Measuring Progress

As you can see, I haven’t posted anything since the end of May. I have been distracted by a home renovation and the rest of life. I was knocked off balance. I believe it all began in June on vacation. I started my vacation with a roar. I always like to exercise every day of it and squeeze as much fun out of it as humanly possible with delicious dinners and inspiring reading.

However, this year, we did a mostly stay-cation (due to the renovation). On the front end, we went to the beach for the weekend and everything was going according to plan until I got sunburned. It was mostly downhill from there. I couldn’t get my groove back. And I don’t know if it was the sunburn or the stay-cation part that threw me off. For the rest of the summer, my equilibrium has been unequal without my running, and my creative juices dry without my writing.

Running and writing are a lot alike for me. I not only enjoy them, I need them in my life. Running often helps fuel my creativity. A writer needs to write daily and a runner needs to move daily. Some runners need a running partner or a race to sign up for to maintain training and motivation. A writer must sit down in front of the blank page often. A friend posted on Facebook recently that his mother used to say, "90% of writing is applying the seat of your pants to the seat of the chair and staying there until it's done." I’ll add, regardless of inspiration.

I had not been following either of these rules of conducts for the runner and writer in me. For three months, I simply have been giving all I had to my therapy clients, my family and the renovation. I was attending to these by putting my head down and keeping moving - one foot in front of the other. No looking around and not a lot of joy just marking miles (and packing boxes).

I am not a patient person neither with my myself or situations. I was measuring progress by how many tasks I could check off the list that day: that room packed, cable turned off, big ugly pod delivered to driveway, bedroom paint color chosen, etc. Let’s just say I was not pacing myself. I was trying to ignore the emotions of moving out of a house I have lived in for 12 years. I was being careful to pack only those things we needed or somehow are sentimentally important - no old junk in the new house when we unpack. No sticking stuff in cabinets just to have some place to put it. I am excited to make memories in our “new” house and nostalgic about the change. It’s like the excitement of starting a writing project and the wistful feelings that can come from completion.

Even though the second phase of renovation has begun with still more unplanned distractions in my life than usual, I am taking a page from my running journal and beginning to pace myself and remembering to breathe. I am stopping, sitting down and applying the seat of my pants to the seat of the chair or the floor or wherever I can make space to write. I am lacing up and going running. I even fit in a yoga class or two recently. I love opening a new book and beginning that adventure. And that is how I want to experience this chapter in our lives.

I have to remember life won’t always be this hectic. The renovation will come to an end and I will have that part of my life back. In the meantime, I am trying to enjoy the process and measure the progress in inches not miles.