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On Sitting in a Stupidly Ungrateful Place…

I’m not sure why I’m on a roll, entitling posts this way.  Right now, it just feels right.  Because I am on the brink of some kind of breakthrough.

[Or breakdown.  Could be one in the same…]


[So as an initial matter, it appears that I may be leaning on the Army for therapy…. you have been warned.]

Lately, many people are getting to me. Getting way under my skin.  The so-called “haters” are relatively quiet.  So it’s a new thing.  It’s the people who are not carrying the same stresses and workload and family and job(s) that I am.  And these folks pretend that they are sooooooo stressed out. And they take up my time and energy. And all the while, I’m thinking, Really.  What are YOU stressed out about?  

And it’s getting to the point where I’m getting physically sick to my stomach when I think about it and have to listen to these so-called stressors. Really… stop wasting my time… I slept 2 hours last night, and  I have a deadline…  [A real one. Not a massage appointment…]

But then I realize that it’s a massive slippery, scary, sliding dangerous waste of time to allow myself to feel this way. I know it is wrong—-all this negative energy that I’m blowing around in my heart and mind—it’s exactly opposite of what I am trying to be.


And plus… the number of people who have “real” struggles, like Army member, Jo…. real, real, real struggles.  Forget deadlines.  We’re talking cancer. And PTSD.  And sick children

Real struggles. And my problem… while it might not be so simple as  a scheduled massage appointment, but… it’s… a… (gulp)  deadline?

(Face in hands, shameful.  I should be beaten with a club. Really.)

And all the while, I get madder at myself. Because I recognize that my feelings are stupid.  So, no need to say, “Well, you are a stupid dumb bimbo for thinking this way.”  Save your breath. I know that it’s stupid  to think this way.I know. 

But everyone who has ever done a triathlon knows that it’s also stupid to eat a Big Mac Meal from McDonald’s… but yet, I can admit to having swallowed whole thing at least once this month…

Wait, so maybe it’s just me who is stupid?  Oh lawd…

I am trying so desperately to change.  To keep up with my own damn mantra, for the love! #justkeepmovingforward! Instead, I may be forced to change my mantra to #justkeepwhiningmore  #swimbikewhine

There are plenty of people out there who read my blog and think, spoiled rotten little rich girl.  (Or they sometimes send me an email. I love those emails. I do.)  And these people are totally wrong.  Okay, so I may have been spoiled, but a far cry from rich.  But then again, it depends on what area of the world we using as the definition of rich…  

Slipppppppppery. Slopeity. Splat.

photo (47)

I mean really… this “thank youe” card from my kiddo? What ELSE do I need in this world????

My point is:  I don’t like the way I’ve been thinking lately.  And it’s my fault.

But can I be completely honest?

I don’t know how to change my thoughts.  I really, truly don’t know. I don’t know how to deal with my past. With true grace. With forgiveness.  I don’t know how to stop the cycle of anger and sadness.  Yes, I pray and pray.   And triathlon certainly helps work out the demons…

And yesterday, I yoga’d at hot yoga for 75 minutes.  And did this move with a vengeance:

Photo Credit:

Until the sweat was pouring out of me, and I was sliding over the mat like a wet seal. Face all red and breath ujjayi-ing… and searching for my spirit.

Where in the world AM I?   I was screaming internally.

Oh, I can tell you where I was… I was in a hot yoga class.  #spoiledrotten

(Face in hands. Again.)

Ahhhhhh, it all goes back to the key of it all….  Gratefulness.

(I just forced myself to go back and read this post that yes, I just wrote a few weeks ago.) Gratitude. Joy. All the fruits of the spirit… Especially, self-control and keeping my mouth shut.

So I’m leaving my rambles with this ever-so-simple quote that’s been circulating for a bit now…


So the purpose of this post is to remind myself… daily…that I have oh, so much, to be grateful for.

And to remind myself to be kind to others (not just externally)… but also internally. To mean it.  To be kind inside and out. 

A hot mess in progress… I’m learning…

Thanks for listening.


  • Deirdre Hamilton

    October 28, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    This is going to sound so horribly cliche, but the times we most need to find our gratitude are the times when it seems most elusive. Further though, being grateful is not something that just happens naturally in today’s demanding, ever criticizing, ever comparing-ourselves-to-others society. Like triathlon, like fitness, like all other things worth having, it comes with practice, focus and determination. And like triathlon, fitness and all other things worth having, sometimes you will just have an off day, week, or even month … but just keep moving forward … for it will stick one day. Now, go get your gratitude journal started! 😀

  • Mo

    October 28, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    I’m having a breakdown and have way too many thoughts that I would like to change and have no idea where to start. I think we need a new blog….swim bike bitch….as in complain session and maybe invite a few psychologists and psychiatrists to join us! I know I have days where I really could use it lately. Sorry for the vent session. I was going to explode. Oh wait, I did that already on the hubby and kids tonight. I’m one hot mess beyond progress…..

  • Teresa

    October 28, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    I love this post!! Thank you for sharing! I am in a similar place… So frustrated about some things but all I have to do is open my eyes and see how easy I have it. One thing that I’ve realized lately, that has helped me to come down off of my “high horse”, is that I have decided that I’m not too busy! I am stepping out of the argument over who is busier these days. It’s a losing battle! I have 2 kids, starting a business, living the triathlon life and trying to be a better me! I’ve decided, that no matter what, I’m not too busy. I can always stop and re-center! When someone starts in on their busy scheduled life, I now empathize. I used to want to “one-up” them and tell them they have no idea what busy is! Not anymore… I hear them and just try to listen. That’s all… Nothing more… It has worked wonders for my perspective! Sending good vibes that you continue to grow in your journey and appreciate the journey, not just the goals!!!

  • Ally

    October 28, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    It sucks to have to spend so much time in your own head sometimes, doesn’t it? Lol. You’re not ungrateful, YOU’RE HUMAN. We, women especially, are our own worst critics. But just remember, you can only ever do the best that you can. And your best will be different depending on the day. You have a beautiful family that loves you and a good heart. Just keep moving forward. Try to let go of the negative juju.

  • Heather

    October 28, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    On a daily basis each of us are facing our own battles on miniscule levels and on mountainous ones. And the scale is different for each of us. Something one may consider mountainous the next may shrug as no-big-deal.

    On the days I find myself facing mountains, I remember something my mother ones told me:
    It is said that if any given group of people get together and sit around a table, and each of them put their problems on the table for all to see, at the end of the day we all would chose to take back our own problems instead of taking someone else’s problems from them. We all have our own problems but we all make due at the end of the day.

    This too shall pass SwimBikeMom. You’ll make it through.

  • Steve V

    October 28, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Mer, I’ve read many self improvement books most dealing with a positive self image. They allow me to keep a positive mental attitude almost all of the time. Everybody slips sometime. I basicly brainwashed myself to always be positive, grateful and happy. I’d love to share my list if you’re interested.

  • Cristina

    October 28, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    oh! I can so relate … the past 11 years of my life have been a journey of becoming a better person. I start with a gratitude list but try this for 2 weeks and I doubt you won’t feel better. Do something anonymously kind for someone but don’t tell anyone about it. So, for example, pay the toll for the car behind you but don’t look back, bring the supermarket carts back to the store, put a quarter in someones parking meter, pick a flower and lay it on someone’s front door or windshield wiper. Whatever. A unrecognized anonymous act of kindness. This is between you and you. No telling hubby, no writing , no nothing. Small and simple and let’s see how you feel after. I dunno. It’s worked for me when I feel like I am getting a bit too stuck in my head. Either way … good luck on coming around to the other side of this!

    • Nancy M

      October 29, 2013 at 6:44 pm

      Did you read the book “29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving can Change Your Life” by Cami Walker…? this is exactly what she discovered.

  • Kristin Anthony

    October 28, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    All I have to say is “Love it.” I struggle with this daily, a fine line between self pitty and being grateful. I’ve been through allot and yet I am blessed with so much. I have lost precious friends to cancer and have some who are living with cancer as their new normal. I am a cancer survivor living with a rare illness. I run, laugh, and live much more than I deserve. Thank you for sharing:)

  • Shauna@Pleasure, not Punishment

    October 28, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    I’m sorry you’re having such a difficult time. From the outside, you’re an amazing accomplished woman with tremendous drive and determination. I wish for you that a big mac or a bad day didn’t undermine that and I hope someday it won’t.

    Meredith Atwood, You are an Ironman.

  • suzanne

    October 29, 2013 at 12:18 am

    Try meditation. 20 minutes a day. It is different than prayer. Meditate. Notice your thoughts, label them (i.e. ‘worry’ or ‘fear’), and then let them go. Yes they’ll come back. It’s okay if/when they do come back. Again, notice them, label them, and let them go. 20 minutes. Within days you may notice a difference. Certainly if you meditate for 2 or more weeks. And even if you don’t notice the difference, your family probably will.

    Sounds like you are really struggling. All of us have been there. Find ways to take care of yourself. Looking forward to your next post!

  • K Smith

    October 29, 2013 at 4:42 am

    Good Session today! ; ) You’re really making progress!
    This is the kind of post that helps me the most, b/c me and my 1st world problems need to be put in the proper perspective, b/c you speak the words that have been pinging around in my head for months, b/c I like to know I’m not alone.
    Thank you!

  • Julie

    October 29, 2013 at 6:34 am

    Sometimes the more you beat yourself up over things like this the worse they get. Being self aware is one of your greatest assets. I had severe insomnia for ~20 years. Finally sucked it up and when to a sleep specialist. Diagnosis? All psychological. I had beat myself up for so long and had gotten so frustrated that I wouldn’t allow myself to sleep and didn’t even know what I was doing to myself. So after almost a year of sleep-focused cognitive behavior therapy with a sleep psychologist things started to get better and I’ve been on the right road ever since. The best part was being able to take what I learned and apply it to other parts of my life. It’s an ongoing process but I have developed the self awareness that you already have and I can now see when those voices are getting negative and now can control them to say more productive things – well at least most of the time 🙂

    • suzanne

      October 29, 2013 at 8:21 am

      Sleep focused cb therapy! My daughter needs that. Being 18 she might not be open to that kind of therapy. I’ll keep that in mind for her when she seems receptive.

  • KarenO

    October 29, 2013 at 7:08 am

    It can be hard to avoid, but I always get in trouble when I compare my plate to others. We each have our load to carry. And it is ALWAYS a quest for grace which leads me to establishing the boundaries that keep others from sucking me dry. It can all be overwhelming.

  • Tigger

    October 29, 2013 at 7:24 am

    Great post. I really needed that this morning. I struggle with finding inner peace. And I have friends who give me all the crap about why wouldn’t you be happy, you have everything, blah, blah, blah. What exactly is everything? You really have nothing if you don’t have inner peace. But it’s also unrealistic to think we will have it every second of every day, right? And I do think it’s true that you can’t experience real joy unless you also suffer. That is so true in triathlon, right? Today I am grateful for your post:)

  • Laural

    October 29, 2013 at 8:37 am

    I loved this post. I totally get it, and I’m right there with you. The other day I went to a nutritionist – and I went with food logs, and journals and weight logs, and she said to me: you’re problem is that you’re so focused on perfection that you’re not actually enjoying the process. She was speaking specifically to my issue (i’m running – i’m not losing weight) but she had a point. And it kind of resonated in my life – I try so hard to get it all right (parenting/working/running) that my errors are what I focus on and I forget the joy all of the change in my life brought.
    I have a long way to go too 🙂

  • Anne

    October 29, 2013 at 8:42 am

    I think that feeling sorry for yourself/whining/ungrateful is normal and very human. Giving yourself permission to acknowledge and vent those feelings can be helpful, but there is limited utility if you don’t “do” something else about the way you feel. Minimize the time you spend with those people who are pissing you off because their lives are so much easier than yours (btw, not everyone advertises their actual struggles). Spend time with people who have “real” problems (Jo). Spend some of the money you spend on triathlon on therapy (this blog may be your therapy, but having professional support couldn’t hurt). My point, is that I think you have to take action, not just tell yourself to stop being ungrateful/whiney/whatever.

  • Lynn

    October 29, 2013 at 9:30 am

    So sorry to tell you this…..”you are so normal” you just put it in writing for the rest of us “normal” folks to read….ditto girlfriend …ditto

  • Butterflykissedx2

    October 29, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Read the books written by Dick & Rick Hoyt. Devoted by Dick Hoyt & One Letter At A Time by Rick Hoyt. Rick wrote his book without being able to speak or move any of his limbs. They both show inspiration, courage, dedication & love. I finished both this past week & have already looked up my local Team Triumph chapter to volunteer as an “angel runner” for another needing a little push. I think you & the expert would enjoy doing a race with Team Triumph, or something similar where you physically help another achieve their goal.

    If that fails, just watch Miley’s Wrecking Ball video & be grateful you’re not her mom 😉

  • Christy (txrunnermom)

    October 29, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Once again you are posting something that I could have posted myself (and almost have). Are you reading my mind? I feel the same way, so know that you are normal. 🙂 And, your gratitude post came just at the right time…I was having one of those days where the FB vents about being soooooo busy from my stay at home mom friends were about to push me over the edge. Thanks for sharing this stuff with us.

  • Andrea

    October 29, 2013 at 10:58 am

    How did you get inside my head and know what I’m feeling??? I don’t have anything to add that the previous 20 people haven’t already said, but it’s good to know you’re not alone! Thanks for sharing!!! Keep Calm and Tri On! 🙂

  • Sher Franklin

    October 29, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    I totally get, and are living everything that you are describing. Life can be so awesome and stressful at the same time. You hit the nail on the head about gratefulness, and the love and support from our family and friends, (especially from the kiddos)… :). It does help calm down the stress of the hectic life at work, taking care of our family, and a LOT of the times, feeling the guilt of spending so much of our time to train. We end up taking the brunt of the pouring down of emotions (some good, some not so), that we find ourselves in this old familiar situation of “Help… someone please, I just can’t take it anymore!” We are never alone in these feelings… To just be able to talk ourselves into stopping, even it it can only be for a very short frame of time, and say a word of thanks, and truly let what gratitude means and feels like, enter our spirit, body and soul. It can mean a world of difference on how you will begin to feel from that moment on. Thank you for sharing, it helps makes the rest of us feel, that deep down everything will have a way of working out ok. Even our crazy stuff! 🙂

  • Michele @micheleontherun

    October 29, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    The whole time I was reading your post I had one thing in mind that I wanted to comment….and then I scrolled down and saw the quote you posted about everyone having their own struggles… You already have it, you get it. I have to constantly remind myself of that when I’m sitting here whining about my injured foot. I could be an amputee- I’m sure they’d rather have an injury rather than no foot at all. Or I could be dying of cancer- then I’d rather be an amputee or just a whiny old injured tri-er. The thing is, we do all have our struggles and we are all entited to feel bad for ourselves no matter who is struggling more. However, when it impacts others, we should probably stop to put it all into prospective. You get it. Others need to stop acting like they are the ONLY ones who have struggles and accept that life moves on struggles or not. Keep moving forward and if they want to join you, they will. If they want to stay there and complain, you can leave them in the dust!

  • Amber

    October 29, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    I just have to say that reading about your crazy life on the swimbikemom blog and in your book motivated me to become a triathlete and reach for my dreams. Just hearing about your life gave me hope that I could do this, too. I mean, as stressed out as I feel some days, I don’t have any room to complain in comparison to your life stresses – so you helped me KNOW that I can do this. Reading about the other women out there who have so many crazy things going on in their lives is just as inspirational! Sometimes we all need to vent and let some steam off so that we can get up and go again. Don’t beat yourself up for some healthy frustration and venting – just recognize that you need to let a little out and you’ll be back to some semblance of your old self again! That’s my two cents!

  • Karen

    October 29, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    You feel the way you feel. Everyone’s situation is different and just because someone’s struggle may seem more difficult it does not negate what you are going through. I know sometimes the stress can feel overwhelming but you just have to *ahem* keep moving forward. Focus on the things you can control and try your best to let go of all the other things. Easier said than done but better than falling into a black hole and trying to dig yourself out. Hang in there (and stay out of the black hole…) 🙂

  • Nancy M

    October 29, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Your posts are always so spot-on, as well as all the comments left. Love this blog/group… very helpful. The quote by Plato is one I tell myself often {now if I could just really incorporate it into my life…}

  • Jen

    October 29, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    They say start where you are so it looks like you are doing pretty good to me. I struggle with the same thoughts on so called minor things and I have seen major tragedy. Minor things are still a part of life no matter what you are going through. Like you said, I just try to be kind to myself and others. Sometimes I can….sometimes I can’t but it’s a start.

  • Shonnie

    November 1, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Glad to know that I am not the only gripie girl these days. Life just stinks some days. All of our problems are real to each of us–you are just being human. Thanks for being so. I want to say more, but my life stinks really bad at the moment on so many levels all I am going to say is just bleeh. So, hang in there. Thanks for being real. Go get em girl! 🙂

  • Carla

    November 10, 2013 at 6:10 am

    Thanks for posting this. I need to get out my gratitude journal. I left Canada and moved to China, about six weeks ago, and I haven’t written in it since. I alternate between extreme gratitude at the moment, and having almost no gratitude and bitching. I have extreme gratitude because in the global sense, I am a spoiled rotten, rich, white girl. I lack gratitude for almost the same reason: look at all this filth, why do I have to facilitate this workshop for seventy people, etc.


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