Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Remarkable

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who are we to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous.



Actually, who are we not to be.



Your playing small does not serve the world.



There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won't feel small around you. We were born to manifest the glory that is within us. It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone. And when we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others. "

--Author Marianne Williamson



I love this quote. I wish it were entirely true for me. But the truth is, I do have a fear of being inadequate. Or rather, the perception of being inadequate. And, quite frankly, I'm sick of feeling that way.

I started this post a while ago and ended up listing all the things I am qualified to do. I started writing about how I could be this or I could be that. I realized I was writing down a myriad of details about my life that really, do not matter. Actually, they matter, but not to all of you. They are things about me, that make me who I am. However, I don't feel the need to stick post-its all over myself just to make sure others realize I am qualified to do more....

I am continuously wondering why I even have the urge to explain myself away. This is my life after all.

I can say this, I have worked very very hard to make the life I have made for myself. I didn't wake up one day and find myself married to a fabulously unselfish and supportive man who also happens to be an unequivocably devoted father. I had heartache along the way. But lucky for me, I found him. I also didn't wake up one day to three gorgeous children. First, my husband and I made a conscious choice to have three kids. We arranged our life goals around that decision. Where we live, what we do for jobs, and how we manage our time is based on the fact that we have three children. Like many parents, we went through frightening and heartbreaking medical trauma during the birth of our children. It changed us forever. It changed the way I parent.

The choices we made as a couple have resulted in many things. We have discovered that some of our decisions were good and some were not. Our choices have required sacrifice on both of our parts. It is not a black and white life. We must continuously step back and decide if the course we are following continues to be the best for our life. For our family. The answers are not always clear. At times, years go by with a big question mark floating around in the air above our heads.

I made a decision in 2001 to leave my job. My son was two. Another baby was on his way. I was completely at peace with this choice. You see, for two years, I went to work with nothing but angst. I was not a happy mother at work. It wasn't right for me. During the years since making that decision, I have been asked numerous times, "Do you miss it?" To which I occasionally had to respond, "miss what? Oh, my old job?" Ha... no. I have never missed it. Not for a minute. And I was even asked this, by a family member, "Aren't you bored?" Again, I incredulously responded, "No, I'm not bored with 3 little boys."


Triathlon has become more than a hobby to me. It has become a way of life. It serves my own selfish needs of racing and competing. It also keeps me fit, energetic, youthful and strong. Do I love that for myself? Of course. Do I think it's completely selfish? Not at all. My 3 boys need me now and they will also need me in 15 years. They need an energetic mother who can truly keep up with her guys as the years go on. Sure...I could stay fit and all that with something other than triathlon. I get that. But this is another choice I'm making. I am happier because I have found this for myself. It was something I decided to try back in June 2006 and despite a few comical newbie mishaps, I LOVED IT! I lovedlovedloved it. It revived me when I didn't realize I needed reviving. This post isn't about all the joys that triathlon bring me...so I'll force myself to stop at that.

I am lucky that I have time during the day to train right now. I just deleted a sentence or two that explained all the other things that happen during those 5.75 hours that the kids aren't with me. Again, I do not need to explain that to others.

What I am doing with my life does not take a long time to explain. I don't have an impressive title or overwhelming hours at the office that I balance with family. I have made things quite manageable for myself and my kids and I love it that way. My talents are subtle. But in my heart, I know they are there. While some people compose songs, find cures, create interesing companies or invent new products, I am just me. I often feel the need to withdraw when people ask the question, "so what do you do?" It only takes me a minute. I'm a mother. That's about all I can say. What that world entails is massive. The responsibilities it encompasses are endless. All Mothers know this. It is a never ending task that I am honored to be able to undertake. And I take it very very seriously.

I am also an athlete. I have been an athlete for years but now, as an adult, I have reached a new level. It is my talent and it is what makes me happy. And, I have a small Coaching business. One of my athletes ran her first Half Marathon on Sunday. She conquered the 13.1 mile race for the first time in her life. What that meant to her is far more than just running for 2 hours. It's a personal achievement that allows her to move on through her life with new zest. That is why I want to coach. I want people to feel that energy. That empowering feeling when you cross the line.

To many in my world, that life is an unknown world. It is a world that has no meaning. They do not understand how that could matter and why it is remotely worthwhile. At least, that is my perception of their responses. "Oh. That's good."

We all have something about us that makes us Remarkable. Maybe your talent is something for all to see. Something that others can enjoy and be impressed by. Perhaps what makes you special is closer to you and not open for all to see. That does not make it less remarkable. Our lives may not take a long time to explain, it may not come across as interesting or spectacular when you are standing in the lobby of a building greeting a friend from years ago, but it is most certainly Just as remarkable.

I am challenging myself to stop feeling inadequate. To stop doubting my life choices. They are my choices and I dare say they are working well for my family. In the end, that is all that matters. I know we are all happy in this home. My children understand me, my husband completely accepts and understands me, and in turn, I give them the same understanding and support in their lives.

I challenge you to do the same. What makes you remarkable?

This is our life and it is Remarkable.

17 comments:

ironmomma.com said...

Beautifully put sister.

MaineSport said...

Very, very well said. I admire how you and Mark made proactive choices along the way. Many folks just let life happen.

Mary IronMatron said...

My special gift comes when choosing smart, devoted, supportive, talented friends. :)
I loved that line about the post it notes.
Yes, I feel like I need to explain--always explain. And we don't--except for ourselves. You know? I think others likely just see you as amazing... it's only in our heads that we imagine others belittling us or the choices we've made.

Running and living said...

You keep wanting to explain yourself because this is how we are socialized. In this culture, materialism, and visible accomplishments are relished, and we are surrounded by that. It's hard to stay true to yourself given all the subliminal and direct messages we are bombarded with. Other cultures, more communal, do not have these issues. You are on your way:)

Laura said...

Remarkable...Thanks for reminding me of what I do know...but is so easy to forget! And thank-you for sharing some of your remarkable life with me to help me make it across that 13.1 finish line!

Kurt P. said...

on Sunday, I ate 6 Krispy Kreme doughnuts in under 5 minutes. that's my skill.

on, and being a dad.

Jennifer Harrison said...

This is your best post, ever. I would not use the word remarkable for me - I just work full time, have my own business, raise twins the best we can, have a remarkable (there it is) husband and you know what? I am happy! Gasp! LIKE YOU I do not feel I need to apologize for making good choices in my life. I never feel inadequate, but I do live with a TON of guilt. That is my issue. BUT I bet they are intertwined...I have guilt when I work that I should be training. When I am training, I should be w/ my kids. When I am with my kids I should be answering the 100 emails...it is a horrible web I sometimes weave for myself. It is the pleaser in me and I EXPECT that from myself.

My nieghborhood and social scene is OUT OF CONTROL here. I am not sure who else lives in a neighborhood like me, but we do Progressive dinners, Girls Night out, book clubs, girls scouts, PTA, KIDS BOOK CLUBS, I mean we do it all OF COURSE I do 1% of it all but again..guilt...

SOOOO I loved this post....and you are right, you ARE WHO YOU are...and because of that you do Triathlon, parenting, friendships, wife and all your life with passion!!! NOT everyone does that!

So, yay!

Meg said...

I LOVE this...from the quote right down to challenging your own inadequacies. Thank you...

Marni said...

I Love this post and I love reading everything you have to say. Everyone has at least one special purpose on earth and for you, you have inspired so many mom's to live a healthier and more active life!
Keep on being a great role model and blogging about it!
-marni

Jennifer Cunnane said...

Bravo!! I love this post and to am tired of explaining my reasons of why being a stay at home + triathlete, although unremarkable to many, is just right for me and a perfect fit for my family's needs. Why do we need to explain ourselves? It's funny, when I used to put a suit on every day for work I never had to answer that question!??!!

cheryl said...

Ange - I often wonder how many people out there have some amazing talent they are blessed with and never discover it, whether it be in sport, music, art, science,family, whatever.

Pam said...

Great great post. Keep enjoying your life!!

jessica said...

Great post... I've been thinking lately about how my kids (4 and 1) will view my stay-at-home role when they're older. As long as I'm thoroughly proud of it, I figure they might be too.

And it kills me that someone asked if you get bored!

Judi said...

beautiful posy.

Adrienne said...

Yes! I love this post. You have hit the nail. We always think we need to explain ourselves, but really, we do not have to....

Alili said...

I needed this post so badly this week...a humble thank you from a new mommy trying to acknowledge her own slice of remarkable.

Rebecca DeWire said...

What an amazing post! Thanks for taking the time to write it.