Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Nasty Women, Nasty Me

I have thought a lot about women the past few days.  And I am beginning to see sometimes why men say "women, ugh!"  Now I will speak only for myself as I do not want to just say that all women are alike and I am sure what I am about it say is complete fiction in your world.  But I need some work.  Here are my thoughts.

I can be and have been on occasion a very mean and nasty woman.  Yes I will admit to the fact that I have many times compared myself to other women and I have gone to other friends to gossip about other women.  And I have decided I am mean and nasty.  Not that any other woman reading this has done this,  only me, I am sure.

We should be so nice to each other.  We should compliment each other and look out for each other, but instead we say mean things or have nasty attitudes about others.  For example, I see a beautiful, thin, fit woman with five kids and instead of saying how nice she looks, in my mind I wonder what is wrong with her.  I secretly hope that she had a lot of work done. Or worse, I call my closest girlfriend to make assumptions about so-called-woman's attitude and how she must think she is "all that" and look for great validation from my friend about it. Seriously. . I have issues!!

I then thought about the Mary and Martha story from the bible.  You know the one where Mary chose to sit at the feet of Jesus and spend time with Him and Martha ran around the house like a chicken with her head cut off cooking and cleaning for Jesus.  Now the bible does not put it exactly that way, but I can only imagine.  I also had these thoughts:  I wonder if Mary and Martha then went to their best girlfriends or others and said "Can you believe what she did!?!?!"  I can just hear the phrases in my mind, you know the ones:  "she thought she was so much better than me!" or "I cannot believe she did that!"  You may tell me that they did nothing of the sort but I don't believe you. :)

Or think about the movement that gave women the right to vote.  All of these amazing women coming together to march and hold rallies for a single cause.  However, I can also see the infighting about who got to type the memo, who led the rally or what so and so was wearing.  Or theses statements: can you believe how that woman talked to my husband or she has really put on some weight since we did those sashes, it barely fits her.  The comments probably went on and on. 

WHY DO WE oh I mean, I REACT THIS WAY!?!   I have come to a conclusion and it ain't pretty.  Because I am jealous and/or I want to feel better about me and what I am doing as a woman, mom, and wife.  Plain and simple, no way around it, that is the basis for all the negative things I have or might say about other women.  And I am sad as I type this, because all the women I know are amazing.  Even the ones I disagree with, because without them I would not use my brain to think about the facts behind why I disagree with them.  To all you very skinny women, yes even those of you that are my best friends, I have loathed that you wear a size 2.  Not you just the size you wear.  But I should be saying how awesome you look and admire the time and commitment you have to stay at a size 2 after kids.  And to all of you perfect moms who have never let your kids watch tv and all your kids can write their name by age 3, I have talked about you being crazy.  When in reality I should ask you how you do it so maybe I can attempt to accomplish the discipline and creative ideas that you have come up with for you kids. 

To all of you.  I am sorry.

So I have put it out there.  I might have zero women friends after this blog since I am sure I am the only one who does this sort of thing.  But I have made a conscious effort the past few days to only let the things that come out of my mouth be uplifting.  To put away those negative thoughts and turn them to positive ones.  I do this because it is right and we are all on the same team.  And in my beliefs we were all made by the same wonderful God who loves more than we can fathom. 

So. . we will see if I still have friends after this. . . :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Picked Last At Recess

So as you know and I am sure I have talked about way too much, I finished my first half marathon this past weekend.  That is right 13.1 miles.  And it was AWESOME!!! 

We ran around the Indianapolis Speedway which began at about mile 6.5.  During this part there were different HS cheer leading groups that would cheer us on, some with themes and some just cheering as loud as they could to help us through the next 2.5 miles of track.  There was a girl holding a sign that said "Do it for all the girls who were picked last at recess!"  Now I wish I saw that one, but my sister saw it and when she told me about it at the end we both cried.  If you were ever picked last at anything or picked on, you will know exactly why we cried. 

I cried a lot when I cross the finish line on Saturday.  Partly due to the flood of emotions I felt upon finishing and partly because my knee felt as though it might just come apart, or maybe it would have felt better if it did. 

I have never been a true athlete.  I was a mediocre at best softball player from ages 5 to 17, but I have known several amazing athletes that I went to school with and wouldn't dare classify myself in their standings.  So this run/walk was a feat in and of itself for me.  After all, before this time I would have told you that running was just crazy and I would only run if I was on fire or being chased.  I even lived with an amazing runner in college and I thought she was nuts for getting up so early just to run around Flagstaff in the cold. :)  And let's face it, I am not at all built like a runner.  I will never be a size two, maybe in heaven but certainly not here.  And I have had three kids and that does not always make a body better.  So yes. . I am not an athlete. 

But I am a mother, and I have learned that sometimes we moms need to do something that is our own.  Not stuff that is "kind of" for us, but will really benefit the kids or the husband or the extended family or our closest girlfriends.  Something that is only ours, something that we can be selfish about.  Now, I realize that many of you might disagree with this philosophy and that is okay, but I like having a thing that is only mine and I don't have to share.  And that for me was this training and this running.  It was mine.  At times it was hours by myself to be in silence or yes to even listen to some music that might have a lyric that is not appropriate for my kids to hear.  It was time for me.

I did it because people thought I couldn't.  I have a lot of great "ideas" that float around in my head.  And a lot of them I do not ever follow through on.  But if I am nothing else I am stubborn.  I know that there were several people in my life that would have never said so to my face, but truly in their heart thought I would never complete the half or all of the training necessary to do it.  I am sure there were several reasons for their doubt.  Several times I ran I could hear the voices in my head.  "She is not in shape enough to do that kind of mileage."  "She has attempted other things before and never done them, I am sure this is just one of those things she has to get out of her system."  "She doesn't look like a runner."  "What is she going to do with the kids when she has to do all that training?"   As my sister and I joked after the race she had the same thoughts about people who thought she would never do it, and kindly we say to you all . . suck it.

As I know that last sentence was harsh, trust me nothing is worse than my own self doubt and fear.  The fear that I wouldn't make it, the fear that I would be the last person of 35,000 people to finish a race.  The fear that I would be laughed at or questioned at the race about my authenticity as a runner.  I am always harder on myself than anyone else could be. 

On the other side there were cheer leaders for me that supported me and called me and let me know that slow is okay and that I could do it and it would all be so fun and wonderful.  To you, I sincerely thank you, you are my heroes and heroines!  I can never repay or even begin to explain how much your kind words and support meant to me. 

For many years, I have heard the bible verse that Paul wrote in 2 Timothy about fighting the good fight, finishing the race and keeping the faith.  These words mean so much more to me now than they did  months ago.  To keep on keeping on despite tired legs, bad knees, to get it done even when there didn't seem enough time.  When the training schedule went array to get back up and start again.  All of this can be compared to how I want to live my life. 

So now you maybe can see why I cried at the end.  If I can do this anyone can do it no matter what others think of you or what you think of yourself.  

So I urge you to think about your bucket list.  What is on it?  What is the race you want to run?  And  just do it, keep the faith and do it, because it is a feeling like no other crossing the finish line.