March 1, 2015

Choosing Your Life

This week, I spent 3/7 of my evenings in hotels.  But both hotels (2 different trips) have become homes away from home for E & me.  We had a delicious date night at Pabu one night, attended an industry event another night, and a Shabbat for the third. 

At the moment, we have no real geographically fixed projects, so multiple trips to the city is easy to pull off. (Soon, we'll have more home-bound obligations -- the remodel killed us, but once we're recovered the garage is next in line, the garden is just starting to ramp up, and the carpets are desperate be redone, which will involve quite a bit of furniture moving and hopefully purging of unnecessary stuff).

Instead of feeling annoyed at the multiple drives/train trips/etc. this week, I felt grateful.  The last few years, I've often been able to live a fun cosmopolitan city life, even if I actually live in the suburbs.

Tonight, however?  I bailed on all invitations (we'd done a Friday night party and Saturday AM brunch) and E went out to a social event without me.  I was fried and I just wanted some me time, at home.  

It was raining - Yay California rain.  I drove.  Neighbors are from the east coast.  They walked!
So, before settling in to watch a French movie alone on the couch, I drove myself out to dinner at our local Mexican sit-down joint (they were adorably concerned that it was just me, without E, on a Saturday night).  I had a margarita and a gigantic order of veggie fajitas.  They let me read my book, and actually, in one of the cutest moves ever, when the next large group came in, they took all the tables and chairs from near me to make up the big mega-table slightly further away.  Some people might be uncomfortable, but I was all about being "that kid in the corner."  They created a big space cocoon,  insulating me, and making it even easier to read in peace.

I started reading my book pretty much immediately after being seated (very early, like 6 PM), happily chomping chips with 3 kinds of delicious salsa until my next-door neighbors walked in through the back door.  This was amusing because just as I'd pulled out of the driveway, they'd stepped out to "go on a walk" (or so it appeared to me, when I observed the dad with his tactical-baby-vest and two large umbrellas under the rain).  We'd waived, the way you do with neighbors, and I'd headed out with visions of guacamole.

When I saw them from the back, I loudly proclaimed, "Hi." They turned and we laughed about coincidentally ending up in the same location.  I explained that E was at a party but that I had too many social and work obligations for the weekend, so I'd just needed to schedule something for me tonight.  The wife waived her hands over my book, my margarita, my chips and the general setting (minus all the chairs and tables near me) and said, "This.  This looks Amazing! I"m so jealous."  And, I knew, from other friends with young children who work, that she was telling the truth.  I felt so great at that moment -- knowing that I've chosen a life that makes sense for me.  It may look weird to others (taking yourself out to dinner with a book on a Saturday night is likely to get you sympathetic clucks from some), but I was happy.  There's all sorts of benefits to a conscious gratitude in life, so I'm making an effort to be present for and enjoy the special moments that are uniquely mine due to the life I've been given and chosen.

On the running/mileage front, this week was excellent.  Total mileage?  37.32.  I put in 2 solid interval workouts on hotel treadmills, totalling somewhere near 30 minutes at 8 minute pace, with lots of incline walking for heart-rate recovery.  That many fast minutes is likely a weekly high for at least the last year, probably longer.  All the rest of this week's running was very easy and slow, with at least 15 of those miles walking, but I'll take 'em all because I'm focused on distance, not pace right now.  Today's long run?  8.1 miles, with something near a mile of walking.  Not quite the 13 I'd put on the calendar, but when I realized how much my mileage for the week had gone up compared to my 6-week average of 20 miles/week, I realized I had good reason to consider cutting it short.  Here's to hoping next week gets me in the same mileage territory or more. 

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