This is dedicated to my long-time friend and talented editor, Holly. I cannot imagine this journey without you.
Friday Night (2 days ago):
Every week, my editor Holly spends some of her Friday evening proofreading my blog so we are ready to post on Sunday. Yes, she is unbelievable, and we have accomplished this for ten weeks in a row. Unfortunately, she had a challenging week, so I was not surprised when she texted that she would not be able to edit – Ring Leaders of the Shit Show Part 2 – until Sunday. Of course I understood completely, yet I knew the blog would need a few more hours of work on my part, after she edited – making it nearly impossible to publish on Sunday. But this time, I took a deep breath and reassured myself that skipping a week is okay.
After taking a break from running the past few months, I was excited to get back out there and enjoy what I love. As my legs began to move, my thoughts immediately jumped to how I was feeling about not publishing our planned blog. I reflected on old habits and why balance is important in my life. Even though I was fine with not posting, by the end of my run I realized that I wanted to share my reflections. Ultimately, it is good to just let go.
Though I did not spend my usual seven days writing twenty drafts, nor has Holly edited this one, I am excited to put it out there anyway – flaws and all.
“Life is a balance of holding on and letting go,
and knowing when to do which of the two”
About twenty years ago, my father-in-law and I were standing in his kitchen washing the dinner dishes, a common ritual when Chad and I visited his childhood home. One particular night, I recall a conversation about motherhood. I explained that I wanted to have children, but that my running aspirations would always be my first priority. My judgement was so skewed. I simply could not see it any other way. At the time, I was in peak athletic shape. I was running 50 miles per week, while following a training regimen and winning races. I was addicted. I rarely listened to my body or took days off. The word ‘balance’ was not in my vocabulary. Although my father-in-law is a collegiate track and field coach of forty-seven years, he promised me that one day, I would see there is more to life. Of course, he is right. After all, I have two amazing children, and running only happens when I am blessed enough to feel good.
I have come a long way since that day in the kitchen. However, I still catch myself falling back into that rigid, inflexible mindset. This blog and my future book is now a prime example. I am so passionate about it, like I was about running, but with that passion comes my inability to go with the flow.
Last summer, after writing more than ten chapters for my book, I quit. It was such a daunting task to live with the challenges of Ian, and simultaneously be writing about him. When I stopped, I spent months feeling like I failed myself. I began to think back to my demanding running schedule, and wondered how I made that happen. I remembered that I would break the week into manageable pieces, and take one day at a time. I realize now that my writing and my running are not all that different. The end goal is publishing a book, but for now I will focus on writing blogs that share my experiences and hopefully resonate with my readers. The book, like the marathon, will be part of the journey.
As much as I love my commitment and determination about this new endeavor, I am accepting that sometimes things change, like this week, and I need to roll with it. I was presented with an opportunity for growth, and becoming a better version of myself. I will continue to hold on to my goal of posting every week and writing a book, but I will let go of the way I think it should happen, and allow it to unfold as it will.
I sent this to Holly earlier this week, not realizing that I would be the one who needed to surrender.
“The answer to control