15 April 2014

Boston Strong

I went for one of my first long runs of the season last weekend after a many-month long hiatus due to injury.  I was also breaking in new shoes to try to help with said injury.... One mile in and I thought I was going to gnaw off my own leg because the pain was unbearable.  It was like every muscle was so tight that I thought they could snap.  I literally had to fight back tears thinking that I had to give up again - that I was going to have to turn back and keep waiting.  After so many months of not being able to run, I felt defeated by my injuries and my own body.  

Sometimes as a runner, it's hard not to feel defeated.  Today marks a year since the bombings at the Boston Marathon.  Looking at articles and photographs of the progress and tenacity of those who were involved & injured gives new hope that we have come out of yet another senseless act of violence, stronger.  I took a moment today to read through my posts from this time last year - PRAYERS & CARE BEAR - remembering those feelings and dealing with my own pain and anxiety after 9/11. 

I do, wholeheartedly, believe that the moments in our lives are there for a reason.  The struggles, the pain, the questioning - they are all a part of growth and moving forward.  Sometimes it is the very converse of what makes us happy that allows for us to truly appreciate the good we have in our life.  We woke up to snow this morning and as much as no one wanted to see that it after finally feeling spring temperatures, it does remind us to take a moment to appreciate what makes us happy. 

Even this past week when talking with mon petit soeur V about her break-up, my advice was that even though tempted, not to erase photos or get rid of mementos because they are a part of her story.  The moments with K were happy ones for the most part and just because their chapter is over, she shouldn't erase that.  Those moments, those experiences, it's all a part of what has made her who she is.  And what has gotten her to this very moment to do exactly what she is meant to do and to love someone eventually who will never let her go. My big sisterly advice was to take it all and box it up and store it away - as I did - because one day she is going to have a daughter or niece who will feel like they are dying from a broken heart.  And she can pull that box of memories out and show them that she too knew great love & felt as they do but that, within herself, she found the strength to pick up, move on and be happy once again.  We are all stronger with every heart break and with every moment that causes us pause.  Within each of us, lies that invincible summer.

The runners, spectators and people of Boston are all stronger for the events of this past year.  There are many who suffered from this moment but have found a way to walk again, to run again and to look ahead.  I know after many challenges and sudden loss in my life, I find myself more inclined to appreciate every day. To be empathetic to others struggles and to appreciate every challenge, because with it comes learning and growth.  And to push through because sometimes it's just a matter of holding on and putting one foot in front of other.  I gave myself another mile during that tortuous run and found that after a good stretch in a church parking lot along Riverside Drive I eventually found my groove.  At the end I looked back and was grateful that I kept pushing - in the end of my time here in this crazy world I hope to look back and be just as grateful.  That with everything I have faced and with each heart break or struggle I have conquered, I have become stronger. Happier. Content.  Resiliency is not an easy thing to master and yet it lies within each of us.  Daily we have the choice to succumb to the negative or find the ray of hope to hold on to.  As a runner taking today to remember the tragedy in Boston just a short year ago is a reminder that everything can change in an instant.  Take a chance on something or someone.  Run, Live, Work, Love with all your heart.  

11 April 2014

10 things to do today to make you happy

For no real apparent reason, yesterday I wanted to pretty much punch someone in the face.  No one in particular and a bunch of people all at once.  Seems as though this girl may need a vacation in the near future because the littlest things were setting me off - things that normally wouldn't cause me a second glance. I'm blaming it on the full moon...

Even friends & loved ones were bothering the heck out of me - mainly by NOT doing anything.  People all wrapped up in their own worlds and not concerned about mine. And I do realize that I am one of those people that always loves more but sometimes that can lead to feel like you are being taken advantage of.  After living away for so many years, I am the one that reaches out more often, that apologizes even when not in the wrong just to clear the air.  The one that sends birthday cards to my friends kids in the mail and that remembers important dates, especially the ones where friends may need a little extra love.  I am an expert gift-giver and pride myself on listening and trying to always find that special something that will bring a smile to someone's face.  But sometimes that gets taken advantage of and probably not on purpose but because it's easy to do.  It's easy to get caught up in the hecticness of our day-to-day and it takes a lot to push me to the end of my rope but here I am dangling away! I don't really get mad - it's not in my character to stay angry but I do withdraw when someone pushes that final button.  Yesterday it was one of my best girls snapping at me that brought tears to my eyes - button pushed!! I will not EVER beg someone to a) simply be nice or b) want to spend time with me.  I will walk away and I will be fine and happy and you can be miserable.  We are so quick to snap at the people that we love the most because they are there and because often they are easier to ask forgiveness from.  But maybe we should all take a moment to be thankful for the people in our lives and even in the most hectic times, be grateful for all that we have.  If work is super busy - be grateful that we aren't struggling.  If we have a lot of social arrangements going on - be happy that we have so many people in our lives to do things with.  

As much as I love my businesses they do involve a lot of small talk and chit chat and people who aren't always the most pleasant to deal with.  I enjoy people but I also enjoy my own quiet time and when things overwhelm me (as they kinda are right now) I need to get some space.  Just a few days of not talking to people - reading, cooking, laying in the sunshine.... But while I scour the internet for cheap vacations I need something to tide me over today so I've come up with 10 things to do to make you (me) happy! If you can think of anything else I should add to the list feel free to comment.  

And please, no matter where you are or who you interact with today - be nice.  That simple.  Be reciprocal - ask someone how their day is when they ask you.  Reach out to a friend that you haven't spoken to in a while and make sure they are ok.  Don't judge someone because they are living their life differently than you are - everyone is fighting a different battle.  Try to just be happy with what you have - even if it's chaos because life is short and precious.  Don't take things for granted - especially the people that love you.  If you've been an asshole say you're sorry. 

  1. Download a song that you used to love in high school and play it really loud.  Sing along.  Make an ass out of yourself and just DANCE! 
  2. Pay it forward - find a chance to do something nice for someone else in your life without any expectation for anything in return.  Be selfless.
  3. Make a point to compliment 3 people you have contact with today - a little goes a long way.
  4. Reach out to an old friend - send them an email or even a text - something to let them know you are thinking of them and why they matter. 
  5. Sweat for at least 20 min - exercise, sex, whatever it takes to get your heart rate pumping and make you feel alive.  
  6. Have a good laugh - Go through old photos, watch a funny movie or visit the dog shaming website.  Do something of the like that will make you smile.  
  7. Write it out - make a list of 5 things you are grateful for today - can be as simple as enjoying sunshine on your way to work or for the food you have to put on your table. 
  8. Plan an adventure - big or small just play on the internet for an hour and plan an adventure that you'd like to do this year. 
  9. Say Thank You to someone - either someone you come in contact with today or reach out to someone who has done something nice for you in the past and just say Thanks.  Those two words go a long way. 
  10. Make a happy list - sounds silly and can be challenging but make a list of 100 things that make you happy.  Keep this list with you and when you have one of those "I want to slap you moments" refer to it :)

01 April 2014

timing is everything

So I found a few quotes to pass along to two very different friends both dealing with a break-up, specific to the issue of "timing".  They are certainly not alone in this conundrum - we have all been there at one time or another.  Sometimes things or people seem perfect - they fit in our lives, in our heart, in our families and we cannot help but look towards the future with them.  But as much as they "fit" or as happy as they make us,  if they are not ready or if they are at a different stage in their life then the only thing we can do is accept it and find a way to move forward.  I do realize that is easier said then done but as with most things in our life we are faced with the challenge to accept it or change it.  We ultimately have the choice to keep fighting for something but there are times that we must realize when it's an endless battle. 

Timing doesn't always have to reflect into the world of relationships - sometimes it is at work, a new job or a position that we think is "perfect" for us that gets awarded to someone else.  We have to trust that things do all happen for a reason and that they are beyond our control.  The only thing that we can control are our reactions to situations.  We, unfortunately, cannot control someone else's mind or heart or timing.  Some things are best left in the hands of fate and realizing that the paths of our life are meant to cross into others and sometimes the duration of time we spend together once meeting is longer or shorter than we would like but we have to keep moving along and see what is next.  Spring is upon us and it's the best time of the year to make the conscious choice to find happiness even with a broken heart.

Today feels BEAUTIFUL! The sun is out and the breeze is warm and it is crazily already April. There is promise in the air!!  It is time for the world to come alive again - when we all have the chance to rebuild and start again.  Time to clean up our hearts and take a moment to step into the sunshine and reflect.  It's rebirth and renewal - the heaviness of winter is behind us.  Though some moments seem like they will overwhelm us, spring allows us the breath of 'possibility'. We come out of hibernation and start to socialize again.  We start taking better care of our selves and rely less on comfort foods and bulky sweaters and move towards fresh options and the feeeling of sun on our skin.  It's amazing really, how if we choose to, we can find brightness in the world and apply it to our lives.  Though one of my friends made the choice to end her relationship, the other did not and was taken by surprise.  Both have broken hearts but I feel confident in telling them that they will heal and where the cracks are, there may be more trepedation but they will love again.  And again.  And again.  Sometimes new spring love is even better than cozy winter love because it brings new adventures and longer days on the porch.  It has promise and freshness to it! 

So maybe the timing isn't right for something in your life.... I know I am letting certain things go right now and as much as it pains me to do so, waking up this morning I feel ready to move forward and try something new.  I know that things happen and people arrive in our lives for a reason and they leave for a reason too.  I know I am the creator of my own happiness and I refuse to let anyone take that from me! I am giving back the negativity to anyone who brings it into my path - I refuse to engage it and instead I will find the positive alternative.  Sometimes that is the only choice we can make.  But the choice is ours.