Is your hope growing?
Are you going somewhere? Is something developing?
Sometimes life feels like it’s just a matter of managing one thing after another. A couple of years ago I felt like I went from one crisis to the next. My priority was just keeping kids safe and separate from one another and trying to stay sane. I didn’t have much time to process or feel or think. I did a lot of doing. If you are in that stage . . . DANG. Bless you and reach out for help! Find good people to carry the load with you. It’s hard! Know that what you are doing matters and that it won’t last forever.
These days, I have a bit more time and I have been able to do 1 positive thing with it: I’ve been taking walks (have you noticed.. Many of my emails start with or contain “So I was on a walk and . . .”) It’s interesting - I purposely didn’t set any goals with my walks. I don’t know how far they are or how long I take. I think it’s about an hour, but there’s a short cut half way if I’m not feeling it. I just walk.
Initially, I wanted to walk one day and ride my bike the next, but my bike riding killed me and I hated it. So I quit riding, and just kept walking. It was confusing and frustrating and I felt like a bit of a loser, but I just couldn’t do it. So I didn’t. I’m learning to listen to myself instead of beating myself up to do things I think I should be able to do. GROWTH!
After almost 2 months of walking every day, a friend came to walk with me. As we walked and talked and I noticed she got winded and I thought, “Huh. I went for walks to get alone time - but it seems like I might be getting a bit strong or dare I say, even fit??”
That got me thinking. So I decided that if while walking, I felt the urge to run, I’d run. I haven’t been able to run since my first pregnancy. Just too much weight and too many issues in my hips and legs. The urge to run came. And it was rough. The only deal I made with myself was that if it hurt, I would stop. The first time I ran - I’m sure it wasn’t pretty and I didn’t even last a minute before I was huffing and puffing and went back to walking.
But I kept doing this - small amounts of running and then back to walking.
This morning on my walk, I ended up running almost, well maybe almost half of the way. And I felt happy and strong. I felt joy in the walking and the running.
I started wondering about bike riding too. Maybe I had asked too much of myself too fast. Maybe I’ll be ready to ride my bike after a couple more months of biking and riding. Maybe I just wasn’t strong enough. I AM getting older you know!
It seems a bit funny for me to be talking about how good I am at walking. I mean, it’s so basic. But remember back at the very beginning, there was that comic about this year being great because “I’m planting flowers”??!
There are a lot of things I WISH I was planting. But of all things, I planted walking. And it has not been spectacular or special or monumental. It’s been putting shoes on and getting outside while there is sleep in my eyes and I’m still waking up. It’s been walking slowly at first and meeting the same 10 people on my route every morning. It’s been sweaty laundry and buying new shoes because the old ones wore out.
A saying keeps coming back to me over and over, I keep thinking “This LITTLE life of mine.”
I grew up idolizing musicians and basketball players - thinking that if I could be as famous as they are, if I could do enough things that people admired, if I was spectacular and amazing, then I would be successful and valuable. I thought I had to live a BIG life in order to fulfill my destiny and make God happy.
But the older I get, the more I believe that life is little. It’s walks. It’s breaths. Smiles. Hugs. Supper times. Pancakes on Saturday. It is one day after one day after one day. It’s my family. It’s my community.
A friend told me a story about two priests who were playing chess. A man walked up and asked, “What would you do right now if you knew you were going to die tomorrow?” The priest looked at the man and said, “I would keep playing this game of chess with my friend.”
It’s that beautifully unspectacular? What is more meaningful than showing care for the people in our lives?
I think living a meaningful life doesn’t necessarily make a great movie. It’s a story that doesn’t sell: woman in mid 40’s goes for walks daily and finds she is getting stronger and feels more hope in her moments.
Terrible headline. Wonderful development for me. It affects everything (and maybe indirectly - everyone) in my life.
School started again for my kids today. I felt lost after they were all gone and the house was empty. I got Instagram back on my phone and started to scroll. I was having a bunch of feelings of overwhelm and not sure what to do with my day - too many choices. That tired feeling swept over me. Then I realized, “Hey, I do something different now.” And I put on my shoes and went for a walk . . . and a bit of a run.
I don’t remember feeling tired today. I’m sure I will on another day. But for now, I’m celebrating that I grew. Step by step (literally). Small. Incremental. Unspectacular. So normal.
It’s been 35 weeks that we’ve been together on this journey. It’s never too late and nothing is too little to start. In fact, if it feels too little and lame, then it’s probably perfect. Like drinking water. Or walking. Or breathing. Or . . . what is your little thing? What is a doable, reasonable, something that has no fantastic, immediate, life changing impact . . . but it just could add up to be more than you can imagine right now?
Is too little