Monthly Archives: September 2016

We all find ourselves in seasons of waiting. Being active is a huge part of my life. I swim, I run, I mountain bike, I yoga, I triathlon. Right now, I’m injured. A running injury has taken me out of the game for an ‘I don’t know how long’ period of time. And so I find myself in this space of waiting. Waiting for it not to hurt every time I walk…which, while not intolerable, is a constant reminder of the ‘thing’ I can’t currently do. Waiting to know if my body will allow me to accomplish a goal I’ve set for myself. Waiting to run again. Frankly, waiting is starting to mess with my head and drag me down a bit. It’s making me weary. I’m not someone that usually lets things get to me, but this is. I can often see the bigger picture, but right now I can’t. It’s 5:00 in the morning, I’m on my third cup of coffee, and I realized that I’m at this sort of crossroads- let the current of ‘wait’ take me under, or step up my game in the mental grit department.

To some this probably seems silly, to be upset because I can’t run. My wait isn’t any less or more than yours. I know people desperately trying to have a baby, people recovering from life-altering surgeries, people trying to find their way after the death of a parent or spouse, people dealing with job loss. I know parents hoping that today is the day their kid doesn’t get bullied at school, exhausted moms longing for just one night of uninterrupted sleep, new business owners wondering if they are crazy for pursuing a dream, and the list goes on. Don’t compare your ‘wait’, someone else’s will always seem greater. The ‘wait’ is not comparable. It is mine, and yours, to honor and figure out how to get through. I don’t have all the answers, but I can tell you what I’m going to do. I’ve acknowledged that the ‘wait’ simply sucks, so now what?

The first thing is to lean a little more on God. Now maybe God isn’t your thing, that’s okay, but He is mine. My friend Amy wrote a blog post that contained a scripture reference that seems very relevant to me right now. Psalms 3:3 says “But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.” I need a “lifter of my head” because I’ve allowed myself to become discouraged. I need the mental peace that, for me, comes when I finally stop trying to do it myself, and instead drift a little closer to Him. I think that surviving the ‘wait’ requires some type of community. I don’t know what your community is, and maybe it is more than one thing or person. I do know that when you are tired of going it alone, you need to seek out your tribe. For me, this is not an easy thing to do. Vulnerability is not something that suits me, but we all reach a point where it becomes necessary.

Life is a series of events that don’t have to be classified as good or bad. When I re-frame my thinking and see my circumstances as simply ‘life’, things become easier to deal with. I have to get really comfortable with the unknown. To stop seeking the “why” and “when”, and rest instead in the now. I have to get to the place of acceptance where I understand that the end result of the ‘wait’ may not be what I want- I’m not there yet.

While I wait, I will try hard to focus more on the things that I can do, and less on the things that I can’t. The can’t gets really overwhelming if I let it take root in my life. Right now I can swim, and I can swim well, so I guess I do more of that. Choosing to spend your energy doing what you can also has the potential to give you new experiences. Yesterday I went to the pool to swim some laps and do some water jogging. I didn’t pay attention to the pool schedule, and ended up there right as they closed lap swimming for a water aerobics class. The instructor was standing there as I was talking to the lifeguard, and she said “well, why can’t you join us for class?” I had no reason, or at least not a good one, so I did. In a group of 30 people, I may have been the only one under 60, but my arms are still sore this morning. So, I guess be open to new things while you wait, and do more of what you can.

Also, someone please remind of these things, because in my humanness, I will not remember them on the days when the “wait’ is too much.

 

 

 

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Well, joining this blog circle was supposed to aid in me blogging more…and, um, well, here we are a month later and the August 5 on 5 post was my last one. Oh well.

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So many fun things happened in August, and there are many stories I could tell. Yet, as they’ve all swirled around in my brain, none of them really felt like “the one” I wanted to tell, and then I realized that there was one constant of these last warmer months that stuck out to me. I’ve heard it said, and I’ve had said to me, that kids are our greatest teachers. Usually I nod (but, really I want to roll my eyes) and think to myself, “yep, my kids are super awesome at teaching me how to lose it in about 30 seconds.” Because really, when my husband and I decided to have kids, one of the reasons was never “oh, yes, let’s have kids so that we’ll have tiny humans that can teach us how to be better versions of ourselves.” Except that today, it occurred to me that my son closed out a months-long lesson in persistence.

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This kid loves bugs. And reptiles. And frogs. LOVES THEM. He reads about them, watches YouTube videos about them, asks constant questions about them, and every day he’s searching for them. His adventures don’t last just a few minutes either, he will search all day, and when the sun sets, he demands a flashlight. Early in the summer he saw a picture of a leopard frog in a library book, and he became determined to find and catch one…luckily, one can find them in Iowa. Finding them wasn’t too difficult, but catching them was another story. These stupid frogs are fast and have an unpredictable jumping trajectory. Many days were spent at Grandpa’s house, chasing them through wood piles and gardens, and they would always manage to sneak away. About 2 weeks ago the grasshoppers emerged in full force, and although temporary, his attention was diverted away from catching a leopard frog. Grasshoppers are much easier to catch. I was thankful for the frog hunting reprieve.

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The emergence of the grasshoppers also coincided with the start of the school year. He started kindergarten this year, and I’ve been a little worried about that transition ever since he told his teacher at our home visit that he thinks “kindergarten is stupid.” By the third day of school he had a reputation as the kid that spends all of his recess time looking for grasshoppers and frogs. Yesterday morning before school, he found a huge, bright green grasshopper, and he insisted on taking it to school with him. So, off he went to school, (contained) grasshopper in tow. When my husband walked him to class he was immediately surrounded by kids in the hall, all wanting to see what he had in the container. When I went to pick him up that day, his teacher told me that he now has a following of kids at recess that join him in his quest for bugs. I really love that in feeling free to do his own thing, he attracted a group of kids that want to hang with him. Amazingly, the grasshopper survived its day at kindergarten, and he released it outside as we left the school. His teacher also mentioned that she’d had a hard time keeping him out of a pond that day…because he had spotted a frog.

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Of course he started going on and on about the frog as soon as we got in the car. He described it in vivid detail and wanted me to go looking for it with him. I finally got him to stop by promising that the next day I would take him frog hunting after school. When I picked him up the next day the first thing he said was “I’m ready to go hunt frogs now.” His teacher shot me a knowing look that let me know he’d been talking about it all day. So, armed with a net and a snack, we were off.

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He set out traipsing through tall grass and weeds, and finally, he did it. He caught a leopard frog. Three months of searching later and he found his Holy Grail. He kept that frog by his side for the next five hours. I thought I was going to have to make a late night run to find a frog habitat, but he decided that it would be best to let it go, and he did. After he went to bed that night I thought about all of the hours he logged trying to catch one of those frogs this Summer, and it got me thinking.  I realized this kid of mine has always been unrelenting in his pursuit of the things that he deems make his life fuller. He has always been motivated by nothing but his own will. He often shuns logic and reason to go after what he wants, and he is almost always successful. Now obviously, this has its challenges, but I hope his internal motivation continues to drive him to do great things. So, what drives you? What do you seek? When was the last time you wanted something so much that you were unwavering in your quest to get whatever “it” is? I know what my answers are, and I’d love to hear yours. Next up in the September 5 on 5 is Jennifer Krafchik, Maryland lifestyle documentary family photographer, so head on over and check her out!

 

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