I'm a pretty in the moment kind of gal. The future gives me anxiety and the past is depressing. For a person with a tendency towards anxiety and depression, it's a triumph that the present has become my comfortable dwelling place.
I can storm through anxiety to make things happen for the future. I can swallow the lump in my throat to put into motion the things that are important to me. My family, my business, my causes and even fun things like vacations & events. But the gigantic leap it takes me has a bit of a trade off in the now.I sometimes use up all my energy on the future and forget to look up and see the beauty of every day.
Clearly I still have some work to do in this department.
Balance is a struggle. The struggle is REAL, people!
I'm on this - don't worry. Check back in a year and I'll have mastered the future and..... wait.... I can't lie to my favourite readers. The future will always hold the unknown. And the unknown, even for the most well adjusted person in the whole widest world, is wholly terrifying.
I'm still happy to step into that abyss though.
It's looking back that I've forgotten to do.
I was driving out to Durham Forest this morning. I went on a whim, based on directions written in a Facebook post of a virtual stranger. It sounded cool. I had time. I went.
It was nervewracking - there's that future/anxiety/unknown thing again dammit.
No map. My phone died. No GPS watch even. Just me.
I was driving along a route going westward that I often run along. This fact didn't even occur to me, although I had earlier had a giggle at the irony of the fact that I was driving 20 minutes away to go for a run.
As I signalled to turn at road's end, I glanced in my rearview mirror. "Huh. I've run that road. Looks a lot different from this perspective. I've had some great runs here. Love that the sun breaks through the trees RIGHT THERE. I've seen that before. Oooh - never saw that fenceline there - how pretty!! Oh I remember that epic amazing....." And this is how it went on in my head.
And look again.
And again....and again.
I just could not get over how different, and yet the same, this wonderful nostalgic road looked to me when I looked at it backwards, instead of stepping forwards into it.
I don't often relive my history. I have many painful memories, ridiculous life fails, anger & blame filled relationships. I don't review my running races, because the first thing I do is see where I failed and how I should have done better. I don't reread my writing for the same reasoning.
When I look back I see failure. When I look back, I fail to see.
I had a fantastic childhood, in reality, though extremely dysfunctional. Sound familiar? Yep - like most of us. I played outside. I had food on the table, a roof over my head, a Mum who loved me. Security, friends, games, fun.
My WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE has been a blessing. I know this as 100% factual truth. Hard and challenging yes, like every other human in existence, but absolutely wondrous nonetheless. I have so many joyful and wonderful memories. Some so vivid that I can see the colours of them sharply in my mind's eye.
So why do we see so much of the bad when we look back? Are we bred to search for our mistakes so we are destined to not repeat them? Is this what overshadows the beauty of our lives?
This is a fitness/health blog - and to this end these ramblings have a point.
It is not our failures that define us. It is the simple victory of waking up another day to see the sun shine and marvel at the beauty of it all. That is who we are.
We cannot allow what was yesterday colour what is today, but simply allow it to inform us.
Lifting 40lb barbells yesterday was easy. Today it is impossible. Tomorrow...who knows, let's wait and see.
Last time I committed to a healthy lifestyle, I did it for three weeks and stopped. I failed.Today I am committing to be healthy again. I will take what I learned and use it to help me improve today. Tomorrow, I will simply do my best.
It's about time we change the conversation with our past.
It's high time we start looking back with objective eyes. To acknowledge the losses, learn from the wins and celebrate them both. To bask in the memories of the sublime as easily as we wade in the swamps of the miserable.
Next time you reach the end of a long road, turn and look back. Don't dwell on what wasn't right. Simply marvel at how far you have come, and bask in the brilliance of the journey.
Find Your CORE