Monthly Archives: June 2014

Just as it is

I was on a run yesterday with my husband. That in and of itself is pretty amazing. Anyone who really knows me knows that there were years when I hated running. I swore I’d never run. My husband starting running. My daughter started running. My son even ran with them sometimes. But I swore I’d never run.

And then I ran. It started as something to do with my daughter. As she got serious about, and good at, running, I thought it would be fun to run with her once. So I started running. I was slow. Very slow. And not very good. So not very good, in fact, that I’ve heard her tell people how bad I was at first, although she never told me at the time. Still, I started running.

And I’ve kept on running. I ran with my daughter, that first time a few years ago, and I kept on after that. I had said, “I’m running so that I can run once with my daughter.” And I ran once with her a few Thanksgivings ago and I’m still running.

I enjoy it. At least I enjoy that I do it. I still think my favorite part of running is the feeling when you’re done. I think my favorite part of running may always be the feeling when you’re done. And running with other people, especially my daughter. I love that I can do that with her (although I slow her down). I love that it’s something we at least somewhat share. I love that she loves that I run. I love that she wants to run a race with me, and she wants me to run faster than I’ve run yet – to match her first race time. I’m hoping I can, and after I ran with her this week I’m thinking I can because she killed me with pacing. I was nauseous at the end, but I did it.

I also love running with my husband, which I was doing yesterday. I love that because it’s something that we share. I love that it’s a time when we can talk and catch up. And I love that he paces me way slower than my daughter does.

But one thing I love best about running is how much it shows me that I’ve come to take things just as they are. I don’t run fast. I probably never will. I came to it late. I have short legs. I have a list of reasons why I don’t run fast. But the weird thing is that that’s okay. And for me that’s miraculous.

I have, nearly always, been driven to be better…at everything. I still can be driven to get it done, get it right, do my best, do it better, stronger, faster, more perfectly. And running is something I’m accepting just as it is. Sure I love when my daughter paces me faster. Sure I’m proud of last summer when she got me up to twenty-one miles in a week. Sure I’m proud of the time she got me to run six miles. But mostly I’m proud that I do it at all, and that I’m okay with however I run. I don’t beat up on myself. I don’t push myself harder…well, okay, not too much harder. I still try to quicken my pace and lengthen my distance. But I’m totally fine if I don’t. And I’m totally fine with what is. And that’s more than totally fine. That’s amazing.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Categories: Recovery, , , Tags:

Don’t be annoying

I don’t think my yoga instructor meant it as a joke, but when she said “Don’t be annoying,” I cracked up. Even though I was in the midst of a yoga pose. A relatively serious yoga pose. Don’t be annoying. “Ok, I won’t,” was all that I could think.

She was talking about people who seem to always “know better.” When they tell you that they know better, it’s annoying. So, she advised, “Don’t be annoying.” But I heard it in the larger context and it made me laugh. (And it still does.)

Because when I’m being annoying, I probably don’t know it. And even if I realized I was being annoying, I would probably have a tough time stopping. Because when I’m being annoying I’m probably way stuck in my stuff…too stuck to be anything else or anywhere else.

But I like that advice – to not be annoying. I would say that we all should walk through life trying to avoid being annoying…but I would sound like I “know better,” and that would probably be annoying. So instead, I’ll let you know that I’m going to try and stop myself.

Which may be tough, because one person’s annoying may be another person’s delight. What my daughter may love my son may hate. And vice versa. Actually, I know that to be true, because they almost always pick opposites when given the choice. But I can do my best to steer away from annoying. I can have an annoyance meter running in my head, and when I notice people rolling their eyes or walking away, I can let it kick in and see if I can change my behavior or my attitude.

“Don’t be annoying.” Maybe today that can be my mantra. It’s certainly one good way to add joy and love to the world.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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She’s back!

You all mourned with me when my daughter left for college and celebrated when she came home for break. And heard my sadness when she left again, and joy when she came back. And then one more time, missing her when she went back after spring break…and she’s back!

I can honestly admit now that I wasn’t okay when she first went off to her new home in a faraway state. I felt like someone had amputated a limb, or cut out an essential body part. It was similar to how I felt when she was first born and I had to leave her for a day. As if somehow some of me was missing.

I can also admit that the aching went away and the missing got less, or at least less severe. By the end of her freshman year I was fine with her being a Midwesterner (at least for a little while) and I was used to my new normal of a family of three. I think my son enjoyed being an only child and having all the attention for himself. I hope he keeps enjoying it as he gets older.

But she came back just over a week ago. She has graced us with her presence for this summer, and I couldn’t be more grateful. I know she may not be here many summers (or even any other summers) and I have to admit, it’s amazing having her home.

It’s wonderful to watch the family dynamics swing back to a family of four. It’s wonderful spending hours talking with her late at night. It’s wonderful just seeing her sitting in her room, on her bed, watching TV shows on her computer again. It’s wonderful walking past her closed bedroom door again…knowing that it’s closed because she’s home and sleeping (or reading…or whatever).

It’s a gift. And it makes me stop and realize how many gifts we have – how many gifts I have. It makes me stop and realize that I can pay attention to the gifts and notice them and appreciate them, or I can take them for granted. I could take her for granted because it’s almost as if she never left (and will never leave again). But not quite because she has stories of people I don’t know and places I haven’t been…and she is different. In a good way.

And she will leave again, sooner than I care to admit. And I’ll be fine this time – missing her but fine. Happy for her, thrilled for her, delighted for her…and delighted that I stopped and appreciated every moment of the summer I could with my full family around me.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Categories: Hope and Amazement, , , , Tags: