I’m having some unnatural-to-me interpersonal struggles here. Let me tell you why…
But first… I must digress…
When I was younger, I used to come home from school and occasionally complain to my mom about various kids in my class who were annoying to me. I used to get so frustrated at all the annoying little personality quirks, weird things they did, strange things they said, etc.
My mom would tell me that I just needed to learn to deal with it. Because one day… I’d be in the real world, and I’d have to interact with all kinds of people in all kinds of places. And sometimes… that would be people who I didn’t like, or found annoying, or whatever-your-evil-might-be.
She’d tell me.
But as I grew up, I found that I generally and genuinely liked most people. And even the ones I didn’t… I still seemed to find ways to deal with it and make things work without much to-do.
And as I got older… I learned that I actually really liked people in general. And I could appreciate their differences, their quirks, and their perspectives.
I found that most people seemed to like me, too.
Tonight I went for a run in, ah… longer than I’d like to admit to.
I ran 2.5 miles and didn’t stop to walk and felt pretty alright about it all. It wasn’t far, but it’s a start!
Things like running, and cycling, and swimming (my three biggest sporting loves), always give me time to think. Space to decompress. To process. I always seem to find something to think about. And if I don’t, sometimes not thinking about anything except the task at hand can also be rewarding in it’s own way.
I’m not a fast runner. I’m not a fast swimmer. I’m a decent cyclist.
A few years ago, I was in great shape. I did a triathlon at least once a month from June-September, and placed in my age group often. But… I was also single. Didn’t have very many friends. Had a part-time job and 2 hours a day to devote to the gym. My life as a whole was not super fulfilling.
When I look at where I am now–Wonderful wife (plus cat-children). Great neighborhood. Good job. Solid friends. And I feel like I live a much more well-rounded and satisfying life these days.
It’s not about winning. It never has been. But sometimes I get caught up in the competitiveness of sports, in the comparisons of my times and abilities to someone else’s, and I forget the real reasons why these things matter to me.
So… What Are we Learning?