Happy beautiful Saturday everyone! I hope that you all had an amazing Thanksgiving, and are able to spend some quality time surrounded by family and friends.
I have to admit I’ve had a bit of a block recently. And started and stopped several attempts at this blog entry. There are of course the thoughts of gratitude. And a desire to spread the feeling that generally begins around Thanksgiving, sometimes runs through December, and to encourage everyone to try and carry appreciation every day.
While on a run this morning with my 9 year old daughter, and I think it hit me. So here’s a bit about running, literally and figuratively.
Our youngest participates in a group called Girls on the Run (GotR). This is her third season, which generally runs along the school semesters. The organization does an awesome job bringing girls together and teaching empowerment at a young age. Of course wrapped around running and fitness.
Each season ends with a 5K. And each runner needs a ‘buddy’. In her previous seasons, one of Ilana’s older brothers was able to run the 5K with her. We realized that for this season, her brother will not be home from college finals yet. So with about 10 days until the 5K, we needed someone to run with Ilana.
Now GOTR offers running buddies for the kids if needed. And keeping in mind that I haven’t run in over a year since I switched exclusively to yoga. That being said, we could tell Ilana wanted to run with a family member. So starting Thanksgiving morning, I started running with Ilana to train for the 5K which is scheduled for December 8th.
Which brings us to this post. On our run this morning, listening to Ilana share stories and opinions with me, I had a rush of emotion knowing I was sharing time with her, and learning more about her in ways I may not otherwise. I also had a realization that at times in my life, I may have had more of a propensity to run from things, other than running to, or for something.
At 19, I moved from NW Indiana to Baltimore with my older brother and best friend. It was an incredible time of growth for me. I was taking a break from college. And really had a chance to spread my wings in a ‘big city’. I met someone and had a serious relationship, had great friends and was welcomed into a second family. In our second year, my best friend from home moved out on his own. And my brother and I moved into a pretty nice apartment closer to the girl I was seeing. I eventually was engaged, and had returned to a local college. And then one day, my brother shared that he decided to move back to the Chicago area. I hadn’t realized what a security blanket my older brother, who has always been there for me, still was even at that age. And instead of hunkering down in my new life, I followed him back home.
In my early career, I was fortunate to be in a highly employable field. As I worked for a variety of organizations, if I felt a series of slights. Or a lack of appreciation for what I may be bringing to the company and team, my resume was updated and out to recruiters. And for what would feel like the right price and the right organization. I would be on the move. Sometimes across town, and a couple of times up and down the east coast. And in any of these opportunities, instead of hunkering down and continuing a growth path with one organization, I jumped ahead to the next.
My first marriage was on the rocks within the first year. We were separated, and I was moving back to Maryland. Which was like a second hometown to me at that point. I was making plans, and ready to continue on with my life. And suddenly my first wife opened the door for reconciliation. Instead of hunkering down and moving on with my life. I jumped back in to try and make a failing marriage work. (Now this decision has a caveat, as it provided me the blessing of my oldest daughter).
Which brings me back to my run with Ilana this morning. During this amazing time running and connecting with her. By the way, she runs and holds a conversation a little easier than I do! I realized how fortunate I am to be on this life path. That I have made mistakes, and am learning from them. And while earlier in my life I may have had more of an itch to run from things. I now try to ensure I am running to something, running for the right reasons.
I ask myself a series of questions now when making decisions.
Why am I seeking change?
What is my desired outcome?
Am I running from fear?
Am I chasing joy?
Will I grow from the new challenge?
And today, during this beautiful Thanksgiving weekend. While I am training for what will actually be my first 5k in 8 short days. I hope these questions may help you too. And by all means, run friend, run. But let’s keep running for the right reasons!
Sending love, light and laughter! ❤️ 🙏