ve forgotten. It helps me say, oh, I DO have a good life! Oh, my kids DO have a good childhood! Oh, I am SO blessed! Because some days I feel sorry for myself or that I’m a terrible mom or that God doesn’t care about me. But based on these Facebook memories, I can see that I’m a pretty good mom and I have done a lot of cool stuff and gone on some great trips.

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Here’s one of my two youngest sons that my husband posted two years ago. They have both changed a lot since then!

 

Of course , one bad thing about looking back on the Timeline is I can see some of the dumb and negative stuff I’ve posted in the past on a bad day or just a thoughtless (or drunk) moment, and that makes me feel like an idiot and embarrassed at my stupidity. It does make me try harder to think before I click POST! And thankfully we can delete those posts, but the damage may have been done. People can take your posts way more seriously than you meant them, or vice versa. Or they can misunderstand completely what thoughts and ideas you are trying to convey if you don’t state them clearly.  If I am talking to someone face to face, we will have an actual conversation , back and forth, with facial expressions, body language, and voice changes, getting to the real meaning and hopefully coming to understand each other’s point of view. But let’s face it, most of us do the same thing if we use social media regularly. We post things we later regret or have to clarify. We have to forgive ourselves, learn, and try to do better at communicating, being compassionate, and putting ourselves in other’s shoes.

That is why I think Facebook can be a good thing for people like me who have poor social skills.  Part of having ADHD is not thinking about the other person before you act of speak. It’s not that you don’t care, you just get in a rush. Facebook has given me good feedback and enough shame, if you will, to make me slow down and think. But I still slip up and I am thankful for the friends who are forgiving towards me. I think they see my real self, the person who really does care about people.

What about you? Do you look at your Facebook memories? Does it make you feel good or bad ?

My Story with Depression

This is so good, I had to share. I have a similar past except for the self-harming. I was self-destructive in other way. But I had the post-partum depression that made me feel like a zombie and I also had panic attacks. Running has made a huge improvement. I truly believe God gave me running as a gift.

A Runner After God's Own Heart

This blog post has been rolling around in my head for some time now. In light of the recent celebrity suicides, I think it’s time I write it. My own family doesn’t even know much of what I am about to say, so this is extremely hard and I am going to make myself extremely vulnerable here. I know that depression still has a stigma, and an even greater one within the church. I remember as a child hearing that suicide was an unforgivable sin because once you did it, you couldn’t ask for forgiveness. What a thought to go through a young persons head, but even at age 8, I could understand why someone would take their own life. It did scare me though that you wouldn’t go to heaven if you did kill yourself.

My childhood was probably pretty typical for someone growing up in the 70’s- early…

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The Summer Solstice, anxiety and what to do about it

I am a university educated, non-pagan,  Christian living in a modern society. I don’t believe in Mother Earth or that the Universe is God or vice versa. I don’t read horoscopes for advice on daily living or otherwise. HOWEVER…. I do believe that God in His infinite wisdom is a God of order and patterns. The Bible, aka the Holy Scriptures, are full of examples of this. For instance, from the beginning when God created the world, He made it have a 24 hour day, a 7 day week and seasons based on the rotation of the earth and it’s journey around the sun. He created gravity which influences everything. He created our human bodies which respond to other things he created such as barometric pressure, humidity, temperature, light, darkness, and wind. All of these things are external to our bodies , yet you don’t hear much about them when you read about mental health.

SAD , seasonal affective disorder, is a psychiatric diagnosis given to people who get depressed during the winter when they don’t get enough sunlight and their vitamin D levels drop, and probably other changes  that are not measured. This is one condition that has been recognized by the medical field, but is not given much attention unless the sufferer finally seeks helps. Thankfully it does seem to be more acknowledged than it used to be. This condition, in my opinion, is happening year round now that more people are afraid of skin cancer and also because children and adults alike are spending much more time indoors on the internet. One thing everyone can do is take quality Vitamin D3 supplements. I do suggest getting your levels checked first if you have that option. Many people benefit from fairly high doses. Do your research. I am not a doctor.

On to the main topic, seasonal changes. Just when you are getting adjusted to a new hotter or colder temperature and longer or shorter days, it starts to change again! I know some people are not as sensitive to these things,  but those people don’t read articles like this.  I believe that God uses seasons to keep us from getting too comfortable with worldly life. Today is June 11. In Texas, it has been even hotter than normal. As in 90s and above with very high humidity.  Last month was fairly pleasant as far as weather , if you’re used to Texas weather, and people seemed mostly happy.  But as we get closer to June 21, the first day of Summer, I’ve notice a lot of irritability. But I don’t really think it’s the heat that is making them grouchy. I think it’s the upcoming Summer Solstice.

What is the Summer Solstice? It’s the longest day of the year , meaning the most time elapsed from sunrise to sunset.  And the Winter Solstice is the shortest day.  Like I said, I am not a pagan , but I am aware that pagans celebrate these days. I believe pagans have corrupted all God-given things by ascribing perverted rituals and nature/god worship to the creation instead of the Creator, just as pagans have distorted and abused the God-given gift of sex and love. In fact, pagans of the past, and even now, use sex as part of their worship of their false gods. God hates this idolatry and punished and punishes it severely.  That’s a topic for another day.

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What does this have to do with Summer, and seasons in general? Just as humans are affected by having too little light in the Winter, and by the phases of the moon, they are affected by the seasonal changes and long bright days of the Spring and Summer. You’d think the effects of warm weather and sunny days would be mostly positive and I think it is, but I think this time of year can create anxiety in people. Spring and Summer is when God intends for people to be productive and actively preparing for Fall and Winter. If a person is trapped indoors at a desk job or otherwise stuck in a non-productive, toxic or sinful lifestyle, this season, just like Winter,  will cause discontent and unease. People may not know what is wrong , but they feel like they should be doing something. This feeling can build and build. If you follow the worldly ways, you will seek relief in the usual numbing addictions, entertainment, food, alcohol, sex, internet, TV, etc. , instead of doing productive activity and spending time outside and in  the deep soul-searching, prayer, and evaluation that we all  need to do to keep growing into the person God made us to be.  You will feel anxiety because you are resisting God’s will. If you will trust God and seek His will, you will find peace and freedom!

What is God’s will? To put Him first in your life and to grow into a godly person.  You will find that daily living by the power of the Holy Spirit will reap great awards. He will help you shed the shackles of sin and your pet idols and fear of man. How do you do that? First you must know Jesus and receive the free gift of salvation by confessing that you are a sinner and need Jesus to make you right with God. Then you begin to learn about Him and His ways and , yes, His rules for right living. We are not saved by those rules, but they are what God wants because they are for our good. The more you get to know God, the more you will see what a good and loving Father he is! He has your best interests in mind. Then your faith and trust will grow and you will be able to hear the Holy Spirit as he guides you daily. All Christians have the Holy Spirit in them, but not all Christians listen to him. Please note that I am not talking about ‘going to church’ or ‘religion’. Knowing Jesus is neither of those. If you’re new to all of this, I suggest first reading the book of John or any of the gospels of Matthew, Mark , or Luke. Or you may want to read Genesis first. You can read it online. Here is one source.

My prayer is that if you are feeling out of sorts or even if you’re not, that you will seek the Lord and find Him and begin to live for and by him. Feel free to post questions in the comment section if I can help.