The other Sunday I ran, well mostly walked, the Southampton half marathon.  When you have 3 hours on your own you do a lot of thinking.  It started off with the girl in front who like myself had a sizable backside, to a very good friend who has just had a baby, to how women treat other women.  It culminated into generally thinking about community and what makes a family.  I know pretty deep for a 13.1 mile run; but then events like a half marathon and the London Marathon in which some of my friends were running can get very emotional.  “Where’s she going” I hear you ask, well like most of my conversations, all over the place.  This blog post has two parts.   Firstly how women treat each other and secondly how we can help our communities.

I’m nothing if not opinionated sometimes to a fault.  Over the years I’ve calmed down and now have a ‘there’s more to life’ and ‘live and let live’ attitude.  The old Amy has been known to rear her head especially when I’m drinking.  I also need sarcasm like I need oxygen.  I’m disorientated by people who don’t get sarcasm.  In my younger years I was very detrimental towards women that didn’t work.  I thought it was lazy.  I thought those who give up work to rear children were letting down the female gender.  In a world where women are fighting for equality, (and I’m big on equality; I’m not a feminist, I believe our sons are just as important as our daughters) why are women trampling over each other to get what they want.  Surely we should be helping each other to achieve our goals, may I just be trying to get through the week.  This goes for the guys too.  A lot of us would rather not give our knowledge out in case someone else does it better.  Surely this is a sign that we should become more knowledgeable ourselves or maybe what we are doing isn’t for us.  Supporting each other is key.  May it be the transfer of knowledge, taking a friends child off their hands for an hours or two, lending a hand or just being someone to talk to.

This leads me into the last part of the post.  As I was running, waddling, walking the course I saw so many church groups, volunteers, runners’ families and general supporters.  It was a great feeling.  These people didn’t know me when they cheered me on, or when they offered me sweets or held their hands out for mid 5’s.  When they made their boards with funny or encouraging slogans, it wasn’t for me in mind, but it did make me smile.  It made me want to run faster for them.  How could I not feel happy with their smiling faces?  With their cheers?  Why did they do it?  After all it wasn’t my community.  I don’t live in Southampton, I didn’t know anyone.  They made me feel welcomed and little loved.  It’s a nice feeling that feeling.  It’s one we share.

When we are out in our communities, our families, after all isn’t that families are like, be sure to give a smile.  It makes everyone better.  If you can spare the time help out in your communities.  If you feel you can’t, remember even small things help.  It may just be taking out the elderly couple down the roads bins each week. Encourage others.  Remember happy communities, happy families tend to make for better living and families aren’t just those you were born into.  Family are the people you surround yourself with, may they be the people at your local group, your co-worker’s, your neighbours.   In business they call these people shareholders but I think family is a better term…. Don’t you?