It’s Not Easy But It Is Wonderful

“Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” – Clarence –  Guardian Angel, Second Class

It’s just not Christmas until I’ve seen ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. And it’s not until George Bailey’s guardian angel, Clarence, utters those words to a confused and distraught George that George gets it and he is finally ready to live again. Every year I watch it. And every year I finish it a little bit better of a person. Because I walk away having learned something different each time. A year of life passes between my viewings. I’m not the same person I was when I saw it last. So, in a way, I am always seeing it for the first time. And this year I teared up as always when Sam Wainwright’s telegram gets read and, well…I’ll just let you know what I thought about as I listened to the bells ring. (Attaboy Clarence!)

It’s not easy being there for someone else – when they need you – instead of just being there when you can. It’s not easy to stay behind when you want to lead. It’s not easy to lead the way when you’re just as scared as everyone else. It’s not easy to carry the load when you want to be carried. Life just isn’t easy. And maybe that’s what it’s about – those tough times where we get to lead and protect, the hard times when we get to stay behind and give the spotlight to someone else, the exhausting times when we get to take the burden off someone else’s shoulders, those moments when we get to carry each other.

Not HAVE to. We GET to.

It’s George Bailey who gets saved at the end. A man who saved people his entire life. It’s George there at the end who is the one needing to be carried and led and shown the light. It’s George who is surrounded by people willing to sacrifice for him as he had for so long for them.

We all have a few George Bailey’s in our life. Today seems like a good day to thank them and be thankful for them.

And WE are all George Bailey to someone else. Today seems like a good day to remember that and be thankful for that too. It’s a gift to be able to touch other people’s lives.

Be here. Fill up your hole. And you will fill up the holes in so many other people’s lives while your at it.

That’s a wonderful life.

Merry Christmas

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Running Through A Moment

We remember our lives as singular moments. The most exciting part is we don’t usually know when one, an always and forever remembered one, is taking place. Sometimes though – we do. Last night I had one. And I knew it. In a quiet and seemingly private park I knew I was fully living one of those moments.

There were close to 100 of us and we had Central Park in NYC all to ourselves. We are runners. And we know that for what we put in to our running we will get so much more out of it. And that is why the weather doesn’t decide when we run. We decide when we run.

Yes, it was cold. Yes, it was snowing. And yes, we ran. And we were given a gift as a result – a snowfall covered course with only the gentle sounds of our effort as a soundtrack. I tried to take as much of it in as I could. I thought – THIS is a moment. Right now. Here. Take it in. All of it – the sights and sounds and the faces of the other runners and the skyline and the snow dusted horse and carriages. Remember this – these things – remember tonight.

And if the memory ever gets hazy I got yet another gift today – a picture from @paulstawong – the one that graces the top of this post – that captured it all.

And it all happened because I just went for a run. And as usual, I walked away with so much more.