Saturday, January 11, 2014

Happy Runnings (Like Cool Runnings, Only Not Jamaican)

So it's been a long time since I've written anything.  Truth is...I just don't really have that much to say.  

Even though January is half over, I've decided I can at least publish some goals Greg and I have this year.  I like the concept of New Year's Resolutions.  I think it's great that society at large accepts a whole time of year dedicated to making ourselves better (and I think it's kind of too bad that most of our discussion about resolutions revolves around how we all plan on breaking them).  

That being said, I have not been super good at keeping--or even making--resolutions in the past.  But I have two this year that I'm excited to work on.  


Yeah, yeah, stereotypical one, I know.  But it's gonna be good. I have a concrete goal I'm working toward, and I think specificity is key in accomplishing stuff like this.  My specific goal: to run the Rex Lee 5k in March, and work towards an additional 5k in Florida next summer.  I know a 5k is really not that long, but hey, it's kind of a big deal for me.  I don't have a goal time yet...maybe like 27 minutes?  Who knows.  

All I know is I like to run.  It feels healthy.  I like expending energy and seeing myself progress.  Right now I run 1.5-1.8 miles at a time at a rate of about 8:40 per mile.  There's definitely room for improvement, but isn't improving kind of the point? 

Greg's goal:  Run a 10k.  He runs better than me.  I asked him what his goal is for a 10k specifically, and he said "Do it."

A wise goal in so many ways, my friends.  Wise goal. 

Be Happy Now 

This isn't a new concept for me.  Choosing to be happy is something I learned I could do as a teenager.  After awhile of trying to get pregnant for the first time, I realized that I could not rely on a baby to just magically make me happy--that I needed to be joyful right now, and that having that kind of attitude would actually improve any future good experiences I was going to have, children included.  

Well, I haven't been perfect at this, but I have tried. One of the ways I've failed at this in the past is when I have the attitude known as "I'll Be Happy When." I remember reading Pride and Prejudice for the first time years ago, and Jane Austen has some pretty witty commentary on Elizabeth's practice of making plans for future happiness that depend solely on the occurrence of future events.  We all do this, people.  At least, I do.  "I'll be happy when Greg graduates." "I'll be happy when we move to Florida and I can drink the sunshine in like orange juice." "I'll be happy when the BLASTED snow melts." "I'll be happy at the end of the workweek when I can go home and hang out with Greg for a few days." "I'll be happy when we know for sure what is going on and we can start trying to have a family again." 

"I'll be happy when we get to keep a baby." 

We just can't live this way.  It sets us up to miss the moment...and it sets us up to be disappointed.  Once you realize that you can't live this way, you have two choices:  I will never be happy, OR, I will be happy right now. 

I think finding happiness now is a delicate balance, and I'm still trying to figure it out.  On the one hand, it is okay to have future goals that make you happy, or future things to look forward to.  One the other hand... sometimes you just have to quit thinking so much about what is to come.  You have to allow yourself to just give in, and give up just a little.  

Yeah.  Give up.  I said it.  

Lately I have given up on just a few things.  And I feel a lot of peace about it.  Now, I want to be very careful about what I mean when I say "give up." I don't mean abandon yourself to failure.  I don't mean quit trying, necessarily.  What I mean is allow yourself to live your life without everything you want, and learn that that's okay.  I mean, allow yourself to take a constructive break.  I mean, submit to Heavenly Father's will, and be happy about it.  

Really, the phrase "give up" is not exactly what I mean, I just don’t know how else to say it.  Basically, I think it is possible to give up and still have hope.  I think you can find peace while realizing things might not go your way. 

Hope is a word that’s been on my mind, as well.  I’ve started reading Les Miserables for the first time.  I love it.  It is beautiful, so packed with truths I haven’t had the words to express before.  Hugo says that Hope is the word that the finger of God has written on the brow of everyone.  I suppose what I want for myself this year is to reach my hand up, find where God has written Hope on my very own brow, and trace it with my very own finger.  I will do that every single day, and every single day, this can help me to be happy.  Be happy now, even if there are a few things I have allowed myself to let go. You can have hope without playing the game of "I'll Be Happy When."  And you can know that there are good things in your future even if you have let some things go.  I want to learn how to do this.  

So, Run and Be Happy.  New Year’s Resolution:  Do it.