“Running is my anchor. It’s not what I do, but it’s what makes everything else I do okay.”- Ben Cheever.
Michelle, one of my buddies at DailyMile.com, posted this today. It totally sums up my feelings about life right now.
Last week I entered the ranks of working people. I started doing a temporary 20hr/week job that’s 30 minutes from my house, so with the hour commute everyday, it’s really 25 hours out of my week. The kids are in school 30 hours a week, assuming school is in session 5 days a week and that my kids aren’t sick, so that leaves me with just enough time to grab a bite to eat and fill up the car with gas before I have to pick them up from school. I’m excited about earning some money and contributing to the family’s finances, but to be totally honest, juggling the timing of everything is really hard right now.
I’ve always run early in the morning, so I can’t figure out why things feel different all of a sudden. I feel rushed all afternoon and evening, and super-tired in the morning. I’m not used to sitting in a chair at the computer so long during the day, and when I get up my body is stiff and sore. Between working and doing stretches to make my body happy, I’m having a hard time figuring out when I can feel relaxed and pleasant with my family. Every chore that I have to do feels like another part of the “working” that I need to do during the day, rather than something I choose to do for me.
I know this is a transition period, but that doesn’t mean that I understand how to get through this any better. It’s still new TO ME, which means that I need to learn this skill.
It’s the 3rd day in a row I’m working from home. Both kids are home sick, though they’re not in dire straits and they’re old enough to know that I need some quiet to get the work done. Still, I have a ton of GUILT about them being home and having my face stuck in front of a computer screen. I feel like I’m ignoring them. Then my brain plays “devil’s advocate” and says “you’ve raised them to be independent and NOT need you to entertain them every minute of the day, why is today any different?” How should I know? I don’t understand it, I just feel it.
I didn’t run today, and I’m really bummed because 7 miles is a good amount of running in exchange for some perspective. I’d gladly pay for the hour at this point, just to feel the cool wind on my face and be outside MOVING. I’m trying really hard not be a big whiner and be adult about the change in my daily routine, but it’s hard. Wait, isn’t it supposed to be hard? Oh right… if it were easy, then everyone would want to do it. I’ve heard that before about running. The thing is though; running is easy for me. It’s the calm in my life, the zen in my step, the thing that keeps me grounded. It reminds me that my body is here, my mind is (thus far) firmly attached, and if I can run 10 miles on any given day, then I can do this too.
Instead of running today I WROTE about it, and magically I actually feel better!
Oh, and a quick update on the birds: they’re in full-on nesting mode. Right now there’s a battle going on over the birdhouse outside my window where they’re chasing each other off. I’m secretly rooting for the guy hanging out on the chain of the birdhouse. I think I’ll call him Claude.