Chasing Dreams and What-Ifs

henry ford quote

Let’s talk about lofty goals, shall we?  I always love having a big, broad goal put out there in front of me to chase.  I’m a stay-busy type, a dream-chaser, a go-getter, a keep-reaching-for-more sort of person.

Some might call it ambition, some might call it being anxious or restless, I just call it being me, and it’s what I’ve always done.  As I get older, I’m able to find words for it and better able to find strategies to harness it, and today it takes the form of big bristol boards plastered on my bathroom walls and notebooks tucked into my purse.

Lately, I’ve been searching for some more carrots to chase, and if you follow me online, you’ll know that I’m currently in peak training mode for the New York City marathon, coming up on November 3rd. nyc marathon logo

Facebook: Dr. Ashley Worobec

Instagram: @ashburlington

Marathon training on Instagram: @thisismymarathonlife

I’ve been running with a great Oakville-based group for the past couple of years, and in them I’ve found other people who don’t think it’s crazy to get up before 5am to run, who also plan their weekends around their workouts, and who enjoy the well-earned fatigue that training brings.  I’ve found my tribe and suddenly my crazy seems normal.  When I joined them in November 2017, my goal was to run a half-marathon fast enough to qualify me for New York.  I’d failed to meet the qualification standard twice on my own (once in spectacular fashion: “Then the Wheels Came Off“), and only six months after I began training with them, I qualified with my Mississauga half marathon result.

But I still identified myself as “only” a half-marathoner.  I’d see their marathon training schedules, thankful for my shorter distances, and while I admired them from afar, I was content to plug away in my 10k/21k domain.  But then June 2019 rolled around, and my own New York marathon training officially began.  You see, NYC is a once-in-a-lifetime race for me, and I plan to run stride for stride with my dear friend Michaela.  We aren’t chasing the clock, we’re just two working moms who love to run and want to prove to ourselves that we can do this.  Somewhere along the way though, I’ve started to love the long stuff again.  I’ve started to embrace the big mileage, the early bedtimes, the huge appetite.  I’ve started to anticipate Sundays and watch NYC promo videos, I’m following marathoners on social media, and I’m researching race entries.  Just this morning, I looked up my age group’s Boston qualifying time (BQ) (spoiler alert: it’s 3:40).  WHO AM I? boston marathon logo

So while I search for my next goal, thoughts of a BQ ruminate in my brain…..

Big dreams.  Big goals.  Just how I like it.

 

 


Water, duck.

Perhaps we’ll start today off with a little zoology reminder.  As you may know, a duck’s outer feathers are waterproof due to an oily coating that the duck secretes.  This oil repels water and forces the droplets to roll off the duck’s back rather than making the feathers wet and heavy.  This fact has become the basis of a little piece of advice we’ve been giving to our kids when they overreact.

“Water, duck.”  

It’s a reminder to keep your cool, let it roll off your back, don’t sweat the small stuff.  My kids are now ten and seven, and big brother likes to push little sister’s buttons from time to time; her overreaction can be swift and massive, leading to a cascade of sibling fighting.  After one such outburst over Lego or TV volume or who got to use the front door key, we sat the kids down and had the water/duck talk.

It sunk in.  They got it.  And now when those episodes happen, we just have to say “water, duck” and it serves as a very effective reminder to think big picture and take a deep breath.  It’s always been my ultimate goal to raise children who are happy, however that happiness is defined or manifests for them.  Part of the water/duck talk was to explain to them how focusing on small problems only robs you of joy, steals your energy, and creates a feeling of unhappiness. choose-happy-wall-plaque

This is advice that I try to heed myself too, and something that’s come in very handy over the past two weeks.  You see, today is day twelve without internet at home, as our service provider tries to fix an unknown issue- we’ve had four technician service calls, hours on hold on the phone, and stretches of days waiting for the next available 8-5 repair window.  It’s still not fixed and we’re frustrated.  But…….. water, duck.  If this is the worst problem in my life then I’m doing pretty well.  I’ve got wi-fi at work, Starbucks wi-fi down the road, and I can create a hotspot from my phone when I need to be online at home.  Problem solved, onto bigger fish to fry.

I’ve seen far too many grown adults grumble about someone kicking their seat on an airplane, let a cold restaurant meal ruin their night, or complain about loud backyard neighbourhood gatherings.  Water, duck friends, just let it roll off your back.

Focus your energy on the good stuff.

Choose happy.

lighthouse

This is the only picture I have on my phone that has a duck in it.  Just go with it, okay?