One Month From Today, I Could Drown or Be Eaten By A Shark

images-64

I have been documenting the swim to my 50’s since March of this year.  So far so good.  A couple of leg cramps here and there and some swallowed salty water along the way but generally speaking, my strokes have been smooth.  I have stayed afloat (sort of) and continue to breathe rhythmically.  Phew!

 Exactly one month from today, the big day will come.  HOLY #%*@!!!  It’s almost here!  The big 5-0.  The day I could…drown or get eaten by a shark.  It’s true. 

The day that the swimming comes to a halt.  On that day, I will either drown and get swallowed up by the immense dark terrifying ocean of the 50’s, or get swallowed up by an immense terrifying Great White of the 50’s.  

There will be no escaping my fate.  If it is to be a shark, it will begin to circle around me a few days before planning its attack.  It might nudge me once or twice.  It will get bolder and take a chunk of my foot.  Then it will circle some more.  It will come back for my leg.  All of it.  Soon it will alert his friends and they will finish me up tugging and jerking me around like a rag doll.  Swallowed up.  The whole half century of my life, Gone.  Now, officially 50.

Or, I could just drown.  Let the ocean swallow me up alive drifting my body and soul towards the next half century of my life.  

But you know what?  I am thinking that I may ask for a life boat.  Even a small raft.  I may tread water, doggy paddle like crazy and stay above water.  Maybe I will take a break from my swim for a bit and party my ass off.  Yea.  That sounds better.  Maybe I will cheer and celebrate like crazy.  This brickhousechick is no quitter, damn it!  She never gives up and she will continue the long distance swim through her 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80′ and beyond.

I will reflect on the past 50 years.  I will remember the tidal waves, tsunamis and shark infested waters I have lived through.  Also the calm beautiful clear waters I encountered, that made my journey a joy.

I think I will play my <a href=”http:/

“>favorite song throughout the whole month and dance like nobody is watching (cervical stenosis or not).

Won’t you join me?

 

The Swim to My 50s – Please HOLD OFF on playing the Academy music until I finish my speech!

Very Inspiring Blog Award Nominee

Nominated by, http://www.kimcarlisle.com from: Sanity Check

Being a new blogger, I am learning the ropes and figuring out how to navigate the world of wordpress.com.  There are things I have yet to figure out but I am getting the hang of it.

One thing I know for sure is that the fellow bloggers I am meeting, are wonderful.  Everyone is truly welcoming, encouraging, hilarious and inspiring.  I have learned so much from all of you and can only hope that I can make an impact on someone else’s life – be it a little chuckle in the middle of the day or night.

A warm thank you and shout out to my nominators (not to be confused with my terminators):  

1) Kim, from http://www.kimcarlisle.com whose blog name is, Sanity Check, nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.  The irony is that we became instant blogging buddies after sharing information about our matching autoimmune disease we have both been “blessed” with.   After reading her blog about her three handsome sons and her very supportive husband, I was more than inspired.  Get to know Kim.  You will be glad you did.

2) Octavia02, from http://www.intothelightofthenightkitchen.wordpress.com, nominated me for the Liebster Award.   I immediately liked octavia02 because she seemed feisty like me!  She gets my humor and is a strong spiritual human being.  Visit her and learn how well she copes with life’s storms.

 The Rules for each award are different so I am going to break the rules a bit, combine them and make my own (can you tell I love to break rules?)  I sure hope the academy does not rescind and take my awards back!

My made-up rules (for real award rules just google them):

* Thank and link back to the blogger who has nominated you

* Nominate as many bloggers as you would like for the Award/s and list their blog sites

Notify nominees

*  Tell 5 things about you (I will be answering octavia02’s questions instead)

*  Make up your own award – if you wish 

*  Have yourself a gin and tonic (make sure it’s Hendrick’s Gin)

Disclaimer:

I want these nominees I am about to nominate to know that, if they feel pressed for time or hate rules as much as I do, that they are exempt from having to actually follow the rules.  I will, however, welcome gifts of the liquid kind, in lieu of following the rules.

The nominees deserve all types of real awards for their creativity, talent and inspiration.  In the absence of these deserving awards, I would like to nominate them with a very special award – I made up.  

This special award is called the, Brick House Award, given to a man or woman who is a 36-24-36, can likes to dance, is strong, resilient, knows how to please, makes me laugh, makes me cry and someone whose work I admire.  Feel free to  copy and paste this award logo so that others can get green with envy at your nomination. 🙂

The Brick House Award
The Brick House Award  

And the Brick House Award nominees are: 

http://jillweatherholt.wordpress.com/ – Jill is a sweetheart. She also has an autoimmune condition that she fights every day.  She is very talented, loves Bazooka bubble gum, does NOT eat glue and always makes sure to comment on my posts. 

http://susielindau.com/ – I am sure most of you know Susie.  She loves to throw blogging parties, she seems selfless, encourages other bloggers and has wonderful things to say.

http://andrawatkins.com/ – This Cootchie Mama looks great in tights/leg-ins, she also has the freshest buns of anyone I know. She is writing some great fictional stories.

http://pegoleg.com/ – I honestly have to massage my cheeks after reading her posts from laughing so much.  She is so witty and clever and deserved to Freshly Peg herself!

http://mrsugarbears.com/ – A newbie like me.  Has the most contagious beautiful smile ever and is always pointing out the positive things in life.

http://dontquotelily.com/ – A fellow Puerto Rican chica who is funny, tells it like it is and I believe does not really have an adorable white doggy but just liked the picture.

http://gremlinfoodmom.blogspot.com/ – A beautiful talented teacher/mom who has time to cook for her three sons and husband and even for me when I am not feeling well!  Her recipes are easy and so delicious.

http://www.lisaakramer.com/ – This is her new name and blog!  She is still a woman wielding words but just in a new location.  Also very talented and is a fellow Massachusetts blogger I hope to meet soon.

http://thewishfactor.wordpress.com/ – Also knows as the Guat.  She is hilarious, loves the word dude and is preparing to do a triathlon in a couple of months.  She is latina like me and I can relate to her family stories.

http://ohgodmywifeisgerman.com/ – This is the first male Brick House Award nominee!  So witty, brilliant and makes me have “accidents” in my pants from  laughing so much.  His most recent blog post about hay fever, was right on and hilarious!

http://shesamaineiac.com/ – A very creative, talented blogger who can do all kinds of cool tricks on her blog.  She opened up my eyes to the spammers out there who follow our blogs.  Beware of Zombie Cats!

http://rasjacobson.com/ – I can relate to Renee because I too have mega frizzy hair!  I would like to steal her cans of hair product she is hoarding and I know where she lives.  She also looks fabulous in Lily Pulitzer.

http://gojulesgo.com/ – I am just one of her 4,000 + followers!  She can do it all!  Write, make people laugh and sing!  She has a beautiful voice and I hope she posts more videos of her singing.

http://thewineoclocknews.com/ – I love her blog name.  She is bright, humorous and is younger than me (darn).  She reminds us to embrace our ages and our bodies.

Make sure to check out these Brick Houses’ blogs.

Answers to Octavia02’s questions she asked me after nominating me:

1.  My favorite film?  I have a lot, but I am going to have to say, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, since I have seen it 10+ times and I still laugh as if it were the first time.    You could substitute Greek for Puerto Rican and it would be the exact same movie.

2.  Favorite quote?  “Hija eres, madre serás, lo que hiciste te haran.” A Spanish idiom my mom loved to quote.  Something about daughters becoming mothers and how what you do to your mother as a daughter, your daughter will do to you and your mother will in turn, be laughing at you the whole time.

3. What always makes me cry? Looking at old videos of the kids when they were babies.  It gets me every time.

4. What always makes me laugh?  Adorable squeezable chubby huggable babies.  Just the site of one makes me giggle uncontrollably.

5.  What was my best day? Of course, my wedding and the days my children were born are tops, but this day really stands out.  It was the day I let go of all of my anger and decided to forgive, instead.  The most freeing day of my life.

6.  What was my worst day?  The day I lost my father to cancer.

7.  Emotionally closer to my family or friends?  I am blessed to have both.  I am a very open person and tend to share my emotional and physical state with family and friends.  Could not do it without both.

8. What does “transcend” mean to me? It is my way of thinking and living.  I will not let negative things get to me and will do everything in my power and beyond…to overcome adversity.  Stubbornness, may be another way to describe it.

9. Jon Steward or Stephen Colbert?  Definitely Colbert.  He is brilliant and makes me snort while laughing.  He also looks like my brother-in-law.

10. If I could choose my last word, what would it be?  Thanks.

11. What single quality represents who I am?  Hmmmm…My ability to accept the cards I have been dealt and feel blessed for what I have.  Some might call it ignorance or denial. 🙂  

The Swim To My 50s – I Prefer to Belly Laugh

Happy-Baby-10-Ways-Make-Babies-Laugh

When was the last time you belly laughed?  I mean, really laughed?  The kind of laughter that results in peculiar noises coming out of your mouth, nose or any other orifice, that you can’t believe can come from your body.

It had been a while since I had one of those times, that is, until last Thursday.  I will spare you the long details but let’s just say that my girlfriend and I could not look at each other without bursting into a hysterical seizure-like fit consisting of coughing, wheezing, snorting, choking, passing gas (not me, my friend) and crying.  It came over us like a tsunami and there was no stopping it.
 
Let me tell you, my abs were aching for the next couple of days.  That’s when it came to me.  Who needs sit ups {I wasn’t going to do them anyway} or swimming when you can laugh hysterically 3-4 times a week?  Yes!  What better way to welcome my 50s in September, than with tight-ass abs!!
 
As I continued inspecting my body in preparation for the big day, I had to address my mid-section.  It’s definitely been through hell and can be called a war zone  The first battle occurred at the age of 10. 
We had just moved to Amherst, MA from Puerto Rico, after my father had gotten a position at Umass.  We understood some English but were not even close to being able to form intelligible sentences.
 
My siblings were all playing inside and I wanted to play outside.  I went outside and saw that my next door neighbor whom I will call Steven {because that was his name} was also playing.  I believe he was a year or two older than me.  I decided to approach him and for some incredibly bizarre reason I’ve yet to understand, ask him if he wanted to fight me.  In my broken English, I dared him to hit me first.
 
Now, before you go judging me, I was very much a girly girl growing up.  I loved my Barbies,  my Easy-bake oven and everything pink.  I have no idea where this tough tomboy-ish persona of mine had been hiding and why it decided to come out on that day.
 
Steven was terrified.  Probably because he knew of his demise once his very strict German father heard that his son had hit a girl or equally terrified by the realization that my two very protective brothers and strict Puerto Rican father, were nearby.  But, I continued to egg him on.  Com-on, es-Steven, ju no hit me?  He kept shaking his head no, but after a while, I could see that he was considering it.
RF-Graphic-from-DrawShop-tough-pink-sexy-attractive-girl-woman-with-boxing-gloves-fighter-against-breast-cancer-and-says-fight-like-a-girl-71985-10  
Finally, after my relentless harassing, he took a strong (and may I say quite painful) swing with his fist and punched me right in the stomach.  I stood there in paralyzing pain, wanting to double over, but did everything in my 10-year-old power NOT to show that I was hurt.  I simply smiled at him and told him that I had to get something in my house but that I would be right back.  I walked calmly towards my front door, opened it, stepped in, closed the door and gave out a screeching earth-shattering wail, from the intense pain I felt.  Needless to say, I never went back out.
As predicted, poor Steven got quite the talking to by his German father and my brothers and strict Puerto Rican father, did run out to yell at him after seeing me so distraught.  Even after admitting to everyone that it was my fault and that I had started it, he was punished for hitting a girl.  Oops.
My other mid-section battles were not brought on by any tomboy-ish tendencies.  One battle in particular was brought on by the complete opposite.  It was inspired by a strong maternal, womanly desire to make babies. After three pregnancies and two beautiful children, the scars speak for themselves.  These are not scars from a C-section since I did not have one, but scars from the dreaded stretch marks! Just so you know, I am first on the list at my cousin’s plastic surgery practice, to go under the knife when they figure out a way to get rid of them!  
To add to my diverse looking stomach, I have since had gall-bladder surgery and a splenectomy (removal of your spleen).  Yes, you can still live without these two organs.  But, can you live with the scars?  🙂  The splenectomy scar is a doozy and takes over my entire abdomen.  Not a pretty sight and the main reason I do not have a belly button ring!  I feel so deprived of this right to bear rings!
DSCN4481 - Version 2
 
Above is a picture of me during a Halloween party sporting my one and only, ‘belly button ring’ (nice bikini, huh?).
I have come to accept the looks and shape of my mid-section and will continue to belly laugh all the way to my grave.