Word of the Day: Action

Perhaps my previous intention to dislike Monday was…well, a blip. Today, things are moving. Not quickly, but slowly, with consideration and a fair amount of dedication.

This attitude started on account of Saturday’s long run. It’s amazing how these runs can clarify things for me. First, I didn’t really want to run. Well, I didn’t want to start. I wanted to already be halfway (ha!) with the difficult part of starting over and done with. I know how great a run feels once you’re into the motion and the adrenalin is coursing through your body. It’s why we runners keep going back. Starting? Not so much.

Second, on Saturday, the weather was to turn and a run would become very unpleasant in the manner of ice pellets with a side of strong winds. My time was running out, pun intended, so I reluctantly laced up and headed out. The first 3km were terrible. I watched as km markers passed and I kept promising myself I would turn around at the next. Little white lies to keep my feet going towards a goal I wanted to reach. I kept going knowing my coach wanted me to reach between 6-7km that day. I kept her in my mind when I wanted to turn around. I pushed myself. I focused on the doing and willed my mind to get it together. In the end, I ended up getting in a decent run even though I ran uphill into the wind, somehow knowing that I would be running downhill with the wind at my back helped.

 
I think this is often how we see things when a change or unanticipated situation arises. It’s insurmountable. Impossible. How could we ever tackle it? Picking a way through is as much as seeing the path as it is preparing to take it. This comes with taking a long, realistic view of where we are and venturing into where we might go. It comes with having people in your corner who believe you can do what you set out to do. It comes with showing up.

Today I am tackling a bunch of small things that together help me see a clearer path. My life is changing and I’m evolving; I need to see my way through this. So today, I’m doing everything from organizing to making phone calls to arranging appointments I’ve been putting off. I’m not really sure when, or if, I get to coast down the other side, or if I’m even near the top of this particular hill. I do know that all this action feels pretty good.

Flying Solo

For the longest time, I’ve stated that Mondays are my favourite day of the week. Yes, I know. Weird. But, hear me out.

Monday is that fresh start. That day to begin. Think of any schooling experience, weight loss program, diet or exercise based, and typically, we start that shit on a Monday. It’s why most people hate Mondays, but the very reason I relish them. In this vein, I have contended that on Monday, nothing has yet gone wrong. Nothing has tipped the scale positively or negatively; expect that particular crap on a Wednesday. Monday is the blank slate beginning that allows us to start anew.

Well, I formally recant this. Two Mondays in a row, I’ve been blindsided. Yeah, yeah, sounds dramatic. But in my world, that blindsiding waits politely until mid-week after I’ve had a couple days of checking off to-do lists and reorganizing life goals. I don’t mean that anything terribly traumatic has happened, just terribly unexpected. Two isolated tailspin-inducing events that fell on my beloved Monday. How could anything have that impact, you ask? Each event affected my definition of who I am through a lens outside myself. Kind of like seeing my reflection in a mirror I didn’t buy, but have to see everyday, and one day the mirror is warped but I don’t own it so I can’t replace it. Get it?

While I thankfully have a pretty strong sense of self (something that has made the past couple of weeks easier, I believe), it got me thinking. And I realized, maybe a bit late to the game, the stronger the sense of self, the better able we are to weather a shift in our personal perceptions-even if those perceptions are defined outside of ourselves.

(Hang in there, I have a point, I swear.)

While I’d like to say that I don’t give two hoots about what other people think of me, the honest answer is that like anyone, I have a peer and colleague group that help me understand who I am from other people’s view. Some people help me understand who I am as a friend, others help me define my professionalism. All this mixes with my sense of me. When, or if, I rely heavily on one of those definitions, and that definition dissolves or disappears…get the picture? A stronger sense of who we are, without the extras, well, that’s how we move forward and through the turbulence of everyday life.

I have had two terribly turbulent Mondays in a row where I got a pop quiz in how I defined me.  Two points at which I was grateful for knowing who I am and what I’m made of. And know what, I’m made of stronger stuff because while the experiences were bumpy enough for me to strongly reconsider my favorite day of the week choice, they were not enough to knock me out of the sky.