Little boxes

Apr 12

Today I wrote thank you notes for gifts given to me in March.  Yes, I’m still very behind.  Even while I’m not actively fighting cancer, I still need grace in areas like this because I just don’t have it all together.  But then, if I’ve learned anything in my adult life it’s this: no one has it all together.

Phew; I can’t tell you what a relief it is to know that.  We all show up and do the best we can, every day.  Right?

I’m getting back in the gym routine, and today I did a class called Mat Pilates.  (I’ve been bouncing around trying machines, swimming, classes, in a haphazard-let’s-try-this-today-way.)  I left today’s class thinking: that was very yoga-y, and surprisingly relaxing, and yet I worked out too.  I shall be doing more of that class, I think.  While I’m at the gym I also considered these very important questions:

-What kind of sports bra should I wear?  I don’t actually need to wear one, remember, but it seems so weird not to.  So I do.  And then I wonder about it.  And I take a casual poll among girlfriends so they can weigh in because it is just weird, and I ask my girlfriends about weird things.  Welcome to my world.

-What do short-haired people do with their hair when they are working out?  I hate sweaty hair in my face (even though it is only long enough to brush my forehead, I still don’t like it.)  I’ve tried various headbands/sweatbands/buffs in the privacy of my bathroom, and I end up looking like one of those really hideous 80’s aerobics VHS people.  I tried one of Greta’s little teeny weeny rubber bands to pull back the center section, and it looked ridiculous–as you can probably imagine.  I’ve tried clips, but the number of clips to control the hair gets out of control pretty quickly.  I’m telling you, bald was easier people.  That actually tells you a lot about me: I’m pretty clueless in the realm between “baldness” and “ponytail”.  🙂

The gym has continued to be a great thinking place for me.  I pray a lot while I’m there.  It feels decadent to take time for me.  Some of the thank-you notes I wrote today were to people who helped pay for my membership; I find myself thinking about and praying for those people while I am there.

The simplicity of a class at the gym and thank-you notes are items on my To Do list that are little boxes, waiting to be checked off.  But the implication is bigger:

Live Well

Be Strong

Say Thank You

Do Unto Others

It was my mom who taught me the importance of thank-you notes, but the scope and nature of gifting has been blown wide open by my cancer experience, thanks you to, my people.  I ache with gratitude.  Thank you for loving me with your words, your actions, your gifts, your hearts.


  1. jen geverdt /

    Maybe you could use a mighty foam/gel product so that your hair doesn’t move when you work out. Just slick it all back, baby.

  2. Lynda M O /

    Your gift of your blog despite your health battle is huge. Thank you for it. As to the hair-I still use a cotton bandan folded into triangle and then tied in the back at the base of my neck. It solves two problems: hair stays off my sweaty forehead and collection of that same sweat; better than any other head ‘thing’ i tried. The manufacturers of bandanas widened the variety of prints to “fashionable and colorful”.

    I also like the stiffening suggestion of Jen G.

  3. I have short hair and do what Lynda suggested — fold a bandana in the shape of a triangle at the base of my neck. Sometimes I fold the bandana into a triangle then over and over in a 1.5-inch or so strip that still ties at the base of my neck and looks more like a headband.

    As for the sports bra, I’m a AAA cup if that, and traditional sports bras ride UP and OVER my chest. While no one can tell, the first time I felt a breeze there and realized what had happened. . . Well, it was awkward. Yoga bras – the bandeau top style – have proven to be more secure and comfortable. Since the support isn’t necessary, comfort is key. Also, I run distance and they stay put. (Got mine at SAMs in a package of two, I think.) They’re much cheaper than traditional sports bras.

    Your blog is awesome. I don’t think I’ve commented before, but our youngest daughters are the same age. You are a gifted writer, and your humble grace and beautiful faith are inspiring.

  4. I’ve got short wispy bangs at the moment and the only thing that keeps it in control while I run is a sports cap!!

    Btw I love the honesty and love you write with.

  5. Jen, I love you so much. You are a breath of fresh air. Hubby and I just got back from a last-minute trip to see my MIL, who is losing her battle with lymphoma. You are such a breath of Life and your perspective, your insight, your writing, YOU make me feel better. I can’t elaborate here, but I just love you. xo