Yesterday, I mentioned that one of my favorite Ryan/Stephanie songs is "The Luckiest" by Ben Folds. It's a song that only begins to describe how I feel about my journey with Stephanie. There's so much emotion in the singer's voice and I really tap into that feeling. Tonight though, I have to say it means something a little different.
The 21st Century dictates that nothing is considered "official" if it isn't posted on Facebook, Twitter or even Foursquare these days. So when Steph and I posted our engagement news on Facebook, I knew we'd both receive some congratulatory comments.
What I didn't expect was the near 100 comments and wishes from friends and family. Many of whom I haven't spoken directly with in years.
I truly feel among the luckiest people to have such a loving and supportive group surrounding me in my life. While it only takes literally 10 seconds or less to post a "Mazel Tov!" or "Congrats!" on someone's wall, it really makes a difference. I felt truly flattered and humbled by all the sincere gestures. I would say it even added some extra time on the after-glow of the celebration of our announcement.
So, thank you, everyone. Thank you.
On to the rest of my day. Besides starting my first day as Steph's fiance, I returned to the world of Ironman training. The workout was simple: 40 minutes of easy spinning and 40 minutes of easy running. Emphasis on "easy." However, I felt really good this morning! It's amazing what a week of rest can do for your body. I did my best to hold back on the bike, but it was hard not to crank up the gears on the trainer. I remember just a couple weeks ago how hard it was to get out of just the first gear. Today, I wanted to pedal in the big chain immediately. I hope I can maintain that energy level for longer moving forward.
I enjoyed the run even more. Not for the physical activity itself. But rather the feeling of running again. The way my warm sweat cooled instantly in the balmy morning air. The gentleness of the very slight breeze glancing off my visor and glistening forehead. The long-lost bounce in my steps. My pace was less than stellar, roughly 9:45-10:00, but the gentle zone 2 heart-rate assured me I had a lot more fuel in the energy tank than just a few weeks ago. It makes me wonder whether my new Garmin would have helped me run a smarter LA Marathon had I better understood my pacing levels by using it sooner. But then again, I know the kind of half-marathon pace I ran, and today I was intentionally holding myself back. I'll keep an eye on this budding hypothesis.
The evening concluded with a Passover Seder at my parents' house in Simi Valley. Long-standing family friends joined us, along with my sister and her boyfriend, and Stephanie, of course. In the past, I used to be so stressed out about whether my family would accept Steph, what Steph was thinking and feeling, and what I could do to make the situation better. I cannot express how grateful I am that I don't have to think like that anymore. We all felt like a true family tonight. A different kind of family, since my grandparents are no longer an active part of our lives. But I know they would have been so happy at the sight of seeing a new generation of soon-to-be Schneiders experience a traditional family Seder. It may be a little frenetic, a little crazy and a little off-the-wall. But our Seder is our Seder, and it's truly one-of-a-kind.
I can honestly say I look forward to family events so much more than I have in the past. It's nice to share them with the person I had always wanted to.
I am indeed the luckiest.
239 days and counting.