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 merry and bright.
What are you trying to be?