Saturday, April 20, 2013

Mom-Me Celebration - Day 9: Wake up & Be Inspired!

"What inspires you?"

Whenever  I come across that question - usually on some blog about inspiration or a personality test of some sort - I have to pause and think.  It's the fancy way of asking "why do you do what you do?"  I sometimes struggle to answer this simpler version, coming up with little more than "'cause that's what I've been doing." That's an okay answer for a while, but I'm finding that it's not enough to sustain you for long.

For Day 9 of the Mom-Me Celebration, the challenge was to Wake up & Be Inspired.

Me & the kids ready for our 1-mile and 5K
The "wake up" part?  Literally - because I was getting up early on a Saturday morning. Figuratively - because we often wander around in a tired, half-sleep, task-focused haze.

"Be inspired."  We all need inspiration, for whatever it is you're doing. Whether raising your kids or running a corporation, fixing dinner or volunteering on the PTA, "if not me, who?" will only take you so far. After a while, it turns into "if not them, why me?" We get tired and burnt out and well, sometimes, just plain bored. Then what?

If we're lucky, we find something or someone that gives you a boost, that gives you the push to do what you do.

This morning, I ran in a local 5K - Ben's Run.  Its one I've known about since the inaugural one 3 years ago, but I've been out of town the previous 2 years. Also, a first, my kids participated, too so that they could be a part of something that benefits other children.  The Run benefits Children's National Medical Center, in memory of Ben, a little boy who passed away in 2009 after a battle with a form of Leukemia. I met his mother, Clare, last night during the bib-pickup and silent auction (didn't win the Vera Bradley bag or dinner). I was amazed that she had the vision and the strength to put together this event for the past three years in memory of her child. Whenever I hear of a child who has passed, I always wonder about the mother - how does she breathe her next breath, and continued to do that over and over again after her child is gone? I wanted to ask her that, but obviously, it's been a busy weekend. Today, they had about 1000 registrants for this "little" neighborhood event. As of this race, they've raised over $150,000 for the children's hospital.
Clare Goldfogle, Ben's mother, thanks the crowd for the donations benefitting Children's National Medical Center
At the race, I ran into a few friends and neighbors who had laced up their sneakers and were ready to brave the cold. Why did we bother? We had already paid our registration, i.e. there was nothing more to be gained by us actually showing up and running through the streets. But I think we all felt compelled to participate, to physically be there, not just send our money. My older daughters asked if they could volunteer next year.  After the race, when I got home and checked my email, a fellow PTA parent who participated in the race sent me a note that said we should start a Girls on the Run program at our school.  My youngest daughter asked what happened to Ben and did he lose his hair? And what did my friend who volunteers with DonateLife mean by saying we could donate our organs?  These are hard discussions, but I think her participating and reading the information made it a little more easier to begin.

When we do what we do, we never know who we will affect. And we never know who will affect us. If we're blessed, we'll be inspired. Or even be an inspiration.

Please read more about this little boy, his family, and his memorial race on - I won't pretend I know more than I do by trying to tell his story. And once you've been inspired by his mother, you can click and make a donation.

UPDATE: I finally settled down long enough to talk with Clare. You can read more about her thoughts and her own inspiration in my post on

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