Monday, August 20, 2012

2 points of view

(Quick training update - last 20 miler is DONE - 95 mile week is DONE and I am officially in taper. I am feeling strong, healthy, free from injury, and excited for the Pocatello Marathon on September 1!!!)

This is one of those posts that has been rolling around in my mind for a couple of weeks. I have been thinking about how in almost all areas of life, there are at least two ways to look at things.

Half full or half empty?

How we choose to look at ourselves, our spouses, our children, our lives, our challenges, our blessings, our abilities, our struggles, and other people, shapes the way we feel, the choices we make, the way we treat others, and the way we live our lives.

Some examples -

- I can look at my body and see all the "flaws" - the ugly varicose veins on one leg that appeared during pregnancy, the scars from surgeries, the almost complete lack of boobs, the super pale skin - and focus on them and be disappointed with my body, OR, I can be grateful that the varicose veins don't hurt or bother me and be proud of the body that carried three babies, that lost 80lbs, that is healthy and strong and getting faster all the time, and that can run 95 miles in a week without any injuries.

- I can look at my life and be frustrated with insanely tight finances, used cars with lots of miles, necessary house repairs, etc. or I can be grateful that we have our big, beautiful family, that our needs are met, that we have cars to drive, and we have a safe and comfortable home in a beautiful place.

- I can look at my husband and kids (and others in my life) and see their "imperfections" and let myself be annoyed by the little things that don't really matter, or, I can choose to see and treat people the way that I hope to be treated by others - with unconditional love, respect, forgiveness, kindness and realistic expectations. I can focus on all of the inspiring qualities that they have, all of the amazing things that they do, and all the good that they bring to my life. I can choose to be grateful that my life is so filled with incredible people - the love of my life, 12 awesome children, wonderful and supportive parents, the best friend ever, and so many other family members and friends that I am grateful for.

- I can look at a rare tough run or race and let it hurt my confidence and get frustrated and discouraged, or I can tell myself that everyone has tough runs and be proud of myself for pushing through and finishing when it was hard, and knowing that I will be that much tougher next time.

- I can be annoyed and complain that I am rolling out of bed at 4am to get my cross training and running done each day, or be grateful that I am able to fit it in to my day, that I have the opportunity to chase my dream and do something I love, that my body is strong and able to do all that I ask it, and that my awesome husband is so supportive.

- I can let the challenges, hurts, and hardships I have faced in my life define me or I can focus on all of the blessings, miracles, and joys instead.

And so it goes with all things! It is guaranteed that life will provide bumps, challenges, and disappointments. Guaranteed. How we handle them, how we look at them, how we deal with them, will color our lives. Of course no one wants challenges or hard times and no one is happy and grateful all the time, but every day we have a choice on how to live, how to act, how to treat people, and what kind of attitude to have.

I have always been a "glass-half-full-look-on-the-bright-side" kind of girl. Sure I have moments where I get sad, discouraged, and frustrated. I let myself have those moments and then I move on, and move forward. I choose to be proud of my imperfect body, to enjoy the life I am living and really SEE all of the blessings, to not sweat the small stuff, to be truly grateful with all my heart for Josh, the kids, and our family and friends, to accept the tough runs (and other challenges) and move forward, to enjoy my early mornings, and to live every day as best as I can with a spirit of gratitude and joy.

I choose to see the best in people and to believe that good things will happen (and not in an unrealistic sort of way.) I don't dreamily walk around assuming we will win the lottery and having that solve our stresses, but I do believe that things will work out and we will be ok, as we always have.

Most of the time I am hopeful, I am optimistic, I am grateful, I am happy, and I am faithful. I am too blessed in life to feel any differently and life is too short to live any other way.

Life is good. :)

"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others. For beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness. And for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone." - Audrey Hepburn

"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude." - Maya Angelou

"It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come." - Dalai Lama

"Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens." Khalil Gibran

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” - Helen Keller

“Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.” - Seneca

"There is no end to the good we can do, to the influence we can have with others." - Gordon B. Hinckley


Carissa @ Sole Sisters Running said...

Fabulous post. Thanks for the reminder.

Happy Running Mama said...

Beautiful post! I try to always be a half-full kind of person but it is inevitable that I find myself criticizing things about myself and others around me. What a great reminder that it is always our CHOICE to look at ourselves and others in a different light and to treat them accordingly. Love your posts!


misszippy said...

Great post and oh so true! I have to admit, I'm not very good at tolerating those who can't see the forest through the trees. We all have blessings if we just open our eyes. Yes, life can get hard, no question. But we all get stronger through those hardships.

Julia said...

Perfect! I hate when I get stuck in a rut and continue digging myself deeper with a negative attitude but then when I can pull myself out of it or just look at it more positively and change it simply by doing that...its like I can take a deep breath and just smile. No. Nothing is perfect. But it is exactly the way it is supposed to be:)

Samantha said...

Love this post! I have Crohn's Disease and have had four abdominal surgeries (including my entire colon removed). I have run 2 marathons, 10 half marathons, and dozens of 5ks and 10ks. When I'm feeling down I think wow, it could be so much worse. Maybe my runs aren't as long or aren't always great, but I push through. Life is a glass half full for sure. :)

Cory Reese said...

Thank you for these awesome reminders. You definitely seem like a "glass half full" person. I admire your dedication and optimism.

Raina said...

Thanks for a healthy dose of optimism today! I needed it. FWIW, I have the exact same leg issue you do. :)

Jen@runfortheboys said...


robinbb said...

I feel like I have to be a glass half full person in order to survive some of the blips I have been through this past year. Yes, some things do just suck, but I have SO much that I am grateful for that I simply love my life.

Great job on your 95 mile week. You are AMAZING! I can't wait to hear how Pocatella goes.

Beth @ Miles and Trials said...

Beautiful post. One of my favorite verses is James 1:2-3 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance." We will all face trials in our life, it's how we deal with them that matters. I go back to this verse a lot when I am feeling overwhelmed or frustrated with what I may be going through. It makes me smile and try to focus on some small bit of joy.

Jill said...

As always, I love your post!! Life IS good! You are an animal and have well earned this taper...enjoy the hell out of it, can't wait for your upcoming marathon :).

Jessica (Pace of Me) said...

Erin this is just beautifully written and expressed. You speak right from the heart, to the heart. Thank you for this. I am so excited for your marathon! 95 miles WOWOWOWOOWOWOWOW!! I. am. AMAZED.

coach dion said...

My glass what half full, but then I drank it...

Don't worry it will get full again, but today I'm thinking juice not wine!!!

Angie said...

This was the first thing I read this morning and what a nice way to wake up! You are amazing and I can't wait for your race!

Bill Fine said...

Well said, Erin.....I think it's so important to focus on and celebrate what we DO have rather than dwelling on what we don't....thinking about how far we've come with our running, embracing the joy of our families, rejoicing in our good health...we've all got a lot to be thankful for!

Here's to the glass that's half full!

(BTW...95 miles? OMG!!! You're amazing!)

Anonymous said...

You are SO my daughter!! You are my daily inspiration darling. I was just telling your Dad this weekend that the quote under my HS yearbook photo said "We can regret that rose bushes have thorns or we can rejoice that rose bushes have roses." You are always looking on the bight side of life and we are so proud of you!
Love, Pam

Momshomerun said...

Beautiful post, and you are so right. I really is a matter of how you look at things.

Running helps me see things in a positive light. I love the way it makes my body feel strong and healthy!

fancy nancy said...

Perfectly said!! It is all about perspective!!! I want to continually remind myself to lift my eyes up...and catch all the blessings showering down!