Thursday, November 8, 2007

life is goo

I saw this sign as I walked downtown this morning. I found it very amusing...and the reason is- it's just so true! Now, I'm not sure the point that the shopkeeper or marketer was trying to make- but to me, it said a lot that I am positive was totally unrelated...

Say "goo" to a triathlete and we think Gu. Gu is a small packet of intense calories- basically straight sugar and caffeine. Marathoners and triathletes use it during long workouts when their bodies are being depleted of fuel and need a rapidly metabolized pick-me-up to sustain energy and keep moving.

Life sometimes feels to me like training practice with a bunch of Gu- giving me spikes of energy and maybe even sustaining me for a while, but when it comes down to it, too much Gu is not a good thing. You can sustain yourself for a while on the stuff, but more than likely, you do it too long and you're going to feel nauseous and eventually crash. The whole idea of squirting something quickly in your mouth so you don't have to stop to refresh yourself has it's benefits- convenience mainly- but it's pretty unnatural. The body just need some good complex carbs every once in a while!

I think that in the past I have erred on the side of relying on Gu too much- if you move quickly and embrace change, you don't have to think too much about what you're doing, who you are becoming, or the unhappy realities that sometimes surround you in life. Conversely, sometimes you miss the simple pleasures as well (can't forget those ;). I think Gu is my form of escapism.

A few weeks ago I was coming to the end of about 6 weeks of traveling and I was walking around a lake on a gorgeous fall day catching up with a few friends (via iphone). My friend Kacie was listening to me babble on about life in all its wonderful twists and turns and she said something that really jolted me. "Vanessa, I feel like you are always in fast forward and we're just trying to find the pause button so we can bring you back to play." I laughed at the time, and over the next few days tried to justify to myself why it was good that I adapted so quickly, made quick decisions, and grabbed hold of opportunities- I'm usually really good at justifying things- but for whatever reason, this time, that loving criticism stuck.

The last few weeks I have really tried to slow down and think, read, and pray- a lot. It has been so uncomfortable- and so necessary. I didn't anticipate how hard it would be for me to stop doing and to just be still. I've been doing yoga, even though - no, especially because, it usually drives me crazy because it is so slow and repetitive. I've even tried meditating. That's a doozy. But, mostly, I have just allowed myself to sit in a state of uncertainty and begin to recognize what I am drawn to when I slow the momentum in my life.

It has left me feeling a little more lost than I ever really remember feeling, but quite a bit more faithful as well. "Be still and know that I am God." He meant it. I'm grateful for the chance to understand even a little bit more what that really means.