Sunday, November 15, 2009

WHY I RUN

Quite often, when someone finds out that I run, I am asked 'Why? Why would anyone want to do that?'.  To which my response has always been, 'If I have to explain it to you then you still would not get it.'  Truth is, there are many, many reasons I run.  I discover more reasons just about every time I run. So for those who want to know the answer to that question, here are just a few of those reasons.

I run because :
  1. It is a challenge and I love to conquer a challenge.
  2. With each rhythmic foot step, I relieve stress and  solve problems.
  3. I feel so ALIVE when I have accomplished a run.
  4. It has provided me a special time to spend with my friends and has enriched a particularly special and dear friendship.
  5. When I run alone, I have awesome prayer time.
  6. I have always hoped that somehow, through my running, I could inspire others to reach for their dreams.  After all, if I could do it, anyone could.
These are just a few of the many reasons I run.  The last one, #6 hit a very special note with me several months ago. While eating at a local restaurant with my family, I saw some women that I went to High School with.  I had not seen some of these women for over 30 years and they were there at the restaurant having a small High School reunion.  I took my two sons, Hayden who is 17 and Noah who was 11, over to meet them.  As we were walking back to our table, I told my children how proud I was to introduce them to my friends. My youngest son Noah surprised me by stating "I'm proud of YOU mom".  "Why?" I asked. To which he responded matter of factly, "Seriously mom, what other kid can say that their mom runs marathons? No one that I know can say that!" While I stood with my heart in my throat, my oldest son chimed in to say "Yeah mom,  even my friends think it's cool." 
I can't even begin to describe how those words from my children touched me - so I won't even try.
And that, my friends, are some of the reasons why I run.
Namaste

Sunday, November 8, 2009

BREAKING MOLDS


Recently my husband came to me and said that he was considering getting back into pastoring. He currently serves as worship leader at a local church. I will support anything that my husband wishes to do, however, I felt he must know my true feelings and thoughts on being a "pastors wife". I told him that I simply could not "fit" that mold. I would only end up disappointing people who have absurd expectations of what a pastor's wife should be and do. Then I proceeded to remind him of my qualities that could be offensive to 'church' people. I have many, many more but for the sake of time I am only listing a few. Here they are :
1. I drink a beer occasionally. And I like it. (I don't get drunk - all in moderation)
2. I go out with my girlfriends and I drink a margarita and laugh very loudly.
3. At times I will wear "suggestive" clothing deemed inappropriate  by some (all of which my husband bought me).
4. I let cuss words slip out.
5. I paint nude women and take live nude drawing classes. I think nudity is beautiful.
6. I will sometimes speak my mind and the truth as I know it. I am not graceful in my delivery of these words. This leads to 'hurt feelings'.
7. I really and truly don't care what other people think of me.
8.  I will sacrifice church to go to a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon or Triathlon or if I simply need a rest day from my very hectic week.
I reassured my husband that he would have my blessings if he decides to pursue this path, but these wifely traits must be kept in mind for you cannot be a pastor if your wife is (and I quote someone else's opinion of me) a "crazy ass".
It took me 46 years to accept who I was and the fact that I cannot be fit into any kind of mold, nor do I even want to try. In other words, I'm finally liking my crazy ass self!
These statements sparked an interesting conversation between my husband and I (which I love). He realized that in his past experiences he too had tried to fit a mold and failed. He also realized that he tried to make everyone around him, mostly his ex-wife and children fit into a mold. They also failed. I have placed unrealistic expectations upon people in my life too, including my husband, but I have consciously tried not to place those expectations on my children (which has lead me to great criticism by others as well). For instance, last year my oldest son came in the door sporting a Mohawk. He was shocked when my response was "I'm proud of you". He has been very conservative his whole life and for him, this Mohawk was stepping severely out of his conservative box. I asked him if I could dye it red (his school color)- he said no. Later that year, on a dare from his friends, he streaked in a neighborhood while stealing Obama and McCain signs from the yards and in another dare wore pink hot pants to our local public pool. When I picked him up from the police after his streaking incident I told him that if he must do these things, then he needs to be a little wiser, like covering up his RED Mohawk before he streaks through a neighborhood. He has since calmed down after testing the 'breaking out of the mold' waters and is settling more comfortably into his own beautiful and unique skin.
Rarely can anyone 'fit' into a mold. We are all different and unique personalities. We can all love and honor God without fitting into an impossibly perfect mold. God made each of us perfect just the way we are. If we would love Him, try to do what is right and good by our fellow mankind and stay true to who we truly are, then isn't that the greatest worship to God? I know that I have oversimplified a very complex subject but it does make you wonder, could it be that simple? I believe it could be.
My husband has apologized to his ex-wife and children years ago and most recently to me for trying to make us fit a mold that we could not fit ( I also apologized to him as well). Mike and I are certainly more aware of our thoughts and judgments of others now. Placing expectations on others is an innocent mistake on our part. We had learned it from our parents, and they theirs and so on and so forth. But enlightenment is key.
A point for self reflection : If you feel uneasy in your skin, could it be that you are simply trying to fit a mold that you cannot fit? Are you placing other people in molds that they cannot fit?
Imagine how wonderful of a world it would be if we all danced to our unique drum beat that God choreographed just for us. Imagine how wonderful it would be to appreciate and accept the beauty of others uniqueness. I know that this all sounds a bit Utopian, but I believe that we would all be happier, healthier and a more peaceful people.
My hopes for anyone who reads this blog is this: May you embrace your own uniqueness and break out of any unrealistic mold that you may be trying to fit in. May you know and truly love your own crazy ass.
Namaste


Note :  I am not targeting just churchly molds.  I am targeting ANY unrealistic molds placed on people.  I do love the church.  Church is good, it's just sometimes the people (as in anything else, lose focus on why we are there).  In this blog church was just used as an example.