Cleaning Up

When I clean, I tend to rearrange things. Cabinet contents, drawers, closets, counter-top appliances, sometimes furniture. I’m not sure why I do it – maybe my surroundings don’t really seem clean if I don’t look at them from a different perspective. My family mostly rolls their eyes when their favorite chair is positioned on the opposite side of the room or when the book basket has mysteriously disappeared. I’ve noticed that I started doing it with this blog too. My side-bar changes all the time – things shift from bottom to top and back again. I’ve even changed my web address three times in the last month.

I’ve been doing a lot of emotional cleaning, purging negativity, but I have forgotten to rearrange my thought process to match. I’ve forgotten to look at myself from a different perspective, until yesterday.

On Sunday, my team of girls, my family and two other schools ran a Mock 5k to prepare ourselves for our big celebration run that is coming on May 23rd. It is a great way for the communities to come together. It helps give a clearer picture for the girls and their families of what a 5k looks and feels like both physically and mentally. It was an awesome turn-out. About 100 people or more participated. We put together a family pot-luck lunch afterward too; the tables were overflowing with generosity.

About 4 hours before the event started I was at home baking a batch of unnecessary stress. I kneaded at it, rolling it around and around in my gut, worrying about whether or not I would have enough water at the water station for everyone or if all of the girls would have an adequate running partner. I worried that the other coaches or parents would think I was a big loser for thinking I could encourage a team of runners when I myself was not a runner. What if I was the last runner across the finish? I was so worried about making sure we were able to claim the unreserved pavilion that I made poor DW get there with me an hour and a half before the event started. Once the signs were hung, the food was organized and encouraging words were chalked on the trail, all I could do was sit there and wait. Wait for no one to show up. Wait for people to laugh at the out of breath lady who will barely finish what she started. Wait for this event to be over. I was beginning to feel a little crazy at that point.

Me: ” Hare – stop walking on top of all the picnic tables. People are going to eat there!”

The Hare got off the tops of the tables reluctantly and then preceded to walk on all the benches.

Me: “Hare – stop walking on all the benches. People are going to sit there!”

The Hare started to get off the benches, frowning.

DW: “Hare – you better not step on that pavement because people might walk there.”

The Hare started to giggle. DW was smiling at me and I couldn’t help but see the absurdity in my behavior. There was dirt and bird droppings on various tables. We brushed off what we could, but seriously Em, it’s a public park.

We all started laughing and suddenly I was seeing this in a totally different perspective.

A perspective de-cluttered from negativity and full of optimism. It’s one thing to recognize negative self-talk and try to remove yourself from listening. But it is a whole other challenge to just not go there at all. I should have been dancing around in excitement that the rain had held out, that two schools were running with us for the first time, that almost my whole team was going to be present, that my husband so generously gave his time to serve water to almost 100 out of breath runners, and that I was going to finish this mock 5k at all.

I loved watching the girls run through a tunnel of arms and smiles to start their journey. It was exciting to pass families coming back in their loop and it was fun to cheer others on at the finish line. There was more than enough food for everyone and everyone had a running partner.

Amazingly enough, I wasn’t the last runner either.

5 thoughts on “Cleaning Up

  1. Positive thinking!
    Start a metal file, of all your positive experiences, and go back and use them as a positivity battery!
    Congratulations.

  2. Emily, THANK YOU for organizing this event for the schools in your area. It is way beyond the call of duty…. but that’s your style isn’t it? I’m so happy to hear it was a success!

    1. I kept this comment “in the vault” for two days because I was embaressed to get such a compliment! What is wrong with us “women” that we can’t just smile, say thank you, and enjoy the moment. THANK YOU for the encouragement. It was a wonderful afternoon.

    1. Thank you! Although it took me 39 minutes to finish – way too much walking. I have 3 weeks to improve.

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