Thursday, June 03, 2010

Where is Jack Handey When I Need Him?

Yes, it's time for Deep Thoughts, but these are really deep, not stupidly entertaining, thus the plea for Jack to rescue me.  But now you know, so expect no chuckles here.

But here's the story. A couple of days ago, I found this on one of my favorite gifty websites (they are the grown-up side of Chinaberry Books):
It is my greatest comfort in life that I can just keep trying, because I live in the realm of Plan B, of trying to make amends, of wishing I could erase about half of the words I've ever spoken, of being ever-flexible in the face of stuff just not going as I envisioned. I know, it's good that I can be flexible because I know that many folks really struggle with that.  It's just that sometimes I just get so very tired of Plan B. And other people's plans. And hoping that maybe, just once, Plan A would just work.  Especially right now. I'm stuck in a hermit-tending, grumpy funk, and seem to be making mistakes at every turn. I can't stop talking when I should, I'm letting small irritations and anxieties get to me all the time, and I'm generally feeling more down on myself than usual. It's a strange thing because I'm fully functional and even enjoying most of the things I should be enjoying, but in the moments when I get fed up, all the junk rises to the surface.

Anyway, in the midst of all this silly wishing that I lived alone in a small cabin on a small island off the coast of Scotland, I saw this rock in a catalog. Platitudinous and cliched as it might seem, it seemed to be just what I needed.  So, since I'm not buying things, I got out one of my many rocks picked up from my many walks on the many beaches of the world. I got out a painty pen and wrote Begin Again in white paint on a black rock (found on a beach in Washington State while walking with a friend) and added a few little flourishes to make it my own version. It is now sitting on my desk, nestled just under my computer screen and next to my mouse, so it is in my vision over and over again in all its kitschy, homemade glory. 

Today I had a complete meltdown about, of all the dumb things, running, which used to be a favorite activity but actually isn't any more, and I was just a mess. I sat down to work on some photos to take my mind off my whiny, rotten attitude and saw my new rock. Begin Again. Begin. Again. Plan B Is Not So Bad. Do-over. Try it one more time. It's not the end of the world. It's going to be okay. Relax. Breathe.

And I did. I breathed and felt better. It actually worked to short circuit my death spiral of never wanting to run again so I can stop feeling slow and large and undisciplined and lazy. Running never used to make me feel that way, so I'm just really sad about losing the feeling of strength and grace and happiness I used to have.

So, tomorrow I'm going to begin running again. Hopefully without the current feelings of burnout and stupid comparisons and unrealized goals shackled to my ankles.  Instead,  I want to remember how I used to feel. And if I don't quite yet, there's always Saturday. And Monday. And after that, there's that lovely, hopeful word: etcetera...


  1. My dear friend... I SO love your blog. You pen my heart time and time again. I feel you're situation so much it isn't funny. I go day to day as well like that, I do okay... but every so often, I just want to throw a temper tantrum and demand it all work out like it is supposed to. :-) I have to tell you that I had to look up 2 words in my dictionary as I read your blog, so thank you for the education as well. What a pal you are. :-) AND as for running..... Sprint 60 seconds for me tomorrow... that should get that rush that you're looking for. You can do it... for me... 1 min sprint. {Big Hugs} dear friend, and sister of my heart.

  2. And I am working on breaking the habit of saying "... yeah, but I'm not fast" when people comment on my marathons.

    Remember, one does not have to be fast to be graceful, and there is glorious wonderfulness in getting out there and moving your body in that rhythmic way through the Universe.

    Happy Beginnings,

  3. It's not so much running that I love, but not feeling as junky when I don't run. I hope you start to like it again. The rock sounds like something I'd find in my grandma's house, which is a wonderful thing.


Thank you for sharing your insights!