Summer 2015 has been a summer of change, activity and possibilities on the horizon. We kicked of the summer season by getting married, and then as newly married couple we dove head on into our adoption journey. It was a summer of meetings, home studies and learning. A summer of laughter and dreaming of the adventures to come.
This summer was also one where I decided to stretch my abilities and try new activities. (It may have also been a way to keep my mind clear and stop the constant adoption thoughts). I took part in three different paint nites and ran in 6 different 5, km, 10 km and half marathons!
I used to think that running was only helpful if you were being chased; but I am actually
growing to really enjoy the challenge. I am by no means a phenomenal runner, my times are mediocre at best. I have had to put aside my natural competitive spirit though, and remind myself that what is important is that I am trying it. I am putting myself out there. I have learned some great life lessons from running. These races have reminded me that if I focus, if I push through when things get uncomfortable and just listen to the natural rhythm
my body wants me to take, I can accomplish the task. Even the pain and ache the next day after a race serves as a reminder that you worked hard, and while it may hurt a little, you are better for it in the end.
Paint Nites have also taught me important lessons to take with me. In life sometimes you just have to let go and try something new. You don’t have to be perfect, and by letting go and just enjoying the challenge you can produce things you never thought were possible. Each paint nite you begin with an oath, place your hand on your blank canvas. “I promise to relax and have fun. And not to judge my painting or the paintings of others.” The oath continues with us pledging to not say “My painting sucks”, “I can’t do this”, “I ruined it” or “Can you do it for me?”. Then we toast and begin the night.
I know it sounds hokey. My first time was met with an eye roll or two. Then I thought about it. In life I need to relax and have fun. I can’t judge myself harshly or ask others to do something for me, just because I’m worried I might not be the best. By making something as simple as an oath before starting an activity, it changes how you approach it. You become aware of the negative self talk and the barriers you can put up for yourself. Sometimes you just have to let go, be in the moment and that’s when the creativity happens.
As summer comes to a close, I look back on my summer of challenges and I am looking for the life lessons. With winter on the horizon (yes I said it), I am thinking of ways to continue this trend. As someone that hates the cold, and avoids being outside at all costs during the winter.. my challenge to myself will be to get active outdoors this winter. Find new ways to push my boundaries, and try new things.
Be in the moment and look for the life lessons in the everyday.