Running Forecast: Ugh.

I mean really: UGH, you guys.

For any number of reasons, I am not getting back into the swing and flow of running on a regular schedule. I don’t know if it’s the holidays, the illnesses, the cold, or all of the above (most likely). Work stress has been getting to me as well … instead of running being a stress reliever, I’m stressed about fitting running in around all the work that’s been crammed between the furlough and the holidays. Sick children and wakeful nights don’t make for a restful night, which doesn’t make for ease in waking up for early morning runs.

If you’re skimming, just know that last block of text was: whine, whine, whine, excuses, whine.

So … last week didn’t measure up to the plan. Actuals:

  • Tuesday: Nothing
  • Thursday: 4.03 miles
  • Saturday: Nothing
  • Sunday: 3.31 miles

Le sigh. At least I passed the 75% mark to my 200 mile goal (since I started running again this summer).

This week’s plan:

  • Tuesday: 3 miles (already missed … maybe tomorrow)
  • Thursday: 4 miles
  • Saturday: 4 miles
  • Sunday: 6 miles

Waa, waa, waa.

Christmas Mail!

I finally got around to ordering Christmas cards last night (one of this year’s designs is at the end of this post).

Better late than never, right?

I’d been waiting for the kids to all be healthy — no runny noses, crusted snot, red cheeks, or glassy eyes to photoshop out of the images.

Because we do the pictures with letters spelling NOEL every year (some previous designs below, too), I wanted them to be healthy and coordinated enough to do an outdoor photo shoot like we usually do.

When Nora woke up with another 100F fever yesterday, I realized that just wasn’t going to happen.

I grabbed each kid as they were (mostly) pleasant and available, put them in relatively coordinate clothes, and took individual pictures in the living room near the tree.

Christmas Card 2013

Christmas Card 2013 Back

Christmas Card 2012

Christmas Card 2011

Christmas Card 2010


All designs and printing from Shutterfly.

I need the music

Yesterday I had one of the painful experiences at work that I usually inflict on other people: going through feedback from peers and managers.

I’d taken a self-assessment, and the same questions were answered about me by peers on teams with me and by my managers. The very knowledgeable consultant who went through the responses with me also looked at another assessment I’d taken. (The Birkman, if you’re a nerdy development type.)

So the feedback itself wasn’t all that bad, it’s just the painful process of confronting how far your external habits fall from your internal perspective of what you do. There were also some pretty large indicators that I have existed and worked in a stressed-out way for far too long, and it’s coming across loud and clear and not in a nice way. Ick. So I have something to work on.

One of the most interesting things for me, though, was the consultant’s perspective and interpretation of the “Areas of Interest” in that Birkman assessment. These 10 categories (Artistic, Clerical, Musical, Literary, Social Services, Mechanical, Numerical, Outdoor, Persuasive, and Scientific) have nothing to do with talent, but seem to express my need for behaving in a certain way or interest in certain things.

My top area of interest? Like, 99 out of 100 points? Music.

As the consultant said, “This is what you need for healing. You need music, whether it’s listening or performing, to make your soul whole, particularly if you’re in this stressed place so much.”

What do I have almost none of in my life right now? Music.

The only music I tend to have right now are the songs I listen to while running.

So today, while I am trying to get through a ton of work and re-group from weeks on end of stress and manic behavior, I am drowning myself in music. Christmas, classical, “hipster Christmas music” (kill me now) … whatever I can soak in.

* * *

Another thing I’ve started doing for soul-healing and stress-relieving is acknowledging that there are simply some things in my life that I don’t like. I have been a people-pleaser my entire life, trying to be fair and not project favoritism. I’ll eat that cookie, even if I don’t like it, because YOU made it. I’ll listen to that song and try not to have a favorite, because it may cause conflict if we don’t like the same thing. I’ll try to be friends with everyone, even if I don’t like them, because that’s what good girls do.

So now I’m trying to acknowledge when I genuinely just DON’T LIKE or REALLY PREFER something or someone. It’s not a license or excuse to be rude or crabby (darn) … it’s a relief valve so I can acknowledge my true feelings and go on with the best way to behave while not being stressed.

I don’t like snickerdoodles or oatmeal raisin cookies at all.

I love chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies.

I don’t like this or that person.

I will be kind to them because someone I love loves them or because they simply deserve respect as a human being.

I don’t like The Little Drummer Boy.

love Silent Night.

I don’t like Mariah Carey’s version at all, but I’ve listened to this version three times today.

Heal your soul a bit, if you like: