from my home in Santa Monica. While enjoying the majestic beauty of the impending sunset (my favorite thing) ....
I saw an elderly woman walk out onto the sand. I expected her to slowly wander along. She walked for a bit, but then her gait picked up and as her creaky body fell into her own timeless rhythm she looked the same as any runner I know. I remember wondering how many miles she had run over her lifetime, how she could run so smoothly over uneven sand without shoes, and how she got so lucky to still be able to run when most of her friends probably needed a cane. That evening, I understood what health meant to me, and knew what I wanted to grow into. Suddenly exercise - but, really health - took on a whole new meaning.
People have been asking me a lot lately if I am going to race again. I always hesitate…knowing deep inside that I'd rather run a little bit for a long time than run a lot and have to stop. I wonder about this, about where the line is for me.
I've been struggling a lot lately with feeling good enough. Good enough for what, or for whom (??) - only I can really challenge myself with those questions, or understand where the challenge lies. Sometimes I have a spell of weeks where I feel contentedly 'good enough.' It is enough that I get out there and try, over and over again, every day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.
Some weeks, good enough is pretty damn good. I look at the vision staring back at me in the mirror and feel proud. I know she is doing the best she can.
And then it happens, a wave of doubt leaves me sputtering and gasping for air and suddenly 'good enough' is up for debate.
I am a practical woman… I know that wishing is for stars and change comes to those who pursue it. It's just that the sheer overwhelming nature of just living, of desperately trying to create a life worth something, can make my head spin. Suddenly all the things I'm not doing eclipse everything that I am doing well. (Does anyone else do this???) We had work reviews today, basically a goal setting session for 2011. Even in the midst of all the positives and praise, I fixated on what I should and could be doing better. Nothing motivates me like success - and not success tied with financial prosperity (although who wouldn't love a great Christmas?) - but success intrinsically tied to doing my job(s) well, pleasing my boss and colleagues and furthering their belief in me...but all of this, to me the greatest success is being HAPPY.
In these moments where good enough no longer feels like enough…I need to stop and breathe. I need to figure out if the voice that is convicting me is the voice of truth, calling me in earnest to step up my game…or, if it is the voice of doubt whose sole purpose is to undermine my core. I need to respond to the truth. I need to turn up my iPod on doubt.
So will I ever race again? Does it even matter if I do, really? Will I think less of myself if I choose to quit? Will I live with the sting of regret if, for the first time in my life, I give in to fear? I'm not sure I have the answers to those questions...my ability to sleep would be even worse if I really thought about all of this. But in the still of the night...when it is quiet...and dark....and loneliness jumps into her side of the bed...I sigh heavily as I force the calming ideal in my head...
It is indeed possible to be good enough in the midst of trying to get better.