In which I discuss five things that make me feel sappy.
- My Sister — Honestly, I am so overwhelmed with pride and joy for my sister that I really don’t know where to start. Maybe the beginning-ish? I started running and fell in love. I somehow talked her into jog-walking a couple of races with me. Suddenly, she was joining me for many of my races. We just ran a five-mile race today. Our rule is that if we start a race together, we finish it together. We line up at the starting line and each take off at our own pace. I run ahead, finish up the race and either do a cool-down walk or a slow jog back to wherever she happens to be on the race course. So, by the time I finished my race today and headed back to finish with her, I did just about 7.5 miles. But the sentimental part? When I rounded the corner and saw her coming toward me, I definitely got a little misty. Because there she was, jogging. And there I was, jogging. Meeting in the middle. We were doing it together, and it was stupendous. I love that woman. I am so proud to have her along for the ride/run/journey. She’s my support, my confidante, my cheerleader and my best friend. Sibling or no sibling, this is a woman I want to have in my life. No. Matter. What.
- Home — I’m a lucky girl. I have two homes: the one where I live and the one where my parents live. Mom and Dad live in the same house I grew up in. I never had to move at all while I was growing up. I still sleep in the same bedroom I had almost my whole life. So, it’s no surprise that this place is still my home. It always will be — even though I’ve built my own home, my own life, more than two hours away from here. It can get confusing because I leave home to go home, no matter if I’m heading north or south. But it’s sort of a wonderful, warm, fuzzy kind of confusing.
- My Niece and Nephew — I’ve been an aunt since I was 10. I’ve grown up around kids and have had a hand in raising lots of them. These days, I’ve developed a really cool relationship with many of my nieces and nephews. You know, now that they’re older and able to carry on interesting conversations and talk about “real” things. It’s kinda cool when these things you used to babysit, clean up after and change their clothes turn into adults with real interests and opinions and senses of humor. I spent much of my day today hanging out with one of my nieces and some of the evening hanging out with her and my nephew (they’re siblings). It was fun — even if we did have to play a game that was, well, not my speed. I realize that I am so lucky to have these cool people in my life who can make me laugh and teach me things I didn’t know I needed to know (like that a Shield of Ubiquity has really awesome powers). I definitely feel sappy just thinking about it.
- Progress — I think part of the reason that I get emotional when I finish a race — no matter what my time — is that it shows my real progress. Finishing a race is so symbolic for how far I’ve come. And every single race means something to me. It’s so, so much more than the time on the clock. It’s about signing up for a race when I used to say “I should sign up.” It’s about standing out in the freezing cold waiting for a race to start when all I really want to do is go to the bookstore and sit by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa. It’s about cresting that first hill, the snow blowing in your face (snot streaming out of your nose) and seeing a line of runners in front of you and knowing there’s a line of them behind you, too. It’s about standing at the finish line with other racers and feeling like you’re part of something that’s pretty darn cool. I hope I always have that feeling when I cross the finish line — no matter how long the race is. I don’t ever want to take for granted what a cool thing it is to just finish a race, knowing you left part of yourself out on the race course because, golly, you wanted it bad enough.
- Hellos and Goodbyes — I love hellos. I love seeing people you don’t get to see on a daily basis. That first hug from my parents when I walk through the kitchen door immediately warms my soul — even in cold northern Michigan winters. Meeting up with an old friend I don’t see very often always brings a smile to my face. Hanging out with my sister, rather than relying on texts and Tumblr messages, brings me so much joy. I think it’s because sharing a past with someone is sharing part of your life’s story. And it’s a truly wonderful thing, knowing that they’ll always be part of your life because they’re part of your memories. Being with them helps me remember part of who I am. On the other side of the coin is the goodbyes. I hate them. Always have. Always will. I’m (nearly) 30 years old, and I still cry a bit when I leave home to go home. I don’t think it’s because I’m sad, though. It’s more like I’m grateful for the time we got to spend together and lucky because I know I’ll be back to do it all over again. I recognize that I’m blessed to have such a close relationship with most all of the members of my family. And it turns me into Sappy Sue sometimes to think about it.