My Whiteboard

I listen to the “Fake Doctors, Real Friends” podcast, featuring Zach Braff and Donald Faison of the television show Scrubs. It’s a great distraction from life and it makes me laugh hysterically when I take walks or do housework. Zach often talks about his whiteboard and how if you want things to happen, you need to visualize them. So he writes things he wants to happen on a whiteboard and places it where he can see it.

I have a whiteboard in my office at work, and I write the annual goals I want to achieve regarding my library. I finally crossed off “Write and adopt a collection development policy” after having it on the list since I was hired. But this summer I added “Do not physically harm another person” after the staff and I had a particular trying day in the library.

I’ve never had a lot of personal goals, though, unless they related to my weight. I STILL want to lose 13 more pounds, but after literally running hundreds of miles this summer AND watching what I eat, that damn scale hasn’t budged. But my pants fit better so I’m throwing my hands up for now!

Occasionally I’ll have a new year’s resolution where I try a new recipe each week or do something that scares me every month, or I’ll have a particular running goal like running a half on my mom’s birthday. But now, after running for nearly 10 years (this December), I have a goal that I’m ready to say out loud. I might even get a whiteboard for home to write it on there, but this is even better than a whiteboard. Because y’all will know what I’m trying to do. The scary part for me is that you’ll also know if I fail.

I told very few people about running a half for Mom–just my husband and maybe a couple of friends. But even with my friends it was just in passing like “I might do this.” Hell, even with my husband, I gave myself lots of outs just in case.

But this is something on my bucket list. This is something I’ve really wanted to do for nearly 10 years, but never thought I had it in me. And yet….I want to have the strength to do this.

I want to run a marathon.

I know, it’s no big deal, right? People do this ALL the time. Yeah, well, it also takes a lot of training and a lot of effort and I honestly don’t even know if my body (or my mind) can do it. But…I really want to and I’m willing to put in the effort to at least try. Being the librarian I am, I’ve been reading books that I own, that my library owns, and ordering a ton of material through interlibrary loan to find a plan that will work for me. I’ve weeded out a few already, but some have just some really great advice or inspirational stories that I’ll probably photocopy to keep me going.

I won’t do an in-person race, even if there are any next year. If I did, it would be the Bay of Fundy International Marathon where you run from Maine to Canada. (Seriously, doesn’t that sound AMAZING?!?) I have a date in mind for next year when I’d like to try and run a marathon at home, but I’m not ready to say the date because as we all know, life can get in the way. Shit happens. I could break my other arm. You never know.

But for now, I’m just throwing my dream out there into the world and I’m hoping I can make it come true. I’ll surround myself with plans and research and opinions. I’ll talk to my doc (who is a runner) and I may even consult a dietician. I’ll buy more running shoes and at least one more pair of shorts. And, of course, I’ll keep running.

If you have run a marathon, I’d love to hear your story or any tips you want to share. I plan to ask at least Kirsten, Kola and Kartika a few questions (and I love that the three friends I know for sure have run a marathon have names that begin with K!).

And who knows? Maybe I’ll even get a tattoo afterwards.

Lightweight

It’s Wednesday night, yet it feels like it should be Friday night. It’s been a horrendously long and stressful few days, and apparently I’m not the only one feeling it. Maybe because of the full moon on Monday? Maybe because we’re waiting to find out what our children’s school days will look like? Who the hell knows? We’re all just damn tired and stressed and so fucking sick of being tired and stressed. Right?!?

Yet, I know I have it good. I have a job, as does my husband. We’re still relatively healthy. My kid is happy some days. This is about all we can hope for right now. But for whatever reason, as soon as I got home tonight, I started searching for the wine. Then I remembered I had all the fixings for a margarita.

My husband was kind enough to cook dinner, so I made my drink and headed out to my porch. Our boy was watching videos about the Declaration of Independence (seriously, this kid is freakin’ awesome), so he was ok not spending any time with me. I sat down on my porch in the warm air but with the loveliest of breezes, opened a magazine and took a few sips. After a bit, I listened to a podcast (Fake Doctors, Real Friends), sipped my margarita some more and put my feet up on the railing. I have not been that relaxed in such a long, long time. My husband came out after a bit to say dinner was ready, but I wasn’t ready to go inside. More time passed and he came back out, but I told him there was no way I was going to stand up (not sure I could) and I intended to stay out there for as long as possible. The good man brought me a bowl of food after that.

My son came out a few minutes later and we chatted and laughed and talked about the upcoming school year, but then with our morbid humor discussed hazmat suits and gas masks because that’s where we’re at. My husband joined us and we laughed and chatted some more while relishing the warm summer evening. We really had a wonderful time, just being together at our home enjoying one another.

Of course then I had to get up so I could go pee and the moment was broken.

Yet afterwards I felt energized. I did the dishes, made my lunches for the next few days, did a load of laundry and took a bath. I finally found that bit of motivation that I’ve been lacking. I even shaved my legs! I think I just needed those few hours to find a way to relax and forget but also spend quality time with my family. It was literally less than 30 minutes, but it was exactly the amount we all needed to become reconnected to one another. It was our version of perfect.

I’m not saying you should drink every night to ease your stress. I, the daughter of a recovering alcoholic, would never say that. It might be ok with you and if it is, then go for it. But both my conscience and my pancreas say it’s not good for me. Plus the level of relaxation I had tonight is not typical for me. I had to let everything else go and not think about work or relationships or the world or even myself. I just had to breathe, read a bit, and listen to others. I had to lose myself for just a little while. And if you can find a way to do that with yoga or meditation, then do it. Hell, if you need a drink or a smoke to relax and let go occasionally, that’s ok too.

We all need to lose ourselves sometimes so we can find our way back again.

Hang in there, friends. I’m thinking of you.