Each and every day you can be a victim of your circumstances, get down on yourself, complain, be unhappy, or miserable. You can think you have it harder or worse than everyone else OR you can choose to live life in spite of what is wrong and find the good. YOU make the choice whether or not you live life to the fullest.

I choose to focus on them

My mommy is in town today which makes me happy. A little over a year ago she moved up to Boston, and while I do agree that absence makes the heart grow fonder I miss her. She is not only a mom to me, she is my biggest fan, and one of my best friends.

The reason she is in town is what doesn’t make me happy. I don’t often talk much about my personal life – I try to keep things running related and throw in a little *little people* stuff every now and then. I don’t want to bore everyone with the details of my life. I’ve come to realize that this actually leaves out a huge part of what motivates me and keeps me pushing harder, farther, faster and DREAMING BIGGER.

My grandfather was in the hospital all last week with what ended up being diagnosed as his kidneys’ starting to fail. I had to really ask myself if he needed a kidney would I give it to him. [thankfully he doesn’t need one yet] My reaction surprised me. It took me less than a minute to decide that I would indeed give him one of my kidneys in a heartbeat even if it meant that later on in life I would need a kidney too. Being the thinker I am – I wondered how long does one have to stop running after a surgery like that. Which also made me laugh – I mean who thinks about running at a time like this? Me I guess. It’s how I cope with things.

The day we found out it was his kidneys – I had randomly seen a story on the Today show of a popular author who had mistakenly eaten poisonous mushrooms and through a terrible turn of events needed a new kidney. His daughter was a match and wanted to give him hers, but he didn’t want it. He couldn’t take it. When he made a turn for the worst he finally agreed to take it. He described the bond they now share having part of her in him. Later on that day when I spoke with my mom on the phone she said that she would give *fa* a kidney if he needed one. I didn’t tell her I had the same thought, I just smiled knowing how much we BOTH love this man.

My mom is in town for a week to help take him the dr. and figure out a plan of attack on trying to help him get better and slow his decline. I could focus on the negative but I am choosing to focus on the positive. I am not crying. I get to see my mom and I know that I have had 29 amazing years with him as my grandfather and I hopefully look forward to many more.

As if that wasn’t enough a very dear dear family member lost their job right before Christmas. No two weeks notice. They didn’t know it was coming. It makes me sad. I want to help. Sometimes I have to take a step back and realize that I can’t fix everyone else’s problems, and sometimes they don’t want me to. I’m choosing to look on the positive side knowing that a new and better opportunity will come for the person. Sometimes the loss of a job is the best thing that can happen to you to move you farther than you DREAMED possible.

And still as if both of those things were stressful enough my sister [the one who I never talk about] took her juvenile delinquencies to a new level. Only thing is that she isn’t a juvenile – she is 26 years old – 27 this year and continues to act worse than an ungrateful, spoiled child would act. I won’t air her dirty laundry but what I will say is that the way she verbally abuses my parents gives me RAGE. Literal rage. I am the only person in our family who has cut off all communication with her[I did this to protect myself and my children]. It makes me sad, very sad that I don’t have two wonderful sisters.. I want her to get her life together for herself mostly but also because I see the pain that she continues to cause my family. Recently I tried to forgive her and let go of my anger towards her – it’s hard. VERY VERY HARD. I could literally write the most unbelievable book about her and all the things she has done to not only me, but our whole family. I don’t even tell the stories anymore to friends because they are so insane…..

What I could choose to focus my energy on is that I have for lack of a better word, a crappy sister OR I can choose to focus on the fact that my sister Amanda is one of the most wonderful people in the world. I love her with all my heart and would do just about anything for her. My children love her and her fiance dearly. Children can sense things, they know who is good. I’m so grateful that the Lord gave me one loving sister and am choosing to focus on that.

It’s been a whirlwind month – all of this mess coupled with the holidays has left me tired, a tad stressed, a little overwhelmed and behind on things.

I live passionately which means that I am inspired by little things and appreciate fleeting moments, but this also means it’s easy for things to get me down – to upset me, make me sad, or break my stride.

On days that seem to be the worst I often have some of my best runs. When I run alone I am FREE to be me. I find out what I am made of. I learn whether I am strong. I use all that happens in my life as fuel.

If you are having one of those days, weeks, months, years where you are feeling weak – where you feel you just can’t take it anymore and your life is certainly harder than everyone else you know…..know that these are the times that separate you….this is YOUR chance to CHOOSE. Choose happiness. Choose to fight for your life. Choose to focus on the good instead of dwelling on the bad.

Oh and go for a run…..seriously….it makes everything better!



  1. This is a great post, Dorothy. Thank you for being so candid. My mom has always told me that God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle. Whenever a tough situation comes along or I feel like I’m about to wallow in sadness (which rarely ever happens but it does. We’re all human.) I always think back about that phrase and it immediately lifts my spirits and gets me feeling stronger. Everyone has a life story that contains the good, the bad, and the ugly. And for those people who we look at as having perfect lives? Chances are they’re not as perfect as they seem. Life is indeed a set of choices we make for ourselves and why spend all that wasted energy with pent up negative feelings? Who has time for that?!

  2. Great post Dorothy. I am sorry to hear about your grandfather and all the other issues going on. I agree, running helps deal with those things and sort them out. I often find my motivation coming from a mantra “run for those who can not.” Whenever I am struggling on a run, I think of a person who can not run and dedicate that stretch of miles to them. My step-father who has battled leukemia for 10 years and is bedridden right now…my Aunt who struggles with depression and can’t get herself off her couch…my cousin’s son who passed away as a newborn recently. Thinking of them helps propel me forward on the trail and in life.

  3. Oh girl. I’m so glad you were able to get this off your chest. You know we’re rooting for you. Hug those kids tight, treat mom to a pedicure, go on a date night with hubby and thank God for your blessings. You can do this!! Prayers for your Grandpa (hugs).

  4. thank you. this is exactly what i needed to hear today :)

  5. Healing thoughts to your grandpa. I’ve lost two of my grandparents and miss them dearly. I need to remember that I was fortunate enough to share 18 and 19 years with them instead! Also – I love hearing about your personal life. It makes you “real” and not just a super hero running woman who pushes triple strollers in a single bound! Never boring! xo

  6. Wow – sounds like a quite a month! I hope your grandfather gets better. Enjoy time with your mommy. I get to see mine next week, and I miss her!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Selfish much?

  8. This is my first visit to your blog – and before I get totally engrossed in the backlog :-) I must say the following things –

    1. your abs are insane. :-)
    2. your kids are gorgeous.
    3. I have a friend with the same type of sister as you. It is SO sad to have such a destructive person in your life, nevermind your close family.
    4. Anonymous commenters are much more selfish than you, or anyone.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I agree with the former Anon comment. And rock hard abs as a result of “under-nourishment” are not attractive.

  10. Mile Posts By Dorothy Beal says:

    Thank you for your thoughts anon. If you don’t like my blog you are welcome to not read it :) Have a wonderful day!

  11. I was blessed enough to have all 4 of my grandparents and my great-grandmother be apart of my life until I was in college. I lost my first grandfather on the Sunday before my first finals week my freshman year. I was devastated. I continued to live my life but never really worked through my feelings. Then, right after I started grad school, I lost my great-grandmother, both grandmothers, and a great-aunt who I adored within 2 years of year other. Less than a year later, I lost my last grandfather (which was the hardest). But before my last grandfather passed, he made me promise I would learn how to handle my emotions (being strong-willed and passionate is something directly handed down in his family, and it shows) and learn to take care of myself. I started running the day after his funeral and I haven’t stopped since. Running has been the outlet I need to blow off steam and give myself the time to get my emotions and thoughts in check before I do something I’ll regret later. My family, who I haven’t always had the best relationship with during this time, is finally starting to accept how much running means to me for physical AND MENTAL fitness and our relationship is getting better, slowly.

    Stay strong. You are an amazing woman to deal with so much and you have a whole community here on the blogosphere who love you dearly as well!

  12. I love your response to your anonymous posters. Apparently working for the government doesn’t give people inside knowledge that we can easily figure out who left a comment.

    As for your post, I agree – running is the best thing to do no matter what you’re going through. I lost my grandfather nearly a year ago, and running that week kept me sane and put a lot of things into perspective.

  13. praying for your grandfather and family! much love!

  14. gene @boutdrz says:

    Dorothy…you ROCK. that is all. keep up the great work. no shame in stooping every now and again. sometimes those kinds of people need to be talked to at their own level. even then, sadly, most of them don’t get it.
    Peace, yo!

  15. RunningLiesl says:

    Great post. Praying that your grandfather gets better and your family stays strong. Keep running girl!

  16. Dorothy, I hope your grandfather gets better. I lost my grandmother (the grandparent I was closet to) about 5 years ago and was heartbroken. You know it’s bound to happen eventually, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

    I know what you are going through with your sister. I had a complete falling out with my half-sister in Aug and am 99.9% certain that our relationship is permanently over. But, like you said, it’s better to focus on the good – you have a wonderful, beautiful sister (I have 3 other sisters as well who I treasure).

    Stay strong – and keep running!! =)

  17. It’s not easy to write such personal things on a blog for everyone to read. No one likes to feel vulnerable and I give you a TON of credit for doing it in so many ways. People who post negative comments anonymously are cowards. They obviously don’t feel confident enough to stand behind their own thoughts and opinions and enjoy putting down others. it’s quite sad, and I truly wish those people could find their own happiness like you have. maybe then they won’t feel the need to judge others as much and will lend a helping hand like you have.

  18. Thanks for you honesty, Dorothy. And I’m sorry for the unkind comments…I guess that’s part of putting yourself out there, but it’s still hard to read. I appreciate your thoughts and understand how running helps in hard times; sorry to hear about your grandfather and other tough family issues. Keep running, but more importantly, keep loving those around you even when they’re hard to love. :) Press on!

  19. Posts like this are so hard to write. Thanks for putting yourself out there. I know it helps so many people to hear that other people struggle sometimes too.
    I hope your grandpa gets well soon and your sister finds the right path.
    Hang in there.

  20. Thanks for always being honest, and I am so sorry you have to deal with nasty comments at times.

    I will keep you and your Grandfather in my prayers and I totally understand your willingness to donate a kidney but having a moment thought about how long you couldn’t run. When my dad was diagnosed with leukemia and things were looking grim I was determined that they test me too to see if I could be a match for a bone marrow transplant. It didn’t get that far and it would have been a stretch since I’m adopted but I get what went through your mind….all of it!

  21. You have a lot of strength and courage to write this post. I send a prayer of healing & happiness to your grandfather :) I’m so glad he enjoyed this post too by the way, I’m sure it just warmed his heart and soul.
    We have that oldest sibling connection. You really have to be an oldest sibling to understand our tendencies & personality traits haha 😉 Anyway, the rage you mentioned is something I have dealt with too.
    My nature is the quiet, shy one, kind of kept to myself but still very family oriented. I don’t get angry at people, it’s not really who I am. My middle sister is the only one who has ever brought out rage in me. It’s hard to even understand or explain. But what she says to people or how she treats me, my parents, & my other sister is crazy and sad.

    I have never been okay with it, and I don’t think I have ever had rage towards anyone other than her. We live different lifestyles and literally see the world differently. I had to learn to let go. My normal tendency is to try and fix things for her, me, & our family. That battle I will never win. Anyway that part of your post struck a chord with me, I have definitely been there.

  22. Dorothy, I love the honesty in your post. Right after my mom called to tell me that my grandmother had passed. I put on my running shoes and went for a run. I didn’t care that I was on a business trip and missed the deluxe breakfast on the beach. I needed “me” time. That is what running is!

  23. Thanks for this blog-I cant believe those people could write negative comments but I’m not going to loose the focus! =)
    Anyways-you are wonderful and I get excited when I see you’ve written a new post!

  24. Dorothy, I have a magnet on my fridge: “The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well.” I apply it to families & siblings as well.

    I think of the same thing when someone I know is ill – it makes no sense to think of when they could run again, but I do. I hope your grandfather has healing with his kidneys & that the doctors figure out what to do.

    In the meantime, sometimes all we can do is run! Glad it gives you some solace!

  25. Great post … really nice to see your family / life / running balance … always keep it in check!

  26. Mile Posts By Dorothy Beal says:

    Thanks Adam – it’s def a blance to keep it all in check – hopefully I’m doing a good job of it :) If my kiddos are happy then I am happy!

  27. Mile Posts By Dorothy Beal says:

    Molly – I love that magnet and so very true. I totally NEED to get that to remind myself. My grandfather is doing better than he was :) and is still around so that is all that matters!! Happy Friday!

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