Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Don't Take It For Granted

I did something out of character this morning.  I went running before work.  This is a huge challenge for a procrastinator like me.  I usually wait until after work to hit the pavement running but today I didn't have a choice.  I have a hair appointment at 5:30 tonight, so it was morning or not at all.  I may be a procrastinator but I am not lazy.

So I did it.  I popped out of bed at 5:30 AM, drank some coffee and put on my brand new running clothes.  I am so glad that I did.  I was still full from dinner last night (see below) so I ran without needing to fill up the tank. 

Last Night's Dinner = This Morning's Fuel

We made Colleen's chana masala with chickpeas and steamed broccoli from The Vegan Table. Ang took the lead on this dish and it turned out excellent. It was bursting with flavor and the recipe didn't even require any oil. We will definitely be making this again (and again).

Surprisingly alert and energetic for 6 AM, I was happy to be moving.  It was still dark and freezing cold, so I wore layers.  To be fair, it was 47 degrees but it felt like 20 to this "California girl".  I put that in quotes because as most of you know, I am a from the midwest.  Within one year I have lost that Chicago girl inside me and wimper at anything below 50.

I did my usual out-and-back around the neighborhood and into Balboa Park.  The sun was slowly rising and it was starting to feel like morning.  I have become accustomed to running through the park in the dark.  In doing so, I forgot how beautiful it appears in the light of day.  When I reached the fountain I had a clear view of the mountains in the distance.  I took a moment to let it all sink in and then I turned around. 

I didn't take this picture, but isn't it stunning?
View of the fountain at sunrise.

If I had carried my camera on my run I could have captured the pink sky and the view from the bridge.  It was serene and almost breathtaking.  Once the sun began to light up Balboa Park, the slightest intricacies of the spanish buildings became apparent.  They are beautiful in the dark but only under the sun can you truly appreciate them in their entirety. 

I realized it had been quite some time since I actually stopped and enjoyed this precious park.  I live only a few blocks away yet I don't take the time to visit.  I use it as a nightly running route but I rarely stop to smell the roses.  I could have a picnic on the weekends or visit the museums or botanic garden.  Heck, I don't even enjoy sunrise!  I sleep through its beauty every day of the week.

It's kind of like family.  When they live nearby you don't see them as much as you should.  Then you move away and suddenly regret all of the weekends you didn't visit them.  It's even like running.  Anyone who has ever been injured knows this feeling.  Once you can't run, it is the one and only thing you want to do and suddenly you feel as though you didn't appreciate it enough when you had it.  We sometimes take advantage of the things at our disposal every day and no longer feel grateful for them.

Is there anything you have taken for granted and later regretted?