Friday, June 5, 2015

A matter of perspective #WednesdayWord

After a run on a beautiful spring morning, I posted my post-run selfie on Facebook. I ran on the bike path, and snapped the picture in front of a little retention pond. Someone commented that it's very pretty where I run. I smiled when I read that because, yes, there are some pretty places to run but where I live, in suburbia, those spots are little oases in the middle of Congestionville, USA. I seek them out. That beauty behind me is really a matter of perspective.

This morning I took these pictures to illustrate my point. I'm standing in the exact same spot for both photos. I turned 180 degrees to take the shots. To the west is a 6 lane highway. To the east, green space. Guess which one I like to use for my running selfies? I usually crop out the high tension wires. If you follow me, did you ever have any idea, by the pictures I post, that I ran along a highway on my neighborhood run?


Most of the time, I don't even pay attention to the highway. When I'm running, it's like it's not even there. I unconsciously choose to focus on the field to the east.

While I ran today, I thought a lot about perspective...in running and in life. This run? My perceived effort was HARD. Even though it was only about 70 degrees, it was really humid, and I felt like I was running through sand. Summer running can really mess with my head, and it's time to pull out some of that mental fitness training I did last summer. I sweated buckets after this run, and I needed to put it all in the proper perspective; this was a great run for the conditions. 

On the run today, I thought about today's run and about perspective. Do you see yourself as others see you? Do the images that others portray--on Facebook, on Instagram, on their blogs--accurately reflect the person behind the images? I like to think that what you see from me is the real deal. I try really hard to be genuine in all my interactions with people--in my real life and in my virtual life. I'm not good at faking it. 

This is a picture of my youngest son from 2 years ago. Looks like he's drinking a beer, right? That's what the lady in the car next to us thought. Ooh, the look she gave us. Too bad, because it's cream soda. Perspective.
But perspective is a funny thing. Yesterday at work, someone told me I was rude, even when I thought I was being polite. (And for the record, my coworkers were as stunned as I was.) I will be the first to admit that I am very direct, and I know this about myself. Apparently this person's perception was different than the rest of us. Being called rude really bothered me, though. I don't see myself as a rude person. How do you change someone's perspective? 

Maybe you can't change how people see you, but you can change how you see yourself. I'm not, by nature, a positive person. My DNA has the gene for negativity. I've worked hard at overcoming that disability. Writing this blog and posting on my Facebook page has forced me to look at life as the glass half full. And that's a good thing. After all, who wants to read someone's self-pity story? Changing my perspective and becoming a more positive person is a personal goal that I've set for myself over the last couple of years. I believe that I've made great strides in this area. 


Until this past week. Life lately has really challenged me in this area and has threatened to send me backwards on my journey to positivity. This week, I've hit more than a few bumps in the road and shed some tears over some unpleasant encounters at home and at work. I had my annual review at work yesterday, and my manager, who is also a dear friend, empathized with me. "You've had a tough week, " she said. 

It felt really good to have some acknowledge that. But she put it all in perspective, as we reviewed the entire year--not just this past awful week. Sometimes that's all you need--someone to tell you they get it. And now I can move on. We talked a lot about how I need to let other people's negativity roll off my back. That I need to stop taking everything personally. Sometimes it's not about me. 

Actually most of the time it isn't about me. 

And that's it. I need to change my perspective. Like in my pictures above, it's all how I choose to look at things.  As Becky said to me today when we talked about this, her new motto for this year is "Good Vibes Only". I swear, she's a coach and sports psychologist all rolled into one. Wise beyond her years. I can choose to look on the bright side of life, or on the dark side. I need to stay positive as I move forward towards marathon #3 and that giant goal I've set for myself.

I have to keep that goal in perspective too. What if I don't achieve my sub-4 marathon? My BQ?

Am I still going to be enough?

If I work hard and stay positive, anything is possible. The body achieves what the mind believes. I've got a coach who believes in me. My friends believe in me. My family believes in me.

Do I believe in me?

I'll continue to take pictures with the pretty backgrounds. I'm going to keep running on the sunny side of the street. 

I can and I will.


I'm linking this post up with Jill Conyers for Fitness Friday! Check out the other blogs!

I'm also linking this post up with Debbie at DebRuns for Wednesday Word! What's your perspective?




74 comments :

  1. Ah, you really can't change how people see you. Usually it's more about them than you, or what they are going through, or assuming ... I hope your weekend turns things around. As for running scenery, I have realized that my brain is a better filter than my phone. I can see a pretty scene but when I try to take a picture my phone sees all the junky things my brain was ignoring.

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    1. I've learned a lot this week! I am a work in progress...

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  2. You nailed it when you said it's not about you. Geez the crap people say, I swear. I truly believe you find what you look for. If it's kindness, that comes. If it's something else, well that. Don't overthink that BQ. Keep making each run the best it can be and trust that you will execute on race day. No worries. It's in you.

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    1. You are so good for me, Marcia...you always put things in the proper perspective (there's that word again!). I'm just going to do my best through this training cycle, and what happens on race day? I know that I did my best.

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  3. "I'm going to keep running on the sunny side of the street." Golden words of wisdom! I keep struggling with my perspective...trying to be honest with my assessment of my current "condition" (a 26.2 happening in two weeks that I haven't trained for as thoroughly as I'd have preferred) vs. my glass-half-full attitude (so what? I'm running this for fun, and I'm running it with friends!). Now I have a wonky foot.....the foot is feeling much better, but will it let me "run" 26.2 miles, even in the company of friends? I have had a lot of people tell me this week that I"m an inspiration to them...and that makes me smile. That's been my goal all along.....to inspire others with my drive & attitude (and not impress them with insane over-the-top mileage or excessive training). Somehow, I think I"ll be OK :-) (Just kind of composed a mini blog post LOL)

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    1. I've got the wonky foot too, and that's on my mind... And yes, I've heard the "inspiration" comment a few times too, but of course, the negative comment wins! Why is that?

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  4. Good points! No you can't really change how others see you but we can all change the way we see ourselves in the mirror. Happy Friday

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  5. Such a great post! Thank you for sharing!

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  6. Perspective is so important. It is something I have been working on lately too. It can be a hard thing to change

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    1. Isn't it the truth? How we perceive ourselves as well has how we see others...

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  7. Sounds like we are having similar weeks!!! Chin up my friend, we've got this. xoxoxo

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  8. Perspective definitely is important. I am always forced to put things in perspective when I travel outside of my small rural town. I take for granted where I live, the lack of traffic and things to do but when I travel somewhere and the grass isn't as green, there isn't a large lake to enjoy at my leisure (I live on Lake Ontario) or I'm stuck in traffic for 2 hours it reminds me that where I live isn't so bad.

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  9. Let the good vibes roll! It can be hard to keep a positive attitude when frankly most people want to talk about the bad stuff. Look at the paper, how far do you have to go to find something good? Uggie, I say! But we can choose happiness! TGIF! today I choose Happy!

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  10. Great post. I tend to be a negative nellie too. It is important to remind ourselves to look at the positive.

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  11. You're absolutely right in that you can't control the actions of others. All you can do is control your attitude and perspective on everything happens around you and to you.

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    1. And this week was such a good reminder of that!

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  12. You are definitely enough, Wendy!! No matter what happens, you touch the lives of others every day through your work, your friends, your blog, etc.; I hope you can be proud of your accomplishments! Hope you have a nice weekend and enjoy some time out on the road.

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    1. I heard that a lot this week, but man, those negative voices really shut out the good. Why is that?

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  13. You are human like the rest of us--while we'd all like to ensure people see us as we see ourselves, that will never happen. But we can control our own perspectives and it sounds like you are on top of that project, so kudos. And you are more than enough!

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    1. Yep, the one thing I'm good at is pushing myself to be better--on the road and off. I have that perfectionist gene too...

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  14. Great post! Life really is all about perspective. I also find myself pulled into negativity even when I know I want to be more positive. For some reason positivity just doesnt' come as easily - but I'm working on it!

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    1. Wouldn't it be so nice to be a naturally positive person? Its a work in progress...

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  15. I know I don't see myself as others do...like I don't find myself interesting but others do. I too try to be and portray my genuine self.

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  16. Perspective is so important. You could choose to focus on the highway and how noisy it is, or you can choose to ignore it and focus on the good things. I work very hard to try and find the good in all situations because I find I'm happier overall if I do that.

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    1. I'm getting better at finding the good in everything all the time. But every once in a while, life sucks me in...

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  17. :hug: I"m sorry things have been tough. It happens to everyone, and even the most positive people get down. I am a person who also looks for the good, and tries to find a productive spin on things. Most of the time it works. I hope things start looking up.

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    1. I'm taking charge and trying to stay positive. It's all I can do!

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  18. I love this. I usually have a positive outlook, which has been challenged over the last nine months or so since I lost my job. And I do try to keep everything in perspective. I've got it pretty darn good.

    I had a similar thing happen a year or so ago, when a woman called me rude, when I didn't think that I was anything like it. I was enforcing a rule, which many people don't like. Fortunately, I had one of our members right there by my side. He agreed with me. Still, it bothers.

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    1. I'm so glad you told me that--everyone says I should shake it off, but that's easier said than done, right?

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  19. You can, you will, and you do. As you said on Wednesday, you run to persevere. One step, then the next, then the next. One foot, in front of the other. You will get there.
    PS I used to pretend that I WAS drinking beer when I would drink my IBC root beers.

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  20. Oh gosh... you will ALWAYS have different perspectives on the same issues... ALWAYS..
    & work is the worst. Its where you're forced to be around people you would NEVER otherwise be around... its a big issues around my work as well with different personalities. You just have to stay true to who you are, stay positive & know you leave at the end of the day... leave all issues there... keep the positivity with you in all of you... especially when you get to go home & live YOUR LIFE :)

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    1. I love that perspective about work...lol forced to be around people you would never otherwise be around! For better as well as for worse, right?

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  21. I"m a huge believer that you get from the universe what you give. I think positive vibes and I find the positive vibes. I don't have the time or energy to let other people problems or bad attitudes get in my way of my goals! Sounds like you are adopting a similar attitude - you will love it :)

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  22. What a great revelation! Someone shared with me recently that we have to be mindful of how we are perceived. It took me a minute to digest because what if they are just having a moment or a bad day? I truly believe when you are kind, displaying good fruit, etc...nothing change that. Keep smiling!

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    1. Today was great--I did keep smiling! And got a lot of them back!

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  23. Oh gosh, by nature I'm not a very positive person either, total realist. It's not that I look for the bad in things, I just don't live in a world where it's all sunshine and rainbows, it rains sometimes ;)

    Jen@Jpabstfitness.com

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    1. I'm with you--it's not that I look for the bad, it's just there. I consciously try to see past it all tho.

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  24. You seriously rock Wendy! Such powerful words that if given the chance can be life changing.

    The one thing that comes to mind about perspective is my husband. I've often thought if only I could see myself through his eyes. He sees things in me that sometimes I miss.

    Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for linking up with Fitness Friday!

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    1. My husband has a unique perspective; he's definitely even more of a realist than I am. Which means he's not always great about looking on the bright side...

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  25. I appreciate that you keep it real. With social media, most tend to crop out anything negative. Everything is usually portrayed as being absolutely wonderful. It's really why I don't FB. Some people then try to measure up to something that doesn't exist. I hope this younger generation will realize nothing is ideal. At times, life is messy and complicated. It's how we deal with it -- our attitude about it -- that makes it count. OK, I'll get off the soapbox. LOL.

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    1. Wouldn't it be great if everything were wonderful? I'm with you tho...it's how we deal with what life throws at us that's important.

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  26. Awesome post! I think that as runners we are always striving to be better but sometimes we end up focusing too much on the areas we are not as happy with, or get caught up in the comparison trap. We need to focus on the positive and remember to appreciate where we are right now and know that we can and will improve if its something we work towards!

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    1. I keep trying to move forward! Life holds me back sometimes, but I just keep pushing ahead.

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  27. Great post! All of life is really about perspective.

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  28. Ughhh! I hear ya. It's so hard to change perspective sometimes!!! You're doing great!

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  29. Wendy I really love this post! Sometimes it is hard to see the positive but i love that you're choosing to find the good parts of any situation, whether it's a running route or a work issue. Thanks for this, I needed to read this today!

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    1. It's really hard to stay positive when you're surrounded by negativity!

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  30. Hugs. Love this. Yes. Perspective is everything!!

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    1. I thought about it again this morning! Trying to stay positive...

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  31. Really great post! I recently wrote about perspective as well and how we portray ourselves on social media. So often we compare ourselves to what we see on people's social media when we really don't know what the "truth" is.

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    1. I think that's part of why I'm so down these days..everyone's posting about their kids graduations and going to college, and I"m just trying to get my oldest to get a job...lesson to self: stay off FB....

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  32. Your fellow bloggers believe in you too!

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  33. Oh I so appreciate this post, especially about how people portray themselves on social media - we only see what they chose to present...very important to keep in mind!

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    1. It's so easy to compare our lives to what we are seeing other people putting out there!

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  34. :)

    Funny, from reading your blog, I wouldn't take you for a negative person. I wonder how people see me? It's an interesting take on perspective.

    I've thought a lot about this year. It started off great, and the second half not so great . . . .and yet, and yet, that's not really true. When I go back through my running journal I see some of the bad things I'd totally forgotten about. And there have been bright spots even on dark days.

    I'm sorry you're having a tough time. Obviously, for very different reasons, I can relate. I'm not a cryer, but I've cried almost daily this week. But if you don't experience the lows, you can't enjoy the highs -- it's just life.

    And I do believe you can BQ, Absolutely.

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    1. I'm trying so hard to become a more positive person! Blogging really helps, because who wants to read about a complainer?

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  35. The struggle is real! Letting other people's negativity just wash off my own attitude is sooo hard, I really feel you on that. And I love how you've pulled in the visual perspective on your social media as a comparison - I should think most of us bloggers are guilty of this at one time or another, changing the angle or the background or even filtering to give a more positive perspective on our lives when we put them in the spotlight. But just as you say, sometimes we really DO have to take that 180 (in photos and in life) and find that different angle!

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    1. It really is all how you choose to look at things! I work so hard at putting a positive spin on things, no matter how much life pulls me down.

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  36. Love your perspective! We have a "good karma, good vibes only" sign in our office in the hospital where we huddle when we need to unwind from a tough day! Loved the portrayal on sm comment too...so true!

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    1. I think I need to hang that sign up at work, just to remind me!

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  37. What great examples you shared on perspective. Sorry you've had such a tough week, but thank goodness for a good friend and a good coach who both reminded you of who you are and what you have to offer, and yet to achieve. You rock, Wendy!

    Thank you for linking up and sharing your perspective!

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    1. Funny that when I wrote this back in June, I had no idea how timely it would be once again! It's always good to keep things in perspective...

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