Friday, November 21, 2014

Ditch or Mountain

I love people watching.

But, I don't love being around groups of people in order to do it.

Enter Facebook.

I can people watch to my heart's content, all without putting on pants (which you must do when you go out in public to people watch or the boys in blue get a little uppity about the whole thing).

Today, in my people watching, a few of my fb friends pulled my attention in particular. One has been going through, well, I wouldn't call it a crisis of faith, but, more a need for deeper understanding that others seem to be determined to label as a crisis of faith. Then, another one has been with her husband in the hospital. He was admitted yesterday for what appears to be his first MS episode (attack? Flare? Outbreak? Lingo is tricky.) Then, someone who is not really a close friend, but our circles overlap on occasion, revealed that she has ended her marriage and her job, plus, her housing situation is changing. That is a lot to take on at once. Then, I have one more friend, one I spend a chunk of time with on a regular basis. She has been trying to fix her broken treadmill. As a runner, that is a tragedy right there.

I'm sure you are wondering what faith, MS, divorce, unemployment, and a broken treadmill have to do with each other.


They have nothing to do with each other.

But, these friends, they do. They are all dealing with things that can derail us in life. They can make us give up on goals, on ourselves. Not just the actual situations, but the reactions of others to our situations. Oh boy. The reactions of others. I'm not saying I am perfect with this (because I most certainly am not), but, when people decide they know all about what you are dealing with and just tell you why you are a moron, or, worse, tell everyone else why you are a moron... that is hard. Really hard. I have lots of words to say on that, but, I found this quote that says it much better:

"From where you sit, it may seem that certain people should know better. People are who they are and do what they do whether or not you like it or agree with them. We each have different lessons to learn. We each take a different path to our lessons." ~Iyanla Vanzant

I like that thought.

As I kept thinking of these people, my friend with the broken treadmill texted me. It was pretty great.

Friend: Hey, I fixed my treadmill.


Me: How?


Friend: I plugged it in.

I laughed and laughed. Isn't that what happens sometimes? Sometimes our problems are that simple. Of course, sometimes they aren't. But, again, what I took from that and all my friends I was thinking on today is that they all have problems of varying degrees of suckage. However, all of them are putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward. Pretty simple, like plugging in a treadmill to see if it works. But, it is the only way to move past problems, one tiny, simple step at a time.

I had one more thought on these ladies that I actually shared with one of them. I've come to realize my problems can be looked at as one of two things. Life has either shoved me into a ditch (or a shallow grave if you want to be dramatic about it) or life has plopped me down in front of a mountain to climb. If I decide I'm in a ditch, I may as well lay there and die (oh, the drama). But, if I decide I have a mountain in my way, I have options. I can walk up it, run up it, walk around it, dig through it... you see what I mean. I'll learn and grow and I'll keep moving. I like thinking life as a series of mountains to climb. Makes me feel like a tough chick.

One final thought I had as I people watched. There is a lot of responsibility being in the spectator's seat. As we watch people decide if they are in a ditch or climbing up a mountain, we can actually help them decide. If they pick ditch, we can grab a shovel and throw a little dirt, or we can walk on by and snub them. Or... we can trot on over and offer our hand to help them climb out. If they pick mountain, we can hike with them a little bit, or we can cheer them on. Maybe we can even show them a trail to make things easier. The thing is, we don't fully know why anyone is on the road they are on, and really, it isn't our business or our problem. No matter what, we are capable of making it a little easier for them, and really, that is where our focus should be.

I'm capping this off with a song that got me going on my run today. The singer wrote it for his son who was being made fun of for being a little different. It always brings the happy extra hard. I hope you like it.

Click here:

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