Yesterday after work I made my weekly trip to the grocery store. I grabbed a cart and my head was down while I searched for my grocery list. I heard a child crying and a mother telling her to “act nice.” I wasn’t paying attention; it was simply ambient noise. I heard the mom say, “You see, that lady’s staring at you because you’re acting so terrible.” I looked up and the mom was holding her daughter with outstretched arms and shoving her in my face! Caught off guard, I said, “No, actually I wasn’t staring at her. Kindly leave me out of it.”
This exchange annoyed me for several reasons.
- The mom was being openly dishonest to her daughter.
- The mom was attempting to use me to manipulate the child into behaving in a certain manner. I set boundaries when people attempt to use me.
- She shamed her child in front of a third party (me!).
- Worst of all in my opinion, the mom is teaching her toddler to be a people-pleaser. Even if I had been staring, who cares?
Google “People-Pleaser” and you’ll see countless articles designed to help a person stop the behavior. That must mean it’s a damaging trait (duh). Had I not been caught off guard, I might have told the mom that how her daughter behaves is between the two of them and is none of my business. I could have locked eyes with the little girl and given her a huge smile and a high-five. While I missed the moment, hopefully what I managed to choke out provided the mom with a hint that she doesn’t have to please everyone and neither does her daughter.
After all, Heaven knows the world will be a be a better place when we women gain the confidence we so richly deserve.
Every Monday morning between my workout and shower, I gather flowers to arrange and place on my desk at the office. Most of the time the arrangement includes several roses. Yesterday I took one single bloom so it could take center stage.
This rose is called Dick Clark. It’s from the first rose bush I ever bought. Three years ago I was at Nashville’s annual Urban Garden Festival. I wandered into the Nashville Rose Society’s tent. I’d been toying with the idea of learning to grow roses but I’d been scared off by all of those stories of roses being difficult to grow.
While in the booth looking at all of the beautiful roses for sale, I met the nicest man, Sam Jones. Sam convinced me that I could learn to grow beautiful roses. He personally selected the Dick Clark rose bush, gave me a quick lesson in deadheading spent blooms, and told me about the Nashville Rose Society (NRS) which I later joined.
That first summer I almost killed Dick Clark due to my ignorance about proper spraying, watering, etc. But Mr. Clark soldiered on and today he’s a blooming machine.
Sam died suddenly last month after suffering a heart attack while attending an American Rose Society meeting out of state. Even before Sam’s death, I thought of him every time I saw a bloom on my Dick Clark rose bush. And now, the blooms of this particular rose bush remind me of the many ways becoming a part of the rose culture has enhanced by life.
- My rose bed is now up to 30 plants and I’m making plans for bed #2.
- I’ve made many new friends through my membership in the NRS.
- I began exhibiting this year and I’ve won six blue ribbons and two reds. The district rose show is in two weeks so wish me luck!
- I’ve become an active member of the NRS and I’m serving on the Public Relations Committee for the upcoming district rose show which our society is hosting.
- I’ve been blessed to have enough rose blooms to share with others who are bereaved, having birthdays, living in nursing homes, or just need a surprise.
I recently received a wonderful gift. A friend reached out to me via Facebook and asked me to help her plan her first rose bed. I can’t wait to help her get started on that project. Sharing my love of roses with someone else is the best way I can think of to pay it forward in appreciation for the joys that Sam Jones gave to me.
This morning I did the Heroes in Recovery 6K. Why hold a 6k rather than the traditional 5K race? The extra kilometer is in honor of the extra distance people in recovery must go to stay clean and sober. I think that’s a brilliant metaphor so I happily registered for this race. This was my first year to do this one.
I ended up walking a lot of it. I woke up not feeling well thanks to eating some ill-advised queso dip last night, (Why, Pam. Why?) And my running shoes are past their prime, giving me knee pain. I ordered a new pair earlier this week, but as of 0-dark-thirty this morning, they’d not yet arrived.
This race is held in beautiful Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee, about 45 minutes away from my home in Nashville. It is a very hilly course and one of the the prettiest short courses I’ve ever been on. My only complaint is…and this is a small one…I’m not fond of allowing dogs and baby strollers on a course. I know I risk having hate thrown at me, but I’m entitled to my opinion. This morning, a group with stroller and a dog stopped RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME to deal with the dog that didn’t want to be on the course. Their solution was to put the dog in a compartment in the stroller. Fido was having no part of it, so they had to stop again. Thankfully I’d passed them but I could hear the commotion. There are many reasons one may have to stop during a race, but for the love of Pete, pull over to the side of the road first.
Because I was walking much of the course, I decided to take a few pictures along the way.
I will definitely to this race again. Next year I plan to wear newer shoes and skip the queso the night before!
Yesterday while walking from the parking lot to the trail head for my three-miler, I noticed a man walking the same path carrying two large plastic jugs of water. It was a huge amount of water to take on a walk and I was curious about why he’d carry so much. As I got closer I noticed he was watering these flowers.
Afterward, he walked back to his car and drove away.
He wasn’t wearing a shirt that said, “I’m the guy who waters the flowers at the beginning of the green way.” He was just quietly doing something nice for the benefit of the rest of us. What a kind, lovely act.
What would the world be like if all of us did one little thing without fanfare, with the only goal being to make life better for others?
I taught Sunday School yesterday and the lesson was about God’s magnificence. I asked my 80+ year-old students, “Do you think we pause often enough to reflect on the awesomeness of God?” Most agreed that we don’t. I had to admit that when I go to places like the Grand Canyon, God’s wonder is right there for the enjoying, but I don’t often think about it when driving to work in Nashville traffic. During today’s three-mile run on a nearby green way, I was intentional about noticing the beauty of my surroundings. While I was trying to run a little faster than normal, I slowed enough to take a few pictures.
I’m grateful to have such a beautiful green way about a mile from my home. I hope I continue to let the scenery remind me of the Great Creator.
On Saturday I told you about my miserable, humid, six-mile run. Today I get to tell you about last night’s wonderful three-miler with my running club.
When I turned on my iPod I discovered the battery was dead. I must have hit the “on” button when I packed it, because I’d not used it since its last charge. Hubs told me I was just going to have to hum.
A funny thing happened while running without my music. I was more in tune (see what I did there) with my surroundings. I saw people on bicycles, other runners, walkers, kids on swing sets, neighbors sitting on the front steps lost in conversation and people watering their lawns. The folks I saw were from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, and the scenes were free of the vitriol I’ve been seeing on tv and online. It was so peaceful.
My thoughts turned to a friend who died a few weeks ago. Rich was a songwriter and while many of his songs are hilarious, one of his more touching works is among my favorites: “Americana.” Moe Bandy recorded it in 1993. The song’s words swirled around in my head while I ran and when I got to the 1.5 mile turnaround point I looked up and saw this.
Could that be more perfect?
I thought I’d share with you Rich’s performance of “Americana.” I was fortunate enough to be at this show. I hope you enjoy the clip.
I have a friend in Vegas whom I affectionately call Desert Queen. In the summertime, DQ likes to describe the weather there as stupid-hot. During the dog days of summer, Nashville is both stupid-hot and stupid-humid. It got the best of me this morning when I was out for my six-mile training run. It was a run that’s best forgotten, therefore I’m writing about it.
As I was heading out the door at 7 a.m. the local weatherman was saying, “If you plan to go for a walk this morning, you might want to switch to cycling. It’s pretty muggy out there. I supposed he was suggesting that by cycling one could create a breeze.
I drove to my gym which is situated in a walking and running-friendly community. It’s the same area I run with my Thursday evening running club. I stopped in for that all-important final potty break, then I’d planned to run three miles out and three miles back to the car.
As soon as I turned on my Ipod I heard the low battery message. Not good. I started running intervals (1:1). When I’d made it two miles the air felt so thick from the humidity I started feeling panicky. I decided I’d gone out far enough. I would turn around and by the time I’d returned to the gym I would have completed four miles. I would decide later whether to finish the remaining two miles on the treadmill or just bag it and go home. I turned off my interval timer and walked for a while until the panic went away, then resumed the intervals.
Once I got to the gym I convinced myself to at least walk the remaining two miles. I’d almost completed one treadmill mile and was feeling spent. Just then an angel in the form of a church friend hopped on the treadmill beside me. Having someone to talk to took my mind off my tired self and before I knew it, two miles on the treadmill and four miles outside were in the books.
I’m not proud of my time today. Those six miles took longer than usual and I walked more than usual. But I choose to be proud that I covered the distance. I’m hopeful that the heat and humidity I’m enduring now will pay dividends when I run half marathons this fall.
I’m training for a late October half marathon. The plan I’m using has me running four times per week with one of those being a weekend long run. Two of my three weekday runs often take place on the treadmill because I workout before sunrise AND it’s really hot and humid in Nashville.
This morning I decided to wait until after sunrise to run and I got on a green way near my home. Sometimes changing the schedule brings rewards. This morning I got to see this.
I am very much a person of routines. But every once in a while it’s good for me to change things up. I’m grateful for is morning’s visual reward.
Hubs and I plus mom, my sister and sister’s family spent last week in Florida. It was raining when we returned home late Saturday afternoon, so no rose photography for me. Yesterday after church I had to deadhead spent blooms and fertilize the plants. That didn’t leave much time for taking pictures but I managed to shoot three blooms that caught my eye. Hover over each picture for the name.
Strike it Rich
So, tell me. What’s blooming in your yard?
I mowed the grass after getting home from work last night. Thanks to my new 15 minute rule, the weeds are in check. Time to play! Here’s what’s blooming at my place.