Saturday, October 20, 2012

Running Priorities

 That was a goofy week! Thank goodness I had stored up a weekend of puttering, because once the week got going I never managed to get home before 9 p.m. Paul was away, so I lived on a pan of lasagna and a big pot of turkey soup I'd made on the weekend. My nervous system was cranked up to maximum, stressing about a Rather Important Event I was responsible for (although with the assistance of an excellent committee).  And teaching-wise, we're heading into a part of the term that gets students anxious (translating into more office visits, e-mails, requests for extensions, etc.) and fills my case with marking.

The event went very well, though, and for a few days I got to hang out with an Important Canadian Literary Figure who is also a very lively entertainer. So the stress was balanced very nicely with rewards.

By Friday morning, though, I had little energy left, and even less brainpower, but we had to get organized for a jaunt to the airport with our Visiting Poet and an immediate turn up the highway in the opposite direction to catch the ferry to Vancouver (Paul having just returned home the night before). It remains to be seen what got forgotten in the hasty packing -- will I be attending La Boheme this evening wearing only one shoe?

What amuses me, though, and what was meant to be the point of this post, is that despite all the crazy demands of work last week, I kept my running mileage up. Apparently, that's become a fairly non-negotiable priority. Laundry might languish, the kitchen floor might go unswept, I might not be able to see my desktop for all the files, papers, and books scattered across it, but I'm going to be pulling my hair back, jamming the ponytail through the velcroed slot in my cap, and lacing up my runners to exercise my right to run. Didn't miss my Pilates class this week either, although I could have used that time to get a head start on the weekend's marking.


This morning, as well, I met my weekly commitment to a Long Slow Distance run, although I at least combined it with another priority, spending time with my husband.  We don't often run together: besides our different schedules, we run at a different pace, and he's not as keen on distance as I am. But this morning we headed out to Vancouver's Spanish Banks together. The top photo above is looking West from our turnaround point; the lower one is the same spot but facing back toward the city. Splendid weather for this glorious run, and what a joy to have the strength to run 18 kilometres comfortably with my husband. I wasn't able to do this when I was 25, so being able to do it well over 30 years later is very satisfying.

And you know what? The papers will get marked, the kitchen will get cleaned, and we'll find enough clean underwear to get through the week. Meanwhile, the runs keep me healthy, and they help me manage stress.

Tonight we're off to the opera, and tomorrow we pick up our almost-four-year-old granddaughter, Nola, who's coming back to the island with us for a week-long visit while her parents are traveling. I must admit that I love having a semi-retired husband who makes all this possible. I think Nola loves it too!

And how about you? What priorities cause you to ignore an unswept kitchen floor or leave the laundry basket overflow? Or would those housekeeping failures cause you more stress than they're worth? Whatever the case, I wish you a stress-free, enjoyable weekend. . .



22 comments:

  1. I think you and Raquelita and Susie Bubble just about have me convinced to start running. As for the things I let go, after a month in a cast, i was very eager to handwash the dishes in the sink and to change the sheets on our bed!

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    1. Nice spin on the housework, Terri -- taking my abilities for granted as I do, I can imagine that if I weren't able to clean, I'd find that very frustrating! So I'm lucky to be able to wash dishes, sweep floors!

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  2. What did Iet go this week? Shopping, cleaning and being nice to other people. Next week I will do better and must get back to running.Hope you have a great week with a little less stress.

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    1. Yes, sometimes there's no time or energy for being nice! ;-)

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  3. I'm glad your priorities are straight! Yay for running. For me the necessity would be journalling/sketching or another creating-something outlet. I hope you enjoyed La Boheme, with one shoe or two! Please tell me nobody there was wearing jeans...

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    1. And with the journalling/sketching, you have something that lasts, long after the laundry's been done and then dirtied again. . .

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  4. I read this post yesterday, started to comment and then had to go away and think about it. My month away helped me get some perspective on life, but I still need to get out and get active. I can think of 100 reasons not to by the time I get home at night - non of them really valid.

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    1. I don't know if I could manage if I had to exercise after my day at work. I'm lucky enough to be able to sneak in a few workouts on mornings I'm not in early.

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  5. I will use any excuse to ignore an unswept floor! Usually it's just one more row of knitting. Hope you had two shoes for La Boheme and that it was fabulous. I've begun running on my treadmill for stress relief and just hope my feet hold out. Indoor running is lousy fun but easier on my poor feet than cement.

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    1. I'm so lucky on the island that we have unpaved roads to run on, so much kinder than asphalt or concrete.

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  6. I managed to start ignoring the housework after about nine years of it being my responsibility. I found something else to fill my day but sometimes the dust bunnies whisper accusingly. It's worse now that the house is for sale - I really should make more effort ...
    Bravo for making the running a priority.

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    1. Yikes! Having the house available for prospective buyers means it's pretty tough to ignore the dust bunnies. . . good luck!

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  7. I'm much the same as you in this regard. Midterm season often causes me to ignore laundry and picking up the house and sometimes causes me to run less, especially when it coincides with something else, like writing a conference paper, as it did this past couple of weeks. The run with your husband sounds really nice!

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    1. I do have to cut back on running sometimes, obviously, but it does help break up the marking, doesn't it?!

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  8. I think I'm still a work in progress on the self-care front. With two small children (6 and 4) and a job/career, I struggle with guilt whenever I "neglect" things like housework, laundry, whatever, just to do my own thing. Having said that, intellectually, I'm totally on board with it, and think it's a good example to set for my kids (especially my daughter), yet the emotional side of my brain functioning still struggles with those feelings of guilt. Oh well, the journey continues... Hope

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    1. Oh yes, the mother's guilt, a never-ending negotiation (did you see my Thanksgiving post a week or so ago?)
      But you can see that I'm getting better, so there's hope way down the road for you . . . ;-)

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  9. Ah yes, so important to keep exercising.

    The leaves are piling up outside and I think the neighbors would like us to do something about but we keep hoping the leaf machine will come by...

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    1. Leaves are good for the soil, you know? Many gardeners advocate leaving them in place as mulch. . . of course, pavement doesn't really benefit from mulch, does it? ;-)

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  10. Unfortunately, I'm one of those for whom the undone housework is a major stress-inducer. I have tried to be more relaxed about it, but it just doesn't work ... Your commitment to running is amazing.

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    1. Running/yoga/whatever won't work to de-stress if we're ignoring the stressors for them, right? We have to work with our own sensitivities. And I'll admit there's a point that housework will come first for me as well. Really miss the woman who used to clean for me!

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  11. I´m with Tiffany on this one.
    Undone work is a pain in the neck.
    Lucky you!

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    1. Yes, I understand this very well, as I said to Tiffany, above.

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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