Adventures in Imperfection

Thanks For Keeping Me Going

The hills, they lie.


Whether you’re a runner, a biker, a walker, or human being trying to muddle through life, the hills can reach up and grab you with their dirt, gravel,or asphalt arms. They choke you with an alternative reality and can convince you that you’re:

  • slow
  • old
  • fat
  • out of shape
  • out of touch
  • out of your mind
  • done

The hills can be the slopes you run, or a metaphor for obstacles.

I know this going into my morning runs, but all the positive affirmations in the world don’t seem to stop the feeling of:

I’m not going to make it

The summit is too far away

I’m dying 

Age and bad knees have taught me to be humble and gentle with myself, so it wasn’t a surprise that I struggled with that hill again this morning. What starts as an unobtrusive climb, continues for a mile of soul-stealing incline torture. Add a Kansas south wind, and I’m penning my last will and testament.

I usually run with my husband, so instead cursing the hill, I focused my less-than-positive efforts on the dude and the dog running in front of me. Hubs has been working hard, getting in shape, and losing weight to be healthier and more energetic so it’s natural that I want to support him, right? Riiight.

Soulful Sweet Wife says, Look at him go! 

Ego-Infested Wife says, He’s leaving me behind…

Sarcastic Wife says, Thanks for not stopping (insert derogatory name here)

That less-than-generous inner tone set like a bitter potassium pill on the tip of my tongue. Whatever happened to no man left behind? Nonetheless, I kept my mouth shut, trudged on and watched the back of the man leaving me in the dust.

Then, something funny happened.

The longer I ran, the more ground I covered. The more ground I covered, the more I realized that I would make it. My face softened, my breathing became even, and suddenly, I was grateful. If Scott would have stopped, I would have, too.

When I finally caught up to him, I touched his arm and said, Thanks for not stopping.

How many times have we thanked the people in our lives who didn’t let us stop?

  • A grade school teacher who told us we could do better
  • A parent with a gentle touch and firm recommendation to do homework first, play second
  • A coach barking out an order for one more rep/mile/set of stairs/lap
  • A hint of spring on day where we couldn’t stand to see one more inch of rain or snow

Let’s take this a step further. Instead of using negative framing phrases or words like not or stop, what would be a more positive way to express this gratitude?

Thanks for keeping me going…

Dear honeysuckle at near full-bloom right now — it was your promise of blossoms and aroma that kept me from chopping down your winter-stripped twigs choking our creek ~~thanks for getting me through winter

Dear Friends who tolerate my rare low moments and remind me to Suck it up Buttercup ~~thanks for keeping me grounded

Dear Children who give me a smile and a hug to start the day ~~thanks for giving me a reason to rise with the sun

Dear Mamas who send me sweet messages through the week ~~thanks for being my positive peoples

Dear Keyboard with its finger-smudged letters ~~thanks for waiting

Dear seedlings in my greenhouse ~~thanks for growing

Dear Hubby for supporting me in all my shiny object moments and traipse to the middle of Kansas for a photography Instameet~~thanks for letting me chase my dreams

To all of you, who read my ramblings ~~thanks for taking your time to be here

And to Scott, this morning ~~thanks for keeping me going

Thanks for not stopping


92 thoughts on “Thanks For Keeping Me Going

  1. You’re FABULOUS, my dear, and such an inspiration. I doubt you see how you also keep other people going. Thank you for the lessons you offer so generously and with such beautiful abundance ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know, Lizzi…I was looking through cards and such yesterday and found so many of your sweet gifts and reminders. You have kept me going so many times – thank you for those moments. Gratitude creates a groundswell of energy and I feel so blessed to be surrounded by people who feed into it.
      Thank you for being that ever-positive person – I truly appreciate you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m (probably not surprisingly) not always ever-positive. I struggle a lot with positivity, and I think that’s one of the things which makes me so determined to nurture and share it on the days when I’m able to.

        I am so SO glad the little things I’ve sent have made such a difference to you. *BIG HUGS* Lots of love to you ❤ ❤

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes – I’m afraid that I’m Ms. Sarcastic Wife more than I’d like to admit.
      That said, I can always find a way back to where I’m supposed to be.
      As a kindred spirit…it feels like you make a pretty graceful circle yourself, though I can’t imagine you ever being sarcastic 🙂
      Love you!


    1. Hi Kelly!
      Love seeing your smiling face here!
      Thank you for the kind words and for all the twitter love. It feels good to share, doesn’t it?
      i also really appreciate your positive spirit and ever-present energy – I have already learned a lot from you.
      Thank you again for taking the time to be here.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There’s a kind of trendy place to jog in Hollywood and you go up a huge canyon and the air gets thin. My husband and I used to jog there before our children were born so we were still in our 20’s. I would get so out of breath and once saw some friends jogging there while I was pretty much hyperventilating! Ha, ha! Thanks for the memories!


    1. What an awesome story! It’s fun to think about life in our 20s…and yet, be glad we’re not back hyperventilating on that hill.
      I hope you guys are doing great – love seeing what you and your family are doing!


  3. Can I come to your mountain top and listen to your heart as you speak from there Michelle? ❤
    Much gratitude kind lady, is a wisdom learned through the heartache of watching your other half's backside zoom past you, but understanding the lesson beneath it as you have…in the action miss, not his backside 😀
    You have reached a place within yourself Michelle, a more loving of self because of what you've been through, and expressing from that place. Well done and take a bow, it is not an easy place to find, but in finding it your heart opens as those walls come tumbling down 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dearest Mark,
      Even your comments sound like poetry. Thank you so much for your kind words.
      And, what a joy to find that there’s a post from you waiting in my inbox like a gift. I have learned so much from you over the years and continue to do so.
      Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being there.
      Regarding that backside…I don’t mind watching it at all 😉
      Namaste 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Makes the run easier Michelle, especially slogging those slopes, gives you something to focus on 😀
        And thank you for your kind words my friend, they are an echo of that heart within and gladly received ❤ 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  4. You had me at Thanks. Beyond beautiful. I feel your words, your photos, and your heart all lining up together, cheering you on, over hill and dale, through thick and thin, from sun up to sun down, taking you wherever you so choose to fly in life. Thank you for being a beautiful ray of light in my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Susan – you are a gem.
      Do you realize how much of my positive spirit is inspired by you?
      You have taught me so much about self-awareness and spirituality by your example, the readings you send me and the way you love your son. It’s because of you (and other friends like you) that I can move through this life with a full heart and happy soul.
      Thank you, my friend. Xoxox

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love what you did with this piece, Michelle! I hear you on hills, though haven’t run outside or really pushed myself in awhile. Love the gratitude and message to simply reframe the words and thoughts. I will try and do that more. Also, I do that to all my keyboards too. Apparently not everyone wears theirs out in this way, so I guess we’re special?


    1. We are totally special, Kristen!
      I was looking at my keyboard this morning – it’s fine when I’m tying a story or an e-mail, but when I have to put in passwords, it can be challenging when there’s not a lick of ink left on the key.
      I see that you answered the prompt this morning, too – can’t wait to see what you did!!
      Thank you for being here. Love you!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. My, dear sweet friend.
      I think about you every day and silently send you prayers and positive vibes, too.
      I can feel you sending them my way as well.
      Now – if I could put in an order for some extra chocolate and hours in the day…that would be great!
      Thank you again for being here – love you!


    1. Thank you, Carrie!
      One of the reason the edits on my book is taking so long is because I’m going back through and looking at negative vs positive framing and trying to be more consistent.
      Thank you for taking the time to be here! I know you’re busy and it means the world to me when I see your smiling face 🙂


    1. Oh Mary! You would have loved the Instameet! Jim Richardson, a photographer from Nat Geo, lives in Lindsborg, KS (who knew??) and gave us an amazing iPhone photography tutorial. What an amazing experience – I’d planned to write about it, but the hill was calling and I went up that instead 🙂
      Love seeing you here. Xoxoxox

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The biggest thing I learned? How to use the Panorama feature on the iPhone. AND – the Snapseed phone app is awesome. Some of your pics look like you may use that already…I also think you would like the DistressedFx app – it adds a real grainy feature (and you can add creepy birds if you want!)

        Liked by 1 person

  6. A wonderful piece. Sometimes the moments we are most proud of were the hardest to reach.

    … but I think if it was me, I’d still have mumbled a few creative expletives to be so unceremoniously dropped on the hill 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Joanne,
      I love seeing your smiling face here. Thank you!!
      Regarding the creative expletives…I totally mouthed the full range of four-letter words 🙂
      I hope you’re doing well – can’t wait to hop over and see what you have been up to. Hoping I have a door photo or two waiting for me 🙂 xo


    1. Hi Mark!
      You have kept me going more than once – crazy how cyberspace has the power to do that.
      Thanks so much for taking the time to stop and read. I know I have something waiting from you, too…I read the first sentence and knew I wanted to come back when I could fully enjoy. I hope you’re doing great and thanks for the Twitter love 🙂


  7. Wonderful, M…loved this. I get that with the hills. My knees get it, but my achilles and PF start to act up when I hit hills often, so I try to avoid them. The funny this is that I love doing hill work in general – isn’t that weird? Anyway, to your theme – gratitude – I really enjoyed how you laid it out. Switching out the negative for positive. I read something the other day, where it said instead of saying “sorry I’m late”, they say “thank you for waiting for me”, etc. So it’s a switch in perspective.

    Anyways, this is lovely work – and I adore that keyboard which is fading!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Poet Paul!
      I’ll have you know, that seeing your running pics on Instagram is one the things that keeps me going. I know you have been injured and laid up before, and it keeps me going when my creaky knee starts to whine. You don’t whine! Thank you.
      I love your positive for negative switch. I was listening the PSA over the speakers in the airports last week “Don’t smoke” “Don’t leave your bags unattended” and wondering how those could have been more positively framed. Fun to think about 🙂
      I hope you’re doing well. I’ve been signed off from WP – planning to read everyone soon. I am looking forward to it!
      Thank you for being here 🙂


  8. Of the many things that touched me, the finger-smudged letters on the keyboard waiting for keystrokes went straight to my heart. There have been times, oftener than not, when I have felt like dropping dead in the middle of it all. Those words will keep me going too.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Better late than never but I love this! Matthew and I had the day off today and we hiked a 7.5 mile (round trip) trail to a place called Seven Falls. We weren’t expecting to go on a long hike and I wanted to turn around but we met up with a park ranger who encouraged us to keep going and shared some of his water with us. I was filled with gratitude for the ranger and for my husband, who I haven’t had nearly enough alone time with lately. Gratitude helps me stay sane and there’s so much to be grateful for if we pay attention! I love the way you pay attention my friend. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am sooooo behind but I flagged the email that had the link that brought me here and I am SOOOO glad. It’s like you wrote this for me!

    Keep going my friend and thank you for being one of my many inspirations!


    1. Hey T,
      I am forever behind, too! I had promised a 6 word story to Eli…still holding that e-mail in my inbox! Thank you for taking the time to be here. You have kept me going so many times.
      I hope you’re doing well – I sure think about you a lot and send you all sorts of happy hugs and healing vibes. Xoxox

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Good morning my friend….. keep on keeping on girlfriend! You can cover the greatest amount of ground by putting on foot in front of the other. Even an elephant can be consumed one bite at a time! Wait! Am I talking to you or ME? *sigh* Loved the post. I’m down to the wire. I have a book review to write and a final next Wed, then Freedom! Freedom! I graduate with Highest Honors on May 12! And it’s because of awesome friends like you that kept ME going when I wanted to chuck it… Onto my next project! Bachelor’s at UT Tyler in the Fall! 😚💖


    1. Hellooooo lovely!
      OMG…you rock! Congrats on your upcoming graduation – with all the pretty cords, too! That is amazing!! You have kept me going so often through the last 2 years – just seeing your smile and feeling your encouragement always makes me feel not alone and valued. Thank you, C/K xoxoxox

      PS: I’m eager to check out the video! I’m on my iPad right now and it won’t load.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If you are still on your iPad, just go to YouTube app and put in George Michael.. Freedom! Great song! It isn’t really about freedom from school but love the song anyway. Came to mind when I was thinking about being done. I have mixed emotions though because I love my school and the teachers and the students. I will miss them all…
        I will have all kinds of cords around my neck and my Phi Theta Kappa sash.. and 2 tassels. Get a special one for PTK too. It will be a fun night. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Like Dori said, “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.” Also, I wanted to put the bug in your ear that Coach Daddy’s post from yesterday (I think) has something he thinks you’ll be interested in.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I love your writing! I’ll be back more often now. There are a few blogs I love reading but haven’t gotten the chance to visit for a while. This is one of them.


  13. So happy that you are back out running and hoping your knee healed up well.

    Love your analogies Terry between running those hills and the obstacles that are before us.

    And so wonderful you and your hubby can run together. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Amazing thing, gratitude. Just a simple reframe, and suddenly, there’s an abundance of great things. Only, we discover those gems were with us all along.

    You’re one of those gems, Michelle.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Reblogged this on A thank you, Every day and commented:
    Thankful that I found this funny yet meaningful post full of gratitude.
    See, I told ya, even the horrible bad days have something to be thankful in them!


  16. This is so, so lovely and motivating. I’ve found myself similarly struggling — to run, to think positively about my more physically fit husband on the treadmill next to me, about my jiggly body, about my lack of fitness motivation. I try to be positive, but it’s hard. Reading about how you’re putting a grateful spin on things is a reminder to me to try. Also, I love the part about your running and the more ground you covered, the more you realized you were going to finish. I’ve realized that years of “I don’t run because I can’t/because I hate running” were actually me defeating myself. The more I run, the more I realize that my body is in better shape than I realized, and that it’s getting better each time. I’ve realized that I’ve been lying to myself! So… I’m rambling. I just wanted to say that your post here has really resonated with me. 🙂 Thank you for resonating with me this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, Kaiya ❤️
      I am so honored that this resonated with you. Hubby and I ran that Dane hill this morning, and he is still faster and more fit…but, darn it! I was out there doing it! And…it sounds as though you do the same. I can see the positive spirit in your words – thank you for giving me some motivation today ❤️


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