Friday, August 17, 2007

My thoughts one year ago

August 2006

I’m training for a marathon now. About 7 months ago, I started running with a group just to get back to feeling somewhat like myself. I didn’t want to feel so lethargic and devoid of inspiration any longer. So, I started going twice a week, Mondays and Thursdays. I didn’t think that I’d continue to run once the 2 month program was over, but I found myself really enjoying the pattern I was in. I guess it felt alright, you know, physically, but I think I was more into the scheduling of it. Twice a week, I was supposed to be somewhere at a specific time.

I think I’m aiming for the full marathon in January because there is a deadline, something to work towards, plan for, be in charge of. Since leaving work, I’ve realized the ironic truth of how vital deadlines are to my health and creativity. Without them, I float in time, not doing a damn thing for hours and days and weeks and months. I sit and watch my boy sleep, slightly panicky about when he might wake up, paralyzed by not knowing what I should be doing.

I picture when I was at work, dreaming of having the free time to paint, sculpt, write, workout, hell, even to keep the place cleaner. With my coffee buzz in the morning, I’d come up with seemingly magnificent specific projects to work on “the next time I have time.” And here I was, with SO much time, doing nothing….but stressing out about not coming up with a thing to do. So, I started to run.

And it is something for me, not my boy. And I run so that there is some purpose to my life, other than being a mother, which people so repulsively throw in my face how it is a noble ‘purpose,’ but the truth is, it is not a comprehensive life plan. Yes, once one is a mother, she is always a mother, but not on a daily basis. There will come a day when I am not folding little tiny shirts and helping him onto the swings…and I don’t want to stand there by myself saying, ‘what was it that I used to consider myself before I pushed his stroller?’ ‘what else, other than his infectious giggle and emphatic grunting, made me happy?’ I am a woman, a girl AND a mother and I will not reduce myself to just one of those. Roar.

It’s ridiculous, really. The thought of getting up at 5 am to drive the 4 miles south so I can run in a loop past my house only to get back into my car to drive home. And I’m paying for it. But as my old boss used to say, people place more value on the events that they have paid for. It’s true. I drag my butt up in the morning because I’ve put my money down and opened my big mouth about my plan to every family member and friend I have. So, now it’s my responsibility to work on and for…and it makes me feel good. I’ve worked projects into the cracks of time between workouts, too. Political baby Tee’s, refurbishing a stool, oil painting, started a mom’s group, and I’m doing a little writing. It’s a far cry from being an artist, but at least I’m giving my boy the chance to describe me as something more than “she doesn’t work.”

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