Love is all about give and take. Lately, I feel as though I have been taking more than I give and it is wearing heavily on my heart. As the days get warmer and my runs get longer, the amount of time I need to do everything I want to do is beginning to take up a lot of family time.
I became a stay-at-home-mom in August. Back then, I stayed at home with my son all day and met with my running group 4 times a week and that was a good balance for us. When my marathon was over, I was a big pregnant bum. Sure, I still ran but it was never more than 30 minutes and my only other obligation was taking care of Hunter. I craved something else to do before I lost my mind.
Now, 6 months later, I have two children to watch all day. And a freelance job. And races I’m training for. I am happy with the amount of “busy” that I am, but I am afraid it is asking too much of Jon to let me do all of these things.
But I can’t really give anything up. My job brings us money and I feel entitled to run because it is good for my physical and mental health. After having Hunter, I frequently experienced a loss of sensation in my fingers and toes. Then more and more frequently, I could feel my heart flutter. The minute I realized these symptoms were not just in my head, I rushed to the doctor. I was told I had too much adrenaline buildup and a hormonal imbalance. The solution? Run every day. When I don’t run I can feel that physical buildup. My legs get restless and my fingers twitch. More noticeably, I get really really mean. I lash out at people. I let little things bother me. The worst is when I wait all day to go for a run and then Jon gets home late or it’s storming etc. and then my day is completely ruined.
The other day I thought I had come up with a brilliant solution: run in the morning. If I run in the morning, I can make sure that it gets done and I get time to relax and compose myself before the kids get up and I’m not taking up anyone else’s time. I decided this would be my Lenten promise-to wake up at a set time every morning and either get my workout in, or just do some chores to save myself and everyone else some headache later in the day.
I was pretty proud of my idea. Since Lent starts on a Wednesday, I realized I should probably go ahead and start the Monday before (today) to avoid working out Tuesday evening and then again Wednesday morning. I got all of my clothes laid out, food ready, and alarm set for 5am. I was really nervous going to bed because it’s been a long time since I’ve run in the morning and I know there are a lot of dogs/animals in the neighborhood. My biggest running fear is being chased/attacked by an animal (or a person for that matter).
And then my 6 week-old got up to nurse at 3 am. Lately he has been waking up around 4am and again at 7am, so at 3am I knew my plan was a bust. There was no way he would wait until I got back from running at 6:30 to eat again. Sadly, I reset my alarm and resolved to run this evening instead.
Even when you think you have everything figured out, life likes to do its own thing. A lot of the time I let that get to me, but hopefully this Lenten season I can work a little harder to remember that things don’t always go my way. My family is the most important thing to me. I am going to try again tomorrow and the next day and the next day to take a little less and give a little more however life lets me that day.