Writing and running in Austin, TX.
I was having a good run there, blogging-wise. I wasn’t quite at pro-level posting frequency, but then again, no one’s paying me to do this. (Alas.) But, for a couple months, I was managing to post something about once a week.
And then, as you may have noticed, I stopped.
Believe me, I ask myself this question a lot. And like most of life’s major questions…
…the answer is complex.
First, there’s that little matter of our wedding, which, as theknot.com so helpfully reminds me, is now a mere 55 days away. If you thought “hurry up and wait” was a phrase coined for getting to the start line on race day, you’ve never planned a wedding my friend. For every vendor who tells you they can’t possibly help you because you should have called 9 months ago, another says they can’t possibly take an order more than a month out because prices could change, and also what if the entire country’s supply of wine is suddenly needed as a water replacement for those suffering under the huge drought in the midwest?
Second, there’s work. Not that there ever wasn’t work, but if you have to take an hour out of your workday to go see a man about a wedding invitation, that hour has to be made up somewhere.
Third, there’s the house. In the past couple weeks, the doorknob has fallen off the back door, several faucets have started to drip, and a profusion of weeds have sprouted from cracks in our driveway. This of course leads me to ponder all the other things that need doing on the house.
For example, we need to fix that crack in the bathroom, or that other one in the front door. And of course every room would really benefit from some crown moulding, and new doors while we’re at it. And skylights would really help brighten up the place. In fact, while we’re at it, let’s tear out the kitchen wall and open up a path to the “man cave” so it can become our new living room.
Oh heck, maybe we should just sell the darn place and start over.
Fourth, there’s that weird smell that comes from the general vicinity of my car’s engine every time I drive it. I’m pretty sure it’s not lethal (I did pass a state inspection, after all), but I’m also pretty sure it’s not good. Even worse, I’m fairly sure it will cost more to fix than the car is worth.
So then of course I have to spend evenings on carmax.com, looking at hundreds of pictures and trying to reconcile myself to the fact that my concept of car prices was formed 10 years ago, and somehow things have changed.
Finally, and this may be the biggest reason for my radio — err, internet — silence, I’ve been having some really good runs. Seriously. Almost every single run I’ve done over the past few weeks has felt fantastic. No, I’m not about to be offered a shoe contract and a new profession, but I have had two hill workouts (normally the bane of my running existence) where I actually kept sight of the slower fast people. And then there was the 20-miler with 4 miles of half-marathon pace intervals at the end. Not a problem at all. Barely felt tired. Heck, even today, when I pulled my usual Sunday shenanigans of waiting until late morning and 90+ degree temps to head out the door, I managed to cover 5 miles in just over two podcasts of Marketplace — not bad for an intentionally slow recovery run with no watch.
Looking at all these things together, I think I can take some life lessons from my behavior these past few weeks. One is that when I have something legitimate to worry about (like a fast-approaching wedding), I will instead find 35 other “urgent” matters to focus attention on.
Another is that if I didn’t have running as a constant outlet for excess anxiety, I would probably have lost it by now. Or at least overspent on supplies at the Home Depot.
Last, but not least, I’ve learned that it’s much harder to trust in the good than the bad. I didn’t want to publicly admit that the wedding is mostly on track, or that I seem to have had a breakthrough with running, because what if I can’t maintain things at this level? How can you really tell the difference between a few randomly good days and actual measurable progress brought on by long hours of hard work?
On this Labor Day weekend, the unofficial start of fall everywhere but Texas, I have come to realize that this truly will be a season of change for me. Big, long-term type changes. Marriage. Work. Faster splits. In other words: big, scary changes.
But big, good changes too. It’s time to stop holding my breath and waiting for the house/car/wedding/career/running to fall down around me.
Even if that wine guy at Spec’s did take one look at me and determine I’m a $10/bottle type of girl, it’s time to look him in the eye and say I’m worth at least $15. (Maybe even $20 when we’re not buying for 120 people.)