Thursday, May 28, 2020

Mirror Mirror on the wall

                I run around this lake by my house daily, at the same time. when you do something like that you begin to meet people who also do the same thing and a kind of community begins to build. A community of people who smile and wave at each other freely, knowing the other will wave back. Most recently one of the such people asked me for my name, and he shared his. He is an older man, about 20 years my senior about. It's was a nice feeling seeing him daily and smiling back but now that we are on talking terms he has to always say something. And it's not just anything ordinary, like a commentary on the weather or the conditions of the trails, no!  EVERY.SINGLE.TIME I pass him he has a comment about the way I look to him that day. 
Here are a few of the comments
*You look very happy today
* You look like an old lady with that walking stick
* You look very tired today, yesterday you wore earrings. 
* You look sad today

                    Now, the way I look, to others especially, is about the #129th item on my list of priorities. Also, I am 46 and happily married to a man who loves me without makeup, without fake nails and even when I wake up in the morning, with my hair to the ceiling. I also have about 10 projects I obsess about at any given moment and that too keeps me from worrying about item #129. 

               In addition, I have decided long ago that how people react to the way I look is their business, not mine. In other words, your experience of me, is all on you, zero on me. Now, these comments this poor older man is making are by no means meant to be insulting or hurtful. But they bring me back to a generation when women DID see themselves, AND valued themselves, through the eyes of others and eagerly awaited constant reflections from others of how they were perceived. Sadly, I know many women still find their worth in checking others to help set their worth barometers. Weirdly, I am thankful for some tough years for getting me to this point. I spent many years of my teens convinced I was anything BUT pretty and when you spend that much amount of time working on a perceived "problem", the universe finds all kinds of ways to provide you with answers. I found out I may not have felt attractive physically but I have the most fascinating, entertaining imagination, I am also a loyal-to-the-end type friend and I am fearless and relentless in all things I believe in. In the end, like the story of the ugly duckling, I found that all these things were what made me attractive after all, and no effort was ever really needed to ever be other than myself. 

                  So I will continue to walk my trail and run into this man daily, who will most likely continue to think he's being my ever-helpful mirror. Maybe he thinks I want or need his views on how I look to him. I don't have the heart to make him see a reality perhaps he's never imagined women could possess. It does not bother me at all. I will most likely smile, wave, do small chit-chat and move on. As I said before, what he thinks of me is his business, not mine. I've got my own inner mirror now and that is my ONLY business.  

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Read the damn clues girl- read the room and reassess

                     We might be swimming along fine in this thing we call life and then every so often we get weighted down or tangled in crap we did not anticipate. This happens all the time. Then it's up to us to make it right again, so that we can be stress-free and content. 

                      In my recent past, entanglements meant loss of sleep, stress, tears, anger and frustration. I would suffer for days wondering why someone said what they said or did what they did. I would play the scenario over and over in my head and relive the moments of stress over and over again in my mind. BUT!,  Lucky for me, being 46 has lots of advantages. One, is being I don't expect much from anyone. I never really did, but now, I certainly don't need people who bring me stress in my life. 

                    Life has taught me that there are pretty much two types of people in this world. The first type are the insecurity-based or fear-based people who pretty much will do whatever it takes to address these inadequacies in ways that will never benefit you. Then, there are those who are integrity-driven, who are fearless and genuine and will never compromise their integrity for anything or anyone, regardless of the circumstances. Fear-based folks don't always know they are this way, yet, one can easily gauge from their actions for it's much, much harder to understand the actions of the former.  

                    I tend to navigate towards people whose actions make sense and whose acts I can understand and make sense. Likewise, I pull away from those whose actions make no sense to me. Congruence between what I see and what I get is a pretty easy way to see who falls where between these two categories. If I don't understand something in a relationship, I will never try to push for answers, or prescribe a solution. I see the very act of trying to laboriously work on a relationship useless and unnecessary  kind of like swimming uphill. Meaning, putting in so much effort to make things work signify that one may not get satisfactory enough results to be worth one's time in the end. And don't take me wrong, relationships may not necessarily be easy, and some are worth saving. But, the majority of the time you are in a relationship, it should be manageable, it should feel predictable and mostly simple. When relationships are confusing, weird and odd, it's time to pull back and reassess. In essence, read the damn clues girl. 

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Honor you body when it talks

               I was having a talk with my daughter about stuff the other day, deep stuff and the subject matter or how do you know something for sure, sure came up. My answer rolled out of me without an ounce of hesitation. You know because your body will tell you. THE MOST valuable thing running has taught me is the keen ability to listen to my body, this key skill can also be used in matters of the heart, friendships, job stresses, etc. How do you know you need to reflect, make changes, discuss, address anything?  Your body will tell you. You will have nightmares, you will be unable to sleep, your heart rate will increase in certain key situations around key people and subject matters and on and on. 
                  Okay, so what does one do with that knowledge? one addresses it, head on. Your goal here is bringing back to a calm state. I subscribe to the idea that one must constantly strive to be in this calm state and if anything veers your focus from it, it MUST be addressed. Now, that does not mean others will or should understand.... it's not always going to go that way, where you address something and all is well with the world, no... it actually rarely does.... and this is where the next rule comes in.... the rules of understanding. You're going to have to bring calm to your body no matter what and that needs to happen regardless of the external world's understanding or lack thereof of your point of view. Which, in many cases may result in separation. And that is how decisions are made without too much thinking...  
                     This inner knowing is very much more pronounced in us in extreme emotions, such as when we fall in love. When it's true love you know and when you fall out of love, you also know. Words are almost not needed for these transactions. You will be safer listening and following the directions of your body. 
                      So lately I have felt that certain situations bring my inner vibration down. Gossip, girl drama, grumpiness, jealously, and even frustration bring ones vibrations way down. I do not want to dwell there, plus, being this way feels awful. You are in your mind all the time, planning, stressed, worried...When that happens we cut off the connection we have with our body and we may even get ill. I am trying desperately these days to continue to remain on a higher vibration with a multifaceted approach. One, I am in nature A LOT, I am taking care of my body, I am feeding my soul with warm, loving moments with friends and family, and listening and reading about great ideas from great people who mirror the type of person I wish to be. During my runs I pretty much ONLY listen to things that either better me or feed my soul. 
                       My goal to day is to continue to work on clearing my energy so that I can again connect with my body, the one and only (and best) tool I have to gauge my world. 

Sunday, May 17, 2020

The Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee 1000K

          Sometimes you just need a huge goal to get you moving again.

            I had not been able to really see this about myself but I realize I had been bummed about my last race. Something about it did not sit well with me and so I stopped running. For months I walked and walked and refused to even attempt running. Then Coronavirus happens and all of the sudden this beyond-this-world challenge comes along and I join. I was already doing about an average of 5.4 miles a day when I signed up but the fact that I would HAVE to do that in order to make it by the 4 month deadline was a bit tough to swallow, yes, a bit intimidating. But here we are.... I feel I am doing well. I am running anywhere between 50% and 80% of my 4 milers in the day and walking 2 miles every night, with my dog.

             I have NEVER run consistently this many moles a week before....maybe for the last week of a marathon training maybe, but certainly not weekly, consistently, week after week. So let's see what happens... as far as my drive goes I know I am getting this medal... and a t-shirt, if I remember correctly.

            I have also joined a virtual group with people I know from work and from races and some who are family members of those people... as someone that has always been on this running journey alone, this is a nice bonus. We support each other daily through videos and messages. This solitary dwindling runner could not have imagined even 2.5 months back that I'd be this active and this involved in a running group. loving every minute of it.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Hidden strengths

              I have always known myself to have good instincts. I can pick up when people don't like me, or when someone is attracted to me or even intimidated by me. I can sense it when someone wants more from an interaction, is disappointed or even angry underneath, regardless of their smile or their poker face. What I did not know though, until this week, is how come I am this way. I've always thought it was just something I was born with. Just this week it occurred to me, quite suddenly doing one of my walks, that I have always had to rely on myself and myself, alone, to know how to read any given situation. In fact, for most of my adolescent and adult life the huge decisions I made concerning my life, since age 9, I have done alone. No adult conversations, no guidance counselor, no coach, no, alone. My mother, who I love very, very much, and whom I do not fault for any of this, was of the generation that did not talk about much...period. Additionally, she worked long hours only to then face an almost hour and half commute each way daily. Growing up and I was left to my own devices, from a very young age and only when I had my own kids did I realize how alone this alone really was, for I could not imagine ever being that distant from my own kids. Again, not blaming anyone here, but truth is the truth and it was what it was. At my age, I refuse to lie to make things more palatable and being absolutely real is part of this middle-age mind shift. 

        But what a surprise to come to my mid 40's and see that what I regarded for so long as a misfortune ends up being one of THE most valuable assets, and what an amazingly useful asset it is. Without effort, I can feel people's vulnerabilities. I have friends that whom I can immediately tell when they are not okay. I walk into rooms full of people and feel the energy and use that to help me navigate the space. I have listened to this voice and this voice alone now for so long no that I trust it before any other. For example, when someone may be emotionally volatile; my whole body will feel tense in their presence. 

No doubt LOTS of people have these same gifts, in fact, I feel everyone has these gifts buried in them. In my case, my life circumstances have helped make these instincts razor sharp. That, combined with trusting one's instincts have come to reinforce these gifts. I never thought I'd be thankful for a tough upbringing. 

Monday, February 17, 2020

no apologies....2020 version

One thing running does to you is it makes you brutally honest. It could be a side affect from having the needs to address small body issues as the come up while running. In running, if one did not see  diagnose an issue clearly one cannot in essence fix the issue. In running it's of utmost importance to fix the issues as they come up and before they get huge. So runners become really good at tackling the issue at hand, as it comes up, this moment. We don't like to sit on issues. This is the lens I now use to address my world. Things come up and they are addressed, no matter how tough the "thing" is, leaving the issue to linger for another day is simply not an option. I bring this up because I have noticed myself become increasingly frustrated and incredibly impatience with how fear of confrontation from people who choose to run away instead of face their own mistakes help make a huge muck out of things. 

I find myself  therefore completely having zero patience for anyone who can't own up, do their part, participate, BUT, will expend tons of energy and go the ends of the earth to construct an excuse for their behavior, or worse, blame you for it. 2020 has brought out the teeth in me, and viscerally I find myself walking away from these people, emotionally, literally, and figuratively. More and more I remind myself of my mom. My mother could do 10 things at one time and do each one amazingly. She would, of course, always silently want and expect your help but if that help required her  to hold your hand while you did it,  forget it, she'd rather just do it herself, less stress, less drama...that is where I am right now. I have officially become my mother when it comes to how I think go disappointing people. 

Lucky for me I am surrounded by amazing people who dream big dreams like me, and who stand beside me shoulder to shoulder and pace along with the same ferocity. With people like these there is no limit to what one can accomplish. As I grow older people fall into two very distinct categories, the ones whose presence can help you soar and the one's whose weight can bring you down....there are no in-betweens, you are either someone who helps me sink or swim....if you make me sink I am cuttin' you loose.