Soothing the Drama Queen

Another dark, rainy morning run, and this time the path was flooded entirely – which meant turning back and searching for alternative routes to make up for the lost distance.

E.’s GPS was out, and I’d left my phone at home, so we bickered over our gestimates for the potential detours. It was a perfect demonstration of getting in one’s own way.

“Shut up and run,” I told myself. It’s supposed to be relaxing. Rhythmic. Meditative.

When I first returned to running mid-life, I kept it simple: ten minutes out and turn around, then fifteen minutes out and turn around… No bell, no whistles, no social networking. The idea of there being such a thing as performative fitness would never have occurred to me. But in the years since, I’ve found it difficult not to get caught up in it. I bought into the idea of “finding motivation” – through envy, through a sense of belonging, through indulging in my competitive nature. And this can lead me to think that I can buy motivation in different shapes: arriving on my porch in a cardboard box with an odd half-smile logo. Maybe something to give my behind a flattering little lift. Top-of-the-line shoes, so ugly they must be magic.

Sometimes it’s difficult to stop and bring myself back to keep-it-simple.

What is necessary? And what is ultimately misdirection?

I’ve been focusing on discernment this week, especially in regard to where I put my energy. It’s had an unexpected soothing-effect. I’ve heard people talk about detachment, but I’m not sure that’s what I’m feeling. Or what I am striving for.

I don’t feel detached so much as widened. It isn’t a matter of distance, so much as perspective.

And if only I could apply this to more areas of my life. The obsessions are like rodents I chase out of one room to find them settled in another down the hall.

There are so many kinds of burn out:

Some days I feel that I’ve spent hours
focusing – trying to thread a tiny needle
without having put my reading glasses on.

And when I look up: the world is blurry.
And everything seems to swell, and roll
and ache.

And I’ve nothing to hold on to.

All this wasted energy.

The thing is – just waiting it out?
It’s remarkable efficient.


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