Monday, January 30, 2006

Eschewing Chaos

My Dad is one of those men who reads stuff about guns, germs, genomes and Feynman's theories on physics. Really heady stuff. Stuff, I definitely do not read. Even my high-brow stuff is low-brow by comparison.

My Dad once had a book on Chaos Theory. A marvelous theory explaining how there is Order in Chaos: structure to the natural randomness of things-- or some nonsense backed up by boring scientific research. Never actually having read this book myself, I felt a definite affinity with the title and knew after reading the book jacket that this was a theory that I could own-- if not have set the precedence for.

But not anymore! At least not today. Today, I can now count myself among the organized millions. A card carrying member of the cult of Martha. A believer in all that is Order without Chaos.

Step aside and adore . . . MY CLOSET.

My closet now has shelves and crates and cubby holes for my purses, sweaters, stilletos, boots and belts. Oh my!

I spent $40 at Target (always pronouced the with the j sound and silent little t) and all day Sunday organizing my Chaos. I wish I had taken before pictures but alas I am much too embaressed to show the whole world my chaos anyway. Maybe later pictures will follow but I am too busy glowing in the glory of all that is hanging and folded and color coordinated to be documenting it on digital film.

But for a moment, if you will, just imagine a 4 by 8 walk-in closet with a 3 feet deep mound of clothes, shoes, hats, belts, underwear etc on the floor now succumbed to the un-random order of cubby holes and coat hangers.

It is beautiful.

Something to be treasured and admired. Maybe later I will write a poem about it. It is THAT amazing. I have invited Mom, sister and best friend over to admire it. And those, by the way, are the 3 people who have acutally seen my chaos in its original state. Well, except kids and husband. Kids loved Chaos--great for hide and seek. Husband does not love Chaos but lives with it in exchange for well, you know.

Sadly though, as all my love affairs with Order have gone, I know this too shall not last. I surely hope it will, but I know that Chaos will take over again and I will once again be defined by the disorder that is me. So be it.

Honestly, Order, regardless of what Martha Stewart may say is overrated. It takes an ENORMOUS amount of time to bring Order and then to maintain said Order. Oh.My.God. The maintainence is what kills me. The actual bringing of the Order can be fun but the whole idea of continually putting things back in their ordered places is stressful for me. It is much easier to just toss it on the floor, dash it in a drawer and run out the door than to acutally take the time to Gap-fold or neatly hang it back up. I am already driving myself crazy with the folding of sweaters and placement of shoes. Seriously, chaos is easier. Order takes time and a sort of discipline that just needles me to obliviion.

But I will try, because it is nice to see all my clothes all ordered and merchandised for me. I am a total sucker for merchandising. . .

Today and maybe tomorrow and maybe even for an entire month I will eschew Chaos . . . and bask in the glory of all that is Marthaized. Achoo!

Friday, January 27, 2006

My Positive Split

Here is me crossing the finish line of the Atlanta Marathon on Thanksgiving 2005. Not pretty, I know, but 26 miles will take the beauty out of you.

My time was 4 hours and 8 minutes.

Just so you get an idea of just how positive my split was:

Time at the half marathon point: 1 hour and 53 minutes.

You do the math.

Here is MY negative split.

The Negative Split

Definition of a negative split is to run the second half of a race faster, stronger than you run the first half.

I had never heard the term before I ran my first marathon last November. And sadly, no, I did not run a negative split. In fact, I ran the most embaressing positive split. So I went out too strong. Who cares? Well, me, obviously but com'on, pacing yourself for 26.2 miles ain't easy. By gones, right? Live and learn . . .

And apparently, I am learning, from all my Runner's World articles and all the running blogs out there that the negative split is THE GOAL of a race--regardless of distance, regardless of your time. In terms of performance, a negative split is THE positive exemplar of your running abiltiy. And if you can't manage that at least run a consistent pace and get an even split.

My 2006 New Year's goal was to get faster. Last year, it was to conquer distance. Did that. Now I need to be faster because, well, who doesn't want to be more efficient? And while I have been working at getting faster and thinking how to do a neagative split it occured to me that the concept of a negative split could be applied to everything going on in my life. Really to life in general.

So in terms of this blog the Negative Split is to just be better, stronger than the previous years, months, days, weeks, moments etc etc. . .

So we will see.