These past couple months I feel like I’ve been doing nothing but run. Literally, no, actually I stopped that right around the same time I picked up the figurative running. Crap. This summer has been a series of sprints from one thing to the next, and while most of it has been great, it’s wearing me out. We started the summer on a cruise. Then we were off to Long Boat Key to spend a week with Matt’s family. The following week a good friend from OH came to visit. We dropped him off at the airport and two days later were in our car for the trek up to NY to see my family. (I know, you’re really feeling sorry for me, aren’t you?) We’ve had such a fantastic summer that returning to real life seemed especially difficult.
Real life can be hard.
Back when I was running, there were times when I would go over to the lake during one of those pesky little “charity” runs (kidding, I love running for a cause, however…) going on. The problem with these events is that if you are actually at the lake to run, you better leave right away because there will be no running for you that day. Nope. The run/walkers take up the whole path. They don’t move, even when you yell, “On your left…on your left…ON YOUR LEFT!!!” So you nick their foot with your stroller and they give you a dirty look. The nerve.
It’s kind of the way with life. You’re out there running your own course, but really, it was never just your course to run alone anyway. There’s all these other people around you running (jogging, sprinting, walking, lollygagging- you feel me?) too. On my little jog through life things aren't going to happen as I want them to. Events and people are going to complicate the course. You know, like the run-walkers who don’t allow for passing on the left. But, if I don’t see it as my course in the first place, then this won't bother me so much. It's not about me. If I can just realize that and give up my own need for things to go as I planned, then maybe I can set aside my own pride and just run alongside the others...even when it’s not comfortable. I’ll still reach the finish line, though that's not necessarily what it's about anyway. How I get there is important. I mean, in a comparison of bulldozing the other runners or coming alongside them at least.
It’s been a heavy summer.
Turns out life doesn’t go as planned. Spouses hurt each other. Things don’t make sense. People get sick. Young people die. You get stuck in the rat race when it was always your goal to live above it.
The funny part is, personally, it’s been a drama free summer. Matt and I have had little hardship to contend with. It doesn’t feel like that though. There’s this strange ripple effect that comes with having relationships. The laugh with those that laugh and mourn with those that mourn effect. I suppose you could call it authentic community (or how about a runner’s club??). What happens to each member of the community impacts the whole- as it should. We don’t run alone, which is great for support, but it’s just hard at times. I want to be the kind of person that is humble and gentle, and bears with others in love, but I’m not there yet. I guess that’s the beauty of community and sharing life with others. It would be a whole heck of a lot easier sometimes to say screw it and just run alone, but in those moments where I’m tempted to do just that, I know that there are others beside me, willing to pick up my slack and keep me going, even when it’s the last thing they want to do.
On a lighter note, keeping with the whole running theme, I put together this little slideshow highlighting a few of our summer rompings, accompanied by my favorite song of the summer. :)