I’m really good at keeping busy.
I like helping out and doing things for others. But this year I’ve really noticed that without even realizing it, I was still putting myself last.
I’ve been “single” for years. But most of that time, I was actively dating or looking for ways to meet someone. Wishing. Praying.
I was fine doing things alone– going to dinner, the movies, staying home and enjoying it.
And I kept so busy.
I was singing in the choir at my parish. I was attending political fundraisers and meetings, phone-banking, canvassing. My Sunday mornings were for Mass.
I was always there for my friends.
But the best friend I’ll have is myself. Why am I so quick to change my plans for others?
Slowly this year, I’ve been clearing my schedule of those obligations. Even Mass. I’ll go when I feel like it, but am not allowing myself to feel guilty if I don’t.
Instead, I’m going to run as much as I’m able. That’s my priority.
I’ll meet God outside, and worship him in motion.
Like any adult, I know how to push myself. Through fear, confusion, sickness, exhaustion.
But have I ever truly set an ambitious goal and believed?
All I saw were obstacles. I won’t say they were excuses– I was terrified to fail. So I would just not even attempt it. And sometimes depression crept in, manifested in over-sleeping.
But running is a natural anti-depressant. Endorphins are real!
My initial reaction is one of caution. I get that from my Dad. He’s wonderful, but he’s not the best at encouraging me when I want to try something new. And it’s understandable. He’s suffered a lot of loss. I’ve battled health problems all my life.
But I’m changing. I’m realizing that’s just the way he’s built emotionally- and it makes sense for him. And that I don’t need his approval to motivate me.
I was in this mind-frame of asking for permission.
But now I’m giving that permission to myself!
I don’t need to even tell him. I can just do it.
I can do what makes sense for me, even if he doesn’t get it.
My dreams are bigger than his: and that’s okay.
A friend at work approached me about a race yesterday. He knows I run… sporadically. This friend is a consistent runner– even in the winter! He has a training regimen.
Months ago, I had approached a different friend about running this race with me. She wasn’t game– I just gave up on it.
I’m going to sign up for it: the Solider Field 10 Mile in Chicago on May 27.
So what if I don’t finish it?
I can still do my best. And I’ve finished every race I’ve run thus far.
Instead of sleeping in on weekends, I want to go bed earlier.
I want to rise and run.
I usually like to sleep in on weekends. But if I had a date or some fun plans, I’d get up.
What if my fun plans were running?!
And now I get it! The true FREEDOM of being single: constructing my life 100% around ME.
Without obligation or guilt. I will never have that kind of freedom again later in life.
Just what I want to do. It’s not selfish. It’s necessary.
I deserve this!
Even with casual dating, you have to block out time for this person. You talk to them after work, they may text you to check in during the day. You plan dates– you invest hours and days and weekends getting to know each other.
In taking this time for myself without dating on the table, I’m putting ME first. I’m saying that the biggest priority is what *I* want to accomplish.
I won’t let myself feel guilty about saying “no” to social invitations. Or going home early.
I can still make sleep the priority– by regulating a bedtime and schedule.
I’ll build socializing into running. I’ve got three months to train.
I have no idea how, but that’s the adventure.
And I’ve got running friends to support me.