Monday, September 7, 2009

Healthy Relationships-Guest Blogger-Dale W. Hill

Please welcome marathon runner and Marriage Coach-Dale W. Hill as our guest blogger this month!

Healthy Relationships are Important Too

During my morning walk today (written on August 8, 2009), a woman was approaching me who looked extremely focused about what she was doing. She was running, and then she slowed down to a fast walk as if she were pacing herself. What a great stride, I remember thinking. She looked a little familiar as we approached each other, but she wore sunglasses and a cap on so it was hard to be sure if I knew her or not. Besides, it was 7am on a Saturday morning! I too felt focused and strong; arms pumping, fast pace, strong stride, legs feeling good...approaching my third mile. We passed each other and said the gracious 'Good Morning' that most people exchange as they pass each other working out in the mornings; whether they know each other or not; it’s an unspoken rule. As soon as we said 'Good morning' and passed each other she called out my name and turned around to face me! As soon as I heard her say my name, I knew who she was. I too called her name and turned around to face her! We couldn't believe it! We hugged! We hadn't seen each other or talked in a while, and of all places to meet!! "Oh my goodness!” she said, "....we were both so focused..." I cut her off, "….we were both so focused that we almost didn't even recognize each other!” She said, "You're a long way from home!" We exchanged very little chit-chat as our bodies never seemed to stop moving because it was obvious to both of us that we were both on a personal fitness mission! We were in a groove. We both understood our unspoken body language that said, 'Good to see you. Let's talk soon. But I've got to go!' And we went our separate ways assuring each other that we would call the each other. As I picked up my pace, and regained my focus and once again took hold of my goal of getting to my Weight Watchers meeting by 8am, I thought to myself, why hadn't either of us contacted the other before our paths crossed at 7am on a Saturday morning on Rodeo Road?! When we think about friends that we haven't seen in a while, why don't we just pick up the phone and call them? I've thought about her over the past months and I bet it is safe to say that she has thought about me, so what has kept us from reaching out to each other, to catch up and see how the other one is doing? Well, that's easy, you say. Everyone is busy. Life happens. She's doing her thing and your doing yours. You know you love and respect each other and when you see each other like you did on this particular morning, it's all good. No big deal. Everyone understands. Get over it. Hmmm....That is the reality of it, isn't it? We are so busy 'doing' life, that just 'being' a friend or just 'being' a wife, or just 'being' a mother, or just 'being' a sister, or just 'being' an Auntie, or just 'being' a Grandmother, becomes less important and less valued than the ‘doing’ of those various roles. ‘Producing’ has become more important than ‘listening’. ‘Multi-tasking’ has become more valuable than ‘laughter’. ‘Accomplishing’ has become revered over ‘resting’. I'm guilty! How about you?! One time two sisters found themselves preparing for a guest who would be the most important guest that they ever had in their home. One sister did all the grocery shopping to buy the best food to serve. She did the cooking. She did the cleaning. She made sure that everything was perfect in their home for their guest. The other sister prepared her spot where she would sit to listen to the guest when he arrived. After the guest shared wisdom and truth, the busy bee sister was indignant with lazy sister. Proud of her accomplishments, busy Bea publically accused lazy Liza to their esteemed guest of not doing her share to prepare for him. "The Master said, Martha, dear Martha, you're fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it - " (Luke 10:41-42a The Message) Since I believe my steps are ordered, as it tells us in Psalm 37:23, I believe this morning's 'meeting' with my friend, has reminded me that I need to spend more time ‘choosing’ what is essential in life. I need to 'be' more and 'do' less. The kitchen sink will only be empty for a little while so why spend more time washing dishes than catching up with a friend? The laundry basket will only be empty for a few hours so why spend more hours washing clothes than spending time with my husband? The agendas and lesson plans can wait, but in the wink of an eye my 15 year old son will be going away to college. Good, sound, fulfilling relationships just don't ‘happen’; they take work; and investing our time and our full attention; and it’s always worth it in the end. As we choose to have things in our lives done decently and in order, with a healthy balance, let's help each other 'do' less and 'be' more.