Epiphany.

July 22, 2011 at 10:44 am | Posted in And I ran (I ran so far away), milestones, Moving On., My life | 15 Comments

As part of my marathon training, I decided to sign up for a 12 week running clinic sponsored by a local running club.

The first meeting was last night.

Speedwork drills.

I’ve never done real speedwork before. I’ve tried to run fartleks, but mostly what I’ve done is a tempo run – where I aim at a certain pace for a mile.

These were 200m repeats – a much shorter distance than a mile. With a walk and about 60-90 second break in between. And we were put in a pacing group that closely matched our best 5K pace.

About three repeats in, it was like it all clicked for me.

I’m MADE for this.

I was seeing pace numbers on my garmin that I never THOUGHT I’d do. I mean, yeah, it was for 200m each time, so less than a minute of hard running, with a minute and a half break.

And it wasn’t effortless, either. It was hard work. It was hot and humid, and my legs by the end were sort of like jelly.

But I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT.

There have been very few times in my adult life where I’ve felt that click. Where I didn’t have to THINK, or work hard, or work around some sort of mental block, or work on getting BETTER at something.

I was just naturally good at the drill we did last night. And at the end, I was in love with the running club and speed drills. (And the coach a little bit too!)

I’ve been focusing so hard on running long distances, being conservative in my pace, slowing down, that I never realized.

I’m made for running short and fast.

And it got me thinking. If I’ve done this with running, then I MUST have done this with other things in my life, too.

Look at my career.

I was the kid who struggled with math in school. I am not naturally detail oriented. I cannot add or divide in my head. I don’t know most conversions, and I STILL get confused over debits and credits in a lot of cases. Do I debit an equity account to increase it? Or credit it?

Yet I’m a CPA who does detail-oriented numbers work in debits and credits for a living.

Thing is. I have spent the majority of my adult life working on the stuff I’m not naturally good at.

I’ve had this idea that I need to PROVE that if I work hard, I can do anything I put my mind to.

I can, you know. We, as humans, are far more capable than we give ourselves credit for.

But it doesn’t make me HAPPY. Last night, at the end of those drills, I was HAPPY. Completely unexpectedly, I found something I was naturally good at. And I want to go out and do it AGAIN. Soon.

So I’m starting to realize that my unhappiness stems from the fact that I haven’t really focused on what makes me happy. Truth be told, aside from running fast?

I don’t really KNOW what makes me happy. I have spent so much of my life trying to prove something that I’ve lost sight of what I’m good at, what I love to do, what makes me happy.

And see. I’ve been thinking for a while now that I need to change up this blog.

Because I feel like I’ve written myself into the proverbial IF corner. Yes, I KNOW I could write about so much more here, but I feel pigeonholed into the Parenting-After-IF space.

And I have a really, REALLY cool idea for my new space.

The Serenity Project.

A year of living mindfully. Looking at everything in my life, being thankful in the moment for my happiness, but CATALOGUING it. Writing it down, exploring it, finding out why it makes me happy.

Because if I write out my happiness, maybe I’ll start to see a pattern.

And maybe if I see a pattern, I’ll be able to start to live my life in a way that will make me happy – REALLY happy. Not just okay with moments of happiness. But finding that click inside me, living a fulfilled life, savoring real and lasting happiness.

So bear with me. There are going to be some changes around here. A new look, a new feel, for sure. Perhaps a new URL.

SO excited about this idea.

I hope you will all continue to journey with me.

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15 Comments »

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  1. Have you read the Happiness Project? It’s sort of along the same lines. The author is a bit annoying but I enjoyed the book.

    • Katy – funny, I hadn’t heard about her, but my therapist mentioned it when I told her about my idea the other night. It’s similar for sure. But she went externally to find happiness – hey, I’ll try this technique and this technique, etc etc.

      I’m envisioning a more instrospective, quiet approach to how I’m living my own life in the here and now, more Buddhism-meets-thoughtfulness sort of approach. But I think I’m going to read the book, if anything, it might give me a few ideas for sure. 🙂

  2. LOVE this idea. You go girl! And keep us posted.

    As women, we’re frequently very focussed on making everyone else happy, keeping the house going, just going from day to day, concentrating on others. Sometimes, we need to stop and take stock of ourselves and where WE are and where WE want to go. And what we want to do in life to make US happy for a change.

    I applaud your gumption (and I’m envious too!). Go get ’em. 🙂

  3. Ah, the proverbial life after IF corner…what to do with this space?? I think the Serenity Project is a good idea and I also recommend the Happiness Project…although I have to admit that I find the woman that did the project a little annoying…but that’s me being judgemental on the outside. Also, there was an interesting counterpoint to the Happiness Project in I think last month’s Atlantic on the article about how not to end up with your kid in therapy (or some title to that effect).

  4. So glad you found the Serenity Project as something to motivate and inspire you!

  5. WOW. I am glad that you chose to comment on my blog so that I could follow you through to yours today. So much of what you’ve written in this post resonated within me.
    1. I, too, hope to come to a place with this whole exercise/in shape/weight loss thing that it doesn’t feel like grueling work. I want to be happy with the effort and let it flow seamlessly into my life instead of feeling like there has to be this big build up around it. I know if I have the persistence and determination to continue, I will get there eventually. I just hope that it happens sooner and not later.

    2. YES – I completely understand how you feel about having written yourself into a corner. That’s exactly why I left the old blog behind and started up the new one. It feels GOOD.

    3. I love the idea behind your Serenity Project. I’ll be there reading along through your journey, and hopefully doing some soul-searching of my own, too.

  6. That’s a great idea! I’m coming along. : )

  7. De-lurking to say I LOVE this idea and am so excited. There is a great book The Gifts of Imperfection that is all about mindfully living. Might want to check it out.

  8. LOVE this. I’m super excited for you and excited for me to get to follow you on this journey!!

  9. The Serenity Project sounds fantastic! Definitely going with you on this journey and can’t wait to see what unfolds!

  10. What a wonderful idea! I love it. I think an author did something similar. You might want to check out her book (which would be much easier if I could remember her name or the book’s title – I will look into it and get back to you).

    I hope you find some eye-opening patterns. I look forward to following you on your new journey to joy.

  11. Awesome. SO, so awesome. 🙂 Can’t wait to follow this new project!

  12. I love this idea. Sometimes when we smile, it makes us happy. Sometimes if we talk about the good in our lives…we find that we are, in fact, happy. 🙂

  13. Ooh! I like it. Maybe I should join in, as I am not entirely sure what I should be pursuing at the moment, and this might help. How were you planning to go about it? A weekly post or just ad hoc or what?

    Bea

  14. i love this post and i adore your serenity project idea! it’s great. seriously, we all could use this perspective. if everyone in the world did this for JUST ONE WEEK, we would be a much more peaceful world. agree? i’m excited for your changes


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