“It’s a sign.”
I’ve said and heard this a lot when a coincidence is just too good to be true.
Recently I’ve been praying and asking for a lot of guidance from God and those around me. I’m coming off of a long period without running and this has been a period of my life when I’ve really needed it. I felt burned out and then when I attempted to get back to exercise after a week off, I got sick and had to take even more time off.
Two weeks without something that has anchored me and provided with an opportunity for community and joy.
Now, in the grand scheme of things – it’s not a big deal, at all. I’m grateful to be able to run, even a day. This post isn’t about me missing training, it’s about how I dealt with it.
When I wasn’t running, I had a lot more time for other things and unfortunately, I spent a lot of my hours staring at a cell phone screen.
Over the past couple weeks, instead of getting up, and getting ready to run, I’d get up and get on my phone.
At night, after reading or doing whatever else I needed to do, I’d be feeling a little down and then reach my phone and scroll social media.
When I put down my phone after doing this, I almost never feel better.
Now, I’m not talking about joking with friends or calling my loved ones. I’m talking just scrolling.
Today I was able to go running for the first time in a while. I took some time to think about my current state. There’s a lot of good stuff going on, but I’m still looking for guidance and direction.
When I sat down to write this, I reflected on how much I’ve been on my phone and how nice it was to run – to temporarily detox and be without it to do some real thinking.
Part of my problem is that while I’ve been looking for signs and guidance, my eyes have been fixed on a screen.
On my deathbed, I doubt I’ll say, “I wish I spent more time on my phone.”
Recently I was in New York for work and ate dinner on Arthur Avenue which is down the road from Fordham. Walking back to the car, I trailed behind the group and looked up at the different street signs (I’ve always been a fan of street signs, not sure why) and I took a picture of this one:
I am struck by this picture for many reasons. First of all, my father and many good friends went to Fordham and I know they were all big fans of Arthur Ave. Also, this street sign also celebrates the life of an NYPD officer who passed away in 2017. According to an article in the Bronx Times,
DiGiovanna joined the force in 1993. Eight years later, he would be one of hundreds racing toward the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, fighting a fever that initially kept him home. “I begged him not to go,” said Joanna. “He said if anything ever happened to his partner or co-workers, he couldn’t live with himself.”
This sign is a reminder. Get out there and live.
So this week, checking my phone isn’t going to be the first and last part of my day.
I’m going to let myself be bored – if waiting in line or if I have a long walk to get somewhere, keep the phone in the pocket and enjoy the stroll. I know this time will help provide clarity.
Officer DiGiovanna has a street named after him because of the life he lived. His neighborhood loved him and wanted to honor him. In an area where most people spoke Italian, he knew their language and took time to get to know who they were. The direction he followed led him to help others and serve his community.
The signs are all around me. They are here. In people, books, prayer, nature – they’re everywhere.
They might not all be too good to be true but they’re there, waiting for me to look up and follow.