I read quotes all the time. I find them really fascinating. Someone (usually famous) says something very poignant in a very concise and articulate way and someone writes it down for all of us less clever people to read and ponder over for ages to come. I had quotes all over my walls in my classroom and behind my desk. Some written on scrappy pieces of paper and some on big posters that I made. You don’t necessarily have to be someone famous to get my attention, sometimes the ones I choose to write down are from everyday people in my life. Those, for me, are my favorite ones.
I wish I had a quote for what is on my mind today. I feel like I sorta remember one that ties what I am feeling all up in a nice little bow, but I can’t remember it exactly. Here is what I am feeling like today and maybe you all can find a quote for me. Life is going to send me things that bring me down. Situations that are hard and rough and knock me to my knees. Life is going to put people in my life that are hard to deal with and rough and knock me to my knees. Life is going to give me days where I just want to lay around and eat peanut butter cups and watch reruns of Modern Family, and days that I feel I just can’t get enough done. Those things are inevitable. What isn’t inevitable is how I choose to get through those things. The quote I vaguely remember then points out if those kinds of situations are indeed inevitable why not choose to go through them with a sense of comedy rather than tragedy.
Yeah, that narrows it down a bit huh?
Lately my runs seem to be one of the only times where I am truly living in the moment. I am acutely aware of every burning breath that goes into my body. I am feeling every muscle in my body working (and aching). My thoughts are very deliberate and most of the time are centered on…when is this going to be done, and jeez I hope I don’t fall again. I am constantly looking forward to being back on my street headed towards my house.
Sunday’s run turned out to be a little different.
I usually don’t run on Sundays but for some reason when I went to bed Saturday night I was determined to get up early and go for that run. The alarm went off and I went through my usual debate about staying in bed or getting up. Reluctantly, I got up put on those shoes and headed out. I was regretting every step and grumbling to myself about all the usual stuff when I turned the corner to this: The photo really doesn’t do it justice.
I decided right then and there that I was going to enjoy this run. I was going to enjoy these moments I have with myself doing something for myself. I then started to think about how running is a metaphor for life.
Sometimes you have downhills that you really enjoy and you can just coast along, but sometimes you encounter those hills. On this run when I encountered those uphill climbs I chose to focus on putting one foot in front of the other and keeping my head up and looking forward. I realized that just like life I encountered people that smiled at me and made me feel good and those that put me on my guard a little more. As I listened to my playlist I became aware that I chose what I put on that playlist. I chose to listen to people who were telling me “Let’s Go” or that I am “Happy”. I chose to be reminded that I was “Titanium” and “I’m on Top of the World” and that this was the “Best Day of My Life”. I chose who I would listen to and quite frankly some songs just didn’t make the cut. Some people in your life just shouldn’t make that cut. When I chose to focus on enjoying that run, even the hard parts, it made that home stretch even sweeter. When I saw my house up ahead and knew what was waiting behind those doors for me I appreciated it all the more.
My point is only this…we need to choose happiness. I know it can be hard, but we need to do it anyway. It might mean that we simply have to take another perspective on our problems, or it may mean that we need to make some serious changes in our lives. It might be something that we can do on our own, or we might need to get some help. It might be focusing on that hill with our heads up simply putting one foot in front of the other moving through the pain and aggravation. It also might be just letting go and forgiving others and most importantly ourselves. I know for a fact that if everyone put their problems in a pile I would most certainly choose my own. I also know in my thick skull that moving towards happiness is the only way to really enjoy this one life we are given. Choose to find it, and don’t stop until you do. If you need help along the way just call, I am no expert but I’ll try to help you live that comedy.
I am counting on you doing the same for me.