A Balancing Act

Food for thought
Food for thought

I am an incredibly thoughtful and generous soul. This isn’t just me tooting my own horn, I’ve been told this on numerous occasions. I don’t think about doing thoughtful things, they just come inherently to me. I know that this is not a trait that is instinctual to most; I really wish it was.  I do these things because it is in my nature. I don’t do them to receive something in return. My friendship and kindness isn’t a tit for tat situation. However, every now and then, things get out of balance and I am usually the one who  get injured.

A perfect example is yesterday’s half marathon (which incidentally I finished in 2:43:15, I was pacing at a 2:38, but I got a bad cramp in my calf and had to walk for a bit. However, insanely good with so little training). This half is a huge deal; many of the elite runners come to the United NYC Half as their warm up to marathon season. There are 30,000 runners from all over who come to participate. It’s even televised locally and on ESPN3. To run it, is an honor and a privilege. Earlier in the week, one of my friends asked me if I would come cheer for her next Saturday at the Sleepy Hollow Half. I said, of course. However, was the gesture reciprocated while I ran the NYC Half? I don’t think the thought even registered on her radar. I had expressed my apprehensions and concerns over my performance numberous times and I could have used support from friends along the course but, I didn’t have any.

I had a friend who relocated to North Carolina. I use to fly down to visit her every few months, however when  she would come back up to New York to visit, she would not make time to see me. She felt that since I would come to her, she did not need to see me when she came home and she could focus on the friends who didn’t make the effort to come to visit. This became a large obstacle in our friendship which eventually caused the demise of our friendship.

There are many other examples. I actually have a stash of evidence of this imbalance, like unclaimed Christmas presents for friends too busy to meet up and $50 in Babies R Us credit for a baby gift I kept having to return for a larger size for a friend whose baby is now a year and I still have not met.  I promote their causes, I praise their victories, and I support them when they need but I don’t always get the reciprocal treatment.

I’m not going to change who I am; as I have said, it is in my nature. However, I realize I need to be a bit more aware that not everyone is like me and it might be time to reevaluate some things to get back in to balance.



5 thoughts on “A Balancing Act”

  1. First of all, Bravissima for having finished the Half and especially with such great timing… I’m glad the weather held out for you yesterday…
    Secondly, I can totally relate to your feelings about extending yourself so much and not receiving the same in return… It’s so hard… I don’t have any advice unfortunately since it happens to me too. I do take “baby steps ” sometimes in saying No at times and it feels liberating to think of myself first, before others.. I think that’s what it boils down to…
    Congrats again on running the Half and have a super start to the week!

    1. Thanks Lia! I have improved in the “making myself a priority” department. I learned that lesson while marathon training. I just need to monitor the going above and beyond levels. I wish there was an app that set off a “too much” buzzer when you’re giving too much.

  2. I’ve been there, too. At the same time, I know I have let some people down before, and been the one to cause the hurt. Because of that, when someone I care about drops the ball, I try to forgive and not take it personally. I think making mistakes helps in finding forgiveness somehow.
    However, it is difficult to be a caring, selfless person in a self-absorbed world. Every time I have been hurt or betrayed in a big way, I have had to fight the urge to become more focused on me and force myself to think outside of self…getting burned makes me more selfish, so to speak. I work on that daily.
    I say, don’t change a thing! I think that caring for others and reaching outside of yourself makes for a more content life overall! Even with the bumps and scrapes, it’s worth it!
    Kudos on your race! Agreed a smiling, familiar face at the finish line is mandatory! 🙂

    1. Thanks for your comments, Martie! I don’t think anyone was intentionally being malicious. People just get wrapped up in their own stuff. I’m sure there are times that I make oversights and may upset people too. None of us are perfect, we just have to try to keep being the best versions of our selves!

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