San Antonio is a huge city (5th or 7th largest in the US) and I live pretty close (15 mins and 3 exits from city center) to downtown, right next to a huge, non-pretty university campus. So you can imagine the senery as well as the traffic. San Antonio is also the second most obese city, (New Orleans is the first, I believe); good luck finding anyone who knows where good running trails are. So I went out and found one.
As many of you know I started running at the beginning of this past summer and fell in love with it. (I don't care who you are, if I can fall in love with running you can. Granted it's no fun until you get in shape but once you're in shape enough to enjoy it, it becomes an addiction.) So I went out and found a place to feed my addiction.
It is a neighborhood about 15 minutes away from downtown. It's a collection of semi-country roads with some good ol' southern feeling homes. Although not extravagant, many have the classic arches over the driveways. The streets are lined with trees.
OH! And the best part about running here is that that perfect twilight running time, you know- with the beautiful, orange-tinged light and sweet breeze lasts about three hours! In SLC I had barely and hour and a half to get a run in (I think I was addicted to this time of day as much as running...running was just a way to more fully emerse myself in all of it). Some times I couldn't run as far/long as I would like because it would either turn cold or get dark by the time I was able to get out. Besides homeless people took to the hills where I would run at night. That's a lot about running. But there you have it.
Thank God for Good Men
I'm always surprised at how rough some people's lives must be, but then again, maybe they don't know how easy their lives could be and so they just don't really notice. Or sometimes, a big one, they just don't respect themselves enough to demand better.
A few of the other travel nurses that I work at Christus Santa Rosa Children's Hospital with me have gross lumps for husbands. I thank God for the good men that I know and how I've been treated, for the most part, by the men that I have dated and been friends with. (Respect may come into play here because I just pay no attention to those who don't respect me-except maybe once...any guesses?)
One of them will most likely be filing for divorce while she is here. Her husband, who she was fully supporting, left a while ago but came back because he didn't want to get a job and had no way of supporting himself; so he came back. Her lawyer basically told her taking a traveling assignment would be the only legal way to leave him without "abondoning" the house and cars (which she pays for) therefore losing them in a divorce. Her first night out of town he sent their daughter to stay at her friend's house indefinately and isn't answering his phone so their little girl can't get her toothbrush. She calls and asks her mom to send some money so she can buy that and other necessities without having to cause so much expense to her friend's family. Oh and he wants to spend the extra money she's earning by traveling on speakers, not their credit card bills.
Another husband of a woman I work with quit his decent paying, steady job the day she took her last final in nursing school-over three years ago-and has refused to work since. He stays home with the kids and does an..."ooookay job", but is also always asking her parents for money so he can play. She is of course embarrassed to be her age (30) and still getting money from her parents (which he sould be more ashamed of than her) so she went into travel nursing and will home school her kids on top of working full time so that they don't have to get money from them. (Contrary to popular belief nurses don't make that much travel nursing pays a little more.)
Again, I thank God for good men who are men. Who understand what it means to be a real man and feel it shameful to treat women poorly and shirk all responsibility. For those who are embarassed by any "man" who would not only shirk his responsibility but expect a woman to do his job and her job by herself while relaxing in her fight to keep surving and providing for her children in such hurtful and difficult circumstances without batting an eyelash, or lifting a finger, I thank you.
I have a great amount of respect for the roles that both men and women have, as well as our differences that so completely and beautifully compliment each other. (Easy now I'm not talking about "men's work" and "women's work".) I'm talking about the divinity of opposites and the innate love we have for the masculinity and feminity of each other. Some of you already know I think men are becoming less manly but women are becoming moreso, and not in a flattering or attractive way. Men should be men and women should be women.
Don't get me wrong I'm all for getting dirty with the boys and I need much less sap than most girls. But I am proudly and wholely a woman who, at the heart of it all, loves a good masculine (read masculine, not macho) man. That doesn't mean he never cries or is invincable, without vulnerablities or feelings. It means he respects women, feels an undeniable pull- because of his gender- to love, protect, serve and lead. So to all you real men out there, many of which I've had the joy and pleasure to have in my life, thank you and I love you.
So women, let him open the door but don't insist on it (and don't think you necessarily deserve it-you may not), be humbly greatful for it. Be appreciative that even through the societal acceptance of smearing gender lines and shirking our divine identities, they choose to be men.
Women: thank a good man today (remembering that men and women are different and what may be a great thank you for you, may not be to him. Maybe get him some killer snacks for the game or something-Anyway, make it personal. I'm always a big fan of just flat out saying it without fluff and sap that makes most men uncomfortable anyway.) Let him know you respect a man who honors his priesthood (for those who don't know what that is: the power given to righteous men to act is God's name. i.e. baptism, blessings of healing, comfort, etc. Ask me if you need more clarification.), does what is right because it is right, and who's arms aptly placed around a woman makes her feel small but strong vulnerable but safe, and reenergized all at the same time. (Guys, whether you're a friend, a father, a brother, boyfriend, or home teacher, you may not know you have this ability, but you do.)
Men: Women are tough, more than you can imagine. We can do more, be more, and are more than most people realize. But we are weak in that we can melt or callous at the slightest possitive or negative influence of a man. We are stronger than you think. We can make it through anything but we scar easily. I'm probably the last person many of you would think to be hearing this from, especially with how self-reliant I am. So maybe then it will be taken more seriously in that I am not as sappy, and breakable as some women. I am even a bit of a tomboy with a strong desire to see what I can do by myself. But it doesn't mean I don't know that a woman can go farther and be more with a good man behind her than she ever could on her own. And visa versa.
I am not married (SO okay with that at this time) and am as single as they come (kinda flaunted it and reveled in it this past year too :). But I do have good men behind me both past and present:
Chris, my brother
and even though it was very rough and ugly at times- eventually, my Dad, whom I love very much. (Who although never would have been affected by this before would probably tear up reading it now. Thank you Dad for the gentleness you've learned and shared; for the Priesthood blessings and hugs you couldn't give when I was younger but give in abundance now. I love you.)