Road to 26.2
Tuesday, January 8th- 5 weeks, 3 days until I get to run all the miles and then eat all the food
Years ago when we bought our first house, we were over at a neighbor’s house one evening. We bought this house in a neighborhood that was well above our budget, well well above. The house we bought was a wonderful diamond in the rough and simply needed a whole lot of love and even more elbow grease to turn it into our home. Many of our neighbors were years to decades older than we were.
One night, we were sitting around the fire pit at a neighbor’s home. They were a few years older, about ten years older, and just such fun and amazing humans. We had all had a few glasses of wine, when my husband asked them both, “You’re both clearly very successful and happy, what advice would you have given yourself ten years ago? What’s the best advice you have for us?”
Without missing a beat, they both replied that our friends would be the largest indicator of our future success. They went on to describe that the five people we spend the most time with would be the predictors of our lives in five years.
Frankly, I was horrified. I thought two things; first, how elitest, I can’t just ditch my friends because they’re not successful, and secondly, none of my friends are very successful, what does that mean for me?
Luke and I talked about this concept, and it took me about six months to come around the depth of their advice. Two events happened that not only proved their point, but helped me to understand what they meant. The first event was during our housewarming party; two of my lifelong friends had a whole-house food fight that included every single room of all three stories of the home, and resulted in me having to repaint and replace carpet. The second event was our first Christmas party in our new home. It was not a large party, just our friends and some new neighbors. It was a fun , low-key party, and everyone had a good time. I noticed the next day that my diamond earrings had been stolen, and there was only one person even around where I had my earrings stored. She was the girlfriend of one of our friends, and she stole earrings that had an enormous emotional component as well as being very nice diamonds.
After those two occurrences, I realized how right our neighbors were. I had a common past with these people, but that doesn’t mean I had to have a common future. People who have a food fight in one’s new home, and choose partners who are actual thieves, are not people who needed a starring role in my life. I took a step back and thought of how hard we had worked thus far, and the big goals we still had. We needed to choose people with common goals and common energies to help us in this next stage of life.
Without that mindset shift, I would not have been able to be on this marathon journey. A few short years after that conversation with our neighbors, we moved to Texas and had to make new friends. We met some amazing humans who have now become like family. We have keys to each others houses, we watch each other’s kids and animals, we have dinner together in sweatpants,we have amazing adventures together, we support each other through the fun times, and the stressful moments. One of our friends talked me into running two half marathons last year, and those experiences gave me the strength of self to be able to even think about running a full marathon which has been a life-changing experience.
I truly believe that we are the sum total of the five people with whom we spend the most time. We cannot achieve great things and accomplish incredible goals without people around you who are also doing the same. The energy is different when people work hard, bring light in the world, and pursue what sets their heart on fire.