Petty private competitions and excuse-making

Dear President Trump,

The sun is shining here and word has it there are Federal Grand Juries in Virginia meeting this morning about your campaign’s ties with Russia. Pretty great start to the day, I’d say. Certainly more hopeful than the all male, all white group of senators McConnell has tasked with the Senate’s healthcare reform bill.

This morning on my run I went up to the lovely park Seattle installed a few years ago to cover an open-air reservoir. There is a track around the perimeter with views of Mt. Rainier, which was visible today. I was taking a lap and had to focus on holding my line on the outside of the track going counter-clockwise (i.e., running on the far right) since a large white man coming from the opposite direction had already once forced me off my path even though it is customary for the person on the right to have the right-of-way. It felt somewhat petty but I managed to make him yield and go around me just because I’m sick of being the polite one with entitled white males. Feeling somewhat smug about this mini-victory I was promptly, solidly passed by two young men who blazed past me from behind. I told myself they are young and male and can only hope to still be running when they are my age. Of course a nano-second later a middle-aged woman about my age blazed past me. Where the young men ignored me, she turned back, smiled, and jauntily said good morning, not out of breath at all. Show off. I found myself immediately making excuses for myself to explain my slow, slow pace. I’ve got a heart condition requiring a medication that limits how much I can exert myself. I have bad knees and feet. This went on for a good five minutes until I realized it was silly. She just runs faster than me and she was probably just being friendly to the only other middle-aged woman out there this morning.

Once again, a small random thing pulls me up short and reminds me how easy it is to get stuck in something negative and corrosive like my petty little private competition and excuse-making to cover my insecurities. It was a tiny, inconsequential thing but the same sort of scenario plays out in thousands of ways, thousands of times every day, and appears to be the Achilles heel of your administration. We’ll see.

In the meantime here is your blessing for today:

May you be safe.
May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May your life unfold and intersect peacefully.

Tracy Simpson

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