Saturday, October 18, 2014

first-world frills

kristin armstrong (famously and formerly mrs. lance armstrong) writes a column for runner's world magazine. i sometimes begin her essays by rolling my eyes, as her themes can be, uh, cloying.

but i read them. because by the end she almost always wins me over with her relentless sincerity and a genuinely perceptive insight or two. and i think, "she got me again. i don't know how, but she did."

this one, for example:

"There is a vast difference between giving up and letting go. Giving up implies a spirit of 'I don’t care,' ~ letting go implies 'I care so much that I won’t do this anymore.'"

today, it was this innocuous thought experiment:

"I decided to write down a list of little luxuries in my gratitude journal, thinking I would have about ten or fifteen. Once I got started I simply could not stop...and I suddenly remembered everything I loved. We forget sometimes, in our rush to do everything and be everywhere for everyone."
at first i dismissed the whole thing as silly. a 'gratitude journal'? is that even a real thing? (editorial note: it is a real thing, and i know it's a real thing, but...seriously?) then i read her list and thought, "whatever, fine, it might be interesting."

it turns out i have a list...

recently washed dogs. an unexpected and spectacular progress report from the boy's school. nonchalant scholastic overachievement by the girl. grocery shopping. being the designated dinner-maker. a closet full of running gear. new running shoes. breakfast at serendipity. the magnolia farmers market. friday afternoons. sleeping in on sunday. time devoid of commitment. moments of clarity. fresh pineapple. crispy kale. running in the rain. a quick commute. telling someone, "nice job" and watching them light up. helping out the homeless guy at the i-5 on-ramp. helping out any homeless person. writing. carving out time to read a book. updating my running log. researching two 50k races for 2015. two cats in the yard. crossing a finish line. naps. hugs from the girl. an occasional smile from the boy. not taking any of these things for granted.

and finally, this twitter account... 

there are more, and i've discovered i could spend a long time compiling them. not that i needed a reminder how ridiculously fortunate we are that any of the above are true. i'm aware of them every day. 

it's a good list.

she got me again.

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