The thing is – and I want to clarify my last post – I don’t actually blame the photographer who took the picture. In his interview, he said that he cries whenever he sees his picture. The baby was crying, he said in an interview.
And it goes to the news, too. I don’t hate the photographers and cameramen that were there that day. I think they came away from the tragedy just as affected as we all are. I watched too many news people, on Monday night, exercising incredible professionalism when they were clearly emotional about what they saw.
What hurt me most WASN’T the fact that photographers were there. It’s not that they took the pictures of the wounded, the terrified, the shocked, the helpers. It’s not even that the magazine chose a provocative picture like the one they did to sell magazines.
It was the idea that her son was suffering – screaming, terrified and injured – while she stood queued up with the other runners who couldn’t finish the race. Every time I think about it, it terrifies me on the deepest level – the idea of being separated from MY son and husband; the two people who mean most in the world to me, while they live through something as awful as the aftermath of a bomb filled with nails and ball bearings.
It’s personal, you see.
I can easily put myself in her place.
I came away from last week’s with dread, with the crystallization of a realization. It’s been been there, in some form or another, since planes crashed into the Twin Towers on September 11.
But no place is safe, not really.
Schools. Airports. Work.
And running, you see, is part of my therapy – the way I stay balanced, happy, joyful. Running – even short ones, like the half hour I did today – soothes my jangled nerves and fills in the missing gaps with happiness and endorphins and thankfulness for my breath and strong muscles.
My family doesn’t really UNDERSTAND how much I love running. They benefit from the results – a more happy, balanced me. But Charlie would rather walk a golf course or fish in the sunrise or spend the day hiking.
So it took the picture on that magazine, I think, to help me really grieve.
I’ve lost my naive, rose-colored perception that I have control over keeping my husband and son safe.
So what now?
Well, the capture of the guys who did it was a good first step.
I’ve continued to run this week, and each step I take makes me feel better and stronger. It’s small – really nothing – but every run I do makes me feel like I’m not going to give into the dread and fear.
And the biggest decision we made: we’re getting a puppy. Today, we are visiting a breeder who has 7 available golden retriever puppies. And provided we find the one that’s perfect for our family, we’re going to bring him/her home.
I saw an article this week about the golden retrievers – therapy dogs – who went to Newtown immediately after the shooting. And those same dogs were in Boston this week.
And on Thursday, driving into Boston, I was struck with this thought.
I WANT A PUPPY.
I want my own therapy dog.
Immediately after my D&E last fall, I made the decision to get a puppy. It was an intense desire, a need for a baby. We didn’t act on it, because I wanted more time to think about it. (And really – a puppy in November? In New England? Not the smartest decision.) And the desire flared up inside me again this week, too – the same need.
I have pretty much given up on the idea of having another baby of my own. But a puppy is a baby, too.
And I have a lot of love to give.
And right now? The timing couldn’t be better. It’s spring. Charlie is working from home until mid June and I have most of July off. We have neighbors and friends who actually WANT to pet sit for us. Lucky is starting school in the fall and we’ll then be tied to a school schedule.
I can’t tell you how excited and nervous I feel today. Charlie and I were laughing that we were more excited than Lucky is, mostly because he doesn’t really grasp the concept that HE is getting a puppy.
And I feel like it’s fitting that we end this week with an addition to our family, with adding more life and love to our world.
I’ll keep you all posted – and will definitely post pictures!
At 2:50 on Monday, when a friend from my running club was not yet at the finish of her first Boston Marathon, two bombs went off. Her husband was badly injured in the second blast. Their three year old son, thankfully, was not badly hurt – likely due to her husband’s courage.
And while she was not yet aware of what was going on, still running her race, a photographer, capturing the images of all of the chaos and mayhem, snapped a picture of her terrified son.
And then he sold that picture to a national magazine, which chose his image for its cover.
It makes sense how few details she has released to us, her running tribe, about the whole thing. Why she took down her Facebook page. Why she isn’t answering phone calls or emails or texts. Why three of her best friends are running interference for her and imploring us all: “Please do not comment to the press.”
I cannot get past the fact that she stood on Charlesgate with all of the other runners while her husband bled and her son screamed… and a photographer took pictures. The mother in me screams in anger and grief.
None of this is okay. There’s NOTHING okay about it. There is no place that’s safe. Those fuckers took away my one safe place – running. They hurt one of my tribe. And I am frayed beyond belief today.
I stood in the cold tonight, after running 3 miles with a friend, then 3 more miles with my running club, then 1 more in tribute to the victims of the attack on Monday with everyone else in town.
And I lit a candle and I listened to a minister and rabbi talk about being Strong, because We Are Boston.
And I want to scream. The god I believe in doesn’t do shit like this to ‘test’ us. I don’t WANT to be strong if it means I have to sacrifice my husband and son.
So yeah. Today’s not a good day.
But I ran.
Lucky and I came out of family swim time, him chattering away about swimming and how high he could jump; how well he swam all by himself yesterday. I helped him into his carseat, handed him his juice and snack, and casually checked my phone as I walked around to the driver’s side of the car.
Four texts, two calls, and a voicemail. And a CNN alert.
The texts: “Where are you?”
“You’re not running Boston today, are you?”
“Been watching the coverage and now 2 confirmed dead & 22 injured. Is everyone you know safe? My god!”
The panic I felt for my all my running friends, in that moment, was overwhelming. I couldn’t get Charlie on the phone. My running friend Jen, the one who was tracking the progress of so many, wasn’t answering her phone either. My MIL picked up the phone, but she didn’t have anything in the way of comfort to offer me. My SIL told me the details of what happened – the time and facts.
And when I was in between calls, Lucky requested, “Mommy, please tell me what happened.”
In the moment, I told him that there had been two explosions at a race – the race we watched that morning. That the explosion was something called a bomb, and it had hurt a lot of people – even killed some people. And that I was really worried for all my friends who were running in that race, and I didn’t know if they were okay.
I didn’t really think. I just reacted.
And over the next few hours, when I was on Facebook and my running board, breathing deeply with relief as all of my friends checked in and reported they were safe, I answered question after question from my son about what happened. He requested to see pictures of the bomb, and I showed him as much as I felt comfortable with.
Which, in retrospect, was too much.
At dinner last night, we focused on the helpers, like Mr. Rogers said. We talked about how amazing it was that people ran towards the smoke and pulled down the barricades to help people that were hurt. We talked about how Bear was GREAT at finding bombs and would help everyone he saw. We talked about how the police and the FBI have people who are called bomb technicians who are so smart that they know how to make sure that bombs don’t go off.
And he went to sleep just fine and slept through the night.
Charlie and I, however, did not.
It’s impossible to make sense out of something so senseless. I can’t even try.
This one hit so close to home, to my heart and soul, that I can’t breathe.
I am a runner.
And the people that were killed, injured yesterday? Were the SUPPORT for every runner out there. I wouldn’t have made it to the start of my own marathon if it weren’t for Charlie, my friends, my family.
And my son and husband could have easily been there; been part of the crowds cheering me onto the finish… been part of the chaos and terror inflicted yesterday.
They HAVE been part of my races. They were there when I ran my first half marathon; where Lucky drank my water after the finish.
They were there when I ran the Marine Corps Marathon; where, right after Charlie took his picture, Lucky stole my medal and wore it himself.
The fear, for me, is all consuming today. And I know, I KNOW, that this is the very definition of terrorism. Because, really – the term “terrorism” comes from Latin: ‘terror’, “great fear”, “dread”, related to the Latin verb terrere, “to frighten.”
The only thing that makes sense, for me, today, is to see my son and husband home, safely.
And then go for a run. A run where I can honor not only all the people in my life who have been my support system, the very foundation in my life, but also the others: the parents, the children, the brothers and sisters, the friends – everyone who was affected by yesterday’s events.
And maybe then I can start to make sense of it all.
I was not at the Boston Marathon today. Lucky and I came out of family swim time at our gym to texts and check ins, and for a few panicky moments, all I could think about were my friends running today.
They are all accounted for – and thankfully okay.
I believe that we have a choice in this life to react in fear, hate, or sadness.
Today I choose to send love out into the world to counteract the hate that seems to be present in every day, on every TV station.
Thank you all for the emails and texts.
Love to you all.
When I decided to run a marathon back in 2011, I signed up for a running clinic through what is now my running club.
The first workout – 200 meter repeats – I was struck with the strongest feeling.
I was made for this.
Over the years, I’ve wondered about my focus on running, mostly as it relates to me emotional, mental, and physical health.
Charlie put it best, recently, on a day where I was getting antsy because it was late and I still needed to get miles in that day.
Always, the running, he said. Obsessed.
I am NOT obsessed, I replied. I do things other than running. Swimming, for example. Weights. Yoga. Cycling.
… So you can run MORE! he replied, laughing.
We both laughed, knowing that he was exactly, 1000% right.
My silence these past couple of weeks has been a function of processing through layers and layers and layers of emotional baggage.
It’s like I finally decided to go up into the attic to clean it out… and was confronted with a room, packed to the brim with 37 years of hoarded Memories and Denied Emotions. There’s been little space to even navigate. So I’ve just been sorting through, processing, moving things around, letting go.
And with all the work I’m putting into sorting through all the crap I’ve never managed to get through, patterns are emerging.
For example, I’m starting to see that I have very little clarity about what really makes me happy.
Said another way: the person I am now is a function of many, many years of trying to fix my many weaknesses. I’ve found gratification in working around the faults my parents found in me.
I’m an excellent Finder of Lost Things, for example. Because I ALWAYS lose stuff.
I’m also an amazing Project Manager. Because I hate being overwhelmed by everything I have to do and not knowing where to start. I also know that if I think a task will take me, say, 2 hours, I should budget 4-6; even more if it’s something I don’t actually like or want to do.
Because I’m easily distractable, you see, and will end up using that extra time.
Last night was the second week of my spring running clinic.
The combination of weight loss and consistency in weekly mileage for the past few months has turned me into a very different runner than I was last year. And I’m working with a coach who has always told me I was capable of more than I’ve done thus far.
One of the benefits of hiring a coach is that it takes ALL the guesswork out of building a training plan. He’s stayed on top of my weekly mileage in the weeks where my ankle has flared up and I couldn’t run through it. He’s scheduled me for strength training when I mentioned my IT band was becoming bothersome again, way up at my hip.
And a couple of weeks ago, he planned a speed workout for me. And this time, he told me to hit a certain pace for each interval. I hit them, easily.
And when I got home and plugged in the distance and time into the computer, and saw the average pace, I was completely gobsmacked.
I never thought I could actually run that fast.
I WANTED to, of course. But wanting and actually DOING are very different things.
So last night the workout was three miles of intervals. I ran them strong and fast – at the pace I never thought myself capable of.
I don’t know how running does it, but the act of running somehow distills me into my very core. Everything falls away, and I’m left with just my essence, my hrdaya – heart center.
My runs lately have been moving meditations, where all I have to do is listen and something will well up from deep inside me. They’re generally phrased as questions, and they’re said with a voice that is quiet and full of knowledge; so much different than that nonstop chatter voice of my mind.
Last night’s thought? The universe has given me a gift.
A good friend of mine asked me yesterday, just before clinic, if we were definitively done trying for another baby.
She knows about our struggles, and she knows that I was pregnant last fall and lost it.
So I told her the truth: that I was 99% sure we were done, really done, but I was having a hard time closing the door completely. We don’t have any hope left. I can’t even consider walking back into that clinic, doing the shots, the medications, the transfer. And the life I have now is pretty full; I get baby time through my family and friends, and I am starting to wonder if that’s the universe’s plan for my life – if I’m just not meant to have more than one kid. And if I can’t have a house full of kids and chaos, maybe I should focus my energy into finding a career I love and making the life I have NOW better.
She asked me if we had considered a surrogate. We have, I said, but the cost is staggering and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it.
Late last night, she texted me and offered to be a surrogate for us if we wanted. I know it’s a huge thing and surrogacy isn’t like a simple fix. But, I know it’s really expensive, and if a uterus is the thing you need, I mean… I don’t know, it just occurred to me.
I don’t know what’s next.
I think we are done with trying for kids, even with my friend’s generous offer to act as a surrogate for us.
I think I might quit my job for a bit so I can allow myself the space to think and feel, in the hopes that my next career might spring up organically.
I think I might keep sorting through the room of emotional baggage in the attic and let go of what doesn’t help me anymore.
I think I’m going to try my best to qualify for the Boston Marathon when I run my marathon in the fall.
I think I am finding out that no matter what is next, the life that I have now – my friends, my family – EVERYTHING that has led me to this point – is a gift.
All I know is that last night, I felt THANKFUL. Thankful for infertility, because without it, I wouldn’t be in this place I am today. Without infertility, I wouldn’t have met my friend D on a TTC board and I wouldn’t have been introduced to the idea of running a half marathon.
Because of infertility, D is one of the most important people in my life. Because of infertility, I found running – and my therapist. And ran a marathon. And found the motivation to lose 35lbs.
I have always tried to find the good in our IF; it’s been really, really hard on days.
But last night, it struck me.
Our IF is a gift, too.
I was never really into science when I was a kid. Which is unfortunate, really – there’s a LOT of really interesting stuff I never learned.
I DID learn Newton’s Laws of motion. But I feel like I learned that stuff in a vacuum.
Because it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve discovered that Newton’s Third Law is actually applicable to the tidal movement of emotions.
To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction: or the forces of two bodies on each other are always equal and are directed in opposite directions.
Lucky turned 5 on Sunday. And as I was telling my friend D, he’s READY to be five. We’ve seen real changes in his behavior just this weekend: taking on responsibility to clean up his toys when he’s done playing with them with only a reminder from us (before he’d beg us to “help him!”). We’ve made some very real strides with the pottying stuff (another post for another time).
Almost overnight, it seems, he’s become independent.
It’s almost like the past few months of issues we’ve had with him was in ANTICIPATION of being five, and when he turned five, he made the decision that he was a Big Kid. And has been acting that way, at least for the past couple of days.
I also met with my running coach a couple of times last week: once to set goals for my next training cycle, and once for a one-on-one workout with him on Tuesday night. He told me that, at my CURRENT fitness level, he thought I had it in me to qualify for the Boston Marathon. On Tuesday night, he set time goals for me for a workout which I easily met. It confirmed that I do, in fact, have the potential to run a BQ race this year.
Now, you need to understand: running the Boston Marathon was on my bucket list even before I was a runner (want proof? This post from 2007). The way to run Boston? You need to run a marathon in 3 hours and 40 minutes to qualify (for my current age), or raise $5k+ for a charity.
I want to qualify.
Now, having the POTENTIAL to qualify and actually DOING it are two very different things. I have one marathon under my belt, which wasn’t exactly the best experience – I was injured at mile 22 and then walked the rest. I don’t have a lot of experience with marathons, which means that there’s a lot of variables that contribute to an actual marathon time.
But just HEARING that I have a potential is so gratifying.
On Sunday, I ran 5 miles in honor of Lucky’s 5th birthday. I had just run 10 the day before, a little too fast because it was so. freaking. COLD outside. So my legs were tired. I kept having to slow down, and my pace started to worry me, just a bit.
And then, this thought: Serenity, stop worrying about what you SHOULD be doing. This is what’s happening NOW. This run. Today.
As I heard This run. Today. over and over in my head, another thought popped up.
This LIFE. Today.
All of a sudden, I saw the parallels from the run to my life. I’ve had this idea of what my life SHOULD be like for so long now.
But, really, I’m living THIS life. And remaining attached to the life I was hoping to have is causing me to suffer.
In that moment, as soon as I realized, I let go of the idea of another child. Just, poof, let it go. Released it. And I came home to my family, and we spent the day celebrating how lucky we were, and I watched Lucky play with his friends and then his cousin until late into the night.
Lucky HAS a brother – my nephew. He has sisters and brothers in his friends. We don’t need more children to complete our family. We’re complete as we are.
Sunday was confirmation, for me, that I have the potential to be happy in the here and now. I was surprised at the depth of the feeling, the absolute peace I felt. I savored it, reveled in it. It felt AMAZING.
And then I woke up on Monday. Where the peace was replaced with grief. Sadness. Lucky is getting so big, and there will be no more babies. And when I started making plans to get rid of his baby toys – to really purge all the baby items from our attic – the feeling grew, until last night it nearly swallowed me.
The opposite reaction to peace is sadness for me, it seems. And like the waves, they crash around me.
I have never liked the ocean. I nearly drowned when I was Lucky’s age, and being out of control in a raging sea has always terrified me.
But it seems, that emotions ebb and flow like the ocean.
And I’m finally figuring out how to navigate these seas, I think.
A good blogger friend of mine posted today about a terrible bout of anxiety she’s feeling about where she is right now – she’s perched on the precipice of a lot of unknowns. Which is really hard.
And this sentence got me: The more I can’t control the big issues, the more I micromanage and grab onto smaller things. When we were ttcing it was my weight and body image and running. I couldn’t get pregnant, but I could damn well make sure I got skinny and could run really fast.
That last sentence.
That’s ME right now.
I have finally gotten to the point where realize I am not in control of much of anything in my life. I have a career which is ill-fitting. My relationship with my husband is challenged by the stress of our infertility, the drudgery of our daily life, and parenting. My nearly-five-year-old still wets his pants regularly. I will likely never be pregnant again.
And all of this is uncomfortable. I LIKE having plans. Sitting with decisions, really forcing myself not to CHOOSE anything, really sitting with emotions and feelings… it’s kind of exhausting and tiring and uncomfortable. And hard.
Except there’s one thing in my life which I DO have some measure of control over: running. And food choices.
I wish I could bottle up the feeling of nailing a workout, how amazing and light and fast I feel.
Words don’t do that feeling justice either. It’s joy. Freedom. Sometimes exhaustion. Sheer will. The rush of pushing past some mental barrier and realizing that you can DO something you previously thought you weren’t capable of. I have moments where my overriding feeling is, I am MADE for this. That feeling you get when running is changeable, like catching lightning in a bottle. But always, always, always fulfilling.
After being snowed in with my family for two full days last weekend, I went out the day after the blizzard for my long run and experienced nothing more than sheer JOY. The run had it all: birdsong, the crunch of the snow under my sneakers, the quiet without any traffic, the people outside shoveling I got to greet… it was perfection.
A run is the one thing in my life right now that gives me joy, and success, and happiness. It makes up for all the ways I am failing everywhere else.
Because, you see, I DO feel as if I’m failing a lot. At work, I fail to be detail oriented; I am trying not to be crippled with self-doubt right now whenever I turn in something I’ve worked on, but it is so hard to banish the Inner Critic who tells me it’ll never be good enough.
I fail to be patient with my son, who still struggles with using the damn potty. We have been dealing with accidents for far too long, and I am nearly at my wits’ end* with it all. Our conversations when I discover that he’s wet often end up with him telling me, Stop being mad at me, Mommy. (I don’t yell, nor punish him for it, but I do lecture. I just can’t be neutral about it any more, no matter how hard I try.)
I also fail to be a good wife nowadays. Charlie is under some pretty tough work stress, and though I know he could use support and kindness, I’m having trouble not being resentful of the fact I feel like his work takes precedence over me or Lucky. I am failing at giving him the support he needs without expecting something in return.
I also have failed, utterly, to complete our family. I am mourning, already, the end of Lucky’s childhood; it’s going by so fast and I won’t ever get to experience it again. I mourn FOR him, the fact that he will have to bear the burden of taking care of Charlie and I at some point in the future on his own, that he has no one to share the burden. I mourn that his children won’t have cousins.
My body has failed. Failed me in the most fundamental way, on the deepest, most basic level possible. My body will not produce children. I have one child, yes, but that’s a product of luck. Happy luck, clearly. But luck.
It all melts away when I go out for a run, when I look down and see a pace which I never thought of as “comfortable” and I realize I am barely exerting myself. When I run a race and completely shock myself with the pace – nearly 3 minutes faster over the distance than I did in May of last year. When I go to track practice and get stronger and faster as the workout goes on, instead of giving in to my tired muscles and stopping.
Running is when I can get caught up in the sheer joy of DOING something with my body. Running frees me in a way I don’t have in other parts of my life. It gives me happiness, and a sense of control, and a deep thankfulness for my body and what I can accomplish with it.
But yeah. There’s the control thing again. This is another way for me to grasp at control over something. It’s an escape, too. I can get away from the Fail of my life for a while; escape into the run, and come home feeling stronger.
And it makes me wonder if this means I am falling back into my old patterns; where I am looking for SOMETHING I can control, since I feel so out of control with everything else. Except it’s hard now.
With running, I don’t WANT to let it go. I have accepted the fact that I can’t control EVERYTHING. But can’t I have one area of my life where I feel like I can work hard and see the benefit?
Or is that unhealthy, too?
I don’t know.
I suppose the best I can hope for is that someday, running is just something I do, and not something I need. Because I NEED it right now. Right now, I need the joy, the release, the feeling of being good at SOMETHING.
*Thanks to a comment on my blog, we just ordered Lucky a watch which can be set to vibrate every two hours. Our new strategy is to talk up the fact that the “doctor” suggests that we do this; that THIS is the way he will be able to keep his underwear dry – use the potty every time Mr. Watch tells him to. We’ve mentioned it to his teachers and they’re willing to work with us on this. We’ll see what happens.
A few years ago, I joined a fitness board called dailymile. At the time I used it to log my miles, my training for my half marathon. I liked the idea of having a place to keep my training online.
Over time, I realized that it was kind of like Facebook for people who loved to run and cycle and swim and work out. And I started accepting friend requests, then sending them out myself.
There was this one girl, though, who I felt a real kinship with. She ran HUGE mileage every week, because she was anxious and type A and needed the release of a run. And she was honest about it; talking about how she had to get on the treadmill at midnight to keep away the anxiety.
Turns out she was going through a divorce, and though she never talked about it until after it was over, all those miles were to keep the pain at bay.
I said in my last post that all my coping mechanisms weren’t working. Which isn’t fully true. The release I find in physical exertion is very real right now. It’s the one thing that can right my world when I can’t handle the anger or pain anymore. And I’m happy to find that it’s not just running right now; it’s cycling and strength training and stair climbing and running and swimming.
Which is good, because I am not the kind of runner who can only run and not do anything else – otherwise I get injured. I need the crosstraining and strengthwork if I want to run the kind of miles I want to.
Anyway. This girl on dailymile has been blogging lately. And her post today was about waiting.
And the brilliance of it can be captured in one sentence: I know that healing happens in the waiting.
I know this is a revelation to most of you… but I don’t have a lot of patience.
(yes, that was said with sarcasm.)
It’s just because I’m tired of feeling like shit and I want to move on. I want to find a place where this doesn’t hurt so much, where a question – only one child?- doesn’t hurt so much. I want to be in a place where I am truly at peace with the life I have now, IN the here and now. I fear a future where I look back and regret not being more present because I was hurting.
I am so tired of feeling Stuck, of longing and wanting for something I do not have.
That’s my overwhelming feeling, honestly. Tired. Tired of waiting. Tired of trying to cope. Tired of the whole battle against infertility. Tired of hurting.
And it’s because I’m tired that I’m trying to DO something to Get Over It. Like, you know, there’s something I can actually DO to cope, some training program where I can run my miles and do my exercises and get through the Suck of it all.
But the thing is. Healing happens in the waiting.
So I wait.
And a note to you all, my dear readers. I loathe the posts where I pour my grief into the computer. It’s why I’ve been quiet, because I keep telling myself I need to post about ALL of my life, not just the stuff I don’t have. I do have moments of love and happiness and contentment, where I really do believe that I’m going to come out of all of this Suck a stronger person for it.
It’s just overwhelmed with all the stuff I’m trying to work through – it’s a lot to process all at once.
Anyway. I wanted to acknowledge – and thank you all – for abiding with me, especially since I’ve been a not-great blogger and an even not-greater commenter lately. I love you all and want you to know that your comments, emails, texts, and presence have helped me immensely since the fall. So. Thank you.
For so long now, I’ve had this internal monologue. And though it changes, depending on my moods and what’s going on in my life right now, it can really be parsed to a few words.
You’re no good, Serenity.
My best friend and I made plans to have lunch at the end of next week, and it wasn’t until Sunday that I realized: you know, we never had our lunch together.
Turns out she got struck down by the flu last week. And thankfully her parents are in town, but why didn’t I check in with her when I hadn’t heard from her for a couple of days?
I kind of suck at this friend thing.
My boss’s three week old son is in the NICU with a case of RSV. And she sent me an email last night about how it would take a load off her mind if I could work today and commit to more hours this week. But talking with her today, she just wants me to work faster on the scut work I’m doing now. Which, for anyone interested, is going through a year’s worth of invoices and figuring out if the invoice should be accrued for or booked as a prepaid on the quarter end dates.
It’s numbingly boring, soul-killing work. Important, because the company basically has never really used the accrual method of accounting, but I’m done with it. And it’s sucked ANY motivation I might have dredged up for this client right out the window.
And I had a conversation with another friend this weekend, where she said she was okay with doing something that wasn’t her passion, because she was good at her job, and she took satisfaction in taking on challenges and being successful.
I don’t know the last time I felt like I was good at my job. It’s been years.
After three weeks of happily doing nothing but running, my legs are achy and tight and am THIS close to a recurrence of my IT Band tendinitis. So I am back at the gym and weight training, which is absolute drudgery. I KNOW it’ll help my runs, but I hate it and finding the time to do it is hard on a consistent basis.
And honestly, what’s the POINT? It’s not like I’m going to break any records anyway. I COULD just run half marathons with friends, chatting the whole way, just for the sake of getting out. Why do I keep forcing myself to run faster and get better?
Charlie and I have had some words over what I am calling the Lucky Yell. I think it’s good that he’s using his words to tell us that he’s angry, and that eventually he’ll figure out he can’t yell at us all the time.
Charlie hates being yelled at.
And I realized, as I was defending Lucky’s yelling habit: I yell too. Way too much.
What I used to think as passion?
It’s just anger.
These are my internal monologues, you see. And until recently, I’ve actually played into it. Allowed myself to really BELIEVE the words I’ve told myself. That I suck. That I’m no good. That I have to make up for my No Good by working harder and longer; really PROVING that I’m okay.
It’s part of why I’ve been doing treatments for so long, you see. I believe, on some level, that I don’t deserve kids. And doing treatments over and over? I’m making up for not being worthy by suffering.
I’ve been noticing this, you see. And I’m starting to resist it.
Who SAYS I have to do any more treatments? Keep working a job I hate? Run harder and faster and longer to prove that my body’s not a failure?
I don’t have to do anything. I don’t HAVE to be captive to my Inner Critic.
I think, anyway. Time will only tell.
[Tap, tap] Is this thing on?
Man, January is a rough time to lose blogging mojo. It’s cold and dark and I’m full of complaints.
Like about the fact that Charlie got me the best birthday present ever this year – an electric blanket – which I can’t actually USE because it makes my poor husband too hot. Even though the heat is only on MY side. I use it at night to warm the sheets up just before bed.
But I find that writing more increases the chance I’ll get my mojo back.
So, uh. Updates.
Ones that aren’t complaints.
(I have them. I’m sure of it.)
Running, right now, is awesome. I’ve worked back up to 25-30 miles a week, and since I’ve lost weight (10lbs now!) my runs are easier and lighter and faster. Which is good, because it’s dang cold out so I can get them over with sooner. But man, I feel SO good. I’m not sure I’ve felt this good about running since the summer I was training for the marathon.
And physical Good totally correlates to emotional Good, too. Mostly. Running is my zen: it smooths out my thorny parts. And good running equals zen, especially lately.
Also; having my therapist back has been AWESOME. In combination with the mindfulness and self-kindness meditation stuff, I feel like a veil has been lifted. Holy cow, have I really THIS awful to myself for this many years? What’s the POINT?
I’ve been working to understand the reasons for my anger, which always seems to be prevalent. Huge breakthrough today: I realized that I get angry at Charlie when *I* am feeling insecure. I apparently go on the offensive in order not to get hurt, or something.
Work, shockingly, is actually, uh. GOOD. I’m working on a new client, which is good, and since I am working from home and boss-lady had her son three weeks ago, I have a measure of autonomy and distance. And so the work is better (marginally, of course), the commute is GRAND, and it’s nice to finally feel like I can enjoy my work, a little. I’m sure I’m doing things All Wrong and when boss-lady engages I’ll be told that, but for now I’m enjoying it.
Lucky is equal parts completely adorable and batshit crazy. I can’t believe we’re thinking about kindergarten right now, but we’re thinking about kindergarten. The elementary school in our district has a lottery for full-day kindergarten slots, so we’re trying to think about other alternatives for him should he miss out on full day kindergarten. We’re going to apply to a Montessori school in a neighboring town that we know does standard full day kindergarten, just in case, but we’re not counting on it since they prioritize town residents.
It’s kind of ridiculous that my kid, who has been in full day daycare since he was 6 months old, might only have 3 hours of school a DAY next year. BUT. Trying not to get ahead of myself, though. We register him for the lottery in March and from what I understand, are told at the end of March if he’s got a full day slot or not. That gives us time to research other options.
Also: it’s been fantastic to have Charlie home for the past few weeks, too, for both Lucky and I. The sleep issues we were dealing with back in December have mostly gone away; I think having his Daddy gone made him more needy, and whenever he woke up early in the morning he had to come into our room and bed for comfort. I did find him in our bed this morning when I heard him up, but for the most part, he hasn’t asked to come into our bed or gotten up at some ungodly hour or needed us to walk him back to bed in the cold of the middle of the night because he’s feeling scared.
Not only that, but family dinners again. Awesome.
So really, it’s not all doom and gloom at chez Serenity. Things are starting to look up.