Appreciate the Lows

Welcome to the new week, Oatmealers.  This marks the beginning of the 4-week-count-down to summer vacation and the great return to society.  It sort of snuck up on me, even though I’ve been boxing up and sorting out all of our closets, drawers, and cupboards.  The end of the school year always seemed like this mirage that was slightly blurry, but observable.  You want to see it so desperately at times, but it just doesn’t quite seem real.  Anti tangible.  Well as I flipped my calendar over today, I realized that today marks the beginning of the last four weeks.  I will only go through this thrice more:

I’ve been thinking a lot about our time here on the island.  There was a time where I thought the best thing in the world would be to raise up anchor and start our married life in a totally new place; take a negative in our teaching positions in Detroit being eliminated and turn that lemon into lemonade.  And that’s what we did.  I have compiled a list of all the unnecessary stresses that I SO looked forward to crossing out of my life:

  • Family Drama
  • Road Rage
  • Grocery Shopping
  • Dodging all of the Budget-Busting Pitfalls
  • Plain old familiarity – being locked down by your past and all those things about yourself that you wish everyone, but mostly that I would forget about me

Put it all in a box, throw it in the ocean, and gone for good.  That’s how it works, right?

Yea, didn’t think.  In fact, I know so.  No matter how much you think that you can ignore the issues that have brought you down or you find to be negative (those dandies that belong in the Pacific?) they never really go away.  Case in point: working with difficult people.

I worked with a woman while I was college who was TOTALLY cranky, ALL.THE.TIME.  She was just miserable and never had a pleasant thing to say.  It was my job to check in with her on a daily basis to see if there was anything I could help her with.  She pretty much considered me to be worthless because I was just a college student, and “it would be faster for me to just do it myself.”  I took it personally and vowed my revenge on her after coming home with hurt feelings almost every day.

It took me a long time, but what I have learned is that the behavior of others rarely has anything directly to do with me, and even more sparsely for it to be a direct cause of something I’ve done or said.  The world doesn’t revolve around me?  SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!

I would never have learned the lesson of Q-TIP (Quit Taking It Personally) if I hadn’t gone through that work experience, and ones like them.  And I still struggle with it now and again, but it’s easier to let the water roll off this duck’s back.

So what does this have to do with anything I’ve said previously?  I’m getting there.  What I’ve learned is to appreciate the lows, being belittled by a crusty coworker, because they make the highs that much better.

Being away from all of the “negatives” or things that I took for granted for the past two years have made me appreciate them all that much more.  There were times when I would throw half a tantrum about being expected to show up to a family dinner or visit So-And-So because I had SOOOOO many more important things to do with my time.

Now, I’m looking forward to experiencing all of the things that I felt were just a pain in the butt.  Now does this mean I can’t wait to get in a four-hour traffic jam?  Of course not, but I will be able to go through the experience and remember that things aren’t quite as bad as what I thought.  Now, I’ll appreciate being able to plug in my iTouch and listen to a few podcasts that I normally wouldn’t have time to enjoy had the entire metro Detroit area not chosen to merge on to 275 at the same time.  Just a new perspective.

And how does this impact my running, cause you know it’s got to come around to that neck of the woods?  Yesterday, I was able to run my fastest five miles ever.  I ran them in less than 40 minutes.

That’s something that’s amazing to me.  This is the culmination of all those walk/jogs, jogs, run/walks, runs that came before this.  The times I wanted to throw in the towel, the times that I did, and the times in which I thought my lungs would burst out of my chest.  This five miler wasn’t easy just because I could do it.   I proved to me that I could do it.  And for this and this alone, it was worth it.

When the cable, internet, and phones went down all at the same time;

When our flights were delayed, then delayed, and delayed a third time before being cancelled completely;

Snow drifts taller than the house;

Wind speeds that crept into the triple digits;

Missing my mother so terribly I didn’t think I could breath;

Our trip to St. Paul Island was worth it.  Forever, it will be worth it.

One thought on “Appreciate the Lows

  1. Pingback: My Other Blog is Fancy « A Lit Candle

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