My mom, Gloria, has been visiting with us for a few weeks and we luckily have been blessed with great weather that is just perfect for going outside.
So Mom and I have made it a mission to get outside for a nice “walk and bitch” as often as we can. (Bitch is a verb here; not a noun ☺). That means we gossip and vent as we get our exercise, clearing our brains of whatever is annoying us. That daily constitution burns off calories and evaporates resentments, grudges and slights that might have been pooling in our heads. We also indulge in a delicious helping of our favorite mental junk food: gossip about other people. The talking brings us closer and helps us feel wonderful afterwards, and the walking helps us justify the glasses of wine we have been enjoying nightly.
Until yesterday we had been driving to a relatively flat neighborhood at the end of a steep hill in front of our house to make things easier for Mom. But yesterday we decided to leave the car in the garage and try to tackle that hill. After a few hundred feet of hill, Mom turned to me and told me she wanted to turn around and go back home…that the hill was way too much for her. But we decided to keep going and try to make it to the top, to the flatter neighborhood where the walking would be easier. We agreed that we’d take little baby steps to do it, and we’d stop to rest along the way if needed.
Well, a few minutes later we were at the top of this steep hill, looking down at what we conquered. We continued through the rest of the walking route and ended up doing about 1 ½ miles. We saw a lot of youthful runners out there, sweating and pushing themselves, but we just went at our own pace. It felt really great and now we can’t wait to do it again.
I bring this up because all of us, regardless of age, sometimes deprive ourselves of challenges because of our perceived limitations. I see it in our 13-year-old son John, who didn’t want to tackle an optional, extra-credit math paper because he struggles with that subject. He took his time, saved some of the harder problems for the morning when he’s more alert, and got it done.
I see it in myself as well, when I look at my past mistakes and my weaknesses and think I’m not as strong or as capable as others. Maybe I just need more time to think things through and to take a baby step at a time.
Nearly anything is possible if we just have faith in ourselves and take our time. We may bitch and moan along the way, but once we get there the view from the hill is great.