Peace. It is a word that means a great deal to me. There are lots things in my home with that word. I have many pieces of peace sign jewelry. I have shoes with peace signs on them. I sign my emails and blog posts with “Peace.”
I always thought I loved the word Peace because I am a hippy at heart. I love all things 60’s and 70’s, especially the music and fashion. I truly think Stevie Nicks is my spirit animal. While all that is true, it is not really why I love that word and all that it embodies. I realize now that peace has been my end goal….it is what I have been looking for in my life.
During my marriage, my life was chaos. I mean, having multiple kids all going different directions and a wasband that was rarely home, chaos was a given. Or so I thought. The times the family was all together, things were no better…..they were often worse. I failed to realize at the time that I was constantly walking on eggshells, as were my kids.
Do not get me wrong, there were many fun, good times but, what I realized after my divorce, was the true cost of those fun and good times. Family activities were enjoyable but there was always a great deal of drama involved. Family dinners had a great deal of laughs, until things went too far with someone always leaving the table crying. Homework and school activities were all my responsibility (I mean I was a teacher, right?). I made excuses so regularly, it became the norm. I was always going places on my own with the kids…so much so that people joked about my invisible partner.
I felt like a ballerina because I spent so much time tip toeing around all the moods. I was constantly on alert, and constantly trying to shield my kids from the next mood swing. It was exhausting. Living in a state of hyper vigilance takes a toll on the mind and body and I was falling apart. All the while I leaned on that word….Peace.
I just wanted peace. So, I started running. I ran for miles and miles looking for peace. Running was my time to quiet the voices in my head and physically exhaust my body to the same level as my brain. Recently, I was lamenting about not training for the marathon this year and a friend pointed out that I no longer needed to train for or run the marathon. I had used marathon training as an escape, trying to find a place of peace in my life. I had finally crossed the finish line with my divorce and the race was over.
I have now retired the toe shoes and tossed the eggshells. I walk, and run, with new purpose. I stand on my own two feet that are firmly planted on the ground. I breathe deep, inhaling the present and exhaling the past. I look forward and move forward from a place of peace. My life, my head and my heart are finally at peace.