Category: erin is …

Breaking and moving on

Yesterday morning I was scheduled to run 4 miles.

I did not want out of bed.

I did not want to make an effort to get dressed in running clothes or lace up my pretty purple shoes.

I did not want to go out of the door.

I found every excuse possible: tired, hadn’t eaten, hadn’t had enough water, etc.I took care of every excuse — grudgingly.

I whined my way out the door and started running. Really, there was nothing to complain about. The temperature was great. Four miles has become a distance I’m pretty comfortable with … long enough to get into my good running space, not so long that I’m just putting one foot in front of the other to get home.

In short: the problem was my head.

The problem has been my head, my mental space, my grey matter, whatever you’d like to call it … for the last several weeks. Not just with running, but everywhere. I’m crabby, cranky, grumpy, and have a super short attention span. My threshold for annoyance is low.

I know some of my friends are thinking, “Yeah … we know, but this is you, right?”

Well, not really. This hasn’t always been me, and while we’ve certainly had our fair share of stresses in the last few years, they’ve been mostly positive ones. But even positive stress has an impact, and positive changes can create tension. My problem hasn’t been the changes so much as the not acknowledging and addressing my tension.

I’d started running as a way to help with that — a stress reliever, a natural source of endorphins, a way to pound out the frustrations and sadness and anger and build-up. A time for being alone and not touched by another human being.In open cube work environments, a job that requires LOTS of human interaction, and a house full of wonderful people, I simply need some time alone.

I’m an introvert at heart, and I need that alone time to recharge. Since not even the bathroom counts as alone space anymore, running has been great. I also get to listen to my music (a Spotify playlist that I set on random) at my volume, with no interruptions. (While, of course, keeping aware of my surroundings and low enough that I can hear traffic and other safety awareness cues.)

It’s not coincidental that as my running times declined over the last month, my mood did too.

All this swirling in the background, I went out for my run yesterday morning. It was good, not too great, but good enough.

Then I reached mile 3, and my random playlist gave me Mumford & Sons “I Will Wait.”

I hate being the soppy, overly emotional person who finds intense meaning in song lyrics, but yesterday morning I was the soppy, overly emotional person finding intense meaning in song lyrics.

I love that music is subjective and words that mean nothing to you or are overplayed to others can bring an epiphany or catharsis to someone else.

I’ve talked before about my struggles in being patient and waiting on God’s timing. Yesterday morning, for whatever reason, this song just broke my soul by putting exactly into words how my relationship with God feels right now. How my life feels right now. It’s not that I’m waiting on someTHING super specific, it’s just that I need to slow the heck down and let life happen. I need to not be anxious with an anxiety of my own making. I need to break open to other people and be open and healed.

So as I ran to a tempo that was perfect for me, these words poured into my ears, this music style that pulls on so many instinctive pieces of me, I just cried. And cried. And cried.

Not because I felt awful or hurt, but because I finally felt better.

And that’s why I run.

Mumford & Sons – I Will Wait from Cooperative Music Germany on Vimeo.

Grinch List

Last week was “Grinch Week” in Holidailies world. I didn’t think I’d have a lot to say for each separate day, plus I’m trying to grow my niceness factor and quit being so crabby.

(I don’t think it’s working yet.)

Instead, I give you … MY GRINCH LIST.

  • Holiday pet peeves. Everyone’s got at least one. What’s yours?
    Elf on the Shelf, which conveniently answers another question this week. I hate the smug little stalker. I want my kids to behave because they’re well-behaved children, not because some creepy elf is hanging around and scaring them. Looks like a ventriloquist dummy dressed up for the holidays.
  • What beloved holiday movie / TV show /play just leaves you cold?
    It’s a Wonderful Life. One year, back in the day before only one network had the license or whatever to air it, it was on EVERY DAY. We were made to watch at least part of it every time it was on. I don’t care how good or classic it is, I can’t stand it.
    Also The Christmas Story. I don’t get it.
  • Kids these days! 

    (alternative title – “Back in *my* day…)
    With their iPresents and undead dolls with the weird make-up … we had plastic women with unrealistic measurements promoting insane body image issues and WE LIKED IT.

  • Tell us about that traditional holiday food you just can’t stand.
    Pumpkin pie … I will just say that the texture leaves a lot to be desired, and the taste doesn’t make up for it.
  • What currently popular meme / trend do you just not get?
    Chevrons. Washed-out professional photography. The “ermagherd” thing. Weird animals caps-locking their angst at me.
  • What holiday tradition do you wish would please just go away?
    “12 Days of” everything. Really? It’s not creative, original, or accurate. New Christmas marketing gimmick, please.

Get off my lawn, you rotten kids!

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.

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