Two weeks ago my family made a huge leap: we moved from rapidly sprawling Denver to a small town in Michigan. We moved 1,200 miles with a confused dog, vomiting toddler, pregnant mama, coughing daddy, 2 cars, and 4 storage crates packed to the brim…one might say for fun. It was a total quality of life move. Not easy, but in the grand scheme, a relatively smooth process (maybe minus the family illness and anxious dog) that has already opened doors in directions we have been wanting our life to move.
One example of this is that our new home backs up to a trail, something I really hoped we could find close proximity to since we love to hike and jog. Let’s just be clear, I am not your skinny, super-fit, ultra productive type-A (i.e. seems to rock EVERYTHING) kind of woman. However, amazingly to me, this pregnancy has been far more comfortable than my first and my joints have felt pretty good jogging (something my soul strangely has always loved and longed for) in moderately small doses.
On a recent afternoon I found myself jogging uphill, in the midday sun, pushing a stroller (containing previously mentioned, adorable almost 2 yr old), leash in tow attached to my 50 lb meandering shepherd mix and I’m nearly 6 months pregnant. A tall, lean, gentleman with white hair peeking out from under his helmet rolled by me in the opposite direction on his bike, smiled and said:
“Biking is easier.”
Yes, he is right. 100%. Biking downhill, solo, is easier than jogging uphill while lugging your young family along. But what’s the payoff?
I used to justify my overstressed life with thinking that essentially the harder I worked (at a miserable marriage, very low-paying career, volunteering to the point of having virtually nothing left for self-care) was well worth it. True I learned a lot, grew to love many wonderful people, and had plenty of great experiences. But when I took a few huge steps to trade it all in, with each stride my life became tremendously happier and new wonderful opportunities, people and experiences took the place of a life that was too ponderous to allow the fruition of my dreams.
So sometimes…by all means, I’m a big fan of hopping on a bicycle and going for a relaxing ride. There are absolutely times in life we need to do a little lighter work (I’ve been to spin class and mountain biking…cyclists, I am not down playing by any means what kind of workout you can get on a bike- this type of riding is a different metaphor). But when I hear the internal beckoning to challenge myself and circumstances allow it, be it a move to a new home/place, a shift in career, or jogging uphill while very pregnant, I always find it rewarding when I accept the challenge.
So take a moment or a few to notice if you are speeding downhill, at a moderate flatline, or jogging uphill in various aspects of your life. Does it feel like you belong where you are or is it time for something to change? Find where your heart calls you and just see if you don’t experience the joy of Being in the Flow.