Survive or Thrive?

My heart and mind have been filled with all things NYC lately.  I am so excited that words fail me.  I know – that’s HUGE!  Everything seems to revolve around whether or not it will help me or hurt me at the marathon.  I find myself covering my face when I’m around someone sneezing.  I was already a little on the  weird side when it came to hand washing, now I think I’ve crossed over into full blown obsession .

I saw this on the ING NYC Marathon Facebook page today and felt like it might hit a little close to home for me.  Seems all I eat, sleep, breath, talk about, write about, even dream about is the NYC marathon.  Can you tell this is a big event in my life?  My first marathon, in the city I fell in love with on my very first visit.  I’ll try not to bore you, but I can’t make any promises.

I was listening to the radio today and heard a segment by one of the DJ’s who is a young mother.  She was talking about thriving versus surviving and the chaos that is her life right now with three young children and a full time career.  It made me reflect on my life and whether I am surviving or thriving.  I was already in a reflective mood.  One of my daughter’s high school friends passed away last night, and I was remembering him as the young man I knew as I prayed for his family.  So heartbreaking.  But, it should make us all stop and think.  Are we thriving or surviving?  Are we living life as we were meant to, or are we just treading along, waiting for something to happen?

A couple of years ago, my husband and I sat down and re-evaluated our lives.  Our businesses, our time together, our retirement dreams.  We came to the conclusion that something had to give.  We were surviving, not thriving.  My photography business was keeping me too busy, without enough profit.  Our plans to travel were not coming to fruition, as there was never enough time.  So, we made some decisions.  One of them was that I would cut back at the studio, discontinue weddings, and become more of a partner in our inspection service.  This was easier said than done, but two years down the road, I think I have been successful in readjusting my priorities.  And, I recently noticed a huge difference.  I LOVE photography again!  I didn’t even realize that I had stopped loving it until I came up for air.  I look forward to every session now, and am filled with enthusiasm and joy during each meeting with clients.  My creativity and energy levels are up.  I’m thriving again, not just surviving.

We aren’t promised tomorrow.  We may not even make it through today.  How are you spending your time?  Are you filled with envy over someone else’s life while you fold clothes and wash dirty dishes?  Know that each season of our lives is meant to be lived to the fullest.  There are lessons to be learned every day; some easy, some very, very hard.  Live every moment.  Learn something each day.  We are meant to thrive, not just survive.  That may require you to make some adjustments in your life, some you may not really like.  But, I can tell you from experience that every time I’ve stepped out on faith, God has provided the way.

Running is one of the reasons I’m thriving.  I feel better at 50 than I did at 30, and I don’t think that happened by accident.  Running gives me focus, energy, drive, and creativity.  I look forward to most runs (even the really long ones) because something new happens every time.  I love to run in new places, old places, historic places, woodsy places.  I mostly run alone, but enjoy the occasional run with my man, and recently rediscovered the joy of running with a dog.

I still can’t believe that in 18 days, I will be running one of the most iconic marathons in the world as my very first marathon.  In a city that I love.  Now that’s thriving!

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