Last Friday, while sitting on a lounge chair in the backyard with a book in my hand and a cool breeze blowing my hair, my thoughts took me back to another windy day last April.
Strangely enough, it was a Friday as well and I was just getting ready to run a marathon the next morning. Like just before all my races I felt nervous yet excited and hoped that the warm wind that was blowing was just bringing in warmer weather and not a snow storm like it often will mid-April in Utah. (yeah, I don’t miss that)
Earlier that evening, after a great pasta dinner with my family I felt an urgency to run my errands and get to my destination, thinking that being well prepared for my morning would help the queasiness in my stomach disappear. However, after grabbing whatever gear I needed for the race, I felt no need to rush around at all. I walked around the familiar landscape and distinctly remember how young and alive I felt that night. I was like a teenager again with all of the same old feelings swirling around in the breeze; hopefulness, wonder and excitement. I didn’t want that night to end. I felt free of many things, even if it were only for an instant.
I started to think of other moments of pure reflection and sure enough, quite a few of those also took place in parking lots. Not long ago I sat in my Dr.’s office parking lot in a happy daze with the news that we would be adding another boy to our family. That wonderful drive home I pictured my two boys playing and exploring together. It was like seeing our neighborhood parks and streets with new eyes as I visualized a new little boy playing and riding on one of the many bike ramps around here.
Other times were much more confusing; there was the baseball field parking lot where I struggled with thoughts of the direction I wanted my life to go. The strip mall parking lot at 2:30 in the morning where I had to stop because the tears were making it impossible to drive anymore. That night I couldn’t foresee anything positive in my future. Little did I know that that one, horrible night would end up being what was needed to fix so many other problems.
There are so many other experiences and moments that have shaped who I am, and I mostly shy away from blogging those thoughts and memories that were painful. I guess I’m just trying to say that everyone has struggles and problems, and me and my life are no exception. But I know that all those times, good or bad, are also what helps me gauge my progress. I never realized that opposition would help to get me back on track. That’s the whole trick isn’t it? To make just enough mistakes to learn, and hopefully not too many to really screw things up!
Actually, I don’t believe that you can make too many mistakes. If those around me thought in terms of the “three strikes you’re out” rule, I would have been on my own for a very long time now. Knowing that I will always be taken back in, forgiven and loved makes me want to try and be a better person. It also helps me to remember to apply that to everyone. No three strikes in my book anymore. And you know what? That feels good. Really good.
I’m not sure where this post is going. It’s been a while since I just plopped down whatever was in my head and it was just time to do that. Maybe I’m just realizing how rare it is when I am out of the house on my own too! Seriously. I treasure those times where I go somewhere all alone and have that short period of time to listen to my own music and to let my mind wander. Who gets excited for Dr. visits or late night grocery runs just for that? Wow. It’s time for a vacation…