The word gracious means “courteous, kind, and pleasant.” I’ve been struggling with being gracious this week. I’ve been struggling with being patient, too.
It’s been one of those weeks where you just wish you were an irresponsible jane, and, instead, you’re gal wonder – making the magic happen and losing your sh*t in the process. This is not my favorite place to be. So I’m owning it and thinking about what I can learn from it.
I overanalyze. I have limits. I am human and imperfect – and that’s okay. I’m also not indispensable – as much as I might like to think otherwise. 🙂
It’s times like these that I know I need to go for a long run to clear my head or lift weights to refocus my mind on the movement. Exercise is self-care, and, for me, it’s one of my non-negotiables. (Good thing I’m due for a run first thing in the morning!)
When I’m feeling stressed out or cranky – or I want to eat EVERY salty snack in sight – taking care of myself with a workout is one of my known solutions. Figuring this out did not happen overnight, and, even now, I don’t always follow my own manual for achieving outstanding human performance. However, it’s much easier to handle stress when I’m being kind to myself. For me, exercise is kindness, graciousness. …And it helps me to continue to be kind to and patient with others, even when life becomes stressful.
I know that some consider exercise to be punishment, and this makes me sad. If what you are doing to get or stay in shape isn’t fun, then why are you doing it? My recommendation is to try something else – there has to be some type of exercise out there that you like to do, and if you don’t experiment, you may never find it.
I didn’t grow up a runner and didn’t think I’d have a completed marathon in my personal race results. Ever. (For the record, I will be signing up for my second marathon on Monday.) As a kid, I was about average for physical activity; I played tennis over the summer, followed along with aerobics videos while over at a friend’s house every so often, and participated in physical education at school. I didn’t play any sports in high school and only got into fitness in college – learning to swim as an adult and taking various dance and yoga classes. From there, I continued with the swimming and dancing, added in soccer, and found that I really loved running by accident. I also found some things that I didn’t like (spinning, if you’re curious).
You can feel it in your body, when you’ve found the thing that speaks to you. For me, it’s a feeling of immense joy – knowing that I’m home, that I’ve found my place and am in my element. I want this for you. It doesn’t have to be running. It’s whatever works for you and makes you feel happy and carefree.
I’m looking forward to my long run tomorrow. I know that being kind to myself is just what I need right now.