Productive but unexpected

Back when I was in college, an old friend shared a picture of what her planner looked like. She had a note to herself that still makes me chuckle: “You shall not write plans in pen, because as soon as you do you know they’re going to change.”

This was coming from one of those unicorns who could roll with punches and still manage to get an exhaustive to-do list accomplished. If her plans were changing so frequently that she wasn’t even willing to commit to writing them down in ink, what does that say for the rest of us mortals?

Last week was supposed to be week one of spring training. I did my treadmill runs on Monday and Tuesday when my momentum was working in my favor. But then a few things happened that threw off my schedule:

1.) We had a four day work week and I had to flex my in-office day. Typically we’re all in office on Wednesday. However, some inspectors were coming to check the water heaters in 25 percent of the apartments in my complex, all of which would be selected at random last Tuesday or Wednesday. The instructions said any pets had to be put away or off premises if my unit was selected, and I wasn’t okay with shutting Marina up in my bedroom all day on Wednesday. My manager was cool with me switching my days, but the change threw off my mental schedule even more than it already was.

2.) Thursday evening into Friday evening was weird. I’m not really sure how else to describe it. I got home from work on Thursday, was wired and couldn’t fall asleep, then was awaken earlier than usual on Friday by a hungry kitty. I felt like a zombie all day Friday, and decided Friday evening to go ahead and complete the certification exams for a state licensure I’m studying for. I’m glad I got them done and passed, since the completion of those exams and getting my certifications are a mandatory step to take my state licensure exam, but they were such a pain and frankly a massive source of stress last week.

3.) And then Saturday, my long-run-or-cross-training day came. I overslept and still felt like death all day, cutting short the errands I wanted to run when I got lightheaded and dizzy in the store. The only upside to not feeling well was that I got home way earlier than I told Marina I’d be home, so Miss Kitty was pleasantly surprised to see her mom back so soon, even if it was just to put on my flannel jammies and loaf on the couch.

So all the plans and the mental picture I had of myself – well really, the expectation of being able to hit the ground running right after the holidays, no matter how unrealistic that is – didn’t come to fruition at all. And I’m a little irked with myself.

But at the same time, last week wasn’t a bust either. I got those certification exams completed, which was an albatross off my neck. I found a sufficient cat tree for Marina that I bought and built yesterday, so she could have a sturdier perch to climb on and access the counter that way. I even went back to church yesterday morning after an 18-month absence. And I’m very slowly putting Christmas decorations away and re-organizing my home.

It’s pretty easy to focus on the frustration of plans changing instead of acknowledging what you were actually able to accomplish instead. This is especially true for runners and athletes. You have the 365 day running journal, the watch is charged, shoes are by the door, and yet you can’t get out of bed. When you do get out of bed, you’re woozy and the gears will not synchronize with each other for anything. Or maybe one of your kids woke up sick, or one won’t leave the other alone and is acting like a little fiend, so you’re shifted from athlete mode to referee mode and lose morning workout time to deal with that problem. Or a family emergency springs up and nobody is doing anything until Grandma gets better.

Life happens to everyone, and running/working out is your slice of stress management and soul care time. But sometimes you lose that time or have to make something else the priority. So I’m going to focus on what I got done and remember it’s a new week.

With that all being said, I hope you all have a productive Monday.

Yours in writing and life,

Allison

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