I've started typing this first sentence at least six times. Why is it so hard for me to write anything after not writing for a few days?! Seriously, some days even the simplest kind of writing feels so rough and on other days I feel as if my words could flow on and on for days. Today is one of the rough times....forced. I suppose writing is just like any other habit we want to maintain. If it''s of value to us, it means doing it even when we don't feel like it.
Ok, so obviously I didn't stick to my 38 days of posting every single day. This was intentional and I'm happy with this choice because it meant that my last few days of visiting a friend were days where I was truly present in my moment. Not to say that I couldn't have made the time to write a quick post each day and still be equally as present in my moments and memories. I simply chose to put this on hold until I returned home. Honestly, I didn't even think about pulling my computer out for a second. I did, however, spend a few quiet moments to myself each day where I was reflective and intentional in thinking of gratitude. It was impossible NOT to have a heart full of gratitude this weekend. Truly one of the best visits I've had with a friend in a long time. I think today's post (which will wrap up Days 13-16 as well) will start with a bulleted list where I will simply type whatever comes to my mind when I think of my trip this weekend...a mix of moments I want to remember, gratitude, intentions, etc. Before I start, I'll include this part that I try to include in most of these posts because it keeps me focused on what this [mostly] daily writing is all about.
Again, here in link is the post that began Project Begin Again. And below are the guidelines I keep in every post.
So, here's how this will go.
So, here's how this will go.
- I will write something on here every day for 38 days because that is how many days until my 50k.
- I will keep in simple!!! Some days will consist of three sentences if that's all I have.
- I will write for me.
- I will try very hard NOT to compare my old Runninghood self to the Amanda typing today.
- I will keep my posts to daily gratitude, intentions and.... because how can we not feel sad, heavy hearted and powerless at so much happening in our world...I will include at least one small way I can or have done something to make the world a better place (this can be as simple and powerful as helping my child learn a lesson about love and kindness).
- Why am I doing this? To Begin Again. Just as with training for a marathon when we put in our daily workouts, I want to get into the habit of focusing on the things that make me happy and my intentions for making my life what I want. Writing helps me with this.
Minnesota Visit Bullets:
- I spent Thursday through Monday (today) visiting my friend (see last post) in her small town in northern Minnesota. Because I don't feel like writing out her full name every time even though I've already mentioned it many times (and because I can be as private as I choose to be on here! :)), I will refer to my friend as J instead of continuing to refer to her as "my friend" or "at my friend's house..."
- What a special special visit! Comfortable. Like seeing my sister.
- During this visit, I was able to see her home town that I've only read about for the last six years... so cool for me to see where her kids play hockey and go to school, special spots she's written about, her house, etc.
- Have I mentioned lately how amazing I think it is that friends can come together in the most unexpected ways and go on to have a connection for life? I think life is pretty cool like this. It really does seem as if we get to choose our own family in some ways... not only the family we are born with.
- I have many favorite moments about this trip. At the top of the list would be that I got to spend time with J's family. I got to get to know her kids and husband better and I also got to spend time with her sisters and parents. Oh, and her sweet sweet dog who I absolutely loved and wished I could have packed in my suitcase to bring home to Bend.
- We ran almost every day! For the most part, we are pretty compatible running partners...when in race mode, she has faster race times than me but as far as running range, we are quite close. I think this was one of the many reasons we formed a connection over the years through our running blogs. Following each other's training was always fun and easy to understand. I was always inspired by how hard she could push herself on a mental and physical level. At points where I would pull back in these ways, she was the type who would push through no matter what in order to reach for the goals she set. I remember the day she ran a 3:14 marathon and how exciting it was to see her finish time and know how much she dug deep those last miles in order to make it happen. Anyway, I'm rambling, I know... but I can do that because this is my blog/journal. No rules. Our runs this weekend were just perfect: easy and conversational runs where we got to really enjoy the time together but I also got to run parts of running routes that I've read about many many a time on her running blog and in email. A little bit like being in a dream in some ways since I felt like I'd almost run there before from reading about it from way back but now I was actually running there! And boy was it cold and windy!! I finally understood what she was talking about all those times when she'd curse those spring winds! Funny coming from 75 degrees in Bend, OR to freezing cold and windy Minnesota! ha!
- Our run yesterday was in the small town near hers and we got to run 4 or 5 miles with her dad as part of his 22 miler for his marathon training. At one point we ran by a road sign (see in the picture at the top) that made me realize even more just how far north I was! 6 miles to Canada and 53 miles to Northwest Angle. The weather seemed fitting.
- I laughed so many times this weekend... really nice!
- J lives outside of town with lots of open land to look out on. Granted, Northern Minnesota in April before anything blooms and while the wind is howling, is really not all that pretty. HOWEVER, J's house is in the perfect place to see the sunrise and sunset every day! And boy did I see a few gorgeous sunsets. If I lived there, I'd be watching the sunset every evening! The sunrise... well, that would mean getting up really early and that's not always my thing.
- Over the several days of my visit I had the chance to process and reflect on some parts of life I haven't really talked about much. This was good for my spirit. What a gift it is to have a friend that knows your story in so many ways from the last years. A gift to have a safe place and person to truly hear your story and share theirs in return.
- Being home this morning after several planes and layovers and long car rides makes me so glad for our ability to travel!!
- This quiet house before my kids wake up... a few moments to type and set the stage for the day... Love this time!
- So nice to be home to a big warm embrace from my husband late last night. He expected me home a little later so when he got my text saying I was on my way from the airport, he sounded surprised. It was funny to see him out of breath from trying to get everything looking so clean and orderly for when I walked in the house. Ha!
- I get to see my kids in just a few minutes when I wake them all for school. And then I GET to take them to school and hear all about their last 5 days. So thankful to be their mom. And to know what great kids they are...I'm proud of them!
- Get back on track with my daily writing here.
- Make a bit of a reset plan for getting back in the groove with some sort of training as I make my way towards this 50k. I know I've been a bit loose this time and I haven't been training with a plan like I have in the past but I've still built a decent base and I can work with this over the next few weeks. I know I have enough time to put in a few solid workouts and longer runs to where I'll be feeling ok for this 50k!
- Be AWAKE and PRESENT to this life right now. I have 2 months left where all my kids are in one school, I'm not working full time, and I have a very flexible schedule that allows me to teach at all my favorite places. I know with all my heart what a gift this NOW truly is I'm thankful and intentional to be awake for it and not looking off to the future too much nor giving too much worry or focus to the moments that have already been.
Be the Change
- LISTEN. Listen to my kids as they share their lives... their worries, excitements...whatever they are trying to tell me. Listen to the people who cross my path today. Part of listening is asking questions or responding when someone talks to us....responding in a way that lets them know we HEAR them. Maybe it's a mom at drop off who mentions a bad morning and needs a vent. Maybe it's a grocery clerk asking about my day and instead of looking at my phone and mumbling fine, I will make eye contact and smile and ask about their day. Maybe it's even listening to myself by letting my mind slow down and really letting my mind/heart be heart outside of the normal mind clutter. We all need to feel heard in some way. I also think we want/need to share our life stories or thoughts with people that care. I think we can bring positive change to our lives when we are intentional about listening to one another in a present and genuine way. And in turn, sharing our hearts and minds in the same way. Definitely a topic I want to come back to when I'm not out of time... sharing, hearing, authenticity, slowing down to truly be listeners for each other.
I'm completely over my time limit and now have no choice but to wake my kids up if I don't want them to be LATE! I wrote this post in a few different stretches of time over the last 24 hours and I can honestly say that now that I'm at the end of it, my writing is flowing easily again instead of forced. Kind of like when we dread going on a run but when we finally get out there and start moving, we almost always come back feeling better!