It’s Friday morning, and I wake up stressed and tired, with my mind going a billion miles an hour. Despite my best intentions, I have found it impossible to avoid being invested into the stress of this week. I am behind on client work. The weather this weekend is supposed to be lousy, ruining our plans for yardwork this weekend. I need to get on top of bills and submit my hours today and follow up with one of my clients to figure out when I’m going to get the documentation I need to get through it. And I’m tired from too little sleep and my body is just sore from strengthwork and stress and too little sleep and too much work this week.
I eye the mat in the office with the idea of sitting still for 10 minutes and meditating, but I have the sense that, so new into the habit, it will be an exercise in stress and frustration. It’s dark and cold in my house at 5:30, and I really don’t want to. I want hot coffee and my journal and to not have to focus on thinking – or NOT thinking – for a bit.
I have to send an email for work first thing, because I messed up and sent the wrong document to the auditors yesterday before I left. I was rushing and it was probably stupid of me not to check before I sent it. But really, I’m doing the best I can, and I am not the only person who has sent the wrong document (or not included one at all). I write a tongue-in-cheek email to go with the correct attachment, then I go to the kitchen.
There I write a bit and drink my coffee. At 6:30 O joins me, he’s warm and snuggly right out of bed, and those few moments where he sit in my lap while it’s still dark outside and I can kiss the top of his head helps melt some of the tension.
But then it’s the morning routine: make breakfast for both of us, assemble lunch and snack, which is easy today because he’s buying pizza, talk about the day. Get him dressed, get me dressed, take the dog out twice, get ready for the bus, go to the bus.
When I get back to the house, I’m still tired and stressed. I really kind of don’t want to run today, and I think fleetingly of taking another rest day. Two in a row wouldn’t hurt, right?
But I’m meeting my friend Carrie at the usual place, and I kind of need some girlfriend miles. We do this pretty much every Friday – meet up for some longish miles – 10 or so – and we vent and complain about the juggling and compare notes about our kids and talk about stuff we’re looking forward to.
I’m not really aware of it until about halfway through, but the knot in my back and the churning in my stomach is starting to fade. And as we finish up and she runs off towards her house (up a hill, I decline to do that route today, but someday soon maybe!), I shuffle my way the last three quarters of a mile to my own house.
There are no thoughts in my head, no stress in my belly, nothing but calm and clear. Still tired, yes. But not the defeated, I don’t wanna! tired from earlier this morning.
I, quite literally, walk into my house a different person than the one who left it.
It amazes me that 10 miles has the power to take the millions of pieces of flyaway thoughts and stress and emotions and assemble it together to make me cohesive person.
THAT is why I run.