I shook myself out of sleep and very distinct dreams, listening for the sounds of my children getting ready. I expected the unique full BLOW of a GOOD MORNING from my son. I'm still not entirely acclimated here. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that all was calm. My husband had lunches ready to go, kids were almost dressed, breakfast on the table, my son calm and happy and still ten minutes to do a braid and slip in some 8 year old hoop earrings before the bus came to our corner.
Perhaps I'd do my 20 mile run today. I had no business running 20 at this point but I'm in one of those no rhyme or reason training modes.
Once the girls were out the door and on the bus, we had a Jenga game for three. Knowing that my son needs a little extra attention these days made it easy to put other things on hold. Husband late for work. Prep for a 20 mile run on hold. Instead of getting things ready for the day or preparing anything, we knew that
And we played a game together.
It was worth losing all the "get ready for ______" time. This little guy needed the attention and everything else seemed way less important.
9:00 is when preschool starts. At this point, I knew we wouldn't be on time for preschool. Definitely not time for a 20 mile run. But perhaps a longer run? Maybe.
See, that's the problem with not being entirely committed to a goal. You give yourself an "Out" and it is oh so easy to take.
So, no 20 miles this morning. But I did get 2.8 miles. Close to 20 right?
Sometimes 2.8 can be even better for us than that 20.
As I set out for my run around Beaver Lake in North Asheville, I was full of feeling. All sorts of feelings. Mind full. Heart heavy but hopeful. It's been a hard couple of days. I didn't want to be running but I challenged myself to just do what I felt like today and then move on with my day. As I reached one side of the path that led up from the lake, I stopped to take it all in...cool morning, beauty of the fog lifting from the still water, trees reaching up to the blue sky, and the white church steeple contrasted by the thick hills of Asheville, NC. Right then, right there, I decided that I would work on coming out of my shell a bit more...smile, reach out, wave, share ME. Perhaps even make more eye contact. Eye contact is tricky for me. Direct eye contact. When I look into someone's eyes, they see my everything. My eyes speak more than I want them to sometimes. When I'm joyful, they smile. But when I'm holding things in, they sell me out. So, I don't always share them. Sometimes. Not always. Today, looking out at that beautiful lake on this cool morning, I decided to share my eyes more.
As I continued making my way around the lake path, I saw a woman I ran by a bit earlier. I smiled. Made brief eye contact. Then she looked like she was heading directly towards me. I wondered if she would run right into me. No avoiding. I knew my shell must come off a bit here. A local runner. Beautiful and kind Laura. Stopping me just to say hi and tell me that she reads my blog. "What Blog?" were my first instincts. After all, I barely write on here anymore. I can't entirely express what her simple hello meant to me today. Her smile. Her words of kindness and reaching out. This was powerful to me. It made a difference in my day. Her positive energy was just what I needed. It was a reminder of a few things:
- You never know when someone needs to hear something.
- Never underestimate the power of a smile, hello, and telling someone what they mean...that they matter, or how they've impacted you.
- We all hold the power to make a difference in this world.
- Sharing yourself is always worth it.
- We often find what we MOST need when we let go.
- Never underestimate the power of being true to yourself and speaking your truth. Chances are, others will be thankful that you are REAL.
- Things don't happen by accident. We are all being lovingly gifted. I believe this.
So, thanks for stopping on your run Laura. Thanks for stepping out of your bubble. Thanks for reaching out and reminding me that we are all humans in this together. All craving connection. All seeking meaning. And needing/wanting to know that we are NEVER ALONE in this life. Thanks for reminding me of the value in discarding disconnect and aloofness and replacing it with human kindness and reaching out.
And all because I was out there running.
So, I'm thankful for running.
And the people we meet along the way.