It’s been a few weeks since I’ve forced my mind to share some thoughts. Truthfully we all need a reprieve on occasion and as the only staffer who does this weekly, there does come a point where I too must take a break.
In complete honesty there are many moments where I wonder, does anyone even care what this mommy ‘muses’ about anymore? My oldest is now eight so to say I’ve shared much of his and his sister’s life would be a gross understatement.
This week’s column has been prompted and in turn will be dedicated to an unsuspecting friend.
A few weeks ago our family attended a football viewing gathering and I was asked what I had written for the coming issue. My friend Kenny, who is apparently a follower, was curious. When I replied I had not written one as I had been off a few days he promptly replied, “What? Two weeks in a row. You’re slacking aren’t ya?”
Truthfully it both surprised me and made me giggle a bit. Being a person who likes to ‘surprise’ friends, I decided to use that as the jumping off point for my first few words in the 2013 year.
Kenny is the brother-in-law of my daughter’s Best Friend. Yes, you read that correctly. I have a girlfriend who has a special bond with my five-year-old and they in turn refer to one another as ‘BFF’s.’ It is cute and often comical as I listen to my daughter share with her schoolmates stories of her BFF (who just happens to be in her mid-40s).
During winter break I took the opportunity to make the best of a beautiful day and a scheduled 49er football game. I laced up my sneakers and ran to the home of my daughter’s BFF to take in a little game play among a few friends. Round trip distance from the friend’s house to mine is roughly five miles. That’s a typical morning run for me, so taking in a game at the halfway point was a fun and welcome change.
Brother-in-law Kenny was somewhat shocked when he realized I had actually ‘really’ arrived via my sneakers. He marveled over how I would get home. “Same way,” I chirped.
This led to a conversation on aging, as the guys noticed I had to approach the big screen at some point to check what quarter it was. Yes, the eyes … this is a whole other topic for another column.
As Kenny chuckled at my ‘newly’ learned diagnosis of near sightedness he offered that five years from now I wouldn’t be running over to the house as I just had. Honestly, three years ago I would have not only agreed with him but completely accepted this as truth. We all are getting older, after all.
The beauty of this lesson however is that, 10 years ago I could not have made that run from my house to my friend’s house one way (let alone round trip). I told this to Kenny and his eyes widened a bit.
“True story,” I told him. “This running thing is fairly new for me. Have you seen my children? They’re five and eight. I need to keep up.”
He laughed and promptly agreed.
As we embrace the 2013 year I am both excited and curious as to what challenges our readers have put before them.
I am not a subscriber to ‘Resolutions,’ I’ve shared my theory on that multiple times in this newspaper space. I always return to the wise words of a college professor who once challenged me by stating I should take on hurdles one week at a time.
‘Celebrate what you’ve done today,’ he stated. ‘Days are not guaranteed. To truly live life fully you must celebrate each day and each accomplishment as you take them on and complete them.’
Funny; thousands of dollars spent on college education and that is perhaps one of the best lessons I learned.
Yes, I am a goal setter but they have nothing to do with a date change on the calendar. I am always reassessing my life and trying to live it best for myself and my children. Reflection is a big part of my day in and day out life.
I’ve also come to learn that promising things to others is often a way to push myself to a positive end result.
It’s funny really. Typically speaking we beat ourselves up more when we let down a friend, than when we let ourselves down. Why is that?
All the ‘self-help’ experts preach and condone ‘putting yourself at the top of the list.’ I often wondered who they have at home to make this approach so easy to preach with such conviction.
Miraculously somewhere along life’s journey, I taught myself to do this. Is it easy? Absolutely not. But, is my family now benefitting from a happy and healthier me? Undeniably and emphatically yes.
So as you each finish your coffee and begin what’s left of your day… your year … I wish each of our readers much success in whatever plagues or challenges you. Life won’t wait, you know. It’s a puzzle with a million different combinations. The trick is finding the pieces that benefit you the best and in turn the rest of the world.
Happy New Year and thanks, Kenny, it was indeed time to get my words back in the paper. Cheers!
Teresa Hammond is circulation manager for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.