I have been off work for about a month now, thank you academia! It’s the longest vacation I have ever had. Ever. In my life. I spent the entire time working. Coaching, training, analyzing swim video and researching how I can best create and execute the simulations I do at work. I actually took very little downtime, I am a girl who functions best with a full schedule. I have loads to learn in this academia world and I feel like I am just beginning to scratch the surface.
I did really spend good home HOME time. Priceless.
I am eager to get back. I am eager to see our students. I am eager to see my colleagues. I learn so much from them, especially Emily (who I swear is meant to be in my life. Hero. Hero.)
I get so much fulfillment out of working with people. My athletes, our students. That interaction, that hands on gives me a sense of purpose. Being able to be in the world of education and triathlon fills me up like never before. In both worlds I get to stand back and look at the big picture. I get to think of ways to encourage people to grow.
That in turn allows me to grow. I derive such inspiration from what I watch both our students and my athletes do with their lives. We each find fulfillment in different ways. Some do best alone, reading. Others do best when they are still. I do best when I can be in the middle of amazing people. I don’t know how I landed here. I feel like I don’t deserve the gift of all of the amazing people. But I am holding on to every second I get to experience it.
I learn something new each day from our students, my teammates, my athletes.
In this world and in this life I think it’s easy to get irritated by the distractors. The haters. The people in this world who just complain because the sun is too bright, it’s too cold… and then it’s too hot.
My perfect solution to all of that is to turn it off.
These days people are needing to take social media “breaks” or are in a constant state of irritation because of it. A few months ago I took a little time to reorganize mine. I have a good network of people who have stepped forward when we’ve needed to do things like raise money for Teens Living With Cancer (we raised 100K just by asking social media. No strategy, nothing), and now Madi’s Medical Fund.
I am fiercely protective of my network. Constantly I am asked if I will tweet this, share that for companies. Unless it’s something I really believe in, I decline. A few years ago I realized that so many sponsorship agreements today involve a certain amount of social media shares per month. I won’t be one of those people who says “I woke up to my brand name alarm clock, ate my brand name cereal, put on my brand name tights and ran in my brand name shoes”.
No thanks. I don’t apply for those things.
Instead….. I get to share what I really and truly believe in. I get to try to do good things in the world. I get to do what I want to do.
I reorganized so that when I log into social media…. I see pictures of people’s families, vacations. I get to see positive quotes and stories. I put the most inspiring people I could find in the top spot. You can use it to bring you down or you can use it to fill you up. Every time I look at it I am inspired, I laugh, I smile. I learn something. I am nourished. It’s a good place to be in.
That in turn…. is something you can take with you through your day and out into the offline world.
The neat thing about life…. and where we get to live…. is that it’s yours to design. Yes things happen and circumstances come about that throw wrenches into plans and cause you to take a right turn instead of left. Things happen to us that we don’t understand. That blow holes in our hearts that will never heal and leave us at the bottom of endless pits that seem too high to crawl out of.
We don’t have to build Rome in one day though. In fact… we know that all we really have is today….. if we even get to have that at all.
So instead of focusing on what we need to do this week, why not soak up what we get to do this morning? This morning I get to ride my bike, I get to hug my husband and son and then I get to take a beautiful drive through wintry farmland to a beautiful campus. I get to see my amazing colleagues and listen to an inspired speech by our college’s leaders. I get to catch up and see how everyone is doing, get things ready for this semester.
I get to drive home through beautiful snow-covered farmlands. I get to drive slower because of icy roads but that lets me take in the time and the scenery.
I get to have another conversation with FINIS today about their awesome Stroke Lab swim analysis software and learn what changes they made that it won’t work for my swimmers!!! I will learn something new during that conversation!
I get to see my husband and son before I get to run with them and then ride my bike with the amazing group I ride every few Tuesdays with at Towpath.
We don’t really HAVE to do anything. There are plenty of people around who show us THAT! We get to do amazing things here and in life. It’s awesome.
So today I dare you to see what you can find in this world to nourish you. Sharing a lane with a swimmer who doesn’t understand their space? Love them anyways. Behind the crazy woman who is ordering a double-hot-extra-hot-extra-wet (WHAT)-non-fat-double-whipped-latte? Don’t let her annoy you, let her amuse you. Don’t take their baggage…. smile at them for enduring it.
So much of what we do is a choice. We only have so many matches to burn. Burn them wisely. Create warmth and heat…. not fire.