So much left to learn.

A few months ago I got a new pair of running shoes. I was so excited to break them in and start putting some miles on them, unfortunately they kill my feet. I have tried to run in them a few times and it always ended badly. I already have an old foot injury that flares up if I am not careful and these shoes are almost an instant trigger.

My goal today was to run approximately 3 miles. In reality I wanted to teleport home when I was barely a mile into my run. I pushed through and ran two miles but ended up walking a little over a half mile at the end. It is so frustrating when you are trying to achieve even a simple goal and are unable to succeed.

Hopefully later this week I will have more success with a run. Lately working out is something that I have not made enough time for, and that needs to change. Sometimes I get so caught up in one thing or another that I forget the importance of balance. Every time I think I have it all figured out, I realize that I really have so much left to learn.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

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Ready to take on the world! 

It is serendipitous that I have a short vacation planned for the end of next week, because I am in need of few days off. The past few months have been a good busy and a roller coaster of emotions. It has worn me down. I had a lot of amazing experiences teaching classes, volunteering and working on some new projects, but it is time to hit a reset button and come back fresh and ready to take on the world!

July has been a crazy month. It started out with many tears, but I feel like I hit a point of strength that I had been building up to. I am 100% sure that difficult days are not gone, but every day is truly feeling easier. For example, this weekend I was asked multiple times how my wedding was and I didn’t cry once when answering. It truly is amazing how strong you can become with time, when you use bad experiences to teach you not harden you.

I am truly looking forward to an August, full of new adventures and hopefully a lot more sleep.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Opened doors.

Whenever I thought about being a teacher someday I always figured it would have something to do with art. So I have been pleasantly surprised with how much I am enjoying teaching Red Cross classes. It is so rewarding to pass on lifesaving skills to others. Over the past few months I have taught 3 lifeguard classes totaling about 40 students and today, a CPR class for 6 future nursing students.

img_0616If the wedding had gone as planned I don’t think I ever would have pursued getting my Lifeguard Instructor Certification and none of this would have been possible. I really count it as one of many doors God opened to show me my streingth and give me confidance. I hope I will be able to continue passing on my knowlage and help others achieve their goals for many years to come. As an instructor there is no greater pleasure than seeing your students pass and feel confidant in their skills.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Violets picked with John

My grandparents on my father’s side were married just shy of 50 years. They met at Roberts Wesleyan College somewhere around 1950. My grandfather was over six feet tall and was the big man on campus. All the girls in the laundry room wanted to iron his shirts, but it was my little five foot tall grandmother that caught his fancy. It is crazy to think how long ago it was that they met. I wonder what their early relationship was like and if they somehow knew they would be together forever. Unfortunately, I did not have as much time with my grandparents as I would have liked. The older I get the more questions I have that will never be answered in words.

img_0614This past week my parents were able to go through some of their things. Most of it was boxes of letters and different odds and ends, but my parents brought a few things back for me. There is pin that belonged to my great grandmothers, a Bible that was given to my grandmother in 1937 by the ladies in her church, a ribbon from a camp long ago and a few other things. One item that stood out to me the most is a simple envelope that says “Violets picked with John – 5-4-51”. When I opened the envelope there was a faded, pressed bundle of violets and my first thought was this is the kind of love I want.

In May of 1951 my grandparents were not engaged yet, but for some reason this small bundle of flowers were important enough to keep and be found over 60 years later. I wonder how many times this envelope was moved before it found its way to me. What did they talk about as these violets were picked to make it such a memorable day? What would the story be if my grandmother was still alive and I took this envelope to her? As much as I would love answers to all of these questions and more, the most important message I see is the love they had for each other. I want this kind of love.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

A shocking realization.

One of my goals this summer was to put in a lot of miles and run some fun races, but so far that has not happened. I went for a run tonight and it was awful. All I wanted to do was be back home not long after I started. It was humid and uncomfortable, but I pushed through to the end.

Somewhere around mile one I made a shocking realization, I actually enjoy running in the snow and cold better than the summer. Trust me, this concept is against all of my normal thought processes. Historically winter is my least favorite time of the year. The cold and snow are not something that I look forward to, but today I was wishing for a snowy day run.

I should set some kind of reminder to look at this post come January when I am over the cold and everything that comes with it. Who knows, maybe it will be a gentle winter that I can put in the miles I had hoped to over the summer and be ready for some amazing spring races.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

#ISentLoveInAnEnvelope

I have a small collection of packages to send out tomorrow. Just a few things heading off to new adventures. In this day of instant email and text messages it can be fun to send things in the mail. The worst part of the process is going to the post office and standing in line. I’m a little torn over what the best part is. Hearing how the receiver feels about what you sent is always great, but it is also a lot of fun collecting and packaging up the goodies to send.

Lately, I have made a point of adding the hashtag #ISentLoveInAnEnvelope to each package. I think it is nice for all the hands that the package will go through to know that whatever is inside is special. I can not take credit for this wonderful concept or hash tag. I picked it up from Grace & Salt ink. This initiative was started to help show your friends that they are valued, bring a smile to their face and to help encourage them. The sentiment is simply beautiful, it makes me want to send out packages all the time. Afterall, getting an unexpected (or expected) package from a friend always turns a bad day to wonderful.

1 Thess’ 5:1 (ESV)
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.


Read all about Grace & Salt ink’s I sent love in an envelope challenge here!

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Measuring time.

Sometimes I have odd ways of judging how time passes. When I was a kid my family would take vacations that required long drives. At least once a trip my brother and I would ask how much longer, since actual time means little to a six-year-old we would be told time in shows or movies. We understood how long an episode of “Batman” or the movie “Cool Runnings” was and we knew by the time we were done watching we would be there.

The strange things things from childhood always stick. I often judge time in this odd way. I remember in college being asked how long it took me to complete a project, and I would give them the list of movies I watched while working on it. That was the first time I understood that this was not a normal time scale, but that has never stopped me from using it.

Over the past few months I have caught myself using odd ways to measure time and mark the passing days. Sometimes I try to remember how many bars of soap or tubes of toothpaste I have gone through. I have changed my toothbrush twice and am almost through another bottle of face wash. Somewhere around five months ago I lost count of how many boxes of tissues I have gone through. Over the past six months I have bought myself flowers around a dozen times and have managed to kill only one of my plants.

I don’t know if this is a healthy way to mark time passing, but it is how I have gotten used to watching it go by. There is no official list, and I could be off by quite a bit on my mental count, but it helps me to see that time moves forward. A bar of soap and a tube of toothpaste are being used slowly but surely just like I am getting better every day.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.