New Year's Resolution: 36/365

Sometimes I get crazy ideas. (I may have mentioned this before.) One of my most recent ideas was to start running. As in, moving my body over the ground for miles. Miles!

Who comes up with these things? (Oh, right. Me.)

I’ve even signed up for a 5K. Yeah, I’m serious. (Seriously crazy? Maybe…) So serious that two weeks ago, we bought a {used} treadmill.

Now, I’ve attempted various forms of exercise many times. From walking around the mall and workout videos to kickboxing and water aerobics, I thought I’d tried most everything. When it comes to gym equipment, I’m familiar with a plethora of machines. But though I’ve logged some time (not recently, okay?) on elliptical trainers and rowing machines, I’ve actually never used a treadmill.

When it came time to step on our new-to-us machine and start my Couch to 5K training program last week, I was terrified. I just knew I’d fall off!

Thankfully, the treadmill came with a handy, dandy safety clip. One end attaches to my shirt, and the other end sticks to the treadmill. Should I get overwhelmed by the moving pavement beneath my feet and stumble, the clip will pop off the treadmill and stop it immediately.

So far, I haven’t had to use it. But that clip made me think. Sometimes I need a safety clip in life.

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Even though I’m “just” a stay-at-home mom right now (don’t worry, I’m saying that tongue-in-cheek), my days never seem quite long enough to get everything done that I want to. With Mark working crazy long hours and all of us living in the house, day in and day out, the laundry, the dishes, the bills, the dusting (ha!) never ends. And even though I talk a good talk about am working hard on giving up on perfect, I’m a work in progress and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with everything I’m not doing…or doing well enough. On days like that, I could use a safety clip to remind myself that nobody is perfect, that (sometimes) good enough is good enough.

I tend to overcommit myself, saying yes to everything, every option, every opportunity. Recently, I looked at the “urgent” items on my to-do list and realized that the majority were projects I was doing for other people. Consequently, the tasks I needed to complete for my own family – or, dare I say it, for myself – were falling further and further down the list and away from the possibility of being accomplished. On days like that, I could use a safety clip to stop the race, to take a break, to realign my priorities.

Sometimes, I fight the dark spiral of despair that runs in my family like green eyes and thick brown hair. In one day a few weeks ago, I received a rejection letter from a company I approached about a job, left my first social media consulting meeting feeling like a fraud and a failure (not to mention an idiot, because who else would forget her laptop at home for an appointment like that?), and ate half a bag of Doritos. In the space of just a few hours, I rocketed from a woman excited about life’s possibilities to someone who’s not sure she can get off the couch to go to bed, even though the box of Kleenex in the bedroom is full and waiting to sop up my tears. On days like that, I could use a safety clip to stop the crazy, to remember the Truth, to get over myself.

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I’m taking my 5K training slow and steady (yes, like a turtle – and we can stop the comparisons right there). Whoever designed this program knew exactly how often a couch potato like me would need to slow down and walk, while still moving forward and growing stronger.

That’s not too different from my life. More than once, I’ve been running and running (please, feel free to say that in your best Forrest Gump voice), and before I know what’s happening, God has pulled that safety clip and turned off my Treadmill of Life.

[Not permanently, you know.]

But “off” enough that I slow down and catch my breath. He’s designed me and my life, and He knows exactly how often I need to be refreshed. And, thankfully – since I am almost always reluctant or, at least, slow to pull my own safety clip – He’s here to remind me to stop running. Just for a minute, stop running.

Have you ever felt like you’re on a treadmill and you Just. Can’t. Stop. Running? Even if you know you’re headed nowhere – or, possibly even worse – somewhere you certainly should not go? What’s YOUR safety clip?

Image by SashaW.

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