I set out to go for a short run in my neighborhood this morning. The weather was pretty gloomy, as it has been for the last few days, but I opted to run outside because I knew I needed it.
This year has been heavy for everyone for many reasons, but for me it has been especially heavy since my mom died in April.
Being in the midst of such grief and uncertainty has me craving consistency, stability, and certainty more than ever before. That’s why I choose to run the same familiar route around my neighborhood more often than not, very rarely switching it up to run a different route that ventures out along the road.
Normally I would beat myself up for running the same route at the same pace, day after day, and not really pushing myself to run any farther or any faster. But like I said, I am craving consistency, stability, and certainty right now and this route provides just that.
I can just run mindlessly through my neighborhood without putting any thought into where to turn or when to stop for traffic. I can listen to my music or podcast without having to worry about being hit by a car.
I see the same two older women walking at various points during my run and I wave to them every single time. I see the same younger woman walking her adorable black lab puppy named Luther who I am head over heels in love with.
I run the exact same distance along the exact same route at almost the exact same pace and I’m actually pretty okay with it for once in my life.
While I was running this morning, my fresh legs and running playlist begged me to run faster, but my soul told me to keep it slow and so I did. My first mile time popped up on my running watch. 10:27. I would normally beat myself up for not running faster, but this morning I smiled as I realized that was also today’s date. 10/27.
At the exact same moment, Lady Gaga’s song “The Cure” started playing in my ears. A friend introduced me to the song and its lyrics and it has reminded me of my mom ever since. It was as if she was trying to tell me that in that moment I was exactly where I needed to be, doing exactly what I needed to be doing.
So friends, let this be a reminder.
It’s okay to go slow when you’re busy feeding your soul.
It’s okay to do what brings you consistency, stability, and certainty.
It’s okay to only cover distances that feel safe and familiar and in your control.
Don’t let life’s obstacles and uncertainties consume you.
Look for the signs. They are guiding you to exactly where you’re supposed to be.
Keep doing the next right thing.
And you will get through this.