Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Road to Forgiveness

Over the years I have noticed this shift in myself. This inability to handle people who are manipulative, mean or passive aggressive. Chalk it up to age or experience or just shear exhaustion of living life the other way... living with an emotionally abusive parent for years will do that to you. 
I think I have always tended on the side of transparency and maybe even bordered on brutal honesty. Although, I'm sure if you asked Chris about my communication skills, he would tell you that I have my fair share of "shut down" moments where I am a horrible communicator. I hate that about myself and it is something I have actively tried to work on these past few years.

Still, I would like to believe that I try to give people the benefit of the doubt and even though I'm not perfect, I try to be gracious with other people's feelings. I'm not perfect but I try.

For some reason, this week has been a complete barrage of people being insensitive to just down right malicious. One day in particular was filled with back to back cry worthy moments.... and these incidences were from people I love dearly to complete strangers. It hurt... a lot. 

Over the course of the night I became more and more angry that I was being treated this way. I let it stew inside and it began to fester like mold taking over rotten fruit. 

I just couldn't let it go. I mean... It's not like I'm perfect. I hurt people all of the time and I say things carelessly too... not realizing how it might be perceived. I really do try to be gracious with others. Especially when you just never know what is going on with the other person. Again.... giving benefit of the doubt here is so key. So, why was I the brunt of so much animosity? Why were my feelings not being considered? By the end of the day I felt defeated and utterly exhausted from it all. 

 I came home and curled up in the arms of my husband and I cried and vented and cried some more... until I eventually fell asleep. 
This week has been long and it has taken a toll on me. Most of today I have been thinking about why I just couldn't let it all go. Even after people said their apologies and validation was given... I still felt this anger simmering beneath the surface. I was still hurt. I hadn't forgiven them. 

Even if there was no "I'm sorry" or validation or redemption. I still need to forgive. I know all too well that holding on to that type of resentment does no good. It harms no one but myself and the festering will only get worse and more caustic as time goes on. I still haven't sat down long enough to really sort it all out and I probably need to just pray for the grace to let go. 

Such a simple concept that is so difficult to execute. The road to forgiveness is humbling and difficult to traverse. It is a two way road. The ability to give the benefit of the doubt even in the midst of mistake. The choice to let it go for your own sake. Trusting that justice will prevail in the end. 

 I need to forgive for the sake of others.... but also for me too. Cause one day, soon I'm sure, I will need someone to do the same for me. And to be honest... I think our world can use a little bit more forgiveness... don't you?

Monday, August 13, 2012

On the Other Side

Running 3 marathons in 2 months totally wiped me out last year. (Not to mention the handful of half marathons and other shorter races I did) I know people who have done 52 marathons in one year and in comparison I kept telling myself that 3 marathons is not that much. I felt bad for not being able to keep up and dropping out of the racing scene the way that I did after becoming a marathon maniac.
Hi, my name is Andi and I am crazy.
3 marathons in less than 60 days is INSANE. 
(Hence the name "marathon maniac" and being initiated into the maniac 'insane asylum'.)
I have to remember to give myself grace sometimes... what is okay for everyone else might not be okay for me... and that is okay too.

I wasn't sure if I would ever come around to running again. So... I took a year off of racing and decided that I would wait until my favorite half marathon came around this fall to race again. That red loop you see on my trail shoes is from that race last year. I haven't removed it yet. A reminder of what I used to love about running. 
A reminder of what is waiting for me on the other side. 
Well, it has been a long year so far and it has taken me some time to get back here.... but I think I can safely say that I am falling in love with running again and I am so ecstatic. 
I am running 3-5 days a week. Short runs, long runs, speed work. It is all coming back and I love it. 
I have even signed up to meet with a trainer to work on my pacing and I will be doing a ChiRunning workshop this weekend to work on my form. 

I am realizing now that I need running in my life. It is my place to go and be alone with my own thoughts. A place to process life and settle into my soul a little deeper. Being the introvert that I am, this is something I have underestimated in my daily life and especially in my marriage. How much I still need alone time even after getting married... I still desperately need that time to re-energize and sift through what my heart is holding onto. It is a wonderful gift... running is my gift. To my health, to my sanity, to my husband too because it makes me a better partner. I love running and I need it in my life.
And anyways... how could you not love running when you run in a place as gorgeous as this?
Welcome to the other side friend... 
the grass really is much greener here.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Breaking Heart

Today my heart is breaking. I heard news from my BFF Ami this week that my sweet little girl, Petra is in the hospital with a ruptured appendix. She had surgery the other day and has been in the pediatric surgical unit for a few days for post-op monitoring. It has been a really rough week for them. With Petra in the hospital and Thea, the oldest at home with a 103 degree temp. and a bad case of the flu. The youngest one probably has no clue what to make of it all. It has been quite traumatic for the whole family and it has been so painful to be 4 states away in the midst of it all. 

I miss them dearly and when I picture seeing this sad little face with tears streaming down from the turmoil that has been this week... not to mention the sheer pain of having appendicitis! Ugh, fly me out to Dallas already!

Poor, poor kid. I spoke to her on the phone today and I was glad that I could connect with her for a minute. I know they will all be okay and that 'this too shall pass'... it's just so painful to be away from those that you love... especially when life has just thrown them some huge curve balls. 
I can't even imagine if I ever have my own children... I will probably be a huge disaster when they get sick. It just completely breaks my heart to pieces when kids are sick... it must be so much worse when they are your own! Hopefully in the fall I will be able to visit them but in the meantime I will settle for phone calls and skype chats and imaginary hugs. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Nerves and such

Right now I'm at Starbucks, waiting for my husband who is having his wisdom teeth pulled out. It's nice to sit and write and think for a bit. Life has been overwhelming lately.
 I just finished my first section of classes and I could not be more relieved. I did well. Got an A in my technical writing class (which was not easy!) and so far I'm holding an A in my professional nursing class, so thats happy. It's been tough to keep up with all the writing that we have, but I've managed.

Last weekend Chris and I travelled up north along the coast to a small town called Gualala. Just for a night to get away and while it was a beautiful drive it was also terrifying.

 Over the past year or so I have been struggling with having panic attacks in high or crowded places. For example: driving over bridges, getting stuck in gridlock traffic in the far left lane with no way to get out, airplanes in which you are stuck in for hours, driving on cliffy roads that have a drop off of about 1400 feet... diving into the ocean below.

Yeah those types of things will riddle me with fear...

Well, I had a full blown panic attack on the way up AND down the coast, which made for a very difficult trip for the both of us. My husband does not deal with anxiety well and since he has never had a panic attack himself... well for those of you who have had one, you know how awful it can be... but when you haven't had one it's confusing and frustrating. It wasn't until I told him that it literally feels like someone is holding a gun to your head, that he got it. It honestly feels like your heart is going to beat out of your chest and you are going to die at any moment.

We both just didn't know how to handle each other and it was one of those moments where you realize that marriage has such a huge learning curve. How to support each other when you are at your worst... even when your partner can't communicate what they need. Just being there. It isn't easy.

This entire week there has been this tightness in my chest. An overwhelming sense that there is something more to my anxiety then a physical problem. There is something I need to sort out and when I settle into the rare, quiet moments... it is there. This heaviness that needs lifting.

I have a feeling that if I let myself sit still long enough.... that if I quieted my racing mind and just listened to what my heart is trying to say... I would break open and fall to pieces.

I'm not ready for that though... so for now I am holding it together and trying to be gracious. In a few weeks I have 18 days off of work and I am looking forward to that time. Time to take care of me. To take a breath and let it out. To calm my frayed nerves... and hopefully spend some good quality time with my husband. That is what I am holding on for. Until then its one step at a time and a few long runs to keep me sane.