Last weekend I ran 26.2 miles in NYC. This was my third marathon but still a challenge nonetheless. And before you roll your eyes at me and mutter something like, “she’s crazy, why would she do that?” or “I could never do that,” please know that I’m not some Olympian who eats, sleeps, and breathes running. While I do love running and it’s a form of meditation for me, I have creaky bones, terrible running form, and have a whole host of running issues after having two kids (kegels much?). In fact, I am still nursing my 13 month old, so to accommodate my enormous jugs, I wear two sports bras. I may have had to use a cow pasture for a bathroom on some of my longer runs. Nothing like squatting in a pasture with a bunch of cows staring back at you. And to add insult to injury, I got my period two days before the race. Aunt Flo had been absent for almost 2 years at that point. Glad she could join me for the race, it was nice to have the company. Not. The marathon course itself was filled with amazing spectators who dulled the pain by cheering as we ran up a steady incline along Central Park between miles 23-25. Earlier on in the race I had to stop at the medic tent for some Vaseline to put on the bottom of my chafed foot. So like I said I’m not some running genius, I’m human. I’m also really freaking proud of myself. Like glowing, can’t stop smiling, and high-fiving myself every chance I get. I’m on an ego trip and it feels a-mazing.
What makes this ego-trip acceptable is that under most circumstances I’m highly neurotic, self-deprecating, and fairly hard on myself. Nothing I do is good enough for my standards. I have really high standards. I need to work on being nicer to myself. And so that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to be thankful every day for something about myself. I know this is the antithesis of what Thanksgiving is all about. We should be thankful for others, for the food and clothes we have, for the heat that is cranked up while I sit in my privileged home in this sub-division. There should be an out-pouring of thanks this month. But isn’t it time we thank ourselves as women, mothers, and partners? It’s ok to do this, right?
Let’s just take one month and be proud of ourselves and thankful for the things we have achieved. It could be running a marathon, getting out of the grocery store without losing your temper while your child demands you buy even more Halloween candy. We can be thankful for our intelligent minds that are crafty, resourceful, and constantly multi-tasking. How about being thankful for your legs…shaven or unshaven. I looked at a picture of myself during the race and unabashedly exclaimed, “holy crap, my legs look so strong!”
The idea behind being thankful for something every day during the month of November is that it’s supposed to carry over in to other months the rest of the year. I am not entirely certain this works, as the daily grind of every day life overwhelms us and we forget to appreciate others and the little things. But let’s try this, I challenge you to take a moment and be thankful for something about yourself…every day. And it might not even hurt to say it out loud. Put it out into the universe (or at least put it out while at the dinner table) so that others can hear you. Maybe your children will hear you…and by being proud and thankful for things about yourself, in turn, they will learn to thank themselves some day.