Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Perspective

I have been thinking a lot about perspective, and about how much the way we look at things - all kinds of things - has a profound effect on our lives and the lives of others.

The thought started in my head last week after I posted on Twitter that it was a "double day" and that I got to run twice. Someone replied back, "'have to' vs. 'get to' makes all the difference. This is the right attitude!"

You could apply this to all areas of running and training. You can look at your training as something you have to do, or something you get to do. You can look at how far you have to go to reach a goal, or you can see how very far you have already come, and the things you are doing right to get to where you want to. You can look around and notice how much faster than you everyone else seems to be, or you can celebrate where you are and continue to work towards your goals with optimism.

I choose to be grateful that I am able to run and to train. Even when it is hard to get out of bed at 4:30am while the rest of the house sleeps, or when I don't feel like doing my core work, or when I am at the very beginning of 22 miles on the treadmill - I remember that this is something I love to do and something I am so very grateful that I am able to do. Instead of being discouraged by all the runners out there who are so much faster than I am, I choose to be inspired by them. I choose to be proud of how far I come and to believe that my hard work and dedication will continue to pay off. 

I was thinking about perspective again after Noah's birthday. Noah turned four years old last week. No, he didn't eat the cake, as we had hoped. He licked a little icing, decided it wasn't what he wanted, and ate a couple of pretzels. He did not tear the wrapping paper off of his presents, or get excited about the presents, or even understand the concept of presents. Or birthdays.

I could have been sad. I could have been disappointed. I could look at Noah (who developmentally is more like a 1-2 year old than a four year old) and see all the things that he does not do and all the ways that he is "behind" other kids his age.

But no. Heck no. On his birthday, and every day we celebrate his life. We celebrate all the many things he can and does do - most of which we were told he never would. Yes, it would have been very fun for him to play with and eat his birthday cake and to rip open his presents with glee, but it is truly amazing that he sat and ate pretzels - that he is actually eating anything at all, and that he can play with and enjoy new toys. It would be wonderful beyond words if he was talking in sentences and coloring and learning his letters, but it is a miracle that he is communicating and learning and progressing. He is happy and healthy and thriving.

I choose to be grateful for what is, instead of wishing for what could be.

Perspective. How you look at your spouse, kids, running, home, job, finances, trials, blessings - LIFE - will really determine so very much. In almost all aspects of life you can find things to complain about, to be discouraged about, to find lacking, to be annoyed with, to wish were better...OR...you can choose to see the ways that you are blessed and be grateful for where you are and for all that you have. That's not to say we should not try to improve, progress, and make things better where we can, but we should find satisfaction, gratitude, and joy in the process.

Be grateful.
Be aware.
Be kind.
Be patient.
Be ambitious.
Be thoughtful.
Be encouraging.
Be inspired.
Be hopeful.
Be self-less.
Be loving.
Be giving.
Be content.
Be joyful.
Be determined.
Be better.
Be peaceful.
Be merry and bright.

What are you trying to be?

11 comments:

MCM Mama said...

"Be patient". Yeah, that's the one I'm working on right now, both in life and in running. I know I'm putting in major mileage. I just have to be patient and let my body adapt.

I've long been a believer that you can't change someone else, all you can do is change how you react to it. I swear that's the secret to our almost 18 years of marriage. ;o)

Jen@runfortheboys said...

AMEN!

coach dion said...

I love running twice a day, and would do it more if the bed was a horrible place to be. years ago when i use to run 100mile weeks I could only get there by running 10 times a week!
In those days I had to run at 05h00 in the morning, it was fun, but now my body is old andneeds to warm up, so evening runs are easier.

So as my wife says: Be Happy you can run (as much as you do!!!)

Heather said...

Great post, so today I get to hang out with my kids (which I always love), clean my house (which with the right attitude can be fun right?) and tonight after they all go to bed, I get to run! Yay!

Rhonda Dunker said...

Why do I think you are talking to me? Don't focus on how slow I am and etc. :) Great post!

Adrienne said...

...I'm trying to be...myself!

nice post and perspective is one of those things we practice everyday. Or better put-choose to practice every day.

greengirlrunning said...

Great post! Your list is awesome...I try to be all of those things, for myself and my kids. Gratitude is so important. Even for the small, simple stuff :)

Jill said...

As always, a beautiful post :). I always take my running each day with a huge respect for it and always thankful. When I was injured and couldn't run, I learned I will never take it for granted again and it's a gift to get out there everyday and do what I love so much. I love how much you reflect on these things, your posts always make me smile! :)
xo

Kristen Lawrence said...

So very true! I'm really glad you posted about this. I can't stand the whiny bloggers. I love that you are appreciative and grateful for everything you have....very inspiring!

Robyn said...

What a wonderful attitude you have. I love your list of "Be's" I am going to copy them and attach them to my forehead! I have been doing quite a bit of searching on gratitude, joy and personal growth. I've been hit hard by trials this year. I recently read a book that has inspired me called, " Quest for the Lost Name" by author George Makris. This a novel that is a romantic adventure wrapped into a mystery in which the main character must go through personal growth and transformation. It has been very uplifting and inspiring! http://questforthelostname.com/

Thanks for the wonderful comments, I need to read comments such as yours!

Carissa @ Sole Sisters Running said...

What am I trying to be? I think everything on your list! Thank you for consistently inspiring me!