First off, just to be clear, despite the fact that Hal Higdon (the well-known marathon coach and author) is all of the sudden quoting me in his book and sharing my blog posts on his Facebook page, I am NOT an EXPERT on running! I don’t mean to be self deprecating, but I’m actually not an expert on anything really. I am just a pretty average mom stumbling my way through parenthood selfishly trying to carve out some time for myself now and then so I don’t go cuckoo! I’m a decent runner, cook, gardener, writer and photographer. Yes, I am a runner and the name of my blog is “RUNNING with Skissors”, but when I dreamed up that name it actually had only a little to do with the act of running for exercise, which IS INDEED what helps me get through all the other stuff. The title of my blog had much more to do with all the running around I do as the mother of three chasing after my kids, (wiping their boogers, apprehending permanent markers, carting them to their activities, etc, etc) and also racing to fit in the things I love. Our life is messy, disorganized and as I’ve said before, perfectly imperfect!
This blog began last fall as just another one of my far-fetched ideas (I am always dreaming up my next “thing”) that came to me while running and then again while gardening and then while cooking… you get the idea. It started as a place where I planned to combine all the things I enjoy. It was also to be a place where I could document the craziness and fun of our rapidly changing household of five in hopes that I could look back some day and remember it all fondly (well, some of it). Here I could also reflect on the experiences of my life, gather information and work at becoming better at all the things that are important to me. I thought maybe it might also be a fun place to connect with other people who enjoy the same things. I imagined a place where we could share stories, commiserate, laugh, inspire, motivate and help each other. Sometimes it’s just nice to know we are not alone in our struggles. In the process, I hoped it would be fun to write again which I hadn’t done much of since back in Journalism school. I needed to do something with my pent up creative energy and was looking for a way to share some of the thousands of photographs I take every year. Perhaps I’d also be able to share some of what I know about healthy cooking, gardening, crafting and running along the way. Since none of my three children seem to listen to me much at all, I secretly hoped maybe I’d find someone else out there who WOULD.
Reflecting on the first five months since I began writing this blog I can say that this has been an even more fulfilling experience than I imagined. I have managed to begin to accomplish my original goals and I have discovered that writing this blog has helped me live my life more thoughtfully. Like a diary, writing here is therapeutic. I pause to reflect on the events of the day or the week and look back at what went well and what didn’t go so well. It helps me stop and smell the roses, literally and figuratively, and look out at the world around me with even greater appreciation. Perhaps my favorite thing about it is that I have many new friends as a result. Sure, it is another thing I’ve added to my to-do list making my already busy life a little extra crazy. Some people say, “I just don’t know where you find the time!” I suppose that’s kind of the whole point, right?
I’m not an outwardly “religious” person, but I do have a strong faith. I honestly feel as though I’m being called to write about my experiences. It’s as if God wants me to share what I have learned with others to provide encouragement and inspiration. God did not bless me with the smarts to be a doctor or a high powered business executive. But I WAS given the gift of seeing beauty in even the most ordinary moments and finding the silver lining in even my most challenging experiences. Through my photographs and my writing I think I’ve been called to pass along some of my optimism to others. When I’m uncertain about what I could possibly write about next, I swear to you the next day something virtually miraculous happens that reveals a story right before my eyes that I am being called to tell. And, when I’m having a day full of self-doubt when I wonder why I am spending so much time writing and revealing all the intimate details of my life I am reassured too. Like earlier this week when I went to bed feeling discouraged, praying for God to lead me down the path he wants me to follow.
The very next day I received the email I’ve mentioned from Hal Higdon wanting to quote me in his book and then he shared my blog post introducing me to hundreds of new readers and friends who seemed to think I had something valuable to say. I read each and every one of the comments people left about why THEY run. I was inspired by their stories about running in honor of ill family members, running through divorce and depression and running to help them improve their poor health. I felt proud that I had initiated this conversation through my little blog post I sat writing in my kitchen after my kids went to bed earlier this month. Perhaps this sequence of events was just a coincidence. But to me it was God’s presence in my life encouraging me to keep writing.
So with that said, I want to say THANK YOU for reading. Thank you for making this very average, middle-aged, suburban mini-van driving mom whose kids don’t listen to her, feel like she has something worthwhile to say. It has been over seven years now since I left my job as an advertising executive when I stood in front of a room and people stopped and listened when I spoke. I left to focus on raising my children which is, in it’s own way, the most rewarding job one could have… some days. A lot of the time I feel like I’m just the dishwasher, the laundry folder, the lunch packer, and the ass wiper. I bet many of you can relate.
My advice to you is this; follow your dreams. Make that far-fetched idea a reality. Follow the voice inside of you. It just very well may be a higher power calling you to something that fulfills your soul. Don’t worry about what other’s think. Just share the best of your spirit with the world.
Thanks for following along on my journey!