Sunday Gratitude

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Today I am grateful for the simple joy of standing outside.  I woke up earlier than I wanted to today (I honestly needed to, I just didn’t feel like it) and I started doing the things I needed to.  For a moment I found myself regretting making plans for today after having plans yesterday—I’m just not a go out all weekend type of woman anymore.  I found myself telling the same old story: I have so much to do, it won’t get all done, or if it does get all done it’s literally going to take me all day.  Which, is actually true, but that isn’t the point.  So while I started this list, the dog needed to go out and lately she’d rather play than go potty unless you’re watching her.  I slightly grudgingly went outside with her to the backyard.  And something came over me.  The birds were singing louder than I’ve ever heard them, even the mourning doves.  The geese were flying over.  I could already hear the bees moving. The breeze/temperature were perfect.  The calm took over.  All will get done as it needs to.  Sometimes we just need to reconnect with nature.

Today I am grateful for love.  We spent a great day with family yesterday and I have plans with a friend today and my brother also asked that we join him this afternoon.  So while I woke up feeling overwhelmed about getting it all done, after my little trip outside, I realized the most important thing: I’m blessed to have things to do.  I’m fortunate to have people I care about reaching out and wanting to spend time with me.  It’s time to share more of what I have, even if that is more energy.  We are graced with only so much time on this world and I choose to spend it with the people I love.  Yes, I know I have work to do.  I know I have things that require constant attention.  But I am fortunate in so many ways that I have the opportunity to experience that love.

Today I am grateful for lessons working.  Shortly after I started writing today’s gratitude, I went upstairs to change the laundry and found that the washer was leaking.  I didn’t panic (we had been anticipating it was coming, we just didn’t expect it today), I called my husband upstairs and we knew we had to go to the store.  I had a lunch date set but the store for the washer/dryer didn’t open until 11AM (we needed to see it in person—that’s another story) so I called my date and told them I was running a bit behind…no problem so far.  As we were on the way to the store, my husband rolled down the window and we found the switch no longer worked to bring it up.  The window was stuck halfway down, we were running behind…still nothing major, but getting frustrated.  While at the store, the certificate I had wouldn’t register on the scanner so we had to wait for their help desk—they confirmed it was correct but couldn’t figure out why it wouldn’t read.  Then my account was locked…so I finally said it isn’t worth it, I’ll just pay and then the card I had was expired.  We got that sorted out and then as we were leaving, we saw the weather rolling in…with the window of the car still stuck down.  I literally prayed for the window to come up at that point.  I didn’t cry, I didn’t scream, I didn’t fight.  I just prayed.  And the window finally DID go up just before it started raining.  Keeping calm kept us moving forward. 

Today I am grateful for time to celebrate.  Even with the unexpected chaos, we had a wonderful lunch together, catching up, enjoying food together.  Even though it wasn’t the day we envisioned, it was beautiful.  Life always goes on and there are always bumps in the road—those bumps don’t make it any less beautiful than it is. 

Today I am grateful for connection.  This weekend has been filled with connection and love and time with people I needed to be with.  As much as I think I can do things on my own, I see I have to slow down.  Yes, I am driven enough to make all of this happen, but it all relies on my shoulders.  The pace eventually becomes unsustainable and the work starts slacking because not everything can get done.  I also find myself doing the bare minimum to keep afloat.  That isn’t how we move progress.  We move forward, yes, but we aren’t doing anything impactful.  We are just treading water, and that gets exhausting.  I am grateful to remember I don’t need to be a one woman show. 

Today I am grateful for opportunity.  Continuing on connection, I literally felt like I needed to do everything myself for the longest time otherwise I didn’t earn it.  I always felt I needed to prove myself.  Over the last few weeks I have continued to find myself blessed with different opportunities, different people coming out of the woodwork who have expressed their belief in me.  It isn’t necessary to have people believe in you to move forward and I am not talking about the proving culture.  I AM talking about how nice it is to feel that support, especially when you don’t think it’s there.  Sometimes that support looks different than you think, but knowing it is there feels amazing.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead.    

The Green Door

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The other day my husband and I were speaking with one of our neighbors.  We get along well and we’ve spent some time getting to know each other over the last year since we’ve been here.  Actually, that was the nicest part of moving here—having some people we could connect with.  We haven’t spoken much in the last few months due to schedules and various illnesses, but now that the weather has warmed up, we were able to hang out a bit again.  When we were having this conversation, the neighbor casually brought up some things about the neighborhood and previous people who had lived here.  At first I didn’t think much of it—everyone has moments of gossip and this conversation mainly surrounded dandelions (which we have different opinions on but that’s another story).  But then it turned to the door.

At one point this neighbor’s front door was painted green.  Apparently this bothered one of the other neighbors and she would complain about it, stating she hated the color and it was annoying because she had to look at it.  At this point of the conversation, my brain took a different turn and I shut down nice neighbor mode and went into incredulous, frustrated mode.  We live in a world where we take the time to voice our concern about the color of a door.  Not our own door, but someone else’s door that we can ignore or look the other way.  Something that has zero impact on anything we do in our lives.  If the color of someone else’s door bothers you that much and you have the time to continually address it, then you are pretty damn privileged.  I mean, in this moment, there’s a war going on with potential to take out the world (depending on who/what gets involved), there are kids walking miles a day to get dirty water to have something to drink that may kill them, there are people struggling with mental health who debate every day how to go on. And you’re worried about the color of a door…on someone else’s house.

Later I spoke with my husband because I know it bothers him when I break down in social situations and it is something I’m working on.  I apologized for the manner how it happened, but I would/will not apologize for what I said.  I told him I don’t understand how people can think that way.  Even as selfish as we are, we constantly insert ourselves in things that have nothing to do with us.  If you want to look at things that truly impact other people, pick one of the topics I mentioned above.  We are connected on so many levels, but not by the color of a damn door.  My husband looked at me and said in equal frustration, “People don’t think like that.”  To which I replied, “That is the damn problem.” 

While my husband was trying to make the point he understood how people function, I was trying to make the point that this is the type of thing that leads to our destruction.  Inserting ourselves in things that are none of our business and have no impact on us personally removes us from the big picture. We just want to voice an opinion to feel like we matter and we want people to change their behavior at our demand so we feel powerful.  While this may be the common behavior, it is not working.  This is what has led us to this point right now: women fighting for reproductive rights, insane gas prices, people working horrible jobs to barely survive, corrupt politicians, and the myriad of other global issues like global warming, a little pandemic, and a looming war to name a few.  See, when we micromanage the daily lives of others, we lose sight of the big picture and how we are REALLY connected.

After my tirade, my husband said the words I hate the most, “There’s nothing we can do about it.” And he is right only to a degree.  I can’t make people see what I do.  I can’t make people care about these things like I do but I can certainly continue to voice this.  The truth is, in his statement he opened up what I feel is the greatest issue in the world: we’ve all been deceived to think we can’t do anything about it, that we are locked into this way of life.  He’s repeating what he was taught.  The reality of that is he never even got the things he was promised for following this path—neither of us has.  We’ve spent our 21 years together finding who we are and eventually “doing as we were told” in order to achieve what we thought was the dream…for far more effort than we knew.  Granted, I do not regret where we are and I believe it all happens for a reason, but I know if we had taken the time to figure out what WE wanted prior to diving in, we may have made some different decisions.

So my friends, the point is that we are connected, absolutely and completely.  We just aren’t connected by the color of our neighbor’s door.  If you want to fight, fight for something that matters.  And if you don’t know what that is, find something that matters to you.  Expand your circle and your perception and find a way to put yourself in something bigger.  Work to redefine how you perceive the world and where you can have an impact.  Glennon Doyle shared her daughter’s polar bear story in Untamed. The gist of this story is her daughter obsessed over saving the polar bears and it drove Glennon crazy until one night her daughter said, “It’s just that now it’s the polar bears, and one day it will be us.”  And THAT is the truth.  If we don’t care about what matters now, it will be our undoing.  Let’s fix what we can on a bigger scale rather than worry about someone’s color choice. Watch how that turns things around.

Access Wonder

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We have the capacity and ability to live in awe at all times.  We are so blessed that we have the access to information, health, technology, communication, and expansion moreso than any age before us.  All of these feats are enough to impress people.  But when it comes to finding awe and humility, we have to look at the big picture.  We are ALIVE.  We are living, cognizant beings with the ability to transform this world.  We are breathing, performing complex chemical reactions in our bodies all day without a second’s thought.  We create life.  We create buildings and art and love.  We experience the elements and feel emotions.  Every second we are alive is a miracle.

I had a teacher who saw everything as a miracle and at first I didn’t understand.  Some of the things he would express joy at or compliment seemed so mundane to me.  I can see I was still tightly wrapped in my perfection phase and I misunderstood miracle.  I used to look at miracles as the perfect things that happened.  It took me a long time to understand that perfection has nothing to do with it.  The fact that we exist is a miracle.  The fact that we can do what we do with our lives, that we can feel what we do, is a miracle.  We have access to that at any time in any capacity.  We have to remember that in the moments it’s hard and the moments we are tired or feel like we are stuck.  We can change the story we tell ourselves and witness what this life really is: a miracle.

I feel a lot of shame and regret about all the time I spent in perfection.  I missed out on experiencing some really amazing things and I missed a lot of chances to feel that awe because I was too blind to see what was in front of me and to respect it.  I did it to myself for 37 years.  I never appreciated what I could do.  I never felt good enough for anything.  I never had confidence to listen to what I really needed let alone to go for it.  Maybe it’s age, maybe it’s realizing that all that time is gone that makes you look at how you’re spending the time you have.  Maybe it’s simply understanding that we have expectations no one can live up to and sometimes it’s enough to just BE.  Maybe it’s getting tired of the same game over and over again.  Whatever it is, looking at things differently changes the game.

In spite of any shame or regret, I mostly feel gratitude now—and I feel gratitude that I am able to feel grateful.  Once I had the realization of the trouble perfection caused, I felt guilty finding joy in anything else.  Kind of like waiting for the other shoe to drop.  I try to dip into that wonder as often as I can because it’s a great feeling.  For years it felt like it was so far under the surface, always miles to go in the race that I wouldn’t find it.  I dismissed things I should have been proud of when the joy and the magic was right there.  The beautiful thing is: it’s still there.  It never went anywhere.  So when we feel overwhelmed or annoyed or scared or angry, take a moment and reconnect with the wonder of it.  Be amazed that you have the capacity for such feelings and then be amazed that you can tune into your breath.  Be amazed at what you are and what you’ve done.  Then breathe out and be grateful you are here.  You only stop feeling when you’re dead, so find joy in being alive and find the awe in the miracle of this life.  Do not take it for granted.

Tiptoeing and Stomping

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I keep quiet as I make my way through my morning routine in order for my son to stay asleep.  I tiptoe through the house and I roll my feet in a certain way, avoid certain spots on the floor/steps, and I only use certain lights.  I make my presence as unobtrusive as possible.  We have three cats in the house and the middle sized one sounds like a herd of buffalo running through the house all by himself so I try to not get him too riled up.  Between that and the other day, long after my son woke up, I found myself still tiptoeing, I was reminded of when I was kid.  I’ve always managed to keep myself quiet and keep my presence light. I still do it.  Most people literally never hear me coming.  My friend who is physically far lighter than me always managed to make so much noise.  She could be tiptoeing and it would sound like full on stomping. 

As adults, I noticed that I still tiptoe, not making my presence known. I want to have an impact but I don’t want people to know it’s me unless I know the outcome.  I never fully dive in, as much as I talk about doing that here, so I apologize for my hypocrisy.  I’m human and still learning.  That isn’t to say I’m not making bold strides now and it certainly isn’t to say I’m not committed.  I’m just afraid of doing the “wrong” thing.  But life isn’t about perfection.  It isn’t about being quiet until the right moment.  If we are quiet all our lives, we lose our voice and when the time comes, we are no longer able to use it.  Similarly, if we don’t take steps, we never make an impact and we don’t get anywhere.

It’s almost as if I’m afraid to truly leave a mark on the world.  At the same time, I still want things to go my way, so while I’m being unobtrusive, I still want people to do things my way so to speak.  If they don’t know me and I don’t know them, then how is that possible?  It isn’t.  I remember so many times as a child being told to be quiet and to stop making so much noise.  If I’m honest, I feel resentment about it.  Me not being allowed to make noise left me silent and unable to figure things out for the longest time.  This isn’t a pity party, it’s just what happened.  When you’re silent, you don’t know how to trust yourself and you certainly don’t trust you will be accepted—so bye bye voice. 

As these thoughts rolled through my head, I looked at the trajectory my life has taken compared to my friends’.  My friend stomped through life, boldly making noise and using her weight to create a path for herself.  I know in many ways she isn’t where she wants to be either, but she is HAPPY.  She knows who she is and she doesn’t hesitate to share that.  There is no shame in it.  She is comfortable in her own skin.  She isn’t afraid of what others say.  She follows the path she forged as it feels good and there are times she is with people and others she moves ahead on her own.  Others she pulls people up until they find their own way. 

That is the beauty of noise.  Yes, it draws attention to you, but we each have our own song and that is the point.  We are meant to share that music no mater what it sounds like.  We are meant to be fearless and trust that our paths are for a reason and we come together for a reason.  We are meant to leave a mark on this world outside of consumerism, industrialization, and domination.  We are meant to express, connect, love, and create—and that is what my friend has done.  I followed the path and it got me to a bunch of dead ends, not strong enough to push through the walls I found.  She is able to plow through them.  Maybe not fearless, exactly, but boldly and with certainty.  So that is the point.  Make some noise.  I’m still learning to feel my weight, one step at a time, and as I do that, I’m learning to love the sound it makes, simply because it is mine. 

STOP

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I was listening to a speech from Oprah and she said, “If you don’t know what to do, that is when you do nothing.”  As someone with a predisposition to constant movement and racing thoughts, this hit me.  It isn’t often that I truly stop.  Yes, I will pause and yes, that absolutely helps get my bearings, but I have rarely stopped long enough to get the answers I’m looking for.  I have rarely stopped long enough to simply hear the inner workings of my mind.  The idea of absolutely stopping struck me in the middle of organizing the house last week.  I’ve been in perpetual motion and trying to figure out what I want to do without allowing myself to settle and take stock of what I need or what I’m actually trying to accomplish.

Stopping will change everything.  And we need to remember that sometimes that stop is longer than we think.  Sometimes we have to simply wait it out no matter how uncomfortable.  Because in that discomfort, the answers come.  Big things take time and the universe doesn’t work on our timeline.  It is always according to divine order and I know how hard it is to wait.  I either get distracted and forget what I’m doing or I lose patience and move onto something else.  Gabby Bernstein calls it Manic Manifesting. 

It’s helpful to think about what is good in the pause.  We aren’t designed to be in constant motion.  We aren’t machines and we do need rest.  Not just physical rest but mental and soulful rest as well.  We have to set the limits on that and we need to maintain our boundaries for when we are getting close to empty.  It is only then that we are able to hear the message meant for us about what to do next.  All the hustle and bustle only serves to crowd the mind and drown out the only voice that maters: our own.  We need to hear the voice of reason and connection to spirit, that inner guidance only we have.  Call it intuition or divine intervention, but it is real.  So when you don’t know what to do, learn to be still.  Like the wind in the sails, the answer will come and soon you will be back on course.

Human Value

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I’m reading a biography on an individual who used to be on reality TV and she got fired for several reasons.  In her book she discusses cancel culture as it pertains to that experience and it hit me why this is such a dangerous thing.  The discussion on cancel culture isn’t new, but I think it took me a long time to really digest all the implications and reading this book made it crystal clear for me.  The reason this is important now is because the only way we are able to move forward and make progress in our lives is to create safety and inclusivity, not divisiveness and exclusivity.  The other aspect of this is needing to really comprehend how our actions impact other people.  There is a very real need to clarify and be cognizant of perception versus reality and finding a balance in believing perception is reality.  For the record, I’ve never believed perception is reality.  Yes I agree that experience shapes our perception, but that doesn’t mean it is fact.

Now the story that hit me most in this book and is most applicable as a whole was the reason for her firing.  I’m keeping this intentionally vague because there is a lot of emotion surrounding what happened and that isn’t the point here—the point is the real result that happened due to someone’s perception.  An individual was emotionally hurt by real actions and the author acknowledges that.  But the result of that individual’s emotional hurt was the author’s very real loss of all income and capacity to network as well as her husband losing his contacts because of his association with her.  The point here is that someone’s feelings were valued above someone else’s ability to sustain themselves.  Should the author have done what she did?  No.  Did that action warrant losing her entire livelihood, all credibility for the work she did, and her spouse also losing his income as well as her family being threatened?  Absolutely not.

The reason this impacted me so greatly is that in this community, I so often talk about lifting each other up and creating a way to fill our own cups.  I also talk about controlling our mindset and perceptions all the time.  This story is a perfect example of what I’m talking about.  Given a group’s perception of one incident, someone’s emotions were allowed to trump someone’s ability to generate a living.  Regardless of how wrong the initial incident was, taking away someone’s ability to support themselves because of how you FEEL is not ok.  We are meant to uplift each other and support each other and that means having the wherewithal to create a solid foundation of support for ourselves.  Keeping our head high through the challenging times and knowing that someone’s words have no weight on us.  Causing real damage in someone’s life because of our feelings or because of a theoretical situation that COULD have happened is completely unwarranted.  We have to stop putting emotion ahead of reality.

I can see where some of this is conflicting because I am equally an advocate of honoring those emotions, and yes, I still stand by that.  The difference is taking ownership of our emotions on ourselves rather than making other people responsible for how we feel.  When we know who we are, we don’t need to throw a tantrum over how someone makes us feel.  We acknowledge the action and we have the capacity to understand that action probably had nothing to do with us.  Cancelling a person because of how they feel just isn’t realistic.  No one would exist, there would be no support, and it’s completely counterintuitive to what we actually need.  Learn to hash it out, learn to deal with the emotion, but don’t create a situation where someone actually gets hurt over your perceived hurt.  Let’s lift each other up and learn what accountability actually is.  That is where change happens.

Lessons Through Mistakes

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I wrote Saturday about showing up and I wanted to hit on one part with a quick piece.  The part where it rained and I wasn’t wearing rain gear…even though I knew it was going to rain.  The thought, “This was a mistake” ran through my head repeatedly.  I had my phone on me, I had the fob to my car on me and no way to really protect them if those pockets got too wet.  I felt out of place as well because I had decided to go in spite of not knowing anyone else there.  I beat myself up… “You don’t know anyone, you don’t have the right gear, your shoes are slipping on the trail, you’re wet and your key and phone are going to get destroyed, blah blah blah.”

When I got home, that was when it hit me: none of that was a mistake.  I set out on a goal to get out of my comfort zone and I did it.  I did the work, my body felt better, and I showed up.  As I wrote yesterday, showing up was the key thing for me.  To be patient and to be consistent and to do the thing. That wasn’t a mistake.  Turning around when I did may have been a mistake, but I still felt the support.  And I felt it in me.  That is where the clarity is, the clarity that guides us toward what is right for us and our purpose.  That is a feeling I think we need to connect with more because it holds so many of the answers.  Call it intuition or whatever, but knowing how you react to things on a visceral level is really helpful. 

Getting in touch with that inner knowing is our guidance system to what is right for us.  My brain was telling me that I was doing the wrong things but my body knew it was right.  I did what I could and there was no reason to be disappointed.  Sometimes we mistake discomfort for a mistake or doing something wrong.  Discomfort is simply a tool to guide us.  It doesn’t mean we’ve done anything wrong, it just means it isn’t in our nature yet.  It isn’t what we are used to.  With time, it will become a part of us.  So sit with the discomfort and don’t chalk it up to doing something wrong.  Rather, just ease through it and learn from it…and then keep going. It’s not a mistake.  And sometimes what we think is a mistake gets us right where we need to be.

Sunday Gratitude

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Today I am grateful for milestones.  I’ve told many stories of living my life like a checklist, thinking it was just about going from one goal to another, never really achieving anything because it was a circular checklist I just watched grow longer and longer.  But I’ve been learning the difference in moving forward.  I’ve been considering the definition of actionable and progress and anything that moves you forward toward purpose is progress. Each milestone doesn’t have to be leaps and bounds bigger by any means.  It can be ensuring you’re taking care of yourself each day.  Making sure you eat healthy more often than not.  Taking time to do something you love consistently.  It doesn’t have to be a huge achievement, it only need be a huge achievement to you. 

Today I am grateful for love.  I put a lot of pressure on people in my life without even realizing I do it.  It really comes down to my expectations.  If you want a certain result, you have to do certain things, that is simply how it works.  But I struggle with patience and allowing people the space to learn that for themselves.  I don’t often stop and look at what is happening in the moment, in the shared humanity, in the learning.  Most importantly, in the expression of who they are and how they show themselves.  I am grateful that I’ve had people stick by me through my difficult phases and my perfectionism and I am grateful for how they’ve supported me in their own ways. 

Today I am grateful for the capacity to learn.  I’ve been set in my ways for a long time and really good about pointing out the need to change to others.  I’m grateful that I’ve been able to turn that critical eye on myself.  I want to point out that I never offered critical unsolicited advice, I work with people seeking growth and growth requires honesty.  It took me a long time to shift perspective toward the parts of me that really needed work.  And I learned that it wasn’t so much about what needed work, it was more about what needed growth and nurturing and to be brought into the light.  That is when we find what we really need. 

Today I am grateful to shed.  I’m deep in the midst of transformation and so much of this process is about letting go rather than shaping.  Letting go allows everything that isn’t to fall away.  What remains is where the meat is.   Life can often feel like we are running around picking up all the fallen pieces of who we are, the things we enjoy, and the things we are “supposed” to do.  But I’ve learned to get comfort in the shedding and allowing those pieces to fall away.  If I truly believe that what is meant for us can never go away, then it is natural to release those parts of us that no longer serve.  There are some things worth fighting for, of course, and those things we will work to keep with us all our lives.  But others have served their purpose, their season, and we need to let them go.  Some of those pieces come back to us at the right time.

Today I am grateful for reconnection.  Those pieces that come back to us come at the right time.  I’ve been in more constant contact with an old friend of mine recently.  We had a falling out because of typical teenage things that I handled poorly and my inability to face that as a kid.  I’m fortunate enough that we maintained some semblance of friendship over the years and I feel fortunate now to reconnect as adults.  When we look back it’s easy to feel shame and regret—and this is one of those situations for me.  But I am more grateful looking forward and seeing the capacity I can show up for her now.  The point is, in spite of what happened, we are meant to be in each other’s lives and the universe has brought us back.

Today I am grateful for simple pleasures and the value of rest.  We celebrated Mother’s Day today and none of us were feeling particularly great. We’ve been pushing hard lately and haven’t taken as much time for self-care as we need.  My husband still took the time to make an amazing breakfast and an even more amazing dinner for me/us today.  I am so grateful for those moments of joy.  Painting with my son and playing catch. Watching some T.V.  I’m grateful to end the day satisfied, and content.  Remembering it is about who we spend our time with and what we make of that time together that matters.  How good it feels to create that sense of security and how ceaselessly fortunate we are to do it. 

Today I am grateful to remember.  I have had a difficult relationship reconciling time and things that have happened.  We all struggle with that to a degree.  I spoke with my sister today and it was so sweet…but also a tad surreal.  We come from the same family but we have had vastly different experiences.  Sometimes we struggle to connect with that.  Regardless, we spoke and took the time to make some plans for June.  Later, when we were eating dinner, I thought about how all of our differences make us unique, but that doesn’t change where we came from.  We are all vastly different people, but we all started the same.  I am grateful to remember and create space for those differences and honor the same. 

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead.

What It Means To Show Up

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A friend of mine recently invited me to take part of a group she runs with.  She knows my health has been a big focus for me lately and she very kindly extended the invitation to me.  I joined her last week and we enjoyed our time.  This past weekend, I asked if she was going and it turned out she wouldn’t be able to make it.  The morning of, I hemmed and hawed about going.  I knew she wouldn’t be there (she is the only one I really know in the group), it was going to rain, and I don’t know their protocols on anything.  After a half hour of debate, I decided to go.  I knew I would feel better and I knew at the very least I was helping my body and at the most I could meet some new people…which I am admittedly not adept at.  Cue social awkwardness 😊

I showed up to the park where they start their run as everyone warmed up.  I said hi to the friend of my friend I met last week but she was kind of cold.  Not a problem, I know what it’s like to be shy.  But that in itself was big for me.  I put myself out there in spite of her not being very receptive and I survived.  So I started to run alone.  I said hi to a bunch of people, getting my face out there and laying the foundation.  It’s so hard to insert into a group…especially one that 1. Has been focusing on health and fitness longer than me 2. Has a set purpose and 3. That I literally know no one.  So the fact that I settled on “Hi” to a bunch of people is a win in my book.

About a mile and a half in the rain came and it came hard.  I wasn’t wearing rain gear and I was pretty damp within seconds so that was my end point.  I turned around to start my wet run back and one of the women simply said, “Have a good run back!”.  Her smile and her words touched me.  My effort was messy, uncomfortable, unsure, and now wet but she still looked at me and allowed.  What she said was perfect in that moment.  She made me realize that I could do many hard things at the same time.  I mean, Glennon Doyle talks about doing hard things all the time, so I keep that in the back of my mind, but the real world application of it hit home.

As I approached the bridge about half a mile from my car, the rain let up.  I felt embarrassed that I didn’t continue on with the group because I know I didn’t have much further to go, I let my discomfort win.  But the woman’s words came back to me, “Have a good run back.”  That was the point.  It wasn’t about how far I ran, it was about the quality of the run.  It was about the experience and taking care of my body so I could fill my cup to help others.  That is showing up.  Some days will be better than others.  I didn’t go as far as last week, but I ran longer.  And when I got home, I hopped on the treadmill to finish it out.  No matter how uncomfortable I was, I showed up.  I supported myself enough to go and do what I needed to do.  Show up for yourself first and then you can do the things.  Just show up and you will surprise yourself.

Plans and Time

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“Big things take time,” Tia McCollars.  Such an appropriate continuation on the ending of yesterday’s piece with enjoying the ride.  One of my biggest faults is impatience…with everything.  I am always a thousand steps ahead in some twisted effort to create more time and I rarely stop and take in my surroundings.  Worse, that impatience often extends to other people, even those I love dearly.  I’ve always been one of those people who wants to get the goal and I really struggle to see the purpose in the journey.  Until recently.  I’ve put myself in a self-induced state of chaos because I’m trying to do too many things at once.  I want to do all the things.  I can’t help it.  I’ve never been able to decide “what I want to be” because so many things seem like fun.  I want to do it all.

At first being goal driven WAS fun.  Honestly.  I felt like each start was an adventure and I looked forward to the beginning.  That is probably still my favorite thing.  I love starting.  I inevitable end up getting tired or annoyed part way through and start whining about it until it’s done or I don’t finish.  That’s when it stopped being fun.  I would carry around years of half started projects with me, always intending to finish them but never doing it.  Then I would get distracted by the next enticing adventure and start it all over again.  Again, at first it was fun and I felt fine.  Over time, I have felt the weight of all of those pieces on my shoulders and all it does is slow me down.  There is no finality, no sense of accomplishment, no seeing the finish line for anything. 

So there I was/am (whatever this is) stuck between carrying everything or rushing toward the end so I would actually finish it.  And I felt exhausted.  Projects that should have been relatively simple took me around the world (see yesterday’s piece) while others flew by me without any sense of joy.  The meat of it all is in the joy of what we are doing.  The goal doesn’t need to be how many things we do, rather how we do them.  The destination isn’t always the goal.  There is always a place for the journey.  In fact, as I mentioned before, the journey is often what shapes us.  There are things we see and learn we never would have otherwise.  And that is why patience is key. 

Big things take time.  We may not see results immediately.  We may not feel like we are getting anything out of it but we have to keep going.  Things may not look how you think they should but that doesn’t mean a thing. Big things take time.  If you can see the end result in your mind, don’t allow anyone to sway you, not even your ADHD thoughts.  That result is the driver for where you will end up whether that destination turns out to be where you thought it was or not. You will most certainly end up where you need to be.  This is where faith is so important.  Steve Harvey talked about people living on “faith street”.  He said that sometimes it takes a while for that package to get there, but it will arrive in due time.  If you move from where you are, it will go back to sender.  So stay the course.  Allow yourself to be shaped by it.  Those big things will get clearer and clearer as you get closer to them.  Trust and be patient.