Today, I found myself alone, carrying my portable office (always heavy full of books, laptop, papers, etc), my purse (always heavy because I'm one of those stereotypical ladies with a purse that has everything but the kitchen sink), and a huge rolling garment bag (46 lbs, according to the airline) down a staircase.
I did it.
But it wasn't pretty.
The garment bag hit the stairs with every step because I am too short to hold it high enough to avoid the scrape when I drop to the lower stair. The purse and the portable office bag weren't close to 46 lbs on my opposite arm, so I was off-kilter. In the interests of safety, I took the stairs with baby steps, putting both feet on each step.
Once at the curb, I couldn't help but feel like the picture I'd created on the staircase was such a visual metaphor for my life these days. (Let's not even examine the extension of the metaphor whereby there is actually a different way down with a fully functional escalator that I didn't take...)
Lately, I've been trying to cut myself more slack. When I feel overwhelmed, I've been trying to tell myself that it's okay not to work 15 hours in a day just because my clients have needs.
In short, I've been trying to prioritize my own needs, and I suck at it. I take all the bags and load myself up and make it down to where I need to be in one trip without aid from many of the people I'm traveling with. Why? Well, because I can and they are doing other things. I just max myself out. That's what I typically do.
As I've evolved as a blogger, more and more of the blog has been focused on running. I think this is due to two things:
1) It's an area where I don't owe anyone anything. It's me, doing stuff for me, and for some reason, unlike the rest of my life where I make an effort, I'm perfectly comfortable being average. The posts may read as boring and technical and fact-filled, but make no mistake, they are *highly personal* and even though I almost always let my professional obligations run my life, I do know that doing stuff for myself is important. Even though I don't do as good of a job about it as I could do, I'm proud that I do make time to regularly run and try to stay relatively fit.
2) As I've aged and opted not to have children, I've reconciled myself to the reality that I have less and less in common with the majority of my cohort. Running is this great social binder that doesn't care about the differences between people and only cares if you care about running.
The last few weeks, I've been suffering from some major professional burnout. This is normal in my line of work. What's not normal for me is that I've actually been scaling back work commitments and scheduling more me time in response (which translates to more gardening, Internet piddling, running, walking, and reading). In doing so, I've read more about running, run more, and watched more running videos than normal. Finally, headed into next week, I'm feeling a bit recovered and I'm amused that running has become such a large part of my life that it's the place I turn when feeling overwhelmed.
Did i say amused? Oh, I meant that, but really, I'm grateful. I'm so grateful.
**Weekly Running Recap? 27.97 miles, 3 rest days (2 garden, 1 travel, but a 12 mile long run and 15% high effort miles sub-10. Best workout of the week? 18X200 100 R/I w/track club averaging 54-55s -- felt so great and strong after this workout and very much enjoyed the camaraderie of the group.)
Reverse ladder at track this week - my favorite kind of workout because it just gets shorter! Hope to see you there...yes, there is a real chance I will be there this week!
I'm the same way. I HAVE to up the me-time when I start feeling burned out, because once upon a time I didn't, and that particular career burnout turned out to be permanent. :-/
@Angela -- thanks for that -- it's a good perspective to keep in mind.
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