The Start of Something New

This week marks a huge shift in the function of our household.

  • Monday was my first official day training for the Richmond Marathon.
  • Today is Cole’s first day of 4th grade
  • Tonight is Cole’s first soccer practice for the fall season
  • The end of summer means better weather for all of Christian’s favorite activities: fishing, biking, and maybe even some surf if we have a hurricane this year.
  • In a few weeks, Chet will begin going to “school” two days a week.
  • And Chet is refusing to help! (Nooooo!)

My head has been spinning this weekend. Normally my weekend long runs help me find mental clarity and a sense of calm for the weekend. This weekend’s run wasn’t the case. The reason for the craptastic run are endless – I woke up late, it was too hot, my fuel belt was all over the place, I decided to run a hard trail, my pony tail was annoying, I was in a hurry, and the list goes on – but in nut shell, I just mentally couldn’t get myself together. This bugs me. In fact, it really drives me crazy.

I turned my garmin off less than two miles into the run because even that was driving me crazy, so I don’t even have a pretty map or mile splits to satisfy me after my run. I just have a crap run and a feeling of being unsettled.

The rest of Saturday flew by along with Sunday. Monday arrived, and the start of the school year smacked me in the face. I got to work meal planning, grocery shopping, updating our family calendar, cleaning house, doing laundry, and prepping Cole for his first day.  We packed his book bag full of supplies, we laid out his clothes, and he was sent to bed early enough to get a good night of sleep.

In the midst of all this juggling, I texted a friend who thrives on living a busy life. What was her secret? How does she make it work? Her response: tackle each day one day at a time. Don’t look at the whole month. Look at today. This was music to my ears and exactly what I needed.

Hello Tuesday! I’ve got you under control.

5am – wake up

5:30am – work

7am – return home to wake up Cole

7:40am – bus stop

2:00pm – leave work early

3:00pm – get Cole off the bus

5:30pm – soccer practice (sneak in a run while he is practicing)

6:45pm  – Taco Tuesday

8:00pm – begin bedtime for the boys

I can handle this schedule. As I stood in the kitchen this morning making breakfast for Cole feeling confident about my ability to manage all these new changes, a white van with ladders on top slowly headed down our street. I looked at my husband and said, “I bet they are coming to put on our new roof”. (We were waiting on a phone call from our contractor to schedule the installation and were told it would probably happen on Friday). Sure enough, the van stopped in front our house. My husband quickly rushed to the front yard to avoid them coming to door. The dog would love to announce their arrival and wake up my still sleeping baby. They were here to work on our roof. They waited in front of our house (smoking their cigarettes) while my husband contacted our contractor. While he talked, the clock kept on ticking. We were getting closer to that 7:40 bus stop visit. I was not going to take pictures of Cole heading back to school in a cloud of smoke. Whether it is a good or bad thing is debatable, but when my life gets tilted off-balance my response is normally driven by emotions. I politely asked them to find a new place to park until they were ready to start their work day, and my daily agenda was back on track.

Once Cole was on the bus and off to school, I had to reassess the rest of the day. The dog now needed to go to daycare, Chet needed to get to Grandma’s, and I needed to get my butt to work.

4th Grade!
4th Grade!

It’s now lunch time and the crazy whirlwind of the morning is behind me. I survived with my emotions in check, and yet that unsettled feeling from Saturday’s run is still lingering. I just can’t shake it. It wouldn’t go away in my short and easy run around the neighborhood last night. It wouldn’t go away after I put the boys to bed. It certainly didn’t go away when I was surprised with a roof installation.

I can only connect the feeling to one word: Fear

I know the best things in life come from tackling fear, but learning to embrace the fear of the unknown is definitely in the column in my life labeled “room for improvement”. What am I afraid of? If I had to connect the fear to a specific emotion it would be strongly rooted in not being enough:

  • fear that my hip isn’t healthy enough to tackle 26.2 miles
  • fear that my legs aren’t fast enough to get me to the finish line
  • fear that I’m going to be disappointed by my race performance, again.
  • fear that I’m not organized enough to tackle it all
  • fear that something is going to get forgotten
  • fear that I’ll lack in my parenting
  • fear that I’ll lack in my wife-ing (yes, I’m pretending that’s a word)
  • fear that something is going to get lost in the shuffle

I am simply afraid of disappointing. Not others, but myself. I want to be a good mom, not a perfect mom, but an engaged mom. I want to be an engaged wife. And I know that running is the key to me feeling accomplished in every aspect of my life.

I know it’s all in my head, and it’s something I have to work through. It’s also something that I have to let go of in this process. These expectations are all mine, they are all something I have placed on myself; therefore it is up to me to get rid of them.

So I’m hoping that by putting it on paper, by acknowledging this fear of disappointment, this fear of not being enough, I will find the right avenue for working through it. Words are a powerful thing. Saying out loud that right now, today, I am afraid at the end of this cycle of life I am going to end up disappointed takes away the power in those feelings. It almost sounds silly on paper.

Hello Fall! Hello School! Hello Marathon Training! I’m certainly ready to learn all that it has to offer.

Long Creek Trail
Long Creek Trail
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One thought on “The Start of Something New

  1. Ah, fear. I know this. So well. It’s so hard to break through and to see who we really are, what we are really capable of, and what really matters. Because it really does cast a shadow on everything. And things we don’t even realize it does. It makes us do silly things (like think friends don’t want to run with us because we believe we are slow). 😉

    I think you have a good strategy. Day by day. Moment by moment if needed. I think what I am learning through half Ironman training is that all of those little moments (the ones that seem so insignificant) of pushing past fear matter. It might not seem like a big feat when compared to the big race, or at least that’s what my mind tries to tell me, but each time I push a little more through what scares me, I more prepared to reach my goals.

    And I think, too, we have to let go of the fear of being imperfect. Of forgetting to sign a paper or send something to school or to dress them for spirit day (just thinking of motherly type things right now, but there are others, too). I know I’ve spent way too much energy worrying about those kinds of appearances and what they might make me look like as a parent or a person or a wife or a runner or a swimmer.

    None of those tiny things matter all that much. If we love with our whole heart and live life in a way that others would emulate, those little slip-ups and missteps don’t detract from who we are. They make us human and authentic and being human and authentic is what draws others to us and helps connect us to the kinds of people and things that help drive us forward.

    So here’s to our journey of living fearlessly- we so have the courage and strength to do it!

    xoxo

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