Lucy is our Zen Dog, the stressless being in our household. She is delightful, having us laugh and bond in ways we hadn’t prior to having her as part of our family. She grounds us in a frenetic city, reminding us of the importance of simple love.
I’m 54 years old, I have a torn meniscus, pleural effusion, tendonitus, and I completed a half marathon today. I love walking but never thought I could run. Thanks to my friend Lisa, who told me I could run slowly, really a jog, so I tried it out and found that I could jog slowly. I started running at the age of 51. I ran around the block, then a half mile, then a mile. I always felt like I accomplished something doing these runs. Little by little I challenged myself to jog longer, always slowly. I would have people pass me on a regular basis. At first this was difficult. I can be competitive. With three siblings, it was a survival tool growing up. So doing this for me and not trying to keep up with other runners might have been a bigger challenge than the exercise aspect of the sport. I ran my first races the past year. In the Fall, I ran a 5K, then a 5 mile. The five kilometers was not that difficult. I had been jogging regularly and was prepared to be one of the last runners. It was a less popular run, so there wasn’t a big a crowd, which I liked. The following day I ran my first NYRR race in Central Park. There were a lot more serious runners. Volunteers often shouted out to go faster. I ignored their encouragement. For me the running is not about the time, it’s about doing it. On New Years eve, I did the four mile Central Park Race at midnight. It was fun starting off with fireworks. I have been inspired by friends and family who are runners like my writing classmate, Jeannette, who made sure I had energy snacks for the today’s race, and gave me good tips on self care. Larry’s cousin, Zena, is a runner and she put the idea in my mind when she said she was training for a half marathon. I’m so fortunate to live in a city with a lot of opportunities to run. And, I’m lucky to have friends and family who are supportive. Larry was out early with Lucy and they were my cheering squad. The cheered me on twice around the park, and then at the finish line. It really helped me to keep going. It feels good to do something for myself. My body is sore,and I’m exhausted, but I’m proud to have completed the half marathon. In the end, slow and steady won my race.
Larry & Lucy Cheering Me on In Central Park
Larry’s picture of me running slowly & really happy to see him
I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.
There was a time in my twenties & thirties when I did all the planning with my friends, when I sent birthday cards, and called to catch up. No more. As a working mom, trying spend time with my family, write on a semi regular basis, workout, and keep up with the day to day, I no longer have the mental dexterity to juggle anything else.
When Facebook came on the scene, I was able to be in touch with friends from around the world. My elementary school classmates created a Facebook page and eventually had a kickball reunion. It was nostalgic and great fun. And, it’s been terrific to connect to old friends, new acquaintances and others. On the advice of those supposedly in the know, I now have a twitter account, a Tumblr account and I signed up for Pinterest even though I’m not much of a photographer. I have a Linked-In account, though I’m not looking for a job, happy with my private practice as a psychotherapist.
All this seemed like a good idea at the time. Now, it’s just too much. I see the birthday reminders and the daily posts that I save, but never get to. It feels as if I’m rejecting people on five or more platforms. I just can’t keep up. The requests, good ideas, the reading, the blogs, and everything else that overloads my inbox are reminders of how behind I am. The mixed messages we get about the importance of self-esteem are sabotaged by the daily experience of not being enough. Always having something that we haven’t read, seen or known leaves us wanting. And, although there will always be things we never get to, the trick is to find a way to find peace with that fact. Hopefully I’m finding peace by writing about it. Other ways are to be engaged in what we do at any given moment, so that we are not filled with anxiety over what we have to get to. Namely, living in the future.
But, enough about that. I’ve got to go now. I have to look at the emails, texts and phone calls I won’t be able to answer. If you read this, kudos. If not, who can blame you? Chances are you’re doing something else.