Great Enough


“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”  Mary Oliver.

Recently** I read a post by another blogger, SoCal Runner Gal, about a class in which she was asked to write down her vision for herself 5 years into the future.  Then, without forewarning, she was asked to share it with a stranger in the class.  She subsequently decided to post the vision letter on her blog.

Several things struck me about her post.  First was her complete honesty and sincerity in her letter to herself, her lack of fear in stating exactly what she wants.  Next was her willingness to be vulnerable and share her dreams with her audience, most of whom I presume that she doesn’t personally know.

She then challenged her readers to share their 5 year vision on her blog with others.  Her proposal stumped me.  I realized that for the first time in maybe over 20 years, I don’t have a 5 year plan.  I went ahead and wrote a little comment about continuing to do what I am doing now, and hopefully reaching and supporting more women, possibly through writing.

The next morning on my run, my thoughts kept circling back to her question.  What is my 5 year plan?  Do I need to have one?

I am grateful to finally be “settled in” to where I want to be.  I have a good job, supportive husband, 3 kids who are able to bathe and dress and do their homework on their own, and I live in a city and a home where I am happy.  In the last few years, I put discovering my interests on my priority list.  And this January, I took the bold step for me, of starting a blog.  That’s all great, but her question is still lingering on my mind.

When is great enough good enough?

The answer is different for every person, whether or not they have ten times less or more on their plate than I do.  But if I’m still ruminating about this question, then obviously a part of me knows that now that all is “settled,” for me, there should still be a vision and a path towards more.

Let’s start with my reasons for starting this blog.  Because running and the lessons and clarity it brought me, the calm that it gave to my internal storm, significantly changed me.  If I can run and write and possibly motivate just one or two people and impact their life, it will be worth it.  Because I’ve been the science and math girl my entire life, and I just wanted to stretch myself and color outside the lines.  This non-creative and non-athletic girl wants to take a crack at being both.  Because I’ve always been interested in connecting with women of varied backgrounds and ages, a United Colors of Benetton meets Dove Beauty ad combined, and having honest conversations.

I guess I would love to have a regular column online somewhere, Zelle at Runner’s World or Women’s Running wouldn’t be too shabby, where I can reach more people.  It’s scary for me to not delete that sentence.  Publicly announcing a want that is not fully in my control, a secret wish that may very well not come to fruition, is like turning on to the unmarked path on a trail run, pushing me out of my control comfort zone.

After thinking about it for a few days, I know that just reaching more people or getting a column somewhere is not the answer.  In a way, this blog is an attempt to give back to running, and I know that my 5 year plan needs to involve more giving back.  It may take me a while to flush out all the details, and I need to remind myself that it’s ok for me to not have a definite precise plan.

As a start, I was already signed up to run the Hollywood Half Marathon on April 11th, 2015.  After some research, I learned that there is a team running it from Every Mother Counts, a non-profit organization dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, raising funds that support maternal health programs around the world.  On 3/25/15, I requested to join them, to dedicate my run to bringing some awareness to their organization, and fundraise for them.  It’s a turn of a page, while I run through figuring out this next chapter in the journey of my life.

One woman dies every 2 minutes from complications during pregnancy and childbirth.                                                           **I read the blog post from SoCal Runner Gal on 3/17/15                                                                                                           My fundraising page for EMC Mom On The Runsanity

About Paria

Runner, mother, pediatrician, blogger

12 comments on “Great Enough

  1. I love this post! I’m at this point in my life where I keep asking myself, what next? In 10 years? I’d love to be retired. Will I still be relevant in my 60s? My blog has been a lifeline for me…I get to reach so many other (mostly women) with like interests. And like you, I’d love to write for a larger audience. Time will tell…

    • Glad you enjoyed…that other post got me thinking about what next…which I hadn’t done in a long time…and I think just being aware of it will open my eyes to more of what is going on around me and how I can potentially make an impact!

  2. Thanks for giving me something to think about on my next long run! I too haven’t been asked what my 5 year plan is in a very long time. Time to set some personal goals for myself…I have a major milestone birthday coming up in a year and a half. Children that are growing and will be moving on.
    I am loving your blog and so glad to have found it!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post, and thanks for reading my blog. I still really need to think about how exactly I want to give back. I know I don’t want it to just be fundraising. I want to find ways that I can dedicate my time, which I know is a more valuable commodity, and get my kids involved, too.

  3. Paria, I love this post! Keep up the great work and good things will come your way. Sometimes, I think in being vulnerable myself, I am giving back to others because they are allowed to feel comfortable opening up about their individual struggles; I know you certainly have me thinking about longer-term goals and where all of this is headed – ha! Thanks so much!

    • I’m so happy that I’ve got you thinking….and to have a runner and a reader appreciate a post means a lot to me…thanks for your feedback:)

  4. Recently, I attended a Professional Business Women conference for work. One of the breakout seminars I attended was about the power of words, of which I’m a firm believer. Words can be lethal, or they can be uplifting. One of the words we learned is a Hindi word – genshai – meaning not to treat others or yourself in a way that them or you feel small. I’m paraphrasing here. There is greatness, excellence in all of our journeys. The seminar ended with everyone writing your one Genshai goal, and use the steps discussed in the seminar to achieve your Genshai goal. I wanted to share this because of this post.

    If it helps you, every year since 2000, I take a “pulse” on my last year and think about what’s next for me – whether it’s for the next year, 5 years or 10 years. And I work on little things to get me closer so that what’s next will become my “present”. You can read that as present tense of today, or you can read that as a present, like a gift for yourself today. Love words!

  5. I love this post!! Wow, ever since I read it, I have been even more deeply considering ‘what are my 5year goals?’ (Which I obsess about all the time but do not wish to admit I obsess about). I reread it and will keep rereading it. So much food for thought here. I love your courage in writing down and sharing how you are processing this question. I love your metaphor ‘like turning on to the unmarked path of a trail run’. I appreciate your generosity in sharing your positive transformation with others to help them attain theirs! Thanks to you and your blog, I am now making time at least twice a month to reconnect to Nature and exercise via my favorite pasttime activity: hiking. Very tough to do in NYC as you need to drive at least an hour each way in depessing traffic through ugly neighborhoods to get anywhere quiet and full of trees and space and fresh air. But I am now prioritizing this as what I need to do to be happier and healthier. You reminded me of how important to take care of one’s soul in some way, and to exercise. just two hikes in the past few weeks left me the following days feeling more refreshed and sleeping better, and happier. Thank you!!

    Congrats on your run tomorrow!! Will be thinking of you!!!

    • Yay! So happy that you are hiking…yes it’s a pain to make time for these things, but once you get there, you never regret the time you put into it:)

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