Sunday, November 6, 2011

Balance:The ongoing battle of sky versus weeds.

As I told someone yesterday, "I never know what's going to happen when I leave the house." This statement holds truth for everyone because life is unpredictable. We never know what accidents or gold mines we might come across in one day's adventure. However, when I said it, I meant that I wasn't a planner. My spur-of-the-moment decisions usually lead to some very interesting stories with some very interesting characters.

The cold I began developing last week has continued to get worse, and I feel like spending all day out of the house yesterday (tailgating, going to the game, shopping, then hanging out with friends again) was probably not the best idea I've contributed to my recovery game plan. Luckily, I had today to sleep until noon (yep, played hooky from church). After treating myself to breakfast/lunch/dinner around 3 p.m., I decided I needed fresh air and some exercise. I began driving with the windows rolled down, looking for open spaces.

I recalled a state park I'd never explored before, but pass all the time, and decided to give it a go. I set out a little nervous. I do things by myself all the time, but a small woman on a nature trail armed only with keys, a cell phone and a lot of spunk probably would not have stopped a wild horse or human attack. Thoughts of snakes, bison (there are actually bison in this park) and vampires (this is debatable) clouded my brain. The weather was gorgeous, but I couldn't stop my mind from spinning in the direction of scary thoughts. I kept my eyes on the ground checking for things possible of biting me. When I finally looked toward the sky, I saw the tops of the old Oak trees with Spanish moss looking like God might have strategically hung it there himself. This instantly calmed me, and I was able to enjoy the rest of my walk (until nature called, and I pranced around the woods trying to find a discreet place to pop a squat).

With all this time to breathe, physically and mentally, I began to consider how similar life is to a walk in the woods. We are all brought into this world fresh, unassuming creatures. Why do we dream so big, and why are we fearless when we're kids? Because we've yet to experience the fears and disappointments in the world, so we keep our heads in the clouds without a care. As we experience those fears and disappointments, we focus on the "weeds", so scared to dream big because something or someone might drag us down in the process.

I began analyzing my own life, and thinking about how much of my time is spent among the clouds. Contrary to what most of you (who know me) may think, I actually spend more of my time in the weeds, worried about different aspects of my life. I came to realize we all have to let go at some point. While it's not practical to have your head in the clouds all the time, we all need more balance in our lives. If we lose that balance, the weeds will overtake us.

I went on a running date a few months ago (this does not mean I ran from him...we were simply going for a jog) with a guy I'd met a week prior. This guy was extremely nice and a perfect gentleman, but he worried about everything. During our time together that day, he said he constantly worried and second guessed his decisions because he knew there were always ways to improve everything he did. He was a coach, so I could see where this was coming from. However, I reminded him if he lived his life in worry, always second guessing himself, he would never be able to appreciate life and the gifts in it. He would wake up an old man one day, and would regret not living in the moment, enjoying the imperfections.

Wake up tomorrow and look at the sky. The weeds/responsibilities will always be there, but time won't. Appreciate the things that are bigger than us all, and make sure those you care about know it.

Sorry this hasn't been as light hearted and amusing as my other posts. I'm having a reflective "Sentimental Sunday". I promise to make you laugh in the next one, so stay tuned. If that's not enough to keep you, below is a picture of me from a zip line trip in Costa Rica a few years ago. I'm revealing it at my own expense for your personal enjoyment.