The majority of my friends post about the exhaustion of balancing lives with children. And, to be clear, while it seems rewarding, it also sounds exhausting.
Nights like tonight, I think to myself, "There are many ways to choose to have an exhausting life."
Note, I do not think, "There are many ways to choose to have a well-balanced life."
No. I do not think that. Because. Well, because I do not actually think that. If I thought that, no doubt, I'd actually be living one of those many well-balanced ways. But I am not.
Instead, tonight, in an act of self-preservation after too many nightmares involving document editing, clients, negotiations, accounts receivables follow-ups, etc., I've cut myself off work. Clients are annoyed at this choice.
Instead, I finalized some details our contractor required for the remodel (which required that I make time to go to the hardware store during work hours to collect samples so E and I could discuss them in the evening, which meant I had to block out time from my work day, which is always difficult). I also finished laundry, made dinner, and took the time to blog and hang out with E.
And yet, despite giving myself freedom from work, what I haven't yet done this evening is a Mandarin lesson, pack for our trip to SF for a night, prepare our China trip visa applications (because our flights were changed *yet again* and the old apps are now out of date), or respond to multiple emails from my brother's attorney. I'm helping him with some legal issues, and it requires daily effort on my part *after* I've finished all my daily work legal efforts. Tonight, these things are just not getting done. I'm too exhausted. Tomorrow, my friends. Tomorrow.
What I did do, however, after addressing the necessary house remodel issues and deciding nothing related to work was getting done, is respond to my extended family and accept an invitation to dinner at my aunt and uncle's house before the SLO marathon. E is thrilled, because these are the same extended family who hosted my gran's family memorial dinner that was cooked on the BBQ my papa (grandfather) welded (after three prototypes):
Let's just say that E's pre-race meal will be more civilized than what he usually agrees to have out of solidarity. I will be the outcast -- bringing my own noodle soup. They will all feast on wine and red meat and other traditional family celebratory stuff that only a marathon the next day could keep me from enjoying. Regardless, it will be a good time.
Did I mention that I will have family waiting at mile 4.5, 16.5, and 24 with sports drink and oranges? My aunts and uncle have overwhelmed me with their support once I announced my intention of doing the full marathon where they live -- they have been adorable with questions and details and emailing daily detailed farm-level-detail weather updates. Plus, E is planning to bike between the various family members and be there to support me as well. And finally, watching the weather report move from storms with rain, to showers, to clouds with great cool temps (albeit with bad wind), makes me feel like once again my farmer family ancestors are pulling weather for me.
In short, I've never felt this well supported on a marathon before. The generosity of my aunts and uncle have made me grateful that I dropped out of the LA Marathon and allowed myself the opportunity of doing a marathon in my dad's hometown, amongst the support of his siblings.
Plus, today's short tempo was *awesome* and the REI member benefit allowed me to replenish my fuel stores with products of choice for free to ensure I don't repeat the mistakes I made at Coeur D'Alene.
I'm excited for Sunday! No matter what, I will do my best to finish, and I will likely cry a little bit as I run in front of the family ranch. Wish me luck!