I have been reminded several times this weekend about how, even when we are not aware of it, people are watching us. People see the things we do. They see the way we treat others. People are paying attention and noticing, even when we don't know that they are.
When you live in a small town, chances are good that lots of people know who you are.
you live in a small town and you have 12 kids and a multiracial family,
chances are even better that lots of people know who you are.
you live in a small town, you have 12 kids and a multiracial family,
and your husband is loud, outgoing, funny, and liked by everyone,
chances are super good that lots of people know who you are.
when you live in a small town, you have 12 kids and a multiracial
family, your husband is loud, outgoing, funny, and liked by everyone,
and you run lots (and lots) of miles on the roads of the aforementioned small town, it is pretty much a given that lots of people know who you are.
I first started running, I was overly aware at all the people that were
seeing me. (Remember, I am a girl that is perfectly happy to fly below the radar!) When I ran past people's houses or businesses, or running super early or was out in
the rain, snow or other extreme weather, I worried about what people
would think. I worried about adding one more "layer" to the perceived craziness
factor (which is already pretty high when you have 12 kids).
then I got to the point where I just didn't care. I don't care who sees
me running or what they think. I am running for me. I pay attention to the cars
to make sure that I am safe, but I don't pay attention to who is
driving the cars. Every once and a while I wave at someone who moves
over or slows down for me, but I am not looking at drivers. (I would be
like Miss America out there waving the whole run if I waved at everyone I know!) If being committed and dedicated to my running makes me "crazy", then so be it.
When people tell me that they see
me running all the time I usually don't know what to say.
Random person - "I see you out there running all the time."
Me - "Yup. That's me. Running."
What else do you say? How's my form? :)
But once and a while someone will ask a question, say something nice, or
will have a real conversation with me about running which is nice.
An older guy
that lives here and has a business that I run past fairly often told me
that he sees me running all the time and then added that I look
like I am running "for something more" than just fitness. I told him what I was training for and my goal of qualifying for the Olympic trials in 2016 and he was very encouraging and said, "I knew it. I could tell you had big goals by the way you run." I never would have guessed he was someone who even noticed me, and I really appreciated his words and observation.
Then today at church I got a very sweet comment. A woman who I know, but not super well, came over to tell me that she loved watching me with my family because "it was obvious how much I loved them by how I looked at them and how I talked to them." She said I had love in my eyes and my smile. I had no idea that she had even been watching us or paying attention to my interactions (although when your family takes up an entire large pew at church you definitely draw attention). She also said that she could tell I was a woman of "great faith". I was definitely touched and humbled.
The best comments (and the most important to me) are the ones I get from Josh and the kids. They are the ones whose opinions matter the most.
I have learned through the years that even if it seems like your kids often aren't paying attention to what you do or say, that they definitely are. In fact, they don't miss a thing.
The kids often point out and talk about how much I "love Daddy", and it is important to me that they know that and see it by my actions. We were watching a movie the other night and getting settled in the front room and Marcus told me, "you can sit by Daddy because he is your favorite". Of course I also want the kids to know how much I love them, so when my Maggie recently told someone, "My mom LOVES being a mom" it made my heart soar. And yes, I will admit that when teachers and friends in the schools tell me that the kids brag about my running to the staff and to their friends (even if they sometimes greatly exaggerate my placing, distances, and times!!!!!) it sure does make me smile.
This morning, while I was out on my run, Josh posted this on my Facebook wall, "You are at it again, training hard for another marathon. I should be used
to this, but you continue to amaze me with your dedication and
determination. I can't wait to watch you finish the Utah Valley
Marathon. You are my inspiration and I love you." (Yeah, he really is that great).
Three other random comments all in the last 24 hours -
- The waitress at dinner last night went on about how nice and well behaved the kids were several times.
- An older man at church (he has to be in his late 70's or early 80's and still runs!) came to find me and tell me that he read an article about what makes a good marathoner (physically, mentally, and emotionally) and that he just knew that I had all of it. :)
- And maybe the best of all - Josh's almost 95-year old grandmother, "Gramma Peggy" came up to see us yesterday with Josh's mom and sister. Her memory is fading quickly and she gets confused easily, but she loved being around the kids, and even cried with joy when she was reminded that they are all her great-grandkids. Before she left I was talking to her for a little while one on one, and then she gave me a great big hug and told me that I was a very good mom.
So yeah - just a lot of comments lately from different people that have reminded me that people out there - those very important in my life and those I barely know, are paying attention to my words and actions.
These reminders make me want to be better and to do better.
I hope that I can show by the the things I say and the things that I do
- that I am a happy, grateful, and loving person
- that I have a strong testimony, faith and love of my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ
- that I am madly, passionately, forever and ever in love with Josh
- that I think being a mom is the greatest honor, joy, responsibility, and blessing (x12!)
- that I am very dedicated to the important people in my life
- that I truly care about others and want to make a difference in this world
- that I really love to run and am working hard to be good at it
"A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed." - Henrik Ibsen
"Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds." - George Eliot
"A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A
good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he
who plants kindness gathers love. " - Saint Basil
"We are what we repeatedly do." - Aristotle
"Words may show a man's wit but actions his meaning."- Benjamin Franklin
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions." - Dalai Lama