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Doing What We Can, When We Can and Let the Other Stuff Slide!

I love to run; not just because it keeps me at a healthy weight, but because it's fun!  The feel of those miles, of accomplishing something most people around  me don't do, it's amazing. There was a time when running was a huge part  of my day. But then I got pregnant. I tried to keep it up, but I was so  exhausted those first few months. Compound that with a husband who  deployed days before I found out I was pregnant, and things were not so  great. I gave up on running after the first couple months, telling  myself I'd get back into it after our son was born.

Another  baby and six years later, I'd really never gotten back into it. Lack of  a babysitter, lack of a car, lack of a husband, lack of a normal  schedule; all these things seemed to conspire against me every time I  tried to lace up my old running shoes. I did manage to walk fairly  regularly, a baby strapped to my chest and another in the stroller. It  was something, but I really longed to run. Guilt often appeared,  whispering that I could manage if I'd only try a little harder.

Then  we moved to the Bahamas and life got much, much slower. All those  things that had kept me from running were no longer true. There was no  baby to nurse, no missing husband or crazy schedule to dodge. Running  was suddenly possible, and I've seized the opportunity. I've worked  myself up to running a 5K, and plan on training for a half marathon  next.

I've heard people talk about how there are  seasons in our lives, times when different things shift to the front and  other things have to fall away. Even though it makes sense, I've had  trouble accepting it when it comes to me. There are so many things that  seem important. Sometimes it feels as if I approach everything with a  sense of guilt because of what I'm not doing at the moment. Motherhood seems to have made this much worse.

This  whole experience with running has finally drilled it into my head that  seasons in life pertains to me, too. Sure, I wish I'd been able to find  time to run when my kids were babies and their father was on a submarine  that was deploying twice a year, but I was struggling to keep up with  what was on my plate at the time. Throwing something more in there would  have just stretched me thinner, not made me happier. I focused on other things, things that were more in harmony with our life  circumstances and kept our family together. I'm thrilled that I have time to run right now, but no  longer feel as if my neglect of it before is something worthy of feeling  guilty over.

In sum, I think the most important thing is that we recognize what we  can do at a certain point in life and then just do it without worrying  about the other stuff that seems important, too.  Guilt is paralyzing. There's no point worrying about something that  just does not fit into your life. I want to always be able to look back on my life and realize that  every step of the way, I was accomplishing something. I may not have  been doing everything, but I was always doing something. Somehow, when I think about it like that, it seems enough.


 Ana is a restless soul who would love  to keep moving around the world the rest of her life. This is probably  why she married a submariner in the U.S Navy seven years ago. They have  two energetic little boys, and currently live in the Bahamas. She blogs  about life in paradise at Sunrise on the Water.

Pic from Flikr.

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