Wednesday, November 5, 2014

She smiles like the Georgia summer, she laughs with the sound of thunder ...

Forgive me readers, for I have failed to write.  It has been 92 days since I last posted …

And what full days they have been! I have PRed a halfmarathon (02:04:14), started a ‘legit’ training plan for my full marathon in March, cooked many cropshare veggies, installed wood flooring, proctored detentions, took up tutoring, attempted at-home car repair, become a mint addict, researched sofas and applied to a second MEd program

Fall and winter are usually times of feverish activity for me. But sometimes there are things that make us come to a full stop. Not the rolling stops that drove my fella and my father crazy when they were teaching me how to drive (stick and automatic, respectively). Not the momentary stop when you cross the line and look at your time. Not the stop when you notice someone on the street and have to stare just a second to confirm their identity.

I had a physical full stop two weeks with my ankle twist and a similar emotional full stop shortly after.

The physical full stop was due to silliness (tailgating) and hubris (I thought I could skip). I had ice baths I cried through, an x-ray to confirm that nothing was broken, and nothing seemed to  ease the drive to GO-GO-GO that I had welling up in me. So I sat. And I filled my intellectual time. I took on some challenges. I read books. I became grumpy. I became restless. My ankle healed (mostly), I was able to run again, and I found some comfort in my normal routine - until I hit another full stop that couldn’t be fixed with prednisone and an ankle brace. The emotional full stop.

It wasn’t until that point that I realized I was racing through my days, checking time off like so many to-do list items. I have the kind of job that rewards the checklists, the hoops jumped through. I am a social creature who sees how much nonsense I can pack into a weekend – even if it means I can’t enjoy it all. Even if I can’t INVEST in it all. Days are so much more than a collection of minutes. Life is so much more than working to get to the weekend. And it is too short. Much too short. I wish I could rewind the wonderful pre-fall days and get back those sun-dappled afternoons. I think of the letters I haven’t sent, the students I passed in the hallway, the conversations I haven’t engaged in. If I stopped there, life would be so bitter and aching and full of untapped possibility that I would drown.
We are experiencing a change of the seasons. We gained an hour, it is darker sooner, the air is crisp, red cups are back and there is more time to reflect. I am choosing to focus on quality time and experiences. I cannot possibly do everything, and I need to stop trying to. I need to focus on what I can do, and do well.

Does this mean that I won’t be socializing and running and cooking and planning? No. But it may be a season of saying ‘no’. To needless business, to sleepless nights, to pointless efforts, to holiday madness that is meaningless and trivial. It is also a ‘no’ to ruminating on sadness and old wounds.

It is ‘No’vember after all.

While there can be much happiness in ‘YES’ – right now I am embracing ‘no’.

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