I’ve been feeling down.
I’ve been tired from all the adjustments of moving. Of a changed life. Of a new job. Of organizing the end of my life in Augusta and the beginning of life in Cedar Rapids. These things have been weighing me down. We all get that way from time to time (at least I like to think I’m not the only one who gets bogged down in bill paying and laundry folding.) I quit writing for a time. I quit reading. I became a little dark blob. I needed some inspiration – a pep talk from some great speaker; something to kick me back out to the path that I love and want to be on.
There are many internet “inspirations.” Memes are the current mode-de-inspiration (see above). There are serious ones. Memes with animals telling you to be happy. Memes with beautiful landscapes and notes about seizing the day or living authentically. But, when was the last time you were really inspired? I mean like the drop-what-you-are-doing-and-go-do-something-with-your-life inspired? It’s been a while for me. And, as the days get longer and darker, it is easy to not be inspired. Or motivated. And to make excuses.
Once upon a time I had the idea that I would participate in a triathlon. I went to several. I subscribed to the magazine. I felt athletic. I bought some shoes. I talked about it to anyone who would listen. Well, feeling like one wants to do a triathlon and talking about it and reading about it does not prepare a person to do it. However, last weekend two of my friends competed in the Ironman Chattanooga Triathlon. You read that right. They swam 2.4 miles; they biked 112 miles; they ran 26.2 miles. In a row. Voluntarily. Without stopping.
Of course, I was rooting for them from afar and via Facebook “likes.” The thing is these two women spent a year (or more!) training to participate in this event. Then they went there and did it. They may have subscribed to the magazine and bought the shoes, but what is inspiring is that they put their time and energy and money where their desire was and did an Ironman.
This weekend, I saw two more friends who inspired me. These are two men, both of whom lost their wives to breast cancer in the past few years. I’m sure that if asked these men would both deny that they are inspiring; they would attribute all inspiration to their wives. But, these men participated in breast cancer awareness and fund raising runs this weekend. They did so in memory of their beloved. These are men who not only lost their loves, but they have carried on caring for children, continuing careers, maintaining friendships, and cultivating rich personal lives in the wake of real tragedy.
I know I could mine my Facebook page, talk with friends, review my own family. There is inspiration everywhere. So, why exactly have I been down? What real excuse can I possibly pretend to have for not being inspired? Inspiration – personal, upfront inspiration is everywhere.
I’m (probably) not going to do a triathlon. I have suffered losses. Here’s what I have realized this week: I need to acknowledge the inspiration that surrounds me every day. This is my humble offering: a new blog format. More writing. More variety. More frequency.
Join me in finding inspiration and following it in your own personal and real way.
(Dedicated to Katie, Shannan, Todd, and Tom)