Wow! What a difference a week makes. Last week was, shall we say, a bit rough. It felt like thing after thing was going wrong, and I just had to go along for the rocky ride. Sometimes we have weeks/months/years like that. But you know what…there is always a silver lining.
We learn. We grow. We live. It’s all part of it.
So this week, I am happy to report, I have gained some perspective (or what we are currently calling “perspective”) on life and the way I would like to live it. I am learning to embrace those sometimes darker days, and transform them into positive lessons. It will never be easy, and often feel impossible, but if you don’t make the effort to change/adjust, then nothing will come of it.
In an effort to follow my own advice, I made an “adjustment” this past weekend, and wouldn’t you know, it brought some unexpected goodness into my life.
I don’t work out on the regular. In fact, if Mr. Harvey could learn to use the toilet, I may never exert myself more than a walk from the couch to the fridge. I know….it’s bad.
So I decided to change things up and go for a run (ambitious). After a brief 10 minutes straight of jogging, I was winded, sweating profusely and not at all eager to continue. I slowed my pace and eventually ended up in a slow walk with a cringe on my face. And that’s when I heard it. “You can do it girl.”
Confused as to who was speaking, I looked around and noticed an older woman parking her car along the curb. I looked over and she gave me a thumbs up as I dragged my feet on by. Again she yelled out, “Keep it up! The beginning is the worst, but it gets easier.”
I couldn’t believe it. Yes, I’ve become accustom to the occasional heckle from the street after living in major cities like Chicago and New York. And yes, I have learned to ignore them completely. But this was obviously different. And a bit more alarming than any other shout out I’ve heard before. She was encouraging. She was positive. And, apparently, she believed in me. This perfect stranger. I just didn’t understand it.
I’ve always been a BIG believer in signs. (It’s almost ridiculous how any, tiny, insignificant detail can turn into a “sign” for me.) But in the moment, this was bigger than any “sign.” It was kindness. Pure, unadulterated kindness. Virtually extinct nowadays. No wonder I didn’t recognize it.
I nodded my head with a smile and began to run again. And I ran for four miles straight…a personal record, both in time and distance. It felt absolutely amazing.
I couldn’t stop thinking about this woman, and more so, about how I never thanked her. So in a way, I hope that this post acts as a virtual “thank you” to the kind samaritan who helped, if even in the most unassuming way, to restore my sense of ability….ability to persevere, to succeed and to finish what I start.
She may have just been in a great mood that day or in the cheering spirit seeing as how she was headed into a little league baseball game. But whatever her motivation, I really can’t thank her enough. She will never truly know how much those simple words of encouragement meant to me (unless she is reading this today. How absolutely mind-blowing would that be?! A true SIGN!), but she has made a significant difference through her simple, kind gesture.
The ultimate lesson, I guess, isn’t so much that you can accomplish anything you set out to do (although that is a nice little takeaway from this experience), but it is that kindness, in the most sincere form, can go a long way to motivate.
I hope it is a thought full weekend for everyone, and that you are graced with and get to share a little bit of kindness too.