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    A year of halfs - Feb 4th, 2014
    This is a hard post for me to share because once I say it I have to follow through with it. But here goes: I am not going to run any full marathons in 2014. Instead, I’m going to concentrate on improving my speed for shorter races—all with a goal of a sub-2:00:00 half marathon. [more...]

    On the other hand - Jan 21st, 2014
    I was half-way over the Atlantic when I moved my wedding rings from my left hand to my right; I had made the decision several weeks earlier that on my return to Scotland I would make the transfer—though that didn’t make it any easier. [more...]

    Fashion confessional - Jan 10th, 2014
    For most of my life, I’ve felt as if I’ve lived on the wrong side of fashionable. And, I’m sure, most of the people I know would agree with that statement. It started when I was in elementary school when I wore mostly hand-me-down clothes and never had the cool accessories that my friends had. [more...]

    Why should I settle? - Jan 9th, 2014
    It’s been more than four years since my husband died and I’ve yet to enter into a new relationship. I’ve now had four first dates (the fourth not as bad as the first three, but he wasn’t a keeper) but I’ve not found someone to have a second date with. [more...]

    Two halfs, to start - Jan 5th, 2014
    I set myself a challenge in 2012 and 2013 to run a race each month, but failed to achieve success because of illness, race cancellations, and life’s chaos. When it came time to think about my 2014 running goals, I realised that I would be unlikely to succeed in a race-a-month challenge for a variety of reasons, but I knew I needed to set a goal of some type. [more...]

    A new me for a new year - Jan 1st, 2014
    It’s a new year, so it’s time for a new me. OK, not a new me, but hopefully an improved me. Yes, it’s time to take charge of my life and fix a few things. [more...]

    Lumpy but normal: My (irrational?) breast cancer scare - Dec 16th, 2013
    It started nearly six weeks ago. It was a Wednesday morning; early. I was experiencing high stress levels at the time, so it wasn’t surprising that I was awake at 3 o’clock in the morning. And as I was awake, lying in bed unable to sleep, I did a breast exam. [more...]

    Am I an imposter? - Dec 4th, 2013
    Last night I went to my first Connect talk, and I was left feeling that I certainly need to connect with Connect a bit more! Connect is for women studying computing, engineering, and the built environment at Edinburgh Napier University and, as I am doing my PhD in the School of Computing, I get to be a part of it. [more...]

    I’m just not that into you - Dec 3rd, 2013
    There’s something ever-so frustrating about the way life and love mix. We want so desperately to be part of a couple, but when someone reaches out for just that we turn them away—all the while wishing a completely different person would reach out instead. [more...]

    Under attack - Nov 12th, 2013
    Today has not been my best day. I knew it would be a hard one, as I was saying goodbye to my parents ahead of tomorrow’s return to Scotland, but I didn’t expect the day I had. [more...]

    The hard things - Nov 11th, 2013
    I'm packing my suitcases this evening for another return to Scotland. After two months in the Homeland, it's a bit hard to say goodbye again. But it would have been hard after two weeks or two years. It's hard because no matter how much I love Scotland and my life there, I love the Homeland and my wonderful family and friends. [more...]

    “Helpful” organising - Nov 3rd, 2013
    I’ve been at my folks’ place for nearly two months now and I think they’re ready to see the back of me. Not because I’ve (necessarily) been a handful to have around, but because I have been cleaning and organising and rearranging things like a mad woman. [more...]

    Life’s travels: Left or right? - Oct 23rd, 2013
    I’ve come to a major fork in life’s journey and all of my maps are out-dated and tattered. There are very few signs and a great deal of fog in the near-wilderness that I’m idling in, so I’m not completely certain what to do next. But I know I have to do something; I have to turn left or right. [more...]

    Roca and rattlesnakes - Oct 22nd, 2013
    Today was a bit of a hodgepodge day that consisted of shopping, tourist-ing, and panic attacks. But there were no rattlesnakes. Well, at least not ones I saw. [more...]

    Autumn falls - Oct 18th, 2013
    Ta-da! This is my latest swirl, Autumn Falls. I swirled it whilst sitting in my parents' living room over about a week's time—whilst sitting in a lovely, comfy arm chair that Paul and I purchased for our home from a little antique store. [more...]

    Home or away - Oct 2nd, 2013
    I’ve been here in the Homeland for nearly a month now, but I’m finding it hard to say that I’m “home”. It’s a confusing and unsettled part about being an expat: I am constantly torn between two homes and I never know which place to call home when I’m asked the question. [more...]

    On being happy - Sep 25th, 2013
    In the past few weeks, I’ve noticed an increase in conversations around happiness and depression so I thought I’d throw some of my own words into the mix. You know, because the Internet needs more opinions! [more...]

    Three first dates - Sep 16th, 2013
    It seems that my dating life is of great interest to folks these days—just like it was before I was married. In fact, the vast majority of people I’ve run into here in the Homeland seem to get around to the question of my dating life before our initial conversation ends. [more...]

    Changing challenges - Sep 14th, 2013
    I have had the worst luck with my 2013 Race a Month Challenge. In fact, I knew a couple of months ago that the odds of success were heavily stacked against me. And as my efforts to make up for lost time haven't worked, I have finally decided to give up. Well, I have finally decided to change the focus of my challenge at least. [more...]

    Hello, America - Sep 6th, 2013
    I am finally back in America after more than two years in Scotland—and after two emotionally draining days of international travel. I can't really say that I'm excited to be home yet because there are just too many uncertainties to face in the days ahead, but I know that I will enjoy my time here visiting with family and friends. [more...]

    The daydream - Sep 1st, 2013
    I daydream. I always have and I always will. I suppose that it’s harmless, though it does sometimes mean that I pin a bit of hope on the happy endings I (almost) always allow myself in my fantasies. [more...]

    The guilt of schadenfreude - Aug 29th, 2013
    I like to think that I am a basically good person. I care about the wellbeing of my fellow man; I pray for health and safety for those I walk this Earth with; I wish for everyone a life of happiness and love. But every once in a while, a little bit of schadenfreude hits me out of the blue and I find myself entertaining a wry smile as I absorb the moment. [more...]

    Saving strengths - Aug 20th, 2013
    Following up on yesterday’s post, today I am acknowledging the strengths that save me from the bitterness of my weaknesses. These are a bit more difficult to share because I always feel like others will deny these things to be present in my life (that’s the self-esteem issue I talked about yesterday!) but I have to acknowledge them in myself so that I can counter the bad things I acknowledge. [more...]

    Taunting weakness - Aug 19th, 2013
    My weaknesses taunt me. They prevent me from truly loving myself and they make me doubt every thread of my being. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make them go away, but I can’t. [more...]

    Slamming doors; breaking hearts - Aug 15th, 2013
    It started a couple of years ago. There was a boy. I liked him and I thought he liked me. But he wasn’t willing to commit. He didn’t want me as his girlfriend; he just wanted me as a play toy. So I walked away. [more...]

    Random memories: Dog days of summer - Aug 13th, 2013
    I think I was about 12 or 13 that summer. I was certainly still in junior high school and I was spending most of my days with my best friend, Rachel, in between my house and her parents’ auto supply store. [more...]

    When I close my eyes - Aug 12th, 2013
    Sometimes I like to close my eyes and imagine the life I want. It’s by no means an extravagant life—it doesn’t even include winning the lottery—but it’s the life I dream of having. [more...]

    Holes in my head - Aug 12th, 2013
    I was 14-years-old when I got my ears pierced. One hole per ear as an 8th grade graduation gift from my parents. And I knew that it was strictly against the rules to have any further holes added until I was 18. [more...]

    Operation hanky rescue - Aug 7th, 2013
    I have rescued a lovely white handkerchief. On the way to work on Monday I saw this poor little handkerchief on the ground getting all stomped on and dirty(er) but didn’t really think much of it until I saw it was still there on my way home. [more...]

    Forgiving a ghost - Aug 4th, 2013
    It’s been 20 years since I last saw him. Twenty years since he caused me an unimaginable amount of pain—pain that has stayed with me all this time. And it’s been 19 years since he died. Nineteen years since that drug-fuelled accident claimed his life; though some had questioned if it was, in fact, an accident. [more...]

    A world of stress - Jul 31st, 2013
    The world seems to be closing in on me right now and it’s destroying my soul. The only thing that is saving me from a complete meltdown is knowing that soon—very soon—some of today’s stresses will naturally resolve themselves. [more...]

    Sleep evades - Jul 22nd, 2013
    I’ve had a couple of sleepless weeks and it’s starting to show in my face. Despite the many happy things happening, there are many frustrating and stressful things that are interrupting my sleep. [more...]

    A quiet reflection - Jul 11th, 2013
    I’ve been a little quiet lately, and it seems that my absence from the digital world has been noticed. I guess that when people expect to keep up with your life through your website, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, they get a little antsy when you cease using all of them at once. [more...]

    Half-way to failure - Jul 1st, 2013
    A year ago this time, I was excitedly telling you that I was half-way to succeeding in my 2012 Race a Month Challenge. Sadly, half-way through my 2013 challenge, I’m here to tell you that I’m failing miserably. [more...]

    Holiday dilemma - Jun 24th, 2013
    I want to go away on holiday somewhere. It doesn’t have to be far away; just a nice holiday away from home. I want to book into a lovely little B&B in some coastal fishing village where I can explore the local environs. I want to stroll along the beach collecting interesting shells or pebbles. [more...]

    The number you have dialled - Jun 17th, 2013
    I am rubbish with numbers. I think that’s a pretty common understanding and it’s not really something I’m embarrassed by. I can’t do mathematical equations (in part because I am so intimidated by numbers that I don’t even try) and I am the queen of flipping numbers around. [more...]

    I’m high - Jun 3rd, 2013
    I had lunch with a friend today and the topic of my platelet counts came up. Initially as a genuine curiosity to know how they were, but then as a bit of gentle scolding at the fact misconception that I only ever share the bad platelet news—not the good. [more...]

    Snail lessons - Jun 2nd, 2013
    I’ve spent the weekend out in the garden which has turned into quite the snail lesson for me. [more...]

    Scholarship hopes - May 31st, 2013
    I am losing hope. Bit by bit, moment by moment. It is a painful process because I fear that my continued loss of hope will inevitably mean that I have to abandon my dreams. [more...]

    Alone by choice, begrudgingly - May 24th, 2013
    For the vast majority of my adult life, I have been alone. I’ve only ever had two boyfriends, the first of whom was not very nice; the second of whom became my husband and taught me what love was. In between the two, I dated quite a bit in the (seemingly necessary) search for love. [more...]

    Garbage day - May 15th, 2013
    I have finally taken the garbage out. And—more importantly—the recycling. Though I admit that it happened too late. [more...]

    The genius theory - May 10th, 2013
    I took a bit of a self-esteem stumble after being pushed by some hurtful words over the weekend. I really let the words get to me and I started to doubt my goals because of them. [more...]

    The Edinburgh countdown - Apr 20th, 2013
    Five weeks from tomorrow, I will be running the Edinburgh Marathon. I am, to say the least, unprepared. But I’m not about to let a lack of training stop me from finishing. That would just be silly. Plus that, I owe it to my number benefactor to finish—and to finish strong! [more...]

    Post-phobia - Apr 10th, 2013
    For several weeks now, I have been afraid of the post. If I’m at home when it arrives, I dread walking over to pick it up. If I’ve been at work, I dread coming home and opening my door to see a pile of post waiting for me. [more...]

    Sluggish in Stirling - Apr 3rd, 2013
    I used to be the most amazing sleeper. I went to bed around 10 o'clock and woke up refreshed and alert when my alarm went off—save for the occasional late nights or lazy mornings. But then Paul died and my sleeping patterns went haywire. [more...]

    No, not really - Apr 2nd, 2013
    Well, it would seem that yesterday’s story about my fantastic opportunity to cross the Atlantic in a hot air balloon was believed by at least a few people. (One friend even woke her husband to share the news. I doubt he smiled as much as I did at it!) [more...]

    Home is where…? - Mar 29th, 2013
    Home is a hard place for me to define; more so as I don’t know where I will be living over the next few months—and beyond. Frustratingly, it has been a difficult place for me to identify for much of my life because home for me is less of a physical place and more of an emotional place. [more...]

    Software glitch - Mar 16th, 2013
    There is a glitch in Just Frances that I can’t seem to repair. It started when I first got the Frances 3.0 upgrade nearly four years ago and it seems that it can’t be uninstalled. At least not until there’s a new major version for me to download. [more...]

    Eyelash wishes - Mar 11th, 2013
    I wish on eyelashes. I don’t know when it started. Maybe my parents taught me the superstitious act. I can’t remember. But what I know for sure is that I wish on eyelashes. Every eyelash; every time. [more...]

    A challenging challenge - Feb 27th, 2013
    With February fast approaching her end, I am saddened to report that I have still not managed to run a race as part of my 2013 Race a Month Challenge. Not for a lack of trying, however, as my January race was cancelled due to ice and my February plans have all been scuppered due to on-going Forestry Commission work on my local Park Run’s route. [more...]

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