It would seem that April showers brought more than May flowers this year, as it ushered in a feeling that I simply cannot shake, try as I might. The month is ending just as it began, with me feeling, what can be best described as, “restless”. It is a restlessness that permeates my every thought and very being, and at times, I feel like I want to run away, literally and figuratively. I do not want to run away from something, rather, I want to run toward something. That ‘something’ is my life. Not just any life, either, but the life that I have envisioned for myself and my family. The life that feels so real that my heart leaps at the mere thought of it, yet it eludes me still, leaving me with a head full of doubts and a heart full of hurt.
This is not to say that I do not like and appreciate my life as it is now, because I do. I really do. I want more for my family and for myself, though, and that is a tough thing for me to reconcile, much less admit to anyone else, but there you have it. In so many ways, despite my age, I am still the same little girl with the big dreams and even bigger heart who was taught to play small and safe in my own life. I let go of many of my dreams, in favor of being the “nice girl” who does the “right” thing, which in and of themselves are fine, unless they lead you to a life that is not your own, but one that belongs to someone else.
There are parts of my life that have been a dream come true, such as becoming a mom to two extraordinary daughters, and there are parts of my life that have been my worst nightmare made real, like the end of my eighteen year marriage that coincided with a resurgence of depression and anxiety that I had kept at bay for almost twenty-five years. After this recent four-year arc of struggling, recovering, surviving, and finally, thriving, I am ready to sprint to the finish line toward the dreams I have dared to dream and the goals that I meticulously set, but of late, I feel like I am running in place and that the finish line is moving further from my sight. It feels like it is a carrot on a stick that gets yanked out of my grasp when I reach for it, and that has led to feeling restless and impatient.
A few days ago, in the wee hours of the morning, the quote, “Life is a marathon, not a sprint”, suddenly traipsed through my mind. It was an uninvited thought, but I decided to sit with it for awhile and have revisited it a number of times since then. Although I am a dreamer, I also am a doer, and once I make up my mind about something, I want to hit the ground running. As a trail runner, though, I know that while sprinting will get you far, proper training and pacing yourself will get you further.
So, what’s a sprinter to do in the marathon of life?! To be honest, I don’t know, but I am figuring it out, as I refuse to give up while I am in the middle of the course. Just like I follow a training program for races, I put together a marathon of life plan of sorts:
- Run a series of sprints to finish this marathon in fine form.
- Keep the finish line in sight, but don’t lose sight of where I am on the course right now.
- Celebrate each step that propels me forward, and regard a step backward or a pause as an opportunity to regroup before resuming the run toward the finish line.
- Recognize that some unexpected detours end up being the best path to follow to get where I want and need to go
- Keep my head in the race and my thoughts positive.
- Pace myself accordingly, as endurance matters more than speed.
- Focus on being grateful for who and what I have in my life right here and right now.
- Keep going until I reach the end, but accept that how I get there and what I find when I get there may not be what I thought they would be. . . it may be even better and grander than I ever could have imagined!
I still feel restless, but instead of allowing it to overwhelm me, I am corralling it to use as positive energy to keep me going in the right direction. See you along the way, and I look forward to who and what awaits me in the end!
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story
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