What If?

What if you began to expect the best from any situation? Isn’t it possible that you could write new chapters in your life with happy endings? Suspend your disbelief? Take a leap of faith? After all, what have you got to lose but misery and lack?” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

At a recent weight-management meeting, members discussed how they successfully eat pizza. I had eaten pizza the previous day, but not successfully. I ate until I was full, then a fresh cheese pizza arrived, and I ate more. What was I thinking? I kept my eyes down and berated myself.

pizza cheese-cutlery-delicious-9708

After the meeting, a friendly woman told me she’d read my blog for the first time and thought it was gentle and encouraging. She mentioned a recent post, in which I said, “Take baby steps. If you can only walk a block, do that. Next time, walk a little farther.”

I felt better after talking with her and thought, “What if I were as gentle to myself as I am to others?”

I’m taking an online class and one assignment was to take a picture of some chaos in our lives, then look for inspiration in it. I took a picture of the mess on my counter and in my side pantry, and commented “Not much about this is inspiring.” But the instructor wrote: “To me what’s inspiring is the potential in the cookbooks, maybe even some of the stories that go along with them. The counter top shows life in motion and that’s inspiring.”

This reminded me again that I could be nicer to myself. I sat down with a cup of tea and looked again for inspiration among my chaos. My counter held a journal and books for another class I’m taking on Benedictine spirituality. There was a get-well card for a friend and a magazine on current events. Yes, my various interests could be inspirational—they inspire me.

The unknown used to be really scary, just that fear of, ‘What’s next? What if I’m not prepared?’ I just don’t feel that way anymore. I feel like the best is yet to come.” – Mandy Moore

In my last blog post, I mentioned I’d be training for my second half-marathon. The night before the race, I was anxious. What if I hadn’t trained adequately? What if I wasn’t dressed for the weather and was too hot or too cold? I sat down to reread pep talks from last year’s training. The leader suggested we enjoy each mile, remember we had trained, and have fun. I put the race in God’s hands and asked for His help.

The race went well for me. The scenery was pretty, the weather was perfect, and there were many spectators. My two daughters, my sister, and my husband were there to cheer me on, which gave me a boost. I finished more than seven minutes faster than last year. Many people congratulated me, which added to my excitement.

getting near the finish IMG_0033

Getting near the finish—that’s me in the white visor

I journaled about the race and the phrase “What if” popped up again. “What if I give into this current excitement and let myself feel passion for running?” “What if I train to do the Turkey Trot faster in November?” “What if I allow myself to become a better runner?”

There are many role models in my fun run club. What if I look for role models in other areas of my life? What if I remember to be a role model?

And what if I were to enjoy and feel excitement in other areas of my life—like writing?

Do your “What if” questions lead to worry and anxiety?Are there more positive “What if” questions you could ask yourself?

About Susan Ekins

Freelance writer and blogger at Women Making Strides. Interested in personal leadership and empowerment. Wanting inspiration and to inspire. Leader in church ministries. Blog: http://www.WomenMakingStrides.com/ Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/WomenMakingStrides1
This entry was posted in faith, God, Motivation, Running, Self-compassion, Stress, Weight and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to What If?

  1. Sherri Russell says:

    Sue my first impression after reading your blog was “My gosh – how does she manage to do all those things!”. Running, writing, weight management, cooking, spirituality, a family, online classes … wow! Very recently I tore my hamstring and for about 10 days was spending most of my time on the couch. I admit I was so crabby :-). But then I realized that a lot of the anger I was carrying around was gone. Because I could not do anything, my life became really simple. I am back to being able to do a few things now but I keep telling myself Not To Much! I hope I can remember to do just enough so that I enjoy and appreciate it. But only time will tell with me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Susan Ekins says:

      Sherri, thank you. I tend to beat myself up because I’m not writing a book. But “What if” I recognized what I do get done? I hope your hamstring heals quickly. It’s frustrating when you’re sick or injured, especially now that the weather is getting better. I hope you’re able to figure out a way to enjoy.


  2. Juli Hoffman says:

    YAY!!! I love reading about people getting out of their comfort zones! Just the act of taking a pic of your clutter…that would terrify me!!!! I know it was an assignment, but to me, it seems quite brave.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, how I needed to read this and remind myself that what I have done is as important (or more) than what I haven’t. What if ? Wow, the possibilities. Thank you for another great post, Sue.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nancy Rudzinski says:


    This is very good. Thank you.


    Liked by 1 person

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