Making a Difference


Do you ever have days where you just wish that you could make a difference in someone’s life? Do you ever feel like all your effort is for nothing? Do you ever feel like just sitting down and letting someone else take charge? Some days are just hard, y’all! Some days, I just don’t want to be a grown up. Some days, I just want to sit around and eat snacks and watch mindless television. Some days, I just want to scroll Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest and pretend the world around me is a perfect place to live. Luckily, something usually brings me back down to earth and makes me realize that we live in a very un-perfect world. There are people all around that have it worse than I do. There are people all around that appear to have it better than I do. The reality is that we make the world we live in more pleasant or less pleasant by the way we respond or don’t respond.

A few minutes ago, I remembered that I have a choice to make. I have a choice about how I want to live my life. I remembered my word of the year -DETERMINED- and I remembered that no one can MAKE me feel a certain way, except me! I was in my house throwing a load of laundry in the washer and listening to my 11 year old son talk about something totally mundane to me, but exciting to him. I tried to not ignore him and pretend that I cared, but the reality of it is that I was focused on my own stuff at the moment. Instead of telling him to, once again, focus on his schoolwork, I decided to remind him that he has schoolwork to work on and if he needs help with it, to ask. Instead of losing my cool, I took care of that load of laundry (why is there always so much laundry to wash/dry/fold/put away??), grabbed my computer and bottle of water and headed to the patio.

Now, I’m sitting on my patio listening to the birds chirping. The gentle breeze is blowing the leaves on the trees out in the yard around me. There are dogs barking and air conditioning units humming. In the background I can hear some traffic from the thousands of cars that are on the streets surrounding my home. Airplanes are flying overhead and I’m reminded that only I can make a difference in my life. Right now I’m not really thinking about all the things that need done inside my house. I’m not really thinking about the things that were bogging my mind down, keeping me unfocused and inattentive to my family. Now, I’m enjoying the little slice of nature that I have within my reach, and realizing just how blessed I am. I have determined to focus on the positive in my life, because I want to make a difference.

This week I started training for my fifth Susan G. Komen 3-Day, that I will be walking in Seattle this September. Every year, I walk this 60-mile, 3-day journey to help find a cure for breast cancer, because I am healthy enough to be able to do it. I don’t have major health issues that keep me immobile. I don’t have any kind of cancer or illness that keeps me at home or in the hospital. I follow the 24 week training plan for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, because I feel that it helps keep me focused on my health and fitness a bit better. When I am training, I get to meet up with friends on a weekly basis, without the feelings of guilt that I’m not taking care of things at home. The training plan that I follow includes four walks a week, two cross training sessions a week, and a rest day for the 24 weeks before the walk. The training walks start off slow and easy with only walking three and four miles at a time but within a few months we will be walking 10+ miles at a time on the weekends. Some of my friends ask me why I spend so much time and effort to walk, especially when I come home sore and exhausted year after year. Some of my friends don’t bother to ask, because they know that my time and effort is nothing compared to the time and effort that it takes to overcome the battle of breast cancer. They are the ones that breast cancer has personally affected.

One of the reasons I walk the Susan G. Komen 3-Day every year is because it helps me stay more focused on what I can do to make this world a better place. It takes the focus off from my four walls and brings it out into the open to see that there are people in the world that don’t have it as good as I do. There are people out there that could die without the treatments and help that the Komen organization provides. Every day women (and even men) are diagnosed with breast cancer. Without the treatments and services provided, these women (and men) would not have the opportunity to live a long, healthy life. Yes, the time they are going through treatments is a miserable time because chemo is not pleasant, but the other side of that is a full life.

This week, a woman from one of the local 3-Day teams died from breast cancer. Although, I didn’t really know her, it still reminds me how fragile life and friendships are. I remember seeing her at last year’s Dallas walk, while I was out stalking my teammates, as her teammates pushed her in a wheel chair. She was smiling and laughing and happy, even though her treatments left her so weak that she couldn’t walk any of the 3-Day without friends.

But, really, how easy is it to get through day to day life without the help and support of friends? I know that there are introverts that say they don’t need friends, but I wonder how introverted they really are. Do they really not need friendship of any type? Or are they hurting from a past friendship and think that they can’t find a friend worthy of their time? I think the best thing that I have gotten year after year from my 3-Day experiences is the camaraderie and friendship from everyone out on the route. I live a pretty simple life at home, taking care of my husband and son, so walking the 3-Day makes me I feel like I am doing something bigger and better for the world around me.

Would you like to be a part of this community that is doing something huge this year? I would love to have some more of my sisters be a part of Team Shrinking Jeans and walk with us in Seattle. The walk is September 18-20 and is going to be a wonderful time of friendship and excitement! If you are interested in joining us, please sign up to walk with Team Shrinking Jeans. I know it will change your life, because it has had such a huge impact on my own life!



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