Wednesday, September 18, 2019

RUN(derful) & RIDE(rful) Wednesday

HAPPY WEDNESDAY GUYS! Ahhhh! We made it! It's all downhill from here (and that's GREAT news when it comes to running and biking). 😄

No matter what goes on in our lives, it's important to live in the moment and to focus on what's important to us. It's important to appreciate the time we spend doing what we do, whether that's work (or an aspect of work), learning new skills at the track with friends, picking up a new hobby or attending a class. Lately, I've been thinking about several aspects regarding friendship, relationships and personal accountability in a general setting. The more we grow and experience the world, the more we begin to realize that our willingness to bend over backwards for friendships and relationships of any kind begins to quickly dwindle, and for different reasons.  

This week's thoughts include:

Setting yourself on fire may be a bit intense, but sometimes we feel expected to cater to someone else in order to keep them happy. My first experience with this was in 5th grade; we had just finished a graduation party celebrating our grade's ascent into middle school, and my friend Shelly handed me a note - this was back when friends wrote each other letters during class and passed them out either before or after the next class. Shelly's note told me in no uncertain terms that if I wanted to hang out with her and be cool next year, I needed to drop all my other friends. Wait, what?! First of all, I was slightly confused and wasn't sure weather to laugh or be offended. Shelly was going into band, and all due respect to band, but in what universe is that cool? I was taken aback by her audacity and heavy abuse at the slightest perception of personal power, and rightly so. I realized who she was at that moment, and I didn't feel that a letter like that from a so-called close friend justified a response. Long story short, the next year in 6th grade I had a TON of fun with my friends, and Shelly became a tiny blip on the radar throughout middle and high school. I made the choice not to sacrifice what (and who) made me the happiest in order to make someone else happy. 

It hasn't all been that easy though, especially if you're a pleaser. Growing up, I hated it when someone was upset with me, even if I had done nothing to cause their negative feelings. It took me a while before I realized the futility and sacrifice of living a life by trying to make everyone happy. There are instances, especially as we get older, where the decisions we know we have to make aren't so cut and dry. Making the decision to destroy something about yourself, your happiness, or your trajectory in life may not be wrapped up in one large request. It's sneakier to recognize when it consists of lots of smaller actions over the course of time, for example, consistently doing small things to appease someone else. All of a sudden, you may look back and not know how you got to the place you did. 

Feeling obligated to go above and beyond, or even damage things about yourself to make someone else happy is a slippery slope. When does the line become crossed? Doing anything and everything for sports coaches despite what you feel is right is another aspect of that as well. In the end, all you can do is be honest with yourself, and always be giving. By "be giving", I mean give love, kindness and respect, but don't give everything you have to make someone else happy or content. You are not responsible for anyone else's "warm" happy feelings. 

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