Where Roses Bloom

One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today. 

-Dale Carnegie

Sometimes life gets in the way. It happens to all of us. We get busy with work, school, cleaning, running errands, taking care of children and families and start to forget to enjoy the small things. Dinner with a friend, a walk in the park, a solitary run or a lazy afternoon spent on the couch with loved ones.

Ever since I got sick, life has been nothing but in the way. Just as things were starting to look up for me with a new job and a fresh start, I was suddenly hospitalized for ten days and potentially lifelong complications after that. I am constantly worried about my health, medical bills, what the next blood test will reveal and when I will be able to return to “normal,” including running and working out. My days start running together with work, worry, doctor’s appointments and on and on. I think about what I “should have,” “could have,” or “would have” done before I got sick.

I momentarily forgot there was life beyond the life I am living. I still need to take the time to enjoy the things that made me happy before. It has been so long since I have seen so many of my running friends – primarily because I am not running right now – that I forgot what it was like to be in the company of another human being that wasn’t a family member or colleague. It was nice, comforting and a gentle reminder that even in the midst of my medical crisis, I do need to “stop and smell the roses” once in awhile, if you will.

Last night I went to dinner at Northstar Cafe(Hello-my-new-favorite-place-and-why-didn’t-I-find-you-earlier!) with my friend and co-coach, Judi. Northstar is a local café that “recognizes that every decision we make affects the health of our community and the environment on a local and on a global scale.” I especially like that Northstar is extremely careful about the ingredients they use. Per their website, “We choose locally grown, organic, and artisan produced foods not only to protect the environment and to support producers whose values are aligned with ours but also so that we are serving the most wholesome and delicious food we can.”

We ordered chips and salsa for starters:

And the best ginger ale I have ever had:

For dinner, we had the Buddha Bowl (Pan seared organic tofu or roasted chicken, long-grain organic brown rice with peanut sauce and bright veggies). I had the tofu, which was absolutely delicious:

Judy agrees: 

Afterwards, we drove over to the Park of Roses and surprisingly, there were still plenty of beautiful roses in bloom for us to look at. The Park features three rose gardens, a herb garden, perennial garden, and prairie.

Here is part of one of the rose gardens: 

And so many beautiful roses, the orange ones are among my favorites. I can’t imagine what the park looks like in the spring when it is in full bloom:

We grabbed a bench and sat and talked until the sun went down (and-it-was-near-dark-and-we-don’t-have-the-best-luck-so-why-test-it-we-better-leave-NOW) and we decided it was time to go. It was truly a great night, and I am thankful to be reminded of what a wonderful friend I have in Judi. I can be myself, laugh, cry and talk about all of my craziness and she doesn’t judge me or treat me differently. In fact, she understands more than a lot of people do. It’s nice to be able to relate to someone on more than one level and just enjoy each other’s company and friendship.

I’m truly thankful I took some time last night to smell the roses blooming right outside my very window and enjoy life for what it is, instead of what it could be.

Until the next mile marker,