Monday, August 4, 2008

facebook pictures

if you are reading our blog...thank you!!! i have been posting our best pictures from our trip this summer to my facebook page (Erin Sell Junod). if you would like to see them, you can sign up for facebook and request to be my friend (it is free and easy). thanks again for reading.

Discontent paid me a visit

(My friend Stephanie inspired me to write my own version of something she created...)

Discontent paid me a visit.

She joined me quietly at dawn. She was dressed for running, and I welcomed her company. Not sure of the distance our legs would take us, our feet hit the pavement. The colors of the rising sun winked at us from the far horizon as we started. My muscles were loose, my mind clear of distraction. I was just happy to be active this morning, and I sighed in contentment.

We began slow, Discontentment and I. The crisp breeze felt good on my face. My arms swang loosely, light, at my sides. My head was clear. I was keeping the pace since I'd set out to run on my own, and it was slow. Nothing to prove, and no one to beat, this run was for the sheer enjoyment of running. Stride for stride she met my pace, uncomplaining, not pushing to go faster, and I praised her as the perfect running partner.

And then I looked over at her. She was a petite little thing. Not like me, I thought. She had a smooth, strong stride and her breathing matched. My stride may not be quite so long as hers, I thought, and my breathing is a bit heavier. My running clothes aren't as put together, and my shoes aren't as expensive. The thoughts came and went. I had to laugh at myself for caring that we had differences. I kept on going.

It took me a few minutes to realize that Discontent had picked up her pace. She ran faster now, and I matched her without complaint. She probably doesn't even realize she's doing it, I thought. And I needed to run a little bit faster this morning anyway...I ate too much for dessert last night...I need to look better in my swimsuit next week...It's better that we go faster. So I picked up the pace to show her that I was capable.

The sun was a little higher in the sky now. Now, instead of giving enough light to see a few steps in front of me, the star shone directly in my eyes. I couldn't really see anything, and I ran blindly for a few moments. My eyes darted anxiously from the path in front of me to the one running beside me. She hadn't forgotten her sunglasses like I had, and was blazing forward, faster now, and even smoother. I guess my company wasn't enough for her. She took out her Ipod and plugged herself into the music.

I could turn around now, I thought. I have already gone farther than I wanted to go this morning. Any other person would be proud for getting out of bed and coming this far. I have many things to do today, and if I go further, I will still have to turn around and return home. I am beginning to grow tired...I will run again tomorrow.

But Discontent was running even faster now and for the first time, she spoke. Aren't you coming? she said. I am not even tired. Now the sun was beating down on us. The whole path was illuminated and we saw how far we could go. We could also see that we had not come very far, and I was ashamed to turn around. Beads of sweat crept into my eyes and the salt stung. She was not sweating at all.

So I kept going. I kept her pace and I did not speak complaint. But the heat of my anger matched the heat of my sunburnt skin, and I began to cast blame. Why do people expect so much out of me? {We approached a steep hill.} Why didn't anyone didn't take me running when I was younger so that I would be faster now? {We were ascending the hill how: my legs getting weaker, my breath getting shorter.} Why couldn't I have been born with the genes to be a world class runner? {I pump my arms wildly, now, trying to muster up the strength to finish the hill.} I try so hard, but I never achieve as much as some others do. {I lunge ahead, lungs burning, chest thumping, sight blurring.}

Then I am there. At the top of the hill I feel a surge of pride and air rushes into my lungs as reward for the endurance I have shown. But then I look and see that Discontent has not stopped to enjoy herself at all. She is still running ahead, planning to tackle the mountain range that looms before us both. She will try to run it all that day, I am sure of it.

As she flips her head around to see if I am coming with her {or maybe to taunt me with the reality that she has not broken a sweat}, I have a decision to make. I can try to keep up with her pace, though I will surely fail. Or I can keep the small seed of contentment I have left and finish this course when I am ready. Though I hate to do it, I smile at her, I wave, and I bid Discontent a good journey. I will not go with her.

Then I turn around. I close my eyes and take a few deep breaths. When I open them again, the path is clear. I can see home and I am thankful to be in the peacfulness of thanksgiving again.

Then I begin to walk. I will run again when I am ready.