Quiet Success

Today was my 90th mile. I have just ten miles to go!

I am proud of myself for walking everyday. When I look back at myself and my abilities six months ago, I couldn’t have imagined doing this.

But this success isn’t like the physical successes I’ve had in the past. When I scaled a rock face or hiked five miles with a backpack on my back or kayaked in really rough waters, there was an exhilaration that came with those experiences. Not walking. I may produce a few endorphins to make my emotions perk up a bit, but I don’t get a natural high from my daily walks.

My daily walks are my quiet successes. My walks don’t deserve any fancy fanfare. They are more like a quiet nod to life.

When I was pregnant with Luke, my oldest, I was working at an AIDS hospice in Seattle. The residents were mostly people who were marginalized in our society and with them came a lot of drama to the house. After Luke was born, I felt caught in my own drama of my newly imposed disability – pregnancy wracked havoc on my leg, making me quite immobile. I decided that I couldn’t have drama at work and drama at home. In order for me to quit working, Mark and I sold our beautiful north Seattle home and downsized to a smaller house in south Seattle. Over the years I’ve learned that I get to decide how much drama is in my life. Stuff happens in life, it always will. It’s my reaction that creates drama or not. I’ve decided that I don’t want to invite drama into my life anymore.

In a way, my adventures in my twenties were a way of ensuring that I had drama in my life. They gave me some really high highs and then the subsequent really low lows. Walking is like saying no to drama and yes to an average life. Without drama, my life is stable. I used to be so scared that stability would be boring. Not so. Without drama I have so much more energy. Without drama, I am able to be more creative. Without drama my life has expanded in ways unimaginable.

So I give a quiet nod to life, my perfectly ordinary, average life, every day when I take my mile walk.

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