There are days – few and far between – when I wake up and I am on it. My boys are being little angels, I’ve gotten up early and had some alone time, I even include veggies in my breakfast.
And then – there are the other days. Yesterday was one of them.
Two of my boys were having it out with each other, the third was complaining of a tummy ache and didn’t think school was a good idea. I finally had to sequester one of the first two until it was time to go to school – it was a mess. And it wasn’t even 7:30.
Once I got them to school – I realized that I forgot to pack their inside shoes.
I had them stay in their snow boots and jogged home to grab them. I then shuffled in the snow back to school to drop off their tennies.
By 8:15, I was drained, weary and reflecting on what I needed to change.
Mentally, I went to a place of hopelessness. I started to think of all the things that were going wrong. My boys need to go to bed earlier – then maybe they wouldn’t be so cranky in the morning. My boys need to learn to be more chill and not run around the house like crazies – then maybe I could think and actually remember important items like shoes.
After venting to Jason – I realized I had a choice to make – was I going to let the morning ruin me? And ruin the day? Or was I going to take a small step in the right direction in the hopes that I could get back on track. Several small steps = one big step – right?
It’s these course-corrections that become defining for us on our journeys. It can take a day that appears to be going down the drain to a day filled with purpose and hope.
I ended up pushing my to-do list to the side, bundled up, and drove my car to a trail close to our house. It was about 15 degrees outside and there was a good 8 inches of snow on the ground (but a cleared trail) – not the most ideal of running conditions but I was determined to course correct and felt a run would be the thing to make that happen.
I slowly got out of my car and couldn’t believe what I was facing. I reticently took off my coat. And started down the trail. It was cold, it was uncomfortable, and I had to keep telling myself that it would be worth it in the end if I could just get a little further down the trail. Make it to this tree, make it to that sign. Initially, that was my goal.
It’s the things that we work hard for, the things that we dig deep to move through even when it’s uncomfortable – yes – these are the things that God can use to teach us, refine us, and cultivate in us character traits that are priceless.
I realized on that run that I wasn’t going to be able to change everything all at once. But also that change needed to happen. So I picked one thing that I could do different. And it was this – get my boys in bed at an earlier time. We all know the definition of insanity and that’s exactly what was happening – I was doing the same thing but expecting a different result.
I’ve been a runner for 29 years – so I know on those cold mornings that if I can just push myself to engage in the pain of the cold – it will get better. My body will heat up, my toes and fingers will start to thaw out, and I will actually enjoy the process. But it’s never enjoyable initially.
My run yesterday morning in some ways resembles the recovery process. The recovery process is painful, unnatural and completely uncomfortable, especially at first. It brings up a host of insecurities and frustrations – it feels never ending. And oftentimes, it’s all we can do to just do the next little thing.
I know many of you are sitting here reading this and asking yourself – is this recovery process even worth it? Will there be an end in sight that is more beautiful than what life was like before? You’re sitting in the uncomfortableness of it all and you don’t know if it will be worth it.
I finished my run and I felt like a warrior. Nothing could stop me. I was out there on a blistering cold day doing the thing I love. But it wasn’t easy, especially at first.
The same applies to this process of transformation. You WILL look back and see the good. Sure, there are tears, there is grief, there is pain – it’s not easy. We will wrestle and struggle our way through – looking for the hope.
You got this.
xo – Shelley