Running Toward the Positive


I had been missing my sneakers.

I was told by my sweaty frat-boy surgeon  that I should wait until October 1st  to run after having my appendix removed on September 10th.  Needless to say, I didn’t comply.   He had also told me that I could go back to work last week, which I did, and spent 3 nights running up and down stairs as I waited  on hungry and thirsty patrons.  I decided that If I could do that, then I could run on the streets.  So on Thursday, I wrapped my stomach tightly with an ace bandage and ran 5 miles.   Ironically, I felt great because while I was resting my body from surgery, all my other ailments — like Achilles tendonitis had time to heal.

One of the reasons I needed to run last week was that I was signed up for a 5K yesterday which was a memorial run for a friend’s brother.  It was a beautiful day for a race yesterday, albeit a little warm, and although it was my slowest time -08.35/mile, I still came in 7th in my age group.   I’ll take that.  If I can stay out of the hospital for a little while, I will be working on getting my time back under an 8 min mile.

I realized yesterday that what has helped me recover from setbacks in the last few years is as simple as keeping a positive attitude. If I say that I can do it — then I can. Simple as that. So I have decided that I need to apply that same attitude to the rest of my life, specifically, my relationship with my children.

I ran into my beautiful cousin, Kathy, at the race yesterday, and she asked me about my kids.  My reply, as  is typical when I am asked about my family, tumbled from my lips, quick and snide.

“Well, you know, whatever, they drive me crazy.”

For years, this has been my standard answer to inquiries about my family, but for some reason, yesterday, it felt dirty and ugly and the words seemed to hang in the air between us.  Maybe it’s because Kathy doesn’t have children and doesn’t understand the feelings of frustration that mothers live with on a daily basis.  Or maybe because I hadn’t seen her in a long time and she doesn’t know that I really do love my children. That I really am kidding.The attitude that I have adopted when speaking of my kids has become a terrible habit.  Yes my kids drive me crazy.  Of course I would like to throw my 15-year-old out the window, and yes I wish my 12-year-old were not such a suck-up and by all means I think my 9-year-old daughter can be the biggest bitch on the planet….but do people really want to hear that?  Because on the other side of the coin, I also think that my 15-year-old is one of the funniest people I know, my 12-year-old has a heart of gold, and my little girl is beautiful and talented.  Why don’t I say that?

Well, that’s a blog for another day. That’s a blog about the Irish, and about the fear of sounding pompous like those parents who brag constantly about their children. But it’s ok.  I am starting to believe that a little bragging could go a long way in changing my environment. It’s far easier to be negative and I truly believe that those negative thoughts become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If I continue to say my kids are evil and horrible –even in jest-then they will become evil and horrible. We as humans rise to the level of our expectations, don’t we?

What I will do from now on is take the attitude I have incorporated about my health and my ability to make my body recover and move when I know it doesn’t want to and put that on my kids. I believe that If I stop focussing on the negative about by children and focus on their strengths, then we will all be happier.  Habits are hard to change.  And this habit of mine is 15 years old, so it may take a little time and extra thought.  So when you see me and ask me how my kids are doing don’t be surprised if you see my eyes glaze over as I hesitate for a few minutes.  I will be turning the negative into positive in my own head and hopefully I will get the words out, “They are wonderful –pure joy–I can’t imagine my life without them.”

Because that is the truth.

About francesbarrie

Cancer survivor,mom,triathlete,writer,jewelry maker, baker. Staying happy and healthy,living life and enjoying it one moment at a time.
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6 Responses to Running Toward the Positive

  1. Rose says:


    You always make me laugh! And you also make me cry…8.35 is a low mile? I have not battled half of what you have and I find 8.35 to bhe my fast mile….and you don’t even like to run, right????????

  2. karen says:

    Beautiful! And so true!

  3. Renae says:

    What a beautiful post. I, too, am sometimes ashamed at the negativity I find coming out of my mouth, especially as it related to my three children: ages 10, 9 and 8. I love them very much … they are my heart! But they also drive me crazy. I grew up in a house where all we ever heard from our parents was how they’re kicking us out when we’re 18. Guess what … all but one of my sisters LEFT as soon as possible. I found myself getting into that habit with my kids, too, saying innocent things like, “Oh–you can wipe your butt! Now you’re ready for your own apartment!” Or … “Yay! You can brush your own hair! Let me see what apartments are available for you!” One day, I realized that I didn’t want my kids growing up feeling like I lived to get them out of my house. I want them to feel comfortable and wanted here … free to stay as long as they need. So I changed that … I won’t say those things anymore and correct anyone who hints at it or jestfully tries to say it for me. That’s just one correction I made … I have more to go. And your post reminded me of how important it is to do so! To future positivity and kids who know they’re loved despite how they drive us crazy! 🙂

  4. Judi says:

    You said that perfectly, and you do have amazing kids.
    We don’t have any children so I don’t know how I would be. They are so sweet, caring, gorgeous, and personable and they get alot of it from you and Mark.

  5. Fran,

    Provocative as ever. I’ve thought along the sames lines, usually when screaming at my kids (13, 9, 6) for some silly reason that has more to do with me (tired, frustrated, didn’t close a deal) than with them.

    Last week in church, the sermon helped me conclude that my spiritual experience and goal boils down to two words/commands: Love! Share! So now I’m trying to have the first thought — or at least the first word I try to form in my mind — be “Love.” In any situation with respect to any person. If I can start with “Love,” then I expect I’ll experience more of it in my life, and that means there certainly will be less yelling!

    Thank you!


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