For someone who has been rehashing her life with words for 20ish years, I find it odd and amazing that I still have things to talk about. I began journaling on paper pretty religiously in middle school (circa 1993) after my mom got me in the habit of writing down the day's events in elementary school. Boy woes and frenemies took up the all the lines on each page.
In 2001, I started blogging on livejournal--installments of that portion of my life are exemplified by this jewel of a post. As running took over my life and I became addicted to the idea of connecting with complete strangers, I started
blogging on Runner's World. And since running is like flossing my
teeth (it's good for me, I never have regrets doing it, but a few times a
year I allow myself to be lazy), I find that writing about running and life keeps me wanting to do good things with both.
Q: Where am I going with this post?
A: I sometimes gets so enamored with ideas for blogs that I find it hard to choose. Some of them are about running, many of them are not. So I am writing 3 posts today. Like A Christmas Carol, I am going to visit the past, present, and the future. Kind of. Trust me, in my head, it all makes sense.
The Past (Losing My Religion)
The background: I grew up in a home where my brother, sister, and I were
baptized in the Methodist church. Our family went to church regularly
on Sundays. The kids went to Sunday school and sat through Sunday
service. My brother and I were confirmed. After my parents got
divorced, I went through a pseudo-religious phase where I found comfort in the rites and long history of Christianity. I can still rap (yes, rap) the books of the Old Testament.
But as I became a gnarly teenager, I fought
going more and more. Eventually, my mom stopped asking and I all
together stopped going. And haven't found a good reason to go back
since. I haven't pooh-poohed my spirituality all together. But I'm not
in a place where I want to be a part of organized religion. I believe
in a higher being. I am fully aware that blogging about religious
beliefs (or non-beliefs as the case may be) is a potentially dangerous
sport, but I also feel like I have to defend my agnostic stance anywhere I go.
Why do I bring this up?
happened to be in a weird situation the other night. Some newfound
acquaintances were discussing their church and their pastor. I had been
an active part of the conversation the entire night until then. And
while they delved into this part of the conversation, I became a lot
quieter. It was like co-workers talking about work when you don't do
what they do. There really wasn't much for me to add, but I listened
and just enjoyed being in their company.
Then one of them asked me if I went
to church. And while I should feel as though I am allowed to say 'I'm
agnostic' just as one says 'I'm Jewish' (like my husband) and expect to
provide no more explanation, I suddenly felt like I needed to defend
myself. It was awkward. And no one tried to talk me into going with
them or even suggested that I was 'less than', I just felt that way. Being in the minority made me feel like I had an inferior life choice.
after I was alone with my thoughts, I realized that I was being
ridiculous. It was just a natural part of conversation for them to ask
about church as their spirituality is an integral part of their lives. I
am 30-freaking years old. I should be able
to tell another adult that I'm agnostic and not feel ashamed. So I'll
be working on pulling on my big girl pants as I try really hard to stop caring what others think--easier said than done!
The Present (Living Well is the Best Revenge)
I said it a couple hundred times before, but I really prefer to run every other day. Unless I am
marathon training, I find that it works better for my body and my
schedule. But this morning, I decided that I wanted to finish watching
the rest of a movie, so instead of laying on the sofa, I would just
run. There was no goal for time or speed. I was just going to enjoy my
About 3 miles into the run, I realized I had forgotten I was running. For 25ish minutes, I was easily trotting along with no pain or care about what I was
doing. And I was so overwhelmed that my body is capable of doing
amazing things. I get frustrated at the minor twinges or lead legs, but
I can honestly say that I've had very few physical struggles (knock on
wood) while running over the years.
I may sit around in my shorts for a few extra minutes procrastinating the inevitable, but once I get two feet off the ground simultaneously, I know I am only letting myself down if I stop.
This mental strength is something I feel like I am allowed to brag
about a little bit. Because any nutjob can train to run long distances,
but to truly enjoy it takes a special kind of nutjob. And as long as I keep enjoying it, I have to keep thanking my body for allowing me to enjoy it.
The Future (Shiny Happy People)
third piece of the puzzle comes from too much endorphins from my majestic run. My dad, who moved back to Atlanta after living in
Charlotte for 17 years, was in a minor car accident yesterday. His car
is totaled, but thankfully, no one was hurt. He recently went back to
work after a few years of being in retirement and is working about 10
minutes from my house.
When I spoke
to him yesterday, I saw a twinkle of a guy I hadn't seen for a long
time. He was telling me about how he had to go to court for a case
yesterday and how he really enjoyed the adrenaline rush. I had no
idea. I knew he sounded different now that he's been back at work. He
could feel accomplished again. Glad to know that the competitiveness
can be subdued, but it never goes away. He just never seemed happy or
himself when he was retired and now I know why.
is this the future? Because I feel really happy that my whole immediate
family is now in Atlanta. My kids (when they are made & born) will
have the ability to truly get to know at least part of their extended
family. It never seemed to be a big deal that my dad was 4 hours away,
but I realized since he's been here how much better it is to have him
close. Now if only I could convince the in-laws to move here...
that's today's saga. I feel better about releasing my stream of
consciousness. Life's too interesting to make every post short n'