I ate a cookie today. Not just any cookie. A giant, fresh gooey cookie that was no doubt laden with butter and eggs (both of which I eliminated from my diet months ago). I ate it to feel better. I ate it because I am stressed, and crabby and for whatever reason highly-processed, greasy food has traditionally been a source of comfort for me. This cookie had it all. Go big or go home, right?? This cookie had Reese’s Cups baked inside! It worked. Yep, for about five glorious minutes…I was worry-free.
I ran at the park today. It was hot, sticky and wonderful. I ran to feel better. I ran because it always gives me clarity and a fresh perspective. I have been running the same trails for over 15 years. If it weren’t for the occasional root sticking up in the ground, I could run them with my eyes closed. I am intimately connected to every twist, turn and elevation. I know where it’s sandy, and where the dirt is more packed under your feet. I know where it’s buggy and wet after a rainstorm and which way to go if you are seeking shade.
The trails know me too…I honestly believe that. It’s why I prefer to run by myself. Those trails wait for me. They know my secrets, and they know that sometimes I need to be challenged. Sometimes the trails have to set me straight. The trails demand my best, both physically and emotionally. Physically, I was all there today. I felt strong and confident. Emotionally, I was a cookie-eating wreck. But the trails demand my best: “Really? You need a cookie? You with the shelter of an air-conditioned home, a fully stocked pantry, a good job, two healthy growing boys, a loving husband? Really?” It’s incredible to me how four short miles can shift hours of frustration and worry into thankfulness and joy. Yep, the run worked. I will sleep well tonight.
I read my bible today. Unlike consuming large quantities of Doritos and running the trails, this has not always been a natural source of comfort for me. This year has changed that a little (ok, a lot). Today I read Psalm 27. Three times. I have been reading Psalm 27 for two weeks. Daily. Verse 13 is even written on the chalk board in my kitchen. I read it to feel better. It works. For me, personally, it is a reminder that my worries and fears are all part of a master plan. I am waiting. Waiting for change, and growth and opportunity. I am waiting for a reason and praying I don’t miss the lessons along the way.
I ate a cookie today. I don’t regret it…but it wasn’t worth it. I’m better than that cookie. I have beautiful park trails nearby and strong, healthy legs to attack them. I have friends and family that love me unconditionally. I have my faith, and a handy bible app I should use more frequently. Let’s be honest…today’s cookie incident will not be my last. But I hope that I continue to learn that I have healthy habits that provide far more relief and inner peace than a few extra calories.