Friday, December 23, 2011

Holiday Reflections - Taking a Break from Life and Running

I have a confession to make ladies - I was reluctant to come to Oklahoma this Christmas! Not because it meant spending time with my in-laws, but because I had fallen into a cycle of " busy-ness," with a daily " to-do" list that my A-Type personality demanded I try and conquer every day (Carey Clark-Hicks pointed out my A-Type personality trait at the Tinsel Trot 10k, when I, and a few of my WOOT companions, weasled our way up towards the front of the start line to ensure a good racing position).

During the days and weeks leading up to our trip, I tried hard to keep a positive attitude, but I found myself often making snippy remarks to those I'm close to; remarks that implied how much of an inconvenience the timing of our trip was, or remarks about how horribly cold it is in Oklahoma, or dare I say it, even remarks about how our trip was going to interfere with and set me back in my marathon training!

Considering how negative my mindset was the morning we left for the airport, I was not prepared for the pleasant turn of events that lay ahead. One thing about taking a vacation is that you can no longer control the life that you momentarily leave behind. Ordinarily I would consider that a bad thing, just as I did prior to leaving for Oklahoma, but surprisingly it's turned out to be a good thing.

Waking up each morning with no agenda, except to spend time with my family, has forced me to stop and reflect on the things that matter most in life. It's not too often that I take the time to indulge in a little " down" time and enjoy being with my family. Yes, we're together most days, and we talk and do and share things together, but I'm not sure we always appreciate being together.

I haven't completely put everything aside on this trip; I've managed to get a few runs in, and obviously I'm tapping away on the keyboard right now, like I would back home, but for the most part I'm allowing myself the opportunity to filter out the toxic remnants of my busy lifestyle and replace them instead with the creation of new family memories that will be treasured for a lifetime.

With Christmas on the back side of us now, and a new year waiting to greet us, I hope this post will encourage you to slow the pace down a little too, and enjoy the brief time spent at home or abroad with loved ones. It took a trip to Oklahoma for me to regroup my thoughts and realize that the world won't come to an end if I don't accomplish all my tasks, and that school holidays are actually a time that should be embraced with an attitude of joy and gratefulness.

I also now realize that my sometimes compulsive behavior, which drives me to work hard and stay busy, is a trait that needs to be kept in check if I want my family life to be healthy. If I strive hard to maintain a healthy mind and body, then it follows that I should try to do the same when it comes to my family.

With that in mind, I want to remember this holiday when all of next year's holidays roll around; I want to remember so that I can fill my mind with all the reasons why life needs to be put on hold every once in a while. If it weren't for these brief holiday interludes, it would be so easy to fall into a rut and start taking the time we spend with our children and spouses for granted.

So on that note, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas from myself and my family here in Oklahoma! And to those of you who have your children, spouses, and other family members home with you for the holiday season, I wish you all a time of great peace and happiness together.

Enjoying watching the girls decorate the tree with their grandma

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