Better days ahead.
I can't remember the very first time I heard those words, but I do know exactly who said them to me. My grandmother had a distinct way of reading the unverbalized worry on a child's face and erasing it with simple reassuring words, a warm smile, and a quick wink. Her unfailingly kind and gentle way was mixed with just the right dose of pure-Irish mischievousness that made her among the most classy, genuine, and beautiful people you'd ever hope to know.
I grew up thinking of those three words every time something got me down--although my grandmother isn't around anymore, the reassurance she left me with has come in handy more times than I would've ever expected. And now when I call my mother with whatever tale of turmoil has engulfed my attention at the moment, she chuckles and says, "Well, Erin, you know: Better days ahead."
But while I have always thought of that advice as a way to dig myself out of a funk, lately the meaning has shifted. There's something so hopeful about always thinking, no matter what, that the best of times are still to come. I smile, laugh, and savor a good day, a meaningful experience, or a special life event, and I stop, if even briefly, to think about how lucky I must be to still believe that even better days are coming my way.
So, when pondering the many catchy names I could use for this new blog, I settled on this one little phrase that can mean whatever you want it to. Right now, besides my job and training for the Chicago Marathon, my time and energy is devoted to a new organization that I'm helping to build from what (on some days) seems like scratch. It's called Race with Purpose, and the bottom line is that we train athletes of all abilities to run their best marathon, while they raise funds for charities that have a meaningful, measurable impact on helping the nation's neediest kids lead healthy, active, and productive lives. Not every child grows up lucky enough to believe that better days are ahead, so my passion has become trying to make it possible for more to learn how to make it happen for themselves by achieving a healthy lifestyle.
[Side note: If you'd like to contribute to my Race with Purpose fund-raising goal, just click here! Your contributions of all amounts are all equally appreciated and 100% tax deductible. I'll now return you to our regularly scheduled blog entry....]
I hope this space becomes a place where I can record all the ridiculous adventures that come along with starting a new group, training for whatever crazy race I've chosen next, and keeping up with the zaniness that is my friends and family.
I invite you to comment often, laugh at me much, and enjoy the journey. Welcome!