Things Fall Apart (and learning to run: Week 3)

Being busier than ever this year has certainly taught me a lesson: sometimes, things fall apart, and that’s perfectly okay. It’s a matter of riding the wave and doing the best you can do in that present moment.

For example: I locked myself out of my apartment on Friday night; flirted with a stomach bug all weekend (I’m feeling much better now, thankfully); lost my school ID card so I couldn’t print a quiz for Saturday’s class (hello, handwritten copy) or anything else I had prepped, for that matter; started laundry and then decided in between clothes going from the washer to the dryer that I was over it; and graded through a fog all day on Sunday. At one point around three pm, I got into bed, searched Netflix for a total of 3 minutes for a movie, saw a stressful email from work, and instantly gave up on relaxing. This weekend, I had planned on cleaning my apartment, getting two great workouts in, prepping chili and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for the week, doing laundry, and then heading into Philly with Rich to watch the Patriots game with friends on Sunday night, having happily checked all of those things off of my to-do list. In reality, I didn’t prep a thing, didn’t finish grading, and only finished that load of laundry early yesterday morning.

Obviously, none of this was even remotely terrible. Still, I felt unsettled all weekend, restless, and “off.” The best decision I made was to leave the piles of tests strewn on my kitchen table, pull on some jeans and a sweater, and hop in the car to join Rich on his trek through the ice to our friends’ apartment in the city on Sunday night. And you know what? Yesterday, between MLK Day sessions at school, I finished prepping and graded the rest of the tests. I cleaned my kitchen sink of the debris of a strange few days, cleared the table of red pens, and even made my beloved cookies.

If you’re like me and feel like you constantly need to be “on,” or that you’re wasting time if you’re not whirling around your town, city, office, gym, or what-have-you, know that it’s okay to relax. I have such a hard time with this (evidence: above), and constantly need to remind myself that some days, it’s okay to be a little behind. It’s okay to leave the dishes in the sink, to re-wear a pair of socks for a run because you’re out of clean ones, and that dinner can just be a box of Annie’s and frozen peas. Nobody is perfect, and nobody can be truly “on” all of the time. If we were, we’d go insane. It’s all about walking the line between having high expectations for ourselves and driving ourselves absolutely fucking nuts.

I saved myself from the need to cook last night, and just grabbed a to-go box from the dining hall. A homemade chickpea-couscous burger, hummus, and mango salsa with TJ's organic tortilla chips had me full and smiling.

I saved myself from the need to cook last night, and just grabbed a to-go box from the dining hall. A homemade chickpea-couscous burger, hummus, and mango salsa with TJ’s organic tortilla chips. Um, yum.

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So. Chocolately. I’ve decided that although I like the pb-semi sweet chip combo, there’s nothing like regular ol’ semi-sweet morsels.

So in honor of my need to relax, I went to Philly, drank beer, ate pizza, and picked up the pieces yesterday (all before dorm duty, booya).

If you’re stressed at work, at home, or just in general, make yourself a cup of tea and an actionable to-do list, and if it doesn’t all happen, the world isn’t going to shatter to pieces. And if you’re able to, or are committed to making the time for it, exercise works miracles to reduce stress. Lace up, and give week three a try:

Monday: 7-10 minute run

Tuesday: run 7 minutes, walk 3 minutes on/off for 30 mins.

Wednesday: 7-10 minute run

Thursday: run 7 minutes, walk 3 minutes on/off for 30 mins.

Friday: 7-10 minute run

If you’re just starting out and missed the first two posts, here  are the schedules for:

Week 1

Week 2.

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