This is me in July 1976 at the Alabama AAU Championship Meet at Troy State University. I had just finished competing in the 6 mile open division.
I've not adding anything new here this week because I've been busy with life. That to me is the hardest part of living life. I make plans...then life happens and throws my plans out the window. But I'm still standing and I'm still running.
My stress this past week was my staff being out of the office. On any day, I had two or maybe three members working. In fact on Thursday there were only two of us in the office the whole day. And the work load was the same as any other day. My sanity was maintained because my daughter (#3) forced me out to run at sundown. The quiet and solitude was there, but my daughter, not normally a talkative runner, had all kinds of hard life questions she wanted to ask. In our conversation, one point that M. Scott Peck repeatedly makes in his books kept rising to the surface. "Life is difficult." And I would add that it is this overcoming of life's problems where we truly live.
I've also started to read Paulo Coelho's new book Brida. In the introduction he talks about each person taking one of two attitudes to life. The first is the builder who in his words: "...builders take years over their tasks, but one day, they finish what they're doing. Then they find they're hemmed in by their own walls. Life loses it meaning when the building stops." The second attitude is that of the gardener: "They endure storms and all the many vicissitudes of the seasons, and they rarely rest. But unlike a building, a garden never stops growing. And while it requires the gardener's constant attention, it also allows life for the gardener to be a great adventure."
When I read these words last night it put this week...and my life in a new perspective. I'm 50 years old and I'm thinking about going back to school to earn a second doctoral degree...I'm still trying to improve my running, though I'm long past my prime...I've helped two of my daughters grow up and get out of the house, but I've still got two more children at home to help them plot courses through life... I always thought I was building my life and at some point I would be able to look on my life and setback and enjoy the fruit of my work. After reading Coelho's words...I really think I'm a gardener and I'm enjoying my fruit as I work. So some weeks will be tougher than others, some seasons will be more productive then others...but the great adventure is still out there and comes everyday. I guess I want to see myself as the gardener for lots of reason but the most important one is that I know God gives the rain and the growth.