I had planned on embracing another topic in the post this week but this morning I experienced something that took precedence. At my age, I need to engage in some form of exercise in order just to keep up enough endurance to play badminton with the neighborhood youth… or even climb two sets of stairs. What is most convenient and affordable is to run, which I try to do at least 5 days a week.
This morning I was out doing just that in the darkness of a pre-dawn urban morning when I saw her coming. I recognized the cadence of her blinking arm band light and the gait of her step. First, off in the distance making the turn onto the same street I was on, then coming closer and closer. As we passed each other, we both waved. I don’t know about her, but for me it was a bit of an awkward moment when we both gave a cordial greeting. Mine was a quick “howdy” and hers was “I’ll see you at home”. It was my wife.
We had just been in the basement, both putting on our running shoes together and scratching the cats backs as they purred their way through the morning ritual and a crunchy breakfast. But then we each went our own ways as we left the house.
The strangeness that I felt as we passed each other on the street 15 minutes later challenged the stance I have taken regarding the need for me to have that time alone. A time when I can gather my thoughts on the day, the week, the season. Not to mention that I’m not crazy about running but talking at the same time just makes the task more difficult.
As I finished the work out, I became more and more confident in the need for each of us to create a moment in our day and a place in our world, where we can jump out of the life wagon and just observe for a second.
(who doesn’t like a good soaker?)
Doing so in a responsible fashion doesn’t make you selfish, or too self-centered… it actually makes a better “you”. Which in the end makes you more valuable to the ones you care about. I’ve concluded through reading, discussions with mentors, discussion with friends and siblings, that allowing your kids to witness you living a passionate and thoughtful life is one of the best gifts you can give them.
(family heirloom chair… time has made it comfortable)
So sometime this weekend, find a great chair that is dipped in some rich lighting, place a side table next to it with a stack of books and a good coaster, or some headphones, and dive in… even if it’s only for 5 minutes. You owe it to them and yourself.
(we could take lessons from our pets… the experts at unplugging)