Monday, October 21, 2013

Reticent Dreaming

Part of the human condition is to wonder what's next or to question what could be.

At least I'm hoping that's the case.

My incessant Catholic guilt often puts a damper on my dreaming making me reticent to question my current life if dreaming poses a slap in the face to all of my blessings...which then, promptly makes me stop and just be grateful for what I've been given.

But rarely am I not grateful for the place I find myself in...I just wonder what I would be doing if I wasn't grocery shopping, folding towels, singing to my babies or supervising homework.  And these thoughts aren't intended to detract from the gift of being a stay-at-home mother, they're (I'm hoping) the natural exploration of the full self.  i.e who am I when I'm not mothering or what will my passion become when my children are grown?

Most of my teen to early adult life was consumed with being consumed.  I thrived on being busy.  Heading up school/campus organizations/clubs.  Working to pay for ancillary school needs.  Volunteering in my community.  Studying.  Running.  And reading...voraciously reading.

And then, I got married and forty weeks later, I became a mother.  Instantly, my focus became as clear as a pin point and my mental and physical energy grew increasingly more limited and finite. 
There was no more disposable income or personal time.  Manicures, pedicures, travel, online shopping, fine dining...all of the extras were discarded for the promise of time with my little ones.

And now, it's changing.  In a few short months, my youngest child will turn three and my oldest will turn nine...I will have a third-grader, a first-grader, and a soon to be preschooler.  My days of changing diapers, making bottles, and midnight feedings have gone by the wayside and I'm left to wonder, what about me?  What do I want next?

My graduate degree is in Conflict Resolution which means that I'm pretty good with other people's differences, but pretty lousy with my own.  I like conflict.  It's interesting...not in a melodrama(y) sort of way, but rather in a everyone gets to have a difference of opinion, how do we find common ground sort of way. I could do that.  Mediate.  Maybe put back on a suit. 

Since being at home, I've sold jewelry for a really fabulous company.  I could continue to do that.

I'm passionate about running and seeing people reach their personal dreams.  I could maybe send personal messages of inspiration or train off to the side.

I also harbor a strong love for the written word and yearn to write seriously.  I could potentially probe that possibility.

But on days like today, when the house is cluttered, the dishes need to be put away, I've got to pick up the kids in a few short minutes, dinner still needs to be made, homework needs to be supervised, and laundry is piling up...the only energy I have is to dream...sporadically...reticently...hopefully...trusting that when the day comes to jump without regret for the choices I made in my thirties believing that there's always a tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

"Fall"ing Into More Committed Running

The past few weeks have been a bit of a blur.

I ran my local half marathon race toward the end of September and then, had the privilege and absolute blast of a time running a Market-to-Market race...a 78-mile relay from one city to the next with six other women.  I cannot wait to do it again next year!  Below are a few pics.

Since I started running seriously almost two years ago, my goal has simply been to complete the tick off the distance in a training plan and to cross the finish line in a race.  Now that I've run five half marathons, a long-distance relay, and various other fun runs, I want to be more committed...stronger, faster, and happier with consistently giving my personal best.

In two weeks, I'll start training for a marathon.  It's a huge goal on my bucket list.  And the thing is...I don't want to just finish it.  I want to do well.  I want to cross the finish line knowing that I put in the six months of training, that I honored my body...but I didn't give in to my fear.

It seems as though, I'm always afraid...of one thing or another.  Prior to my first half marathon race, I was afraid of collapsing after enduring injuries in the training process.  On a trail run, I was afraid of getting lost because I can't read a map to save my life and I have no pathfinder gene.  At the Market-to-Market relay, I was afraid of letting down my team mates because I consider myself a slow runner. And in life in general, I'm constantly worried about doing the right thing, making sure that my children always have everything they need, how my actions affect's really exhausting.

And so, with this new journey, I want to dive into marathon training from a place of strength and not weakness.  I want to start believing that I can do this instead of assuming that I can't.  I want to trust that my body can go harder, longer and that I'll never know unless I try...and really, 38 isn't that old to be pushing myself, right?

And while I'm putting in all of those miles, I want to approach it all from a place of gratitude and joy.  Thankful that my legs can take me from one place to the next, that my heart and my mind continue to stay focused and that hopefully, my family will benefit from the stress release and the outlet that is mine.

I read this quote and it stuck...

"What distinguishes those of us at the starting line from those of us on the couch is that we learn through running to take what the days gives us, what our body will allow us, and what our will can tolerate."John Bingham,

So the real question is, what can my will tolerate?  My hope is a lot...snow, wind, cold, exhaustion, boredom, frustration, potential that come race day, I'll be prepared knowing that I've given it my everything.