This post was supposed to be an upbeat running update. The fact that I am writing it a month after I started it is the perfect metaphor for how I feel about life right now. I was getting back into a running groove with two consecutive 25+-mile weeks. Paces were slow, but improving. Then I ended up with a week of struggle — a work trip out of town followed by an extended weekend with my son — that has now turned into two blank weeks in the run log. It’s frustrating, and even moreso because I have nobody or nothing to blame but myself. There were opportunities to run during the past two weeks, and I will regret not taking them even more as we head into winter and the weather becomes determinant at least when it comes to running outdoors.
But it’s not just running; it’s many aspects of self improvement that I have undertaken — diet, sleep, meditation, a return to reading, focus on writing. The only one that has really held up is the meditation. Hell, I haven’t even been very consistent about drinking water! (The exception there being my morning cup of lemon water.)
I haven’t even gotten to finances, which probably should make the list. But I’d rather live long in poverty than die comfortably in a hurry.
So of course, it is time for a reboot of sorts. I have to look at the things that I am doing well, figure out the patterns, and figure out a way to extend that to the other parts of my life I want to improve.
The obvious success of the meditation and water is doing them first thing in the morning before other obligations take over. I certainly can’t do everything else before 7 a.m. But if I cannot replicate the timing, I must adopt the scheduling. Everything needs to have a time assigned to it, or it won’t get done.
So, what to do. First, find some time. My workday is set in stone according to the bus schedule. Is there opportunity during the lunch hour? Yes, provided I do some meal prep and take food with me. This addresses three things — quality of food, money spent, and time available for writing or possibly running.
The benefits will cascade into the evening as I (theoretically) won’t be as tired upon arrival, and I will be less likely to eat crap for dinner. The result ought to be a more consistent workout routine, better diet and a more reasonable bedtime.
That all sounds good in theory; in practice, it requires discipline and the abandoning of excuses — two things for which I have never displayed any particular acuity. Setting a schedule will be necessary to enable a slacker such as me to have any hope.
I realize that all of this is terribly self-indulgent. I also have visions of finding time for more public service, writing letters and engaging in more social activism. But all of that has to come after I get my personal house in order so that I will have the mental and physical energy required to be there for others.
So today’s goal is devising a schedule. I will likely do that on paper before I commit it to pixels. If folks read this and have tools that they have found helpful in this regard, please share them in the comments!