Monday, October 22, 2012


Our lives are made up of choices - millions of choices - big and small. Some are choices that we make once and then stick with us, and others are the little choices we make all day, every day.

There are the BIG choices - your faith, who you marry, if you have children, where you live, what you do with your life, etc. that obviously have a huge impact on life. I often say that I could live anywhere and do anything, and as long as I have Josh and our family, I could be happy. When I have to make a big choice I talk with the people nearest and dearest to me, I pray, and I think things through. Following my heart, my gut, and the advice of those who truly care about me never leads me wrong.

Yet I often think that the smaller choices we make day to day (usually without much thought) also have a very big impact on our lives, and the color of our days.

Do you smile often?
What do you dedicate your time to?
What do you focus your attention on?
Are you quick to anger?
Who do you surround yourself with?
Do you look on the bright side?
Do you expect good things to happen?
Do you look for the good in people?
Do you sweat the small stuff?
Do you hold on to anger and grudges?
Do you lift others up or do you tear them down?
Do you let others tear you down?
Do you speak kindly?
Are you hopeful?
Do you lose your temper easily?
Are you patient?
Do you count your blessings?
Do you give of yourself freely?
Do you laugh often?
Are you grateful?
Are you quick to judge?
Are you hard on yourself?
Are you hard on others?
Are you a peacemaker?
Do you forgive?
Do you look for ways to serve others?
Do you love unconditionally?
Do you find joy in your days?
Do you do the things that you love?

There are so many others that could be added to this list, but I was thinking how these things (no matter our circumstances, no matter what happens, and no matter what others around us do) decide each and every day what our lives are truly about, who we are, and what are lives are like. None of us are perfect, and I know some days I definitely do better than others, but life is too short and too precious to not strive to be better, to focus on the good, to be truly happy - and to make the most of each day.

Running helps me with all of the above. I have always been an optimistic and happy person, but running gives me time to think, time to pray, time to process problems, time to make decisions, time to burn off stress, and time to process my hurts and disappointments (and to put them into perspective). Running helps me remember my priorities, my joys, my blessings, my patience, my peace, my strength, my abilities, and my smile. And the endorphins are good too. :)

"The remarkable thing is, we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day." - Charles R. Swindoll

"A contented mind is the greatest blessing a man can enjoy in this world." -  Joseph Addison

"When you wish someone joy, you wish them peace, love, prosperity, happiness…all the good things." - Maya Angelou


Carissa @ Sole Sisters Running said...

So true. Another great post Erin. I do try and ask myself these questions because I care about the impact I have on others especially my husband and children. Whether I'm patient, loving and joyful has a huge impact on my family.

Raina said...

This is such a good post for a self-analysis! The list of questions you pose here are often the questions that run through my mind WHILE I am running, and I make all sorts of plans for my day- or the next. In the midst of things, I sometimes forget the simpler questions/goals. Smiling is SO important. That is my number one goal. If I can do that, it seems all else falls into place.

Adrienne said...

Great post! What messes up the most is when we overcomplicate what is really simple. If we just honestly answered 'yes' or no' to some of the questions above magic can happen.

I might steal some of those questions, btw ;)!!

Canuck Mom said...

I could not agree more with this post. So very true.

misszippy said...

Spot on! It's so hard to stop and take a deep breath in the moment sometimes, but it's worth it, also. It's the little things in life that add up!

{lifeasa}RunningMom said...

Those small choices we make really do add up to something big! I am going to have to share this post!


Happy Running Mama said...

I couldn't agree more with your post! Life is made up of little things and it is the little choices in life that really define us. We may have certain beliefs that are our big choices (i.e. religion) but then we may not actually live out those beliefs with our day-to-day choices. Such great food for thought.

Lately, I find myself smiling A LOT when I am running. Sometimes I am not even aware of it and then I realize I have a huge grin on my face. Like you, running really helps me remember all that I am grateful for in my life. Hope you have a great week!!

Tammy said...

Is Coach Rick still coaching you?

Brianna said...

I guess this goes along with Tammy's question... is Coach Rick talking about you in this blog post:

If so, what happened?

Tammy said...

That link doesn't work now... it says "error." The page could have been deleted.

Jen@runfortheboys said...

Erin Henderson you are the classiest person I know. Just sayin'. Me, I'm a Southern Girl who knows it is better to keep some things left unsaid...but you can bet your sweet ass I'm gonna say them anyway. Gets me in trouble more than I care to admit. But today I'll make the choice to try to be more like you!!!

lindsay said...

i have been thinking similar thoughts today due to some unfortunate circumstances the past few days. while the situation sucks, it is good to be brought back down to earth and reminded of what is truly important. i can't help but wonder if i had read this post on time (4 days ago) if i could have made a difference ...