my unofficial office–post-run:)
Five days a week I wake up, drink a cup of tea, pray a little, and then lace up my running shoes. I have a love/hate relationship with running, as in I love to hate it. But, it’s become an integral part of my life, a piece of the puzzle that holds all of me together.
I rewound the years recently, and realized I’ve run regularly for eight years. I haven’t done much of anything for eight years except indulge my sweet tooth, hence my early morning date with the treadmill. Two of my kids leave home before they see me head down to the basement in my gear. One of them asked me recently if I run anymore, and it took me by surprise because that’s the equivalent of asking me if I still read books. Huh? My mental health literally hinges on whether or not I exercise regularly. How do they not know this about me?
As a child, if I didn’t see something with my own eyes, it was as if it didn’t occur. My kids don’t see me run, so in their eyes, it never happened. There are an infinite number of things they never see me do. They don’t see me make the phone calls or send the emails or sit down with the calendar to jigsaw their schedules into something doable. They don’t see me wipe down the bathroom or change the toilet roll or fill the grocery cart to overflowing. They don’t see the late night tears or the three a.m. prayers or the deep questioning of my ability to pull of this thing called parenting.
They don’t see it, but each one of these takes place in the small circumference of my world as a woman, a wife, and a mother. I think of my own mother and wonder how many of the small joys and accomplishments of her life I must have missed. How much of the daily, faithful, hard work did I not notice?
I think of you too. How much of your life am I missing? Where do you persevere and remain steadfast and do the hardest interior work? What straw do you gather and spin into gold in the quiet places, while the rest of us walk by and fail to take notice?
I’m convinced we have so much more to offer one another if only we gave each other room to share it–the small victories, the silly mix-ups, the epic failures, the stunning escapes. Curiosity is a gift we can give one another, don’t you think? One of the reasons I continue to write is because I want my children to know more of me. I want them to look at me and see more than a meal on the table and hear something other than my weary sighs. I want them to hear my feet slapping the Saturday pavement and the keyboard click-clacking. Let them see me cry, pray, bend over the weekly schedule in triumph or frustration. This is a gift for them and for me.
Tell me something about yourself that you never think to share–where are you bringing together all the threads of your life and spinning gold? What wakes you up in the middle of the night? Where did you love to vacation as a kid? What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?