(I’m in Kentucky now, and I’ve found I like the word y’all even more here).
I have had the pleasure of talking with an 80 something-year-old woman lately about her life and all of the great experiences she’s had. She's talked about the challenges she's faced, too, but most of it has been focused on the fact that her life has been good.
I believe a lot of that has to do with attitude and focus. She could have chosen to focus on the awful (yes, there was quite a bit of awful), but instead, she focuses on the good parts.
And that, along with working in hospice and being surrounded by death for years really brings home the fact that
I believe that we are all here for a purpose and that doesn't have to be a huge “change the world” kind of thing. It may be raising a family. It may be doing incredible work for a small company, doing something that some may see as insignificant. But if you do it well, and you find fulfillment, and you connect in a meaningful way with even one person there? That can be huge.
It doesn't mean we have to be known all over the world. But it does mean that we have to do it, whatever “it” looks like for us as individuals. I am definitely not always the best example of this, but I believe as long as there is air in my lungs it's not too late.
I haven't said much or commented on anything publicly about this because I needed to do some processing on my own first, but this past month has really shaken me in a lot of ways.
I have a dear friend in the prime of her life who was unexpectedly diagnosed with advanced cancer, and now she is on hospice. And there's a certain beauty and irony in that because I met her through hospice but it also makes me sad and angry. And I don't even know what I’m feeling.
I don't understand why kids get sick or why people who have so much to give and mean so much to so many get awful diagnoses or why unspeakable things happen to people, things that affect them for the rest of their lives. Or why some people are miserable and seem to be genuinely awful people, yet they get to live long lives. I don't like it. And I don't understand it. But I still believe that God has a plan and that His plan is good. Even though I try to offer Him suggestions and alternatives (you know, because He’s busy and maybe hasn’t thought of my idea)!
Around the same time as I found out my friend had cancer, I found out that another friend from nursing school who had battled cancer for many years had passed away a couple of months before, and although we had talked off and on I wasn't aware when she died. Another friend, this one from high school, passed away last month and I didn't even realize that she was sick. We hadn't talked too much over the past year and I really hate that now.
Of course, I know we’re all going to die, and that tomorrow isn’t promised for any of us, but what are we supposed to do with that knowledge?
I don't believe we are to live in fear or with a “well, we all die anyway” attitude.
It's made me more clear on what really matters to me and what I want to focus on.
And I invite you to do the same.
One of the things that I have heard is that you can tell what people value by looking at where they spend their time and where they spend their money. So what is it for you? What do you value most?
That is a question that I ask myself periodically and it helps me to refocus on what matters most to me at the time, because my priorities change from one season of life to another.
Some of the things that I knew I wanted to focus on this year were my relationship with God as well as increasing my focus on my physical health (which in turn I know helps my mental health). I also wanted to do something that was a step outside of my comfort zone … and that led me to joining the RUN FOR GOD club and the couch-to-marathon program. I had decided last year that I was adding a marathon to my bucket list.
Now, if you're not aware, I am not much of a runner especially not consistently. Most of the time in the spring I will start walking and do some running and frequently when it gets super hot I'm kind of done, or even if I make it through the hot part when it gets super cold, I'm not very committed.
This year I have probably been more consistent with workouts than I ever have. But there is still a lot of room for improvement. And I hadn't really walked or run in about six weeks, I had just been doing some other workouts, but starting today I am going to be embarking on a year-long training program. That will get me ready for a 5k, then a 10k, then a half marathon, and then a marathon. The plan is to run that in Gulf Shores Alabama on January 29, 2023. I am nervous and excited but feel like this is going to be a great thing. My plan is not to run the entire thing, but to do a combo of walking and running.
If this is something that you have any interest in, check out www.runforgod.com
For me personally, I feel like this is a great next step on my journey toward better discipline, physical health, spiritual health, relationships, and adventure.
And I’m more passionate than ever about working with women who want clarity and direction for their next steps. It doesn’t have to be a marathon or leaving your family to pursue a travel job. It can be joining a book club or taking a class. Or reconnecting with someone you’ve lost touch with. The important thing is to make a decision on your next step and take it.
Love and blessings,