As much as it feels right to say them, always and never usually don't apply.
"You always leave your clothes on the bathroom floor!"
"You never let me do what I want."
Using these two words may feel justified; especially in a moment of intense emotion. But seldom is the case when they truly apply.
In the spirit of always and never, I bring you a list of 10 things I think I can accurately say I'll never do:
1. Run a marathon. It's been on the list. I wanted to run a marathon before I turned 40. Instead, I had my sixth child. I wanted to run next year's Boston Marathon. Especially in light of this year's tragic events. I'm Boston Strong. But my body is not. I pick up running again and again, only to be reminded that most would not enjoy telling me that I'd dropped some vital organs at mile 13. I will, instead, continue to cheer enthusiastically for those who can pound out those 26 miles and 385 yards.
2. Run for President of the United States. Send me to run your errands. I'll gladly accept a call to serve as President of the Relief Society. But Politics are not for me.
3. Take a cruise. I will never pay to get on a floating city. I would take up sky diving before you could convince me to bob around on
4. Neglect my teeth. Even if I find myself stranded on a deserted island, I will figure out ways to turn palm fronds into picks and floss and execute salt water rinses after every
5. Smoke. ANYTHING. There may have been some mention here previously about my occasional tendency to have a cigarette in my dreams. In that sphere I've smoked less than five times. I think I lit up casually in an attempt to reduce stress. In real life? NEVER.
6. Apply to be on a reality television show. I think this one, in part, is closely connected with my aversion to politics and my distaste for public flogging. I have a highly competitive spirit but I rate low on the scale of wanting to feel exposed in the national media. (I will admit to being a fan of the reality show Survivor--but you'll never see me getting voted off the island.)
7. Play the lottery. And for what? I heard a man on the radio (how's THAT for credentials?) talking about yesterday's enormous Powerball prize up for grabs. I believe he said that if you play, your odds of winning were about the same as having your favorite sports team win the equivalent of the super bowl or world series twelve years in a row. I have a hard enough time keeping a few dollars in my wallet. Why would I give it to the lottery? I won't say I'll never WIN the lottery, because hey: some kind and generous lottery fan friend-of-mine might gift me some lottery tickets down the road, and I just may find myself needing to pick a favorite sports team.
8. Abandon my children. For twenty-two years, losing my children has been my worst nightmare. Despite some panic-filled moments, I'm grateful this has never happened. I'm a strong mother bear. My cubs will eventually all grow up and wander off, but I won't lose their scent. I'll plan to pop in for afternoons of berry picking and re-fuel with bear hugs.
9. Stop learning. Even if it's only from the mistakes I make.
10. Deny my faith. I can't open my eyes in the morning without seeing first the reward of another day. My vision isn't the best when I wake up; this morning I had to open THREE cans before I could decipher the labels (Mesquite did not want organic diced tomatoes with her breakfast--I was successful in finding peaches on my third try) but I cannot deny that this life and the chance to improve it is the greatest gift we're given every time we wake up. God is good. Life isn't always full of goodness, but we can learn to find the good and share it with others.
NEVER pass up a reason to celebrate. Always find the good.