You know about smart phone screen security and how facial recognition works like a charm, right? Well I’m glad it does for you because I inevitably get the dreaded “sorry, don’t recognize you.” I think to myself, “what is the point in having this stupid feature if it doesn’t work properly?” So I do my little design thingy and unlock my phone. It’s kind of annoying not being recognized.

There is a bar in the town where I live called “Good Times.” It’s actually a restaurant/lounge that serves pretty decent food. The old girl is getting somewhat dilapidated & has recently gone up for sale and whether is sells or not, the owner is closing the doors July first. Before the “no smoking” ordinance went into effect, it still had the original ashtrays at each table from 30+ years ago. The retro condom machines are still in the bathrooms and make for a good chuckle. My dad spent a lot of time in that place catching up on weekly events with his old cronies. He always said it reminded him of the “Cheers” bar where, “everybody knows your name.” It’s nice when people know your name and are glad to see you. It’s kind of sad that in our current society we don’t take the time to get to know people. When I was a kid in the 70s, we always went “visiting.” In a small town, people generally at least know who you are, although that is changing.

Sometimes I am glad people don’t recognize me. If they do and spend any length of time with me, they quickly realize that I am not the same person I used to be. Have you ever noticed that some people like for you to stay the same? I mean generally we are the same person, but if we don’t hop on the “improvement bus” we stagnate (synonyms: languish, decline, deteriorate, fall, do nothing, be sluggish) like the building that houses “Good Times.” The truth (according to Stephanie) is, it makes people uncomfortable when you start changing, especially if it is for the better. They may fear that it will make them look bad or lesser than, or incompetent, or…fill in the blank. Truthfully (according to Stephanie), it is their insecurities that hold them back and they want the same for you. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction (Newton’s third law), and sometimes your actions bring the opposing forces to the valley of decision. They must then decide what this means for them. Hallelujah when they get on the bus with you or at least give you a “high five” and a cordial sendoff. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen too often. Caged birds don’t fly well. They may still be able to fly, but they can’t soar. Some folks like to keep you in their neat little, predictable cage. Sadly, it may include family members.

I recently turned fifty years old-half a hundred, half a century…an antique! It’s weird that when some people find that out they treat me differently. The aging process doesn’t bother me, we’re all headed there if we live long enough. What bothers me is that there are those that want to fit me in their mold of what they think I should be (there’s that cage again). I’m just me, plain and simple. I’m not a grandma yet, but when I become one I’m not going to be one that can’t keep up or confined to a rocking chair. People let their minds limit them so much. My youngest son (who will be 25 in August), got married this past Friday 5/30/14. The reception was a blast! I could have danced the night away. I’m sure I gave some folks something to talk about. Guess what? I DON’T CARE! People become old when they stop playing and having fun…or care about what others think. How much more would you do in your life if you didn’t give a hoot about the opinions of others?

Yada, yada, yada…I could go on and on but for sake of your attention span (adults like short and concise, I learned that in my nursing education class 🙂 I will wrap things up. When I discovered running, it set me free. Out on the open road or trail with just me and my thoughts, I became very introspective. I have looked back and dissected every situation in my life-“what if this, why that, if only, blah, blah, blah.” So much happens because of the choices we make, good or bad. And contrary to popular belief, your choices do affect others. Life is nothing BUT choices most of the time. I refuse to be limited by the choices others try to make for me. On the flip side, I take personal responsibility for my own choices. I choose to see the good in people even when they don’t want to see the good in me. I choose to love, to hug, to laugh loudly, and dance like nobody’s business when I feel like it. I have found freedom and acceptance in the running community. What a diverse group of people! Whether you run a 7 minute mile or a 12 minute mile, a mile is still a mile. Runners are some of the nicest people I have ever met and have found a network of support on social media. When you meet up with a bunch of runners they may not always know your name, but they’re usually ALWAYS glad you came…CHEERS!

“You need to overcome the tug of people against you as you reach for high goals.” General George S. Patton

Until we meet again,
Stephanie

Here’s the link to the mother/son dance we did at the reception. The sound is muted due to copyright issues with the music, but just imagine Enya’s “Only Time” in the beginning, transitioning into Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” followed by the theme from Night at the Roxbury, and ending with “What a Wonderful World.” Thankful for the friend who recorded it on their phone. youtu.be/CelfpXtkqo4

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